We’re taking a short break…

We’re taking a short break from blogging for October – we both have creative projects on the go that need our full attention, so stay tuned for exciting things to come! Thanks for reading, we’ll see you back here in November.

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In the meantime, here’s a recap of some of our favourite posts:

On science and creativity…

On writing…

On marketing…

Some reading lists…

Some reviews…

On art…

On design…

On people…

 

 

Weekend inspiration quotes – on design #1

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A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Weekend inspiration quotes – on grammar #1

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The past is always tense, the future perfect. -Zadie Smith

Three design trends I’m loving

Love or hate them, trends are hard to ignore. One minute you see a stray pineapple in the back of your favourite gift store, the next there is tropical foliage bursting out of towels, posters and T-shirts everywhere you look.

Here are three of my favourite current trends – with links to many more images I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

Tropical

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Let’s start with pineapples, banana leaves and parrots. The tropical trend seems to cycle around every few years, and I love it every time. What can I say – give me a toucan, a piña colada and some sun and I’m happy.

What I’m loving

Big and bold patterns, lots of greenery, bright colours set against pastels, jungle exotica, and of course lots of avian friends popping up. I love the artist Henri Rousseau, and his work is referenced a lot.

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Henri Rousseau, Exotic Landscape 1908

What’s a bit different

Using black as a backdrop. Black isn’t your usual first thought when talking tropical, but when paired with over-the-top patterns and colours it adds a sophistication and (I think) a bit of a mysterious edge.

Here’s our Pinterest board for tropical inspiration

Geometrics and Gemstones

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I think it’s fair to say geometrics are always ‘in’, it’s navigating the subtleties of how they’re used. It will be no surprise that I love the gemstone-geometric trend; we’ve done a few projects in this vein.

What I’m loving

It’s so easy to do your own take on this trend – we made a gemstone-inspired mousepad, painted some book art and tried a bit of collage.

What’s a bit different

Illustrated gemstones; collaged, painted, drawn – there’s a beautiful organic feel to this trend that sets it apart from other geometric patterns. Have a look at artists like Liesl Pfeffer, Karina Eibatova and Russell Leng.

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Russell Leng, Future Findings (left), Liesl Pfeffer, Hearts and Arrows (right)

Here’s our Pinterest board for geometric and gemstone inspiration

Crazy typography

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Hand-drawn type has been trendy for a while now – but the trend for outlandish typography goes one step further – type that is itself an illustration. As with everything, it has been recycled from another time, but with some gorgeous results.

What I’m loving

Go wild. Go crazy. This isn’t display type to be used cautiously – throw it out into the world. My absolute favourite examples are the letters made from landscapes (I’ve pinned a heap of them on our Pinterest board here); there are also lots of versions with botanicals which I love.

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What’s a bit different

Your own take. A theme across an alphabet works well, but that theme is only limited by your imagination.

Here’s our Pinterest board for crazy typography inspiration

Love this? Check out our post on great book cover design or how to evaluate a piece of design.

 

Meet Patrick Roberts

We’re excited today to feature our first musician on the Daily Inkling blog in our series on working creatives. Musicians are those creative people that seem just a little bit more magical to those of us with zero talents in that area! He’s given us a bit of a peek behind the curtain below…we especially enjoyed trying to imagine his “uniform” in real life!

Meet…world class violinist Patrick Roberts

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Billed as “Australia’s violinist”, Patrick has been a musician from childhood, playing his first ‘concerts’ to family and friends. He sang for four years with the National Boys Choir and by 18 was a regular player of his violin on radio and television. He is now a television regular and currently has out an album, Vision. You can learn more about Patrick’s background at his website.

Right now, I’m inspired by…. Yehudi Menuhin

My style icon is… Robert Downey Jr

Everyone should own… an eye for adventure!

My cheap thrill is… driving fast!

I feel most creative when… I’m on stage in the moment.

I collect books about… I collect movies instead.

My favorite art is… ‘The Creation of Adam’ – Michelangelo

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If I had a different career I’d be… a fighter jet pilot!

My favorite way to spend a day off is… relax in the sun opposite the beach.

The best way to make a statement is… start the show with my biggest hit!

Happiness is… feeling free and abundant

My favorite character is… Iron Man

On my playlist… Coldplay

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The best money I’ve ever spent was… purchasing my Violin.

I’d like to spend a day in the life of… Barack Obama

My uniform is… Black leather shine pants, sharkskin opal suit jacket, Alaskan white shirt with satin black stripe!

The best gift I’ve ever given was… I guess,  my music.

My favorite day of the year is…. Christmas Day

My next adventure is…  an Arena Show!

Copywriting tips – How to write about white paper

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Many writers make money ‘writing copy’ – that is, writing advertising and promotional materials, sometimes even instructions. And you can end up writing about anything and everything.

As you might expect, some things are easier to write about that others. Some copy writes itself, especially if you are familiar with a product.

But some is a challenge.

I found myself facing this challenge when I literally had to write about BLANK white paper.

At first, I was somewhat panicked…and then I followed these steps and, voila, several paragraphs of copy on white paper. You could follow the same steps if you’re ever facing a copywriting challenge, which you may face even if you’re NOT a writer, because you may have to write about your OWN product or brand.

1. Understand the brand.

The brand – whether your brand or someone else’s – provides the context for telling the story of the products. Researching the brand, determining what they stand for and what they’re known for, gives you a place to start. It gives you the right sort of language to use. You’ll speak differently about a mass produced brand, for example, that you will about a hand-made brand.

2. Consider what’s different about the product in front of you.

Even things that look or seem the same have subtle differences if you look for them. Luckily the blank white paper I was writing about was gorgeous paper. It’s thick, textured, heavy weight – really tactile. It had a cute cover and a special binding – all differentiating factors.

3. Think about how and why someone might use the product.

This is placing yourself in the situation of the potential ‘target market’. The paper I was writing about is something you’d use to send a letter. Or sketch a piece of art. It was ‘special’ paper, or paper for people who really admire special stationery.

4. Understand the technical aspects.

For many products, there are specs and these specs will be important to some buyers. Paper has specs, so I was also able use those.

5. Evoke a feeling.

This paper that I was writing about is purchased online. So people can’t experience it for themselves. I needed to evoke the same feeling that they might experience were they to pick up this paper, touch it, imagine using it.

6. Finally….Don’t forget SEO

A lot of copy is used online. And online is driven by “search engine optimisation” – that is, the word the average consumer – and thus Google – will use to search for a product. When writing about the paper I needed to remember to use terms that I know people search by – designer stationery, for example.

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Weekend inspiration quotes – on elevators #1

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Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator. -Lemony Snicket