Assignment 2 – Direct Mailers

Over the last few weeks in my publications class we created direct mailers. This project was actually pretty fun, but I tell you I had no idea where I was going to start. The first thing was to identify the target audiences. For our project we had to use our school, The University of Oklahoma, and create something for an audience that could potentially be associated with OU.

I knew for sure that students would be the first target, but that is very broad so I limited the range to high school juniors. I chose to write about the educational options available at OU to help those in high school get acquainted with what the university has to offer and what they should look for when they apply next year as a senior. Here’s a look at the first direct mailer.

Direct Mailer Students


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I wanted to stick with something that OU is known for doing design wise. The top of numerous mailers have the white ribbon bleeding off the page with The University of Oklahoma on it and they also use white horizontal lines to show what the focus is on. The only other thing I wanted to do with this mailer was stick to the colors and add a few drop shadows to the OU logos to make them stand out a bit.

For the second mailer, I chose to target parents who may have trouble supporting their child financially. I chose to write about the grants, scholarships, and Oklahoma’s Promise Commitment as available options parents can look into. Here’s a look at the second mailer.

Direct Mailer Parents

Direct Mailer Parents2


On the design side, I wanted to make the mailer immediately target parents. I chose a photo that just capture the university and for the back I chose grid paper because I usually associate grids with math. So I figured since I was writing about financial options grids would fit well. Other than that I continued with the OU color scheme and tried to keep it simple.

I had a lot of fun doing this project. One last thing, I will say it is best to look for inspiration when designing a direct mailer. I used this mailer I found on Pinterest for inspiration.



I also used direct mailers that we’ve had in the past at OU. But yes, use tons of inspiration and figure out your audiences and narrow them as much as possible. Hope you all enjoyed this post and the mailers I created.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

Designing for Emotion – Chapter 5 (Overcoming Obstacles)

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This week my class had the option to read whatever chapter they wanted in Aaron  Walter’s book, Designing for Emotion, and I decided to continue where I last stopped at chapter 5. This chapter was all about overcoming obstacles that may occur when you are designing a site, app, etc. The major obstacle in most cases is trying to get people to trust in what you’re selling.  I totally agree with the author when he said that most of the things we do on a day-to-day basis is go with our gut. Gut decisions can be a good idea, but at some times it may not. I think you really have to pick and choose your battles.

One example used in this chapter was the website or app, Mint.

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Mint is a financial tracker that allows you to input information from whatever bank you are with and gives you tips on how to budget your money and even tracks your budget. I personally use this app on my iPhone one because my TFCU app kept crashing and I could never sign in and second because I heard how safe and reliable it was. I was a little skeptical at first because it said that you could sign up free all you needed to do was input all your bank information. Like the author said, trusting a website that says free with no gimmicks is incredibly tough. It helped that this site does have credible sources saying it’s a good app. Sources like the New York Times, Wall Street and I even saw that it’s a part of Intuit. The site and app also look very nice ad with me presence goes a long way so believing in this company wasn’t as hard as others are.

Another key point the author made was when he said that some companies will use bribery to get people coming to their site, but it’s not just about getting people to visit you site, it’s also about having them continue to visit and use the site. Dropbox was the example used and I think at first dropbox was something really cool, but overtime its lost it. I hate the fact that they tell you its free to sign up and you get to store things on a cloud, but they don’t tell you that you only get so  much storage, which isn’t a lot. I choose Google Drive over Dropbox now and do so because I feel like Google is more trustworthy, has a better reputation and is able to translate over a variety of devices easily.

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The last thing I took from this chapter was to continue trying if something doesn’t go as you thought. You have to continually try to make changes when you fail at something. Our gut thoughts are never always right and sometime we have to step back, ask others and go from there. Learning how to design doesn’t come overnight so it’s important to be open to change.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

First Class Assignment

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The first project in my publications class was to make a business card and a newsletter. It proved to be a bit challenging a times, but in the end it all came together.

The company I chose was a behavioral health agency named Kreative Behavioral Health Services. The audience would be those interested in working in the mental health field or applying to be a client.

The design concept was to use an image the company already had which was a lightbulb and a circle of friends. I decided to revamp the logo and stuck with the lightbulb because I think it reflects coming up with an idea like that eureka moment. I decided to use a dark background color and light text color so that it would pop. The orange is somewhat warm and seems inviting.

I learned that designing can be tough and you will make mistakes. It is something you can’t get attached to because you’ll probably end up changing something in the end. I went through a few different looks but in the end this one stuck. Using Pinterest was also a big help.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

Designing For Emotion – Chapter 3 (Personality)

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This week my public relations publications class read chapter three of Aaron Walter’s book, Designing For Emotion. This chapter was all about adding personality to your design. Some of the best examples of this and I totally agree with Walter is Apple. Apple’s products are designed with personality. From the Mac Pro’s to the Macbook Pro’s and even the iPhone. People like them because they are personable. Everything they make can be personalized for people and they all be different. Yes the functionality is the same, but they all are synced to specific identities.

I also thought that I was neat that Walter talked about the Tapbot apps. I used this app before and only because I thought it looked cool. It was easy to use and the layout was solid. I never thought of websites being personalized, but I guess it is true. Think of it, Footlocker, Redbox, even Sony all have a login menu and once you log in things according to what you like will be offered to you first. This helps to establish personality along with dialogue menus that pop up from time-to-time to tell you about news and different features.

It’s hard to disagree with anything he said in this chapter because personality does make or break how someone will react to a design. One brand I wish the Walter would have written about is Nike. I love Nike and I feel like throughout the years Nike has continued to have the same personality. When I go to the Nike store or wear Nike gear I have that feeling like I’m stronger, athletic, more confident and a bit cocky. I get the vibe like Nike are the pioneers of athletic wear and that’s why they can step out on the limb and make shirts that have sayings on it that test people.

For example:

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Some are pretty risky, but that’s Nike’s personality. I enjoyed this chapter a lot and I encourage you to check out this chapter to read about some pretty cool tactics when it comes to designing for the personality.

- Tori

Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

Designing For Emotion – Chapter 2 (Designing For Humans)

In chapter two of the book Designing For Emotion, we studied how to design for the human eye. The author discussed many topics, but the most appealing to me was when it discussed contrast. According to webster-merriam contrast means to be different especially in a way that is very obvious and also to compare two people or things to show how they are different.

This concept of contrast I believe is probably the toughest when designing. The  author, Aaron Walter, explains that contrast influences our users’ activity in simple and profound ways. He uses Tumblr as a prime example. I think that Tumblr initially has a clean and simple look that is very different than others, but I don’t think that it is completely simple for users to use because of the design it has once users sign up. The contrast on the page is actually space rather than color or photos.  The user is drawn in to the small menu signup / login in page and the outer is just negative space. This type of contrast is visual rather than cognitive.

Something I disagree with in this section is the statement Donald Norman said in his book titled Emotional Design, “Attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively. How does that make something easier to use? Simple, by making it easier for people to find solutions to the problems they encounter.” (Excerpt From: Aarron Walter. “Designing for Emotion.” iBooks.) I do think that when things look attractive it does make people feel more creative, but the second part of this statement doesn’t seem so true. Yes people can find the answer to problems they may encounter, but just because something has an attractive design it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to answer a problem you may have. I think having a good design makes users more apt to try your product, website, etc. but ultimately it’s all in what you are saying and ease of use.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs