LAB News & Notes:

Howdy! Welcome to my new Get Inspired posts. Every Monday, I like to share an assortment of resources that get my creative fires burning. I’ve been sharing each item as individual posts, but I thought it might be nice to have all the items on one post, so here you go.

Each Get Inspired post will feature a sweet WordPress.org theme for those of you who are looking to jump into the blogging game. Are you a font fiend like I am? Well then, you’ll get your fix right here! I’ll share with you at least one free font and one premium one, perfect for your font library. As always, I like to find artists and makers with great videos of their work, and that will remain a big part of the Get Inspired format. Toss in a great inspirational poster and some fresh music, and you’ve got a ton of great finds to get your creative engines revving! So, without further ado, let’s get inspired!

➽ Featured Video: Ahmed Karimi's Helm & Craft

helm

Today’s featured video features Ahmed Karimi and his Helm & Craft shop. Helm & Craft is a one-man operation based out of Richmond, VA. that “focuses on creating minimal, durable, but above all else, practical design. Each piece is thoroughly designed down to the last detail, using high quality, American made materials. Supplies are sourced locally where possible. Everything is assembled in house, by hand, which allows a much higher standard of quality, ensuring that each piece will last as long as possible”.

At this point, Ahmed has just two items in his shop, but I spoke to him recently and he told me that he is busy at work preparing new items to share. Based on what’s in his shop at the moment, the future looks bright for this handmade gent. I’m definitely in love with his large Travel Journal. It’s a 8′ x 5′ journal, covered with vegetable-tanned that is hand dyed and finished. You’ll have 128 pages to journal your adventures and at just $40 it’s a steal!

Helmand Craft Fall Promo from Lee Khleang on Vimeo.

Visit Helm & Craft

➽ Featured Theme + Giveaway: Zuki by Elmastudio

I’m a huge fan of Ellen Bauer’s Elmastudio WordPress themes. Ellen creates really clean and very user-friendly themes for self-hosted WordPress sites. Last month, Ellen released the Zuki, a wonderful magazine theme. There are so many great features that make this one a worthy purchase for anyone who wants to launch their own blog.

Elmastudio Zuki WordPress theme // IAMTHELAB - Get Inspired!

Zuki WordPress Theme (en) from Elmastudio on Vimeo.

Zuki features a very customizable homepage layout. You can see 4 different ways to format the homepage below. One of my favorite features is the Filtered Content feature. If you go to the demo, you can see it right under the main menu. Click the link and it open to show you posts by date, author, tags and categories. Isn’t that cool?

Ellen always provides the best theme documentation that I’ve seen from any WordPress theme designer and her videos add another layer of informative guidance. You can get the theme as a single purchase, but I recommend getting the bundle. Ellen and her team produce at least 6 new themes every year, so it’s totally worth the price.

UPDATE: Ellen contacted me to offer LAB readers a copy of the Zuki theme as a giveaway! Leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner randomly on Monday, August 18, 2014.


Elmastudio Zuki WordPress theme // IAMTHELAB - Get Inspired!

Zuki theme by Elmastudio


➽ Featured Free Font: Kirvy by Youssef Habchi

Here’s a great free font family from Youssef Habchi. Youssef is a graphic and web designer based out of Strasbourg, France. He’s a really talented artist who also has a love for font making. Kirvy is one of three free fonts that Youssef offers via Behance.

KIRVY font by Youssef Habchi // IAMTHELAB - Get Inspired!

Kirvy comes in four styles: thin, light, regular and bold. It’s a san serif font, meaning that it doesn’t have those small projecting features called “serifs” at the end of strokes. If you’re looking for a clean, modern font, this is a great addition to your collection. It’s free for personal and commercial use, which makes it even better.

Download Kirvy by Youssef Habchi


➽ Featured Premium Font: Brute @ Ten Dollar Fonts

There might not be a better place on the web to find fonts than Ten Dollar Fonts. Whatever you style or taste in fonts is, Dan McQueen and his TDF team are doing their best to make sure that you can find it in their incredible shop. This week’s pick is a new font from designer Kirby Matherne called Brute. It’s a fitting name, as you’ll see.

BRUTE via Ten Dollar Fonts // IAMTHELAB - Get Inspired!

From TDF: “Brute is a new beveled display typeface based upon a modular grid-like system. Its precisely sharp edges convey a solid yet aggressive feel that add personality to any project. Unlike many beveled typefaces, Brute puts the lighting direction decisions in the designer’s hands. To accomplish this, it comes with four different lighting styles that can be layered on top of the primary styles to create different solutions.”

Not only does the font have 7 different styles, it also supports up to 50 languages, making it a great international font choice. You can get it for just $10 for personal use and a commercial license for $20. This much flexibility for $20 is a real steal!

Purchase Brute @ Ten Dollar Fonts


➽ Featured Poster: New Art Print by Yumalum

Do you know the irony of picking this post for my newly revamped Get Inspired series? You know, the series that’s supposed to be posted on Mondays? I’ll let you laugh at me while you enjoy this crazy-cool poster from the uber-talented Mark Griffith, featured in his Yumalum shop.

Yumalum Prints @ Etsy // IAMTHELAB - Get Inspired!

Like all of Mark’s work, this high-quality print is printed on heavyweight 180gsm matte paper via an Epson 7800 printer using Epson Ultrachrome K3 ink. This ensures that it will last a lifetime. I have a few of Mark’s prints in my world and I love them all. I might just have to add this to my collection. It’s a great 1AM Promise purchase, don’t you think? Get one for yourself and one for someone you love.

Don't Wait Until Tomorrow Print by Yumalum


➽ Featured Music: New Music from Imogen Heap

Thank goodness I’m signed up for the NPR Music newsletter! Imogen Heap is one of my all time favorite artists. Her unique voice is so captivating, so I’m thrilled to hear that she’s releasing new music. You can stream the Sparks album for free on NPR, but I thought I’d give you a little taste below.

 

NPR says about Sparks: “Evolving along with the interests of this most adventurous pop star, Sparks demonstrates that the futuristic is interpersonal, showing how innovation happens one human encounter at a time. Heap’s voice, which always sounds like it’s sharing a gentle revelation, keeps the music personal. Her lyrics reflect on her own ups and downs as an artist and a woman, sometimes directly relating to the songs — “Initialize moments of time / to wine and dine with neurons that know how to love,” she sings of her cyborg self in “Me the Machine” — and at other times expanding to become philosophical.”

There are a few songs that really stick to my soul, especially her collab with Deadmou5 called Telemiscommunications. It’s brilliant.

First Listen - Sparks by Imogen Heap


Well, let me know what you think about all this inspirational goodness and the new format. Have some suggestions or recommendations for future Get Inspired posts? I’d love to hear them. I’ll leave you with this quote:

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.”
Pablo Picasso
Artist

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