What I Designed Today: Farmers Market Business Cards

I have always been somewhat proud — that’s not quite the right word — of the fact that over 25 years of designing marketing materials for clients, I have NEVER advertised. I think it’s less pride than it is reassurance that my skills and talents are valued and worthwhile and not having to advertise is just a key performance indicator (KPI in the business world).

Front of the business card for Palisades Farmers Market in Washington D.C.
Back of the business card for Palisades Farmers Market in Washington D.C.

During my 6 years of consulting and humanitarian work, I didn’t design much of anything (although those skills did come in handy many times – particularly using MailChimp to send a regional newsletter but I digress…). Occasionally random strangers would still approach me via email or my website about design work. Most of the time, I’ve had to ignore those requests but I had some free time yesterday when an easy request arrived in my in-box and I learned a few things about myself:

  • I was giddily happy to be doing any kind of design work again. I just love to CREATE whether it’s a small business card or an entire marketing plan or confidence in a colleague or friend…creation is my “thing.”
  • Software is the same, but with wonderful upgrades — and believe it or not I kept up my Adobe subscription for 6 years while barely using it (now that’s a commitment to software you love).
  • I’ll never get used to switching from Mac to PC back to Mac again — muscle memory from years of shortcuts and keyboard strokes do NOT translate to the right buttons! I’ll get there…still loving my new MacBook…but probably just in time to get back to Windows 10 and a PC (which I despised at first but quickly came to love). I joke that we’re a non-denominational platform family — we like to use ALLLLLLL the devices available to improve our lives.

This new client found me via a simple Google search for “ticket business card” and came across this old post from 2013. Wow! That’s reassuring because even though I thought my skills were a bit rusty — and I’m sure they are — good design is timeless. I may not have the drawing skills I’d like but I can set up a typographical hierarchy like nobody’s business…and it was good to know I’ve still got it, it just takes a little longer than six years ago!

What I Designed Today: Billboards for Adam & Kizzie at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall

Adam & Kizzie are coming to Bartlesville and it’s going to be a fantastic night of music at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall.  This is a new direction for OK Mozart’s music selection and this duo with their gospel, blues, rock-n-roll and jazz sound are sure to please.  I can’t wait to hear how they sound in Ambler Hall.  If you’re local, info & tix are at okmozart.com.

Technically I designed these billboards a little over two weeks ago.  The traditional billboard goes up tomorrow and I hope to add a shot of that from the street as well.

Traditional billboard

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Digital billboard

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Digital billboard from the street

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What I Designed Today: Logo Guide for Bartlesville’s Ambler Hall

It’s not a full-on style guide but it’s a step in the right direction with a usage guide for the most common scenarios for a logo.  I’m so excited about some of the concerts coming up at Ambler Hall!  Check out Adam & Kizzie — they’re coming in November.  For more details, visit OK Mozart on the web.

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What I Designed Today, err…weeks ago: Father’s Day Poster & Coupons for La Fiesta

There’s a Mexican restaurant in Bartlesville, La Fiesta, that I’ve never been to — not because it’s not popular but because when we stayed in the hotel that shares it’s parking lot (while our home was under construction), we witnessed the chef puking out back then go back in.  The next night we witnessed an ambulance take away a customer.  We kind of figured that was an omen and wrote the restaurant off without ever actually trying it.  I found it interesting, then, that I was tempted to go when I was requested to design these coupons for Father’s Day.  I was relieved it was on Sunday because that eliminated my temptation altogether since we try our best to not eat out on the Sabbath Day.  I just may have to try it another time, though!

Here’s the original link to pieces of stock art by CharlieZ.  I like my adaptation and his stock art did make it very easy.

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What I Designed Today: Recreated a Farrier Logo

All design work isn’t fun or glamorous.  Scratch that.  MOST design work isn’t fun or glamorous at all because it’s the actual do-this-to-get-paid variety of work (even if it’s ugly).  Take this project:  I was asked to recreate a farrier’s logo for a 73″ wide banner.  It wasn’t difficult to do but it took time to redraw in Illustrator and get it right.  There was no using any sort of conceptual design skills — just rote recreation of a graphical element.  The project used my expertise of Illustrator but I had no creative liberty whatsoever, which is fine.  It pays the bills.  Just like any other occupation, graphic design is work — and work I’m grateful and blessed to have!  After all, there are worse ways to make a living…

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What I Designed Today: Social Media Contest for Tate Boys Tire

One of Bartlesville’s finest local establishments, Tate Boys Tire, is running a social media contest and I was asked to design their promotional signs for print and online/web.  If you want to enter the contest, go to the Tate Boys Facebook Page and just like and share the image!

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What I Designed Today: L’Amore D’Italia Program for OK Mozart

The program for OK Mozart’s L’Amore d’Italia Ball is a smaller, 4-page, 1-fold piece.  I love the interior and it printed nicely on a heavy linen stock thanks to Bartlesville’s best print shop.  It turned out just lovely!  Osage Casinos sponsored the event and the mask picure on the cover was taken by local artist Gary Gibson.

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What I Designed Today: Print Shop Docs with Horrible Fonts

I’m loving the interesting flow of work coming from Bartlesville’s local print shop.  There is, however, the problem of recreating things to print EXACTLY as a client requests — but that is ugly as all get-out.  It nearly killed me the other day to save a print-ready file using the Hobo font.  The project here called for Rage Italic and a graphic with lines that I absolutely do not understand (It’s so abstract, it could mean anything!).  Kill me now.  But, such is the life of a print shop — the client’s requests always come first!  And if you are the client and you happen to read this:  take it from an experienced designer — it’s time for an update on your logo and materials. You don’t even have to hire me.  Just, for the love of all that’s holy, refresh your brand.

Exhibit A:  Rage Italic in all its horrific 1980s glory — letterhead and envelopes.  Because a small town rec center is nothing if not thorough.
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What I Designed Today: Interchangeable B&W Newspaper Ads

So, these are quite simple but since they’re only 2″ wide and they pack a lot of info, it is important to make them readable but still stand out on the entire huge newspaper print page full of black and white!  Enter the diagonally cropped picture.  It really works!  It adds just enough visual “movement” to help the ad stand out on the static page and draw the eye of the reader.  Take a look and see which is your favorite.  These 8 ads are being printed in a series in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper, based on which performer is coming up next chronologically.

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What I Designed Today: OK Mozart International Music Festival T-Shirts

I submitted about 9 different designs and these are my favorite versions.  The local printer prefers one color, so I was challenged to do an eye catching design while only using one or two colors to keep costs low.  Mission accomplished!  Which design would you prefer?  Do you think Mozart actually said these quotes?  Logo front pocket, this design printed large on the back side of the t-shirt design.

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In the end, in a somewhat heated debate, my client chose to print two different designs — each of which was liked by different personnel who adamantly did not like the other design!  Which makes me think of the phrase, “If everybody likes what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong!” Not a bad motto to live by! I’m curious, though, which of the two below would you choose?

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What I Designed Today: 2015 OK Mozart Festival Poster

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What I Designed Today: OK Mozart Ads

One is a grayscale ad for newsprint and the second is a recreation of their ad in Conde Nast, originally done by PDG Creative, with the proper fonts of this year’s campaign and a little bit of a changeup in placement if items and photos (at OK Mozart’s request). It was a good work day, busy but not TOO stressful!

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Diaper Drive for Emergency Infant Services

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It’s been a busy year and a particularly busy month — but not as busy as the month Cole graduated and getting him off on his mission to Manchester, England!  That was insane!  But one of the highlights of August 2014 has been the Tulsa, Oklahoma Stake Relief Society Women’s Conference where we, with our fearless leader, held a preparedness conference which I will post about later with downloadable graphics, etc.  As part of this conference, though, we held a diaper drive for a Tulsa non-profit called Emergency Infant Services.  We collected diapers and packaged them up in bags of 20 or so according to size and will be delivering them this week.  Hooray for clean bums!  It was an easy, effective, and necessary service project and one that everyone seemed to wholeheartedly support.  I love getting out in the community with service projects outside of our own little homes, wards, and stakes.  So fulfilling!