I’ve been working on my book about marketing design this week, and I have something I’d like to run by you!
There’s a chapter where I’m describing sh*tty situations that marketing designers can find themselves in and I’d like your input on if they’re relatable to you or not.
Read on to see them, but first I wanted to share a DM I got this week from Zapier’s Creative Director Michael Jeter (who I interviewed about the Zapier rebrand in S03E04 of Inside Marketing Design)
Sure enough, there it is on one of the slides.
What a coincidence! Love these “small world” moments.
The Zapier episode is one of my favorites, so go check it out if you didn’t listen to it already and listen in to the full story of the rebrand project.
Have you encountered any of these situations?
These scenarios are written based on my own experience as a marketing designer as well as stories I’ve heard from other inhouse brand and marketing designers, but I’d like to know how widely relatable they are!
- You’re designing a landing page. It’s proving to be a difficult project because the copy you’ve been provided isn’t structured in a way that lends itself to a good design layout. It’s also way too long. You fear that nobody is going to read to the end, but that’s the copy you’ve been given so you make it work.
- You stare in horror at a new swag item that just arrived. The company logo, that you sent to the marketing coordinator when they asked for it last week, has been slapped on a water bottle at a scale that’s way too large. You wish you could have done a custom design for it that really elevated the brand rather than just displayed the logo; but no one asked you to.
- You’re designing a promotional image. There’s a lot of details that you’ve been asked to communicate in one small space, so it’s feeling a little cramped. You’re great with typography so it ends up looking… okay, but it’s not work you’re proud of.
- When they’re coded, your web designs never end up looking as good as they did in your design tool. The developer doesn’t care about design quality and doesn’t notice the details that you do. You’ve tried to give feedback, but it’s pushed back as not being important.
- You designed a custom signup page with custom illustrations for a virtual workshop. It was only promoted once to the email list, so not many people saw it and the workshop didn’t drive a lot of new revenue for the company. You feel frustrated that you spent so much time and effort on something that didn’t turn out to be that important, and you’re a little annoyed that the workshop team put in that request for a custom page in the first place.
- The company is starting a new blog for content marketing. It needs it’s own sub-brand and the team are interested in having a super creative layout for the content. Since you’re busy designing the ads, landing pages and assets that you normally work on; they decide to outsource this fun project to an agency instead. You would have loved the chance to work on it, and it would have been a great portfolio piece.
- You look back on your work from the past year and there isn’t a single piece you’re truly proud of. You’ve been working hard, but every project had constraints that led to sub-par end results because you just had to make too many compromises.
Did you relate to any of these? Click one of the links below to tell me.
I’d love for you to reply and tell me about the ones you related to, or if they bring up any other examples for you of times when, as a marketing designer, the process, timeline, feedback or collaboration just hasn’t gone well; I wanna hear about those too!
A key goal of my book is to give you the tools to deal with these situations, so anything you have to share will be a huge help. Thank you in advance!
Turn your Figma designs into advanced prototypes with UXPin
UXPin is a tool that helps you make your designs look and behave like a finished product, and with their new Figma plugin it’s incredibly quick and easy to copy a Figma frame into UXPin for prototyping. The plugin copies all the layers to your clipboard so that you can paste them into UXPin and start making them interactive.
Truly interactive prototypes make it easier to get good test results and easier to get feedback from stakeholders (cos they don’t have to use their imagination!) and developers (cos they can see exactly what interactions you need them to code). UXPin’s prototyping features are much more extensive than what’s possible directly in Figma, and they can be set up in just a few clicks. Get the Figma plugin here and try it out on your next project.
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YouTube series: Rebuilding homepages for local businesses
If you’re not already subscribed to my friend Maddy Beard you may not have seen the series she started last month called Hometown Homepages.
In each episode she visits a different local business in her hometown of Littleton, Colorado then gives their homepage some much-needed love by redesigning it and building that new design in Webflow.
It’s part-vlog, part tutorial, part design-with-me and 100% a great series that I’m really enjoying watching so go check it out for yourself on her channel!
(Plus, anyone needing to do some unsolicited projects for their portfolio to showcase their skills can learn a lot from Maddy’s approach of visiting the business to understand it, then taking that knowledge into the design)
It has been a BUSY AF week for me. How about you?
I really enjoyed reading all your responses to last week's issue about AI and its place in the design industry. Just a reminder that while this newsletter does look like a mini website in your inbox, it works the same as any other email in that it can be a two-way communication ❤️ So any replies you send will come directly to my inbox! I always love to hear your feedback, or what you take away from these issues.
See you same time, same inbox next week!
If you enjoyed this issue, click the heart to let me know.