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Paul Stoia Poster, and news

March 12th, 2015

Concert poster for Paul Stoia

The past couple months have been a whirlwind of activity, between YEP, WRAP, course-work, and client projects. A new client I worked with recently is Paul Stoia. Paul is a classically-trained tenor solist, and a voice teacher. Next week, Paul is giving a recital of tenor arias and art songs, and he wanted a poster to publicize this event. Paul is also a participant in YEP.

This past week, I graduated from WRAP. It feels good to have my business plan done — or at least, as done as it ever will be, since it will continue to evolve over time as my business grows and changes.

In YEP, my business plan and grant proposal were just sent off to a review panel; I’ll also present to the panel in a few weeks. After the panel’s review and approval, the grant proposal will need to be approved by the Ontario government, and then I should be able to make some key investments in my business. My proposal includes funding for a smart-phone (since I don’t have a cell phone), a colour laser printer (to enable me to print short-run projects at home), and some large, high-quality type families that would improve the range and quality of work I could do.

This afternoon, I’m going to the Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium at the Kitchener Market, hosted by the BizU program, which is a program run by Lutherwood for young entrepreneurs. YEP has been invited, as well as other local programs for young entrepreneurs (the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre’s Starter Company program, Laurier’s LaunchPad, and possibly others). It will be nice to meet more young entrepreneurs, and it’s also a great networking opportunity for Elucidation Design, since entrepreneurs are a key target market.

Since I’ve been busy with YEP, I haven’t had many new clients lately, but I have continued to do updates for existing clients. Sue Klassen and Annie Monaco have scheduled several upcoming trainings (all of which are full, or close to full, so there is talk of adding another), and I have updated the brochure for each one. Their trainings have been so successful, in fact, that they’re looking at options for online registration, because keeping track of all of the registrations is taking too much time!

We’ve moved, and other news

January 23rd, 2015

Well, folks, it’s a new year, and there are a lot of exciting changes in progress for Elucidation Design. Firstly, I have begun coworking from Treehaus Collaborative Workspace, in downtown Kitchener. My new business address is:

Elucidation Design
79 Joseph St.
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 1J2

I’m only a General Member at this point, which means that I’m paying for one day of coworking per month, although I can buy additional days if I need them. Treehaus is very flexible, and allows members to split up a day of coworking into several blocks if that works better for them — so I spent two hours there on each of two days last week, and will use up my remaining four hours for the month this coming week. On a related note, I’m spending a lot of time in downtown Kitchener at this point, because I was just accepted to the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP) at The Working Centre (TWC). In addition to spending Monday through Wednesday mornings learning and working with other young entrepreneurs, courtesy of YEP I also am participating in the Waterloo Region ASSETS+ Project (WRAP, a business course targeted at microentrepreneurs) on Tuesday evenings. While I only joined YEP and WRAP this week, it looks like they will help me set good business plans, and launch my business to the next level.

EDMR Brochure

November 20th, 2014

EMDR Training brochure for Annie Monaco

In my last post, I mentioned I was designing a brochure for Annie Monaco. That is now done, and approved by all of the parties involved.

In addition to designing the brochure for Annie Monaco, I have been continuing to work on the design of an interactive study guide for the Stratford Festival production of The Sound of Music. We haven’t been able to work as closely with the Stratford Festival as I had hoped, but in a way that has been nice, since it has given us full artistic freedom. We have decided to only make a prototype at this point, mocking it up as a PDF (we can use links within the document to jump from page to page), since that allows us more time to focus on the information architecture and the content.

Annie Monaco website, and new partnerships

October 30th, 2014

It has been nearly two months since I last posted, and for that I appologize. After the summer’s lack of networking opportunities, the fall has been a slow season for client projects, but I have kept busy with resuming networking, setting goals for next year, exploring coworking options, and continuing my coursework.

Annie Monaco’s website launched a couple weeks ago

I wrapped up work on Annie Monaco’s website a couple weeks ago, and she has commissioned me to design a brochure for a training she leads, as well as a business card. Working with repeat clients is always nice, since we have an established relationship, and I’m already familiar with their tastes and branding (especially if I’ve designed it!), as well as how soon I can expect feedback, and their expectations regarding timelines.

Several weeks ago, I met with Jane Snyder and Sarah Penner from Community Access Bikeshare (CAB), a project of The Working Centre in Kitchener. I’ll be partnering with them in the coming months, designing materials for them (flyers, advertizing packages, and so on) in exchange for advertizing space on one of their bike racks. I’m very excited about this opporunity to support The Working Centre and CAB while also getting publicity for my business.

I’ve started setting goals for next year — a process I find both exciting and a little bit intimidating. I’ve decided to explore co-working at Treehaus Collaborative Workspace starting in January. I toured Treehaus a couple weeks ago, and I think that coworking could be a really good thing for me and my business. Tomorrow (Hallowe’en), they’re having an openhouse, so I’ll get to try out a day of co-working for free.

I’m taking a course in Information Design this term, and for one of our projects, we’re designing interactive study guides for the Stratford Festival. The group I’m in is working on The Sound of Music, and we’re starting the design phase, now that we have most of our research done. We’re planning to make an HTML5 webapp, using mobile-first responsive web design to create an interface that can be easily used by people on all sorts of devices, from small smartphone screens all the way up to tablets, desktop computers, and TVs. While we have no guarantee that the Stratford Festival will use the work we’ve done, the fact that we have an external client does make the project feel more real.

KWFS business cards and t-shirts

September 9th, 2014

I finished the designs for the KW Forest School business cards and t-shirts quite some time ago, but wanted to be able to include photos of the finished products when I blogged about them. At this point, they’re done and delivered, and I’ve finally found the time to edit the photos and write a blog post.

We went with a simple, two-sided design for the business cards, letting the logo take centre-stage.

We sourced fair-trade organic cotton t-shirts through More Than Half Clothing in Kitchener, and got them screenprinted by BRFC.

KW Forest School Website Launched

July 25th, 2014

KW Forest School website

The KW Forest School website is now live! There are still a few changes we want to make — I want to tweak the design of the registration form, and we still need to get a bio and picture from Dylan’s co-field-leader — but it’s exciting to have it up and running.

KW Forest School logo, and other news

July 21st, 2014

KW Forest School Logo

The KW Forest School logo is now done and approved, so I have started working on business cards and a website design using the logo. We went with two versions of the logo, a green-on-white version (above) which will be used for the majority of applications, and a reversed version (below) for T-shirts and other contexts where a white logo on a green background would make more sense. For some applications, we may also use a black-and-white version of the logo, to save on printing costs.

KW Forest School Logo, reversed

The re-designed Uptown Market website is now live — check it out online, and then come see what it’s all about at Waterloo Square on Thursdays from 3–7pm until the end of October. In related news, my former client Seed of Life Foods is now selling at Uptown Market, and another of vendor there (and one of my ongoing clients), Nith Valley Organics, is hiring (see their employment page for details).

Annie Monaco Website and KW Forest School branding updates

July 10th, 2014

The past two weeks, I have been working on a website for Annie Monaco, and a logo for KW Forest School. I have the first draft of Annie’s website mostly done (there are a few tweaks I want to make to the design, and it’s still missing content for a couple pages). I’m hoping we can launch that site before the end of the month (although that depends on how soon I get revisions — and the rest of the content — from Annie).

Today, I’m meeting with Dylan (of KW Forest School) to go over the first logo draft and discuss revisions. We’re running fairly tight timelines from now until the project is complete, so that Dylan has some time to do marketing before launching KW Forest School programs in September. The plan is to finish up the logo design next week, then launch immediately into work on business cards. Once the business cards are sent to print, we’ll start work on a website, which we hope to have done by late-July, when the business cards should be back from the printer. After that’s done (and a bit of a break for the long weekend), we’ll round the project off with letterhead designs and a Visual Identity manual detailing fonts, colours, and logo usage — although there’s less rush on those things, since they aren’t needed for initial promotion. Dylan has also expressed an interest in getting t-shirts made, so we’ll probably look into that in August, as well.

I’m going to a lunch at the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce office today, at which point I’m planning to hand in my application and pay my dues — although with how very friendly they’ve been while I’ve been making up my mind, it’s tempting to delay and see how many other perks I get. :p

Laengert Law logo and business card

June 27th, 2014

Laengert Law logo with logotype

It has been another busy week for me. This week, I wrapped up work with Laengert Law, designing a logo (above) and business card (below), as well as starting to transition the Uptown Market website to WordPress, beginning work on the KW Forest School logo, and starting work on Annie Monaco’s website.

Laengert Law business card (front)

Laengert Law business card (back)

You can read more about Laengert Law, and this design project, over in my portfolio.

On top of the design work, I’m working on various things to promote my business; right now, I am investigating joining the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, so I have been going to Chamber events to see what they’re all about. In addition to the credibility that being a Chamber member would lend my business, it also provides valuable promotional and networking opportunities; since my customers are primarily other small, local businesses, putting myself in a position to meet other businesspeople in the area makes a lot of sense to me. Everyone from the Chamber has been very friendly, and they have been working very hard to make sure I feel welcome — personally calling me to make sure I know about events, and even giving me a complementary ticket to the Energy and Environment Forum this past Wednesday.

Tomorrow, I’m mentoring at another Ladies Learning Code event (this one is on responsive web design — making websites, like this one, that scale well for large screens, mobile devices, and everything in between), after which I’ll be very glad for the long weekend.

Endings and beginnings

June 20th, 2014

The Urban Renovator business cards, printed and ready to go

The past few weeks have been quite busy for me with client work and finishing up some paperwork. I wrapped up work with The Urban Renovator on Wednesday this week, and met with a new client today — the first client with whom I got to use my new, lawyer-drafted contract. Since I last wrote, I have also finished designing logos for Annie Monaco and Laengert Law, and started a business card design for Laengert Law. I’ll be starting a website design for Annie Monaco next week, as well as beginning to work on a logo for KW Forest School, my newest client.

Dylan Siebert, the founder of KW Forest School, has an infectious enthusiasm for kids and for nature. KW Forest School (launching in September) will be an after-school program based in local parks, and will primarily consist of (in Dylan’s words) “teaching naturalist and survival skills, getting dirty, and having fun”. Dylan has noticed that, while many parents in this area would love their kids to have a connection to nature, many simply do not have the time to teach their kids naturalist skills, or even the time to take their kids to the remote locations where these skills are often taught. Over the next few months, I’ll be working with Dylan to develop a range of branding elements, starting with a logo, and including business cards, a website, and letterhead.

In addition to client work and office work, I have also been networking recently. I try to keep business cards handy, so that if the opportunity presents itself, I can hand them out to interested people (in fact, I gave Dylan a business card last week at market). As well as informally networking whereever I happen to be, I went to my first-ever networking event last night — the KW Chamber Young Professionals (a branch of the Chamber of Commerce) Season Finale on the rooftop patio at The Flying Dog. I went braced for awkwardness (I’m really not a fan of self-promotion), but to my surprise found myself actually enjoying the event. I made several useful connections, and came home with my business card case noticibly emptier. It was nice to get out and talk to other small business owners, beyond just my clients.

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