Trendspotting : Brushstrokes

I’m super excited this week because I’ll be talking about the hot stationery trends that I’m seeing for the upcoming holiday and winter seasons. It’s a very exciting time to be a designer, and there’s so much gorgeous inspiration to be found that it’s hard for me to resist getting a little giddy when I think about everything that’s going on right now in stationery and graphic design.

Stay tuned for oodles of eye candy and visual inspiration over the next several days!

Winter & Holiday 2014 -2015 Trends : Brushstrokes as seen on

Brushstrokes are everywhere, and this eye-catching trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. At one end of this movement, you’ll find beautiful, organic watercolors in a spectrum of colors that bleed seamlessly into each other. At the other, splashy, scribbly, smeary visuals that employ more opaque mediums like ink or gouache.

The “brushstrokes” trend is all about elements that have the look of being hand painted, hand drawn, hand … whatever and is part of an overall trend in graphics that look handmade. So, break out those brushes, brush pens, and water brushes and start playing!

Highlights of the Brushstrokes Trend

  • Classic patterns – polka dots, stripes, triangles, crosshatch, etc. – interpreted in a painterly way.
  • Watercolor backgrounds and bold floral patterns with lots of “color bleed”.
  • Lettering with a brushed, grunge, or hand drawn look. Textured type with a watercolor or ink stamped look. Foil stamped lettering printed on top of or mixed with bold, painterly patterns.

Holiday Trends

  • Pine boughs, branches, berries, and other seasonal botanicals and florals that look inky and wobbly. Alethea & Ruth’s Watercolor Pines photo card, shown above (bottom left), is a great example.
  • Hand drawn sunbursts and loopy, calligraphic flourishes.
  • Hand lettered seasonal words and sentiments in styles that range from light and whimsical to thick and splashy.

Color Trends

  • Soft pinks, teals, and mints make an appearance (more on these colors later), but this trend is all about visual impact, which calls for a generally bolder palette and saturated hues that range from hot pink to deep teal to kelly green, mustard yellow, fire engine red, and indigo blue.
  • Gobs of black and white. And …
  • Metallics, metallics, metallics. Gold is the superstar, but copper is making its presence known in a bigger way, and silver is always a lovely choice, especially for holiday designs with a cool, frosty look.

Images Shown Above

Row 1 : Emily Green (left) and Cocorrina (right)

Row 2 : Cocorrina (left) // Georgiana Paraschiv (top middle) // Eva Black (top right) // Ylva Skarp (bottom middle) // Howard Hodgkin for Designers Guild – via (bottom right)

Row 3 : Waldo Pressdetail (top left) // Lourdes Sanchez (top right) // Alethea & Ruth (bottom left) // Jessica Stevens (bottom middle) // Yao Cheng (bottom right)

images from their respective sources

Quick Picks : 9.25.14

DIY Meerkat Papercraft Kit | Paperwolf

DIY Meerkat Papercraft Kit (such cute little guys!) from Paperwolf

This Week’s Picks

♥ I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the Red Cap Cards card printing process.

♥ Beautiful, new keepsake boxes from Snow & Graham.

♥ Incredibly fun and clever beer packaging by Insite Design for Oast House Brewers.

♥ Very cool paper headdress designs by Benja Harney for Hermès Germany’s 2014 summer party.

♥ Wonderful, geometric baby shower invitations by Harper Gray Designs, inspired by Oh Joy’s fall collection for Target.

image from Paperwolf

Nicholas John Frith for Red Cap Cards

Nicholas John Frith for Red Cap Cards

I’ve been eagerly awaiting illustrator Nicholas John Frith’s collection for Red Cap Cards since I spotted a sneak peek of his sketches back in May, and I’m so excited to share that the collection recently launched!

I am completely enamored with this sweet, punny, and beautifully illustrated collection of greetings, which range from balloon-filled birthday cards (above) to floral thank yous to any occasion froggy designs. You can check out the full collection over at Red Cap, and here’s a little bit about the artist:

Nicholas John Frith is an illustrator & printmaker. Although he believes his spiritual home is somewhere cold, he longs to live somewhere warm, somewhere with bougainvillea trailing the walls and citrus trees in the garden.

Nicholas grew up in the Chiltern hills, going to school just around the corner from the home of Roald Dahl. He now lives on the coast of Dorset, England, where he can also be found writing the odd piece of fiction. After years of doing ‘this and that’, seeing the world and harbouring ideas, stories, desires and aspirations, he’s glad to finally be sharing it all with the world. He is currently working on many illustration projects including his first Picture Book with Scholastic.

Nicholas John Frith Greeting Cards for Red Cap Cards

images from Red Cap Cards