These fall color palettes bring out the best tones of fall. They’re inspired by my favorite cool weather sensations — from buttery-leather boots to crisp cider. Fall Color Palettes Sometimes, I need to shake up my designs with a seasonal selection of colors. Bright orange or apple red may seem like obvious choices. But thereContinue reading “5 Fall Color Palettes to Help You Hail the Great Pumpkin”
I turned them all into spooky quote pins because I can’t help myself.
Essentially, you run a campaign that creates engagement. Then, you can invite those people to “Like” and “Follow” your page.
The American Association of Airline Executives approached me based on a referral from another writer.
Hard-hitting discussions (suicide, authenticity, Billie Eilish’s scandal) produce quotes that make people look up and say something.
It’s always fun to pick up an ongoing project from another designer and this issue of the Mountain Mission School Challenger was no exception.
I was drawn to this direct mail project for two reasons. First, I enjoy projects where I can assist other women. I came alongside a young woman who wants to get involved in her community. Second, I’ve never done a strictly political project. So, I stretched my knowledge and did a little research to makeContinue reading “Seeing (Republican) Red”
After Sara Edwards performed at our “Where It Hurts” event, I met with her to discuss the passion behind her music.
To write an article that paired everyone’s least favorite type of work activity with awareness of local event spaces, I put together a creative list.
As part of an article series in Shop Forest First magazine, I wrote the business story of Monogram Love. I visited their store and interviewed the owner, Karen Betham. The resulting content brought their story to life:
For this wedding article, I walked around Downtown Lynchburg on a crisp spring day to find some fresh Bachelorette and Bachelor party ideas.
Looking back, it’s a little ambitious to do all of these things with your kids in one summer.
#notdying4wallstreet brought the straw man of social darwinism back into modern discussion.
In Spring 2016, brides were feeling overwhelmed about the Pinterest-perfect weddings — and their huge price tags.
Undertaking a wedding tops the most stressful experiences of my young life. The pressure of planning a party for my family, friends, coworkers, and (our parents’) acquaintances filled me with dread. Years later, I revisited that terror (with some much-needed levity) to put together a list of things brides forgot on their wedding day.
Volunteers are giving back, even if they don’t have a lot of money to donate.
They asked me to update a fundraising self-mailer that included a remittance envelope for donations.
Even on a cloudy day, the atmosphere was delightfully warm. I snapped a few shots, interviewed shopkeepers and collected piles of notes that eventually became a guide to visiting this local gem.
For these articles, Mary Garner, the publisher uses both my articles and my photography to complete the magazine spread.
I put together this design by staying in alignment with the Brand Guide we had previously developed.
Aidan explains, “I write things down when I feel overwhelmed by detail. “
I’ve spent some time on the senior circut lately, writing about managing medications and Forest, VA history. This article folded neatly with that point of view. As a special section within Lynchburg Living Magazine, this article focused on the local options available to retirees. Make Yourself at Home in a Retirement Community Originally Published inContinue reading “Senior Living Guide”
When Lynchburg Business Magazine asked me to enter the world of amateur sports, I didn’t know how deep the research would take me.
For these articles, Mary Garner, the publisher uses both my articles and my photography to complete the magazine spread.
For this brochure, I put the focus on the parent as the target audience. For example, that mother in the centerfold exudes both hope and determination.
As the demand for solar energy continues to grow, so does the need for a capable, trained workforce. CVCC sees their role in the process as a simple one: prepare local students for a bright future in the exciting, expanding energy industry.
Because I’ve put together many of these guidelines in the past, I encouraged the client to keep this document focused and succinct. Many of the people referencing the guidelines are volunteers who just need to understand the basics of the brand.
Camera and tablet in hand, I searched Buchanan to find “The Best Place” for antiques. The clever name belonged to an equally charming store.
I photographed the items, arranging them in a flat lay that included her branding. She used these materials on her facebook, website, and email marketing to promote her in-store sale.
Everyone wants to stand in a place like the Amherst County Fair during the late summer. From the elevated fairground, you can view miles of mountains and feel the rush of wind on your cheeks. The sun is a little too warm, but it’s welcome on your skin.
Although the Heilmans had recently moved into the townhomes on Ivy Lake, we walked through Lynchburg history. They had lived in the area for several years before they moved away — only to move back. For me, it was a stressful situation. The COVID-19 shutdown regulations were constantly changing so, I wore a facemask duringContinue reading “Maybe the Hills Grew”
It was a new experience for me — calling the day before an interview to see if my subjects wanted to meet. The Coronavirus situation had escalated quickly and I wasn’t certain of the safest way to proceed for the health of my subjects. The Harveys were glad to meet with me. We maintained physicalContinue reading “We’re physically distancing… not social distancing!”
Whenever I have a chance to interview women about their artistic process, I build my questions around resetting expectations. Often, women in art get the fluffy questions. Who inspired you? As a woman… Who would you like to thank? Instead, I start at the beginning — letting my subject tell her story. This allows herContinue reading “How I Interview Women About Their Art”
Reminder: They’re people.
Every business dilemma can’t be resolved by your marketing team.
I encounter creative people through artist interviews, lifestyle columns, and business profiles. As I put together each story, I challenge myself to uncover the genius behind their work and relay their value to my audience.
Let’s quarantine the worst misinformation websites.
What started as a few organic media moments became a churning content carousel.
Flip the perspective from the business to the consumer.
Don’t just ask about their kids.
Each time I schedule an interview for an article, I aim to gather quality material as quickly as possible.
When my articles cover impactful events, I’m conscious about the details. Recently, I spoke with an established member of the Ivy Hill Community about her experience with Bob Hope’s visit to Lynchburg. Although her memory was extremely reliable, I cross-checked the facts for two key reasons. First, I didn’t want to bog down the interviewContinue reading “How to Confirm Details in Your Articles”
Whenever I write an article, I have a concept for the angle before I even pitch the story. Most of the time, the angle the reason an editor accepts the piece.
As part of my volunteer work at The Listening, Inc., I interview artists for their website.
You don’t have to be a photoshop wizard to put together these popular text graphics.
That contrast between author’s intention and audience reception continues to fascinate me.
Respondents said their low trust in social media has had little effect on how they “understand current events”.
Beyonce’s khaki & cocoa feed is the 2020 aesthetic.
Don’t get stuck in a design rut.
Freshen up your font choices!
At the start of the New Year, several products and services always explode like fitness, home organization, and education.
Choosing brand colors is a little bit science and a little bit art.
See charts and graphs of the most common logo colors pulled from the Fortune Global 500 list.
Aesthetic preferences are shaped by Pantone’s annual selection in every area of design from products to media.
For small businesses and startups, a one page sheet is an excellent starting place.
Everyone is trying to get a chunk of that Baby Boomer business.
As a news junkie, I had been following the conversation surrounding the solar energy industry.
Get ready for the big sale (+ free graphics)
When someone invites you into their work, actually letting you feel their passion, you can put something together that goes deeper than boilerplate copy or a press release.
I don’t advertise website builds as one of my business services for several reasons.
These interview questions always get a good response.
Avoid promotional pitfalls by taking a deliberate approach to your marketing messaging.
Turn the customer’s decision-making process into a dialogue.
This kind of information performs well on both social and search.
Working with a ghostwriter can help you put together a story that captures the attention and imagination of your target audience.
Creating and implementing a marketing campaign can help your audience see the whole elephant of your brand, instead of fumbling around the little pieces.
If you want to write better, learn how to find an angle for your story.
You can feel at peace with your promotions.
Over the years, I’ve been on both ends of the press release process, as a representative for marketing clients and as a freelance writer. During that time, I have seen parallels between the press release process and our great blue earth.
Basically, you have 5 options.
To refocus content on truth-telling, there are several steps that media companies, content creators, and consumers should take to improve our information ecosystem.
If you are a small, retail business, the holidays are full of both stress and opportunity. Foot traffic typically increases — and you can make the most of it. Get your fair share of pitter-pattering customer feet by running a social-media friendly sales event.
Whether you are a small brick-and-mortar retail shop or selling online, Black Friday (or the day after Thanksgiving) sales set the tone for your holiday promotions. It’s one of the most cluttered holidays – in terms of messaging. The big retailers have the most money to spend on high reach promotions.
Everyone talks about ROI. This plan is set up to measure it.
The problem isn’t that we are believing fake news — it’s that we stopped believing in news.
There are some headlines we just can’t resist.
Some classifications are just confusing like my multicultural: African American “racial affinity”.
The First Amendment still stands along with our right to exercise the power to speech, press and petition.
23% say they have shared a made-up news story – either knowingly or not.
Fake news will exist as long as there is money to be made from it.
The Pew Research Center tested how well people can separate fact from opinion statements. The results aren’t surprising.
People were asked to evaluate sample news statements and categorize them as “opinion” or “fact.”
If you really think about it, what makes that particular claim fake news?
We have survived, and thrived as a nation, in spite of missteps.
People are emotional, irrational beings who seem to prefer sharing lies that match their worldview over reconciling their beliefs with facts.
After 1,072 posts I was pleasantly surprised.
Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of media studies at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, created a solid list for identifying fake news.
In the age of pay-per-click, attention is money.
Eyeballs are the currency of the internet.
Try thinking about The Cat in the Hat to improve your email marketing open rates and click throughs.
Places come with their own colors. Can’t you just imagine the warm, vibrant golds of Arizona or the mossy greens of Vermont? As I’ve taken photos of Central Virginia, while on various assignments, I’ve collected color combinations inspired by these views.
Often, when people think of nature-inspired color combinations, they pick neutral tones of green and brown. But, nature is full of a wide array of inspiring (and sometimes unexpected) tones. Below are a few of my favorite color combinations that you can find in the natural world.
It’s all about contrast and balance.
The more designs you put together, the easier it is to run out of fresh ideas for backgrounds.
From childhood, we are told that fingerprints make us distinct. Do you know how we first started using fingerprints to differentiate people? In 1903, a man named Will West arrived to Leavenworth Penitentiary to serve out his sentence. At intake, officials were confused because they already had a Will West in custody that matched thatContinue reading “How to Use a Case Study to Set Yourself Apart from Competitors”
Everyone knows that the 90s are back, bringing us into the wonder that was Steve Madden, dELiA*s, Lisa Frank, and Rachel Ashwell. Edgy, happy, and experimental, the colors were a lovely rainbow of boundary-breaking design. Below are a few of my favorite color combinations inspired by the 90s.
Although it’s safe to reuse winning tones, like the current sunset fixation, great designs start with unexpected bursts of inspiration.
If you’re on the hunt for some new color combinations to amp up your next design project, check out these color palettes.
If you’re searching for some fresh, easy font combinations, check out these ideas.
Your products are a big part of your brand’s story. When you run a small business, it can be easy to fall behind in promoting new inventory. Photos need to be taken. Listings must be created. As soon as you bring new things in, customers start picking them over.
Consider me your source for creative content, digital media advice, and marketing tips. My posts fall into three main categories. First, I give real-world examples by summarizing recent projects in my portfolio. Second, I provide free downloads, links to industry sources, and roundups of inspiration to help you break through creative ruts. Finally, I conduct deep dives into topics that interest small business owners and content creators. If you have questions about anything you see in my posts, feel free to reach out to me directly.