Design Feature: Nailed It! (With String Art)

Our January Design Feature is a Simple, Yet Intricate (and Inspirational) String Art Project

Growing up, my mom used a newfangled Macintosh computer. It was one of the first ones in 1984. This Mac changed how she designed. Before that, it was drawing by hand, clipart that had to be glued to a page, Letraset letters, and paper. I used to love her Letraset letters. If you don’t know what those are, you clearly were born in the late 80’s or later and didn’t grow up near a designer. Letraset were letters that were transferred to paper by rubbing on the letter which would then transfer it to the paper. They were pretty simple, but I thought they were amazing.

I love how frequently we use our design muscles and work with our hands.

Ever since computers entered the scene, the work of a graphic designer has really changed. I’m not sure I could’ve been a designer if not for a computer. I know a lot of people in that same boat. However, if you’ve paid attention to our past design features, you’ve seen how often we go into 3-D territory. We had paper quilling, flower designs, and even played with Legos and food. I love how frequently we use our design muscles and work with our hands. This month, we do it again.

"Aloha" string art design project by Britton Marketing and Design Group

A recent home decor trend combines wood, string, nails, and negative space. A quick look on Etsy will find string art DIY kits and, for those of us who like our fingers and patience, completed designs. The most popular ones I’ve seen around are states with a heart where you live. Resident senior production artist Amanda Treharn apparently likes torture and frustration because she decided to tackle four designs for this design feature. She liked creating these so much, she did it on the weekends and evenings—and even made some for friends. She’s a beast. (I mean that in the best way possible.)

String art using negative space to design the word "hello."

I’m not crafty. I’ve tried. I literally went into Michael’s with my husband to find something and walked out empty-handed. Who does that? What you are seeing here is Amanda’s first foray into string art. Her first. I’m exhausted just looking at it so I asked her what made her want to try it. “I saw something at Hobby Lobby that I wanted for a gallery wall in my house and like moms do, my mom said, I bet you could make that.’” Challenge accepted.

Rustic completed string art design project, featuring the word "Howdy."

Look at that! Amanda didn’t buy this wood with nails in it. She placed every. single. nail. in the wood and hammered it in. “Getting the nails in takes the most time!” explained Amanda. She said, on average, each piece took an hour or two to place just right. If you are interested in doing something similar, Amanda has some words of advice: “Keep it simple.” If you take up a string art project after reading this, tag us on Instagram!

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Photos/graphics: BMDG

Meghan Britton-Gross

Meghan Britton-Gross

Hi, I’m Meghan. You know what I love besides my handsome husband and two adorable girls? A great book, a comfy chair, and a cup of tea I’ll never drink (just to hold because it feels cozy).

Meet Meghan Britton-Gross