Before + After : Mafu

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A lot of heart and soul go into the botanical face and body products that Bonnie Juma crafts, and a lot of wisdom and know-how have come with 10 years of making. But Bonnie's business needed a boost. Her business name—BJ Naturals—and branding were not communicating her experience and passion.

The name, a play on the words "made for you," came easily: MAFU. Products filled with goodness & beauty, made by Bonnie, just for you. Then came the branding.

Working with the Aeolidia team, I designed a logo, collateral and packaging that elevates her brand. The look is still fresh, organic and warm, but it is also polished and professional, giving her customers—new and trusted alike—confidence in her products. 

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If you'd like help refreshing your business's branding or creating a new identity, please get in touch. Telling your brand's story would be my pleasure.

Flair Fun

I've been collecting flair, in one form or another, since I was a kid. But back then, it was stickers. In high school, enamel pins were actually in fashion, and I had quite an impressive collection of Hard Rock Café pins going for a while. But they got lost in the shuffle between then and college. Then 1" badges were all the rage, and my satchel was covered in all the buttons I'd amassed from brands and artists I loved.

I'm happy that enamel pins have made a comeback, because I get to indulge in the fun, colorful eye candy. And my denim jacket hasn't looked this good in years! 

1. Here Comes the Fun | 2. My favorite emoji | 3. Lightning bolt | 4. Suzy Ultman Peace Bird | 5. Mixed Emotions Club | 6. Los Angeles | 7. I believe in stardust | 8. Stay Cool | 9. Internet Famous | 10. Pencil

Printable Googly Eyed Valentines

I'll be honest with you: The kids are exchanging storebought valentines this year. With everything else going on with work and life, the idea of handmaking 50+ cards with them was just too daunting. 

But that didn't stop me from scheming a new DIY for you—and for us to send to some family and friends. 

The googly eyes were so much fun on last year's thank you notes, so I decided to use them again on little hearts notes. There are a few messages and configurations for white card stock or colored. I've even created winking envelope liners that fit pointed flap envelopes.

MAKE YOUR OWN: Download the PDF here. Print & cut the cards. Add googly eyes. Enjoy!

Good Things & Everything Else

These days, more than ever, I find the need to focus on the good things. The people in my life, the treasures in my home, the little moments that make me smile. In that spirit, I've revived an email newsletter, Good Things & Everything Else. I send it out monthly, and it includes illustrations like the one above, as well as stories and links to good stuff around the web and world. The first one went out last month, and the next one will follow in about 2 weeks. If you're interested, sign up via the form on the right side of this page.  

A Girl & Her Uke

The other day, Rama pointed out that it's been a while since I'd had an actual factual hobby. Before I had kids, there were a lot of things that kept me occupied, like arts and crafts, going to shows, keeping a sketchbook, and even learning how to make a web site.  But these days, making web sites and designing has become my job, and my sketchbook is mainly used for exploring ideas for other people's passions. I realized I needed to carve out some time for creative pursuits just for me.

So I picked up the ukelele Rama gave me for our anniversary earlier this year, and I hopped on to YouTube in search some instruction. I found the best gal with a simple tutorial and got playing.

When Rama came home that evening I was so excited to play for him what I'd learned, a super simple version of Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. It was just three chords, and my fingers stumbled over them, but when I sang along, it almost sounded like I knew what I was doing. 

Illustration by Rama Hughes

Project Peek : Blaze + Wander

The stars aligned when I got to design branding for blaze + wander, a new children's fashion and lifestyle company started by Sarah Yasukochi. Sarah says: "blaze + wander was inspired by my kids, Ty + Ayla. It’s what I wish for them and what they and all young adventurers ignite in me: To blaze trails with intention and purpose, while always taking time to step off the beaten path, to breathe and get a little lost along the way." 

A little bohemian and a little bit modern, blaze + wander's mission immediately sparked in me about a zillion ideas. I zeroed in on branding that emphasizes the adventures and journeys that the young bohemians take. Whether basking in the sun or guided by stars, blaze + wander is there with its customers every step of the way. 

The blaze + wander business cards and packaging tape make good use of the iconography I created. Sarah also does an amazing job with the business's instagram.

If you'd like help designing your business's branding or creating a new product, please get in touch. Telling your brand's story would be my pleasure.

Branding designed by Darling Studio for Aeolidia

Just My Type : Salomé Stencil

Didone typefaces are a favorite in fashion and design for good reason: The thin and thick lines are bold and seductive. Salomé is especially glamorous, and of the seven fonts in the family, Salome Stencil is my personal favorite.

Put a Face on It!

I've been seeing faces pop up all over the place in home and fashion design, and it makes me inexplicably happy. It's as if they are secretly alive, and saying to me, "Hi! Let's be friends." And truth be told, I'd take these guys home with me any day.

Highlight Reel : Simple is Sophisticated

Where did spring and summer go? It's still 90 degrees here in LA, but the kids are back to school and I'm definitely feeling fall. As I get back into the swing of things, I thought I'd show some branding projects I completed in the spring and summer. 

Wishbird is a box of quotes or sayings to offer encouragement, say I love you, make someone laugh. Aeolidia pegged me to create the budding brand's identity, collateral, packaging and the quote cards themselves. It was quite an endeavor, and I'm so happy with how everything turned out. Above is an order insert that arrives with every shipped package, and below are the business cards. 

Photographer Jenna Coughlin has been on the Sonoma wedding scene for several years now, but it was time for a brand refresh. I redesigned Green Nickel Photo's logo and collateral with a modern-meets-rustic feel. The business cards and stationery—in print production now—has a luxe feel with gold foil and letterpress details.

Lastly, Jill & Co. Events is a wedding and events planning business that specializes in beautiful, modern celebrations with a little edge. Jill Remy's updated branding features foil calligraphy, geometric patterns, and a solid dose of charcoal gray. The juxtaposition of dark and light, soft and refined, reflect Jill's work well. The website I designed will be launching soon.

If you'd like help designing your business's branding or creating a new product, please get in touch. Telling your brand's story would be my pleasure.

Strawberry Season

As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most wonderful times of the year in Southern California: Strawberry Season. Since today's Earth Day, here are a few photos from my daughter's school field trip to a local farm, where we got to pick perfect, red, ripe strawberries to our hearts' delight.

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Few things make me happier than bowls full of berries at the ready, and I know my kids agree. They can eat a pound of berries in 5 minutes flat!