A Step Back

Since we are now going to be starting the last project for studio one, I started to reflect on what I have done, especially the first project.

For anyone who’s reading that isn’t my teacher, we had to design a set of playing cards. The method that I chose to do to implement my cards was something that I am not very comfortable with which is hand drawing. I don’t really see myself as that great of a drawer, I would usually rather paint something or just straight up draw it digitally, but for the style of cards I wanted them to be it had to be hand drawn.

As I started looking at ways to best design a mandala I also started to look into the history of them and what they really represent. As it turns out, mandalas are a representation of the world in which the cosmos and human beings meet each other and they also represent five different senses which are a part of the universe (Jung, 2010). The lotus flower which are very common within mandalas are thought to be the symbol of earth itself ontop of the cosmic waters (Tucci, 1961).

After reading what they represent I started to choose what I wanted to use in my playing cards. I chose to use the sun, the moon, and a lotus as the main ideas. I think that these worked really well in the end product and they worked well together.

So, I started to draw up my designs. I was semi pleased with what I had actually come up with and drawn, as I said earlier I don’t think of myself much as a great drawer. But it was when I put them into illustrator, image traced them, fixed up lines, and added colour to them, I was really happy with how the designs turned out.

I think that using this process for my cards was the best way to achieve the style that I wanted. I would have like to try and make all of the lines directly on illustrator to make them all look cleaner and not as hand drawn as they look, but then I don’t think they would have had as much detail as they do now.

So I was pretty happy and pleased with how my work turned out.. until I walked into class and saw the designs of everyone else. Everyones designs looked really clean and like they were actually meant to be on a deck of playing cards, and I thought mine looked way too hand drawn and the lines weren’t good enough and there were all these little things that were becoming wrong to me and I didn’t even want to show my teacher my designs anymore. But then he said he liked them and that he really liked that it does look hand drawn. I really need to learn to stop comparing myself and my work to others, especially when everyone does work so differently and even though some peoples work may be a hell of a lot better than mine, it can just be something that I can admire and try and work towards.

playing cards style guide - emily mccrenor (dragged)playing cards style guide - emily mccrenor (dragged) 1

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We’re going on a Bear Hunt

This is the first group project of the first studio class that I am encountering of the many, I presume, that are to come. While I really enjoy working alone because I don’t have to rely on anyone else and I can just work in my own space and at the pace that I want, working in groups is also very beneficial. Working in groups I think creates more creative work pieces because you all feed off of each other and can receive feedback from one another in an instant. You pitch an idea to your team and then someone else will usually always have an idea that feeds off of your idea that can make it better, this then can give you and everyone else more ideas.

The project that we are working on now, the Alice project, I love that it is in team work. The only one thing that I dislike about team work is that I always feel like I am not doing enough work in the team compared to some others but apart from this, this project has been very beneficial. Learning about paragraph styles, character styles and object styles in inDesign reminds me of a classic children’s book written by Michael Rosen, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”.

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In this story they face obstacles, like paragraph styles, they can’t go around them, just like we can’t override them, they have to face them and go through them. This is exactly what we have to do with paragraph, character and object styles. As annoying as they may seem at first, they actually turn out to be very beneficial and a tool that I wish I had learnt earlier for past assignments.

“Indie Marketing Techniques”- a reflection

The thing that really stood out to me in the lecture was the positioning content, and then when we went through the competitive variance activity in the tutorial. The positioning content includes the constant thinking of marketing your product. It’s not just something you focus on at the end, but it is something that you focus on in the beginning, middle, and end. What is different? What is new? Are you giving more? Or are you giving less?

Since the creative industry is such a competitive world, it is important to try and be different and stand out.

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This is some things that I really need to consider for my career. I want to be recognised, so I need to be different. I also need to take into consideration the competitive variance activity. I never would have thought about it on an axis scale, until now. So is my product going to be less but different? Or is it going to be more and new? This is something that I can use when marketing myself as a designer.

An article by Igor Ovsyannykov called “9 Habits of Designers Who Stand Out” is pretty much a marketing technique its self. He is encouraging people to do these 9 things so they are recognised, this is a way of marketing ones self. The main points that are really relevant that he discusses are not being afraid to experiment and thinking about what you want to be known for.

To succeed and be recognised, I really need to start thinking about what I want to be known for, what is going to be so different about my designs or my work ethic compared to other designers? I need to start marketing myself as well as my designs.

Bibliography
Lightbulbs [Image] (2015). Retrieved December 9th, 2016, from http://evironhealthdrink.com/wp/?p=1962
Outside the box [Image] (2014). Retrieved December 9th, 2016, from https://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/thinking-outside-the-blue-box/
Ovsyannykov, I. (2016). 9 Habits of Designers Who Stand Out. Retrieved from https://creativemarket.com/blog/9-habits-of-designers-who-stand-out

 

“Social Media & Your Career”-a reflection

This weeks lecture was all about using social media to promote yourself.

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I found it really interesting to hear about using a social media platform in a way that I wouldn’t usually use, by setting goals to achieve an outcome. Discussed in the tutorial was a way of setting these goals to achieve an outcome, which was using the 5 W’s and 1 H. Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

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Who am I going to follow? What am I going to post? When will I post something? Where am I going to post it? Why am I posting it? How do I want to be seen?

When I started to make a social media page for my designs and connecting to people, the first thing that I had to do was to choose which social media platform I wanted to use, so I had to look at the ‘where’ aspect of the 5W1H. I chose to post things on Instagram. I found that being a graphic design student, Instagram was the best social media platform that allowed me to showcase my work while adding a little description and being able to comment on other creators work. After I chose my platform it was then time to answer the other questions, this helped me to set goals. I want to follow other people in my field and also in other creative fields, I want to post things that I have created and also things that inspire me, I want to try and post something every week and I ave to keep in mind what time I am going to post things, I am posting things to be seen, and how I want to be seen by others is professionally but also revealing who I am as a person.

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I had no trouble figuring out all of these things that I want to do with social media because I am a very pro-social media kind of person. I think that using social media to promote yourself is a smart thing to do in todays day and age since just about everyone uses it and it is where a lot of people get discovered. It was really interesting to hear everyone else’s ways in which they are going to approach the 5W1H, especially those who aren’t so eager to use social media. It kind of astonished me the amount of people who are so against the use of social media. They don’t like it for many reasons like bullying or being a waste of time, it is really interesting how social media can effect everyone differently.

Now that I have set my goals, I need to actually do them to achieve my outcome. Using social media, especially Instagram, for my work is just one of the many ways that I can use to be seen by the world.

Bibliography
Comic One [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from https://au.pinterest.com/pin/258534834829319590/
Comic Two [Image] (2013). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from http://www.discoveringidentity.com/2013/03/22/social-media-balance-or-lack-thereof/
Comic Three [Image] (2012). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from http://tech.david-cheong.com/are-you-living-in-the-internet-infinity-loop/
Keep Calm [Image] (2014). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-i-m-not-a-robot/
Social Media [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from http://3riversmarketinggroup.com/portfolio_page/social-media-marketing-for-tourism/
Who, What, When, Where, Why, How [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from http://www.123rf.com/photo_4612821_a-simple-mind-map-with-questions-what-when-where-why-how-who–to-solve-a-problem-posted-with-colorfu.html

“Your Income & Your Art”- a reflection

This whole weeks lecture really drew me in just from the title. I found it interesting to learn all the different ways that workers in the creative industry actually make their money. I always knew of the typical working for a company or freelancing, but i had never even thought about others like having your own studio or crowdfunding. It was also really interesting hearing that different parts of the creative industry, like audio for instance, have the same ways they can make money as designers but also have a few extra paths that designers wouldn’t usually take.

When I think about my career after graduating I always saw myself working for a company as an employee, sitting at a big desk in a meeting portraying my ideas.

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I had also never thought about the fact that creative industries all intersect with each other. So as a designer I could be working in any other field creating design aspects of their projects. Ever since that was mentioned I have thought non-stop about all of the possibilities that I really have. I was always so scared coming into the creative industry because people would always say things like “thats a hard industry to get into” or “there aren’t really many jobs out there for that” when really there are endless possibilities. Something that I have mostly thought about is where I want to be working, and since music, along with design, is another passion of mine, I would absolutely love to be working in the music industry. Whether it be making album covers, working at a music magazine, at a radio station, but the one thing that I would absolutely love is making posters for festivals. Music festivals are incredible and whenever I look at any festival poster I think “that’s what I want to be doing”. They’re just so aesthetically pleasing to me.

Although freelancing is something I have been doing a bit of while I started my design course, I feel like it isn’t really for me. Freelancing or having my own studio also has its pros, but I feel like I need more experience to pursue this career path, and there also wouldn’t be a steady income if I chose one of these ways to work.

Although they both have their pros and cons, I guess it just comes down to what is more important to each person. A steady income? Or being a big hit?

As a steady income is something that I consider a priority, working for a company as an employee is still something that I would rather do than being a freelancer.

Bibliography
Beyond the Valley [Image] (2016). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/musicnews/s4515188.htm
Festival of the sun [Image] (2016). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/festival-of-the-sun-adds-new-acts-2016-lineup/
Lost Paradise Festival [Image] (2016). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from https://twitter.com/lostparadiseau/status/763603004452896769
Mountain Sounds Festival [Image] (2016). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from https://www.generalpants.com.au/gp-blog/mountain-sounds-festival-2017
Wonderland Festival [Image] (2016). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/wonderland-festival-2016-lineup-announced/
Working at an agency [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from https://www.roberthalf.com/creativegroup/need-work/career-resources/agency-life/what-is-it-like-working-at-an-agency-in-the-creative-industry

 

User Experience

User experience (UX) is something that is really important when it comes to designing a website. In Steve Krug’s (2014) book he explains that the one thing to always remember if nothing else, is to “Don’t make me think!”. Basically he thinks a website should be self-evident from the minute you open the page, you should be able to know what it is and how to use it.

Some people when designing a website may ignore user experience or think it is a waste of time, but it really is important to keep in mind that someone will be using this website. They will want to navigate around the site easily, and also keeping in mind the design, its important for them to be able to read things clearly. When we did our survey while designing a website for an assignment, it became quite evident to me that getting feedback on all different stages of designs for users is as equally important as creating the website.

References
Krug, S. (2014). Don’t make me think, revisited (1st ed.). USA: New Riders.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a method that people use to improve the visibility of their website and content when people search for certain keywords. Because the internet is becoming a huge part of our lives, businesses started to utilise SEO to advertise their websites for business growth (Visser & Weideman, 2014). SEO is something that WordPress also offers.

Visser and Weideman (2014) describe SEO as “an online marketing strategy”. Since the internet is commonly the place to go when searching for somewhere to eat, someone to cater at your party, or someone to design your logo, using SEO is really one of the best online marketing strategies to use. If someone is searching for someone to design something for them, I would love for my website to be the first thing that pops up on their search engine. As I aspire to sometime in my career have my own studio or be a freelancer, SEO is something that would benefit greatly to me, and other smaller businesses as these make up approximately 95% of all businesses in a majority of countries (Visser & Weideman, 2014).

References
Visser, E. & Weideman, M. (2014). Fusing website usability and search engine op misa on. SA Journal Of Information On Management16(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.577

 

 

Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems (CMS) are a way for people to use and create a website without actually having to do any of the coding, they just sign up and start adding in the content, like WordPress!

They have become very beneficial for anyone that just wants to blog, or make a small website for their business. It takes the hassle out of having to hire someone to create a website for them and having to also stay in touch with that person if they wish to change anything about it. That saying, it is also taking these jobs away from people who love to build and create websites.

Although CMS are great for getting content out there on a smaller level, they would not be very beneficial for a larger company. For larger companies, someone that is actually hired to take care of the website and coding of the site is crucial.

Web v Print

There are many differences and even some similarities between web based design and printed design, some differences being the colour space, document setup, and layout (which could also be similar). The most different thing between the both that I absolutely love about printed designs is that they are more tactically interactive.

You can add things to printed designs like textures, embossing, and printed effects that just don’t do justice when displayed on a screen, you actually need to touch it to experience it.

On the other hand, web based designs are really versatile and things can always be changed, unlike print where once its out, its out for good. With new technology emerging and people discovering new ways, webs are beginning to become more interactive too. This can be seen through websites that have parallax scrolling and use other methods to boost user experience like adding audio and videos.

I think it really comes down to what people prefer, like reading books on an iPad or through paper, they both have their pros and cons.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design, or RWD, allows a website to respond to the different sizes of screens being used by users while keeping the same look and feel of the website (Firdaus, 2013). I believe that a responsive web design is crucial for any website to have. While I was doing a user experience survey on devices used, it was apparent that all devices from mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop are all used by all different people.With all of the different technology out there and all of the different devices that so many different people use, websites need to be able to adapt to these sizes, and RWD allows this to happen.

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On the design side of things, I really like how RWD adapts and changes depending on the screen size being used, if you’re on your computer right now, drag your browser size around and you will see how it changes. I really love this concept of web design and I hope to be able to use it in any website that I create.

References
Firdaus, T. (2013). Responsive web design by example beginner’s guide (1st ed.). Birmingham: Packt Publishing Limited.