Over Labor Day weekend, I had the opportunity to work alongside Hampton Boyer on a chalk mural for Toast‘s block party. The weather on Sunday tried it’s hardest to mess with our flow but we were still able to get our piece finished. The rain cleared up just in time to enjoy the evening festivities and watch Sunny Moonshine perform in front of the piece. Check out the time-lapse that Derek filmed and put together. A BIG thanks to Nate Fender for laying down the beats for this video.
Earlier this year, the lovely gals at Kitsch asked me to redesign their logo. Kitsch is a darling shop in Norfolk, Virginia. They pride themselves on being an outlet for artisans and crafters to sell their handmade wares from all across Virginia. I can’t say enough good things about this shop and the people who run it.
If you are familiar with them, you may have noticed that they’ve been revamping the store a lot this year. While all of that was happening, I’ve been behind the scenes working on logo concepts to help reinvent their look. The initial logo they had definitely screamed Kitsch. It was too obvious and didn’t fit with the aesthetic of the store after several years in business. So my job was to design a new logo that was modern, but still felt authentic. I came up with several concepts that I’ve shown below. You might have noticed that we started out with Handmade in Virginia and changed it to Handmade and Vintage to reflect the addition of vintage to the shop.
In the end, the slanted calligraphic rendering of “Kitsch” won out. I paired this with a triangle pattern used on the floor in the shop. I’m incredibly happy with where we landed on this logo and I feel like this could grow with them through the years.
The window decal in the photos was created and installed by Erin of Studio 336. Also, if you look closely at one of the photos, Petunia, my pug, makes an appearance.
If you’re local to Norfolk, then you’ve probably made the pilgrimage to Handsome Biscuit to enjoy their delicious sweet potato biscuits piled high with southern goodness. For those who don’t know, they call adding an egg to your biscuit, “adding some sunshine.” Thus, “We got your sunshine, even on a rainy day.” They are a small place, but the side of their building that faces the parking lot is prime real estate for chalk murals. This past Sunday, I joined the small list of local artists who have done a chalk mural on this wall. Although it meant a day in the sun, in August, in Virginia—–I was still incredibly excited about the challenge that lay ahead. The side of the building is rugged and not ideal for straight lines but I made it work. After 7 hours of sweat, balancing on ladders and lots of chalk dust—–I had a piece I was proud of. Here are a few shots from throughout the day. More than anything, what I love about chalk is that it isn’t permanent. Once this gets hit by rain, it will fade and disappear. Then another mural will take it’s place. Just the way it should.
I’ve been obsessed with the moon lately. For some reason I’ve taken notice of it more this year. I even took the evening to watch the blue moon rise last Friday. So I feel like this was the perfect time to release our newest print, La Luna! I had been wanting to do this print for a while and after several concepts, I went with a strange size (6″x18″) to house an illustration of the phases of the moon. The lettering is all hand-illustrated as well. I pulled inspiration from vintage space illustrations and old astronomy charts. As for the colors, I was drawn to using a bright orange over white ink on dark gray stock. However I realize that most folks associate the moon with cooler tones. So I printed a blue version as well. I’m tickled with how color blocking the phases of the moon turned out and I hope to do more cosmic inspired pieces. You can find both versions in our shop.
Last Thursday, the West Elm in Virginia Beach hosted our Hand Lettering class. This was definitely the swankiest place we’ve held a class. It was a small group which allows for a lot more one-on-one time with each student. Take a look after the jump for more photos from the class. If you’re interested in this class, keep an eye on us here, on Facebook or on Instagram for announcements. It will probably be closer to the end of the Summer when we do another. Also, since we’ve done a bunch of these intro to lettering courses, we’re working on a level 2 course for folks who want to continue their love of letterforms. If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like us to pursue, send them our way at hello(at)mapleandbelmont.com.
Next time you see us in person, be sure to grab one of our new business cards. I was definitely ambitious with the two color design/screen print on both sides but they turned out pretty rad. Even the imperfections add character to each card. I’m trying to get better about documenting my process, so there are a few photos from the studio when I printed them. It was crazy hot that day and I was ready to be done with printing. The studio is coming along nicely and I hope to share a few shots of it soon.
Last Thursday I had a blast doing our Hand-Lettering workshop at Within Interior Design in downtown Norfolk. Below are a few photos from that event. You can’t go wrong with an awesome location and fun people!
This year we started getting requests for several private lettering workshops. From companies looking to do a fun event with their employees or even a group of friends that want to spend some time together learning a new skill. These workshops are different from our others because everyone knows each other, so the atmosphere is super casual. If this is something you’re interested in booking with us, shoot us an email at hello(at)mapleandbelmont.com.
It’s been a while since our last post because for most of June I was eyeball deep in code to redesign our website. “What?! You’re website is great.” This was something I kept hearing from everyone I mentioned it to. Truth be told, it just wasn’t the website we needed anymore. Our old website wasn’t bad but it only catered to a shop and we’ve become so much more than that over the past 3 years. We’ve been accumulating a great deal of custom projects that we had a hand in designing or lettering. Those pieces needed a place on the website to be properly displayed. So I’m happy to announce that you can now find a portfolio of our custom work on our website. Whoot! If you follow us on instagram or Facebook, you’ve only seen bits and pieces but never the entire story. We’ve also included a press page and we’re hoping to redesign the blog to fit in with the rest. Originally, I planned to do this big unveiling of everything but that was unrealistic because of well, you know, life. So I’ve been finding peace with taking small steps rather than doing it all at once.
We’re gearing back up to teach more hand-lettering workshops this year. The next one is just a couple weeks away on May 31st at Kitsch. It’s a morning workshop, so we thought it might be a good idea to provide doughnuts and coffee to get the day started right. Also, I kind of have a doughnut obsession. You can find more information about the class here.
I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoy teaching these workshops. We get to meet a vast variety of folks from the area and it’s fascinating that an interest in lettering is what brings us together. If you can’t make it to our next class, we’re going to have a few more throughout the year. Keep an eye out for those.