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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Nov 25, 2010

How's Your Portfolio Looking These Days?

By On 10:31
Remember near the end of school, you bought that sexy black portfolio case that was so expensive you were forced to subsist on ramen noodles for months afterwards? Along with the box, you picked up the 3-foot sheets of Letramax and meticulously cut them down to uniform rectangles and adorned these with the best of your student work.

What ever happened to that sexy box? While you've been creating newer work and perhaps updating your website with medium-res jpegs are you neglecting the physical design boards that you worked so hard over?

I was guilty of that for over a year.  Whenever I got pieces from a completed print job, I'd grab 5 or 6 pieces and toss them into the box and forget about them. Today I have 2 annual reports, 3 different brochures, 4 brand new logo designs, and a book that I've not mounted for display. It's time to get my samples together AND to get rid of some of the older pieces that are no longer relevant in my portfolio box.

The reason for this newfound commitment to updating my portfolio is the sexy new portfolio box that I found in Plaza art  in MT. Vernon last month. The new box has a brushed copper finish, binder rings for extra copies of my resume or references, it accommodates about a dozen 8x10 Letramax boards, AND it fits in my sleek brown leather briefcase (this thing barely holds my 13" MacBook). This is smaller than anything else I've ever seen in school or with other designers.  More than that, this bad boy cost me $12.

I also picked up some rich brown, textured leather (some sort of swamp reptile, I believe) to conceal the top cover and give the box a very expensive look. I want the casual observer to glow green with envy of my luxurious little case.

I have two different portfolios that I show; a Web only version that holds 10 samples, and a Web & print version  that holds 9 samples. So, this weekend, after I finish up a freelance project, I'm mounting 19 new boards and ordering them in the manner I've been taught, and putting them in my sexy new box away for another year.  

Worst Interview Ever: Part Deux

By On 09:52
I met Tracy last night at a pre-turkey day show at the metro gallery. I heard her interview story while outside smoking and knew I had to blog it.

Tracy, the lawyer, showed up for her initial interview with the department of Health and Human Services. She was professionally coifed, dressed appropriately and more than prepared for the probing questions that the interviewer would ask.

She arrived in the office and sat for an hour. The interviewer never showed up.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Nov 21, 2010

Logos getting friendlier??

By On 11:18
Sure they are.  Logo redesign is the wave of the present.  These corporate  giants moved from authoritative type in bold uppercase characters to lighter weights,  lowercase, sans serifs.

The jury seems to be out on the GAP logo redesign.  It has a few striking differences that hit me immediately. Readability: dark on light is 15% easier to read than light text on a dark background. The gradient square looks like part of a whole.

Corporate logo redesigns have also added greater levels of tactility and depth to their upgrades. UPS designers brought their signature brown into the 21st century by sketching the shield and giving the previously mechanically sterile design a hand-tooled look; it puts me in mind of sitting next to the artist at his drafting table and being part of the creative process. Again, we see an added gradient.

This tactility is very evident here:
Another prevalent technique used is the breaking down of personal space.  By this I mean that we are closer to the character of the logo. We are now face to face with 'Carmen Miranda' when we bite into our Chiquita bananas. And the 'face' of LG is more human and more closely cropped..Take a look

Nov 17, 2010

4 Weeks Mac-Less

By On 06:07
I'v almost got the hang of it.
The highlights of my Sony Vaio is the full keyboard, sick speed, and the new upgrades to MS Windows, I guess I have W 2010; it offers a more intuitive UI than previous versions.

The drawbacks are--well, they're more my problems than actual hardware/software issues--it takes way too long to shut down ans start up, I'm trying to be okay with the widget add-ons and I just can't (I only use WeatherBug because I trust it, but I miss having my dashboard).

Finally, I know why Windows machines are so susceptible to virus attacks--they're always communicating with the web--whether you ask them to or not.  With an Apple, you have the option to allow programs to constantly scan the Web for updates or no-You're never surprised by a program update on shutdown.

That's all I got, I'm well behind on a work project.


What’re you Waiting for?

By On 05:58
Right now every professional designer I know is busy as hell. And no wonder, companies have tightened belts and expect small creative departments to do more with less. Unfortunately, the trend is increasing. As a graphic designer, you have a few options that can be employed:

  • Hold your breath until you turn blue.
  • Threaten to quit until you get some help.
  • Look for a new job with a company with greater resources
  • Delegate more work to your subordinates (as if)
  • Get an intern, and create opportunities for students to learn on-the-job and increase their skill base, while you get a helping hand.

That’s right, consider hiring an intern! You have options for skill levels and knowledge; there’s no rule that sayS your intern will be a novice who only knows the rudimentaries of Photoshop. Undergrad and Graduate programs promote internship throughout the length of the programs, and you can easily end up hiring a gifted designer with mad Adobe skills, aptitude for typography and a passion for the visual arts.

One problem that you’re sure to encounter is making time in your too-full schedule to interview prospective interns. Take a tip from me, schedule them all on the same morning—preferably the one that the mandatory staff meeting fallS on—and then keep your afternoon free to tackle your ever-expanding ‘work’ pile.

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Nov 2, 2010

Dangit - I'm Getting an Intern

By On 12:31
  • I'm busy as hell at work
  • I'm about to get busier.
  • I have a lot to teach novice designers.
  • I had an awesome internship and learned a lot at Port Discovery.
  • I keep telling other people about the benefits of mentoring an intern.
  • I'm ready to 'give back'.
  • I want a partner in my once weekly commute
  • I'm busy as hell at work.