E-mail design for Psychology

The Department of Psychology distributes a printed newsletter every semester called INSIGHTS. The newsletter is created and designed by the department’s Director of Development Lolin Wang-Bennett, who provides our CLASS Web Services office with a PDF version for posting on their website.

As part of the promotion campaign for this issue, we scheduled a time with the University’s marketing department to launch an e-mail blast to inform selected members of the university’s alumni and donor database that the new issue is available online. UH uses the non-profit focused Convio to send e-mail messages to its constituents.

This is, of course, cheaper than just mailing it to everyone – though the Department of Psychology does mail it to select alumni.

For this assignment, I worked closely with Lolin – who also shares a passion for backyard gardening – to design an e-mail that will quickly alert alumni and donors that the new issue is available. We decided we wanted the message to be short and sweet – she submitted the text for the message, my part of the assignment was to design it.

Psychology Insights email
This is a screen capture of the main part of the e-mail sent to promote the new issue of the Psychology newsletter.

I had some fun with this one. For starters, I chose an attention-getting off-yellow and I created a pin-wheel-like design that would indicate something exciting is happening at the Department of Psychology.

I designed the initial concept in Adobe Illustrator before building the tables in Adobe Dreamweaver. Yes, I designed the layout of the e-mail in tables – it’s the only reliable way a complex layout with columns will display properly across all browsers and clients when e-mailed. Designing e-mail: It’s like being stuck in 1996.

Initial design of psychology email using illustrator
This is the initial design of the psychology e-mail that I created, using Adobe Illustrator.

For the secondary graphic, I took a screen capture of the PDF newsletter, and copied it to mimic the look of it running off the presses. I then used a gradient to shade it. I thought this presented the content in an interesting, yet not overwhelming way.

Today, the e-mail message launched through the university’s Convio e-mail system.

I have archived it here on my website.

An interesting thing we discovered after running the message’s statistics in Convio: More than 2/3 of the audience that clicked through the message to see the Psychology Newsletters page did so by clicking the link in the text. The rest did so by clicking the image in the e-mail, which was also hyper-linked to the same page.

E-mail design for CLASS newsletter

This is the e-mail newsletter I designed for the first issue of the new CLASS News Update newsletter for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at UH.

Convio newsletter image
A screen capture of the 'above-the-fold' newsletter content. I'm particularly proud of the unique nameplate and calendar graphics I created for this new form of communication for the college.

The college’s Director of Communication decided which articles we would run under which category, and I designed graphics for the calendar items and ensured that all of the other articles had art to represent them. I was responsible for all aspects of the design of the newsletter. One of my photos that I took during the Fall 2010 commencement ceremony was published in this newsletter.

Newsletter Top Story
The 'Top Story' section of the newsletter, featuring a photo I took and a brief synopsis of the main story we wanted readers to know about, with bullet-ed links for more information.

The e-mail was sent through the University’s Convio e-mail system to more than 25,000 identified donors, alumni and friends of the college.

MarriageDoctors.com launches

Today, I launched the website MarriageDoctors.com, a site for two clinical psychologists who specialize in marriage and family counseling.

The website MarriageDoctors.com launched today.

What I like most about this website project was that we were able to keep its message simple.

Marriage Doctors
We kept the content simple on MarriageDoctors.com
Marriage Doctors

I worked with clients John Vincent and Kelton Ro-Trock to create a unique logotype for their website, and a photo illustration of a local landmark that has a subtle message between its trunk and its branches. Look for the negative space.

I took a photo of a tree on S. Post Oak, and designed the photo illustration with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

The logotype for MarriageDoctors.com was designed with Adobe Illustrator and I think it’s a neat and clean marketing approach for a group of independent practitioners.

The navigation menu utilizes an open source accordion-style jQuery javascript, initially created by Marco van Hylckama Vlieg which I customized for the Marriage Doctors.