On Simplicity in Design (and Free Stuff!)


When it comes to design, I really do appreciate simplicity. Clean lines, minimal bells and whistles. Just a few key elements that are direct and to the point. Not a rude, blunt, matter-of-fact directness, but a pleasant, professional “here I am and here is what you want.”  Sometimes a beautiful image and a good font is all you need. Well, that and a good editor.

My favorite for simple yet beautiful graphics is an app for iPhone and iPad called Over. It allows you to add artwork and text to any image you want, and the results can be amazing (see one of my old birthday posts here for an example). The app is about $4, and there are free graphics and fonts available within the app to use as well as additional artwork and fonts that you can pay for. Each add-on pack is $0.99, and for about $5 you can get “The Big Pack” that gives you access to a good chunk of the graphics and fonts available in the app. For around the price of a cup of coffee (or two), this app won’t disappoint in creating simple and beautiful graphics.

Because I appreciate free stuff, I also want to bring your attention to an amazing (emphasis on the amazing), website for free, high-resolution stock photos called Unsplash. The photos are free for commercial and personal use, and some of the photos are stunning (the photo in this post is by Larry Chen). If you’re like me and are hopeless with photography, finding sources like these will go a long way towards providing high-quality images on your blog or website.



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Styleboard: Orange County

here’s a new board that I put together recently with some little items that I have really been loving. an orangey theme brings it together, and I think that is a key element when putting together your own styleboard or inspiration board or whatever your name for such a thing is (i’m pretty sure styleboard itself isn’t actually a word but I use it anyway!). my favorite boards are ones that just naturally come together on their own. i’ll see two or three images side by side and realize that there is an element common to them that just makes them intertwine and sparks my inner creativity. for me this is usually a color but it can also be a material or a certain category of product or a particular pattern that inspires you. then once I have a couple of central elements I look for some accompanying pieces and arrange them around each other. it is important to choose pictures and products that you actually like and/or want, otherwise you won’t really like you own board at all and it will feel like you’re making a mandatory homework project for school. very tedious and not very fun.

styleboard 3

1 I love my city Print from Etsy // 2 Avery Leather Sandals from Calypso St. Barth // 3 Avery Key Ring // 4 Turkish hammam towels // 5 Palma Leather Crossbody Camera Satchel

they might seem simple and modest at first, but the more you make the more ideas you might think of and the more you can play around with arranging the photos, adding text, using color and design elements. I’ve only made a couple and am still playing with them. but do not try to force it! if you can’t find images or products that make you feel excited and go well together, don’t get frustrated. try to look somewhere else or just wait for you to casually come upon things. sites like Pinterest and Keep are great places to look. so go ahead and try making a styleboard of your own!