Stiksel

Stiksel, a.k.a. Karin Röling, was working as a graphic designer in the Netherlands when she decided to try freelancing. Fast forward two years and now she is the proprietor of a thriving etsy shop filled with creative pieces that showcase her design background.

Karin says, “When I make something, I don’t have a clear vision of how it should look like. I throw my table full of materials and start working and combining. Textures, colours, shapes. Things evolve by starting making them. I mostly get inspired by the material itself.”

I love the way she uses materials with a previous life in new and interesting ways — and of course I love the element of vintage typography!

Win free stuff!

grand_array_giveaway

This blog surpassed 10,000 views last week and to celebrate I thought I’d give away some awesome merchandise from Grand Array. Hannah Stouffer (read about her here and here) provided the goods, I’ll provide the shipping and all you have to do is leave a comment below! Say whatever you’d like — just make sure to include your email so I can get in touch with you if you win!

grand_array_giveaway2

Giveaway includes: a sweet Blood is the New Black tee (size medium), three cute matchbooks and a book, all featuring Hannah’s illustrations. Winners will be chosen one week from today by picking a number out of a hat — good luck!

Karen’s Soap Co.

I’m a sucker for any unique letterform, so of course I instantly loved the SOAP soap from Karen’s Soap Co., but the more I browsed her shop the more clever soaps I found.

$2 from the sale of each Puzzle piece soap set is donated to Autism Speaks
$2 from the sale of each Puzzle piece soap set is donated to Autism Speaks

Her handmade glycerin-based soaps are luxurious and moisturizing, but more than that, they’re fun to give and use. I love the Fish-in-a-Bag!

Ecofont

I know everyone from news organizations to design bloggers have been raving about this, but I thought I’d join the chorus: Have you downloaded ecofont?

Basically, the designers reduced up to 20% of the black area of each letterform by creating small holes in the center of each stroke, undetectable at normal text sizes, thereby reducing the amount of ink used when printing the text. The typeface is based on Verdana (which is actually a little silly because Verdana was really designed for viewing on screen, not in print, but I won’t go there), an exceedingly common and simple typeface.

Even more impressive, SPRANQ (the company that created ecofont) hopes that the spread of ecofont will inspire environmentally-conscious practices throughout the business and design world. Specifically:

End-users: print only when necessary, use a modern, efficient printer and use unbleached paper.
Graphic designers: use modern color separation techniques to avoid unnecessary wastage in ink. In paper choice, take the environment into account.
• (Offset) printers: avoid modern laser techniques that make ink indivisible from the paper. Keep an eye on innovations, such as plant-based ink.
Printer manufacturers: invest in environment-conscious innovation.

Kudos to SPRANQ for the genious invention and ideals for all of us to keep in mind. Now, don’t you dare print this blog post!

Farm wedding invitations

Because we’re living in a teeny apartment for the summer while we house shop, my press has not yet joined me in Iowa City. By and large, I’m not taking on any more custom orders until things settle down and I know what state my studio and free time are in. I finished up the last few orders for wedding invitations the Friday before we moved, and hopefully the next time I head to Wisconsin, I’ll be able to take care of several of my own projects that have languished for weeks (a happy birthday card, finally!).

greeninvite_1

This is one set of the invites I just finished, made for a beautifully rustic late summer wedding. She wanted a big ol’ tree to reflect the setting, he wanted some elements of birds, and viola! The lovely kelly green (so on trend!) is courtesy of the couple as well, they sent me a ribbon that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses.

greeninvite_2