Our work is only as good as our team. Fortunately Agency H5 is packed with passionate people who each possess their own one of a KIND spark. Welcome to the 5 From H5 series, where an agency expert shares tips for upping your work game.
With a rock star design team, all things are possible. At least that’s been the case at Agency H5, where our design team, headed by Creative Director Kate Moss, has been instrumental in raising the bar for clients with game-changing creativity.
It helps to have Kate on your side, whether your client materials need a little TLC, or you’re working to win over some exciting new business (like Happy Place, coming soon to Chicago). But, it can be hard to know exactly what you should be letting design handle. Take it from Kate – for these five client deliverables, it’s best to let your design team take the lead.
- Logos and Branding
When a client needs a new logo or a branding refresh, Kate recommends resisting trends, no matter how cool they may seem. When handing off a request for updated assets, you should work with design to strive for longevity and recognizability, rather than using the latest look or fad to make your mark.
“Two time-tested characteristics of a successful logo, in my book, would be minimalism and flexibility,” Kate says. “These days, logos need to be able to adjust across a variety of platforms, from an outdoor billboard all the way down to a social avatar. A simple, effective logo can far outlive a trendy effect or look, helping a company build brand recognition over time.”
- Presentations and Pitches
Here’s the thing about presentations: you might have the best ideas in the world, but if you don’t take your deck the extra mile in terms of design, you run the risk of losing your client’s attention (or worse, their business). Handing over the reins to your design team can take your presentation to the next level from both a content and visual standpoint, helping to avoid leaving your client or potential new business feeling underwhelmed – or overwhelmed with info.
“One thing I’ve found consistently beneficial is concision,” says Kate. “You should organize the information as clearly as possible and try to avoid unnecessary wordiness, while at the same time strive to tell a compelling story. Once you hand it over to design, we can enhance it with relevant imagery or a bit of color. This will illustrate the message, break up the space and improve the flow, resulting in deck you can’t wait to present.”
- Social Media Materials
Whereas your branding should stand the test of time, much of your social content should live in the moment. That means paying attention to what’s popular and staying on top of trends, not falling behind or ignoring them. With trendy elements like gifs, video and other special effects, it helps to have a team of pros who know how to take advantage of the latest technology to get your client in on the fun.
“Trends I’ve noticed include posts with a subtle moving element to grab attention and draw the viewer in, known as cinemographs,” says Kate. “Many phone apps can achieve this effect, but for a deeper dive into planning and execution, it’s ideal to create them yourself with the client’s needs and end-user in mind. That’s why my fellow creative here at Agency H5, Allie Petro, and I enrolled in a motion graphics course to learn this new treatment, as well as other creative ways to more efficiently and effectively support H5’s clients.”
- Signage and Collateral
Knowing the right format and resolution needed for predictable output of printed materials is essential. Kate knows this from working with clients in all fields, from indie bands to major corporations and everything in between.
“In spite of the growing digital industry and the need for graphic assets for web and social, print is not dead,” says Kate. “Designers still need to be educated on the proper way to set up any kind of file for print. For starters, I always like to contact the vendor to obtain the proper template for a specific layout. That way, I know that as I build upon my design, the result will be exactly to spec and meet client expectations.”
- Event Invites
If you’re planning an event on behalf of a brand, something as straightforward as your invite can be crucial to the success of your soiree. How can designers help you make a good first impression and strike the right balance to create a tasteful, attention-grabbing invite?
“The main goal is, of course, to get across the information: who, what, when, where and why,” says Kate. “Having these items as clear as possible is key to an effective invitation, and the imagery should be just as concise. My design style tends to be pretty clean, some would say traditional, though I can push the creativity when the job calls for it – it’s all about using established design principles while adhering to the client’s brand guidelines, to strike a balance for the best visual solution.”
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About Kate Moss
Upon her graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993, Kate Moss immediately began her career in Graphic Design. Shortly after she had her BFA (in Visual Communications) in hand, she jumped into the Art Director position at the venerable Chicago Blues label, Delmark Records. After Delmark, Kate pursued a more traditional design studio position, while maintaining contact with the record label as a freelance client. She worked at Steven Curtis Design, gaining valuable experience working in the publishing field with a team of fellow designers. After four years at SCD, Kate felt it was time to do her own thing, and Moonshine Design was born. Her client list grew by leaps and bounds in the years to follow, and before long, through mutual colleagues, Kate met PR maven Kathleen Kenehan Henson.
After years of living the freelance life, Kate is proud to once again be working with Kathleen along with her entire staff of talented and inspired professionals, this time as an on-site Creative Director. She enjoys the fast-paced world of PR, and looks forward to continuing to provide fun and well-executed design solutions for the ever- growing firm and its impressive client base.
One might note a common theme across Kate Moss’ client base: music. This is no coincidence, as music has been as strong of a driving force in Kate’s life as has been art & design. Not only does she love to listen to the Blues; she loves to play it, too. Visit any number of Blues venues in and around Chicago and you just might see her up there on stage, wielding a guitar alongside Blues stalwart Smiley Tillmon or other Chicago greats.