Wednesday 21 September 2016

Rebrand: Packaging Update!

YAY I HAVE FINALLY REBRANDED EVERYTHING!! My shop and I had a little makeover this summer and I am super happy about it. Relieved too. I managed to go 3 years of thinking I was a graphic designer without taking my own branding seriously enough. I had the same compliment slips and a logo for aaages and really didn't feel they represented my style any more. Finally, during my extended uni summer break, I had the time and the motivation.

There's a lot to go into on this topic, but for the past year or so I've felt very odd about my shop. I really did want it to become a collaborative place, but after experimentation I've found that I'm just not comfortable with that. I wanted to bring it all back to how it started, little ol me in my bedroom, drawing things that make people smile, for a jobby. I wanted to reconnect with everyone who has supported Sighh for years now, as during my first year at uni I definitely let things slide. So the rebrand aims to connect me with the customer, in a fun, pretty way.

Step 1) Packaging! I want people to get excited the moment they see the parcel at their door. I want them to know instantly where it came from. This is also important for Christmas time, if your family/housemates have a habit of opening your post and you don't want surprises ruined!

Stickers are great because you can have more detail in them, but stamps can have just as much of an impact, and really add the personal touch. Especially the ones which don't work. That is also a risk. I designed these with an idea of where each would go, so worked out the measurements according to my packaging. For example, the "Open me, I'm fabulous" and "thank you!" stamps go on the seal of envelopes, so they had to be short. I wanted the "Hello, I am your new stuff" to be larger as it would decorate the front of the parcel. 

I made these simply by inking them with a paint brush, scanning them into photoshop and tidying up the edges a bit/moving elements to improve their composition and sizing them according to the measurements on the manufacturer's website. Links at the bottom of this post! The artwork you supply stamp companies with needs to be solid black and white. The black will be what's stamped, and the white will be cut out. If the detail is too fine, it may not print well, especially on uneven surfaces like jiffy bags. I think ink work was ideal! 

The logo stickers come in 3 different colours, which make up my shop's new colour palette! I they'll be alternated on packaging/branding products. I kept teal, the colour of my previous branding, for consistency (plus I love it), but added coral and pops of mustard which I feel are more me. 

Different packaging require different stamps. It's all about what fits, and the composition. I wanted the packaging to be personal, but not messy. 

Stickers will go inside cases like this, so you never forget where you bought them! Apparently people do. Humph. 

And now onto the part I love the most - the thank you slips!! Oh man. I found my A6 compliment slips weren't doing the job after launching enamel pins, which use small jiffy bags. I had to fold them, and it looked crap. Branding material should fit in seamlessly. So, these babies are A7 which only makes them 10x sweeter! I got them from Printed - if you decide to order, do a girl a favour and use my link ( which will save me money on future orders! :')

After seeing photos of people pinning up my old thank you slips on their walls, I wanted to make the reverse side a piece of lettering, or illustration, to fit that purpose. I think when these run out, I'll order a range of designs for people to collect! :) The "yay/pretty" have a stamp effect, linking with the packaging. I was going to hand stamp them but I didn't think I could cope with the ordeal it would be. These have been printed on 270gsm gesso paper, which links with the textured background of my website. Them details tho. 

I also ordered a smaller amount of thank you slips with a blank reverse side, so that I can write little notes to customers. This is SUCH an important thing to have considered if you're developing your own packaging. You don't want customers to be confused when they receive the parcel, before checking their inbox, and a note is a lot more personal than an email. It's also nice to write little messages to friends who order, without using scrap paper - which looks messy!


And there you have it. My new branding! I'm going to actually talk about the reasons behind it in detail in another post for the graphics-y folk who might be interested. This was more a visual overview :)

The branding will be rolling out from now on. Phone cases might take a bit longer, but I'm sending off the materials to my supplier tomorrow.

So what are your thoughts? Do you prefer it to my old stuff? Do you feel it links up with my new website? Do let me know your thoughts below, or on twitter. Isn't it ironic how I spent my summer doing graphics stuff, just after I decided to change my degree to Illustration! Lol, life.

Stickers and thank you cards:
Wooden stamp:
Stamps with plastic handles:

Friday 16 September 2016

The Importance Of Planning Meals

I won't tell you how much money I've wasted over the past two months, since moving house. What little respect for me you may have, would be gone and never to return. I recently downloaded Toshl Finance on my phone, in a vague attempt to understand where all my dolla was going, and although I never manage to keep it up for more than two days at a time, I've become aware that my trips to the Co-op are costing far too much, and are far too regular. Having a pretty good supermarket so close is a blessing and a curse. Why stuff a weekly shop into your puny student fridge when you can just pop out everyday to get something for dinner? WELL there is a reason. It is money management and health. There are two reasons.

Money Management

If you don't plan, using up what you already have in your cupboards, you're going to be spending unnecessary money. Instead, you can plan your meals and only buy in the extras you need, with a budget in mind, so you're halving the ingredients you could be picking up to make a meal. Why pick up curry sauce and rice if you already have pasta in? Just pick up some pasta sauce. That is the general idea. If you are in desperate need of a curry, this is fine. I am talking about believing there is no option other than curry. There is. Your pasta is waiting. On another note, curry sauce and pasta is a really good combination. Get the curry sauce, fuck rice.


If you take time to plan your meals, you're less likely to impulse buy that reduced pizza, or order in a takeaway. But also, you can make your meals a lot healthier by using up your veggies. Invest a couple of pounds in vegetables for the week and see how you can use them up by putting them in every meal. If you buy bell peppers to dip in hummus, why not fry them off and add them to pasta sauce, on top of pizzas, in curry or in your scrambled eggs. It's the same with spinach and broccoli, they can be added to most meals. 

You want pizza but you have wraps/bread, pasta sauce, cheese and vegetables in the fridge. Make a pizza with that! Recipe here

This morning, I was thinking of going to the shops later to find something for dinner. But after contemplation over a cuppa tea, staring out at the perpetual morning rain, I went through my fridge and cupboard. It only took half an hour to realise I could last another week for just £6!! Bloody heck.

Take a look at what I came up with and try to do the same with what's in your cupboards. This wasn't premeditated for the blog, it's just a normal day with a fairly random assortment of food I had left over. I think I'm in a good position because I have a really well stocked cupboard, so my food shops are mainly for perishable fridge food. Once the base ingredients are there, shopping is fairly cheap!

As so many of you are just moving to uni, would anyone be interested in a cupboard tour? I know, it sounds funny but I reckon it would be useful to some. I wish I'd seen one! 

Let me know if you see any more meal potential in what I have written down, that I haven't thought of! It would be cool to find more ideas! :) 

Happy eating, 

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