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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Aug 27, 2014

Where are They Now?

By On 04:01
Lately I've been pondering the range of skills that I've cultivated after X years out of graduate school. Well, actually thinking about my skills as compared to those who graduated from the same program--at the same time. Back in school, I could see my future laid out plainly: a few years developing my craft in nonprofit organizations as the graphic designer, then maybe another volunteer or pro bono role at a professional organization, but eventually landing as director of design strategy / communications / marketing for a large national nonprofit--like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (kind of finishing up where I started).

After school ended and I delved into work in the nonprofit sector my interests grew and my focus changed. Eventually I followed a different thread into higher ed. It's been interesting and challenging. Challenging because of the tools, and interesting because of the messages. Marshall McLuhan famously stated that 'the medium is the message,' and boy was he right. Across so may industries, the messages are universal.

This past weekend I'm talking to a girlfriend who's in year two of conducting a passive job search; sometimes she looks and decides not to apply, sometimes I look for her--and she decides not to apply. It dawned on me that we both graduated in the same major, around the same time, and we're both in higher ed. However, that's were the similarities stop.

This good friend of mine is an excellent technical writer, designs almost exclusively for print, takes most of her own photographs (for publications), and she has much more person-to-person contact at work. Conversely, I work mostly in web and digital media (although I'd give an eye-tooth for more print projects), my writing is almost always editorial, and some days I'm half-crazed because I over eight solid hours of computer screens.

It's not bad just different. We'll never be in competition for the same job.

My recent ponderings got me thinking about what other fellow grads are doing with their advanced degree in Publications Design (with concentrations in graphic design, writing, or digital media). I grabbed the first ten names in the private UB Pub Design group on LinkedIn (to which I belong), extracted their names, gender, and current position in order to build the graphs below. Here's the skinny, as illustrated by PowerPoint:

60% Female, 40% Male - 40% Directors (Communications, Marketing, Art, Design, and Production),
Yes, I'm represented in this group as well--as one of the instructional designers (close enough).

Aug 25, 2014

This Week: DPS App, Finished (mostly)

By On 12:01
Hey guys,

We've recently completed the design/layout of our new Tech Field Guide. The ID files are huge, but when it's packaged as an appo nthe iTunes store it will be much smaller. Last week I spent hours manually resizing images--because batch processing ended up causing a serious pixillation problem. Without much ado, here's a sneak peek of some the layouts that make me proud.

One little thing, DPS doesn't make apps, it makes magazines--digital mags that have tons of interactive functionality, but magazines nonetheless

Aug 4, 2014

Blog Headers

By On 09:39

Aug 1, 2014

Worst Interview Ever IV

By On 13:40
Appearance matters in an interview. Having an unexpected accident seconds before the first meeting can prove disastrous. The thing to remember is that you can regain control of the situation by reacting appropriately and resisting the urge to over-apologize. This happened to a blogger at HERCJobs:

"Experts say that employers judge candidates within the first minute. Appearance represents the attention to detail and pride that you will take in your work.

For me, this made getting splashed by a taxi on the way to an interview one summer day all the more unfortunate. I was one step from the curb, when a cab rounded a corner behind me. I went from stylishly ready to big drippy mess in no time flat and had no time to dry off. Mascara running, feet swishing, I walked in.

I would have preferred to be memorable for my sharp answers and knowledge of the field, but I think it will be for the stain I left on the chair. I prepared answers for questions about strengths and weaknesses but not for this. Should I have ignored the wetness? Maybe they wouldn’t notice. Judging by the puddles, squishing sounds and drippy hair, that was unlikely. It was a lost cause and I knew it.

They asked if I wanted a drink of water and I replied that I didn’t need one. I wasn’t smiling. Truth be told, the rest is a blur, but I was mortified and apologized profusely. I wanted to tell them how nice I looked just a few minutes before, but I didn’t…I didn’t get the job—no surprise there.If given another chance, I would have gone in with a huge wet smile on my face and exclaimed I am so happy to be here, but would you believe what just happened to me? I would have been effusive, probably would have apologized (once) for the damp trail I was leaving and then briefly explained that this was particularly unfortunate because I very much wanted the job and the opportunity to contribute to the organization.
* See the original article on HercJobs Blog