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Why I Hired a Graphic Designer

When I wrote the blog post about lessons learned from the first Writing Retreat Sampler, I focused on what attendees experienced during the two-day event. But, one of my biggest lessons learned happened in the background.

DIY Graphics Won’t Cut It

Because the Sampler idea was new and I didn’t have an audience or followers to get feedback on it, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on graphics for an event that might not happen again.

But I still needed a logo and a few brand colors for that first Sampler, so I turned to Canva. I’m not visually creative so I picked a template from their options and started playing around with colors and fonts. I kept the watercolor splash from the template, put text over it and added a pen and pencil image to the side of the text.

It didn’t look truly awful, but it was definitely a DIY job. There wasn’t any depth to it and it looked blurry when I needed to enlarge it in certain places.

Picking the Wrong Colors

I also realized too late into creating the event registration page and speaker graphics that all of the Sampler brand colors I chose were either light or dark. I hadn’t selected a bright color to use for buttons or as a contrasting font on social media graphics.

As a result, my graphics looked flat and lacked an eye-catching pop of color.

Hiring a Graphic Designer

The first Writing Retreat Sampler event was so successful, I decided to keep doing them. Instead of a lot of presentations over two days, though, future ones are going to be twice a month starting in late May. This means I’m going to need not just a new logo, but new graphics for every event.

That was going to be a lot of work I didn’t have the time nor the expertise for. My first Sampler was an experiment to see if the idea was worth pursuing. In order to attract writing retreat host speakers, writer attendees, and sponsors, future Samplers need to look polished and professional.

So I scoured the internet and my LinkedIn connections for anyone who created graphics specifically for events. I wanted someone who understood the nuances of creating graphics for an event series as well as making sure I thought of all of the types of graphics I’d need for an event.

After looking at many options, I decided to use Sharper Creative. Sue Harper is working on developing a logo for the Writing Retreat Sampler virtual events as well as the event and speaker graphics.

Now I don’t have to do the time consuming work of creating mediocre graphics and I’ll get a polished, brand-consistent product at the end. I can’t wait to show them off when they’re ready!