Thursday, June 2, 2011

I've moved

I've moved my blog to my website

Come on over and check it out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Design with a side of Slaw

I admit it I’m a BBQ-aholic and a sucker for good design. Recently, I have started to combine those two passions and have found they have a lot in common in their methods and approaches.

When getting ready to BBQ and design you need to follow a few steps:
1. Plan ahead
2. Prepare
3. Use the right tools
4. Expect surprises
5. Adapt
6. Present the final product

1. Plan ahead
Before you start to BBQ you need to plan ahead. You need to know what you’re cooking, who you’re cooking for and the amount of people you’re cooking for.

In design you need to do the same. You need to know what you’re creating, who your audience is and how big your target audience is.

2. Prepare
Once you know if you’re cooking brisket, pork, ribs or chicken you have to procure the items in the correct amount for the number of people you’re feeding and then prepare it, whether that is trimming the meat, marinating it, rubbing it or whatever.

When you design you have to create sketches, decide colors and prepare copy, along with other things. If you do plan and prepare it makes the whole job much easier.

3. Use the right tools
This one should not be a big surprise.

If I’m smoking 32 pork butts for an event I know I’m not going to use my little backyard smoker that can hold, maybe, six pork butts. Or if I’m cooking for family I’m not going to fire up the huge smoker that can do 32 butts.

If I’m creating a presentation I’m not going to use Indesign or Illustrator, I’ll use Keynote or PowerPoint. If I need to create a brochure I’m not going to use Word, I’ll use Indesign.

Using the right tools will save you time and energy as you don’t have to work as hard when you do.

4. Expect surprises
When I BBQ I always expect something will happen that I didn’t think of. I might not have enough wood, the cooker isn't heating up as fast as I would like, it's raining, or a myriad of other things. Each surprise that happens can effect the time of the cook and the outcome. Planning ahead helps to minimize this but some things are just out of our control and you have to adapt.

In design the client might change their mind, give you the wrong copy or specs, the wrong logo or the wrong images. Again planning ahead can help mitigate these problems but if they do arise you need to be able to be flexible enough to change things and adapt.

5. Adapt
When surprises happen you have to adapt your plan. You may even need to call in help. If your cookers temp is too low due to weather you can add more fuel to stoke the fire. If you find your temperature is too high you know your cooking time will be shorter so you need to plan what to do with the meat if it's done early.

Over the course of a project ideas and needs can change and as a designer you need to be ready to adapt your design to those changes. To correct things the client wants. Design is not about you and your body of work but about what the client needs and wants.

If you receive the wrong specs you can rescale everything to a larger or smaller size. If you have the wrong colors you can change them out.

Communicating with the client will help to ensure you have what you need and also help to make sure the project is exactly what they need.

6. Present the final product
Once the BBQ is made you have to serve it up. When cooking for family it is a simple, put it on a plater or in a bowl and let them at it. If you are doing competition you have have to present it and depending on what type of competition will determine your presentation. In one type you have to serve the judges at your cook site, show them your cooking process and give them a dinning experience. In another, you have to send the meat into a panel of judges placed in a standard box so it looks nice.

Once you have your final design you need to present it to the client. Depending on how you and the client decide it should be presented you may need to mount it on matt board, send them a PDF or give them a color digital proof. But whatever way you do it, it needs to be professional and ready for their sign-off.

As you can see both BBQ and design processes share much in common. Part of the pleasure I find in design and BBQ is the process you have to go through to get to the final product. Each part gets you a step closer to the final and once you get there you can enjoy it and know that you have a job well done.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's on your shelf?

Recently My wife and I did some rearranging in our game room. We wanted to move some bookshelves around to make some more room and change where the tv was located. This meant removing all the books off the book shelves and going through them.

We removed a few to donate to local libraries and other places which made more room for the books we kept. It made it possible for me to have a graphic design book shelf where I can actually see what books I have.

I have two binders from HOW Conferences which are full of great info I like to refer back to. The next book is Political Graphics which deals with WWI to cold war era propaganda.

I have two versions of the GAG pricing and ethics guides. These are always useful when trying to price work or needing a contract or other form a designer or artist would use.

Next is a Logo Lounge book, I wish I had more of these. These are great reference materials to see what logos are out there and also to see some of the best logos being produced.

Then there are the two books by Von Glitschka. One is a texture book the other a pattern book. Both are great and they come with a DVD of art you can use in your work, not to mention Von is a pretty cool guy.

There are two books by Jeff Fisher one on identity design and the other on how to run your freelance business. Both of which he has been doing for years.

The other two books I will mention are the Caffeine for the Creative Mind and Group. These are great to get you out of a rut. If your stuck and need a fun project that will help you to think differently about things these two will do it. If you work with a team you can use them for team building excersizes.

The rest of the books are ones that I have found interesting or useful in growing myself as as designer. There is also a section of notebooks and sketch books containing ideas from over the years.

So what's on your shelf? What books have helped you in your design career or have inspired you? Leave a comment about them.