Journey of a Graphic Design Intern

My name is Nadine Purdy and I'm a graphic design student from NSCAD University in my last year of a four year degree (well kinda). I've landed myself a fantastic internship at a growing firm and decided to keep a log of my day by day activities and all the rich educational experiences I've obtained.

This is a journey of a student becoming a professional.

Feel free to contact me:
purdynadine@gmail.com | 902.403.3065
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Posts tagged design

Design & Precedents

Would you buy a computer without shopping around? Would you take the first tomato without giving a few the squish test? No… I didn’t think so..

So why wouldn’t you look for relevant precedents when designing a logo? This is one of the first things I do when starting a new logo or business card or really this can be applied to everything worth designing. Find out what prominent paradigms are out there!

The first brand I did which I can now make public. Wired Flare is a company that specializes in making an online presence on the internet for clients. I designed the logo to reflect the dialog of writing and the social media app world.

Design brief below:

COLOR: Red was chosen for a number of reasons. First, the client uses a metaphor relating to fashion when describing their business. Red is trendy, represents the competitive, and passionate - yet feminine - aspects of their business. Red is seen as intense, complementing the rapid online presence which Wired Flare creates for it’s clients.

SHAPE: Speech bubbles are used to represent conversation and speech. Wired Flare is in the business of talking about other businesses online, as well as starting conversations around your business.

The speech bubble is treated like an app icon commonly used for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and many other social-media applications. Wired Flare deals with all aspects of the Internet; this look helps to identify the company as a user of these specific social-media tools.

The “W” in wired was treated as an @ symbol to enrich the logo with online and conversional types of metaphors. Not only is the @ symbol used in e-mails, but also  in conversation on Twitter and on Facebook, It is associated with online media and the act of being connected.

The triangle in the speech bubble was borrowed from the negative space in the W (from Wired), in order to create a strong visual tension. This tension mimics a bolt of electricity (flare) - i.e., a sharp point which indicates that Wired Flare is bold and forward to the point, to immediately enhance your presence online.

TYPE: The font used in this logo is called Strasua having a tech-feel. Carefully placed
typography ensures harmony for the eye.

TAGLINE: The tagline is “you. online.” “you” is lowercase so that the viewer identifies with the word “you” as themselves. The lowercasing averts from complexity and keeps the tagline crisp. “online” is in small caps to make a strong solid stance.
Keeping the tagline simple indicates that the viewers’ role with Wired Flare is
simple, while the contrast of Wired Flare’s logo shows the loud result of your future
online presence.

Vector Tips is the best place for professional illustrator tutorials. 

Soooo I just completed my first stab at a branding/logo project for a client. Our client meeting is Monday to reveal what I have come up with. I obviously cannot show the logo as its confidential until public but I’m extremely excited about the outcome. This has been one of my favorite  branding projects to date. Its loaded with secondary meaning and carefully placed typography. It worked out perfectly and I can’t wait for the client presentation.

I’m still a Student

Sometimes I forget I’m still a student and that it’s okay not to know how to do something. Just take the time to learn how, or I’ll just keep pushing on with my limited skills taking twice the time. Taking a moment to learn how to do something may take longer at first but It’ll save you ooodles of time down the road.

Branding 101

I was privileged to sit in on an informal branding discussing process where my boss asked out client a series of questions regarding their business, services and products offered. I took notes during the process. Over a course of time I was able to see the client opening up and look at their business in a totally different way.

I realized that if you have a business you need to focus on what service you provide that is unique to the rest of your competitors and really market it. Like in design, you should have a focal point and stick with it. The rest of your services are like add ons. Or you could think of it as your main service as the software and the other services are software upgrades to the program you previously purchased.

This obviously only works for certain types of businesses, however its a metaphor I can’t get out of my head. I keep seeing shelves of bright candy colored Adobe packaging and The Sims 2 furniture add-ons.

Important things to know when branding a client:

a) Name - why did you choose your business name?
b) Tagline - do you have one? if not b) what would it be?
c) Target Market?
d) What is your KEY SERVICE? (this ones an eye opener)
e) What services do they offer?
f) Long term goals (1yr plan, 5yr plan)
g) Marketing? What have they been doing to market themselves?
h) Who are your competitors?

Your name can say one thing, but a tagline is essential to give more information about what you do. Having a conversion around the above questions really help you and your client understand what their branding direction needs to be.

February 10, 2011

All I have to do today is edit a million things, and by a million things, I mean two files and maybe construct a few ads. However they will likely take all day and most of my creative juices.

My boss just showed me a few mail outs they did for a car company a while back, They all seem to follow a similar paradigm. I’d like to take a stab at something of this sort as I know I’d struggle with it at first.

My Great semiotics professor said: “If your going to design a beer label, the first thing you better do is go buy a bunch of beer and analyze their labels!”

I also noticed that all real estate agents put their portrait on their marketing material!

Fact: I don’t know how to illustrate well - but illustrator was doing the trick untill my boss showed me a few tricks in photoshop which now made me 90% comfortable in the program. I constructed a chemistry inspired cover complete with philanthropy inspired charity app icons. The balance of marketing elements such as social media and advertising have various outcomes, some explosive and some non-receptive. What outcome has yours had?


Photoshop comfort: 90%

NEXT PROJECT: (pumped about this one)Design the next issue of our networking magazine from front to back. Its now in my hands! The fate of this 32pg magazine is on top of me and its an important issue revolving around philanthropy & marketing your business. First thing I did was learn how to say philanthropy: (Fl-lan-thruh-pee) Check.Next thing was to learn what it means, and so on. After exhausting myself with internet searches and image grabs I cam to the idea of marketing nowadays and how we use social media religiously. From the very begging I was sketching twitter birds and app icons in giant jumbles of information. My boss took me out for lunch to have a conversation regarding the cover… Within 3 min of looking at my sketches, we had the concept. YAY!I now have to become and illustrator overnight.

NEXT PROJECT: (pumped about this one)

Design the next issue of our networking magazine from front to back. Its now in my hands! The fate of this 32pg magazine is on top of me and its an important issue revolving around philanthropy & marketing your business.

First thing I did was learn how to say philanthropy: (Fl-lan-thruh-pee) Check.
Next thing was to learn what it means, and so on. After exhausting myself with internet searches and image grabs I cam to the idea of marketing nowadays and how we use social media religiously. From the very begging I was sketching twitter birds and app icons in giant jumbles of information.

My boss took me out for lunch to have a conversation regarding the cover… Within 3 min of looking at my sketches, we had the concept. YAY!

I now have to become and illustrator overnight.

NEXT PROJECT (and the most exciting!!)
Is the generation of a PDF presentation for a client baced on a previous presentation. I first learned that you can export a PowerPoint into PostScript file which is accessible by illustrator. You then can rip images out of these files with some minor photshop adjustments. I then was to create a 51 page presentation with a template background created by my boss and the rest was mine to play with. My first go at it was basic, I had the info in the right place with new illustrations and images. I however failed to play with it and put my stamp on it.
I purchased new shoes that night to feel better about it and the next day presented a esthetic that really worked with the clients needs and will likely carry on with the project. A+

NEXT PROJECT (and the most exciting!!)

Is the generation of a PDF presentation for a client baced on a previous presentation. I first learned that you can export a PowerPoint into PostScript file which is accessible by illustrator. You then can rip images out of these files with some minor photshop adjustments.

I then was to create a 51 page presentation with a template background created by my boss and the rest was mine to play with. My first go at it was basic, I had the info in the right place with new illustrations and images. I however failed to play with it and put my stamp on it.

I purchased new shoes that night to feel better about it and the next day presented a esthetic that really worked with the clients needs and will likely carry on with the project. A+

January 9th 2010 - FOLDING 101

9am

Task One: Meet boss at the printer and help fold large sheets of magazine spreads (50 to be exact) into the perfect size for stapling/cropping. We needed 50 copies of our networking magazine for the event which was starting at 10am. The prints were hot off the press but they obviously weren’t constructed in time. It was a humorous start to my second day.

Task two: Talk until my face hurts @ our mingling event with various professionals and business owners from our area. I met some fantastic people as usual. One person in particular (not to pick favorites) had some great stories about the time he was in music school, then became a Rockstar, and now a finical adviser. I also later was asked on a date from an attendee however I politely declined.

In October the idea of skipping out on my last studio class at university and interning for a firm was quite desirable. I did some talking, did some research, made some calls and and bookmarked a few pages and then pushed it off to the side. I was busy working part time at a local coffee shop, freelancing at night and pushing through classes with a lower than normal course load in order to keep my sanity. During the search a friend referred me to a website to a firm where his buddy works, I was interested in their work, however the idea of sending a cold-call email didn’t seem tasteful.

~

My journey officially began on December 8th 2010 at the local Chamber of Commerce Christmas trade show. I was there promoting one of my clients who I continuously work for and happened to talk to the right person at the right time. There I introduced the product I was representing to the lady from the Sales Department with in the firm I had originally looked up - My interest in promoting my client fell short and I began to sell myself. I later ran into the Manager of Operations at the same firm, where I continued to sell myself, I was quite persistent.

~

The next day the lady from sales fulfilled my promise and I was invited to their Christmas open house the following Friday - I went. I networked with the guests present and I got an interview for the following Monday after meeting the designer.

Not only did I get the internship but much more than I had originally expected. I walked out of the interview with my head in the clouds, confidence in my work and one heck of a early Christmas present.


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