custom work, design process, finished product

Packaging is a really important factor when you are selling a hand-made product. I generally hand-wrap all large orders of wedding cards in tissue paper  and secure with a branded sticker. I wanted to try something different for this large order of coasters. Since it’s just one order of 16 coasters, I justified making the box by hand instead of ordering a set of 20 boxes. This way, I am able to make a box that fits my product exactly and out of high-quality paper; no one makes matchbox style boxes any where near these dimensions  4″ x 4″ x 1.4″.

I had to tweak the template a bit so I got the amount of overhang I needed to give the box a more polished look. Eventually, I’ll have a laser cutter to do the cutting for me, but for now I’m fine with hand cutting the odd box or 5.

I know everyone and their mom uses the two color baker’s twine, but here’s my justification for it:

  1. I had a piece that was just the right length leftover from another project.
  2. It goes with the black box and looks polished.
  3. Holds the card securely, unlike the hemp twine I tried.
  4. Ribbon I had looked lame.
  5. Couldn’t find a paper wrap that I liked and didn’t want to delve into my decorative paper collection to find something.

Next time I’ll probably use a layered paper wrap with circular seal.

Gorgeous Violet

custom work, printing process

I started work on letterpressing this beautiful set of invitations for Julie Sperfslage. She is a graphic designer, and you should check out more of her work here, who is getting married and decided to have Two Crow Press print her invitations. Her handwritten script with decorative swash on these invitations is really beautiful and playful. She chose the super thick cotton Lettra 220#DTC in Fluorescent White for her paper stock. My hands were K-State purple after cleaning the rollers (my cuticles are still stained, certain pigments definitely have staying power)! Here’s a preview of the invitations, the RSVPs she designed are just as good. I steamed the paper before printing to open up the fibers more, but I love the little bit of saltiness that is still there. Lettra is a pretty textured paper, so it’s difficult to create enough pressure to get rid of the saltiness, especially with a human-powered tabletop platen press. I wanted a Heidelberg Windmill so badly after pressing almost 300 of these. Whew! Someday. sperfslage closeup sperfslage

Posters for Savage Umbrella: update II

custom work, design process

These pictures were all taken a week ago when I was staying at my grandparents old house in the redwoods of Northern California. The huge table you see is a slab of redwood burl. It is a great table to work on and the space it’s in has wonderful natural light. The house is being sold now though, so this was my last time having access to this space. It was a bittersweet visit. For more personal bits about the visit and some non-design related artwork visit my other blog: phasmatis.

sketches of poster work for Savage Umbrella

custom work, design process

Savage Umbrella is a kick ass theater company located in Minneapolis, MN.

Savage Umbrella makes theatre; we can’t help or stop ourselves. We lust for the uncharted and the unknown; we embrace and dissect the familiar. We actively embody all the contradictions we are as individuals- that’s the savage part. Raw, lyrical, dumb, intellectual, muscular, fragile, inspiring, fierce, compassionate. We foster projects from inception to performance; we are talking talking making making making doing, and that challenge is both the process and the result. Being a multi-faceted and multi-talented group helps us amplify and strengthen our conversations so that we can tease out the strongest and most challenging ideas to share in our work.

Blake Bolan, an alumna of the Manhattan Experimental Theater Workshop (She was my director two of the three years I was in the workshop, and it was awesome), is company member of Savage Umbrella and she offered me this unique and awesome project. Which is as follows: make a piece of art for each of the 4 shows in the 2013-2014 season and have them be cohesive. Two other artist/designers are also making work. There will be an art auction and vote in early August and the ones that are liked the best will be the posters for the upcoming season. May the best lady/dude win!

Originally I was thinking these 4 posters would be photographs digitally manipulated with text. Then I changed directions completely and decided I wanted to hand draw EVERYTHING, text included.

LEAVES: Based on Walt Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass.

RAPTURE: A tenth of the world’s population suddenly disappears. This isn’t a biblical event. It is pieced together that all those who vanished were, in some fashion, artists.

THESE ARE THE MEN: A reimagining of the Oedipus mythology.

JUNE: Set in 1950s America, JUNE centers around a young woman–the picture of a freshly married housewife. By way of a strange and exotic acquaintance, she is unwittingly thrust into to the lesbian subculture of the time.

Luckily for me the 4 plays are all so image rich that coming up with my final concept was simple, except Leaves. Fucking Walt Whitman and his epic poetry giving me a hard time, ugh! Since it deals with what is means to be an American now, I’m definitely keeping the eagle. I’ll probably also use the lilacs since they figure prominently in the play. The guitar draped with a flag, like a soldier’s coffin is a little too blatant and complex compared with the other 3 posters.

first anocratic improvisation in STYROFOAMLAND

custom work, digital

I have been working with my art collective on a mixed-media performance piece we have titled, first anocratic improvisation in STYROFOAMLAND. Here is a flyer I have designed to have available at the Maker Faire in KC this weekend.

25th Anniversary Poster for MXTW

custom work, digital

Here is the poster I designed for the show this year.

mxtw 2013 poster mock

The five below are possibilities for the 25th anniversary poster.

Which do you like best?