Brochure Mockup, Folded View, by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

1,000 Words? Pics of Recent Projects

freelance writers, freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, InDesign, layout & design, Photoshop, professional writers, proofreading, revisions, Uncategorized, writers, writing, writing advice

1,000 Words? Pics of Recent Projects

by Christine G. Adamo

Is a picture really worth 1,000 words? You be the judge!

The images included here form a gallery you can peruse at your leisure. These pics and the projects they’re related are discussed in greater detail in individual Write Revise Edit blog posts here at WordPress. If you like what you see, let us know! If you wanna see more? Follow our blog.

If I could just sell my work at a rate of $1,000/word (or image) I’d be set!

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Christine

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Branding Guidelines Cover Sheet created by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

Establishing Brand & Identity Guidelines

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Establishing Brand & Identity Guidelines

by Christine G. Adamo

What’s your brand? Your identity? Do you even have ’em? It’s likely!

Whether you own a business or are simply going about your business, your brand and identity are inextricably linked with your personality. They’re what tell other people whether you’re friendly, raucous, outspoken or demure. The way you package yourself (via product design or personal effects) speaks volumes.

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (1)

Brand guidelines ensure that you send a consistent message to consumers, lenders and even the media. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

The guidelines I’m sharing here are for a fictitious company.

But nearly any business, publication or endeavor can benefit from a set of guidelines for logo use, color schemes, typography and more. By consistently adhering to those guidelines, you help others take you more seriously. If you’re looking for a loan, I recommend bundling such guidelines into your business plan.

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (2)

Notice how every page of my free leaf brand guidelines is built upon the same general template. I intentionally repeat colors, fonts and art elements so that it’s cohesive. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

So, you know you need a set of brand guidelines. But what do you include?

What I initially included in the brand guidelines I’ve shared here (beyond a cover page, that is) were pages for: logos (w/alternate designs), color palette, typography and graphic elements. What I later added were consumer packaging and staging. Just about any client can benefit from at least a few of these elements.

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (2b)

Making note of CMYK, RGB or other color specs ensures that no matter who designs what the results will be the same. BTW, this is no time to wield an ego. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say it for you: Why should I care?

Good question! Designers sometimes worry about becoming obsolete. In other words, say I establish a set of branding guidelines for you. Within it, I detail every color, font and image you’ll ever use in subsequent marketing materials. What’s to stop you from having someone in-house do the work for you?

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (3a)

At a minimum, every business – and, more importantly, every publication – needs a set of typography guidelines. Without them? You’re just floundering. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

Nothing. But your in-house designer has clearly dropped the ball already.

Hmmm. See where this is going? Don’t be so fearful that you wind up doing your clients a disservice. In the end, guidelines also make life easier on you. And creating them takes time and effort. That’s billable time I’m talking about. Get paid to do your clients and yourself a favor, why don’t you! It’s about time, right?

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (3b)

NOTE: Yes, guidelines should set a universal standard. But don’t treat them as if they’re etched in gold. Revist and update them at least once a year. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

While we’re on the topic of what you can do for your clients – and yourself …

There’s no better time to mention that, when you’re working for a client, you really need to check your ego. It’s not your project your working on. It’s theirs. They need to be happy with the outcome. They need to trust that you took their concerns seriously. They need to know you have their best interests in mind.

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (4a)

Avoid making your brand guidelines boring. Let loose! Make them something you’ll want to refer to again and again. Because you’ll probably need to! (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

If you don’t, why bother working for them? Work on your own stuff instead!

I’m being cheeky here, but I’m trying to drive home an important point. Why would anyone pay you to force your own agenda on them? Or their clientele? Collaboration and brainstorming aside, if I have needs which must be met, I want you to meet them. Be creative, but don’t force your brand on mine.

 

EX 4 - Brand Guidelines (4b)

OK, so I’m no wizard when it comes to forcing perspective on flat images. Glitches aside, using Adobe products to bring mockups to life is a lot of fun. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)

 

An even better strategy is to work with clients who “get” you.

They’re out there. They exist. Believe me, they do. It’s not always easy to find them. But, the minute you cut a client (who’s a bad fit) loose, you’ll stumble right into one who thinks you’re the cat’s meow. And there are few better feelings than knowing that clients thoroughly appreciate the work you do for them.

Now get out there and find an identity to brand – with guidelines no less.

If I can do it? You can!

Christine

Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com

 

 

Three Logomark Designs, and alternate treatment for use on a shopping bag, by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

In Logo Design? Flexibility Is Key

freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, layout & design, Photoshop, Uncategorized, writers, writing

In Logo Design? Flexibility Is Key

by Christine G. Adamo

Like gymnasts, when it comes to logo design, flexibility is key.

Don’t believe me? Consider the most recent logo you either interacted with, designed or were subjected to. Starbucks. HP. Apple. Get the picture? I even bet that, if you take a quick peek around the space you’re working in now, you can quickly spot a logo or two nearby. Go ahead. Take a gander. I’ll wait.

Back so soon? I’m not surprised. Logos are everywhere!

A trio of WRE logomark mockups, which show the types of variations you can shoot for in your own designs. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)

 

Their plentitude is what makes them so beautiful. (Yes, I said it.)

We may not like being confronted with logos and other variations on the marketing tools businesses use to grab our attention. Yet, they do grab our attention. They also help us make sense of the bigger picture, projecting an iconic image we recognize whether we’re on our home turf or not. Think golden arches in Leningrad.

And when you’re working for other people who need to stand out from the crowd, well, I’m pretty sure they’ll insist on getting an end product that’s in concert with their own brand, values, customer needs and marketing strategies. Which begs the question: If you’re not hoping to deliver on that, why read this post?

Maybe you’re a business owner. Or the competition. (Hey, it’s possible!)

EX 5 - Logos & Shopping Bag

Bag it, indeed! Flexible logo design gives you myriad opportunities to showcase your client’s talents and convey their message in new and unexpected ways. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)

 

All I’m saying is: Why design a logo that has limited potential?

More importantly why persist in viewing it as a static design that offers no further possibility for improvement or alternate use? Each of us sometimes gets stuck in a rut, but that doesn’t have to be the norm. Dare to design outside the box, outside the confines of existing design and beyond your current worldview.

If you do, you just might land on an idea that turns things on their head.

And bag a slew of better clients!

Christine

Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com

 

Consumer Packaging Mockup (Moroccan Spice) by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

Packaging Design: The Trick …

freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, layout & design, Uncategorized, writing

Packaging Design: The Trick Is Getting Your Dielines Right

by Christine G. Adamo

Were you hired to design product packaging? Are you scared to death of dielines?

Well, you’re not alone! The trick to achieving great packaging design just may rest in getting your dielines right. If even one little line is askew, it throws the entire thing off. But, what do I mean by dielines? I’m talking about the lines of a box, let’s say, which fold and turn or are cut at a certain angle.

Take any old box apart and what you’re looking at are dielines in the making.

EX 3 - Dielines

Exhibit A: Dielines which outline the packaging of a fictitious line of artisan teas. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator’s infamous pen tool)

 

There are two sets of lines you need to concern yourself with: Dashed lines and solid lines. Dashed lines indicate folds in the packaging. Solid lines denote where the packaging will be cut to achieve its overall shape. The dielines pictured here (see “Exhibit A”), were created using Adobe Illustrator’s infamous pen tool.

That little creature gets a bad wrap! Use rulers and guides to get the best results.

Once your dielines are in place, you can start designing that package. And that’s where the fun begins. I used mine to mock up three designs in what I’ve come to affectionately refer to as free leaf artisan tea company’s “Flavors of the World” series. They include: Orange Pekoe, Moroccan Spice and English Breakfast.

 

Once your dielines are in place, have fun! My fictitious “Flavors of the World” series relies on repitition of primary logos, accent elements and fonts to unify the designs. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)

 

Why go to all that trouble, you’re thinking? Why not, I say!

There may be nothing more satisfying than stepping back and knowing that you did your best to give a client a set of designs which work well together, are distinct and convey the kind of message they’re hoping to send to consumers. TIP: Isolate differing elements in their own Illustrator layers and name them well.

Still think dielines (and the pen tool) are evil? Or is it a matter of mastering them?

Inquiring minds wanna know!

Christine

Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com

Promotional Poster Mockups (for a series of local theatrical performances) by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

Designing Around a Theme

freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, InDesign, layout & design, Photoshop, Uncategorized, writing

Designing Around a Theme

by Christine G. Adamo

When it comes to designing for clients, it helps to have a theme in mind.

What do I mean by a theme? A unifying thread that connects diverse marketing materials and conveys, in an instant, that those varying pieces are part of a larger whole. That’s what designing for Black Friars Theatre (Rochester, NY) was like. While they did not choose my design, I appreciate the designs they DID choose.

I also learned a lot in the process. In particular, what theatre design requires.

PROJ 1 - POSTERS ONLY Poster Design

Black Friar’s poster mockups, intended to promote two separate plays from the same season. (Posters created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)

 

The posters I presented were well-received. And I was certainly proud of them. In the end, I was true to my own aesthetic and unified the designs by incorporating: similar color schemes, identically-sized logos, the same decorative and san serif fonts and a photomontage feel that incorporated interesting details.

I also learned that Photoshop is tons of fun to monkey with, but I digress!

What I failed to do, or found challenging (as I’m not much of a playgoer and didn’t factor in sufficient time for related reserach), was consider how they might later translate into playbills, ticket stubs and other theatre-specific marketing materials. Take a look at any playbill and you’ll see that illustrations dominate.

Why? The essense of a play’s message must be iconic. Illustrations do that well.

Live and learn!

Christine

Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Western Design Survey by Christine G. Adamo of WriteReviseEdit.com

Other People’s Work: Why It Matters …

freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, InDesign, layout & design, Photoshop, Uncategorized, writing, writing advice

Other People’s Work: Why It Matters … & Why You Should Care

by Christine G. Adamo

What can we learn from other people? A whole lot, as it turns out!

Consider the world of Visual Arts and Graphic Design. By the time an artist has achieved a level of recognition that’s worthy of their talents, they’ve typically endured years of rejection. If not rejection, you can at least be sure they’ve spent countelss hours toiling on projects not one other person is ever likely to see.

Quite possibly, they’ve worked ’round the clock on this or that design.

 

A survey of other artists' work, with emphasis on striking graphic design.
A 2016 survey of other artists’ work: Michael Bierut, Jacqueline S. Casey, Paula Scher and Bradbury Thompson. (One sheet created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo, using Adobe InDesign)

 

There’s so more to great design than meets the eye. And that’s my point. If you never dare dig into a designer’s history, you’ll never know what brought them to the insights which now inform their signature style. You also do yourself a disservice, thinking they have some magical powers that’re entirely out of your reach.

We’re not all equally adept, but we all possess unique skills and perspectives.

EX 2 - Non-Western Design

A 2016 survey of Non-Western designs in Product Packaging, Information, Publications, Type and Advertising in three countries: Argentina, Morocco and The Philippines. (One sheet created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo, using Adobe InDesign)

 

Culture plays a role here, too. Consider “A Day in the Life” (above). This Non-Western design survey says a lot about the visual communication strategies, color schemes and ideals embraced by others. It even says something about the way humor is used in marketing tools aimed at entirely different markets.

Creating these layouts was a process in itself – one that’s informed by my own design style, history and heritage. The concepts of Contrast, Repitition, Alignment and Proximity heavily inform my work. (Thanks, Robin Williams! Don’t know who I’m referring to, look ‘er up.) It’s a challenge to achieve all four, but it’s worth it.

I dare you to conduct your own survey. I double dare you even!

Happy hunting,

Christine

Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com

Are You an Unlikely Writer? Take Our (5) Question Quiz Today!

freelance writers, freelancing, Graphic Design, Illustrator, layout & design, Photoshop, professional writers, proofreading, quizzes, revisions, Uncategorized, writers, writing, writing advice, writing quizzes

Are you an Unlikely Writer?

You just may be an Unlikely Writer and not know it…

Professional writers who are honest with themselves admit that there are many among them whose work sometimes pales in comparison to that of novices. That is, the work of the Unlikely Writer whose ability to craft compelling prose comes from within and has no basis in formal training, education or experience.

As a professional freelance writer for of 10+ years, I take pride in clients whose skill level rivals mine. Reading, editing and proofreading their work is immensely rewarding – ’cause what I do is fine tune and streamline their speech. But the grand ideas are theirs. And I love being exposed to their unique viewpoints.

Are you one of them? A closeted wordsmith with unsung skills? Let’s find out!

Answer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions:

1.) ADVICE MAGNET: While you sometimes question your own ability to write well, do others seek out your opinion and ask you for writing advice?

2.) AT YOUR LEISURE: Do you gravitate toward activities that include reading and writing blogs, highly personalized e-mails, letters, Thank You cards, etc.?

3.) CONTENT MATTERS: When picking out greeting cards, do you spend a lot of time focusing on content or even waffle between options looking for ones which truly resonate with you?

4.) FOCUS ON CLARITY: Along the same lines as #3, when sending greeting cards are you compelled to add text that makes your feelings or wishes that much clearer to the receiver?

5.) OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Do you jump at the chance to write anything you can on behalf of your boss, friends, family or community group – eager to flex your writing muscles any way you can?

SCORING: Give yourself a writerly pat on the back for every YES answer.

Developing writing skills with technical training can increase your confidence. It’s also a big part of learning to prepare your work for publication. But, every YES answer above puts you one step closer to being ahead of the competition. And you deserve to celebrate the writing tendencies you’ve cultivated on your own.

As needed, seek out the help of professionals who recognize your skills and want to keep your “voice” in tact while polishing up what it is you pass along for their review. But know that there’s an audience for every writer. And there’s a set of unique perspectives which everyone brings to the table. In short?

Reward the Unlikely Writer in you with the praise you obviously deserve!

WRE (WriteReviseEdit.com)