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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.

36 Days of Type – Cards

My 2021 participation in the #36daysoftype challenge – with a card game twist! For each letter or number, I designed a card back with a different popular tabletop game theme. I’d like to come back and illustrate some more fronts/boxes/logos for a few of these. For the latest, check out my Instagram.

Akonwara Amaro

While amaro has earned its reputation as a classic traditional European drink, it has also recently had a resurgence among American alcohol enthusiasts. The creators of Akonwara Amaro, a group of young professionals native to New York, knew it was important to emphasize the local botanicals infused within as the point of difference.

The aesthetic is woodsy, naturalist, and distinctly American, setting it apart from others in its category while staying true to its classic, historic roots.

2019 Merit Award Winner / Packaging
HOW International Design Awards

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 Social Media

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work on several posts using the 11P brand for their social media. While the illustration styles may change between the different occasions, they are all undeniably “11P,” tied together by color and vibe. Here are a few examples of ones I’ve worked on with the team!

2020 Holidays Post

Three unique sets of numbers with a holiday theme that animated together for the final piece.

2021 Silver ADDY, Social Media Campaign
American Advertising Awards, Baltimore Chapter
Eleven Peppers Studios Team

500 Followers Celebration Post

These three images were posted together to celebrate hitting 500 followers on Instagram!

11P Shareable Valentine

The 11P team created several Valentine’s day posts for people to share with their loved ones. This was my contribution, matching the style of the other posts.

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter

Two more holiday-specific posts. For St Patrick’s day, we went with a beer theme, to pay homage to our many brewers and beer lovers in the company! For Easter, I digitally “painted” this egg with pepper plants.

Staying Connected

When the pandemic was keeping us apart, we posted this piece to talk about how we are still staying together virtually.

Animals from A to Z

This illustrated alphabet started as a personal passion project. Combining my love for typography, illustration, and animals was a no-brainer!

As I was creating the artwork, I dreamed of the day I would turn them into a children’s book – Animals from A to Z. With each animal featured, there are several fun facts, each with a small illustration of their own!

It’s also been a dream of mine to use the book to raise money for animal welfare. I donated 100% of profits from the kickstarter launch to The Humane League, a global nonprofit working to end the abuse of farmed animals – the most abused animals in the world.

Get your copy of the book and prints in the shop!

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 www.growingideagardens.com

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

Growing Ideas customer Etsy review

The Future of Branding

Voice Devices are the Future of Branding

A hero illustration for an Adweek article about how important it is for brands to make their branding clear through this new/important medium: voice.

Art Deco Nigerian Wedding Stationery

Art Deco wedding invitation suite for a fabulous couple!
(Real names changed for anonymity)

This luxurious suite includes custom envelopes, wedding invitation with gold foil stamping, a Nigerian engagement party invitation, and thank you cards.

The engagement party invite was my favorite – how often do you get the chance to illustrate traditional Nigerian clothing in an Art Deco style? ✨ It’s also a joy to work with clients that let you take the reins and get creative!

Leather & Lace

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 Leaf-Tailed Gecko and Queen Anne’s Lace.