With the recent addition of some exciting new projects,
we honest folks at Grain & Mortar couldn’t be happier – or busier – at work these days.
We are happy to announce a few of our newest clients: Offwire, a local Omaha company, the University of Nebraska, and yes, Google!
We couldn’t be happier about the wonderful opportunities coming our way and would like to thank everyone involved for their continuous support. Stay posted, the work has just begun!
When Ryan Cameron proposed to his girlfriend Jen, we knew we had to create something spectacular for them.
Ryan and I have been friends since junior high so it was important to me to give the invitation a unique and personal design. Generally, Grain & Mortar doesn’t do wedding invitations, but since Ryan is one of my best friends, we had to make an exception.
We decided to take a typographic approach for this design to make it appeal to both genders. We chose a more masculine type, with pops of femininity in the embellishments. We wanted it to be dramatic but not overdone. Working with their wedding colors, we chose navy as the primary color, with accents of magenta and grey throughout the invitation and the envelope.
To add a personable touch, we incorporated the couple’s shared interest of music in the invitation, by creating a “vinyl” coaster with the location details and map information. The back of the record sleeve includes Ryan and Jen’s Greatest Hits, a collaborative list of their favorite songs, which wedding guests can download on the website we created for them.
Our favorite wedding photographers, Daniel & Lauren Müller, captured all these amazing photographs. We are continually awed and inspired by their work. We also collaborated with Porridge Papers’ Christopher James, also a client of ours, who beautifully letterpressed the invitation suite.
It’s always awesome to get the chance to collaborate with local creatives, and we are lucky to have such great resources here in our community.
We celebrated Ryan and Jennifer’s wedding on Saturday, April 6th!
The Grain & Mortar team recently had the privilege of designing a new identity for the design branch (get it?!) of Kinghorn Gardens,
which concentrates on responsible landscape architecture and design. They use processes that help the environment and utilize our native Nebraska resources in their designs.
Before even beginning the design phase, we went through an extensive naming process involving research, brainstorming, creative concepting, and sketching. We wanted to create a name and identity that was not only visually appealing, but conceptually compelling as well. We began the naming ideas via paper and pencil, putting our heads together with the team at Kinghorn Gardens. After many scribbles, doodles and name renditions, Dropseed Studio was created.
The Prairie Dropseed plant is native to Nebraska. It is used often in prairie restoration, and is a good indicator of ecosystem vitality. The plant gets its common name because the grass becomes top heavy in the fall and drops its seeds to the ground. In this way, the plant reseeds itself and reproduces. Because of these characteristics, we all agreed that Dropseed Studio was a fitting name for the new operation.
Once the name had been finalized, we were confronted with the challenge of incorporating the complexity of the brand’s subject matter, as well as the plant itself, into the logo design.
To begin the design process, we concepted ideas that revolved around the Dropseed plant itself. These ideas shifted slowly from paper sketches and drawings to digital. Since Dropseed Studio’s focus is landscape architecture, it made sense to incorporate the plant’s earthy color tones into the final palette. We landed on a minimalist design that incorporated a distilled adaptation of the plant into the final Dropseed Studio logo. The significance of the plant paired with the simplicity of the typography was the formula we were looking for.
We enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with Kinghorn Gardens on the development of Dropseed Studio, and are looking forward to continuing the journey with them in the creation of the new Kinghorn Gardens website.
I began reading Summer Tomato in 2009 after I saw a tweet from Kevin Rose, saying that his girlfriend wrote a health blog.
As I began reading Darya Pino’s posts about food, health, and fitness, I became a die hard fan. Darya not only wrote about things that made sense, but she wrote it in a way I could understand, and in a way that applied to my lifestyle.
I continued to follow her blog, and happened to skim her email newsletter in November of last year. Darya mentioned she was looking for a designer to give Summer Tomato a facelift. I immediately replied, asking her to look at our portfolio and give us a holler if she liked what she saw. Turns out she did.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic to begin working with Darya. It’s not everyday you get to work on a site that you’ve been following for years. Not only that, but we had the freedom to create designs that were appropriate, personable yet professional, and fun. We updated her logo, giving it a more modern feel, yet still keeping the orignal concept to avoid confusing long-time readers. The illustrations give a lot of life to the site, and we took our time to make sure they suited not only the content, but also Darya, since her readers seem to really connect with her on a personal level. Because of this, we also expanded the About page quite a bit, and added in more icons and illustrations to break up the text. The site is fully responsive, which provides readers on all devices with an ideal viewing experience.
One of my favorite features about the site is the new categories. Previously, there were so many categories that it was a bit confusing to navigate. The new site has four categories – Health, Habits, Food, and Weight Control – which really helps give the site a “clean” feeling amongst a copious amount of content.
Darya was fantastic to work with, and we had such a great time working on her re-design! Her first book, Foodist, is coming out May 7th, and you can pre-order here.
Tim Kasher is playing a dual show at O’leavers!
You may have seen our sneak peek of this earlier in the week. It’s no secret that we love designing gig-posters, so when we heard the front-man of Cursive (who now owns O’leavers) is playing a special two-night show at the partially renovated venue, we were excited. Designing a poster for a double show is double the fun, but also presented a unique problem. Do we design two posters or just one? I immediately thought it would be pretty cool to do just one poster that we could flip upside down and work both ways, like a playing card or a reflection. Since Kasher is also a guitarist, it made sense to incorporate the guitar, which lends itself well to being the symmetrical element in the center. We differentiated the two shows by using color and of course the date. I also thought it would be a fun concept to add the moon / sun in the middle of the guitar to hint at the change of time and day. I provided the concept and art direction, and Jesse Harding brought it to life with his mad design skills. Enjoy!