2014 :: A Year in Review

SCD will be closed from Monday, December 22 through Friday, January 2nd. We will be checking email periodically but response time will somewhat delayed. Don’t worry, though! We will be back in the studio bright and early on Monday, January 5th.

Forgive us for indulging in such a cliché {especially this time of year} but truly – where does the time go? We’re only a week away from Christmas with New Years just around the corner. It’s so hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. It’s been such a fun and exciting year for Swiss Cottage so we wanted to recap some of the best moments for the very last blog post of 2014! {OK- we realize when we say “last blog post” of 2014 that could also be “the 5th blog post of 2014″… bear with us! Better blogging habits is on the to-do list for 2015!}

SCD’s top 2014 moments {in no particular order!}

1. Earlier this year we were asked to guest blog for a week on on Oh So Beautiful Paper. It was so fun to brainstorm and plan all of the posts. It was certainly a big undertaking with all of the prep and production that went into the content. That week was a whirlwind in the studio with all of the set up and shooting. The response to each post was wonderful and warm. It was fantastic to contribute to such a respected and well curated blog. Thank you to the amazing Nole for the opportunity!

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2. We were so excited to design the dinner menus for talented designer Nate Berkus and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, who tied the knot at The New York Public Library this past Spring. The white foil printing on black paper came out beautifully. Plus, it gave us the opportunity to work with our wonderfully talented friend Jenna of Love, Jenna Calligraphy for the personalization of each menu. The wedding was featured in People magazine and our little menu got a shout out on the People website!

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3. One of our invitation designs was featured in the special Weddings issue of New York Magazine! No matter how many times it happens, it’s always exciting to be featured in a print publication. The tangibility of it feels so real! It was wonderful to see our work alongside so many other talented designers and lovely invitations. The magazine is on sale through spring of 2015, so take a peek if you happen to snag a copy! Like a true hoarder, I bought 5 copies. A huge THANK YOU to NY mag for including us in this issue!

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4. Bella Figura is a very cool company based in Syracuse, New York  {home to my alma mater!} that offers so many great design options for save the dates and invitations. We were so pleased to continue working with them and contribute several new designs for their 2015 line. It’s a cool way to make some our designs accessible to couples who may not want to go the fully custom route. We can’t wait to see the new designs in the coming year, they have lots of cool tricks up their sleeves!

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5. We launched a shiny new Swiss Cottage website, full of new projects from 2014. We were able to work with so many incredible clients and create such beautiful artwork for them this year. It’s easy to forget just how many projects we do in the course of the year, so it was a great feeling to see it all come together in one place and to share it with everyone, too. And, of course, this update would not have been possible without the photographic genius of Brookelyn Photography. A HUGE thank you to Brooke for coming by and helping us make some magic.

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6. We also launched our first ever holiday card line!! This one is very near and dear to my heart as it’s been on my wish list for quite some time. For the last five years, custom work has been our bread and butter. We love that it means that every day and every project is different. It was a very cool change to design and offer a ready made line of cards. It allowed us to connect with a larger audience as well as directly with stores that we love. Several stores in Brooklyn and beyond carried our holiday line! We’ve already got some new ideas cooking for 2015 and can’t wait to share them soon! Check back in on 1/5 for the launch of our new Valentine’s Day cards. Oh yeah!

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7. The month of June was a busy one! We made the walk up to our friendly neighborhood shipping extraordinaire {Omar} almost every day, laden with boxes and parcels. We vastly surpassed our previous monthly shipping record, much to our surprise and probably to Omar’s pleasure. We also shipped our most well traveled package…all the way to Hong Kong! We celebrated on the walk home with iced tea and mini muffins from Mazolla’s {naturally.}

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8. A very neat opportunity came for us later in the year. Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, a great little shop in Park Slope, asked us to illustrate their holiday window display. This was a big undertaking {literally!} that was a very fun and new challenge. It was such a cool feeling to see my artwork in a new context and to share it with so many others who passed by or came into the shop. It’s still on display if you happen to be walking down 5th Avenue in Brooklyn.

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9. We discovered that we have very little self control when it comes to treats. Sunny commutes from Greenpoint, the Brooklyn neighborhood that’s home to Peter Pan Donuts. More often than not she’d arrive on Friday morning with half a dozen donuts {one of their signature flavors is red velvet} and we’d proceed to eat our selves into a sugar coma. Then we’d wash it all down with a large chai from Maybelle’s and complain about feeling ill the rest of the day. No regrets, though.

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photo by: LG Train

10. While we do enjoy our donuts and chai, our biggest vice has to be the shockingly addictive Pellegrino. The fridge is usually well stocked, although we do have the occasional emergencies  that require a quick trip to the bodega for a re-up {yeah, we’re throwing some WIRE terminology around, it’s cool.} . Based on my loose calculations, we consumed roughly 73 gallons of Pellegrino this year. Don’t judge us.

San-Pellegrino-Sparkling-Water-1L11. And last BUT most certainly not least- Sunny came home! Ha. OK, I’ve been waiting all year to make this joke. But really, the world’s most amazing office manager, Sunny Eckerle, joined our team and made a difference from the get go! She’s made us an organized beast and has really helped get us in tip top shape. This year would not have been the same without her and we’re looking forward to more of her excellent contributions in 2015.

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I think that about wraps it up!! Thank you so much to everyone who made 2014 such an incredible year for Swiss Cottage Designs. We have been so lucky to have such wonderfully creative and fun clients, we are so grateful for each and everyone of you. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year! Make sure you stop by in 2015 to see what we have cooking, it’s going to be a good one!

Cheers!!!

London Love

Take a peek through the blog and you’ll notice it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of all things London. The Swiss Cottage studio wouldn’t be complete without endless amounts of tea, miniature Beatles figurines, and vintage London Underground poster. Even our business name is borrowed from a neighborhood in that lovely city!

Being the anglophile that I am, you can imagine my excitement as I worked on this London-centric wedding suite. We opted to move away from the traditional blue, red, and white in favor of black, white, and red. The dramatic colors are balanced with softer, watercolor illustrations of some of the city’s landmarks. I love how striking the overall look is. It’s bold while still maintaining a more gentle, romantic edge. Highlighting some of the most iconic spots around London was also a great way to get guests excited about making the trip for the big day! 

The juxtaposition of old and new is such a prominent theme within London, which is why one of my favorite details is the envelope liner of the Underground map. It introduces a modern element alongside the watercolor images of Big Ben and Tower Bridge. There’s a nice visual push and pull within the suite that I had a great time balancing through the artwork and design.

This is one of my favorite suites that we’ve created this year and I’m so happy to have had the chance to work on it! You can see this plus many other new projects on our freshly updated website! Enjoy!

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SCD Holiday Mix 2014

 

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Christmas tree markets have popped up on every corner, stoops are decorated with twinkling lights, and the air is nice and chilly (though no snow quite yet.) Christmas is only 4 weeks away and it certainly feels festive here in Brooklyn. We’re celebrating the arrival of December with lots of chai, sweet treats, and of course – Christmas music!

We’ve pulled together some of our favorite tracks to help get you in the holiday spirit. It’s a blend of old and new with plenty of classics and a few you might not have heard. Feel free to use it for your holiday shindigs, cookie decorating sessions, or inaugural tree lightings.

Bonus fun fact – all of the songs from our Holiday Mix Tape card are featured on the holiday playlist!

Grab a warm drink, get comfortable, and press Play!

SCD website :: SHINY + NEW

It’s December first, the holidays are coming at full speed and over at SCD we are anxiously getting ready for 2015! We’ve been giving the once over to all of our branding and packaging, have been brainstorming ideas for our 2015 card line (wahoo!) and most importantly, have updated our website!

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Our updated website is cleaner, easier to navigate and includes all of our most recent projects for your viewing pleasure. 2014 has been an incredible year for SCD, we’ve worked with some of the most creative and kindest clients we ever could have hoped for and the new website reflects those great collaborations. We’ve even included a little write up on each project so you have a better sense of the inspiration behind these designs.

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We also have an updated section for our branding projects which is something we have really been focusing on {and enjoying!} in 2014 and will continue in 2015 with some great new brands.

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Have a look and let us know what you think! And, as always, thank you for stopping by and for your support of SCD! Here is to a great holiday season. And don’t forget to shop our holiday card line! Free shipping through 12/8 using promo code SCDHOLIDAY

Cheers!

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 Ever 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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