Alleth and Oliver

Oliver’s sister Rochelle had contacted me to help out with the invitations for his wedding shower.  He is getting married to the girl of his dreams, Alleth, in the Philippines.  But since he knew that with our sluggish economy, not a lot of people might not be able to attend his wedding in the Philippines, a wedding shower would be the next best thing to help celebrate with his stateside guests.

Rochelle was instrumental in the design process for these invitations.  We collaborated on everything from the theme of the invite to the wording, paper choices and envelope selection.  I really love working with clients in this way because I get to help execute their vision with my skills and knowledge.  It becomes a very personal experience for the both of us.

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L BRO: INTERIOR DESIGN

There are many life changing events in our lives, events that really mark a rite of passage.  Going to your first dance, a first kiss, getting married and having kids.  But one that many of us go through is purchasing our first home.  A friend of mine, Lester, recently just purchased his first place and asked for my help putting it together.

Picking out paints, and furniture is fun for me, but the real design challenge comes in really making those pieces work together to give you a picture of the person living in that space.  Furniture, much like clothes really help define who we are, and what we stand for.  At our initial meeting I asked Lester how he saw his place.  He had seen what I done with my friend Jason’s place and liked it and wanted it to feel similar to that: clean, simple and modern.  But he also talked about how he loved nature, enjoying the outdoors and also enjoying the city and the vibe that it generates.  He pointed out the fact that he was tired of being in rooms that were just white and stressed colors.

After our meeting, I began to see a lot of interest with his love of the city and nature especially with the juxtaposition of them together.  In recent times it seems like we’re trying to find a balance between what’s been built on top of what was there before us.  People today are beginning to see the value of nature and the damage that could result if we’re not careful with our resources.  Lester is one of those people that really sees this and has began incorporating earth friendly behaviors into his lifestyle by recycling and reducing his carbon foot print by driving a hybrid.  When picking out furniture I really wanted to go to places that are being environmentally responsible and are using materials that using sustainable materials.  Lester had defined the living area, which included the kitchen and dining area, as a green colored space, so I expanded on that by incorporating more natural elements in those spaces.  Using the sun setting on green fields began to define the color palette of green, grays, warm toned wood (like walnut) accented with oranges and chrome plated materials.

For the rest of the space that included the bedrooms and bathrooms, a subdued palette was used taking cues from the city of Los Angeles at night.  Steel blues, grays, yellows, aluminums and creams.  For the bedrooms, more structural pieces like a metal framed bed help to get the point of the steel structures that define the city skyline.  Also incorporating more glass surfaces for tables helps to develop the idea of buildings.  Although the city can be a very stark, incorporating softer materials like woods help to take off the edge.

The boards created here really help to create a mood for Lester’s new place.  It’s a map to follow!

I look forward to putting some after pics when the project is done!

Thanks Les for giving me the opportunity to define your space!

BABIES!

A few weeks ago, I was able to help a very good friend of mine, and old roommate, with her friend’s baby shower invites.  Knowing that they were on a tight budget, but still wanting something original, I had my work cut out for me.  Sometimes though, when you’re under tight constraints, you can be really creative.  Having gone through architecture school, I am no stranger to making something out of garbage (literally).  There was one project that really tested our design ability when I made a study model out of banana peels, carrots, egg shells and another one out of old denim.  Anything to communicate the big idea right?

So with a tight budget, a color palette that had to include purple and pink, and a knitted boot as inspiration, I was able to make something that was simple, classy, elegant and fun.

PERSONALIZATION

When meeting a couple for wedding invitations, I love hearing the story about how they met, the courtship and the engagement.  I find that it really helps me gain insight into who the people really are, and aids in the design process, especially when you’re creating something original and one of a kind.

I had the opportunity to meet an amazing couple a few months ago down in San Diego, Vanessa and Lee.  Childhood friends in Seattle, they didn’t know that their friendship would turn into something bigger.  They realized one summer, after hanging out day after day, that they wanted to become “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.”  But as the fates would have it, they would face one of the biggest challenges a lot of couples go through, DISTANCE.  Luckily for them, they were able to maintain their strong bond while Lee was in Seattle and Vanessa lived in Japan.  Lee even traveled to Japan to be Vanessa’s prom date!  If that’s not love and commitment, I don’t know what is!  As the years passed, they both ended up in San Diego, falling in love all over again by going to concerts, sporting events and finally being together in the same place.

Their story was so touching that I really wanted to incorporate it into their invitation.  I wanted to create something that was different, that told the story about them, but was still fitting with their ideas of having a very modern, cool and fun wedding.  The invite might just look like a large “L” and “V,” but if you look closer it’s made up of little symbols that tell their story, in a fun but unique way.  It suggests all of these little icons make them up as individuals, but all together it represents them as a couple, bound together by a circle of trust called marriage.

FAMILY

These past couple of weeks have been really great with family coming in to celebrate the holidays.  My brother, his wife and my nephews came in from Las Vegas, my oldest brother came in from the valley with his wife, my other brother came in from Hollywood, my cousin came in from L.A. with his family and another cousin came in from the westside.  I  know what you’re probably thinking, the valley, the westside, L.A., and Hollywood?!  That’s just a few miles away!  Vegas is the furthest!

The funny thing is though, even though we’re pretty close to those people geographically, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we seem them physically all the time.  It’s like if you live in Orange County, and you live by Disneyland, it’s not like you go there everyday.  It’s more like, it’s there and I can go to it whenever I want, but the reality is, I probably don’t really go that often.  Everyone has begun new chapters in their lives, which makes getting together harder.  But when we do get together, it’s that much better.

This holiday season, my brother and his family from Vegas were in town for a whole week, which meant for me… PHOTOSHOOT!  I was going to work on a christmas card for them this year that had a “woodsie” theme to it.  Branches, leaves, cranberries, reds, browns, golds, are kinds of images I begin to see.  I really wanted to go all out, so I began scouting for locations a few weeks before they came down and thinking about wardrobe changes.  Ultimately we ended up going to Downtown Disney to shoot with no wardrobe changes.  He warned me that shooting kids would be tough, but it was something that I thought I could handle.  At the end of it, shooting kids for a family portrait was tough!  If I had an assistant to help distract the kids it would have been awesome.  I wasn’t too excited about the shots I got, but before my brother and his family left for Vegas a few days later, we took some shots in the driveway.  They came out so much better and have have so much more life to them.

Sometimes the best shots come from when planning isn’t involved, it’s just when things happen.

TYPOGRAPHY

I was recently at a coffee shop in Culver City working on revamping my architecture/design portfolio.  Usually I’m rockin’ headphones to try to silence all of the people around me and to help me focus.  All of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder with some dude asking me if I’m related to this guy from his high school.  Random!  But I respond by saying “yeah, he’s my brother.”  Anyways, so I come to find that not only is this guy a friend of my brothers, but he’s also a very accomplished artist in his own right, working in a multitude of media from graphics to paint to the exploration of the hidden underbelly of Los Angeles.  He’s a graduate of Art Center who majored in typography and has held jobs as a graphic designer and a freelance artist.  We talk shop, and opens up a new world to me, that of typography.   It’s pretty amazing how we interface different typefaces everyday, from street signs, bus stops, to the dash on our cars, type is everywhere!  He also shows me his website that he’s working on.  He looks over to my computer and asks me what I’m working on.  I tell him that it’s my portfolio with my architecture/interior design projects.  To my surprise he offers to help critique it!  So how could I pass up this offer?!  It’s not everyday that you get someone to critique your work, and with him not knowing me I was sure that I would get an honest and unbiased critique.  Anyways, a few days a go he got back to me and said that my portfolio was pretty solid, which coming from someone who said he was going to “rip it” was cool, but that I should work on the typefaces  At first I was a bit confused, but then it dawned on me, since my portfolio is a pretty graphical expression, with renderings, diagrams, and photos, why not add another layer of information on to it by letting the text on the page become another graphic.  Plus it would show that I do have a graphical eye that isn’t limited to architecture and interiors.

I was immediately inspired to revamp the type and see what I could come up with.  So after spending a few hours on it last night, here are a few of things I came up with.  I tried to keep it “fun and sophisticated.”  Enjoy!

TYPOGRAPHY EXERCISE-07

USEFUL and FUN!

I ran into this website a few months ago and have been wanting to post about it for the longest time.  FRED AND FRIENDS designs and sells items for your bath, bedroom, kitchen, desk, life and for parties.  Their products are useful and thoughtfully designed with a great sense of fun.  Just look at the party cups below!  Random thought: wouldn’t this be an interesting marketing tool for a plastic surgeon?  Can’t you see these by the water cooler in a plastic surgeon’s office and people are drinking out of them, with their perfect nose chosen.

Sometimes design doesn’t have to be about making something better, sometimes it’s just about making something fun so through its use we get a bit of enjoyment.

pickyournose_648

Check out the rest of the fun items that FRED AND FRIENDS has to offer!

(photo courtesty of Fred and Friends)

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