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.
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal known as the Adobe Creative Cloud. It was the first Adobe program I ever used and I still use it a lot for various projects. The more I used it, the more I learn how to maximize my efficiency in the program. If you want to do your best job in Photoshop (or any design program) with minimal frustrations, do as much prep as possible.
Fundraising is a necessary practice for band programs across the country, especially those that see their budgets dwindling. Programs that see success in fundraising translate the interest they have gained from performances into donations. Investing in brand building and communication is the best way to reach potential donors. If you want to fundraise with any success in 2016 and beyond, you need to invest in your logo(s), visual brand identity, social media, and overall communication strategy. Capitalizing on the power of your brand and communicating with clarity maximizes the effect of your effort.
For second year in a row, I participated in #The100DayProject with Elle Luna & The Great Discontent. The project simply involves choosing an action you will perform for 100 days and sharing it each day on your Instagram. Last year, I made 100 logos for fictional places in TV, movies, literature, etc. This year, I embarked on the ambitious plan to produce daily Instagram videos (1 minute – once I got the update on my phone) giving insights about my craft and my process. Some videos were logo case studies. Some were tips on social media, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Others focused on my thoughts on the importance of branding, design, and creativity.
From July 14-18, I was in Las Vegas to participate in the Evolution Championship Series (“EVO”), the largest and longest-running fighting video game tournaments in the world. For years, I dreamed of being at this event live and in person. It was an outstanding and, at times, surreal experience. The visual presentation and the atmosphere created added to my overall experience. And that is what an event (and branding, in general) is all about.
With my 32nd birthday coming up, I decided to do something for the occasion. From June 9th through July 10th, I am designing and posting a new logo on my Instagram. I’ve done a few daily projects and have learned that they force me to practice my craft and help build discipline. The more I work, the more I learn.
Mastering the expression of emotions is very valuable, when trying to communicate to an audience. When I produce content for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, I try to include as many smiling faces as possible. On social media, promotional material, and in our national publication The Podium, we want to speak to the value we bring college & university band programs. We also want to showcase the value the brotherhood and sisterhood has on active and alumni members of the organizations. Showing the effects of our service is best done through showcasing our members and their joy.
In the early days of my graphic design career, I wanted people to just let me do all the work. I did not want anyone putting any parameters or requirements on me. It felt good to have complete and utter creative freedom on projects. Now do not get me wrong. Creative freedom is a great thing. However, it can also be a trap that will send you into a black hole of revisions and frustrating back-and-forth discussions that pull you further into the darkness.
On my Instagram, I post daily* episodes of “Touch of Gold IG.TV”. I was empowered by Instagram’s decision to extended the length of video uploads from 15 to 60 seconds and inspired to take full advantage with an Instagram video show.
Topics I’ve touched (hehe) on include (but are not limited to):
– Creating visual brand identities
– How to create a video show for your brand
– Reason to create sitemaps before designing websites
– The importance of sketching in creating logos
Touch of Gold IG.TV is a deposit I’m making into the creative community.
I have written about why organizations and companies have brand & style guidelines and the steps to building your own visual brand identity. Now, I would like to take you through a recently finished identity project for Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority.
Tau Beta Sigma is a co-educational national honorary band sorority dedicated to serving college and band programs.
Tau Beta Sigma operates primarily as a student service and leadership recognition society whose chief aim is to assist the Director of Bands in developing the leadership and enthusiasm that they require of their band.
Crafting a visual brand identity is not an easy task, especially when you doing it for a large national organization rich in history, relevance, and influence. These visual assets will help tell an important story and must resonate with sisters (active and alumni), the band community, and the public at large. Getting to this point involved conversations, directives, and insights from the National Council, Board of Trustees, and the Alumni Association. This playbook will educate sisters on how to properly communicate the mission, message, and personality of Tau Beta Sigma.