A little Introduction

As I am rolling into my 2nd year of my official re-launch of MoonBee Designs, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself a little bit more that what you see on my about page.

I am an Ohio native. Born and raised.

Grew up in New Albany when it was still country and no one wanted to drive out “that far”. I moved away after high school to attend school in Florida for a short two years before enrolling as a student at The Columbus College of Art and Design. I had dreams of traveling the country and finding a place to settle down that wasn’t Ohio, but I met my husband my first year at CCAD and, well, I haven’t left Ohio since. Funny how life directs you sometimes and you end up where you never expected.

I fell in love with design at CCAD, fell in and out of love with design with various jobs, but always came back to it. I don’t feel quite right if I am not designing. And that goes from something as personal as a room in my house, to a simple postcard for a client.

I enjoy teaching as well. It is actually one of the offerings that I had to make sure was part of my business. I teach calligraphy which is one of those things that fell into my lap and I just flowed with it. I have taught kids cursive, clients all about printing and their own brand as well as going back to my Alma Mater and teaching a few classes there. I love learning, and I am always open to teaching things to people that want to learn.

That begs a big question though. What am I doing when I am not designing or educating? That is simple as well. I love to read, intense thrillers are my favorite. I enjoy going to crossfit in Granville and getting out on the road to catch a couple miles on my bicycle. I dream about one day having a beehive (I have them now, but no bees) and harvesting my own honey as well as traveling to see all the beautiful places I have only seen in pictures.

But right now I am settling for building my design firm, meeting lots of people and designing great stuff. Interested in talking about an upcoming project? Just click on hire me and send me a note.


Is a postcard right for your business?

When you think of postcards, how many of you think of mailing?

Postcards, yes, can be mailed, but sometimes they work much better as a printed piece that gets handed out. When you have a small mailing list, only the people on your mailing list receive your postcard. Even if you buy a list, only those people see what you are advertising.

Take a minute and think about who you want to come into your store, attend your event, or learn about something you are advertising on this postcard. Then think of all the places you see business cards, postcards and flyers. If you start paying attention, you will see them in local restaurants, tourist places, churches, your local gym and even stores. If you are advertising your own store and a special that you are having, you can put a postcard in every bag of each customer and explain to them what it is about. Put a coupon on the postcard and encourage them to come back to use the coupon on their next purchase.

The good thing about not mailing your postcards is that you are not restricted to a mailing size and you have that room that would be the mailing address to have more information about your event or sale. It is also a less expensive way as you are not paying for a list, or postage and fulfillment.

So next time someone mentions “postcard” or you are thinking if it would be good for you, think about all the opportunities you have to pass that postcard out and the reach you could possibly get.

What is Environmental Branding?

When I am talking to people about what I do, I usually don’t get any questions until I say “Environmental Branding”. What exactly is environmental branding?

A simple definition is this: Taking your brand design into your spacial environment like a lobby, or throughout your entire building. This allows your client, customer, employee to experience your brand within your space.

Branding throughout your environment.

Some simple (or seems simple) environmental branding is The Ohio State University Medical Center. If you have ever been to one of their outpatient care buildings, or in the hospital, you see their branding at every turn. It moves from the carpet they pick, to the colors on the wall, to the artwork within the hallways. Just like branding strategy, there is a strategy for the environment. How do you want the customer to feel? Relaxed? Excited? Intrigued?

The fun thing about doing environmental branding is that what can be done is only limited by a budget. The most simple environmental branding is choosing colors for a wall and putting your logo behind a reception desk. Going all the way, the branding will flow through the lighting chosen, patterns on the fabric, signage throughout to even large scale imagery and artwork placed on the walls.

When thinking about environmental branding, you should be asking yourself the same thing you ask yourself about how you want your customer to think about your brand, just reworded a little differently. How do you want your customer to FEEL as they walk through your space. And it should always work in tandem and be a direct representation of your brand.

Next time you are in your bank, a retail space, restaurant, even doctors office, take a look around, do you notice their environmental branding?

I don't have good handwriting

About 2 years ago I started looking at ways I could stretch my creative arms outside of my computer. I started looking at hand lettering and calligraphy. I bought what I thought I would need and started watching videos mainly focusing on calligraphy. I of course bought all the wrong things and ended up going back to buy the correct supplies for pointed pen calligraphy.

I practiced, writing the same letter over and over, the same word until I got to a point where I wanted to take a class to see if I was missing anything. I was missing something. The realization that calligraphy is not the same as handwriting. Because it isn’t handwriting, it is an art form that takes practice, and patience and is rather quite meditative. I fell in love.

The more I practice, I began posting what I was doing and one day got a call from a friend asking me if I would be interested in teaching a workshop. Me? Really? OK. So I jumped in. I did more research, knew what I should begin teaching because of my journey and taught my first workshop. Haven’t really turned around since.

I have bad handwriting

Now that I teach calligraphy the most common comment I hear is this: I would love to learn, but I have horrible handwriting.

Well, good news for you. Calligraphy isn’t handwriting. Practicing calligraphy is a muscle memory exercise. You start with practicing simple drills, move to letters and practice those. One thing you need to know is you really aren’t practicing writing the letter H. You are practicing the form of the letter, the shape it forms, the flow of how it loops and curves.

If you practice your handwriting, it would get better also, but handwriting is different. You are writing words and your thoughts are flowing as you write. Calligraphy is drawing shapes of each letter. It is art. I focus so much on the shape of the letters, I have to be careful, I tend to spell a lot of things wrong sometimes because I am so much in the zone of drawing the shapes.

I can’t draw.

Now you are just coming up with excuses not to try something new. You don’t have to be an artist, good at drawing, or even be able to draw a “straight line “ to practice calligraphy. Calligraphy, like I said before, is a muscle memory art. Calligraphers practice drills so that they can be better at drawing the shapes of the letters. I remember a friend asking me if I had let my daughter draw in my sketchbook. When I looked to see what they were talking about, it was my first pages of my practice. Goes to show even an art school graduate has to start somewhere.

No more excuses.

So now that you have the information, what is stopping you from trying calligraphy. There are so many things you can do once you have learned. When I am stressed out and need something to center me and calm me down, I practice drills, letters or words. The action of doing calligraphy is very meditative and relaxing. When it is time to get a card for someone, I now create one myself, and writing their name on an envelope is always nice when it looks super fancy. I make a little extra money on the side when someone asks me to use calligraphy on something for them. And I love teaching because I love the look on peoples faces when they see how much they have improved, get some special time with a friend they took the class with, or just meet new people and bond over calligraphy.