{All You Need Is Love} FREE Printable Artwork!

I was inspired by this picture on Pinterest today:

Love

so I quickly designed this pretty new artwork:
Free Printable Artwork from Firefly Invitations:  All You Need Is Love

and I decided to make it FREE printable artwork available for download. Enjoy, and pass the love along today.

Don’t forget to check out all of our new customizable artwork including a birth announcement graphic, your family’s important dates, and alphabet artwork for kids, all available to purchase in our Etsy shop.

Click here to download the 8×10 free printable artwork!

{Web} Custom WordPress Website: LeShayne Maddex Photographer

While all of the projects I work on are special, this one wins an extra-special prize because it’s a custom WordPress website I developed for one of my best friends.

LeShayne Maddex has been there through thick and thin for 18 years, just barely edging out my husband as one of the people who’s been in my life the longest.  She started taking pictures informally when her awesome kiddos, my “adopted niece and nephew” Tori and Tristan, were born, then started getting more serious about her photography (conveniently) around the same time I was pregnant with my first son, Carter.  She took my maternity pictures, then became our official family photographer, taking pictures of Carter, then my second son Collin, every three months, which captured some of the most beautiful memories of my life in portraits that cover the walls of my home.  Most of my most priceless possessions came from her camera.

Her first photography business was Barefoot Summer Kids, and Perceptivity Studio helped her brand the  fun, splashy, kid-focused company with a logo, business cards, website and other marketing materials like flyers and email graphics.

But recently she started focusing more on weddings and decided it was time for her photography business to “grow up” a bit.  She developed her own logo, but of course Perceptivity Studio was back on board to help her with all of the other marketing elements she needed to get her name out there.  We started with business cards, and I developed a sophisticated pattern that I incorporated on the back of her cards, which we printed on a pearl paper for a soft, feminine look perfect for a photographer.

Pearlescent Business Cards

 

Next up was a website that could showcase her gorgeous photography, and I knew a custom WordPress website would be the perfect platform since she would be able to update her own website that way.

(click on the picture to view the live website)Custom WordPress Website

Again, I incorporated the circle and diamond pattern in the background, and her photography took a starring role in the slider. The custom WordPress website also features galleries for each of the five categories her work falls into, and the pictures are easily navigable through a lightbox format. Her custom WordPress website also has a blog that she can easily update herself with pictures from her sessions to give her clients a sneak peak of the beautiful work she does for each and every person she shoots.

As my friend, LeShayne came over to my house and we walked through all of the tasks she’d need to complete herself in the easy-to-use WordPress Dashboard.  But all of my custom WordPress website clients get their own “how-to” PDF guide to reference when the training wheels come off, and I’m always available to answer questions and troubleshoot any problems they might have.  It’s exciting to be able to hand my custom WordPress website clients the freedom to update their own websites without having to hire me to do it for them!

So to wrap this up, if you live in the Tampa Bay area, and you need a photographer for a wedding, family session, maternity pictures, engagement pictures, etc., my client and friend LeShayne Maddex will take good care of you.  Visit leshayne.com to view the website and get in touch with her.  If you’re looking for a custom WordPress website you can update yourself, I’d be happy to quote your project, just contact me and tell me more about your project!

{Web} Custom WordPress Websites You Can Update Yourself

Custom WordPress WebsiteIntroducing Custom WordPress Websites

We’ve been hearing more and more clients ask for a custom website you can update yourself, so we’re proud to announce that Perceptivity Studio is now offering custom WordPress websites!

So What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a simple-to-use platform that was formerly used for only blogging, and is now a fantastic way to build a robust, complete website for your company.  Its main feature is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to log in and make changes to your custom WordPress website….all on your own!

Benefits of a Custom WordPress Website

  • You will gain access to an easy-to-use, web-based content management system that will allow YOU to make edits to your custom WordPress website after it’s been finished…without having to pay me to do them!  Need to update some copy?  Add some new pictures to your portfolio?  Easy peasy, and you can do it yourself from your own simple dashboard that I will help you learn how to use.
  • There are over 20,000 plugins available for your custom WordPress website that will add invaluable functionality to your site…from powerful contact forms that will build an email database of marketing contacts for your company…to to stunning portfolios that show off your expertise…to social media integration of your company’s Facebook and Twitter…and so much more! We can talk about the functions that will best suit your company and choose the ones that will really make your custom WordPress website shine.
  • Using the WordPress platform for your custom WordPress website automatically gives you access to the most powerful tool for search engine optimization (SEO) out there: a blog! A blog is a fantastic way for you to get your company’s website noticed by Google, and I can help you learn how to use your custom WordPress website to optimize your content and start getting better Google placement while also helping you to become recognized as an expert in your field.  It’s almost like magic.
  • By working with Perceptivity Studio, you can get a custom design and custom graphics integrated into the most powerful framework on the web in your very own custom WordPress website design. We’ll create a custom WordPress theme for your website that fits your company’s brand.  Your logo, your colors, your look and feel, incorporated into the WordPress system for a custom WordPress website. My clients have consistently received amazing feedback on their website designs, and you can be another of my success stories!

Ready For Your Own Custom WordPress Website?

So what are you waiting for?  Contact Perceptivity Studio to design a custom WordPress website for your company today.

{App Design} Introducing Picasound!

Perceptivity Studio is proud to show you our first app design, a camera called Picasound that plays sounds to get the attention of your photography subject.  I worked with Return of the App on the app design to develop the graphics and user interface for the camera app including the color palette, menu bar layouts and main menu icons.  What a fun project!

With the Picasound app, you simply select your favorite sound from a choice  of 48 sound effects including animals, people, musical instruments and funny sounds.  (In our house, we like the animals best, including the dog, cow and monkey.) You push and hold the camera button to play the sound on a loop, then release it as soon as your child inevitably looks at the camera, usually with a smile on their face, to see what is making that sound.  And as a mother of two small children, I totally appreciate the thought that went into this app…if you’ve ever tried to get a child’s attention for a picture, you will, too!

Here are a few of the screenshots from the app design project I designed for them to so you can see it in action:

Picasound App Design  Picasound App Design  Picasound App Design

My goal for the app design was to keep the color palette kid-friendly but gender-neutral, and keep the design aesthetic sleek and simple.  I worked with the development team to tie my graphics into their framework, and I’m thrilled with the results of this fun app design!

In addition to the standard Picasound app ($1.99) that was first released, they’ve also developed Picasound Free (FREE!), Picasound Lite ($0.99), Picasound+ ($3.99) and the Picasound Soundboard ($0.99), which is great to have because it just has buttons to push that play the sounds, perfect for the kiddos to play with without taking pictures and filling up my camera roll, and mine LOVE to “play Picasound” even though it’s not really a game! All of the Picasound apps are available for all versions of the iPhone (including iPhone 5) in the App Store if you want to check it out.  Visit the Picasound website to learn more, or search for Picasound in the App Store.

{Real Parties} Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

You’re invited to a Mickey Mouse birthday party!  Well, you’re invited to get some inspiration, at least, at the Mickey Mouse birthday party I just threw for my 3-year-old son, Carter. Now you should understand that Carter LOVES Mickey Mouse.  He used to call him “Myna Mo” and while he now knows how to say “Mickey Mouse” correctly (and so much more…seriously, this kid can talk your ear off), the love is still there.  So I’ve been dreaming up this Mickey Mouse birthday party for quite some time now, and he thankfully loved it just as much as I thought he would.

Let’s start with the Mickey Mouse invitation.  My goal for theme parties is to use recognizable symbols so you know what the party is all about, while also avoiding copyrighted characters…namely anything you would find in the party aisle. So our Mickey Mouse invitation (and other printables) focused on the 3-circle combination everyone recognizes as Mickey Mouse, and the colors red, white, black and yellow.  Since a Mickey-shaped invitation wouldn’t fit well in an envelope, I dreamed up a unique way to make it happen.  Here it is:


Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation

 

The Mickey Mouse invitation has all of the party details printed on one big 5″ circle, then a cute poem is printed on two 3″ circles, which I attached using cute little black button brads.  To put each Mickey Mouse invitation in the hot yellow square envelopes we bought, I rotated the circles in since the brads allowed them to pivot, and then our friends got to take the Mickey Mouse invitation out of the envelope and open it back up again.  So many of our friends contacted me to tell me how much their kids loved the invitation!  And when the kids love it, that’s the ultimate compliment!  If you’re interested in using these Mickey Mouse invitations for your Mickey Mouse birthday party, you can find the digital files in my Etsy shop and I’ve written a full tutorial on how to create these Mickey Mouse invitations here.

I also tried to plan some other fun details for the party ahead of time.  One of my favorite parts of any party is the food table.  Here’s the whole Mickey Mouse birthday party food table set-up:

 

First up is the banner hanging over the table.  On either side of my C-A-R-T-E-R  M-O-U-S-E circle banner, I made “glove balloons” (one of Mickey and his friends’ favorite modes of transportation on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) for Mickey and his pals to ride in using the gloves from Carter’s Halloween costume from last year, yellow ribbon, little red bowls and lots of hot glue!  These were one of my favorite details from the party, and I tied the banner up onto the thumb of each glove.  I also added some white “buttons” onto the red tablecloth to simulate Mickey’s shorts, then I ran some pretty white and black wrapping paper down the length of the table to put all of the food on so the red food table tents would “pop.”

I love coming up with themed food items to coordinate with the party. So since I’ve watched many-an-episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I came up with the following Mickey Mouse food ideas:

  • Red Minnie Bows: BABYBEL CHEESE (cut into quarters and arranged like hair bows)
  • Goofy Hats: GREEN GRAPES
  • Donald Hats: BLUEBERRIES
  • Daisy Dots: GRAPE NERDS
  • Gooey Fish: GUMMY FISH
  • Duck Beaks: CARROTS
  • Moo Muffins: BLUEBERRY MINI-MUFFINS
  • Minnie Dots: STRAWBERRY NERDS
  • Martian Mickey Sticks: CELERY
  • Mickey Shoes: LEMON DROPS
  • Mickey Shorts: DIPPED OREO COOKIES
  • Pluto Snacks: COCOA PUFFS
  • Mouse Ears: CHEESE CRACKERS
  • Mickey Crisps: CHIPS
  • Pink Minnie Bows: WATERMELON (cut into triangles and arranged like hair bows)
  • Pete’s Beans: JELLY BEANS
  • Mickey Cupcakes: VANILLA & CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH OREO “EARS”

Here are some pictures:

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Oreo Cupcakes

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Oreo Pops

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

 

We also came up with some fun Mickey Mouse favors for our friends to take home: Mickey Mouse pumpkins! We got some supplies from our craft store (big black pom poms for ears, googly eyes, and yellow pom poms for shoes) then went to the local pumpkin patch where Carter picked out 20 little pumpkins. Then we took them home and started crafting! The results was a batch of super-cute Mickey Mouse favors that our friends got to take home and use for Halloween decorations!  Here is a picture:

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Pumpkin Favors

 

We also did a fun Mickey Mouse craft for the kiddos, which involved deconstructing Mickey’s face so he was missing ears, eyes and a nose, then letting the kiddos use our leftover pom poms from the pumpkin favors to glue them back on again. My husband laughed at me for putting this Mickey Mouse craft together the night before the party, but the kiddos all loved it!

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Craft

All in all, it was a beautiful day with our friends and family and the birthday boy especially had a sugar-and-Mickey-fueled blast.  Heres to many more birthdays to come!

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Mama and Carter

{Tutorial} Mickey Mouse Invitations

Mickey Mouse Birthday Invitation

 

The Mickey Mouse  invitations I designed for my son Carter’s third birthday are my new favorites!  And since I did a lot of Mickey-related Pinterest searching prior to hosting Carter’s Mickey Mouse birthday party (see more about the party in this post), I know that there aren’t a ton of unique Mickey Mouse invitations out there.  So if you’re willing to be a bit crafty, here’s a Mickey Mouse invitation tutorial showing you how I made these Mickey Mouse invitations a reality.

You can head to my Etsy shop to purchase the digital files for the (above) Mickey Mouse invitation from Firefly Invitations (you supply your Mickey Mouse birthday party details and I will include them and email you a PDF that you can either print yourself at home or have printed somewhere else, like FedEx Office). Or if you would rather create your own Mickey Mouse invitation design and just use this Mickey Mouse invitation tutorial for the “mechanics” then more power to you!


Here are all of the supplies you’ll need for each invitation:

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitations Supplies

  • (1) 5″ circle “big circle” component of the Mickey Mouse invitation (used for Mickey’s “face”)
  • (2) 3″ circle “small circle” components of the Mickey Mouse invitation (used for Mickey’s “ears”)
  • (2) small brads (I used small black “button” brads from Michaels)
  • Scissors
  • 3″ circle punch (you can find these at most craft stores or online)
  • Small hole punch
  • 5″ square envelope (I used bright yellow “Mickey shoe” colored envelopes)
  • You’ll also need a $0.65 stamp (square envelopes cost more to send, but the extra postage covered the square envelope and the bump the brads made since they had to be hand cancelled)

 

1 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

1. Cut out 5″ big Mickey Mouse invitation circle from paper.
Note that I originally planned to use one of the large circle cutters that works kind of like a compass to cut out my big Mickey Mouse invitation circles, but I ruined quite a few invitations before I realized I wasn’t strong enough to get a good cut, and it was time for a change of plans!  So I just used scissors and cut them out, which worked way better.

 

2 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

2. Punch out the (2) small Mickey Mouse invitation circles from paper using the 3″ circle punch.

 

3 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

3. Punch small holes with the small hole punch on the top left and right side of the big circle. (I just eyeballed it and used the white lines as a reference point.)  Then punch small holes on the bottom right of the “Meeska Mooska” circle and the bottom left of the other circle.  Yep, I screwed this up a few times, too, reversing the location of the punches!

 

4 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

4. Attach the small circles to the big circle using the brads.
I found it looked better with the small circles overlapping the front of the big circles.

 

5 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial
5. Rotate the small circles inward so you’re left with one 5″ Mickey Mouse invitation circle that you can stuff into the square envelope.
I put them in so the brads were on the top of the envelope.

 

6. You’ll need to either get $0.65 stamps at the post office or use a regular stamp with extra postage (or technically you could use two regular stamps, but that’s the most expensive option).

 

Ta-da!  Your very own custom Mickey Mouse invitations!  I had so many of our friends contact me to tell me how much they—and their kiddos—had loved the invitations, which makes me so happy to hear.  I hope that those of you who try this tutorial have a similar response!  And if you do give it a try, please leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at info@fireflyinvitations.com, and I’d be glad to help you out!

Introducing Firefly Invitations

Firefly Invitations

 

I’ve always loved designing invitations.  It started with my own wedding invitations.  Then my friends started having babies, and I was the go-to girl for baby shower invitations and birthday invitations.  When I started Perceptivity Studio, I knew that I wanted to incorporate custom invitation design into my service offerings.  So Firefly Invitations was born, with the goal of adding a touch of magic to all of life’s special moments, just like the fireflies who soar through the sky on warm summer nights.

I’ve just recently decided to fully integrate Firefly Invitations into Perceptivity Studio which will hopefully allow me to dedicate a bit more attention to it.  So take a look up into the navigation, and you’ll see Firefly Invitations living up there now right alongside all of our Perceptivity Studio pages.  There is a slideshow on the Firefly Invitations page that will show you some of the custom wedding invitations, baby shower invitations and birthday invitations we’ve done for our fantastic clients.  And there are lists of all of the pre-designed invitations we have completed for baby showers, bridal showers and birthday parties if you’re looking for some party inspiration.  (Eventually I will get galleries up with pictures of all of these designs, but for now, just email me if there’s something you’d like to see!)

If you’re looking for invitations (or any other party printables, including cupcake toppers, cupcake wrappers, food table labels, water bottle labels, banners, or basically anything else you can imagine), I can either supply you the high-resolution printable files (that you can print yourself or have printed), or I can professionally print them for you…my personal favorite option is printing them on metallic/pearlescent paper, which looks gorgeous!

I will also be putting up some Firefly Invitations designs on the blog so you can see how our clients (and I) have used our designs over the years.  I hope you’ll get some inspiration from some of these incredible parties.

So what kind of parties do you have coming up ?  We’d love to help you make them magical, just give us a buzz.

Custom Website Design: Closet 2 Closet

Closet 2 Closet Custom Website DesignThere are certain design projects that mesh perfectly with my design aesthetic, and the custom website design I created for Closet 2 Closet was one of them!  This up-and-coming closet organizing and styling company had a whimsical logo to work with, and a bright, modern color palette, and as soon as owner Melissa and I discussed the project, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Her vision for the custom website homepage included three doors to represent the three business lines of Organizing, Styling and Consignment that Closet 2 Closet would offer its customers.  I created fun rollover images for each one using her “logo girl” in different colors to accomplish this.

I created a Before & After photo gallery for the Closet 2 Closet website , and I also manipulated her “logo girl” to come up with custom graphics for several of the other pages on the website.

Another one of my favorite features on the Closet 2 Closet website is the use of Google Fonts.  Traditionally, web design was limited by a teeny-tiny set of standard fonts that we as web designers had to use so everyone could view them on their computers…think Arial, Times New Roman…oh wait, I’m falling asleep here!  If you wanted a “pretty” font, you had to create an image of it and place that on the website, which was not only inconvenient, but also wasn’t the best for SEO.  Enter Google Fonts, just another way that Google makes my life easier!  They have hundreds of nice-looking fonts available that when encoded on your website, will show up on anyone’s computer, even if they don’t have them!  This may not sound exciting to you, but to web designers, it’s fantastic!  So you’ll notice that the Closet 2 Closet website has a nice script font in the headlines and a modern sans serif font for the body copy.  Perfection.

Melissa will be ramping up her efforts to launch Closet 2 Closet over the next couple of months, so if you need some help organizing your closet or if you have some designer clothes hanging around that you’d like to consign, contact info@mycloset2closet.com.

Twitter’s New Logo: Going Iconic

There are plenty of iconic logos out there that you instantly recognize without seeing any words.





Just to name—or not name—a few.  And now there’s a new iconic brand that has gotten so big it no longer needs to tell you its name:



Yep, Twitter has dropped the Twitter logo, the “t” icon, and its old bird in favor of a new, more sophisticated bird infused with meaning (Per Twitter, “This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles … similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends.”).  It’s been out for almost a month now, but since I’m not a huge Tweeter (is that the correct way to say it??) I’m just now reading the announcement on Brand New.


I think the new logo is a step up from where they started, and I certainly give them props for having the confidence to completely do away with their name in their main visual representation.  If you go to the Twitter website now, all you see is the bird…that takes guts!  I also really like the birdhouse-as-home icon that you see when you’re logged in.  It ties in well with their bird-themed brand.

While most of my clients are just a tad bit smaller than the companies mentioned in this post and I wouldn’t recommend that any of them drop their names any time soon, I have developed some nice icons as key components of many logo packages that can be used in conjunction with a company’s main logo.  Sometimes they tile nicely and look great as background images on a website like Control Logics.  Sometimes they can be used together with a more designed cover photo as a Facebook icon like the Relevancy Revolution Tour.

So whether you’re big or small, be iconic!


Welcome to the New Perceptivity Studio Website!

Thank you for visiting Perceptivity Studio.  If you’ve been here before, you may notice that I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and revamp the Perceptivity Studio website, a task that has needed completing for quite some time now—so long in fact, that I hadn’t updated our portfolio since 2008!  As I’m sure you can imagine, we’ve had the opportunity to create some amazing work for our clients since that time, and I’m excited to finally share it with you.  Please visit the Portfolio section and click through the Websites, Logos, Corporate Identity and Print work to see what we’ve been up to for the past 4 years.

I also hope to get back into the swing of blogging again, so be on the lookout for new projects and interesting updates from the marketing, branding and business world.

Thanks again for stopping by!

©2012-present Perceptivity Studio, LLC