Monday, April 16, 2012

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and the winner of the PrintRunner Postcard Printing Giveaway is...


Kristin shared: "i would either use them for a family christmas card in a few months, or get a really cute printable done up and mail them to people!"

Great ideas Kristin! Maybe when Kristin gets her postcards, she will send us a pic of them and we can share them with all of you.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and thanks to PrintRunner for this great giveaway.
Have a great week everyone!

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky Day!

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Happy Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious? You may be spending your time avoiding black cats and cracks in the sidewalk or throwing salt over your shoulder today. Carry on! (It's bad karma to judge how someone else spends their time, right?)

However, can I point out the irony of my reminder post on this day of superstition? Today could be your lucky day! It's not too late to enter to win 100 free postcards of your own design from PrintRunner! You have until midnight tonight to enter, and you can qualify for 5 entries. Just follow the directions, and make sure to comment after the blog for each item you complete. I'll announce the winner this Monday, April 16th.

And to prove today's truly lucky, I'm giving you one more chance to qualify for an additional chance to win. Make a comment after the giveaway post, and tell me why Friday the 13th is a good day. That's another chance to win, only available for those of you who are reading this post, on this lucky day. See? There's still time for good things to happen! (knock on wood) Link back to that post and enter to win. Good luck!

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Font Detectives

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Have you come across a font that you love or need to match and can't figure out what it is or how to buy it? Or, ahem, have you used a font in a project only to change the font to outlines and then have to go back and edit the file and can't remember for the life of you what in the world you used? No? HaHa. Maybe I'm the only geek who does that from time to time.

But, there are a couple of great sites to help!

First, is What the Font! by  This is the option that I turn to when I am stuck and can't figure out what it is.

You can either upload an image file or specify a URL of the font in question and it will walk you through a few steps to try and determine which font it is. Below is a screen shot from their site.

Another option is, Identifont. This is a more detailed option and gives you several ways to search for the font such as by appearance, name or part of a name, similarity to another font, by picture or symbol, or by the designer. 

I use both. Most often I start with What the Font and then move to Identifont. How about you? Any tips for finding fonts? How do you organize them on your computer? 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

PrintRunner Postcard Printing Giveaway!

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I am so excited to have the opportunity to host a giveaway from PrintRunner—they offer a wide range of printing services and have a reputation for high quality and affordable prices. Check out their products, prices, and especially their print postcard, because that's what you have a chance to win!

I love postcards! They're so versatile! You can use them as announcements (graduations are coming baby...moving...or design a beautiful thank you message (don't we always need thank you cards?) Or you can just make a pretty design that can be personalized for any occasion: thinking of you...condolences...welcome new neighbor...the possibilities are endless!

Here's a little more info about what you can win:
• 100 postcards with the following specs: 5 x 7 size, 4/0 front only printing, 14 pt. paper stock with UV coating on front, rounded corners, no proof, and they're ready to ship in 4 business days.

(Notes: 14 pt. paper is nice and heavy—not that flimsy stuff you sometimes see on postcards and mailers; UV coating means they use a protective sealer that will make your colors pop, and will keep your design from smudging or lifting off when you mail it, and (bonus!) having it only on the front is great, because you can easily write a message on the back with any kind of pen or pencil; and rounded corners? yes please! That's an upgrade that usually costs extra!)

This giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above.

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So, is your head swimming with ideas and possibilities now? Good, it's easy to win! Here are the ways you can enter—leave a comment at the end of this post for each of the following things you complete—you have up to 5 chances to win!

1. Leave a comment and tell me what you would use your postcards for
2. Follow PrintRunner on Twitter
3. Like PrintRunner on Facebook
4. Subscribe to this blog Good Look CookBook
5. Subscribe to my email newsletter muse

Deadline for submissions is April 13, 2012. The winner will be chosen using and announced April 16th.

Thank you to PrintRunner for providing us this giveaway, I will receive a set of postcards for hosting it. Maybe I'll print one of the postcards I send out with my email newsletter, like these:

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.

Friday, February 17, 2012

On the Move!

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After a few years of uncertainty, our house is finally under contract and we are getting ready for a big cross-country move in a little more than a month. But instead of simply moving from one house to another, we have an extra kink in the plans to account for. We will be moving to a temporary rental home here for a couple months, so that my kids can finish the school year. So I need to figure out what to pack up that we won't need for those 2 months and what to pack up that will come with us to the rental home. To avoid becoming completely overwhelmed at the thought of packing up my entire house by myself, I have decided to make some packing labels to help with this sorting and packing process. In addition to the fact that I want the labels to allow for easy sorting and recognition of which room it belongs in (i.e. kitchen, master bedroom, boys' room, etc.), I also wanted a 2nd level of sorting and recognition to allow for easy sorting between "storage unit for 2 months" or "rental home".

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I love the Design Seeds website and will often peruse it for inspiration for great color combinations. This particular combination appealed to me in its bright and energetic tones. Just the feeling I need to get me motivated!

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For my ingredients, I created a color palette based on my inspiration piece, but with a few extra colors added in that keep to the basic feel of the original colors. (We need several different colors to sort the various rooms!) I also chose a basic black rounded rectangle and a light gray rounded rectangle. These will be the base of the labels and the regular square-corner rectangle will be placed on top. Then, I chose a couple of easy-t0-read fonts, one that will be used in all caps that is very simple and blocky and one that will be used as lower case that is a little more fun. I used News Gothic for my clean blocky font and Delius Swash Caps for the fun font. You can download News Gothic here and Delius Swash Caps here.

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First, draw a rounded rectangle that measures 3x5 inches, using your chosen software. Boxes that are going to the storage unit for 2 months will have a black base and the boxes that are going to the rental unit will have a light gray box with black type. I'm using Adobe Illustrator because it's the easiest for me for this type of project. Then, draw a square-cornered rectangle that measures 4x2.5 inches to place on top. Center this rectangle from top to bottom, but shift it to the right, to allow for a larger space on the left side of the label. This will be where you label it "STORAGE" or "RENTAL" using your clean and block-style font in all caps. Then, draw a smaller rectangle that measures 4x.75 inches and put it at the top of the center section. This rectangle will be different colors, depending on the intended room that the package's contents contain. Then, type the name of the room to place in this rectangle using the fun lower case font.

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Here are all my labels, ready to print out and attach to my boxes! The blank white space will be where I hand-write in any specific content that I want to remember. I hope to have several volunteers helping me move on the big moving day and so I'm hoping they will be able to see at a glance where the various boxes go. With these easy-to-read labels, our moving day experience should go much more smoothly!

Designer. Mother of 4.
Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, or see my digital scrapbooking designs at Scrap Girls.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine Pop-up Card

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I've always been a fan of pop-up books and cards. I got the inspiration for this card from a hanging mobile. I didn't save the picture of it, but I remembered how the hearts were assembled and I thought with a little modification, I could turn it into a pop-up card. I tried it out for my husband's birthday card and was really excited about how easy it was, and how cute it turned out. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I'll show you how to make one for your valentine.

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• 2 coordinating patterned papers (you could also use color copies of photographs, magazine pages, etc.)
• A folding card and envelope (I used a pre-made card and contrasting envelope to match my patterned papers)
• scissors and adhesive (I used rubber cement, but you could use also use glue stick or other scrapbook adhesives)

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First, you need to make a heart template. Make sure it's not too large for your card. All I did is fold a piece of paper in half, then cut half of a heart on the fold. If it's not right, trim it a little til you like the shape. It has to be symmetrical—so make sure you fold and cut both sides together if you modify it.

Once you've got a template, use it to cut out hearts—3 from each of your patterned papers, 6 total. (They need to be folded in half anyway, so it's easiest to do it the same way as you did the template—fold the paper, and sandwich the template heart over your folded paper. You can trace around and cut, or just hold it tight and cut around the template).

When you have them all cut out, you need to glue them together—make sure the pattern side of your paper is folded to the inside, and only glue one side at a time. Obviously, the glue goes on the back side of your paper. Alternate the patterns, and keep gluing until they are all together—leave the final right and left side unglued since they need to attach to the card. To adhere the hearts to the card, I found it was best to position the heart (unglued) where I wanted it, then hold it in place while I closed the card around it. Hold one side of the heart in place as you reopen the card. The heart's position now accounts for its thickness. Hold it in position, fold the heart closed, and put glue on that side first. Fold the card over it, securing the glue, then open the card and do the same thing with the other side of the heart. Once it's dry, you've got a dimensional pop-up valentine!

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Voila Valentine! Hope you all have someone to make one for!

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Design Dish: Tangerine Tango

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We've had a bit of a break from the Good Look Cookbook. But, we're back! And excited to share some new ideas with you. We'll still be posting once a week. But we've expanded our post topics and will share things in addition to design recipes.

One of those things is a rotating round table discussion called Design Dish. We'll take turns writing about a topic. The design chefs here at GLCB will chime in with their opinions and then we'll turn it over to you to discuss. We'd love to hear what you have to say!

Our first Design Dish topic is:


This is the 2012 Color of the Year from Pantone. 

Color is an important aspect of design. It can make or break the way people view your project and is a determining factor of how successful it will be. Let's face it. Color comes with baggage. Some of it's good baggage sure. But sometimes, it's the lunch box left unopened in the back of the car. That happen to anyone? No? Um, me either...

Color can influence your mood, the way you buy, the amount you eat, and more. Crazy but true.

So what we want to know is:

What is your opinion of Tangerine Tango? Do you like it? Do you hate it?

Heather Says: I like this color. I am partial to most shades of orange, though. I have it all through my house as accents, on my website, and even in my hair ;).  This shade feels a tiny bit 80's to me. Which I like. Miami Vice anyone?

Maralee Says: I LOVE the color! It's exotic and feels warm and summery to me--it's a confident and bold color, but it's not trite, like red or orange (no offense to these colors, it's just that this is color is fresh and choosing to use it would be deliberate).

Cherise Says: I think the color has potential for being great, but also potential for being misused. Because of its boldness, you have to be a bit careful with the colors you pair it with. Because it is so bold, you can dare to go bold with your pairing color too. I am partial to pairing it with turquoise or fuschia in the right setting.

Does the announcement of a "color of the year" by Pantone influence your design? How or Why?

Heather Says: I always pay attention to it. I seem to see the color everywhere. Self fulfilling prophecy maybe? I think it's good to be on trend. If there is an opportunity to use a shade like the color of the year, then I will try to match it. However, if the design doesn't call for it, I don't force it. 

Maralee Says: There have been "colors of the year" that I don't care for personally, but with so many other colors to choose from, it doesn't "hurt" to ignore a color of the year. But if I love it (like I do this one), I will definitely look for opportunities to appropriately use it in projects. With a bold color, there's a chance that it could become a passing trend that would "date" my work (like avocado green and mustard yellow did for the 70s. Until they came back in recent years, no one dared use them unless you needed a retro 70s look!) So  it's a color that I would consider the longevity of what I'm using it for, but I will definitely look for opportunities to use it where it "fits".

Cherise Says: I don't think the announcement of a color of the year influences my design much, but perhaps slightly. It may open my eyes to try something new that I might not otherwise have given a chance.

How do you go about using color in your designs? Do you start with color in mind or add it in later?

Heather Says: Maybe it's because I started designing at a time when you had to make camera ready black and white art for all the projects first. But, I tend to do most things (especially logos) in black and white first and then add in color. However, with each new advance in technology it is easier and easier to incorporate amazing colors into design projects.  

Maralee Says: Sometimes I design with a certain color in mind, and other times I design in black and white (especially for logos), then add color later. I almost always fidget with getting the shade just right though so it's "just right". For me, color is something that has to match the design, not the other way around. The color, the typography, the photography--they are all elements that need to be in the proper balance with each other, so they all need to be flexible in order to work well together.

Cherise Says: I typically start with a color palette that I find pleasing or an inspiration board that gathers the "feel" I'm going for.

Do you have an example of something you like that uses this color? Either something you've designed or something you just admire?

Heather Says:  I think this notebook by Rifle Design Co. is a beautiful example of Tangerine Tango as well as a wonderful complementary palette. 

Maralee Says: I used this color as an accent in one of my email newsletters, and on the accompanying postcard file. I wanted a bold color that would bring some vitality, that would anchor the neutral colored images to each other. 

Here are links to a couple other things I liked that use that color--

Cherise Says: I love this bedroom that incorporates Tangerine Tango with some pops of fuschia and lots of clean white and black!

So what about you? Want to dish about Tangerine Tango? Leave a comment with your responses. We'd love to hear what you think!

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