I’m such a sucker for packaging

Influenced by packaging

So last night, I went to Target and was looking at buying some kitchen cleaning supplies. My kitchen was in serious need of some Spring cleaning! At first, I put the regular Clorox product in my cart, but then I stopped and eyeballed the J.R. Watkins line you see above. Well, I was going to get just the cleaner, but it just looked so pretty as a set. I couldn’t help myself.

Admittedly, I totally bought this for the packaging. There’s something about it that is just so classic and clean. I feel a bit fancier using these products as my household cleaners. I can just envision myself in a pristine white kitchen using these products and the sparkling countertops and dishes after using these products. The funny thing is, that in reality, there is always a dirty dish in the sink and cluttered countertops. A girl can dream right?

And that is exactly why I bought the Real Simple magazine too! I can aim for simplicity even though I’m not there. Maybe if I click my heels three times it may become a realty…haha, actually the only way it would become a reality is if I had a maid! Yeah, that’s going to happen!

Until next time Swellions!


9 DIY Font Wall Art Ideas

created at: 06/08/2010

I have to admit something: I LOVE FONTS! I guess being a graphic designer has a little to do with that. I’m always scoping out typeography posters online, vintage distressed signage, and cool magazine layouts using fonts in an unusual way.

One thing I’ve been noticing a lot of late are simple font posters in the vein of “Keep Calm and Carry On”. A super simple typed sentiment that a lot of places online are fetching for a pretty penny. The thing about it is that most people can make these posters themselves if they just were given the idea and know how. That’s why I decided to bring you 9 different ways to make DIY wall art out of fonts! I kept them super simple and accessible…something you can do in less than thirty minutes and print out and frame.

And now with the holidays coming on, Font art is the perfect customizable gift for your family and friends! Hope you enjoy and are inspired by the ideas.

Before you begin
Before you start any of these project, it is helpful if you already have a copy of Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Adobe also has a less expensive version of Photoshop called Photoshop Elements. These programs will make it much easier to achieve positive results; however it’s not to say you couldn’t get the same results from a word processing program like Word. It just may take a bit more time troubleshooting to figure out the setup.

Any of these projects can be printed to larger poster print sizes. You may just have to stop by your local printshop or copy center to have it done for a small price. You might also consider printing it to a wide format printer if you want it larger than a traditional 11×17 size. Talk to the printshop about specifics if you have printing issues/concerns.

Also, I suggest that if you’re not already familiar with kerning, leading, and tracking, that you do a bit of homework. This can step up your typeography knowledge and ultimately help you achieve better results in creating your own font wall art!

created at: 06/08/2010
1. Go Grunge
There are a slew of grunge and graffiti style type faces out there complete with drips, spray paint effects, and distressed characters. They look great on their own or jumbled and tilted on top of each other. Mix and match letters and numbers for a textured effect. I chose to do initials in the example above.

created at: 06/08/2010
2. Fancy Font Flip
At first glance, the image above just looks really decorative and cool in a Rorschach test kinda way. If you take another look, you will notice that I flipped and mirror my name side by side. It’s a fun way to use the loops and swirls of cursive typeface (this one was downloaded for free and is called Mutlu Ornamental) to create custom art. If you stare at it long enough, you may even find shapes or images in it that you didn’t know was there just like a Rorschach test!

created at: 06/08/2010
3. For Repeat’s Sake
Repetition also makes a strong statement on a wall. Any word, phrase, or series of letters or numbers will be sure to catch the eye. I chose to run the type off the edges of the frame and also embed a not too secret message as well. Actually, the heart for this one was a dingbat font I downloaded called Heart Things 3. There are enormous variety of wingding-like fonts online as well that can be used in wall art projects. I found a slew on www.dafont.com.

created at: 06/08/2010
4. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Take a page from the glossy magazine sitting on your coffee table, and place your type over top of a photo. A quote or phrase that captures the mood of the photo can be a way to add more life/meaning to that image. And though it appears I spent a lot of time editing this photo (burning the edges/saturating it, etc.), I didn’t. This photo was taken and processed using my iPhone. I’m all about doing it the easy way!! You can also take this look off the wall and it would make a great printed invite, cover to a photo book, etc. The possibilities are endless.

created at: 06/08/2010
5. It’s a Colorful Life
Enlarge a phrase/quote/name using your favorite font and set it in a bright colorful palette of colors! It adds a playful touch to your wall art and will make a cheerful accent! This treatment particular looks good on a white or black background. If you’re not sure what color combos work best together, the web site Kuler has great color palettes to get you inspired and think outside your normal color box!

created at: 06/08/2010
6. Tis a Font to be Simple
Follow the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it simple stupid) and use a tried and true font that looks good everytime (my suggestion is Helvetica Bold or Garamond Bold that I used above). Type out your favorite phrase or saying, then right or left justify it. It lets your phrase take center stage and make a powerful statement. Leave it simple in black and white or do as I did and type it on a solid colored background. Sometimes simple really is better.

created at: 06/08/2010
7. Get Googly
I’m a sucker for googly eyes. It immediately gives inanimate objects personality, so why not try it on a font? Heehee. This would make an adorable accent to a child’s room or really anywhere if you embrace kitschy, cute stuff as much as I do. By the way, the font used here is Cooper Standard. You can even purchase multiple paper machĂ© letters from your local craft store, paint, then add the googly eyes in a grouping on the wall. What a fun way to spell out a name!

created at: 06/08/2010
8. Fontapalooza
If you are a bit of a fontaholic, then this wall art is for you! You simply take the same letter over and over, changing up the font for each one. I chose one letter to be a focal point as you can see, then arranged all the other letters in different sizes and shapes around it. This would make a great personalized gift for just about anyone, especially that hard to buy for person!!

created at: 06/08/2010
9. Breaking up is not that hard to do
Break up a word (set in an visually interesting font) into a couple different lines to make a interesting statement. In this one, I took a line from a classic Beatles tune, set it in “Circus” font, and finished off the saying in a simple San Serif.

Hope this inspires you to make your own font wall art. Now you can make your own art that’s totally your “type”!

Until next time Swellions!


Today I’m inspired by…

This building a part of a community art initiative in Rio de Janeiro…via Favela Painting blog.

This poster from Telegramme Studio. I love the off registration. And of course the colors.

Never Pat a Bear-5
Art Selden’s Vintage Children’s Illustrations. I wish I had this talent! Via Tales of Whoa’s Flickr stream.

Exit Stage Right
This dramatic door photo from my friend Chris. I love the depth of field and the amazing textures!

Screen shot 2010-08-11 at 12.18.33 AM
This pixel wrapping paper by Lagom Design makes my heart pitter patter! Oh the crafting possibilities!

Until next time Swellions!


Light Table Discoveries

photo 1

Tonight Silvia and I got to hang out. It’s always nice hanging out with her cause we are both on the same page creatively. While we both do very different kinds of art (her specialty is zines), I find that we can help push our ideas ahead and inspire each other.

She was pulling out some ephemera from boxes (she’s so organized!) and I spotted some transparencies. On her light table, I decided to position them in fun ways and take a few photos. The table reacted funny to my iphone and immediately inserted lines into my finished photo, but I’m totally diggin’ it! I love how bold, black and white and graphic the images and text look. It was an interesting and fun discovery and freeform way to be creative. I need more of that. How about you?

photo 4

photo 2

photo 3

Turning in for the night!

Until next time Swellions!


Creative Explorations in Photoshop

I love making digital collages and art in Photoshop. I feel it is one exercise in creating in graphic design where I’m not as controlled. My overall design sense is pretty controlled layout and type-wise. When I take a photo, I am also very controlled in how I take it. I usually play by the rule of thirds rule. It is very hard to break away from thinking so structured when your mind just goes there.

That’s why I love making these little “explorations” as I call it. It takes me anywhere from 5 minutes to 30, but basically, I layer several images on top of each other in Photoshop, then choose different layer styles (whichever one looks best to my eye) as well as airbrush and erase areas as needed.

Here’s one where I merged these two photos from my Flickr stream…Shoes and More and Me N Ed’s and Sparkles in the Grass.


As you can see, I added in additional orange and red coloration, but a lot of it was just the layers saturating over top of each other. I think it turned out to be cool graphic art. I would totally make frame this. It makes a bold statement.

Here’s another one I did where I merged Silvia and Joshua take on the Fun House, aluminum christmas tree color wheel light, and SSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I think it turned out pretty cool too.

creative photoshop exploration 2

As you prob. can tell, I gravitate towards the brights and saturated colors. I can’t help it, I just do.

Here’s one I did last year that was a little more subtle and probably a little more thought provoking.

the ties that bind

I find that creating these little works is a very satisfying process. I always complete a finished project that I’m happy with. I can’t always say that about some of the crafts or graphic design projects I’ve worked on.

Off to bed!

Until next time Swellions!


Can’t forget my day job.

I don’t know that I go too much into my daily activities while working at iLoveToCreate much but I wanted to show you a little snippit of the type of projects I do on a daily basis that I spotted while at Hancock Fabrics recently….signage for our Tulip® Paint Section.

Sign at Hancock's

I am always working on something new, whether it be concepting and collaborating on ads, tradeshow design, or social media. Since I’ve been there only a little over a year, just now am I starting to see actual packaging that I have created materialize. I still can’t share or show you cause it’s still another few months before it will even be in stores! Contrary to what you might think, the process of a product getting into your hands at the store takes a lot longer than you would think. We have lots of people on our design, decorating, and marketing teams that make the packaging, signage, and communication that you see in stores. And on top of that, there’s another level of sales, manufacturing & production, and distribution to go through, not just at our company, but on a store level. So, I’m just one part of a very big puzzle.

So yeah, it’s kinda crazy. But I like it that way and there’s always a new challenge with a cool solution in the end.

And on a totally random and unrelated note, here’s a cute Pixiecat photo!!


Until next time Swellions!