Category: Graphic Design


Yesterday, I posted about MOO’s Printfinity services here. Today, I’m simply showing off the cards I created on MOO, which arrived last week.

I had 100 standard, matte business cards made up. And also 100 mini cards. Here are the boxes they came in side by side; the business cards are in the black cardboard box, the mini cards in the white box.

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Here are the business cards:

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Close-up of front and back of business card:
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And here are the mini cards:
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Close-up:
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The card stock is of good quality. Colours are crisp and accurate. The presentation boxes are of high quality too. All in all, using MOO’s services was easy, fuss-free, efficient and great value for money.

I’m very pleased with my MOO cards! :)

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MOO is an English company specialising in primarily printing business cards, though they also make postcards, “mini” business cards, flyers, stickers, labels etc. The main website is MOO, however there are regional, geographical differences, in terms of currency displays, depending on which country you are in. For example, if you choose Europe, the site will show you MOO’s prices in Euros.

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MOO’s blurb:


MOO makes life a little less virtual.
We help our customers print things like Business Cards, Postcards and MiniCards, making it easy for them to share information about themselves or their business in the real world.

Print is simple and wonderful. We love it.

We’re a new kind of online printing business
MOO was born out of a love of beautiful, high-quality print.

Printing has been around for centuries, and we’re certainly not the first printer on the web. But, whilst many other printers have chosen to use new technologies to simply reduce the costs of printing (and often the quality), we strive to make print not only cost-effective but better than ever before.

We want to set a new standard for print, with remarkable new products that bring great design and uncompromising, high standards to the web. We’re only young, but when we grow up we want to be the best printer on the internet.

We believe in the power of great design
Design is key to everything MOO does.

Design helps us stand out: from the clothes we wear, to the homes we live in, to the business cards we use. Design tells a story about us and what we stand for.

But professional-quality design has traditionally been expensive or out of reach for most people; we want to change this. We’re passionate about helping people of all abilities design the best looking and highest quality print products: products that will help them or their business look great.

Our company vision is simple but ambitious: “great design for everyone”.

More about MOO…
MOO is an award-winning online print business.

Founded in 2006, MOO aims to disrupt the $100 billion global print industry by combining professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web.

MOO prints millions of cards a month and has hundreds of thousands of customers in over 180 countries. MOO has also become a much-loved brand, with a 75% NetPromoter rating.

The company has won 3 Webby awards (the web’s Oscars), has been profiled in the Financial Times, and was ranked in the top 10 UK start-up companies by the Guardian Newspaper. MOO has offices in London, UK as well as Providence and Boston, USA.

MOO has also raised over $5m in venture capital from the Accelerator Group, Index Ventures and Atlas Venture, the investors behind Skype, Betfair, Lovefilm, Last.fm and MySQL.

My post today is about Printfinity. Printfinity is MOO’s word for a very unique service, one I haven’t come across with other printers.

http://eu.moo.com/about/printfinity.html


What is Printfinity?
It’s the word we invented for a technology that’s completely unique to MOO. With Printfinity you can print a different photo or design on every Business Card, Sticker or Postcard in a pack. It’s a real conversation starter that means you can carry your portfolio in your pocket, show off your favourite products and help people remember your business.

As an artist, I just love the whole idea of Printfinity. For example, instead of printing 10 designs of 100 cards each, and then separating and sorting them into 100 packs of 10 designs, MOO’s Printfinity technology lets me upload my 10 designs onto their template, and then I simply have to specify whether I want 50 or 100 cards. If 50 cards, I will receive 5 of each of the 10 designs. If 100, I will receive 10 of each of the 10 designs. So I end up with just 1 pack of 100 cards, rather than 10 packs of 100 cards. Do the maths.

I have used MOO’s services a few times, primarily to get business cards made up using Printfinity. I recently ran another batch of 100 cards, using 25 different designs. I got an email from MOO offering me 50% off my next purchase, so I decided to use the same designs and have 100 “mini” cards made up as well. “Mini” cards are, half the size of business cards – 2 of them, placed side by side, make up the size of a normal business card.

Printfinity is a great way of seeing how my art looks on a product, plus I have something to show or give away to customers or potential customers too, like a pocket portfolio. I might get some flyers made up next…

MOO offers a range of different papers and finishes for their products, from a basic, everyday range to a high-end “luxe” range. This suits every budget.

The templates provided by MOO are really easy to use. For text, you get a good choice of fonts and font sizes. Simply write your text, then flip the template over to upload your images.

Delivery costs depend on the country you live in. I ordered mine and received them within 10 days, pretty good for UK to Australia these days. Each set of cards comes in its own robust cardboard box, a nice classy touch, great for presentations.

So, if you’re looking for something different, with a good range of paper options and pricing, ease of use, user-friendly templates, easy repeat ordering, a great customer service and delivery, innovative packaging, then MOO’s the one for you.

Below are examples from Google images of what others have used MOO for:

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Feeling creative or artistic but can’t draw to save your life? Join the club! Fear not, though. Here is an App that will entertain as well as educate you at the same time.

It’s called Kinetica. Put simply, it’s an app that plays with shapes and elements of different artists’ techniques and produces random configurations of it that can be saved and used on your mobile device as backgrounds, to create your own arty cards, share with friends etc.

The 12 different styles highlighted by Kinetica are:

(Shapes)
Circles
Spirals
Florals
Glyphs
Science
Palettes
Bulbs
Triangles

(Artists)
Mondrian
Miro
Kandinsky
Calder

Here’s the educational part. While exploring each individual artist’s style, (see above), tapping on the “i” button on the bottom right corner of the page brings you to the Wikipedia page dedicated to that particular artist.

The App developer, Alex Lamb, says this of Kinetica: (screenshot taken from within the App itself)

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Using Kinetica is really easy and intuitive. Across the top and bottom of the page are icons that control various aspects, such as background colour, dots that can be used to rearrange your configuration, a randomization button, a freeze/unfreeze frame icon, a button to change from one style or colourpath to another, a > button to Play or put your configuration in motion.

Here are a few screenshots to show you what playing with Kinetica can result in:

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Now go have fun!

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I love Swiss-style/mid century modern graphics. In the world of mobile Apps, on iOS there are a number of Apps that make designing these type of graphics easy, namely AddLib U and AddLib S. The developers have got the colour palette, geometric shapes and lines just perfect. On the Android platform, however, I’m sad to say that I have not found a similar App to write home about.

A while back, I blogged about AddLib U and AddLib S. For convenience, here are the links to these posts:

AddLib S

AddLib U

I came across the work of Kareem Rizk, an Australian artist transplanted to Denmark, Europe, quite by accident, as I was trawling Pinterest for examples of bird collages, for my own artistic endeavours. Kareem did indeed make bird-themed collages a few years, but the scope of his talent extends far beyond that.

But here are those bird collages that inspired me (thank you, Google Images):

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Here I’m sharing Kareem’s Biography with you, taken from his webpage, as it provides an insight to what makes him tick, and describes his techniques and processes too:

Born 1982, Melbourne, Australia. Collage and mixed media artist, illustrator and designer. Living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Graduate of Monash University with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (2004).

Since his shift of focus to fine art and illustration in 2006 and his pursuit of developing his style, Rizk has been cutting and pasting his way towards a unique and contemporary style of collage and mixed media art that has earned him international recognition, as well as continuous success working with numerous galleries, fine art publishers and creative companies all around the world.

Collecting mostly old magazines and books but also scraps from torn billboards and street posters, discarded tickets, postcards, brochures and catalogues, Rizk has been sorting through op shops, flea markets, garage sales and city streets around the world to find the images and ephemera that have found their way into his very nostalgic and weathered collage and mixed media works.

Working mediums include collage, acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, solvent transfers and acrylic transfers. The work is highly textured and often multi-layered with a nostalgic and weathered quality. Rizk’s works can often be vibrant with colour, while others display a very refined or minimal palette. Working methods also extend to digital collage with a very gritty and realistic display of texture and layering. The digital work began as an experiment in blurring the line between handmade collage and digital collage.

Other work includes freelance illustration, graphic design and fine art commissions for various clients including art buyers and collectors, editorial publications, galleries, universities, the boutique fashion industry and the music and entertainment industry.

Exhibitions include solo shows and group shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane,
Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Miami, Vancouver, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, West Cork (Ireland), Stockholm, Zurich, Barcelona, Madrid and Milan. Rizk’s work has been published in numerous art magazines and books and his work is held in private collections worldwide.

And here are several examples of Kareem’s Swiss-style/mid century modern works (the last one shows the artist himself at an exhibition of his own work):

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I also found this recent in-depth interview with Kareem Rizk, where the artist divulges his thought processes and techniques in great detail. Interesting reading for those of you who are as fascinated with this artist as I am.

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When I first saw one of Wendy Kendall’s quirky, bright and cheerful designs on Pinterest, I was enchanted immediately. Her designs have clean lines, clear imagery, a delightful palette of non-primary colours with a retro, almost mid-century/Swiss graphic feel to them, a childlike element of playfulness. What’s not to like? Wendy creates designs for homewares, especially textile and wallpaper. Her work is licensed by several companies around the world. Getting my own work licensed and seeing my own designs on decorative homewares is my main ambition, too, and I am inspired by Wendy’s talent, creativity and success.

Here is the link to Wendy’s website Wendy also keeps a blog, so why not follow her there too, the link is on the front page of her website.

In Wendy’s own words, taken from her introduction on her page, with images courtesy of Google:

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I am a freelance surface pattern designer based from home, just outside Stone in Staffordshire UK. Since graduating from the University of Derby, where I specialised in print design, I have worked as a bedding/nursery designer for several UK manufacturers situated in the North West.

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With over ten years experience at senior design level in this field, I now freelance and work closely with an Indian exporter,on bespoke briefs for UK home textile clients and on building my licensed range of products,which currently include bedding and textiles,wallpaper,blinds and fabric collections.

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I am also one quarter of Dotty Wren Studio….we are a brand new studio comprising of four UK designers who will be launching our new collections to sell and license at Surtex in NYC in May 2014.

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Please feel free to browse our site and blog and get in touch if you would like to meet with us in May at Surtex on our stand no 834.

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I have a simplistic, graphic, clean design approach that mixes playful patterns/textures with quirky handrawn outlines. I love the use of bold colours against bright whites and I particularly enjoy creating designs for children, I am able to design across all areas of home textiles but really would welcome briefs and licensing enquiries from all product areas.

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I hope you enjoy looking through my work… please feel free to contact me.

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I’m writing this down so I don’t forget. Again. Last year, I challenged myself to create seamless pattern repeats using only my mobile phone. Some of my experiments worked better than others.
Lately, I’ve entered into a couple of online competitions for designing pattern repeats. And guess what…I’ve only gone and forgotten the formulas that work for me!

So that is why I’m writing this.

Here are the images I’ve used to create “Bowerbird Boudoir”:

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(This is actually a composite of 3 images that I’d created a few days ago)

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(The bird was a clipart from Dover, that I’d blended with a colourfield background. I then cut out the image to use as clipart).

Here is the workflow:

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In Repix, I used the Drips brush to completely obliterate the image. Then I had fun revealing parts of the image whilst leaving other parts concealed.

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I used PicsArt to first do a horizontal mirroring of my image, and then a vertical one. As long as you do at least one mirroring on each axis, your image will be guaranteed to repeat seamlessly. I could have quartered the image and done the “magic corners” thing, but that later entails a lot of smudging and cloning to ensure a seamless join. I much prefer this mirroring method.

I then used Photo Editor to invert the colours. I also tweaked the colours a little, using the Colour Replace (RGB) filter.

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Then, back in PicsArt, I used the clipart bird and placed 2 birds on the image.

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After this, it was a simple matter of setting up a grid of 4 rectangles, and repeating the image. I decided to use 2 images with the birds, and 2 without.

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This pleases me and reminds me of an Art Nouveau illustration.

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A while back, I wrote about trying out my own handmade wallpapers. I then set about researching printers and/or printing methods and papers that would let me achieve this. I discovered that my Epson Artisan 1430 printer could do banner printing. But. And this was a big But…The Beast only gave me one test banner print (wrongly sized, my bad) and one decent print (correctly sized, yay!) before deciding to pack its bags and go home. I’m not in the mood to try and coax it to work properly right now. So that project will have to wait until a rainy day when I have nothing better to do. Life’s too short to be battling The Beast all day.

On the Easter weekend just gone, the Kid and I were in Fremantle, and stumbled across MANY 6160. Tucked away in a corner were a couple of panels of handmade wallpaper, and information about the artists. I was interested enough to take a snapshot of the blurb, to investigate later.

So here we are today. I found out the company is actually based in Perth, Western Australia, my own stomping ground. It’s called Origin Wallpapers. Some day I shall have to pay a visit there, but for now I’ve been looking at their wares and specifically their stable of artists. My angle was to try and find out if I could possibly get my designs licensed with them.

If you just want to buy an Origin Wallpapers design, it’s a flat rate of $65 per metre, regardless of which design you choose. That’s a bit steep, but considering that Origin Wallpapers can scale the design up or down to fit your requirements, unlike generic wallpaper that you pick up at your local hardware store, it’s a price well worth it. Especially if you’ve fallen in love with a particular design. All their wallpapers are pre pasted, pvc free and made to measure.

Here’s a screen shot of the artists signed with Origin Wallpapers:

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If you’re a wallpaper or textile designer, whether established or aspiring, Origin Wallpapers is always on the lookout for new artists to join them. So why not drop them a line?

Feast your eyes on just some of Origin Wallpapers’ offerings here:

Joan McElmore "Meadow Song"

Joan McElmore “Meadow Song”

 

Inna Ogando "Pajaros Cages Autumn Pink Bird"

Inna Ogando “Pajaros Cages Autumn Pink Bird”

 

Lotti Rawle "Under The Sea"

Lotti Rawle “Under The Sea”

 

Hayley Crann "Ocelot"

Hayley Crann “Ocelot”

 

Jelien Veenstra "Bags and Pouches"

Jelien Veenstra “Bags and Pouches”

 

Alisa Foytik "Wild Flowers"

Alisa Foytik “Wild Flowers”

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…then these speak volumes. Literally.

Scroll down to the end to find out who this amazingly talented artist is. Astounding work!

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Artist: YUSUKE OONO
Medium: 360° laser-cut story books

Just Google “Yusuke Oono” for more website articles relating to his amazing talent! He’s an architect by trade, by the way.

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I came across Laura Olivia’s site Surface Pattern Designs whilst searching for, haha no prizes for guessing right, surface pattern designs, on Pinterest. My first thought was “This must be a large, international company, if they have a name like that”.  I clicked on the link, as I wanted to see if it was indeed a large, international company where I could possibly submit my own designs for consideration.  Well, it might as well be a large, international company, as Laura Olivia is a veritable powerhouse, with hundreds of designs represented in dozens of formats by different licensing companies.  Laura is only young, but already she has broken into the world of textile design, homewares, greeting cards, stationery, etc.  There doesn’t seem to be anything that this young lassie can’t turn her hand to.

She is living the life that I would love to be living.  Lucky, lucky girl, and well done too!! Here are some of Laura Olivia’s designs, to whet your appetite, before you start exploring her website.  Definitely ONE TO WATCH!

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Bird Street Designblue

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Bohemia Cascade

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Bohemia Canvas Laura-Olivia-Butterfly-Garden-Pearl-Cushion Decorque_hummingbird cork placemats

Here is what Laura Olivia says about herself, on her “About” page:

About Laura Olivia

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I am a very passionate and ambitious designer with a love of surface pattern and textiles. My work is mainly focused around print design and I am lucky enough to work for some fantastic clients in various industries including interiors, fashion and stationery.  I absolutely love what I do and hope that comes across in the vibrancy of my work and the patterns that I create.

Originally from Berkshire, I moved up to Nottingham to study Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University. After gaining my degree I worked in the interiors industry for a few years which I believe gave me an invaluable insight in to the furnishings fabric and wallpaper industries.

After realizing that a nine to five was not for me, I took a leap of faith and left it all behind to follow my dream of doing what I love and making a living out of it, as for me there is nothing better than that! Although it has not been plain sailing all the way, I’ve never looked back and find seeing my designs on the finished product, and in people’s homes, the ultimate reward.

I began my journey by launching my own range of homewares as well as working with an agent who sold my furnishing fabric and wallpaper designs to clients around the globe.  Within my first year I was very lucky to be selected to exhibit at ‘One Year On’ which is an event for designer’s within their first year of business at the ‘New Designers’ exhibition in London. The show was a huge success and shortly after I was commissioned by high street retailer ‘Wilkinson’ to produce a large range of stationery which was sold throughout 250 stores with my photo and name alongside. This amazing opportunity led to working directly with some fantastic clients in the UK and abroad on projects from curtains and wall art to dresses and resort-wear prints. Past clients I have worked with and/or sold work to include Arthouse, Wilkinson, Bianca Turner, Ellison First Asia. Mori Tessuti and more. I now also have a range of licensing partners including Artistic Britain, S-Blinds and Keka Case.

My work is mainly inspired by the beauty of nature and I usually use a range of techniques within my designs including watercolours and hand drawing. Different clients require different styles, but I try to reflect my true style within my own product range as here I can do what I want! For fashion I often use photographic elements also and sometimes collage when designing for wall art.

I am always looking for new opportunities so if you are a supplier, manufacturer or retailer interested in working with myself, please feel free to email me at sales@lauraolivia.com.

Of all the lessons I learned from my Grandma, Love was the most beautiful and the best. I created this image in memory of my wonderful Maternal Grandma, who passed away very recently. I named it “LESSONS MY GRANDMA TAUGHT ME”, and distilled into it elements representing those lessons. Look hard and look deep, and you will see them within yourself.

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I also thought I’d run this through the Android App Small Planet that I’d written about in an earlier post, to see what wonderful whimsies emerged.

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I think Grandma would have been proud of me.

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