Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stationery Details and Finishings

A question I am often asked is "How do I add wow factor to my invitations". Like serious serious jazziness? One word. Details. A splash of color where you least expect it, a hand applied Swarovski crystal where it counts, a gorgeous mock croc envelope lining. Those are the things that can bring your wedding invitations to that next level and add wow factor.

Here are some of my favorite finishings and details:

Blind embossing. This is when you print no color on a surface. It works best with methods like embossing and letterpress and creates a wonderful tone one tone, tactile effect.

Sewing and stitching on paper

Wax seals. I love this one in black with the dramatic "accidental" drop

 Laser Cutting

Printing on Fabric. This one's linen but you can print on practically anything!

Beautifully colored or textured papers

Unique bindings. Take a look at this binding. On the first They used the same green as the graphics to create something unexpected and very clever. On the second it's just the amazing pop of yellow.

Perforations. An easy way of adding a touch of unexpected. We sometimes use this method with rsvp cards where we'll put response information on one side and event details on the other so the guest can rip the perforation, keep one side and mail back the rsvp side.

Hand stamps. A wonderful way of adding a handmade quality to anything. Plus custom made stamps can be made quite cheaply.

Color on the inside. This generally works best for pocket folders, envelopes or pockets in which you can essentially create an interesting reveal by adding some color on the inside.

So there you have it. Some of my favorite details and finishings. They can be done individually or paired. Heck you can even do all of them! Either way, they are a great way of making you invitations unique and special.

All images come courtesy of Graphic-Exchange

Monday, April 19, 2010

Furniture Designer: Tanya Aguiñiga

Today I'm posting about a designer and artist who makes remarkable furniture that walks the line between 'traditional' industrial design and art. I was immediately drawn to her work and the amazing textural quality it possesses. Her name is Tanya Aguiñiga and she is a Los Angeles based furniture designer.

She was raised in Mexico. which I think is one of the reasons why her work is so inspired by global and cultural influences. She uses furniture as a way to translate emotions into three dimensional objects that tell a story through color and touch. She encourages users to rethink the objects they use on a daily basis by creating work that explores an objects’ unseen aspect. For example, half chairs that rely on the wall to function and whose image is only complete as its shadow is cast upon the wall.

Here are some of my favorite pieces...

Teotitlan Edition 1 and 2

Named after archeological ruins in Oaxaca, Mexico, the lines that these chairs create evoke the complex patterns and geometry of Mexican textiles and fabrics.

The details are to die for! This is as intricate as weaving from a loom!
My next favorite is a piece called Plaid. It's a table made of steel, walnut veneer and plywood.

Again, the details are phenomenal!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paper Arts : Yulia Brodkaya

It's been a pleasure (not to mention really exciting) for me to put together this post about one of my favorite 'paper artists'. Yulia Brodskaya is an amazing artist, designer and illustrator from Russia. She came to the UK in 2004, immersing herself in the learning of textile painting, origami and collage as well as traditional fine art. She has earned an international reputation for her innovative paper illustrations and continues to create beautifully detailed paper designs for clients all around the world. Her client list is extensive (and varied), from Starbucks to Hermès with everything from Target, Google and Nokia in between.

It's so innovative and unexpected! Love the Hermes logo in this style!

There are so many original ways to fold, crease, bend and place these paper shapes!

 This is really cute, not to mention clever!


This piece reminded me (in color and techniques) to George Braque collages. I put them side by side. On the left is Yulia's collage, on the right is Braque. Loving it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New York Weddings Event 2010

We had such a blast at Wednesday night's NY Weddings Event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. The show lasted 3 hours and was such a great success! We're so proud to have been a part of it.

We got a chance speak with lots of couples and brides about their weddings while also reconnecting with some of our favorite friends and colleagues in the wedding and event design industry.

Lots of people waiting outside before the opening

Me at our booth! Yay!

More samples of our work with our cute little tablescape (complete with New York Taxi and everything!)

One of our lovely neighbors Tantawan Blooms and next to them, Great Performances Events at the Plaza

And we met Marisa (who is one of the nicest people in the world) over at Marisa Perry Jewelry. Beautiful jewelry and gorgeous engagement rings and wedding bands.

This is like Where's Waldo.. More like 'Where's Margot'

Looking forward to attending the Wedding Salon on Monday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Details: Established & Sons

Something clients will always hear me say is that the devil is in the details. And I think that it's a philosophy and inspiration that can be taken from virtually any artform and craft. I very often look to industrial design, furniture design and architecture to solve some of the problems I encounter during the design process. You'd be surprised how the detail on the ceiling of a building, or the closure on the opening of a tea kettle can spark an idea that can lend itself directly into what I'm doing (as completely unrelated as it may seem). Come to think of it, I'd love to do a post that illustrates how inspiration from daily discoveries come to life in the designs I create.. Definitely something I'm going to do soon!

One of my most recent inspirations comes from an amazing industrial and furniture company by the name of Established and Sons. They represent some of the most innovative and leading designers, architects and artists to create a collection that is truly unique.

Sleek and streamlined table...

Friggin' AMAZING detail and wood finishing at the joints

The colors on the base of this table make such a statement...

But when you realize that it's knit from thousands of folded pieces of paper, it's even better.

An awesome lamp

Is actually an intelligent lamp that transforms into different, graphic looks at the touch of your hand.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Packaging and Paper Engineering by Design Students

I'm always blown away by the ideas and innovation that emerge from design school student work. This 'exercise' in paper engineering and packaging comes from the class of Sylvain Allard, a professor at École de design. He asked his students to do solve the following problem:

"From a single sheet of paper, they should design a label for a bottle of wine. Through manipulation, bending, cutouts, and mechanisms or in repeated patterns and structures, they should create an image consisting solely of paper. All work should explore the potential of the paper and printing was not allowed.

Since it was meant to be an exploration to push the limits of paper. Transportation constraints, marketing and handling were not an endpoint. In contrast, research, innovation, virtuosity, originality and skill were the criteria for evaluation."

So in this instance a two-dimensional piece of paper becomes a three dimensional, nearly architectural structure. It's also interesting to see how the contrast between the white of the paper and the dark color of the bottle starts to build shapes, patterns, images, geometry, etc..

If only we had packages like THAT in the marketplace!