I’m not really a designer. I just play one at the office from time to time. Here’s the story (in brief)…
In the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, computer nerds (like me) had access to digital design tools that were still waaaay ahead of the regular business adoption curve. Most people didn’t have a PC at home yet, much less a way of doing anything more than simple word processing. But if you didn’t mind learning a bunch of complicated software, you could create documents that looked like they’d been designed at an ad agency. Well… maybe not quite. But they looked a lot better than what came off a typewriter.
So, although I was primarily working as a writer, I had the ability to make my stuff look pretty good; what we’d now call “semi-professional” or “pro-sumer” grade. And that landed me some marketing jobs where what they wanted was someone who could handle projects from concept through copy, layout, print buying and production. By doing all those things on the desktop, you could save a lot of time and money on the development of print materials, since you didn’t have to pay a separate writer, art director, project manager and print buyer. And so, for several years, I did layout and design work as well as writing, print buying and project management.
I still keep my hand in it. Partly because it’s fun, and partly because it’s good to be able to churn out a brochure, flyer, poster or ad without any outside help. If you’re looking, primarily, for someone who’s an artist and designer… no… that’s not me. It’s something I do when necessary, and when it makes sense from a budget, timing or resource perspective. It also makes it easier for me to manage design projects (and designers), as I know what the world looks like from “behind the mouse.”
Click on the links below to view images from the campaigns and materials described.
Collateral library. The Nubix Corporation was embarking on a campaign to coordinate a national coupon program with the use of a single membership card. Prior to the product launch, they needed collateral designed for both their own use — to sell the program to franchisees and participating retailers — and for stores to use as direct sales tools for customers. I developed, designed and wrote all the print materials required for the product launch.
Employee newsletter: From late 1994 through early 1998, I was Publications Manager for the Eastern Region of AirTouch Celluar (Ohio, Michigan and Georgia). In those 3+ years, we produced more than 30,000,000 copies of the AirTimes newsletter, a quarterly bill insert publication. During that time I was solely responsible for all aspects of the publication.
Holiday rate guide (image 1, image 2, image 3). In the cellular industry, rate guides were typically produced only for “standard” rate plans. Promotional plans came-and-went so quickly, that it was generally impossible to produce professionally printed materials at a reasonable cost. For promotional rate sheets, the sales force was generally provided with electronically distributed flyers, printed out at their location, or in bulk at a retail copy store. The holiday season, though, was so important to yearly sales goals, that I developed a process for the development of offset-printed rate guides that compressed the standard six week turnaround time down to two weeks. This allowed our region to continue the price and package refinements into early November, and still have “glossies” at our stores on “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving).
Direct mail. During my career in the cellular industry, I designed, produced and managed the print and mailing processes for hundreds of direct mail projects. For smaller run promotions, we often tried to have a little more fun with concepts, and could use some higher quality print techniques, as there were fewer pieces printed than in large-scale acquisition campaigns.
Flyer. Binary Research needed a sales flyer quickly for a sales event in less than two weeks. Information about the products came in on a Friday night, and by Monday I had written and designed the attached flyer (pdf) which was approved with a few copy tweaks and sent directly to the printer.
Logo. Ohio Break Time wanted a unique look that would distinguish it from other vending companies. As their name states, they are a local company, and they emphasize excellent, individualized customer service. The “old time” feel of the logo was just what they were looking for.