Finding a Personal Brand

I’m a communications major. Originally, to me that meant that I mostly was going to have to do a lot of reading and writing. Well boy was I wrong. Communications involves much more than that. It means that I am not only a writer, but an editor too. It means I am a designer and an inventor. It was not until taking a Desktop Publishing class that this finally resonated with me.

Having a personal brand is a thing?

An article that I recently read that caught my attention was from the New York Time’s by Steven Kurutz, “Want to Find Fulfillment at Last? Think Like a Designer” because it opened my eyes to realizing that it is okay to not know exactly what you want to do. Today it seems to be instilled in college students that in order to be successful you need to know exactly what you want to do with your future so you can get a job right after leaving college. But part of being able to find a job and be successful in life, all starts with figuring out what your own personal brand will be.img_0827

Until now, I had never really thought much about what my personal brand was. However, I do think it is essential to establish this to be able to move forward. I think three of the best words to describe my personal brand are well-rounded, compassionate, and driven.

After completing two co-ops I believe I was able to truly find my niche and what I think would be the most rewarding career for myself. Of course, I am also a firm believer that as we continue to get older we never stop growing as a person, which inevitably causes our personal brand to change along with us.

Since when does type matter?

Designing a business card to represent my personal brand proved to be much more detailed than I originally perceived it to be. For instance, I never thought there was so much involved when it came to the topic of typography. Who knew that there were so many rules for how you should pick a font and how other people would react to it. However, what I have found is that you can’t make everyone happy with the kind of fonts you choose since everyone has their own particular style.

When first picking a font for my business card I chose Caslon and c40ulvctjlUnivers from the article “19 Top Fonts in 19 Top Combinations”. I thought they both were very simple and complemented each other very well. Since I am a very laid back person, I wanted my fonts to match this.

What turned out to be a blessing in disguise was having to change my fonts at the last minute. Without doing so, I never would have branched out and played around with multiple other fonts that were not exactly in my comfort zone. I actually
realized through doing this that it really does matter what two fonts you put together because when you choose the wrong one, it can completely change the message that you are trying to convey while also entirely throwing off your audience.

Color is more than just picking your favorite

Its scary to think that color can play such a crucial role when designing any sort of brand. I honestly thought that people just picked a color that they thought went well or was one of their favorite colors. After reading about what each color means and how it makes people feel, I completely transformed my way of thinking and refocused on what the color of my personal brand should be. My favorite color is blue, but after reading a few articles I decided that I should choose my brand based on my three words and who I am as a person.

While reading the article, “Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color”, I got a whole new perspective on what each color represents. After this, I came back to the conclusion that the color for my personal brand should in fact be blue. I chose this color because I notijq3wwlff9xced that the way my personality is really matches up with the cool colors. Everything they represent from night, nature, water, relaxing, reserved, etc. are all things that describe me. Then when further reading about each one, I realized that how I want to represent myself is within a light blue to be friendly and a darker blue to represent being reliable. So to achieve this I plan on using split complementary color schemes.

Desktop publishing will never go out of style

In all, everything we chose to design or represent our brand, matters. From the words we use and the fonts to write them, to the colors we choose and the layout to put it all together, it all matters. Something that I found surprising with the history of Desktop Publishing is that it is still fairly new and people are already saying that print is dead. It is easy to forget that these technologies were only started a couple of years ago because my generation was born in an era where we do not know anything different. There will always be a need for flyers, business cards, pamphlets, newspapers, ads, etc. I personally think that the tools we use in desktop publishing are something that will continue to be beneficial.

What do you think?


Designing the Perfect Flyer

Who knew creating a flyer for an event would be so difficult? I sure didn’t when I first started out. Originally, I thought all that mattered was a great image and a catchy title. However, as I continued I found that a lot more goes into constructing a creative and effective flyer.

It’s all about the headline

When creating a flyer for an event it is crucial to determine what is the most important part that you would like to highlight. For my particular flyer, I thought the headline was the most important component that I wanted to emphasis.

The event that I chose to promote was a pasta dinner fundraiser put deepher-dude-is-coming-with-5-all-you-can-eat-pasta-2on by my sorority, to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our target audience was other college students, especially those in the Greek community. I needed a headline that would attract this group of people by appealing to what they could benefit from this.

To create the most effective headline, I took some pointers from the article on adespresso “11 Formulas and Strategies to Write Irresistible Ad Headlines” by Pawel Grabowski. In one of his tips he suggest to just use a direct headline that will grab the audiences attention without being too catchy or over the top. As long as the title explains exactly what is going on, then you have made your point effectively.

So, after doing some research on headlines I came to the conclusion that this would be the most effective for my flyer, “Deepher Dude is Coming!”

Subheads are your friend

To be honest, I was a little reluctant to put a subhead on my flyer. I thought that by doing so it meant that my headline was not strong enough and that it should be able to stand-alone. However, this is not the case.

Thinking about the event that I was creating a flyer for, I realized there was a lot of information I should include with only limited amount of space. After coming up with a direct headline, I knew I needed something extra to fully grab the audience and make them want to come to the event. This is why I added a subhead stating “$5 all you can eat pasta.” By adding this it not only gives important information, but it adds emphasis to the event that is coming up and what it will include.

A picture speaks louder than words

To me, the next most important thing is finding a visual that will capture the essence of what your flyer is trying to convey. As soon as I chose this event to create a flyer for, I knew the perfect picture would be of some sort of pasta. Unfortunately, my original idea to have a picture of pasta as the full flyer with the image faded out a bit to allow the words to pop out more on the page, did not turn out as well as I would have hoped. Instead, I stumbled upon a simple, delicious looking picture of pasta on unsplash.com. Once I found the picture, the rest of the flyer came together almost instantly. screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-2-24-04-am

Stop! Think before you place that element

To say placement and positioning on a flyer is important is an understatement. It is crucial! I found this out the hard way when I designed my first draft of my flyer that I had thought would be my final copy. Quickly I found out that placing things on a page may look fine to me, but looks weird and awkward to others.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-2-29-29-amAfter placing the picture at the top of the flyer
with the text all below, I realized that it looked strange and like something was missing.
So, I decided to place the picture in the middle of the flyer allowing it to break up the sections of information. Once doing this it allowed the flyer to flow much better and establish the visual hierarchy I was hoping to achieve originally.

Choosing fonts and establishing what should go where and in what size was a little hard at first. Then I read the article “The Visual School Guide to Visual Hierarchy” by Janie Kliever on Canva.com. It states that to help get a message a cross you should use 3 levels to help with designing.

I decided that the title should be the first level and would be biggest text that would stand out the most. Next for my second level, I used a separate smaller text for my subhead to distinguish that it is different from the headline. For my third level I chose to make the details such as the date, address, and benefits of the fundraiser the smallest text and underneath the picture. By following the pattern Kliever provided I was able to separate the text in a way that allowed the flyer to flow better.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-2-37-21-amCreativity is key

Overall, designing flyers for events is more difficult than it first seems. A lot of thought and patience has to go into it because there are so many elements involved. Designing the perfect flyer takes practice and knowing when certain things are working and when certain things are completely ruining your design. Holding on to an idea because you think it is safe, ultimately could be the downfall to your flyer. Remember, it is never a bad to be creative and try something new you might surprise yourself. I know I did.