Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Photo Card Design Challenge

MY CHALLENGE . . .
is designing templates for cards and announcements to celebrate events I won't be attending. As a graphic designer, there's a message – or a mood – I need to create on the page.  And the style needs to fit the person who chooses it.  So, to create a super-cute card template that highlights a birthday party or celebration I won’t be attending – well, talk about a challenge!
MY DESIGN SECRET . . .
is to imagine a particular party theme or event and pretend that it’s my kid, my friend or family member I’m throwing the event for. Then I can begin researching imagery for that theme.

“What card would I design for my best friend's baby shower invitation?”
“What would I do for my boss’s son’s high school graduation announcement?”
“What would I do for my 40th birthday invitation (ahhhhh!)?”

The creative juices start to flow. Once I’m inspired, I begin to put the pieces together, one by one. They always come together, and it's always a nice surprise.

THE PIECES . . .
that make up a custom photo card are three-fold:
1. Theme: I choose a background texture or fun imagery like a stocking for Christmas or beach ball for summertime fun.
2. Photograph: This is a bit of a mystery to me since I haven't seen the customer who'll choose the design. So I find an image I like that best matches the theme I’ve created.
3. Content: Sometimes I add a clever header that goes with the theme; otherwise all the words can be customized.

THE PHOTOGRAPH . . .
is the most important thing when I design a card! The size, the shape, how the theme elements work with the photo area. It’s the customer whom we create something special for – not me. It’s their photo, their content that really makes that card special. The design I create should enhance the picture, not clash against it.

COMBINE . . .
all these elements together, and I usually (and modestly) come up with a winning design. It’s great to have a creative outlet like CrinkledNose.com to “let my hair down” and design a card that someone will someday order and enjoy. If I’m lucky, they’ll order it on a magnet. Magnet cards have a fridge life of seven years. Crazy, huh? Just look at your fridge – how long has some of that stuff been up there? You might be surprised. . . or well, maybe not.

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