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Thistle + Quill

In October 2015, I started a side business offering hand lettering and calligraphy services. Soon thereafter, I realized the necessity of a website and a place to feature my work.

In creating a new small business, the first step was creating a strong brand. From there, I designed and developed a fully responsive, cross-browser compatible website. The main goal of the website was to feature recent work, direct people to my Etsy shop, and tell the story of why I started with hand lettering and calligraphy.

Thistle + Quill main image

I chose Thistles as inspiration for the brand because not only are they one of my very favorite plants, but they also are a symbol of strength, as they can survive in places that most other plants cannot.

I wanted the design to play off of the rich colors and whimsy of the plants, as well as the feather, which is representative of old pen quills. Floral illustrations by Phoebe Thomas.


The homepage really serves as a place to feature one chosen product or product category, as well as my most recent work, which is populated via a custom-styled instagram feed.

Thistle + Quill homepage image

The subpage templates and text styles were all built to be reusable, making it very easy to create new pages quickly if there was a new service I wanted to put up.

Thistle + Quill subpage image Thistle + Quill subpage image
Contact Form

The contact form was a crucial piece because I needed to be able to rely on it to receive project inquiries from potential clients. I developed a custom PHP form with validation. When a field is selected the label moves up and shrinks in size, but remains visible to make scanning easier for the user.

There is also custom validation that highlights the fields that are missing information, which automatically unhighlight once the correct information has been entered. The submit button is disabled until all fields are corrected.

Thistle + Quill contact page image