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Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know
Illustration by John Hersey

Know your story: Part 2


From:

Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know

with John McWade

Video: Know your story: Part 2

Okay, the second part to knowing your story is that once you know it, you need to be able to execute it. I have an example here of a woman who knew her story but then didn't quite realize it. Angela Lantain sent me her business card a few years ago. Angela is a Craft designer up in Canada. She works by herself and sells her artwork locally, displaying it in local store and she wanted a business card so potential customers could reach her.

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Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know
1h 5m Appropriate for all Feb 27, 2013

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Appearance may not be everything, but how something looks has a fundamental impact on how it's perceived, what it communicates, and whether it succeeds. In this course, author John McWade of Before & After magazine shares foundational graphic design techniques that will make your page, screen, product, or presentation look and perform its best.

These design essentials can be used by nondesigners as tips, tricks, and shortcuts, and by professionals as building blocks to greater understanding. Each lesson is a short, easy-to-understand how-to that can be applied regardless of the brand of software and hardware you use. This course was created and produced by the Before & After magazine team. We are honored to host this content in our library.

Subjects:
Design Page Layout Typography Design Techniques Design Skills
Author:
John McWade

Know your story: Part 2

Okay, the second part to knowing your story is that once you know it, you need to be able to execute it. I have an example here of a woman who knew her story but then didn't quite realize it. Angela Lantain sent me her business card a few years ago. Angela is a Craft designer up in Canada. She works by herself and sells her artwork locally, displaying it in local store and she wanted a business card so potential customers could reach her.

And so she designed this and sent it to me for a critique, and I'll go off on a little tangent here. One of the problems is the acronym AMD. I am not a fan of acronyms, especially when you have a small business trying to connect with its customer and put a human face on the business. The problem with an acronym is that nobody knows what it means. AMD could say, you know, it could be anything. And so not only do you have to design your acronym, you have to then design an explanation of it.

It puts some distance between you and your customer, you know much better to just, to just use your name. With Angela, looking at Angela's card without even critiquing the graphics, I can't see in it the work that she does. So I asked her if she had a website or something or I could see her work. She directed me to her site and I found all kinds of very attractive craftwork. And I said, "Angela, if you have this... why would you show someone this...

"To tell your story, let's put your craft right on your card. Add your name. You can put all your contact information on the back." Another cool thing here is that you could have different pieces of art on different cards. You know, we have moo.com, print up a whole card deck for you. And now when you hand your card to a customer or a potential customer, they can see you.

They see the work you do, and they have your contact information. You've made a great connection, you've told your story. So here's a case where once you have your story, you want to make sure that the work you do is telling that story.

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