Graphic Design for Symphony Orchestras

Nadia headshot

Hey there, I’m Nadia McDannels, and I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer since 2012. I’ve done all sorts of design projects, but I’ve found my true calling in creating marketing materials for symphony orchestras. I have a deep love for music and the performing arts, which makes this work incredibly rewarding for me.

Freelance Graphic Designer – Delaware Symphony Orchestra (2013-2022) | 8 Seasons

Delaware Symphony Program Book Design
Delaware Symphony Orchestra Program Book | 2022-2023 Season | 32 pages

My journey with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra was a fantastic experience that lasted eight whole seasons. It all started with designing ads for local newspapers. After that, I was entrusted with the design and production of postcards, serving as announcements for each concert. In addition to conceptualizing these designs, I also managed the aspects of printing and direct mailing. I diligently utilized bulk mailing services for nonprofit organizations.

As time went on, I was given the task of designing subscription brochures for each upcoming season. The 2014-2015 season was a special one because it marked my first-ever symphony orchestra brochure. Over the following eight seasons, I got to create different brochures with unique color schemes and layouts, matching the specific theme of each season. Here’s an example of the 2015-2016 season brochure, “The Season of the Bells.”

For the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, my work extended to a wide range of marketing materials, from appeal letters and rack cards to digital and print ads, postcards (including design, printing, and nonprofit bulk mailing), posters, ticket holders, and program books ranging from 8 to 44 pages. I also took on newsletter design and managed the printing and bulk mailing process.

I took pride in seeing projects through from start to finish. This meant conceptualizing initial ideas, preparing files, and collaborating with vendors. I ensured that we adhered to brand colors, Pantone, CMYK, and RGB standards, and I had a strong grasp of various printing processes, quality control, and press checks. Juggling multiple projects with overlapping deadlines was a norm, and I always made sure to meet them on time. My designs were always crafted with the marketing goals and the target audience in mind, aiming for maximum engagement.

Freelance Graphic Designer – Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra (2021 – Present)

In 2021, I embarked on a new chapter in my design journey by joining the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. I’ve continued to work for them for three exciting seasons now. Here’s a list of the projects I’ve been handling for HHSO:

  • Advertisements (both print and web)
  • Program Book design (with page counts ranging from 104 to 154 for each season)
  • Posters for various concerts, concert series, and special events
  • Rack Cards
  • Website updates
  • Euro stickers
  • Visuals
  • Jazz in the Park series marketing
  • Quarterly newsletters (in web and email versions)
  • Print brochures in a folded self-mailer format

I’m dedicated to ensuring that HHSO’s visuals are spot on, reflecting their unique identity and mission while connecting effectively with their audience.

Read Next: Program Book Design Process for Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra | 2021-2022 Season