Case Study: Too Many Hats | Identity Design for Event Specialist
As the gig economy expands, many creatives are struggling to identify themselves. The vocabulary available for professionals is fluid, often ambiguous, and never quite targets the nuance of one’s world.
I was tasked with designing a brand solution for a freelance creative with too many hats. Nicole Threadgill is an event planner, social media coordinator, wedding officiant, and more. She desired a consistent and unique image to increase her client base and strengthen her reliability as an independent contractor.
For this project, I completed a series of branding materials per my client’s request:
Preferred Vendor List
Before diving into sketches, I wanted to ensure I had a clear vision of my client’s style preferences and vision. She currently serves as the booking manager for The Southern Railway Station, a historic event space located in downtown Knoxville, TN. The space includes pink Tennessee marble floors, a grand staircase, and a railcar museum. When asked about the tone and messaging she associates with the space, she mentioned themes such as:
Timeless | Historic | Established | Genuine
Given these words and images, I designed three mood boards:
The colors and photography on the third mood board were highly preferred, along with “Didot” and “Shutter Stone” as the favored typefaces.
I began brainstorming by researching the existing trends in event coordination. Most professionals tended toward floral designs with script fonts. soft pastels, and cooler hues. Using these motifs as a jumping-off point, I sketched out my initial concepts:
I chose red and gold for my initial sketches to reflect warmth and timelessness in the chosen mood board. I knew my client wanted to stray from “Pinterest Wedding” trends. Having a mature and classic image would stand-out at networking events and conventions — where the competition is often higher than the demand.
We decided to iterate upon the triangle concept for the second round. For Nicole, the triangle represented the power of three: mind, body, spirit;
past, present, future.
As I adapted the digital design, I realized that “Didot” was mostly illegible for important information, so I chose“Athelas” instead. In the final iteration, I ditched the handwritten name in favor for the script font, increased the contrast, and added slight refinements to color and texture:
Business cards are the strongest asset for those with high competition. How do professionals leave a personal touch, express a variety of skills — all within a small and often overlooked space? My client wanted something that wouldn’t get lost in someone’s wallet; something that would leave an emotional imprint.
We adapted the ‘user survey’ idea from my personal business cards to showcase Nicole’s skills and create an interactive experience with the card. In addition, we added a ‘personal note’ with the “Shutter Stone” typeface.
In addition to business cards, I completed a series of branded items for my client including letterheads for contracts, sign-up sheets, and preferred vendor lists. These templates needed to be versatile in order to represent a variety of partnerships:
As a final product, I created a style guide for Nicole’s future reference. This way, she would be able to reference the brand guidelines should she desire to create any event-specific materials.