GIT'M and such

Three months? That's how long it's been since I updated? Sheesh. Okay, here's a little logo I made for the Geniuses In the Making Club.

Here's a sticker I made for a friend's production of Tartuffe.

Fanbows assembled a book of Rainbow Rowell fan art & she asked if I wanted to make something new to go in it & I'd never really made anything for Midnights, so...

Also in the past three months, I made my mommyblog private (the kids' friends are getting old enough to Google each other and Ben was like "how come my baby pictures are online?"). I went to the Advancing Women conference and while listening to presenters talk about work-life balance had to admit that mine was no longer super in sync. (This really kicked into gear in August once we had kids in two different school systems.)

A photo posted by Laura Catoe (@damecatoe) on

So. NEW VENTURE. I quit my job with the City so I can be, as Ben puts it "a home mom" or as Kris and I put it "self-employed." I can make my own hours doing graphic design from home and not worry when a kid is sick or two school systems have their spring break ON TOTALLY DIFFERENT WEEKS.

Huh, I think the first graphic I made for this new change is kind of appropriate then:

My last day with the City was December 1, so I will be home for the holidays. Which means I won't be at the Library for the Harry Potter Holiday Extravaganza that we'd cooked up and I that I had WAY TOO MUCH fun making buttons for...

I am a button-making menace #Fawkes #timeturner #maraudersmap #muggleborn

A photo posted by Laura Catoe (@damecatoe) on

Last round of Harry Potter buttons I swear #hogwartsismyhome

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Maybe it won't be another quarter of a year before I update? We'll see.


I started my job at the library exactly as the director went on a Disney vacation. But I figured she'd want me to do what I had at the Museum: beef up the social media presence. Well, then of course I'd need something to use as an icon across platforms!

There's a scripty GPL design from years ago. While it's nice and flowy, it looks more like a theatre company logo. And Brandy was working on a logo redesign, but I'm not sure it was done. It was only in black and white and I could never find the book imagery that went with the letters.

So in Amanda's absence, I went looking for fonts that had good Gs and pestered Jacob and Myron into installing them for me.

Klinic Slab comes in a lot of weights (excellent for a hierarchy of information!). I made two designs: one that was very obviously book-oriented and one that was less so. When I got to show them to Amanda, she was awful. She liked them both.


So we went with the one that's a little more abstract. It has three bars of color that could be books. Really, it represents the three branches of the library: the main branch, Alabama City and East Gadsden.

The colors are lifted from the Gadsden city seal since the library is part of the City.

I haven't finalized what I'd consider an actual logo for the library. I just keep using the elements in whatever shape fits my need.

And yeah, next up was redesigning the website.

Art show postcards

Ha! I bet you thought that nearly two months in to my job at the library, this ol' portfolio would reflect something I designed for the GPL. But no, I'm just that behind. These are the final promotional postcards I did for the GMA. (Actually one of them I did from the library.)

All I had was one promo image for the Sarah Dunn show. I had never met her. I didn't know what the rest of the show would be. Didn't have the artist statement. I didn't know what kind of font Sarah should be!

But as I played around with options, I liked this thin one. It echoed the strands of hair. And I loved the way Cadence could intersect with her name.

For the Juried Show, Rebecca sent me a zip file of oodles of submissions and said the GAA (who is responsible for the show) liked the one I made for the Shelby County Camera Club. (I used several images in a strip across the front.)

Prime opportunity to pay homage to my Hexagon Fandom:

I missed this opening because it was on a Sunday.

Next time, something GPL-related!

Patriots Association rack card

Since I just made a rack card for the Museum, one of the GMA volunteers asked me to do one for the Patriots Association. We condensed their trifold brochure.

5th Street Market

The City is working toward having its Farmers Market hosted indoors. This was one of the first projects Eric started working on when he came on with the City in March. In order to brand the project, they needed a logo. This was the sketch Eric did for me:

I went and picked out a bunch of 5s. But when it came time to pair the text, I needed a shape. And when I went looking for a shape, I found one that reminded me of streets on a corner (like where the 5th Street Market will be: at the corner of 5th & Locust). So here's what I sent:

I used non-colors because I thought they'd want it to match whatever they planned to do with the building. The little underline was supposed to be a subtle reference to the train tracks on Locust.

After me, it went over to the sign shop. (They augmented it a little. The allusion to the tracks is now stronger and some eyes felt the 'th' needed to stay closer to the 5.)

And hey look, now it's up on the building! Go, sign shop!

GMA website

The new is live, hallelujah!

From the moment I started at the Museum, we wanted to tackle a site redesign. The old site was fine for when it was uploaded, but it hadn't changed with the times. Some screencaps:

From those, you can sort of see what we could and could not change. Like, I could update the Pages/Posts (hence new things like Night of Jazz and the Origami Class) but I couldn't remove pages like Things To Do. (We did get them to remove "cool links" and update our logo, but it got squished!) It too was using a WordPress platform, but I didn't have access to the theme.

It took ages to figure out who was hosting our site, who owned the url, etc. In the meantime, Jacob set me up a WordPress build on my computer and I began the redesign. And then it sat around for weeks, waiting until we could upload it. But look! IT'S UP!

Rebecca wanted a mostly monochrome site where the color came from the photos. Done.

The theme is Unite.

Southeastern Plein Air Invitational logo

So the Museum has an annual Plein Air festival. (I shot photo galleries of it for the Times and have attended the openings.)

We needed a logo for promotional stuff; this was the first thing I got to design in vector when we got Illustrator on my computer. The logo needed to have the full name of the event, but I emphasized “Plein Air” since that’s what everybody knows it as.

When I typeset the whole thing in a serif or sans, Plein Air got lost. I went with a scripty font that looks painted. The flourish is supposed to be a sun, pulling in an element from the previous year's logo:

That logo says outdoors and fun, but to me in a more music festival type way. (But full disclosure: I am not a fan of the Hobo font.)

... the HOBO font is a simple, humble font. A sign written in this font may be suitable for a sandwich store, but it cannot define a luxurious restaurant. (x)

One of my first attempts used a sun element but it looked too 90s:

And one was too Summer Camp to be the logo, but we are using it as an element to accompany festival stuff:

GMA's Night of Jazz

My first week at the Museum and it turns out I have Photoshop but not Illustrator and DO NOT get me started on the font situation. (We're working on it.)

But it's so nice to get to design things! Promotional postcards, etc.

The Museum just had a lovely logo redesign by Karyn Bowen, so I've been applying it to all materials. It's clean and classy, but I didn't think it would show up as our icon for social media. I asked if there was a color we associate with the GMA and the answer was "not really."

So... I'm thinking our motto is "To inform. To Educate. To Inspire." How about the color wheel? It's artsy, all types of artists use it, not restricted to one medium. So this is now the icon for posts by the GMA: