Marketing Series Part 4: Designing Your Promotion (How to Work with a Graphic Designer)

In this installment of our marketing series we are going to look at what to do next now you have a killer portfolio on your website and a carefully crafted list of target clients you’d like to view it.

The next step is to send a mailshot out to your list. This is essentially one or two hero images from your portfolio that represent your style and really grab your reader’s attention to click through to your website.

In the next article we will discuss the mechanics of this and different services you can use to track the results and number of readers visiting your website (because if you’re not measuring your marketing how can you tell if it’s working?). Today though, we will be concentrating on the design elements.

The first thing you are going to need here is a decent graphic designer. Now before you balk at the cost of this, remember there are plenty of ways to do this cost effectively and you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for some expensive agency in the same way a new clothing brand selling on Etsy doesn’t need to employ Steven Meisel to shoot their look book. Just set a budget you are comfortable with and then cast a net out for some creatives in your price range, you’ll be surprised who you can find and you can always barter your photography services for it too.

Yes, there are templates out there, and yes, you could use your own photoshop knowledge to knock it out yourself, but unless your graphic design skills are as top notch as your photography then it will most likely drag the other down.

For my promo piece I collaborated with Aileen from Agency Access. She was appointed to me as my graphic designer through the Campaign Manager program I enlisted on.

Stage 1

To begin the design process she needed to find out some important details from myself in order to create a promo that would fit my own brand and personal preferences.

Here is a copy of the questions with my original answers:

  1.  What contact info would you like on the email?

Telephone number: +44 7948 512 875 ; Email:

       2. What fonts do you use for your logo?

Helvetica and Special Elite

        3. Is there any additional copy you’d like to include? For example anyquotes, phrases or   information about your work

I have my descriptive line: “graphic, gritty fashion photography with atouch of grunge.” The images also come from stories that ran with tittles. This first one was called HELLBLAZER.

        4. Any specific colors used in your branding?


        5. What social media buttons would you like to include?

Facebook & Instagram

        6. Feel free to send over any screen grabs of layouts you like?

I have created an inspiration board on Pinterest for you.

         7. Are you looking for a clean and simple layout or push the                   design a bit?

I saw a note that suggests the feel be’ Gritty, edgy, a bit ofgrunge.’I’m a huge fan of simple black & white, minimalist design as you canprobably tell from my logo & website. My favourite brand for aestheticswould be Saint Laurent.However I’m tempted for an option where we inject that “touch of grunge”into it so it’s not too plain.

Stage 2



Option 1

Equipped with this knowledge she was able to start putting some mock designs together for me. The process only took a few days and any good designer will always give you some options at this stage to choose between.

For the first option, in this design she had certainly taken on board the monochrome and minimalist design elements I had requested but I also felt it was too plain and felt a bit cheap.




Option 2

In this design it still had the minimalism I was after but there was much more too it. I liked the way the typography was laid out and it felt a lot better balanced for viewing in an email. However, it was still missing that “touch of grunge” I felt it needed.









After some back and forth we came up with this revised version.

By adding the slightly chaotic graphic elements I felt it really completed the promo and complimented my images and branding perfectly but now the contact details felt a little plain and tacked on.





So after yet another bit of back and forth here is our final revision of the design.

By introducing that grungy impact font and moving the copy back to the right hand side it created an asymmetric layout that just felt right (when you know you know).

We were free to move on…

Stage 3

Yes there is one final stage left and that it PROOF READING. As some of you eagle eyed readers may have noticed there was an error on all four of these designs.

Can you spot what it was from this final version?

Yes, that’s right. The email address was wrong! It was missing the s at the end of Williams. Such a simple error that could have been disastrous if not picked up on which is why proof checking your promo before it is sent is vital practice.

Now we have a killer email to send and entice people to our website but we still don’t know how to send it?

Join us for our fifth installment in the marketing series where we will demystify this as well as discuss crafting the perfect subject line to ensure the right people open your mail shot.

Read More of the Marketing Series

Adam Marc Williams