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Orlay Ventures Branding

What a joy it was to work with the founders of Orlay Ventures, a new company creating growth opportunities through innovative technology and proprietary IP for entrepreneurs. They are truly inspiring, fearless women who are taking the tech world by storm.

The word “orlay” means “fate/destiny.” The Orlay Ventures logo mark was inspired by the concept of an “aha moment” – the moment when an entrepreneur realizes their idea’s full potential, and their ability to execute it. Entrepreneurs are motivated from their cores – and they shine that light wherever they go. This abstract “O” shape represents how just one drop of “aha moment” can radiate out, creating an infinite chain of effects that shapes your future.

This was one of those logos where the ideas were pouring out left and right – these clients had no shortage of inspiration for me, and great ideas. Part of the process was exploring a multitude of sketches and color schemes – ultimately, the result is what you see here.

“Kate is a phenomenal designer and it was fantastic to work with her. Everything about the process flowed smoothly and I recommend her highly. We’ve already worked with her again and look forward to doing so in the future as well.”

“Kate explained the process and worked with my partner and me to ensure that we were happy every step of the way. She provided her expertise to help guide decisions and ultimately created an amazing logo that speaks to the vision of the company. I strongly recommend Kate, her professionalism, creativity, and knowledge are exceptional.”

A comprehensive Brand Guide ensures that the design remains timeless and consistent.

I also helped them apply their new brand to stationery and a Powerpoint template design. Can’t forget about social media, as well!

After establishing their brand, the owners of Orlay Ventures got quickly to work on their first product prototype – called “Parachute.” The product helps entrepreneurs and business owners “test” their new ideas to ensure viability before they take any major risks. Orlay needed a graphic to help promote the prototype to potential investors – I suggested custom illustration, naturally. With illustration, you can tell a story. You can control the message through color, atmosphere, line work, and other elements – all while reinforcing your brand.

Here, the parachuter is flying high, carrying their idea. Their body language is active, controlling their path (not just floating around wherever the parachute takes them). At the end of the prototype, the character has landed safely on the ground, with their idea intact.

I was excited to take Orlay’s full color palette for a run. The bright colors really bring home the optimistic feel, and the glow from the “idea” briefcase mimics that entrepreneurial spirit.

We also created some simpler, more iconographic images to go along with the questions asked inside their prototype.

Wood Duck Studios

Wood Duck Studios is a small independent woodworking shop that specializes in traditional woodworking techniques. The furniture and other pieces are made using hand tools and traditional, “old school” joinery, such as dovetails and tenons.

It was important that this logo truly represented these qualities. The art has been stylized in a way that’s inspired by traditional joinery – like pieces of wood assembled together. This creates a more geometric looking form, rather than an organic/natural looking duck – communicating “woodworking”, rather than “wildlife conservation” for example. The zig-zag lines in the logo are also reminiscent of dovetail joinery.

Thank you, Kate! It was a wonderful experience, working with you, and I am thrilled with how the logo turned out.

Mark, Wood Duck Studios

Muddy Paws & Tumbleweeds

Muddy Paws & Tumbleweeds sells customized, hand stamped pet identification tags. The brand was inspired by her beloved golden retriever, Cali, with her soft pink nose, gold fur, and infectious smile. The logos feature plush, soft fur (lovingly referred to as “tumbleweeds”), and custom paw prints that match her own dogs’ unique paws – like fingerprints.

“Kate was wonderful to work with, she asked all the right questions in order to figure out what I was looking for, when even I wasn’t sure of the exact answer to that. Kate’s personality and genuine desire to create something I would love allowed me to feel comfortable communicating back and forth with her as we worked together. I absolutely love what she came up with and how it represents my brand!”

Stacy, Muddy Paws & Tumbleweeds

We also couldn’t resist creating a portrait of Cali to use as a “mascot” illustration – how can you say no to this face?

Eleven Peppers Mural Design

Eleven Peppers Studios

Working with the 11P team, I had the pleasure of designing a large mural for 11P’s office location in Columbia, MD. The piece was designed with hand-painting in mind, as a muralist was hired to beautifully execute the design.

See it on location here!

2020 GDUSA Awards, Environmental Graphics
Recognized as one of the best designs of the year from over 10,000 entries


Personal Work

Part of my #florafaunafun series on Instagram, where I randomly draw one animal and one plant and combine them into a cohesive piece! This random draw resulted in a Water Buffalo and Leek.

This one really feeds the imagination – what could this logo be for? A buffalo sanctuary? A leek-based restaurant? You tell me!

PCI Logo

Eleven Peppers Studios

With the 11P team, I had the pleasure of working on this rebrand for PCI Strategic Management. Out of many options provided, this modern, dynamic mark was selected. We kept their “torch” brand element alive, but executed it in a much fresher, more vibrant, and unique way to truly represent their fire.

We also created some social media posts to celebrate the brand launch, and tease the new logo!

2020 Communicator Distinction Award
Corporate Identity
Eleven Peppers Studios

Eleven Peppers Apparel

Over the years, I’ve worked on several apparel designs for 11P. Along with my Creative Director, we incorporated feedback from polls provided to Pepper employees to make sure everyone felt represented! Here are the results: A wide range of organic, clean, badge-like, script-like, and memorable graphics. The designs are also flexible enough to be successful on other pieces like tote bags, mugs, social media graphics, and more.

Good Design is Delicious T-shirt
2020 MARCOM Award, honorable mention

For a special event, we also made unique pepper shirts for each Pepper employee! We won “Best Team Spirit” at the Baltimore Best Places to Work awards.

Growing Ideas

This eco-friendly soil business has grown from a small hobby to a full blown business, and needed a full brand to take it to the next level. I created this logo for her years ago, but the brand took on new life in 2020 when her business surged due to the increase of at-home gardening, and more targeted marketing efforts.

The brand represents these important qualities:

Natural – All natural ingredients you can feel good about using
Sustainable – Only the best sustainable, upcycled, recycled ingredients for the planet
Premium – The most high quality soil you can buy for your plants, hands down
Vibrant – Full of life, colorful, to represent happy, growing plants
Handmade – The soil is lovingly hand mixed, in small batches, with a lot of care
Balanced – The stability of the logo and label designs communicate reliability and trustworthiness

Perhaps the most important part of physical product marketing is its packaging – Growing Ideas soils are no exception! When her business started to take on real momentum, she needed something more special that stood out from the crowd in 2020. Since she has so many specialized blends of soil, I knew we could have some fun with color to differentiate them. I also wanted to ensure that “homemade” feeling never left her brand – after all, the soils are lovingly hand mixed in her home. The custom drawings for each label are hand-drawn in pencil, with the pops of color added digitally. I was also inspired by her new greenhouse obsession – the geometric lines creating the structure of the label are reminiscent of the shape of a greenhouse. 

The original drawings from the label designs were given to her, and she’s able to sell prints of them in her shop as another added benefit. Now, if someone buys a bag of soil, they also have the option of adding a piece of art to their cart.

I also had the pleasure of taking some photos for her social media, mainly Instagram. These photos of her labels, intermixed with custom-designed quote blocks, carries her brand throughout the different social media platforms. 

Learn more about her sustainable, eco-friendly, cruelty-free soil at

“The packaging is amazing! So gorgeous… I will be ordering more that is for sure!”

Growing Ideas customer Etsy review


Eleven Peppers Studios

So, if you’ve heard me speak about design before, you know I’ll always say that I adore working with people who are passionate about what they do – no matter what that may be. I’m thrilled to say this was one of those experiences. BESPIN is a groundbreaking program that allows Air Force developers to train with commercial developers and hone/strengthen their skills. So not only are they masters of their language (code), but they are also massive Star Wars fans, if you couldn’t tell by the name of their program. They’ve got “passion” written all over them! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this project with my teammates.

The 11P team got going on this project with vigor. We conducted a lot of research into the Star Wars universe, its symbolism, and its visual “language.” Combining this with the concept of education, partnership, and Air Force, we created dozens of sketches that resulted in the final logo you see below. The mark nods to the Jedi Order seal with its symmetry, round shape, and wings in flight – also nodding at the Air Force. The eagle head incorporates strong patriotism, including the military element of this program. Finally, we incorporated some yin yang symbolism to represent the light and dark sides, as well as equal collaboration and partnership.

As far as color, purple has always symbolized “joint” within the military – combining the Army green, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. Incorporating purple was vital to the brand. For depth, we also included a bright blue which adds a modern, tech feel.

This brand has the power to stand out within the commercial world of tech logos, shines brightly among more traditional military seals, and truly represents this program’s mission.

2021 Commuincator Awards
Corporate Identity – Logo – Government