Tag Archives: graphic design

Laying out those pages

Another reason I haven’t been writing much here lately:

My office creates our college’s magazine for alumni, friends, & students. It’s a daunting job for a team of 4 people, but I am determined that as long as I have anything to do with how the pages look, our magazine will look crisp and fresh, and get better each issue.

I discovered the joys of print layout & design long ago. It started with a calligraphy class that I took in high school from a lady in our church. She taught us the basics of the Italic hand, and her husband showed us the wonders of a good balsa drafting board (better posture! better light! fewer neck cramps!)  I learned how to mix my own colors using gauche or watercolor inks, work with unusual colors of paper, and mix art and letterforms.

Apologies for the blue spot. Computer screen + glass reflection. Anyway, this is a piece I did during my sophomore year of college (I think).
Apologies for the blue spot. Computer screen + glass reflection. Anyway, this is a piece I did during my sophomore year of college (I think).

I followed my love for letters into college, where I jumped on an upper-level Calligraphy course during my freshman year.  I learned how to cut my own mat board properly, though it’s nearly impossible to cut a straight line without one of the big tabletop cutters IMO.

I wandered into the basics of digital page layout to fill a need of my job at the time, and that developed into doing programs for people’s weddings and recitals, posters, flyers, handouts.  By the time I’d moved into teaching and been forced into taking on the yearbook (very grudgingly), I was ready to step behind the wheel of InDesign.

A collage from 4 posters that I did for The Fire Tonight's July tour.
A collage from 4 posters that I did for The Fire Tonight’s July tour/shows.  Spaceship = totes adorbs! lol

Those early years were pretty rough, as far as design goes, but I improved with practice.  I’m pretty happy anytime I can be arranging words on a page, making them fit and flow, learning and growing the craft of artful design.

So yeah.  It’s been a busy few months.  Documentary film, museum exhibit, magazine issue, presidential transition, admissions projects, and major event planning on top of all the regular stuff.

I’ll be back though.  My brain is already bursting with lots of new ideas. Just waiting for a moment to break from its leash…. 🙂

Hamlet shirt redux

I rabbit-trailed into tweaking the one shirt design of mine on Zazzle that consistently sells a few shirts each year.

That and my WWTD (What Would Tartuffe Do?) mug, a personal favorite ironic joke of mine.

Anyway, the 2007 NCS production of Hamlet was a high point in my experience working with high school theater, and I love to see the cast shirts walking around on the bodies of NCS graduates.

at the Marine museum near Quantico, VA.  Looking fierce. And Hamlet.
Trying out a soldiers pack at the Marine museum near Quantico, VA. Looking fierce. And Hamlet.

Mine, a long-sleeved edition, comes out every fall once the weather turns chilly. It’s getting a bit tattered, so maybe I should order a reprint. (Zazzle doesn’t seem to offer quite the same quality of ink as it did in the past, but it’s the only way to print transparent .png graphics on a shirt without going through a whole bunch of rigamarole to get a similar design ready for a screen printing.)

It’s an old design, and ham-handed. I can’t say that I’m proud of this design, per se, but it was one of my earliest (and in collaboration with a fellow artist), and represents one of my early steps in developing an understanding of the digital tools.

So.  If you have a hankering to remember Hamlet at NCS, try this.

And I suggest adding a great Hamlet quote to the back — mine reads “There is a divinity that shapes man’s ends, rough-hew them how we will,” a line from Act V.

 

Hamlet Shirt Redux
Hamlet Shirt Redux by loriramey
Find other Hamlet T-Shirts at zazzle.com

Shirts & All

Enjoyed my Spring Break days off by 1) tackling a small home improvement project that’s been on our list for FOREVER; 2) watching said project bloom into about 4 different projects that will take longer to do but will be more awesome in the end; and 3) enjoying a little extra time to get some designing under my belt.

Trying to do the Shirt.Woot derby contest each week if I can come up with an idea. This week’s theme is “Time Machine.”  Check it out.

Time is certainly a machine that drives MY life.  So if we translate that into a steampunk-ish Victorian vibe, maybe it would look like this?
Time is certainly a machine that drives MY life. So if we translate that into a steampunk-ish Victorian vibe, maybe it would look like this?

I’ve also done a couple designs for the NCS production of Arsenic & Old Lace (cast t-shirt) and have an infographic percolating in my head.  Truly loving the fact of having a desktop computer again where I can work on my factory schedule (unfortunately, my peak efficiency times don’t overlap the standard work day).

I’ll post more on the house project once we’ve make some progress….

Consequences

If the evil gremlins kill the woman’s desktop computer, she has to borrow her husband’s laptop.

When she has to borrow his laptop, he can’t do his Big Important Assignments.

When the man can’t do his assignments, he agrees the wife can buy a new desktop.

When the wife goes desktop shopping, she decides on an iMac (of course) so she can do her design work on a new shiny screen.

When she decides on an iMac, she spends all week impatiently waiting for it to arrive.

When she finally sits down to work on a design at her shiny new iMac, she remembers that her home office chair is truly a piece of crap.

When she sits on a crappy chair, she is motivated to do more design jobs so she can pay for a new chair.

Moral of the story: I am a freelance designer and would love to pick up some extra projects this year.  🙂   I do print design mainly — posters, magazine and book layouts, brochures, flyers, billboards, ads, etc — but I also do shirt designs, social media marketing, and a bit of logo design. Hit me up. 

Reissue: Much Ado About Nothing shirt, Art Deco

Hey all! I noticed that Zazzle has a 30% sale running on shirts today so I decided to refresh the Art Deco-inspired shirt design for NCS’s 2009 Much Ado About Nothing production.  It’s a general design that anyone could wear, and I added one of my favorite Beatrice moments (quotes) on the back for a new ladies’ shirt.

If you’re in the mood to shop, the discount code is SPRINGSFLING (Guys, there are men’s shirt styles available in my store too. )

Ladies' Much Ado shirt , click to see in store
Ladies’ Much Ado shirt , click to see in store

I continue to be surprised at how many strangers buy my Hamlet shirt from 2007. Zazzle has changed their printing process so the design isn’t working for that shirt anymore. I plan to refresh that one next.

The photo at the top of this post is from our production, set in a 1920’s speakeasy (photography by Rebecca Perkins Photography, taken at McGee’s Irish Pub).