Advancing Women to the Top logo

Client: Would you be interested in creating a logo for an upcoming event that The Chamber is hosting? The event is called Advancing Women to the Top. It's a two-hour seminar that consists of 10 minute "talks" that are uplifting and motivating for women. We hope that it grows into a two-day conference next year. We're seeing great response already from just our initial discussions.

Me: I went looking for arrow art, since it could denote upward movement and I liked this pattern I found. So I stole the double stacked arrows (like a mini mountain) and just put the words next to it. But I put all this on top of the pattern so you could get a hint of that, too. We can break the words out of course!

Client: We love it!!! Fantastic!

The logo on some swag at the event:

Brooks Consulting logo

Brooks: "I need a logo."

Me: "I'm in! Any idea of what you want?"

Brooks: "Yay! I like simple, clean lines but not cold or super corporate, since I will have the focus on small, local and community."

[back and forth on possible designs, serif or sans serif fonts, color choices]

Me: "I think the blue is a good choice: pulls on the water aspect of your name BUT ALSO can tie in to the sea (like your Cali roots) and the river (your Gadsden home)."

Brooks: "LOVE!"

Seen on Scene

My editor wanted info cards our staff could hand out to readers to inform them about our new Seen on Scene photo galleries. This isn't what he had in mind, but I knew which company he'd use to have the cards made and my philosophy is that if you have the option to bleed? Bleed.

(Also, he liked them design and said he knew I'd take it and run with it anyway.)

The starburst pattern is to be reminiscent of a camera's flash. (You probably knew that.)

Art of Beer logo

The problem with waiting, oh, say, A YEAR since you designed a logo to blog about it is that I can no longer remember what the client told me she was looking for. She was pleased with the end result, though. (I just wish I could remember more of the process!) We were going for a crafty, arty feel. The ART of CRAFT BEER, y'know?

But we worked on this in fall 2014 for an event that took place spring 2015, so I couldn't unveil the logo at the time. And then I just forgot. Alas. I did find this note that I sent with prelim designs:

I like these circular messy backgrounds. The mess is reminiscent of creating and the circle is like the messy print that would be left by a bottle or glass.

It was fun to see the logo on promotional materials and little tasting mugs:

One of my logos in the wild

A photo posted by Laura Catoe (@damecatoe) on

Best indirect compliment I got on this logo: finding out somebody was berated for "stealing it." They were like "you can't just appropriate someone else's logo..." and were told "I didn't; I had Laura Catoe design this one." Good enough to assume it was thefted — nice.

The world is better with me in it

Laura, would you have time to come up with a Life Skills logo we could put on t-shirts and the notepads for the camp?

Here are the characters: 世界因我而精彩

The English is “The world is better with me in it.”

We have equal guys and girls, so it would need to appeal to both.

Any ideas?

Do you know what dimensions you need? Or a number of colors?

It should be horizontal, don’t you think? To go across a tshirt? Maybe no more than 3 colors?

So here is something I learned: all the globe art I have cuts off ALL of Asia. Like, I wanted to play with including the earth, y'know? But not one that doesn't even SHOW Asia. Hmph.

Well that is interesting. : ) I just had to order crystal world globes for the cleft trip, and I learned that in EVERY globe, they put the US above China. Like we are lording over them. YIKES.

Okay, this is supposed to be an abstract globe, but I'm not sure it reads as that unless you know it's supposed to be that...

I love it!!!!!!!!!!!! Super, super cool and powerful. Let me run it by the China team members to make sure they love it as well. THANK YOU!!!!! :)

Yes, you are

I know the only way to get better at these is do more of them and I mean to and then... never do. Alas. Much like I mean to keep this blog updated...

You are a feminist

From this essay

Year of the Sheep

Love Without Boundaries needed a design for their Chinese New Year cards and sent me the photo of the adorable kiddo in a sheep costume.

They also wanted a design where a parent could add their own photo.

I also recently designed their annual report. I did it one page at a time and never looked at how it would turn out flip-book style. D'oh! So many pages where the boxes don't line up. Design woes.

Fandomtines 2015

In 2013, I made a set of "Primevalentines" — styled like the themed valentines you pick up to hand out to classmates. And last year, I made valentines for the fandoms that helped me through the adoption wait.

This year, they aren't so much "valentines" as just Graphics for My Current Fandoms. (I knew I'd be disappointed to not make something.) I started with Les Mis AUs.

(Uh, yeah, see, I read Les Mis in high school and honestly, I don't remember Enjolras or Grantaire's characters at all. But I have a friend who likes this pairing and she knows I love a good AU, so she sends me little portions of fics and then I get intrigued and... yeah, I have accidentally joined the Les Mis AU fandom. Nerd pitfall.) One of the writers that has delighted me to no end is idiopathicsmile. This is taken from one of her fics:

Next up is the Hexagon Fandom, which is really just Fandom Fandom... as in, how fun to connect with people elsewhere over something as simple as "hey, hexagons are rad!"

Hexagon fandom

Then I wanted to do something for Teen Wolf. I was thinking Stiles but couldn't decide upon my angle and then Kris and I watched the episode where Papa Argent bellows "another werewolf?!?"

My newest fandom is The 100, so of course there was gonna be a Bellarke one. (This one is my least fave as I rushed it a little in my eagerness to share with yadykates...)

All that was left was Landline. MollieKatie had requested that there be a Landline valentine, but she had no specifics for me. I tried flipping through the book for ideas but all I would end up doing was re-reading several chapters at a time. (Ah, Rainbow.) Finally I decided: SUBPLOT ROMANCE. And the pugs.

Book cover for The 4th Corner

When Liz Ashe mentioned that she was getting close to publishing the sequel to In Shadowside, I pestered her to find out if I'd get to design the cover for it. And I did!

The 4th Corner is available on

Logos for the family business

I adored North & Marigold in Stephanie Perkins' tale in My True Love Gave To Me, so I decided to design a fake t-shirt for his family's business — the Drummond Christmas tree farm. While I was working on it, I realized there really needed to be a companion design for Marigold's mom's restaurant.

I tweeted these at the author & was delighted that she linked and reblogged them:

Fanmixes front and back

Cover art for my Landline fanmix

When I make the cover art for my fanmixes, I usually only do one side. But for Rainbow Rowell's Landline and Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I did the track list, too.

Cover art for my Coldtown fanmix

Rendered quotes

Good things grow

This is another quote from one of Rainbow's books. Basically I did this because Bethany showed interest! (On Tumblr here.)

But I'm glad I got in a little practice because the same week, I had a request:

Charli saw her first star this morning when we went out to see the lunar eclipse. She wanted me to take a picture "so I can show everybody." It was a really touching moment and I want to capture it somehow artistically for her and for me.
She sent me a little sketch of a silhouette, some trees and the verse John 1:5. This is what I came up with:

Light shines

It met with approval.

Charli said, "It's my star... and me!"

Themed birthday invites

For Cash's 5th birthday, we had a Lego theme. I would have ordered these except the seller was in Australia! Alas. But I totally copied her design for the invitations. (And the idea to include knockoff Lego men in the goodie bags.)

Each kid got a personalized Lego tag, which is the zenith of how far I will go craftwise:

Lego party favor tags

Zoe's party was at the skating rink. SK8TE Party, yo!

Themed birthday invites

Ani's adoption announcement

Six months after your adoption was complete, and I finally got one of these printed for your baby book. (Yeah, our little secret: I didn't even send these out. I just made the one for that page in your book.)

I wanted Ani's announcement to be vertical, like Cash's. So two kids would have horizontal ones and two would have vertical ones. But Ani's "baby book" was designed for a horizontal announcement. Fine.

By the time you get to that fourth kid, it feels like a miracle to even HAVE a baby book, much less stress over design format.

Sub-blog creations

A pal and I run a Tumblr dedicated to fan fiction. (Not like, posting it, but like talking about it? Indirectly?) Anyway. We'd been talking about something and she said "God Bless Fanfiction" and I decided there needed to be a stitch sampler for that. So we put it on Metastories.

This same pal runs a Simon Snow blog, and the thing with sub-blogs for small, below-the-radar fandoms is that it's hard to come up with posts, especially original content. So when she said "I'm picturing Watford's gym tees..." and sent me a little sketch, I couldn't help but try to make a graphic that would look as she described.