Design Inspiration for Mother’s Day Gifts

May 4, 2011

When you’re 5 any old piece of construction paper with crayon all over it makes a great Mother’s Day gift. Maybe at this point in your life a little more effort is required Moms can be a little difficult to decipher, though. They don’t want to come out and say what they like — the thought is enough; whatever you do is great. Well in this blog post we give you three great ideas for Mother’s Day gifts to create, but how do you get started when designing something special for mom? The trick is a fairly simple one. You pull together a list of mom’s favorites — things she likes and is aesthetically drawn to. These things will lead logically to the color palettes, patterns and fonts that will speak to mom. It’s the same idea as pulling together a mood board for a designer. This mood board of elements becomes your tool kit for building something special for mom. Allow me to demonstrate. Let’s make a list of good sources for gleaning some insight:   1. Favorite artist(s): Let say she likes something bold and graphic but playful. Perhaps Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book inspired art or the geometric nature illustrations of Charley Harper. Lichtenstein used half-tone patterns in his work. Maybe a field of polka-dots would work as a background pattern. Even if she’s never discussed art you can figure out her tastes. What has mom actually bothered to put on her walls? What art books does she have on her bookshelf? 2. What’s her favorite movie? Maybe it’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Go find the poster to that movie and then find some stills of the most iconic moments. If the poster is illustrated, note the style. Maybe it’s very detailed and baroque or, in this case, simple and iconic. The colors here are especially eye-catching maybe you want to use them as a color palette. Look at the colors in this image… … or this one. The color in a film from the ’60s has a different feel than a modern film. The sleep mask with eyelashes and the cat Halloween mask are whimsical and candy-colored. If you go to you can create a color palette from a photo. Below is the one that was generated using the cat mask photo. 3. Where does mom shop for clothes? Where would she love to shop if she had the money? Maybe she would love to shop at Kate Spade. What do their ads look like? Advertising is always about the marriage of words and imagery so it’s a good place to look for ideas about how to handle type in a project. In this ad the words are in color instead of black or white and a simple shape icon is used. Maybe little geometric icons such as crowns or hearts would be fun elements. Here the type is centered in a dot. It’s sans serif and all capitalized. If you’re using a busy image, this could be a nice way to give your words some room to breathe. Now for the advanced stuff! Here two different fonts are being used. The sans serif is being used large and outlined and also tiny. Big scale changes always look interesting. And a script font is thrown into the mix for good measure, but it’s just used as an accent. The headline font could be Gotham, which is a very nice modern sans serif … Or for a more classic sans you could use Futura. The script that pairs with it could be Snell Roundhand. And the serif font used in the first ad could be Sabon The fonts don’t have to be exact. They just have to look similar enough and work well together. Get the idea? Now that you have colors and fonts and visual elements you can get to work crafting something you know mom will enjoy.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.