august 31, 2012
Enjoy What You Have…
Posted by American Greetings on August 31, 2012
Have you ever wondered why birthdays seem to roll around more quickly once you’ve passed the age of 21? Yes, you may be getting older, but look at it this way—you’re more mature and wiser, right? Remember, your age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel. So, laugh at the wisecracks, blow out all your candles and know that he who has the most birthdays lives the longest!
Posted by American Greetings on August 29, 2012
It’s all about energy and a fresh perspective when you meet Alex McClelland, one of our newest graphic designers at American Greetings. Here’s what he has to say:
When did you first realize you are an artist?
I took illustration and intro design classes in high school and loved it. In college, I really started to get excited about design when we got into more fun and conceptual work.
What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?
I am a graphic designer on the marketing production team for American Greetings Interactive. I create emails and landing pages for American Greetings, BlueMountain.com, and Cardstore.com. I’ve been given some other fun projects too, such as designing online products and designing for this very blog!
Could you tell us some more about your work?
My work is always evolving. Sometimes I’ll look back and wonder, “What was I thinking?” I think it’s important to always like what you create, but it’s also inevitable to have your taste and style change from time to time. I’m still learning and one thing I always appreciate and go back to is simple, iconic design. I really enjoy making little characters and graphics out of simple geometric shapes, and I have a recent fascination with color experimentation and hand lettering. Feel free to check out my website to see some of the things that I’ve been working on! www.alexmcclelland.com
What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?
I love looking into the latest design trends through blogs, websites, books, magazines, etc. I love to see new approaches to design and working to see how I can take those ideas and make them my own.
What’s your favorite piece/ecard ever created and why?
Some of my favorite designs are logos that I have created. It’s a different way of designing. With posters and books, and even greetings cards, there’s a bigger canvas to convey your message. With a logo, you have one opportunity to sum it all up.
What famous artists or graphic designers have influenced you?
I love to look at Craig Frazier’s work, and I actually created a biography project about him. He is known for very simple, yet conceptual illustrations and animations. Lately I’ve really gotten some inspiration from “Us and Them” studio, a design agency in Brooklyn. They have a website full of colorful, typographic, iconic, graphical eye candy.
What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?
I love variety and I love to be busy. I think I do my best work when I know there is a tight deadline or if I’m juggling several projects at once. I get this sense of urgency that fires me up. When I get stuck, I go for a walk or workout…really anything to take my mind off it. Usually my ideas develop when I’m not trying so hard.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to have an idea of where I’ll be in 10 years. I am still learning so much about what I like and don’t like doing as a designer…I know that I love designing posters, logos, cards, etc. I’d like to learn some web design and coding within the next few years to make myself more versatile. I am also interested in packaging design/ 3D design.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Experiment with what you love and learn how to take criticism. Don’t take anything involving your own work too personally. As a sensitive person it’s hard to follow my own advice sometimes, but I find that most times when people criticize it’s because they see more potential. Take advice but make sure in the end it is still your design and not someone else’s manipulation.
What do you do for fun?
I love to play tennis, go fishing, read- mostly fiction, the more imagination the better. I like to play cards and board games and just love to just hang out with close friends and go on adventures.
Posted by American Greetings on August 27, 2012
Posted by American Greetings on August 24, 2012
As the dog days of summer draw to a close and you can hear the marching band practicing on the football field, you know that a new school year is about to begin. It’s a time when kids get excited and maybe, a little anxious about homeroom assignments, new subjects to learn and meeting new friends Reassure them that a new school year is all about new opportunities—a chance to start fresh. And if they’re still feeling a little nervous, some new fall clothes may help!
Posted by American Greetings on August 22, 2012
Backpacks, binders and buses—oh yeah, it’s back-to-school time! Whether your child starts tomorrow or still has a couple more weeks, here are some important reminders to make life a little easier.
Posted by American Greetings on August 20, 2012
It feels like we were just talking about getting your summer started, and now it’s already almost time to say goodbye to the care-free warm days of this fun season. Although schools will be starting up again soon, and we’ll all be back to busier schedules, there’s still time left to enjoy summer. If you’re wondering when the official end of summer is – it falls on September 21, so make the most of the next 5 weeks with some end-of-summer fun! Here are some of our favorite ideas you still have time to fit it.
If you’ve been snapping pictures all summer long, now is the time to organize all of your memories and create something fun. Take a day to put all your photos together in a scrapbook – digital or paper. You can even make your favorite summer pictures into personalized cards and send them out to friends and family!
It’s not too late to squeeze one more fun vacation weekend in! How about a family camping trip, or an adventure to your local amusement park? You may even save some money if you plan these trips into September, and as a bonus you may not have the crowds you’d find a few weeks earlier.
The weather is still hot and sunny, so soak up the sun at your local pool or water park. Most pools stay open until Labor Day weekend, so make the most of the time you have left!
Stuck inside due to a late summer storm? No problem! Have a family movie marathon day. Have each member of the family choose a favorite movie, pop some popcorn, make fun snacks, and enjoy a lazy day!
Posted by American Greetings on August 17, 2012
Here are some fun ideas on how to make your favorite peeps feel extra special on their birthday:
Remember, it’s the thoughtfulness that counts!
Posted by American Greetings on August 15, 2012
You’re never too old for a big celebration! Not sure where to begin? Here are some great ideas to make party planning easy.
A retro-themed party is the perfect way to create a blast from the past. Send out personalized invitations so guests know how to dress to match the era. Check out iTunes for music that will get everyone dancing—whether it’s the Jitterbug or the Hustle! Decorate with old photos of the birthday honoree—guests can contribute these, too—or use the fave pix to make a crazy scrapbook of memories right at the party. You can even create your own photo booth with a digital camera. Use imaginative era-specific accessories to go with your theme, then send guests a photo card as a party favor. Don’t forget those thank-you cards, either!
An elegant-themed party is another way to go, so do it up right with a coordinated look. Choose a color scheme, then accent your napkins and plates with decorative stickers and appliques from a craft store. Use stencils to add a custom border to a paper tablecloth. Flowers make the perfect centerpiece, so select some blossoms in your color choice and decorate the vase using the stencils as well as matching ribbons. When it comes to the dessert, use your imagination—you may want to try cupcakes or cake pops vs. a more traditional cake. Finish off the celebration with a toast that lists as many qualities of the guest of honor as there are birthday years. All your partygoers will have fun helping with this one, and it will create a wonderful birthday memory to treasure.
Posted by American Greetings on August 13, 2012
Posted by American Greetings on August 10, 2012