Create Gallery Cocktail Menu

Here’s a glimpse of a custom menu designed for the recently opened Create Gallery + Cocktail Lounge. This is an amazing new gallery located in Somerville’s Bow Market that features a rotation of exhibits by local artists and hosts 8 cocktails on tap created by favorite area bartenders. If you haven’t heard of it you should definitely check it out!

When these guys contacted me about this design project, they new they needed something for their new gallery & lounge but weren’t quite sure what. After talking through their initial thoughts – wanting some type of marketing handout that summed up their services that captured their cool vibe – it was time to brainstorm some concepts. They didn’t have any marketing materials designed yet to work off for style so I had to design something from scratch that they could then use to build other future marketing pieces off.

Design Concept

I decided to go with a double sided rack card for the menu. It’s easy to display, carry and offered the right amount of space for what they needed. I drafted an initial outline of what should be included for info and then moved on to the fun stuff – color, design elements, and images! The space has a rich, vibrant wall color of deep terracotta and the logo is a medium toned warm blue – these were such great colors to work with. I used tones of deep to medium orange mixed with medium to deep blues for the palette.

Art Direction & Imagery

CG+CL had a collection of photos but for the marketing piece to be perfect, we needed to get some serious shots from a professional. While designing the layout for the brochure I found several place holders that worked as samples for the final piece. I recommended they do a photo shot with a photographer of their choice and supplied them with a shot list… a potential wish list of things we could use for the brochure, but also that they could use in the future. Their photographer did a killer job getting the images we needed to capture their style while making the menu really POP!

Custom Background

I wanted to add some texture and pattern into the background and since this was a cocktail bar, I figured what could be better than some hand drawn cocktails scattered about. I loved the dramatic element that the textured pattern offered and in the end, it all came together perfectly!

Final Design

I loved doing this brochure – not only because it’s a cool new indie biz that showcases local art and serves tasty cocktails – but also because it allowed me to use a variety of elements to create something unique for them that they really needed and how well it showcased what they have to offer.

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Ultra-Chic Marketing Suite

A visual tour of a stunning, brand-new suite of marketing products custom designed for this busy, ultra-chic event planner, Nicole Guilmartin Event’s.

This week one of my favorite clients (and friends), Nicole Guilmartin, got in touch for some help developing a marketing plan for 2019 and a suite of marketing materials for her growing biz. My quick response… “Hell Ya!”

Nicole’s a bit of a rock star and once she decides to do something, she’s ON IT! I admit, this is my favorite type of personality to work with since random brainstorming chats quickly become real life products to be lovingly shared. Creative convos built to inspire!

First Steps First

We met for the initial consult – a vital task to build the foundation of any project. Even though it’s incredibly important and includes some heavy lifting, it’s still super fun and exciting! We discussed Nicole’s overall needs, gathering details to create a concise outline of specific to-do’s and noting them in priority, along with some future suggestions. I walked away from our meeting with enough info to set her up with a pretty thorough marketing plan that would support the coming year’s initiatives – and the next few after. I gave her flexible options she could adjust according to time and budget, and suggested key marketing pieces that she’d get the most value from to start off.

Mostly, I wanted it to be fun for the both of us and not overwhelming. Nothing takes the wind out of your marketing momentum fast than stress and anxiety before you start! I left the options open to her schedule, needs and budget. When she replied, I couldn’t have been happier…

“Abby, I love this so much. It already makes me feel like I have a plan and can be more organized. You do such a great job especially with the schedule to help me break it into attainable chunks. I need that!!!!!”


Nicole’s natural style, existing logo and website imagery made it easy for me to start pulling together a palette of muted plum, smokey mauve, cool gray and subtle peach tones. I also could play off her modern-chic personality by incorporating some geometric design elements including diagonal lines and diamond shapes. I began sketching concepts for key products that made the most sense for her to start with; a seasonal E-Newsletter, marketing brochure, oversized postcard, stationary, personalize note cards and a truly adorable ‘Thanks a Latte’ Thank you card.

Not every client moves at lightening speed but once Nicole got a glimpse of something she liked, she was on fire! Between January and June, we developed one project after the other until she had her entire branding suite laid out to use within her daily routine.

We started with a Seasonal E-newsletter launched Spring 2019 (view SP19 or FA19) with recent event highlights, tips and testimonials. Next came a double sided marketing brochure highlighting key services, then an oversized postcard to send to potential clients, then two versions of stationary – one blank for proposals and the other stylized for invoices, a custom calling card for everyday notes, and finally a super sweet ‘Thanks a Latte’ card for extra special moments of appreciation.


Some favorite moments during this project (other than working with Nicole) were; building a color palette from her logo and website imagery, drafting the editorial lineups and writing some content for the seasonal email, photoshop’ing a manicure onto her latte image to make it ‘pretty’, and learning about all the amazing work she produces during the year. This final marketing suite was smart, sassy, modern and chic – which suited the gal who’d be using it perfectly!

To see more of the work we’ve done together, check out this custom fashion illustration for the 2020 Power of the Purse Gala or this marketing brochure for Create Gallery & Cocktail Lounge at Somerville’s Bow Market.

I look forward to what the future brings with this creative and collaborative partnership. We’re currently working on a 10th Year Anniversary Event for This kickass women’s professional-mentorship group for emerging female leaders is celebrating a decade of empowering women through connection! Learn more about this ground-breaking group of ladies and their mission here!

Check back soon to see more details about the individual pieces in Nicole’s Marketing Suite – I’ll be sharing more about each in future posts. Check out the list below for a recap of what was included in this lovely project!

Marketing brochure
Oversized postcard
Note Card
Thank You Card

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