Winter Campaign for EF College Break

Hi everyone! This week in class we talked about all the options for utilizing social media. There’s  so much to take in with all the various networks, and from what I have learned it is a simple, effective way to draw attention to your brand without much cost.

My showcase this week was to design winter-inspired social media campaign for a brand in the travel industry. I immediately chose EF College Break, a company that offers overseas trips at discounted prices for people between the ages of 18-28. As the name suggests, EF College Break is a company geared toward adventurous college students. I have been following them for a little over two years now, and although I’ve never participated in a trip personally, I think it would be a great opportunity for students to travel the world without committing to an expensive travel abroad program. They offer all different kinds of trips for a variety of lengths (7 days to 30–what an opportunity) and  excursions. They even give you a specific travel itinerary so you can be sure to see it all.

Since it was a winter-inspired campaign, I wanted to do the opposite and play up the idea of being warm over New Year’s. I came up with a variety of slogans, which I featured in all three cover photos you can see below. “Get a tan this winter break,” “Have a warmer New Year,” and “Take your break in paradise.” You guessed it, I went for a tropical, anti-winter-blues campaign. 🙂 I used the font Tornac Regular from TypeKit and added an outer glow and a drop shadow on the text for all three designs, since the the various colors in the backgrounds made it difficult to see. For the top version I created a rectangle in black, changed the layer style to Overlay, and changed the opacity to about 50% to make the type stand out more on the various sky colors.

We also learned about Layer Comps this week, which are really amazing if you’ve never experienced them. I did not know that something like this existed before, but I can already see its value. The easiest way to understand Layer Comps is to think of them as a snapshot of a current layer panel. It allows you to change different aspects of a document, like toggling on and off specific layers and changing the text, and create a new Layer Comp or “snapshotting” a way the layers panel looks. You can then change things in the image, but you’re still able to go back to that original Layer Comp if necessary. This technique made displaying my different cover photo options SO much easier than creating different documents for all the options! I can see how useful this will be for future clients.

Below you can see my Facebook cover options (all backgrounds were pulled from EFCollegebreak.com):

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Facebook Cover, Example #1

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Facebook Cover, Example #2

 

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Facebook Cover, Example #3

 

Next I created a Twitter cover photo option. I kept the text exactly the same, but used a larger, more high-resolution photograph I found. Even though it does not use any of the cover photos from my Facebook options, I think you can easily tell it’s from the same campaign because of the font styling and paradise feel.

 

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Twitter Cover Option

 

Finally, I had to create an Instagram overlay for my winter campaign. Since the name of the company is EF College Break, I decided to create an overlay called “EF Winter Break,” in the same font, Tornac, and put a small airplane shape in front of it. Again, I applied the Layer Style from the other images. Here is an actual Instagram photo with the overlay used:

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Instagram Photo with Overlay

For this campaign so far, to further integrate the theme of a “warm winter break,” I would suggest promoting tropical-themed vacations in EF College Break’s Facebook timeline posts through November, December, and January. Perhaps suggesting that it’s not too late to book a vacation, or posting fun traditions that other countries do for New Year’s in banner ads would further attract attention from potential consumers. Honestly, I think this a very easy campaign to run away with! Everyone wants to escape for those few weeks they’re not in school… I speak from experience! 😉

As far as other social channels, Snapchat/Youtube would be obvious choices. While I am a personal fan of Snapchat and the different SnapStories, I know that not everyone carries around their phones when they go to the beach or are around water, so that might not be the best platform for this reason… However, GoPros are very “in” right now, so I think those personal videos of students zip-lining or snorkeling in the excursions would be a great way to promote all the fun people are having on these vacations. Using personal videos would also inspire students to post and tag EF College Break, so I think it’s a win-win all around. I also think that Pinterest could easily showcase the beautiful locations of these trips. EF College Break could easily create all different boards for their locations and make suggestions for the destinations by using pins (like packing lists, places to eat, must-sees, etc) within each board.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with EF College Break. I have never participated in one of their programs, either, though I think it looks like a ton of fun!

Moodboards and Imagery

This week in Digital Imagery we discussed ways to get inspired for imagery projects. Specifically we talked about moodboards and how you can use them to visually illustrate a certain style. They help flesh out ideas that may be bouncing around in your head so that other people don’t need to be psychics to know exactly what you’re thinking! 🙂

Our showcase assignment was to create a moodboard for a brand. I chose to do my own personal brand, because although in infancy, it’s growing every day. In another class I’m currently taking, Web Design Principles (a class which teaches the foundation of HTML and CSS), my semester-long project is to create my own portfolio website. I hope that this moodboard helps get, well, the mood of my website across and keeps me on track for the theme of my website.

It would be hard for me to dive into my moodboard without explaining my website idea first. It is a portfolio-based website, but because I like websites with a theme, I decided to make my website based around the idea of walking down a trail. I want the user to feel immersed in outdoor imagery: lots of trees, animals, dirt, etc. I want you to be “walking” and then end up at a “fork in the trail,” where you click the trail you want to follow to get to the various pages of my website.

With my theme for my project in mind, I went on various stock imagery websites such as pixabay.com and pexels.com and downloaded (way too many) images. I also wanted fonts that were very light and airy and reminded me of the woods. At first I went on dafont.com, but when I read the agreement that came with a font I had chosen, I realized it was not permitted for use on personal branding websites. For this project that would have been fine, but because I eventually want to use certain fonts for my branding website, I decided to switch to fonts offered on TypeKit to be on the safe side. I downloaded about five fonts to choose from.

After I collected my images and fonts, I opened Photoshop and began to construct my moodboard on a 10×8 inch document. We were not allowed to use templates, so I began by adding many different colored rectangles, and threw in a few ellipses just to spice things up a bit. moodboardlayoutTo the right you can see what it looked like when I was finished constructing the layout. I know it looks a little wild right now, but the colors help differentiate the shapes in my layers panel. From here I began to embed the stock images into the document by importance. I started with my favorite image, which I put in the very center, navy blue box. I situated the image’s layer behind the navy blue box, and changed the opacity of the box to ~60% so I could see the image behind it as I adjusted it’s size. The image was much larger than my square, so I had to free transform it (Command + T) to resize it to properly fit. Once I was happy with it, I moved the image’s layer above the box, changed the box’s opacity back to 100%, right clicked my image’s layer and clicked on “Create Clipping Mask.” This feature allows you to clip the top image to fit the bottom image, which I think is just too cool! The best part is, if it doesn’t fit perfectly after you click it, you can still adjust that mask and nudge it around until you get something you like. My description might seem complicated, but it was actually very easy.

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Pantone’s Mimosa, Emerald, and Marsala.

After this first image, I repeated the process over and over until my moodboard came to life. I left a few boxes purposely free of images to leave room for some text and font use, and because we were assigned to use three of Patone’s “Color of the Year” colors, and I hadn’t quite figured out how I wanted to incorporate them. So, at this point I went over to Pantone’s website and found the “Plus” hexcode for 2015’s color: Marsala. At first when I saw the color I thought it was kind of ugly, but when I saved the swatch in my library I realized it actually worked well with my trail theme; it was actually a very pretty, earthy tone. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Pantone! I also decided to use their 2013 color, Emerald, and their 2009 color, Mimosa. I thought the three would pair well together.

Marsala (R: 173 G: 101 B: 95 | C: 10 M: 67 Y: 49 K:23)
Emerald (R: 0 G: 155 B: 119 | C: 99 M: 0 Y: 69 K: 0 )
Mimosa (R: 239 G: 192 B: 80 | C: 0 M: 15 Y: 75 K: 5 )

So, the first thing I did was set an empty ellipse’s background as Marsala, and put white text over it. (Side note: fonts used were Metallophile Sp8 in one and Myriad Std Tilt in another; I did have to change the leading in one to make it fill the box more.) That left me to place Emerald and Mimosa. Because Mimosa is so vivid and powerful, I knew I wanted to leave that for something very minimal. I decided to create a custom shape, an arrow, and filled it with Mimosa. Emerald felt more subtle, so I decided to use the paint bucket tool to paint my background in this color and I loved it, however this made my images blend in since they’re quite close to emerald as it is. I decided to put a 10px white stroke effect on my images, and put a drop shadow on both ellipses to make them pop.

Finally, our last requirement for the moodboard was to use a Photoshop action anywhere on the board. In our discussion post I had linked to this site, which displays 45 free Photoshop actions. I went back on that article and scrolled around and thought it would be pretty cool if I made one of my pictures “Bold Black and White,” so I downloaded that action. After I applied the action I realized I didn’t really want black and white, because I thought it took away from the overall feel. So I deleted the actual black and white adjustment and just kept the other parts of the action and applied it to the entire moodboard. After adjusting specific parts, I felt that it made the picture brighter and more vibrant.

Here is the final image:

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Because I’m a little indecisive, I also have another option of my moodboard (below) without my Emerald background. Even though this means that it would not technically meet all of the requirements of my showcase, I still like it enough to add here. You can never have too many options, right?

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Thank you for stopping by!