Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: Design

we heart kansas city: KC Fashion Week 03.19.2014

The Kansas City Fashion Week can rival the best! We’re so proud that such a well put together event happens right here in KC!

This year, Morgan & Carrie missed it, but the newest Ampersandee, Kathy, represented on Saturday night and was blown away!

Did any of you get to go? Tell us, what was your favorite part!?

(Images via @kc_fashionweek)

  1. Jessica Zimlich

    I went for the first time to the Saturday show! I really loved the photo bus, can I say that was my favorite part?!

    Actually, I really enjoyed the pieces I saw come down the runway that were wearable. I’m all about the practical.

    March 19, 2014 4:34 pm
    • ampersand

      The photo bus is the best! We’re so sad we missed the show. It sounds like it was such a good one. We love the wearable pieces also. Really, we love all of it! Can’t wait for next year!

      March 19, 2014 7:42 pm

Panera 2013 Holiday campaign 12.11.2013

We’re pretty proud of our city, that goes without saying, and we tend to think that Kansas City has a pretty talented group of creatives all living here right smack in the middle of the country! The Panera Bread Holiday 2013 campaign struck our eye and we loved discovering that it was designed right here in Kansas City by our famously talented, Willoughby Design! The mix of holiday critters, combined with pattern and letterpress-inspired typography, all in this unique color palette is leaving us speechless! Its nostalgic and new all at the same time! Is it wrong that we want to head over to Panera and say that our order is “to go” just so we can get one of these brown bags?

{all photos from Willoughby Design’s blog}

pattern box 09.04.2013

We are simply dying to get our hands on this!!! This is the box form of a coffee table book. We want to proudly leave this out for guests to flip through and banter about which is their favorite design. It’s a discussion piece in and of itself. The Pattern Box is full of 100 postcards with nothing other than pattern from ten international designers, all curated by New York City’s celebrated Textile Arts Center. The only thing we would change is to have ourselves included….maybe in the second edition? Girls can dream, right?

Leanne Shapton


Helen Dealtry

Anna Niestroj

Leah Reena Goren

Hannah Schultz

We’ve read that there is even a little booklet inside that includes questions posed to each designer, such as, “What patterns do you remember from your childhood?”….we’re dying to read what inspired all these talented designers at a young age!

Order your own Pattern Box from Princeton Architectural Press right here!

{thanks for the lovely images of the postcards from Sight Unseen}

  1. Richele

    Oh those are just the cutest! I need to get my hands on one of those boxes- I die over this type of stuff :)

    September 9, 2013 6:09 pm

a fashion-loving graphic designer’s dream 08.12.2013

For two graphic designers (who met in Typography class), that happen to love fashion as well, this little team-up couldn’t be any more exciting for us. UNIQLO and House Industries have partnered together to make some pretty eye-catching, typographic fashion statements! Check it out here!

Branding for Bloggers 08.07.2013

Last Friday we had the pleasure of speaking about Branding for Bloggers at the very first Go Blog Social Conference in Kansas City!! It was a great turnout and we were so thrilled to get to meet some new blogger-friends, and of course catch up with some KC blogger besties!

Just in case you wanted to attend and didn’t get the chance, we wanted to share a few thoughts from our presentation. Clearly we won’t type out an hour long talk for you on this post, but here are a few highlights for those of you interested in branding your blog or taking it to a new level.

What is a Brand?

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. —Seth Godin

Why do you need a Brand?

Your blog branding is another way to describe the whole experience for someone coming to your site, not just your blog’s content. And whether your blog is a part of a business or not, you’re still trying to win the interest of readers (even if your mom is your only reader). This includes a logo, colors, typefaces, and content in each post.

Brand YOU

The idea of branding your blog can seem a little overwhelming until you realize that YOU are your brand. And you KNOW you. The key is to be true to yourself. No one else can tell your unique story and that alone sets your blog apart from any other. Figure out what makes you different, be authentic, and then work it to connect with people on a deeper level. Create original content and readers will keep returning.


Brand Statement

This is a phrase that’s quick and memorable. You can refer back to this to make sure you are staying true to your vision. When we get hired to design visual identities for other companies, this is the first step we take with them to help define what their brand is all about in order to create the perfect logo, business cards and other collateral that will accurately portray what they do. Once you’ve distilled things down to this statement, it is much easier to keep things consistent which really is the key to creating a strong bran.

Make it Pretty

Once you’ve thought about what makes you unique and what your slant will be, it’s time to think about how you will translate that voice to the visual part of your blog. The layout and look of your blog is as important as your content (in our opinion). Create a blog that’s well-designed and people will be much more inclined to read it.

You have to Start Somewhere

There are lots of resources out there whether it’s hiring a full service web designer to online tutorials. Start taking steps towards refining your blog brand. If you don’t look back at where you started and feel a little embarrassed, then you haven’t grown!

A quick pause to give a little shout out to these two ladies! Our biggest thanks to Sarah & Kat, the founders of Go Blog Social, for putting together such a great conference! It was great to meet you both, and we’re thankful you asked us to be a part of GBS2013! We can’t wait to see what you do next! (PS – how cute is Carrie’s baby belly?!!)

Lastly, we shared one of our favorite quotes with the attendees and we want to share it with all of you! This quote by Ira Glass is something that has inspired us over and over again and we hope it does the same for you!


  1. Getting Inspired | City In A Jar

    [...] an “oh. yes. i should remember that.” moment and came when Carrie and Morgan shared an Ira Glass quote I’d read [...]

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  3. Kaitlin

    Thanks for the advice! I launched my blog earlier this month and it is very important to remember the importance of good branding!

    August 21, 2013 7:14 pm
    • ampersand

      You are so welcome, Kaitlin! Congrats on the launch of your blog! Cheers!

      August 21, 2013 8:13 pm