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A notable theme in Jay-Z’s book Decoded is objectivity, defined as “a focus on external reality.” In fact, this objectivity is a major difference between graphic design and traditional forms of fine art, which can be subjective without contest.
Our messages must give people what they need in a way they didn’t expect, while looking holistically at the client’s message. As designers, do we resist the urge to take a message at face value? Or simply absorb and move on, cranking out a predictable solution?
Though very different than graphic design, the music industry is deeply rooted in story telling. There are many supporting elements in this niche of the arts, but while comparing and contrasting the process, I think Jay-Z’s book deserves some
attention. His popularity and persona have been at the forefront of the rap scene for decades, and the release of his book is another way of gaining access to his charisma. Check out page 57 for the real story behind "99 Problems" - pretty interesting.
DESIGN READING: Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein describes his stumble into the weird world of memory mastery. What began as a casual interest rapidly sucks him into an existential crisis. The more intrigued he becomes, the more stumped he is: “I didn’t have a clue how my own memory worked,” he says. Foer finds himself shadowing memory champions and chatting with neuroscientists, who, eager to persuade, turn him into the subject of numerous psychological and intellectual tests. He hears repeatedly, “Anyone can do it. It’s memorization. It just takes practice.” So he dives in, emerging one year later in the finals of the USA Memory Championship.What I found most interesting about Moonwalking with Einstein is how quickly we all dismiss our “half functioning” memory. I wonder what our profession would look like if we began to explore the full capacity of our memories, especially since a designer’s work is always referential. Are we aware of these points of inspiration? What role does memory play in the design process? And if “our memories are indeed improvable,” should we be spending more time on improvement?
I am a senior design student graduating in May, and for my final portfolio class, the professor is requiring us to print 100 letterhead and 100 envelopes of our identity for the final project.
We, as a class, find this to be excessive, and wanted to get the feedback of the professional design community.
Is 100 of each excessive, since as emerging designers we are most likely to change out identity in a short timeframe, or should we just suck it up and waste the paper and money?
As a recent grad, here's my opinion (for what it's worth): nobody cares about an identity. In fact, all of the interviews and informational meetings I've gone to have cared more about my personality and my work than any kind of overt "personal identity"
in the form of a logo. Why do you even need your own logo in the first place? The sentiment I've gotten from people is that the idea of a "personal identity" is overwroght and—quite frankly—a bit unnecessary in the long run.
What resonates more with people is a personal story. Who you are, where you're coming from as a designer, what your opinions are about things. Those matter so much more than some overdesigned narcissistic logo. Also: letterhead and envelopes? Really? If
you're going to design and produce something that you're actually writing on and mailing, you'd be much better off making a batch of thank you notes for your first interviews (I really mean that: I've sent handwritten thank you notes to each and every person
that has taken the time to sit down with me. It's a fantastic way to leave a good impression. You can even have some fun with it: http://bit.ly/HAI4Ay)
Want my opinion? Finish the assignment, but do it in a design that you'll actually use. If you can find a way to ditch the arbitrary "envelope & letterhead", all the better. I'd do business cards and thank you notes. You'll be using both of them
a ton soon enough.
No doubt you'll have to suck it up and do the asignment. You'll will, over your (hopefully long and successful) creative career find yourself working on projects you aren't fully invested in as an idea. You'll here professional designers claim they only
work on what they want to work on, but out of thousand designers, that's true for about... 5 at most. And they worked hard to earn that right. I'd through a business card (and maybe even a website) in there with the letterhead and envelope like John suggested.
I agree with John's point about a personal story being your true selling point. I've been on the hiring end of that equation and the person with talent + personality always gets the job over the slick portfolio + lame attitude candidate. Maybe approach this
project (and this may be your teacher's point in assinging it) as a branding exercise. Brand = story + identity. More to the point, your identity should communicate your story. I suggest taking the BRAND approach and see how far you can transalte your story
through design. That it will make it more interesting to work on and maybe give you nice "case study" versus "cool design" for you portfolio (always a much better sell). Hope that helps!
I agree with John. Great feedback :)
More than anything I think this is excessive from a sustainability standpoint. It's environmentally wasteful and quite simply irresponsible to ask a class to print out 100 copies each of something that will potentially be wasted (for reasons listed above:
evolving identity, lack of need), and depending on the number of students in the class, this can REALLY add up... These days we are able to share our identities digitally, and it's unlikely that a physical copy will be necessary 100 times before you're ready
to once again evolve your visual sense of self.
What is the general opinion of fiverr?
I'm a student designer. What is the average time that you spend researching/sketching for logo concepts?
US+ uses automated linguistic analysis techniques to suggest how you can improve your conversations with your loved ones.
Presenting Sponsor: Adobe
Woods once dreamed of playing in the NBA, but instead the 6' 10“ designer has reached new heights through his work for clients and teaching inner-city kids about the potential for design as a career.
Section: Inspiration -
branding, communication design, graphic design, K-12, mentoring, diversity, education
Without leaving the comfort of your chair, Andrew Blauvelt, chief of communications and audience engagement at the Walker Art Center, will take you on a virtual tour of Minnesota design at “Head, Heart, Hand: AIGA Design Conference.”
Section: Events and Competitions -
Conference , culture
San Francisco, CaliforniaJanuary 30 2014
Did you miss mad typographic scientist Ozed Ezer at AIGA/NY's event at MAD? See his mind- (and flesh) bending work here.
Shared in Inspiration by
St. Vincent/Tortoise concert posters