The focus of this assignment was to create an email newsletter “based on the subject of medicine or veterinary medicine for retina devices.” After some research, I decided to interpret that as veterinary ophthalmology, which is a specialty surgical field of vet medicine, and so I created my newsletter along those lines.
I made this at a set width of 600px, since, according to my research, that is a standard width for email marketing templates. Length is somewhat less of a concern, as email users are used to scrolling down to see more content.
After looking at other email newsletters for products and services (rather than information-driven newsletters like the ones I’m familiar with), I decided that mine should be pretty short (both in terms of content and pixels), with a focus on images, and grabby headlines with brief copy introducing each article before a “Read more” link.
Here’s what it looks like mocked up in an email like you might actually see in your inbox.
Images were grabbed from Pexels and have a CC0 license and were edited in Photoshop. The spring floral pattern used came from Freepik. The fake-company OCULR logo was done quickly in Illustrator.
The culmination of the standards manual prep mentioned in the last post, here is my take on the Crucible identity guidelines. This is the front cover image only, but clicking on it should open the whole PDF document.
Document assembled in InDesign; some of the more image-heavy layouts created in Illustrator; mockups done in Photoshop.
Now, honesty time. This project was a bit overwhelming, due to the large scope of it and just how many moving pieces there were to manage. But we were given just the regular two-week timeframe for it, with a round of feedback at about the mid-point. And I know, the real world. But as this is a classroom assignment, and something probably none of us has ever done before, it would be much better spread over three weeks. Not just because of how big the project is, but also because then there could be a second round of review. Speaking for myself, I really wish we’d had another peer review session. The first round of review came at such an early stage in the development of this project, that I don’t think it allowed for really useful constructive feedback.
Generally, I’m happy with the overall output, but I’m also conscious of the weak spots. For instance, I could never quite land on a cover design that was really it; this one here is just what I decided was “finished enough.” If I decide to include this in my portfolio later, I’ll definitely come back to this and retool those spots.
For now, here’s a mockup of the cover and some of the interior pages in a magazine-like form, which is roughly how I envision this would be printed.
Here are some of the campaign materials in progress, in the first stages of designing. At this point, I had only gotten the button and pillow box/seed packet done with color in Illustrator, and the brochure, info card, and plant card into preliminary layout in InDesign. I didn’t even have a layout for the print ad yet!
But that changed pretty soon. I started developing the brochure first, figuring that would set the tone and theme for all the remaining items, and I could adjust the button and pillow box as needed after that. The illustrations were done in Illustrator and the layout finished in InDesign. Same for the print ad, which followed the brochure.
I narrowed the fonts down from the comps stage, to 3, which I’m way more comfortable with than 4, especially if they’re all different. And it’s pretty clear I’m reusing whole chunks of the floral pattern. For some reason, this felt like cheating at first, but saved SO MUCH TIME over generating different patterns for each doc, which was my original dumb idea.
Using the patterns and the other motifs, I filled in the layouts of the two cards, and I ended up doing them in Illustrator completely, no InDesign finalizing. The pillow box and the button were last. The pillow box had a re-color and font update, and the button didn’t really change beyond having the side print font updated.
Info card for pinning on fridge
Seed packet pillow box
Plant card for pinning on fridge
Overall, this was a really fun project, and the first time I’ve done most of these items. Hoping at least a few of them will end up in my portfolio.
Finally, here they all are mocked up for extra viewing fun!