Friday, 20 December 2013

Ho ho ho, merry christmas and to all a good night..!

A little yearly review - 2013...
I've had a really exciting year in terms of my design work... from working on some lovely branding projects, to some really cool animation briefs and also trying my hand at selling some goodies at craft fairs. A highlight this year has been launching the Skillshare class The Art of Typography. Teaching online was new territory for me and one I really wanted to do justice. I've been overwhelmed by the positive response to the class and the projects the students have been working on. And as we close the year, there's over 500 students on the course - something I never imagined saying! I do my best to offer feedback on everyone's project as I think it's really important the students get some communication between them and the teacher.


Another highlight for me was/is the amazing contributions to #adventchallenge2013. Each day I set a new theme or object for people to do something creative with. Please see the below post here to check out days 1-16. I'll do another update after christmas. 

So, that just leaves me to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and 2014. Have a jolly old time and may 2014 bring you everything you could wish for. Our biggest wish will be coming along in the form of a little sister (most probably!) for our toddler Harrison in April. Exciting times ahead!

What do you wish for in 2014? 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Advent challenge Days 1-16

I have to be honest, I've been totally amazed at some of your designs and submissions to Advent Challenge this year! Beautiful, creative, inspiring and unique... here's just a little taster that should get you feeling festive. Thanks to everyone, of all ages who are taking part - I love tuning into facebook, twitter and instagram to see your daily works of art!


Day 1 - Robin

Kicking us off with a very cute Robin is Jan Shepherd of Patternmuse. The Embroidery School even made him into a cute pattern you can download.



Day 2 - Santa's letter
There were some fabulous illustrations for Santa's letter. However this verse from Ruth Ellis (Makey Cakey) was such a unique and creative addition to the Advent Challenge I just had to share it here!


 Day 3 - stars
Yes please!! Mini Rockpool Trading fan, aged 3 (who is becoming quite well known on twitter!) helped make these gorgeous looking brownies. 


 Day 4 - Cake
Good enough to eat! Lovely christmas cake from Jessica Lewis. The robin keeps making an appearance in her beautiful designs since day 1!


 Day 5 - Gingerbread man
A fab gingerbread man from instagram challenger Banburycakes!


 Day 6 - Angel
Maike Thoma of Patternjots, has completely embraced #adventchallenge2013 and has created some quite simply stunning designs! She has even set up a pinterest board dedicated to the challenge showcasing a number of talented designers. Loving her angel!


 Day 7 - Snowglobe
Fabulous snowglobe from Sonia at Apple Kaur Designs. You can also check out lots of her other designs on the pinterest board.


 Day 8 - Favourite christmas song
Miss AT on twitter has been a supporter of Advent Challenge since last years doodle challenge. I love her simple use of typography to lay out the lyrics from her favourite christmas song. 


video
Are you ready for some serious cuteness? Logan Grew decided to sing his favourite christmas song for our first Advent Challenge video! This is what it's all about :)


 Day 9 - Christmas tree
It's beginning to feel a lot like christmas!! This made my smile, Christmas Tree from Jen Handbury. 


 Day 10 - Snow
Another wonderful design from Maike at Patternjots for day 10 - snow!


 Day 11 - Elf
The very talented, Lesley Todd of Finch Five is doing her own Advent Challenge, but I was thrilled to see she had managed to synch up a few days with #adventchallenge2013. To see her wonderful set of illustrations take a look on her facebook page here.


 Day 12 - Favourite christmas word
I've become a big fan of Slumbermonkey's designs (aka Lindsay Buck) since taking part in a Christmas card swap with her. I love the bright happy colours and shapes against the darker background for Day 12. 


 Day 13 - A Winter's Scene
The adults were set lose on the play mobil to create this fun winters scene from Ruth Ellis. 


 Day 14 - Cracker
Love this!! The Grew family have been taking part in Advent Challenge on facebook... and their eldest son Logan was the star of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer rendition above. I love their youngest, Caspian, in the middle of the cracker. 


 Day 15 - Bauble
I knew Victoria Johnson was taking part but when she sent me a whole batch of her designs so far I was astounded - they are quite beautiful. Keep up to date with her work on her blog.


 Day 16 - Snowman
Another beaut from Slumbermonkey!


Julie Hamilton
Julie Hamilton of Artistically Afflicted is creating a captivating page of all the items... I love her drawing style.


 Pinterest board
Just a little taster of the fabulous pinterest board set up by Maike Thoma. 


Thanks to everyone who is taking part this year! It brightens up my day seeing what you are all creating. And for anyone who still wants to take part, join in whenever you like - even if you decide to just do 1 or 2. All details are here. I'll try to do another update before christmas and then a full round up after. 



Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Exciting skillshare challenge!

I'm really pleased to announce an exciting challenge in collaboration with my good friend, fellow designer and skillshare teacher Majo Bautista V. We are hosting a Valentine's Challenge. 


So what's the project about?
Design your perfect Valentine's card and matching gift wrap paper. Enrolling in both courses will give you all the skills you need to do the challenge!
Guidelines // to participate you must:
1. Submit your final project to both classrooms (or just one), but remember you have to be signed up to both courses to win! - use code LOVE40 to get 40% off when you enroll Reign Repeats and The Art of Typography. 
2. Create a coordinated greeting card and a patterned gift wrap design
3. Deadline: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Majo and I will take the weekend to choose 10 of our favourite projects each. On Tuesday, February 11th we will post our top 20 on this blog and Majo's. We will award 2 first places that will be chosen by Majo and I based on design quality and overall coherence between both the card and the gift wrap. The 2nd and 3rd place will be chosen by public vote on our blogs from Feb 11th until the 17th. On February 18th we will announce the 4 winners.
Prizes:
Two 1st places will win:
2nd and 3rd place will choose their choice of these 2 books:
Each of the winners will also win a set of 4 of my typographic celebration cards:
And a free digital download from Majo's Etsy shop
Have lots of fun with this one guys!! We want to see you utilise all the skills you learn from both classes. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Skillshare class - Winter Wonderland Challenge

I recently set a fun challenge in my skillshare class The Art of Typography. I asked the students to design a festive greeting card where the emphasis was on the typography. I was really surprised by the variety of submissions and found it a lot more difficult to judge than I thought I would... 


1st place
Nicola Jones of Gooseberrymoon designed this card that I chose as the first place. What caught my eye was the cheerful nature of the typography. Even though the type colour is dark it works really well against the red pattern. I also felt it could easily be extended into a whole range of wrapping paper and gift tags. Nicola received a pack of 25 of her very own cards printed. 



2nd place
I was torn between 3 designs for the 2nd place... What impressed me most about Mel Paul's (from The Original Thread) design is the process and message. Sometimes, as a designer, I find myself lost for words but I really like the sentiment of the wording here. And also the process Mel went through to design this card. As you can see in the image below she cut out all the lettering to make a stamp. I'm amazed at how well she did this and keeping the kerning in order!
Mel wins a pack of 10 of her cards printed.




As you'll now see from some of the designs below, it was a difficult choice judging!


This stunning card from Bonnie Peters would make a perfect christmas card. Whilst I really liked the hand drawn lettering what really catches my eye with this card is the fabulous photo (that Bonnie took herself). 


I love the simplicity and simple messaging of this design by Danielle Perry. I think it could easily be made into a set of 4 cards using a similar style. Great work Danielle!



Another fun design from Hande Karaaslan. I can see this working on gift tags too. 



This joyful design by Liz Perez used a nice approach of mixing English and Spanish. I wonder if it could be extended to include some more languages.



Happy Holidays by Mark Morris was my husband's favourite (he's a designer too!). I love the way Mark got the word Happy to act like a ribbon around the word Holidays. 



Since launching the course I've found it fascinating to see everyone's different styles and when I saw Mei Ling Chan's design above my eyes really lit up! I think it's such a unique approach to a Christmas card, and whilst it might not be to everyone's taste there's a whole market who would absolutely love this design!



I love the way Sara Fabbro incorporated a Christmas tree shape into her message using hand drawn lettering. Great fun!



I think Sarah Book chose some perfect typefaces for her striking design. I can really imagine this on the shop shelf along with a few more designs in the collection. 


What's your favourite design?
I'll be holding another challenge soon in my class. If you would like to sign up I'm offering 25% off with the code XMAS25, so you can learn all about The Art of Typography for only $15 (about £10). 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Advent Challenge 2013

It's almost December, can you believe it?! So last year we had Advent Doodle, this year it's opened up to Advent Challenge... For each day on the run up to Christmas I've given you a theme or object to illustrate, paint, photograph, make - whatever you want. You might only do a couple of days or you might decide to do each day and create a wonderful calendar at the end of it - why not get the kids involved too? Last year a teacher got her class to play along. 
If you would like to share your creations use the hashtag #adventchallenge2013 on social media such as twitter and instagram. I'll retweet and possibly feature your mini masterpieces on this blog. 
Have fun everyone!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas Card Swap 2013

I'll be honest, I got my Just My Type card range printed just before Christmas last year which meant all my family and friends got them for Christmas! I added a new addition to the range this year but I thought it was time my loved ones deserved something different... I could get some of my other designs printed but that seemed too easy and too predictable. So I did a shout out on facebook and twitter and asked if any fellow creatives fancied a little card swap this year!! And I was so pleased with the positive responses I received. I was after 3-4 people to swap with but got 5 which is a perfect number I think. So my family and friends will now be receiving some of these little beauties for christmas...

Striking hand finished cards designed by Made by Mrs M otherwise known as Kate Marsden



Beautifully detailed handmade cards by MissyCards. A good friend of mine has just given birth so Baby's First Christmas will be sent to a good home!


A great selection received from Say It Hand Made. I love the Christmas Tree!


I love Lindsay Bucks style, based upon collage cut outs of shapes that were created with hand drawn elements and digitally arranged. You can purchase her cards here.


And finally Emma Frances's exquisite illustrative cards. Check out her Etsy store where you can also purchase matching gift tags. 


Have any of you taken part in a similar swap or skills swap? It was so nice checking the post each morning to see if I had received a new package. I'd really recommend you trying it and letting us know how it goes :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Word cloud


I've recently been working on the branding for the online running support group Run Mummy Run. It's been a great fun project to work on. When Leanne asked if I could do something like a word cloud for their banners I jumped at the chance. I like word clouds, but only done a christmas tree one before. There's a lot of bad and good examples around on the internet. 
My advice is 'don't try to hard.' Keep it simple, limit your typefaces and colours otherwise it can get messy. 
I used the typeface Rockwell for this to match the logo. Variety can be achieved by changing the weights, light, regular and bold. And picking 2-3 colours or tints. 

And the winners are...!

Thanks to everyone who entered The Big Card Giveaway on here, facebook and twitter. The winners have been chosen at random thanks to a random name picker on the internet(!).
Lisa Rivas wins the Christmas pack
Sarah-Jayne Platt wins the Greetings pack
Rowena Grew wins the Santa pack

I've just got some pocket mirrors and fridge magnets delivered which I'm so happy with... so I'll be running another competition nearer christmas to win a few of them!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Big Card Giveaway - Part 3 Santa's Pack

I've got a big giveaway happening with a chance to win 3 different sets of cards and greetings. The final giveaway is this letter to Santa along with a pack of 8 thank you notes.


All you need to do to enter is comment on this post AND then go to my facebook page, like and share the post entitled The Big Card Giveaway Santa... If you could also leave a comment on there letting me know you've done that it will be easier to track you down if you win!

For an extra entry into each giveaway, twitter users can post something like the following (just make sure you add @fayebrowndesign so I know you've entered and include the link to my blog) 
"I've entered The Big Card Giveaway with @fayebrowndesign - I fancy the Santa's pack, what about you? http://www.fayebrowndesigns.blogspot.co.uk/"

You can enter each giveaway once, feel free to tweet more if you really want to! Winners will be announced a week today on the 6th November 2013. 

If you aren't lucky enough to win, please follow my facebook page where there will be some really good christmas offers coming up very soon! 


The Big Card Giveaway - Part 2 Greetings collection

I've got a big giveaway happening with a chance to win 3 different sets of cards and greetings. The second is the Greetings collection (8 pack) celebrating the launch of my new designs 'Congratulations' and 'Birthday blue' which I should be getting back from the printers next week!



All you need to do to enter is comment on this post AND then go to my facebook page, like and share the post entitled The Big Card Giveaway Greetings... If you could also leave a comment on there letting me know you've done that it will be easier to track you down if you win!
For an extra entry into each giveaway, twitter users can post something like the following (just make sure you add @fayebrowndesign so I know you've entered and include the link to my blog) 

"I've entered The Big Card Giveaway with @fayebrowndesign - I fancy the Greetings collection, what about you? http://www.fayebrowndesigns.blogspot.co.uk/"

You can enter each giveaway once, feel free to tweet more if you really want to! Winners will be announced a week today on the 6th November 2013. 

If you aren't lucky enough to win, please follow my facebook page where there will be some really good christmas offers coming up very soon!