Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We're Back

A lot has happened in the past few months which meant PRINTLine took an unexpected hiatus from designing and selling. Now we're back with a new blog look and a fresh start for fall.

We just wanted to share a new item now available on Etsy.

We designed our first "accordion fold" invitation for a two-year birthday. Our own sweet little Sunshine, in fact. 

You may recognize some of the design elements from other projects, but I seem to have a thing with this green gingham grass idea. We had decided on pink, green and yellow for the party, with a flower theme.
The invitation opens up to reveal the growing flower, along with more information about the party. Obviously names and details have been changed. It is a fairly simple design, but I love the colors and the contrast between the pink and green. Sweet and girly, but not over the top. 
Here are the instructions that will accompany the print file. 

It's very easy to print and fold, especially with a box cutter and ruler on hand. When folding cardstock it can be hard to get a clean and straight fold without damaging the card. To help with folding, use your box cutter and ruler to mark a very light line at the fold mark (on the back of the card). Obviously if you press to hard you will cut through, but a light line helps to fold the card very easily. 

Now that we've finished this design, I've got more ideas for "growing" type accordion fold cards. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monkeying Around

A few weeks ago I was super pumped to receive another request for a custom item. A friend of mine is expecting her firstborn in a few months, and being super organized, she was already planning ahead for Thank You notes for her baby shower.

Her brief - she is keeping things neutral since they don't know the sex of the baby, and they are planning a beige, brown, olive green, monkey themed room for their little one. She wanted a Thank You card that was like a postcard.

Since all my Etsy items are Print-at-Home digital designs, I wondered how easy it would be to create a two-sided design that could be easily printed at home.

Before I could figure that out, I first had to create my monkeys. I do a little research online for images, then sketch out my idea before getting started in Photoshop creating my designs. 

Isn't he cute?
I used this basic shape and tweaked a few things to make a daddy, mommy and baby monkey. I usually let my ideas marinate in my head for a while before trying anything out in Photoshop - otherwise I get distracted by trying out new techniques and lose track of the task at hand. 

So when I opened up Photoshop I knew I was aiming for a 4" x 6" postcard with two sides. The front being an image of the monkey family peeking over a fence saying, "Thank You" and the back as a basic postcard with a space for a stamp and address, a thank you message on the other side and room for a personal message. 

For some reason I thought an argyle pattern would match just perfectly with a jungle/tropical feel. It kind of balances it a little and has a bit of "preppy meets rustic" feeling to it. What do you think?
The front of the card - with a "jungle-y" font. 

Back of the card with a custom message from the client.
As for how the printing would go - I left the back without a border so that if the printer was not spot on it would still print basically in the middle of the card. The client received a PDF with 2 pages with the front and back lined up to print two copies at a time. Here's what the client said about the printing process:

 It printed perfectly. My printer rolls the paper over and prints on the back so thankfully I realized that as I was putting in the paper so I had to put the printed side up. But It is perfectly aligned and looks great when I cut them out.

This item is available for purchase on Etsy

I also have plans for my Monkey Line so will be working on some more items with this theme.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Custom Creation

We just got our first order for a custom design! It's so great to work on something from scratch without drawing on any of the other ideas floating around your brain. I love seeing how the design evolves from a few key words, ideas and images.

So here's the brief from the client - she is throwing a birthday party for her two-year-old in May. She wants an invitation around a dolls/tea party theme. At first she wanted a primary color scheme but after thinking about it she decided she'd rather go with a pink/white/silver combo. 

After doing a little bit of research and thinking - I threw together this inspiration board to help get the creative juices flowing.

1. Here's the color scheme the client wanted - a few shades of pink combined with white and a very light shade of grey.

2. I found this photo of a cute rag doll that I used as a base for creating my own vector graphic. I use Photoshop to create all my graphics, although I suppose someday I should really learn Illustrator as I think it has a few more tools that could be useful to me.  

3. I thought a cute little picket fence would be a sweet addition to the invitation - sticking with a simple shape and the white color it was very easy to create in Photoshop. 

4. This was one of the first images I came across and I fell in love with the idea of multiple dolls with letters on their dresses. You'll see in the final product how this idea was developed. 

5. Nothing says party like a sweet pennant banner with cute patterned flags. Not sure if she will have anything like this at the actual party but it sure adds an interesting element to the invitation. 

6. Here are a few tea cups and tea pots which were part of my "collecting" - in the end I went for a simpler and more subtle graphic to tie this element into the invitation. 

7. In order not to overwhelm the invitation with too much pink, I wanted to incorporate another pattern and color to add interest and balance. I can just imagine the dolls having their tea party on green gingham grass. 

I started with the doll graphic as I knew it would take the most time and patience. I drew every shape that makes up the doll and now it is completely customizable - I can change the skin, hair, eyes, mouth, clothing, shoes to fit any color scheme. 

Here is my collection of dolls. 

I fiddled around with the background for a long time. I am realizing it's very hard to actually describe the whole design process and why things end up a certain way. It is a lot of experimenting with colors, gradients, shapes, fonts and effects. 

After a couple of hours I was pretty happy with the design and sent it off to the client for her approval. She loved it! 
*details have been changed
This design will be up on my Etsy store soon - and more coordinating items are currently in progress. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Inspiration for The Birch Collection

Yesterday PRINTLine released the first few products from The Birch Collection. I'm not quite sure what sparked the idea for these designs, we don't have any birch trees here in Brazil, but there is just something about the tall, straight trees with their signature marks that is so pleasing to the eye. I had in mind a fall/winter wedding with cool silver and rich red colors.

I am also loving the color grey and how it combines so naturally with other colors, and has such a cool feeling about it. A very different property than working with a warmer color such as brown. As I worked with the tall lines and thin branches I introduced some other elements from nature, a simple bird shape and heart shaped leaves. With the complexity of a birch tree pattern you don't really need too much other "stuff" in the picture. 

It always amazes me how colors work together and how changing one color can have a dramatic impact on the whole image. While I created this collection using greys and maroon/red tones I am making it available on Etsy with 6 different color combinations - orange, pink, purple, blue, green, and the original red scheme. Just for comparison's sake - look at these two examples of our Birch Wedding invitation in two different colors - a totally different feeling in each one.

So far this collection includes a Save the Date announcement, a Wedding invitation, an RSVP card and matching Envelope Wrapper. Coming soon are some decorative circles and tent cards to use at the main event. 

Here's a peek at the collection so far:

Of course, these designs can be adapted to any sort of event. We are always happy to work with you to create the perfect product for any occasion. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The First PRINTLine Party

We are very excited to share some photos of our PRINTLine products in use. The Bee Collection - Baby Boy debuted at a Baby Shower, held in São Paulo, Brazil, so many of the products were customized in Portuguese.

Without further ado:
The welcome station at the entrance with a view to the room. 

The table was set up with note cards to leave a message for the
parents-to-be, a box for cash gifts (the couple is moving to another country
so they couldn't accept a lot of big gifts) and a place to enter for a door prize.

Tables were covered in blue and brown paper, topped with a
centerpiece with a blue or brown bee and using our decorative 2" circles.

Shown here is "k" for Kevin - the baby boy to be born in a few months.

Our "It's a boy" Banner - using the name only. A darling little crib adorned
with blue and brown blankets and stuffed toys added a sweet touch.

All the goodies, labeled with our tent cards and decorative 2" circles.

A few of the decorative 2" circles were further customized as labels. 

Cupcakes with toppers crafted with lollipop sticks and blue and brown cardstock for the backs. 

A blue and brown garland that was hand-made from styrofoam balls took the colors from the printed decorations

Some details - decorative circles used on a glass vase with rocks,
stone and which branches - and a tent card labeling the drinks table.

Our DIY Printable decorations were easily matched with available staple party decorations - table coverings, blue and brown striped crepe paper and glass vases. They also used rocks, stones, white branches and flowers to complete the decorations. 

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into some of the ways PRINTLine products can be used. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's in a name?

When I first decided to open a shop on Etsy to sell my designs, I was thinking about all the celebrating we do in our lives; births and birthdays, holidays, marriages and anniversaries and other professional and personal milestones. I thought about how we mark time and look forward to hitting some of those often life-changing events; becoming a teenager, graduating, getting married, growing our families, fulfilling personal goals, as well as celebrating the achievements of others.

When I was in boarding school, we would often cross off the days in our school planners as they passed by, looking forward to the end of term. In University I would do the same thing, anticipating the end of classes and a change of routine. As my wedding approached, the dates on the calendar were crossed off, bringing each day closer to that red heart marked on June 11. A few years later, I felt as though I had a few too many days to wait for the late arrival of my first son.  

Other lines we draw to mark time are less permanent - especially those lines in the sand that have our hubby rolling his eyes at our sentimental notions...

But what does all this have to do with PRINTLine? Well, our products are designed to help you mark those special occasions with fresh, creative and inspiring designs that you can personalize and print from home. Taking the time in the small details helps commemorate those occasions in a way that will last a lot longer than a discarded calendar or lines in the sand. We hope our products will help you celebrate and remember those occasions long after they are over.

The next time you have a special date to circle on your calendar, come on over to PRINTLine

Monday, January 16, 2012


It's a new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a creative project. And I've got a big one. 

In the past few years I have designed oodles of concert posters, tickets, birthday invitations, birth announcements, party invitations, menu cards and other digital products. This year I've decided it's time to go public!

As I prepare to open an Etsy shop to sell my designs, I hope to use this blog to update customers on new designs and lines of products as well as to share design ideas, inspiration and my creative process.