Family Tree

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Family Tree

Recently I created a stationary template for a client planning a large family reunion. The set needed to include invitations, personal stationary and photo page templates.  It was a blast to create, here’s a few bits of the process I went through while designing this stationary pack.

The client wanted something to resemble “family” and include an impression of it growing and having generations to come.  A family tree – what a fantastic way to illustrate a growing family. This became starting point for this stationary logo design.

Doing some research, my eye was caught by an image seen on Pinterest by Inspiring Pretty.   The digital family tree I created evolved from this and other pictures I saw.  See it here!

In Adobe Illustrator, my favorite Adobe program, I began creating this tree in one color for ease of transferring the template from invitations to stationary and for the purpose of a simple, elegant and sophisticated look.

Getting started I created the trunk and then a few leaves.  I changed the size of leave just slightly as I arranged them on the tree, adding more and more until the tree was full.  Here’s how it turned out.

 

 

I loved the simplicity.  It can go with so many titles.  Here’s an example:

 

This graphic is so versatile.  I increase the image size and fit it on a 38″ X 54″ blanket throw. Perfect for a wedding/anniversary gift or a family reunion raffle!

 

I had a lot of fun creating this digital family tree. If you have any questions or to get a copy of this image, contact me at pixelthin.com.

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Holiday Cheer

It’s the holidays!  Are you wondering what to wear for that nice but casual holiday party.  It’s a crazy time to think about your attire.  Department stores are super busy, Amazon orders don’t arrive in time.

My suggestion:  go stylishly simple.

You may even have something in your closet that a new necklace or scarf will spruce up.  Or, try this not too fancy but nice (and may we add comfy) festive sweatshirt!

This one is designed by our in house designer and ready for your holiday festivities.

Have a great holiday!
And remember, your satisfaction of our designs purchased through Zazzle.com are guaranteed!

Shop & Create on Zazzle

 

 


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Cool Safari Wear

We love to design new and creative things.  Our latest, the safari elephant!  Simple and bold. If you are looking for a great gift for the holidays, summer or back-to-school then check this out.  We love the way this new design makes a simply fantastic outfit.

Designed by Pixelthin and printed at Zazzle — your satisfaction is guaranteed!

 

Paired with these leggings!  What a match.
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 See other gifts available on Zazzle.

Custom Tank Tops

*I use affiliate links in this blog and get compensation when you click and buy.  -Thank you!

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Common Ground: Graphic Design vs Interior Design

Picking the color of paint for my front door and stair way wall is a current project of mine.  The thought crossed my mind of how similar the process of choosing a color/style for my wall is to designing the color/style of my webpage.

It can seem quite stressful to make a decision that you’ll have to live with for the foreseeable future.  Change is doable.  But, you will lose time and money if you don’t like the outcome – and it can be super frustrating! So to avoid the frustrations, here are a few tricks of the design trade that will help you in whatever design avenue you are venturing in.

First – Know yourself

Deciding on a wall color seems pretty simple.   Any color seems like it would do.  You could even just consider painting it the same color as it was previously or just white!  Realistically, if we take a minute to look inside ourselves, usually we like change, or certain moods, feelings and environments.  I tend to like a simple, light, uplifting mood and color for my wall.  Similarly, when you design a website, it needs to be something that you like looking at.  It needs to create the mood and feeling you like to see.  Even if it sounds a little giddy — it needs to make you happy!

So, do some research.  Look at all different kinds of rooms (magazines, Pinterest, furniture stores, etc) to find a mood and color you like.  Alternately, for web design, look at lots of websites and find the ones that pull you in, make you want to stay a while.  Then, note these findings.  Keep them in a journal or reference file.  And with these findings, in a small way, you know yourself.

Second – Motif

Keeping a motif  helps you to stick to a style and keep your design cohesive.  A motif is a distinctive feature or idea in design that forms a pattern or decorative design.  With a wall, this may be the texture, pattern or gloss of the paint.  In web design, this would be the theme or reoccurring patterns on your site that help it be cohesive.  For example, your site might display these preview cards on each page to help navigate your reader.  Or, your header could be displayed in the same fashion on each page.  There needs to be something consistent that blends the design and helps it all come together.

Third – Balance

Balance should be considered in every design you encounter.  Balance is affected by the lines, shapes, colors, even textures that are present.  So, to achieve balance in your design you need to understand the ‘weight’ of objects. Dark colors are heavier and should be used comparatively less then light colors to achieve a balance.  Heavy lines on one side need to be counteracted by several smaller lines on the opposite sides. This creates balance without things being exactly symmetrical.   (Although symmetrical is a good way to balance a design too.)

When designing a webpage, balance can be achieved by creating ‘white space’.  White space is actually just that.  Space with nothing in it.  Blank white parts in a design.  When there’s balance, your eyes see the design as comfortable and pleasing.

Do you want the wall you’re painting to be an accent wall?  Do you want it to lengthen the room?  All these things help to balance out the space and create the mood and environment you are after.

Fourth – Have fun! 

Best of all — Have fun!  Your design shows the world who you are.  Really. Surprisingly, it comes out in your wall color!  It comes out in your business website! It comes out in the color of wardrobe you choose to wear!  There is no reason not to have fun with it. Let design bring out your inner self and  you’ll find your design decisions make you happy!

 


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WIRECONS – Arrows

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Category : Uncategorized

We’ve created a free library of arrows in our Wirecons series of font icons. These arrows are free to download and use in your online space.

 

Download Arrow Icon Library HERE!

 

Enjoy!


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Purpose of Life – Quote Art

When I read this quote I really liked it’s sentiment.

I had a grandmother pass away recently and realized the great importance of finding your gift and sharing it with others!

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Typography Art by Pixelthin

A very introspective quote.  Very thought provoking and will make your ponder your life.

When I started on this typography art, the hardest part (besides finding out who actually stated this statement) was making the layout smoothly join the two phrases into one flowing quote.

I had many drafts with different typography and layouts.  My goal was to first have the two phrases be different so that they each stood out.  Secondly, have them similar enough so they were cohesive.

Whenever I start a project in typography I remind myself of the number one rule:  font use in typography art can have 2  to 3 (but not more than 3) different fonts in any given art piece.  In this ‘Purpose of Life’ piece, I have used 2 fonts:  Kunstler Script and Georgia.

Variations on the same font.  i.e. italics, bold, light, different kerning, etc.  of the same font style is allowed and does not count as a different font type.

I used these two fonts in a variety of ways to enhance their appearance.   In Adobe Illustrator, you also have an option to change the character sizes of height, width, kerning and spacing.  I took advantage of these options in this piece.

As you can see from the draft below, getting the layout like you want is a journey, a work in process.  Here’s what I have to this point.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

A work in progress…

I realized in trying to make the phrases different they did not flow with the reader’s eye.  I eventually worried less about continuity and just simply switched the fonts around.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Getting closer…

Still the readability was not quite what I wanted.  I minimized the space between the two phrases even making the A in ‘away’ just touch the word ‘gift’.  It seems to automatically join the two phrases and make it pop.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Physically joining the two phrases allows the eye to see the continuity and flow of the statement.  At this point, I am happy with my design.

See my design on wood here!

 


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Creating a favicon for your website

It’s amazing that a tiny little image can make a big difference on how your site appears to the viewer.  The tiny icon (favicon) next to your website name on the tab in your browser a small token of your tech savvy design and should not be overlooked.

If you don’t have a favicon for your site, the browser with put up a default icon. Safari displays an blue globe, but most just show a blank document icon:

It’s pretty simple to make a favicon.  Using a program to illustrate and a program to turn your image into a font is all you need–along with your creativity, of course!  Many browsers now accept favicons as .png.   Internet Explorer did not accept .png favicons until IE11.  To be on the save side of all users seeing a favicon on your site, I suggest using an .ico file.

There are many tutorials about setting up the size (16px X 16px) (32px X 32px), etc. for your favicon.  It will depend on what platform you are using it for.  I created a 16px X 16px favicon in this tutorial for simplicity.

I chose to use this for my favicon image:

I created it in illustrator with the font from my logo and saved it as a .png file.   Once you have your .png file created need to take it and upload it at favicon.cc  where your file will be switched to an .ico file.

To do this:  go to www.favicon.cc.  Click on ‘Import Image’ on the left side.  It will bring up an option to browse and then upload your file.  When you’ve done that, it will look like this:

Next, ignoring all the ads on the site to download external things, click on the actual download button to get your ico file.

Favicon.cc will put your icon on their browser tab so you can see what it will look like when you upload it to your own site.   (This is temporary, it will not stay on their site!)

Now, you have the favicon.ico file you need.  Put this in your images directory and direct your html to find the .ico file.  Refreshing your browser and deleting your cookie history will ensure the new favicon shows up on your browser tab.

It’s really that simple and makes your browser tab look sharp.