Garden Walk season is starting in Western New York, where over one thousand gardens are open to the public. I exclusively work with the first one of the season, but have worked with a few others as well.
What prompted this post, was I realized I never posted the 2012 Lewiston GardenFest Poster. It was my favorite of the last three years. To top it off, I could not locate it on any of my three computers. I have been purging files/folders and thought it was a goner.
It is not like I need it for anything now, but I like to keep a record of the file to use for copy and logos for future years. My main tip on creating a garden walk poster for your event…KEEP A COPY EACH YEAR. All the layers in the Photoshop file will save time next time you produce your art. See the similarities between the poster above and the one for 2013? Time saver.
Another tip? Get out and photograph the flowers that will be blooming for your event next year. It is important to use blooms that garden walkers will see in the open gardens, so plan ahead by photographing now.
Obviously, I cannot tell you how to make these posters, but I can tell you how to get the word out when you make your own. My posters are a little more complicated to create than most could do, but you can take your art (photos, logos, copy) to places like Kinkos or OfficeMax and they can assemble a poster for you.
Advertising your garden walk is the most important thing you can do to make for a successful event.
Have signs you can place in front yards and along roadsides. You want the event out there. Our group was on cable TV for a 30 minute talk show. It is valuable to use every form of media, like the web and radio also.
Our group made cards and posters to leave at businesses like grocery stores and home improvement stores, garden nurseries, and institutions such as the post office and library. Doctor’s offices, real estate offices, and anywhere there is a large, changing clientele. Places where people sit and wait are very good places to put your advertisements.
You have seen some of my ads which are quite eye-catching. I use lots of color and high contrast. I use a large graphic element that pops off the page.
You want the advertisement to stand out among the hoards of other events being publicized.
Many posters are done on a white background and that becomes just one of the herd. Add high contrast and you stand out. Add an electric color and you can’t be missed.
I have not done fashion illustrating/advertising for a very long time, but I did win a number of national recognitions and a few awards for my work. My ads were published on the cover of a national trade monthly on more than one occasion and beat out the biggest named department stores in the country for the cover shot. I do miss this type of art because it really was a high to be in there with the big fish.
I do my ads and posters for the Garden Walks for free, and they generally take little time to produce. The painted lily, above, and balloons, below, took the longest to do. The balloon poster was the most fun to produce. The balloons were created from scratch in Photoshop.
Garden Walks are fun, family events and I try to add humor where I can to catch the eye of the kids.
Since I do these in Photoshop, it is not very work intensive to create a few options. Usually there is a committee that grants approval and this gives them a choice.
See same art, different colored backgrounds. Even a change from pond to grassed yard.
If your event has multiple events occurring, like the Lewiston GardenFest has vendors, garden talks, a container garden contest, and many floral societies, some with demonstrations, make sure you have a way to focus on those individual events also. Lewiston gets thousands of visitors each year and they want to know where and when the fun stuff happens.
And since you are advertising the event, make sure you consider parking. You don’t want frustrated garden walkers. Ask area businesses and churches to allow parking in their lots if they are not open the day of your event.
Today starts the Lewiston GardenFest (see the second poster for 2013), and it goes until Sunday. Make sure and get to this fine event for a lot of family fun. I am away and will miss it this year, but I guarantee you a great time!