I currently serve as the Publications Manager & Multimedia Designer at the National Headquarters of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma. In our office, I am the only one exclusively dedicated to graphic design. I’m THE graphic design professional at HQ. I consider myself a one-man graphics wrecking crew! As such, I’m responsible for using my skill set to promote the brand of the Fraternity and Sorority.
Being in-house, for me, means being able to apply my knowledge and translate my love for the organizations into visually appealing and communicative art. As an in-house designer, I personally know and care about everything I do. It’s not just a job for me. I really get to live with the brands. I also get to help evolve those brands and then apply that evolution across various mediums. The deep connections I have with the Fraternity and Sorority helps me do better, more relevant work that will stand the test of time.
Instead of starting fresh every project, I’m working with people who have developed trust in me that’s built over time. We learn how we work and how to produce the best product. The creative process becomes easier. Also, I’m there to help manage all the designs and publications that are housed underneath these two larger umbrellas. I’ve re-designed both national websites and designed the Tau Beta Sigma visual brand identity and guidelines. I have a lot of experience designing for the organizations. This gives me ever-growing confidence to know I can properly showcase the personality of each in an impactful way each time.
“I see in-house design as a valuable resource, with in-depth knowledge and custodianship of a brand,”
Kate Bates, design manager at the British Library.
I feel that I am in a place where not just my work but my mind is valued. I’m not just asked to complete a task. I’m asked what I think about that direction. I’m asked how best to present information. I’m given creative freedom as well as creative clarity. There is a certain ownership you can take when you’re an in-house designer. There is a personal investment you’re making as well as an investment being made in you.
Being granted creative freedom means that you are trusted. I’ve talked about the value of creative clarity and some of the pitfalls of creative freedom. Today, I want to discuss the glory of creative freedom and the responsibility that comes with it.
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How do I know when an idea is “finished”?
At what point do I stop messing with layers, shapes, words, video, etc.?
For the most part, there is usually a feeling I am chasing. A feeling of completion. It can be a hard, moving target to hit. As you improve, your standards will as well. Your own high standards will make it increasingly difficult to let go and call a project finished.
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Instagram continues to evolve and provide new tools. The latest shift came in the form of allowing multiple full photos to be used in a single post. Your followers can now simply swipe the initial photo to see the rest in that post’s collection. With any new social media tool, this creates new possibilities on the platform. Once I updated my Instagram app and started playing around with the new feature, I wrote down a few ways multiple picture posts could be used.
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When you reveal the logo you have been slaving over for days, weeks, months to the general public, someone somewhere will hate it. This is what we call an irrefutable fact. In 2017, it’s easier than ever to provide your personal opinion of others work.
I’ve already given you the play-by-play of what happens when new logos are released into the wild. As a spectator, I see those 5 stages play out on a regular basis. In recent weeks, I’ve witnessed the Twitter evisceration of the new Los Angeles Chargers logo and the new Juventus logo. Both franchises showed signs that they heard the backlash and made adjustments. Brandon Moore wrote a great piece about branding and the fear that can come with it, citing the storms these two specific brands dealt with. (I got a hardy laugh out of his “Cowards” tweet where he screenshot Juventus reverting back to its old logo on their Twitter account.)
Continue reading “2 Steps To Weathering The Logo Reaction Storm”
Last year around this time, I wrote about being a gift to others. Marie Forleo, one of my sources of inspiration when it comes to content creation, always says “the world needs that special gift that only you have.” What are you planning to give the world in 2017?
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As the National Publications Manager at Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma National Headquarters, The Podium falls within my purview. Twice a year (Fall and Spring), we send this national publication to chapters and alumni across the nation. When they receive and open their package, the first thing they will see is the cover. The design of the cover is important to the overall presentation of the magazine. There is a reason why getting on the cover of certain publications is considered a big deal in the entertainment industry. The cover image is in many ways the “logo” of that particular issue. It is a condensed representation of that publication’s brand and that issue. It is worth investing serious effort.
Continue reading “What Should A Magazine Cover Do?”
What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who, through their words and actions, is a living testimony to the greatness of your brand. They are your allies in the world. Whether they are on your payroll or are just satisfied patrons, they are crucial in spreading the good word about what your brand does.
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Last week, I talked about my love of logos that utilize negative space. This week, I want to take you through my process of creating one. Creating such a logo requires planning ahead of time. As always, you’ll want to start in your sketchbook.
Make the most of your time by doing the following:
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Before any contract is signed, any design program is opened, any dollar sign is seen, a conversation must take place between a designer/design firm and the potential client. You must have a love of these deep conversations because they are where relationships are established and much is learned.
Continue reading “4 Ways To Get The Most Out of Creative Conversations”