What I Designed Today…er, Last Month: 2015 Ward Mission Plan

I have projects to design pretty much every day.  Unless something family, church or kid-related has taken over.  But usually one or two projects is hanging over my head just waiting to be done.  Right now, I’m procrastinating a cute little custom drawing for a local festival that works with kids.  I have time to get to that yet today (that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway!) but I wanted to share this 2015 Ward Mission Plan that I drew up for our local church congregation.  It was so easy — mostly because they provided me with perfect text.  I mean absolutely-perfectly-clean-never-happened-before-especially-in-church-wonderful text.  Hallelujah!  Seriously, people, knowing exactly what you want to say before you send it to a designer is a gift.  One design rule to follow:  the more concise the text, the better.  If only I could follow that for a blog post, right?!  I know, I know, but this blog is my therapy therefore I can ramble and nobody has to read it.  It’s a win-win.

Anyway, 2015 is the year where I will catch up on some online posts of what I’ve designed but, realistically, it will probably NOT be something I did just that day but in weeks, months and years past.




What I Designed Today: Christmas Cards for OK Mozart

I loved doing this last year (see below for last year’s version).  This year, another local design company has generously volunteered their time (okay, their interns’ time) to redesign the logo for next year so I changed the Christmas card design to match the lovely greens and sent them two options below.  I would have wrapped their logo on the ornament but these were initial proofs and they chose the dark green so I didn’t bother.  Which do you prefer?

OK Mozart Christmas Card 2013



OK Mozart Christmas Card – two options for 2014



What I Designed Today: Digital Ads

I think I need to coin the hashtag #goknitting.  I’m SUCH a huge knitting fan.  I have never met this client but her website America’s Knitting is a great resource for yarn shops all over the U.S.A. This particular shop has cute sheep and a cute dog!








Recent Design Work: RunHaven

So a few months ago, I started writing articles and designing daily inspirational quotes for runhaven.com.  I also helped with their style guide.  It’s a new site from a new social media company out of Australia called MOKO Social Media.  I think they’re going to go places, so be sure to check the site out and I hope you feel, well, inspired!











Recent Design Work: Oktoberfest 2014 Poster for OK Mozart

Catching up on old design work (well, sorta, cause that could take decades and nobody really wants to see all that crap from my beginner years, anyway).  This was from October of 2014 so it’s fair game to post.



Recent Design Work: OK Mozart’s March Madness 2015



Finished up this week for next March. Yeah, I wrote that correctly.  I think it might be the very first time I’ve completed a project so long in advance.  I hope it’s a new trend…I could use more “cushion” time on projects!  I’m not liking their new logo but that wasn’t my design…yikes.  I’m all for change but the old one had so much more authority and classiness to the font selection than this one and I don’t like the ragged right.  Oh well!  Not my circus, not my monkeys is my motto for 2015!

What I Designed Today: A poster for Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack


It’s been a long time since I blogged.  Almost a year, in fact.  I’ve missed it!  In my time away, I’ve done many things and learned quite a bit.  Let’s see how much of that I can get documented down the road but, for now, here’s some recent work I completed for Theater Bartlesville — even though I’m no longer serving on their board this year.  Last year was so much fun, not to mention meeting some pretty amazing people, but I simply don’t have time to do it again.  I won’t be doing most of their items but as a huge Josi Kilpack fan, this poster design I just couldn’t resist.  Can’t wait to meet her at the fundraiser. And, for all you font nerds out there like me, the font is My Aunt Celia and you can buy it at MyFonts.

What I Designed Today: Billboard Artwork for “The Real Inspector Hound” for Theater Bartlesville


Final billboard.


Final poster.

I ran a test vote on Facebook with my 777 friends and the red poster won out over the sideways-text white one by a thin margin. We’re using the red poster with the spyglass from one of the others. Good combo. This made the billboard much easier to do!

What I Designed Today: Poster Artwork for The Real Inspector Hound for Theater Bartlesville




Theater Bartlesville’s next play is “The Real Inspector Hound”. These are my first drafts. Which would you choose?

What I Designed Today: Theater Bartlesville’s The Trip to Bountiful – Billboard Design Progression




I thought you might like to see the progression of this particular billboard. The artistic director, Joe Sears, of Greater Tuna fame (Aunt Pearl? Tony nominee? Ring any bells?), created the yellow background and silhouette with watercolors on vellum and I scanned the artwork in and adjusted everything for print. It’s been 20 years since I designed a billboard. That makes me sound really, really old but the first time I did one, I was only 22. You do the math. I’m not a dinosaur…yet. Billboard design can be tricky but it’s nice to know the technology has improved enough to where an accurate color proof is available on the same vinyl they use to put up on the actual billboard. It was only $35 extra for the proof, and yellow can also be tricky, so I figured it was worth it. If all went well, we’d have an extra 2.5 x 4′ banner for the front window of the theater. The yellow turned out fine so it was a win, win!

In other news, I’ve been elected Marketing Director for the local community theater: Theater Bartlesville. It’s going to be a fun way for me to make more local connections in the printing and publishing industry, as well as the arts. It’s a great board this year so I’ve already met some fantastic, intelligent, kind people. This won’t kill me for a year term, right?!

What I Designed Today: Climbing Logo


Here’s what I did today:  which would you choose?

(Not So) Recent Design Work: Pisgah Centennial Celebration Poster


In an effort to get some of my older work online, here’s a piece from a 2004 Centennial Celebration in the town of Pisgah, Iowa. Great little town! This particular poster won a Silver Award from the Printing Industry of the Midlands. The printer submitted it without my knowledge and it won! He said that he submitted it after he saw several employees at the printing house put it up in their cubicles just because they liked it. Those crazy midwesterners that I adore!

What I Designed Today: Kara’s Party Ideas






I’ve been keeping this part under wraps for a bit but I think it’s safe to show you some of the work I’ve been coordinating and creating for Kara’s Party Ideas. Party goods are so. much. fun. to create compared to my more business-oriented clients like dermatology and politics! Check her site out: she is so the next Martha Stewart except she’s much more beautiful (inside and out)! Kara just launched sales of party goods on her site and I know she’s adding more so be sure and stop by Kara’s Party Ideas and you just might see something I helped design. The Superhero set is being printed in fabric and will be for sale soon! Adorable, no? Be sure to check out the Native American themed party – so cute!

What I Designed Today: the Basics of Designing Effective, Simple Black & White Ads

Nebraska Music Dealers & Exhibitors Association – NMDEA Ads

In 2006, a good friend asked me to redo the NMDEA black and white ad that had been running at their annual convention. It was a quick job so I agreed. I have now been doing their annual ad since 2006 and through two long distance moves! She approached me again this Spring for the 2012 ad and I thought it would be a good time to compile and compare past versions before I make something new. Sometimes I find an effective black and white or grayscale ad is much, much more difficult than a full color one. You have to really try to stand out from the crowd! My favorite was 2011, with the Nebraska outline used in the center. It’s funny how I can see a definite progression over the years to a better design – something I hadn’t noticed until they were side-by-side. Thanks to my friend, Marilyn, for the annual one-color challenge.