Pick a Card, Not Just Any Card

Christian Bale may have been onto something with his lethal envy over someone else’s designer watermark. Though our business card designs have been popular, we encourage you not to shed any blood over it.

It’s 2016. We understand that business cards may not be the most exciting aspect of building your brand, or even the first thing in mind, but they should be. It’s this kind of print collateral that will always be a relevant marketing tool for several reasons.

It’s tangible. People love a curated little piece of your brand to have and to hold, not quite ‘til death do them part, but to share with others! With all the digital information-swapping today, introductions get impersonal, and our address books on our tablets/laptops/smartphones morph into a forgettable clusterfudge. On second thought, a clusterfudge sounds delicious. Try not to dwell on that.

A business card is the first impression of your brand. It may seem tempting to keep a pad of post-its in your pocket and scribble your info to whomever’s interested, but a memorable business card doesn’t need an introduction. You’re armed for a professional encounter, anywhere, anytime!

We put all of our energy into the invention and reinvention of our clients’ brands and the collateral never falls short of this commitment. Check out some of the cards we’ve designed recently:

 

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Foodie Lovers: Restaurant Branding and Design

 

We have been pouring our hearts into some exciting restaurants and food packaging projects. From architecture and interior design to brand identity, creative campaigns, and graphics, our integrated structure allows us to holistically create both 2-and-3-dimensional environments.

With branding and naming began our exciting passage into restaurants and bars. Menu design soon followed, tailed by business cards to interiors and everything in between. Moved and influenced by the cuisines, locales, owners, bartenders, and chefs themselves, we devote ourselves to all aspects of the brand and the product, and the enveloping milieu. Our devotion to a cohesive design vision for each of these culinary branding projects makes us invested in them long after the project is complete. It helps that everyone in the M+ studio is justly cultured in foodie appreciation. In LA, how can one not be? Design. Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

 

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Baldoria-Branding---Project-M-Plus

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Ledlow-Menu---Project-M-Plus

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Bar-Ama-Menus---Project-M-Plus-2

Edendale-Menu---Project-M-Plus

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Umami-The-Grove-Renderong---Project-M-Plus

Umami-Burger-Menu-_-Project-M-Plus

Beaming Website - Project M Plus

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Long Live Bowie

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Best of Bowie fro the Designers at Project M Plus 1

 

We’ve been playing Bowie on repeat though the studio speakers since we got the news that one of our most beloved artists is gone.

Bowie gave us all a place to belong by being the brave, outspoken outlier. He told us to step outside of our comfort zone (if we dare) to create a better world. He made it ok to challenge outdated stereotypes and social norms. From music, film and theatre to advocacy and philanthropy, his fingerprint is all over contemporary culture as we know it.

As designers and creators, his fearless boundary-pushing and commitment to an uncompromising vision has always been an inspiration. We credit him in so many ways for paving the way for creativity, open-mindedness and outrageous originality in pop culture. To say we’ll miss his presence and continued innovation is an understatement.

With heavy hearts, we bid him farewell, grateful that this starman-turned-supernova leaves us his music, art and influence for light years to come.

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Moodboard Monday: Lucent Lightshop

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Lucent Lightshop’s quality, artisan light fixtures deliver a blast from the atomic age of design all on their own. Mid-century modern simplicity and art deco structure pieced together the vision they hadn’t yet whittled into a cohesive brand and trajectory for their website.

Abstract but still clean, we wanted to articulate a logo that is congruent with their product’s design and the promise of the era from which it derived. Not over-designed. Never gaudy. Classic. Fresh. Honest and straightforward.

Using geometric designs in neutrals with punches of color as well as bold black and white, we were able to meet them in the middle.

 

 

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Moodboard Monday: Emily Henderson

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The scope of inspiration for Emily Henderson’s website was vast. Her style, while distinctively hers, is bright and eclectic. We had to channel her vibrancy and creative genius in a way that is cohesive and easy to navigate. A stylish mama and entrepreneur, her voice is the forefront of her brand, and we didn’t want to compromise any of her.
Using vivid, vintage-inspired florals mixed with clean, modern aspects, we brought together her love of neoteric functionality and the feeling of found, one-of-a-kind, heirloom pieces. With a palette full of fresh greens and feminine punches of red and pink, we stayed true to love of flora and the organic element it brings to clean lines.

Our excitement over her beautiful website was reawakened by the launch of her new book; Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves. (You can find some photos of the Murnane’s amazing home, beautifully styled and photographed by Emily in there, too!)

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YEAH! Furniture Popup Event

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Michael Antonia is a whirlwind of energetic creativity with a masterful ability to work a room.

His playful personality makes him a joy to work with but also drives much of the creative vision behind his two ventures, Yeah! Rentals and Yeah! Furniture.

After years of producing parties and events around the world, Michael noticed that event rentals were downright hideous, so he began creating his own with a uniquely Californian vibe. A decade later, these designs became his first furniture collection for retail sale and he needed branding.

That’s where we come in…

YEAH! Furniture X Project M Plus

In January of 2015, Michael approached to us to help him launch his newest venture with a fresh identity, some print collateral and a new website. Mixing modern, bold typography with vintage-inspired graphics and textures, we sought to convey the collision of retro cool and modern edge.

Drawing on the iconic beauty of southern California’s desert and the dynamic energy of its creator, we developed a brand experience that embodies the timeless quality of the collection’s design and speaks loudly to YEAH!’s very cool clientele.

 

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But we didn’t stop there, we also partnered with Michael for his series of Yeah! Popups held in downtown LA that brought together some of the city’s most intriguing artists, artisans and culturally curious folks.

 

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Not only was the event a showcase for the YEAH! Furniture product line, but we also used this opportunity to share the creative vision for our latest restaurant project, Salazar –a new Baja-style beer garden coming soon to Frogtown.

Find the rest of the project case study here: YEAH! Furniture

 

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Lombardi House

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When the team behind Lombardi House approached us at Project M Plus, we saw a diamond in the rough. An estate of this stature and history needed some serious design love to transform it to a functional urban oasis for modern life.

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Between a trip to the flower market and hiring the right photographer, we thoughtfully styled each of the guest apartments. With his keen eye, photographer Zeke Ruelas captured the Lombardi House revived beauty.

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The Victorian-style farmhouse had amazing bones and gardens, but needed some TLC. Out back, we found dilapidated original stables and immediately envisioned them as a renovated event space. So, we introduced them to our architect, McShane Murnane, who drew up some sketches for the design of what has become Lombardi’s new barn.

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A study in collaboration and partnership, this project went far beyond the usual client-Project M Plus relationship. From architecture and branding to art direction, website, and marketing, the professional became personal as we invested our time, creativity, and care to make sure Lombardi House opened its doors looking her best. We even booked resident models Lake and Emerson Murnane for the photo shoot!

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We presented several branding concepts to create a classic, yet modern branding system.

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Drawing on the property’s architectural design elements, the identity celebrates the house’s quatrefoil framework.

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At Project M Plus, we love to play match maker! So when Lombardi House was ready to have its coming out party, we paired our client Lombardi House with our friends at Bash Please to plan a charming summer party fit for this gorgeous Hollywood estate.

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Lombardi House came back onto the Hollywood scene with a stylish splash, earning some well-earned attention from the likes of the and Amber Lewis’ much followed design blog to New York Times and T Magazine!

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One Paseo

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The Dome

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The Dome is a renovation of an existing, mail-order kit geodesic dome, originally constructed in 1979 for Eagle Rock Montessori School. Used as a learning space for years, it was abandoned and fell into great disrepair when the school expanded to buildings across the street.

Though we were approached to figure out how to remove and rebuild this community center space, once we walked in and saw the exposed structural system devoid of its finishes we knew we wanted to preserve the aesthetic. Even in the face of extensive damage – rot, water, termites, and all the other usual suspects were present – we convinced the owner not tear it down and went to work.

 

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The dome’s light structure proved to be an asset as well as a challenge. A lot could be done with standard construction methods, but we had to get creative to impose new ideas on its rigid form. In our case, the loading came down to four distinct spots leaving some areas open for manipulation. We wanted to move away from the standard box-outs commonly used in domes for door and window openings, so we incorporated large, circular windows and doors, and floated a part of the structure to create a place for kids to sit and play.

Inspired by Buckminster Fuller who championed the form and shape, as well as Shuhei Endo whose design influenced the lighting, we revived the Dome for modern use. Once again a hub from community activity, this bright and airy space now welcomes toddlers to preschool during the week and opens its doors to the community on the weekends.

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Moodboard Monday: Oregano

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The brief for Oregano was long and the deliverables were many. Beginning with brand strategy, a competitive audit and design identity, and ending with interior design, signage, photography, packaging, menus and a website, this really was a dream project.

We started with the brand promise: Fresh, authentic Greek food that’s reasonably priced and delivered quickly to the table in a stylish, café setting.

 

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Nearly a year after our first meeting with Kelly and Lucy, Oregano Fresh Greek opened on Lake Street in Pasadena. Informal and welcoming, Oregano is a breath of fresh air in a world of clichéd, old-style Greek restaurants (no plastic grapes, Ionic columns or statues of Caesar anywhere in sight). You’ll find a light, airy café with quick walk-up service and classic dishes refreshed for the modern era like crisp salads, satisfying sandwiches and Greek comfort food specialties.

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Congrats Oregano, and thanks for trusting us with your project! See more Oregano branding here.

Photography: Jennifer Young

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