Package Design: Car Seat Monitor

Car Seat Monitor

I have always loved package design. Even before I was a designer, I was a package snob. Yes, I buy based on what I think of a package. (But then again, who doesn’t? Seriously.) Since leaving Purina in 2007, I haven’t had a chance to really work on any package design development until a few months ago. I have been working with Bob Steffen, owner/developer of the Car Seat Monitor. This is a revolutionary item that I feel is going to really make a big splash in the child safety world. It’s a device that works with your SmartPhone to help keep your child safe in the backseat. It’s an amazing little gadget.

Bob came to me and asked me to help create a package design that would really speak to women and not alienate men. We wanted it to really be a product that moms would want and want to buy for their friends. The package needed to show the technical aspects but also stay friendly. So I got to work creating the initial concepts. My plan was to have 3, but somehow I ended up with 8 designs. And after Bob shopped around the original 8 designs, 3 came out on top. These are three packages that Bob will be showing at the trade shows over the next few months. Eventually it will be narrowed down to 1 package, but for now it’s fun to see how people feel about each of the three designs.

This project was so much fun! It combine a few of my passions—package design, designing for moms and kid products. It was a great project and I am excited to be part of it.


Poster Design: 2011 Midwest Wine and Brew Festival Poster

2011 Midwest Wine Brew Fest PosterA few weeks ago I completed the brand spankin’ new logo for the 2011 Midwest Wine and Brew Festival. This great event will be taking place here at the Lake of the Ozarks in August. To help the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce spread the work about the event I designed a fun poster with details about the event and a listing of sponsors and vendors.

Menu Makeover Postcards are in the Mail!

Menu Makeover Postcard (Front)

Signed, sealed, delivered. Andrea and I are very excited that our postcards showcasing our recent Pickled Pete’s menu design were delivered last week. This first postcard will be one of a series of three that we will be sending out to local restaurants over the next few months. Would you like for your restaurant to be featured on our next postcard? Be our next menu makeover client and you will! If you didn’t receive a postcard mailing and would like to be added to our mailing list, shoot me an email at amanda (at) If you would like to set up an appointment to talk about your menu design or photography, give us a call (573-216-3465) or send us an email.

Menu Makeover Postcard (Back)

Beautiful Books (Illustration by Coralie Bickford-Smith)

Coralee Bickford Books

So a few months ago I ran across the new Penguin Classics with this amazing cloth cover and simple illustration by Coralie Bickford-Smith. I fell in love. How beautiful and what an inspiring way to get me to re-read some of my very favorite classics. I have decided to order each one one at a time and read it before ordering the next. Since I need to get back into the habit of reading, I thought this would be an excellent way. I decided to start with Sense and Sensibility. I ordered it from Amazon today.

At Coralie’s website you can see the first series and the second series which have not been released yet. The second series contains some great titles—some that I haven’t read, but need to. I am so excited to start on these as well.

Design Quote for the Studio Wall

Vinyl letter for DeGraf Design Studio

Vinyl letter for DeGraf Design Studio

I have slowly been working on finishing the studio. Over the past few years, I have been looking for the perfect quote for the wall. I found this great quote in the D.I.Y. Design it Yourself book by Ellen Lupton and the MICA MFA class. (A really cool book for non-designers showing how to create and produce various design works.) The first page says, “Design is art people use.” I thought this would be the perfect quote to look at everyday in my studio. It reminds me why I love design … creating beautiful or engaging art that people will use, read and enjoy.