In the Pink

Springtime in Portland is a riot of color and the display in the front of our house is a good representation of what the rest of the city is looking like right about now. Vibrant is a good word to describe it! Between the light pink petals of the flowering cherry (you can drive down streets that are literally blanketed in pink) and the brilliant fuchsia-colored azaleas it really is intense. When the kids were little we always had a day when I'd make a video of them throwing the petals up in the air. Then there was the wife of a guy I used to work with who thought the spring colors here were bilious! Really. 


So this Springtime will be a time for me to check up on my marketing materials to make sure they're in the pink. There's always something that can be improved upon and this season I'm going to work on (between assignments) assessing and analyzing the look and the content of my site. I keep reading you're only supposed to show four or five of your best pieces. I think I show more like four hundred. Okay, I exaggerate but I did count them up and I have over 100. Time for some spring cleaning. It's also a time to refocus on the message. Another buzzword I keep hearing is niche. I'm identifying several new niches (actually old niches but ones I enjoy working in and have done good work in so there you have it). So that'll be my focus.

Oh and of course Springtime for me is Dragon Boat season! For the past 16 years I've been on a team that practices for three months, leading up to the races the first of June. It's so much fun. Good exercise, good camaraderie, good wildlife viewing. Just getting out on the Willamette is also good. MENTAL HEALTH BREAK. Not to mention rejuvenation.

So there you have it. Spring has sprung! Get in the pink!





Hearing VOICES?

One of my favorite clients (yes I know I refer to all my clients as my favorites; it's like having a favorite child, it's impossible to choose) anyway, one of my favorite clients is Francine Read of VOICES Women's Lectures. I've been working with her for, oh, say four years now, providing design direction for her very popular women's lecture series. It's a fun gig, I pretty much have carte blanche as far as design goes, as long as I stay within her already established color scheme, and I get to promote some very interesting women. Francine has just announced her new lineup for the end of this year and into next Spring. It's another year of of four amazing women and four amazing stories. Check it out: Mariel Hemingway (you know who she is), journalist and bestselling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Maestra Marin Alsop, and memoirist and bestselling author Jeannette Walls (surely you've read The Glass Castle???). 

So each season we refresh the look and feel of the promotional materials. Francine usually has found inspiration somewhere and we collaborate to bring to life her new vision. The suite of materials I design start with an email signature she can use that has a head shot of each speaker. The next piece is a flyer that is handed out at a lecture from the preceding season. It lists dates and a brief bio about each speaker and also has a tear-off order form so folks can get their ticket requests in early: many attendees come back year after year and request the same seats. 

Then I design some sort of direct mail piece, either a folding postcard type thing or a single sheet postcard. This year it's a sumo postcard, which means oversized. The front is below:

Postcard cover

But the MOST interesting piece is the eMagazine. She first started using this advertising medium several years ago and it's proved to be very successful. It's such an excellent way to communicate to Francine's mailing list. I love this and wish more clients used this medium. It's designed through issuu and can be updated as often as we want. This is a huge benefit for advertisers because they can then update their ad each season. It's also a huge benefit for Francine because we can continually update the speakers. For example, I just created a new eMagazine removing the February speaker (Annie Griffiths, first woman photographer for National Geographic, she was wonderful!). You get how it works. 

If you're interested in hearing any of these fascinating women, click here and you can get directed to the VOICES website. And look for me there!

And if you're interested in your own extraordinary suite of promotional materials, click here and we can get started working together.

One more thing, here's a testimonial from Francine:

"I highly recommend Christine Rains Graphic Design. After many years with a different company we needed a fresh perspective on our seasonal marketing materials for VOICES Lectures. Christine listened to our needs, created a stunning brochure and supporting materials that really elevated our print materials. We also appreciate her prompt response, personable approach and good value. We are committed to working with Christine!"