Branding: Goettee's Barber and Shave

Hi friends!

Sneak peek today. It's not too often than one gets approached about designing the branding for an old-fashioned barber shop. I mean, for a gal like me who adores pretty much anything vintage, it's kind of a dreamboat of a branding opportunity. And we ain't talkin' a Super Cuts or Sport Clips kind of place...we're talkin' legit old school. The kind of place where guys can recline, get a straight razor shave with hot towels, and soak in all the back-in-the-day grooming rituals when MEN were MEN and smelled like whiskey, pine trees and courage. 

I thought it might be fun to share some of the logo options we presented to the client. We felt like a classic black and cream palette felt timeless. And of course, we were compelled to bring in some old school script, but paired it with a modern sans serif to keep things from feeling too 1901 Sears & Roebuck Catalog. Truthfully, I like all of the options and feel like each one has merits, but ultimately the client chose the circle with the straight razor, which can be reversed to either prominent cream or black. It was important to establish this new shop as a "neighborhood" kind of place, so we made sure to include that as a little tagline that can live with the logo.

We're also designing business cards, t-shirts and first haircut certificates for the little ones – so stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes on this fun project. Which one is your favorite?

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It's a good day to get crafty.

Being in business for yourself has its shares of ups and downs. Especially if you're a one-woman-show. There are many hats to wear and every part of the job – even the not so glamorous parts, like shipping packages and wrangling business receipts – must get done. However, the good parts (and there are many!) make it all worthwile, and thank goodness for that.

One such perk is the opportunity to collaborate with fellow creative souls on special projects. From time to time I like to participate in editorial concepts/shoots as a way to produce some really pie-in-the-sky paper delights. It's a chance to flex creative muscles and also network with other like-minded artists in the industry. If that work gets published, great PR, too. Hip, hip hooray.

This brings me to a current shoot I'm working on. I always get excited when I get asked to partner with Audrey King of French Knot Studios and Izzy Hudgins Photography. Not only are both of these women supernova talents, but we all share a common design aesthetic that makes working together a breeze. This will be my fourth shoot with these gals and it's going to be absolutely fabulous. Thought I'd share a sneak peek of what's going on inside the studio this week. Stay tuned for more!

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Designer Spotlight : Joshua Noom

As of late, I find myself constantly ooh-ing and ahh-ing over hand-done type. I marvel at it. While I am an art director and graphic designer, I've never been a master of illustration, so I really appreciate the talent when I see it. I love it because it's just so dang crafty and crafted. Beautiful and perfectly imperfect. Old fashioned and modern at the same time, in our desire to get back to things that are done by hand.

Alas, dare I say it's become the unofficial official hipster communication companion. I see it everywhere. Coffee joints, indie t-shirts, bake shops. You name it. Everyone has a hipster logo. Sorry hipsters – but if I can ask politely, back off! – or before you know it you'll send this design trend the way of the chevron. (Is it just me or has chevron waaaay run its course? Next!)

There are some really well-known hand letterers out there that have come to the surface over the past few years. Artists like Jessica Hische, Mary Kate McDevitt, Jon Contino and the like. If you spend any time on Pinterest (if you can wade through the endless recipes and overzealous DIYs), you've no doubt seen a lot of hand lettering. 

Friends, meet Joshua Noom. I've been a long-time admirer of his work. I love that it feels a little gritty and inky. Some of his work feels military-inspired and masculine, while other pieces (like the gorgeous one below) feel soft and feminine, like a vintage postcard you might find in your grandmother's hope chest. I like that Joshua (whom I have never met) seems like a guy that just truly loves his craft. So when he recently launched an online store selling some of his work, I immediately made a poster purchase and can't wait to frame it. Isn't it lovely?

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I've always been a fan of this print, too. 

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There are a lot of neat projects on his site. You might even discover some nifty (and free!) wallpapers for your iPhone. Hint, hint.

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If you'd like to purchase any of his art prints, you can do so here.

Fake-it-til-you-make-it bookcase hack.

There's just something about built-in bookcases that I can't get enough of. They're truly a perfect marriage of form and function. The practical nature of ample space for books and decorative objects meets endless styling potential – and I am one happy lady. (It's the little things, no?)

Mister M. and I are still on a quest for a place to call home, as in, an actual home purchase. We've been renters for so long because it has afforded us the opportunity to travel in the Airstream without the obligation of a mortgage. We lived and worked on the road for almost a year and I don't think we could have pulled that off if we had been tethered to a house. Yet, there are times when I really yearn for a place of our own, and all of the design and cozy home decor possibilities that come with that.

I digress. Back to the bookcases. We're currently in a townhouse, which is cute – but small. I find I don't have a ton of space to display some special odds and ends, so I'm constantly trying to come up with a solution that doesn't feel cluttered. Our living room area flows directly right into our dining area, and I've always housed a white server/buffet/chest of drawers on the back wall of the room. I do love that workhorse of a piece, as it's quite functional, but it was literally overflowing with cookbooks, candles, vases, serving pieces, cocktail napkins – you name it. 

I knew that built-ins would be a terrific storage/decor solution, but we were not willing to put significant money into a place we don't own. I've seen some great built-in bookcase hacks using Ikea Billy, but I've found that you still have to gussie those up a bit. Instead, I opted for a pair of Threshold Carson 5-Shelf Bookcases from Target (in white) and I'm really pleased (despite the fact that one came damaged and I had to wait for another unit to be shipped...grrrrr).

[Before] Old pic, and shoddy image quality, but you get the idea. Not bad, but a bit "blah." Womp womp.

[Before] Old pic, and shoddy image quality, but you get the idea. Not bad, but a bit "blah." Womp womp.

[After} Hallelujah! Everything has a home.

[After} Hallelujah! Everything has a home.


[Detail] Cookbooks and serving pieces live together with mixed decor.

[Detail] Cookbooks and serving pieces live together with mixed decor.

[Detail} Eclectic items find harmony when paired in groupings.

[Detail} Eclectic items find harmony when paired in groupings.

No, they don't necessarily look "built-in" to the wall, but I do love how they flank the center chest and create a little nook for the Hatch Show Print, mini-bar, mercury lamp and lantern. I still get the overall look and feel of a bookcase "wall" while maintaining flexibility to move them around in the future. I now have a place to display some favorite items and add more functionality to the dining room with serving pieces that are useful and pretty to look at. Win win!

Fab finds for an organized office.

You know the saying, "cluttered house, cluttered mind", right? 

There's just something about a new year that always makes me want to do a massive clean sweep of all the clutter that's piled up over the last year. Business receipts piled here, washi tape rolls (that I compulsively buy but never seem to really use) hiding out over there – I could go on but I'll spare you the messy details.

I'm no neat freak, but I do honestly believe that a well-organized space brings clarity, focus and productivity. And who doesn't need a little more of that?

I've rounded up a few of my favorite finds (fffff's anyone?) to keep your space not only organized, but pretty

1. Corral loose papers with pretty folders. Information stays organized and your desk gets a hit of punchy pattern. These sophisticated geometric folders are from See Jane Work.  

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2. Despite my slight iPhone addiction (seriously, I can't imagine life without it) I do enjoy the tangible nature of writing things down and organizing on paper. While trolling the aisles at Target last week I came across these Greenroom Metallic Dot 1" binders. I might have squealed (loudly) in the aisle. You can use them for anything and buy inserts for calendars, notes, or what I did – organize a drawer full of business cards that I don't want to carry in my purse but need to keep close at hand.

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3. These small little sticky tabs from Semikolon are just the trick to keeping particular information easy to spot. I love the sleek little folded book they come in and the colors are great. I use these on contracts, to divide a notebook into sections, to remind myself to double-check info...the uses are endless. You just peel off a tab and voila! Instant organization. (Bonus, there are a TON of these things in just one package.)

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4. This last lovely isn't so much for organization as it is inspiration. Like any small business owner, sometimes I find myself feeling blah about what so-and-so is doing or how awesome such-and-such's new line is. Ugh. The truth is, there is enough success to go around for everyone, and I think staying motivated and passionate about the thing you love to do plays a huge role in finding "success" – whatever your version of that might be. I stumbled across this print from b is for bonnie, and I had to have it. It's one of my favorite quotes (Teddy Roosevelt was no dummy) and it's on my wall as a constant reminder to savor my own success and not compare myself to others.

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What are some of your favorite finds that keep your life in order?

Cheers to starting the new year off in organized style!

XO-Jen

None of his words fell to the ground.

Friends, I'm delighted to share a very special birth announcement with you all today. Meet Samuel Dallas Paul. Isn't he sweet?

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My friend and former ad agency colleague, Elizabeth (Mama to sweet Sam) contacted us a few months ago about a custom birth announcement. We were especially honored because this is the third birth announcement we've had the pleasure to design for the Paul family. Just like siblings, the designs have all been different in spirit, and for this go-around, Elizabeth let us do our thing without too much direction. For a designer, this can be a nice change of pace but it can be tougher to really nail what might be subconsciously in the client's head.

The inspiration came from a poignant story Elizabeth shared with me when she found out they were pregnant with their (surprise!) third child, and also from the Book of Samuel. The (greatly paraphrased) story goes that even as a small child, God spoke directly to Samuel and "never let his [Samuel's] words fall to the ground." There was something about that precise sentiment that resonated and felt really meaningful, so we decided to pull that verse and feature it prominently in the design.

Welcome to the world, little one!

XO-Jen