Archive for February, 2009

press releases

February 23, 2009

For professional practices class, we have split into groups to work on the separate parts of the TasteBuds project for our clients. One of the groups is handling press releases, but not mine, my team is the print team. The print team has been handling postcards and plans for guides, but we have missed out on the experience of writing a press release.
So in order to more fully understand that section of the project, I researched press releases. It is always good to have as much experience under your belt as possible, especially in this economy because it makes you the most useful employee you can be.
These Ten Tips came from
1. Make sure the information is newsworthy.
2. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.
3. Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.
4. Ask yourself, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?”
5. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.
6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
7. Deal with the facts.
8. Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.
9. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.
10. Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs

One of the tips from our Leadership Chattanooga client was that we should have a catchy headline so that the places it gets sent to will want to read it.
So, keep it simple and follow the rules to write a successful press release.


paper plus adventure

February 23, 2009

Thursday morning we were greeted with the surprise that we would be going on a field trip to Paper Plus. In preparation for our trip, we all gathered around the table and passed around paper samples.
There are some really fantastic paper types out there, and some great finishing elements. I do not seem to encounter many different paper types in most of the things I handle day to day, but I do see finishing elements, like foil stamps and embossing.
As a designer, I find myself becoming more aware of the things around me that have a designer’s touch, so it is great to learn about these finishing touches, like paper that can make a huge difference in the work that I create.
When we got to Paper Plus, we were graciously allowed to take as many paper sample books as we could carry. Sales associate Alex Brock met us at the door and showed us around the stacks of paper and was more than willing to answer questions. He was helpful and very friendly.
It was cool seeing stacks and stacks of paper all around and know that there is a place in Chattanooga I can go to get paper help from friendly people.
I would definitely recommend Paper Plus to anyone in need of paper, Paper Plus can get you what you need.
Be sure to check out the Paper Plus website to see what they have to offer. The people at Paper Plus are friendly and guaranteed to get you what you need!


February 13, 2009

When I think about printing, I feel a slight sense of dread. Swiping my card, praying I have enough money left on it and that it prints correctly the first time. But in the real world beyond the FAC’s testy Ricoh printer there are other methods of printing that are totally rad and have come a long way since Gutenberg first fired up his press.
The Production Manual listed four types of printing utilised by the commercial printing industry. These four types were silk screen, offset lithography, gravure, and letterpress.
Offset lithography uses a printing plate to put the image to the paper. The plate goes through an ink roller and areas that aren’t image repel the ink. Lithography can print at high speed and are apparently easy to prepare, which makes lithography a desirable, low-cost method.
One of the problems with offset lithography can be registration errors, colour variation, and ink transfer.
The only one of the four that I hadn’t heard of was gravure, but I’m familiar with the term silk screen, just because of my interest in t-shirts.
According to wikipedia, gravure is a type of intaglio printing and uses a rotary press. (Do remember to take wikipedia information with a grain of salt and do consider checking addition sources!)
Printing has come such a long way since Gutenberg made his press, it’s exciting to think that his work would be a springboard to such a large part of the life of a designer.

stellar presentations

February 13, 2009

I have never had to present a logo to a client, however, I have taken a public speaking class and I’m guessing the principles are very similar.
For starters, you should probably look nice for your presentation. If that’s not how your meetings usually roll, at least wear a plain tee shirt with no words because that can be a distraction. Also shower or maintain the appearance and smell or being clean and hygienic.
When speaking definitely make eye contact, but try to make the right amount. Too little and you seem shy or uncertain, too much and you are a creeper. Smile and enunciate, mumbling is not going to make a good sell.
Definitely have confidence in yourself and your logo because confidence is contagious.
When you present your logo make it clear that the logo you are presenting is the best option for them. Make sure they understand that you have listened to everything they have told you and that what you have is the way they need to go. Be firm and do not let them try to push you around. You are the designer, they are not. This does not mean that you get to discount their opinion, merely that you do know more about what a logo needs than they do, especially if you really did listen to what they said and did research before you carefully crafted their logo.
🙂 Take this information to heart and go forth confidently to present! You can do it!

spectacular logos

February 10, 2009

Logos are not something I thought much about until reading The Brand Gap and beginning this project.
Of course, I see logos everyday. Everyone does. There are such a big part of life now.
What makes a successful logo is something well designed and memorable. Also, I wouldd say depending on what that logo is selling, it is successful if you want that logo on you. I would say this is the case for clothing companies, shoe companies, and clothing designers. (Of course, the branding also has a lot to do with getting you to want to be in that logo.)
Part of being well designed is functioning with and without colour.
These are some of the most practical rules on logo designing from Just Creative Design.
1. A logo must be describable
2. A logo must be memorable
3. A logo must be effective without colour
4. A logo must be scalable i.e. effective when just an inch in size

If logos follow all of these rules they are very likely to be successful in their execution. Some really great resources for logo design can be found on the net at the following sites:

colour conceptual

February 10, 2009

Leslie assigned all of us word pairs for our next process & materials adventure. Of course, she also assigned us my greatest weakness: work that is conceptually strong and unique… and not obvious. I have problems with conceptual work. My mind can never connect to a concept that makes sense to anyone else. Most work the concept might take a while to understand, but the way my mind works, it could take years to decipher.
My creativity definitely hits a wall in this aspect, but I remain optimistic that I can work something out to complete the project. My word pair was wet/dry.
I started out by trying to think of the most obvious interpretations so I could move on to something that could perhaps be better. I made some word lists in attempt to sort it all out and I just recently took my photographs. I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
Also looking forward to testing my hand skills in cutting out and mounting the print outs.

the great deletion

February 3, 2009

Netdiver postcard and button contest was a contest WITHOUT LIMITS! Well, not exactly, the only rules were no nudity and no previously published artwork.
Sounds pretty exciting, huh? Limit was three for each category and the contest was open for all. No matter what your skill level, the contest was open to you.
I was skeptical at first, I mean, the only prize is prestige and limited edition posters and buttons, but that’s only if you win. It’s people’s choice, but other designers must know so many more people than I do. But then I started working on my entries and I got super excited.
I started with a goofy drawing of a skeleton wizard magicking some potion into a cauldron. I carefully used photoshop and my mouse to paint down the outlines and colour it in… I added some effects to make it glow. It’s silly, but I really enjoyed the process.
The next few designs I worked with I scanned in black and white photographs I had taken for photography I of me and my friends playing with sparklers. I used layers to place the designs all on top of each other and used some gradient maps and filters to give it colour.
I relied heavily on filters and effects for my last design. I used one of the sparkler photos, a piece of photo paper that had been improperly developed and tons of gradient maps and half-tone filters.
I managed to get the second design and the corresponding button up on Netdiver’s site on Saturday. I also submitted my Wizard the same day about thirty minutes later. Sunday I finished my final button designs and postcards and submitted them.
On Monday I received this: I am sorry this submission is not making the cut. I did not recieve a reason, nor was I notified as to which of my submissions did not make the cut. I went ahead and guessed the wizard was getting the axe. Honestly, I could not stop laughing that I got cut from a contest with barely any rules.
I was okay with it though, until I got this message:
hello Jessie,

I am terribly sorry to announce that your entries are removed from the
competition. Today – well just now in fact, I discovered that the whole
class had an assignment where grades would be given and this is a
breaching of the integrity of our competition.

Don’t take it personally, I want to speak with your teacher, but in all
fairness – all entries that are from Chattanooga (UTC) are deleted.

carole guevin . editor

WHAAAAT. So, we’re all kicked out. I’m not sure where in the rules it said this was against the integrity of the competition (uhh, since there are barely any rules to begin with.) But another hilarious aspect of this is that Carole Guevin emailed Elizabeth to tell her that her’s could stay up since she was first. I don’t know what logic Carole uses, but, meh, I don’t hold it against Elizabeth that she’s on top of things.
Also, I’m voting for her as much as possible and you should too! Go to Net Diver and do a search for “Elizabeth Keltner” and FIVE THAT SUCKER!

Hey, just found out Meagan Huff made it past the Great Deletion by being from Nashville, so FIVE HER TOO!

postcard success

February 3, 2009

Postcards. They are quick and easy advertisements. I get advertisements in the mail in postcard format. The brightest colours and boldest texts usually catch my eye. I would say that even the worst designed postcards can still garner attention if they are brightly coloured and large in size.
The text on the postcard should be long enough to get the message across, but short enough that it fits on the postcard and/or is not completely overwhelming to the reader. The idea should be to get the reader’s attention and keep their attention.
This is what I knew on my own. I did some more research to see what else I could find out and if my line of thinking was the proper direction.
I found several sites that were very informative about the best ways to handle postcard design, but my favourite source was Designing Postcards That Make An Impact. The information was concise and bulleted, which I thought was great because postcards need to be concise…and concise information that conveys that? Even better!
The first two bullets were about using strong imagery to catch the viewers eye. The next bullet was about using your brain when you make colour choices. You have to pick colours that are pleasant to look at and eye catching, but nothing so bright it hurts the viewers eyes or impedes readability.
Next was effective wording: there’s not much room on a postcard, so you have to make your message effective with the space you have.
Lastly you need to make sure the postcard directs them to a phone number, address, or url that can give them more information. Without this step, your postcard could be absolutely useless if the goal is to get a response.