I'm sure any business owner will agree, sending emails will legitimately be the death of me. Once out of interior design school and into the field we'd often joke it's "90 percent paper work, 10 percent design..." and I'm finding that holds true for most creative fields. Some folks are super efficient at balancing the business duties and emails, making most of their time shooting, I know. That's not yet me. I myself am a writer. Okay, not a writer, I'm a talker, and a visualizer, and if you ask my husband he will vouch that I have to give you the story behind the story. (I mean, you have to know where you came from to know where you're going! The backstory is TOTALLY pertinent!) My emails literally wind up turning into novels, and as much I like to bold, underline and highlight, I assume to a newly engaged couple the information can be downright overwhelming. And in plain text rather boooooooorrrrrrring. As I revamp my client experience and introduce some fun perks to booking 2014 couples I figured a more hands-on and simply gorg visual was required. I began work on the Client Welcome Mag:
A vibrant and exciting compilation of information that answers frequently asked questions, offers tips to prep for your engagement and details what to expect during the wedding process -- dripping with some of my favorite colors and gems. As I prepare for what feels like birth to this project (seriously!), here are some ideas or suggestions for those of you who may also be interested in saving yourself some email templating time and taking your couple's experience up a notch:
Client Welcome Book Templates: Available for download at Design Aglow. I purchased both the Luxe and Welcome Magazines to use as foundations for my design. Personally I changed the wording, moved photo placement, and added in my own text and graphic elements using both magazines. For those who just want to get to work it's a great plug + play template and with a bit more time totally customizable to suit your style. Can be used via Indesign or Photoshop (I went Photoshop route). If you aren't super familiar with photoshop, don't worry. The Design Aglow downloads come with a PDF tutorial that will help answer some great questions for you, like how in the world to get your photos to fit within those teenie tiny boxes (create a clipping mask just like I did here!).
Graphic Elements: A lot of the magazine elements I created own my own via photoshop, however Pugly Pixel is great for freebie little do-dads and Brusheezy is a fun place to download interesting photoshop brushes. Da Font is jam packed with font downloads (again, fo' free). For fonts that may not be already be all over the place, check out My Fonts --you have to pay them which means not as many people are likely to already be using them.
Presentation: Now this is TOTALLY up to you and what best fits your business style. You can print the pages out on nice card stock and like my sister Sarah kindly suggested wrap a pretty bow around them. You can merge them into a PDF and send to clients via email, or you can use an online web hosting site like HP Magcloud to create a digital magazine look. The Design Aglow templates are sized to fit specific lab's printing set-ups (I like Miller's?) but can be customized to print however and wherever you'd like.
Inspiration + Customization: In photoshop, you can change just about anything. I purchased the templates as a base for customizing my own welcome information. After flipping through layouts from my favorite magazines (back issues of Domino, Rue Mag online, etc.), I developed a general idea of how I wanted each layout to flow. Then I began editing the templates as I went to create a look and feel that represented my brand. When it comes to photoshop it's just something I learned over the years (mainly from trial and error in college--the first time I ever sat down at an Apple computer and had no clue how to turn it on!). There are lots of tutorials on youtube to help get you going, just google what you're looking for!