SF Signs

INSPIRATION

Font-gazing is pretty popular pastime at A DAY IN MAY. We’re lucky, San Francisco is a treasure trove of amazing fonts – everywhere you turn there are old neon signs that haven’t been replaced in decades. Some of them don’t even work anymore, but they are all so unique and telling of a different era. Some trigger memories of the jazz age and clubs from the roaring 20s while others are reminiscent of turn of the century art deco, while some are just original in their own right. 

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Printed Matter

INSPIRATION

We’ve been loving the resurgence of the printed journal magazine. In this age of digital everything (and, of course, as stationery designers), we hold such value in the tangible items – a polaroid photograph, a hand written note, a letterpress card. With their gorgeous photography and thick matte covers, the beautiful pages of monthly magazines like Kinfolk, Gather, Drift, Cereal and Hearth all feel extra special and often act as coffee table books that we go back to again and again. And the best part is, their content is all focused around slow living and tangible experiences… taking the time to cook with family, gather with friends, and build communities and experiences together.

photo credit: kinfolkgatherdriftcerealhearth

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Strening Architects

IN THE STUDIO

We’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Strening Architects on some personal home remodeling projects as well as designing their identity and website. Their work is beautiful and clean, so we wanted their logo and collateral to reflect this same sensibility. Using sky blue in the wordmark and as a color block on their business card and letterhead, we created a crisp, modern identity that reflected their own work.

streningarchitects.com

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80th Birthday Bash

HOMELIFE

One of the highlights of my summer was a trip to Rockland, Maine to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. Maine is so stunning and it was the perfect setting for a week of festivities. For the actual birthday party, we took over a rustic little boathouse on the edge of the water and kept the decor simple: navy checkered table cloths, jelly jars filled with wildflowers that my daughters and I picked that morning, custom napkins with a fun logo (www.foryourparty.com), plenty of champagne and of course, the perfect view.

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Beautifully Chic in Beaulieu Garden

IN THE STUDIO

From the dresses to the save the date to the ‘I Do’s”, this Napa wedding was simple and stylish. For the invitation suite, we designed a classic monogram surrounded by a delicate floral wreath and letterpressed it in a soft, pale gray. Event planner, Laurie Arons, and floral designer, Kathleen Deery, brought this sweet aesthetic to life on the wedding day with tablescapes covered in white florals and tea lights draped from the canopy. So chic!

Event Planner: Laurie Arons
Floral: Kathleen Deery Design
Photography: Meg Smith
Catering: Paula LeDuc
Invitation Suite: A Day in May
Calligraphy: Barbara Callow
Venue: Beaulieu Garden
Wedding Gown: Oscar de la Renta

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From My Kitchen to Yours

IN THE STUDIO

A few years back, Eve designed a cookbook for her mother’s 70th birthday. It was such a hit, we decided to turn the basic design into a “Do-It-Yourself” cookbook and sell it on our Etsy page. In it we provided all the ingredients to make a homemade cookbook…  a cover, some blank recipe pages, dividers, binding posts, instructions… and it was all letterpress (thanks to the team at FULL CIRCLE PRESS). We loved creating it and as an added bonus, we even got the chance to talk about it on the Martha Stewart show!

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Tuscany Vows

IN THE STUDIO

It’s hard not to swoon over this countryside wedding in Tuscany. We wanted Kathleen and Gaetano’s invitation design to reflect the romantic, rustic surroundings, so we created a neutral white and brown palette, subtle florals, and beautiful calligraphy by Tara Jones. The wedding day, set in the garden with dusty tones of blush and pink and the perfectly weathered Villa Vignamaggio in the background, just looked incredible!

Event Planner: Efffetti
Event and Floral Design: Stems, Inc
Venue and Caterer: Villa Vignamaggio
Photographer: Andrea Corsi
Calligrapher: Tara Jones Calligraphy
Invitations: A Day in May
Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger from Mark Ingram Atelier

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Jeppe Hein: Please Touch the Art

INSPIRATION

I was recently visiting some friends in New York City and while strolling along the Brooklyn waterfront I quickly became obsessed with these bright red benches scattered around Brooklyn Bridge Park. Known as Modified Social Benches, by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, these witty sculptures reinvent the idea of the park bench. Simply by changing up it’s original shape and color, these benches turned into an imaginative and evocative work of art. Viewers are encouraged to “Please Touch the Art” and it was so fun to see people interacting with them… climbing on them, taking photos with them, laughing over them. In a city that can feel fairly isolating at times, it was a playful reminder to everyone about spontaneous expression and social connection.

Read more about this installation at: publicartfund.org

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Sons & Daughters

HOMELIFE

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week with a trip to Sons & Daughters in San Francisco. The restaurant has 83 acres of dedicated farmland in the Santa Cruz Mountains and you can taste it in every bursting bite. They have cornered the market on new veggie hybrids such as pluots, limequats, lime basil, etc, making the dining a true adventure. Then as if the food, wine and atmosphere wasn’t enough, they brought their very cool business card to our table along with the check, and of course it was letterpress. They have great taste, so what else would it have been?

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A Tree-Lined Wedding

IN THE STUDIO

Beaulieu Garden is known for it’s incredible grounds and elegant setting in Napa County. Their tree-lined entry is jaw-dropping and noteworthy (and also the perfect backdrop for wedding photos), so we wanted to highlight this feature in the invitation design. We created a romantic, yet traditional monogram for Kristin and John and printed that in dark gray upon a softer gray letterpress illustration of the trees. The bevelled edge painted in gray and the soft gray envelope liner helped bring the entire invitation suite together. JBD Events and Atelier Joya really brought this sweet and traditionally elegant garden wedding to life with some added tones of blush and soft, natural greens.

Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography
Event Planning: JBD Events
Floral Design: Atelier Joya
Stationery: A Day In May
Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Cake: Sweet On Cake
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Venue: Beaulieu Gardens
Vintage Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours

Also featured on Carats & Cake and Style Me Pretty

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Book-making Birthday Party

HOMELIFE

Having Full Circle Press as friends is pretty spectacular – especially come birthday time. They sent me a stack of trimmed paper – drilled and prepared for book-making. It was the perfect craft for my daughter’s 8th birthday party. Accompanied by goody bags of string, crayons and colored pencils, the paper kept the group enthralled for hours. Thank you FCP and happy birthday to Tessa!

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Red, White and Blue

IN THE STUDIO

What a beautiful 4th of July we had this year. The fog held off and summer was going strong here in the Bay Area with bbqs, parades, fireworks, picnics… And we just love the patriotic colors everywhere so we were inspired to look back at all of our red, white, and blue designs from years past…

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Colorado Treehouse

HOMELIFE

My family spent the 4th at our home in Colorado. Hands-down, the coolest spot to hang-out is in our treehouse. Check out the youngest member of our clan catching up on some reading.

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Treehouse


Geometric Design

INSPIRATION

We’ve been loving the new trend of geometric patterns in design lately. The straight cleans lines of jewelry and furniture design and the colorful shapes and patterns in housewares and fashion bring a certain level of edge and fun to any piece – including stationary pieces, party invitations, and business logos!

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Together: Kindness Unites Us

IN THE STUDIO

“Together: Kindness Unites Us”. This is the mantra behind T KUU, a California-based yoga company whose identity we designed. The founders allowed us to take their look in a modern direction, agreeing to forgo an icon and focus instead on a strong, simple font in a warm palette. The letters fill up the space on each piece of their collateral, big and bold like their message.

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Summertime inspiration

HOMELIFE

I love a simple centerpiece on my dining room table – flowers in a single color, a collection of rocks that my girls pick up on the beach … or plums from the tree in our garden. Paired with a pretty bowl, it turns my table into summer.

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Kate Truesdell

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE

Kate Truesdell
Founder & Director, Greenwich Dance Studio
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a celebration of risk taking ladies
DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING.

I own a dance studio in Greenwich, CT. We have 350 students, and emphasize versatile training in various dance styles. Like most small business owners I wear lots of different hats – some days I’m a designer (or try to be!), some days I’m an advisor for my students, some days I’m directing my fantastic team of 12 teachers and managers…First and foremost though, I’m a dance teacher.

GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR CAREER PATH.

When I graduated from college I had only ever had two jobs – I’d been a dance teacher and a cocktail waitress, so it was time to amp up my business skills before doing my own thing! I moved to Manhattan and took a job in the corporate world. While I lived in NYC (the world’s official Dance Capital), I went to every dance performance I could afford, took technique classes and kept an inspiration journal of what I hoped my studio would be like.

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some of the greenwich Dance Studio dancers around town
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

I’ve always loved interior design, and went through a phase where I would take books out of the library on architecture and décor. Someone told me once that being a designer involved a lot of math (which I’ve always been terrible at!), so that dream didn’t last long.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING IN 10 YEARS?

I can honestly say that I would like to be doing the same thing, only I hope to have found a better balance between my work life and my family life. My husband and I have three young children, two boys and a baby girl, so if I can somehow master the balancing act, I’ll be living the dream!

NAME THREE PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT HELPED YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY.

I’m determined, I’m empathetic and I’m an extrovert. My Dad used to call me a “social butterfly”, especially compared to my older sister who graduated at the top of her class from Princeton. My ability to build relationships with people is probably my greatest asset.

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a variety of greenwich Dance Studio performances
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

I think success probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I feel most successful when I feel that the work I’m doing makes a direct and positive impact on other people’s lives.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE FAILURE?

Failure is when you stop trying. Admittedly, I read that on someone’s Instagram feed the other day, but it makes sense!

HAVE YOU EVER MADE A MISTAKE IN YOUR CAREER?

How long can this answer be? Yes, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and used to really beat myself up about them. Now, I find that if I realize my mistakes and acknowledge the fault, it helps me to take note and move on.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Outside of my family, I’m most proud of the community that has been built at Greenwich Dance Studio, between the students, the teachers and the role that studio plays in my beloved hometown of Greenwich.

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the greenwich Dance Studio space
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 21 YEAR-OLD SELF?

Take risks, be curious, now’s the time to explore! Whether that is through travel or work experience, realize that you have a relatively small amount of responsibility at this stage in life. Strive for simple needs, and even if on a very small scale, make philanthropic giving a part of your life.

WHAT TRICKS HAVE YOU LEARNED TO BALANCE LIFE AND WORK?

With the incredible invention (and curse!) of the iPhone, I have to allow myself to be disconnected from work, and thus keep my phone out of my sight when I’m with my family. I try to tell myself that no matter how urgent the e-mails/texts/voice-mails may seem, that they can wait.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK AND WHY?

Right now it is a book my sister gave my kids for Christmas, called The Invisible String. It is a beautiful story of a mother telling her kids about how we are always connected to the people we love, even when we can’t see them.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT VACATION.

Lazy days on a quiet beach, where going to dinner is the biggest event on the Itinerary.

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kate ushering her dancers out for an encore • kate receiving a special treat from her son after the performance
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Maps

Summer break is here and we’re ready to plan our next getaway! Belize, Hawaii, Europe, SoCal? Here are a few of the fun maps we’ve designed for invitations past…

Maps


Herringbone

We are embarking on some new fireplace surrounds and hearths at my house and I’m thinking of going with a herringbone tile pattern. Check out my recent inspiration boards…

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