Our Latest Work
Finding a Purpose
Creating a logo for yourself is one of the hardest tasks that a designer can be asked to do. Good logos are not just created in Illustrator, they are created on the notepad or while the designer is thinking in the shower. The job of a designer while creating a logo is to incorporate everything that a person or business stands for into a simple icon. Picking a personal logo is like picking a good pair of shoes. When I buy shoes for myself I am pickier than I would be buying shoes for someone else. After all, I’m the one stuck with the shoes in the end.
For this project, my task was to design a personal logo/brand that represented me as a visual communicator. The brand had to be unique to this semester, refined and professional, all vector based (This meant that any type that I had, had to be original and unique text).
Who am I?
Because I was creating a logo that wouldn’t just represent me, but it would also represent my husband with our business Harker Media, I needed to create something that described both of us. Our business focuses on photography, web and graphic design and web development. Before I started sketching a logo I created a mind map to help me figure out how we should be represented. Some of the descriptive words that I came up with are; professional, friendly, business, everything digital, techy, the future, Intel blue, simple yet formal, more masculine. As I did this mind map I really liked the idea of techy and blue. I chose a cool blue monochromatic scheme because it is a color that is associated with businesses, it’s calming and resembles creativity and intelligence. With these ideas, I was able to begin sketching logo ideas for Harker Media.
Sketching and Challenges
Because I was creating a logo that wouldn’t just represent me, but it would also represent my husband with our business Harker Media, I needed to create something that described both of us. Early in my sketching, I settled on doing something with illustrative text to represent our business. I spent my sketching time playing with different ways that I could make an H and an M represent us.
While I was sketching I came up with three runners-up for the next logo. I decided to try them all out in Illustrator before marrying myself to a single idea. I liked the first logo but it was too symmetrical. I liked the second logo, but my five-year-old niece said that it looked like a funny N (never a good sign when a five-year-old notices something before you). And I loved my third logo but something was missing. I decided to take the first and third logo for another trial run and making them better after receiving, even more, critique from peers and designers.
The Process of Number One
The first logo needed to look less symmetrical and more pixel based. I copied many squares to create the letter H, then I added a white stroke around each of them to make them look more like pixels. I then made every three rows a different shade of blue to add a fading effect. This logo still felt really busy to me, so I decided to work more on logo three for a while.
The Process of Number Three
I spent the longest time on logo number three trying to figure out how each of the folds should work on this logo during the sketching process. I decided to put my origami skills to work to figure out where I needed logo number three to fold. I then re-sketched my logo using crayons so that I would know where I needed different demensions of the design to show.
The Winning Logo
After testing out different logos I finally decided that logo number three was the way to go. I made all of the rectangles thicker and I positioned my baselines in a square to make them feel less stretched and more symmetrical. Here is my final drawing next to my final sketch. Obviously, my vector is much stronger than my drawing skills. I also worked out that the first line needed to aim up to avoid looking like an N.
As a Mock-Up
It’s always nice to add a little flair to a logo. I placed my new and improved logo in this mockup to show how it would look on paper.
Case Study: Longhurst Custom Embroidery
Written by Janae Harker
Over the last decade, advertising and marketing have been dramatically changing to fit our social media world. Just about everyone has a social media account and will connect to it at least once a day. As a marketer, I understand that social media is one of the best ways to connect and influence a target audience. Recently, I did social media marketing for Longhurst Custom Embroidery, check out the slides below to learn more about my process!
Spring Internship with Monkey Bar Storage
Written By Janae Harker
Monkey Bars is a well-established business that gains most of its success from marketing and local dealer efforts. I interned with them for 150 hours beginning Spring 2017. As an intern, my job was to learn everything that I could about SEO, build meaningful links and write articles for guest posts.
What I Learned
I learned about domain authority. When a page has low domain authority and a link is built on that website, it could hurt the SEO of the linked website. I also learned that the best kind of links to build are with blogs that are near the local dealer. I built local links at my internship by reaching out to blogs to see if they would accept a guest post.
Every week I emailed around 50 individuals about posting to their blogs. I also wrote at least two guest posts a week. Often, articles that I sent took a minimum of two weeks before they were published. Twice a month I checked the ranking status on Google of a few of our dealers. The dealers who were struggling to rank with Google become my primary focus as I built citation and directory links. I also contributed by using templates to create sharable infographics and images to display in guest posts.
Applying My Knowledge
Because of the incredible experience that I gained while interning at Monkey Bar Storage, I feel confident that I can use the techniques that I learned while interning to help our clients build their SEO and local brand recognition.
5 Tips for a Better Selfie
Knowing how to take a great selfie is a must in the social media world. Whether you are going to Yellowstone National Park, or if you just woke up looking really good, we want to help you put your best face forward with our 5 tips for a better selfie.
1) Use Higher Angles
When we say use higher angles, we aren’t suggesting that you place your phone directly over you, making it look like you are a giant floating head with feet poking out. What we are saying is that when you have the camera on your phone angled at your eyes or slightly above it will automatically slim you out. If you want to take this a step further, try poking your chin forward to remove any extra chins that you may want to hide.
2) Show Off Your Figure
We all want to look hot, right? Pose in front of your camera in a way that flatters your body. Whether you are sitting or standing, try practicing good posture. Trying to look more feminine? Bend your joints to look more curvy and barely part your lips to give an innocent look. If you are trying to look more masculine, stand with your shoulders square to the camera and puff out your muscles. If you want to look more rugged, try clenching your jaw to look like you just saved Gotham City.
3) Relax your Forehead
By the end of our lives, we will have lived at least 70% of it with wrinkles. Something that we see all the time with selfies, is that people will wrinkle up their foreheads when they smile. This makes them look a few years older than they actually are. When you go to take a selfie, first do a very natural calm smile, then exhale a laugh or a chuckle to give you a real smile without a wrinkled forehead.
4) Use Your Best Camera
Most front facing cameras on cellphones have a smaller resolution than rear facing cameras. For this reason, we recommend turning your phone around and taking a picture with your case facing you for a higher quality selfie. Because you can’t see your screen with this technique, we recommend taking a few “practice” selfies before any selfie events.
5) Lighting is Everything
While taking a selfie, keep in mind that the darker the area, the more grainy your picture will be. The best way to avoid this is to take a selfie near a window or outside. Just because it is typically brighter during the middle of the day, does not mean that you will have a more flattering image because there is more light. The best times to take a selfie outside is right after the sun rises, and right before it sets, (golden hour).
Whether you are looking for a new profile picture, or even if you are just looking for a cute picture to send your crush, we hope our 5 tips for a better selfie help you out. Let us know in the comments below any selfie tricks that you’ve discovered!
Large Family Pictures in West Yellowstone
This last weekend we had the opportunity to take pictures of a family just outside of West Yellowstone. The family was celebrating their grandparent’s anniversary by getting together to take a large family picture. Large family pictures are interesting because it is extremely rare to have everyone looking and smiling perfectly at the camera. To compensate for this, we shot these pictures with a tripod and a continuous shutter. Once we were done taking the pictures we brought them into Photoshop where we combined the best pictures of different individuals to make a perfect shot.
Composite Large Family Picture
This image from the Yellowstone family pictures is a total of six different pictures all composited into one beautiful picture with everyone looking at the camera.
The lighting was beautiful the entire time while we were there. In Photoshop, we brought some of the natural light out more giving a nice natural look to this image during a cloudy day.
Smaller Family Pictures
For a little extra, we shot individual family pictures in Yellowstone of smaller family groups.
Dogs are Family
Janae is a total sucker for dogs, she especially loved editing this picture because she dodged and burnt the dog’s fur to make him stand out more with his family.
This was a really fun picture to take because everyone had such a great reaction to grandma and grandpa kissing.
BYU-Idaho College Senior Pictures
Unlike other colleges who are already on summer break, BYU-Idaho classes are still going strong because of our three track system. There is only about a month left until BYU-Idaho students say goodbye to classes and hello to summer. Some of us will be going back to school in September, some not until January, but many will be taking on the world of job hunting and careers.
Sherilynne is a college senior, for her pictures we took them in the BYU-Idaho Gardens. We used our rouge flash bender and an auxiliary flash in slave mode. College senior pictures are a great way to announce your great accomplishment to your family and friends. This was a mini-photoshoot, meaning that we only took pictures for 20 minutes at a discounted price. Book your individual pictures with Harker Media today!
Red Dirt Road: Website Redesign
Recently, Harker Media finished redesigning a website for a nonprofit business named Red Dirt Road. Red Dirt Road is an incredible business where women in a Cambodian village make accessories that are sold online. In Cambodia, many women work in factories earning barely enough money to survive. The women behind helping these Cambodian women make a better living are, Lin Alessio and Marie Eckstein. They helped bring the beautiful craftsmanship of these women online. Ben, from Harker media, was hired by Marie to be a part of this website redesign.
The Cambodian Women:
Doing the website redesign for Red Dirt Road was an edifying experience because it was for a very important cause. Some of the women in the image above are finally able to work and live near their young children. Any extra income that these women earn is donated by them to their village to help the local children gain educations.
The image shown above is one of the many beautiful products sold on Red Dirt Road. Doing the website design for such a great cause was rewarding because of the large impact selling these products have on these Cambodian women.
Visit Red Dirt Road today to learn more about how you can make a difference.
Harry Potter Batman Baby
Hello, my name is Janae Harker, I am Ben’s wife. I am so excited to meet you! This is the first post that I am writing on Harker Media’s official website. Ben and I figured that because we are married we might as well marry our work together and officially start our media business.
When you marry someone you not only have your spouse as a family member, but everyone that they are related to. I had the wonderful opportunity to take pictures of our newest cousin who is a Harry Potter Batman Baby. For these images I used natural light from a window and a spider light with a softbox.
Avatar: Where The Elements Become One
The first time I watched Avatar, The Last Airbender I was babysitting for a family with children under the age of 10. I felt really embarrassed that I liked it so much because I thought it was just a children’s show. Now that I’m an adult, I realized that all of my friends who are the same age as me also loved watching Avatar even as a teenager. For my stickers, I decided to base them off of the show, Avatar, The Last Airbender. I created three different stickers all within the theme. I created an illustrative text saying “yip yip” in the shape of Appa, the flying bison. I created another sticker with all of the elements from the show simplified and using the color scheme from each kingdom. For my third sticker I created Aang, the main characters glider that he uses to fly around.
Sketching is by far the hardest process for me when I am trying to be creative because I don’t have enough practice in drawing. However, I love it because it gives me a chance to let all of my ideas flow onto paper where I can organize my thoughts better. I knew from the start that I wanted to do my stickers based on Avatar, but it wasn’t until the sketching process when I knew what exactly I wanted to do.
During my draft phase I played around with my ideas and began to see them come to life. Now that I am done with my stickers I can easily see how much improvement I needed to make from my draft to my final. The spacing between the letters in my illustrated text were not even, the glider wasn’t dynamic enough to look cool as a sticker, my pinwheel needed more depth and my match looked more like a flower.
I am really proud of how my final stickers turned out because I spent hours trying to get them to look the way that they do now. I spent the most time on my match because I wanted it to be simple but still look like a dancing flame. The center of the flame is the fire nation symbol from the show, which adds a nice touch to the entire design. I changed the color of the rock slightly so that it would match the coloring of the Earth nation better.
Thanks for checking out my stickers! If you want to see an even better artist check out my husband, harkermedia.com.