2u Creative — Amy Morelli — Illustration — Branding — Graphic Design


ONE LOVE: A Wedding for Everyone!

#memyselfandi, Branding, ONE LOVE: Workshop, Media CoverageAmy MorelliComment


If you live in Florida or have been watching the news, you know that Florida made Same Sex Marriage legal on January 6th, 2015! YAY FLORIDA!  I am proud to say I have always been a supporter of #Equality!  Working in the Event Industry I am connected with vendors and couples from all walks of life, and I'm here to tell you PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. In my opinion, the thing that separates us in society is how we treat each other — not who we are or who we love. It's whether or not we are there for each other as humans. This is what builds character. This is what makes us open to love and new life experiences. 

This past November I was asked to participate and sponsor ONE LOVE: a wedding for everyone, presented by Kathy Thomas of Kathy Thomas Photography.  Of course, I jumped at the chance! It was a great opportunity to work with some amazing vendors and to connect with vendors I had yet had the pleasure of working with — all while showing my support for the LGBTQ community.

A two-day experience at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, the workshop featured Bernadette Smith of the Gay Wedding Institute, as well as a styled shoot and education on same sex weddings, SEO and marketing language. The brain child of  Kathy Thomas, ONE LOVE: a wedding for everyone was a huge success, photography from the workshop will be used in the marketing materials of the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and the workshop itself got a mention on the Channel 6 News! (watch here)

I loved working on this project! It was great working with Kathy creating the Branding and Stationery for take away's and the styled location shoots! She is a formidable force in the event industry and her vision oozed sophistication! 

"My goal is to help educate my community by fostering an environment that continues education, growth and support, so we can be experts in the wedding community. I am a believer in equality — I created my company in support of love and marriage and couldn't be happier that Florida has legalized it for all couples."   — KATHY THOMAS

Job well done! I know she poured her heart and soul into this workshop, and it was evident by the amazing experience she created! Jealous? :)  Experience it yourself with this great trailer by Key Moment Films.

Let's not forget Lisa Stoner of E-Events, she designed the styled shoots at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. A beautiful modern classic ballroom set, (complete with the ladies from Our DJ Rocks!) and an elegant outdoor farm experience at Whisper Creek Farm. Thank you Lisa, for always creating amazing environments to showcase my stationery! (I kid, I kid...it's not just about the stationery!) Tipping my hat to Raining Roses  and the Chalk Shop as well for creating her amazing vision! 

Drink in the beauty of both locations below!

For a full list of participants and sponsors of the workshop, scroll down to the end of this post. You will also find galleries for both locations below! (Photography courtesy of Kathy Thomas Photography)

For more information on our event stationery or brand development visit our site!
#memyselfandi #acreativelife

The 2u Collection, our Custom Stationery line contributed stationery designs, table numbers, brand design of the workshop as well as contributing a little photo styling of the sets with Lisa!

Photo Galleries by Kathy Thomas Photography

I know that something this wonderful takes the work of many. Below are these amazing vendors! And the good news they are all supporters of #Equality!!

List of participants and sponsors of the workshop

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (and all their partner Marriott's)

Our DJ Rocks (Kristin Hubbard)

Favors & Treats:
Florida Candy Buffets (Farida Wazir)

Planners & Designers:
E Events (Lisa Stoner)

Raining Roses Productions (Jesus Rodriguez)

Stationery & Paperie:
2u Collection (Amy Morelli)

Lifestyle Design, Graphics, Illustration, Branding & Marketing:
2u Creative (Amy Morelli)

Kathy Thomas Photography (Kathy Thomas - Orlando & NYC)
Brandi Image Photography (Brandi Morris St. Pete)
Stephanie Dishman Photography (Stephanie Dishman - Orlando)
Rudy & Marta Photography (Rudy Montilla- Orlando)
Nick Edmundson Imaging (Nick Edmundson - Ohio available for travel)
Emily Millay Photography (Emily Cunningham - Ohio available for travel)
Jordan Weiland Photography (Jordan Weildan - Lakeland)
Banter Booth (photo booth Jason Weildan - Lakeland)

Key Moment Films (Mary Angelini)

Hair and Makeup:
Kristy's Artistry Design Team (Kristy Alonzo)

Announcing the New Brand & Websites!!!

Branding, Launch of 2015 Brand, Announcements, WebsitesAmy MorelliComment
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I am so happy to finally announce the launch of our new brand almost 10 years in the making!  As a creative and brand developer it's often like the plumber with leaky pipes . . . I'm always spending all my creative energy with my clients, often I don't have the time or the energy for my own brand. So for the last 9+ years, I have been working hard to develop a brand that includes all 3 of my divisions that I'm in love with!  We hope you love it as well! 

The websites can be found at their old places: 2ucollection.com, 2ucouture.com and 2ucreative.net but we also have a  new domain where it can be found as well: 2ucreativejuices.com

I am so happy with how everything turned out, bear with us we are still adding products to our Paper Couture Stationery Store- But you can go to our Facebook page to see all of our current designs while we are updating. 

Please share with us your feedback below. I hope you are as enamored as I!

A Sneek Peak of what we are Currently Working on..

Okay I know it's been a while.. I'm ashamed. But it is wedding season and we have been busy giving our absolute best to our current brides and their weddings!!  We try our best to give the attention deserved to each event and sometimes that means I fall behind on catching up with all of you wonderful readers.  

But Wedding Season does NOT mean work stops in our other division 2u Creative!!  So, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what we are working on.  Earlier in April we were happy to welcome Kelleen Hite of Pure Sugar Studios as a client! She loved all the brand development (to view this see below for links to past blogs) I've done for Abby Liga of Liga Photography. and wants me to re-brand her!! Thanks Images for a Cure Workshop for letting Abby RAVE about me in her Workshop!

So we've been busy working on getting her new website up!!  Below is the Teaser Coming soon page we've created.. and I also wanted to share the custom icons we illustrated for the site.. 

Stay tuned we hope to launch her new site by August 1st, and we will be sure to announce it when we do!!

Please comment and let us know what you think so far!!

This is the Current Teaser page up at PureSugarStudios.com

Custom icons we illustrated for the site. Please comment and let us know what you think!

Links to see the branding work we've done for Abby Liga.  and PS.. an updated look is in the works for her as well!! Her website is done in the new look, and we are working on a NEW Editorial Magazine Style Brochure, you can see a sneak peak of the new look on the first link below.

A New Look for Liga!
The Liga District.
Look What we Accomplished!
Lawton's Printer, The Liga District and 2u Collection Successful Collaboration!

Interested in Branding and Why its so important?  Check out these previous posts on the subject!

The Importance of Branding & Advertising- PART I

Lawton's Printer, The Liga District and 2u Collection Successful Collaboration!

Amy1 Comment

Most of you know that I handle the marketing & branding for Liga Photography and their Commercial/Portrait Division The Liga District.  Last year, we embarked on a fun project. Developing the brand and identity for The Liga District. I did the design and art direction, of course amazing photography by The Liga District, and we called on Kim of Lawton's Printer for the printing & production!! So we created a Launch Campaign, and as you see by the images it turned out great!!  It is Soft Touch Aqueous Coating with Spot UV.  It is one of the favorite pieces I have in my bag of experience, and I've very proud of it. Join me in congratulating Lawton's.. Among Many awards they received that night, the campaign I created for The Liga District won Best in Show for a Campaign.

See the press release below!

Lawton Printers Top Honors in Statewide Print Competition
Orlando, Florida, August 8, 2010 - Lawton Printers received awards for all entries at the 2010 annual Florida Print Awards, the printing industry’s largest and most prestigious statewide graphic arts competition. The Printing Association of Florida (PAF) presented the awards to elite Florida-based printing and graphic arts companies during a banquet on August 6, 2010 at the Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando.

With hundreds of entries from printing and graphic firms across the state, Lawton Printers received six Best of Category Awards, four Awards of Excellence and one Judges Awards, plus the prestigious Trophy for Best Process Color Printing and a Trophy for Best of Show Division I.
“Other companies can talk about quality – we know we produce outstanding quality. And it’s reflected in our wins,” said Kimberly Lawton Koon, President. “Our employees work very hard to give each project same attention and care, and winning the overall Best Four Color Process Printing trophy is very gratifying for all of us at Lawton Printers.”

George Ryan, president and CEO of PAF, added “year after year, the quality of the submissions for the Florida Print Awards increases, raising the standard to which they are held. It seems like we say this every year, but the judges remarked how they were, once again, impressed with the entries submitted by PAF members and also said this year’s competition was the toughest yet. Lawton Printers should be very proud of their outstanding accomplishments.”
The Florida Print Awards is the printing industry’s largest statewide graphic arts competition. It recognizes individuals, companies and organizations responsible for the creation or production of print communications. The competition promotes excellence in the industry and recognizes companies and individuals who produce the best in print media.

About Lawton Printers, Inc.
Lawton Printers, founded in 1900, is an award-winning offset and digital printer providing solutions for customer’s high quality marketing and print needs. Lawton combines state-of-the-art technology & equipment with the heritage of 5 generations of excellence.
To learn more about Lawton, please visit www.LawtonPrinters.com. To learn more about Printing Association of Florida, visit www.flprint.org.

It’s an honor to be recognized by the industry as a company that produces top quality, award winning materials,” said  Kimberly Lawton Koon, President. “The entire team at Lawton Printers works on every project as if it were an award-winning piece.”

For more about these awards and Lawton Printers, visit www.LawtonPrinters.com

The Importance of Branding & Advertising- PART II

To Read Part I, click here.

First let me apologize, I should have had this posted a few weeks ago. I got wrapped up in producing some exciting invitations! Now on to the issue at hand!

Part II- How to Get Started with Your Brand Development. In Part I, I blogged about why it is important to brand your company, now I want to discuss the question my clients, colleagues and friends seem to always want to know: HOW DO I GET STARTED.
I am going to outline and discuss the steps I think are important in developing your company brand.

1. Research, Development & Creating a Plan:
This is very important and lays the foundation for all of the following steps. Not only will it help you more easily develop your brand, it will build a strong foundation of principles and philosophies that will guide your company as it grows.
  • Research- Look around. Research other companies: Who (as a company) do you aspire to be? Look at your successful colleagues. How do they market their companies? What about them causes you to seek them out? What is your competition doing? Speak to colleagues, both in your industry and outside of it, explain what you are trying to do, and get their feedback. As small business owners, we should all have colleagues/companies we aspire to be like. This helps us grow as individuals and businesses. It helps us approach our business with fresh eyes and new perspective. The hardest thing in my opinion about owning a business is stepping back; when you are too close to something it can be hard to see what's right in front of you.

    Be careful here; I am not in any way suggesting you copy your competition or fellow colleagues. You want your company to be unique and individual in its marketing and branding, but sometimes seeing how someone else approaches something will cause that genius idea to fall loose in your own mind.

  • Development- Now that you have done some research it is time to dive into the development of your company. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers; this will help you further organize and grow your business structure and will also help you later when you sit down with a designer/studio.

    Who are you as a company? Who do you want to be? What do you want for your business's future? What makes your company unique in comparison to the competition? Who is your market/customer base? What's the SINGLE most important message you want your potential customers/clients to understand about your company and its services from the first moment?
    Do you have colors, shapes, etc. in mind when you think of your company message?

  • Create a Plan- Now that you have a better idea of who you are and where you want to go, answer these questions.

    What is your Budget? I know this is tricky... but be realistic. When considering this question, keep in mind: "You DO get what you pay for." That goes for Design & Marketing Services, as with anything else. You have to pay for experience and knowledge. If you are serious about your brand development, you should pay for the experience and knowledge of a professional who will get you results.

    What is the scope? What does your company need? Consider the following: Company Tag Line, Logo & Stationery Design, Website, Collateral (brochures, newsletters, direct mail, postcards, etc), Advertising (print and internet), Press Kits or Presentation Packets for Publications and Potential or New Clients, Blog, E-Marketing, Trade Marking, etc. These are some suggestions of things you will need in order to successfully reinforce your brand.
2. Finding a Designer. Freelance vs. Small Design Studio: Now that you have a plan and a clear idea of what you are as a company and what you want to put out there, you need a designer or small design firm to get started on brand development. All of your answers to the questions in Step 1 will help you now because any knowledgeable and experienced Designer/firm will need them to properly develop your brand!

I'm going to give you some standard rates and some standard pros and cons to hiring a Freelancer vs. a Small Design Studio or Agency. To move forward and have your brand developed you're going to need a Graphic Designer. A lot of small businesses chose to use freelance graphic designers to save money. I have been a freelance designer, worked for a small firm/agency, and now own my own design studio, so I can provide perspectives from all sides.

  • Freelance Graphic Designer, Writers and Marketing Professional- You can get a talented freelancer that can concept and design anything you need. The standard rates are $50-$85 per hour. This is dependent on the experience and talent of said designer. And most freelancers will work with you on their rate if you do more than one project with them. This can be the most affordable way for small business to create and develop a cohesive brand. The downside to this is that it's difficult to find a designer who has the experience and skills to help you with writing, strategy, marketing and design, and art direction. There are designers out there who are very talented and can do all of those things, but they are rare, and usually you will end up having to find freelance writers and marketing/PR professionals to work with the designer so that you can effectively complete everything involved. This can get expensive because each of these freelancers will have their own hourly rate. The other downside to this is you may end up with a group that hasn't worked together a lot which may add time to you projects and result in conflicting messages in your brand.

  • Small Design Studio/Firm- Often this is the route that makes most sense, because small design firms have a network of writers, strategists and marketing/PR professionals that they can call on and work with on a regular basis. The rates can be anywhere from $75-150/per hour. But again, most design firms will work with you on price if you are doing multiple projects with them. I have even given package project prices at significantly discounted hourly rates to both save my clients money, and ensure I have a contract for a few projects. The benefit to using a small firm that is you have a team that has worked together on many projects and each have their own expertise, which will often make your brand campaign more effective. It's hard for a designer/artist to effectively create strategy and write copy all while trying to create a look and design. So when you take this route, you have a team that will be top notch in each area instead of one person trying to do it all.
Don't choose the first person/firm you come across, but look at many firms to find the one that is right for you. Your designers, writers and marketing/pr professionals should be genuinely interested in your company, should want you to succeed, and should not just treat you like another job on their list. Follow your gut, and most of all beware of the artist with the large DIVA EGO... (I'm designer, I'm allowed to say it... a lot of us tend to become divas.) Make sure your team recognizes it's all about creating a brand campaign that works and fulfills its goal, not just creating art to create art. Don't get me wrong, it should look great and be extremely creative and even edgy.. BUT IT SHOULD ALWAYS PUT MESSAGE FIRST!

4. Work Closely with your Team Creating Artwork: Now that you have found and chosen an artist or team, trust them to do what they are good at. Take their recommendations and think them through. Remember, they have a fresh, objective perspective on your business. You may not always agree, and you may override their recommendations sometimes, which is okay. Just remember that this is their area of expertise, and they are professionals with experience and knowledge in this area. This is your company, however, so if you are ever opposed to a design or idea, speak your mind. But also remember you may be too close and might need to step back to fully consider their recommendation. Any professional designer or firm will find a compromise if you are completely opposed to something.

5. Practice What you Preach: Once you develop your brand and start putting your message out there, make sure that you practice what you preach. Your company must deliver on what it puts out there: Nothing works against your brand more than not delivering on what you're selling.

Thanks for reading!