New Year, New Store

Update December 2015: The store has changed to, please look there instead!

So now it’s 2015. Has been for over a week, in fact. It’s no longer the year in which I graduated, I’ve started doing more freelance work, and—even more exciting—I’ve set up my own online shop for crafts and prints. It’s located on Storenvy.

This shop really is years in the making. Starting around first grade, maybe earlier, I made up my own “business” that I called Katie’s Kreations. I made little crafts such as painted rocks, desktop-printed cards, and some other silly things that only family members would buy because I was a kid. I even made my own business cards. For the next few years in my gifted & talented class, I used desktop publishing to write and design my “logs,” or journals, instead of simply handwriting them.

But it wasn’t until high school that I realized I could put my creativity into use as a graphic designer. Over four years later I’ve now graduated, and I’m sort of back where I started—making designs and crafts to sell—but of course in a much more advanced way.

I started with printed designs that were (and are) printed by another company. Some of them were designed as a part of my classes. After graduation I designed a set of mugs for coffee and tea drinkers that include quotes ranging from literature and pop culture.


I’ve also designed stickers, a few of which were modified from class projects.

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But again, printed items are not the only things in my store—now that I’m out of school I have had more time to do crafting. In the past year I have taken up needle felting and have made several projects with the process, most notably my eco-friendly dryer balls that help finish laundry faster & therefore cheaper.


But I have—and continue to—make paper crafted, felted, and various fiber arts projects.

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And so my store continues to grow every day with new designs and crafts, and I hope I’ll be able to sustain this store for as long as possible, because I really do love it.

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In the Eye of the Beholder: How College Students View Graphic Design

It has been a while since I’ve written anything on this blog, and for good reason. Instead of writing here, I’ve been writing my senior thesis—and it’s finally done. If you don’t want to read a 22 page paper, feel free to view my more concise Prezi presentation.


Thinking of design ideas

I tend to have difficulty trying to create something just for the sake of creating something. For example, if there’s a contest or a class assignment that just says “make a magazine spread about anything,” it takes me a really long time to figure out what “anything” will be. It’s a lot easier for me to be told to make a spread about a specific topic.

I know this probably has to do with creativity, and maybe this means I’m less creative than I’d like to say I am. But I think the root of the problem isn’t just creativity, it’s just that I need some sort of direction to narrow down the possibilities from an infinite number of choices. Infinity is a daunting concept, and I’d much rather avoid it. Besides, when I work for a client I [hopefully] won’t be told to “just make anything,” as the client would at least tell me what the design should be about.

I think this difference can possibly defined as “art” and “communication,” two concepts that divide graphic design and graphic design schools. Many schools put design in their art department, and if I were at one of those I may be better at designing “anything.” But I’m at a school where graphic design is in the communication department, and so I need to have concepts given to me first so I can convey them through design. That’s not to say that art has nothing to communicate, because it certainly does, but the abstract concepts they come from are entirely different.


Selling and buying my own designs

Instead of studying for my only—yet easy—final, I have finally gotten around to putting more of my designs out for people to see and buy. Some I’ve had for a while and just hadn’t done anything except let it sit on my computer, and one was a class project from this past semester.


Today I even took the time to make another design which I’ve been meaning to for a while. This quote is from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and it’s been sitting in my “projects to do” folder for ages. 



But I joined Society6 last night after discovering how many great products there are besides prints and shirts. There are pillows, bags, and mugs along with the usual device cases. I uploaded my Type & Stripes design set that is also on Spoonflower for wrapping paper, mainly so that it could be turned into a mug. 



I still have the Hectic Glow poster on there, of course, and I think it looks great as a pillow. I just hope one day I have the expendable money to buy some of these things myself. I mean, how great would it be to drink tea out of my own typography mug every day? Buying and using my own wrapping paper was great, and I can’t wait to do more of that as a graphic designer in the future.




If you’re interested in any of these designs, please check out my Society6 and Redbubble page. Both accounts have different products, even if some designs are the same, so pick whichever is best for you! And if you’re interested in my Type & Stripes wrapping paper, have a look at Spoonflower.


NaBloPoMo 17.2: Map making is fun

Again I’m left with 15 minutes in the day to write a blog post: GO!

I had a really great time this past weekend being able to relax with my parents and two of my friends from school while at home. Luckily I didn’t have a lot of work to do this weekend so the only thing I had was design work which could easily be done while watching television, so my friends and I lounged around and had a lazy day yesterday while I was finally introduced to Parks and Recreation. (Even though I started watching in season 3, today I began watching it all from the beginning.)

The only thing I have been working on is another map, even more extensive than the last map that I worked on. Unlike before, I am working on the map almost completely by myself, and I am still finding that I enjoy designing maps as long as a preliminary map has already been drawn. (There’s no way I could go out and do all the measuring myself!)

So far the map looks like this, but it’s nowhere near finished, as I’ve only been tracing the major roads and rivers.

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I’m definitely excited for Tuesday when I am able to continue working with the rest of the team. Maybe one day I’ll find myself designing more maps, or maybe one day I’ll find I dislike the whole operation. But for now, the tedious process is soothing and gratifying with every design step I take.


NaBloPoMo 13.2: Portfolio

Today was a design-all-the-things day. Therefore, I decided that today was the perfect day to finish updating my portfolio as I need to finish doing so by next week anyway.

And so it is updated. Here is a rundown of everything that’s been added:


Type & Stripes Wrapping Paper. I’m so pleased how this turned out. As I meant to mention in a past blog post, I had a lot of fun doing a photo shoot for this package design, and since I was the only one besides the professor who brought my DSLR to class (it wasn’t required, of course), I was able to help out and almost be a professional photographer for about fifteen people. This in itself was a great experience.

Disc Golf course map. I only worked on the map portion of this, but I was part of a larger design team that worked on the entire project which took place over a few weeks and overall the entire package looks great.

Maggie’s Crochet snowflake samples. This was actually done during the summer but it’s almost timely since we’re halfway through November, and I’m still really pleased with how these turned out.

The next big project I’ll be working on is another map, and though I first though I would dislike making maps, I actually found it to be fun—more fun than I would have found the other projects I could have done for the design team. This next map—which is going to be part of another large project with the same design team—will be even more extensive as it covers a larger area and includes a lot more details, but I’m excited to get started.

If you found these new designs of mine to be interesting, please take a look at my full portfolio.


NaBloPoMo 5.2: Type and photo shoots

Today was a fun day in my graphic design class—we had a photo shoot. Throughout this semester we have been working on making patterns to create wrapping paper. Since I have such a love for typography, I decided to create a pattern of letters overlapping.

I will definitely go more in-depth about this later, but since this is a Tuesday and I am at work and only had a break for class, I haven’t had a chance for editing anything and therefore I only have some of the raw photos with wrinkled backdrops.

The great thing about this wrapping paper is anyone can buy it. I haven’t fixed the store yet to make it all pretty, but if you’re interested in buying it, go ahead and let me know if you did!

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Edit: Here’s what the final product looks like.