This is my ode to Kara - the lady who makes words look pretty. She is an artist with them. Crafting them out of the paper, as a statue from stone. It really floats my boat this business of graphic design. Mostly because I. CANNOT. DO. IT. But also because there is a rags to riches, wheat from the chaff, beauty for ashes element to it -
I send her my lump of word-clay and she articulates it, smooths it, adds form and beauty to the function. I fumble my instructions 'make it look pretty' and she masterfully interprets detail from my fumbling into colours, font, shape, alignments. It's genius, nothing less.
Sometimes I send her my 'mock ups', my feeble attempts at a spot of graphic design, and I imagine her chuckling quietly to herself - 'oh Jodie, ye of little Graphic design talent' as she deftly waves her mouse across the screen, clicking on a touch of 'annabelle' or 'blackjack' (those are font names, don't you know), a little antique gold here, a resize and fade there, knowing when to leave room for 'bleed', and when to add crop marks....
Kara is a leader, a guider, a restorer, she takes that which does not exist - and makes it so it does - or makes it better than it was. Those superpowers make her great at graphic design but they also make her a great human. She sees the gold through all that mud and detritus and she makes a beeline for it. When away from the screen, and sometimes with screen in tow she is a youth leader, and a sort of inspirational guide for woman who are not as far along the path as she. She takes them as she takes my word-clay, she calls their gold out from the mud and mire - and then she sloughs away the unneeded hindrances and 'not quite there yets' and reveals to them their beauty.
As she does with my words, so she does with these young woman - and it's powerful stuff.
You'll see Kara's work everywhere the more you get to know Tonic & Cloth. The most obvious for now is the logo, that's all Kara. Those of you who buy from the website over the coming months, or from boutiques next year will catch sight of the postcard she designed and brought to life - it is stunning. Soon I hope there will be a lookbook, and Kara's talent and vision will be plastered all over it. But in less overt ways Kara's hand is on and in this business. Because like those young women under her wing - I am inspired and enticed onward by the way she uses her superpowers for good to elevate and polish those people (and prose) around her. And as you take in the Kara's graphic design lovingly bestowed upon Tonic & Cloth I hope you'll be inspired too.