Client Spotlight: Speaking It Real

By Erika Goering on

Carl Stafford is a public speaker and public speaking tutor in Kansas City and St. Louis. His optimistic outlook and unabashed drive for success heavily influenced his brand and website designs. Carl’s ability to light up a room and take control of a situation contributes to the striking contrast in the colors and hierarchy.

Paula Scher’s classic poster designs had the vivid and flashy feel I was looking for, so I used her work as inspiration for this project.

One of the main challenges of the website was translating poster-inspired design to a responsive website layout. I used a lot of typography, a strong grid, and bold colors to bring that look and feel to the web.

(c) Paula Scher (c) Paula Scher (c) Paula Scher (c) Paula Scher (c) Paula Scher (c) Paula Scher


Inspired by the look and feel of Paula Scher's poster designs, I went for a bold design to match Carl Stafford's bold presence and personality.
Above: The "About" page design, featuring Carl Stafford, the owner of Speaking It Real. The design is heavily influenced by Paula Scher's poster for "The Diva is Dismissed" (1994).

Below: An alternate version of the page, which includes his wife and business partner, Andrea Stafford.
Under the hood: The Speaking It Real website runs WordPress, and the "Events & News" page is updated using the built-in blog functionality.
Below: The event poster for Speaking It Real's first workshop. This design is also influenced by Paula Scher's poster designs, using a typography-heavy grid turned on its side while still maintaining legibility.

Humblebrag: This is one of the very few times I've ever seen/used a QR code that actually felt like it fit well with the design.
Below: Carl's business cards are a natural continuation of the Speaking It Real brand, using 4 different color schemes (one of which being a single-color option for when Carl needs to print on a budget).

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