One of my coworker friends, Rebecca, asked me if I’d be willing to help her design a graphic for a shirt. Rebecca and her husband Justen formed a support group and named it in honor of their daughter, calling it Cassie’s Foundation. They were having the shirts printed for the group to wear during the March of Dimes walk.
I was happy to be able to donate my services to help them. Rebecca drew me her idea on a piece of yellow legal paper and I ran from there. In addition to the name, she wanted a balloon and the phrase “our babies.” Rebecca explained to me that often balloons are released by families as a way to memorialize their babies, symbolically sending their love to the heavens.
I started my design by searching for a typeface that I thought would work. It needed to be childlike, but not too silly or girlish. I found Vanilla, designed by Cutie Explosion. I liked that it was bubbly, like balloons, while still being legible. Rebecca choose purple to help her group’s logo be aligned to the visuals for March of Dimes. I think it turned out nicely and Rebecca and Justen were very gracious clients. I was honored to be a part of their healing, even in a very small way.
I have created two very different valentines to share—a stricken little monster and a slightly grotesque heart. If you’re like me, and struggle with the sappy messages in many greeting cards, maybe one of my offbeat valentines will be the right fit for your special someone.
Button “My heart is yours” PDF
Button “Could you love a monster” PDF
So what’s the story with the monster? Long ago I sculpted a little clay gargoyle, about five inches tall. I painted him solid white. It was February. I gave him a little heart sign that said, “Could you love a monster?” and sold him at the annual Tiny Art Show at Emerge Gallery for $10. Since then, the phrase “Could you love a monster?” has stuck with me. We’ve all been at that vulnerable place in a relationship where we question whether we are ready to dive deeper into a relationship or not. It can feel like asking someone to love a monster. Gosh, isn’t love lovely, even when it’s devastating?
We all know what Valentine’s Day has become, a competition of who can send and receive the most embarrassing amount of flowers and gifts to their significant other at work. I don’t think any holiday is required to express how you feel to a person, but if having a day marked on a calendar inspires people to step outside their comfort zone and take that risk, I’m all for that. I’m a romantic, really.
Continue on to see a tutorial on making the cards, plus a BONUS…
A couple of months ago my friend, Andrea, approached me about designing a poster for the organization for which she is currently President of the Board, Trips for Kids – Triangle (TFKT). This is the local branch of a national non-profit. Trips for Kids works with at-risk youth to improve their education and rewards those who have made improvements with monthly bike rides. The local branch is funded, in part, by the non-profit bike shop, Grassroots Bikes, located in Durham, NC. The shop is run entirely by volunteers, and the kids even help out there.
To grab the attention of the youth of Durham, TFKT had already used some graffiti elements in existing items, and has graffiti murals inside Grassroots Bikes. Inspired by this approach, I used some of the colors from those murals and incorporated graffiti arrows, ink splatters and textures in with bicycles and gears, as well as a photograph from TFKT’s collection.
It turned out to be a bold, fun poster for a great cause.
Every year LGFCU enters projects into the CUNA Diamond Awards, a credit union marketing competition. And they have a funny way of announcing the winners. First they tell you that you won something, but they don’t tell you which items won, what the award is, or even how many awards. So you have to either go to the award ceremony or wait until they are announced.
We knew we won at least one thing. On Sunday they were announced and on Monday I found out that the annual report I worked on last year won the top honor for our asset size, $1 billion and above, which is the largest asset size category they have. Need proof? We are way down at the bottom.
The concept of the report was on how we helped different aspects of North Carolina’s communities, by the numbers. The beginning of each section has a big bold number knocked out of a field of color. Sometimes the number represents money saved, or miles of driving saved, or how many people attended financial wellness seminars.
Screenshots and PDFs don’t really do it justice, but that’s all I have at the moment. A full PDF can be downloaded from LGFCU’s site. We used a gloss varnish on the photographs and on the fields of color throughout the report. The cover was also treated with a varnish so the lighter gray numbers were glossy. It is very subtle. And as a call to action/take away, on the interior back cover we had a coordinating magnet fugitive glued, with the message of the title repeated, “What can we do for you?”
Here are a few of the spreads.