Wednesday, July 25

Self Promotion: Pintrest, Bloglovin', LinkedIn

At the minute I seem to be joining/adding/editing everything. Today alone I have worked on a self promotional project and sent it off to print (coming soon) added to my society 6 account, updated my LinkedIn and my website. The reason behind this frantic updating of social media is to promote myself as a professional graphic designer and freelancer which will hopefully help me get employed now I have my degree.

I am relatively new to LinkedIn and Society 6 so trying make my profiles and work appear as best I possibly can. The newest website I have joined is slightly different and not something I thought I would ever be interested in; it's called Pintrest. Before I was a member I was quite skeptical, but after some persuasion from my designer friends I joined, and I haven't looked back.

The basic premise for Pintrest is that you have a virtual pin board and roam the internet "pinning" images, text, blogs or articles to your board which can be shared and "repined" with others. This is defiantly a useful service as I am always coming across exciting things on the internet and losing them, so this allows me to collate my findings in one efficient pin board. Follow me here

Currently I have a pin board called inspiration where I have collected interesting designs that may influence future projects. As a designer, Pintrest can be a really useful tool to gather inspirations and influences.

On another note I have joined Bloglovin', after some research I decided it could be a great way to interact with a larger audience and find other design blogs to read myself. I am always searching for design blogs and find them few and far between so with any luck Bloglovin' will remedy this.

Finally, I am on holiday this friday (27th) until the 3rd of August but will post about my latest projects when I return :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, July 23

Self Promotion: Society 6

If you read this blog you will know a few things about me; firstly, that I have just graduated with a degree in graphic design and secondly, I am looking for a job within this industry. In pursuit of a job I have made a conscious effort to promote myself to a wider audience through my website, this blog and my twitter account, hoping that the right audience will find me.

Today I added to my self promotional channels by setting up a Society 6 account under the name "Alice E Vaughan", the same as my twitter account. If you don't know, Society 6 is a web based company where designers and artists post their work on the site and Society 6 makes it into prints/iphone cases/canvases ect. All you have to do is set your profit per item and advertise all your designs. Members of the site can also "promote" your work, similar to the "like" button function on Facebook.

Being a relative newbie to the whole process I have only uploaded two prints, which have both featured on this blog before, as a trial run. The whole concept of my own Society 6 account is an experiment in promotion and pricing my own work. I am hoping to add more prints and designs after becoming more knowledgeable about the process, so keep posted.

If you would like to see my work or buy a print you can now do so here!

Saturday, July 21

Self Promotional Illustration

For a while I have been debating on wether to change my blog from dynamic view (how it is at present) to simple view which would allow me much more freedom over the layout. I really like the dynamic view as it prioritises images to make the home page visually exciting, and, of course, it's very user friendly. But, there is a lot of restriction in terms of personalising the page.

I decided to create an illustrative piece that will act as a header for the blog for two reasons. Firstly because the illustration could work as my new header bar for my blog when viewed in mobile and secondly, I really enjoy creating this style of illustration so it's no hardship to spend time doing so.

While I am preparing my blog, website and CV for job applications I am really keen to put my own personal stamp on every aspect of my web presence; and this header could be enough of a feature to achieve this and made me stand out from the crowd.

These are some images of the print out and then on my blog viewed through my mobile.

Wednesday, July 18

Prima Oliva Branding

A friend recently approached me about helping him rebrand his company; Prima Oliva. The company makes and sells specialist olive oils to wholesalers, restaurants and pubs. The brief was quite open so there were plenty of avenues to research and explore first. After some research and developing a logo I came up with this.

The new design takes reference from traditional olive oil bottles and street sinage, combined with a clean style to give a modern and sophisticated approach. The colour palette was key to make the new branding relevant to the company as the light greens and yellows can be associated with the olives, olive trees and the oil. 

This is a super quick mockup of some potential letter heads, business cards and compliments slips that will create a clean and consistent brand for the company.

Tuesday, July 17

Tips for Student Designers

If you follow me on twitter or have read this blog before you will know that I have just finished my BA (hons) in Graphic Design. During the three years of the course I learnt a few things: graphics is expensive, time consuming, and at times frustrating.

But it doesn't have to cost a fortune, take up all your time or drive you insane when a project just. won't. work. These are some tips I picked up during the three years that can be useful and helped me to become more professional about my design career.


I find books and essential part of my design process as they can give so much inspiration from simply flicking through them. As I have said before, I love adding to my expanding collection with new examples of great design that I can come back to over again. The usual staple for online book purchasing is Amazon, but I find is equally extensively stocked with  great design books, usually a few pounds cheaper than Amazon, and always with free delivery. This doesn't sound a lot, but when I come to order five or six books the difference can mount up.


I take a lot of photos when i'm out and about (see here & here). Instead of leaving them languishing in files on my desktop I get them developed and stick them into old sketchbooks. This is another inventive way of providing yourself with some inspiration from exhibitions or places you have visited. I have a number of scrapbooks with photos from 2011 and 2012 degree shows I visited to remind me of the most influential pieces.


My DSLR is used for many things; photographing final pieces, blog posts and just taking my own photos. The quality and vibrancy of the images far our weighs that of my compact camera, which isn't quite up to taking good final piece shots. But with them both being Sony the memory card is can easily be swapped between the two without having to purchase a second, which is extremely convenient when you are a poor student.


Admittedly my printer is a beast and takes up most of my desk (annoying) but it is probably one of the most useful things I have ever bought so I can forgive it. I have a Brother MFC-5890CN which is capable of printing anything up to A3 and anything as small as a 4" x 6". This was amazing as at uni we had A3 sketchbooks so I could print my pages straight out instead of faffing around with glue/scissors/paper/trying to make it look professional. Along with this it scans, faxes, copies and can link directly to a USB or memory card. This meant that I could complete most tasks myself without having to out source more equipment and just focus on my work.

Although it is not advised by the manufacturer, I tend to use recycled ink for day to day printing. The quality is comparable and recycled ink is SO much cheaper. I get ink from INKcredible, an amazing site where you can get C, M, Y and K for £10 and the speed, service and quality is awesome. If you print as frequently as I did during the three years then this will definitely persuade you to swap to recycled ink.


My last bit of good advice would be to always carry a sketchbook with you to note down or sketch down ideas. Some of my best ideas just dropped into my head when I was on a bus or walking somewhere. It helps clarify ideas, keep records and develop concepts into a functioning solution to a brief.

These are just a few things that I find useful to inspire me when i'm stuck with a project or just save some money on things that I use all the time like printing. Either way I hope somebody finds it useful.

Friday, July 13

New Website

Over the past few months I have been meaning to redesign my website, but with finishing uni and hand ins it has been pushed further and further down my to do list. But finally, after constant tweaking and getting distracted by facebook/twitter/BBC news it is finished (see it here) ! Whenever I need information I always turn to Google first, so not have a web presence means missing such a large potential audience. Feel free to visit my site and give me some constructive feedback at

I wanted the look of the website to be clean and simple, punctuated with the vibrancy of my images, which I think I have achieved. In general I am quite pleased with the outcome, but undoubtedly I will end up messing around with it as I have a tendency to obsess, mess and improve my website continually.

In other news I have been rubbish at updating my blog lately due to the massive upheaval from uni life back to home life. This combined with some people in my life leaving and some returning means that I haven't had a chance to sit down and actually design or blog anything. But in truth the short break has been kind of nice after a mad May/June :).

I will be making a effort to keep my blog updated as I begin searching for a graphic design job (woah) and improve my portfolio.

Monday, July 2

Found Designs #2

Following on from my initial post on the subject of found designs, I have chosen a few of my favourite of my latest iPhone photos taken while out and about. As I said before, I am constantly taking photos of things that inspire me and can be used later, from book covers to packaging and more.

For me, it is important to be aware of design in everyday life; looking at new design styles that can be learnt and applied to new projects later on. This is important to keep my working looking fresh and not risk repetition in my portfolio.