December 09, 2012

ring in the new year with RDesignsLA!

Start the year off right with one of our 2013 year at a glance wall calendars.


The image is our take on the Jet Age theme building at LAX airport here in Los Angeles that opened in 1961. 

This lovely googie gem looks very much like a flying saucer that's landed on it's four legs. The calendars are available in Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.

Come on over to our Etsy shop to take a look!

Happy New Year!


December 05, 2012

what inspires us to make what we make

The idea behind RDesignsLA is to use our everyday environment as inspiration for what we make. As we move through the city we notice things that interest us, we have an innate curiosity about what was, what is, and what will be.

LAX Jet Theme Building concept poster  
One of the first things we did when we moved to Los Angeles was visit the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. Along with a good case of dehydration and sunburn we brought home some old postcards depicting Los Angeles in what we believe to be the 1940’s.

We like to use the images that we collect as well as the photographs we take ourselves as inspiration for the pieces we make.

What inspires you to make?

November 29, 2012

Bekins Storage

There are buildings that become a part of your life. You drive by them or walk by them as you go about your day, traveling to and from work or school or running errands. Some are old, some are new, some imposing, some diminutive. These buildings hover somewhere between fading into the background and rising up to greet you like an old friend.

When we moved to the Koreatown or Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles a few years ago, we were struck by how present the built environment was around us. A vibrant mix of commercial and residential buildings that shows how this city spread west from the downtown core. A trail of stately 1930s apartment buildings, compact 1940s bungalows, low-slung 1960s complexes, art deco office buildings, condos and strip malls. 

We found the many neon roof signs particularly interesting, some dating back to the early 1920s when the area was abuzz with commercial developers and Hollywood elite. These signs have found their way into our lives and our work in funny ways. In particular, they now live on in our hand printed lino cut cards and bow ties. It's a lot of fun discussing which sign to work on next, it seems like there are fewer and fewer to choose from as the neighborhood slowly evolves. One person's revitalization is another person's loss sometimes. 

We were particularly dismayed when one of our favorite signs, the Bekins Storage sign on the corner of Pico and Crenshaw was suddenly missing one day nearly two weeks ago. 

This is one of those buildings for Rosemary, an old friend she drives by every morning on her way to work and every evening on her way home, often spending a great deal of time waiting to turn northeast on Crenshaw. What was so shocking was how quickly the sign came down, and how much it's absence changed the landscape around it. 

Robin did his best to try and find out what was going on, but to no avail. No one working for Public Storage who now owns the building, was able to answer any of our questions. Just as quickly, the sign was painted white last week, and much to our chagrin, they began installing the new Public Storage sign the day before yesterday. While the new sign mimics the look of the Bekins Storage sign it replaces, something is still just not quite the same. 

Bekins Storage, pre-1933 (Noirish LA skyscraper discussion group)
Up until this point, we had been quite relieved to see that Public Storage had gone out of their way to take care of this beautiful castle-like building that has been around since at least the early 1930s. It's disappointing to see such a neighborhood icon unceremoniously removed after all this time and it will take some getting used to. While we understand that time cannot stand still, we do however find it sad whenever one more part of this city's history disappears.

If you'd like to find out more about this castle of storage, take a look at this article from the L.A. Times from 1989. 

What about you, are there any pieces of your city you wish were still there? Tell us about them, we'd love to hear your stories.

November 21, 2012

we're now on ETSY!

We have some really exciting news! The RDesignsLA Etsy shop is officially open! We'd like to invite you all to come on over and take a look. Please, let us know what you think! We've been working hard on some new pieces and can't wait for you to see them!


While you're there, take some time to look over some of the thousands of other lovely hand made items featured on the site. It's a great way to support small business and you can even keep things local! Etsy is a great community, and we're really happy to be a part of it! 

We also want to add that we've taken the handmade pledge, everything that we're giving our friends and family for the holidays this year is made by hand, either by us or by other small companies. We really believe in supporting small businesses and local over global consumption.
We'll be busy posting more items on Etsy, so check back often! You can also follow this link to our newsletter signup page. Also, please follow us on Twitter where we tweet under the handle @RdesignsLA or like us on Facebook.

Thank you, and happy thanksgiving!


November 09, 2012


Welcome to the RDesignsLA blog! We're really excited about our new venture, and can't wait to share it with you! This is where you'll find information about upcoming events, see what's going on in the RDesignsLA studio, and find out what fun and interesting things we stumble upon in the city of Los Angeles.

We're very busy right now getting ready for our first event, we're participating in Platform's Holiday Bazaar tomorrow night in Highland Park. We're working on a series of linocut greeting cards featuring historic Los Angeles roof signs. 

We have some really exciting things coming up in the next few weeks and we can't wait to share them with you! If you want to be kept in the loop about what we're up to, please follow the link below to be added to our newsletter. We promise we won't bother you too often, and of course we'll never share your information with anyone else.

Follow this link to our newsletter signup page. Also, please follow us on Twitter where we tweet under the handle @RdesignsLA or like us on Facebook.

Thank you again for your support!

Rosemary + Robin