2014 :: A Year in Review

SCD will be closed from Monday, December 22 through Friday, January 2nd. We will be checking email periodically but response time will somewhat delayed. Don’t worry, though! We will be back in the studio bright and early on Monday, January 5th.

Forgive us for indulging in such a cliché {especially this time of year} but truly – where does the time go? We’re only a week away from Christmas with New Years just around the corner. It’s so hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. It’s been such a fun and exciting year for Swiss Cottage so we wanted to recap some of the best moments for the very last blog post of 2014! {OK- we realize when we say “last blog post” of 2014 that could also be “the 5th blog post of 2014″… bear with us! Better blogging habits is on the to-do list for 2015!}

SCD’s top 2014 moments {in no particular order!}

1. Earlier this year we were asked to guest blog for a week on on Oh So Beautiful Paper. It was so fun to brainstorm and plan all of the posts. It was certainly a big undertaking with all of the prep and production that went into the content. That week was a whirlwind in the studio with all of the set up and shooting. The response to each post was wonderful and warm. It was fantastic to contribute to such a respected and well curated blog. Thank you to the amazing Nole for the opportunity!

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2. We were so excited to design the dinner menus for talented designer Nate Berkus and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, who tied the knot at The New York Public Library this past Spring. The white foil printing on black paper came out beautifully. Plus, it gave us the opportunity to work with our wonderfully talented friend Jenna of Love, Jenna Calligraphy for the personalization of each menu. The wedding was featured in People magazine and our little menu got a shout out on the People website!


3. One of our invitation designs was featured in the special Weddings issue of New York Magazine! No matter how many times it happens, it’s always exciting to be featured in a print publication. The tangibility of it feels so real! It was wonderful to see our work alongside so many other talented designers and lovely invitations. The magazine is on sale through spring of 2015, so take a peek if you happen to snag a copy! Like a true hoarder, I bought 5 copies. A huge THANK YOU to NY mag for including us in this issue!

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4. Bella Figura is a very cool company based in Syracuse, New York  {home to my alma mater!} that offers so many great design options for save the dates and invitations. We were so pleased to continue working with them and contribute several new designs for their 2015 line. It’s a cool way to make some our designs accessible to couples who may not want to go the fully custom route. We can’t wait to see the new designs in the coming year, they have lots of cool tricks up their sleeves!

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5. We launched a shiny new Swiss Cottage website, full of new projects from 2014. We were able to work with so many incredible clients and create such beautiful artwork for them this year. It’s easy to forget just how many projects we do in the course of the year, so it was a great feeling to see it all come together in one place and to share it with everyone, too. And, of course, this update would not have been possible without the photographic genius of Brookelyn Photography. A HUGE thank you to Brooke for coming by and helping us make some magic.

new homepage

6. We also launched our first ever holiday card line!! This one is very near and dear to my heart as it’s been on my wish list for quite some time. For the last five years, custom work has been our bread and butter. We love that it means that every day and every project is different. It was a very cool change to design and offer a ready made line of cards. It allowed us to connect with a larger audience as well as directly with stores that we love. Several stores in Brooklyn and beyond carried our holiday line! We’ve already got some new ideas cooking for 2015 and can’t wait to share them soon! Check back in on 1/5 for the launch of our new Valentine’s Day cards. Oh yeah!

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7. The month of June was a busy one! We made the walk up to our friendly neighborhood shipping extraordinaire {Omar} almost every day, laden with boxes and parcels. We vastly surpassed our previous monthly shipping record, much to our surprise and probably to Omar’s pleasure. We also shipped our most well traveled package…all the way to Hong Kong! We celebrated on the walk home with iced tea and mini muffins from Mazolla’s {naturally.}


8. A very neat opportunity came for us later in the year. Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, a great little shop in Park Slope, asked us to illustrate their holiday window display. This was a big undertaking {literally!} that was a very fun and new challenge. It was such a cool feeling to see my artwork in a new context and to share it with so many others who passed by or came into the shop. It’s still on display if you happen to be walking down 5th Avenue in Brooklyn.


9. We discovered that we have very little self control when it comes to treats. Sunny commutes from Greenpoint, the Brooklyn neighborhood that’s home to Peter Pan Donuts. More often than not she’d arrive on Friday morning with half a dozen donuts {one of their signature flavors is red velvet} and we’d proceed to eat our selves into a sugar coma. Then we’d wash it all down with a large chai from Maybelle’s and complain about feeling ill the rest of the day. No regrets, though.


photo by: LG Train

10. While we do enjoy our donuts and chai, our biggest vice has to be the shockingly addictive Pellegrino. The fridge is usually well stocked, although we do have the occasional emergencies  that require a quick trip to the bodega for a re-up {yeah, we’re throwing some WIRE terminology around, it’s cool.} . Based on my loose calculations, we consumed roughly 73 gallons of Pellegrino this year. Don’t judge us.

San-Pellegrino-Sparkling-Water-1L11. And last BUT most certainly not least- Sunny came home! Ha. OK, I’ve been waiting all year to make this joke. But really, the world’s most amazing office manager, Sunny Eckerle, joined our team and made a difference from the get go! She’s made us an organized beast and has really helped get us in tip top shape. This year would not have been the same without her and we’re looking forward to more of her excellent contributions in 2015.


I think that about wraps it up!! Thank you so much to everyone who made 2014 such an incredible year for Swiss Cottage Designs. We have been so lucky to have such wonderfully creative and fun clients, we are so grateful for each and everyone of you. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year! Make sure you stop by in 2015 to see what we have cooking, it’s going to be a good one!


SCD website :: SHINY + NEW

It’s December first, the holidays are coming at full speed and over at SCD we are anxiously getting ready for 2015! We’ve been giving the once over to all of our branding and packaging, have been brainstorming ideas for our 2015 card line (wahoo!) and most importantly, have updated our website!

new homepage

Our updated website is cleaner, easier to navigate and includes all of our most recent projects for your viewing pleasure. 2014 has been an incredible year for SCD, we’ve worked with some of the most creative and kindest clients we ever could have hoped for and the new website reflects those great collaborations. We’ve even included a little write up on each project so you have a better sense of the inspiration behind these designs.

new gallery

We also have an updated section for our branding projects which is something we have really been focusing on {and enjoying!} in 2014 and will continue in 2015 with some great new brands.

new branding

Have a look and let us know what you think! And, as always, thank you for stopping by and for your support of SCD! Here is to a great holiday season. And don’t forget to shop our holiday card line! Free shipping through 12/8 using promo code SCDHOLIDAY


Annie’s Holiday Windows

One of the best things about owning your own business is how different every day can be from the next. While that can certainly be stressful at times, it’s usually very fun, interesting, and exciting. It also allows cool, unexpected projects to crop up which is exactly what happened with Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Annie’s is an amazing little shop of treasures, chock full of stationery, books, gifts, trinkets, and treats. You definitely need to set aside some serious browsing time to take it all in. It’s a great neighborhood spot which is why I was so excited when I was asked to illustrate their holiday window display this year!

For a lefty who’s used to drawing rather small and tight, creating an illustration for three 9 foot by 4.5 foot windows was an awesome challenge. I started by creating all of the artwork by hand in my sketchbook. Once that was complete, I was able to turn everything into a scene, enlarge it, and create several large format prints to use as my template. My good friend Jenna gave me some tips and ideas of how to execute this, without which I would have been lost! I taped the prints on the outside of the windows and used them as my blueprint to recreate the illustration from the inside of the shop.


One panel complete.


Drawing away!


Close up of the first window of three.


Another close up as I put on a few finishing touches.


The white ink really popped once it got a bit darker outside!

It was a lot of prep and a full day of drawing, but I was so excited about the end result! If you’re in the area be sure to stop by the store and check it out. Thanks so much to Annie’s for letting me a part of their holiday window display.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. See you all in December!

Holiday 2013

Hard to believe that 2013 is coming to a close. It’s been an amazing year here at SCD. We’ve worked with some of the nicest and most creative clients I ever could have hoped for. We’ve grown our team and we’re moving forward to create some amazing and fun projects in 2014. I am constantly pinching myself as some days I can’t believe this is what I get to do for my job, every day. I feel so lucky and humbled.

We’re are closing down shop through the New Year for a few days of R&R. I can’t wait to hit the ground running in January and welcome 2014 with a bang! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by this little blog, we’re very grateful for all of you. Wishing everyone a very happy and safe holiday season and New Year. See you in 2014!


Handmade Wrapping paper with Apartment Therapy

I’m so excited to share with you today a fun project that I worked on with Apartment Therapy! They are doing a Handmade Holiday series with Nikon and wanted to shoot some creatives making handmade presents for the holiday season. I came up with the idea to make a my own wrapping paper out of a brown paper bag and paired that up with a cute holiday card. Both are hand illustrated using just a classic pencil, pen and watercolor. I have to say, I had such a fun time creating this project! It was great to just tune out and draw whatever came to mind. Plus it certainly got me in the holiday spirit. A HUGE thank you to Apartment Therapy for including me in this great series! You can read the full story here

All photos below are courtesy of the wildly talented Gabriela Herman







And here are a few fun snaps of our workspace!





1 year later :: MY WEDDING

Well… it’s hard to believe by my one year anniversary is coming up this Sunday. We were married last December 8, 2012 here in Brooklyn. Given that it’s been almost a year I figured it was time to share a few pictures from our wedding! Going through the whole wedding process really helped me to better understand where my bridal clients are coming from. It also made me realize just how fast the entire night goes by. I mean, everyone tells you this but until you experience it yourself, you secretly don’t believe it.

We were married at Rebar in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO. A few months back I shared our wedding invites that really illustrate the neighborhood and the overall theme we were going for. We really just wanted to have one big, blowout party. I kept saying the phrase “One Night Only” because I really loved the idea of saving it all up for this one night. My goal wasn’t to have a December wedding but when we saw Rebar, we fell in love and knew that was the place. In fact, it was the only venue we saw! In the end, I love that we had our wedding in December. It feels like our own special time.




Since our wedding started at 7:00pm, we met before for photos. December isn’t really known for it’s copious sunshine and long days so it was really a race against the clock to get some great outdoor shots. We got there just in time to catch the last bits of light. Anyone who knows me, knows that the first love of my life is pizza. I could literally eat pizza all day long. After our photo session down by the water, we took a detour into the local pizza shop to get some slices. Yes, I ate a slice of greasy Brooklyn pizza in my wedding dress, sue me.


Once we got to the venue, we met up with our friends and family and celebrated with some champagne. This is when it really started to feel real. The lovely Ara of Rock Paper Scissors helped style our wedding so it was all smooth sailing from that point!



Paul and I are big music people. We met at a concert in the most romantic way- in line for the porta potty. I walked down the aisle to Al Green’s version of “I want to hold your hand”. If you don’t know it, listen to it now and thank me later. It is fantastic! Everyone started clapping when we walked out and I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing, it is one of my favorite memories of that night. I walked down the aisle with both my Mom and Dad because, hell, they both raised me! The wildly talented Elizabeth London did all our flowers. That girl is an artist! I was blown away with all the details she worked in.


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Our first dance was to Otis Redding’s “That’s how strong my love is”. Of course, I cried like an infant. I also think we said all kinds of very sweet things to one another but I honestly don’t remember a single thing. Romantic, I know.

Now, onto the details! I created an assortment of tent cards with song quotes from different Motown songs we love and had them scattered throughout the venue.


I have an odd obsession with buttons and decided to make some fun ones for everyone to jazz up their attire with. I had ones for the BRIDE’s side, the GROOM’s side and then Switzerland if you wanted to play neutral. Everyone ended up looking like they worked at a fancy TGI Fridays and I have to say, I loved it.


Our wedding was very informal and we didn’t have programs. Instead, I created a Welcome Poster to give everyone a run-down of the evening.


Like any proper Brooklyn wedding, we had a photo booth. We used “We Love Photobooths” and they killed it. Everyone had a blast and they give you this great little book afterwards with all the pictures.



The favor. This is always a hot topic with couples getting married. Most people chalk it up to a waste of time and money. But me? I love a fun favor! Along with all my other quirky habits, I collect mugs. I buy one every time I go on vacation to help remember the trip. I thought it would be fun to have custom mugs for our favor so when people used it, they would remember our wedding. A bit of advice, 140 mugs turns out to be about 12 HUGE boxes so if storage is tight- this is NOT the way to go for you.


I had this moment about a month before the wedding where I realized- we NEEDED custom tattoos. It became the only thing I could think about. I used the design from our envelope liner and created some awesome rub on tattoos. One of my favorite stories from that night was my sister applying a tattoo on my Uncle with champagne instead of water, very classy. I have to admit, the tattoos were the sleeper success of the night! Everyone wanted one. People went nuts for them and more than a dozen people were walking around with face tattoos. It was amazing.


Every cocktail needs a little love so we made fun swizzle sticks and paired them up with some classic paper straws. We also had custom cocktail napkins made {not photographed} which really helped add some personality to the bar.



When you have a wedding, people are coming to the event from all walks of your lives. Given that fact, we decided to create a fun poster that told our story and helped to fill in some of the blanks anyone might have had.


Everyone calls Paul “PVL” so we made fun pins with our initials on them for more flair. Yes, I did just refer to the buttons as flair.


It was truly a fantastic night filled with great music, lots of laughs and so many memories. I actually even managed to break my foot from dancing so much {true story!} No matter what the critics say, a wedding is one of the best experiences you can have as a couple. It brings you closer together and the best part is that it’s just the beginning of everything.






Grateful + Thankful

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Considering only two blog posts ago I was writing about Halloween, clearly time is slipping by me! I also realized that in one week, I will have been married for one year- how did that happen? There are so many things to be grateful for this year. I feel so humbled by all of it. Things have been pretty hectic around HQ lately but my plan is to take some time tomorrow to really reflect on all there is to be thankful for. Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving! Now… on to the holidays! {oh man…}

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Happy Halloween!

I just love this holiday! From the brownstones on our street covered in faux spiderwebs to the chill in the air {well ok, today is like, 67, but you know what I mean}, this is my favorite time of year. Halloween also happens to be my parents wedding anniversary, how awesome is that? Happy Halloween everyone!



About Town : LONDON

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to pop over to London for a few days of relaxation and inspiration. It’s so easy to get caught up in the work and just to keep plowing forward but as a creative, it’s so important to take time out to let your mind, well, create. Not saying that you always need to jump on a plane to London for this but it is nice to change up your environment and to see what other people are doing outside of my little Brooklyn bubble.

I was only in town for a few days so it was a bit tough trying to fit in all the spots I wanted to visit. But I was able to spend some time shopping in Shoreditch {hello Labour and Wait!}, walking the stalls of Camden and eating one of too many “Full English” breakfasts in Notting Hill.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to visit the shop, Present and Correct, in Islington. I have been semi-stalking their website and online shop for some time so getting to actually visit the store was a big treat. I met Neal, the owner and mastermind behind the brand. His shop is filled with loads of unique stationery and office supplies. He actually creates many of the designs and products sold in the shop as well bringing in different unique pieces from all over the globe. What I love most about his shop is that the aesthetic is just so clean. He takes that school supply look and feel to the next level {which I love!}. I walked out with a bag full of amazing finds and a very big smile on my face.

{because I’m awful at taking pictures in the moment, these pics are from the Present + Correct site}



Another favorite shop find, which was also in Islington, was Smug. Waking into Smug was sort of like walking into a the most cozy, fantastic little English cottage- except it was covered in stationery and other cute things. So basically, it was like a dream come true. Smug sells everything from notebooks and pens to watercolor prints and tea towels. After dreamily roaming around the store for what felt like hours {mind you it’s roughly 10 ft x 10 ft so it got weird} I walked out with some great finds!



No trip to London would be complete without several hours spent roaming Paperchase. I went to their flagship store on Tottenham Court Road and did not leave disappointed. There are three floors filled with all the paper, notebooks, art supplies, cards, pens and planners anyone could ever need. The third floor was already ready for Christmas with all their wrapping and decorations out and ready to go. I was giddy walking around grabbing what felt like one of everything until I had to have a “get with it” conversation with myself. When you find yourself thinking “OK, is 10 kraft notebooks too many?” Then you may have a problem… I know, I’m looking into it. Paperchase has a few different designs per season that they then create full lines for. They focus a lot on illustration and whimsical designs which I really enjoy. It’s not the clean and edgy look you find a lot in Brooklyn but a bit happier and more mainstream. I loved it.


When I first lived in London, I worked right next door to Cath Kidston in Covent Garden. Everyday during my tea break I’d pop out and look at all their gorgeous products. I left London with more oilcloth tote bags than one person needs in a lifetime but with so many patterns, I couldn’t help it. This time was no exception, I fell hard again! The burst of that lovely blue paint invites you in then you’re immersed in pops of red, retro dottie patterns and beautiful English rose patterns {to name a few} and I was hooked again, blacked out and woke up with a new scarf. It happens.

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cath kidston

As much as I love shopping as a great source of inspiration, I also love going to museums and just roaming around a bit. I decided to check out the Design Museum to gather some more big picture ideas. I have been in New York for 7 years now and have also lived in London. One of the things that both of these cities share is that they are very well branded, especially London. When you stop and think about it, from the buses and tube and from the red mailboxes and phone booths, London has so many iconic elements. Transport for London uses the same font across the board, creating a uniformed feeling on even the most mundane of pieces. Britain itself has unformed signage for all highways and towns. It really creates a specific feel and look. The Design Museum has an area dedicated to the branding of London and England, which I really enjoyed. It’s a great way to start thinking about future branding projects.

design museum

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Of course, there were so many other shops and inspiring moments but I won’t bore you with the details. Overall, it was a great trip and I left with lots of fun new thoughts and ideas that I can’t wait to start working on!

 big ben