Posts tagged summer
Go Mighty & Photo Shoot Behind the Scenes

Hi friends. I'm stuck at home with a jacked up back this week, so let's talk about some fun things and get my mind off it. Sound good?

While I've been staying very still in my chair, I've been working on documenting some major life goals over at Go Mighty. Go Mighty is an awesome new site that i'm kind of obsessed with right now. Here's how they describe themselves: "Go Mighty is a place to do something good for yourself and for others. It allows you to focus on what you really want to accomplish in life, in steps, with people who want to help you." How cool is that!? I've been really enjoying setting goals and daydreaming about travel & life.


Speaking of goals, Constellation is working towards a huge goal this next year: to exhibit at the 2014 National Stationery Show! You can read more about how we're pursuing that goal over on my "story" at Go Mighty. As part of that big goal, we blocked off a whole work week this month to do photo shoots around the city for our new wholesale catalog. The wonderful Dorothy Huynh is our catalog photographer, and we couldn't be happier. We love her work - she has such a rich and heartfelt visual style.  (Dorothy was also one of our Spring interns, because we are intern blessed!)

It was so much fun to visit our friends across the city, shooting in their homes (and on their docks) and hanging out! I can't show you the actual product shots yet (spoilers!), but here are some behind the scenes shots to keep you busy in the meantime.

Jenny & Mike

Jenny & Mike

Brad & I, taking a snuggle break

Brad & I, taking a snuggle break

Brad enjoying one of our "props" from  Woodinville Whiskey Co.

Brad enjoying one of our "props" from Woodinville Whiskey Co.

Lyndsey  saying hello to Molly

Lyndsey saying hello to Molly

Writing on a chalkboard next to a tiny chair

Writing on a chalkboard next to a tiny chair

Hello Summer Interns

This quote from the talk I gave last year for Creative Mornings sums up pretty perfectly why we love having interns. It's SO exciting to see our interns learn about printing & small business and head out into the world to pursue their own passions.

It's hugely encouraging for us, and beneficial for them. I remember too clearly what it was like to be in school (or newly graduated) and trying to get a foot in the door. We love being that door. It's an investment in people and an investment in our industry. And we are super blessed to have really talented people want to work with us! Without further ado, i'll let our summer trio introduce themselves!


Hi there! My name is Sarah and I'm a Graphic Design major at Cornish College of the Arts. I studied previously at Santa Barbara City College and transfered to Cornish to finally fill my longing for Northwest weather, outdoors and city life. There's no better place to be creative than in a rainy city (and the conveniently accessible wilderness areas all around Seattle!). Most of my hobbies and interests play into my design work: hiking, camping, reading (currently finishing "Seven Years in Tibet", by Heinrich Harrer), book binding, illustrating, and, my personal favorite, collaging. I like to try to keep my mind open to different possibilities in design, and the best inspiration for me is nature. Printmaking and type-setting seem to be the perfect middle ground for the graphic designer who is an artist at heart. I never could decide what title really fits best for me. I'm greatly appreciative of this opportunity to work with Constellation Co., and can't wait to get started! As a side-note, I recently adopted an adorable 7 week old Jack Russell Terrier named Arrow, who sleeps almost all the time and melts my heart. Pretty much overrides my other hobbies for the time being! (You can follow along with Sarah's internship on her blog!)

Hi, my name is Sam! I am a student at Cornish College of the Arts entering my Junior year. I love any design work made by hand, including hand lettering and letterpress (of course)! I love the outdoors and I'm a northwestern girl at heart. When I've got free time I explore quirky Seattle shops, bike, read, cook, and try to find houseplants to add to my collection. I love design that has an element of handwork and I feel like Constellation & Co is the perfect place to learn about how to work with clients and incorporate printing techniques into the actual design process.  I am super excited to work with the other interns (Sarah and Lyndsey are going to be great!)  and Constellation crew to create some beautiful client work and hopefully learn about a small business. There is so much for me to learn this summer and I am so excited about it! (You can follow along with Sam's internship on her blog!)

Hi there! My name is Lyndsey. I'm a senior studying graphic design at RISD and have one semester left until graduation. The Seattle area is home to me and I can't wait to move back permanently. I'm an internet and TV addict; but then again, who isn't nowadays? I love to learn new techniques in design and letterpress is something that has really stood out to me. There's nothing like designing with your hands, especially when you are used to staring at a computer screen all day. I am so stoked to work with Sara and the rest of the team at Constellation & Co! It's going to be a great summer. (You can follow along with Lyndsey's internship on her blog!)

Introducing: "Organically Yours"

We are proud to introduce Organically Yours, a series of letterpress greeting cards with corresponding seed packets, produced in collaboration with Seattle Seed Company!

Sander, the owner of Seattle Seed Co., contacted us awhile back about some printing work, and it didn't take us long to realize our companies were made to collaborate!

Seattle Seed Company is dedicated to offering organic, heirloom and non-GMO seeds in an effort to promote the general health and sustainability of our communities. As a strong proponent of supporting local communities and preserving the environment, Seattle Seed Company also encourages folks to buy locally and grow their own food when possible. They're a family-owned and operated business that was started with the idea that buying non-gmo, organic seeds should be fun and easy.  All of their varieties will grow in the Northwest (and in warmer climates, of course) and all of their packaging and shipping materials are either plantable, compostable, or 100% recyclable.

In addition to their beautiful seed packets, they offer organic Gardener's Hand Soaps, and custom seed packets for wedding favors, promotions, or seasonal offerings. What a great idea for weddings! (Yeah, we love us some Seattle Seed Company!)


Each Organically Yours card is letterpress printed by hand on 100% recycled paper with a foot-powered antique printing press. (No electricity used except for the lights! And the music. You gotta have music.) Each card stars it's own veggie and comes with a corresponding packet of heirloom seeds. All the card backs include a recipe featuring the vegetable shown on the card front. The boxed card sets come with all 5 veggie cards & seed packets, plenty to send to all your favorite veggie lovers. We absolutely love the idea of sending someone the gift of plant life with your message! They're perfect for long summer days, wish you were here's, and small gifts of thank you. We even think they'd be sweet cards for newlyweds - give them some new life to plant in their new home together!

Vintage Finds: My Bike

Summer has slowly made its way to Seattle, and for the first time since I was little, the warm weather means bike rides!

A couple months ago (when spring was here and we were eagerly awaiting summer), we found the sweetest blue bike in the basement of an estate sale in our neighborhood. I had an instant crush on this bike. It's everything a bike should be! We initially walked away from the house (we certainly hadn't budgeted to get me a bike, nor did we bring enough cash), but I was really sad to leave it behind. I just kept thinking about the two of us riding bikes all summer...and it was too sweet a thought to give up! Brad (who loves me a ton) negotiated the seller down to a somewhat manageable price, and we took my new/old bike home!


She's a bright blue 1973 Schwinn Speedster, made originally for boys. (But an adult woman is the size of a medium boy, right? Whatever.) She got chrome fenders, all original parts (minus one nut that we replaced), and a lot of style. We've had a ton of fun so far, going on bike adventures in our neighborhood and riding to the farmer's market to fill my basket (it's brand new, so not in the photos) with fresh fruit & veggies. I love every season in Seattle, but with a bike and some sunshine... summer really can't be beat.


Our good friend Josh did this linoleum carving awhile back, and we've been so crazy busy that it hadn't gotten printed. But once my bike obsession kicked in, it was certainly time to drop everything and make this fun bike print! The carving is all Josh, the tag line is all Brad, and when it was time for me to print it, I color matched the ink to my bike!


Want to celebrate a summer of cycling in your home? Our new bike print is available on our Etsy store. Bike photos from my Instagram stream, the only way I'm documenting life at the moment.

A Constellation Summer

Hey Everybody, my name is Sarah and I've been interning at Constellation & Co. all summer long. I am a graphic design student at Ringling College of Art + Design, which is how I know Sara and Brad. They were graduating while I entered the school!

I had contacted Constellation because I was interested in branding and I love working with typography, and Constellation has done a lot of beautiful work that I am impressed by. I have never had an internship before nor have I done much "real world" client work before either, so I was really excited to work for a studio and dip into the creative world.

The first day of my internship I was introduced to the studio, a small space in a beautiful but very old building in Seattle.  The studio is very cool, with prints lining the walls, cans of paint stacked in the corner and a very old antique letterpress in the middle of the room. I have seen letterpress done before but never really understood the beauty of it before coming here.  I, personally, am not a big print designer as I tend to leans more towards working digitally. But who doesn't love beautifully printed things? I got the opportunity to observe the printing process and learn about the tricks and techniques to printing.  I quickly learned that designing for letterpress is different then my usual style of designing.  I had to learn the limitations such as certain colors of ink printing on certain papers. This is not something they teach us in school, which is unfortunate because all designers will eventually have to work with printers. I am glad that I understand at least the beginning of it now.

Sarah's "Portland" Wedding Suite

Sarah's "Portland" Wedding Suite

As soon as I started at Constellation, we already had two branding clients. I was so excited to jump into this as identity design is really what I want to specialize in.  One of the clients was a bakery, which Constellation had already started designing for.  I wish I could have been there from the start though, because I love talking to clients about what they have in mind for their business and seeing their excitement as the process begins. Our other client was for a new homebrewing supply store. I did some of my own logo designs for both branding projects and did a lot of variations of previously designed logos.  I also designed business cards and stationary. What I liked most about the bakery branding project was the overall feeling that the client wanted to portray, a simple and classic look, which I feel like is parallel to my style of design. I leaned a lot about the process of designing for clients as well, since you don't know what they'll like or not, and you have to continuously push your designs further.

Sarah's "Citrus" Wedding Suite

Sarah's "Citrus" Wedding Suite

Throughout the summer I also worked on a couple of other various design jobs, including a business card and wedding invitations. I also conceptualized two weddings on my own and designed the invitations, cards, and rsvp's for them. While the design for wedding invitations isn't as everlasting a logo design, it is branding nonetheless, and the process of conceptualizing, drawing inspiration and designing is the same as any real world project would be.  I liked doing all of the wedding stuff because I've never worked on anything wedding related before. I also like working with type, and typography also plays a huge role in wedding invitations.

Sarah's Business Card Design

Sarah's Business Card Design

My ultimate goals for my summer internship were to gain real world experience and design new things. Constellation has assisted me in both of those goals, as I worked with actual clients and attended a couple of actual client meetings. Design is for people, and too often as students we get so used to designing only for ourselves, and not the world around us. It was great to work with someone on helping them develop their own business' growth through our designs. I also got to design new things, like the wedding invitations, and design in new ways, like designing for letterpress. I can't say that I am most proud of any singular thing that I did this summer, as I liked a lot of what I did- I like where our bakery logo ended up, I thought some of my designs for the homebrew supply store were really strong, and I liked my wedding design concepts. I think what will be most exciting though is seeing everything printed and real-  cards that I can hold in my hand, business cards I can save, and seeing the final logos printed on stationary and websites. Constellation & Co. allowed that to happen for me.

Also check out:
Sarah's Summer Blog

Sarah's Portfolio Site

Thank you, Sarah, for spending your summer with us!