It’s been a while since I’ve shared some favorite fonts around here, but when I saw this bundle I had to share immediately! This gorgeous bundle of 20 fonts comes packed with beautiful typefaces worthy of any design work. 20 fonts for $20, can’t get much better than that! All the fonts in this bundle are fully PUA encoded meaning all the extra glyphs are available via Character Map and Fontbook (free programs on your PC/Mac). Below are a few of my favorites from the bundle. What an incredible bargain for only $20. This bundle will be available for a limited time only until April30th. Grab the Spring Fonts Bundle today and save a huge $280.
There are so many great blogs out there full of amazing design resources, tutorials for hand-lettering and freelance business advice, but sometimes don’t you just want an old fashioned book? I still love flipping through and bookmarking pages for inspiration. I’ve included some of my favorite graphic design related books here, all of these graphic design books would also make amazing gifts for the creative types in your life!
The Best Graphic Design Books:
- Type Rules: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
- The Anatomy of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces
- Work for Money, Design for Love: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running a Successful Design Business
- Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Hand Lettering
- How to be a Graphic Designer, without Losing Your Soul: Straight-talking Advice on How to Establish Your Design Career
- Freelance Design in Practice: Explaining exactly what it takes to create a full-time freelance business
- Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
- Little Black Font Book: the go-to resource for designers and typographers looking for the perfect font
- In Progress: See Inside Jessica Hische’s Sketchbook and Process
- Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities
- Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors & Students
Earlier this year I was asked to participate in a styled shoot at The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and I was SO excited. It’s a gorgeous and intimate venue right in the middle of the New Orleans French Quarter. Passing by you might not even notice it’s there, but once inside, you find a beautiful courtyard of greenery and old brick. Local event planner, Roses and Lace had the vision of a dip-dyed aqua and gold wedding and pulled together a team of some of the best in the New Orleans wedding industry. It was a true honor to get to work with them. The experience alone was a rewarding one but now I’m even more thrilled that our work was published on 100 Layer Cake! Here are a few highlights and I’ll be sharing more photos of the invitation suite later this month!
Concept and Styling: Roses and Lace / Photographer: Tasha Rae Photography / Location: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum / Flowers: Poppy & Mint Florals / Graphic Design & Paper Goods: Ciera Design / Hair & Makeup: McKenzie Hawkins / Calligraphy & Dessert Banner: SmallChalk / Cakes: Sweet Elizabeth Cakes / Vintage Furniture & Other Décor: Pret a Fete Event Rentals / Favors & Drinks: Locally Preserved / Dress: Blush Bridal and Formal Salon
Kelsey came to me looking for a chic, sophisticated and bold look to represent her high-end event company on Martha’s Vineyard. She wanted her brand identity to showcase what makes her company special, which is her deep dedication to each of her clients and a commitment to execute each event as if it was her own. Kelsey has strong community ties and a drive to make each event completely unique with very meaningful and personal touches.
After I collected inspiration on Pinterest, we moved on to finalizing the color palette and designing the main logo along with a few variations for different applications. As you can see from the moodboard we decided to go with a neutral color palette so that it leaves room for growth when the company starts to expand.
If you need a new logo, brand identity or a refresh for your business I only have ONE space left for this year and then I’ll begin booking for 2016.
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!
Photos by: Dowoo Lee
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
This thoughtful wine of the month printable is a great Mother’s Day gift that gives all year!
For Mother’s Day a few years ago my sister and I gave my mom a wine of the month gift. But instead of buying it from an online store, we decided to do it ourselves. I designed the card and tags that go on 12 bottles of wine, one for each month. I thought the design was due for an update so I’m here today with this special free download for you!
If you live close to your mom, it’s fun to hand deliver the bottle and maybe she’ll even share it with you! It also makes for a great last-minute gift since you can just print at home and grab the first bottle at a store that is convenient to you.
Download and print the pdfs below (available in both the pink shown here and orange incase your mom isn’t into pink). Trim the cards out and then each month you just pick out a wine for her to enjoy and attach the pretty tag for that month. A gift that gives all year!
I’d love to hear your Mother’s Day plans and see pictures if you use these!
P.S. Need more gift ideas? Check out My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Wine Lover
This design is © Ciera Holzenthal. All rights reserved. It may not be copied, resold, made available for download, given away or redistributed elsewhere without my written permission. Please link directly to this page if you would like to share these downloads with others.
As a designer, I’m a visual thinker, but that doesn’t mean that my clients are. Sometimes they need help actually visualizing the end result. This is where mocking up my work comes in handy. When sending a design to a client, presentation is always crucial. Mockups are also great for showcasing final work in your portfolio like I have done here, here and here. This is great when you can’t get around to photographing your work.
The process of mocking up your design work doesn’t have to be difficult or too time consuming. You could always build your mockup files from scratch, but there is not always time for that, so I like to use pre made templates. My favorite spot to find mockup images is Creative Market. To find mockups like these search words like tablet, screen, corporate templates and mockup. Once you find a mockup you like, just download and paste your own designs in! Some files even take advantage of Photoshop smart objects which makes it even more easy to create your own mockups. So just keep that in mind when reading through project descriptions.
Meet Hollyhock, a modern and messy calligraphy font with wild, tall letterforms that refuse to be tamed. Inspired by calligraphy the breaks the rules and hollyhocks that grow rebelliously where they please. This calligraphy inspired font is just begging to get used over and over this spring, don’t you think?!
This font includes two full sets of capital letters… a set that is tall, energetic, and wild as well as a set a bit more tame and subdued. Open type features in this font include contextual alternates, fractions, ordinals, discretionary ligatures, and swashes. Use contextual alternates to add subtle swashes to the beginnings and ends of your letters. Use your open type swashes panel to use the many and various doodles, swirls, and swashes to manually add flare and flavor to your text. Or, install the separate Hollyhock Ornaments font to access the swashes and doodles more easily.
I’m so excited to share this project that I’ve been working on for the past few months! I’ve had the pleasure of working with the New Orleans Film Society to design their invitation suite for this year’s gala. This year is extra special since they are celebrating 25 years of bringing great cinema to the New Orleans community! They wanted the design to be modern, bright and fun so I presented a few directions, then once the final theme was decided on, I produced a save the date, invitation suite, web graphics, signage and also an evite. The event is this Saturday if you are in the area and want to attend grab a ticket here!
Wedding planning is in full swing y’all! It’s actually a lot harder than I thought it would be but so far I have my dress ordered, venue, florist and photographer. I have 9 different Pinterest boards so far, seriously, don’t judge. Just like I do for client branding, I’ve compiled all of my inspirations into a mood board now that I’m working on some of the smaller details and the invitations. Guys, designing for myself is so hard, I’m scared to get started, but that’s what’s next on the wedding list!
P.S. Did you know that I have a wedding invitation suite for sale in my Creative Market shop?
Sometimes clients come to me with a logo that just needs a little tweaking or they need help building an overall style to carry through their other materials. This was the case when Julie Rootes reached out to me. She had a great start to a logo but needed to take her brand identity a step further to really stand out within her niche. We decided on which items were most important for her business and I got to work. We went with a letterpress business card and a simple design including a blind emboss to add some additional texture.
While I love starting from scratch and designing logos, one of my favorite parts is also building out the brand and bringing it to life after the logo is finalized!
If you are not sure how to expand your brand, reach out to me and we can brainstorm and collaborate on some new materials for you! P.S. Did you see the brand identities for The Made In Mind Social and Sweet Tea and Co.?
Galano Classic from Rene Bieder is the latest in a series of releases inspired by the classic grotesques of the early twentieth century. Designed as a companion to Bieder’s Galano Grotesque family, Galano Classic is informed by the geometric faces of the early twentieth century. But instead of attempting another reinterpretation of the geometric genre, this subfamily prefers to linger in the past, flirting with modernist proportions, and sporting details such as the long stretched leg of uppercase ‘R’ and the traditionally shaped lowercase ‘g’. Many of Galano Grotesque’s characters were redesigned from the ground up for the Classic variety; it also has more alternative characters, ligatures and OpenType features. With ten weights with matching italics, each containing 555 glyphs, Galano Classic is an ambitious subfamily; while it was planned to be the display version of Galano Grotesque, it also works perfectly well in small sizes and long text passages. Y’all know I love to share a font sale and this one is big! Galano Classic is 80% off until February 15 so grab it now!
I’m really feeling this quote right now, I’m still all motivated by my new year’s resolutions and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, things are feeling a little more lovey and romantic aren’t they? I like to freshen up my office walls every so often and I figured you may like to do the same. So, I designed this new art print and have it in my Etsy shop! And I also decided to create it as a desktop, iPad, and iPhone wallpaper which you can download for free:
P.S. Love free wallpapers? Check out all my past wallpaper designs here.
I’ve featured a few fonts from this studio in the past and they’ve done it again! Lulo Clean from Yellow Design Studio is the non-distressed version of the original textured Lulo family. It’s friendly, retro, and amazingly 3-dimensional. Endless effects can be created by adding different colors to each of the five stackable layers. Like the original Lulo, the Clean version is all-caps and includes regular and bold weights and extensive language support. Lulo Clean One and One Bold can double as companions for the distressed Lulo, to be used when texts are longer and smaller. There’s no discount on Lulo right now, but don’t be blinded by percentages: at full price it’s a bargain anyway, go grab it!
I love a good, thick, script font, don’t you? What’s even better is that Nexa Rust from Fontfabric Type Foundry is SO versatile and has SO many variations. It’s multifaceted font system consisting of sub-families of sans, slab, script, handmade AND extras. Each of these sub-families contains a number of font weights which have a characteristic warm, rough look. Nexa Rust is a rough version of the already popular Nexa and Nexa Slab families with added new matching Nexa Script and Nexa Handmade fonts. Along with all of this, you will also discover added groups of extras which could serve as a foundation or add that extra “cherry on the top” to your designs.
Some other current font favorites are Adorn (a modern and sometimes quirky script perfect for invitations) and Harman (includes seven fonts and their inline forms that have different styles from each other but at the same time compatible when used together).
For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends! I’m up in Maine for the week and while I’m skipping out on the Black Friday madness I wanted to share some special deals with y’all! The Ciera Design 2014 holiday collection is now up in my Etsy shop and I’m offering my lovely readers 30% off through cyber monday with code “CYBER14”! Also get 50% off my ebook, The Meetup Guide!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
- AMAZON: Special lightning deals updated every 10 minutes at Amazon.com (11/26-11/28)
- BLURB: 20% off print book orders with code: CYBER20
- CREATIVE MARKET: 20% off of everything!
- CRICUT: $5 Off Orders $50+ with code: CRICUTBF5
- EXPRESS: 50% off of everything.
- FOSSIL: $25 off of $150, $50 off of $200, plus free shipping and returns on all orders
- FREE PEOPLE: Free shipping on all orders
- GAP: Take 50% off sitewide at the Gap with code BLKFRIDAY
- HONEST: 25% off sitewide
- J.CREW: Take 30% off select full-price styles and additional 40% off sale + free shipping, no minimum, with code HOLIDAY (11/26-11/30).
- KATE SPADE SATURDAY: Take 30% off sitewide + free shipping with code DEALME (11/26-11/30).
- LORD & TAYLOR: Take an extra 20% off everything + 25% off jewelry with code THANKS (11/25-11/30).
- MADEWELL: Take 25% off site wide with code GIFTON (11/25-11/30).
- MODCLOTH: 50% off hundred of new arrivals (11/26-11/30).
- MINTED: 25% off your order (excludes holiday cards). 20% off your holiday card order of $150+ or 15% off your holiday card order of $100+
- MY FONTS: Tons of fonts on sale up to 90% off
- NINE WEST: 20% off of purchase of $125 or more
- POPPIN: $10 off $85 with the code POPHOLIDAY1085 and $25 off $100 with the code POPHOLIDAY25
- RUCHE: Take 30% off sitewide with code BLKFRDY (11/27-11/28). Take 30% off full-priced items – plus, an extra 50% off will automatically be applied at check out with code BLKFRDY (12/1-12/2).
- SHOES.COM: Black Friday sale, 30% off of all sale items with the code BLACK
- SHOPBOP: Tiered promotion:15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14 (11/26-12/1)
- SKILL SHARE: 40% off an entire year with discount code BLACK14
- TARGET: Women’s Boots BOGO 50% off and hundreds of deals site wide (11/27-12/1)
- TINYPRINTS: 30% off any order using the code BLACKFRIDAY plus an extra 10% off using the code 1128DEAL at checkout
- URBAN OUTFITTERS: Take an additional 25% off all sale online and an additional 50% off all sale in-stores (11/28)
- WARBY PARKER: buying glasses is a cinch with the FREE Home-Try-On program, 5 Days, 5 Pairs, 100% FREE!
- WEST ELM: Take up to 25% off with code SUPERSALE (11/26-12/1)
- WP ENGINE: sign up for an annual plan and get 4 months of free hosting with code “CyberHosting14” when signing up.
I hope this list saves you all a little time and money this weekend! I’m trying to keep this list as up to date as possible, but I can’t gaurantee any of these deals. xoxo