Skylands Menu and Stationery

From 2007 to 2008, Lila Symons worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as an Associate Art Director for Corporate Communications. Though her job consisted of using her talents to assist the Art Director on various design projects for the communications department, the art department gradually became involved in other design projects. Lila spoke to me about one such "other" project she was asked to work on: designing the menus and stationery for Skylands, Martha's summer home in Maine.

Because of the company's diverse visual parameters, Lila's role was never limited to one particular department, as she explained to me: "One day we could be working on the printed materials and visuals for an event, and another day we could be working on a wordmark for one of Martha's television shows. It was definitely an unusual job, because the average person assumes that graphic designers are only hired at MSLO to work in publishing, web, or merchandising."

Below are examples of her beautiful Skylands creations with ex
planations from Lila about the process. (Thank you for sharing with us, Lila!) You can visit Lila's website here.

"When I was first assigned the project, all I had to work with was the existing Skylands wordmark, and this large, beautiful map of her property and the land surrounding it. Martha wanted to incorporate the map into the menu somehow. As I started working on concepts for the menu, I took a good look at the map, and found where the Skylands home was. Then, I placed the map at a larger scale so the viewer could see where Skylands was marked. Though you only see part of the map on the menu, you get to see all these wonderful details that you wouldn't see if the whole map was featured on the front cover." "Inside, it only felt right to incorporate Martha's faux bois pattern. Then I took elements I liked from the map, such as the sailboats, and made a bunch of different name card concepts. (Shown above). I remember feeling very nervous about showing Martha, because these concepts were a departure from what is usually done. However, she loved everything!" "After designing the menus, we decided to keep her stationery simple by incorporating the faux bois pattern on the back of the notecards."
"I no longer work at MSLO, so I'm not sure if Martha is still using everything I designed. However, I have a feeling she may be, because the intention of creating stationery and menus for Skylands was to design something that she can use for years, and still look current. Though I would have never turned down an opportunity to visit her Bedford home, Skylands is my personal favorite!"


Kimberley said...

Hi Andrew- So this may be a dumb question, but Martha has menus for her summer home? So if guests visit, they have food options from a menu? Or am I missing some major piece of info about Skylands (i.e. it's a restaurant?)? Either way, the menus are very nice!


Hi Kimberly, It's not a dumb question. The menu is simply a description of what will be served that evening. Given Martha's means, I'm sure she does offer several options for her guests, especially since Martha entertains on a very large scale. Some of her guests may be vegetarian or have certain food requirements, etc. Skylands is definitely not a restaurant, however. If it was, I'd be there every evening! :-)

Kevin said...

Beautiful! :-)

Sarah in WA said...

Posts like this are reasons why I love your blog. Beautiful and informative info you won't find anywhere else.

Alluding to your response to Kimberley's post, can you imagine if Skylands was a restaurant! I think it would be hard to get a reservation if so.