Half Year Highlights: 2018

Yes, it's August already and no, we have no idea where the time has gone...What we do know though is that we've managed to pack in quite a lot this year already and with new arrivals on the horizon and some more exciting projects lined up, we felt it was a good time to reflect on some of our highlights this year so far... 

...So let's take a 'pause'...

We created a logo and brand identity for this genius of a company pause - the brain child of life coach Danielle Marchant. The act of slowing down and reconnecting to what our heart wants is a transforming experience – if we have the courage to stop, breathe and reflect inwards. Pause retreats aren’t about finding quick answers, but they are about slowing down enough so you can start asking the right questions.

We loved creating this luxurious logo and brand identity for Equatelier - a remote and flexible PA and lifestyle management service. They provide you direct access to a personal assistant to help you with your day to day tasks. No matter how large or small, their service is entirely bespoke to your needs.

Kerri is a London based Creative / Interior Designer with a focus on creating inviting spaces with a story. She has an eye for detail, a love for sourcing antiques and designing bespoke pieces for clients combined with a wealth of experience in various creative industries. We believe that often 'simple is best' and we stripped it back here to create a minimal and gentle logo design for Kerri Lipsitz.  

Anna Hewitson Design provides clients with a fresh approach to Interior Design. Anna Hewitson works with clients to develop creative solutions, tailored to the design brief, seamlessly balancing functionality with aesthetics. If you look closely, you'll see the A & H letters we merged together to create Anna's simple submark and paired with a fresh font. 

Fentiman Design is an Interior Design studio based in London. The business prides itself on its excellent attention to detail in every aspect of the design process and its strong relationships with clients, consultants and suppliers. No detail went unnoticed when creating the logo and branding for Fentiman.  

Conditioned by Kat is a freelance, personal training business. The logo design focused on bold and clear typography with an emphasis on power and structure. We can't wait to see more from this awesome company. 

We created a bright, hand-written logo to capture the bespoke and personal spirit of Emily Hill Lifestyle.  Whether it be a one-off project or on-going support, Emily's service is designed for anyone who recognises the value of outsourcing and streamlining, to free up that precious commodity: time. 

We love working with start-ups and Jessica da Cunha was no exception. We designed a classic and stylish logo for her new interior design business. 

Please do get in touch hello@isabelandink if you would like to discuss logo and brand projects with us for your business or read more about our brand stories here. 

Gig Posters

Inspired by a recent blog post by From Up North we've posted a selection of some of our favourite old school, graphic art music posters.

When two art forms meet to create collateral, something truly magical can occur. Both musician and graphic artist can appreciate the true meaning of creativity and freedom of expression. 

Like the musicians they so powerfully represent, these posters truly stand the test of time. 

 Joy Division - Kant Kino - Berlin

Joy Division - Kant Kino - Berlin

 An original boxing style concert poster from the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. The poster is advertising the legendary concert by The Sex Pistols that took place on the 20th July 1976.

An original boxing style concert poster from the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. The poster is advertising the legendary concert by The Sex Pistols that took place on the 20th July 1976.

 Bob Dylan poster series curated by Alex Girón

Bob Dylan poster series curated by Alex Girón

 Etta James by Hatch Show Print

Etta James by Hatch Show Print

 Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

 Johnny Cash concert poster. On January 13th, 1968 Johnny Cash played the 1st of his iconic prison concerts at Folsom State Prison, California.

Johnny Cash concert poster. On January 13th, 1968 Johnny Cash played the 1st of his iconic prison concerts at Folsom State Prison, California.

 Dick Clark's gig posters | Pictures From Motown

Dick Clark's gig posters | Pictures From Motown

 James Brown - Globe Poster Printing Corporation

James Brown - Globe Poster Printing Corporation

 The Who Original Marquee Concert Poster Hung At Club

The Who Original Marquee Concert Poster Hung At Club

All images were taken from Pinterest.

Paper Projects: Wedding Edit

We are huge fans of all things paper at Isabel & Ink. We're lucky enough that we get to work with paper quite a lot (ok all the time) and there are some truly fantastic UK based printing companies out there to help turn our designs into a reality. 

Here's some of our favourite papers that we've used throughout various wedding and event stationery pieces AND we've even written what paper was used for you... aren't you lucky?!

GF Smith - Colorplan Smoke

GF Smith - Colorplan Lavender

GF Smith - Colorplan Mist

GF Smith - Gmund Creme Tactile

GF Smith - Colorplan Natural & Lockwood Green

GF Smith Colorplan Natural - Silkweave Embossing

GF Smith - Colorplan Amethyst

Whether you're printing your wedding invitations, correspondence cards, business cards, brochures or letterhead, we love get geeky and stuck in to swatches, textures, colours and finishes so drop us a line if you want to chat paper!

Logo Look Back 2017

We've worked with some pretty awesome companies this year and expanded our spectrum of clients to new industries. 

Here are a few highlights...

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Moore Connected offers tech tuition for those in need of a patient and knowledgable guide. We created a friendly and approachable logo design that was reflective of an old school club/society. We look forward to seeing how the company evolves when it officially launches next year.  

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Since it's launch, The Peel Boutique has gone from strength to strength and we've loved being a part of it's journey. The logo was created with the idea of peeling and revealing in mind, stripping away parts of the letters for a cool, clean, contemporary feel. Watch this space!

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Santis is a private, London, prostate cancer clinic with world-class results. We wanted to keep the logo design clean, fresh and positive. 

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We love working with interior designers because of their wonderful attention to detail. We kept the logo strong and simple for Interior Style Studio but added in a subtle use of bright coral throughout the brand for a bit of a twist. 

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Hanning is a lead real estate recruitment firm based in London. We are very partial to the deep navy and neon yellow colour combo created for the brand. 

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Nadia Malarkey is a garden and landscape designer based in the US. Structure, connection and form played a key part in the creation of Nadia's logo. There is a real sense of harmony as well as space between the letters.

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Nidderdale Capital (“NiddCap”) is a UK based operating partner and asset manager for real estate investors. The company name was inspired by the Yorkshire Dales so we made a subtle nod to this in the logo design. 

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Lucy Kinsella is an interior designer with impeccable taste. We created a smart, chic monogram and paired it with a contemporary font as part of her overall branding. 

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The Event List offers high quality and original party products for all occasions. Their website is a treasure trove of goodies for unique gift-givers. The logo created is classic and timeless.

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The girls over at ALS Ski have pretty enviable jobs and specialise in organising ski holidays and events. We rebranded their existing company with a fresh and approachable design.

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Anything that's sold at magnum size is fine by us! The Magnum Company mark is fun, friendly and fresh.

There are plenty more where this came from and we are excited to see what 2018 brings. Thank you to all our lovely clients and participants. 

Izzy x

South of France Wedding

At Isabel & Ink we love working on destination weddings so when Tara & Alex approached us to create some unique stationery for their big day in the South of France, we were excited.

We enrolled the talented artist Suzie Foster to help bring together some stunning floral designs starting with a Save the Date. We entwined flowers around the couple’s initials for a bespoke emblem used throughout much of their stationery on the day. 

This led nicely on to the beautiful, fresh, summery invitations...

A hand-painted floral painted border filled with lavender and greenery framing the text and finished off with tissue lined, lemon yellow envelopes. 

The couple celebrated in a gorgeous vineyard in France during the month of August, outside of course.

Alex and Tara spend their summers here so it was only fitting to have their wedding in a place that was special to them both, not forgetting the guaranteed sunshine!

Tara’s dress was one-of-a-kind. An ivory, tulle ball gown with a draped taffeta bodice, curved v-neck and spaghetti straps designed by Hayley Paige.

There were hand-painted, silk flowers on the cascading tiered skirt. In Tara’s own words, it was “a literal princess” dress. We definitely don’t disagree, she looked absolutely breathtaking.

The look was complimented by a bouquet of local wild flowers and rustic blooms – the colours of which matched the silk flowers on her dress.

Alex and Tara married in front of their friends and family in a picturesque setting.

The vineyard provided the perfect backdrop for some very special, post ceremony pictures.

Before the celebrations continued...

We used floral designs from the invitation suite to bring together the table stationery.

The sun set on a truly magical day...

...and the celebrations continued long into the night...

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What an absolutely dreamy day to be involved in. Thank you Tara & Alex!

A note from the bride: We met with Izzy fully expecting to meet with a few other designers, however, we loved her outlook so much we didn’t see anyone else after! She was always fast, her creative vision fitting what we wanted perfectly. She accommodated our ever growing ‘last minute requests’ professionally and all of the stationery looked exquisite. Izzy went above and beyond to help us design our perfect wedding suite. In particular, we loved how she ‘got us’ straight away & the vibe of our wedding. 

Photographys by Anna Fowler Photography

Why Invest In A Logo?

 Logo & brand identity for KW Interiors

Logo & brand identity for KW Interiors

Since becoming a graphic designer, I’ve had many clients come to me and say something along the lines of "I just need a quick, simple logo designed for my new business as soon as possible. I know exactly what I want so it should be pretty straightforward, how much do you charge?"

Whilst I understand and wholeheartedly support the need to get your business up and running so you can begin the important stuff like making money, I would have to disagree that a logo is something that should be designed 'quickly' and 'simply'. Here's why...

1. Logo vs Branding - Know your definitions:
It’s important to get the context of what you’re referring to right so that you and your designer are on the same page. An open dialogue is key.

A logo itself is technically described as a symbol or similar design (either typographical or illustrative) adopted by an organisation to identify its products, uniforms, marketing collateral etc. Other terms for a logo you might hear: mark, motif, symbol, submark, monogram.

Branding is a little harder to define but in short it refers to the image, feeling or idea that a consumer has in their mind when thinking about a particular company. This can relate to an emotive feeling that the consumer has in relation to the brand/product as well as physical features and aspects of the brand itself. Branding is defined through visual identity, marketing materials, tone of voice, user interaction, messages, taglines, colours, fonts, textures, products and imagery. 
Other terms for branding you might hear: brand identity, brand communication, visual communication, brand design.

 
 

 

2. Why your logo is important
A logo is important because it is the window to your company. It is often the first thing that your consumers will see and however ‘simple’ the design is, it is an integral part of what you do and will relate across the board to much of your visual identity. 

3. Why your branding is important
Branding is everywhere and in everything. How the public view your business, your tone of voice and your connection to your consumers is key. Think of your branding in relation to a CV. You want to make sure that you come across in the right way, a way that is true to you, your business or your product but that also has substance and character and stands out from the crowd. How you come across as a brand can be manifested in many ways so it’s important to keep your logo, submarks, motifs, fonts, images, and colours under a set of clear, constructive rules (brand guidelines). With a solid set of guidelines, your brand can stay true to its identity whilst your business develops and grows. 

 
 

 

4. The designer’s view
From a design perspective, we are trained to create logos and consequent brand elements that are reflective of a company, their values, ideals, tone of voice, target audience, competitors, client profiles and back story. We like to get nosy. We want to know everything about the business before it’s even begun so that we get a very clear picture that we can use to develop and design a successful logo. 

Imagine if a portrait artist was given a grainy, pixelated photo of its subject and asked to draw a clear, visual representation. They may get pretty close but those finer details would be lacking and the end result wouldn’t be quite right. It wouldn’t be a true representation of the person. Logo designing is the same. It takes time, energy, creativity, research, brainstorming, sketching and fine-tuning. Most of this happens before we even get on to the computer to create the logo.

Think about that portrait again and the artist beginning to draw the eyes of their subject. Eyes are such a defining feature of a person and often the most difficult part for an artist to get right. In much the same way, a logo is the ‘eye’ to your company. We want to get it right. We also want to see the company through your eyes so that we can represent your business in an authentic way via a logo. 

 
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5. Money/time dilemma
Graphic Design is a profession. In the same way as any industry, you pay for what you get and if you are willing to invest a bit of time and money into the logo/brand process then you will get a trained designer with experience, creativity and professionalism at your service. You may have come across a friend of a friend or an online site that claims to be able to create a logo for £20 in 2 hours. If you want to go down that route, no problem, but just ask yourself WHY are they doing it for such a small fee and why is it taking them so little time to do it? Are they trained? Do they understand copyright? What work have they done before? Will they give you all the right file formats? I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve come across a pixelated, fuzzy logo on a website, flyer or business card and thought to myself ‘that company hasn’t been given their logo in the correct file format’. It’s such a shame. A logo should be flexible, relatable, adaptable and scalable and provided to the client in all the correct ways. 

Logo designing and brand identity takes time and it shouldn't be rushed. If you're serious about making your business work then allow designers to be serious about how they work too. I take on very few logo design and branding projects at any one time so I can give them my full attention and energy, to achieve something that is reflective of their brand and, above all, something they are proud of. 

6. Still not convinced?
If you’re still not sure whether investing in a logo is a good idea then just remember this - if you treat yourself as a proper, successful, professional business then others will ultimately see you in the same way.  In this fast paced, digital-heavy, overcrowded world there has to be something to be said for seeking out a designer or studio that can conceptualise your brand and create something just a little bit special and unique. 

Have a look here at some of the logos we've designed.

 
 

Postcards from Tuscany

There is nothing more specatular to me than Italy during the summer and Tuscany is no exception, especially when enjoyed with family. Here's a little peek into our wonderful week...

Izzy x

London Wedding

One of the best parts of designing wedding stationery is getting to see all the wonderful photos from the big day afterwards. 

Vashti & Peter were married on Saturday 20th May 2017 in a stylish and unique London wedding. We worked with Vashti from the get-go to create some very special stationery with some gorgeous bespoke illustrations from her talented friend Eilidh Ho. 

We created a map for the main invite with symbols and motifs to represent the different parts of the day. Painted florals were dotted throughout the info booklet, RSVP card and on-the-day pieces.

Stationery was extremely important to Vashti and she shares our love for all things paper! She wanted to make sure that all her stationery was unique and beautifully crafted and that all pieces had a theme and were unified.

Even the RSVP cards!

Wedding guests were taken on a special journey throughout London starting with the ceremony itself in Trafalgar Square.

With the bride wearing a gorgeous dress by Caroline Castigliano.

Following on from the ceremony, guests were transported from the church in a red routemaster bus in true London style. It began to rain a little after the wedding ceremony but a friend turned to the bride and said “a wet knot never unravels”. Wise words!

The journey wasn't over as guests were taken to Westminster Pier and aboard the P.S Elizabethan for the next part of the adventure...

...Sailing down to Putney Pier.

...and off to the reception.

They were met by stunning tables adorned with delicate hydrangeas, earl grey and white roses and succulants in terrariums.

The menus sat proudly on each plate with the guests names scribed by the bride at the top.

We love the fresh, contemporary garden vibe throughout.

Inside the house guests were encouraged to sign the guest book and get creative.

Meanwhile, chefs were busy at work...

Day turned into night and it was time for dinner, encouraged, of course, by the seating chart.

Food was enjoyed by candlelight.

Before everyone danced the night away and the couple's friends and family, young and old, surrounded them in love and support.

"I loved working with Isabel & Ink – totally flexible with my ideas, extremely creative in producing items and so personable." - Vashti

Wedding Photographs by Takao Komaru.

Here's a little peak at some of the other pieces we created for the day...

California Road Trip: Santa Barbara, LA & Vegas

Arriving in Santa Barbara, I couldn't have been happier to see the sand and sea. Santa Barbara is one of those places that has such a cool, relaxed vibe about it. Spanish-style buildings, red tile roofs, tall palm trees and boutique shops, sitting under the watchful eye of the surrounding hills.

We only had one night here so spent the day exploring the area. 

Obviously I found a stationery shop - Paper Source. We are in need of one of these in the UK. Rows and rows of coloured paper and envelopes in all sizes and shades. We followed our exploring with a well earned ice cream at this delightful spot. 

We stayed at the Canary hotel. A gorgeous place with a massive, four-poster double bed and crisp white sheets. It's the only hotel to have a roof-top terrace with a pool in Santa Barbara so I didn't waste much time...

That evening I got my 'hero' shot. A snap of the most perfect, pink and purple evening sky - no filters...just nature at its very best. 

Back on the road again and down to LA where we caught a glimpse of the amazing yellow wild flowers that were visible from space this year.

I made Ed stop at pretty much every beach along the way... sort of imagining I was filming an episode of The O.C as I went...

Venice Canals was our next stop, a lovely place for a stroll with a melange of quaint houses perched on the waterside. 

We did Air BnB while in LA, staying in the Abbot Kinney area (near Venice Canals). Staying in LA is expensive and this is probably one of the best ways around it. You are near the beach, a bike ride away from Santa Monica and far enough out that you don't feel the hectic, hot and traffic-heavy vibes of downtown LA. 

This area is buzzing - musicians, artists, tourists, families, skateboarders, cyclists, 'muscle-beach' enthusiasts.

We walked the length of most of the beach and then hopped on bikes as the sun was beginning to set. 

Experiencing more multi-coloured skies.

As we were in LA, I felt we had to take a trip to Rodeo Drive which was something to behold. 

Not very 'me' but luckily there was something a little more welcoming close by...

Sprinkles Cupcakes - the perfect mid-morning snack for a tourist. Honestly, what's cooler than an ATM that delivers you cupcakes in a under a minute?! Fuelled up and ready to go we hit the Sunset Strip and said hey to a few famous faces whilst we were there. 

I booked a Warner Bros. tour (a bit touristy) but interesting to see how detailed and specialised the film world is. It's almost unbelievably how much goes into making a movie, advert or tv show. They take you through it all here. 

La La Land anyone?

A life-long dream was fulfilled when this happened...

For instagram addicts, the Paul Smith 'pink wall' on Melrose Avenue is a must visit. 

Before heading out of LA, I made sure to visit an absolute gem of a shop (one that I have admired from across the pond for years).

Sugar Paper LA - chic and gorgeous pieces, a must-see for all stationery lovers.

After arriving in Vegas, our final stop, I was delighted to be greeted by this view.

Well worth the wait. 

We were staying at the Vdara Hotel - a non-gambling hotel so slightly more low key than others. Don't stay in Vegas if you don't like heights...!

We didn't have long in Vegas so spent the time walking down the strip and taking in the madness.

Before a drink at the very top of the Palms Hotel with quite a view...

And finishing with an expert fountain display timed to Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' outside the Bellagio. A little cringe, sure, but all part of the experience. 

A good send off before flying back to the UK.

California Road Trip: Yosemite, Monterey & Big Sur

After Lake Tahoe it was time for a lengthy drive down to Yosemite. We left the snow-capped mountains behind and headed south, stopping off in one of those classic, all-American towns for a quick bite to eat.  

Yosemite is a national park and world heritage site reaching across parts of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It consists of many waterfalls, cliffs, streams, lakes, mountains and glaciers. 

Wherever you stand, walk or hike there is a view to be had. We did the 2 waterfalls tour (about a 4-5 hour hike overall). It was exhausting but completely worth it. 

The higher you go, the better it gets. Be prepared to get a little wet. Pack plenty of water and wear sensible shoes (I sound like my mother but it's good advice)! 

You only need one or two nights in Yosemite. The hotels aren't that amazing or unique because they have such a high turn over of visitors to the area. My recommendation would be to arrive in the evening, have a full day at Yosemite and then leave the next morning. We did just that and then headed over to Monterey Bay for our next stop.

If you've seen Big Little Lies on Sky Atlantic, you'll know the kind of place Monterey is; panoramic coastal drives, pristine beaches, huge houses and perfect sunsets. The town is famous for its aquarium so we paid it a visit.

We stayed in Carmel, apparently one of the most expensive places to buy property in America. We were in a lovely local inn for just one night. I almost wish we had done two. The Carmel area is a mix of smart and unique boutique stores that lead down to a beach.

We had booked a whale watching tour in advance for the following day. You're taken out on a boat with quite a large group of people but it's not long before you get your first glimpse of a fin...

...and then they are all around you.

On the way back into the harbour we were met by some very friendly but rather smelly locals...

Our next stop was the Big Sur. It would have been a very easy drive down but large parts of Highway 1 were closed due to landslides and bad weather. Luckily, the place we were due to stay at was still accessible but it meant a 3 hour detour over some very bendy, windy hills and cliffs to get to a very small section of the Highway that was still open. The views were worth it though. 

We were staying at TreeBones, a stunning Yurt village overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

We arrived just in time for a 'sundowner' looking out to sea...

Before retiring to our lodgings for the next two nights...Glamping at its best. 

Walking around the Big Sur area is like something out of a book. Rolling hills, steep cliffs, crashing waves and barely another person in site (due primarily to the road closures). We took full advantage of the photo opportunities. 

Ready for our final leg of the journey.