24 January 2013

Chinese New Year at the Library 2013 Marketing Design

A horizontal 11x8.5 inch sign design set the stage for the following design pieces.
Quarter page handbills were printed 4-up to an 8.5x11 inch
page then trimmed by hand to allow a white border on all sides.
The Chinese New Year 2013 celebration is upon us and our Headquarters Library youth services department will host an event that will include a variety of entertaining activities for those who attend. To help publicize the event, they requested four print and online collaterals:

200 Handbills
8 8.5x11 inch signs
1 Web banner / webslide
1 Magazine print ad

Instead of focusing on depicting each and every one of the activities that would take place at the event, I chose one so the visual image could be larger and have more impact. I was interested to use a piece of black and white vector clip art I'd had for a couple of years of two children waving traditional decorations in the air. I thought the stencil-like quality of the art would make for a perfect shadow puppet that could throw a larger shadowy version of itself onto the background. 

Due to the vertical dimension of the magazine print ad,
text from the curtain had to be repositioned under
the illustration elements, but it worked out fine.
So I changed the colour of the stencil to red to pick up the colour of a domain free "theater curtain" image, then duplicated the stencil element and skewed it a little to emulate a shadow being thrown on a background "screen" surface. I realized that I needed some "sticks" to hold up the stencil puppets, so after a little investigation I saw that some sticks are topped with a little ball at the end which then hold the puppets. I modified and imported some domain free wood textures into the sticks and ball tops, and used another wood surface texture to become the edge of the theater window. This window edge provided the opportunity to run shadows of the sticks up it then terminate at the top edge, then resume again at different horizontal locations to continue the upward climb on the back surface to the puppet shadow. The back surface was shaded to create a light source "hot spot" to further impart the effect of the shadow puppet experience.

The home page website banner art left focused on the art and left
additional information for the caption that would appear underneath.
Although I sourced for what I consider to be the commonly overused, stereotypical, decorative fonts used on many Chinese take-out menus and the like, in the end I preferred a more playful, less hokey font. An originally lengthy descriptive event text was paired back to enable the text point size to be enlarged for better reading visibility, and lastly, the essential time/date/place and corporate logo were all added in areas that were complimentary to the different dimensions of each collateral piece.

I was really pleased with the colour palette and especially with the amount of open space allowed to remain for the image presentation.

02 January 2013

Marketing Designs for Black History Month 2013 Library Events

The final design concept blended a variety of visual images together
and gave greater prominence to the title size.

I began developing visual concepts for our library district's Black History Month event publicity in early November. Many of our library branches hold a variety of different Black History Month related events throughout the month of February, so instead of creating a completely unique design concept for some of those events, I prefer instead to create and establish a central design theme that different event programs can utilize elements from, either entirely or in part. This helps to reduce my work load while at the same time providing recognizable uniformity from one event to the next for the district's celebration as a whole.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), headquartered in Washington, D.C., sets the annual national theme for Black History Month. The association's mission is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community. You can read more about the 2013 theme from the following links: 

Initial design concept emphasized the flag's 50 stars
marching to Washington D.C.
The ASALH set the 2013 theme title as: "At the Crossroads of Freedom & Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation & The March on Washington." While the historical aspects are greatly interesting and important, the title itself was quite a mouthful both verbally and visually. Nevertheless, that was the basis for my design concept, and I moved forward with seeing how I could find visuals that encapsulated that message.

I first sourced for images that would support the theme, primarily looking for images of the Emancipation Proclamation, photos of people marching on Washington, D.C., maps, flags, and chains. I also knew that I would have to apply whatever my design theme would become to one specific library event that would highlight dancing, so I also sourced for vector clip art of dancers.

The broadcast PSA variation.
My first concept direction was to remake an American flag image by inserting an American map where the white stripes would normally be and a blue-toned detail of an Emancipation Proclamation illustration where the stars would normally be. I wanted the 50 stars to be in the process of relocating from their usual position to flow along two of the red stripes--as if marching--toward a portion of the exposed map that showed Washington, D.C. I then reversed out the theme title in a few of the remaining red stripes, but after seeing how small the wording was to the overall design, I decided I needed to move in a different direction that would give more prominence to the title.

This sign for a related dance event shows
how the general design visuals were
applied to create a new image but still relate
to the established general design theme.
On my second design concept, I used an image of the Emancipation Proclamation illustration in the background and wanted to create a road image with striped, dashed highway lines that ended as arrows pointing to a detail portion of a map showing Washington, D.C. Clever alert: once I had the white dashed lines placed over top of the black roads, the remaining visual space on the road surrounding the white dashed lines reminded me of a chain shape, so I modified the elements to include the gray "links" of a chain around the white dash marks to give an even more symbolic meaning to the road to Washington, D.C. 

At this point I still had my roads orientated in the shape of a "+" and needed to find a place for the title. I first tried to split portions of the title above and below the illustration, but when I did the text seemed too far removed from each other, so I decided to change the orientation of my "+" road intersection to become an "x" orientation instead, and lay an additional horizontal black band across the middle of the intersection to insert the title into. Having the title more centered within the illustration worked much better for me and, in an ironic twist, also provided an additional subtle similarity to the design of a Confederate flag.

Web page banner.
Projects included:
General quarter page handbills
350 General 8.5x11 inch flyer
1 General television PSA
1 General celebration webslide
1 General celebration blog icon
1 General newspaper print ad

Blog icon.
250 Dance event quarter page handbills
1 Dance event 11x17 inch poster
1 Dance event television PSA
1 Dance event newspaper print ad