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!
Disclaimer: I’ve been so busy working that most of the “What I designed today” posts are going to be a retrospective! I designed this horizontal funnel a few weeks ago. The funnel was used in executive presentations using Google Slides for Google Cloud Partner Learning & Certification. The intent was to illustrate Google Cloud learner journey progress through a 5-stage funnel. I had a difficult time finding a vector or raster graphic for a horizontal funnel, so I drew one in Adobe Illustrator! I actually drew two versions: a horizontal funnel WITH a gray path and one without. Here’s the original .ai file for Adobe Illustrator for you to copy and tweak or a transparent PNG. Not-so-incidentally, this fits standard Google or PowerPoint Slides perfectly.
SEE BELOW the FUNNEL IMAGE for QUICK DESIGN TUTORIAL on how to use PNG files and keep image sizes low in large presentations and documents.
Design tip: place the entire PNG in your file and crop the image to the part you want to use. If you’re working in PowerPoint, you can compress images to what is shown to keep your file size down. Here’s a handy, quick 1-minute video tutorial on how to save space by compressing images in PowerPoint — makes for easy file sharing and space saving files. It was an old tech tip I shared with colleagues in my last role but still applies for those of you who want to keep file sizes down for sharing without using cloud hyperlinks.
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.
I had so much fun altering a basic knit dog sweater pattern for our boxer’s deep chest and long neck. It’s been a while since I knitted this, though, and even though I wrote down the changes, I’m worried I won’t be able to do it again – oh well, the fun is in trying, right?! Learning to enjoy the process as much as the product.
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.
These invitations use some lovely artwork of a young woman in armor originally created by Judy Cooley. She graciously gave us permission to use them for our stake events (auxiliary conference and women’s conference) this year. I love the ENLISTED adaptation of her work. You can find more of her work if you search for Judy Cooley Deseret Book and Altus Fine Art.
I’m excited that the service project this year is collecting or creating slippers for women at the Claremore Safenet Shelter (for women who suffer from domestic abuse or sexual assault).
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!
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…