Merry Christmas and Save the Date (we’re turning 10)!

To all of our fantastic clients, family, and friends: we wish you and yours a most happy holiday season, filled with peace and joy. Thank you for making 2016 truly wonderful.

In all honesty, this time last year, things weren't looking so promising for CurlyRed. In fact, we had to completely re-examine our business development and processes. We cut back where needed, prioritized launching our new site, increased our networking and focused even more on client relationships.

Praise God, all of that hard work majorly paid off—2016 was the most successful year CurlyRed has ever had, EVEN while relocating our business 200 miles west. We are incredibly thankful for this, and have grown tremendously.

In light of these blessings, we want to celebrate a HUGE upcoming milestone: on January 31st, 2017, CurlyRed TURNS 10!!! Please save the date for Saturday, January 28th (hours TBD), as we will be having an open house with free food and drinks in our amazing new space. 

For those who are local to us now: we sincerely hope you can join us! For those who are no longer so close: don't worry, we have a few goodies up our sleeves to thank you as well.

Please note: Our office will close at noon this Friday, December 23rd, 2016 and will re-open Monday, January 2nd 2017. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


CurlyRed Begins Work with Prominent Garrett County Real Estate Professional

CurlyRed, a branding, print and web design company, is excited to announce that it has signed its first Garrett County client, Jay Ferguson of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacation & Sales. A successful real estate agent for many years, Mr. Ferguson founded the real estate side of Taylor-Made in April of 2014 with friends Joe & Jodi Refosco and Chad Taylor. He is responsible for selling over $75 million of prime real estate during his career.

Wanting to take his marketing to the next level, Mr. Ferguson reached out to M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed, to create an eye-catching leave-behind folder for prospective clients. The piece, set to be out early in the new year, will feature historic and current imagery of the Deep Creek Lake area, as well as an infographic and information about Jay Ferguson and his unique approach to real estate. Both Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Ferguson hope this piece will be one the recipients will want to keep for years to come.

About CurlyRed: Since 2007, CurlyRed has provided fresh, captivating and timeless design, branding, print and web solutions for numerous companies and nonprofits across the country. CurlyRed is a virtual team of local talent including: designers, developers, writers, photographers, illustrators, videographers, public relations and social media experts. In 2011, CurlyRed was officially certified as a MBE/WBE business by the State of Maryland. In August of 2016, CurlyRed relocated from Baltimore to Mtn. Lake Park, and looks forward to working with more businesses and nonprofits in Western Maryland.


We wish every Tuesday was Giving Tuesday.

Happy Giving Tuesday everyone! If you're looking for a worth charity to donate to today, we have a few suggestions for you:

CurlyRed has had the great privilege of providing services for many several fantastic non-profits that would greatly benefit from your donation today. These include The Community Crisis CenterZion Project, and Business Volunteers Unlimited, just to name a few.

But we also wanted to shine a light on two incredible organizations. This year, our family is “gifting” our girls with adopting a little girl named Laurence through Compassion International. They are “the world’s leading authority in holistic child development through sponsorship.

Holistic child development means they begin, in some cases, with prenatal care and go all the way through leadership development for qualified young adults. It means they take a long-term approach to what they do and go beyond simple involvement in the lives of the children and families they serve.”

For a small monthly fee, we will be helping this young girl get what she needs to thrive. And we are hoping our girls will be inspired to also send letters, pictures and well wishes all year long!

Another organization that's doing great things is World Relief. “World Relief's mission is to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable. With initiatives that focus on disaster response, health and child development, refugee and immigration services, economic development and peacebuilding, they work holistically with the local church to stand for the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, the alienated, the displaced, the devastated, the marginalized and the disenfranchised.”

World Relief does this awesome thing every holiday season called the “Give Hope Shop.” You can select “gifts” to donate under the names of family and friends, that go directly to those in need. So much better than a gift card, don't you think?

We encourage you to join us in the act of giving today, and through this entire holiday season long. Grace and peace!


Association highlight: The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

Since CurlyRed made this move a few months ago, we felt it was important to get plugged in to our local community. We have met with several community leaders, attended events like Oakland Renaissance, and made the decision to join the local chamber.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in Garrett County with nearly 600 member firms representing every industry in the region. The Chamber also serves as the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the County. They are responsible for attracting more than 1.2 million visitors per year to Garrett County. 

The Chamber has a lovely website full of great information (always a plus), with truly stunning branding by the extremely talented Mark and Laura Stutzman (who happen to be new neighbors of ours!).  Cheers to new adventures!


Start your week off right with a FREE CurlyRed giveaway!

If you live in the Baltimore area, and love free food, drinks and music, pay attention! 

This Saturday night, Nov 12th, from 7-11pm, our friends at Baltimore Volunteers Unlimited are putting on a great event called "Get Down to Do Good," featuring Motown & Soul Sounds from the Legendary Winfield Parker and the Wilson Pickett Band!

At CurlyRed, we had a wonderful time designing the branding, flyers and invitations for this event, and now we get to share something special with you:

That's right! We are GIVING AWAY 4 tickets for the event (which includes food, drinks and live entertainment)—an incredible $300 VALUE!!!

All you need to do is comment either here, on our Facebook or Instagram pages on why you want to be at this event, and we will randomly choose one lucky winner! This contest closes this Wednesday, November 9th at 10am, so you need to act fast. Good luck! And thank you BVU!


We can't wait for the Creative Mixtape!!!

Creative Mixtape
Join Charm City’s Finest Creatives for a Totally Tubular Networking Event!
Before CDs and long before Napster, iTunes, and Spotify hit the scene, we all rocked out to our favorite cassette tapes. Although we’re living in the digital age now, let’s never forget how it felt to be an original music curator. Channeling our musical superpowers to create the perfect mix of Nirvana, Boyz II Men, and TLC, we were ultimate mixtape masters.

Much like that magical feeling of closing our eyes and cranking our boomboxes all the way up, amazing things can happen when creatives mix and mingle. That’s how the Creative Mixtape — a networking event for Baltimore creatives hosted by Charm City’s flyest groups — was born. Put your Netflix plans on pause and join us for the ultimate mixer on Tuesday, December 13. Don’t miss out or you’ll be totally buggin’.

Totally Buggin'
Johnny Sanchez

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore

Free parking is available in the casino garage.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016  |  6:30 - 8:30 pm
Johnny Sánchez Restaurant
Horseshoe Casino
1525 Russell Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

Join hundreds of Baltimore designers, marketers, advertisers, and other creatives for a totally fly evening at Johnny Sánchez in the Horseshoe Casino! Your ticket includes food, drinks and admission to the most bomb diggity networking event of the year.

As if this event wasn’t already going to be all that and a bag of chips, you’ll also get to mix it up with the fearless leaders of AMA Baltimore and Charm City’s hottest creative industry associations!
AIGA Baltimore
AMA Baltimore
B'more Creatives
Girl Develop It Baltimore


Featured client: Goodman, Meagher & Enoch, LLP

Goodman, Meagher & Enoch, LLP has been serving the legal needs of the people throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area since 1953. GM&E was one of CurlyRed's very first web clients, but they were in need of an upgrade—to a fully custom, responsive Wordpress website.

The new website features all new headshots of the attorneys, taken by our friend Larry Canner. It also has easy-to-access information about the various areas of law in which Goodman, Meagher & Enoch, LLP specializes, including motor vehicle accidents, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, civil litigation, and asbestos litigation.

We wish GM&E many more successful years of bringing justice to Maryland. Please contact us for any of your website design and development needs.


Client spotlight: Grace United Methodist Church

CurlyRed was thrilled to work with Rev. Dr. Amy P. McCullough at Grace United Methodist Church in Baltimore.

From their website: “we try to hear what God is saying for our everyday lives and for this city. We try our best to serve one another, welcome everyone, grow together in faith, and embrace the Christian tradition of following an unpredictable God.” 

In that light, Grace was looking for a stewardship brochure for their congregation that highlights their role in the community and how their funds are allotted. We paired beautiful, warm imagery with an autumnal color palette and friendly, interesting typefaces.

In Amy's words: “It was pleasure to work with Kendall at CurlyRed, as she created a bright, inviting brochure. We loved her ability to capture the heart of our message and tell the story through a creative combination of color, image, and script. We highly recommend her!”

If you have print design needs and want something unique and eye-catching, please contact us today.


Resources for a more peaceful and creative soul

Since we made our “CurlyRed-new-adventure” announcement, many of you have asked us what informed our decision and helped us make such a major life change. Today marks our 40th day here, which has a spiritual weight to it—40 days is usually symbolic of a long season. And while it hasn't felt so long, it has been an incredible 40 days.

In addition to the wise council of my dear friends and family, there have been several books, albums and a podcast that have helped shape the way we think about work, rest, creativity, and meaning. So if you'd like to learn more, here are a few wonderful resources for you:

On Creativity: 

"Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book explores the art of capturing that "magic" that happens when one creates. Fascinating. 

"A Moon Shaped Pool" by Radiohead. Every time Radiohead releases a new album, the creativity flows from their instruments to our souls. Such beautiful, powerful, interesting music.

On Peace/Rest:

"The Best Yes" by Lysa TerKeurst. Understanding the power of the words "yes" and "no" can change everything. The book is about reclaiming life through the choices we make with our time and energy.

"Present over Perfect" by Shauna Niequist. This book speaks about how "living is real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. Present over perfect living is the risky and revolutionary belief that the world God has created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms, and that it doesn’t need to be huzzed up and fancy in order to be wonderful."

On God:

"Poets & Saints" by All Sons and Daughters. This album was released just after we moved. What a comfort it has been, and so much truth delivered in such lovely music.

"The Robcast" by Rob Bell. Rob is a long-time favorite of

ours, and his "How to Be Here" tour this summer was incredible. But the current "Wisdom" series he's doing now is some of his all-time best work. Highly recommended.

We hope these resources are helpful. Enjoy!


Are you following us?

...on Instagram, that is.

You see, if you've been reading along, CurlyRed has made some changes recently. And we're doing a daily recording to give you a taste of what our new normal is.

The point of all of this is the hope that by sharing one shot a day, you'll get a better sense of the "why." A peek into a way of living that has more margin and intentionally, and less hurry and rush. We hope to use this transition as a means to create even more amazing branding, print and web solutions for you. 

Won't you join us on the journey?


Featured Client: Delegate Sandy Rosenberg

Delegate Sandy Rosenberg has been a Member of Maryland House of Delegates since January 12, 1983, and he's been working with CurlyRed for a few years now for his digital marketing needs.

Sandy felt he was ready for a new website, to feature his updated key issues (like Pimlico and the Preakness) and some new photography of the different neighborhoods he represents. We paired a patriotic color palette with his star-themed branding (created by our friends at Blue Ocean Ideas).

The result? A clean, fully-responsive,  custom Wordpress website that shows off the areas and issues he's most passionate about. Like what you see? Please contact us today for your custom website needs.


The new CurlyRed adventure—and a free gift, just for you!


Yes, CurlyRed's office has REAL WINDOWS now. 3 of them to be precise. With the windows open, a light breeze floats in, and there's little sound other than the chirping of crickets. To quote Hamilton (as I so frequently do): “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

Thinking back to a little less than 6 months ago (when my office had zero real windows), I gave two speeches about the power of virtual teams. I spoke about how I've crafted my company to grow as projects demand, pull talent from around the country when called for, and about my passion for work/life balance. CurlyRed has followed a virtual team model since its inception, first out of necessity, then out of choice. The freedom and flexibility I had thanks to this model quickly became of upmost importance to me.

Then that freedom was put to the ultimate test this summer—what exactly would it look like to relocate CurlyRed to a brand new place?

This was NOT part of the plan. I was born in Baltimore, and have lived in Baltimore my entire life. And despite what my stepmom from Pittsburgh wishes, I will never give up my Orioles and Ravens fandom. However, my heart had begun tugging me in a direction of greater simplicity—something that I was finding increasingly hard to come by.

My life, and my family's life in Baltimore was a good one. We have a wonderful support system there: loving family, an amazing church home, life-long loyal friends, and even fabulous creative peers (a quick shout out to my fabulous B'More Creatives ladies).

But my inner life was a hot mess. My default state was frazzled—and I hated that my impressionable young girls saw me that way. While CurlyRed has remained a source of joy, I didn't even feel like I could often give it the head space it deserved because there were too many other things vying for my attention.

So yes, simplicity and peace became a deep desire of my soul. And shortly after we decided to put our home on the market, I stumbled upon a listing for this home. A dream house, in every sense of the word (for us at least—we've been dreaming about buying a historic Victorian home for ages—and did I mention that it has a SPIRE?).

Looking through this listing sent off fireworks in my brain. What WOULD it be like to begin a new adventure with my family? To put to the test my ideas about what a virtual team model could truly be?

After convincing my husband that I was actually serious about this house, we took our girls to see it, and I knew. We knew. This place, 3 hours to the west of Baltimore, is an ideal place to raise a family. Nature is abundant, the schools are fantastic, the pace of life is much slower, the small-town charm is right up our alley, and yes, high-speed internet DOES exist. So after saying many very difficult goodbyes to so many loved ones, we packed up everything we owned and headed west.

I was listening to this podcast the other day, and I think what Rob Bell says really sums it up: “Some people make drastic changes in their life to reclaim their heart.”

So, this is the next chapter in CurlyRed's life. We will continue to create unique and timeless branding, print and web solutions for our existing clients. We will still be back in Baltimore for in-person meetings, networking events, and to visit family and friends. We also hope to meet lots of local businesses here in historic Mountain Lake Park/Oakland, MD, as well as areas like Deep Creek Lake, Cumberland and Morgantown, WV.

To my clients and peers: I want to say thank you so much for the love and support you've given me and my family. To my Baltimore family and friends: we miss you everyday and thank God for the phone calls, emails, letters, etc, that have kept us connected.

As a constant reminder of this amazing blessing of a house and neighborhood, I have begun posting a photo each day of new discoveries to my Instagram feed. Please follow CurlyRed there to see what we get up to.

with love, gratitude and some much-needed peace,
president and principal designer, CurlyRed

P.S.: And as a special thank you for being so awesome, we have created a 
freebie reference guide called "Vector versus Bitmap."
Download the full PDF here and Enjoy!


This Saturday: The 4th Annual Un-Company Picnic!

Ok, boys and girls, we absolutely ADORE this event! The Un-Company Picnic is a great afternoon of food, drinks, and creatives mixing and mingling.

One of the things that makes this event great is that fact that it is family-and-pet friendly, so there's no need to choose between spending a Saturday afternoon with your family, or growing your business. CurlyRed has been a part of this event since its inception, and we're so glad to see the tradition live on.

Tickets are $15 Adults / $5 Kids* / Furry Friends are FREE
*at least one adult ticket must be purchased to register kiddos

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, there are still some available through this Friday. We hope you can make it!


Featured Client: Delaware Restaurant Association

The Delaware Restaurant Association has been a client of CurlyRed for many years, and we've always loved working with them on branding, print and digital projects. 

This year, we once again created an invitation for their annual Golf Classic and we wanted to share it with you. For this project, we chose a rich color palette, paired with the beautiful golf imagery and clean type. 

If you need help marketing your next corporate or private event, please contact us today!


Monthly Pinterest: It's Birthday Month!

ahhhh....August. The best month of the year. Baseball AND football, pool parties, beach getaways and frozen cocktails. What's not to love?

And since we're a fan of month-long birthday celebrations, here's a curated list of birthday wishes by the one and only M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed (who turns 35 on the 23rd). Gifts are welcome all month long, and Hamilton tickets are welcome always and forever.


Featured client: EMC Performing Arts Studio (Here's to 25 more)!

One of our very oldest and most favorite clients, Robin Snyder-Wiencek at EMC Performing Arts Studio is celebrating 25 YEARS of business this year. Wow—what an amazing accomplishment! Go Robin!

To celebrate, we wanted to share some of our favorite designs CurlyRed has done for EMC over the past 10 years.

We wish you many more years of beautiful dance, music, theatre and gymnastics. 
Congrats again! 


Why Goal Setting Matters

written by M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer, CurlyRed

Every 90 days or so, I open a PDF that looks much like the one you see above and start writing.

You see, my business coach to the stars Susan Katz won me over in the area of goal-setting. And it wasn't an easy battle. I never used to see the point of setting goals. It seemed like a waste of time, in a way—"I know what I need to do, just let me get to work!"

But I had no idea what I was working towards.

(Now, I could have a whole other debate about settling long-term goals, but I'll leave that for another day.)

Settling goals every quarter, and a strategy to get to each goal, has been of utmost importance in shaping my business. It brings clarity and direction to my daily and weekly tasks. It helps me evaluate the way I spend my time each day. 

These five goals are often a mix of professional, personal and spiritual. Anyone who knows me knows how valuable work-life balance is to me, so I may even have more personal goals in a given quarter than professional ones. 

While most of my goals are too personal to share in a public forum like this blog, one of my more recent goals was to launch the new CurlyRed website. I had a strong desire to make that happen quickly, but also wanted to make sure the design was as strong as possible, and ensure we had thoroughly tested and optimized the site before launching. So that goal remained on my goal sheet for several quarters, as we worked through the various stages.

Once my goals are set at the beginning of a new quarter, I review them just about every day, just for a few minutes. This keeps me focused, and my mind on the big picture (it's just so easy to get lost in the little details, isn't it?). 

If you like what you'd read, feel free to download the sheet above and get planning!

For more resources in this area, you should head over to Susan Katz's site (and maybe contact her, or another capable business coach, if you need someone to hold you accountable). 


Guide to Royalty-free Historical Imagery

So, we are working on a project for a client and we knew that a historic image would provide the perfect backdrop for our piece. But editorial imagery can get VERY pricey

So we did some research and found some great resources for your next project—there are a ton of public domain images available for both commercial and non-commercial uses that are absolutely free to use. Here are a few of our favorites:





We hope these links help you in your creative endeavors. Happy browsing!

good design for everyone