Email Newsletters: Research

This week I have been researching email newsletters and what makes them great. I visited the site to gather ideas for the email newsletter than I will be creating. I found a this site to be very informative and packed full of great newsletters.

When I clicked on the link to the left titled “newsletters” I noticed that many are samples of things I get in my email everyday.  Companies advertising a sale, promotion or an event. I quickly realized I can easy log into my own email to get some more ideas for the newsletter I will be creating.

Another great site I found is  This site gives tips on sizing and points out important things that shouldn’t be forgotten and might get over looked (like the view in browser link).

What are some ideas you have about newsletters?  Drop some suggestions in the comments below.


App: Map Gas – Final

A view of the finished, print-ready PDF.  I have laid out the design of the screens and explained what each means and how to use it.  I included the app logo design in a larger view and also placed it in a screen with other apps. It would be awesome if I knew how to actually create a working application.  Anyone want to take a stab at it for me? 😀

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App: Map Gas – WIP

This week I am starting the (non-working) front end design for an app that I would find useful.  With so many apps out there already, what do you do?  I don’t use apps like some of the younger generations do.  So, I tried to focus on something that I WOULD use.

I travel (drive) a lot.  And when you drive a lot, you need gas.  Sure there a lot of apps out there that show you gas prices and even ones that track your fuel.  But what is missing is an app that you can plan your trip in a GPS, have it track your avearage fuel consupmtion (prior to your trip) and plan for you to stop at a gas station with in a certain radius at the cheapest gas station in that area.  You would be able to input your car’s make/model/engine specs and even the grade of gas you perfer.


2011 Audi A3 2.0L, hold 12 gallons, uses 93 octane

point A (starting point): Raleigh, NC

point B (ending point): Oak Island, NC

currently have 1/2 tank of gas.

App would suggest that you can make it to Kenansville with about 40 miles to go before runing out.  It would tell you that the shell station off the exit is the cheapest in the area for 93.  It will also give you a before and after this stop suggestion incase you want to push on farther or stop sooner.  If there is no station past it’s suggestion it will warn you to stop before with its suggestion being that last option in the trip with your current settings.

Once you fill up, you tell it how many gallon you put in and it will recalculate your trip.

App Design in progess:

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Logo: Computer Tech Skills – Final

The final designs for the Computer Tech Skills Center are below.

For the first design, I went with a networking theme.  The blue and yellow (school colors) circles are connected to form the letter “C” for Computer and Center.  I extended the Tech to give the design a little flare.  And I kept the bottom font for the location simple as to not take away from the design but to also compliment it.

The second design is similar to the first, same design for the wording.  But I went with a set of circles with a yellow to blue gradient (school colors).  I made the gradient fade in a way the makes the circles look as that are not only spinning but also coming towards you.  There really is no rhyme or reason to this design other than keeping it modern and clean.  A design that can remain timeless.

Logo: Computer Tech Skills – Draft

Wake Tech recently contacted the graphic design department to have us create a logo for the new Computer Tech Skills Center. We were given a very basic set of instructions so we have almost free rein of design.  I struggled a bit because I am not a true computer person.  Sure, I can navigate around most things and a few minor advanced things, but I am by no means a computer tech person.  I did a lot of research for my different logo designs and tried to really tie in a few key components, like a circuit board.  I will expand on two of these but feel that I many of the designs could really come to life as well.

WordPress Site

For those of you following along to my WordPress site, you might have noticed a few changes.  This change was much needed as a few things just weren’t flowing right and I needed to add a few pages for a recent assignment.

First up, color changes.  I went with a coral, grayish black, and white color scheme.  The thought is to keep the look clean and modern with a sense of warmth and inviting feel.

The header has my logo in the center with the original image of the daisies used previously. You will find the added links at the top labeled “Services” and “Portfolio”.  The links are pretty self explanatory, but were needed to really add to this site the things you can and should expect from me as a graphic designer.

Under the Services header you can find a list of things that I can provide to you, the customer.  But don’t let that limit me!  If you have something else in mind, I am happy to consider trying something new.

The Portfolio section is where you can find my previous works I feel are worthy of showcasing.  The goal will be to add a variety of things I have done to really show off what I can do.

Have any suggestions for my WordPress?  Please feel to leave any suggestions or general comments in the comments sections.


Graphic Standards Manual

Creating a GSM was a bit of a challenge. Based of what I knew and the research that I did, I found that a GSM can be as simple as a few pages or as complex as a novel. Before this project, I didn’t really know these existed. Having a GSM is a great tool to give people who will be using your logo in applications inherent to the business and who will need to recreate the logo and apply it to use for marketing.

I used InDesign for the creation of this project. By using master pages, I was able to keep a cohesive design theme. This was all about the logo so I needed to keep the design aspect simple and focus on content and information. Below is a sample of a spread that can be found in the GSM I created for the Crucible.

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Graphic Standards Manual: Research and Sketch phase

Hello again!  This week I have been working on a Graphic Standards Manual (GSM) for a company who is starting over.  I spent some time doing a bit of research so that I can be sure that I know what is needed and make sure I don’t leave out information.

Here are just a few of my research notes:

GSM for the Crucible –

  • will expand to a market in San Francisco
  • a design competition company
  • company logo font is called “Bodega Sans”


Black , White, Red

Other GSMs I like for inspiration:

Social Media and it’s varied uses: An Interview

Social media can be used for many other aspects besides just checking in with friends.  For example, I personally belong to a few niche Facebook groups that I follow to keep up with craft trends, photography, and fashion.  Many people participate in these groups and give advice to others in those related areas.  This is fantastic because I am always learning something new and I can ask questions when I am ready to try something different.
I was able to interview a person who also uses social media to their advantage and others benefit as well.  The following are the questions and answers to this interview.
Q:What Social Media channels do you use related to your interest?
A: I predominantly use Facebook as a means for connecting with clients’ customers. I have used Twitter, seldom, in the past for previous clients.
Q: How much time do you spend each week on this Social Media Marketing?
A: I spend approximately two hours per week between scheduling posts and creating info graphics or digital event posters.
Q: How do you engage visitors to participate and share your content?
A: For a bar/restaurant, my main client, I engage visitors on Facebook to comment their favorite drink or food items and what they’d like to see on special.  Occasionally, we use the boost feature for upcoming events to reach a larger audience.
Q: How does this social media engagement benefit the you?
A: The social media engagement benefits me momentarily as I am paid by the bar/restaurant owner for my management of the Facebook account. Additionally, if benefits me while bidding new projects for clients searching for social media marketing. It benefits the client by seeing foot traffic come to their operation.
Q: How does this social media engagement benefit your audience?
A: It benefits the audience by keeping regulars and new customers informed of any upcoming events, or current and upcoming specials. The regular postings also allow folks who may want to visit the bar to see what the current clientele is.
Social Media is gaining popularity as a catalyst in marketing and reaching those niche areas that people are interested in.  As we can see, there are many different benefits towards using social media in the form.  What are your thoughts?  How can you see yourself using social media to engage others?  Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Empty Book: Final – How to land in Wonderland

Designing an empty book, coming up with a title and all, was a bit challenging.  What do you create for an empty book?  Where do you start?  All these questions and more came to my mind but as I started to sketch, more and more ideas came to my head.  This is the final result of many ideas I had.  I knew I wanted and “Alice” themed cover, so what better way than to accomplish this than with imaginary maps to guide us to Wonderland.  I think the biggest thing I have taken away from this assignment is to think outside the box and keep sketching ideas.  Sketching ideas helps you come to the final stage.  It helps to rule out ideas you may have thought would work and build on other ideas you may have set aside.