Tuesday, June 26, 2012

online printing – business cards

These days there are lots of options when it comes to printing. My favorite source remains using a reputable local print shop (nothing beats being able to walk in to view proofs, attend press checks or simply talk through your project with the folks who'll be running the presses).

But sometimes the best solution may be to use an online resource. I've discovered that the old adage "you get what you pay for" holds true here as much as anywhere. I won't call out the companies that I would strongly advise against (email me if you really must know) but I have no qualms about singing the praises of one particular shop: Moo.

Just take a look at these delicious cards I recently designed:

The colors printed exactly as desired, the paper is thick with a nice mat finish, and the overall quality reinforces the professional image my client wanted to capture.

They even offer tiny mini cards (which make great little product tags) and often have a discount code for free shipping or even free cards (the current code is "MINI20" for 20% off your order of minis).

PS: The size of Moo's business cards is slightly different from the standard size so make sure you use their downloadable templates or online design program. Or call me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

fiery campaign collateral

A week from today is the start of this year's Oregon Bach Festival!
Preparations are in high gear and I'm busily designing ads, banners, t-shirts and the like while all the main print collateral was completed earlier this year.

We started working on the theme graphics and image search way back in January. The flame image was a perfect fit: the flame itself representing both power and passion, reinforced by the blue and orange (opposites on the color wheel!) and the stark contrast between the intense vibrancy of the colors and rich black background.
The first item I designed was the season poster that's displayed all around town. Then came the brochure, for which I created a clean and simple grid to make the huge amount of information easier to find and digest.
The look and feel was subsequently applied to smaller posters as well as postcards, rack cards, banners, invitations, email headers, social media, and so forth.

It's always exciting to see all the season materials come together as one unified look – plus after months of anticipation, the fabulous concerts and events are just around the corner!

The festival has really expanded its physical reach so whether you're on the coast, in the valley or even the mountains, there's bound to be a venue near you where you can enjoy some of this year's amazing musical talents! Click here for a complete schedule.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

welcome, OHSU

I have some exciting news to share: after going through a lengthy RFP and vetting process, Defteling Design is now an official approved vendor for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)!

Throughout the last few years, I had already done some pro-bono design work for Todd's department (the OHSU Library) and by coincidence, the Library turned out to be my first official OHSU client, too!

One of Todd's co-workers was in charge of an on-campus conference and needed help with the program book, which was used to provide information on 175+ poster presentations, 140 oral presentations and three keynote speakers.

She had already designed the square Research Week logo, a play on the periodic table. I simply expanded on that.
For the cover, I created  an abstracted "empty" periodic table that I overlaid as a subtle pattern over a Kraft paper texture. I also introduced a thick black bar with a pointed right edge and used that throughout the program to highlight important content.
Because of the relatively small quantity, this program would be printed digitally, which meant I could use that same Kraft paper texture as a design element on all the interior pages. I proposed the wire-o binding to give the piece a bit of a note book feel (we even added a dozen or so empty pages for notes).
To give this book a bit more physical heft, I wanted a really thick paper for the covers. Because a digital press has fairly limited choices when it comes to cover weight stock, I opted for a French fold: printing each cover and inside cover as one wide sheet, then folding them in half. VoilĂ : extra-thick covers!
I'm very excited to see what my next OHSU project will be!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

letters of appeal – part 2

As promised in my last post, today I'm sharing another letter of appeal for the University of Oregon's Annual Giving Program.
This mailer uses the same tagline and color palette established in the first mailer but expands on the use of photography, showing students engaged in various activities across campus.
The photo shoot for these mailers is always a lot of fun and usually encompasses one or two full days of shooting. It takes a lot of organization to scout locations, create a shot list, and manage a group of a dozen or more students (our models). But all that work pays off in the end when I get the hard drive filled with exactly the shots I need to make the designs really come to life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

letters of appeal – part 1

As I'm getting started on designing new letters of appeal for the upcoming school year, I realize that I haven't shown any of last year's letters that I designed for the University of Oregon's Annual Giving Program, one of my long-standing clients.

Well, let me fix that right now!

Since 2003, I have helped UO Annual Giving design anywhere from one to four direct mail packages that ask a variety of targeted demographics to help support students in their academic pursuits. Usually there is one central message around which I will then design all of that year's letters so that there's a cohesive look that is reinforced with each mailing.

Last Fall, we kicked off the academic year with this:
The converted #10 envelope introduces the "Every gift. Every dream. Every year." tagline with a specific typographic treatment that was used on all subsequent mailers, too.
To brighten up the standard UO color palette of green and yellow, I chose a fresh lime green that was used to emphasize the word "every" in the background of the tagline.

I also used a yellow line that angled into and out of the letter at the top and bottom, creating a bit of a 3D effect to entice the reader to turn the page.
On the back, the tagline is front and center, sandwiched between large photos of students enjoying campus life.
Working on these letters of appeal is always a fun challenge. The core message does not change so each year I have to find new ways to communicate the same basic idea: give now to help students achieve their academic dreams.

Stay tuned for my next post, where I'll share the second mailer in this series.