Thank You Cards for the Memories

It’s impossible to be a graphic designer and not use my talent for my own personal gain. I’m picky at times and I’d feel horrible constantly changing my mind and making someone crazy. This means there’s times I like to edit my own photos (even if they’ve been edited already) or making my own birthday cards. Now I get the chance to design things for my wedding which is even more fun than normal.

There’s a lot of work that goes into wedding planning. If we take away the dress, the decorations, the guest list and even the cake you’re still left with a lot. There’s the invitations, the programs, place cards and thanks you cards. Between the design, the printing,  the shipping and mailing things can start to add up quickly.

What isn’t expensive is a pack of cardstock, office max or a home printer and a little time.

You can get an array of different colors and patterns of cardstock from different place all over the interent or instore. The price ranges from  $5 to $12 for 50 sheets depending on where you get and what colors. Here are two good ones: Paper Presentation (online) and Hobby Lobby (in-store).

EnvelopeTo make the envelope templates are also readily available online. One of my favorites is Creative Blog. The give you a  list of 8 different card and envelope temples.

I chose this envelope style for my thank you cards because I liked the rounded flaps. I created the rose pattern in illustrator and it fit perfectly with the Beauty and The Beast theme of my wedding. Including a place for the address and return address is a quick way to make sure the address are legible and fit on the envelope.

THank youNext comes the card that goes inside the envelope. I wanted mine to match so I used the same rose I chose for the pattern on the envelope to fit nicely on the right side.

Finally I printed both the envelope and thank you card on the same colored cardstock. You can do this at home or bring your paper into Office Max and they will print everything out for you. One piece of cardstock in color is about .70. So for 40 thank you cards it’s 7 dollars, and 28 for the envelopes.  I printed mine at home and they turned out perfectly, so Officemax is only necessary if you want to save a bit of ink.

The final price of homemade thank you cards is between 40 and 47 compared to the average price of 75 dollars plus shipping for ordered ones. Not to mention homemade ones can be made in a day or two.

I chose a tan color and after folding the envelope and cutting out the cards, everything was done and ready to ship!

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Till next time!


Digital Drawing

So I’ve been playing around with Illustrator a bit lately. It started with trying to see how well I can actually draw. It’s a common misconception that all Graphic Designers can draw. I have a small bit of talent when it comes to the skill but nothing to brag about. What I do like about drawing though is scanning in my sketches and tracing them in Illustrator. I find the easiest way to do this is scan the drawing at a resolution f 300 or more. This darkens the lines and makes it easier for illustrator to trace it. If it’s still not dark enough, I usually pop it into photoshop and up the contrast then the fun begins.

Using different textures, the pen tool and masking layers, it’s quite easy to take a simple sketch and make into something interesting. Illustrator’s trace tool can take some getting use to though. Figuring out how much of a threshold is needed, if it needs more path or noise isn’t very easy some of the time and depends on the photo.

ImageIronically, I’m not a very fashion forward person, at least I don’t think I am. I like what I like even if it’s not necessarily in style. I would wear all of the above sketched items though. I think next time, I’ll try drawing something a little more fun. I’m getting married soon, so maybe I’ll sketch a wedding dress I know I’ll never wear? (Mine is already picked out) =]

Till next time.

Let’s put a little line and shape in it

Two of my favorite aspects of design other than color are line and shape. A line can be so much more then straight and so much more than just there. In a layout it’s used as a divider but it’s all used to add color. If you zoom far enough out of and InDesign file you can see how the page forms more lines than you thought. It also starts to form shapes that fit together like a puzzle. The story, the headline, the photo captions, all of them are lines and shapes. You see the page in a whole new way you focus on how it’s edges line up and how the photo fits into the design.


In photography line and shapes can also be incorporated. The line of a horizon separates the photo. It gives it structure and leads the eye of the viewer across the page. They also simulate movement. A skyscraper photo, taken from the base leads the eye up and  shows the height and power of the building. Shape can be obvious or abstract. An array of squares all forming rectangles. An outline of curves among squares.

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For more information, check out this link:

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Taste the Color

Color. In any design project, color is a key aspect. In my personal opinion color changes everything. Even the absence of color creates a different feel to a piece. A sunset of red and orange isn’t quite the same without the color. A thunderstorm with a lightning striking splitting the sky feels so much more powerful in black and white. Color speaks.

The photograph below is one i’ve edited from my personal engagement sessions. I like both pictures to be honest. The green of the trees, grass, and shrubbery, give the colors in my dress and my fiance’s shirt a bit of a pop. The red brick, the yellow of my dress, the blue of Billy’s shirt all flow so well together. The edited black and white version shows the contrast between us though. His light to my dark. Both picture give a different feeling to the viewer mostly because of the color.



It can be hard at times, in photography, creating an ad, or even designing a logo to know what colors to choose. In photography for instance, the subjects clothes should match their surroundings and both subject should complement the others. Blue and yellow are very common complementary colors which is precisely why I choose them. I find it easy to pull up a color scheme when trying to find colors that intertwine well.

A favorite website of mine is It allows you to choose any color from a color wheel, as well as enter an RGB value and then find it’s complementary, triad, tetrad, analogic and accent analogic color. It’s been very helpful to me.

Sometimes, just doing what feels right works well too. In art, and I consider graphic design an art, the beauty is it’s uniqueness. Three colors might not being logically complementary but can still find a way to work together. It’s really all about how you use them!

TIll next time!

The Process

Have you ever done something a million times before. You get in the habit of doing something a specific way and you’ve learned all the pitfalls and shortcuts.

Being the Layout and Design Manager of a newspaper, I have a process, a way I’ve done stuff for the last three years. I’ve found the best way to get layout done without sacrificing design, creativity or time.

One of those ways is to create the space for the layout based on the length of the unedited stories. Even unedited a story doesn’t change too much once it’s been copy edited. And once every story on a page is placed it gives the best possible idea of where graphic such as photos and ads can be placed. There’s also the matter of photo credits (who a photo is by and what happening in it), the by line (who wrote story), and the story headline. While none of these things might seem very space consuming, the smallest shift of a by line which only consists of the writer name and position, can change the length of a story. The size of a photo will always depend on the space left over from a story.

It’s quite easy to understand that not everyone is going to agree with you’re process. And your way might not always be the best way possible. There is for instance the possibility and unedited story might accidently not be corrected but that would be my fault for not correcting it, a mistake that I have never made. Mostly, because I keep record of what stories have been changed for the edited one or changing the story color till the edited version is placed might be easier for you.

Here’s a look at one of my most recent layouts in progress.

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The Choral Concert picture and Hunger Game story photos are both relative in size to their story sizes. The Choral Concert’s story is also more important so it’s photo is a bit bigger. I take these things into account when design the a layout.

While my way might not be the best way, it’s the way I like doing it for now. I’m always open to new ideas!

Till next time!

Hey There

As the soundtrack to Mulan plays in the background and I write this introduction I’m very much aware of how similar to Mulan I really am. I’m an only girl with three brothers. I love being rough and tough but I also like being all dressed up. I’m the second oldest at 25 and the first one out of all us to be engaged.

I didn’t always want to be a graphic designer. Sometimes I still doubt I’m in the right field. It mostly depends on exactly what field of my graphic design skills i’m focusing on. When I’m taking and editing photos, I adore it. If I’m doing layout for work or just for fun, I’m pretty content knowing it’ll look good. Ask me to design a web page and I will visibly cringe. It’s really not my strong point, web design. Well, more so the actual coding of wed design.

It’s a common misconception though that all graphic designers are adapt at all the different medians the job descriptions involves. This is a complete lie actually. I’m great with editing, video, photo and music. I have an eye (or so I like to tell myself) for laying out graphics and text and making them look great on a page. A friend of mine Rachel is BRILLIANT with Maya. Another friend of mine Rich is AMAZING with web design. We all have our strong points and areas we like doing more.

I started this blog to help myself get more feedback on the numerous projects I like to throw myself into. As well as spreading the knowledge I’ve learned over the years. For example, here’s on of my favorite photos I just recently finished editing. It was taken back in Christmas of 14 but I want to try something new with it. Something with a lot of contrast. I quite like it.



Till next time!