Sagetopia Welcomes Loudoun Chamber’s YEA members!

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) is a program that transforms middle and high school students into real-life entrepreneurs and business owners. The YEA students toured Sagetopia and got a chance to learn about our design process and our history.

After seeing Karli’s music video, we all got a kick out of one student asking “Did you really draw that?”

Sagetopia wishes all the best for the YEA!


Liberty Street Mural by Sagetopia

Discover the charm of Leesburg!

The Town of Leesburg Council approved the installation of a mural on the side of a town-owned building at the Liberty Street parking lot. Proposed and designed by us at Sagetopia, the mural will be installed by volunteers in the coming months and supplies are being donated by Lowes of Leesburg.

We are raising additional funds for the Friends of Leesburg Arts with limited edition screen prints of the design for a donation of $30 or more.

The mural encourages its viewers to explore the Town of Leesburg. Take in the beautiful architecture of the Historic Downtown, wander through galleries filled with the masterful creations of local artisans, bike along the W&OD Trail, relax on the Town green while listening to live music performances, or dine in one of our award winning restaurants.

The mural was illustrated by Karli Mowrey. See the images below for the entire creative process!


We’re Moving!

weMoved

After spending 9 amazing years at the Lansdowne Town Center, growing as a company, collaborating with our close neighbors and eating the yummy food from the local restaurants (!), the time has come for the staff of Sagetopia to pack our bags. We are proud to announce our move to Historic Leesburg! We will call this new office home starting on August 1, 2015.

As anyone knows, moving is always a huge undertaking, whether it is across the street or across the country. For us, the move is just a shade less than 5 miles, but the amount of coordination going into it has been tremendous!

With the help of Landmark Group Commercial, we were able to find a building in the historic district that met all of our office criteria. Jacque and Sandy walked us through several spaces in the area, but 203 Liberty Street stood out as the place for us, with a beautiful exterior and architectural details that really caught our eye.

blog-img1

Once the papers were signed, the adventure had only just begun. Renovation was next on the docket, and we at Sagetopia wanted to create a space most conducive to creative productivity. We place a high importance on an open floor plan, where we can collaborate together to create the best work possible. We also wanted to make sure there were compatible areas for brainstorming and meeting with clients.

We also wanted space in our new office to display the work of local artists, and a work area for side projects and endeavors, such as letterpress and paper-making. We are excited to participate in First Friday festivities, with workshops and exhibitions on display, along with the rest of the Historic District.

Once the renovations began, there were plenty of decisions to be made about the space. By day, Sagetopia runs as usual, ensuring quality work is produced for our clients; at night, we let our other creative brain get to work, deciding on flooring, lighting and other interior choices for the space.

blog-img3

blog-img2

blog-img4

The renovations have been a whirlwind, with walls coming down and a spiral staircase rebuilt, leading up to an open loft. Every time we have visited the space during construction, we have found a new element to be excited about. Once completed, we know this will be an ideally suited space for Sagetopia team.

Moving to the Historic District has been an ambition of Sagetopia for quite a few years, and we are so excited to see this dream become a reality. We are ecstatic to call downtown Leesburg home, and hope you’ll swing by if you are ever in the area!

Superhero 5k!

SAGE_Blog_LCCC_Logos_color

Here at Sagetopia, we believe that we can bring about real change in the world through great design. We were given the opportunity to brand an event for the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s “Healthy Business Series” event offers their members a great way to show commitment to healthy living, and to support Mobile Hope. Mobile Hope supports hundreds of children in Loudoun County who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The inaugural Superhero 5k Run/Walk and Kids FUN RUN is set to become an annual event in the Loudoun County region, where kids and adults can run and raise money for this worthy cause.

From the beginning we were drawn to superhero comic book elements, with fun speech bubbles, bright colors and action-packed story panels. We also wanted to create a unique mark that could serve as the event’s face. We created several different looks before narrowing down our sketches to what we liked the best!

SAGE_Blog_LCC_Sketches01 SAGE_Blog_LCC_Sketches02

After a bit of refinement we were able to create just the right smile and superhero hair flip – Have a look!

SAGE_Blog_LCC_Sketches03

For the event’s logo, we also wanted to incorporate a fun custom logotype with our superhero symbol. With this composition, the imagery and logo work together or independently, making it versatile for such a promotional item heavy campaign. When we fused the elements together, Lucas Loudoun was born!

SAGE_Blog_LCCC_Logos_color

SAGE_Blog_LCCC_Logos_bw

Branding this event proved to be both fun and rewarding, but that is only half the battle! We hope to see hundreds of supporters on race day. Become a hero and register by visiting www.loudounchamber.org/Hero. See you there!

 

Holiday Letterpress Cards

letterpress-9

As graphic designers, we are always learning the latest in technology. Whether it is a new software or a social media trend, being on top of the latest innovations helps us find the most helpful and creative solutions. Every so often, though, we like to go back to our roots and work on something that is more tactile and hands-on. We purchased a Reprex letterpress several years ago and it is a great outlet for getting our hands dirty and creating small-scale projects.

This holiday season, our Art Director Rachel came to us with a few quotations by one of her favorite poets, Rumi. One of them was, “Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.” We thought it was so beautiful and our gears started turning on how we could incorporate this maxim into a fun hands-on holiday project!

We enlisted the help of illustrator Donna Grethen to compose a few unique letterpress cards, and started our collaboration. She sent some initial sketches over, and it was so difficult to choose!

letterpress-2

The Sagetopia team voted on the quotes and sketches that best represented them to us.

letterpress-1

Finally, we were able to narrow down the quotations and images to 6 multi-color cards. Once we were able to clean up the images digitally, we sent them to Boxcar Press to have photopolymer plates made, and when they arrived they looked like this:

[image of plates]

Using the plates, we began printing our cards on beautiful lettra paper, using the Reprex letterpress.

letterpress-4

letterpress-3

This kind of printing is a time-consuming, yet incredibly rewarding process. Each color has to be printed separately, and painstakingly lined up for registration. Then, each card is printed individually, as we manually feed the paper through the mechanical press.

After we made it through all of the color layers (7 colors in all!), we sent our precious cargo to the folks at GOOD printers, where they cut and scored the cards for us. It was so exciting to get them back and to see all of the individual cards with letterpress on them.

letterpress-5

letterpress-7

We are so pleased with the final product, and happy to be able to send to those who have helped to make this year so successful. Happy holidays!