Category Archives: Graphic Design

Winter Wine Wedding – Invite Preview

It’s very nerve-wracking for me to design something for a friend or family (then why do I do it so much?!). I think the hardest part is they think oh I’ll ask Kylie to do this for me, she can do it no problem! Ok so that’s the flattering part, the hard part is that they already have built up in their minds what they want and a lot can be lost in translation when it comes out their mouths–and this can get even more muddled if they try to draw it out. And I guess that’s not even the hardest part, the hardest part is now taking that sketch and re-drawing it myself, designing it on the computer and then presenting my design to someone. This is where my nerves start jumping, was I able to take what we talked and sketched about out of their head and into my computer?

Case in point, Sarah’s wedding invites. I was so excited to help her have beautiful, custom invitations instead of some cookie cutter design from Staple or Michael’s. We looked at samples online extensively, had many brainstorming sessions over a glass or two of wine and eventually came out with this sketch:

Which then became this sketch:

Which turned into this computer sketch:

I told the bride she would see a computer sketch on Friday, and then I got too nervous and did some more versions and finally sent a couple to her on Saturday. Then I waited…

A couple nervous hours went by until I got this text

I LOVE the invites!!! Danny isnt home but I can’t wait to show him.

Phew! There is definitely more tweaking to be done on my part, and quite probably on the bride and groom’s part but we have a solid base and I can’t wait to see the finished product printed on lovely paper!

I looked at a ton of vintage ski posters trying to get an après-ski influence but in the end what inspired me most was this beautiful illustration from

I love the sketched look of the waves and especially how the images are the negative part of the design instead of being the parts in colour. I tried that with Sarah’s invites but it didn’t work as nicely for me. Instead I chose to go with purple imagery and the champagne colour is hopefully what the paper colour will be. Originally my design had a tree in it as well but on second thought I took it out and am so much happier with the result. I love white space in design which is a big reason I love onedove’s work so much. The light texturing put into the Pray For Japan illustration appeals to me as well but I’m hoping Sarah gets some nice textured paper that will do the work for me!

Speaking of working for family and friends, I’m off to update my mom’s website for the last time this school season…

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Winter Wine Wedding – Invite Inspiration

My last blog was about the colour palette for Sarah’s wedding, which I hadn’t known had given her a mini bride heart attack when I said the colours would define the rest of the wedding…whoops! Sorry Sarah! But it all worked out, we have a colour palette and now it’s time for something to be drawn in those colours.

We first turned our attention to some invites the Bride and Groom had seen online and were attracted to. It was my job to pull out of them what they actually liked about each invite. “I dunno, it’s just nice” doesn’t cut it for me–Nor would I settle for the word “pretty”.

I love how the text block is offset to one side, the spouses to be loved that it was this was a ski pass themed invite without being too over the top with the theme. They were also attracted to the typography of the date.

These three were selected for their fun cursive typefaces, nothing over the top and illegible, just nice and curvy!

This beautiful wedding set was chosen for the shared love of purple, as well as the use of the wine glass stain.

And finally, if I wasn’t around I think the bride and groom would be totally happy with this wedding set. The illustration style, type set into a defined block and simple colour palette work wonderful together–and it doesn’t hurt it’s a mountain theme as well! Now my challenge is to come up with something that will blow this one out of the water–or off the mountain!

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Winter Wine Wedding – Colours

My best friend is getting married in Sun Peaks next year and we’re busy racking our minds trying to come up with a way to combine her wine theme with the mountain. A wine theme–now that’s my kind of wedding! Even better I get paid in wine to design her invites!

So the big question is how to design an invite that has snow, mountains, and wine elements that is cohesive. Ice wine, frozen grapes, après ski; these are the images that came to mind. So let’s start with a colour scheme. The bride is set on a dark purple for the bridesmaids’ dresses so that’s the main colour. Now for some colours that will bring the winter wine theme together with the purple. To help inspire some frozen colour ideas I found a great ice wine picture and pulled some cool colours from there. The result is a winter colour palette that has wine coloured undertones and a champagne colour that was taken from the sash on the bride’s gown.

Now with the hard part figured out we turn to the actual invites. Hmmmm, on second thought maybe the colour scheme was the easy part…

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Loving the Baby Bump

Friends of mine just had a baby boy so I’ve been scouring my new favourite website Pinterest for DIY baby shower gifts. Following this cute Ready To Pop Picture I was taken to the Bump Smitten Blog of baby shower inspirations. What’s better than a baby shower? A themed baby shower! And while there are many themes, this Milkaholic party really appealed to my graphic designer side. Not only is it totally DIY but there is typography and packaging involved! So what’s better than a themed baby shower? A themed baby shower with amazing signage, typography, and packaging!

I am always drawn to mixed types, and the typeface of the milk party “logo” is incorporated well in other areas along with some cursive.

The milk theme is represented a few times with the cow print but is also present in a newer and less country way with the polka dots and even stripes. The black and while lends itself well to either sex, the blue could easily be pink or even yellow or green if you didn’t know the sex yet.

Having some fun by playing with the notions of the ever-present alcohol at parties is tastefully done at this party where the mom (and maybe some other young party guests) would definitely not be drinking.

Find other great baby shower themes at


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The Bitter Chocolatier

What can I say about Miguel Molina a recent grad from Capilano University in Vancouver, amazingly clean and simple packaging with clever copy to boot! I love mixing script type with sans serif text to add some texture, but have always thought mixing with serif would be too much. I have been proven wrong here, this mixture of types is very classy. Keeping the rest of the design simple to enhance the look of the type was a great choice, I’m very partial to white space if it is used correctly.

The container itself is attractive with the clear glass revealing the goodies inside as well as large cork stoppers for added texture.

Echoing the label shape inside the label is a great way to strengthen the concept and keep everything uniform.

And then there’s the sassy “Bitter Stories”. What an appropriate medium to place the stories with, aren’t you going to wish this was a real product next time  you need a chocolate pick-me-up? I know I am…

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The Cheeky dot Com

I read a controversial article in the paper today and had to do some investigating myself. Two cheeky Vancouver men have caused an uproar over their suitcase stickers. Designed to bring a smile and help travellers find their suitcase on the baggage carousel, these stickers and anyone who uses them could be prosecuted with “the full force of the law” for “violating Section 11 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations”.

{If you are easily offended, stop reading}

Ok so lets take a step back and explain what the stickers depict; torn luggage revealing packages of cocaine, wads of US money, sex toys, and a bound flight attendent. While I find these stickers funny, I do see their offensive nature. However, banning offensice nature from airports is a bit big-brother to me. I see rude bumper stickers all the time and they’re not being pulled over becuase I might have a child in my backseat who could see it. T-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, music–they can all be rude and offensive to some poeople but that doesn’t mean the intent of them is anything other than amusement.

If I have a T-shirt saying “crack is for plumbers” should I be searched at the airport for falsely declaring I am carrying an illegal substance? Do I now make the airline unsafe for other passengers? Do you really think an actual smuggler or terrorist is going to advertise themselves like that?

And yes, I think the stickers are funny but I also think they are offensive. So of the best jokes you hate to laugh at right? I wouldn’t put the stickers on my luggage but I don’t think if you do you should be treated any differently.

Very cheeky, and very funny here are a few more  ideas from Colin Hart that mock convention and challenge pointlessness.

Famous Marks to mark your pages:

Mr Potato Head’s unfortunate brother, Mr Baked Potato Head who was actually wrapped in tin foil and baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes:

Rocking Chair Cushions:

To see more cheekiness, check out

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Playland Lets it Out

Playland has always had great advertising thanks to Rethink Canada, a local Vancouver Design Firm.

I really like the simplicity in this year’s Let It Out campaign. Weather it’s a small leak or a bellowing horn, these faces are screaming for Playland. I first noticed them on the skytrain and they really jumped out at me because there is so much going on at each skytrain station that it’s hard to focus. All the people, colours, movement. The black figure on a solid coloured background really grabbed my attention and I tried to pay attention at each station to see the whole campaign.

The 2009 ads used the organs of the rider in everyday objects that mimicked how your insides felt after a Playland ride. I like the concept but the muted colours while consistent with feeling motion sick, don’t convey the fun part of the ride. Brightly coloured backgrounds would have said “Ya, you might get sick, but you’ll have a lot of fun doing it!”

The 2007 ads were cute and creepy at the same time. Fun and stomach losing–just like some of the playland rides. The cute stuffies that you can win posed in front of the iconic Playland rides with their guts spilled in front of them get the point across while saving the viewers lunch-spoiling until they get there.

The turtle looks a bit off. The rest of the stuffies look like they had a good time before losing it, the turtle just looks sad. It might be the lack of tongue sticking out to make it playful, but I think it’s just the way his eyes are.

The 2006 ads were the most creative. Taking everyday objects that mimic the feeling that one has while on the rides. I think the boomerang and the slingshot are cop outs, they aren’t exactly everyday objects and they already have that sense of a ride or a game in them naturally. The egg beaters and the fire alarm however, have a great Playland feeling to them but were never looked at as fun or exhilarating before.

In 2002 the Playland ads stood out because of their lack of colour. This was a great concept, you don’t need colour to recognize the Playland rides but then you notice this little blue icon. Clever. And as always, funny and gross.

Check out more of Rethink Canada’s great ads at


This is possibly the most beautiful business card I have seen. The hand rendered type designed by Jessica Hische is all connected with curls and swirls that are so light they add but don’t distract from the beauty of the letters themselves. The vibrant yellow really stands out and grabs your attention as well. Love Love Love!

And of course the photos are a great way to showcase not only the graphic design work but the photography the cards are advertising as well.

Kate’s website is under construction but check out her blog for amazing wedding photography and candids. I love how casual the photos seems all while the couples are oozing romance.

Check out Jessica’s website too at for some really great typography.

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