I picked up a new client late last year and designed a deck for them in December. Normally I’d design anything and everything in Adobe (well, almost), but when they needed editable forms with limited resources they could revise on the fly, I designed a form for them using Master Slide feature in PowerPoint. It’s not how I’d normally do forms but there is a use case for those who only work in presentation software. Random sample slides from the deck below — including a sample of the Candidate Presentation Template form.
I’ve subscribed to thousands of email newsletters over the years (more than one person has been amazed at the amount of written material I can consume — it’s actually quite shameful and a way to procrastinate, but I digress…). Out of all of them, these 3 have been adding more value lately than many others and keeping me up to date on marketing and social media marketing trends, news and entertainment. Hit the subscribe button and see if they’ll be a keeper for you, too.
The image below is a thumbnail cover image for an upcoming live podcast by sports commentators who I’ve grown to admire recently as I’ve helped them with their social media. The sports industry is new for me and I’m learning and making connections with sports journalists and reporters — they’re a fun crew! If you like to talk sports, give The Buck Stops Here a listen. They’ll be announcing their trademarked United States Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural class this week! Details on the image.
The image below will be slightly adjusted further to optimize size and resolution for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. if you’re interested, I’ll be the podcast LIVE on their TikTok channel as well. Join us!
As an Agatha Christie devotee, I found this book by Sally & Tony Hope through The Book Guild Publishing (a subsidiary of Troubador Publishing) to be a thorough collection and analysis of the mystery-genre literary devices she uses in her works. If you’re an Agatha Christie fan as well, or an aspiring murder mystery writer, this book is for you!
What a tragic thing to have to highlight some of your best work. One of our son’s friends was killed in an ATV accident and I had to do something — so I did what I do best — created a logo in his honor and offered to do the funeral program. I was able to create the layout and donate the printing for the funeral program for the Bartlesville, Oklahoma service and provide a digital, print-ready funeral program for the service in St. George, Utah. This kid had THE BEST smile. I hope you’ll find these graphics inspiring.
The circle social media icon / logo above was made into stickers and used for social media profile pictures by Burk’s family and friends to honor him.
The program used in Bartlesville, Oklahoma was printed 4 over 1 (CMYK/Black) on house stock by a local printer (yes, again with Bartlesville Print Shop’s Shawn Roberts — simply the best!), and donated to the family in honor of Burk and his friendship with our son for his funeral. The version above was the print-ready copy for the St. George service that had a few different speakers and participants.
⏰ One of the things it took me far too long to learn 🎓 is that 🔥 “done” is better than perfect 🔥 . . . except for maybe brain surgery and rocket science. If I could go back and redo this pro bono 2020 religious invitation for a special day of prayer and fasting (needed now even more than during the pandemic!) I would absolutely request higher-ups change the verbiage to “It consists of abstaining from . . .” but likely they requested it and I was preoccupied with my full-time humanitarian role. Does the message get across? ✅ Does it still bother me it wasn’t perfect? ✅ Can I live with that? ✅
Two prayer and fasting invitation options below that I had designed for the Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) below.
Yes, I spelled “theater” both ways — the intentional “error” will increase engagement and better the SEO results for my Google search terms, so it’s a win-win for everyone except old-style grammar afficionados and most English teachers. As unofficial president of the Sharpie Enthusiasts Club, I apologize and encourage fixing the error with a Sharpie.
This program was actually designed in very early July on a rush basis because the original print layout person became ill. It’s been a few years since I designed anything for the theater, so it took longer than usual, but was fun to try and match the original cover style the original designer had created. I loved the custom gilt frames and golden photo backdrop I was able to bring to the interior — particularly the spreads for the major roles. It’s been a long time since I designed anything and felt like riding a bike after many years. The speed will come back as soon as I get familiar with the upgrades to the tools I used to use and some fantastic new ones that have surfaced in the last 6 years!
The show had all sold out performances — CONGRATS to Superstar Productions and the Darwin Theater in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia!
Much of the work I do for Google Cloud is to help partner organizations help their learners successfully become Google Cloud certified. I actually designed this during Q4 2022 which always seems to be crunch time for taking certification exams — both for achieving KPIs for Google AND for achieving personal career goals before year-end. If you want to download a PDF of this Google Cloud Certification Exam Tips packet, here’s the official Google linked PDF for you.
“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” — Neil Gaiman
Highly recommend this quick read written by Bill McGowan, former host of the TV show “A Current Affair.” It debunks a few prevailing communication tactics – the same ones that often left me a little nauseous! [The Gaiman quote above opens chapter 4.] #amreading #recommend #ad #amazon #communication #words
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).
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!
Most of you know I’m working full time for a “higher cause” this year and haven’t been doing much designing at all but was asked to put together some possibilities for a stake logo for church. Oklahoma City had designed one for their stake — story has it from a reliable source that the stake executive secretary just did it one day and it was quickly adopted — and it’s a great logo. The Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake, however, doesn’t lend itself to easily using an acronym for a logo. Pitfalls include derogatory connotations of letters similar to BOS, etc. ad nauseum. At any rate, one hasn’t been chosen so maybe they’ll pursue other options but here’s the contenders and a flyer that was created for a stake conference around the same time. Skills are rusty – it’s amazing what a year off from designing can do for that to happen! It took me twice as long as it should have to come up with these passable designs…
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.
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.
Lots of interesting musical things going on here but I didn’t like the femininity of the lyre shape as well as having the logo associated with any single instrument, even though the trumpet is very engaging.
The final design incorporates something that sets Ambler Hall apart: its gorgeous chandelier, donated by a patron. It’s the first thing you see upon entering the small hall and it is the perfect icon to associate with the acoustic hall that can also be rented for receptions, weddings or meetings. It’s elegant, simple and a good choice! Next post, I’ll list the style guide variations.
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!