Hero Cards Design Process

As a graphic designer, having a conceptual and thoughtful design is one of the most important elements to any printed product.

Over the course of 2018, I started offering Hero Cards under Killer Mile Motorsports.

I think the addition of graphic design in Motorsports is perfect for how to look and present a professional look, and helps obtain sponsors that you truly want and fit your goals, as well as how you can help them in return.

That is ultimately the goal of sponsors - What they are going to get in the long run from sponsoring you or your team.

A professional approach will help ease this partnership right from the start, because it will help aid in how serious you are off the track, as well as on the track.

 

What is a Hero Card?

If you’re involved in racing, this may be common knowledge.

However, to the average Joe, it’s not.

A hero card, or also known as an autograph card, is the second best way to get your information out there, aside from social media.

Hero Cards aid in meeting new people in your industry, such as current and prospective sponsors, fans, friends, and the list continues. This is the easiest way to gain a new fan, or keep your fans involved in what your doing!

Every hero card is different and is meant to be unique to you, your car, and team.

These are typically cards that use pieces of your teams branding, such as:

name graphics number graphicssponsor logoscolors

If you haven’t quite figured out your brand, for your team, I suggest you think about doing it, to keep everything consistent and professional.

I also help aid teams with team branding, if that is something you would like assistance with.

Hero cards are a great way to attract fans, and give you a great platform to show you care about them.

Offering a Hero Card to fans that are walking through the pits, show you want to give them something to remember you by.

Displaying and distributing Hero Cards, gives any fan the opportunity to feel like they know you as a person, away from being just a driver on the track.

 

Hero Card Questionnaire

Anyone that has ever done graphic design or has worked with a graphic designer on a project, knows that you must have the necessary information prior to starting any project.

The Hero Card process is no different

When I am booked by a client to handle the Hero Card design & prints, I always have my clients fill out a packet, Hero Card Questionnaire.

I require this packet be completed and returned within 2 weeks, to stay on track for the due date.

This packet shows how involved the process is, by what information I am requesting from them as well as whatever other information the client wants to include.

The Questionnaire takes care of the following sections:

Motive + ConceptSocial MediaPhotos + Graphics SponsorsSponsors logos

Schedule + Much More

Forms or client homework has become very helpful tools to my success as a graphic designer and photographer. 

It keeps my clients focused as to what information they may not be thinking about, or things they want to add to their card, to set them apart, from other drivers and teams cards.

It also helps the client understand that they don’t need to contact me day after day, asking what I need from them.

 

Design Process - Behind the Scenes

Below shows just how my design process works.

I start out with using Adobe Illustrator, a program meant for design and creation of vector shapes.

I add a few geometric shapes, that compliment the card and car.

Then, I continue to add information that the client wants included to meet their needs and desires.

Every card is different due to every driver or team has different needs that they would like to see on their card.

Please see below, for my hero card process from start to finish working within Adobe Illustrator.


Client Proofing Process + Approvals

I do my client proofing process as a JPEG file and a hi res PDF proof sent through email to each of my clients.

I offer 3 corrections or changes, before charging an additional fee for corrections.

Take a look at my client proofing that I did below, for Steven Kisamore, a 358 Sprint Car driver, from the South Central PA area, in December 2018.

You will notice within the first and second proofing stages, there were changes or additions made to the hero card.

I send the proof via email, with 2 files:

PDF ProofJPEG Proof

A JPEG that shows the hero card front and back design, sitting on a hardwood coffee table scene and a PDF to show the detail, and text, up close.

This post doesn’t include the PDF, due to it’s a high resolution PDF, for the clients viewing and editing purposes only.


 

Client Testimony

screenshot.JPG
 
 

Do you need help with your hero cards?

Not exactly sure how to do the design, but you have a vision in mind and would like help?

Think about contacting me to start your next design project!

 

Motorsports Pageants - Social Media & Professionalism

Blog Series - Motorsports Pageants

Post 2.

social media stock art.jpeg

Social media and professionalism unfortunately go hand in hand in today’s day of pageants and Motorsports. There are no limits to the power of social media. Professionalism comes in all forms, and takes it to a whole new level when social media is thrown into the mix. In any pageant, including Motorsports pageants, anything you post on social media is subject to criticism, or possible rejection from competing in any pageant, and could eventually cost a win, if you would win.

We’ve seen it happen…

That’s crazy to think about.

Or is It?


SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media has become a place where most people will post rants, quotes, memes, or gifs as a form of expressing themselves and whatever is going on in their life at that specific time. In the current day and age, where everything seems to be posted to social media, I highly stress being aware of what you are posting, and what others may use to form an opinion of you, as a contestant or as a winner of a pageant. Believe it or not, these pageants do check into social media accounts, to see what their possible representatives or current representatives are posting. If the director, themselves, isn’t, they’re are others that are delegated to reviewing what is being posted. Just a little food for thought, that most don’t think about when signing up. Not only do the pageants boards’ look at this type of content being posted, the fans also look at your profiles when fan voting look into this kind of behavior. They do this to get a good idea, of who possibly might be representing their community in the coming weeks of the pageants.

If I could stress one thing the most, that you try to keep those types of things off of your social media accounts, whether they’re rants or posts about other girls, other forms of racing, or just everyday things happening in your life that can stress you out and change your current state of mind into something a little out of the ordinary way you may act. I understand we all have those kinds of days, but being professional for pageants, it doesn’t look good having rants plastered to your social media. Just remember that anything you post, can be subject to being reviewed or screen shot by someone else.

Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.
— Erin Bury

I have been questioned prior to these pageants, and on stage in the interview process about “How I would react, if a girl on social media was talking poorly about me?”. This question really had got me thinking about this in our everyday lives. Everyone has been talked about poorly, I’m sure. It’s just life. However, how you react is more important than what they are saying about you. As a title holder, or an individual involved in any sport, you should try to remain positive in any situation, and just not focus your attention on what someone else is saying. You are in the public eye, and always being watched, whether you have a crown on your head and a sash draped over your shoulder or not. Always. At all times. By older generations and younger generations, alike. As long as you’re not entertaining the drama, you will be A-Okay in the long run.

Keep in mind, I’m not saying you can’t do these things, but they are often frowned upon, and I think this year has put things more into perspective as far as social media. Not only with pageants, but let’s not forget that Robert Ballou was also refrained from racing with USAC, due to his continued comments that was posted to his social media. No matter if right or wrong in your own mind, you just can’t do that, when in the public eye, and not think something will be reprimanded and consequences in the end due to your actions. Sometimes being silent in certain situations is better than knocking down the China cabinet in others.

You are responsible for everything you post and everything you post will be a reflection of you.
— Germany Kent

SOCIAL MEDIA POST SHOW

Supporting others success, won’t dampen yours.
— unknown

We see this problem every year happen, after every Motorsports pageant. I think the logic behind what is posted after each show, shows a lot of frustration from contestants, fans, and other people that aren’t really involved in the pageant at all, but form an opinion regardless. We all have an opinion. Let’s not kid ourselves. But how you choose to voice that opinion, could be hurting the future of the pageants or the future contestants of pageants.

As Competitors

A competition or pageant is just that. You, as a contestant, are paying (entrance fee) to compete for someones opinion of yourself, on how well you do and scored accordingly. You don’t have to agree with the scores that you are given, win or lose, but you really shouldn’t take to social media to complain or bash the winner, because in your mind it should have played out differently. Just stay away from your phone. You can vent to your friends. We all do that, but just don’t post it on social media.

As Fans

Contestants are pretty good about this because they’re generally supportive of every other women that is competing, the fans are not, however. The best way to look at it if your contestant didn’t win, there’s always next year. However, taking to social media, and bashing a competition, competitor, winner, or trade show, is just wrong, and detrimental to the sport itself. These pageants really do a great job at providing women with opportunities some may never have, and it’s great to see the girls represent the sport in their own ways. As a community, I think we should welcome each winner in with open arms, and be supportive, because you will be seeing them at the tracks on race day and they care about the sport just as much as you do as a fan.


Professionalism

Professionalism takes on a whole new trend as far as pageants. Professionalism really takes shape on competition day. I believe in being on your best behavior on pageant day. Remember, you are now in the public eye, more than ever for the day, and possibly, for the future, if chosen the winner. You are competing for a job, essentially. You should be acting no different than you would going into a new work area, for an interview. Cursing, slurs, being rude, or talking how you would when your just around your friends isn’t how you should be acting on show day. These are extremes, but a contestant should be able to handle themselves in the public eye in a professional manor, and conduct themselves in the same way they would, if they were crowned the winner. I think thanking sponsors of the show goes a long way. Being appreciative through several different ways goes a long way in the racing industry or any industry really. You might not see the reasons, but as a business owner, it goes a long way.


CRACKING DOWN & TAKING ACTION

Knowing how much this has become a trend on social media, pageants and trade show boards have been cracking down on treatment of contestants and winners, as far as bullying. As a former contestant in these Motorsports pageants, I have signed waivers prior to show day, that have stated that you as a contestant will not harass or bully previous contestants, current and past title holders, or you will be risking the opportunity of never competing in a certain pageant again. I try to keep opinions out of these blogs, because I believe it’s easier to give facts, rather than opinions, but I think to drive this home I’ll give you my thoughts on this topic. I honestly agree with that waiver, as bullying and harassment is a huge concern in 2018, not just limited to the racing industry but anyone’s hometown across America. I think it’s a great addition to have noted in the pageant rules, even though I think it shouldn’t even need to be said. The girls are of adult age when competing, 18 is the youngest age allowed for these competitions, but every once in a while, you get the few girls that need to bring drama or baggage. I have met some of my closest friends in the Motorsports Industry and to this day, have never had an issue with drama. I think forming friendships in the racing industry with the other girls at the show is great and there isn’t really a need for the drama. You are all there, competing to improve, impact, or grow the sport of racing, not tear each other down.

I have attached each sign up form below, if you are interested in signing up for a pageant in 2019. Deadlines are approaching fast, so don’t wait until the last minute to get those applications in!

ENTER NOW:


DISCLAIMER:

I am not associated or affiliated with any of the Ms. Motorsports, Ms. Racing Xtravaganza, or Ms. Motorama Organization(s).


Be sure to check back next Friday, for the part 3 of this blog series, Motorsports Pageants, for another post. If you missed the first part of this series, click here! The next post will be leading up to the pageants, 3 tips on how to better prepare you for the show!

5 things I'm doing to prepare my Brand for 2019

I know there’s nothing overly “special” about January 1st.

This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution, rather solutions for my New Year.

Every time December rolls around, I can’t help but look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. Especially 2019.

2018 was a year of many firsts for me; launching my website, online gallery, online booking system, blog and making the switch to shooting with a Sony Mirrorless Camera System. I think I underestimated the time I needed to set aside to get my website launched and ensure it met my standards as well complete my other day-to-day projects. Learning a new camera system three-quarters through the year, provided challenges of their own.

Preparing2019-01.png

I have been completely focused on growing my brand over this last quarter of the year. The new year couldn’t be coming at a better time.

But before I dive into some exciting new opportunities and projects, there are 5 things I’m doing to close off the year, and start 2019 with a clean slate.

1  | Reflection

This gives me the perfect time to assess what worked and what didn’t in 2018 to work harder in planning for my overall client experience in 2019 and my overall stress level.

If I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy taking a neutral approach when I look back at my business over the course of a year.

It’s not so bad thinking back on the things that went well, but thinking about the things that didn’t, is pretty nerve racking and stressful at times.

But it’s very necessary in seeing growth and progress.

So in preparation for the year ahead, I took a look back at 2018 and evaluated six areas of my brand:

Services:

Are my current services in line with the mission of my business?

How are they performing?

How can I improve them?

Are there any I need to consider getting rid of?

Are there any that I could potentially add?


Marketing:

Which platforms am I’m currently using to market my business (blog, social media, etc.)?

How am I spending my time on each platform? (too much, too little, etc.)

How can I improve on each platform?

Are there any platforms that aren’t beneficial to my progression?

Are there any platforms that I could potentially add?


Communication:

Which channels am I using for communication?

How can I improve communication with my clients?


Time management:

What did my schedule look like this past year?

Which tools did I use for time management this past year? How effective were they?

What boundaries do I need to put in place this upcoming year?

What can I do to make more time in my schedule?


Expenses:

What were the main categories I spent money on for my business this past year?

Which expenses can I get rid of? Cut down on or completely?


Processes:

Which processes were most effective this past year?

Which processes were least effective? How can they be improved?

Which processes need to be created and implemented this upcoming year?


There are many other categories and questions that can be asked, but this was a helpful starting point as I reflected on my 2018 year as a whole.

 

2  | Plan out my schedule

I may dread the reflection step, but I always love taking a look at the upcoming year and writing down my schedule for events and important dates I do not want to miss coming up.

I find it helpful to look at the entire calendar year when I plan out my schedule, so I can account for each of my services, spend adequate time planning for them, and space them out accordingly.

Here’s a peek at this year’s schedule in advance:

January + February - Trade Shows

March - Start of Race Season

April + May - Free

June - Free

July - PA SpeedWeek

August - Free

September - Month of Money

October - End of the Race Season

November + December - Brand & Website

You’ll notice that I set aside a full month to plan for the end of race season, and two full months to plan for my Brand and Website.

The full month at the end of race season will allow me to set aside time to make sure my online galleries are fully updated and ready to go for clients viewing and over winter viewing purposes.

The two months that I have set aside for Brand & Website will help better direct my attention to focus solely on necessary updates to my own website and brand, that I don’t normally get to make during the fast paced race season. As well as, I’ll be able to focus on client projects that may come into my workflow in the future.

I eventually will create more concrete dates, as racetrack schedules are released in early January, and beginning of February 2019, and plug them into my schedule, accordingly.

This outline will help me have an idea of what the year will look like before 2019 begins.

 

3  | Map out content

There are always things that happen and can get in the way of posting consistently, as far as blogging.

I am focused on growing my list of helpful and useful resources for 2019 to provide value to other creatives, clients, fans, and friends. I have started coming up with a list of valuable ideas for the start of 2019.

Once my services are planned out, I try to come up with relevant content for the blog, newsletter, and social media that correlates to the blog launches.

I don’t map out every single blog post and email for the entire year. I do like to create a detailed content schedule for the upcoming quarter based on the product or service I’m trying to promote.

For January, you can expect to see posts on organization, productivity, and processes to help you prepare yourself, as a photographer or graphic designer for the New Year.

In February, you can expect some reflection posts, or coverage posts on the Motorsports Industry Trade Shows that are going to be happening in the Central PA region. Those events I’m very excited for!

I would like to stay ahead of the ballgame, and this will help myself stay on track. You can never be too prepared!

 

4  | Wrap up projects

There is nothing worse than starting the New Year with a bunch of excitement and motivation for new projects… but having to put them on hold because there are still a bunch of items left to do on old projects.

I’m currently finishing up my last 2018 client project, so I can focus all of my attention to the exciting opportunities in store for 2019.

 

5  | Getting a head start

I normally gain a lot of motivation and excitement as I plan out my schedule and organize my content for the upcoming year.

So as my 2018 to-do’s wind down, I like to capitalize on the excitement and get a head start on my to-do’s for 2019.

I have already started planning for 2019. I cannot wait to see it shape into the year and I want to bring you along for the ride!


What kind of projects and content would you like to see from Killer Mile Motorsports in 2019? Are there any specific posts related to organization, productivity, and processes you’d like to see in 2019? Drop a comment, below!


Motorsports Pageants - Head Shots

So you’ve entered your first pageant. That’s a great first step! If you’ve haven’t entered yet, and are curious - I have linked 3 Motorsports Pageants that are coming up across the state of Pennsylvania at the bottom of this blog post for you to take a look at and fill out to compete. The last pageant sign up form has finally been posted, and I thought this would be a great way to help prospective first time contestants out, by writing a series of posts that would help them be better prepared for the day of the pageants, prior to getting there and not having an idea of what could happen.