A few months ago, photographer Mike Tittel called about tackling something he’d never tried before: a full-scale, organized marketing campaign. His challenge had our copywriter Maria Luci, photo editor Honore Browne, and myself (designer) brainstorming ways to take Mike to the next level of marketing.
Mike already had a solid foundation in place. Reviewing his marketing materials, I decided we didn’t need to update his logo or brand colors. In fact, I was particularly fond of the bright orange and was excited to look for new ways to use it in his designs.
We decided to start the project with a series of postcards, followed by an email campaign, and a trifold leave-behind for meetings. Each would go hand-in-hand with the others by using a cohesive branding throughout. It was important to me that clients recognize Mike’s brand, but not receive something too similar each time he contacted them.
Mike wanted to promote his brand as much as his photography. He emphasized how he doesn’t just take pictures of healthy, active lifestyles—he lives one too. After I spoke with Maria, we pitched Mike on incorporating copy into the campaigns to give clients more insight into the Mike Tittel brand. He agreed, and we moved forward.
While chatting with Maria about the project, Mike mentioned trying to get more viewers engaged on his social media outlets, especially his Facebook page. He’d come up with the idea of placing copy with images as motivational promo materials—an idea Maria loved. With so many social media sites dedicated to sharing inspiring healthy lifestyle images, she knew this could be a great way to help Mike go viral. Together they created “Monday Motivators” — a series featuring motivational sports/fitness/lifestyle images with inspirational copy that Mike now shares on Mondays. I designed a template for the images to fit with his brand. This way, as they were shared across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, it would still be clear where they came from.
While Maria and Mike worked out their “Monday Motivator” plan, I sat down to create the design drafts for the print/email promos, knowing this couldn’t be your run-of-the-mill marketing campaign. The designs needed to be stylish and professional, with Mike’s photography front and center. Using his brand colors, I created cropped, duotone versions of his work. His photos then became graphic elements used across all three projects. For both the emailer and Monday Motivators, I designed a basic template that Mike could easily update with images and copy. When all the designs were finalized, Honore explored Mike’s photos to create a selection that further brought the campaigns together.
Once Mike enthusiastically approved the designs and photo selects, Maria got to work on the copy. She already knew that she wanted short, punchy copy to play off of the movement in his photos. After some back and forth, they decided that “Sports. Fitness. Lifestyle.” would became Mike’s tagline. Both the “Monday Motivators” and the postcards had one line copy, while the emails were used to delve deeper into Mike’s brand. She sent him several options for each emailer, postcard and motivator and then had Mike choose his favorites.
Mike was very pleased with the results, saying:
I’m always looking for ways to elevate my brand to the next level. That was my primary motivation in contacting Wonderful Machine for all of the new design work. Although I’d sent out numerous printed pieces over the years, I had never allocated the resources to doing a series or campaign. This was also the first time I worked with a copywriter. I was so pleased from the results from these first two projects that I decided to take the plunge on a new printed leave behind for my in-person meetings as well. Everyone did an outstanding job. Amanda’s design style is right up my alley and was exactly what I was after. I couldn’t be happier with Honore’s image selections for each of the projects, and Maria got me thinking about words in a whole new way. The copy on the promo cards was perfect.
I think what I liked most about working with Wonderful Machine on these projects was the different perspective each person brought to the table. I’ve worked with consultants and other graphic designers in the past but have never got this sort of collective input on my marketing materials.