The One That Got Away

There is a design journey behind each and every project. It starts with sifting through numerous stock photos, creating mood boards, browsing color palettes, reliving memories, etc. to make that blank canvas transform into a concept. This project is a Winter & Spring design for the cover of the Parks & Recreation guide, the two seasons combined together as if they are similar. 

I typically provide 5-8 design concepts to a room full of people who love bringing the community together through recreation. Because our careers and lives are so different, sometimes the final design is not my favorite. And that is OK. People relate to different designs based one their own experiences. Here are a couple of my favorites that I was rooting for but didn't quite make the cut. I felt they were too good not to share.

Designing from Experience

A simple way to get a concept started is to think back to the times when I wanted to sled down just one more hill even though my fingers were numb and cheeks were chapped. Pair this photo of a dreamy child taking in every bit of her Minnesota winter with a classic, vintage script made this monochromatic design one of my favorites. It gives you the best of winter but spring is lacking. This design was appreciated for the moment of nostalgia it brought, however, it was not chosen.


Even with the seasonal allergies it brings, spring is my favorite season. Everything comes back after nature sheds itself, grays turn into greens, life is renewed. This is my "one that got away" design. The one I was the most proud of and I wanted to see in final print. As a designer, if I received something like this in the mail, it would be kept and eventually would live in my folder of inspiration. However, I do keep in mind that the 35,000 homes this would be delivered to are not made up entirely of designers and they might not appreciate the white space, the stacked words, the small pops of color and the lack of imagery - and for these reasons, this concept was not chosen. 

The One

One day before the meeting to present my designs, I "threw" one more concept together. And that last-minute, impulsive burst of creativity was the one that was chosen. It was well received by many and was overwhelmingly appreciated amongst its competitors. This particular cover was a very challenging design and I've grown to love it and appreciate it (after grieving the one that had gotten away).