Frog & Pencil has Landed!

Hello there!

Bust out your best little Froggy dance because it’s now official!  After months of preparation and a whole lot of love and dedication, Frog & Pencil has launched.

I am incredibly honoured to introduce to you, my lovely website, www.frogandpencil.com

To say that i’m completely chuffed would be an understatement; i’m over the moon with the end result and so happy that I can now share it with the world. From the get go, Lewie and I wanted to create a site that was clean, professional, user/mobile friendly, and to be the best platform to showcase my work and I believe we’ve ticked every box.

It’s taken us a few months but since the beginning of the year, we have lived and breathed frogandpencil.com and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. Yes, there were quite a few hurdles in our path, but throw in a handful of profanities with a hell of a lot of grit and we jumped over every single one! There were plenty of highlights too, the best one being able to spend more time with Lew, working together and bouncing ideas off one another; I’ve loved every moment.

Watching Lew work his coding magic has been a pleasure, I didn’t think I could be more proud of my husband but after this project I have a higher respect for what he does for a living. Thank you Lew for bringing life to our website and for all your support and belief; I love you Bear 🙂 (by the way…if you’re into computer languages, my clever hubby write’s a blog about his random coding journeys, check it out here…Bear and Hammer).

Soppy bit over, I promise.

Every launch deserves to be celebrated! Well, last Saturday we threw a party at Frog & Pencil HQ and invited a few close friends and family. We cracked open some bubbly and hired the amazing Pandora’s Kitchen to cater our special event. We indulged on BBQ Pulled Pork with all the trimmings, followed by Salted Caramel Brownies, it was delicious. If you’re ever in Norwich, stop by their friendly cafe and say hello to Jeff and the gals, you’re in for a treat!

Check out the Frog & Pencil Launch gallery below for a peek into the evening.

It was a lovely, relaxed night and I’m so happy that we did something to mark this important moment in my life. Anything’s possible if you set your mind to it, right?

Please do hop on over to the website and browse the pages. More importantly, if you know someone with a special occasion coming up, direct them to frogandpencil.com or share, share, share; I’d very much appreciate it.

The Frog & Pencil future is bright and I’m excited to see where we leap to; I hope you stick around for the journey.

Love what you do.

Cx

It’s All Hotting Up…

Hello there!

Things have been getting rather busy over here at Frog & Pencil HQ which is why I haven’t had a chance to publish anything recently. I’ve bitten the bullet and set an official date to launch this little business and go live with the website…and it’s only a couple of weeks away, eeek! My saint of a husband and I have been getting our hustle on to make sure we have everything we need for the website (between you and I, it’s looking really good!).

It’s been an exciting, albeit sometimes frustrating process and I love that we can work together on it. Now, I have zero coding knowledge, that’s Lew’s department but I can bring my design eye to the table and it’s a dandy collaboration. As I said before, he’s a saint and has patiently listened, applied all the changes and minute pixel tweaks that I want to make, there have been plenty! He’s also learnt that when I say ‘I don’t hate it’ to a particular element, that means we need to modify it. I’m in complete awe of his skills! Lew’s never said ‘No, we can’t do that’, he will always find a solution and I adore him even more for it.

The website is starting to come together and I’m hyped to be popping on all the final content shortly. Watch this space…it’ll be up and running in no time!

Alongside all those shenanigans, I’ve been finalising the designs that I want to display on the site. Everything has now been sent to the printers and I’m excited to see the final results. Once these are through, I will attempt to take some kick ass ‘I want to hire her’ photographs ready to use on the website. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather so that I have lovely light to work with. It could result in me busting out an epic sunshine dance or two.

This week I completed my Lovebirds Wedding Invitation. This is the first design that will be a part of my Ready to Write collection. Ready to Write’s are a budget friendly option for couples who like my style but funds are tight. These will be a simple invite with a lovely image on the front and you write on the back, filling in the blank spaces. I created a pair of Lovebirds and I’m thrilled with how they’ve turned out…I think they are my best illustrations to date and I hope that others will love them too.

 

The future plan for Ready to Write Invitations is to extend the collection with other designs and to include a Save the Date, RSVP and a Thank You card. But to kick things off with, I think these guys are pretty damn delightful.

In the pipeline for the upcoming week I’ll be writing website content, planning the Frog & Pencil launch party (gotta celebrate this moment!), making an appointment with the bank and hopefully start photographing my work.

Not long now; it’s feeling so real I could burst!

Have a brilliant weekend.

Love what you do.

Cx

Topsy-Turvy Typography

I am a sucker for good typography and I guess that explains why it’s taken me such a long time to figure out what I want when it comes to branding Frog & Pencil.

Thanks to Truly Yours on Twitter, she tweeted about The Hungry Jpeg. Having exhausted my normal typography sites I gave it a look and they have some awesome bundles on offer…and freebies! This in turn led me to Creative Market, where it’s a little like typography heaven and over the past week I must have spent hours looking through thousands and thousands (that’s no lie!) of different fonts.

My incredible hubby (Lewie) is spending most of his free time building my website and together, we now have the bones of the site and it’s looking really lovely. I’m super impressed with his coding skills! However, I’m rather fussy when it comes to design…well, most things really; I’m simply a perfectionist and because of this I’ve been battling with typography choices.

Personally, I love my little frog and her pencil, I think that makes a cute logo. It also expresses my style and what my work is like. So, easy decision, froggy stays. Next step, which font should accompany her? I never, ever thought it would be this difficult to choose one. Lewie and I have spent a lot of late nights playing around with varying fonts and compositions on the website to make it work and I believe we’re almost there; hurrah!

Here is where we started, with the website headers…only a sneak peek though! (Apologies about some poor image quality, most of these are screen grabs.)

Moon Flower Bold

Moon Flower Bold

I found myself saying “well, I don’t hate it…” quite a lot during this process which is a glaring signal that something’s wrong. I love tall, skinny typography styles.  I think they’re quirky and fit in with my design aesthetic, I even used something similar for my wedding stationery. The problem is, I see this look EVERYWHERE. It must be on-trend right now, this font alone had millions of downloads. So, I pondered, ‘do I do something different?’ I decided to just pile in loads of options and see what sticks…and here are just a few examples.

Pier Sans

Pier Sans

To me, this font was pleasing to the eye, clean and sat well with the rest of the website but it lacks a little personality. It was helpful in the fact that it made me evaluate what I wanted my brand to represent. Whichever typographic style I choose it needs to meet the following criteria: to be a little quirky, whimsical, appealing to the wedding market and most importantly fun. My designs are fun and I feel it’s essential that this shines throughout my branding too.

Paper Cute

Paper Cute

Paper Cute is rather charming with its cut out appearance and I do like it, however I didn’t feel it was a good fit.

Bohemienne

Bohemienne

Bohemienne appealed to me with its lovely brush script style however, somehow, I find it a little too perfect and I see flourishes of ‘Disney’ which isn’t what I was looking for.

Sunn

Sunn

With Sunn, I thought I would revisit the skinny script, but this isn’t working for me, perhaps I need something a little more punchy and bold.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

I like the varying weights in Farmers Market and there is an element of quirkyness but again, I didn’t connect with it.

After experimenting with around twenty fonts, I then added these…

Flow

Flow

Monofor Alt

Monofor Alt

These two were my favourite but I still had those niggles. For example, in almost all my trials it really bothers me that even though everything is centred, the ampersand creates an illusion that, as we would say in Norfolk, everything is ‘on the huh’ (skewed). Alongside that, the tag line also need to fit in nicely and not just hover in space.

With a few coding tweaks we came up with this.

Flow New

Flow New

Monofor Alt New

Monofor Alt New

Albeit a smidge delirious, last night felt like a break through after days of banging my head against a typography brick wall. I find these two really pleasing, a bit like eye candy. I enjoy the way these are weighted with the varying thickness. They also have a nice, fluid movement and are not dead straight. It’s almost as if the frog drew them herself as she hopped along.

There is still work to do; I need to choose a colour, finalise compositions and pick the final font. Luckily, they each cost between $10 to $20, so I’ll probably buy both (an added bonus is that they come with a commercial licence, so they’re ready to use in my designs). That way I can work with them accurately, rather than adjusting a fuzzy screenshot. I also need to consider where else my logo might be used. By working with a business card format, this may help me arrive at a conclusion. With that in mind, I started playing with potential business cards ideas.

Phew! I’m feeling much more positive about my branding now. I was starting to worry that I’d never find the right font and that we’d be working on it for weeks, resulting in something that is forced…I’d hate that. With the end in sight, I’m excited about moving on with the website, business cards and designing product packaging!

Fingers crossed, by the end of the week I’ll have a finished result that I can share with you all. I’d love to hear any of your thoughts or suggestions, please share them with me; I appreciate any feedback.

In the meantime, with all this progress, I’m off to do a little happy frog dance!

Cx