Behind the scenes | Guest post by Jennifer Simmons

As you may already know, I had a baby boy on September 18th. As I take a mini maternity leave, I have a series of talented friends/guest posters who agreed to fill in for me throughout the rest of the month (and into October). I will try to pop in with random posts here and there, but we are just trying to enjoy our family time right now. Enjoy! Behind The Scenes - Collection Inspiration

Hi everyone, my name is Jennifer Simmons. I've been lucky enough to work with Amy on each of her collections with American Crafts. As a designer, I help Amy translate her ideas into art files and, eventually, the products you all know and love. I thought I'd share a bit of our process here for you today.

We kick off each new collection by spending several days meeting with Amy. This means she travels to the AC office in Orem, Utah. Sometimes Buster comes along too. As a dog lover, I absolutely adore the days when he joins us in the conference room. JenPhoto_1_JenBusterDuring these early meetings, all of the inspiration Amy has gathered is discussed and eventually narrowed down. Below is some of the inspiration we selected for Amy's most recent collections.JenPhoto_2_InspirationAs you can see, the inspiration for the collection includes hints of the trends, textures, patterns, icons, type and illustration styles we hope to achieve within the line. Our inspiration usually drives our font selection and sometimes requires a bit of hand lettering, which is always fun to do. We also sort through hundreds of color chips and cardstock colors to arrive at a color palette. Picking colors is not the easiest or most logical process, but I love it. Finally, when all is said and done we compile our efforts into a style sheet. With the style sheet completed, a new process can begin – creating the illustrations, patterns and phrases that will be used across the collection.

About Me: I've been a designer/art director at American Crafts since 2007. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my family. In May, I welcomed my second kiddo, a baby boy, and have been enjoying a summer away from the office on maternity leave.

You can find Jennifer on her Blog | Twitter | Instagram