16 Jun

Printable Father’s Day Cards

It’s that time again… Father’s Day is right around the corner (Sunday, June 18th… make sure your calendar is marked), and you know that we’ve got you covered with three super-manly cards to choose from. Happy Father’s Day to all!

Click here to download Click here to download Click here to download

 

What You’ll Need
8.5 x 11 white card stock paper or printer paper
Printer
Pen
Scissors
Father’s Day card download (pick one or all of them!)

Instructions
Step 1: Print onto the card stock or printer paper
Step 2: Cut out the card along the grey edge
Step 3: Write the most knee-slappingest joke you can think of… or, you know, something sweet
Step 4: Fold in half, seal and deliver

Optional
Snap a pic and tag us on social media @elevenpeppers, seeing you spread the love would make our day!!!

02 Jun

Mastering the Art of Logos: NBC Universo

Okay, can we just say up front that we LOVE this redesign? We’re not even going to make you wait for it, it’s just that good. We have to give a huge shout out to the very talented group behind this redesign, Trollbäck+Company a New York, NY-based branding and design studio.

First, so happy they got rid of calling out NBC in the wordmark… the NBC logo itself is pretty universal and by removing it Universo can now stand on its own; create its own unique voice that better personifies its audience.

Source: NBC Universo

Next, we love the bold color choices… on top of that; the singular use of those colors against the grey-tone backgrounds and vice/versa makes everything pop that much more. The new look-and-feel comes across as very vibrant, playful, and yes… loud, and we’re all about it.

Source: NBC Universo (right: old branding, left: new branding)

We also noticed that while the type itself hasn’t changed much, the new branding incorporates increased kerning and leading which results in negative space. This negative space really allows everything else to jump off of the page/screen/billboard/etc. The pristine hierarchy throughout makes the design exceptionally clean and precise.

Source: Trollbäck+Company

Finally, there is also this “jolt” effect that takes over in between letters and is carried all throughout their branding and programs. While the hierarchy is very strict, it’s interesting to see how this effect “breaks” it. This now becomes the obvious theme for the brand and all the accompanying typography.

So, yeah. We’re sold!

To check out Trollbäck+Company’s full redesign package head over to their Universo project page.

19 May

Pepper Talk with Katie Burns

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we have Katie with us. Just a little background before we get started, Katie is relatively new to Eleven Peppers Studio. She mostly works on projects for the private sector but writes content for 11P blogs and social media posts.


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Kate, KitKat… my favorite is earth-to-Katie, typically used when I drift into “Katie-Space”.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Kiss my husband, cuddle our two dogs, drink hot lemon water and then workout. The workout ensures that I don’t feel too guilty with the next thing that happens… typically a not-so-healthy sausage, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel [grins] mama gets hungry!

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
I don’t have any [laughs], just joking. Since I’m not a designer by trade, I’ll relate this question back to content creation. My style is conversational, witty, a bit sarcastic… which doesn’t always translate well. Oh and self-deprecating.

 

4: How did you get started?
After college, I started working as a program manager on a small web-development team… really I translated all that software-dev “speak” to customers and vice-versa. This ensured that everyone was happy with the final product. I’ve always been drawn towards people’s stories/ideas/needs and I love capturing their unique voice. It seemed like a natural fit to take over creating content for the company’s social media presence.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
For social media I love Buffer to schedule our posts. Planoly is another great app to make sure your feed flows and is well curated. Huge fan of auto-correct and spell-check [smiles], my mother taught high school English back in the day and always corrects me, so these tools give me a leg up.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I’m a start now and think later kind of gal. I rarely brainstorm on a project for too long before jumping in. My motto: go with your gut and then revise the heck out of it… and spellcheck!

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Everything… I’m constantly scrolling through Instagram. As a creative company we follow a broad range of companies, all with different styles and voices. It’s the perfect storm of inspiration.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine… tea, not coffee.
Sweet or Savory: Savory, give me a loaf of bread any day!
Favorite Movie: Return to Me, classic.
Guilty Pleasure: Oh, any of those ridiculous Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve, has-everyone-and-their-mother’s-mother-casted movies.
Hobbies:: Beach volleyball, cooking/baking, shopping at Home Goods.

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Again, going to go with content and I’d have to say pretty much any quote about “Mondays” ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for meeting Katie. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

12 May

Printable Mother’s Day Cards

With Mother’s Day approaching (Sunday, May 14th… make sure your calendar is marked), we wanted to make sure you were covered in the thoughtfulness department. We have three beautiful options to choose from or maybe one for each of the mothers in your life. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Click here to download Click here to download Click here to download

 

What You’ll Need
8.5 x 11 white card stock paper or printer paper
Printer
Pen
Scissors
Mother’s Day card download (pick one or all of them!)

Instructions
Step 1: Print onto the card stock or printer paper
Step 2: Cut out the card along the grey edge
Step 3: Write the most endearing words for the hard working momma(s) in your life
Step 4: Fold in half, seal and deliver
Step 5: Watch out for the waterworks

Optional
Snap a pic and tag us on social media @elevenpeppers, seeing you spread the love would make our day!!!

05 May

Star Wars Takeover: And the Winner Is…

And we’ve got a winner!!!

But first, just in case you missed the STAR WARS TAKEOVER on our social feeds, head on over to our Instagram or Facebook account. It’s okay, we’ll wait…

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Did you hear the one about the Star Wars text crawl walking into a bar?

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The bartender yells, “Get outta my pub! We don’t serve your type here.” (Reader’s Digest)

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Just a little designer humor for you…

Okay, so today, we’re announcing the most popular Star Wars character illustration. There were six total and it was a close battle…

So, are you ready?

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The winner is… BB8!!!!

 

Now let’s see how that magic happened…

 

We also wanted to share a little behind the scenes footage of our talented designers work.

Music: Williams, J. (1999). Dual of the Fates [Recorded by Abbey Road Studio]. On Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Soundtrack [CD].

 

Another year, another Star Wars Day gone. We hoped you enjoyed the takeover!!!

May The Fourth Be With You.

 

21 Apr

Pepper Talk with Brian Lynch

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we have Brian with us. Just a little background before we get started, Brian is one of Eleven Peppers Studios more recent hires. He is one of our Principal Software Engineers and works directly with our federal clients to build websites and web apps to help make their jobs easier.


1: Do you have any nicknames?
“Brian” doesn’t lend itself to many nicknames. Bri is about the best I’ll get and will occasionally just sign an email that way, if not just B. Or I guess there are other names that just aren’t appropriate to be repeated [grins].

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
After my alarm goes off – only on a work day – and my wife jumps in the shower, I usually just lay in bed with my eyes closed not wanting to open them. Not too long ago I set up some home automation stuff in my house and I can now tell my Echo “Alexa, turn on bedroom lights” and they come on at about 30% brightness. I’m still not happy about the light being on, but at least it’s not a complete shock. Otherwise, some phone surfing before crawling out of bed and getting dressed.

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
Since I’m not a designer, I do better when trying to mimic or improve rather than create new. The best perk-up to my career was meeting the Peppers. I worked with several before becoming one myself, so having my now, coworkers put together designs for the websites I build, or at least having them to bounce ideas off, has become my design style.

 

4: How did you get started?
This could get really long if I let it… but, my dad was in the computer field my entire life and that let me get into the weeds of them very early on. I took a lot of electronic and programming classes throughout school, and graduated from UMBC with a Computer Engineering degree. It then took me another five or so years to realize that front end development – mobile, web, etc – was what I liked the most.

 

5: What are you favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
If I say MS Paint, I’ll have to duck from the things getting thrown at my head, but I’m not a designer so I mostly use software development tools. Any uncomplicated IDE is generally all I need. Eclipse is far too bulky, but I’ve figured out enough of its shortcuts to make it useful. Apple’s Xcode for mobile development has a nice look and feel to it, but also has somewhat of a learning curve. Atom on Linux isn’t too bad. Notepad++ is always a great go-to. It’s hard to say I have a favorite. Give me jQuery and something to type some code in and I’ll spit out a website in a week. However, development platforms that need a month to configure with several dozen files cluttering up space and style platforms that try to put a one-size-fits-all approach to displays are the worst in my opinion.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I might run through a few looks at the data I’ll be using and if I’m lucky enough to have a few designs to build from I’ll start creating some skeleton files for my site. If I have access to some of my past work that could be used in the new project, all the better. Otherwise, I just start knocking out some code just to get a display up on the screen. I tidy it up later once most of the functionality is in place. [Thinking out loud] Maybe I do have a favorite tool of the trade… in-browser dev tools. They let me do some on-demand styling to see what I might need to plan for later.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Definitely my fellow Peppers when I have access to them. Otherwise, if I need to style a button or table, I’ll usually poke around google images or some CSS sites to see if a style pops out to me.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Yes, Caffeine. All the coffee.
Sweet or Savory: Usually Savory.
Favorite Movie: Fight Club and Deadpool are my go-tos.
Guilty Pleasure: Hmm… Bourbon Barrel Aged beers?
Hobbies:: Playing guitar, brewing beer, making things look good, pretending to be athletic.

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
I think I have more of a problem with not following through with my ideas and seeing someone else do the same later on. I wish I could say that hasn’t happened more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for meeting Brian. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

24 Mar

Pepper Talk with Ashley Philip

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, you just couldn’t get enough of the first one so we’ve added in a couple more questions and a rapid-fire round! This month we have Ashley with us. Just a little background before we get started, Ashley has been with Eleven Peppers Studios for a little over a year now. She works with our commercial clients on all sorts of projects and also designs graphics for various in-house and social media channel campaigns.


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Not really [pauses] most people automatically just shorten my name to “Ash” anyway.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check my phone to see if I missed any calls, texts, emails, Slack messages [grins].

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
Timeless. I like making complicated things look completely effortless. I’m interested in anything that can last through the years and aren’t just “trends” at the moment.

 

4: How did you get started?
I went to school at UMBC for Visual Arts and volunteered with AIGA Baltimore overseeing all their social media graphics and various other marketing materials for each of their events.

 

5: What are you favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Ooh very hard to say because each software does a job. [pauses to think] My favorites would have to be Illustrator and Sketch. Illustrator mainly because that’s the software I remember most of the key commands for and plus, it’s precise and Sketch is like a mini-version of Illustrator although much more efficient. The worst for me, I would have to say Photoshop, sorry designers, but I’m not the biggest fan [laughing].

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I remember when I was in school, the second I received a project brief, the very first thoughts I had running through my head 99% of the time, would always be the best idea/end result. Anything that came after were duds. I kind of need to picture the end result of something first, this is when I delve into the ample amounts of research to see whether or not the idea will work or what I can do to make it even better.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Literally everything! From photography to fashion to architecture, I’m incredibly interested in what makes something resonate with people and am continuously trying to implement that in my own work.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: No, I never understood the caffeine craze.
Sweet or Savory: Uhm, both?
Favorite Movie: A Walk to Remember, because who doesn’t love
a sappy love story.
Guilty Pleasure: Reality TV of all kinds.
Hobbies:: Working out, spending time with friends and family.

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Mhm hard to say. I can appreciate anything that is very well designed but it doesn’t make me wish I came up with it first. Instead, I’d like to pick the brains of these people to further understand how they got to their end result. When I see a great design, I’m so much more curious about the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for meeting Ashley. Like the additional questions? Make sure you let us know on social media. And remember, we’ll be introducing a different pepper each month so stay tuned!!!

24 Feb

New Series: Pepper Talk with David Meade

Welcome to Pepper Talk, a new series here on the Eleven Peppers blog. Each month we’ll be sitting down with one of our peppers to get all the goods. This week we have Dave with us, he has worked for Eleven Peppers Studios almost since the beginning! Dave has a background in video and currently does UX design for the private sector.


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Well, obviously Dave [grins] but I’d say Davy, Joe Dave-o (typically shortened to Dave-o) and the Beer Dumpster or Dumpster. It just depends on my circle of friends.

 

2: How would you describe your design style?
I have no style, or, too many styles. I see other things that I really like and I try to find a way to make it my own. My design is like my personality, it has many looks. I’m like Fletch (dated reference). If there were a pattern, it would be clean and uncluttered. For instance, I don’t like modern art, so there goes designs with stuff scattered everywhere.

 

3: What are you favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Oddly enough, the tools I love are the tools I despise at times: Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, which is my all-time favorite, probably because of my background in video. I have a love hate relationship with all of them.

 

4: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
It depends on the project, but I typically research the h*** out it first, too much some people say. Same goes in my personal life, it took me at least 6 months to pick out my truck.

 

5: What do you draw inspiration from?
Everyone and everything around me: architecture, personal styles, coworkers, etc. Seriously, the colors in those flowers [pointing to the flowers next to us], other people’s artwork, other pepper’s portfolios… I feel like I’m not creative at all [laughs] so I look around me.

 

6: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
There are a lot, mostly beer labels. I’ve wanted to come up with my own beer label/logo for years.

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AnchormanCostume

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Thanks for meeting Dave. Remember, we’ll be introducing a different pepper each month so stay tuned!!!