Annie’s Holiday Windows

One of the best things about owning your own business is how different every day can be from the next. While that can certainly be stressful at times, it’s usually very fun, interesting, and exciting. It also allows cool, unexpected projects to crop up which is exactly what happened with Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Annie’s is an amazing little shop of treasures, chock full of stationery, books, gifts, trinkets, and treats. You definitely need to set aside some serious browsing time to take it all in. It’s a great neighborhood spot which is why I was so excited when I was asked to illustrate their holiday window display this year!

For a lefty who’s used to drawing rather small and tight, creating an illustration for three 9 foot by 4.5 foot windows was an awesome challenge. I started by creating all of the artwork by hand in my sketchbook. Once that was complete, I was able to turn everything into a scene, enlarge it, and create several large format prints to use as my template. My good friend Jenna gave me some tips and ideas of how to execute this, without which I would have been lost! I taped the prints on the outside of the windows and used them as my blueprint to recreate the illustration from the inside of the shop.

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One panel complete.

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Drawing away!

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Close up of the first window of three.

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Another close up as I put on a few finishing touches.

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The white ink really popped once it got a bit darker outside!

It was a lot of prep and a full day of drawing, but I was so excited about the end result! If you’re in the area be sure to stop by the store and check it out. Thanks so much to Annie’s for letting me a part of their holiday window display.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. See you all in December!

Introducing Our First Every Holiday Card Line

Can you believe that November is here (and cold weather along with it?) The holidays are just around the corner, making this the perfect time to finally share what I’ve been working on over the past few months – the first ever Swiss Cottage holiday card line!

Custom work has always been our bread and butter, so it’s a very exciting step to be offering these ready-made designs for 2014. It has been a very big labor of love and something I’ve wanted to do for years. I can only hope it’s slightly more successful than my first attempt in 2007 where I stood outside a Starbucks on 83rd + Broadway with a TV tray and some cards I printed on my lunch break. The joys of looking back!

The line is made up of 6 unique designs and includes flat digital printing, letterpress, and gold foil!

For any retailers interested in wholesale, please email orders@swisscottagedesigns.com for a line sheet and more information.

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Christmas on Main Street

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Holiday Allover Pattern

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In Good Spirits

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Happy Hollandiase

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Holiday Mixtape

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2015

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The full 2014 holiday line!

All of our cards are available for purchase on our Etsy store! You can also click the fancy new button on the top right of this page to start shopping now. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I love creating them.

Weekend in the Woods :: Alyssa + Drew

Fall has officially arrived in Brooklyn! I’m loving the cool weather and changing leaves. The only downside is how early it’s getting dark now! But if that’s the trade off for spiced treats and the ability to dress in layers, I’ll take it.

With the changing seasons, it seemed only right to bring a bit of autumn color to the blog. Alyssa and Drew planned a beautiful fall weekend in Ontario that included not only their wedding festivities but also canoeing, fishing, hiking, and swimming! The couple wanted an invitation that would get their guests excited about the woodsy weekend that awaited them.

My favorite part of the invitation is the lush border. It showcases the natural foliage of the area as well as the warm colors of the changing leaves. I also can’t help but feel nice and snuggly when I see the flannel inspired envelope liner. Oh, who is that cute turtle on the crest, you may ask? That’s Caeser, their beloved pet. Their invitation just wouldn’t be complete with him!

I had a lot of fun working with Alyssa and Drew to bring their vision to life and hope you like it too. Hopefully the weather is lovely wherever you are and you’re treating yourself to plenty of pumpkin flavored goodies.

 

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Stuff We Love: Album Artwork

Whenever I’m on the subway in the morning, headed to the studio, I like to look around and see how many of my fellow passengers are reading actual, paper books as opposed to tapping away on a phone or tablet screen. More often that not, the latter will be the majority. Sometimes I’m even one of them (have you guys tried this game called Two Dots??)

It’s undeniable (and also rather old news) that we live in a digital world. From our iPhones and MacBooks to Twitter and Instagram, it’d be nearly impossible to ignore or reject the fact. Nor would we want to! Technology helps us be more efficient in our research, design, and communication. It helps us connect with all of you!

But as custom stationers and lovers of all things tactile, we find even more joy in the physical – things like thick paper, bright ink, paper to-do lists, new pens, old books…and album artwork.

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is head to a record store (there are no shortage of those in Brooklyn) and flip through the albums. I buy a few here and there, but I more so go to appreciate that, despite music so often being streamed or enjoyed digitally, record covers are still such key a part of the album.

I’ve rounded up five of my favorite, illustrative record covers for your enjoyment. BONUS – all of the music inside is fantastic as well. Check them out below…

 

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Daniel Johnton has an incredible number of albums, all with artwork he’s created. It’s tough to pick just one, but if I must, it’ll have to be this classic.

 

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Kreh Mellick created the artwork for Angel Olsen’s latest release. The way she uses shapes together is absolutely fantastic. Check out her website for more…she paints quite a beautiful beard.

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 Brooklyn band Woods’ album artwork is always on point. I love the black and white sketches from their latest release.

 

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The simplicity of Julie Byrne’s artwork perfectly reflects her musical style. I love the handmade quality of this album – the seeminly over-inked stamp shapes feels rustic and warm.

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Similar to Angel Olsen’s album, Saintseneca’s artwork is like an exercise in color. It’s great how they’ve created depth and texture from only tones of blue here.

What are some of your favorite album covers? I’d love to see (and listen) to them! Let me know in a comment or tell us on Twitter @swisscottagedsn

Catesby + Jenny :: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July holiday! The summer is flying by here in Brooklyn and the wedding season is in full swing. After months of hard work, it’s so rewarding to see our client’s weddings come to fruition! 

Two of our favorite clients from this year, Catesby + Jenny, tied the knot that past weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Forget the beach or BBQs, mountains are 100% the way to go for the 4th. Mental note for next year…

Working with Catesby and Jenny was such a blast, and the chance to paint a few fun Jackson Hole elements {hello Mr. Friendly Moose!} certainly didn’t hurt. In addition to their save the dates and wedding suite, we lent a hand with a few Day Of elements to tie everything together. My favorite was the hand painted map of Jackson Hole that helped guide guests throughout the weekend. It was so exciting to see a few of our pieces in action among the revelry!

We’ll be sharing more of Catesby and Jenny’s suite as well as some other goodies from this year soon but in the meantime, below are a few sneak peeks!

The gorgeous photos below are compliments of their incredibly talented photographer, Hillary Maybery. See more of Catesby + Jenny’s big day here

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A closer peek at the Save the Date

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The stationary all together. There’s the map peeking out, too.

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Jenny’s beautiful and unique dress. I love the different shades of red that compliment Catesby’s tie so perfectly.

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The couple got crafty and pulled in a bit of nature by using stones as place cards. 

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Congratulations to the happy couple!! We’ll miss you guys around here!

Nate + Jeremiah’s NYPL nuptials

Two weeks ago, the amazingly talented designer, Nate Berkus, married his parter, Jeremiah Brent at the New York Public Library and we were lucky enough to help with some of the day of elements! Their planner, Marcy Blum, pulled out all the stops when it came to their day of elements. My favorite piece we created for the guys was their dinner menu. The couple’s colors were black and white so we printed the menu on a thick black stock and had the copy foil printed in white. When it came to place cards, the couple used the top of the menu to indicate where guests should be seated. That is where my best gal, Love, Jenna calligraphy, came in! Jenna hand calligraphed each name in a gorgeoous, opaque white ink across the top and let the names flow into the white side bars- stunning. It was so fun being a part of such an inspiring wedding! Read more about the couples big day on People Magazine’s website here and here!

photos by Genevieve de Manio

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SCD May Mix Tape

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Another month, another mix tape! Somehow April has come to an end and May snuck in! It doesn’t quite feel like it, but spring is here! We’ve been keeping busy and have already been able work with such amazing clients this year! Don’t worry – we’ve still made some time here and there to enjoy the occasional nice day!

 

This month, we’ve got a new mixtape to celebrate the days getting longer and (ever so slowly!) warmer. Hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment or shoot us a tweet with any suggestions of what we should listen to in June!

SCD May Mix Tape from sunnyeckerle on 8tracks Radio.

Track list:
Family Portrait – Other Side
Sonny & the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn
Uncle Dave Macon – Don’t Get Weary Children
Django Reinhardt – When Day is Done
The Band – The Weight
Broken Social Scene – Shampoo Suicide
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Who’ll Stop the Rain
Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes
Mountain Man – Animal
Band of Horses – The Great Salt Lake
Megafaun – Worried Mind
Elyse Weinberg with Neil Young – Houses
Benjamin Britten – Cuckoo
Connie Converse – How Sad, How Lovely

Upstate Love: A Blue Hill at Stone Barns Wedding

Ugh, this venue. Blue Hill at Stone Barns  isso incredibly gorgeous in every way, it hurts. Throw in two of the sweetest clients I’ve ever had and done and it’s a match made in invitation heaven. Jenna and George are former New Yorkers now living in D.C. They love this city and wanted to have their wedding in a place that meant so much to them as a couple.

When it came to planning their wedding, the couple drew inspiration from their venue in all aspects, including their invitations. They knew they wanted the invites to feel clean and rustic but still sophisticated and elegant. Given this, we went with letterpress printing on a soft white cotton stock. I kept the fonts choices very clean but peppered in hand illustrations to add an organic element to the suite. Jenna and George are big foodies so we came up with the idea to do a fresh herb inspired liner printed on kraft paper. I love how the soft white paper and the kraft stock play off one another here. It’s a great balance of rustic and sophistication. The couple wanted to create a continuing motif to use throughout their day of elements. We came up with the idea to do a Pig weathervane {how cute is that guy?} My favorite part is the red RSVP envelope. It’s simple but creates a pop of drama and color which gave the suite some extra personality.

Jenna and George had us work on all their day of elements as well. One of my favorites things that the couple had us do was to create a custom illustration for each of their table numbers. They chose places that were personal to them and their journey as a couple. After the wedding, Jenna and George had us create a commemorative print that included all their chosen locations plus their wedding date which was letterpress printed. What a great way to remember your day and to bring some custom art into your home.

It was a complete pleasure working with these two and I don’t think we could have created anything more appropriate for their big day!

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Here is the print mentioned above, it was printed 11″ x 14″ on 120# Crane Lettra stock

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Here is the happy couple and their amazing venue! All photos were taken by Pat Furey

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George took the logo we created and had it embroidered on custom slippers- he’s my hero.

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Swiss Cottage Mix Tape

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Well hello there! Welcome back to the Swiss Cottage Designs blog. You may have noticed something’s a bit different around here. What could it be, you ask? Aside from the fancy new .gif, there’s also a new office manager! Hi, I’m Sunny.

You may have been emailing with me lately, or maybe you’ll be emailing with me very soon. Either way, lovely to meet you! I come to Swiss Cottage Designs after several years in the agency world. Before that, I was getting my BFA in Graphic Design from Florida State University. Now I’m here to make sure everything runs smoothly & of course to draw the occasional animated gif.

In addition to lots of emails, lots of packaging, and lots of design, I’m also in charge of the studio music. It’s arguably the most stressful part of my day to day! Good tunes equal good vibes which of course equals good design. I make sure to stay on top of the DJ duties lest we have to listen to each other’s occasional stomach gurgles in awkward silence.

That brings me to the Swiss Cottage Mix Tape! I’ve curated a playlist of what we’ve been digging lately and shared it for your listening pleasure. I hope you like it! If you have any recommendations, you should tweet them to us at @swisscottagedsn too!

Looking forward to chatting more with everyone. Have a great rest of the week!

Sanju + Rana :: A Vermont Love

Oh… hey internet, how ya been? Wow- what a winter it’s been around here. We’ve had our nose to the grindstone over the last few weeks getting all our Spring/Summer brides in order. It’s been awesome seeing all these great projects come to life! Since we’ve been a bit MIA recently, I thought it was about time we share a project from one of our 2013 clients, the lovely Sanju!

Sanju came to me with a vision! This girl knew what she wanted. Sanju had fallen in love with our Vermont suite and wanted to do her own take on the crest idea. We kept her suite really simple with just two pieces; a wedding invite and a double-sided details card. The invitation was worded as a personal letter from Sanju and her fiancé Rana. I think this idea is so great and special. It allows you to personally invite your guests in your own words. In terms of the design, we kept this piece pretty simple letting the hand drawn border and crest be the stars. Because this wasn’t just a wedding but a full-on wedding weekend, we created an illustrated details card that broke down each day of the weekend with what events would be taking place. The back had the weekend details written out and directions to RSVP on the couples website. This is a great idea if you have lots of guests coming from overseas {which Rana and Sanju did} saving you the stress of relying on international post. Sanju wanted the piece to feel rustic and very Vermont but to still have fun pops of color that would come up throughout her day of. I love the playful feeling this piece gives off. It also makes me crave those crisp Fall days- but I’ll just focus on a temperature above 40 degrees for now…

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