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Print Design Advertising

I handled several Kentucky businesses’ in-house print design before becoming a full time freelancer. My first job after college graduation was laying out catalogs for a jewelry store in my small hometown. I also once created DVD case cover art for an educational media company. Creating both packaging and magazine ads for a sealant cartridge factory was also a highlight. These were all great learning experiences. The variety of formats alone helped me grow as an artist.

I love to make designs that are both eye catching and original. Holding physical media that I conceived myself is so satisfying. There is nothing quite like it. I’d go so far as to say that it’s my destiny!

Contact me for your own print design project

See samples below of my newspaper and advertising work. Then contact me today. I would love to help you to spread excitement for your products and services. Let’s get to work!

Library Event Poster for 2019 Spring Tea eventMuhlenberg County Public Libraries

Greenville, KY

In previous years, I utilized line art from Victorian age ads for MCPL’s annual Mother’s Day Tea. However, I decided to switch things up for the 2019 event. The library wanted to incorporate a theme to coincide with the Kentucky Derby. Therefore, I set out to create an authentically vintage library event poster.

Library event poster design story

I spent several hours studying minstrel show advertisements from years gone by, circuses, and other attractions. Their font treatments and type styles specifically caught my eye. These are crucial elements in capturing the look and feel of these posters. After much internal debate, I settled on a muted yellow, blue, and red color scheme. I then chose my fonts.

Library event poster typography

First of all, I employed a tall sans serif font called Kankin, reminiscent of those used in the vintage posters, for my my titles and large text. I outlined all of the large text in a thin black stroke in order to complete the period style. Next, I used the Wide Latin serif font, along with Trajan Pro, to spell out the rest of the content.

The director also suggested I incorporate some roses in the poster as part of the Derby theme, so I worked them into the main title. I situated one on either side of the words “Spring 2019” at the top to give it a little extra flair.

Horse outline used in library event poster

For a while, I had wanted to incorporate an image inside a silhouette, much like in many classic movie posters. Once the idea came to me, I jumped at the chance. The classic Victorian lady depicted could very well be on her way to a horse racing event of the day. I chose the silhouette of a jockey and horse that was the most obvious, since it was an action shot. The jockey is high up on the horse’s back, ready to cross the finish line, as the horse’s tail swishes in the wind.

Need a library event poster design? Contact me today!

Does your public library have a special event coming up? Then you need to hire a professional graphic designer to help with your advertising!  Contact me today.

Filed Under: Print Design Advertising

Local Violence band sticker designLocal Violence

Lexington, KY

I created this band sticker design for a new group based here in Lexington. Local Violence is a pop punk band that includes some friends from my local music scene. I have been designing band merch since 1999, so they reached out to me in order to help promote their band.

Local Violence band sticker design - finished product

The finished product is ready for the masses! Here is a printed and die cut band sticker design.

Band sticker design story

The band already used a fist icon in their initial branding. They wanted to somehow incorporate it in a parody of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ iconic logo. I both cleaned up and recolored their existing fist art in red using Adobe Illustrator. Then, I added motion lines in red, so that it would mimic the Dodgers’ “flying baseball” image.

After that, I found a similar script font to replace the word Dodgers with “Violence” in blue. A few adjustments to the text made the font more authentic. Finally, the word “Local” tops off the design in a blue sans serif Varsity font. I spaced out the letters and also warped them with an arch effect. At last, the baseball parody sticker art was complete.

Local Violence loved the finished band sticker design. They took advantage of a special promotion with Stickermule to both print and die cut their stickers. This created a white stroke effect around the design. The precise outline of the shape really stands out amongst other standard square and circle shaped stickers.

Hire me to create your band sticker design

Is your new band just getting your feet wet with merch? Perhaps you have been in the game for awhile and you all just need a fresh new design. Contact me today to hire me for your new band sticker design!

Filed Under: Print Design Advertising

Christmas event poster design for Muhlenberg County Public LibraryMuhlenberg County Public Libraries

Greenville, KY

At the end of each year, I create the Christmas event poster design for my hometown library system in Kentucky. This is always one of my favorite seasonal projects to plan and execute.

Muhlenberg County’s annual holiday events take place at their Thistle Cottage location. Thistle Cottage is a converted historic home which is located in the county seat of Greenville, KY. Many of the local businesses sponsor the Christmas trees that go on display throughout December at the Jubilee of Trees. Also, kids of all ages get to take pictures with Santa Claus himself one day during the proceedings. I love coming up with a new, distinct solution for this seasonal project each and every year.

Focal image in Christmas event poster design

Since I had previously made liberal use of stock images for their campaigns, I was conscious that I may repeat myself. A holiday theme can be limiting if you don’t put much thought into it. Therefore, I wanted to try something different and distinct from past projects this year. Something special was in order! I conceptualized a simple, flat illustration which would make use of a minimal number of colors. Not unlike TV’s South Park, the cut out style gave the promotional material a lighthearted feel. First, I used the Adobe Illustrator application to create the focal image of the poster. I drew up a pint sized elf playing a medieval style trumpet to announce the events. I actually based the illustration on a picture of my three year old son from his birthday photo shoot. He is wearing an outfit which is modeled after Will Ferrell’s character Buddy from the film Elf. The green and gold uniform is complete with a red feather in his cap. A royal red flag draped over the trumpet, heralding the December event dates. I used a mix of antique style fonts that looked like they could easily adorn a Middle Ages castle. A tiny, smiling fairy is sitting cross legged atop his trumpet. She holds a sparkling wand in her hand, and plotting holiday mischief. I actually based the pixie’s image on a photo I had taken years ago of my wife. I added wings and recolored her dress green like Disney’s Tinkerbell.

Additional elements in the Christmas event poster design

The snowy background scene in the posters consists of rolling hills and pine trees. I desaturated the trees’ colors to dull hues in order to make it obvious that they were far off in the background. The hill in the distance is also slightly darker to achieve that purpose. In addition to the elf and fairy, the foreground elements announce the ongoing Jubilee of Trees. I continued using the simple logo I created for the event years ago. Also, a “want ad” style poster provides all of the details for the Pictures with Santa event. I chose a simple, one color “hipster” interpretation of Old Saint Nick. The silhouette image comes complete with ironic horn rimmed glasses. The client asked if the Santa Claus image was me, since my wife and son depicted the fairy and elf, respectively. A bright red waving banner with gold trim displays across the top. I set the poster’s main title in an Old English style font called “PlainBlack”. Many fonts I considered from my font book were perfect, stylistically. Unfortunately, they were also too hard to read. That is a big no-no for a poster design, especially for the main title text. I made sure to select the perfect font, which was both legible and regal. The white space at the bottom displays a list of event sponsors. The Thistle Cottage logo I designed years ago also displays in a pale shade of blue. Last of all, I sprinkled faint snowflakes throughout the scene.

Christmas event poster design image formats

The Facebook ad for the library Christmas events.

The simplified Facebook ad featured my Thistle Cottage logo on the elf’s flag instead of the dates.

After I finalized the design, the library distributed the final product in a variety of print sizes. First, they needed it in the largest print format, which was an 11×17″ poster. I then resized the elements and rearranged them to fit in a half page handout. Next, I created two different sizes for two local papers’ print newspaper ads. Both of the publications have their own sizes and specs, so I had to follow them closely. They also promoted the event extensively on their social media channels. I modified the design so that it would properly fit on the public library system’s Facebook Event page. Facebook’s graphics specs limit the amount of text that advertisers can use. The graphics themselves also need to be formatted so that the feature images are positioned in specific locations. This way, every part of the image will display as it should, regardless of which device is being used. Thus, I had to get creative so that I could fit it to that mold. This was no problem for me, of course. I always make sure to stay informed on current social media advertising trends.

Contact me for your Christmas event poster design

The staff at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries always tell me how much they love my work. Why not try me for your own event ad campaign? You might just become one of my repeat customers as well! Contact me today to get started!
Filed Under: Print Design Advertising

Museum exhibit ad design for NASA display in KentuckyMuhlenberg County Public Library

Greenville, KY

MCPL are regular clients from my hometown. They employ me to design print campaigns for many of their annual events. Their Thistle Cottage location is a historic building that is used for both special events and museum exhibit installations. This month long NASA display featured a replica space suit, meteorite remnants, plus more. Since this project fell into the director’s lap on short notice, I needed to turn this museum exhibit ad design around quickly.

Museum exhibit ad design story

As with many other short order projects, the director gave me creative freedom. She only requested that I include a rocket and/or astronaut in the design. The largest size the library requested for this project was a standard US letter format, which is pictured above. I also laid out small print ads for local newspapers. Facebook formats for an ad and the event page then followed. I laid the letter sized poster out like a magazine cover. The bold headline at the top displays in in the “He’s Dead Jim” font. This creates a feel that is both instantly recognizable and futuristic. Subheadings and details at the bottom display in a bold sans serif font. Since I set the text in pale yellow and orange, it really pops against the bright blue sky background. I faded a photograph of an astronaut floating in front of a space station into the background. Then, I created a colorful badge in front of it. It is similar to those commemorating NASA space flights. The exhibit title “Beyond Earth: Space Exploration” displays over the space shuttle launching from Earth in the shield shape. As always, the finished product went over huge with the library. They dropped it on their social media accounts right away. Finally, the printer received print ad files in plenty of time to promote the event.

Contact me for your next museum exhibit ad design

Whether you are a large metropolitan museum or a small town library system, I will work with you to find the right solution. Together, we can launch your exhibit’s print campaign into the stratosphere! Contact me today to get started!
Filed Under: Print Design Advertising