This is Mary Katherine.
Mary Katherine is a graphic designer here at Raborn Media, and Mary Katherine has no idea I’m writing or publishing this article. In fact, Mary Katherine will likely find out about this post from someone outside of our office – probably her mother (shout out to the absolutely wonderful Mrs. Trisha).
So why have I gone out of my way to single out (and probably embarrass) one of our designers instead of making blanket statements about designers in general? (Side Note: We’re a tight-knit group that pick on each other constantly, so she won’t be embarrassed or mad at me for too long… I don’t think.)
I want you to see how (good) designers consider and utilize every aspect of each and every graphic.
To elaborate further, I’m going to take you through 3 different projects Mary Katherine designed, which are all related to a single client.
When we began working with the Brookhaven Tourism Council, we quickly established that the new logo and branding not only needed to appeal to potential visitors, but also it needed to be supported by and representative of the current residents. And now, here’s the official logo:
So how did Mary Katherine use the logo design to gain support from and represent the current residents?
In Brookhaven there’s a very vibrant downtown that few people outside of Brookhaven are familiar with. (I’m not kidding. Our cinematographer took his wife there for the weekend after doing a shoot there because he loved it so much – and he’s much cooler than me. Ask anyone in our office.)
There’s an iconic sign in downtown that reads “Brookhaven – A Home Seekers Paradise”. Go to Google Street View and check it out. Here’s what you’ll see:
By the way, in addition to several new restaurants and businesses popping up, the community put up lights throughout downtown.
So Mary Katherine took this iconic view and created an icon to integrate into the logo.
Brookhaven In-Town Brochure (front)
The second example is a technical one. We created an in-town brochure for Brookhaven to be used by hotel guests and other visitors already in the city.
This document needed to be big (11″ x 17″) to capture the city in a useful way, but it also had to be placed in several different locations, which all had different displays to offer them in.
Mary Katherine’s solution to this was to design the brochure in a way that it could be folded to be featured in a traditional brochure rack or folded an additional time to be featured in locations with less space available.
Notice the front (far right panel in image above) looks appealing and is informative as is, or it can be folded over and have a very appealing front and back in a more compact size.
Example #3 (my favorite)
Brookhaven Social Media Portfolio Graphic
This last example is a work of art and a great example of considering multiple audiences in one graphic. Below, you’ll see the mockup used for our portfolio containing Brookhaven’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and email newsletter. See anything of abnormal significance?
No? Let’s zoom in on just the Facebook page. See anything now?
Still no? Of course not. Because the only abnormal significant thing is only recognizable by a small group of people. Remember that random, awkward “Side Note” above about us being a tight-knit group? It wasn’t completely random. See, despite your doubts, there actually is a theme here.
Another person in our office recently started dating someone and is crushing hard, which has naturally presented lots of new teasing opportunities for everyone else…
Whenever you’re logged into a social media account looking at news feeds, other pages, etc. your profile is visible somewhere on the screen to identify who you’re logged in as. Since we were making mock ups, the profile needed to seem generic…
Mary Katherine subsequently took this opportunity to take that crush’s name—John—and make him the active user in social media graphics (see green box):
This was fantastic. Our new site was live before anyone caught it, and it’s not coming down.
The design serves and is appealing to its target audience, all while a subtle detail in the design serves an entirely different purpose and audience.
Good designers are intentional with each aspect of a graphic and each aspect serves a purpose—anything less is a disservice to all.
*I had to use a generic featured image for this article, so that when it populated in social media, it didn’t give away anything. The featured image for this article is from Unsplash, a free source of high-quality photos, which, ironically, was introduced to me by Mary Katherine.