Is anyone sure how it’s October already? This year has absolutely flown by! Nevertheless, I’m delighted because this month marks the beginning of the San Antonio Chamber Music Society’s 77th Season! I’ve been updating their website with the upcoming concerts’ information—they’re gonna be AMAZING— and I’ve been designing their email blast and formatting their next blog posts! I have been working with SACMS for over a decade, and every single season is full of fantastic music and performances. Want to do something fun this Sunday? Get your tickets for the Apollo’s Fire concert— Students and Active Duty Military can attend for FREE!
I’m thrilled to announce that BlackStone Studio has been awarded three 2018 American Graphic Design Awards! This annual competition by Graphic Design USA honors outstanding new work from creative professionals from all over the country. Roughly 10,000 entries were submitted this year alone, and only a highly selective 10% were recognized. I’m so honored to be a part of that group! Check out the winning projects below.
Category: Logo Design
Client: University of the Incarnate Word — Music Therapy Student Association
Category: Invitation Design
Client: The Wishing Well — Montessori School of San Antonio Spring Gala
A Custom Designed Flyer Series
And the one that got stolen away…
Earlier this year, BlackStone Studio designed a five flyer promotional series for our number one client, Texas State Financial & Health. The custom set of flyers was created in late February with the purpose of reaching out to people with different professions who are looking to earn extra income. Every flyer is tailored for each type of occupation, and they include a licensed stock photo to represent that group and content explaining the different benefits of joining Texas State Financial & Health. The entire series of flyers is consistent in design, layout, and purpose. It was crafted specifically for one client’s use, Texas State Financial & Health.
So why am I posting about this project now? Well, this past week one of these flyers was stolen. The thief removed the company information and placed a poorly cropped flag photo (probably looted as well) on top of the Texas State Financial & Health logo. He’s using it on social networks to represent his own business although he is well aware that the artwork does not belong to him. He has been told he does not have permission to use it and has been asked to take it down, but he has yet to comply.
My first emotion was anger. Frustration followed next. In this day and age, most people are fully aware that you can’t take an image from online and use it as your own. Copyright infringement is a serious issue. This person’s blatant disrespect and disregard for one’s hard work and for my client’s time and money investment is just appalling. However, I am not going to share this thief’s name here or anywhere else. I don’t like online shaming. Sadly, I also don’t believe this person would even be ashamed based on his response back when asked to take down the image. But I do think it’s important to share this experience for three reasons:
Reason 1 – Awareness
If you see one of these custom designed flyers online, specifically the Active & Retired Military themed one which was created with our amazing veterans in mind, and you don’t see the Texas State Financial & Health brand on it, then please be aware that they have stolen the flyer. I am not asking that you bring this up with them because this is not your fight. But I do, however, ask that you reconsider doing business with them. While they can rip off the artwork, they can’t steal the character, integrity, and quality of service that Texas State Financial & Health offers.
Reason 2 – Toot My Own Horn
Imitation, or in this case thievery, is the sincerest form of flattery. Obviously, the work and effort put into the series were worth stealing. I spent time planning and designing each piece carefully with Texas State Financial & Health. The layout and message are simple yet strong. So instead of being angry, I now find myself feeling flattered that they liked my design so much they had to take it. I also feel sorry for the thief, who doesn’t believe enough in his own business to want to invest in it and create his own promotional pieces, but that is neither here nor there.
Reason 3 – Education
For those out there who still think it is ok to take online images or artwork to promote your business, please know that it’s not. Don’t copy/paste or save images from online and use them for commercial purposes. Always ask permission from the owner and respect their decision. Also be conscious of the fact that some artwork may incorporate licensed graphics. The person who snatched my design is not only stealing from BlackStone Studio and from Texas State Financial & Health, but also from the stock photo company we used to purchase and license the images. Unfortunately, we can’t do much to prevent people from stealing online artwork, but I’m hopeful that this article can at the very least help educate those who didn’t even know they shouldn’t be doing it.
Full Disclosure: Texas State Financial & Health is my number one client because their owner and leader, Justin Holland, is my amazing husband! BlackStone Studio does all of their custom web and graphic design work. I genuinely believe this occurrence solidifies what an incredible job they are doing helping people with their health insurance and life insurance products and the great career opportunities they offer. People only copy or steal from those they admire or feel envious of, so that means that Texas State Financial & Health is definitely doing something right!
…to everyone who joined BlackStone Studio for the past 10 days as we celebrated a decade of creative work with amazing clients! You have made this 10 year anniversary celebration that much sweeter! It was incredibly fun to do the giveaways and I can’t wait until we celebrate 15 years!!!
Watch all ten giveaway videos below to see who the lucky winners were each day and the fun prizes each of them won!
Mark Your Calendar!
To celebrate BlackStone Studio’s 10 Year Anniversary, I will be doing a daily giveaway, for ten days only, starting on March 10th, 2018!!! Every day I will be raffling off a gift box which will include a different combination of some of the items in the image below.
Enter For A Chance to Win!
First Giveaway is on Saturday, March 10th!!!
I can’t believe it’s been ten years! It seems like just yesterday I was going to the courthouse to file the DBA for my new business. I spent endless days designing my logo and website, doing research on vendors, stressing over pricing and contracts, learning how to do my own accounting, and most importantly, trying to find people who would give me a chance to be their graphic and web designer.
I would not be celebrating a decade of incredible work without the loyal support of my amazing clients, most of which have been working with me since the start!
I began like any other new designer, doing work practically for free for friends and family. I am eternally grateful to those who gave me an opportunity and who trusted me with their projects when I was just starting out on my own. And the BIGGEST thank you goes to the clients who took the time to refer me. To this day, I have not spent one dime in advertising. All my work has been through word of mouth! I would not be celebrating a decade of incredible work without the loyal support of my amazing clients, most of which have been working with me since the start!
Time To Celebrate!
To celebrate this milestone, I will be doing a few giveaways this month!!!
Once a day, for ten days only, starting on March 10th, 2018
I will be raffling off some fun prizes!!! To be eligible to win, just enter your information below: