letter inspiration

Letter inspiration | dotted design

Monday morning found its way back again! I am kicking off the week in search of some inspiration for beautiful letters (of the alphabet; not what you write on stationery, for once!). I love monograms, but I also love creating alternate logos for brands that they can use for stationery, blog graphics, or just as a signature symbol.

Searching A to Z, these letters really caught my eye as some creative work. Usually, I’m caught up in finding the right balance for a particular word or phrase, so it was fun to look deeper and consider single letters.

Hopefully getting back to the basics gets you inspired to start your week!

images via: H A A V B B R Q 

get mugged.

Mugged dotted design

When I go to bed each night, I think about how excited I am to get up and have my bowl of cereal and coffee. For those mornings when I am feeling unmotivated, a sassy mug always does the trick! Whether coffee or tea is your, well, cup of tea, I’ve rounded up some of the cutest mugs around for almost any taste:

octagonal mug, kohl’s
dot pop, anthropologie
elsa cup, crate & barrel
striped mug, brika
potter’s workshop, west elm
say the word crossword, kate spade
monogram, kate spade
bird party, crate & barrel [seriously, bird party!!]
owl mug, west elm
pig mug, macy’s
mrs fancy pants, ashley brooke designs
greek key mug, jonathan adler

new cards in the shop!

dotted design wedding cards

With wedding season in full swing, it was high time I got some more wedding cards into the shop! In coordination with the rest of my collection, I employed dots (of course) and just a bit of wit. Each is on a different paper, and one in the prettiest mustard yellow.

SHOP the Paper Shop here!

Plus, as a thank you for reading my blog, save 10% on anything in the shop with the code NEW10.

I’d love to know: what types of cards are missing in your collection?

 

tips to build a strong brand.

tips for building a strong brand | dotted design

Today, I’m sharing a few pointers for building a strong and memorable brand. It’s something you can employ whether you’re just starting out or already in the thick of things!

  • Shout about what makes you extraordinary.

Think back to why you started your business, whether that was several years ago or last week. What drove you begin? Likely, it was because you felt you had something to offer the world, whether it was a product, a service, or yourself. What makes you just that bit different than your competitor?

Maybe you are an illustrator. There are tons of illustrators out there – what would make someone choose your service? You might be kick-ass at drawing faces or using pastels. If you’re a web designer (again, tons of us), you might be really awesome at designing functional sites for restaurants or unique styles for blogs. Whatever it is that makes your heart sing will help your business soar.

 

  • Look to industries outside your own for inspiration.

Inspiration is everywhere. You may end up finding yourself closed in if you are only looking within your industry for ideas! That is where we get stuck copying or too-close-for-comfort iterations. For example, I doubt that if you are reading this, you own an airline company. However, Southwest is an awesome example of a very cohesive, strong brand. Everything from their website to their safety cards to their coffee cups display the Southwest personality and look. Your business may not have safety cards, but you can use the inspiration of their thorough cohesive branding as a model.

 

  • Be willing to try something new, but don’t ignore best practices.

The fastest way to become out of touch is to get stuck in a rut or do something because you’ve “always done it.” The best brands are those that are always trying to innovate and make their businesses better. That being said, don’t lose your sensibility! There are certain times when it doesn’t pay to try something different. Make sure you are considering the standards of your industry and what you audience is going to expect.

One example could be with email marketing. Currently, studies say that most email campaigns are opened between 2-5pm on weekdays, with Tuesday and Thursday being the most popular days. Trying to stand out and choosing to send an email campaign on a Saturday at 8pm would be a silly idea! Sure, there won’t be many marketing emails going out at that time – but your audience won’t be reading. Trying a Monday or Wednesday would be a more logical experiment. Bottom line: don’t be different just for the sake of being different.

 

  •  Strive for timeless, not trendy.

“Oh my gosh, everyone has handwritten logos in black and white – I must get one!!” is not something you should think. It’s so tempting to hop on trend bandwagons, especially when it is a style you also happen to love. But, in order to avoiding a rebranding project every year or two, work really hard to build a brand that speaks to you business and your dream clients – not the latest styles on Pinterest. As Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

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What are some ways you have employed intention in your brand? I’d love to hear more ideas!

 

4 for the Fourth!

4 Treats for the Fourth | dotted design

Ah, it’s always so lovely when a national holiday falls so nicely on a Friday, making for a summery long weekend. It’s the perfect excuse to have a barbeque or at least have a festive drink. Here are four treats to make your Fourth a bit more sparkly!

1) strawberry basil gin & tonic, a cozy kitchen with a patriotic straw: G&Ts are typically my drink of choice for the summertime. Throwing in some sweet berries and herb-y basil makes my mouth absolutely water! (Pink and green is almost like red and blue, right?)

2) red, white & blueberry trifle, skinnytaste: A gem from one of my favorite food blogs, this trifle would be the perfect light dessert for any gathering.

3) blackberry, rosemary & yogurt ice pops, food52: I officially declare this the summer of the fancy popsicle. I can’t open my Pinterest feed without finding some crazy concoction on a stick. This one looks just to die for. (As my husband would attest, I am obsessed with rosemary as of late!) You could even add a layer of a red yogurt to make them little more festive.

4) Happy Fourth! printable download: A little freebie from me to you! Perfect for any table or gift bag as you celebrate.

What are your plans for the holiday weekend? Hope it is lovely!

 

styling with circle mirrors.

circle mirrors | dotted design

One of things I’ve been loving as I see it more and more on Pinterest is the circle mirror. There is something so neat and clean about circles that always makes me happy. I love them as singles; I love them in groups. The curves add such a nice contrast to the square edges that so many other wall items and furniture pieces have! Mirrors are also such a great way to make a small room feel more open and spacious.

circle mirrors | dotted design

Would you try some circles in your home?

images: 
paloma mirror, pottery barn
house beautiful
leather mirror, dwell
round venetian, ethan allen

share design
running lawyer
chantily mirror, the land of nod
circle mirror set, kirkland’s

recent work: Media Bombshell brand & website design.

I’m so excited to share a new branding & web design project today! From the very first conversation I had with Ellie, I could tell she was bursting with life and enthusiasm for her business, Media Bombshell. She had recently filmed a new intro video for her business, which made her realize she was ready for a fresh look in both her brand and her website.

Ellie works with business owners to discover the power of their voice and speak confidently about their business, whether it be to their target audience, in a media interview, or on stage. With a background as an NBC reporter and spokesperson, she offers one-on-one services and is now expanding to have group offerings. As she put it, she wants “to be starting a mini revolution around language.” Sounds pretty inspiring to me!

We began crafting an identity that would convey savvy, professional, and sophisticated, but with lots of personality and bright color. Her old logo and photography had a bit more of a vintage vibe to it, and she wanted to make it feel more modern and fresh.

Media Bombshell styleguide | dotted design

For her homepage, she wanted her new video to be front and center, as well as move her blog feed to the front. She wanted a clean aesthetic to keep it professional, and we used pops of color and lots of dots to keep it playful and energetic.

Media Bombshell web design | dotted design

Be sure to visit Media Bombshell and see what Ellie is all about! She is a delight to work with. And, you can read a bit about her redesign experience in her blog post.

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PS If you are looking to liven up your logo or rethink your homepage, I’m currently booking for July! Drop me a line – I’d love to hear your story!