Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Edgar Allan Poe cover designs

In honor of the upcoming Halloween weekend, here are some of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe book cover designs. The Pit and the Pendulum is actually an album cover but the cool type treatment deserves a mention!

Pretty packaging from Anthropologie

I love the gift packaging at Anthropologie. I gave this particular package as a bridal shower gift (with a lovely nightgown inside). I took photos so I could replicate the ribbon technique with my own packaging. Note the detail photo of the felt disk that shows how the felt is linked to the string–clever! To compliment the gift concept, I attached a lavender-scented, heart-shaped sachet made by my very talented sister-in-law, Estefi. She sells her intricate and unique hand-sewn wares at her Etsy store, artE {Handmade}.

Halloween Paper Origami Game

Remember those paper origami "fortune" games? I used to love those things! I made a Halloween version for my nephews using my Halloween illustration. Instead of telling your fortune, this one tells you to do something funny in relation to the illustrations (i.e. zombie drawing = "walk like a zombie"). Will and Matt, you'll get 'em in the mail this week!


Amazing movie posters for Black Swan

My husband and I had the pleasure of attending a screening of Black Swan at the premier of the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 14. The film was stunning, scary, beautiful and grotesque. Following the screening we were treated to the unique experience of a Q & A with the director, Darren Aronofsky. After experiencing the film, I was thrilled to learn about these gorgeous limited edition posters by La Boca. These designs successfully incorporate the high art of ballet with a retro nod to the theatrical history of Black Swan. I love that they used different fonts—mainly gothic and from the early 20th century—for each poster. The strong contrasts, blood red type, and vacant human forms put me on edge, much like the horrific scenes from the film. I think the poster designers deserve an Oscar category after seeing these.

Happy weekend!

The weekend is finally (almost) here! TGIF indeed. I don't have a "new" blog post but I just want to remind you of my free illustration download in my post from yesterday. As a craft for your weekend, try my candy corn cork stamp tutorial. Only 9 days left to do Halloween-y things!

Free Printable Download: All Hallow's Eve Illustration

Today marks exactly one year since I launched The Lettered Set. To thank you, my readers, for your support and inspiration, I drew a special Halloween illustration that can be downloaded right here. You can print this on a card, gift tag, treat bag, and more! It's a high resolution JPG that can be imported it into any layout program, including Word. Enjoy! Note: This image cannot be used for resale but you're welcome to share the link with your friends. I only ask that you encourage others to follow The Lettered Set blog via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. Thanks!

My Sketchbook

Here is a little bit of springtime from my sketchbook. I am going to turn these flowers into a painted pattern that I will model after Anne Boleyn's Book of Hours. It's really interesting to study manuscript illustration techniques from that time period. In my art history books I always see very ornate lettering with gold leaf and dramatic religious scenes. A closer look has shown me a softer, more delicate form of the art of illumination. This illustration is for a blog design assignment for my new client in Australia. Although I want to share more details, I'm going to wait for a bigger reveal once the project is done and my blogger friend has announced her new look.

"Big Band" Wedding Save the Dates

My friends Kristen and Glenn recently came to me with a fun "Retro Country Club" idea for their wedding save the date. Kristen let me run with my design ideas (love it when that happens!) and my "Big Band Save the Date" card was born. The couple loves to dance so I illustrated a "retro style" bride and groom in an elegant ballroom pose. I really wanted to incorporate a balloon into the card and Kristen happily obliged. Their colors are gold and turquoise so I chose matching gold envelopes and shiny gold ribbon for a little extra sparkle. When I look at this card I can almost hear the tinkling of music in the distance on a warm summer night at the country club. So looking forward to July 2011!

The Lettered Set is turning one!

I can't believe it's been one year since I started my blog. Time flies when you're having fun. In honor of my 1 year blog anniversary I am offering 20% offall cards in my shop. The sale is ONLY for this week so shop on over before it's done. Click the "shop" tab above to get started. This Thursday (10/21 is my actual anniversary) I will be sharing a very special free download that I illustrated as a Halloween treat for all of my readers. Stay tuned!

Book covers of the week and the National Book Award finalists

The 20 finalists for the 2010 National Book Awards were announced yesterday. While I understand that these finalists are to be judged on literature alone, I was excited to see a slideshow of the cover designs. After all, great cover design = more sales = the life of the publishing industry (I may have skipped a few steps but that's my theory). My three favorites are:
Click here to read more and see the full slideshow.

Font-tastic! Nelly Script

I am love my new script fonts, Nelly Script and it's companion, Nelly Script Flourish. This is the perfect wedding font! I have started to offer wedding address labels for customers as a cost-saving alternative to hiring a calligrapher. I think I've finally found the perfect letter forms for that lovely calligraphy look.

Nelly Script was created by font designer Stuart Sandler and calligraphy artist Crystal Kluge for The Tart Workshop.

This font collaboration came about when Stuart and his fiancée were shopping for wedding invitations at Paper Source in Minneapolis. They spotted lovely lettering and found it was all done by a woman named Crystal Kluge. The couple soon hired Crystal for a lettering project and from there a font was born! The collaboration continues at Tart Workshop and Stuart's wife's unique stationery business, Guestbook Store.

Read the full Myfonts "Creative Characters" interview with Stuart Sandler here.

Inspiring Creativity at The Philly Swap

If you live in the Philadelphia area, the Philly Swap is a must-do for you next year! I really didn't know what to expect. "Glorified clothing swap" was the phrase I kept hearing. It was that and more. Held in the gorgeous Urban Outfitters Headquarters (or URBN as all the cool kids call it), the Swap was overflowing with piles and piles of clothes for men, women, teens, kids, and babies. And it was organized! Teams of volunteers were on hand to separate piles and help you shop. There was a VIP section where one could go and get style advice and custom fittings for newly swapped clothes. I arrived at 10:30 that morning to find that my friend Michelle (one of the organizers of the Swap) had placed me at a prime traffic location. I was right by the door to the waterfront and the very popular silk screening stations. Around 1PM, about an hour in, while people were "getting their swap on" I was definitely getting my craft on. The rush lasted until about 4 so the day…

Philly Swap was a hit!

Philly Swap was so much fun! More than 50 people came to my table to stamp notecards or stencil fabric gift tags. I am playing catchup this morning on some of my freelance projects so will do a full recap and post more photos tomorrow. I also met other crafters who I am going to showcase later this week. Happy Monday!

Stamping with scrap paper

Philly Swap is nearly here! I've been playing with stamping techniques all week and I think I'm ready for my workshop on Sunday. Here's one more technique that I found through Martha Stewart (of course!). It's even easier than stamping with corks. See my photos for reference.


Scrap paperCraft paintCard stockScissors

1. Cut a 2"-3" wide strip from your scrap paper
2. Roll it up and then release it so it's a loose curly-Q
3. Take the curled paper and dip one end in your craft paint
4. Stamp a fun pattern with your curly-Q