March was (happily) a very busy month for design. I gained a few new clients through a web platform that connects creatives (like me) with folks who need a project or two completed, but do not have an in-house designer to handle their business needs. The initial projects are in the books and we are already talking about next steps… I am thrilled to make these new connections, and hope that I can foster these new business partnerships for the long term. Here are a few of the projects that have been keeping me busy…
Uptown Nashville Real Estate Branding
An eye-catching design, inspired by the Nashville skyline (illustrated by yours truly from a photograph that inspired me) plus some fresh colors and clean font style. Currently working on business cards, letterhead and web looks to complete this branding. Loving the modern direction this brand is taking!
Cyber Control Trade Show Items
For this new client, I took an established brand and made it better. The style is modern tech, incorporating fresh elements that were unique, but do not overpower the strong logo. Items below include their name tags and a WebCam Card they will distribute at the event. I also supplied graphics for social media, booth design, signage and email communication.
Quick Response Fire Supply Oversized Postcard
The purpose of this jumbo postcard (sized 8″ x 5″) is to showcase a variety of products and push clients to the website. In this case, I edited over 30 photos to include in this collage (cutting out distracting backgrounds, color correction and sharpening images) and I am currently working on formatting their entire catalog of items (which means I have several more photos waiting for me in Photoshop). All photos are also included on their website to give them a consistent and professional look.
Hmmm I can’t wait to see what April brings!
The First Baptist Church of Bloomington, IL was established in 1837. In case you are terrible at math, that was a really long time ago. A friend of mine has the honor of being the lead pastor for this long standing, well respected congregation and he asked me to consider developing a fresh logo as they near their 180th anniversary.
Previous branding attempts resulted in a hodge podge of logos, in a variety of colors and fonts, which resulted in an inconsistent brand that left people confused about their identity. Bloomington could quite possible have a church on every corner (which is a wonderful thing) but if FBC wanted to continue another 179 years, they felt it very important to stand out in the crowd, and that a strong brand was the first step (I agreed).
After a few discussions and a marketing analysis, I began design. My initial direction was a more traditional route, using iconic religious graphics such as crosses, doves, leaves etc., but if our goal was for them to stand out in the crowd, would that cut it? The answer was clear from the first moment I drove up to the grand brick building. Two enormous, beautifully crafted, round stained glass windows greet you as you drive into the property. The real treat is viewing these windows from the inside… The moment you walk through the doors, the space is filled with a rose hued light that emanates from these windows. No offense to my friend (the pastor), but I wonder how many in the congregation get lost in the beauty of these windows during Sunday sermon…?
I began to develop a simple, yet eye catching graphic version of these windows to be incorporated into their new branding. I suggested a jewel toned color scheme, and simplified font that is modern and easy on the eyes. A few other marketing items are currently in the works, including a welcome brochure, information board and newspaper print ad (sneak peak below). Web and social media campaigns are also underway to bridge the gap between the old and the new. It is exciting to be a part this beloved church’s transformation as they turn over a new leaf in our community.
So, after a brief hiatus from my blog during the busy wedding season… it is now time to refocus for next year. Lately I have been interested in reaching out to other businesses in the wedding industry, and finding ways to help each other. My idea is that they could add “invitations” as part of their services, make a bit more cash as a reseller of my product, and I receive a more consistent stream of work by being their go-to designer (that’s a win-win right?).
With this in mind, I sent a batch of samples to wedding and event planners in Central Illinois, hoping to form a referral network and build awareness for my business. Rather than a standard brochure/flyer design, I adjusted one of my favorite invitation designs to contain everything about my business that I want others to know (the whole kill two birds with one stone sorta thing). I also included an RSVP, much like that in a wedding invitation, that enables them to return the card to me, containing their contact information and level of interest in my services. If they also decide to send a gift, I would be thrilled!
Here is the sample invitation I mailed this week, containing everything they might want to know about Pretty Lil’ Notes. I hope that these sample packs will open the door to a great working relationship with others in the wedding industry.
It was also a great reminder of how much work it is to stuff all those envelopes (this is where bridesmaids would come in handy).
While my most recent blog post was touting the importance of print, this post is “all about that web” (I feel like Meghan Trainor needs to jump on this fresh beat). I am formally trained in print design, but I naturally gravitated toward web and other electronic media given the sharp rise in social media and online marketing. Many potential customers’ first instinct is to “Google” a business or person before they actually visit the store front or meet them in person (I am guilty). Often, a first impression is made on a smart phone or computer screen, and it better leave a good one or it’s likely to be forgotten (just as quickly as you can “swipe” to the next screen – also guilty). See all the trendy terminology I am using? I am soooo 2015.
Below are just a few of my favorite websites that I have had the pleasure to design and code in recent years. Each client brings unique needs and requires varying functionality when it comes to their websites, which can sometimes be challenging to fit into a successful design, but the outcome is so important to the success of their business. Hats off to all the true coders and web developers out there, I dabble a bit here and there, but mostly I just make them look pretty.
A good friend of mine has recently taken over a local yoga studio and asked for some help in establishing a new look for her business. Already her mind is churning with innovative and big plans for this small studio, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things Carmen has in store for her staff and clients!
I am excited to help her kickoff this new adventure with a fresh look that still maintains some of the elements of the existing logo (we discussed the importance of continuity with the current brand, given that the name, location and most of the staff will remain that same). I have included the original logo that I used as inspiration and a few of the designs I presented to her that I believe will integrate seamlessly with the existing brand. I am hopeful that as her business grows, this new look can be introduced into much of the existing signage, web, and marketing material without missing a beat. Namaste!
The final selection, with full color double-sided business card design: