Design of the Month: April 2018

Name: Annie Lin

Company Name: Floating Forest Studio

Website: www.floatingforest.studio

Business Contact Email: hello@floatingforest.studio

Design of the Month April 2018 All the Products

Please give us a brief history of your business and some of the services you provide.
My hobby originally started in 2016 as a way to share my illustration art prints to the world. Slowly I expanded my product selection to include accessories like enamel pins, jewelry, and other printed goods after falling in love with the physical nature of having wearable art. In 2017 I finally turned my hobby into a real brand. My main source of business is selling pins and accessories, but I also do some branding and freelance illustration work as well.

Design of the Month April 2018 Back

After looking at your cards, it is clear you incorporated your branding into your card. Can you discussing your branding between these two cards?
I experimented with a series of different business card formats to find the best direction that truly conveys the personality of my brand. I wanted to play with how foil could elevate my brand and become an eye-catching art piece. Since my roots started in illustration, I really wanted my cards to not only convey my business information, but to become something people would want to hold onto. One card direction experimented with a more mature, conservative design (the foil on blue) and the other one emphasized a more playful, colorful approach (the full foil card with knocked out information). I’m definitely leaning toward the playful approach and would marry elements of it with the more mature approach in the future.

Design of the Month April 2018 Square Card

Why did you choose this specific size, 2×2 inch square for the business card?
I wanted something untraditional that would stand out while still containing all my important information. In my experience of being a vendor at craft fairs, you end up pocketing a lot of business cards or tossing them into a purchase bag so I was hoping this size would make it easier to be in the former group. I’m actually still experimenting with different sizes and formats for my business card. In the future I’d probably go a little larger and maybe break out of the square format as well.

Design of the Month April 2018 European Size

What is 2.75×3.75 inch cards going to be used for? The sizing is so customized, we got curious.
The dimensions of this card is the size I use for my illustrated backing cards on which I attach enamel pins. These cards usually share an illustration that is related to the design of the pin itself and the size allows me to include all my relevant information as well as make the product stand out on a display. This particular design is one I’m considering using for future wholesale items to create a unified look to my brand.

Design of the Month April 2018 European final product

Why did you choose Hologram Foiling?
The dimensions of this card is the size I use for my illustrated backing cards on which I attach enamel pins. These cards usually share an illustration that is related to the design of the pin itself and the size allows me to include all my relevant information as well as make the product stand out on a display. This particular design is one I’m considering using for future wholesale items to create a unified look to my brand.

Design of the Month April 2018 2 cards

What was the reason behind choosing our Heavy Silky Matte?
When I got my sample pack I immediately gravitated toward the Heavy Silky Matte material. The paper was so smooth and soft while having enough thickness and integrity that I knew it would hold up to showing off my product. From a business card perspective, it makes you really want to play with the card and keep it in your hands since it’s so pleasant to the touch.

Design of the Month April 2018

What made you choose MorningPrint?
A fellow designer recommended MorningPrint to me and, after seeing their cards, I was sold. The affordability and breath of options from press embossing to raised ink allows me to experiment as much as I want with my designs. I’m excited to try new options I hadn’t considered before because they’re so readily available. Looking forward to playing around with new paper designs soon!

Design of the Month April 2018 Hologram European Size

How was your experience with MorningPrint? Would you recommend us to others?
My experience with MorningPrint has been great so far. It’s been easy to order custom designs and the shipping turnaround is very fast. Customer service has been great and I feel confident in recommending this service to others!

Just a small feedback, it would be great if MorningPrint offered more variety of product options such as larger posters and greeting cards! I know you can probably get these made via the custom quote option, but it’s definitely a hurdle to have to reach out specifically and email with your information vs having default templated info readily available. I’d love to be able to come to MorningPrint’s website and quickly see what jobs other than postcards and business cards I can have made. I’d love for MorningPrint to be my one stop shop for everything beyond business cards one day.

Small Business Spotlight: TeresaKatherine

Business Names
TeresaKatherine Designs
Boutique by TeresaKatherine

Websites
TeresaKatherine Designs: https://www.teresakatherine.com/
Boutique by TeresaKatherine: https://www.boutiquebyteresakatherine.com

Social Media
TeresaKatherine Designs: Facebook and Instagram
Boutique by TeresaKatherine: Facebook and Instagram

1. For those interested in getting into this line of work, what kind of advice or information do you think is important to know?
Set up all your business accounts properly in the beginning (business licenses, tax ids, solid contracts, etc) it may seem like a big investment upfront but will save a lot of headache in the future.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to do and what type of client you want to attract.
When you’re focused, it’s easier to market your product or service. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow and change in the future.

2. Do you prefer using more color or to keep it more monochrome in both of your businesses?
For TeresaKatherine Designs, I prefer to limit the color palette and keep it clean and simplified. My target audience includes scientists and engineers so shapes with sharp edges and clear, easy to read graphics are appealing to them.
For Boutique by TeresaKatherine, I keep my branding to black and white with pops of peach and mint to achieve the sleek, elegant look of many luxury brands. At the same time, I’m designing invitations and stationery for fun, lively events such as weddings and baby showers so I’m not afraid to use color in my work.

Teresa Katherine SC-Stockshop_BlushRainbowShower_invite

Photo Credit goes to: SC Stockshop

 

 

3. Regarding both of your businesses, how important would you say it is for a client to have done some research and have an idea of what they want?
Very important, while I can help guide and shape their ideas, we need to have a starting point because there is a wide range of styles for invitations, branding, and even presentations. If my clients have a basic idea of the goals they want to achieve and who they want to reach, I can develop a strategy to realize their goals.

4. What is something you want your clients to know about both of your businesses?
I approach design with a science and art background. Initially I was only interested in fine art such as painting and drawing while I was studying chemistry in college, but my whole life I’ve been interested in how and why things work and trying to find ways to make things more beautiful and effective. I came to graphic design as a means to use my artistic talents to help those of a more analytical mindset achieve clear and effective communication. Whether is branding an innovative product or clearly presenting
research data, the success of a product or idea is also dependent on how it is perceived and design plays a huge role in this.
Even with my stationery clients and products, I’m not simply trying to create something lovely for people to buy, I want to understand my client and portray their uniqueness. I tend to simplify my designs, especially my greeting cards, because I feel like the typical greeting card tries to put too many words in your mouth and complicates the message. I want people to feel like they can embellish a card with their own words, I’m just helping them get started.

Teresa Katherine JL-skullsock

5. What kind of design tools do you need to keep your businesses running on a daily basis?
I use the Adobe Creative Cloud (mostly the big 3, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) for digital work and most of my creations start as a sketch with pencil and paper. I think it’s important to flesh out ideas rapidly this way first before starting on the computer. I also bring a lot of watercolor into my designs so I always have those supplies around for when I want to add that element of texture.

6. Why did you decide to separate both businesses rather than keep them under one single design label offering different services?
I started out with the two business under one umbrella but it was confusing for me (and I’m sure my audiences) to market my products and services. I was simultaneously trying to reach a highly technical audience and appeal to the ‘modern host’ like event planners, brides and individuals looking for paper goods. Once I split the two brands, it’s been much easier to focus my messaging.

Teresa Katherine IMG_3957

7. How important is digital marketing to your business?
Very important, I know my audience is on Pinterest and social media looking for inspiration for their projects or they are at their computer completing a paper and looking for resources. Some of the scientific magazines and journals may be useful for advertising but most people simply don’t have the time to read a magazine cover to cover on a regular basis.

8. What kind of custom work can you do for your clients in both of your businesses?
TeresaKatherine Designs: branding, website design, infographics, presentation design, conference materials.
Boutique by TeresaKatherine: invitations, stationery, monograms, watercolor art.

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TeresaKatherine Designs
9. Can you explain your process for working with the client? Which of those steps do you consider the most important?
Discussion, research, design, production, follow-up

10. What do you think is most important to know when branding or rebranding a business?
The goals/vision for the brand coupled with their audience or following. These 2 pieces have to work together.

Teresa Katherine skribblez-bc

Black Paper with Embossing and Hologram Foiling designed by TeresaKatherine Designs and printed by MorningPrint

 

 

11. Can you go into more specifics into your Total Branding service?
Often when businesses ask for a logo, they really need a brand created or updated. Your logo is one piece of your brand identity but how it is used and what colors and fonts used across all visuals are what make up a brand. I created this package service to incorporate all aspects of a brand and the touch points a customer will interact visually with a business. The logo may catch someone’s eye but the cohesiveness of a website and business cards, presentations, etc will signal whether or not a company has their identity defined. The better defined your identity, the better you can market to your target
audience and therefore close deals or attract customers.

12. What kind of work is considered as Event Collateral?
I define ‘events’ as professional conferences, business meetings, networking events or corporate dinners. The collaterals can range from programs to large format signage, place cards or even invitations.

Teresa Katherine tegrex-logo

13. How do you decide which vendors will be best to use for your client’s needs?
I worked at a local print and marketing agency during and after completing my design certificate and gained immense industry knowledge about the capabilities of various printing methods and turnaround times. When I choose a new vendor I consider what types of services they offer and usually request paper or product samples when available. After running a small or test job then I decide if this is a vendor I’d like to continue to work with. The quality, price, and turnaround are all important factors to
consider. Some clients prioritize speed over materials, which I take into consideration when generating timelines and making recommendations. Social media groups are also good references for print vendors.

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Boutique by TeresaKatherine

14. Do you have a design philosophy for your weddings and stationery business?

I still incorporate my ‘discussion, research, design, production’ philosophy but present it in a different way. I want to get to know my client and hear their story for the wedding/party/special event so I can find ways to incorporate special elements into their designs. The inspiration board is a visual representation of my research; since Pinterest is a huge platform for searching for wedding and party ideas, I present the inspiration board as a customized ‘Pinterest’ board for their event since it’s a familiar way to gather ideas. Once my client and I are on the same page for the ‘vision’ I start the design process and give them 2 options to consider.

15. How do you decide what kind of watercolor paintings to do?
They are usually personal choices that have meaning for the intended gift recipient (ie a watercolor of the Rotunda at The University of Virginia for a friend graduating from the Classics department). If the painting is not a specific gift, then I choose objects that I find interesting or challenging to paint.

Teresa Katherine apple watercolors

16. How much of a processing time should your clients leave for their stationery needs before their event?
Outside of full wedding suite design, I recommend a minimum of 2 weeks for the design process and 1-2 weeks for production and delivery. The design process depends not only on me but also on the client providing the necessary information and feedback in a timely manner.

17. Specifically regarding weddings, which type of paper do you advise brides to portion most of their budget on: Save the Dates, Invitations, Menu Cards or Thank Yous?
If they want luxury, then I suggest to invest their budget in the invitation suite as this is the crux of their paper goods experience. The other pieces can still portray a quality, luxurious image without needing to incorporate letterpress, foil stamping, etc.

Teresa Katherine YSP-menusflat

Photo credit goes to: You See Photography

 

 

18. Can you go into more detail regarding your Monogram signs?
Working with a CNC machine sparked my imagination for all the types of materials I could make signage out of. Whether I digitize my own lettering or choose a font I love, the outline of the letterforms is cut out of plexi glass and sometimes adhered to panel that frames the letterform. For solid colors I’ll use spray paint to achieve a flat look; for the wood grain texture, I used a stiff bristled brush with acrylic and metallic paint. The 2 pieces are adhered using heavy duty double-sided tape.

19. How do you decide which vendors to recommend to your clients?
For printers, it’s based on materials/printing methods available, quality, and price. For event planners, photographers and florists, it’s pricing and personality as these people will work closely with my clients to bring their vision to life.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Designing a Business Card

Creating the right business card for your business is not a simple task. It is not just about creating a unique design, it has to be the right design which not only represents your business, but will also serve it’s purpose of carrying information. Here are some tips from MorningPrint of what to keep in mind when designing your business card.

business card design blue saint james

Make Your Information the Star
Keep your information the focal point of your design by incorporating large fonts. Make sure the coloring is not too subtle, so that it stands out from the background. We also recommend using simple, crisp fonts over fancy or complicated ones. By keeping the text information the focal point of your card, you are ensuring that your information is successfully passed on through your business card. If you must use a smaller or thinner font, then we strongly recommend using stamped Foiling on your text to ensure legibility.

business card design pink die cut

Research before you buy
Each printing company has their own requirements for submitting files for printing. However, most printing companies use CMYK ink. Therefore, your design should be set to CMYK color settings.
You should also keep in mind that commercial printers require a good quality printing file. That means the resolution of your design should be set to at least 300 dpi. A low quality printing file leads to bad prints jobs, like blurriness.

business card design checkers

Try incorporating your branding into your card
Integrating your company’s brand into your business card is an easy way to promote your company’s message. You can do this by using the company colors or by using a certain font of your text. If you have the space, you can also incorporate small design elements that will accentuate your information. For example, the above card is for a beauty salon and they incorporate lips into their business card.

business card design black paper

Have a reason to use special effects
Every so often we get a client who wants to use Foiling, Spot UV, and Embossing all on one side of their design. It seems to be a common misconception that the more special effects used makes your card more special. The opposite is actually true. Too many special effects can be distracting from the information of your business card.

Follow the example for the business card above, which is for a graphic designer. He has Black Paper, which only allows foiling for his information. Since his text is foiled, he used a smaller font. And he kept the main focus on his laser cut logo. It is simple and natural.

business card design one and only

Rely on the material itself
If you stay patient and use your time researching the different products that we offer, you will able to pick up on which type of paper or plastic is best suited to your design.
For example the above card uses Heavy Nouveau paper with Bronze Foiling, Blind Press Embossing and a Hole Punch. But when you look at the card, you are still able to see the elegant, creamy white characteristics of the paper.

What You Need to Know: Gold Plastic Family

Our second metallic plastic family are our Gold Plastics. Like our Silver Plastic Family, our Gold Plastics are made of PET material. PET material is an environmentally friendly plastic. As such, our Gold Plastic Family is ultra thin, flexible, waterproof and difficult to break. They all share some similar qualities, which I have listed out below:

1. All our Gold Plastic Family have some sort of reflection or shimmer characteristic.
2. Due to the strong gold coloring, it is important to note that the final printing will be altered
3. The Gold Plastic Family has round corners.
4. The best color to use on all our Gold Plastics is black, because this metallic plastic family has a rich coloring.

Gold Plastic

Gold Plastic is a solid metallic gold plastic and is highly reflective with a rich gold coloring. It is unable to print white ink, meaning that any aspect of your design which incorporates white will show the metallic gold of the plastic card. The designs which work well with this plastic card are large and simple. The type of styles which go best with the characteristics of this card are geometric and art deco. Such simplistic and angular designs allow the boldness of the card stand out without being overwhelmed. Although black is the best coloring for this type of plastic stock, it would do well to keep in mind that bright greens and reds print well against the gold coloring of this card.

Gold Plus Plastic-white

Gold Plus Plastic is the most customizable silver plastic we offer. This card is made up exactly like the Gold Plastic, the only difference being it has a white rectangle allowing it to print white ink. Due to the strong coloring of the Gold Plus Plastic, the white rectangle is not a bright, crisp white. It is actually an off-white with a pinkish undertone.

 

Although it automatically comes as a plastic card with a white rectangle and gold border, the white ink is highly customizable. The white ink can be isolated to certain areas of your design, revealing the gold plastic on the rest of your card. Unless one is skilled at Photoshop or Illustrator, we would recommend contracting a designer to create a custom white ink design for you for our Gold Plus Plastic cards.

Gold Pearl Plastic

Gold Pearl Plastic is smooth to the touch, but covered in glitter. A slightly brighter gold compared to the other gold plastics it still darkens the shade of any color printed on it. Due to the blend of the sparkle and gold coloring, black ink against the Gold Pearl Plastic is enough to stand out without looking busy. No white ink is possible on this plastic, meaning that the glittery gold will be revealed in place of any white aspect of your design.

Sheer Gold Pearl Plastic

Sheer Gold Pearl Plastic is a transparent card with a bright gold coloring and shimmer. The amount of its transparency alters greatly depending under which light you hold it under. Under some lighting it is as transparent as its counterpart in the silver plastic family. In other lighting situations this plastic stock looks almost solid due to the strong coloring and bold shimmer. It still shows objects directly in front of it with great clarity. We recommend avoiding thin, and light colored designs because they will not be visible against this color. This plastic does not print any white ink, any part of your design with white ink will reveal the gold color stock.
Click here to watch a video of the transparency of our Sheer Gold Pearl Plastic.

Creating a Professional Holiday Card

Glossy Gold Foiling Holiday Card

Designing the right holiday card for your business can be tricky. You want your cards to be festive without losing the professionalism of your work. Elements of a professional holiday card will keep your company culture in mind and has a warm holiday message for everyone; whether it is your colleagues, employees or customers. Some holiday messages to consider are: Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Warmest Wishes, and Holiday Greetings. If possible try to represent your business with your design. For example, a baker can have a design involving a tray of holiday treats and a caterer can feature a warm holiday meal.

Fun Holiday Card

4×6 Postcard in Standard Coated 14pt Matte

It would be advisable to also have a festive, neutral and professional design for your corporate holiday cards. We, at MorningPrint, noticed that reserved designs are most commonly used in creating professional holiday cards. That is not entirely necessary. With the use of warm colors and a familiar setting, a holiday card can be professional with a warm and even intimate design.
For example:
A cup of hot chocolate near a warm fireplace
A tray of holiday cookies
Mittens, scarves and gloves
A cartoon of pets in scarves

If these types of images do not fit in with your business, perhaps a more general winter design can suit your needs.
For example:
Sleigh bells with ribbons
Starry night sky over a forest in winter
Snowman
Snow falling

Heavy Star Dream Holiday Card

5×7 Heavy Star Dream

If this does not properly represent your business, then consider a geometric design. For example:
Geometric designs are always professional.
Pine needle with branches and leaves motif
A close up of a snowflake, showing many intricate details
Fireworks
In a fancy font, write “Happy Holidays” or “Happy New Year” in different languages.

Those interested in creating holiday cards for their business can use our postcard sizes, 4×6 and 5×7. Our postcards can be made with a fold in them so your holiday cards will need to be opened, like a gift from you.

 

Folded Holiday Card

Vertical Folded 5×7 Postcard Standard Coated 14pt Matte with Glossy Silver Foiling

Some special papers to choose from are:
Star Dream/Heavy Star Dream: Festive metallic papers with a gold dust shine. These papers have a warm and celebratory feeling. Raised ink will stand out against this sparkling paper.
Vintage Kraft: A naturally brown paper best suited for vintage or more casual designs. Foiling, especially red foiling really pops against this paper.

Vintage Kraft Holiday Card

5×7 Vintage Kraft Postcard with Red Foiling

Heavy Linen: The most professional paper, with the brightest white while being upscale and fresh. This paper tends to look extra special with foiling or raised ink.
Heavy Nouveau: Our most elegant paper in a creamy white. Embossing will add to the professionalism of your holiday cards.

Holiday Partyu Holiday Card

4×6 Standard Coated 14pt Matte with Glossy Gold Foiling

Heavy Silky Matte: An elegant paper with a silky touch that allows fingers to glide across the paper. For a holiday card, we recommend considering using foiling or embossing with this paper.
Aquarelle: A watercolor paper which displays warm colors and watercolor styles which look intimate. Looks beautiful with just ink.

Glossy Silver Foiling Holiday Card

5×7 Standard Coated 20pt Matte with Glossy Silver Foiling

Standard Coated papers: Silky feeling paper with a soft laminate shine. Involves our thickest postcard, at 20 pt and the 14pt Matte can use Spot UV for a visual shine.

We hope this article gave some guidance in how to create a professional yet festive holiday card.

Vintage Kraft Holiday Card 2

4×6 Vintage Kraft

Product Feature: MorningPrint’s Vintage Kraft Card Stock

Our Vintage Kraft card stock continues to  grow in popularity at MorningPrint —  especially among those fan-dangled hipsters in their bow ties and combat boots — so we thought we’d offer our two cents on what we think works best on this stock, what you should avoid and what you can do to achieve your best result.

The first thing you should know about our Vintage Kraft stock is that it’s a friend to the trees. That’s right: this card stock is made from 100% recycled paper. This is a good time to stop and pat yourself on the back for being a good citizen of the world.

Blogpost - VintageKraft2

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