David Butler

In the past, I’ve rarely sent print promos (tho I always wanted to create a nice one), and I mostly relied on online marketing, sourcebooks (At-Edge, Archive Magazine, Workbook, etc), and face to face portfolios showings for sharing my work. However, as soon as 2020 hit and everything began to lock down I figured it was a great opportunity to channel my energy into a nicely designed promo… something I have always wanted to do, but never made it a priority.

Last spring, I connected with an Art Director & Graphic Designer friend of mine named Ryan Frease that I had previously worked with on some campaigns (some actually in the fold out case study), and learned he was in between gigs and had some extra time on his schedule. The timing lined up for both of us, and we were off and running. I threw out a bunch of ideas, and he heard them all and really helped channel them all into one cohesive and branded message.

My main goals with this promo were to:

  • Communicate quickly the type of work that I specialize in, and leave an impression.
  • Create multi-tiered items; something you can keep and perhaps pin on your office wall (fold-out case study promo or postcard), something designer related and practical that you can use on a daily basis (wine key, or pencil + notebook), and something of good print quality that shows an overview of my portfolio. I realize Agency folks get a lot of promos, so I wanted to create something that would at least get passed around, as opposed to tossed.
  • As a product photographer, I work with a lot of designers. So, I wanted the packaging to be note-worthy, and something that would demonstrate my appreciation and passion for good well thought out design. Ryan really brought a deeper layer of design to this promo in a few areas. Particularly in the way, he designed the folding case study to line up perfectly with the portfolio book cover as the copy reads “Make Visible” while revealing the splash image from monochrome to color. These details go a long way with me.
  • I really wanted to show the human connection element, especially in a time where we are over-saturated with content and DMs… As of now, I only printed 250 promos. I am only sending out a few at a time, so I can track who they are going to, and I can follow up. I am intentionally and personally sending each promo to creatives I would love to work with. Each box contains a personalized handwritten note, and my hope is that it shows that I am at least aware of who I am sending these to, and it contains that human element that I feel is missing in other forms of digital marketing.

The images in the fold-out case study represent almost 3 years of work created for the brand Drinkworks They are a pod-based at-home cocktail brand, created by Keurig and Anheuser-Busch. Prior to Drinkwork’s launch up until now, I have been collaborating with a Boston-based design agency Motiv Design on bringing to life an entire portfolio of cocktail images that are designed to be used on their packaging designs as well online and print marketing. I felt this was a great case study since we captured such a brand range of beverage photography, from conceptual to just beautifully simple and graphic.

After designing and printing everything, the next hurdle was acquiring addresses for folks I was trying to reach… given that everyone was working from home, the agency address wasn’t going to work. So, for the better half of a year, I sat on these promos, and have just been sending them out over the past few months. The feedback has been mostly quiet, however, there are some cases where I have gotten some great responses as well as some creatives that have passed my work along to colleges along with some incredibly kind words, so that is very encouraging!

As far as who printed these, I actually went through a few vendors recommended to me by Ryan, and I am really pleased with each piece.

Branded Box: https://packlane.com/products/mailer-box
Portfolio Booklet: www.Mixam.com
Fold out case study: https://fireballprinting.com
Branded note card: https://www.jakprints.com/postcards.html
Branded notebook: https://www.jakprints.com/notebooks.html
5”x7” double sided post card: https://www.modernpostcard.com/printing/flat-cards/postcards/deluxe-postcard
Shipping Labels: https://www.jakprints.com/roll-stickers.html

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1 Comment

  1. Really nice book! Most of all I liked reading about the approach to the slow mail out, the follow up, keeping the promotion at a human level of interaction. Thanks David Butler and A Photo Editor for another insightful post.

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