April Fools!


April Fools! Gotcha, didn’t we?! No – Sam D. Eagle is NOT the new face of UMW, no matter how nimble he is! (But…it does make for an intriguing viewbook cover, doesn’t it?) In University Relations we often get questions about how we come up with our ads and branded photos, which are showing up in more and more places. And we realize that it seems to some of you that we just threw them together with no thought behind them. Not true! It all starts with our organized photo shoots, which we usually have twice a year. Maria Schultz, our assistant director of design services, coordinates these shoots. And they are a process, as she explains below. Step 1. Recruit! This year, we created a webpage through which students interested in serving as models could submit an application. We pushed out the casting call via social media and a few old-fashioned print flyers. With one posting on social media we had more than 60 applicants! (And no – Sam D. Eagle did not apply. … [Read more...]

It’s Alive: The Survival of Print in a Digital Age


It’s alive! That’s what I learned on a recent tour of Lane Press. Print still has a pulse! Take that Kindle, Nook, Skiff, and all the rest. You know who you are. Magazines have a special place in my heart. As I’ve watched technology pound them like a tsunami, washing hard-earned careers away with it, I’ve been concerned. A wise editor told me years ago not to worry, there will always be a place for print media. As I’ve sat self-consciously flipping pages at doctors’ offices, airports, and pools – everyone else silently poking away at their iPhones and laptops and tablets – I’ve had my doubts. So, I couldn’t have been happier this summer, standing inside the bustling South Burlington, Vt., printing company that churns out more than 100,000 copies of University of Mary Washington Magazine a year, along with hundreds of other publications. As our guide whisked the rest of the group through the plant, babbling about binding and batches and gutters and leading, I stood … [Read more...]

Design 101: The Elements


Line This can be an actual line, or an implied edge. In the layout above, notice the difference between the cream line drawn to the left, and the edge created when two blocks of color meet. Remember, a line doesn’t have to be straight…so go ahead, be a rebel. Shape These consist of anything that is self-contained. It may be a recognizable square or circle, learned in your toddler years, or the unnamed shape of an organic letter or stroke. Positive shapes create negative shapes. In this case, it’s ok to be negative. Space When a design is too crammed with elements, there is no way for the eye to breathe. Keep it simple smarty. (This G-rated version doesn’t insult your intelligence). Size It matters. The size of a shape is determined by the size of other elements around it. The word “Design” is larger in contrast to the word “element.” This is a great way to create hierarchy in a layout. Texture The metallic, crinkled feeling of “elements” is a clear example of texture. … [Read more...]

University Relations. What does that mean?


The name of our office – UREL for short – means different things, depending on who you are. If you are an outsider to the University of Mary Washington, we relate to you on various levels and through various means: Facebook, billboards, a magazine, admissions materials, the web, a Great Lives program, press releases, the Philharmonic, media advisories, or sponsorship of an event. If you are part of the Mary Washington community, we are in a relationship with you. We provide information via all of the above means, but also through EagleEye, digital signage, emails, posters, videos, etc. We also strive to meet all your communication needs – publicizing your conference, attracting prospective students, pitching your stories to the media, designing the commencement program, drawing people to campus, and promoting your programs. You can remember us because we are a: Unifying Resource for Enlightening and Lauding This blog is for you. We are in the PR business but we don’t do a … [Read more...]