Sooo, What’s Up?

Wooly Mastadon

Well, it has certainly been quite a while. Now, perhaps you are wondering what happened. Or maybe not, but if you are here’s what’s up. I haven’t quit blogging, but my subject matter has changed. I may occasionally post here, and my passion for design has not wavered, but I realized I much prefer sharing my fiber obsessions and designs in a less formal, more crafty place. Thus Wooly Mastadon has become my main blog and place that I share regularly what I am up to, enjoy and so forth. Design is still part of the equation, and I plan on occasionally posting there what I am looking at in design, it’s not going away forever. If you like design, yarn, and fun things, head over to Wooly Mastadon and join the community. If not, thanks for reading!


Design, Where Are You?

That is probably the question you have been asking based on the last few posts and my bold statement earlier that I wouldn’t share much along the line of thoughts and my life. Obviously, that changed. I have found that those parts of life make me the designer I am, and also explain why I am drawn to certain trends and concepts. However, I think I need to reign it in and create a balance. The blog is called randomdesigninspration for a reason. I need to kick that side of my life into gear. I’ll still post about my life, musings, obsessions, etc, but I’m bringing design back a bit more. Let’s see if I can keep this going, shall we : )

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What you probably have noticed if you have been following this blog or have looked back at old posts, I look at the dieline for inspration, a lot. I just love packaging, and the more modern, colorful, and streamlined it can get, the better. It seems to be a graphic designer trait, you are either obsessed with posters or packaging…or both. Thus, I thought it would be nice to do a brief roundup of some of my favorite designs featured on that site recently. There have been A LOT so keeping it to 5 was tough, but here is what has been inspiring my work a of late.

1. Pizzicato Pizza Box

Pizzicato Pizza Box The organic quality of the text on these pizza boxes, their bright colors, and the somewhat edgy style all come together to a great system created by Pizzicato Pizza themselves! (In short, because pizza!)

2. Maria Marmalade

4branding.jpgThe flower motif goes surprisingly well with this design, and the spread of the stationary set is especially stunning. I enjoy the simplicity that is broken up by the complex flower pattern, all created by Habla Estudio Mexico.

3. Los Italianos

Los-italianos_IMAGENES_18.jpgThe simplicity and the use of the abstracted shapes of pasta on everything, including vehicles makes Hauman’s design especially appealing.

4. Quinn Popcorn

Umm, why is a trade-show booth made out of cardboard so stunning. Perhaps it is the cleanliness and the simplicity all focused on the product. Perhaps it is the Quinn Popcorn Team’s genius with design. Or perhaps it is the mounted deer head made out of cardboard…hmmmm.

5. Woodland Series by Bookjig

Nature themed stationary, simple and toned down patterning, and elegance all utilized in one branding scheme…I think that Russ Gray nailed it. The gold leaf, the illustrated foliage, and the clean texture all come together to create a truly stunning line.

Well, that’s it for now. A little to look at, something to inspire, and some goals.

& Stay Inspired

Taking the Future

sunny by Victoria Schwanke

What’s next? That big question that I keep asking myself, but that I am truthfully afraid to answer. It is so easy to be stuck in a rut, wanting to stay in your comfort zone, ride the waves, and ignore change. But what if that isn’t what needs to happen? I have been battling these ideas as of late, especially when my college diploma arrived in the mail. That small piece of paper brought closure that I wasn’t ready for, and I didn’t realize that until I held it in my hand and thought of my future. Now, I have a lot to do and quite a bit planned for the coming months, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a design internship that is pretty awesome, a local part-time job, a few freelance design jobs, and on the back-burner, the development of an Etsy shop. Besides all of that, I want to build my portfolio with more photography, redesign my personal portfolio site, and improve my spinning and fiber art. I have a lot that I want to accomplish.

crochet_medallion_earrings by Victoria Schwanke

Some Etsy shop tests.

Yet it seems that the main step in accomplishing things is just starting. Maybe it’s just me, but more often than not, I catch myself thinking of something that I should do or want to do, but start considering all of the details, down to the success or failure. I get stuck in this mindset, and just think, and think, and think, and think, and think…but I never start. Paralyzed, I stay there, and I repeat this process until I’m utterly frustrated. It’s not a good cycle.

Perhaps you don’t have this, but I know that this is a key reason that my future is so foggy. Clear goals are hard to set when logic overrides even the thought of dreaming big, and possibilities fade away faster than those stupid settings on PowerPoint. I don’t know about you, but summer goals are always good. You have a grip on the year, and all of those rosy new years resolutions (if you even bothered to set any, which I never do) are long forgotten. Now is a good time to start a set of goals that can be reached, and that you can stick to.

Summer is all about the positive, fresh, fun journeys that you can take. It is about sun, friends, family, and rediscovering the world and your place in it. Perhaps I should just consider this as a goal: start the day with a positive attitude and the drive to get things done. Maybe, just maybe this will be the season of doing; after all, it is the first season that is truly free and open, with no college or schooling to follow up in the fall.

& Stay Inspired

Recent Obsessions: Can Spring Come Yet?

I’m back again, with more ideas than I can share in one post, but I’d like to start by addressing a few things that were recent obsessions a while ago. First off, I can’t believe it! I am the proud owner of both a Canon dslr camera and a Kromski spinning wheel. Second, that teal and salmon colorway from way back? Yeah, that one…it is still firmly lodged in my design repetiour right now, and I think it is past due to shake it off. Finally, I am still obsessing over pinterest, but this time it is libraries and recipes.

Mood Board

Now for the recent obsessions:

  • Adobe Illustrator: Yes, I LOVE THAT PROGRAM, much more than Photoshop (sorry, I just love vectors). When I stopped working with it for a few weeks, I realized just how much I love it, and that I missed it terribly…graphic design nerds unite!
  • Etsy: I love Etsy, and am planning on opening up my own shop in the next couple months. I just need to write up a business plan and create inventory.
  • Flowers: Well, actually amazing photography of flowers, like this one. The area where I live is just beginning to see a few crocuses bloom, but no green grass or full blown daffodils.
  • Iced Tea: I live on this, coffee is just not for me, and sun tea, well that is trump! This is basically how I make it.
  • Idea Boards: More like, I commandeered my closet door from other ventures to become a new idea/mood board. I love it thus far, and keep scouring magazines to find more inspiration (sorry for the bad photo).
  • The Sun: Must I say more? Instant energy and a good mood, I think I’m in!

I think that’s it for now, lots to do, people to see, places to go…or more like, where’s my spinning wheel, my camera, and some iced tea…let’s design something awesome!


It’s Been Awhile!

Oh my, time does fly when you are having fun…or worrying about how to finish your senior thesis. I will not go into details, because at this point, this isn’t a lifestyle blog, but I will say that I graduated from college with a BFA in Graphic Design and that my senior thesis and accompanying project were received extremely well (beyond my expectations)…YAY! But I’m back, and ready to share some inspiration that I have been delving over for the past few weeks.


Here we go:

Umutu Coffee Co.

I’ve been scouring the internet for interesting examples of restaurant branding to get inspiration for a new branding project I have coming up. I like the clean white type and log on black, it gives the brand instant sophistication.


The Gallery; Signature Pizza and Art

Anything that mixes art and design is typically up my alley, but to add food and branding to the mix, perfect! I love the clean logo but the reference to famous artists makes this amazing.


Arrivo Mobile App

Finally, I have been obsessing over mobile application design, mostly because I have been working on a proposal for a mobile app design. Either way, I am surprising myself by enjoying the recent trends of the flat interface. It is clean and modern, and allows for a more cohesive color system.


Well, that wraps it up for another day. Stay inspired.

A Studio Space

Heart Handmade UK

Heart Handmade UK


As of late, I have been binge pinning beautiful studio spaces. Now, when I say studio space, I mean everything: computer desk (with iMac please), yarn/art supply storage out where I can admire it, table workspace, stools, white walls, beautiful art/design, color accents, great lighting, books, etc. etc. I have been dreaming of spaces with a clean, open feel, just brimming with untapped creativity and inspiration. Perhaps this is my cabin fever kicking in, but I need a studio. My current ‘use the kitchen table’ or flexible-cutting-mat-on-beanbag-chair-desk just aren’t cutting it. As I come closer to the end of my undergrad experience, my realization that I need a space to create has become all the more acute. Ah well, all I can do is dream at this point. I have to wait, downsize, and prepare for the future. Maybe I’ll get a space at a design firm (pretty please)? Until then, all I can do is dream, and scheme.


Studio Space

Studio Space


Elsa Mora: Studio Space

Elsa Mora: Studio Space

Recent Obsessions: Everything in General

Addison Ragsdale: Graduation Announcement

A few things have been catching my eye this week:

  • Spinning Wheels: Yes, I am a fiber fanatic, and saving up for one of these beauties is in my future.
  • DSLR Cameras: I want to save up for one of these as well, recommendations?
  • Teal and Salmon colorway: it just looks so fresh.
  • Eclectic mixing of typefaces: see this post.
  • Graduation Announcements: I am in the process of designing mine now. Above was part of my inspiration, a design by Addison Ragsdale.
  • Tea packaging: always and forever on my list of design inspiration.
  • Succulent Plants: it seems that half of my flora board on Pinterest is dedicated to this.
  • Pinterest: no explanation needed here.
  • The Color Index by Jim Krause: I love this book! The second edition, The Color Index 2, is great too, but I prefer the layout of the first one. So much inspiration lies in the pages of these books.

Musings: Eclectic Type

Before we start, for all of you who use this, Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

1st Batch Chocolate by Jane Says

It is that time of year again: the time of year when the media and fashion industry tells us it is Spring, but those of us living in snow country know better. That doesn’t keep Spring from sneaking into my design choices, Pinterest boards (yes I caved! See what I’m pinning on design here, or everything else here), and dreams. Some of these ideas have come in the form of inspiration…in eclectic typography.

Webster Retro Aero

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing a letterpress artist speak about his work. He was talking about the unique qualities of each typeface, and each character with that medium. His observation was that designers are more likely to appreciate the form of each character and font set in letterpress simply because the type is physical and you can examine it more intimately. Reflecting on this statement later, I realized that I don’t need physical letterpress characters to enjoy them. I do this already, picking out letters I really enjoy from a typeface I have on my laptop, and examining them. Although I may not have mastered typography, I do enjoy it. Right now, I especially enjoy the trend in design of mixing fonts that don’t often work together. These fresh, organically modern designs mix contrasting and clashing fonts to create something eclectic and edgy. I love it. Paired with the recent trend of the teal and salmon colorway, these Spring trends have built up into a typographic obsession.

Tad Carpenter

Faced with the task of designing my college graduation announcements (yay + oh dear) I turned to this style, new to me but so much fun. I have been digging through my fonts, searching for new typefaces that I normally wouldn’t use but can use sparingly in this. It has been a challenge, and I will be sad to see it over, but alas, my senior thesis and final project for my degree (BFA concentrating on Graphic Design) must come first. Spring may have sprung in the media if not in reality, but it is most certainly starting to appear in my work and thoughts.

Some New Beginnings…

New Beginnings: Victoria SchwankeIt has been awhile since I last posted, and that has given me time to rethink my goals for this blog. At first, this blog was a requirement, thus it slowly died when the need was no longer there. Now, however, I want to make this space something more. Yet, this will not work if I keep it to its format as seen thus far. A somewhat lifeless analysis of design is no longer enough. I want to instead include other elements of my interests as well as personal insight, ideas, and musings. I am still going to keep this blog focused on design (thus the name), but design can’t exist in a vacuum, and neither can this blog. The appearance of this blog has changed as well, but I feel this is not the final face this blog will see; there is more to come. If you have been with this blog though its journey, and waited during its hibernation, thank you. If you are new, welcome to this piece of the internet. Things are going to change, but for the better. It’s time for a fresh start.

Color and Tea

Tea by Belinda Shih

Once again, it’s been a while since I last posted, and what better way to remedy that than a good cup of tea…or at least tea packaging? I am always drawn to the creative ways that tea packaging can be found and this design by Belinda Shih does not disappoint. I love the use of semi-pastels and the die-cut leaves on the boxes. The way the leaves are carried onto all the elements of the design, slightly changing to reflect each piece is a wonderful detail. The extra touch of the cups in coordinating colors helps add to the appeal of the design and presentation. Tea always makes the day, or night, better. Hmmm, clean cup?