Recently at work, I've produced a flyer and a 'pull-up' display panel for our company stand – which will be/has been set up at three different student fairs that are currently taking place. Unfortunately one of the fairs was arranged very poorly by an external agency and we therefore had very little luck getting students' interest.
Designing something as large as the pull-up (about 7ft tall) was a new experience for me and, although I tried a photographic version of it, I thought it best to stick to a vector-based design. Also, I think it gives the flyer a little more effect if it includes something that the pull-up does not (the photography).
I was quite pleased with the icon I developed out of the heart and the question mark. After a bit of thinking, we decided the resounding point of the design should be to propose 'care' to students ('are you the caring type?'). So the icon sums that up with the context its given by the text.
You'll also notice, looking at the two sides of the flyer, that I had to doctor the photograph slightly to allow the text to sit where it needed to - in front of the smiley girl's face. So, as sad as I was to have to paint her out, she had to go. This is something I've learned just from looking at other design in the environment – there are ways of controlling images so that they don't conflict with your text, like semi-transparent panels, solid colours, cropping etc. In other words, I found the girl's face was obscuring my text and that, ideally, the background for the text should be a solid colour. That area of the photograph was already dark so I decided I could extend the black and get round the problem that way.