Great Dane Trailers contacted me about designing an email invitation for an Open House in Charlotte, N.C. I was given this direction: It needs the Great Dane logo, an image of at least one trailer, and should have a bit of a racing theme.
My solution was to incorporate the Charlotte skyline and some checkered-flag-like ribbons into the concept. After a few sketches, I came up with the design shown here. The triangular shape supports the skyline and the headline area while directing the eye downward through the design and toward the Great Dane logo. I kept a balanced, somewhat symmetrical layout to help achieve this. The color palette was limited to bold red, white, and shades blue.
I started by scouring the web for images of the Charlotte skyline. Once I found a couple that presented several angles to work from, I began creating silhouettes of several of the key buildings using Adobe Illustrator. I took what appeared to be the tallest building and centered the design on that one. Other nondescript building shapes were added to the background layers to offer depth and dimension.
The checkered ribbon was the next thing I created, using several type of envelope distortions and also the gradient mesh tool to create some highlights and shadows to give the ribbons a sense of depth. The trailers were cut out in Photoshop and imported.
The remainder of the email design was intended to be straight HTML text–this way, the content could be changed easily by the in-house marketing staff if last-minute changes occurred. The final touch was to give special attention to the call-to-action area: the RSVP. I surrounded the red button with checkered ribbons to give the design a better sense of unity and cohesion, and as always, ALT tags with lots of information were added to the graphic-heavy areas of the design.
Here’s the full design. Short, sweet, and simple.
Now, if I had to do all over, what would I have changed? Well, that is a question I frequently ask myself after finishing a project. It’s another step in the learning process. Granted, refinement should always occur before submitting a final project, but it never hurts to continue to wonder “what if.” In this instance, I would have given more attention to “Charlotte, North Carolina” in the center area. My rationale was to purposely keep the color palette simple, but in hindsight, adding an extra color to give some pop to the name probably wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Here’s an example of something I may have considered doing: