Friday, December 10, 2010

Anthropologie love

Have you been to the Anthropolgie web site lately? You should visit and be sure to take the scenic route. It's a very cool interactive trip through an accessorized landscape. It's a genius way to get us to shop and spend more time at their site. They are so clever! Check it out for yourself here.

Take care,

Image is property of Anthropologie

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jilly Jack Loves Pantone's 2011 color pick

Pantone just revealed their color of the year for 2011, Pantone 18-2120 Honeysuckle! They describe it as a vibrant and energetic hue. Read more about their choice here. We love it and think it will be great for stationery. Let us know what your thoughts are.

Take care,

Image on right owned by Pantone.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jilly Jack hijacked during google search!

I just discovered Mindy Gledhill while searching for something entirely unrelated. For once I'm glad I got hijacked! I'm such a sap, but I totally cried when I heard this song. It reminds me of my little guy, who is not so little any more. I guess it's that sentimental time of year. If you want to know more about this artist please visit her blog. Enjoy!

Now back to what I was really searching for!

Take care,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What are you thankful for?

I think it's a good idea every now and then to stop and count your blessings. I get caught up in the minute details and what I want, don't have, or haven't achieved. So today, the day before Thanksgiving, I'm sharing a list of what I'm thankful for.

So here goes!

I'm thankful for:
my family
a wonderful husband and friend
a loving, silly, creative and amazing son, who I'm so thankful for his good health
my large and furry lazy black dog
good health
a nice warm house to live in
great neighbors
apple computers
letterpress printing
glitter, glue and baker's twine
great design
chick flicks
open minds
clean air
plants, flowers, trees, birds, bees, animals
getting letters in the mail
holiday decorations and cards
great food
family get togethers
planet earth

I think that about covers it. What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Generosity part 2

Being generous and being taken advantage of is a fine line. You have to decide where to draw it. I feel great when I know I'm helping someone out, but when it starts to eat into my own family time, that is when I draw the line. What about you? Where do you draw the line?

An important thing to know is what is too much for you? If you start to feel uncomfortable with the amount of time your giving out, that's when you need to say no. No, is not a dirty word. It can be your best friend if you let it. Otherwise, how will anyone know you aren't comfortable helping out? If you don't want to do something and you say yes, then you are part of the problem. So don't be afraid to say no. They will find someone else to help and you won't be frustrated. It's a win, win situation in my book.

If you are a designer like me, you may be asked to donate your design time. You have to be very judicious with this and plan for it in your yearly budget. Pick out the few charities or friends that you are passionate about and donate your services to just those. Otherwise, everyone will be hitting you up for free work and then how will you make a living?

We all walk the fine line between generosity and being taken advantage of quite often, but it's up to us to draw the line. Be strong, and don't be afraid to say no. Remember, generosity should feel good and if it doesn't, you should have said no.

Take care!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hi! It's been a while since my last post. I would like to start back by talking about the idea of generosity. What does it mean to you? I don't know about you, but I don't have a lot of money to donate. I wish I did! But I can be generous with encouragement, energy and enthusiasm and information.

I have benefitted from some very generous and successful women in the paper industry, who have shared their time, information and encouragement. I would like to say thank you to all of them! For that reason, I have also shared with others who are starting out in the business. Sometimes it can be difficult to share information with others in the same industry, you might feel like it's helping the competition. I'm not saying to give up your trade secrets by any means, but you can help someone with general information about how the industry works or where to find a certain paper, etc.

I would encourage everyone to mentor a colleague, be a friend, be encouraging, be helpful and be honest. All it takes is a little time and you will be richer for it. I am a strong believer in the old saying "what goes around comes around". So reap what you sew and sew some seeds of generosity.

Feel free to share your thoughts on generosity. I'd love to hear all about it.

Take care!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Jilly Jack Designs has gone to the birds!

I was strolling through my local pet store and looking at the parakeets with my son, when we spotted the most amazing thing. A little blue bird with black hearts at the side of it's beak. I couldn't resist, so I pulled out my phone and took a quick snap shot. I'm not normally a pet bird person, I prefer the ones flying around in my yard, but I may have to go back and buy this little guy. He stole my heart, so to speak. This little guy will definitely find his way onto some stationery for sure!

And no it's not a sticker and no photo retouching was done. He's an amazing work of nature!

Take care and have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jilly Jack Designs, A Fresh Bunch and the 2010 National Stationery Show

Jilly Jack Designs is very proud to be a part of a great group called A Fresh Bunch.  A Fresh Bunch, is a collaborative community of designers, retailers and vendors who are united by a commitment to collaborate and cooperate on creating success for all while embracing what’s new and what’s next in the stationery industry. Retailers can view online showrooms, press room and catalogs, and be part of ongoing conversations.  

A Fresh bunch is debuting a great new program at the National Stationery Show (NSS). It's the Print in Store Program, which offers retailers pre-formatted designs for fast in-store printing. Retailers pay a one-time fee to download artwork that they can print as many times as they like. There is a yearly membership fee along with a small download fee, but once you've bought your design, it's yours to print as often as you like.

Visit A Fresh bunch at booth  #2042 for more information and see Print in Store demos at the Fontaine Maury Booth #s 2806-10 today at 10 am and 3 pm.

Please check us out and let me know what you think. We'd love your feedback!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Top 10 in the Trendys Awards

I couldn't wait to share the great news I got this week. Jilly Jack Designs has two designs in the top 10 of the Green category of Stationery Trends' the trendys. Our Sweet Series and Hello Series of note cards both go to the next round of voting. So if you're a retailer, please go to 
and vote! Both designs will be in their booth at the National Stationery Show as well as in their summer publication.

Congratulations to all the other top 10 finalists as well!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Color Palette

It's officially spring, so I thought I'd post some spring colors. My tulips are getting ready to bloom and I can't wait to see them. The world looks so much better in spring when all the flowers begin to bloom. Spring makes me think of fuzzy chicks and bunnies, pastel colored eggs and girls in pink dresses with white mary jane shoes. I tend to go less pastel and brighter, but that's just me. Please feel free to share your favorite spring-time colors. 

Take care,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Typography Tuesday

Good morning! This is the first of what is going to be a reoccurring column on my blog. So to kick off Typography Tuesday I thought I would share some fabulous wood type that I bought last week. I'm so fortunate to live in the same area as one of the major collector/sellers of all things letterpress. We sifted through a ton of boxes and drawers of type until I came across this beautiful set. It's an extended face. I also scored an extra bold set that is equally as gorgeous. I can't wait to print with them. I'll be posting the results in the future!

Take care,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cookies to boost creativity

Here is how I chose to spark a little creativity last week. The school bake sale was a perfect way to get out of my box and do something creative, but not graphic design or note cards. Well I did have to design a tag, I just can't help myself. What are some ways that you use your creativity or things that you do to get your creative juices flowing? I'd love to hear them!

Take care,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mesu Measuring Bowls

I bought these bowls at the 2005 How Conference in Chicago. They were designed by Jennifer Panepinto as a design project while she was getting her Masters in Design at the School of Visual Arts. She was dieting and was sick of measuring, so she created a set of bowls she could measure in and then just eat the food right out of them. Genius! I'm dusting mine off again as I journey down another (and hopefully last) weight loss trail. Jennifer's site say the bowls are out of production, but if you go to her site, you sign up for her mailing list of new product announcements. (I did see a couple on ebay)

Have a great day!

All images are owned by Jennifer Panepinto, LLC

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Day Card Swap Love

I had so much fun with the Valentine's Day swap organized by Carina at, that I just had to share. There is nothing like getting cards in the mail, no matter what the age. These were really special, because they were hand-made by fellow bloggers. So each of us were to make cards for the 2 people we were assigned. I was lucky enough to get Gabby Hanlin, card 1 and Ashley Mouton, card 2 as my swap mates. I loved their cards and the sweet notes they included. Truly lovely! I also thought it was quite ironic that each of their cards were in the same color family. They must have been channeling each other!

I have also included 2 pics of the cards I made for Gabby and Ashley. I create cards for a living, but this was a little different because I was making 2 and not thousands, so the sky was the limit, glitter, envelope liner, double layer, rounded corners and sparkly paper. I had such a fun time, can you tell? I had glitter everywhere. I found this great stamp of wood grain and used a glue stamp pad and then glittered the you-know-what out of those cards.

So here's to getting your hands glittery and recapturing a little of your childhood. It really got me motivated to work on my Jilly Jack note card designs that I have been procrastinating on.

Have you done anything lately out of the norm that has motivated or inspired you to be creative? Please share!

Take care!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Must have for foodies and typophiles

I have fallen for these awesome Helvetica cookie cutters. How can anyone resist? A. they're cookie cutters and B. they're Helvetica! These wonderful culinary creations are from Beverly Hsu. They are in such demand that she is busy making more. Sign up at for an email notification of when more cookie cutters are available. In the meantime, check out her site and view her portfolio, she's a very talented designer.

Okay, I'm hungry for cookies now. Oh man!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Contest on Cafe Cartonlina

Enter to win a pair of these fabulous 2010 Winter Olympic mittens, I did! Go to Cafe Cartonlina and try your luck! While you're there, check out her fantastic blog. It's worth the trip.

Image from Cafe Cartolina.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Creative Influences

Here is a fun exercise, list who your creative influences are and see if it helps you get in touch with your own aesthetic. What is it that helps mold you as an artist? I feel it's all your favorite artists and designers, each impacting your art in a different, yet profound way, that help to shape the artist you become. I've linked each artist to a page describing their work, so that you can get a better idea of where my design sense is coming from. They are listed in no certain order.

1. Paul Rand, a corporate identity genius. Take a look at his portfolio and you'll see what I'm talking about.

2. Saul Bass, brought graphic design to moving pictures, by way of title sequences.

3. Paula Scher, amazing woman in the graphic design industry, a definite roll model for women in the biz.

4. Miro, I enjoy his use of color and the playful quality of his work

5. Eva Zeisel, she is amazing, born in 1906 and still designing.

6. Frank Gehry, his organic architecture is either loved or hated, I love it.

7. Charles and Ray Eames, their sense of design and form were amazing.

8. Maurice Sendak, I loved his books and his illustrations made me want to draw.

9. Vasily Kandinskywas a pioneer of abstract art and eminent aesthetic theorist

10. Paul Klee, his abstract style, use of color, texture and line are what I connect with

This was really fun, like a trip down memory lane from childhood on up through my career. I'd love to see who influences you in your work! Feel free to share.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fun font of the day

Compass TRF is a reevaluation of an existing Compass typeface dated 2002 and is design by Rumiz Guseynov for TipografiaRamis. Compass is a geometric contrast serif typeface. I'm in love with the flourish initials. I'm not sure why, but I'm on a kick with all these "flourishy" fonts. Must be that time of year, Valentine's day and all!
New Compass consists of four styles—regular, italic, alternate and flourish initials with small caps.
Compass TRF is recommended for use as display typeface. It is suggested that flourish initials font to be used for decorative purpose only, not basic typesetting. Read more at

I'd love to know what you think of this typeface and if you have any new fonts you'd like to share.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wonderful typography video

F is for FAIL from Brent Barson on Vimeo.
I stumbled upon this amazing typography video called F is for Fail by Brent Barson. Just sit back and prepare to be amazed. I was! You can view other work by Brent at his web site,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blog Style Board

This exercise made me think back to some branding exercises we did at the agency where I used to work. If you could visualize your brand, what would it look like? Of course these were done with magazines and the client would clip out and paste on a board, but it's the same principal that I have used. What does Jilly Jack Design and more specifically this blog look like? So this is what I came up with out of materials I had on hand. It's bright, happy, clean colors, texture through materials used in the paper, ribbon and fabric used in the cards and folios. Most of all it is friendly and approachable. So that is what I'll be striving for. As far content goes, I hope to bring more of myself into the blog as well as fun info about our cards and graphic design in general.

I'd love to know how your style or brand board would look? Feel free to share!

Take care,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. Interview

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. Interview from Shane Nassiri on Vimeo.

I thought you might enjoy this video interview with Amos Kennedy Jr. He is a letterpress (artist) printer, who has enjoyed much success and he's a really interesting person.

I hope you have a great weekend! It's snowing here, we're supposed to get 6-8 inches which is a lot for the area.

Take care,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pantone Chair Love

I saw these on Facebook yesterday and did a little digging to find the source. It turns out that Seletti makes them for Pantone. I tried to find a retailer, but the ones that were listed on the Seletti site didn't have them on their web site. I have a few graphic design friends that these would make perfect gifts for them. So, if any one knows where to purchase these, please let me know. I'd love to know how much they cost too.

I personally love the new turquoise PMS 15-5519. Shown above, which is their color of the year. My question is what color would you choose if you could?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Narziss Swirls

I love the curls and swirls of the serifs on this type. Of course you would need to use it fairly large so they wouldn't get lost. But hey that works for me. It's elegant and light-hearted, formal and informal. I love that about it.

Narziss Swirls is a font designed by Hubert Jocham Type, the personal foundry of Hubert Jocham, started in 2007. Read more about Hubert Jocham and purchase the type from

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ever so wonderful paper!

Ever is a paper produced by Gmund a papermill out of Germany. They make unique and spectacular papers. Ever comes in various text and cover weights. I love the San Francisco 54lb text weight because of it's textural qualities and the way the light plays with it. It's almost like a thick onion skin. You can buy small quantities online at the Paper Mill Store. It's not cheap, but it's worth it. It comes in 8 colors, Aomori, San Francisco, Salzburg, Lyon, Waikiki, Sverige, Anchorage and Lanzarote.

I've never used this for a project yet, so if you have, please share your experience. I'd love to know how it prints.

Oh, and have a happy Ground Hog Day! Phil really let us down, 6 more weeks of winter! I'm ready for some warmth.

Take care,

Monday, February 1, 2010

What Type Are You?

It's an interactive piece where you answer simple questions and the "psychiatrist" analyzes what typeface best matches your personality. Give it a try here: What Type Are You? This looks like it was a holiday promo from the award-winning ad agency Pentagram, so I'm a little late on the draw. I'm taking the chance that you haven't seen it yet. I thought it was hilarious!

I was Dot Matrix. Not sure I agree with that. It's not my favorite typeface. Please share what type you are!

Take care,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frosty Blue Stationery

This is my final blue post in honor of the Colts making it to the Super Bowl baby! Okay, I'm done. I promise.

This is our Winter Series note card set. The designs are set against a frosty blue background—yet convey heart-warming wishes for the wintertime. I tried to remember what was special to me about the winter season. So mittens, snowflakes and what little ice skating I did were what influenced me. It sounds a little like the "Sound of Music" song "These are a few of my favorite things". Funny, I hadn't thought about it that way until now.

Our cards aren't just blue, they're also green. We print on 100% post-consumer waste, recycled paper. They even come in an eco-friendly felt folio made from recycled plastic water bottles. Check out more of our cards at

Have a great weekend everyone!


I love my Fan Book

If you'd ask me to pick one tool, other than my computer for designing, I would choose my Pantone solid to process fan book. It has never steered me wrong and is a must for choosing colors for corporate identities. The point being that not all spot pms colors translate well into 4-color process. So I always use this book when choosing colors to make sure they work in both spot and cmyk applications. And never trust the color on your screen. Everyone's screen is different, so if you are designing for print you need to specify your color from a Pantone Matching System (PMS) Book. If you're really a big deal and have a lot of money, Pantone will make you your own spot color, like Tiffinay & Company and their famous Tiffany Blue.

As you can see by my photo, my book is really well used, and I probably need to get a new one. The colors fade with age and that isn't good for color matching. And it is still blue week, Go Colts!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crane Paper in Blue

I had a visit from Karla, my favorite paper rep on Monday and she brought me a ton of swatch books. It was like Christmas. I picked some of my favorite blue shades from Crane's Palette swatch book to share with you. I think the book isn't the most current, but she brought it because it has larger sheets so that I could get a feel for the paper's weight and texture. I checked Crane's site and these colors are all currently stocked. That is one thing to look out for, make sure your swatch books are current and the paper is still stocked. There is nothing like getting burnt when you've designed a piece around a certain paper stock, only to find out it isn't made any more. It's not so bad if it's for yourself, but if it's something you've shown to a client. Ouch!

I'm really excited to use some of this paper with my new letterpress printer. Oh the possibilities! They have an a mazing raspberry too, but hey this is blue week. Go Colts!

To find out more on Crane Paper go to there site,

Colors shown left to right: Cambridge Blue, Azure Blue, Navy and Aqua

If you have a favorite blue paper, I'd love for you to share it. There are some amazing papers out there. And of course, I'll be sharing some of the other amazing paper swatch books she brought.

Take care,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jilly Jack Design Sparkle Card

In honor of blue week, I though I'd share one of our cards from our Light Series. These note cards all feature some sort of light source and convey a message of encouragement, like sparkle. You can view our cards at our site and you can purchase sets at our retail site here. The set includes 10 cards (2 each of 5 designs) with 10 envelopes which are printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper that is FSC certified. The set is contained in a folio made from recycled billboard wraps.

Michele Maule

In honor of the Colts winning and moving on to the Super Bowl, this week's posts will all relate to blue in some way.

Today I would like to introduce you to artist Michele Maule, whom I found on etsy. Lucky for me, just about every piece has at least a touch of blue. How serendipitous! I love Michele's work. Shown is a self portrait, "The wedding". You should check out her typewriter and camera illustrations as well. Please visit Michele Maule's etsy shop.

Image is owned by the artist.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to class

I'm so excited, I'm taking an e-class to enhance my blogging skills. This is the first week and I feel like I've already learned a lot about what I want to accomplish and where I want this blog to head. The class is taught by Holly Becker of decor8 with Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint. Holly's blog covers interior design, new products and independent artists. Leslie's blog covers her wonderful photography and photo styling. Both have amazing blogs, so go check them out.

If you'd like to learn more about the class click the blogging your way badge to the left. We'll see where this new journey takes me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Typface

I just found a great new typeface on myfonts called Museo Slab. It was designed by Jos Buivenga in 2009 and is published by exljbris. I just like it's simple and friendly feel. I am adding it to my list of must purchase fonts. Museo would work great in some new designs I have in my head.

Image from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jim Mullan

Jim Mullan creates these amazing birds that I just discovered in a photo on Fiona Richard's blog Cafe Cartolina (which is amazing). So I set off to find the artist. I happened upon him by accident while shopping for a gift on the site Uncommon Goods.

So here's what I found out from their site:

Artist Jim Mullan's line of bird sculptures was inspired by his fascination with birds and antique objects. Jim uses original bird decoys from the 30s, 40s and small birds that were carved in the 50s. The original decoys were passed on to Jim in 1991 and he turned each into an eclectic, one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Jim begins each piece by hand painting the bird and then adding a variety of vintage pieces, such as croquet balls, binoculars and old toys - giving each bird a lively personality and a dash of humor and whimsy.

Jim uses objects that were cast aside as useless to demonstrate the fragile balance between nature and industry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Letterpress Video

Letterpress Coasters from Quarter Productions on Vimeo.

Okay, I'm a sucker for anything to do with letterpress printing and thought I'd share this video with you. It shows the process of making letterpress printed coasters. Not only is the subject matter cool, but so is the way the video is shot as well as the music.

I'll let you all in on a little secret as well. I just bought my first letterpress printer. It's huge and I'm still perfecting it, but I love it!


Monday, January 11, 2010

A letter from me

Dear Readers,

First of all, thank you so much for all your support over the
last year.

I just wanted to share a little more about myself and where I'm coming from and why this blog is important to me.

Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved to draw and doodle.
I was always excited in elementary school when one of my “masterpieces” ;–) was selected for art object of the week and was hung in the hallway outside of the principal’s office. I continued in my art focus through college and my career as a graphic designer to ultimately owning my own eco-friendly stationery design and manufacturing business, Jilly Jack Designs.

My stationery reflects my sense of color and design aesthetic. I love bright happy, clean colors and simple shapes. I chose to go into the stationery business because of my love for graphic design and paper plus I’ve always loved writing letters and receiving them. You know that feeling you had as a child when you got something in the mail? That is the feeling I want to keep alive for the next generation. My son Jack loves to get mail. He’s always sad when we get cards in the mail and he doesn't.

In this blog I plan to share more about my stationery business and how it is growing and evolving, as well as my creative process, maybe that will spark your creativity as well. I’ll also be showcasing people, places and things that I find inspiring or just really
like or want.

I welcome all of your comments. Please feel free to share what inspires you. I'd love to hear it!

Here’s to 2010, let’s make it a year full of wonderment and creativity!

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