Learning Objective (What I want to learn): Learn about the process behind designing a brand. Work with Crenshaw to create stable imagery and social media content that showcases the brand reflectively.
Learning Objective (What I want to learn): Work in-depth with a grid system to create presentation decks, white papers, and other print/digital media that require grid structuring. Create content that is easily editable for future use. Get a better understanding of using a grid-system through lengthy projects.
Learning Objective (What I want to learn): Improve collaboration skills while working closely with the Crenshaw team while also improving time-management skills.
Before working at Crenshaw, I really had no idea how to interact with any business regarding design and the choices made for a brand. I’ve never worked with branding before or maintaining a brand so consistently. I had to do that not only for Crenshaw but for many of their clients as well. At times it was really overwhelming how much there was to learn, from PowerPoint master slides to asking a lot of questions, something of which I got in the habit of asking a lot more recently.
I worked with DOrothy and Marijane closely to fulfill imagery needed for Crenshaw’s branding. At the beginning, I asked many questions about the target audiences and potential clients. I went through a lot of their powerpoints just to catch up on the kind of business they attract. They try to hook tech companies; whether it be startups or established. A lot of those times the companies they attract go through rebrands (bigger clients being AOL, Arkadium, etc).
For Crenshaw’s branding, they really needed to work on their deck presentations. All of their client pitching was done through powerpoint. Their PowerPoints did not look professional AT ALL. Changing this for them was top priority and was the start of my internship and branding experience. From this project I learned how to cover master slides in PowerPoint. I taught the agency how to use the master slides as well and made slides that were EASILY EDITABLE for not just the creatives, but for anyone who needed to work in a PowerPoint file.
Here is the before and after.
I updated their case study slides as well to be easier to read. They put a lot of type into their powerpoints, I’ve tried to tell them less type to have more impact but they still put a lot. I updated their case studies, around 250-300 slides, to have this kind of layout. Before, their slides were a mess and had random shapes everywhere. The company really needed an overhaul.
I worked with a GRID in creating this system and took some photographs of the office should they need them. I listened to Dorothy’s feedback on creating a professional looking powerpoint that used Crenshaw’s colors (mostly). Something that could translate worldwide as they do have a lot of international clients.
I mastered PowerPoint master slides through this project, they work a lot like InDesign master pages.
I also updated their Social Media imagery with a new look.
I was in charge of creating consistent imagery for their blog titles as well.
I also updated their business cards one week. The old version seemed outdated. There were a bunch of variations seen in my previous blog post. They wanted MINIMALIST cards. I told them I thought this might be too minimalist but they really enjoyed it.
My time management during these projects was kind of crunched. Crenshaw always wanted things right away (ie a day or two) and I always had to remark on how some of these things take much longer (like new social media imagery). It was frustrating at times and was remarked on it a few weeks in by Dorothy. I needed to provide better deadlines and stay true to those deadlines or let others help me.
I started talking more at this point and asking more questions. I also started voicing my actual thought process for how long things would take rather than just guessing or how long I thought it might take. It made me collaborate with my team more easily.
One of the longer projects I had was for a client. They needed a White Paper. I helped write the White Paper as well as worked with the client’s creative team to do the final design. It reads like a book but it took a long while before it became this simplified. Working with the Crenshaw team and the client team was really interesting. I was in calls with them to learn the backstory and contribute how long design might take. They also had suggestions to how I should approach the design (ie imagery that tells the story). They also wanted it to match their style guide. Here is the final white paper:
I also helped in the planning and imagery for Arkadium’s panel which featured heads of VR from NYT and USA Today. See the panel below:
Overall, there are a bunch of things I need to work on still that at least I am comfortable with now. My communication working with teams, I think, has improved a lot and can only get better. Working more and more gives me a better handle on how long projects take and how to handle problematic situations. I had a hard time communicating at the beginning but now it has become easier (getting in trouble once or twice really helped push me to be better with my deadlines and make more realistic deadlines).
For my design skills, I learned many technical skills I didn’t have before, ie PowerPoint. Working in PowerPoint was a whole other situation. It was combination of working with a grid and freehanding it as well as working in inDesign/Photoshop/Illustrator simultaneously. Creating the WhitePaper helped tone down my initial craziness for wanting everything to be designed and look designed but simplicity really ruled on that project. It opened my eyes to creating content for an audience; the white paper is meant to be read by marketers looking to promote the client.
The hardest part of this was the branding. I had to work alongside Crenshaw’s heads to really make something they liked but also looked good. There was a stage where everything came off as trite and generic but talking through the brand and how Crenshaw approaches things helped. I asked questions about the who’s, whats, wheres and whens to help and took a lot of sketches. It was stressful because of the pressure to deliver something awesome for the brand that really helped them.