the inside scoop

Trauma Sensitive Yoga brochure, and new skills

January 28th, 2016

I have designed a few more brochures lately for one of my most frequent repeat clients, Annie Monaco. Annie runs a variety of trainings, mostly for social workers, on helping clients heal from trauma. For the above brochure, I took the colour scheme from a photo of a lotus flower, and aimed to create an uplifiting and soothing mood with the design.

I have also been working to expand my skillset. I am taking a course this term on Data Visualization, in which I am learning about best-practices for graph and table design, as well as learning to work with large datasets in R (a statistical programming language). With these new skills, I will be able to offer clients a broader range of options for any pieces that include quantitative data — annual reports, budgets, research papers, and more. Working in R meshes well with my existing skill-set, since I can export graphs that I can easily tweak (fonts, colours, line-widths) in my exisiting design software.

Live Local KW

September 14th, 2015


July 13th, 2015

Some of you may remember my May 12th post about the Mother’s Day card I designed. Since then, I have created several more card designs, which I offered for sale at the UpTown Market Youth Market on June 18th. I’m too busy to do another market this summer, but if you see a design you like, send me an email and we’ll see what we can work out. If you’re making a special order, many of the card designs can also be made with different colours.

Inside: “Best wishes on your journey together!”

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Inside: “Aren’t you glad I got you this card instead?”

Inside: “In the wind and rain along life’s road,
may you find laughter and joy
in each other’s company”

Inside: “Happy Birthday!”

Inside: “...and call it love.
True Love.
~Robert Fulghum”

Brian Knetsch Business Card

July 7th, 2015

Brian Knetsch business card design (front)

I have been busy lately, and haven’t had time to blog projects as they happen; I finished this design a couple weeks ago. I’ve blogged about Brian’s logo previously — the business card design is also now done.

Brian Knetsch business card design (back)

We decided on a double-sided card, with an appointment card on the back. As you can see from this design, the logo can be used in a variety of ways. While the logo I showed in my earlier post was a two-colour design on a white background, with both graphic and text, the graphic can be used without the text, and the logo can also be used in white on a colour background.

Business Card Redesign

July 3rd, 2015

Redesigned Elucidation Design business cards

A few weeks ago, I redesigned my business cards, and got the new ones printed. I love the result, and I’ve been getting lots of compliments on them! I got them printed through UpTown Printing, conveniently located three doors down from my house, and the print-quality is just beautiful. A photo really doesn’t do justice to the smooth feel of the silk coating, the selective gloss on the logo, and the nice weight of the stock. I budgeted extra for nicer printing this time (previously I had gone with the cheapest I could find), and it was absolutely worth it to get business cards that stand out from the crowd.

Brian Knetsch Logo

June 12th, 2015

Logo for Brian Knetsch, RMT

This is another project I finihsed some time ago, but haven’t had time to blog. Now, since I’m “on vacation” (visiting a friend in Michigan), I have time; she’s not up yet, so I have a couple hours with no distractions to get things done. You might remember Brian Knetsch from my April 8th post, where I mentioned creating a temporary website for him. We’ve since added a little content to that site, created the above logo, and I have a business card design in progress. I’ll be starting work on designing a more complete site in the coming weeks.

Play Therapy brochure

June 3rd, 2015

E-brochure for two Play Therapy workshops

I finished this brochure design a while ago, but I have been busy with other projects, and blogging it slipped through the cracks. This is another project for Annie Monaco, one of my most frequent repeat clients. Annie runs two Play Therapy workshops, and since they have a lot in common (and the first is a prerequesite for the second), it made sense to put them in the same brochure — although it was a lot of text to work with! My job was to organize the information so that people could find what they need, and also to make it visually interesting. I found photos through Flickr’s Creative Commons image search, and decided to use bright colours to pick up on the theme of play.

I’ve been going to a lot of networking events lately. You can find me networking on Twitter most Wednesday evenings at #WRTalk (7:30–8:30pm), at #cinqasept some Thursdays (5–7pm) at The Bauer Kitchen (I’ll be there this week, but missing the next few), and I have also been going to the Downtown Kitchener BIA networking events on the last Wednesday of every month (5:30–7:30pm, at a different Downtown business each month). If you’re in the area, come say hi!

LIFE Co-op Banner

May 21st, 2015

Local Initiative for Future Energy (LIFE) Co-op retractable banner

LIFE Co-op is a KW-based co-operative investing in sustainable energy. Collectively, members invest in projects such as putting solar panels on a barn roof; the co-op owns the solar panels, and sells the energy to the grid, while the building owner gets paid for the lease of their roof. LIFE Co-op also focuses on education and outreach. I met Shane Mulligan, General Manager of LIFE Co-op, at Treehaus Collaborative Workspace, where we are both members.

Mother’s Day card, a grant, and a new client

May 12th, 2015

Mother’s Day Card

Mother’s Day was this past weekend, so I wanted to give my mother and mother-in-law cards. I hate card shopping, and enjoy designing things, so of course I designed a card. I didn’t get it done in time to sell copies this year, but I’m planning to start building a selection of cards for a variety of occasions over the next few years. I’m exploring the option of selling cards at UpTown Market this summer — stay tuned for an announcement about that when the details are a little more clear!

More than a month and a half after submitting my business plan and grant application to the Youth Entrepreneurship Project at The Working Centre, I finally heard back from them just over a week ago — all of my funding requests were approved! With that approval, I was able to start making some long-overdue purchases. I now have a colour laser printer, so I can print off short-run projects for clients in-house. I also purchased a smart phone (and updated my Contact page), and a couple of type families.

I’m excited to be working with LIFE Co-op, a local co-operative offering investment oportunities in sustainable energy. I’m designing a retractable banner for them to use at trade shows, community events, and anywhere they have a booth promoting their organization.

Since my last post, I have also wrapped up the Play Therapy brochure. I’m still working on the registration system, although it is working well enough to be used — there are just a few more details to sort out under the hood before it will be fully automatic. So far, it’s just set up for the Play Therapy workshops, but with the next updates to the Dealing With Challenging Clients brochure (which I’ll be doing tomorrow), I’ll be expanding the registration system, as well.

YEP Review, New Projects

April 8th, 2015

Last week, I made a presentation to the review panel for the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP). The panelists included several people from local banks (including the Kitchener Branch Manager from Mennonite Savings and Credit Union) as well as established local business-people. The presentation went well, and yesterday I got feedback from YEP — the panelists were impressed with my business and my presentation. Most of their recommendations were general, and would have been more useful to me a few years ago; there are a lot of things I have figured out as I went along.

In preparation for last week’s presentation, I designed a print version of my portfolio — designing for print is very different from designing for web, so it was an interesting challenge to represent that material in an entirely different way. Creating that portfolio was also my first foray into book-binding; while there are a few little details that aren’t quite as I’d like them, I’m happy with the result overall.

This week, I’ve been working on a few client projects. I’m excited to be working with Brian Knetsch, RMT, a local massage therapist; I’ve put up a temporary home-page for him, which we’ll replace with a more complete site after creating a logo and overall branding.

In addition to working with Brian, I’ve also been working with Annie Monaco to develop a brochure for the Play Therapy workshops she runs, and starting to work on creating an online registration system that she can use for all of her trainings, including the three I have now designed brochures for (Play Therapy, EDMR, and Dealing With Challenging Clients). While working with new clients is always exciting, working with repeat clients is really nice — I know what to expect in terms of turn-around time, can get a sense for the client’s taste, and there’s an over-all higher comfort-level in the working relationship. I’m learning new skills that I need in order to develop the online registration system for Annie, and that’s something I’m much more comfortable doing with a repeat customer.

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