Katie B. Allcorn

Design Lessons

Category : Lifestyle, Studio October 4, 2013

I’ve mentioned several times that one of the reason I love design is that it fosters a lifetime of learning. I’m not referring necessarily to learning more about the design industry or tips and tricks, although that inevitably happens along the way. I’m referring to the learning that happens with each individual project.

This week has been a great example of that – I was commissioned to design a Hamsa-inspired illustration for a couple’s wedding invitation. This sent me on a search to learn: A) what a Hamsa looks like and B) it’s significance. I was starting from scratch.

A Hamsa is an amulet that wards off the “evil eye” or looks of envy and dislike, and signifies blessings, strength and power. Surprisingly, Hamsas are not associated with any particular religion, but are used most in Islamic cultures. I also learned the difference between an amulet and a talisman along the way. Amulets protect against harm and talismans attract some benefit, such as luck or fortune. This is probably not news to most people, but I was excited to learn about it. Here’s one of the sketches I came up with for her…


Singing Praises – Mica Angela Hendricks

Category : Inspiration October 2, 2013

These illustrations are fantastic. I stumbled across them this morning and a smile slowly crept across my face. It grew harder to contain my smile once I learned about the collaborative process, which spawned from a happy accident.  Artist Mica Angela Hendricks draws stunning faces, passes her sketchbook to her 4-year-old daughter who confidently sketches a body, and then Mica adds color and finishing touches. Viola!

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Cheers to happy accidents! Read more about this project or buy some of the mother-daughter prints.

In The Wild

Category : Color, Lifestyle October 1, 2013

This color palette was created from the array of colors in the Grand Canyon this summer. We arrived at the North Rim right at dusk and the Grand Canyon Orchestra was in full swing. The photo does not come close to capturing it, but I can’t wait to use this Fall palette. That muted blue is my favorite!


Second Office: Austin, TX

Category : Lifestyle, Studio September 23, 2013

Sorry for the delay in posts, folks! We landed back in Austin, TX a couple weeks ago and I couldn’t be more excited to be back in the bustle of things. I immediately started doing some design work for Meldeen, a company in town that specializes in wedding paper goods. The most exciting thing about this client is that I will be diving head first back into the world of print, the world I love so much. In our first meeting, we talked paper for the first two hours and I was completely nerding out. So much fun! Letterpress, engraving, foiling, calligraphy, the works!

Speaking of calligraphy, I am in the process of teaching myself a couple of different scripts. Before getting too technical, I got to have some fun on a couple of personal items. What you don’t see in these photos is the pages and pages before these of trail and error. You know what they say: Practice makes perfect.

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Category : Uncategorized August 30, 2013

It is safe to say that I love everything Bunkhouse Management does. This is not news. Who doesn’t love perfect little hotels? My favorite of their establisments is El Cosmico here in Marfa, TX, and not just because I’m a travel trailer enthusiast. Everything from the concept itself to the textiles on the trailer interiors has impeccable taste. Even their posters are fun to look at! This poster was found on the door of the Get Go this morning. Who knew a burn ban could be so cool?


Sounds of the Studio

Category : Studio August 28, 2013


Pictured above: Ben from How to Make it in America on HBO. I’ve been obsessed with the How to Make it in America Soundtrack this week. Here are the tracks:

 M83 – Midnight City
Wild Nothing – O, Lilac
 Washed Out – New Theory
 Duck Sauce – aNYway
 A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
 STRFKR – Bury Us Alive
 Deerhunter – Fountain Stairs
The Joy Formidable – Austere
Phoenix – Rome (Devendra Banhart remix)
Aloe Blacc – I Need a Dollar


Category : Studio, Typography August 26, 2013

I’ve been working out of our Airstream and the Marfa Public Library this week and so much progress has been made! I’ve spent time working on a brochure, working on my personal brand and locating various resources across the web for starting your own business. My favorite and most useful find yet is Skillshare. There are loads and loads of inspiration sites out there, but for a designer, inspiration can sometimes become a hindrance. Number one rule of good design: don’t get married to your first idea! It’s all about iterating, and sometimes browsing for inspiration burns other people’s design in my brain and it takes way too much effort to think past it.

Skillshare, on the other hand, is a great resource for someone like me! Since it’s been a while since I’ve been in a classroom, it’s so nice to get lessons from some of the best design professionals out there. I’m currently taking a free refresher course from typography guru, Ellen Lupton. We studied her books in school and while the class is pretty beginner, it is so nice to get back into the swing of learning! Continuous improving is what has always attracted me to this industry. There are so many good books available out there, not to mention reasonably priced courses, lectures, etc. Next up on my reading list: Work for Money, Design for Love




Category : Typography August 23, 2013

These typographic beauties were found in a small town antique shop in Utah. I walked in the store with a $4 budget and walked out with a George Strait compact disc – naturally.






Week of 08.19.13

Category : Studio August 21, 2013


Pictured above: The Kinks

 Velvet Underground – I’m waitin for the man
 Rodriquez – Cruficy your mind
 Bob Dylan – Oh, Sister
 The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow
 Dire Straits – Down to the Waterline
 Van Morrison – Into the Mystic
 Derek & The Dominoes – Bell Bottom Blues
The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
Dire Straits – Romeo & Juliet
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
The Kinks – Here Come the People in Grey

First Office: Tumble In, Marfa TX

Category : Lifestyle, Studio August 20, 2013

Friends! I’m excited to announce my old/new venture. As some of you know, I’ve been freelancing in the Austin area for a little over two years now, but this summer I have decided to launch a full time operation! My husband and I have been on the road in our ’72 Airstream for almost two months and now it’s time to really get to work. I’ve had time to really prepare business templates, think through operations and get the website ready. We’ve settled our Land Yacht in West Texas for the next couple weeks, so my office-on-wheels feels a bit permanent for the first time!

Design is a lovely industry that allows me to work from the road, but there have definitely been hiccups along the way. Internet connection can be harder to come by than you would think. But over the past month, I’ve had the privilege of creating a logo, press kit, and brochure for clients in the Austin and Atlanta areas. I’ve also collected loads of inspiration from Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico – fantastic typography, patterns, and color palettes. I’ll be sharing those with you along the way. For now, let the news sink in and marinate! Tell your family, your friends, and your friend’s friends that I’m open for business!