1. April 15, 2015
    PORTFOLIO | sarah hearts branding

    Sarah Hearts branding by Pinegate Road

    Happy Wednesday everyone. This Sarah Hearts branding project has had me is such sweet spirits lately. Sarah and I first met at Alt Summit several years ago, and I was thrilled to help her take her branding to the next level over the past month. As a graphic designer herself, I was slightly intimidated to take on this project. For all you designers out there, you know how hard it is designing for yourself though right? After a few takes on her own, she decided it was time to pass the torch, and what an experience it was for the both of us! It was a completely unique process working with another designer for their branding, and Sarah’s amazing feedback helped us push this logo to where it is today.

    Sarah’s brand value words are inspiration, creativity, and accessibility. She is a DIY blogger who loves bright colors, simple shapes, patterns, and helping her readers make their homes joyful creative spaces. The new Sarah Hearts branding shows that she is a creative, that what she presents is simple and design-forward, and that her brand is an inspiring one to interact with. We made her primary logo colorful and had lots of dots surrounding her logotype. This represents the pops of inspiration that Sarah Hearts gives to the readers. ‘Sarah’ was done in a unique custom typeface that shows off the creativity in the Sarah Hearts brand. She is always putting unique and simple spins on to every-day items, and this type really shows that quality off. ‘Hearts’ is done in a simple feminine sans serif that represents Sarah Hearts’ accessible approach to DIY.

    Next we’ll be tackling some website optimization. This is a newer approach I am taking with clients. While I’ve been designing websites and blogging for the past several years, I’ve been more in a ‘tell me what you need’ mode rather than a ‘let’s explore how your brand lives on the web and how it can tie to your values.’ Novel, huh? ;) I’m going to be going through every detail of the Sarah Hearts’ online experience and making sure that it not only lives out her new brand visually, but that it’s supporting her values through the reader’s experience. I’ve been adding these kinds of elements throughout web design projects over the years, but this will be the first time we’ll be coming from this point of view 100% from the beginning.

    Cheers to Sarah on her new branding!

  2. October 23, 2013
    ADVICE | 1 | web design and development for designers

    Advice | As a graphic designer, how much should I know about web design and devleopment? | PINEGATE ROAD

    In the past couple weeks I’ve received two emails asking just about the same question. As a graphic designer how much web design and development is necessary to know? Insert the eyeballs looking around the room for an applicable advice-giver, here. I write this as the girl who’s learned to touch coding as little as possible and is currently making a living as a stationery designer. Paper-lovers unite! I have some serious issues with technology. All this aside, I do have something so say about the subject.

    What I’ve learned through seven years of schooling, a couple years of freelancing on the side, and a few more part-time design jobs, is to try it all. What these beginning years as a creative professional are there for is to learn what makes you tick and see where that takes you. I’m totally still on my own journey to find what makes me tick, and that’s what this blog is for. I’m thankful that I dove head-first into coding with this blog, and that it even brought a couple clients my way that wanted me to try my luck at web design and development for their sites. Then came the tears. Big fat terrible tears all over my keyboard and time spent on family vacations tweaking in courier looking for a slash and dash that may or may not be misplaced and causing that web font to display on some pages and not the others. Taking that breath in now. I quickly learned that coding was not for me — but through these projects I learned that I loved to work with creative individuals who needed help building their brands visually. I also learned that I loved to design for the web, but that I needed a little help on the development side. And this is OK. Actually, it’s more than OK, it’s great! Always look for that silver lining.

    The important thing to know about any aspect of design is that you don’t have to do it all. You can certainly be well-rounded, and it helps the budget to be able to do a few things on your own, but we were never meant to do it all. What throwing yourself into these new experiences does is that it helps you learn the language of the subject matter. In the worst-case-scenario, even if you learn that you hate whatever you threw yourself into, you’ll still be the better for it. It’s kind of like that one time when you took French in high school and we able to buy a croissant using the mother tongue while in Lyon. Anyone? :) Think of your skill-sets in terms of being conversationally adept in the subject matter. If you find that you were crying over your keyboard like me when it came to the coding, you’ll have learned enough about web design and development to hand your developer files and notations that make sense. The first time I handed files over to a developer, she commented that they were a breath of fresh air. I knew what kinds of files she would need, and I knew what information to give her because I’d kind of been there. Learn how to communicate and how to collaborate with those who’s true passions lie in web development (or lettering, or stationery, or social media…). That’s where the beauty in collaboration lies.

    When the blog world started throwing around the word collaboration on a regular basis I thought everyone was talking about how wonderful it was to write for other blogs, to collaborate on posts, and generally collaborate on blog-specific material. What I found out was that it was less of that and more of the above. The blog world opens you up to making connections with others who can help you out. Those that have rocking skills in things that you know you would rather not deal with. This frees you up to take on the matters you’re truly passionate about, and gives those that are truly passionate about what you’re not an amazing project. Win-win.

    I’ve recently put my money where my mouth is and am hiring out for a personal web project — this experience is definitely helping to put me in the client’s shoes and it’s scary! You’re giving a little part of yourself away when you’re a creative who’s relying on someone else to help your visions come to life. That or I have serious control issues, hah. But through my client’s experiences, I know it’s for the best. Once you take that leap, it feels so great to have the weight off your shoulders and to know you’re going to get a better outcome than you could ever have had on your own. Great is the product of collaboration.

    Whew! Excited to get that off my chest. Do you feel a little bit better? I know I do. As you might have been able to tell by the title of this post, a reoccurring advice column has been made. Email me if you have any questions about anything you might think I’d be uniquely situated to answer, and I’ll work on getting back to you here.

    I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the subject at hand in the comments. Do you find it helpful to know a little about a lot of things and focus on one main thing? Or do you try and make it all happen yourself? Do you have a story to share? We can all learn from successes and failures, and it’s usually in those failures that I find I learn the most, hah.

    Hope you’re all having a lovely week.


  3. September 17, 2013
    painterly patterns

    painterly patterns | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’ve never been much of a pattern-maker, but this new job and some recent clients have helped me get in the groove of pattern design. Sourcing inspiration on a daily basis, it’s been fun to come across trends in this realm. Right now I’m particularly drawn to these painterly patterns — and yeah, pretty much painterly anything — it’s getting bad! Are you drawn to the more hand-painted look, or do you like your patterns simple and graphic? Better yet, a mix of both?

    Also, if you have any recommendations for pattern inspiration, I’m all ears! I mostly find inspiration as I’m browsing unrelated blogs and pinterest, so any go-to sources would be super appreciated.

    ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT

  4. July 9, 2013
    GIVEAWAY | miriam designs

    Miriam Designs | GIVEAWAY | PINEGATE ROAD

    Today I have a treat. I’ve partnered up with Miriam Designs to bring you some inspiration. Gracie Moakler came up with the idea for Miriam Designs after a chance encounter in a grocery store:

    “In May 2012, I met a woman named Ronza at the grocery store, and left incredibly inspired by her story that began with drugs and addiction and now exudes restoration and redemption. I went home, bought copper discs and a hammering kit, and stamped the word “hope” on a necklace to give to her. This was the beginning of a passion that hadn’t quite found its purpose yet.

    As the year went on, I met other amazing women in Nashville who, like Ronza, survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, and addiction, and wanted to learn to make jewelry. So, I started teaching them. Little did I know how much I would learn from working alongside them… like how to laugh until it hurts, to allow hope to conquer my fear, and to experience the healing that comes through a community that loves unconditionally.”

    I love storys that encompase not only creative passion, but that do so for the betterment of the community at large. Sometimes I think we’re so ingrained to help those far away, that we forget what a difference a little creative attitude can do to those in our own communities. I know I can sure use Gracie’s example as inspiration for my own life! I’ve been researching volunteer work at a local pet shelter. Who knows what creative mischief I could get into there! Anyways…

    Today, I and Gracie invite you to check out Miriam Designs for yourself. You can support the cause by purchasing some jewelry, but you also have a chance to win an item of your choosing. I’m using Rafflecopter for the giveaway, so please click through if you’re in a reader. Follow along below to get started, and best of luck! Be sure to share your inspiring stories with a comment — I think that might be the most important thing here. We can never have enough stories of people helping other people out when they are in need, right?

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  5. May 8, 2013


    It’s back! The second installment of Iterative Inspiration: a collaboration between myself and Rashi of Bucket of Squash. This week we chose this photo of a deconstructed salad to inspire our outcome, found via Oh Joy!, in this issue of Sweet Paul.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | iterations | Pinegate Road

    What struck me first about this photo was both the transparency of the items in the photo as well as the spectacular light. I knew that I wanted to experiment with these two aspects for this project. Instead of working through with a mind map this time around, I did the first thing that came to my mind. I grabbed all the transparent items I could find around my apartment, held them up to a lit window and started snapping away in hopes of something striking. Annnnd, that totally happened.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | turning point | Pinegate Road

    At first I thought I was going to grab sections from the different colored transparent areas and make some kind of abstract collage. As I got to my sixth or so item, something pretty neat happened. In the hand-soap bottle I was photographing, suddenly there was the view from my window, abstracted and colorful and turned upside down. I know we’ve all done this with our spoons, but it was really neat to see this new view from my apartment window.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | iterations part two | Pinegate Road

    I started to look at what else I could photograph through this soap bottle. After a few rounds,  nothing seemed to match the quality of the photograph from out of my window. I realized that having the light from the window was necessary to get that crisp and beautiful upside-down reflection. So I went to the different doors and windows in my apartment and started to capture those different views. I ended up with three photographs that I thought captured the bright and beautiful essence of that first shot.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | photo picks | Pinegate Road

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | making | Pinegate Road

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | final pieces | Pinegate Road

    A couple of months ago I won this giveaway on Design Improvised, and I still had a couple frames left over that I was waiting to fill. This project was the perfect chance for me to use the frames—and if I got bored of them, I could simply change out the photos with new ones easily due to the awesome design of these frames. I’m pretty obsessed with how I’ve been able to use these all over my apartment and not have that fear that I’m permanently committing to something I might not like on my walls in a couple weeks. So, I went ahead and cropped the photos to a composition I was happy with, printed them, cut them out, and filled the frames. Easy peasy.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | art above desk | Pinegate Road

    With crazy high ceilings here, I’ve been so weird with how to decorate. Now that I’m graduating in less than a month it’s a little too late to really figure out what to do about this, but it hasn’t stopped me from hanging art and trying to make it as cozy as possible for the rest of my time here. These photos made the perfect addition to the space above my desk. Best of all, wherever I’m off to next, I’ll be able to take little pieces of my experience here with me. I’m not the most sentimental person, but when I do take the time to make note of particular experiences, I’m always glad I did. I love that these bring in some bright color to my space, and will remind me to keep thinking and experimenting in different ways to keep those creative juices flowing.

    ITERATIVE INSPIRATION | TWO | new wall art | Pinegate Road

    Head on over to Bucket of Squash to see how Rashi was inspired and to see her project.

  6. April 25, 2013
    PORTFOLIO | money matters

    MONEY MATTERS | logo and blog design | design by Pinegate Road

    I guess it’s just launch season! Introducing the new blog design and logo for finance blog, Money Matters. Blogger Emily contacted me a while back to give a fresh new look to this finance blog run through Mid American Credit Union. They have Emily writing about her life as a recent graduate and twenty-something navigating the new waters of personal finance. With a fun and modern vibe, and a little vintage aesthetic thrown in there with the color palette, we created a design scheme that nods towards the physical elements you might use to manage your own personal finances. The logo actually draws elements from the dollar bill with the decorated border—this is why I love design research!

    MONEY MATTERS | design elements | design by Pinegate Road

    I hope you can head over to Money Matters, take a look, and leave Emily some love! She is a terrific girl, and she brings a really great light to this sector of our lives that many of us could probably use a bit of a freshening up with.

    On a side note, I am taking on new clients starting around June for blog designs, logo designs, look books, whatever! If you have a fun new design project and you think we might be a match, contact me and we can work together now to hit the ground running come June.

    Have an excellent Thursday everyone!

  7. April 19, 2013
    PORTFOLIO | bash logo

    BASH | branding | Pinegate Road

    You know I love circles and script *cough cough, my logo, cough* so when I was approached by two lovely blogger friends of mine to help brand a meet-up with these specs, I was all in! While it’s still in the works, Whitney and Katy are hoping to get a little shindig set up in the next couple months to start building a stronger blogging community in the Atlanta area, and they needed some branding to help spread the word. I’m so grateful for all the positive experiences that blogging has brought my way, and I love the idea of bringing this online environment to the tactile world. Now, where are you local Savannah bloggers!?

    Wishing you all a happy Friday, and my thoughts go out to Boston today. xoxo

  8. April 3, 2013
    DESIGN FILES | making meaning

    DESIGN FILES | making meaning | Pinegate Road

    Next week I’m excited to announce that Rashi from Bucket of Squash and I will be launching a new collaboration. It’s still a little bit in the works, but I wanted to mention it just to build up some suspense in your lives. Kidding, hah. These photos are extras pulled from the pinterest board we have been working on. I just wanted to stop and take notice of how inspiration clicks for me sometimes.

    Pinterest is a wild beast and can lead you down the road of trends and imitation sooo quickly, but I also think that as creatives we have been given such a tool with this media if used in certain ways. When we enter into this world of infinite inspiration we have access to a blindly curated group of images that are put together by people of our choosing. The rate and availability of these images is a little overwhelming, but simultaneously astounding. Never before have we had access to so much curated content at the rate that we can experience it now. Whether we’re looking at our own boards or at others, the connections we can make while accessing this information is something I’m so curious about. So that’s why I had to let you in to one of my little moments today. I hope you’ll indulge with me a little.

    In this board of about twelve images, these four immediately stood out to me. While pinned separately without realization and by two different people, the combination of the images really had me thinking about how artists and designers can create meaning by leaving out certain aspects of the body. In isolation, or exclusion, each body part can highlight certain aspects and create meaning in it’s placement, what surrounds it, and even in it’s pose. Would that arm holding the wine glass exemplify a fun time being had as much if the whole person were being shown? I think not. The playful nature of hiding and showing a common action happening at a party in such a peculiar way really enhances the mood and spirit here. Each of these starts to create their own story, but when combined, start to create a whole other one entirely. These combined show the power of body parts in imagery, to me. Looking beyond individual aesthetics this group of images can start to create meaning beyond what they individually could. I love that through using pinterest we have the availability to make these kinds of connections in our thoughts and practices in such a new way than has been available, and also at an accelerated rate due to the digital medium.

    It’s also interesting to note that these thoughts started to come to me as Rashi and I have been working under the lens of a specific collaboration dealing with inspiration finding. As part of my thesis research I’m starting to realize how inspirations seem to reveal themselves when we work under certain contexts, and it’s my belief that having this project helped these images stand out so that I could subconsciously make this meaning. There’s a lot to working under specific processes, projects, or goals that can really enhance how you start to experience the world and how you’re inspired. This is something I think pinterest and other digital self-curative media has an excellent role in. Just my theories though.

    Do you find this happening to you when using Pinterest? Have you had any experience where meaning just started to click for you? I’d love to hear!


  9. March 22, 2013
    MOODBOARD FOR THE MOMENT | emily of the object enthusiast + giveaway

    Moodboard for the Moment — guest post by Emily of The Object Enthusiast on Pinegate Road

    To wrap up this week, the lovely Emily of the object enthusiast is here sharing a special time in her life—and she has a special treat as well! You all know what a fan I am of Emily’s work, and I’m so so excited that I was not only able to purchase one of her gorgeous new copper pieces, but that Emily was so nice to give one away to one of you! Read her post, oogle over her moodboard, and then skip on down to have your chance at wining some lovely. I styled the vases and took some photographs to show you just how lovely these pieces really are. Thank you, thank you Emily!

    FROM EMILY—The best 6 days of my life were spent in Paris in the Spring of 2008. It rained the entire time I was there, and since then I’ve always had a thing for gray rainy days. Rainy days take me back to the time I spent in Paris, even when I’m stuck in Kansas. On rainy days I like to treat myself to my favorite tea, a flaky croissant, and I grab my boots and an umbrella and I walk around pretending I’m still on those cobble stone streets in the heart of the most amazing city on Earth. My heart swells when I think of Paris – the late night walks, the love that might have been. Words cannot describe the feeling I had when I emerged from the Metro that first day. I dream about wandering those puddled streets again someday.

    Rainy mornings are my weakness. Nothing feels better than savoring the grayness of a rainy morning. I often skip out on my responsibilities on rainy mornings so that I can sit and pretend to be in Paris.

    White and copper vase by the object enthusiast — photography and by pinegate road Copper vases by the object enthusiast — photography and by pinegate road Enter to win a black and copper vase by the object enthusiast — photography and by pinegate road

    One of my girly guilty pleasures is having a vanity—it was my mission to find the perfect one when moving here to Savannah. I was so scared to barter for this one at the flea market that I had a friend take my money and do it for me! hah. Since then, I have accumulated some pretty things to decorate the top with. Antique mirrored trays? You bet! I knew when I saw Emily’s copper vase that it would be the perfect addition to my vanity. I love that I can bring some nature into my beauty routine each morning, and taking this time to relax and be surrounded by beautiful things really makes a great start to the morning.

    Now that you have your chance to win your own, where would you put your copper vase? Do you have a vanity to place it on, or are you going to use it on your desk to hold some art supplies? I think it’s the perfect little pick-me-up to pretty much any surface!

    There are several ways to enter and you have until next Friday, March 29th at midnight to do so. If you’re in a reader please click through to the post to enter the giveaway—I’m using rafflecopter. You also can stop by to tweet throughout the week for extra entries. For US residents only, excluding Hawaii and Alaksa. Good luck!

    Be sure to check out Emily’s shop for more goodies!

    All giveaway photos taken by Kelsey Cronkhite for Pinegate Road

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


  10. March 21, 2013
    MOODBOARD FOR THE MOMENT | sarah of sarah hearts

    Moodboard for the Moment — guest post by Sarah of Sarah Hearts on Pinegate Road

    Starting off this Thursday morning we have the lovely Sarah of Sarah Hearts with us today! I had the amazing chance to meet her at Alt Summit in January, and I have been captivated by her DIY projects and her fun spirit ever since. If you don’t know Sarah, I suggest you get your butt over to Sarah Hearts to check her out, please and thank you.

    Spring is starting to show around my neighborhood and I’m feeling inspired by all the hues of the season. I especially am loving coral and mint. I think it’s a refreshing take on traditional spring colors. It seems the colors are spilling into my closet too! I now own a pair of mint and coral jeans.

    Dots both scattered like confetti and ordered in row never will get old to me. I love how playful yet chic they can be. I love mixing them with other patterns like stripes and florals and even other textures like leather and linen. My dot craze is spilling into my DIY life too! I’ve been making pom poms like crazy to use as garlands, and to adorn gifts.

    I just discovered dark chocolate peanut butter. I really don’t know how I didn’t try this sooner. It’s been my go to snack with honey crisp apple slices. It’s heavenly.

    As a designer, it’s easy to get into a rut and compare yourself to others. There are so many wonderfully gifted people in our field that it can be overwhelming. To help keep me focused, I’ve printed this verse and displayed it above my desk as a reminder to do my own creative best.




















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