Fabric Design for Kidswear Line


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You may remember us talking about our goal of doing more surface pattern and retail product design. We even launched a (successful!) Kiva campaign to help jump start our efforts. Not long after we made it known that we wanted more pattern design work, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Mitz Kids on a fabric design.

Sprinkle numbers by Curious & Co. Creative for Mitz Kids
Mitz Kids makes children’s clothing that is designed with their interests in mind. Each piece of clothing is created to be developmentally appropriate for their age and reflects their changing interests. We also ensure that each design is free from gender stereotypes and can be worn by girls and boys!”

We are totally on board with that mission and with three girls and a boy under the age of 8 in the Curious family, we were excited for the chance to add a fabric design to their collection. 

And here is what we made for Mitz:

 photo by Mitz Kids

photo by Mitz Kids

We created a colorful sprinkle pattern on a navy blue background that is not only fun to look at, but helps kids learn their numbers. It also makes us want cake. 

Sprinkle design by Curious & Co. Creative

This was a great project and we were very happy to work with Mitz again. We designed their branding, retail tags, and other marketing materials. You can see the project in our portfolio and read about the whole branding process in this blog post.


Hue•ti•ful Color Inspiration: Little Bird's Calming Palette


Color is an important element in establishing a visual brand, and an integral component of our design process here at Curious & Co. Creative. In our hue•ti•ful series, we share a photograph with a unique color palette and illustrate how it can be a great starting point for developing a flexible brand color palette.

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A little yellow bird, photographed against a muted background, is the inspiration for our latest hue•ti•ful palette.

Bold, colorful palettes can be easy — the bolder, the better! But sometimes a project calls for a more calming, neutral palette. This inspiration image provides a good balance: the yellow and orange add brighter interest; the peach and beige provide calming mid-tones; the brown and dark gray ground the collection. This is an uncommon palette, but it would be great to see it in use on a clothing brand or perhaps a suburban coffee shop.

  photograph by   Boris Smokrovic via Unsplash

photograph by Boris Smokrovic via Unsplash


Mood Boards: Setting a Design Direction


Early in the branding process, we create a mood board for our client to review. It helps all of us (the client AND Curious) to make sure we’re speaking the same visual language. I recently mentioned these mood boards to my friend and business mentor, and he asked for more clarification about how we make them and how we use them. His questions got me thinking – maybe others would also benefit from knowing why and how we use them in our design process. Please read on to get answers to those questions!

Before we ever open a sketch book or double-click the mouse, we talk to our client about their business – what it is, what they want it to be, what services they provide, what products they make, who their customers are, and so much more. This Discovery phase requires work from our client, as well as us. Once we have answers to those questions, we can start gathering visual inspiration. 

If our client wants to convey that her business is Luxurious, Calm, and Welcoming, we might gather images like these:

  Image sources: Datura, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Houzz

Image sources: Datura, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Houzz

Perhaps that same client also aims to project a Chic, Timeless, Natural style to Affluent clientele. We might add the following images to the collection:

  Image sources: Walker Zanger, Le Jardin de Claire, OEN

Image sources: Walker Zanger, Le Jardin de Claire, OEN

You can start to see a cohesive style emerging in these images. (Spoiler alert: these examples are from a real branding project.) After a few more conversations with the client, we land on a collection that looks like this:

  Image sources: Restoration Hardware, sisasola, OEN, Lidewij Edelkoort, Lark, Houzz, Jen Wagner, Hoffman Woodward, Carla Aston, Mauricio Affonso, Datura, Le Jardin de Claire

Image sources: Restoration Hardware, sisasola, OEN, Lidewij Edelkoort, Lark, Houzz, Jen Wagner, Hoffman Woodward, Carla Aston, Mauricio Affonso, Datura, Le Jardin de Claire

Armed with a client-approved mood board, we dive into design, knowing that we are all using the same visual language and inspiration to bring the brand to life. Having this reference is very helpful. In fact, this specific mood board served as a good reminder during the project that, while the neutrals were great and on-target, we hadn’t utilized the blue enough. Our client was able to reference the mood board and we quickly adjusted the color palette. 

The final logo mark utilizes brush strokes and a simple sans serif typeface. Creating the mark in all one color helps to maintain the Calm, Timeless vibe the client wants to convey. The brand pattern, used as an accent on the website and other marketing materials, is a simple way to bring in the additional colors and texture. Visit the website to see how it all works together.

Curious & Co. Creative Branding for Lisa Furey Interiors

We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our mood boards, design process, or what you can expect when working with Curious & Co. Creative.

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Please note that all images were found via Pinterest and we’ve done our very best to credit the original source. If there is an error or omission, please let us know.


Hue•ti•ful: Ocean Sunset


Color is an important element in establishing a visual brand, and an integral component of our design process here at Curious & Co. Creative. In our hue•ti•ful series, we share a photograph with a unique color palette and illustrate how it can be a great starting point for developing a flexible brand color palette.

 •  •  •

The sky, beautifully colored by the setting sun, is the inspiration for our latest hue•ti•ful palette.

The water adds very nice deep blue-grays to the otherwise warm palette. While there is a shade of pink in this palette, the combination of colors is not overly feminine. With the well-balanced colors and muted tones, this would be appropriate for a variety of businesses — from cocktail bar to interior design studio.

  photograph by Ahmed Saffu via Unsplash

photograph by Ahmed Saffu via Unsplash


Branding Challenge: 15 Words


Every project has its own challenges—maybe it’s a brand new product category or a name change or a merger. This one was a little more size-related. One of the first things our client said was:

The bad news is: our name is s o o o o   l o o o o o n g

To be clear, when it comes to visual design, the length of a name is not insignificant. “How long could it possibly be,” you ask? We’ll tell you: Fifteen words. Seventy-five characters.

Challenge Accepted!

The National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia is associated with another long-time client of ours. St. Rita’s planned to adopt a new visual brand more closely aligned with the one that's been established and that we’re very familiar with. But the challenge still remained: can we take all of those words and make them legible while also assigning the proper emphasis and hierarchy?

Originally, the name was laid out like this: 


Making adjustments to include the full formal name and to more closely align the brand with the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, the new layout looks like this: 


*whew* We did it! Using different type sizes, styles, and weights to build a hierarchy, we were able to design a legible and effective layout even with a very long name.

Once the layout was established, it was time to apply color. The client asked us to pull inspiration from their beautiful church interior and the resulting color palette is unique and perfect for them.


We are very pleased with the new look which gives proper weight and reverence to the Shrine. And what did our client think? 

 I wish you could have seen my face when I opened this document #Christmasmorning

We’ll call that a job well done!



Hue•ti•ful: Bright Summertime Fruits


The latest installment in our hue•ti•ful series is a bright palette inspired by these beautiful Summertime fruit-filled drinks photographed by Brooke Lark.

You may notice that the palette we pulled from this photo looks very much like a rainbow. While a traditional rainbow palette can conjure up child-like playful images (think: toddler toys) what makes this colorful combination a little more usable for adult businesses and products is that the colors are a little muted. Look at that yellow – it has some orange in it, keeping it from being too bright and aiding in legibility when used for type.

If you have a food business — from packaged snacks to a restaurant — taking cues from your ingredients is a great way to ensure you get an appetizing color palette. 


Introducing Hue•ti•ful: a color-centric series


Welcome to a new series we're calling hue•ti•ful. In these posts we aim to share how we use color in our design work, show how you can best use it for your business, and share some great color inspiration!

In our first hue•ti•ful post, we've taken one of Maggie's favorite inspiration images and created a palette from it.

Finding inspiration images is the easy (and fun) part. Why do so many designers and artists use photographs to find a color palette? With so many hues, tints, and shades visible to the human eye (depending on who you talk to, humans can identify 2-10 million different colors!) picking colors out of thin air can be a challenge. So why not use an image that you are drawn to as a starting point? The palette we've created is not the only one you could draw from this inspiration image, but we especially like the combination of pink, orange, and cobalt blue.


Curious & Co. Makeover: Behind the Scenes


Our business has evolved a lot since we first launched in 2010, and we recently felt it was time to reevaluate our branding — for how it represents us and how it appeals to our target clients. Our original logo served us well for over six years, but after quite a bit of growth and honing our expertise, the time felt right for something fresh.

To keep ourselves on track, we started as we do with all branding clients: the Discovery process. That's when we ask some thought-provoking questions about a client's target audience, competitors, business aspirations, and more to guide us throughout the design process. The three of us answered individually, and while our responses weren't identical, they overlapped in all the right places, meaning we're all still on the same page with our business (whew!)

Armed with information and inspiration, we dove in to some initial design concepts. As we often do, we individually came up with a few sketches to set the wheels in motion.

Curious & Co. rebrand design concepts

We worked collaboratively to zero in on our favorite — then came the time to refine, refine, refine. It turns out that we were feeling pretty attached to the cog in our original logo, so it remained a central design element in this next phase. We also began incorporating color, which we settled on fairly early in the process (before the design was finalized). 

Curious & Co. rebrand design concepts

After creating several iterations of our favorite concept — and shifting gears (pun intended) a bit — we landed on a polished combination of typefaces and our beloved cog, as well as a vibrant color palette anchored by a rich off-black (that's designer-speak for dark grey). Of course, a flexible branding system is not complete without interesting secondary/alternate marks, so we created those adaptations to round out our new brand.

Curious & Co. rebrand design

We are so pleased with our new look and feel that it represents the business we have now, after six years of growth, experience, and a roster of excellent clients. 

Coming up soon: a closer look at the process (and platform) behind our shiny new website!


Curious Portfolio Spotlight: Hollow & Ridge


People often ask us how our identity design process works — where do our logo ideas come from and how do our sketches evolve to become that final mark? While each client is unique and no two processes are exactly alike, we do have in place a reliable (and ever-evolving) system that carries us from concept through to completion. To give a little insight into how it’s done, here’s a sneak peek into how we created the identity for Hollow & Ridge, an essential oil fragrance company based in the Main Line area of Philadelphia.

After meeting with Issa, the owner of Hollow & Ridge, to discuss her needs and vision for the company, she then completed a discovery document for us. Our discovery document asks a lot of questions, such as, “What are some adjectives that describe your brand (or what you would like your brand to be)?” and, “Who is your target customer? Describe him or her, including age, aspirations, and interests.” This allows our clients to really pinpoint their place in their respective market, and it helps us immensely to understand what the client needs as we begin the design process.

We find that our strongest work comes from collaboration. It’s not uncommon for all three of us to work on concepts and pass them back and forth to refine and perfect. Each of us finds different inspiration in our clients’ discovery responses, which only improves our concept exploration process. We then narrow down our favorites to share with the client. Below are the concepts that we initially presented to Issa.

We like to show our initial design concepts in grayscale so clients aren’t distracted by color before evaluating the strength of each individual concept. Once we do introduce color palettes, we like to share the different ways those colors can be used and what we’d suggest as primary colors.

Issa chose her favorite design — the hand-drawn type solution that we think is a perfect representation of Hollow & Ridge and its rustic roots, inspired by Issa’s upbringing on a farm in West Virginia. In the subsequent proof rounds, we made revisions to both the design and the color palette, while also creating secondary marks for the Hollow & Ridge identity.

After the logo and color palette were finalized, we moved on to creating bottle designs for Hollow & Ridge’s essential oils. Issa chose darker colored bottles which reminded her of hazy beach glass. While much of our work is done on a computer, when it comes to creating a piece which will be seen on a shelf and held in your hand, it’s very important to see it and handle it. That’s when good old fashioned paper, scissors, and tape come into play. The mock-ups may not be pretty, but they’re essential in finalizing type sizes, spacing, and seal measurements. The final design was screen printed on the bottles in white ink and we also created sticker seals that are individually inscribed with the batch numbers.

This is one of our favorite projects — but really, we say that about every project! It’s so amazing to be part of the evolution of a brand, and we really love the process. Working to put all the pieces together to form one cohesive identity is truly rewarding and seeing our clients’ businesses flourish is the icing on top.

photos courtesy of Trevor Dixon


Why Work with a Professional Designer? | Waffatopia Case Study


We get it: deciding to work with a graphic design team (and choosing the right team) is a big commitment. It can be a big investment and, particularly if you’re just starting your business (or only a few years in), a scary one. Many people decide to cut corners and go the DIY route when it comes to their brand identity — anyone can design a basic logo, can’t they? And a great product should speak for itself, right? More often than not, that’s unfortunately not the case. We live in a world where new businesses pop up every day, and the ones that really stand out from the crowd are typically those that will thrive and find the most success. A polished and professional brand identity can make all the difference and set you up for huge success; a poorly executed identity can set you up for failure, no matter how amazing your product or service may be.

A great example of a company that went all in is Waffatopia, an artisan food brand that makes delicious caramelized waffles reminiscent of authentic LiegeBelgian waffles. They are sold both online in the continental US and at farmers markets in the Philadelphia area. In mid-2012, we met with owners Brian and Andrea Polizzi to discuss what kind of company they hoped to be, the overall voice and tone they wanted their brand identity to have, and the kind of product they planned to sell — all before they ever sold a single waffle. They wanted to hit the ground running from the first day they introduced Waffatopia to the world and knew that working with a professional design team would help them do that.

Brian and Andrea had an incredibly firm grasp on their product and were starting to develop their fun and boisterous company voice, but they did not yet have a solid visual to back it up or the design skills to bring one to life. They had created a simple mark on their own for the purpose of putting together their business plan, but it was just that: simple, and lacking a bold personality. The color palette was not extremely unique or unusual for a waffle company, and it felt a little dated. Brian and Andrea agreed that they needed something more representative of Waffatopia’s mission, product and personality, and we set off to create just that.

The result: a playful mark in a bold color palette that represents the savory and sweet waffle flavors that Waffatopia offers. The playful typography has personality, and is still legible from a distance — a very important characteristic when being sold at farmers markets. We developed secondary marks that complement the main mark, selected typefaces to best work with their identity, and then developed affordable solutions for packaging and printed materials to accommodate their startup budget (while still making a bold statement).

We initially created a simple website that reflected the Waffatopia brand identity for their launch at the beginning of 2013, and tackled phase two — a more robust e-commerce site — later in the year, after they had been working the farmers market and special event circuit for several months. Waffatopia’s responsive online storefront launched in November 2014, just in time for holiday ordering, and the orders came pouring in almost immediately. In the weeks leading up to Christmas they were at full capacity in their commercial kitchen space based on the volume of orders they were receiving. Their polished visual identity helped them to get noticed, helped to build a strong and devoted social media following, and piqued peoples’ interest in their amazing product before they even had a taste. (The fact that the waffles are amazing keeps the momentum going long after that important first impression is made!)

The greatest compliment they (and we) could ever receive is when Brian and Andrea are asked on countless occasions, “Is Waffatopia a franchise?” after someone has seen their sleek business card or stumbled upon their impressive farmers market display and packaging. It speaks volumes about the importance of design in driving success and taking a small startup to the level of an established brand. We don’t like to brag, but really, we can’t help it: they have told us numerous times that they simply would never have seen this kind of success without the strong visual identity we created for them, and we could not be more proud to have played a role in their amazing first year of business.

Learn more about this project in our portfolio and buy some delicious waffles at Waffatopia.com; packaging photo by Alison Conklin