Find Inspiration In and Around Orlando, FL

August 25th, 2014 by Rita

Orlando, Florida, “The City Beautiful,” also known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World.” With such a focus on our tourist and service industry here, it is easy to lose sight of the beautiful side of our city. Sometimes it takes some searching, a little bit of effort on our part, but if we stop to look around a little we can be reminded of just how beguiling our little piece of Central Florida is.

If you’re finding yourself stuck and uninspired, we’d like to take a moment to share some of our favorite places we find inspirational around town.

Lake Eola

We’ll begin right in the heart of Orlando. Lake Eola is more than the nucleus of our urban city center. It is the pulse, the beat, the cadence of the city’s essence. The city begins here and extends it’s many arms out to give energy to its residents.

It is impossible to visit this downtown respite without understanding why we call Orlando, “The City Beautiful.” The expansive body of the lake gleams under the Florida sun, catching its rays and reflecting them back to the life blossoming around its banks. It is the perfect blend of the urban skyline backdrop with the organic nature of the park. To stand in any one spot and look out across the water is to see the city at its most beautiful.

Underneath the booming activity of the Farmer’s Market on Sundays, of the children climbing the playground, and the runners winding their way through it all, there is a history rife with legend and intrigue. The legend states that the city was named after Orlando Reeves, a soldier who died in 1835 during the Second Seminole War. It is said that where his body was laid to rest there was a marker with the words, “Here Lies Orlando,” and therefore travelers began to reference this sign when passing through or settling in the area. But, military records show no such person. However, there was an Orlando Savage Rees, a cattle rancher from the same time. Rees may have participated in some activity during the Second Seminole War and is believed to have left a marker with his name on it that later was misread by settlers as “Reeves,” thus giving us the former version of the story.

Regardless of who bore the namesake, in 1939 a memorial was raised at Lake Eola by the students of Orlando’s Cherokee Junior School to designate the spot where Orlando Reeves, or Rees, supposedly fell. Continue to journey around the lake and one will find numerous more sights to see including sculptural adornment, people practicing meditation and yoga, and of course the iconic swans and geese waddling on the sidewalks hoping to catch some food from generous passerby’s.

Loch Haven Park

Unfortunately, many Orlandoans and visitors carry around a common misconception of our city. Too often we hear people say, “Orlando just doesn’t have any culture,” as if there is one pre-determined definition of what it means to possess “culture.” Regardless of what defines this “culture” we’re lacking, this is a gross misjudgment based on insufficient information. True, our more artistic cultural side is continually overshadowed by the theme park driven consumer culture, but that is not to say it doesn’t exist.

Loch Haven Park, just a stone’s throw away from Downtown, is a hub for artistically centered cultural events. It is home to the Orlando Museum of Art, the Mennello Museum of American Art, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Fire Museum, and the Orlando Garden Club. Aside from the institutions, exhibits, and events offered, the grounds themselves provide a quiet and shady refuge from the traffic and noise of the city.

Maitland Art Center

Though technically in Maitland which is just a bit outside Orlando’s city limits, the Maitland Art Center is an architectural surprise. Nestled in amongst homes quintessentially old Florida, the building design is in the “Mayan Revival” style. Very few examples of this architectural style remain in the Southeast United States.

To visit the museum is to step into another place and back in time. Suddenly visitors are transported down to Central America with it’s enigmatic and unique imagery. There’s a magic to the place, and a history just as fascinating as the decorations.

The Maitland Art Center is what’s left of an artist’s commune, then named The Research Studio, began in the 1930’s by André Smith. Much like many other twentieth century inhabitants of our state, Smith was a snowbird seeking refuge from the bitter Northern winters who settled here and opened his studio’s doors for other Northern artists to join him. Today, this commune culture remains as the center continues to foster the careers of local artists.

Wekiwa Springs

Florida, the Sunshine State, has over 30,000 lakes, 11,000 miles of rivers, and more than 900 freshwater springs. It goes without saying that Floridians clearly enjoy a lifestyle filled with sun and water.

So, where do Orlandoans venture when looking for a little bit of of fun in the sun? A little bit of nature? A quieter, calmer outdoor retreat? Wekiwa Springs. Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River slightly northwest of Orlando, the springs offer the best of Florida outdoor activity frequented typically by locals only.

Whether it’s to have a picnic, hike, kayak, horseback ride, or laze around in an inner tube and let the water take you where it will, one day at the springs and you’ll feel completely rejuvenated.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

More commonly shortened to just Leu Gardens, this botanical haven is only a few minutes from Downtown Orlando. The gardens and turn-of-the-century home, now a museum, were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane. With fifty acres of tropical and semi-tropical gardens, visitors are able to experience and appreciate the Floridian flora.

With the picturesque surroundings, it is no wonder the gardens are a popular venue for weddings and often serve as a backdrop for photo sessions. However, visitors to the grounds can enjoy far more than its beautiful scenery. Date-night movies in the park, “Jazz ‘n Blues” strolls, story time for babies and toddlers, horticulture classes, and a number of societies are just a few of the special events and offerings the gardens host for members of the community.

Take one afternoon to stroll the sidewalks through the garden, snap a few pictures, and revel in the natural landscape. It’s the perfect environment for quieting the mind and smelling the roses.

Designer’s Fashion: Christine Dupont

July 22nd, 2014 by Rita

Designers create. That’s the nitty gritty of it. They plan and they devise. Any construction, any composition, any creation, was originally the brain child of a designer. It’s likely a wiring in the brain, this need to make something out of nothing. To see what is there where others cannot. And, when someone is wired in this way, it’s impossible to turn it off.

In our previous installment of our Designer’s Fashion discussion, we exhibited the finished product; the favorite wardrobe items of designer Christian Knightly. Our creative sample this time? Orlando Magazine art director and graphic design adjunct instructor for Valencia College, Christine Marie Dupont.

We sat down with Christine and had a short Q&A about her outrageously creative ensembles to gain some insight into her inspiration, her planning, and her execution.

TCX: How does your career as a graphic designer play a role in your fashion choices?

Christine: Well, as a graphic designer I have to pay attention to design elements, like color, shape and texture, and in a way those are things that I look for when I am buying clothing. Additionally, as an art director for a magazine, I do have to pay attention to certain fashion and color trends since we do 2 fashion features a year. While our associate editor is the one who will actually choose the fashions, at the end of the day it’s my responsibility to pay attention to color, silhouette, and how the overall feature unifies as a whole. While much of it are items that I cannot (or even would not) wear, I can still appreciate it for it’s artistic merits.

TCX: Do you notice a conscious use of the creative process in planning out your outfits or fashion purchases?

Christine: You mean other than organizing my closet by color? And yes, it is ROYGBV [Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet] with another row of white, grey, black, and brown. But, I do occasionally pin outfits to Pinterest, and I’ll look at them some mornings to get an idea of how to put together an outfit or decide what color to wear. It really depends on what time I wake up. Most mornings I just throw on jeans and a nice top and a handful of jewelry; nothing that really requires a whole lot of planning.

TCX: Do you notice your graphic design style mirrors or matches your fashion style (or the other way around)? If so, how and why?

Christine: I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a particular design style. As a designer, I try to be versatile since a single style doesn’t necessarily work for every project. Coincidentally, I do have a very diverse wardrobe because I like to change things up a bit depending on my mood. I might feel really feminine one day and sorta grungy the next… So, I guess the answer to your question is actually ‘Yes,’ I have a diverse design style and a diverse fashion style.

When asked about the product samples she gave us as examples of her favorite styles and accessories, she gave us a list:

  • Gemstone necklaces from Nina Nguyen and Midwinter Co.: As a child growing up in Maryland, I loved visiting the gemstone exhibit at the Smithsonian. In a small way, these rough cut stone necklaces from Midwinter Co. remind me of that experience. I also have quite an obsession with the natural sparkle of geode and druzy pendants, like those by jewelry designer Nina Nguyen.,,
  • Leather & Lace tops from Lane Bryant: I’ve got a thing for leather and lace. These tops from Lane Bryant offer a fun juxtaposition of tough and girly. The mix of cut-out leather and chiffon hem is both flirty and edgy, while the lace overlay top offers a darkly elegant look.
  • High heels from DSW: Anyone who knows me understands that I have a shoe obsession, and I love shoes with personality. I am particularly a fan of fun patterns. The mix of colors in this Anne Klein fabric pump allows this shoe to top off just about any outfit.
  • Kelly Moore bag: Being both a designer and a teacher, I need to carry around a lot of stuff. I have this Kelly Moore Songbird bag in cobalt blue, and it offers plenty of versatile organization options. Plus, it doubles as a camera bag with a removable basket and adjustable dividers.
  • Geometric gold jewelry from Stella Dot and Forever21: Lately I’ve been obsessed with gold, especially in streamlined, geometric shapes. I love the simplicity of this Rebel Pendant from Stella & Dot, but I also love the approachable price point of pieces from Forever 21.,
  • Funky Converse from Journey’s: Everyone should own a pair of Converse sneakers (I own 3 pairs, myself). With a variety of color options and styles, plus the ability to customize your own, it really should be a staple of every graphic designers wardrobe.,
  • Statement necklace from Kendra Scott: Every once in a while I like to break out a big ‘ol statement necklace (if you haven’t realized by now that I have a jewelry problem, then you haven’t been paying attention). I love the big colorful pieces that Kendra Scott makes.,
  • CMYK jacket from Veer Merch: I love being a graphic designer, and I have no problem wearing my heart on my sleeve… or anywhere else for that matter. This sporty CMYK jacket from Veer is not only in my favorite color (red), but it’s truly an ode to my love of print design. I don’t know what could be more “designer” fashion than that. Veer Merch via

Christine’s fashions are a prime example of bringing together pieces and parts to create a finished product. She shops around on the internet, pins her inspiration to her Pinterest boards, and uses her creative genius to construct her style.

Retro Travel Design Inspiration & Resources

June 27th, 2014 by Christian

I am a traveler. My adventures have taken me from camping in the Serengeti to horseback riding around the Egyptian pyramids to exploring catacombs in Ukraine. These experiences traversing the globe have been an inspiration and great influence on my choices and design aesthetic.

A few of my travel posters.

Over the years I’ve gathered many resources to re-create retro and vintage travel posters and marketing materials. The art deco influences of the 1930′s produced some of my favorite pieces. Below you’ll find a vast array of tutorials, typefaces and vectors you can use for inspiration and creating your own retro travel posters and marketing materials.

Vintage brochure I picked up in Mombasa, Kenya.

My collection of vintage postcards from Egypt.


Here’s a pinboard I put together with some great Vintage Travel Posters.

Follow Christian’s board Vintage Travel on Pinterest.



My favorite fonts are…

Download Cubano

Download Honey Script

Download Matchbook

Download Seaside Resort NF

For More Retro Typefaces and Fonts:

Photoshop Brushes / Tutorials

Creating 3D Text Tutorial

Vintage Type Treatment Tutorial

Photoshop Brushes


1950′s Inspired Travel Poster Tutorial

Download Vintage Label Vectors


Designer’s Fashion: Christian Knightly

May 19th, 2014 by Rita


noun 1. A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates forms, structures, and patterns, as for works of art or machines. 2. A schemer, intriguer, or plotter.


noun 1. A prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.

If you are or have ever associated with those we call “creatives,” then you know their outfits are often so visually stunning they look as if they just stepped off the page of a magazine. Not limited to the realm of fashion, the designers and artists of other industries still use their creative genius for planning their wardrobe as well. After all, when you have that much artistic instinct, it’s difficult not to have it influence every aspect of life.

We at Treefrog Cinegraphix are fascinated by the creativity and artful choices that bleeds into other areas of our lives. It’s the inspiration that arises from unique and unexpected sources. The artistry that manifests itself off the page and off the screen. This interest or ours inspired us to call on a few of our team members and our fellows in the advertising world, and ask them to show us their Designer’s Fashions.

It seems only appropriate we’d begin close to home with our own Managing Partner and Lead Designer, Christian Knightly. Christian’s fashion choices are distinct to his personality and tastes, and he admits finding it important while working in our industry to have his creative nature reflected in what he wears. When asked about the relation between his profession and his style, he had this to say:

“Within our industry, we are given a chance for self expression in what we wear. Where other industries might try to suppress that with their stodgy and strict dress codes, ours promotes individuality through outward expression and allows us to dress in a way that conveys our uniqueness.”


His interest in fashion piqued over the past five years, he says, and he’s drawn especially to the styles of Paul Stuart and Brooks Brothers. The pants, shirt, and jacket he’s seen wearing here, while not designer in label, are all favorites of his inspired by the clothes he stalks on Pinterest. But truthfully, it’s in his accessories where one sees his personality shine through.

With socks he finds a discreet way to add a pop of color and character to any outfit. The watch he’s wearing has an aviator feel to it and reminds him of traveling, one of his favorite activities in life. And, the organic material of his tie clip reminds those of us who know him personally of his ability to shed the gloss of civilized life every once in a while and rough it in any terrain from the Rocky Mountains to the African Desert.

His style is colorful, yet soft. Classy, yet approachable. Professional, yet lighthearted. He’s a designer who wakes up in the morning and begins with his first creative choice of the day being, “Now, which socks will I wear today?”

Keep scrolling for a closer look at some of Christian’s favorite wardrobe items.

The items of Christian’s wardrobe:
1. Khaki Levi’s Denim Trucker Jacket
2. JCrew fitted pinstripe long sleeve button down
3. Tie – Skinny Tie Madness; Wooden Tie Clip – Etsy
4. Sunglasses – Mad Men Black Sunglasses
5. Skagen Denmark watch – stainless steel face with leather strap
6. Property Of … Samson Day Bag – Navy
7. GH Bass & Co. clay colored chinos
8. Joseph Abboud brown leather belt
9. Express gray and tan argyle socks
10. Timberland desert boots

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