22 December 2010

The holidays are closing in on us. Due to library closings on the holidays themselves and also due to organizers and hosts of library events being away during the last two weeks of the year and start of 2011, fewer new projects are being called for through the design department. 

Top: large format poster/tabloid sign. Bottom: web ad.
This is partly a good thing, because it allows me to work ahead on events coming in January and even February. It is a real blessing when event organizers include the design and marketing departments in early on event planning. In the creative and marketing worlds, far too often promotional development is delayed until far to late in the game and then a tremendous pressure is placed on creative, marketing, and printing departments to rush publicity out to the public. As a result, you see a lot of work that reflects poor-quality planning. And who gets the blame for that? Oh no, it's rarely the content producers, that's for sure. Designers and printers work their magic and save the day far more often than people realize but rarely get the kudos. Instead, what they get is the reputation that they can do this routinely. As a result, they often find themselves doing a lot of last minute rushes to save someone's back-end.

So it is with great pleasure that I have had the opportunity to work ahead on multiple projects, completing them even a month ahead of schedule. This is really advantageous for promotions because the in-library displays, signs and handbills are largely only seen by people who walk into the library, and if you're like me (as a patron) that's not an everyday event. Having those items out and visible a month in advance is much, much better than only a week or two before an event is to occur.

Such is the case with local author Nick West. He came to the library in November to ask if he could hold an event to promote his book, The Great Southern Circus. He's got a great story to tell and as a local author we would normally not want to pass up the opportunity and ease of promoting one of our own residents. No travel fees are required to secure him as a speaker, unlike out-of-state speakers.

Not only that, but through his publicist, Mr West had already done some marketing for his book. From a design standpoint, this could be either good or bad, depending on the quality of his promotional materials and available image files to use. Fortunately, he was fairly well prepared with a professional quality photograph of himself and a book that I could scan, followed by a lesser quality digital image of his book that I could use to recreate one of his online images with (a book shown on an angle). I could lay my higher quality scan of his book cover over the original book cover image to reproduce at a larger scale.

Because he already had his product (the book) and a nicely designed advert style in play, I didn't want to create a completely different looking set of publicity products. Instead, I chose to compliment what he already had by extending his existing style to the new marketing materials I was producing. This holistic thinking would serve his product better by maintaining the identity that had already been created.

New elements included using the same font from his book cover for his own name, then using complementary fonts for the details. An enlarged copy of the book cover was used to create a patterned frame around the poster and behind the author as well.

Marketing products used for this event:

11x17in Signs (18)
Quarter Page Handbills (200)
Large Format Poster (1)
ACLD Website Homepage Ad (1)
Print Ad (1)

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