GRAPHIC DESIGN / FREELANCE PROJECT
After having worked with them on a previous freelance project, the communications team at Elmhurst Public Library got in touch about designing a series of banners for a reading campaign. The banners would hang from the light posts in the parking lot, and graphically answer the questions Who, What, Where, and How Do You Read?
Communicate the message of diversity of reading styles
Use library’s brand colors
Make designs easy to read at a distance
Create a series of designs that look good together
Make designs fun, noticeable, and encouraging
This project didn’t require too much research because the topic was straightforward, but the first thing I did was create a long list of possible answers to the questions of Who, What, Where, and How Do You Read in order to determine how I would represent those answers visually. My client also shared some reference images of banner designs they liked as inspiration.
I started by sketching with pencil and paper to generate ideas. Once I'd come up with several concepts I liked, I loosely worked up my favorite options digitally in Photoshop to share with the client.
Here I sent my top three concepts to the client, in this case with a few variations on color and type choices to give the client an idea of some different directions we could take the banners stylistically.
Their feedback was that the speech bubble design was their favorite, and they specified that there would need to be a single-banner design as well as a double-banner design for each question. The client also made the final decision about typefaces and specific “answers” to each question that would go in the speech bubbles.
I set to work refining the base design for the banners and creating the handwritten type and icons that would represent the answers to each question and go in the speech bubbles. The final art had to be created according to the printer’s size and file specifications. During the creation process I also received an additional request from the client to add a “Why do you read?” banner to the series.
Once I’d finished the designs I shared them with the client. They were happy with the designs, though there were a couple final revisions to two of the icons before I could wrap up the project! After those changes were approved I sent all the final files so they could have them printed.
The solution was a full series of 15 colorful banners that were first displayed at the library in January 2019 (and have since returned because they are reusable). This is a favorite project of mine not only because the banners turned out great – clearly communicating their message in a fun and playful way – but also because I love books and reading, and Elmhurst Public Library was the place I developed that love as a kid.