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Need a booksmith?

by abby on July 21, 2011 | Comment

What a week it has been! From the look of my studio you can tell I’m a busy gal. Scraps of tissue paper show sketch ideas for a happy frog illustration, unfinished test prints on new FABULOUS watercolor paper are strewn about, and I have a zillion rejected book layouts in a pile next to my desk that just didn’t make the cut to first pass. You’ll find no arguments from me. I’m one happy creative girl, when I’m a busy creative girl.

Among all the artistic chaos, one project actually wrapped up this week. Over the last several months I’ve been fortunate to work with former colleague of mine from the children’s publishing industry. She’s starting up her own editorial service company specializing in children’s literature (go Alisha!) and wanted a visual identity to solidify the dream. Youth + design = I’m one happy camper.

As always it was a collaborative process with a lot of ideas bouncing around and being molded together. When the final logo looks so simple you know you’ve come to the end. Ta-da!
abbydora logo design

The logo blends the three goals together: touch of humor, literary finesse, and youthfulness. I hope this is the start to a great business adventure for Alisha!

I spy great design…again

by abby on July 19, 2011 | Comment

I was on the road again this time heading south to Maryland. As always I’m on the look out for interesting typography and design. Once your eye is trained to look for these examples it is hard not to find objects along your way worthy of a photo.

While having a day in Annapolis to shop at the FABULOUS paper store, Paper Source, the winding streets led me to this painted advertisement on the side of a brick building. I do love to find decaying or weathered type. The layered of pealing paint give this sign even more visual impact.
abbydora typography
abby dora design

As I passed the marina, I came upon a coffee house called City Dock Coffee. I found their logo to be quite clever.
abbydora identity design
Did you catch the sun rising on the horizon as it becomes the coffee mug? Nice touch!

Finally, the weekend ended with watching an Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. Even here at a baseball stadium there is great design. This is the clock that sits on top of the big screen in the stadium. I love the vintage feel of the type of “Orioles” and the beautiful twisting ironwork surrounding the clock face.
abbydora illustration

You just never know where you will find an eye catching example of great typography or design!

Drawing Never Gets Old

by abby on May 24, 2011 | Comment

AbbyDora graphic designer

It feels great to be back home in the studio after spending a wonderful weekend with family for a birthday celebration. My grandmother turned 95 on Sunday! We celebrated the whole weekend. Mostly, just by sitting together and talking and talking. She’s a true inspiration for anyone, but especially for an artist. She continues to draw and watercolor almost daily. And she’s only still getting better! My grandmother has a wonderful sense of composition and I can only admire the delicate layering of color washes within her paintings. For anyone who has tried watercolor you know it isn’t an easy medium to master. My grandmother I can say has achieved this status. The walls of her apartment showcase decades of her own artwork, each one bringing back memories for me of Summer vacations of canoeing down the river and feeding the horses out back behind her apartment. She is a beautiful, talented lady and I feel so honored to call her Nana.

Back in the studio, it’s a busy few days as I’m finishing up the first round of a logo designs for a client who runs an editorial service company. I don’t want to ruin the surprise by sharing the more finalized logos, but I will share with you the state of my drawing table.

Abby graphic designer
AbbyDora Design branding
I think the more vested into a project I become, the messier my drawing table becomes. As you can tell I tend to have large brainstorming-sketch phases for my projects. I find it very freeing to be able to jot down any idea that pops into my head. You never know from where the right design will be inspired. For this reason too, I use tracing paper to quickly edit ideas and bring together two thoughts into one. It took several sketch days to pull together enough concepts to bring to the computer, but I believe it’s absolutely worth all that creative energy up front. For me my hand connects faster and more articulately to my brain than my mouse. Once on the computer there are still many rounds of revisions, but I have a design concept and direction and that’s the most important part. I hope to share with you more on this project as it progresses.

I’m off on another road trip for Memorial Day. I’ll be visiting friends and my old haunts in New York City. Enjoy the kick off to the summer season this weekend. I wish you a very happy barbeque!