Ecard for the University of Florida

Hello everyone!

For my final showcase, I was assigned to create a holiday e-card that the University of Florida could send.

I chose to do a general holiday e-mail for campus closures from December 24th-January 4th (since both Christmas and New Year’s fall on Fridays). This closure is entirely made-up, and otherwise I am not affiliated with the offices of University of Florida, so don’t take this card seriously!

My thought process was to, of course, go forth and find a cartoonish alligator. I found an image that I liked and used the magic wand tool to delete the background. I googled for free santa hat vectors and arranged it on top of the gator’s head. Finally I added a small red ellipse to the alligator’s nose so he could look like Rudolph.

After I designed the alligator, I drew a speech bubble with the pen tool and filled it with plain white. I added a bevel and emboss effect to the speech bubble (and the red nose). From here I added “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” in UF orange with, again, a simple bevel and emboss effect. I then Googled around and found this free snow layer style, which I added to the top of the type with the brush tool. I decided to go with the snow theme and found the blue background with snowflakes. Since it wasn’t very big, I added a UF blue rectangle on the bottom and used it as my “main body” box and added the text. I mimicked this step for the “header.” I then found the transparent Christmas lights online and added it as a bottom border.

For my lighting effect (a mandatory feature), I chose to copy the entire image and paste it into a new document to not disturb the entire image. I merged the layers together on this new document and added individual point lights to each Christmas light on the bottom of the card. This effect really brightened the card as a whole and tied it all together.

Here is my final e-card image:


Email Design for Dunkin’ Donuts

Phew, this week sure was a doozy! In class we learned about company e-mails and how important they are for marketing. Did you know that 91% of people check their e-mail at least once per day, and that the average person receives 416 e-mails in a single month? I know that I receive at least that many from all the companies I have subscribed to. Emails are a very popular and useful way to market a brand, when done correctly. This week my class learned tips and tricks to create the most effective design for e-mails, and how the slice tool in Photoshop makes it that much easier to translate graphics to HTML and CSS.

This week, my class was given the task to create a promotional e-mail based on the company we chose last week for the banner ad assignment. I had chosen Dunkin’ Donuts and did a holiday inspired theme based on their holiday coffee flavors, so some work was already done for me! The logo and coffee bag image was easily accessible, and I had already downloaded a variation of the Dunkin font, so that made my assignment easier already.. but don’t let it fool you, this was probably one of my most time-consuming projects yet.

We had various criteria to meet, including displaying at least three photos, the company logo, a navigation bar, a footer, three social media icons, a clear promotion, a call-to-action, contact information, a way to unsubscribe, a way to share with a friend, and a way to view in a browser. Basically we needed to include all the tiny background elements you often forget are even in an e-mail!

My banner ads had an orange background, but I decided not to translate to the e-mail literally. So, I simply gave the white e-mail a thick orange border. Next, I placed the logo image and created the navigation bar. You can see from my final that I set the navigation behind the logo to make it stand out, and added various links to different pages of their website. I copied the navigation bar and pasted it as my footer at the bottom, but of course altered the content. The social media icons on the footer took a long time to perfect; I could see what I wanted in my mind’s eye but couldn’t figure out a simple way to reproduce it!

Next I placed the coffee bag images (with drop shadows) and set them all side-by-side. I decided to create a banner image by using different rectangular shapes, altering them using the direct selection tool and free transform, turning the whole into a smart object, and warping it (specifically with arc at 15%) through free transform again. This took me about 30 minutes to really perfect because it had many layers, but ultimately I think it makes my design that much more interesting. I did this banner in a magenta color drawn from the Dunkin’ Donuts logo, and set white promotional text on it. The rest of the text of that promotion was done on a magenta button, which had a bevel and emboss effect to give it more dimension. I decided on a 40% off coupon for “our loyal subscribers” because it promotes e-mail and brand loyalty, in the form of a coupon. 🙂 I basically copied this process for my second promotion, the gift card. However, instead of all the text being on the button, I set the text in Dunkin’ orange and made a smaller button with “Click here.” Who doesn’t love gift cards, right?

Even though my design isn’t totally the same as my banner ads, the ideas are still identical. For example, in both I used the magenta color to draw your eye to the most important elements: the header and the call to action.

Below you can see my final image. I emphasize final because I cannot stress how many times I uploaded my image here, noticed something I didn’t like, changed it in Photoshop, and had to re-upload it again. (Hint: the answer is an embarrassingly high number.) Anyway, from here I could easily slice pieces of the image to then translate to the e-mail. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with Dunkin’ Donuts. This was an educational exercise, and I’m simply a long-time patron.