Archive | December, 2011

Processing the process

31 Dec

Every process is a journey. How we follow that journey varies, and we don’t know what we will discover. Process is a timeline; an evolution of an idea. Process is the way in which we complete tasks. Most of the time, the process is unknown and may be un-interesting to most viewers.

Process seems to be the most important part to some and to others they simply want to see the results. I’ve noticed as I become a more “seasoned” designer that following basic principles of a process that works will result in a successful outcome.

I’ve also learned that the act of thinking and mental powers are used greatly in the professional design world. Some days I come home and I’m tired, when I shouldn’t be because I sat at a desk all day and clicked a mouse. But the gears in my brain were moving all day long solving one of 5 problems:

1) Figuring the best way to communicate information
2) Organizing information in a clear way that the user can access
3) Finding a way to customize the user experience
4) Creating new and innovative ways to reach the audience
5) Cracking HTML and CSS code

These can be some pretty daunting tasks but if I think through the process in the beginning, then the final outcome is usually easier to reach.

Planning, preparation, and research will always help if done near the beginning of the process. This sets up a base of knowledge to solve the problem with. Being aware of the difficulties can help increase the chance of making those difficult elements more simple.

Collaboration and receiving a critique from another mind is always an important part of the process. This viewer can bring up something I have missed, and also helps to make sure everything is spelled correctly and that all of the elements are in place.

There will always be revisions. The editing process can be difficult, but it must be done to create the best product.

When the final production phase sets in, it’s always exciting and nerve racking. With web, it’s not as exciting because that can be changed instantly and may always change.

Everyone has their own process. A process should never be set in stone. It should bend and flex for each project at hand, but have some key checkpoints to ensure work is getting done.

Gallery social gathering

27 Dec

I enjoy seeing art, and what new artists are creating. It’s inspiring, motivating, and often educational. However, I’ve noticed lately that one of the main draws to an art exhibit, especially a local gallery, is not the art, but the social aspect of it. Most people in the art community enjoy coming to openings because they get to see friends or acquaintances and talk about art for a bit, but then talk about life and everything important that they are doing. Maybe this is a Milwaukee thing, because our art community is fairly tight knit and small. Agreed?

The focus on the art is taken away as the opening becomes a social event for most visitors. I didn’t eavesdrop on conversations, but I assumed only about 3 people out of the 40 that were at the gallery were actually discussing the concept and execution of the artwork on display.

This is perfectly fine, and great because people are coming to the gallery and supporting the art by being there. But it would be awesome if the art were appreciated a bit more. Maybe by incorporating some type of social media to the exhibit. Having a hash tag dedicated to the event, encouraging people to post comments and pictures of their favorite pieces.

Make the gathering more social and in turn making the art more public. By publicly praising the artwork online, this could benefit the following of both the artist and the gallery.

I’m sure many artists would be opposed to this type of exploitation of their work, but imagine the benefits! More people will be aware of your artwork, increasing your following and increasing your presence as an artist. I understand if some artists will not and can not partake in the social media extravaganza, but it is the new way of the world. Either embrace it or forget it.

NYC Typography

2 Dec

Good typography usually goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. Being a graphic designer, I get really excited when I see a hand painted sign or some really cool neon sign.

While I was in NYC, I noticed that they had tons of awesome typographic signage for stores, restaurants, you name it. I also noticed that most of it was hand painted, like they did in the old days, not vinyl or some fabricated material, but just paint on brick.

I hope you can appreciated these beautiful works of typographic art as much as I did. Enjoy!

’twas the day of my birth

1 Dec

Yesterday was my birthday. Twenty-three years ago I was born.

There wasn’t a lot of anticipation for my birthday, just another year. No milestones, no big parties, no cake, just a little chocolate. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I started to question why we celebrate our “days of birth.” Did I accomplish anything? Being so young, I haven’t done much in my life. So why celebrate?

If anything, I should thank my parents on my birthday for conceiving me 23 years and 9 months ago, or thank God for creating me.

People get wrapped up in the birthday celebration because it’s a day where their friends and family stop and appreciate them or show their love. We feel needed, wanted, and loved on our birthdays. I received several text messages, dozens of Facebook posts, a few tweets. It makes me feel popular, even though some of the people who post of Facebook I haven’t talked to in awhile.

On my birthday, I just wanted to relax, do what I want to do, and enjoy life. Not every year do I need a celebration. Birthday’s are overrated. They come every year. I just hope I have quite a few more before they stop.

But why celebrate the creation of our lives one day a year? Why not celebrate weekly or daily? I’d like to think that I celebrate life often enough that I don’t need to go all out on my birthday and expect people to treat me special just because it happens to be the anniversary of my birth.

So cynical or not, I contemplated the reason why we celebrate our birthdays. People want to be loved, wanted, and treated special at least one day out of the year.

My sister told me, “Don’t have a barfday, have a birthday!” I laughed out loud. And then I asked her if she made that up; totally original.