RETRO Designs Are the New Trend…

Using retro themed design elements is the latest trend in graphic design. Retro designs can be characterized by period icons, vivid graphics and pale colors.

Although I’ve noticed this trend in layout design as well as advertising and logo design, I’ve chosen to include images of logos particularly.

Why the New Trend?

I believe retro designing interweaves time, styles, tastes and ages. Mixing modern graphics with old designs helps to create a vintage appeal. People often associate “value” with old things. While value element helps draw in visitors, the  modern design elements help keep them hooked. Maybe the fact that a lot of us think that life was much more simple “back then” has something to do with the design’s popularity. Perhaps retro and vintage designs take us back to a place where life was much more relaxed than it is today.

Design Elements to Retro Design

Retro designing has several elements are often repeated. Handwritten scripts are very popular. Some designers use old cars, retro product models, old fashioned photographs, early electronic devices and other such old images for creating retro look.  Some designs reflect the celebration of sixties to space travel while others prefer to highlight post-war optimism and ad campaigns of ‘50s. The use of military themes like old war planes and badges are also very effective. There are certain elements that contribute in making a design retro.

Here are some examples:

1. Using Shapes

Vintage Labels-Wallace_05











2. Color Schemes










3. Typography









4. Textures










So whether using these retro elements in designing is an attempt to bring back the memories of past or just to keep up with the trend – either way the outcome can be quite eye catching. When a designer purposely develops an old design and blends it with a modern appeal, we get true retro effect.

A New Look for that Special Day…

There are few projects that prove to be more difficult that the wedding invitation. This is for the “perfect day” and everything needs to be spot on.

Not only does it need to be effective and notify the guests of the information for the wedding but it also needs to portray the “personality” of the couple’s relationship, which often is the tricky part.

In most of my research, I’ve came across the more traditional wedding invitation designs, which is great for some. But for those brides who are looking for the more modern and edgy design, the more traditional looks don’t cut it.

I’m working on a current wedding project which includes the invitation, wedding program, guest book, engagement and wedding photo book, table name cards, photo powerpoint presentation, and keep sake items. The wedding is next year in the Spring but with the amount of items to design, my research starts now!

I found an article about wedding invitations particularly on Designer Daily’s blog that really gave me some ideas on a NEW LOOK for the special day! They proved to be effective with tons of personality.

Check them out!

Covering Tragedy…

It seems now more than ever that tragedy finds ways to repeat itself. The past several years of these devastating events have Americans fearful for their lives every day. For those of us who were so lucky to have not been a victim, we find ourselves grateful that our families and loved ones weren’t involved, yet ironically we search for details, images, videos and tapes to get us closer to the truth. It is almost as if we would’ve wanted to be there every second along the way. Well one thing is for sure, we want the whole story with as much coverage and as many evocative images as possible.

When magazines cover tragedies there is a fine line between appearing insensitive and being mindful of those involved and their families. The following slideshow features covers about tragedy. Different techniques were used and some are more effective than others.

If these covers bring feeling, emotions and memories to mind, then they work! Kuddos.

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Rue Mag = Your Everything Modern Chic Guide

My newest magazine discovery and obsession. This lifestyle magazine specializes in everything modern chic, including fashion and home décor.

The layout is clean, fresh, simple and to the point. Colors are vibrant, cool yet explosive. Photography speaks for itself  and tells the story meanwhile articles are short yet informative.

Check out Rue Magazine at

The Perfect Spring Palettes…

As Spring is here and the April showers begin, new fads and color palettes are on the rise. Just like every other element of graphic design, color palettes follow are constantly evolving. This year’s color trends are as diverse as they are compelling; brights and neons combine with greyscale to add some zing to clean, modern styles, while pastel palettes lend a softness to playful designs.

What’s great about these new color trends is that they all combine seamlessly and help distinguish important elements and break up sections as well as conveying a style or mood, which is essential in graphic design.

Here are some inspirational Spring 2013 color palettes that I’ve noted:

Colour Lover also offers a huge selection of color palette suggestions:

Colour Lovers Spring Palettes

Designers, Sticking Together…

Last week, I was stuck in the middle of a design project because I wasn’t sure what tool and method to use for what I was envisioning. I was pressed for deadline and didn’t have much time to figure out how to create what I wanted on my own. At that point I thought to myself, this is the 21st century! Surely I should be able to find out how to do this online. So my search began to learn this trick. In less than 3 mins, my problem was solved. Although I didn’t end up using this in my final design, I was grateful for the knowledge I gained. Also, I felt a sense of togetherness and “having each other’s back” kind of feeling. Well all know that there is NO way for each of us to know everything there is to know about our design programs. As a matter of fact, I learn something new almost all the time when I explore in my design programs and sometimes even when I don’t explore. So the sharing of information is useful, to everyone.

So thank you fellow designers for sharing your knowledge through tutorials and articles online. It was refreshing to know that the exact information I needed was out there. So, for that, I am creating a tutorial myself that I soon will share in hopes to “give back” to the design community some how.

Here are some links that I found that have tutorials using various design tools:

Lynda Tutorials 

Computer Arts


YouTube-Flare Affect

YouTube-Sunburst Illustrator 

YouTube-Flare Tool

The Innovative and Creative Photoshop Brush…

I use Photoshop for many reasons throughout my regular workday. But recently I’ve stumbled upon a new innovative use of the brush tool that I can’t help but share. I was working on a logo for an event coming up and the client requested a very unique background image that I wasn’t able to recreate easily or find through stock photos. Luckily, I found a free Photoshop brush to download which made the logo design on A LOT easier.

The Photoshop brush is one kind of plug-in which you can be used as an add-on. However, you will find yourself limited when choosing from the default selection. If you, like myself, desire to be more innovative and creative then consider searching online for a Photoshop brush download. Some are free and some are for purchase. I’ve included some visuals of some designs that can be created when using this tool.

Here are some links that offer FREE Photoshop brushes for download:

A REAL Fresh Beginning…

Ahhh, and finally it is a brand new year! A chance to go out with the old and come in with the new. Typically at any given point in time, we as people can make changes in our lives from day to day. But for some reason, it is the beginning of a new year when we feel changes are much more REAL and profound. A REAL fresh beginning.

Having said that, I have chosen not to blog about something design specific, but about something that overall shapes my drive to become better at my profession every single day and that is inspiration. My inspiration comes from a very wide variety of outlets. Advice and the success of others being two of the more apparent outlets. I am sharing some advice that I’ve taken in for the new year of 2013.

Hopefully you can gain something from this and make tomorrow better than today.

Here is a link to a blog I found that I stayed on for hours listening to noteworthy advice from business professionals, mentors, and teachers of all sorts. There are some great suggestions here for changes in your life and and things that might spark some thoughts! Thanks TED for this post!

Ted Blog-New Year Resolutions

Tis’ the Season for Christmas Card Designs

This is by far my favorite time of the year! I absolutely love the Christmas holiday. I do my fair share of designing Christmas cards around this time of the year as well. And because it is the season of giving, I usually don’t charge for any of my designs.  If I am not too slammed with work, it is actually a nice outlet and allows me to have some fun! Here are a few designs I used as inspiration this year!

Tip: During the Christmas holiday is always a great time to catch up with clients. Thank them for their business, and remind them that you’re still available in the year to come. Make cards to compliment your business, add a message inside, and for a professional touch, your logo on the reverse.

Merry Christmas Everyone! &  Happy New Year!

5 Ways to Successfully Use Social Media

As a designer and you’re NOT using social media to help market yourself, then you’re missing out on some big opportunities. Your competitors, co-workers and clients are all using social media, which means if you’re not, you’re getting left behind. Social media provides many different ways designers can use it to advance his or her career. Here are six ways you could be using social media to help your grow your design career.

1) Promote Your Work

This is probably the way most creative types would think of using social media. Most designers know about sites such as or But there are also communities like Coroflot and deviantART where you can share your portfolio and get feedback. For instance, is a site where you can share small snapshots of your designs for comment and assessment by your fellow designers. Whatever platform you use, social media has changed the way we share, promote and often improve our work.

2) Blog Away

A blog will help in several ways – it can be a platform for quick comments about design news, sharing links or workshopping designs. More importantly, it can help your work and name get found online. A blog can serve as your base of operations on the web, providing a regularly-updated home to your ideas and what inspires you.

3) Profiling

Definitely create “the big three” – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are extremely useful tools for finding work, sharing information and connecting with colleagues and clients alike. As someone who’s trying to exist online, you need to be able to show that you understand these technologies better than the average bear.

4) The Real World

Social media is great for connecting online, but it’s just as important for you to  network in the real world. If you live in a decent-sized city, then chances are there’s a group of tech professionals getting together to discuss business. There are meet-ups of social media professionals, designers and developers, WordPress fans, bloggers – if you can imagine a group of people, then they’re probably out there.

5) Stay True to Yourself

Don’t compromise who you are and what your dreams are just to become more marketable and get work. As designers, we are all unique in our own ways and the the right clients are out there for us, we just have to find them and using social media can greatly increase our chances of doing so.