This article is a continuation of Lindsay Thompson’s collaboration with John Davis. See the results of John’s emailer and treatment here.
I think if there’s any way to show the personality of your brand, it’s in the form of a print promo. Some creatives use posters, others use postcards. But one of the most classic and effective methods is the promo book. With a multitude of pages and less formality than a printed portfolio, a promo book gives you the opportunity to display a solid portion of your best imagery without sacrificing any personality.
John started this process by teaming up with a photo editor named Stephanie Menuez; together, they chose the images and sequence, which meant I could put all of my efforts into the design. Right away, I had a few ideas brewing for an education-based promo!
Wanting to incorporate his website’s yellow background into the design, I made the background of John’s book a gradient — it started as white before slowly turning to yellow as you flip through. I also added translucent pink blocks as a tribute to his pink logo, giving each page more depth. These features acted as the common denominator for all of the design variables that I would add on top. And to show a variety of design assets, I changed up the theme/design every few spreads.
The first spread showed translucent, zig-zagging lines that ran across the pages. These lines were made to resemble the shape of his logo. The second design was made to resemble the inside of a college kid’s notebook, complete with doodles and notes. But instead of biology facts, I just wrote out Johns’s bio.
The third option was to double up on an image for the background. This “ghost image,” as John put it, added depth and made his photos the design asset.
To tone things down, I gave a few clean and simple options. I wanted to show the sophistication in simplicity. At the very least, this gave John a palette cleanser after looking at a few busier pages.
I ended things with more “doodles.” But this time, I overlaid drawings and designs onto the images, playing off the subject matter to add another visual element. A person playing an instrument got some music notes, while an individual at a dry-erase board needed a thought bubble.
John went for the first option with logo-like line-work (say that 10 times fast). He also preferred to keep the yellow background throughout the pages — without the gradient. Instructions in-hand, I began creating all the pages to match the first spread.
I created a rough draft of all the spreads to make sure I was on the right track. Some lines weaved in front or behind whole images, while others moved throughout the pictures. I also made sure that wherever the line ended on a spread, it picked up at the same spot once the page is turned.
John approved of how all of the lines moved throughout the pages, so all that was left was to fine-tune everything. Because I used InDesign for the majority of this book, some of the lines looked blocky as they dipped behind the imagery. I smoothed this out in photoshop.
We were down to the finishing touches. During an ensuing Zoom call, John and I talked about the front cover and made solid edits in real time. By adding a few extra pages for his logo and bio, we finally came to a complete design.
John and I used Smartpress to print out 100 copies of the book. He sent 25 copies to his existing customers back in the fall with plans to mail out another batch this spring. His book also got a mention on aPhotoEditor at the beginning of March!
Here are photos of the final book, taken by Wonderful Machine Producer Bryan Sheffield.
Wonderful Machine was a great resource for printing options and they oversaw the printing process from beginning to end. The great thing about working with Wonderful Machine was how open they were to my ideas. They’ve worked with many other photographers on similar projects so I had complete trust in their work. In the end, I was so happy with the process and final booklet. The design was fresh and in line with the feel of my work and I could easily see using the same design for another booklet in 2021!
If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level with print and email promos, contact our design professionals to see how we can help.