Thursday, April 24, 2014

Print Portfolio (04/25/14)

On my MUST DO NOW list of things to do this weekend was to decide on 10-12 items to put into my print portfolio. I am hoping that next week Professor Hastings will help me weed them out and choose my strongest pieces.  I needed some ideas of how to go about this process, since my favorite items are my animations and 3D models. How do I represent them in a printed portfolio? Professor Hastings suggested that I make a storyboard with them and that is what I did.  

But before I started I  went online and tried to get some  further ideas. In my research I came across something I found interesting. On No Plastic, I found an article titled “A Portfolio Book for the 21st Century”. In the article, Melissa Hennessey of Hennessey Represents, spoke about a member of her group, Sean Busher, who incorporated an ipad in his print portfolio. This allowed Busher to show his print work as well as his motion work without including a DVD or website url. The app was easily navigated and opens right up to his work. He also arranged it so that the  app was on the 1st page of the ipad and was the only app on the page. The structure of the portfolio/box was such that it had his print work as well as a spot for the ipad. It was quick and easy for the prospective client/employer to see not only his printed work but his motion work as well. I would also imagine that the ingenuity of his portfolio made a big impression. As of the time of the article, Sean Busher had not had to mail his portfolio ipad out to anyone, however the structure of the portfolio would allow for shipping. Melissa Hennessey stated that if they did have to mail it, they would just hope for the best that the ipad would be returned.

This to me was interesting simply because people continue to think of different ways to get their work noticed. Time is big factor. You want to show your work and impress your audience knowing that your audience has little time to give you. The newest technology available seems to be the way to go. DVD’s are no longer the standard way of showcasing a designers motion work, as websites became a more popular format. But I would bet that the idea of incorporating ipads or other tablets into portfolios will soon become the norm. Mailing the ipad seems risky and expensive, but who knows maybe someone will invent a cheaper, disposable tablet that can be used just for this purpose. Until then, I would consider using the print portfolio incorporated with the ipad for in person visits only.

Works Cited

No Plastic Sleeves. N.p., 1 July 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <>.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Portfolio Book Cover (04/11/14)

The weeks are going by quickly and I have a lot to accomplish. I decided to take out my No Plastic Sleeves book and I began to read up on making the portfolio book. The printed portfolio is a foot in the door technique that is used to spark further interest in me. A lot goes into it and I need to consider a lot of different options and designs. While the possibilities are endless I must come up with what I want my portfolio to say about my work and the type of work I would like to do. Reading the chapters about making the book got a little overwhelming. I decided I need to make a list of things I need to consider. First the book cover.

1. The cover design- The cover design is a means to get me noticed. It has to differentiate me from the rest of the crowd. At the same time my cover design must reference the type of work I want to do while keeping in mind my audience.

2. I was also reminded not to forget about the back cover. It should be an extension of the front.

3. Decisions on material of the book cover has to be considered. Its weight, size and texture as well as practicality are all things to think about.

4. Color. Color is the first visual component we perceive and can be the most memorable (based on Gestalt cognitive theory!” (54) It can establish the mood of the portfolio and needs careful consideration. A few specific colors for typography and the graphic elements should be used on the book covers and carried throughout the interior pages.

4.Iconography and Images can help describe your brand and give meaning to your work. It sometimes can give a period of time reference or a type of mood.  However you must know what is a part of public domain and what is not. Keep the copyright laws in mind.

5.Hierarchy should be used to give visual weight and balance to focus the attention to where you want it.

6. Negative space should be used as well as positive space. The authors write “to remember not to just plop pieces of work down any where”. (69)

7. Size and proportion has to be kept in mind. My best work will be in the book and must be supported by the design of the book cover. Keeping in mind how the size feels in the hands of the reader is important. The size and the weight of the book also will determine printing costs and costs for mailing.

8.Typeface can be a big part of the design of the book. Different typefaces say different things including mood. It is up to you. t can be fancy or simple or can be left out altogether. The authors recommend if using typeface to use something a lot out of the ordinary, but make sure it reflects your brand and it is not difficult to read.

9. The authors remind me to pay attention to kerning, leading and typographic rag.

10. Copy is very important. It must be concise, relevant and memorable. Use language that is not old and bland and doesn't use cliches. It is very important to make sure that the copy is free of any errors.

This is advice I will take while designing my book cover.

Works Cited
Volk, Larry, and Danielle Currier. No Plastic Sleeves The Complete Portfolio Guide For Photographers and Designers. New York: Focal, 2010. Print.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No Man is an Island (04/04/14)

In a little over six weeks I will be graduating from college. As much as six weeks I know will fly by it still feels far in the future. The reason for this is the uncertainty of my future, as far a job is concerned. For the first time in over 16 years, school will not be the constant known quantity in my life. A little terrifying, a lot exciting. Reading the 99U books about the “real world” of working has been of great interest to me. In these books I have learned real life working lessons that could not be taught in my college courses.

This week I concentrated on Chapter three of Maximize Your Potential. The theme of this chapter was collaboration and building networks. The chapter began with the John Donne quote, “No man is an island”. Working with others is part of life and part of having a career.

The chapter stresses a few main points. One it stresses the importance of asking for help when working on a project. Steffen Landauer suggests finding colleagues who you can ask for help and who will tell you the truth. He also suggests finding someone who will hold you accountable to meet your goals. He says that finding the right person may take some work and he even suggests that you may have to audition people for the position. Mostly he says do not be afraid to ask for help. The worse that can happen is that they will say no. I will continue to repeat that- the worse that can happen is someone will say no. Another point chapter three stresses is that when collaborating on a project it is wise to have some honest and sometimes awkward conversations up front. Michael Bungay Stanier points out that pitfalls when collaborating on projects is inevitable. Discussing work habits and ways to deal with possible future work related differences, will help avoid derailing a project.

Chapter three also stresses the importance of networking and building these networks of people. To me this seems like the hardest thing to do, yet I know one of the most important. It is not simply a matter of meeting people but it is also a matter of keeping up these contacts, so that you can call on them in the future. So many opportunities come about from networking. Sunny Bates suggests that you bring into your network all types of people from all different areas of life. Reach out to people who you admire. Bates suggests that people are flattered by this, she writes, “professional love letters work.” (154) She also writes, “You want to focus on pulling in people who you believe will have your interests in mind for the long haul and also people across a wide enough range-so that you won’t have to go back to the well over and over again with just a few people.” (156) The important thing to keep in mind when networking is, that nothing will happen if you don’t try and you don’t ask. And again, the worse that can happen is someone will say no. Finding a job will almost always rely on networking. Being generous to others when you are on the other side is also something to keep in mind. What goes around, comes around.

I am focusing again on “no man is an island”. As a student for the past 16 years, I have learned a lot about my work habits. My learning style has made it easier for me to work at my own pace and in my own time. A habit that will be hard to change but I know I can and will.  Also, perhaps from my learning style, I have been very fortunate to come across so many people who have been more than happy to help me. It is because of these people in my life that I am not afraid to ask for help, something I hope will be beneficial to me as I start my career.
Works Cited

Glei, Jocelyn K., ed. Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build An Incredible Career. Las Vegas: Amazon, 2013. Print.