Identity Crisis? Create A Press Kit!

The Miss Destructo Press Kit

One of the most important things you can do as a creative or freelancer is to CREATE your identity and MAKE a press kit.  When I became unemployed many months ago this is one of the first things I did.. Now, it isn’t a golden ticket to a job. I am currently still unemployed, but my press kit has allowed me to gain a few amazing supplemental freelancing gigs and helped me create more of a solid brand for myself.  The color scheme for example, I use on my website and social media accounts… make all of these things scream YOU!

For all of you others that are unemployed, this is a time for us to create ourselves into the people we want to be more than ever before. Use your time wisely and these tips will help you put together a nice presentation of your future and who you want to become.

Creating Your Identity

Create your business cards, promo items, postcards, letterhead graphics, contracts/invoice sheets. Whatever you think you may need in the future while promoting yourself or your business. I know I am thankful that back in the day instead of wasting my time in college partying, I spent most of the time as a pixel jockey designing what would come to be the Miss Destructo identity.

  • Color Scheme- I really wanted to encapsulate the mystery of Miss Destructo yet keep a modern, classy style. How did I find what fit me? I created a folder of inspiring images, then I went through and picked what I thought represented me the most and used elements from them. Loving the green of absinthe and the loud yet stylistic color of my magenta nail polish. What inspired me the most would have to be The Perfect Drug video by Nine Inch Nails, it’s dark moodiness, entangled with haze of absinthe green in an anachronistic way. I wanted to make sure I mixed modern elements from a time period forgotten.
  • Logo- The peacock feather is representative of the colorful, regal and mystical nature of Miss Destructo. I also wanted the “eye” to represent the curious and knowledgeable side of me, speaking to the viewer that I’ll always have my eye out for them. Plus, it’s been shown that your brain automatically recognizes any shape that looks like an eye, focusing on that point. That’s right folks, I do research. Don’t forget: Use your logo on everything.
  • Slogan- Miss Destructo’s motto is “Nothing is Impossible” where Destructo Deviations slogan is “Destroy Your Boredom”. It’s good to have a tag line for each part of your identity, since it can separate your personal identity from your brand and help you explain your mission in less than 140 characters. Perfect for explaining exactly what you are about on twitter or a brief conversation.

The Almighty Press Kit

One of my addictions is putting something together, especially if it has to do with organizing and creating a product. I could seriously spend all day in a paper and printing store picking out the strangest materials and options to put a press kit together. You bet I would have a press kit made of steel that blew fire and had a freshly baked cupcake inside of it. Except that costs money, and to make money you have to sell yourself or your product to get a job. This is why you need a solid press kit, to sell yourself beyond the resume.

So, how can we make a press kit with little money? I’ll show you, but expect this to take a few weeks to crank out and you will at the least need about $100 (if you do all the designing yourself).

  • Resume- Okay, you do not need to buy $150 dollar paper to get a job. But you should look at the design of your resume. Does it stand out in a crowd or is it Captain Blah? Play with fonts and incorporate your personal style and logo into it as well. Remember to also make a separate text based resume for some do not accept fancy PDF’s. Look for inspiration in others, find those people you admire and see if you can find their resumes online. Look at the design, I bet you a can of yams it isn’t boring. Mine is actually on transparent paper, which looks awesome with pink paper behind it, you don’t have to go that far to succeed. Just make sure it’s written well and has a bit of unique style. Price= $10-$20 (paper)
  • Coversheet- It’s always good to let your client know what they mean to you and who you are beyond the resume. For this you’ll need to design a letterhead using your logo and contact information. Price= $0
  • Business Cards- Study design books or do an Internet search for inspirational business cards. Some are drool worthy but realize just rounded corners is going to cost you another $30 plus dollars. Stay realistic and flexible (in case you may need to change info in the future) create a few designs. I have a personal one and one for Missdestructo.com. I highly recommend Overnightprints.com Price= This varies depends on what you want or how many you want. Mine were $50 for 500 (color both sides, glossy with rounded corners)
  • Folder- Some printing companies suggest you sell your house to get a printed folder. You do not need this! Get some cool labels (some are transparent!) and print a logo yourself for the cover. You can get some nice folders (Mine is black with pinstripes…) at Jampaper.com that have the slots for a business card and a CD. Price= $20 (labels, folders and shipping)
  • DVD Portfolio- If you are an artist of any kind you should have a portfolio that can easily be viewed. These days you can’t exactly send your huge briefcase of artwork out to everyone, this is why getting your artwork scanned and put on a DVD is very valuable. Price= $20 (DVD’s)
  • Brag Sheet- One page sheet of everything that you have did that was more than notable and seriously rockin. Include awards, volunteer work, press mentions and every bit of awesome you’ve ever done. Brains of Fire recently had a great post on the Brag Sheet. Price= $0
  • Promo Item- Postcards, buttons or stickers, throw them in your press kit. People love free stuff! I am still personally looking for some good promo item ideas or companies to make products for cheap. Any ideas?

Your end result really depends on your skill, budget and patience. I have smeared ink, had to get business cards reprinted, had artwork lost, trashed many hotel rooms and possibly killed a small nation of coffee beans to get everything how I liked it.

I have to thank two of my professors Chuck Egnazack and Corey George from University of Tampa who gave me the guidance and knowledge of the craft to help me become the person I am today. I didn’t know how to use Photoshop at all until I met Corey last year and Chuck gave me some spent lots of time sketching out what is now the beginning of a new life for me. I spent months on creating all of this and they sat there been through many changes, color schemes, business cards, crappy photoshop jobs. Find a mentor and don’t give up!

I would love to see some of your finished press kits or cool promo items you have made!

Sleek Like Jaguar,
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14 comments on “Identity Crisis? Create A Press Kit!
  1. Danielle, you have me beat at two things.

    1. Jewelry

    2. Press Kits.

    I accept defeat, continue being awesome.

  2. Oo! Thanks for this!
    In addtion to the continuous resume updating and revising, I’ve been wanting to try my hadn at a portfolio/press kit thing! This definately is a great set of ideas that kick me in the pants to go!

  3. This is really great. Everything is explained so well- this is a such a great thing for so many business. Such a productive thing to be doing while bored as well… ha.

  4. This is wonderful! I’ve never heard of it before, I’ve only been in the professional world for a short period of time. I am currently unemployed & I believe this project can really help me! Thanks for this post!

  5. Although my press kit was not nearly as comprehensive as yours sounds, it definitely helped me more than anything in job interviews. This article is very helpful because it is very important to do everything you can to set yourself apart since the competition is so fierce.

    One promo idea I have been thinking about is making Tshirts with my logo on it along with having @WhatsUpTampaBay . I think that most people that use Twitter have access to it on their phone and may be intrigued to check it out. I also think it might be a good freebie item. Maybe this is helpful?

  6. Pingback: Personal Branding (Yeeee… Ha?) « Jim – Yes, THAT Jim

  7. clever advice. so many people are quick to recommend a press kit, but so few have good ideas about how to do them right. this got me in the creative mindset to come up with my own ideas in addition to the solid thoughts you dropped here.

  8. thank you very much for the tips! i'm sure there's a lot of people implementing your methods now! great job!

  9. Pingback: Marvelous Monday! | Wicked Whimsy

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