Archive for the ‘An A to Z’ Category

H is for Halloween (DIY)

September 23rd, 2011

While naively attempting to schedule Zed & Bee’s workload over the next… 6 months (gulp),
I came across two fun approaching dates, Labour Day and Halloween! So H is for Halloween and doing it yourself.

I may not reside in the US, pumpkin pick annually or keep sweets by my front door for hungry costume clad neighbours but I do like all things creepy. I’ve scoured my local DVD store for every horror flick available, am drawn to anything black and am particularly inspired by Halloween canapes that resemble cadaver offcuts.

This Halloween get your inner freak on, host a slasher shindig and do it yourself with these hints!

Image 1. Nevermore Halloween Wreath Tutorial by Katydid and Kid.
Image 2.
 White Pumpkins by Sweet Paul. 
Image 3. Spooky Striped Sleep Set
available at Baby Gap (okay, not quite DIY).
Image 4. Spinach Ricotta Skulls on Martha Stewart.
Image 5. Black Lagoon Cocktail on Martha Stewart.
Image 6. Grave Intentions Halloween Cake on Country Living
(also see Cheese and Crackers and X-ray Vision Cakes).

G is for Gift Wrap

July 7th, 2011

As my family’s ‘Birthday Season’ fast approaches, thoughts of appropriate presents fill my mind. Purchasing the right gift, on time, avoiding the embarrassing IOU is a struggle when juggling a busy business. Wrapping paper is often replaced with an attractive, recycled shopping bag with scribbled gift tag attached.

I remember a time when my family excitedly anticipated my Christmas Gift Wrapping themes.
One particular year, I chose an environmentally friendly, International Newspaper theme, sealed with environmentally unfriendly clear cellophane. My wrapping was well received by everyone except my cousin Briar, who has an unusual phobia of newspaper and the blackish residue it leaves on one’s fingers. She almost gave up on opening my gift to her until I pointed out the cellophane protective layer.

Briar holds the torch now for fabulously inventive gift wrapping, perhaps she’d be inspired by the following gift wrapping masters…

Image 1. Hello Sandwich Gift Wrapping ZineImage 2. Start Wrapping Earlier
Gift-Wrapping Tips and Techniques on Image 3. Adrienne Wong’s
‘A Splash of Color’
on Country Living. 
Image 4. Jessica Murnane’s ‘Newspaper Bloom on Country Living. Image 5. Ready-to-Wear Wrapping on Country Living.
Image 6. {Earth Friendly} Gift Wrapping Ideas by Compai. Image 7. Napkin and Nosegay Furoshiki on The Gifted Blog. Image 8. Washi Tape Wrap by Essimar Papel.

F is for Favours

June 10th, 2011

Favours are funny things. Not quite a present, more like a token. Carefully considered and could be crafty. Not necessarily useful but appreciated momentarily never the less.

More often than not a Wedding Favour serves two purposes, most commonly to thank guests for joining in celebrating a couple’s nuptials. But also, to further thread a wedding theme or styling aesthetic through an event; to tie together a tasteful place setting, encourage entertaining activity or showcase a family recipe.

For destination weddings, a Welcome Pack (whole bag of favours) can set the tone of the wedding the moment guests turn the key of their hotel room (please note, you must have a large, enthusiastic family available to deliver to numerous hotels… I’m speaking from experience).

Image 1. DIY: Spring Bulb Wedding Favors on Once Wed. Image 2. Penguin Classics available at Waterstone’s. Image 3. Popcorn Balls for Sunday Supper’s Oscars Party. Image 4. Me & You Pencils by Knot & Bow on Etsy. Image 5. Sweets from Selfridges. Image 6. To Have and To Hold Tote Bag by Mélangerie Inc. on Etsy. Image 7. Mini Wedding Cake Favors on Martha Stewart Weddings.

E is for Envelopes

April 15th, 2011

The bane of my working existence funnily enough (Bee) is sourcing envelopes. Uniquely folded formats on sumptuous stocks in an inspiring palette of colours simply aren’t available in Australia. And as an invitation company with looming deadlines, waiting for imported envelopes to arrive in bulk (with astronomical shipping costs) is simply a luxury we cant afford.

Also funnily enough, a dream of mine is to design and sell my own killer creations at Zed & Bee. Until we’re ready to showcase our own collection… E is for Envelopes… from elsewhere.

Image 1. Golf Club Viesturi Illustrated Envelope, source unknown.

Image 2. Shapes Series Envelope + Card by Drop Around studio in Japan, available at upon a fold.

Image 3. Tori Pochi – Jiro Envelope available at upon a fold.

Image 4. Trine Lise Nedreaas (Dead Lift) by Event10.

Image 5. Midori Kraft Envelope – Horizontal String available at Vetted.

Image 6. The National 3 color screen print by Jason Munn.

Image 7. Presentation Style Folded Envelope, source unknown.

D is for Designers (for fashion) do it best!

February 2nd, 2011

Lets face facts! Resulting invitations can sometimes end up a little drier than the fantasy solution we had in mind. Be it budget, lack of resources, conservative taste or blind fear, original concepts often get whittled down until you barely recognise the job before you. Luckily, most of our clients are familiar with our aesthetic and diverse body of work before they approach us. And it is those clients for which we’ve produced our proudest work (2010 examples to be launched this month).

While fashion houses are frantically pulling their shows together for Fashion Week, the best of the best invitations begin to do the rounds. Just as the fashion designers themselves, these invitations push the envelope or do away with one altogether. It is the Designer Fashion Show Invitations from which Zed & Bee draw much of our inspiration, making this an easy choice for Letter D. Understand, the selection below took some restrained culling…

Image 1. Bodkin Fall ’09 by RoAndCo.

Image 2. Louis Vuitton by Julmeme.

Image 3. Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Invitations by Antoine+Manuel.

Image 4. 3.1 Phillip Lim by Li, Inc.

Image 5. Fendi Fan Invitation, designer unknown.

C is for Calligraphy that pushes the boundaries

December 3rd, 2010

I have always been told I have lovely handwriting. I use a variety of written typefaces to suit my moods and for particular situations. I have often fallen harder for a lover with nice penmanship and find writing shopping lists in a hurry an agonising process. That said, I will never attempt to produce my own calligraphy. By over scrutinising, jobs wouldn’t be completed and so I prefer to leave it to the experts such as Sydney based Julie Williams. She creates typographic magic for Zed & Bee’s clients and is even able to mimic commercial typefaces.

The Letter C is for the calligraphers who push the boundaries beyond a piece of paper.

Image 1. Seasoned calligrapher Andrew van der Merwe translated his ‘doodles’ to the sandscapes of Cape Town becoming the world’s first beach calligrapher. His handiwork is captured, lit by moody sunsets, in dramatic photographs.

Image 2. Letman “is cuckoo about letters, he loves them, so far is certain”. With a portfolio as varied and inspirational as Letman’s, his website deserves bookmarking for an outpouring of lettered loveliness.

Image 3. Julien Breton’s mind blowing Light Calligraphy has been doing the cyber rounds for some time. Incase you live under a rock, check out his stunning, photoshop-free creations.

Image 4. Everyone in the invitation scene has heard of Betsy Dunlap. Invitation designers hope their client’s budgets extend to include a little of Betsy’s brilliance on top of design, set up costs, printing etc. We’re still waiting… and hoping…

B is for Book Covers

November 11th, 2010

We are often told to “never judge a book by it’s cover” and in most cases I believe this to be very good advice. However, when dealing with books, the decision whether to purchase versus simply loan from a friend is certainly based on the merit of the cover.

Since discovering an enthusiastic appreciation for Alvin Lustig Covers, I consider book series as art for display in my home. I’ll admit, I was sucked into the fad of repurchasing the brilliantly orange classic Penguin series, too lazy to source the originals as diligently as my cousin, stylist Briar of Sunday Collector blog, had done. I couldn’t help myself, they match the aboriginal artwork and mohair throw in my loungeroom. Next I hope to own are Coralie Bickford-Smith’s gorgeous Art Deco inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald Hardback Classics, they match my bedroom.

Image 2. Coralie Bickford-Smith’s Penguin Book of Irish Poetry.

Image 3. Tissue papering for Peter Carey Backlist by Jenny Grigg at Faceout Books.

Image 4. Bird & Banner‘s DIY Vintage Book Table Numbers via Once Wed.

A is for Art with Paper

November 3rd, 2010

Anyone who has surfed the web with gusto over the past few years would have continually come across the inspirational work of innovative paper illustrator Yulia Brodskaya. On introduction, her style of painstakingly cut, rolled and compiled paper art appealed to the perfectionist in me and I made a half assed promise to attempt something similar… never happened.

Since then other incredible paper cut artists/illustrators have caught my eye, encouraging me once more to recommit to my vague plan. That is to spend a succession of Sundays cutting and arranging tiny pieces of paper till my hands appear to have collided with a determined marsupial.

Image 1. There is nothing is more intimidating that a Junior Designer on a mission. Australian paper artist, illustrator and problem solver Bianca Chang is one such person.

Image 2. Another young gun fresh out of university and already with clients such as Cadbury, The Guardian and The TATE under his belt is Owen Gildersleeve. Designer and illustrator for the Evening Tweed design collective and one half of the band Old Mayor, Owen is hugely talented and a commissioned piece would be first on my Christmas wish list.

Image 3. Independent Australian bands have been clamouring to secure Greedy Hen as their album and poster illustrators of late. Greedy Hen is partly art collective and partly design studio, housing the collaborative works of Katherine Brickman and Kate Mitchell.

Our A to Z of Invitation Inspiration 2010

October 27th, 2010

In celebration of the countdown to both the launch of our 2011 Invitation Collection and updated Bespoke Portfolio… Zed & Bee present ‘Our A to Z of Invitation Inspiration 2010′.

In the following weeks we will present an A to Z of our daily inspiration under the main themes that inspire us in the creation of our designs. Inspiration for us comes from the most unlikely of places and, more often and not, anywhere but the wedding industry. We like to think diverse sources of inspiration aids in keeping our work fresh, gives us an edge as well as endless joy (pressure) to push ourselves past the realm of typical invitation designers.

While we could keep our inspiration close to our chests, we feel it best to give credit where credit is due by showcasing the talented souls out there creating truly magic work. We will also highlight the often overlooked areas of life that inspire endless creativity.

Image Reference. ABChairs by Roeland Otten.

Netherlands based Roeland Otten works with a ‘conceptual’ approach in different fields of art and design as shown in his ABChairs.

ABChairs was presented during Dutch Design Week Eindhoven at Eat Drink Design and is a series of 26 typographic chairs. ABChairs are made from lacquered MDF and are an alphabet to sit on and a series of chairs to form words with.