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Our new, beautiful catalogs are printed! Our design folds to fit into an A9 envelope (very convenient for mailings) and opens to reveal our whole collection of 72 typographically inspired greeting cards. All of the photography is by Conrad Firestein, my business partner and fiancé. We collaborated on the images over the last six months: many afternoon photo shoots, styling our letterpressed cards with dishes, flowers, shadowboxes, and small, fun, found objects. The images are also works of art, and will be used throughout the year in our promo materials. April 22-28th is National Stationery Week in the UK — a weeklong celebration of paper, writing and stationery! It would be great to have a celebration of all things paper here in the US, but that’s what the National Stationery show is all about, and we are happy to be participants. The show is fast approaching and we are excited!

Our 2013 Catalog!

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We’ve been busy— lots of designing, planning and creating for next month!

RR Design Shop is excited to be returning to NYC for the National Stationery Show, May 19-22, 2013 at the Javits Center. Our beautiful, two color letterpressed promo cards will be arriving in paper stores’ mailboxes next week. We invite everyone to visit us at Booth #1966. Our catalog of cards has expanded to 72 bright + typographically-inspired designs, letterpressed on Cranes Lettra with vibrantly colored inks. Place an order at the show and you’ll receive a little handcrafted treat created just for you! We look forward to seeing you.

take the cake still life

Finally, we have our trip to Italy planned and as I prepare to visit Milan, Florence, Venice and Rome in Fall 2012, I thought it would be great to learn to speak a bit of lovely Italian. Conrad lived in Italy for over twenty years and has been teaching me what I really need to know— the swear words. I do need to expand my vocabulary so he lent me a book that helped him learn the language, “Come Si Chiama” (“What’s What”), a 350 page wonder filled with every object, planet, animal, appliance, outfit, and sport meticulously labelled in Italian and English. At first I was overwhelmed (porca vacca)! Then I came across page 141, entitled “La Tipografia” — a subject I love! Here it was— a 1984 diagram with the detailed anatomy of letterforms. The black & white illustration was a bit dated for my tastes so in the spirit of learning a new language and creating a fun visual, here is my interpretation of typography: italian style. Arrivederci!

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http://www.misprintedtype.com/v3/project/invisible.php

A brief entry today:: Just came across this amazing little website and slide show as I was researching ideas for invitations. The artist is a designer from Brazil, Eduardo Recife. His combination of fractured typography, found images, collage and small hand drawings are truly wonderful. His style reminds me a bit of Martin Venezky. The movie (link above) is a poem and visuals; click on each panel to scroll forward. I want to stop working on this computer and start collaging immediately!

collage work by Eduardo Recife

It’s been over three weeks since Rosemary Rae Design Shop’s National Stationery Show adventure. New York City, as always, was bursting with creative energy and we survived our two set up days (not without some small hiccups) and the show itself, which lasted four days. Walking around the Javits Center, we got lost in the sea of paper-madness. It was reassuring, at least for me, that type and paper joy is thriving!

Immersing myself in this project was a full-time commitment of my talent and time, in the months leading up to May. Completing a card line was a dream! As a full-time graphic designer with other design obligations and looming deadlines, my project always became a secondary priority. Recently I read this great quote by Ray Bradbury: “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” It perfectly expressed my feelings about this endeavor. Attending this show motivated me to accomplish the design and presentation of 40+ greeting cards, gather feedback, and return to San Diego with a lot of creative momentum.

“What was your favorite part of the show?” I would have to say meeting all of the designers, bloggers, type-afficionados, and of course, the retailers who stopped by our booth. Everyone had a wise word to share and expressed their appreciation of my creative typography and good design. One blogger, Sonjia from bluebergitt.wordpress.com was super-complimentary and enthusiastic about my new card line and shared these kind words a few weeks ago on her blog: http://bluebergitt.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/best-of-show-rosemary-rae-design-shop/

It was also great to meet the other vendors who had booths in our row. We shared inspiration and learned more about each others’ product and businesses. I enjoyed meeting Sarah McCoy, http://www.thepermanentcollection.net, a graphic designer, who made the trip all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to present her collection of custom-designed letterpressed cards, and Monica Garrett, papercutindustries.com, a boutique wedding and event invitation designer based in Long Beach, California. Both of these women were friendly, talented and fun NSS “neighbors!”

Booth 1866 was cleverly constructed (pvc pipe painted silver with rows of taught wire to pin my cards) and we received many compliments on its simplicity and cheeriness. My cards definitely popped off the bright orange backdrop, their many colors reminding me of swirl candy! It was also an invigorating color for overwhelmed NSS buyers with fatigue! (A big thank you to Conrad Firestein, my handsome mate and partner through all of this. He was an amazing source of support, ideas and humor! I could not have done this show without him. xxoo!) Orders were written and lots of interest was generated for my unique designs.

Now I am in the midst of filling orders, developing new card designs, and completing the design of my website! And if you are reading this, watch for your happy fourth of July card!

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I care and I know you do, too. Here is a new infographic I created two weeks ago to educate the audience of our new PCI website, apathyisout.org. Combining engaging icons, illustrations and photos with serious statistics, this poster conveys alarming, timely information that hopefully encourages people to get involved. Issues such as poverty, human rights, water/sanitation, disease, and women’s rights are featured. We all can make a difference once we have the knowledge about what needs to be done! Become a local activist, get involved and show you care!

In February 2012, I was presented with a design challenge — create a compelling visual representation of PCI’s “Transformation,” the theme of our 2011 Annual Report. Using statistics, facts and milestones about our programs, new grants won and the overall impressive impact of our organization’s work around the world, I created a fun infographic that spanned a two page spread.

The infographic’s goals:
• Follow PCI’s Brand Guidelines: use established branding standards — specified colors, typefaces, photography and icons. Also, the design has to be relevant, contemporary and appeal to all demographics.
• Hierarchy: combine larger designed stats with smaller ones, all thoughtfully arranged. I want a graphic that says “Take a moment and learn more about us!”
• Inspire: not only is the infographic a centerpiece in the Annual Report, but it can be used as a promotional stand-alone, distributed to our growing audience, potential donors and field staff.
• Repurpose: each of the facts can be used individually on brochures, appeals, eblasts, facebook and other social media.
• Engage: audience wants a quick understanding of who we are and what we do! In this busy, no-time-to-read-long-blocks of copy-world, PCI’s friends get a snapshot view of our organization’s goals, programs and achievements.

In designing and developing all of PCI’s collateral over the past two years, it has been a career highlight to develop a suite of materials to brand this organization, promote awareness and empower people to get involved! Visit www.pciglobal.org.

New birthday cards designed by me + freshly letterpressed by Tim Butler at Quality Letterpress.

Looking forward to sending to my friends.
Should you like one, please contact me at rraedesign@gmail.com. ($7.00 each)

Every year I have made an effort to design a summer card. Summer is not a holiday but important to me, as it signifies a time for vacation and a time for happy memories to happen. Some of the best summers I have had have been in foreign locations, on a beach! This year Tim, at Quality Letterpress, skillfully letter-pressed my cards on beautiful paper. They are for sale should you wish to purchase- $7.00 each. Enjoy your summer and I hope it is full of sunshine and creativity.

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