Featured on Hostess with the Mostess – Whimsical Gold Safari First Birthday

Jenny came to me after seeing my safari themed baby shower invitation on Etsy. Shed loved the look but needed it customized for her son’s first birthday party. She also needed some matching items, like signage and labels for party favors. Jenny had so many great ideas for the party, and well deserved, it was just featured on Hostess with the Mostess! I’m so happy to have played a small part in making Jenny’s dream party for her son a reality. Here are a few details of items I worked on and you can see the full feature over on Hostess with the Mostess today!

Gold Safari Birthday Dessert Table and Sign Gold Safari First Birthday Party Invitations One Calligraphy  Gold Safari First Birthday Cake Calligraphy Floral Table Number Gold Safari Birthday Party Dessert Table and Jumbo Balloons Golded Safari Tiered Naked Layer Cake

Photos by: Dowoo Lee

8 Steps To Set Up Your Files For Print

How To Set Up Your Files For Print Using Adobe InDesign and Illustrator

If you have worked with printing projects, you most likely have felt overwhelmed by the entire process. What paper to choose, color modes, setting up your files, the list goes on. Today I wanted to share a few simple steps to double-check once you are ready to send your file for print! I hope these steps to set up your files for print are helpful for your process, and ease that overwhelm!


Pantone Spot Colors
If you are printing with a limited amount of colors (1-3 colors) or have specific brand colors that need to match exactly, then printing with Pantone colors is most likely the best option. Here is how to locate your pantone colors:

InDesign: Select a new swatch, then under “color mode” select which Pantone library your swatch is in (typically either Pantone Solid Coated or Uncoated, depending which type of paper you are printing on).

Illustrator: Under the “swatches library menu” on the color panel, select “color books” then select the Pantone color book your project uses.

If you do not have a need for specific Pantone colors, than your file should always be set up using CMYK colors, instead of RGB. If you print something in RGB, your images will most likely not match your intended color. They often turn out dull or darker. This is how you can check to make sure your file is set up in the CMYK color profile:

InDesign: Select the swatches that you want to convert to CMYK (spot or RGB), select “Swatch Options” from the drop down menu on the top right. Change the color mode setting to CMYK, and click ok.

Illustrator: Go to “File” > “Document Color Mode” and check CMYK.

Remove Unused Colors
This step is not necessary, but it does help clean up your file and make your printer happy! When I am ready to send a file to print, I always clean up my colors by removing the unused colors. This helps to make sure you aren’t using two similar colors, when you could combine it to one color.

InDesign and Illustrator: In the swatches panel, click the drop down menu and check “Select All Unused” and then delete the unused swatches.


All photos in your file should be converted to CMYK prior to handing off to the printer. To do this, you simply open the photo in Photoshop and select “Image” > “Mode” > “Convert to CMYK”. If you have several images in your file, you can create an action in Photoshop to convert to CMYK, and then batch process those images. Make sure you don’t save over your original RGB photos, and instead create a new file with the added “-CMYK” in the file name. This prevents you from overriding the original file. Once all of your images are converted to the proper color mode, you just need to make sure they are linked up in InDesign or Illustrator through the “Links” panel (Window > Links).

Set up Bleeds

If your project has an image or color that goes to the edge of the file, you will need to set up bleeds. Bleeds allow for additional space beyond the trim mark, to make sure that when the piece is printed it has a bit of tolerance for the edge of the paper. To set up the bleeds simply click “File” > “Document Setup” and adjust the bleeds there. Typically 1/8” will suffice. Once you have the bleeds setup, make sure all of your artwork that goes to the edge extends to the bleed lines.

Packaging Files

Once you have your file ready to send to the printer, you are ready to package. A packaged file includes the InDesign or Illustrator file, the IDML (for InDesign: compatible with older versions), linked files, fonts and the output text file.

To package your file simply click “File” > “Package”. Double check the “Colors and Inks” as well as the “Links and Images” to make sure you have the correct profiles and didn’t miss any RGB images or wrong color settings.


If you are sending your project to a printer, they typically prefer the packaged InDesign or Illustrator file, however it is nice to include a PDF for reference. If you are printing from a vendor online, they will have specific instructions on how to export your PDF for their printers. For a reference PDF for the printer, I typically export as a Press Quality PDF, and include trim marks and bleeds.

Notes to Printer

Once you have your packaged file, and are ready to send to print, you can create a zip folder of all of the files in the folder. Depending on the project, you might want to include a diagram showing how the printed piece should look. This is great to have if your project has complicated folds, die cuts, etc. You can also include any notes specific to your project in the email with your final zip file.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you, and eased the pain of setting up your files for print!

Jamie is the designer and blogger behind Spruce Rd., an independently run boutique design studio specializing in crafting brand identities and websites for creative entrepreneurs. When not collaborating with awesome people, she can be found whipping up a new dish in the kitchen, or exploring local coffee shops. She loves all things chocolate, Wes Anderson and Rifle Paper Co. 

Portfolio: Brand Identity Design for Health & Wellness Advocate

I love sharing new work with you guys and I’m super excited about this project! It was really fun and I’m so happy for it to be out in the world.

Bright, Bold, Fun Moodboard for Brand Identity Design

From time to time I have the pleasure of working with local design studios and agencies. It’s always fun to collaborate with a larger team! In this case, I got to work with the same studio I worked at full time from 2006-2010! This was a re-brand for a well known health and wellness advocate, speaker and author. Ellen was clear that she wanted her new brand identity design to have dimension and be full of energy. We knew it had to be bold, beautiful and fabulous just like the woman behind the brand! First, we pulled inspiration into a mood board that represented these feelings. Then we moved on to finalizing the color palette and designing the main logo along with a few variations for different applications.Brand Identity Design for Health & Wellness Advocate

We also did a total overhaul on Ellen’s social media presence. I designed templates for her to use along with posts on her Facebook page so that everything looked completely consistent across all platforms. The next step was the website to showcase all of her amazing content. I created a mockup which was then handed over to the developer to bring to life. It’s so satisfying to bring someone’s ideas to life and to give a visual identity to a brand that really showcases what they are all about!

Web Design for for Health & Wellness Advocate

Moodboard Resources: Bri Emery / Interior / Letter A / Nicola / Fan / The Girls With Glasses

Indie Script Font by Lián Types

Indie Script Font by Lian Types

I have a new favorite script font called Indie that you totally need to add to your collection! Maximiliano first discovered his love for typography while studying graphic design at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an innocent font hobby turned to addiction, his type design career matured at an incredibly rapid rate, due much to his fascination with calligraphy. He founded Lián Types in 2008 and it took him only two years thereafter to develop his own approach to the art, mixing his interest in calligraphy with a growing skillfulness in digitizing the most challenging of curves. “The truth is that I’m also doing my best to be a good calligrapher, and I don’t like making fonts which I can’t do myself by hand. My letters are me!”

Inspired by many styles of calligraphy, Lián Types is now among the most successful foundries specializing in script fonts and ornamented display type. “Designing script faces is not a game,” he said. “They’re not ‘the easy ones.’ They’re not for beginners, as some may think. A well-made script is like a marvel you just can’t stop staring at. Like history tells us: the written word can be as precious as any other art work.”

Maximiliano has won prestigious awards and his fonts have been adopted by some of the best designed publications around. His best selling typefaces include Selfie, Brand and Heroe and now he has just launched the latest Indie, which may be my favorite of them all. It’s on sale for 30% off until Wednesday night, so don’t miss this sale!


How to Create Color Palettes in Adobe Illustrator

How To Create Color Palettes

When working in Adobe Illustrator, I find that shortcuts help streamline my process, and make for a more efficient use of my time. I love discovering useful productivity tips, so I thought I would share one that has helped me stay both consistent in my brand and save production time. Here are three essential tips for working with color palettes in Adobe Illustrator.

Create a Color Palette

There are several resources online to help create unique color palettes, including Design Seeds, Kuler/Adobe Color CC and Pinterest. By far, my favorite tool to use is searching through color inspiration boards on Pinterest! They provide a great starting point for developing your color palette.

To create a color palette in Adobe Illustrator, you will first need to create a color swatch for each specific color. Select the color you want to add to your palette, and then select the “new swatch” tool in the swatches panel. After you have added each of the color swatches, you can select all of them at once (by clicking shift or command + clicking the swatch) and then select the “new color group” button on the swatches panel. Now you have your color palette in its own group!

Save the Color Palette for Future Use

Once you have your color palette established, you might want to save this palette and reference it for future Illustrator projects. This is especially handy if you have a blog or a brand that uses the same specific colors throughout multiple projects. I even have a color group of semi-neutral colors that are great for muted background tints. The possibilities are endless!

To save your new color palette, first edit the swatches in the swatches panel so that it only contains your color palette you want to save. Select “save swatch library” from the swatches panel menu, and you are good to go! You can edit this swatch library anytime you want by choosing File > Open, and locate the swatch file in your library (by default this is located here: Illustrator/Presets/Swatches folder). Edit the swatches, then click save.

To reference your swatches in a new file, you click “swatch libraries menu” from the swatches panel, and then select “user defined.” There, you will find the swatch palette you created in any future Illustrator file.

Convert Color Swatches to Pantone

When working with logo files, or large print runs, you might need to convert your color swatches in Illustrator to Pantone swatches. To do this, simply select the objects you would like to switch to Pantone. Then select “edit” > “edit colors” > “recolor artwork”. Select the swatches icon to limit the colors to a specific Pantone color group, and select the specific Pantone color book to limit your illustration to spot colors. Click “ok” to close the dialogue box and convert the CMYK colors to Pantone colors.

Speaking of shortcuts, Ciera and I are both sharing our favorite keyboard shortcuts over on Brigette Indelicato’s blog!

Jamie is the designer and blogger behind Spruce Rd., an independently run boutique design studio specializing in crafting brand identities and websites for creative entrepreneurs. When not collaborating with awesome people, she can be found whipping up a new dish in the kitchen, or exploring local coffee shops. She loves all things chocolate, Wes Anderson and Rifle Paper Co. 

Amsi Pro Poster Style Font

The impulse to draw Amsi Pro, according to designer Stawix Ruecha, was an encounter with the simple, expressive display faces of the early 20th century — in the German style known as Plakatstil, or Poster Style. The Amsi familiy is an ambitious interpretation of the historical Block Berthold Condensed, extrapolating a dark, condensed display style into a huge family. With three widths and eight weights, from Thin to Heavy, and Italics (actually: oblique romans) for all, it totals 48 styles. The Narrow and Condensed styles are good choices for compact headlines; the middle weights of both the normal and Narrow versions will work well in longer text settings.

Amsi Pro Font Sample by Stawix Ruecha