The Fourth Wall

4.24.08 E-conomical!

Ever need to reach your audience with important info, but your budget simply won’t stretch to cover fancy-schmancy print materials? Postage alone could cost a small fortune these days! We’ve got the answer. Below is a sampling from designfarm’s portfolio of E-announcements, E-vites, and E-newsletters. Small and efficient, these mini-posters—delivered via email—pack a lot of visual-messaging punch, without incurring print or postage fees. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE the smell of fresh ink on paper, but in a time of a budget-crunch our clients agree; this is a great alternative.

AIA Stars

AIA Holiday

AIA Grassroots

Above: New Year’s and Holiday E-vites as well as an E-announcement for the AIA.

Arl County

Above: E-announcement for Arlington County Government.

Art After Dark

Above: E-vite for The Phillips Collection.


Above: E-newsletter for the World Wildlife Fund.


Above: E-vite for So Charmed.

4.14.08 Phillips Collection Annual Gala


Press is so cool! An article in BizBash Washington about the Phillips Collection 2008 Annual Spring Gala gave props to designfarm (that’s us, aka The Design Farm!). We were honored to design the invitation and program for this major fundraising event.

The challenge: How to newly contextualize the museum’s most famous painting, the iconic Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880–81) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The solution: By placing the painting into the center of an intimate scrapbook-collage (with found objects from our personal collections and photographed here at our studio), we helped The Phillips to charm 350 patrons into attending a very memorable evening. Dining in the museum’s rooms, surrounded by great works of art. The invitation itself references late-nineteenth century Paris, particularly the bal des canotiers (boater’s ball) which was held on Sundays at Bougival near Chatou and was Renoir’s subject for the painting.

Below are photos from the Gala:







You know the old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

PHOOEY. You sure can.

In this ongoing series of posts, we’re showing you six directions for a book cover design, including the one the client selected for publishing. We’ll include a short blurb on the project to help you contextualize and understand the problem and our solutions, and we’re asking you to pick out the one the client chose. If that’s not the one you also think is most effective, tell us which one you’d choose. In a few weeks, we’ll let you know the answer, as well as put out another exciting judging opportunity.

Want to think like a designer? Then yes, your visceral reaction counts… which cover do you simply like best? But while the winning solution must certainly look good (whatever that means), it must also be most effective in communicating content and (duh) selling books.

Here’s the info for the image pictured above:

Title: Contemporary Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy

Subtitle: From Terrorism to Trade

Publisher: CQ Press An independent publisher advancing democracy by informing citizens.

Synopsis: This book is a contributed volume for the American foreign policy course, an upper level undergrad course at most universities. It’s very popular due to its current, real world cases and consistent structure and pedagogy across chapters. The book is divided into four sections: intervention policy, national security and defense policy, trade policy, and multilateral policy.