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February 2017

Wow. Today is a pretty big day. Our brand new site design, 6+ months in the making, is now live! This was a joint effort between Spence and I (though way more Spence than me) and it’s finally up! We didn’t hire any outside help, just hustled between the other things we were doing for the past half year (which is partly why it took much longer than we anticipated). We had a few goals in mind as we dove into this project, so today I wanted to share a site design tour, as well as our process + experience throughout the redesign.

Happy Tuesday! I’m not gonna lie, this week’s tutorial is one of my favorites. Essentially, we’re combining the watercolor photoshop brush tutorial from a few weeks ago with last week’s ribbon tutorial. And we’re doing it all in Illustrator and keeping things simple and easy 😉 We’ll start by taking some watercolor textures on transparent backgrounds (like these, these or these), and then directly convert them into watercolor texture brushes in Illustrator. You’ll be able to transform the textures into any shape using the brush tool to create beautiful results. Create them once, then save them out for infinite future uses, too! Read on to see how!

If you’re just diving into Illustrator, this week’s tutorial is perfect for beginners! We’ll go over some very basic, but powerful tools that you can use in different ways well into the future. In this tutorial, we create a simple ribbon brush together (from scratch) using Adobe Illustrator. We’ll talk about different brush settings, customizing your ribbon before and afterwards, and even how to save it for future use. Everything you need to get started is below!

When I first got into font making, hearing “customized (or coded) font features” made me question if I really knew what they were. I went digging away and an entire new world of font customization opened up in front of me. I knew OTFs were better than TTFs, but I had no idea how powerful OTFs really could be. If you’re unfamiliar with terms like stylistic and contextual alternates or discretionary and standard ligatures, we’re talking about em all this week!

I was surprised to receive a number of emails lately asking which home inkjet printers I recommend. After using different printers at all of the jobs I’ve held, plus using my own home printers (which I used for a stationery biz I once had – story for another time), there are two that have always stood out for me. Both are listed below with specific reasons why they’re my favorites, along with my favorite paper to use with them!