I am a graphic designer that helps ideas take flight!

Laurie Lobdell

2015-02-26 15.48.40After working with Real Estate agents and Lenders on their marketing, I’ve become quite adept at creating beautiful and unique flyers, postcards and advertisements.  Then I wondered, how could I incorporate my paper illustrations (quilling) into my services for these clients?  A colleague suggested the idea of personalized closing gifts for new homeowners.


How nice would it be to move into a new home and have a beautifully crafted piece of art, that was personalized just for them?  A monogram can be designed and illustrated in the unique 3D art form of paper quilling relatively quickly and when put in a nice frame or shadowbox, can be something the homeowner will treasure for years to come.  They will also think of you (their agent) as the thoughtful person you are whenever they see it.  Also, they are sure to get compliments on the art and will be referring new clients when they say that their agent commissioned the piece just for them!

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After a treasure hunt at my local thrift store, I came back with several frames including some with multiple sections.  I was inspired to create a quilling piece that would carry throughout 3 different sections of frames that were connected by hinges.


Cherry Tree quilling3One of my favorite childhood memories is when the cherry trees in my yard and neighborhood would bloom in the spring.  My sister and I called them “pink marshmallow trees” and to this day I still get a warm feeling when I catch a whiff of cherry blossom scent on the air.  This illustration is called The Promise of Spring.


Cherry Tree quilling Cherry Tree quilling2



Working full-time it was easy to let my blog slide, but now that I’m moving forward with my Graphic Design business, I’m making the time to post again…the blog is back!  Not sure how often I’ll post (don’t think I’ll ever be one of those “daily bloggers”) but I’ll be discussing design and marketing topics, upcoming events and specials and posting project pictures and info.

Seahawks Super Bowl quilledFirst up…the SUPER BOWL!  This quilling piece was designed and illustrated by me using a 3d paper art technique called quilling. Featuring a negative space outline of the Space Needle, the Seahawks logo, 12th Man flag and a football, this is one of the coolest pieces I’ve done so far!


Seahawks Super Bowl quilled2



I found these instructions on how to make your own inexpensive lightbox at home, with just a cardboard box, tissue paper and posterboard.  I decided to try this since I was having a hard time getting good pictures of my quilling pieces.  It was so easy and I was absolutely amazed at the difference it made in my shots!


Here’s January before:




And after:





Wow!  I’m definitely going to use this moving forward.  =)



I have continued to develop my skills at quilling and paper typography by working on a calendar and now individual letters of the alphabet.  In order to create papergraphics of specific typefaces, I am using a combination of techniques I have found online.  First I choose the letter or word I want to create and then select the size and font in Adobe Illustrator.  Then I change the font to outlines only, reflect the image and print it out.  For the next step I use a small styrofoam board and straight pins to outline the letterform, and then wrap the paper around the pins to create the reversed shape.  The final step is to quickly and evenly apply glue to the paper and then place the backing sheet (the color paper the design will be done on) onto the letterform and let it dry for several minutes.  At that point I carefully remove the backing sheet and the graphic comes with it, now facing the right way.







After learning about Quilling (paper filigree art) and specifically being inspried by Yulia Brodskaya, I decided to give this a try.  At first I wanted to find a way to digitally create this art form, thinking that it would offer a new level of design manipulation.  I definitely learned a lot about the 3D effects menu in Illustrator, but could not find a way to make the designs look like real paper.  After many failed attempts, I decided that “virtual” paper rolls just don’t have the same impact as the real thing.  Here’s my attempt to create a quilled version of my name on the computer:


Close up look at virtual paper rolls:



Perhaps someone out there has the skills to do this, but I realized it wasn’t me.  Rather, I didn’t have the time/need/patience to figure it out.  I decided to try my hand at the actual paper craft, which Yulia has termed “papergraphics,” and this was much more satisfactory – and FUN!

Here’s how my name turned out in the papergraphic:



Not bad for a first attempt.  As you’ll see, the more I worked on this craft, the better results I was able to achieve.  I’ve tried a couple of logos (and these are NOT authorized or commissioned pieces, just me trying things out) and some typographical treatments.  I’m excited to continue to practice and improve and I hope that this can become part of my unique offering as a graphic designer!


Washington State University logo:



H2O at Home logo:








Close-up view:



As a creative person, I often struggle with “over-designing” things.  I have so many ideas and sometimes it’s hard to scale back.  The proper utilization of white space can make a good design into a great one.  White space allows the viewer’s eye points to rest and can help establish the hierarchy of your design.


Here is a before and after example of a promotional poster.  The project was to announce the upcoming release of a collector’s edition set of books and CD’s for the two “Alice” stories.



By simplifying the design, I was able to establish a better visual hierarchy and draw attention to the most important information on the poster.  It also has a cleaner, more professional look than the original.

I love the idea of Infographic Design…taking a lot of data and turning it into something that not only looks good, but gets the point across quickly and easily.  I’ve done an infographic version of my resume (which I’m now tweaking again) and here’s one I did to help market for my other business.  I run a craft shop on Etsy.com and one of my most popular, but least understood, products is a Diaper Cake.  I created the icons and built this infographic using mainly Illustrator, with a little Photoshop as well. Let me know what you think!

I got my official certificate for completing the Graphic Design program at Bellevue College! I had a great experience there and learned a lot.  The instructors are all active in the field, so their knowledge is current and valuable.  I’m proud to move from student to colleague as I take my next steps into the world of design.