Raise your hand if you grew up with kitchen appliances sporting colors such as almond, avocado, and mustard. You either loved that palette or gagged every time you reached for a Tab or Hi-C. Though I shudder to think how my refrigerator or dishwasher today would look in any of those retro shades, the nostalgia of mustard and faux wood vintage kitchens truly is fabulous to exploit.
With a vintage color pattern in my heart and learning on my mind, I chose to skip the motif design process (that is creating each of the elements that will be arranged in a repeat pattern) and work with something else design nerds dig – dingbats. The goal was to practice the technicalities of making patterns and the art of producing a collection. But wait, what was that?! Dingbags?? No, my friend, dingbats.
Perhaps I should pause our discussion of Cocinitas – the Retro Kitchen Repeat – for a quick typography PSA. If you don’t already have a steadily-growing stack of handy dandy bingdats (uh, I mean dingbats) in your font arsenal, you need to change that right quick. Dingbats are awesome.
What’s a Dingbat?
Dingbats are small icons in font form (see twenty categories plus the fabulously random “other” at dafont). They can be solid shapes or transparent with outlines. Add them to your photos, insert them in your Word Documents, embellish your PowerPoint presentations with these little powerhouses who are so unfairly named. You can find dingbats with animals, holidays, shapes, trees, birds, nearly anything. I cook – a LOT (three boys + one husband) – so I went with kitchen dingbats.
Cocinitas – Whimsical Retro Kitchen Pattern Collection
In Adobe Illustrator, you can convert text to shape (create outlines) and then use the font characters just as you would any other shape. I chose some of the motifs featured in Woodcutter’s Cocinitas dingbat font, made them into shapes, and created a whimsical vintage kitchen pattern collection. In the spirit of full disclosure, Cocinitas is a 100% free font, but I do not intend on selling my Cocinitas surface pattern design collection. I don’t make and sell any patterns that I don’t personally create from scratch. This one’s just for fun.
Cocinitas pays homage to the avocado and mustard kitchens of decades gone by. This playful collection is a throwback to simpler times when families and friends had more time to experiment in the kitchen and enjoy their creations untethered by today’s devices. Cook, eat, enjoy!
When playing with knives, colanders, and ladles, I envisioned this Cocinitas pattern adorning breakfast plates, tea towels, aprons, and even an ironing board. Though (sadly) I don’t have an ironing board mockup to show you, I did put together this kitchenware mockup display for you. I would personally love to have that canvas tote bag and fill it with all the cookbooks I borrow from the library.
Does anyone besides me still borrow cookbooks from the library..?
The Cocinitas Mandala
I mentioned my love of mandalas in my JMP logo creation post. There’s something about whipping motifs around a center point to create an ordered yet amusing arrangement that really tickles my fancy. In this Cocinitas mandala, I bent rolling pins, clinked wine glasses, and tossed pots upside down. Seriously, how is that not just plain flippin’ fun?!
If Cocinitas is up your avocado-lovin’ alley, I have treat for you in my next post. Spoiler alert – it’s free!
What is your favorite memory in a kitchen where they appliances aren’t black, white, or stainless? Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget that I should have included in my mandala? And if you’ve discovered any cookbook gems at the library lately, I’d love to know about them!