Now the visual identity has been established it needs to be translated over a selection of different collateral mediums to promote myself as a designer and a professional alike.
I wanted my business cards to remain their simplest on the details side as this is theoretically the most important side for legibility, readability and engagement with those that get hold of it. I stuck to a modular grid system that allowed formatting to be rather easy to set up. I complemented the information contents with icons that responded to each.
To be consistent with the logo ident I created for my website, I wanted four variations of the front of my card. 'Thinker' 'Do-er' 'Maker' 'Creative' to express my dynamic skills that I show in my every-day practice.
In regards to printing, until my big pay-outs come through from the briefs I have been working on, I can't afford to splash out on expensive finishing processes or stock. Or, I thought I couldn't until I came across Moo's luxe range.
The Luxe range is incredible for the price. Using GF-Smith Mohawk Superfine stacked up to 600gsm with a triplexed effect in the card along with high quality digital printing, I was amazed to see that it was only £60 for 100 along with 20% student discount on top of that.
I was sold so I got straight to ordering as soon as I downloaded their indesign template and set it up to their print standards. I decided last minute to make it 150 cards as that gave me roughly 36 of each design.
Shipping times were also impressive as it will be arriving at the university in two days. Really looking forward to seeing them in the pulpy flesh! Letterhead:
For my letter-head I created a 6 x 5 grid that would help generate the consistent elements of any kind of letter I might send, such as an invoice, contract, brief, etc.
I wanted my ident to remain open and therefore chopped everything but A — Dyson, I had the idea to have a more content specific ident on each letter but realised it could quickly turn unprofessional, e.g. "I AM A — BUSINESSMAN".
I stacked the generic information along the left hand side in Fira Sans with complimenting icons to remain fluid with my website and business card. I also considered the spacing I would leave my banking information when used as an invoice.
Like my design work I like to leave things very simple with breathing space but remain structured with an obvious hierarchy. I feel like I have successfully shown this in my A4 format and am confident it will work for my other collateral too.
Invoice: Using the same grid system and same layout, I converted my letter-head into an invoice by changing the content to a short amount of information along with a table I would use to break-down costing information to clients.
Last year I wrote up a really good and concise contract agreement for all clients I worked with, for my current one I revisited that and amended it so it was a lot more professional and accurate. "This contract is an offer by Designer to Client made for Designer to provide creative Work as requested by Client. 01. Work Client requests Designer to create work outlined in brief. Work includes only the final, deliverable art, and not any preliminary work or sketches. 02. Payment 50% of the total fee is required before any services will be rendered, and the remaining 50% is payable within 14 business days of receipt. A £50 service charge is payable on all overdue balances for reissuing each invoice at 30, 45, and 60 days from the date of original invoice. The grant of any license or right of copyright is conditioned on receipt of full payment. 03. Estimates The fees and expenses shown are minimum estimates only, unless an hourly fee has been agreed upon. The Designer shall provide the Client of a tally of hours within a reasonable period of time upon request if such is the measure of the fee. Final fees and expenses shall be shown when invoice is rendered. 04. Grant of Rights Designer agrees to the perpetual license of the right to display and transmit work to Client, excluding the right to authorship credit, modification, and resell, which is retained by Designer. Designer agrees that work is produced with the intent it be unique and will not seek to resell or publish work, except as noted below. 05. Designer’s Right to Authorship Credit Designer may use work in Designer’s portfolio (including, but not limited to, any website that displays Designer’s works). Client does not have to display Designer’s name together with work, unless being described with any editorial usage, but Client may not seek to mislead others that work was created by anyone other than Designer. 06. Cancellation. The fee for Work is refundable pending only upon Designer’s breach of contract. In the event of cancellation of this assignment, ownership of all copyrights and the original artwork shall be retained by the Designer, and a cancellation fee for work completed, shall be paid by the Client. If the project is on an hourly basis the and project is canceled by Client, Client agrees to pay no less than 100% of the hours already billed for the project at the time of cancellation plus a flat fee 50% of the remaining hours that were expected to be completed on the project. 07. Limitation of Liability Client agrees that Designer will not be liable for any incidental or consequential damages that arise from Designer’s performance of this commission (including, but not limited to, failure to perform in a timely manner, regardless of whether the failure was intentional or negligent.) 08. Acceptance of terms The action of the sending and receipt of this agreement via electronic method will hold both parties in acceptance of these terms. Designer as sender and Client as recipient will acknowledge acceptance of these terms either through an e-mail noting acceptance or acceptance is acknowledged at the beginning of any work on said project. Electronic signatures shall be considered legal and binding." Again, the design remained cohesive with just the content and header changing. Clients will get used to the way things work when working with me and will therefore find everything naturally easy to read and understand.
Brief Document: For my brief document, I took the information categories from the university template as they have always served me well with getting all the relevant information out of a client and easily writing one out for them to accept. For this document I used a combination of my 6 x 9 grid for separation, and the baseline grid for type positioning. This created a really clean, easy to read document that matched the rest of my A4s.
Probably the most important thing for a Graphic Design student to leave university with is a fully working, functional and well presented online portfolio. For this reason I wanted to get straight to work on my new website.
Very much like the branding work I had just started to play with for myself, I wanted the finished site to be clear, functional and professional. I listed all of the things I definitely wanted/needed on it so I could begin the design process.
— Homepage/landing page (slide-show? show-reel? animation?) — Work page to work as a menu to navigate through all available finished work. — Individual work pages to present the chosen briefs I have completed. — About page to cover contact details, who I am, what I do, who I work for, etc. — Blog page to keep any visitors that are interested in what I am doing, up to date.
My next stage was to find a hosting service that allowed me to get what I want in a content management system without the hassle of coding the entire website. While I was looking on https://niice.co, there was an advert for squarespace. I was interested as to what it was and it became clear that it was the website package that I was looking for.
I read through all of the information and it seemed almost too good to be true, but as there was a free two week trial to allow you to build up the website you wanted to, I thought it was worth a try. I signed up to the account and found that it was far more flexible than I imagined it would be. You could use a template and add your content, change a template, start afresh or even code within it to change more advanced features. As I only had two weeks to get it done before getting charged, I decided to pick a simple theme and then modify it to suit my needs and wants using the built in feature builder and custom css. The content management system was so intuitive and allowed me to freely change and amend anything I wanted to. This was a great feature as I didn't have loads of time to code from scratch so amending things was a lot less work.
After two weeks of amending and changing elements to suit my needs in-between other briefs, I had my finished professional website. I bought my domain through Google as it allowed me to have option to get custom e-mailing for only £3 a month and show professionalism. http://www.a-dyson.co
The navigation of the site consisted of the branded animation in the top left corner with the page buttons in the right. All body copy on the site was set in Fira Sans, the supporting typeface within my branding for when DIN was not appropriate. The home page worked as a slide-show of one image from each of my works which works as a little teaser of what I do.
On the work menu, the projects were presented in a single column that took up most of the screen to work appropriately on all devices and let the work speak for itself rather than have captions.
The footer was designed to present my latest tweet, my last ten instagram photos and the links to my external networking sites.
The about section has everything you would expect to find, a paragraph about myself with a supporting manifesto, my work experience, my contact information and my social links.
My blog would allow viewers to get an insight as to what I was working on or doing at the time, this would also give me a place to state my availability should I be away at any time or freelancing for several weeks, etc.
The whole site has been designed to be absolutely responsive for big screens, laptops, tablets and as small as smart phones.