Saturday, April 24, 2010

~ April in Paris ~

I wish I could say I was spending the month of April in Paris, but instead I have been busy creating a logo design and illustrations for April in Paris ~ a French Patisserie in Texas.

I met April about five years ago at two separate, week long, calligraphy workshops.  April was there to create a logo for her European bakery and espresso bar.  We had so much fun sharing and getting to know each other.  I lost touch with April soon after and was delighted to hear from her again. During this time she had decided she wanted more and left for NYC and then to Paris for more culinary studies.

While studying in Paris at the Ritz Escoffier and Le Cordon Bleu, her experience inspired her to start a new venture and open April in Paris.

When she contacted me she told me she loved the work I did at the workshop and wanted me to create a logo and some whimsical illustrations for her new bakery and website (not up yet).  She asked me to use the beautiful storefronts and patisserie of Paris, the colors of French macaroons, artisan breads, French silver and fresh ingredients for inspiration.  With those things in mind, and uncertain of exactly what she wanted, I started sketching away.

Here are a few of the illustrations I created for April's website and printed pieces.
artisian breads and pastries
I felt the first pedestal was too dark ~ so I did another ~ but liked the bread in the first one best.  Basically...pretty similar...
...and because I tend to redo things, that most people do not notice (those I have worked for will know this! :), I also drew another storefront, using my first outline. I felt the painting could be better...but in the end, I couldn't tell it was much different either. So, I now have one for my portfolio!
Pâtisserie Stohrer is a favorite of April's and was my inspiration for her storefront illustration.
fresh ingredients
 a macaroon pedestal
mini cupcakes on silver cherub stand
silver serving pieces
a few petits fours ... that didn't scan well

When I showed April several ideas I had for her logo design, her response was so funny, like that only of a baker - "I cannot possibly choose one. It is like looking into a freshly filled pasty case - you have to have a bit of everything!"  So I decided to go with a wheat wreath, encircling the logo, to represent the French artisan breads and pastries she loves to bake.  We then had her business cards engraved in gold on chocolate European paper. She loved that it was like a classic bittersweet chocolate macaroon with a touch of edible gold leaf or classic French gold gilt. Eventually, she wants her business cards to run the full spectrum of macaroon colors "just as the competition for the most exotic colors and flavors continue to unfurl in Paris...with gold gilt engraving, of course."  The first card she chose to use represents her love for the simple chocolate macaroon with a bittersweet chocolate ganache filling.
Creating a "look" for April in Paris was so much fun.  A happy client is the sweetest reward of all! 

From April~
I knew you were the one I wanted to do this for me!!
Your illustrations are absolutely poetry in watercolor. I came to you wanting something specific and left with so much more since I entrusted you with so much artistic freedom. Little details I was not sure really came through with my description - you totally brought through.
I couldn't be more happy, unless I were sitting in a bakery on Rue St. Honore having a macaroon!
I cannot quit staring at it all. I am so excited. It is so much beyond what I was thinking. I just absolutely love everything!!!


  1. You are one very, very talented lady Dana! these are all wonderful, if I was her I would use everything, and the business card is just fabulous. She could use these drawings for place mats in her shop. Simply so talented! And if I go back to Texas I will go stop in there. All the best. XO

  2. Dana, these illustrations are adorable! My favorite are the petits fours. When I was younger, my next door neighbor would make them and I LOVED them. Each one so dainty!

  3. Absolutely love this work Dana!!!! You are such a natural with these light, airy illustrations and delicate watercolours. I hope you do more of this line of work. You are a rare talent Dana and have so much to offer. It was so nice to see this work!
    Much love,

  4. Dana, you have been very busy. I LOVE all the illustrations and the logo! How fun that the colors of the macaroon will be used for her cards. The details I have seen so far are making my mouth water with wanting more. Please do let us know when her website is up and running.
    I moved some of the little ferns, but not the one that I posted about- it started to rain. Hopefully when the rain lets up this week I can move her over.
    Have a golden day! xo

  5. Dana! Where do I start? I can only imagine how excited your client was to receive such amazing work. You did such an incredible job with everything! I love the colors, details, fonts, apothecary jars filled with almonds and the little cherubs on the cake stand. Uh uh uhhh!! This was such a delight to read and see, I remember you talking about this months ago when you were thinking about starting up your blog. :-)) Her logo with the wreath is absolutely stunning. How do you pick a favorite? I love one just as much as the other. I feel like I'm in a Parisian shoppe eating rose' macaroons. It's beautiful Dana~~

    AND - Thank you for your comment on my last post. :-) I loved your use of 'uh uh uh' it put a big smile on my face.

    Best wishes and much love,

  6. I just found your blog and it is absolutely beautiful. I love your art. It is so much fun looking at new blogs when you come across a blog like yours.

  7. I am speechless! I want to climb inside your illustrations and eat all those delicious looking breads and pastries. (Would you paint a pretty little chair for me to sit on while I do that?) I am both humbled and inspired by your work Dana. It's sensational!

  8. I love this work. Looking at it all I can think about is how I want it hanging in my kitchen

  9. So delicate and whimsy...your art is just wonderful!
    Thanks for your visit and I'll be back to visit you again. You are so very talented.

  10. Surely your illustrations are a treat, just as an "April in Paris" would be right now - love your work and I loved that you shared the two different drawings---I am glad that I do that too, trying to get it just right!

  11. Your illustrations are wonderful!
    I just foud your blog and I love to look at your great art!

  12. honestly, I adore your work! I found you through french blue and am so very happy that I did! what an incredible talent you are!
    so very nice to meet you~

  13. I left a whole long message here...sort of a are you, how did I miss this lovely post etc. But then I was rtejected becasue I'm not signed in...urgh. I'm on my way out...will drop by again later...but quickly these illuystrations...they are so gentle en elegant, like you are.
    OK, a tout a l'heure...I also want to have a good look at all hose beautiful wedding phots and invitations!