by guest contributor, Lucinda O'Halloran
You might not think gardens and business cards have much in common, but believe it or not, there’s a pretty strong connection—and it goes beyond the fact that both are usually aimed at creating more green. (Sorry for the bad joke. It had to be done.)
At a basic level, creating either a garden or a business card means adding stuff to the available space, with the ultimate goal of eliciting emotion and/or action.
Although both might seem simple, they present similar challenges. Decisions must be made around desired elements, what will fit and what won’t, and how it all works together.
For a garden, this means figuring out the balance between plants and other components such as pathways, patios, decks, and more. For business cards, it’s lettering, graphics, and images, even the type of card stock. Each element must relate to each other in a way that is smooth and sensible.
Thoughtful design is necessary for success in both instances. Below are a few questions to help you determine if you’re on the right path.
Is it functional? Will it last?
Whether it’s a landscape/garden or printed piece/business card, function, flow, and feel are vital. So is durability—not only physically, but visually. Will this be something that lasts? The design must fully realize the potential of the space, transforming it into something that will be inviting, interesting, and pleasing to look at for a long time.
Is it cohesive? Does it make sense?
Good design incorporates careful consideration in how all of the pieces (plants, graphics, or lettering) are incorporated and arranged. It should be not only cohesive, well-planned, and attractive, but also easy to enjoy or understand.
Does it accomplish your goals? Will it speak to your audience?
Design serves the audience. What is the message you want to convey on your business card? What do you want people to feel in your garden? What do you want to feel in your garden? From selecting the right plants to choosing the perfect font, we need to ensure the elements and placement draw the eye, guiding people to the areas we want them to see.
Find the right balance
I believe that good, clean, simple design that is balanced works best—and I know Chalkbox shares this philosophy as well. Even the most beautiful, colorful plants won’t make up for a poor design; sure, they look pretty, but if there are too many or if they aren’t placed with care, the garden just won’t feel quite right.
Lucinda O’Halloran is the owner, designer and garden coach of Spirit Garden Coaching + Design in Seattle.
She grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, helping her dad with everything from planting to building ponds to painting fences. Today, over 20 years after creating her own company, Spirit Garden Coaching + Design is thriving—and her love for gardens is stronger than ever.
She loves being involved in the community, and has served on the boards for several garden-related nonprofits.
Lucinda firmly believes that designing beautiful outdoor places and showing people how to care for them is more than just a job—it’s what she was born to do.