We're thrilled to share some industry news for our Chicago based beverage and spirits client, Vrai vodka cocktails. In addition to being featured with Ardagh in Times Square taking on the Big Apple, check out this article about the product's offical launch on Cocktail Enthusiast. Expect to hear a lot more about this brand soon and in the meantime head over to drinkvrai.com/where-to-buy to keep an eye on where to buy and drink Vrai near you. Vrai is the first ready to drink organic vodka drink in a can. It's pronounced VRAY (long A) and means true in French. The brand's mission is to always remain transparent, honest, and truthful about what goes into their organic vodka drinks and future products.
July 05, 2017 | BY Nicole LaFave
If it's your off-season, it's the perfect time to check off some of those lingering to-do lists, starting with your website. Our Winter Sale on the Made For Food Trucks website templates starts today and can save you some dough while you're off the road. Sign up now.
January 17, 2017 | BY Nicole LaFave
Curry Up Now's food truck was used as part of an example during a demo at Apple's spring WWDC. The logo design and branding work we did for the food truck and resturants made a flash appearance on the big screen next to the truck's delicious Indian street food menu. As huge fans of these conferences and gadget annoucement days, we're astonished!
June 16, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
April 28, 2016 | BY Design Womb
February 25, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
February 17, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
Aleksa Narbutaitis has joined Design Womb as an intern for the first half of 2016. We are thrilled to have her as part of the team and asked her to write a little entry to introduce herself. Enjoy!
I’m Aleksa. I’m a Cleveland, OH native, and I am always on the hunt for experiences that demand the best that my right and left brain have to offer. My life has been, and continues to be, a fascinating attempt at integrating these two poles of my mind. I have always had to find my way through the practical to get to, or rather, to make time for, the creative. But I’ve finally realized that I don’t want to have to make time for what I love to do. I want do it all at once.
I have a long history of creativity. I am forever in debt to my parents who taught me to be creative at a young age. I was constantly in art classes ranging from dance to drawing to ceramics to painting, you name it. Dance was where I really found my niche, and l stuck to it for quite some time.
I got my B.B.A. with a focus in Entrepreneurship as well as a minor in Dance from Loyola University Chicago. After graduation, I had a few years of small business management experience. It taught me a lot, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. Somewhere in between then and now I came to a point where I didn’t want to have to choose between my hobbies and talents and my career. So I’m not.
I am currently earning my graduate degree at Northwestern in Leadership for Creative Enterprises and I feel like I’m right where I need to be. I’m building my own brand that is me: business and creativity neatly packaged together all in one.
Nicole and Pendleton have graciously taken me in and are helping me explore my creative business side, something totally new and exciting for me. For the first time ever, I feel that I am very near figuring out what it is I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that feeling before. It’s pretty great. I used to fill with worry when I thought about the future, but now I only feel excitement, and that is an extraordinary feeling for a student these days.
Bottom line, I am fascinated by the business world. My goal is to add some color to it with my personal creations. Be they physical, visual, emotional; I want to leave a mark. I am thrilled to have joined the Design Womb family and even more excited for what’s in store.
February 15, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
February 10, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
February 03, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
The judges have spoken! Design Womb's branding and food truck identity work for Boo Coo Roux is one of 142 winning projects selected out of 1700 entries for this year's 6th Typography Annual. Grab a copy of the annual this month in print.
January 05, 2016 | BY Nicole LaFave
Welcome to Made For Food Trucks by Madestack. We are thrilled to share our labor of love with you. Madestack was born when we came together on client work and saw a huge gap in the market between mediocre website design templates that the average startup person doesn’t know how to install/use and quick web design services that give too much control, aren’t industry specific enough, and might not look very custom.
Facebook isn’t enough. Your customers are online, on their phones, and reading their tablets. When a friend mentions a delicious tamale or sandwich they tried from a new local food truck, it’s extremely likely that they are immediately looking for you on google to find out where you will be or to check out your menu.
Our experience in the food truck industry includes the launch of 10 trucks (and counting!) in the branding, truck design, and web design spaces across the globe. The problem? Like many startups in the food and restaurant space, food truck startups and owners don’t have thousands of dollars to throw into a custom website before they launch and generate revenue. They usually spend most of their investment on buying the truck, building the truck’s kitchen and finally branding and wrapping the truck with something visually striking.
We started with something simple. A low-cost subscription template solution that you can use to get your website up quickly without the overhead upfront of paying for a full blown custom website design for your food truck. With our website design templates, you can update information yourself, place photography, and swap to colors that are in line with your food truck’s branding. We’ve designed with the intent that the site has a flexibility and a beautiful end product with a custom look and feel.
We’ll be adding to Madestack and Made For Food Trucks now that we’ve officially launched. Stay on top of news about our future font sets* and features by joining our mailing list.
*coming very soon
August 31, 2015 | BY Nicole LaFave
We're very excited to announce Design Womb's resturant branding and design collaboration in the works this year with chefs John Shields and his wife, Karen Urie Shields. We'll be working alongside the duo for the launch of their highly anticipated Ada St. location, which is split between two floors, and the chefs envision opening two restaurants.
John worked at Charlie Trotter's, and was part of the opening team at the hot Chicago restaurant spot, Alinea. Karen spent two years at Tru working under Gale Gand, then six years at Trotter's, the last three as head pastry chef. As a husband-wife team, they opened Town House in 2008 in the tiny town of Chilhowie, VA, where they quickly acquired a monster reputation; John was a 2011 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
July 29, 2015 | BY Nicole LaFave
Here's a little progress sneak peek at the food truck we designed for Troya Kitchen in San Francisco courtesy of Custom Vehicle Wraps.
May 06, 2015 | BY Nicole LaFave
We are very excited and honored to have two of our food truck designs and branding projects featured on Print Magazine this week. Print Magazine chose the Curry Up Now and Falasophy branding and food truck designs as part of their feature on 8 Ingenious Food Truck Designs. Print Magazine is an iconic design and visual culture brand encompassing a venerated magazine, a website, premium book and e-book lines, and the Regional Design Annual, one of the most well-respected design competitions in the industry.
April 10, 2015 | BY Nicole LaFave
We're honored to have our package design work for Ripple Coffee Roasters featured on The Dieline.
Ripple Coffee is committed to roasting beans strictly from farms owned by women. The company is dedicated to compensating women for their contributions by giving a percentage of each purchase back to the community.
See it here: http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2014/12/23/ripple-coffee or visit our project overivew.
January 12, 2015 | BY Nicole LaFave
I am happy to share the interview I did with Julia Wild over at graphicdesign.com last week. The quick interview shares some insight on Design Womb's ongoing collaborations with Curry Up Now, and how we approached their menu design and accounted for customer's specialty diet restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan eats. There's also mention of a few of the current projects we're working hard on this summer, if you want a sneak peek.
July 02, 2013 | BY Nicole LaFave
Hello & welcome to the new site! I am so happy to say that after a very long and winding road, it was well worth the wait.
I hope you take some time to take a look around. I am so thankful for my web partner in crime Danielle, and my wonderful friend and photographer, Michelle, who did a few shoots for some of the new photography you’ll see scattered around. The site is retina-friendly, and for the first time in history you can view Design Womb’s portflio of work in a visual gallery by category or type. I have shared some of the accolades, magazines and books I’ve been grateful and proud to be a part of these last handful of years.
This is also a great time to start gearing up for your future design projects that tend to spill over and delay into the fall, so be sure to send me a note if you have something brewing. Remember, the early bird takes the worm. Be sure to follow Design Womb on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent updates, or join our (mostly infrequent) email newsletter. You can also follow me on my personal account on Twitter.
Thanks for stopping by and please come back soon. I have some big and exciting news to share very soon. If you've been paying attention on the site, I am sure you can guess what it might be.
Disclaimer: Old blog posts are not retina-friendly.
May 01, 2013 | BY Nicole LaFave
I'll be the first to admit I have been majorly slacking on my blog. (Sorry guys!) 2012 has started out with a bang, and with the bang came many new exciting branding projects & clients alongside some great news for some of the extended family. Beachy Cream should be opening its Wilshire shop in Los Angeles sometime in April, and I've also been busy helping Curry Up Now with their newly announced food family member The Dosa Republic. The eclectic Indian food brand is expected to open (food truck & restaurant doors) for April in the San Francisco Bay Area & San Mateo. 1148 Cosmetics opened in Chicago and I have some makeup packaging to share, and Lemonmade, Chicago (style & snips for kids) is gearing up to open doors sometime in May. San Francisco is welcoming Drawn to Scale, who recently announced their funding & soon-to-be Bay Area office. Outside of all these stops & shops, I've been busy hustling & bustling on a few websites to launch this spring. Think photography, organic frozen yogurt, IP Management software tools and more. One thing is for sure, there is never a lack of variety and challenge in my day-to-day. The Design Womb website "makeover" is in progress, and I am attempting to wait patiently in order to have a nicer place to share all the new work that's been coming together into the new year. As I take this GIGANTIC project in baby steps, I am looking forward to another photo shoot with Michelle Edmunds who has been helping me set up with some new photography for the site. We'll also be announcing her new photography website launch in the coming month. Among other news, I've been baking gluten-free & vegan goodies and look forward to sharing some of that discovery with you. I bought a Vitamix this week, and am so flipping excited to start making all sorts of stuff with it, I can barely contain myself. In the meantime, check out these raw pumpkin spice cookies (via rawmazing) that I came across this week. Pumpkin in spring? Heck yes! More soon. (I hope!)
March 21, 2012 | BY Nicole LaFave
January 17, 2012 | BY Nicole LaFave
I had the pleasure of attending a linocut printmaking class at 3 Fish Studios earlier in December with a friend. 3 Fish Studios is the artistic home of Annie Galvin and Eric Rewitzer, painters and printmakers, husband and wife, and creators of original and affordable art. They offer classes and original work for sale on their site, check it out. I had done printmaking in the past, but it had been years. Not only was the class great, but the studio space is so inspiring and Eric is the nicest and most patient instructor (Annie was sick that day, so I need to go back to meet her). I can't wait to go back and rent some studio time. This has inspired me on a whole new level and I'll be posting a very limited edition run of Bow Tie Pug Prints for sale on the Design Womb Etsy shop as soon as I can. If you are interested in reserving one, contact me. This is the start of my dog series, but of course I had to start with a black pug. Man, would I love to get one of these machines someday to have a small setup at my house, but for those of you that are like me in San Francisco, go check out a class.
December 30, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
December 09, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
My parents were in town for a long weekend, so I got to hang out with them yesterday for my birthday. Wanted to share a quick peek at a few of the things my mom (aka Dory) gave me. A giant box arrived last week which I was instructed not to touch, shake or look at too much. No wonder! Check out the size of the awesome antler she found in Michigan to put in my house. She also surprised me with a handmade-by-mom loopy throw pillow. My obsession with cream and white things continues.
November 09, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
I've updated the press & news page of Design Womb with some new books from 2011. You will find projects such as Beachy Cream, Chic by Design, Premitàge, Omelle & more in a new stack of titles. Thank yous & high fives to Pie Books, SendPoints, Zeixs & Victionary for including these projects in your collection. 10 years ago I used to dream up seeing my work in publications of this sort next to all the work I admire. It seems surreal to think about how much has changed and where I am today. Each and every new book that comes in with my work published in it puts a big fat smile on my face, and it's always so much fun to have a new design book in the office to see what my fellow designers are up to.
October 26, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
Here are a few snapshots from our weekend trip to Napa with T&B (Chicago peeps). It flew by and I loved it. We did a bike ride and a picnic Friday and spent time with other good buddies that happened to be in San Francisco and Napa at the same time. We were spoiled with good company, gorgeous weather and wine tasting. I have a lot to learn, and can not wait to go back to do more biking, but this was a good first step for me. I dream of designing wine packaging and labels and doing branding for a winery someday. It's been on my bucket list for awhile now, alongside branding a coffee company and maybe some chocolate. Or more beverages. Okay, fine. The list goes on & on.
October 24, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
Today is hot/cold. Do you know what I mean by that? It's warm and sunny outside, but the cool air from the ocean and fog is rolling in over the hills of our neighborhood. It was an interesting sensation on the way to the mailbox. This is a quick snapshot looking down the end of my street.
October 18, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
People who don't really like Steve Jobs are kind of like people who don't really like dogs to me. Yesterday was a very big day that we'll always remember for some of us. Very strange to imagine my world without the tools and ideas that Steve's imagination had a hand in. I use them every single day. I remember going to the store to get my first Apple Computer when I was just starting college with my mom. We filled the shopping cart, it was the beginning of getting to where I am today. Cancer is an ugly thing.
October 06, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
I finally got around to taking the intro to letterpress workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book last week. (SFcB) It had been on my to-do list for over a year now to get myself over there for a workshop or somehow volunteer. Baby steps. I definitely think this intro class was the perfect little introduction to encourage one to explore further. As a small group, we each set our own line of old lead type and created a group print to learn how the equipment worked around the workshop. For myself, I hope to get back sometime for plate making and print making to push my own design work and output. Perhaps I should focus on making it a bigger goal for myself in 2012. The space was fun and I felt inspired to get down and dirty with the ink and paper. I could get lost in the drawers full of old moveable & wood type. Thanks Paula Gloistein for the nice little introduction.
September 27, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
Hi world, It's Nicole. I have been ignoring my blog because I hate the design and have a new one in the works. Yeah, yeah... dumb I know, but you are going to have to hang tight a bit more. Lots of great things happening here in 2011. I moved to San Francisco last year and have had some great opportunities to work on fantastic new projects with interesting people and products. Make sure you are on my Design Womb Facebook page to keep up with news while the blog is underway. I promise you haven't missed much outside of my work which I'll hopefully be updating on the site soon. I eat a lot of great food, do a lot of pilates and am happily welcoming evenings that stay lighter later. Hooray daylight savings! Until soon- LaFave
March 15, 2011 | BY Nicole LaFave
You've probably noticed some changes around here. I've moved to San Francisco this year. After nearly 8 years of NicoleLaFave.com's ongoing digital love to me, I have also changed my studio name to Design Womb. New look, new logo and just in time for the new year. I am looking forward to growth and expanding in my new, often freezing cold studio/home in San Francisco. Seriously. I'm surprised my fingers are not frosted at times. Yeah, Yeah. I know those of you reading this from the Midwest are laughing at me, but it's not a joke when they say your body acclimates to the climate you live in, and I was in L.A. for 5 years. Cut my some slack. Watch this space for my blog "re-launch" for 2011. I've barely gotten around to this whole name swap, so I need a little more time to pump up the volume in my blog space. I hope it will become a lot more interesting and entertaining, or at least a place to come for some resources and fun stories. A girl can dream.
December 08, 2010 | BY Nicole LaFave
I have spent the last 4-1/2 years at "chez vert" 438 N. Venice, here in Venice, California. On June 1st, that all comes to an end and a new chapter in my life will begin in the heart of San Francisco. This place has been a home away from home (Michigan) to me, and I am going to miss the little things the most. The sound of quacking ducks outside lets you know you are home. Watching mama ducks with their babies out the back window makes for the perfect lunch break. Walking or running in the Venice Canals and the smell of the ocean breeze in the summer work as natural stress relievers. I could go on for awhile about Abbott Kinney, our favorite places to eat and coffee trips here, but at last it's time to start saying goodbye Los Angeles and HELLO San Francisco!
May 24, 2010 | BY Nicole LaFave
May 13, 2010 | BY Nicole LaFave
This is my blog. Coming soon.
September 14, 2009 | BY Nicole LaFave