• Receive FREE overnight priority shipping within North America until October 24th!  Learn More

  • Yes, we ship to United States!

    KLO Blog



    Client Spotlight: Photographer Shakinah Shazaam

    Shakinah Shazaam is a stellar photographer who has an eye for layout and the perfect candid shot. Not only is she a photographer supreme, she adds a twist to her work through the use of unique costumes and color schemes. We love how she experiments with different materials and color palettes to create a photo you can’t take your eyes off of.

    Shakinah’s photography caught our attention when she ordered a custom portfolio book from us, we had to ask her more about herself and her work.

    Custom Marble Screwpost Binder Photography

    custom marble acrylic photography portfolio book

    How did you get into photography?

    I actually studied design in college (it was a more viable field than fine art.) One of our required classes was photography, so in that I was able to learn more and found that being able to take my own photos for projects was really helpful.

    I used my camera more for vlogs when I first started, but a few years ago, I began shooting more avant-garde style portraits and I fell in love. There is something so fulfilling about communicating an idea through image alone, that I can’t imagine not doing it now.

    Photography Portfolio Portrait

    Portrait Photography Portfolio

    What tips do you have for other photographers?

    A few tips I have for other photographers or designers would be to be persistent, avoid doing work you don’t love, & always be open to learn.  During a portfolio review years ago, a couple mentors told me to continue doing my conceptual shoots.

    Even though my particular location doesn’t have a high demand for these, they are what I love the most, and that passion is really seen by others.   Sometimes you have to compromise by taking work you aren’t 100% set on to pay the bills, but never lose your true vision or sell out to be something you aren’t.

    Photography Portrait Portfolio

    What tools or avenues do you use to promote yourself?

    In terms of marketing myself, I’ve found that consistently blogging and posting to social media has been quite helpful. People see you constantly in their feed and they will remember you as a photographer in the future (which will lead to referrals).  Collaborating with other creatives has also been great.  Not only can you gain inspiration from them, you can also use this as a networking opportunity to further grow your business.

    Shekinah Shazaam Photography Portrait

    We love hearing the stories that make up the contents of our customer’s portfolio books.  Often years of hard work are made tangible and shared with others and we couldn’t be any happier to be apart of it.

    Create your own custom photography portfolio book and start your journey!



    Client Spotlight: Graphic Designer and Photographer Gabrielle Bégin

    Gabrielle Begin’s work is bright, optimistic, and includes a plethora of quirky illustrations.   She is a lady of many talents, including hand lettering, graphic design and photography.   Gabrielle graduated from the graphic design program at Collège la Cité, in Ottawa, where typography and hand lettering caught her attention.

    hand done lettering typography

    Her work appears fluid and organic,  so much that we had to get to know more about Gabrielle.  Check out her story and work below!

    Graphic Design Illustration Hand Done Flowers

    What is your favourite project you’ve worked on?

    This is a though one! Honestly, being a graphic designer and photographer, any project that combines both photography and design gives me the opportunity to get 200% involved in the project and to add a personal touch. I also enjoy projects where my imagination can go off limits.

    Graphic Design Book Design layout Illustration

    graphic design book cover typography illustration

    Magazine Layout Design Graphic Illustration Magazine Layout Design Graphic Design Layout Magazine



    What’s one item you can’t live without?

    Definitely my camera. Whether it’s my professional camera or simply the camera on my phone, I think inspiration and beauty is everywhere around us and I rarely go somewhere without taking tons of photos.

    Male Portrait Photography

    Man Head shot Photography

    Portrait Nature Photography

    Woman Portrait Nature Photography

    Has having a physical body of work helped you?

    A lot. Freshly graduated from college, having my printed work in a physical portfolio book really impresses employers.  Also, the customization of my screwpost portfolio with Klo shows important attention to details. It also helps with my confidence since I’m always proud to show off my design portfolio at interviews or when I meet a client for the first time.

    Custom Matte Black Screwpost Portfolio Book

    Graphic Design Screwpost Portfolio Book

    We love hearing the stories that make up the contents of our customer’s portfolio books.  Often years of hard work are made tangible and shared with others and we couldn’t be any happier to be apart of it.

    Create your own custom portfolio book and start your creative journey!


    Client Spotlight: Photographer, Filmmaker & Adventurer Matt Baldelli

    When it comes to difficult, demanding and dangerous photography, Matt Baldelli is your guy. Being an adventurer himself, Matt has a precise eye for the most astonishing outdoor shots. Whether it be from hanging off cliffs in Moab, Utah or inside a climbing gym, his photos capture an intense story that personifies the thrill of being an athlete.

    Matt’s talent has been used by well known brands such as Nike, Red Bull and Reebok, to name a few.  Being an avid outdoors-men, Matt also finds it important to give back and is a supporter and multiple organizations that help preserve the outdoors.

    We’ve had the pleasure of working with Matt’s for the build of his custom photography portfolio book more than once and his work has always stood out to us. We caught up with Matt to learn more about life as an outdoors photographer.

    Custom Engraved Bamboo Screwpost Portfolio Book

    Rock Climbing Nature Outdoors Photography

    What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?

    Skiing back country in the Northeastern Region of Iceland has been one the most amazing projects I have worked on to date.  I was invited to join 8 back country skiing guides from Northeast Mountaineering (based in New Hampshire) to help build an advertising campaign of photography and cinematography for their company.  The week long project was built around getting great images with a lot of early mornings and late nights to get the perfect light. This was my first time skiing in another country off-piste as well as skiing from summit to sea, just an unreal experience!

    Outdoor Skiing Sports Photography

    Outdoor Night time Photography

    What are the perks and challenges of being a freelance photographer?

    My favorite perk of being a freelance adventure photographer are the locations I travel to and having the flexibility to build my own schedule. There are not many professions that will pay for you to travel to amazing locations and allow you to capture your experiences. If it wasn’t for being a freelancer I wouldn’t have traveled the world as much as I have.

    The biggest challenge I face is balancing all the different hats as a business owner – less than 25% of my time is actually spent taking photographs, the rest of my time I am emailing, bookkeeping, advertising, editing & retouching, as well as traveling.

     Outdoor Active Sports Photography

    What tips do you have for other aspiring photographers?

    The biggest tips I can give any aspiring photographer is to follow your passions, and constantly keep learning. After graduating from photography school I wanted to be a commercial studio photographer, but after going down that road and starting down a few others that weren’t the right fit for me helped me find my way to adventure photography.

    The biggest tool in the toolbox is my curiosity to keep learning, whether it is a new photography technique, new equipment, or a new activity that isn’t related to photography, it helps you see things from a different perspective and keeps things fresh.

    Kayak Outdoor Nature Photography

    Ready to create your own custom photography portfolio book? We can help!  Choose from the highest quality selection of materials, treatments, and sizes and have your portfolio book custom-cut, treated, and hand assembled the Klo way.  Need advice or help putting your design together or choosing the best portfolio book for your project?  We’re always available via email or via phone.


    Client Spotlight: Product and Portrait Photographer Manuel Flores

    Manuel Flores lives for capturing beautiful moments when his subjects least expect it.  Most of his portrait photography takes place on location with natural lighting because mother nature comes equipped with the best flash.  He’s highly trained in studio work too and this is where the shoots product photography for his clients.


    His radiant and artful style caught our eye when Manuel came to us for the build of his custom portfolio book and we were curious to find out more.

    How did your passion for photography come about?

    For the most part, I’ve always been attached to a camera, back then when it was Polaroids and disposable cameras, you would always find one in my hand.  I love being able to capture a moment and having that forever in a form of a picture.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.42.32 PM

    Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.43.09 PM

    I think it’s so special to be able to look back at pictures and relive all those awesome moments you capture with a camera.  I remember the day I wanted to become a photographer, me and my younger sister would never miss an episode of America’s Next Top Model, on this show I was always mesmerized with the photographer Nigel Barker, I loved everything he would do when it came to putting together photo shoots and the way he made magic with his camera.  To this day I would say he is the reason for my passion for photography.


    Whose inspiring you as an artist right now?

    Nigel Barker will always be my inspiration. I’ve also been obsessed with Kyle Murphy.  His work is so amazing and I look up to him in so many ways.  My dream is to take a road trip with him and learn everything he has to offer and create some amazing art together.  I also get very inspired by my close photographer friends, I’m always amazed by them and their work, seeing them work hard and produce cool projects, makes me work harder and push myself to become better.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.28.40 PM


    Has having a physical portfolio book to showcase your work helped you?

    Yes!  Social media and online portfolios are huge now and days, but I also believe in a physical portfolio book, I think people rely on touching, holding, flipping through pages.  When you have a physical book, the client connects with you the artist/photographer.

    Photography Custom Portfolio Book by Klo Portfolios

    Klo Portfolios Screwpost presenetation book for photographers

    I think having a physical portfolio book is way better than just having a URL.  For me, it was also a closing chapter in my life.   My first portfolio means something special to me and  having a physical body of work that shows all my hard work, sleepless nights, and stressful days of school means that I did it, and I kicked butt!

    Now I have something physical to show employers, and other artist which I’m so proud of.  I want to thank Klo Portfolios for helping me create something that represents me in every way, my portfolio is something I’m very proud of and I could not have done it without you guys at Klo thank you for making it happen for me.

    Ready to showcase your photography work in a beautifully hand crafted and custom made portfolio book?  Build your own screwpost portfolio book with us!


    Introduction to Color Theory for Designers

    Color and typography are the two most important elements of design.  Color in design is used to attract attention, add contrast, convey a meaning, trigger an emotion and group related elements.  When used correctly, color is the cherry on top of design.

    Fun fact: Color activates the right side of your brain, which is the side responsible for your emotions. This is why choosing the right color for your design project is one of the most important aspects and will influence how the viewer feels.

    To help you out with choosing that killer color scheme, we’ve laid out all our hot tips on color and what you should know.

    Learn the Color Wheel

    The color wheel is your best friend when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of color combinations.  Every color is made up of the primary colors: red, blue and yellow.  From these colors, we have the secondary colors: purple, green and orange. The secondary colors lead to the tertiary colors: yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple and red-orange.

    Once you understand the breakdown of the wheel you’ll want to analyze more into complimentary, triadic, split complimentary, and analogous color schemes.

    Complimentary is two colors directly across from each other on the wheel.  These colors contrast each other and create a vibrant look. They are used to make something pop and catch the viewer’s attention.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Triadic is three colors that are evenly spaced out on the wheel.  Even with unsaturated hues, this color scheme tends to be vibrant.  Triadic colors schemes work best when one color dominates and the other two are used subtly.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Split complimentary schemes use one base color and the two colors adjacent to it’s complimentary.  Similar to complimentary colors schemes, this color combo has a high contrast although it is slightly more muted than complimentary color schemes.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Analogous colour schemes are made up of colors that are next to each other on the wheel.  Analogous schemes are great for relaxed and serene designs.  They are best used when one color dominates, the second supports, and the third is used as an accent.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Learn more about the use of colour in logo design from our logo blog post.

    Explore Color Psychology

    Colors are sectioned off into two groups – warm and cool.

    Cool colors are blues, purples and greens. This group expresses calm, trust and professionalism.

    Cool color scheme combination ideas design

    Cool bathroom colour palette via Apartment Guide

    Warm colors are reds, oranges and yellows.  These colors are associated with passion, energy, comfort and happiness. Each individual color conveys it’s own emotion and we’ve broken it down below for you.

    Warm Colour Palette Scheme Design Wheel

    Warm living room colour palette via Reader’s Digest

    Red is known for it’s intensity and expresses war, danger, passion, love, confidence and courage.  To sum it up, it is the color that expresses all the most extreme emotions.  Red is easily visible and will draw attention, which is why it’s used in stop signs, buttons and traffic lights.

    Orange is a combination of energy and happiness. It reminds us of healthy foods and can increase appetite through thoughts of fall and harvest.  Orange relays enthusiasm, happiness, joy, creativity, fascination and success.

    Yellow instantly reminds us of the sun.  It is a great color to draw attention although it should be used strategically and minimally.  Yellow draws out feelings of joy, happiness, wisdom and intellectual energy.

    Green is easily recognized as the color of nature, which is why it symbolizes growth, fertility, hope and freshness.  In North American, where money is green, it is a symbol of wealth and riches. Green conveys healing, stability, endurance, harmony, safety, life, and well being.

    Blue is associated with the sea and sky. It creates a calming effect, which is why it’s beneficial for your body and mind. Blue is related to trust, loyalty, wisdom, intelligence, expertise, confidence, stability and depth.

    Purple is often connected to royalty and extravagance.  It’s used to express wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. Purple can be seen as artificial and is rarely seen in nature. 

    Understand How Colors Change Based on Their Surrounding

    Contrasting colour wheel pop design art

    Vibrant Colour Scheme by Kimberley Coole

    As size and background of a shape change the color within will change as well. When designing it’s important to keep in mind how the colors and shapes are affecting each other.

    A thin line and a large rectangle, filled with the same color on a white background, will appear slightly different.  The color within the line will look darker than the rectangle since it’s surrounded by more bright white space.

    When you pair a tint and shade of the same color with each other, the tint will look lighter and the shade will look darker.  For example if you have created a light green frog, placing it on a dark green background will cause the frog to appear lighter.

    Large background colors will effect small areas of color on top. This one is fairly straight forward.  If a yellow circle is placed on a black background it will pop more than a white background since there is more contrast between black and yellow. This is important to understand so you can add focal points to your design.

    Adding a darker outline to a shape will enhance the color within the shape while a lighter outline will reduce the strength of the inner color.  This is a handy trick when designing text or a graphic that you wish to pop off the page.

    Consider Your Audience

    Different colors schemes and combinations will attract different audiences. It is important to understand how color affects each gender, age and culture.

    Colour Meanings Different Cultures Emotions Symbolism

    Purple Temple in Thailand via Admella on Flickr

    It’s important to be educated on the cultural significance in different countries, to avoid offending anyone.  For example, purple is the color of mourning in Thailand although in Western culture it represents luxury and wealth.  In Western culture black is the color of mourning and would be poor choice on a poster about celebration.

    Blue is considered to be the safest color choice around the world and has many positive associations.  In North America and Europe it is associated with trust and security and emits calm and soothing feelings.  In other countries blue represents healing and evil repellent.  Eastern cultures relate blue to immortality, while in the Ukraine is reflects good health. 

    Some other examples of how color varies through culture are:

    • White is the color of mourning in Japan and black is associated with honor.
    • Red is the colour of purity in India, good luck in China, and mourning in South Africa.
    • In Japan yellow represents courage, mourning in Egypt and hope in the West.

    You can use your knowledge of color in culture to your advantage, to attract different groups of people to your designs.

    Our last tip about color is to use online sources when creating your color scheme.  There are many at your disposal and we’ve grouped them all in our 101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers post.

    How will you incorporate color in to your custom portfolio book?  Whether you go with a subtle and minimalist look or a full cover-full graphic one, we’re excited to see what you come up with!



    Client Spotlight: Illustrator and Designer Chris Nurse

    Chris Nurse Illustrator and Graphic Designer

    You can’t help but feel immersed in Chris Nurse’s vibrant and distinctive style.  Sometimes bold and bright, other times muted and realistic with a dash of humor, Chris evokes strong emotions from those who come across his art.  Currently pursuing his Masters in Design, Chris’ early career includes teaching Arts and Crafts to inner City youth and freelancing various projects from logo design to album artwork.

    He caught our attention when he came to us for the build of his custom portfolio book and naturally we wanted to know how he gained his eclectic style.

    Chris Nurse Artwork


    Flower Drawing Portfolio Illustration

    Portfolios Customer Feature Illustration Graphic Design

    How did you get into illustration and graphic design?

    I’ve been into illustrations and designing as far back as I can remember. My dad’s job involved sketching for building layouts and at home he would always do these cool little cartoon doodles to make me laugh so I started doodling on my own and kept at it getting better with more practice.  I started enjoying the process of creating a unique piece from scratch.

    Boxer Illstration Black and White Portfolio

    black and white drawing illutration portfolio

    What is your favorite piece of work you’ve done?

    I’m a huge Tarantino fan so when a client wanted a Pulp Fiction movie scene illustrated I automatically knew it would be my fave.

    Pulp Fiction Illustration Drawing

    Whose inspiring you as an artist right now?

    Right now I’m currently doing studies on Caravaggio from the baroque period and his work has me extremely obsessed with shadow, lighting and human anatomy. I’m probably going to be drawing naked people for the next couple months.

    Pencil Crayon Drawing Art Illustration Portfolio

    We love hearing the stories that make up the contents of our customer’s portfolio books.  Often years of hard work are made tangible and shared with others and we couldn’t be any happier to be apart of it.

    Create your own custom portfolio book and start your creative journey!


    Client Spotlight: Illustrator and Story Teller Alexis Moniello

    Alexis Moniello is an illustrator and story teller extraordinaire!  She has a passion for creating whimsical and fun drawings for children’s books and we spotted her talent when we came to us for the build of her custom portfolio book.

    Alexis is the illustrator of the activity book series Everything Butt Art which was distributed internationally by IPG, named Finalist for the IBPA’s Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, and is featured in iPad Art in Education for Dummies.  She’s  also done work for the Phoenix Zoo and the NFL Players Association.   We asked Alexis about her work and how it all began.

    Illustration and story telling screw post presentation binder

    Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 8.38.00 PM

    Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 8.38.14 PM

    How did you get into story telling and illustrating?

    As a kid, I devoured books, and was always creating.  So much so that I was often in some kind of trouble for staying up too late with a flashlight and a book, or, for failing to maintain the cyclone of paper bits, colored string, paint, etc that seemed to always trail me.

    After college, I convinced an ad agency to hire me, then hoodwinked my way into their creative department.  There, I had the honor of working under Creative Director/Wizard Bob Case, who saw through what I thought I wanted to do straight to what I LOVED to do.  With some thoughtful nudges from him in the right direction, I refocused on illustrating and storytelling. After that, I landed a gig with Brian Snyder and created the children’s media brand, Everything Butt Art (step-by-step drawing starting with a butt shape… seriously). From there, my fate was sealed.

    Portfolios Custom Feature Illustration Story Telling

    Screw Post Portfolio Book Pages Illustration

    What does your work space look like?

    My work space is a tiny disaster on the 6th floor of a walk-up in Alphabet City, NYC. Its really the small second bedroom of our apartment, bright and sunny with a great view of the Empire State Building! We have tons of books. TONS.  So, I keep all of my kid’s lit and picture books in the studio. Its a fun little space, and, really, the perfect space to settle in with some strong coffee and colored pencils.

    Freelance Illustrator and Story Teller Work Space

    llustrator and Story Teller Work Space

    What’s your design process like?

    Oooh, my design process.  Assuming I have a process, it ranges from knowing EXACTLY what I’m going for and nailing it, or, meandering around for weeks in creative torment until it clicks into place.  I’m most creative during a run, or, after, usually in the shower (what is it with shower ideas? They’re always so good!), so, I try to get a quick run in before studio time.

    A good “junk” pile… let’s call it a compost pile, actually… is always a good thing to have – ideas or halves of ideas that can be cleared out of your mind to make way for fresher ideas or that can be integrated into something else later.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 8.43.00 PM

    Childrens Book Illustartion Portfolio Book

    We love hearing the stories that make up the contents of our customer’s portfolio.  Often years of hard work, printed in to a physical manifestation that is often just the beginning of great accomplishments.

    Create your own custom portfolio book and start your creative journey!


    How to Create a Stellar Logo for your Brand

    While some logos may look simple, the process of getting the perfect icon typography combo takes a lot of time, thought, tweaking, and trial and error.  Every new designer is in the pursuit of creating that perfect logo to represent their unique design style.  To help with this process, we’ve created a breakdown of what makes a great logo and how to accomplish this.

    A couple of other useful resources you’ll wan to check out are  101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers and Five Place to Boost Your Creativity Other than Pinterest.

    Research, Strategize & Brainstorm

    Logo Design Development Process Sketch

    A show stopping logo won’t come in a matter of a couple hours. The first step is to be open to all of your own ideas and interpretations.  Seek different resources for inspiration, concept ideas and style, both online and offline.

    Comparing Your Design to the Competitors

    When starting the logo design process it’s important to look at what’s already been done.  A designers worst nightmare is creating a logo that resembles another.  This can be easily avoided through extensive research and the analyses of other logos.

    Researching your competitors will allow your logo to standout.  Once you’ve seen what’s out there, you can design your logo to overpower the competition.  You’ll want to draw inspiration from aspects of your competitors’ logos that relate to the target market, although the best logos think differently and contrast trends.

    Exhaust All Options

    Now that you’ve gained a solid understanding of what’s already out there, it’s time to start sketching! Grab your sketchbook and draw out anything and everything that comes to mind. Think of the brand concept and what you want to convey through this logo. How do you want people to feel when they look at it?  Does it convey your brand’s personality?  It’s easy to get stuck on one idea and keep illustrating slightly different versions of this, although we suggest that each sketch is different.

    After you’ve drawn out everything you can think of, it’s time to narrow it down to your top 3.  From there you can continue to tweak and iterate until you’ve found your favorite. This process is an important step to assure you’ve looked into every possibility and what you’ve chosen is the best.

    The Logo is Part of a Bigger Thing

    It’s important to remember that branding consists of more than just a logo. With this in mind, you’ll want to think about how the logo interacts with the rest of the brand experience.  Take into account, the website, packaging, signage and stationary.  When someone discovers a new brand, the logo is not necessarily the first aspect they’ll encounter as all customer touch points are equally important including your website, social media,  and customer interactions through phone and email.

    Icon & Symbolism

    Logo Design Inspiration Symbolism Icon Negative Space

    When used properly, an icon in a logo can help convey your brand’s story and be memorable.  An icon may be simple, although there are many aspects to take into consideration when designing.  We’ve laid them out below for you.

    Is It Memorable?

    This is a question every designer should ask themselves when designing a logo. There’s a video on Youtube of a 5 year old expressing their first impressions of famous logos.  This video emphasizes which brands have successfully created a memorable logo, that even a 5 year old recognizes.

    When designing a logo, you want to think to yourself, “If someone looked at this logo, then looked away would they be able to draw it from memory?”  Of course, the drawing won’t be perfect, but will they be able to convey the general shape.

    Is It Timeless?

    When designing your logo, you want to avoid being sucked into any design trends that could be replaced within a year. Your logo should be effective for at least 5 years so you’ll want to consider how times will change and if your logo will last through these changes.

    We suggest researching examples of logos that are and aren’t timeless and the aspects of each. Overall, think of how much time you put into designing your logo.  You don’t want to be doing this every couple of years.

    Test it Out in All Sizes

    A logo can be placed anywhere from a large billboard to pens and envelopes.  This means it must work and be powerful in all sizes.  Most logos will work large, although it’s the small areas like on pens that will be challenging.  The best way to double check this is to print the logo out small.  Based on the print you can refine the logo so even the smallest details will be seen when printed on smaller items such as stationery or business cards.

    Multiple Meanings

    The most effective logos will take 2-3 messages and wrap it up into one. Think of the 3 most important values of your brand and how this can be conveyed through an icon.

    Having multiple meanings in your logo will add interest and give it the “ohhhhh!” factor. This is another great way to make the logo memorable.  People will be talking about a logo that cleverly combines 3 aspects into one beautiful symbol.

    If you’re stuck on how to do this, we suggest playing around with the negative space. You could use these areas to create a shape that will stand out and highlight your message.

    Always Get a Second Opinion

    One of the scariest aspects about creating a logo is the potential for it to be misinterpreted as something that looks inappropriate. Once the logo is complete, you want to triple check that it isn’t offensive to anyone.

    This is where your friends and family can be extremely useful.  You may have looked at this thing a million times, but a fresh set of eyes will see something that totally flew over your head.  Better safe than sorry!


    Wordmark Logo Design Inspiration Font Typography

    The word mark can be easily forgotten, although it is equally as important as the icon. Text is another opportunity to slip in your message and make the overall logo a memorable one. Although you may be exhausted after creating your perfect icon, it’s important to spend time tweaking the word mark as well.  We’ve added some helpful tips on creating an eye catching word mark.

    Tweak the Typeface

    Once you’ve scoured the internet for the perfect typeface, don’t be scared to play with the letters and make it your own.  We suggest adding character to the text rather than simply downloading a typeface, typing out your brand name and calling it a day.

    The best logos will have a word mark that they’ve added personality to and convey a solid meaning that reflects the brand.

    Consider Hand Lettering

    Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Why not draw it out yourself?  Often times you may have a specific style of lettering in mind and the best way to express this is through your own hand lettering.

    Hand lettered word marks are no doubt unique and won’t be found in any other logo. This is a great way to reassure your brand will stand out from it’s competitors.

    Tracking & Kerning

    Setting up type perfectly can be tedious, but in the end it’s worth it to create an eye pleasing word mark. It’s important to take the time to adjust the space between each letter. The word mark should read smooth and seamlessly.  After all, this text will be everywhere so you want the typesetting to be perfect.


    Logos Colour Combinations Inspiration Design

    Your color scheme can play a huge role in conveying your brand’s message.  Color is a great opportunity to add feeling to your logo and persuade the viewer’s emotions.  It’s important to explore all color schemes and narrow it down to the most effective combo.

    Understand the Color Wheel

    This may be something you learned in kindergarten and now it will come in handy! When designing your logo, you’ll want to take into account complimentary, triadic, split complimentary and tetradic color schemes.  There are many great color scheme resources out there that we’ve listed in our 101 Essential Resources for Graphic Designers blog post.

    Be patient when deciding on a color scheme since it could take longer than anticipated. Once you’ve got it,  you’ll know and will be stoked to show it off.

    Use Colors to Control Moods

    Whether you realize it or not each color subconsciously affects your mood and conveys an emotion. To understand the meaning behind colors, you can research into each color and how it effects our feelings.

    Once you’re knowledgeable on the topic, it will be easier to pick the perfect color or colors for you logo and branding.

    Test Out Your Logo in Black and White and Full Color

    Your logo will be placed on all different color backgrounds, whether that be dark or light.  It’s important to have a logo that is equally as powerful in black and white as it is in color.

    Ask yourself if your message can be conveyed through the symbolism and shape alone.  Although color is another important layer in communicating your brand’s message, your logo and word mark need to be strong and relatable to your audience even without the use of it.


    101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers

    As a graphic designer, I realize the importance of having access to the most current fonts, graphics, tutorials, photography and anything else design related.  Useful design resources are vital for getting those creative juices running and staying up to date.

    I’ve scoured the internet far and wide and have put together a comprehensively awesome list of 101 graphic design resources that will come in handy when you’re conjuring up your next fantastic project.

    Whether you’re a student creating your custom portfolio book, a pro working on a fresh website or branding project, or you’re gathering some inspiration for a personal project, this list supplies a ton of graphic goodies at your fingertips.

    Take a look and find everything you need from a fresh color scheme to that game-changing typeface.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    Cheers to creativity,


    Graphic Design


    The Noun Project

    The Noun Project gives you access to 100,000 free icons. Simply search the keyword of what you’re looking for and hundreds of icons will be available to download as well as groups of icons relating to the subject you searched, created by a designer for your use.


    Explore Vecteezy’s largest vector community for icon inspiration or download your own free icon to keep the ball rolling on your current design project.  Vectors are especially helpful for the production of your portfolio book since this is the format that laser engravers use to produce the highest quality etching.

    Vector Me

    With Vector Me, you can search by “Vector”, “Logos” or “Icons” depending on your design needs. Scroll through thousands of vector art and download your favorite, for free. Vector Me will also show you similar vectors based on what you’ve chosen.

    Subtle Patterns

    Patterns can be time consuming to create on your own.  Subtle Patterns offerers 414 patterns to designers all over the globe! Scroll through the options and download the perfect pattern for your design project.

    Creative Market

    Creative Market is the go-to place for all things design! From photos to fonts, the folks at Creative Market have provided designers a place to go for inspiration and easily download templates, graphic, fonts etc. to use in their creations.

    Endless Icons

    You guessed it! This site contains infinite icons for you to search through and find just what you’re looking for. They are continuously growing and adding new icons.

    Design Instruct

    Design Instruct offers tons of free resources for designers such as Photoshop actions and vectors. They also have a wide variety of useful articles that are worth the read.


    Here you can download free Photoshop brushes, textures and effects to help create the most rad images.


    Scroll through hundreds of textures and patterns or search a keyword to find exactly what you’re looking for.


    Have a colour in mind? Narrow down your search in Pattern8 by selecting the colour you’re looking for along with a pattern that you love.

    Brainy Icons

    For anyone looking for that perfect science or education icon, this is the place for you.

    Jolly Icons

    Jolly Icons offers designers 400 hand drawn icons, in the same style, that will bring personality and joy to your project.

    Lightly Icons

    Browse through this set of 500 icons that have all been inspired by Helvetica Neue. Who knew icons could be designed based on a typeface?

    Busy Icons

    The perfect resource for all your business and office icon needs. The set displays 340 hand drawn icons for you to choose from.


    This is a free downloadable app for Photoshop that allows you to search for icons and then click to make a new layer shape that you can edit.




    For only $10 a month Pixeden offers you unlimited downloads of various mockups. This site provides mockups you haven’t seen before so you can stand out from other designers.

    Graphic Burger

    Graphic Burger is most famous for it’s wide variety of free mockups. Simply download the PSD file and place your design on the proper layer. Graphic Burger also features a variety of icons at your disposal.

    Design Lazy

    The guy behind Design Lazy has created design essentials for all to use including mock-ups and web design templates. You can also browse through the inspiration section if you’re experiencing a creative block.

    Media Loot

    Media Loot supplies a wide variety of free mock-ups as well as fonts, icons, templates and patterns.

    Pixel Buddha

    The folks behind Pixel Buddha are offering designers free graphic resources to help excel their design projects. They update their site each week so the resources are fresh and current.

    Real Thread

    The only clothing mock-up site you’ll ever need. Find fresh mock-ups and add your design for a stunning display!

    Web Development  


    HTML Arrows

    An easy and efficient way to find the HTML code for symbols. You might also want to check out their web design resources for featured deals on web hosting, WordPress templates and more!


    Not a web developer? Neither am I! Webydo’s got us covered. This site allows you to create a stunning website without code.


    Scroll through a variety of wireframes to get your site going and the best part is, it’s free!


    Squarespace makes web creation as easy as 1,2,3! Select one of their templates and replace everything with your own content, et voila, you have a beautiful professional site.


    For anyone building dynamic web content this is a great resource. The blog features news, editorials, podcasts, resource links, code examples, and more.

    Sketch Active

    Searching for web and app design icons? Look no further! Sketch Active offers 360 icons made specifically for web and app design.

    Flat UI Colours

    This site has provided developers with a variety of flat colours for their latest web development project. You can also search through their collection of website inspiration.


    Cameron McEfee created this photoshop plug in to solve the problem of calculating the width of navigation elements in designs every time clients made navigation changes. Guideguide allows you to create your own guides on canvas, artboards, selected layers, or your selection.

    Make App Icon

    Working on app design? Then this is just the resource for you! Simply create app icons of all sizes in one click.

    UI Cloud

    UI Cloud is the largest use interface design database in the world. Search by category and find just what your looking for to complete the perfect site.

    Size Marks

    Size Marks is a photoshop script for web developers that converts rectangular marquee to labeled measurement marks.

    Site Inspire

    An awesome resource that allows you to browse through what’s hot and trending in website development and help start the process of designing your own site.

    Pro Web Type

    A free online resource that covers all areas of web typography. If you find it useful, which I’m positive you will, why not give them a little donation as well.

    UI Space

    UI Space offers high quality, hand crafted PSDs, vectors, fonts and mockups perfect for all your web design needs. Search for what you had in mind or take a look at the editor’s choice for inspiration.


    Design an awesome website, using Photoshop. Choose a template off Velositey and edit it until you love it in Photoshop.


    O’Reilly holds a number of web resources both free and paid for web developers every where. Submit your own questions and browse through responses as well as video content to help drive your site.



    Instagram Filters

    An app for Photoshop that supplies you with 13 filters identical to the ones from Instagram.


    Unsplash releases 10 new high resolution royalty free photos every 10 days.


    This site is great for their abstract stock images which are free to download for commercial or personal use.


    Find all your nature and city shots here and free commercial use stock photos.


    Gratisgraphy adds new photos weekly and specializes in humorous and high contrast photos.

    Little Visuals

    Find free high resolution landscape and nature focused photography as well as 7 new photos added every 7 days.


    Starting a blog? StokPic has thousands of awesome lifestyle photography and adds 10 new photos every 2 weeks.


    While this site might make you hungry, it contains hundreds of food photos that are perfect for any food related site.


    Getrefe contains stock photos that aim to be “real life”, meaning photos you’d take of your morning coffee or snuggling up with your cat by the tv.

    Death to the Stock Photo

    This site delivers a fresh batch of stock photos straight to your email each month that are free for commercial or personal use.

    DIY Photography

    DIY Photography is a great place to go for tips and tricks on all things typography. Whether you’re just learning or already an expert this site will help you out with any questions you may have.

    iPhone Photography School

    Don’t have a fancy shmancy DSLR camera? This site has got you covered. Read all about how to use your iPhone to take professional shots.

    Photography Week

    One of the best photography magazines out there. Read about interviews with professional photographers all over the world and check out the best international photography. A great place for photo inspo to get that perfect shot!

    Perfect Effects 3

    This is a site for photographers where they can add effects to their photos. It is easy and efficient to use, not to mention, it’s free!



    Colour Lovers

    Browse through palettes, patterns, shapes and colours until you find the perfect scheme for your project. Each post also shows the amount of “love” it got so you know whats hot and what’s not.


    Adobe has provided a free site to experiment with the colour wheel and create palettes based on analogous, monochromatic, triad, complimentary and compound colours, as well as shades!


    Find a design you like and select on of the colours from it to see more designs with that colour. An awesome tool to find that perfect colour scheme! You can even download the colour scheme from the design you like.


    Coolors is a great resource to find the perfect colour scheme. Simply hit your space bar to browse through schemes and adjust once you find a colour or colours you love.

    Color Farm

    Colour schemes can be difficult to choose, we know. Scroll through Color Farm’s endless variety of designs with a wide array of colour schemes until you find the perfect one. Each example will also show the hex value for the colours.

    RGB To

    Your go to place to convert RGB colours into CMYK, Pantone and more.

    0 to 255

    A great tool to find different shades and tints of a colour that you love. Specifically made for web designers and web colours.

    Palette Creator

    A Chrome plug-in that allows you find a colour palette based on an image you found online. You simply, find an image you like, right click and select “Palette Creator” and retrieve the colours from the image.




    Typewolf provides you with current type trends and a list of the best fonts based on various subjects such as types of fonts and where the font will be used. One of our favourite features is the font combinations. If you have one font of mind you can use this to find the best font to match.


    This is most designers go to place to find thousands of free fonts and search by category.

    Font Squirrel

    Font Squirrel is a great resource for matching fonts. You can upload a .jpg of a font you like and the site will generate multiple options that look similar to the font you found. The site also features many free fonts for use.


    Another great resource for finding just the right font. Whatthefont also allows you to upload a photo and the site will tell you what fonts resemble the image.


    Fontshop is a great resource for learning type terms to brush up on your knowledge and sound like the professional you are.


    The name says it all. Find a font you like and browse through examples of the font being used for inspiration on typesetting.


    Typecast is a useful text editor for web development that allows you to style HTML text elements, make project wide changes in seconds and focus on more precise areas of the type.

    Type Detail

    The creators of this site set a goal to annotate a web typeface everyday and point out the beauty of the font that most people wouldn’t notice. This is also a great resource to explore typography terminology and learn new words.

    Open Foundry

    Another great source where fellow designers highlight the beauty of a font. You can also find dozens of free fonts to download and appreciate based on what you read!

    Free Typography

    Search through hundreds of free fonts until you find the perfect one. Or submit your own font and and get your name out there while building up your portfolio.

    Handwriting Fonts

    Looking for a handwritten font? This site features 10 fonts that are beautifully designed.


    Everything you need to know about typography and type design. This curriculum will answer all your questions and curiosities about the type world and how type is best used.


    If you already have Creative Cloud, check out Adobe’s Typekit. It comes with Creative Cloud and offers a wide variety of fonts at your disposal.


    A typography blog that reviews new typefaces and discusses typographic design. A great resource for all the type nerds out there who can’t get enough!

    We Love Tyography

    This is a type designers heaven. Scroll through multiple pages of beautiful type and you’ll be sure to gain inspiration for you latest typographic masterpiece.



    The Dieline

    The best resource for all things package design. The Dieline also offers a free downloadable PDF with a variety of packaging templates.

    Package Design

    Your resource for all things packaging from industry news, packaging materials, production and effects processes, and examples of packaging design categorized by industry.


    Ambalaj is the personal site of packaging designer Kristina de Verdier. If you’re interested in expanding your packaging knowledge we recommend checking out her blog section for some awesome reads.

    Packaging of the World

    It’s right in the title, Packaging of the World showcases beautiful packaging from across the globe that is useful for inspiring your own packaging projects.

    How To



    Lynda offers thousands of educational courses for new designers. This site will help kick start your knowledge!

    Adobe KnowHow

    Adobe has launched a place to go and sign up for a course for beginners looking to learn and intermediates looking to expand their knowledge. As we like to say, there’s always more to learn and room for improvement!


    Discover over 20750 free tutorials as well as online courses for more in-depth explinations.

    W3 Schools

    The place to go for web development tutorials and lessons. This site has a wide array of lessons for beginners and experts along with quizzes, examples and reference guides.




    Find inspiration based on the best and most effective designers around the globe. Search through award winning work and gain ideas for your own designs.

    It’s Nice That

    Browse through articles about what’s happening in the design world, from trends to tips. Watch out though, you could get lost on this site for hours!


    A great tool for creating mood boards with your design team and colleagues. Niice keeps everything in one spot so you won’t loose your train of thought.

    Design is Kinky

    Stay up to date on the latest design news and browse through fresh designs. You might also find your newest fav designer to draw inspiration from!


    A great resource to browse through other designers portfolios and gain inspiration when creating your own.


    Notch displays general inspiration that will trigger an idea or help move forward with an existing idea. You can also submit your own post and potentially be featured on the site!


    We love Booooooom because it showcases artists’ work who are unique and have evidently put their personality in their work. This site is a great place to draw inspiration when you’re struggling on a project.

    Portfolio Showcase



    Behance is a an awesome portfolio site for showcasing your work and viewing other designers portfolios. The site allows you to “like” others projects and shows you how many people have liked yours as well as how many views each project has.

    Adobe Portfolio

    If you’ve already signed up to Creative Cloud you have access to a free portfolio builder. Adobe has provided an efficient and easy to navigate portfolio site builder that’s perfect for designers. No more worrying about code, it’s all straight forward here!


    Showcase your work in a user friendly and flexible interface. You have the option to sign up for free, with limited uploads or pay $12 a month and uploads are unlimited as well as some member bonuses.


    Coroflot is a site built by designers for designers who want to get exposure and showcase their work in a professional and intriguing manner.


    If you’re looking to creative a beautiful online mobile portfolio, Viewbook is the place to be. Viewbook sites are mean to be natural and simplistic to gear all the attention toward the work.

    Cargo Collective

    Cargo Collective provides a platform for talented individuals to gain exposure through sharing through work and viewing others creations.


    Moonfruit provides multiple fresh and stylish templates to get your website started. The editor leaves room for creativity so the site will be unique and personal to you.

    Looking to bring your portfolio to life in the tangible world? You know the list isn’t complete without a shameless plug for Klo Portfolios.  We make the highest quality screwpost portfolio books with the largest selection of rad treatments and materials and we’ll take care of you every step of the way so your final portfolio book perfectly reflects your own style.




    No grid paper? No problem! Gridzzly’s got you covered. Make your own grid paper and print it out for free. Perfect for logo sketching.


    Fribbble is a great resource for all things design. Draw inspiration from other designers work or download free resources to get your project going!


    Skillshare gives designers an opportunity to learn from fellow designers or even teach a class of their own. Pick up new tricks or teach others your own hot tips to make designers even better!


    Kaku is a free photoshop plug in that allows you to translate layers to the language of your choice. Perfect for dealing with across the sea customers or employees.

    Freelance Folder

    Read all about freelancing and learn some fresh tips on how it’s done. A great resource to excel your career as a freelance designer and get your name out there.



    Five Places to Boost Your Creativity Other than Pinterest

    Have you ever found yourself spending hours looking through Pinterest only to come across images that you’ve already seen?  While Pinterest is a great site and a definite go-to, we have a few more favorites we’d love to share.

    It helps to utilize multiple resources when brainstorming for a design project or when putting together your custom portfolio book.  Here are a few of the sites we love.



    The first site we suggest is booooooom.com.  Taken from the words of the of founder Jeff Hamada, “I like handmade things, anything imperfect, where the artist’s hand is apparent.” Booooooom has many unique artists displayed and shows you how they put their own personality into their work. The designs on Booooooom are all up to date and timely which is one of the most important aspects to consider when designing.


    design inspiration site suggestions by klo portfolios

    Next site we recommend is designspiration.net.  Similar to Pinterest, Designspiration is a continuous scroll site with rows of images, although everything is design related.  Rather than being distracted by recipes and cute outfits, you’ll be solely focused on design. Designspiration also allows you to create “collections” that you can add to when you see something you like.


    design inspiration site suggestions by klo portfolios

    With an intriguing site layout, notcot.org is another great site with creative ideas.  Notcot displays a collection of the most recent and fresh designs.   This is a helpful tool to see what is happening in design right now and how you can make your designs current. Another perk of Notcot is that you can submit your own posts and hopefully have your designs seen by many.


    design site inspirations by klo portfolios

    As one of the more commonly known sites, thedieline.com is a great source for what is new and current in the design industry. Thedieline allows you to select and scroll through specific categories of design. The site also allows you to submit your own work and man, could you image how awesome it’d be getting featured on this site?!

    Leave Your Desk!

    klo portfolios go outside

    Our last but not least bit of advice for you to gain inspiration is to leave your desk! Get off the internet and go check out design in stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.

    Go touch, feel, and see what designs look like in the real world.  It’s much easier to appreciate a design when it’s tangible and you can interact with it, especially if you’re working on packaging.   Plus, it’ll give you a nice break from sitting in front of the computer.



    Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery



    Sign-up to recieve exclusive offers and stay up to date with the latest products and materials.