My Role: Designer

URL: http://bellagala.com/

Overview:

Bellagala is a multi-award-winning full-service wedding provider, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. It has branches based nationwide that provides beautiful, class-leading, photography, or in Minnesota, they also offer DJ’s, videography, event lighting, floral and so much more. Bellagala also has three sister venues in A’BULAE, The Van Dusen Mansion, and Bavaria Downs. These venues provide spaces for Weddings, Events, Business Meetings, and so much more.

My Role and Responsibilities

As a Graphic + Web Designer for Bellagala and it’s venues, my role was working as part of a marketing team, promoting the services and maintaining the assets within the company. Some of the tasks that assigned to me where creating email campaigns, designing and updating print material, and spearheading the development of a new website.

Creating Email Campaigns

Image of an email

Most of my time spent with Bellagala was spent on email campaigns. These campaigns were the primary tool that Bellagala used for promotional marketing. My role in this was to create new designs and offers in local and nationwide markets that would bring new couples to Bellagala photography. Most of the email sending was provided by a third-party that the company paid to be apart of their community mailing list, I instead worked with the content strategist in designing the emails themselves creating promotions and codes and applying them to the backend of Bellagala itself.

While most of the promotions were provided to me from the content strategist, I worked on creating new design templates, creating promotional codes and items, sending the contents to the third-party account managers for conversions, and accepting proofs as they came back from the vendor.

Designing Print Material

Image of promotion from the Van Dusen Magazine that was in Minnesota Meetings and Exchanges

Although Bellagala does not do much in the way of print material, I was responsible for more than a few print ads and promotional items. As Bellagala did not have an established style guide, I found myself mashing together outdated Pantone color schemes with verbal font and style alignments brought to me from others in the marketing department. A few examples of the print materials that I created where updated wedding fair flyers for an upcoming wedding fair that company was going to be at as well a couple of venue ads that were in the Fall 2017 Minnesota Meetings and Events magazine.

In working with these ads, the Van Dusen Mansion had to be entirely redone as it needed updated material for the new theme packages of 2018. For this ad, I worked with the marketing team in taking the old commercial ad that was used from last year and updating the imagery and text for this current year. After that, I created multiple printouts, each time checking for spacing and alignment, as well as color and bleed corrections before sending to the vendor.

The A’BULAE was going to be redesign as well, but due to lack of time and content, we decided to rerun the old ad to re-emphasize the meeting possibilities of the beautiful venue.

Image of promotion from A`BULAE that was in Minnesota Meetings and Exchanges

New Website Development

Finally, my last major role and the one that they hired me on for, was web design and development. As a freelance web designer for over 15 years, I had much of the qualities and experience that they were looking for to spearhead the development of their next website project. Although I was, unfortunately, let go before the website was allowed to be developed. My roles in the launch were to look into possible development platforms, I chose Expression Engine, due to its extreme flexibility and platform requirements (Bellagala runs on PHP). I also visualized the goals and rocks for the project to succeed (Bellagala runs of the EOS corporate system), and finally look at analytical data to find trends and showcase UX changes that could be used to find new ways that the website could be used in the future.

As for Google Analytics, one of my roles as a designer was to monitor the data that was coming in and create reports that would showcase what we could do as a marketing team to help fix any potential problems. This was probably the hardest part of the job as Google makes some parts of monitoring extremely difficult and explaining this system to others is even harder. In hindsight, I wish I would have spent more time in really understanding the complexities of analytics and finding ways to showcase these to coworkers, but as time was running short, this just was not possible.

In Summary

I relish my time there in introducing new and fresh ideas for the company such as using Git and Bitbucket for backing up code, Using design and type fundamentals to create stable and sound design decisions, while working within the brand system of the company, as well introducing new concepts such as design systems and SVG animations. Bellagala was a great company to work for filled with great people and great working ideas, and I learned a great deal while working there and I am ready to apply it to your company next.