If you follow me just about anywhere on the internet, you're probably aware that I'm heading to Creative South later this week. This will be my first design conference so I'm pumped beyond belief and can't help mentioning it any chance I get. Knowing that I'll be meeting a lot of internet friends and cool creatives there, I wanted to create some brand swag for them to remember me by.
I started by designing some seriously spiffy business cards (more on those soon), but I wanted to make something else with more widespread appeal. I knew people wouldn't be so interested in plastering something with my name all over their possessions, so I chose to make something awesome and channel my brand into this swag in a more subtle way.
More Than a Promo
When you're creating brand swag, it's important to step out of your own shoes for a minute. Forget about your own opinions and consider what would really strike a chord with your audience. What would they find useful or cool?
Personally, I had 4 goals for my brand swag, which you can apply when you're creating a new piece of collateral for your own brand.
1. Showcase my skills.
On par with logo design and branding, I've got a very intense passion for lettering. I've been honing my skills for years and incorporate them into my design projects whenever possible. Beyond setting a brand name or mark in a couple fonts, I've found that custom typography is an amazing way to create a completely unique look for a brand that can't be easily recreated.
That said, I knew I wanted to create some custom lettering to be the hero of this piece. Lettering makes for some gorgeous eye candy, but it would also show people what this girl can do.
2. Leverage the “Wow Factor.”
It's ideal to loop in the “wow factor” whenever possible. Give your promo that special something or a clever twist to attract attention. You can do this with form or function. I chose typographic magic. ✨
It was an amazing moment seeing the word “awesome” and realizing it was the perfect candidate for becoming an ambigram. In case you're not familiar with ambigrams, they're an artsy typographic treatment of a word or phrase that reads the same thing right side up and upside down.
I made sure to draw attention to the reversible nature of the ambigram by setting type symmetrically on the top and bottom. This encourages recipients to flip it and reverse it. Wow factor? Nailed it.
3. Connect with my people.
I wanted to print the ambigram as something affordable that people would keep with them and be likely to flip. And, well, it's no secret that people love stickers. Especially designers.
More than just making something cool-looking though, I also wanted this promo to have a bit of my personality in it. I'm a notoriously positive and optimistic person, and I wanted to translate that sunny outlook to my brand swag. I'm driven to make seemingly ordinary things beautiful, and wanted recipients to connect with that. Hence the type I chose, “Everything is awesome forever & ever awesome." Or the reverse, depending on how you look at it.
4. Make something worth keeping.
The culmination of the 3 previous points make this one a no-brainer. When you create something cool that your audience can connect with and associate with you, you've created something precious. They'll be that much more likely to hang onto it and show their friends. In my case, I hope people connect with my awesomebigram (as I've started calling it) and stick these stickers on all the things.
Awesome Things to Come
I ordered a BUNCH of these from the fine folks at StickerMule and I'm thinking a giveaway is in order to help spread the awesome! I've also got big plans for this ambigram in the future (metallic enamel pins, anyone??)
If you're going to Creative South, be sure to find me and we can swap some swag. Otherwise, be sure to subscribe to stay in the loop of awesome things to come!