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Final Newsletter Final Newsletter2 Final Newsletter3 Final Newsletter4Newsletter Assignment

Spenser Hicks

This was definitely the most extensive and therefore the most challenging assignment thus far. There was a lot to think about before delving into this and I really think I learned a lot about planning and designing a whole newsletter for an organization.

I first planned out the colors I was going to use and that was pretty easy seeing as Sigma Chi goes with colors blues, old gold and black to represent them. I wanted to use these colors throughout but in different ways to show some contrast. I put the colors in different places on each page in order to get this effect.

The design is pretty simple overall but I think it gets the message across well. Fraternity brothers are not going to want some flashing design that might come off to “girly” to them. They want something simple that tells them what they need to know about the chapter and I think that’s exactly what this does.

I decided on articles that would be relevant to the active brothers by being stuff that they would actually care about such as rush and date party information. I think it is well organized and has a good flow throughout the whole document. It wasn’t easy but I think I managed to capture the simplicity the organization would want as well as correctly use repetition and contrast of color. This was a very interesting and challenging assignment that I learned a lot from. I have started to better develop my use of design and many of the elements such as contrast and

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Assignment 3- Newsletter

This assignment in my PR Publications class was to make a Newsletter for a certain organization. I chose to use the non profit I am an intern for again, like I did with my business card and letterhead.

Since City Care is a non profit I really felt like they would benefit from a donor newsletter, but not enough big things happen every month so I decided to make it an annual one. It would be just a nice reminder of what their donations did through out the year and serve as a reminder to donate again at the start of the next one.

Here is the design I created:

Newsletter Newsletter2 Newsletter3 Newsletter4


With this design I wanted to put in the city scape that is in the City Care logo to keep up the repetition so all of their documents look and feel the same. I kept it simple with a navy blue box at the top to off set all the white and keep the color scheme the same with the city scape. I also repeated it in the pull quote box so that it stood out more.

I chose to only break up one story so that the newsletter would be easy to read and the reader wouldn’t have to flip back and forth. I also have two shorter stories so that the newsletter didn’t feel like it would be a marathon just to read through it.

I was pretty limited with the pictures and people I could use because there are privacy laws when dealing with people that are receiving government or nonprofit help. But all the ones I used are approved. I was lucky that all my pictures went with the stories I wrote.

The hardest par for me with this assignment was all the writing. I couldn’t decide where I wanted all the stories or how I wanted them to flow. It took so tweaking here and there but i think the newsletter is very readable. My call to action is on the last page where I ask readers to follow us on social media. Since I am the social media intern and City Care is new to the social media world it is important that we build our following right now.

All in all I am happy with the way this assignment turned out. I learned a lot about working with text in this assignment, which I have always struggled with in inDesign.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Assignment 3

Front page of Newsletter (cropped for this site)

Front page of Newsletter (cropped for this site)

Real newsletter2


2nd page of Newsletter (cropped to fit this site)

3rd page of Newsletter (cropped to fit this site)

3rd page of Newsletter (cropped to fit this site)

4th page of Newsletter (cropped to fit this site)

4th page of Newsletter (cropped to fit this site)

This assignment was way more time consuming as compared to the first two. But, once I finished I felt great about all of the hard work I put in. I feel as though I have really improved on Indesign when it comes to my design concepts. I am more confident in my color choices and where I am placing certain objects. I wanted to make sure my newsletter was easy to read while also catching the reader’s attention.

I was proud of the three 500-word stories I had written, and it was a little frustrating figuring out ways to cut them down once I embedded them into the newsletter. I had to focus on what my main point of the story was and go from there. In the end, this was my favorite assignment. I loved having a lot of space to design a newsletter for something I am very passionate about.


Originally posted at Taylor Jurica- Gaylord Journalism Student

Mailer Assignment

For this assignment we needed to design a direct mail piece that OU recruitment services would send to a specific group.

The first one I did was a mailer designed to be sent to students who are considering graduate school. This would include people who are in an entry level job and people who are recent graduates. They would be mostly white and aged 21-24. This would include both men and women.GradMailerFront GradMailerBack (1)

I started by doing some research on OU’s Grad College. They use the arch in the picture as part of their logo, so when I found that picture in the assets folder I based my whole design on that. I turned the card to portrait so that the picture would fit better and I utilized the fade in the sky color to further draw the eye “higher” and to create depth. I put a slight fade on the words at the top to match.

The header comes from a quote from the front page of the grad college website. I also included that quote on the back. I thought the tag line paired perfectly with the picture. I made sure to include the grad college logo under that and then of course I put the ou logo in the upper right. All about the brand with OU.

I created a pop out box to put text in. I used the color of the sky so that the box wouldn’t look too out of place. The text in the box is designed to make the public think about returning to school. The big picture idea is to drive traffic to the site. This is a big decision and this generation doesn’t make that decision based on a piece of mail but hopefully we could get them to go to the site, which has comprehensive info on grad school.

The back included the quote that I based the whole thing on and then the URL again to drive traffic to the site. I separated the mail portion by using the blue color from the front box. That let me leverage part of the back to help get the message across.


The second one I did was aimed at  National Merit Scholars. OU is very focused on NMS. They even talk about them during football games. That says a lot.

Mailer2back2 Mailer2

I wanted the front to have a similar effect to my first project. I chose this picture because I thought that is was an iconic image of OU and its brand and it achieved that feeling of depth and going higher from bottom to top.

The text is the stat that OU puts out every chance it gets about NMS and being ranked #1. It is obvious that OU loves that stat and wants everyone to know about it. I then put “find out why” I wanted to link that stat with a reason for future students to care about it. I also put the URL for the same reason as the first mailer. I wanted them to go to the site so that they could get all the info that you can’t fit on a mailer.

On the back I used the same technique as the first mailer. Then I used the most important benefits that might convince a NMS to choose OU over other schools. These were the key points on OU’s NMS site so I used them on the mailer.

I struggled with the text on the front. I used the OU font for the URL and the tag line so that they would stand out. I  used a simple sariff font for the stat because that seemed to be what OU uses on its sites. But then on the back I wanted an easy to read sans sariff that matched the clean look of the icons. I know that means I have 3 different fonts but I think they look good. The front font is the weakest but I tried a ton and never could find one that looked decent.


Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications

Self Reflection: Assignment 1

This assignment was fun for me. Since I am just an intern, I don’t get my own business card but now I have one that I can use!





I wanted my design to reflect the OU Athletics brand. The first thing I did was use a texture from Zen Textures to create a sort of “old parchment” look. I have spent a lot of time in the archive room at the stadium and all the old newspaper clippings and documents all have that yellowed, old look to them and that was where I drew that inspiration. I wanted that background to pay homage to OU’s rich history of winning.

I used the Athletic Department’s official font and colors. That is something that is strictly enforced in the department as part of brand consistency. They even have a very specific color of crimson.

R: 169 G: 0 B: 25

I liked the idea of using the logo blown up so that you can only see part of it. OU’s brand is so strong that just seeing a fraction of it is still enough to get the message across. I think it ended up adding a slightly modern touch without ruining the historic feel of the design. This was probably my favorite element of the design.

I ended up going with a fairly organized block of text on the right side. I felt that the contrast of opacities in the text and the oversized logo to the left, really made the text pop out and look really sharp and noticeable. I was really happy with how that turned out.

I struggled with what to put on the back of the card. I honestly haven’t seen too many business cards but most don’t have anything on the back. I ended up putting the department’s mission statement on the back. That motto is up in every office in the department and I thought if it is that pervasive, then it should be on the card. I also leveraged another OU logo and the “There’s Only One” Campaign above that. I wanted the motto to stand out so I made the opacity low for that logo to create contrast that would make the motto pop out to the reader.




For the letterhead I got rid of the textured background. I thought that the letterhead was less about making a statement and more about functionality. The other consideration I had on this was print cost. Letterhead is used WAY more than business cards to keeping the print costs down by making it as plain as possible without sacrificing design or looks is important to a department that wants to use as much of the budget as possible to benefit the student athlete directly.

I thought that the plain white would make any printed material easier to read but I also added a very low opacity logo, almost a water mark type deal. I wanted this to be ultra functional so that any releases would be more likely to be read and used.

I went a head and included the mission statement on the bottom of the letterhead as well for repetition and redundancy of message.

I also utilized the lines at the top and bottom of the page to really frame the text that the letterhead would contain. That demarkation makes it very clear what part of the document is letterhead and what part is new or changing content.


One thing that struck me about my design is that I could achieve the textured look I wanted on the business card by using paper that has that texture rather than printing a texture on there. That would likely be more cost effective than using that much ink right? Is so then I could use that same paper for letterhead and carry that design element to the letterhead and have that repetition and consistency. Just a thought. Which is cheaper: fancy paper or ink?


My big moment in this project was honestly probably learning all the shortcuts. The design was fun but learning and memorizing all the shortcut for the keys and common functions let me work much faster and I felt like I was leveraging the InDesign software itself in a much more efficient way. It made me feel a lot more confident about my abilities and what I could potentially do with it. Not much of a shocking moment but it kind of helped build my confidence and made me excited about what I am capable of.


Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications

Chapter 4: Emotional Engagement

I was most interested in the section of this chapter that dealt with the personal touch. Getting a had written letter has always been a delight for people but the more communication become digital, the more that personal touch will matter.

It almost seems like getting something personalized means more now just because it is so rare. To get something personal from a  digital source like Wufoo is particularly striking. The irony of it almost strengthens the impact.

In the sports world it would be great if you could track the users on your site and email list who most interact with your communications, or maybe who donate the most money or buy the most tickets and write them a note like the one Wufoo sent out. Getting something like that from the athletic director or a coach would mean a lot to a fan and cement the loyalty of an already valuable user.

The chapter also sent a lot of time discussing the mail chimp mascot and it occurred to me that athletic departments are missing out on a chance to use their mascots in a similar way. OU could use their pony mascot in a similar way to mail chimp to personalize and humorize peoples’ interactions on the site. I would imagine they could get similar reactions that mailchimp got. They may even get more positive responses because people are way more emotionally tied their favorite sports teams than they are to a web site. This is definitely an idea that I am going to hang onto for the future.

Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications

Chapter 3

I really enjoyed this chapter because I feel like I really understood the idea of personality and persona but didn’t know what to call it.  It makes sense that your sight needs to mirror the personality of your organization so that it properly reflects your purpose.

OU for example uses a very consistent persona in all it’s publications. The fonts and design feature make for a very traditional and almost “throwback” type vibe. This works for OU because of the rich history it has in sports and all its historic success.

OSU is sort of the opposite. They have only recently had success in sports and come into money for their program. Despite using “Cowboys” for their mascot, their publications and their website is very cutting edge. They use ultra modern thin font that is streamlined and simple. Their site is heavy on video and multimedia content.

Notre Dame is a good example. They are know for being the ultra traditional and historic and they make sure their online persona matches that.

I just think it’s cool that this concept is so clear and yet I just hadn’t ever really thought about it. It makes me more aware and notice this more often.

The chapter mentioned that sometimes your site’s persona will make people have a negative reaction and that it is ok. I know you can’t please everyone but I don’t see how this can be a positive because you are losing potential clients/fans/consumers. The book obviously knows more than I do but I kind of disagreed with the idea that it could be a positive for people to have a negative response to your sight’s persona.


Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications

Chapter 2 Post

I was very interested in the topic of contrast. I had never used Tumblr before so I had not had a chance to see their home page. I think it is very cool that they can get more out of their site by doing less with it visually. You don’t really notice it but it is very true that simple sites are easiest to use. My first thought was that maybe that is one reason that people seem to be moving away from facebook. To me it look very cluttered, particularly with the adds on the right side.

I want to apply this class to my field and get the most out of it I can so I tried to think about how I can use this in sports. I thought of our Game Notes. Every time we have a game we publish a packet of notes with all the pertinent information on it. Some university’s notes are very cluttered and hard to read and I’m sure they are not a popular as some. OU I think, does a much better job of using contrast and simplicity to draw the eye naturally and make things easier to read.

link to OU Game Notes


link to example of cluttered game notes

Georgia Tech’s notes are organized but the lack of contrast in text size and boldness makes it seem like a huge block of text that is less inviting to read. In OU’s notes, if you really want to just glance at it, you can look at the bolded numbers and pick up a quick blurb or stat with minimal effort.

I think that use of contrast makes OU’s notes very readable and more effective than some others.

Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications

Design Blitz

I wanted to try to apply this assignment to my career field, sports communications. I tried to find these design elements in publications from different university and professional sports teams’ publications.

Color: Most sports publications use the same colors over and over. Team colors are a huge part of the brand for these organizations and for that reason they don’t vary their colors. However I thought that this infographic that OU tweeted earlier this week was a great example of using color to create contrast and in turn, emphasis. The contrast of the crimson and gray draws your eye to the numbers that they want you to notice.


Typography: A recent trend in sports is to use typography to express the brand. Teams put some element of their sport or mascot into the type of the logo. In the past most teams would just put the image of the mascot and the type around it but recently more teams are using the type itself. I think this creates a more minimalist and modern look that serves the brands well. Some example below.

brewers This logo is reminiscent of beer logos and fits the brewers mascot very well. I think it reminds me of the logo from the show CHEERS and that makes me think of a bar so it is working well.houston_rockets This logo very simply draws the mind to think of a rocket taking off. The pointed upward stroke on the R looks like a nose cone from a rocket and the bleed on the lower parts of the R make you think of the flames that come out during a launch.

capitals This logo uses a very simple change to the T to create a logo that immediately identifies itself as a hockey team.

LA_Angels_LogoVery simple use of a halo turns somewhat boring text into something much more dynamic.

Mataphor/Symbol: I think the typography example above is a good example of using symbols. In sports the mascot is the symbol for the team and so using typography to express that mascot is an example of using symbols to express the brand.

Branding is so important in sports that you won’t see anything related to the organization  that doesn’t have the brand on it. Even the balls that they play with are branded with the symbol of the brand. You don’t notice this during the game on TV, but in the pictures that you see after the game, if you can see the ball, you can see the brand.


Minamalism: This seems to be a trend in modern design. I always think of those minimalist movie posters that are all over the internet.

The Big 12 will be changing its logo this summer. This is the current logo.


This is the new logo. They have eliminated all the shadowing and extra lines and have created a logo that is much more modern and sleek looking.

New Big 12 Logo

Form and Function: This one was slightly more difficult but I remember something from my Sports PR class. Every sport makes a media guide that they give to the media that cover their sport. This book is a major part of the job of an SID. They contain all the current and historical info that might be needed to cover the team. They originally were made to give to recruits and so they were bound like a regular book. Then the NCAA made a rule that recruits could not get them, so only media were using them. Well media use them in-game and to work so that binding is impractical because they won’t lie flat. So all media guides given to working media are spiral bound, so that they can lie flat. This is an example of form and function making your publication more likely to be read and used.
new spiral binding
old bindingPerfect-Binding


Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications