A former colleague was bemoaning the influx of people into his inbox claiming to be “an influencer”. The basic thrust of his grumble was each one wanted him to give them something and in return he’d receive “exposure”. What “exposure” meant to his bottom line was never clear.
“I wish they’d start acting like magazines and less like spoilt kids,” he complained with his tongue half in his cheek.
To help buyers choose the right adverts, most publications have a “media kit“. It sets out the audience, distribution and often carries advertising fees (the rate card). At their core, influencers are an outlet for advertising, so why wouldn’t a professional influencer have a media kit too?
Thus was born the idea for a media kit concept. It would give me an opportunity to build on my Affinity Designer skills, test a few lessons learned from my graphic design studies and maybe create something useful for influencers.
With that in mind, I liberated a set of stats from an online magazine, put together a rough brief for a makeup stylist and gave myself 4 hours.
Step 1: Rough
It starts with 2 blank A4 art boards and a collection of notes dotted about. Everything is rough, including a hand-drawn font, which limits firm design decisions being made too early. All I want right now is the information I have to present and a rough structure for it.
Let’s be honest about the layout. I could spend hours debating which layout style would work best and how amazing using different grids could be. Reality is whatever I produced would be looked at on screen or printed off on the office printer.
Simple is best.
Step 2: Setting Out
Once I’d got a structured sorted out, I explored how to set it all out. The design took on more of a form. I could see the audience best represented as a chart, the rate card as a table.
Everything’s constructed in components, which makes it easy to move the blocks around. It’s also still in black and white and freehand fonts as I don’t want to commit to specific design decisions that might not work once we move to the next phase.
Step 3: A Splash of Colour
With the design reasonably stable, I put in the branding elements. Inserting on-brand fonts and colours brought the design to life.
I realised there was far too much whitespace on the back page. To compensate I inserted a reminder image of the “influencer” (her images are from my stock). I experimented with using Instagram and Twitter posts, although these didn’t sit well.
Step 4: The Final Layout
Everything comes together in the final version. All the amends are in and this is the version everyone’s happy to go to press with.
This is where the finalised file is created. All components are correctly grouped, guiding lines and other hidden elements are removed, and the history deleted. This creates a small, compact file that is the master we’re working on. The potential to “accidentally” include something that shouldn’t be there is removed. Every PDF or image file is then created from this file.
It’s also worth noting at this point that my old technical drawing background means I manage versions tightly. I always include a “Version Control” artboard and update it with each version that’s shared.
There are a few areas where I think it could improve. Better imagery, a smaller hero and deeper stats on audience engagement would lift it. As an aide-memoire I think this does the job far better than some of what’s been shared with me.
On balance, I think I achieved what I aimed to do with developing my skills and testing myself with a quasi-real-world problem. The design could be improved and perhaps with a client to bounce ideas off of the result would be more spectacular than it is. For what it is though, I think I’ve done OK.
What would be interesting is finding an influencer willing to take this for a test-drive with their own stats and branding attached.