I remember when I first started working at Wonderful Machine in our publicity department. I was editing and writing intel articles when I first got in touch with Louisville, Kentucky-based photographer Clay Cook. He had been a member for a while and was someone that everyone looked up to. It was easy to see why. His work was second to none and his demeanor was even better!
So now that you know I’m a fan, you’ll understand how excited I was when he reached out for some help with design. Clay wanted a fresh new emailer template that could grab peoples’ attention while staying true to his brand. Having been a musician, he has always had a rock and roll vibe to his visual identity that incorporates bold streaks and raw edges. A juxtaposing, but complimentary identity when paired with his bright, focused photos.
I started this project by getting an understanding of Clay’s goals for this emailer. He loves to write and share his journey, so we wanted plenty of room for him to dive deep into his process. We also discussed creating an emailer full of sophisticated grit. As a result, I came up with 4 concepts, each with different layouts. Knowing how bold Clay’s brand is, and his comfort level with Photoshop, I knew I could explore the limits of what we could do with an emailer. Ultimately, Clay liked option 3, but with the footer of option 1.
The next step was to build the tools Clay would need to create future emailers so I made several templates in Photoshop. These variations include three black backdrops, which gave Clay some variety to work with.
Clay also wanted a rough edge to all of his photos, which presented a small challenge, but nothing that I couldn’t navigate. To make the template editable for him, I created a border for the photos—this border, when placed overtop of the photo, created a raw edge, while lining up with the background streak. I also used the frame tool, so Clay could swap in new photos while maintaining the proportions of the image as it is positioned behind the rough border.
I used the finished templates by exporting the files as jpegs and uploading them into Mailchimp to create a pretty memorable emailer, if I say so, myself.
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