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In Context

Context is so important in what I do. As a designer, my task often swings between responding to context and creating context. Logos, brochures, websites and Facebook posts don’t stand alone. Like all marketing efforts, they exist within a context–some kind of framework. To be successful, good design work and good marketing practices must not only communicate, but even persuade within the context where they are used. What good is a poster if those seeing it can’t relate to it? What good is a logo if it works in the context of a billboard, but not in the context of a business card? Determining context is an integral part of an effective design process.

It’s not that different with people. As I’ve been explaining my move out into the Small Pond to friends, colleagues and clients, one of the first things they wonder about is context. Will you have an office? Can we still meet with you if we want to? Where are you going to work? I asked myself all those same questions when I began the leap into small business ownership. I’ve realized how important the “backdrop” of my work is to me–how much it colors the creative process.

I’m happy to share that I do indeed have an office. It’s a converted space at my home that will afford me just enough privacy and just enough access to the refrigerator to make my work days productive and worthwhile. A separate entrance will give clients a quick way to sample my Pond and a seating and meeting space will facilitate great idea-sharing. I posted last week that my wall color of choice was Sherwin Williams 6078 “Realist Beige.” Six thousand boxes, sundry office supplies, a few cans of spray paint and several kid masterpieces later, the office is hopping into shape.

It’s a work in progress, but I hope you’ll enjoy this first look! Stop by after July 1st to see it in action (and maybe wall art). Welcome to my Pond!


  1. Haley, In response to your “In Context” blog which I enjoyed very much, I am now more aware of how context can change how we view and are viewed on social networks online. For example, the realm of Facebook is a hodge-podge of quotes, politics, messages to “friends”, announcements of life-changing experiences, struggles, humor, photographs, and music. It took me a while to catch on to its “rules” and etiquette. Now I’ve found Pinterest and it has a mind of its own too. I really love pinning and being inspired by creative ideas and “Everything” that can be posted on the site. I’m definitely in my element there. But I made the bold attempt to post my Pinterest boards on Facebook and got zero response. After one try I decided that things that fit in the Pinterest context don’t necessarily fit on Facebook, and vice versa. I learned quickly that personal comments on Pinterest should be avoided, unlike FB. And that all the DIY inspirations that I plan on doing, I may never get around to. There will be other networks in our future. I plan to be more cognizant as to the guidelines in which these sites are built and to have better intuition when it comes to context. As an artist, I am aware of context in many media. This translates into social media now, something that I must understand in order to keep up with an ever-changing canvas of sharing, inspiring, and communicating.

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