Ready for more paper inspo? This week’s theme is Retro Yellow!Read More
Ready for more paper inspo? This week’s theme is a popular one :: gold and blush!Read More
Hi! I’m Nikki and I’m a hoarder. Not of clothes, or antiques, or mini bottles of shampoo…but of paper. When I come across something made of paper that inspires me, I keep it. This means I end up with piles of random scraps, cards, and tags all over my desk.Read More
I don't have a color palette for you today, but I DO have an updated Paper Source color guide! I created the original back in 2012 and it continues to be one of our most popular posts.
It's been MONTHS in the making, but my Branding Workbook is finally on press!
WHAT IS IT?
44 pages of exercises, tips, and guidelines for crafting a unique, thoughtful, and relevant brand identity.
Topics include: Branding 101, Typography, Logo Development, Finding Inspiration, Color, Style Guides, Pattern, and Choosing a Designer.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Creative professionals and entrepreneurs who...
- want to get the most out of their branding investment (i.e., SAVE $$$)
- are ready to dig deep to develop a lasting brand identity
- don't know how, when, or where to start the design process
- love to color, sketch, and doodle!
WHY DID I MAKE THIS?
First and foremost, I want to share my creative process with small business owners. I also want to prove to them how, with the right information, preparation, and hard work, they can HAVE FUN building a powerful brand without a "big business" budget.
This is not a book about getting anything for free; however, I provide lots of tips about how to work with a small budget! It's all about organizing your thoughts and understanding your business so you can communicate quickly and efficiently with your designer. My goal is to give you the confidence and know-how to invest wisely and create something meaningful.
This first run is VERY limited, so if you're interested in getting your hands on one, you can reserve a workbook during our PRE-SALE. Workbooks will be ready to ship by mid November (if not sooner).
P.S. Our shop is brand new, so please contact us if you have any technical difficulties. We did our best to iron out the kinks!
Today's color inspiration comes in the form of our DIY stamped business cards. With our simple, streamlined custom stamp, you can use almost any type of pretty paper imaginable: your own watercolor art, marbled paper, linen paper, metallic paper, patterned paper, vintage paper, and even SCRAP paper. The possibilities are endless, and it's a great way to breathe personality and style into a small creative business! The best part is, you can make them on demand for the price of a stamp, ink, and paper.
Our custom stamps are available now through May 6th in limited quantities.Head on over to our Etsy Pop-Up Shop to get your hands on one. If you follow us on Facebook, you'll be privy to discount codes and an awesome giveaway we're planning at this very moment.
I am SOOO EXCITED that these hand-stamped watercolor business cards turned out JUST as amazing as I imagined!!!
Late last year, I had been toying with the idea of blind letterpress printing a shape, letter, or logo, then filling it with watercolor by hand. Instead of "paint by numbers" it would be "paint by letterpress." So cool! But the question I kept asking myself was, "Am I really ready to throw down a few hundred bucks to try it out?" Not really. Plus, the concept wouldn't be conducive to personalization at a decent price or small batch production. Soooo, my next idea was to use a custom stampover watercolor; however, I wasn't sure if the ink would bleed onto the soft paper. Furthermore, I would need to make a stamp that would not only be legible over a bright splash of color, but also complement the overall design.
Well, I tried it out. And the results are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
Here's how I made them:
After trimming down my watercolor paper, I painted a unique watercolor on each 4" x 2" card. (It's a half inch wider than your standard business card.) After waiting a few minutes for the paint to dry, I carefully stamped my design over it using black pigment ink. (Pigment ink takes longer to dry, but it acts more like paint and shows up beautifully over the watercolor.)
All in, it took me about 15 minutes to make 3 cards. If you're making a face at your screen right now, think about it this way :: how SPECIAL will your client feel when you give this to them? Plus, watercolor is so cathartic it's like free therapy. Or, at least a break from regular work!
I love the contrast between the colorful, playful watercolor and the sleek modern type.
BTW // Pretty Peas Paperie is the little sister to Akula Kreative. There's a lot of overlap between the two, but the main difference is that Pretty Peas focuses on paper for individuals and families while Akula Kreative focuses on paper for businesses.
Supplies Needed ::
- A 4″ x 2″ clear custom stamp (see bottom of post)
- Watercolor paper trimmed down to 4" x 2" (I used Strathmore Windpower Watercolor Paper)
- A pigment ink stamp pad (I used ColorBox Pigment Pad in Black)
- Watercolor set (Purchase HERE for international orders and to donate to B&L or HERE)
- A watercolor brush
When choosing watercolor paper, I buy whatever 300gsm cold press paper is on sale. Since I'm not a professional artist, I can't really tell the difference. This week I "splurged" on the higher quality paper because it was Buy One Get One Free. :) Up until two years ago, I had been using a Crayola Basics watercolor set - the kind you can buy at the grocery store. I've since upgraded to the $5-10 "starter set." In my opinion, I don't think you need expensive paint for a project like this.
HERE is where you spend your money: nice brushes. Better quality brushes keep their shape, hold water, and don't leave little hairs behind in your paintings. One time, I purchased a set of brushes simply because they had white handles and I thought they were pretty. As it turns out, they basically repel water and don't work at all. Aaron Brothers is a great place to buy art supplies when you bring a coupon.
Watercolor week continues here at Akula Kreative!
Last month, we had the opportunity to custom design a combination holiday/baby announcement card for the Chang family. Sophia, the proud new mom of Baby Lucas, was open to ideas, as long as they incorporated watercolor, calligraphy, mint, and coral.
The first order of business was to paint the watercolor.
The second order of business was to get my favorite calligrapher on board :: Angelique Ink.
With watercolor and calligraphy scans in hand, I came up with 2 tri-fold layouts that would not only communicate "holiday card" and "baby announcement," but also show off the family's beautiful photos by Coco Tran.
When I showed Sophia, she couldn't decide between the two, so we actually ended up printing both!
Here's my favorite part! Sophia loves the look of foil, but I explained to her that foil-stamping can be very pricey when you're printing small quantities of personal cards. So, we came up with a solution :: use custom-cut gold foil stickers! Sure, it would take an extra step to put them on, but the results are altogether stunning and unique!
A few weeks ago, I asked Facebook fans what they wanted for Christmas, and the answer seemed to be Packaging Ideas. So here you go...
With the trend of metallic and chalkboard elements still in full force, I came up with 7 ways to wrap a gift in black, white, and gold. The screen printed gift tags we made last year were the perfect finishing touch!
From top to bottom, left to right::
- Braided Metallic Lines Fine Paper + "Paper Belt" made from scraps of Metallic Wash Fine Paper
- Gold Horseshoe Fine Paper + Tiny Gold Tinsel + Pretty Peas Paperie Tag
- Chalkboard Wrapping Paper + Gilt Eyelash Yarn
- Metallic Wash Fine Paper + Gold and Silver Chevron Ribbon + Pretty Peas Paperie Tag
- White Copy Paper + "Celebrate It" Ribbon + Tiny Watercolor Tag
- Chalkboard Wrapping Paper + Handmade "String of Lights"
- White Gift Card Envelope + Black and White Twill Ribbon + Brown Sugar Glitter Tape + Pretty Peas Paperie Tag
- Gilt Eyelash Yarn + Pretty Peas Paperie Tag
All of the paper you see can be found at Paper Source:
Any supplies without a link (like the ribbon, tinsel, and yarn) can be found at your local crafts store. If you're interested in purchasing a set of Christmas tags, please check availability in our Etsy shop.
And, last but not least, here are some detail shots of the "string of lights." I got the idea over the weekend as I was strolling through Michaels.
Being that I am NOT a jewelry maker, twisting the wire around the tiny bulb-shaped bead was kind of hard. Not gonna lie. However, I think the final result was totally worth it! The best part is you can use the mini strings of lights to adorn just about anything.
Hope you enjoyed your Christmas freebie! Happy Wrapping!