Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspired by Color!

With the weather being so nice lately, we've been inspired by the many colors surrounding us at Kalico headquarters. Bright greens from the leaves and grass, vibrant flowers from the garden, and lively colored fruits and veggies at the farmer's market…color is all around us throughout the early summer!

So, in honor of the colors of summer, here are several color resources and inspirational sites to help you with your next project—be it graphic design, interior design, fashion design or more!

1. Kuler. Presented by Adobe, Kuler  is a web-hosted application that can generate color themes to inspire any project. Kuler allows you to search through color variations and browse thousands of themes from the their online community. And don't worry, it's totally FREE! The above color palette is a July 4th-inspired combination!

2. Design Seeds. Design Seeds is a great inspirational source for emerging color and palette combinations, all based off of original photography. Color inspiration comes from landscapes, animals, plants, seasons and more! And don't look now, but color inspired books are also available! The above are a few of our favorite summer palettes! (mmmm…ice cream!)

3. Colour Lovers. Colour Lovers is an international creative community that helps people discover their inner designer. They provide a wealth of user created & shared color inspiration as well as tools that make the creative process as simple as possible. Plus, not only do they offer color palette combos, but there are also color inspired patterns as well! The above palette, oddly titled "Giant Goldfish" was found by searching for "summer".

4. Color Hunter. Color Hunter is fun because it allows you to upload your own photos, and then generate palettes inspired by your image! You are also able to search for color combinations with their easy-to-use search field. The above palette is inspired by Kalico's blog! (sorry, got a little self indulgent's just so much fun!)

We hope you have fun with these color inspiration resources! Where do you get your color inspiration from?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet the Kalico Team

So, you probably already know me (either in person or via the interwebs). I'm Kim, you know, the owner of Kalico Design and writer for this blog. If you want some more info on me, check out my "official" bio on the website.

But, you probably don't know the entire Kalico team quite yet…

Get to Know Jennifer Tyler…graphic designer, paper collector, cat owner extraordinaire! Jen is Kalico Design's very first full-time employee! We are truly excited to have her join the team.
You may remember Jen from last summer when she helped out here as my first intern. Here's a little more info about her:

Jennifer Tyler is  a graduate from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown WV, with a BFA concentrating in graphic design. Upon graduating she moved back to her native state of Oklahoma to be nearer to her family. However, Jen soon realized that Oklahoma no longer offered what it once did and begged her old boss Kim to offer a job. She quickly returned to West Virgina and is now happily working at Kalico as a full time designer. Jennifer is an active member of the design community and is excited about becoming involved in the local AAF, and AIGA chapter events. She enjoys long rides on the river with picnics free of mosquitoes, as well as baking, illustration and paper collecting (we're designers, we like paper).

Before moving to West Virginia, Jennifer was utilizing a culinary arts degree working as a full time baker in her Native state, Oklahoma. She loves being active in the design community, and served as the president of Shepherd University's student chapter of AIGA. Last year Jen helped to organize the first annual AIGA student exhibition displaying a variety of student design work, including her own work which was rewarded with a viewers choice award! Check out some of Jennifer's student work at her website,

I bet you didn't know that there are two additional members of the Kalico team, each playing an important role in the day-to-day activities. Meet our part-timers:

Kai, the Dog: Bill-Collector, Sleeper, Greeter, Foot Warmer.
Kai is a blue-brindle pit bull who graces the floors of the Kalico office. In his free time (aka, when not sleeping during work hours), Kai enjoys long walks in the park, chasing rabbit friends and deer buddies, and singing (howling) along to various tunes. He loves greeting clients with a friendly smile and an occasional lick.

The Cat: Receptionist, Window Watcher, Paper Sorter.
The Cat (C for short) checks in at the Kalico office multiple times throughout the day. Her official role is to answer phones (Kalico Design, Meow can I help you?), but she is often a tad lazy and would rather leave the menial chores to the Humans. In her extensive spare time, she enjoys chatting at birds, chasing strings or paper balls, and exploring boxes. The Cat also "helps" out around the office with her uncanny ability to sit on (um, find) any paperwork you happen to be looking for.

Jen (and "the animals") will be helping me out and I can't be happier (or more relieved!). I've definitely been keeping busy these past few weeks, as is evident in my lack of blogging (sorry!). But, stay tuned for updates on some of our most recent work to come soon!

Friday, June 3, 2011

911…Emergency Business Plan

So, last week I was hit with a very scary family disaster. Jimmy, my husband and avid motocross* rider, was in an accident at the track. He ended up getting rushed to shock trauma (in Baltimore, MD, almost an hour away) with a partial collapsed lung, lacerated liver and internal bleeding. Needless to say, as a wife, I was terrified out of my mind. And, after the first 24 hours of shock, various ER treatments (including a chest, yea), and with reassurance from both doctors and Jimmy, my mind turned to my business. As a microbusiness owner, I went into "Business Disaster" panic mode.

How was I going to get work completed (mind you, the week was jammed packed with multiple LARGE deadlines)? How was I going to communicate with clients? How would I mentor my brand-spankin new employee (who was originally scheduled to start working the Monday of our ER visit)? How could I balance being with my husband during recovery while still maintaining some sort of business presence? How was I going to "kill" my husband (after he recovered, of course) for crashing his stupid dirtbike…again. But, I digress.

Luckily, Jimmy recovered much faster than the doctors originally anticipated and his shock trauma stay only lasted about 3 days. And luckily I have some wonderful clients who were more than understanding. Plus, I had a few other things that helped out during this crisis:

The Kalico Makeshift Disaster Plan
1. iphone. Ironically, we had only gotten our iphones a week prior to "the incident". I definitely learned how to use that sucker quickly. I was able to group text jimmy's status updates to family and friends while emailing and responding to clients. Not to mention, the one and only night I didn't stay at the hospital, I was reassured with a few face chats with Jim as well.

2. G-RAID mini. Again, I had only just set up my new G-RAID portable mini backup drive a week or two prior. Boy, was I glad I had taken the recommendation from another designer/programmer friend! Just a simple unhook of a firewire cable and I had all my work with me. I was able to set-up a small makeshift office for two days: laptop, G-RAID and me!

3. Responsible Employee. Yet again, the timing seemed uncanny. As I mentioned, my new (and very first) employee started the week we were at the hospital. I was fortunate that my new hire, who had interned with me the previous summer, was already familiar with some of Kalico's clients. She was (and still is) also responsible, trustworthy, and someone I could rely on to work from home for a few hours per day until things got back to a normal schedule. How's that for a job crash course!

4. Support System. While I knew Jimmy and I had a wonderful personal support system (both coming from close families and a tight network of friends), I was also reminded of what an amazing business support system and network I have as well. Clients were understanding of late deadlines, and actually asking how they could help me! Colleagues from one of my organizations took care of my responsibilities, cards came from business contacts, and I even had another design firm offer to help with a job or two if needed! It was humbling and reassuring to know so many people were in my corner! I am one damn lucky business owner!

So, to conclude:
1. I'm am SO glad this incident is over and my husband is on the mend for a quick recovery.
2. As a graphic design business owner, invest in an iphone (or comparable smart phone) as well as a good, portable backup drive.
3. Work hard to surround yourself with other talented, supportive and caring business contacts—be it employees or fellow entreprenuers.
4. Don't let your husbands ride dirtbikes (I'm kidding...or am I?)

**To learn more about motocross, check out this article featuring my husband in the Spring Issue of Find It Frederick magazine!