Friday, 20 December 2013

Ho ho ho, merry christmas and to all a good night..!

A little yearly review - 2013...
I've had a really exciting year in terms of my design work... from working on some lovely branding projects, to some really cool animation briefs and also trying my hand at selling some goodies at craft fairs. A highlight this year has been launching the Skillshare class The Art of Typography. Teaching online was new territory for me and one I really wanted to do justice. I've been overwhelmed by the positive response to the class and the projects the students have been working on. And as we close the year, there's over 500 students on the course - something I never imagined saying! I do my best to offer feedback on everyone's project as I think it's really important the students get some communication between them and the teacher.

Another highlight for me was/is the amazing contributions to #adventchallenge2013. Each day I set a new theme or object for people to do something creative with. Please see the below post here to check out days 1-16. I'll do another update after christmas. 

So, that just leaves me to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and 2014. Have a jolly old time and may 2014 bring you everything you could wish for. Our biggest wish will be coming along in the form of a little sister (most probably!) for our toddler Harrison in April. Exciting times ahead!

What do you wish for in 2014? 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Advent challenge Days 1-16

I have to be honest, I've been totally amazed at some of your designs and submissions to Advent Challenge this year! Beautiful, creative, inspiring and unique... here's just a little taster that should get you feeling festive. Thanks to everyone, of all ages who are taking part - I love tuning into facebook, twitter and instagram to see your daily works of art!

Day 1 - Robin

Kicking us off with a very cute Robin is Jan Shepherd of Patternmuse. The Embroidery School even made him into a cute pattern you can download.

Day 2 - Santa's letter
There were some fabulous illustrations for Santa's letter. However this verse from Ruth Ellis (Makey Cakey) was such a unique and creative addition to the Advent Challenge I just had to share it here!

 Day 3 - stars
Yes please!! Mini Rockpool Trading fan, aged 3 (who is becoming quite well known on twitter!) helped make these gorgeous looking brownies. 

 Day 4 - Cake
Good enough to eat! Lovely christmas cake from Jessica Lewis. The robin keeps making an appearance in her beautiful designs since day 1!

 Day 5 - Gingerbread man
A fab gingerbread man from instagram challenger Banburycakes!

 Day 6 - Angel
Maike Thoma of Patternjots, has completely embraced #adventchallenge2013 and has created some quite simply stunning designs! She has even set up a pinterest board dedicated to the challenge showcasing a number of talented designers. Loving her angel!

 Day 7 - Snowglobe
Fabulous snowglobe from Sonia at Apple Kaur Designs. You can also check out lots of her other designs on the pinterest board.

 Day 8 - Favourite christmas song
Miss AT on twitter has been a supporter of Advent Challenge since last years doodle challenge. I love her simple use of typography to lay out the lyrics from her favourite christmas song. 

Are you ready for some serious cuteness? Logan Grew decided to sing his favourite christmas song for our first Advent Challenge video! This is what it's all about :)

 Day 9 - Christmas tree
It's beginning to feel a lot like christmas!! This made my smile, Christmas Tree from Jen Handbury. 

 Day 10 - Snow
Another wonderful design from Maike at Patternjots for day 10 - snow!

 Day 11 - Elf
The very talented, Lesley Todd of Finch Five is doing her own Advent Challenge, but I was thrilled to see she had managed to synch up a few days with #adventchallenge2013. To see her wonderful set of illustrations take a look on her facebook page here.

 Day 12 - Favourite christmas word
I've become a big fan of Slumbermonkey's designs (aka Lindsay Buck) since taking part in a Christmas card swap with her. I love the bright happy colours and shapes against the darker background for Day 12. 

 Day 13 - A Winter's Scene
The adults were set lose on the play mobil to create this fun winters scene from Ruth Ellis. 

 Day 14 - Cracker
Love this!! The Grew family have been taking part in Advent Challenge on facebook... and their eldest son Logan was the star of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer rendition above. I love their youngest, Caspian, in the middle of the cracker. 

 Day 15 - Bauble
I knew Victoria Johnson was taking part but when she sent me a whole batch of her designs so far I was astounded - they are quite beautiful. Keep up to date with her work on her blog.

 Day 16 - Snowman
Another beaut from Slumbermonkey!

Julie Hamilton
Julie Hamilton of Artistically Afflicted is creating a captivating page of all the items... I love her drawing style.

 Pinterest board
Just a little taster of the fabulous pinterest board set up by Maike Thoma. 

Thanks to everyone who is taking part this year! It brightens up my day seeing what you are all creating. And for anyone who still wants to take part, join in whenever you like - even if you decide to just do 1 or 2. All details are here. I'll try to do another update before christmas and then a full round up after. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Exciting skillshare challenge!

I'm really pleased to announce an exciting challenge in collaboration with my good friend, fellow designer and skillshare teacher Majo Bautista V. We are hosting a Valentine's Challenge. 

So what's the project about?
Design your perfect Valentine's card and matching gift wrap paper. Enrolling in both courses will give you all the skills you need to do the challenge!
Guidelines // to participate you must:
1. Submit your final project to both classrooms (or just one), but remember you have to be signed up to both courses to win! - use code LOVE40 to get 40% off when you enroll Reign Repeats and The Art of Typography. 
2. Create a coordinated greeting card and a patterned gift wrap design
3. Deadline: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Majo and I will take the weekend to choose 10 of our favourite projects each. On Tuesday, February 11th we will post our top 20 on this blog and Majo's. We will award 2 first places that will be chosen by Majo and I based on design quality and overall coherence between both the card and the gift wrap. The 2nd and 3rd place will be chosen by public vote on our blogs from Feb 11th until the 17th. On February 18th we will announce the 4 winners.
Two 1st places will win:
2nd and 3rd place will choose their choice of these 2 books:
Each of the winners will also win a set of 4 of my typographic celebration cards:
And a free digital download from Majo's Etsy shop
Have lots of fun with this one guys!! We want to see you utilise all the skills you learn from both classes. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Skillshare class - Winter Wonderland Challenge

I recently set a fun challenge in my skillshare class The Art of Typography. I asked the students to design a festive greeting card where the emphasis was on the typography. I was really surprised by the variety of submissions and found it a lot more difficult to judge than I thought I would... 

1st place
Nicola Jones of Gooseberrymoon designed this card that I chose as the first place. What caught my eye was the cheerful nature of the typography. Even though the type colour is dark it works really well against the red pattern. I also felt it could easily be extended into a whole range of wrapping paper and gift tags. Nicola received a pack of 25 of her very own cards printed. 

2nd place
I was torn between 3 designs for the 2nd place... What impressed me most about Mel Paul's (from The Original Thread) design is the process and message. Sometimes, as a designer, I find myself lost for words but I really like the sentiment of the wording here. And also the process Mel went through to design this card. As you can see in the image below she cut out all the lettering to make a stamp. I'm amazed at how well she did this and keeping the kerning in order!
Mel wins a pack of 10 of her cards printed.

As you'll now see from some of the designs below, it was a difficult choice judging!

This stunning card from Bonnie Peters would make a perfect christmas card. Whilst I really liked the hand drawn lettering what really catches my eye with this card is the fabulous photo (that Bonnie took herself). 

I love the simplicity and simple messaging of this design by Danielle Perry. I think it could easily be made into a set of 4 cards using a similar style. Great work Danielle!

Another fun design from Hande Karaaslan. I can see this working on gift tags too. 

This joyful design by Liz Perez used a nice approach of mixing English and Spanish. I wonder if it could be extended to include some more languages.

Happy Holidays by Mark Morris was my husband's favourite (he's a designer too!). I love the way Mark got the word Happy to act like a ribbon around the word Holidays. 

Since launching the course I've found it fascinating to see everyone's different styles and when I saw Mei Ling Chan's design above my eyes really lit up! I think it's such a unique approach to a Christmas card, and whilst it might not be to everyone's taste there's a whole market who would absolutely love this design!

I love the way Sara Fabbro incorporated a Christmas tree shape into her message using hand drawn lettering. Great fun!

I think Sarah Book chose some perfect typefaces for her striking design. I can really imagine this on the shop shelf along with a few more designs in the collection. 

What's your favourite design?
I'll be holding another challenge soon in my class. If you would like to sign up I'm offering 25% off with the code XMAS25, so you can learn all about The Art of Typography for only $15 (about £10).