Presentation of Design Solution. My Final Entry

Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership

This class was essential in helping me narrow down what type of mastery I could achieve. It also gave me a sense of inspiration of the different paths people take to become a master, such as the  Darwinian strategy of finding a perfect niche for yourself and how creating a new market for yourself comes when you take the time to master one field over another. “You have freedom to roam, to pursue particular questions that interest you. You set your own agenda and command the resources available to this niche. Unburdened by overwhelming competition and politicking, you have time and space to bring to flower your Life’s Task”. (Green, 2012).

Another thing that resonated with me in this program is to avoid the false path, The rebellion strategy  “To realize as early as possible that you have chosen your career for the wrong reasons, before your confidence takes a hit. And second, to actively rebel against those forces that have pushed you away from your true path.” (Green, 2012)  An additional strategy I will carry with me, and my favorite from Green, is the Adaption Strategy.  Since I work in the business of Entertainment, where literally everything is in a constant state of evolution, this is something I will hold near and use often. “You don’t want to abandon the skills and experience you have gained, but to find a new way to apply them. Your eye is on the future, not the past” (Green, 2012)   

This is information I will take on with me in both my personal and professional development as a media designer.

Defining Client Needs

Since I was new to the world of design, this course really opened eyes to all the moving parts that goes into making a simple logo. This includes things such as a lot of research to mind mapping to sketching hundred of versions just to narrow it down to one . The main thing I will take away from this class for both my personal and professional development as a media designer is David Airy’s 7 Ingredients to a signature dish: Keep it Simple, Make it Relevant, Incorporate Tradition, Aim for distinction, commit to memory, Think Small, Focus on one thing.

Brand Development

Now this was an interesting class. I had never used Adobe Illustrator, so that was a great technical skill to pick up for my portfolio and personal use.  One thing that really opened my mind was the science of color theory, and how a simple choice can decide what what a consumer thinks of a brand.

Effective Copywriting

This pulled me out of my comfort zone again. This exposed me to some great ideas and concepts from George Felton’s Advertising, Concepts and Copy. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was another great takeaway. The most poignant takeaway for me, though, that I will try to apply in everything in my life is Steep yourself in information. Felton’s advice to “Become an expert in your client’s product and its category was also useful information to incorporate into my professional life. Get overinformed.” Is a competency I have taken to heart for life.  (Felton, 2013)  

Design Research

Now this class was great because it really helped me understand what goes into a rebranding process, including what City Reps and council members might have to do before they go about Re-Branding a part of a city or neighborhood.
For me this class was a lot of hands on learning, such as going to the neighborhood, interviewing people, just getting the feel of the current brand and view on the neighborhood. It really goes to show that you can only get so much from reading about a place.

Organizational Structure

This class was great. It showed me several different types of motion in media, such as Parallax, GIF, Kinetic typography. It also exposed me to new programs like Adobe After Effects. Even though I could not get a handle on After Effects at first, I was able to adapt and overcome, and use software I did know how to use, Keynote for my Kinetic typography project. This was a reminder that I will need to be flexible in the workplace, as well.

Design Strategies and Motivation

For this class my moto was Steep yourself in information

Felton’s advice to “Become an expert in your client’s product and its category. Get over informed” is a competency I have taken to heart for life.  (Felton, 2013)  
I was never a big fan of sushi & didn’t know the first thing about who or what would like it. So this class was a big learning curve for me as far as understanding the consumers

Design Integration

This class took everything that I learned from past classes to craft a brand, logo, vison board and much more for Box Park Sushi.

Multi-Platform Delivery 

When you work in the entertainment industry in film and tv, TV shows have Show Bibles full of information to keep everything within the series consistent. So during the course of this degree I was wondering is there anything like that for media Designers and this class answered my question fully with introduction of a Brand Guide

Measuring Design Effectiveness

The survey was a great tool to use because it help to broaden my view on what people can think about my brand and how it can help me craft a better. I also realized how a design can impact consumer behavior.

Presentation of Design Solution 

This month was mostly writing my thesis. This really helped me realize how far I’ve come in this degree program. I have mastered what it means to be a designer.  If you’re interested in reading my Thesis, here is the link.  
https://kjmurray2.wixsite.com/thesis-presentation

My experience map at my time at Full Sail

Presentation of Design Solution

The 4 DLO’S

The first takeaway from the Media Design program for me is that each of the four DLOs provided life-long competencies that will make me a subject matter expert, or Master, in the field of design.

Web layout Presentation

The second takeaway pertains to web layouts. I never realized, until this program, that there is actually a science behind enticing, appealing websites. In retrospect, it is laughable that I thought this was a completely subjective process.

Portfolio

This is one of the biggest takeaways for me. One of the key reasons it is such a huge takeaway is now that I am applying for internships, every organization I apply to wants to see one. I had previously invalidated the need for one. I thought my resume would speak for itself. Wrong. I applied to one internship that would not release an application until they saw an online portfolio. I will continue to make improvements and updates, but I now appreciate the value of a well crafted portfolio.

Mastery Reflection Measuring Design Effectiveness

Connecting/Synthesizing/Transforming

This month, research toward my media design was conducted mainly in the form of consumer survey.  This helped me arrive at the final work I presented, along with some cursory research of survey techniques found on the internet.   I Googled and studied “bad data visuals and infographics.”  My thought for doing this was that if I could understand what “bad” was, and see what went wrong, I could use that to my advantage and make better use of design principles.  Most of the data visualization samples I saw that were labeled as “bad” made use of charts that were difficult to understand or interpret.  Some of the charts also were, plain and simply, not easy to read.  In some cases, this was due to color choices, in others it had to do with fonts and typesetting.  I ran across the “good” works of designer Neil Patel, who is a world renowned marketer.  Forbes says he is one of the top ten marketers in the world.  Entrepreneur Magazine says Patel created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.   Patel, on his website, states that he has 12 tips that keep him on track when creating a design.  Patel says “create your infographic for your target audience.  Keep it focused.  Show things visually.  Promote it.  Make it easy to view.  Make it a manageable length and size.  Add white space.  Create a killer headline.  Focus on the flow. Check your facts and figures.  Cite your sources.”  (Patel, 2019).  I attempted to incorporate these elements into my infographic.  It was designed for my target audience.  I kept it simple with both the logo, and colors.  I kept the infographic focused, only utilizing the data from the survey.  Further, I tried to create a nice flow that showcased my research. 

Problem Solving

A design problem that had to be solved in my work this month was to evaluate a design project that was completed in an earlier class, while processing opinions from the target audience.  There were several ways I could have solved this problem.  I could have gone out and done in person interviews with target audience members.  Another course of action was to conduct an online survey.  I chose to conduct the online survey.  For the sake of expediency given the time afforded, the online survey was the best option.  Here is a screenshot of the information garnered from the 83 survey participants & a PDF below showing the results.

Innovative Thinking

The assignment I worked on this month, a survey, was not particularly innovative.  I say that because, as a novice, I am just learning how to utilize the basic elements of media design, such as survey tools.  I did not use a “new” tool, but I believe I utilized a “little used” tool.  I didn’t ask particularly innovative questions, nor did I seek innovative or unique answers.  With more experience, I will craft “better” questions that give a broader perspective on the matter about which I am seeking information.  One thing I may do in the future is research what tools other designers actually use when conducting surveys, particularly some of the larger agencies. 

ACQUIRING COMPETENCIES

Throughout the process of this course, I learned how to measure and understand the success of design campaigns I create.  I did this with a variety of techniques, and even software.  The software I used for my survey was new to me, but quite helpful.  I had never used Google Forms for anything more than sharing a word document. While in this course, I discovered it could be used for surveys. It was great to learn how to use the functions of their program for that purpose.  There were also a number of Occupational concepts learned during each week of the course that were quite beneficial to my professional development and growth.  As previously relayed in weekly Go To Training Summaries, they are.
Month TEN was being slightly restructured. Some of the information delivery methods from previous classes changed. This was important to know up front so that students could prepare and get maximum benefit from the new delivery method.  The research that we’ve already learned to do can be turned into surveys and questionnaires to obtain perspective from our target audience. 

The goal of this month’s survey was to create data visualizations from it, and obtain a perspective on the feedback from the target audience. The Hierarchy of User Needs came into play with this task, and was a great learning tool.  
As a media designer, I need to keep in the forefront of my mind how my work is communicating with my client.  The relationship between a designer and client depends on whether they can gauge each other and properly communicate their thoughts. 
Mood boards and other tools are great for allowing the customer a preview of the design to see if it meshes with their intended vision.  As a media designer, it’s important I stay in tune with current technology and trends, but it’s even more important I can accurately and adeptly communicate my client’s message to consumers.
Color, imagery, and text all create an energy in a graphic.  This is something I don’t always fully appreciate or keep prominently figured in my mind.  Sometimes, I focus subconsciously on only one area and forget about the others.  Discussing this in the Go To Training was a great reminder for me.

The information discussed about the Likert Scale, as it pertains to this month’s assignments.  The Likert scale typically includes five to seven balanced responses that people can choose from. When attempting to do a survey, this type of response is more “user friendly” to people than closed ended, yes or no, type questions.  It gives them the latitude to pic an answer a little more true to how they actually feel. 

Data Visualization can be something as simple as a pie chart. It is supremely important to utilize a visual aid that my client can understand when I deliver survey results.
Infographics are largely visual, and limited on text. As a designer, I have to become more adept at using less verbiage, and better, more impactful designs.
Infographics are a single visual and not multiple pages. 
My designs should have a flow so the document doesn’t seem static.  
Continuity is important.  In order to facilitate consumer comfort, familiarity and even brand recognition, there must be a level of continuity. 

Things on the vision board will become a part of the brand’s visual element. This includes shapes, colors, texture and characters.  Going forward, I will definitely be more thoughtful about what I’m putting on my static vision boards.
Overall, I have enjoyed this course.  One of the primary things I enjoyed was gaining different perspectives through research that was required.  I also enjoyed revisiting some work I had already completed and looking at it through a different set of eyes, so to speak.  This course gave me the opportunity to better understand certain technical aspects of the design process and apply them to my work.

One of the most valuable things I learned in this course was the subtle nuances and importance of paying attention to all the details, even the ones not visible.  This, in turn, is quite helpful in helping me to collect meaningful data in regard to media designs or even other projects I may be working on.  Learning how to formulate questions about design attributes effectively was a very important tool I picked up in this course. 

Fin

Mastery Journal Multi-Platform Delivery

Connecting/Synthesizing/Transforming

Throughout my work on these designs/assets, I was able to a wide variety of research.  Of course, there was secondary research, garnered via Google.  I learned many things, such as methodologies, market segmentation, competitor information, etc. The primary research, however, was most revealing about what makes BoxPark Sushi attractive to people.  I conducted in person interviews of sushi lovers at mall sushi bars, fancy upscale sushi bars, and even low scale gas station sushi.  I wanted to know what people found appealing, and what they deemed a turn off.  It was interesting how there were very few contrasting viewpoints.  In fact, there were nearly none.  For the most part, the “things that matter” mattered to most of the interviewees I interacted with.  Quality, preparation methodology, community and ambiance were high on the list of things that attract them to a particular sushi restaurant.  This was true for both high end and low end sushi lovers.  I was able to take what already seems to work and enhance it in an innovative way to outpace the competitors of the brand. 

Problem solving/
Innovative thinking

Two areas in which I really grew during this class.  There were a few design problems in my eyes that needed to be addressed.  One was determining the best way to convey the brand voice and tone without words.  Another was to encapsulate the brand mission and vision through design.  So, for the first “problem” of conveying the brand’s tone and voice, I had to craft something that would intrigue new customers, or focus on something that only spoke to existing customers.  I chose to find something that would speak to both groups because, ultimately, that is most beneficial to the company’s profit margin.  Additionally, the brand is about “community,” so to create something that was exclusionary, or focused only on one specific demographic, would run contrary to the notion that the brand offers something for all.  In order to achieve this, innovation of thought was a must.  A design campaign that simply incorporate facts and neglected innovation would be bland and unappealing, and could lead customers to feel that way about the product. Additionally, innovation was needed to separate this design campaign I was creating from the competitors. 

Acquiring Competencies

I learned a multitude of things throughout this process.  I enhanced my competency with InDesign.  I also sharpened my skills on Illustrator.  The following concepts were impactful to me throughout this course:

  1. Sell the sizzle not the bacon.  This concept resonated with me on many levels, and provided an “aha” moment of sorts.  I had been trying to sell the bacon with my designs but had neglected to see just how appealing and useful the sizzle was.  Thought I definitely feel this is a conceptual competency, the truth is, it is also academic, occupational and technical in how I will apply it going forward.
  2. For any color logo, you have to have a contrasting color.  This is both an occupational concept and a technical concept for me.  Occupationally, it’s just as simple as stated.  As a technical concept, it’s a little more complicated.  I recently took on a client who wanted colors that were not contrasting.  In an effort to appease him, I acquiesced.  What I produced was a logo that was really of not such great quality.  I should have explained to him the reason and “science” for the practice of having contrasting coloring.
  3. K.I.S.S:  This goes back to the old adage of “keep it simple, stupid.”  I will apply this as an occupational principle.  Many times, clients want lots of elaborate details, that just won’t reproduce will or convey their intended meaning. As a designer, I have to not fall into the trap of adding so much detail.  I have to keep in mind the context in which these designs will be used, and remember what details will be lost during use.
  4. Be consistent. This is an occupational competency.  As a new designer, it is easy to wind up “all over the place,” as you try to showcase various aspects of a brand.  But that is, no doubt, confusing and perhaps even off-putting to the consumer.  The best way to convey a message is through consistency.
  5. Start early.  This is both an academic and an occupational competency.  Starting at the proverbial eleventh hour makes one prone to rush, and thus not as detail oriented as they should be.  Whether at school or at work, it is best to allow plenty of lead time to develop and complete a project. 
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  This is both an academic and an occupational competency for me.  Particularly if something is unfamiliar, one has to be ok with reaching out for assistance, or the “mission” might fail.  Asking for assistance doesn’t mean asking someone to do your work for you.  It may mean asking for a tutorial, clarifying information, etc. 
  7. Practice makes perfect. This concept is both academic and occupational in nature for me.  Just because you watch a Lynda video, or someone reads you a set of instructions, that doesn’t mean you will complete a task with no room for improvement on your first go round.  The more you do any undertaking, the more “polished,” or better it becomes.
  8. A style guide is different than a design brief.  This may seem odd, but it is a conceptual competency I will take with me throughout the rest of this degree plan, and my professional endeavors.  It’s very easy to slip into the trap of thinking they are so similar that the client/teacher will never know that you substituted components of one for the other.  However, the integrity of the produced product will be compromised from alleviating steps or “taking short cuts.”
  9. Pick your words carefully.  This is both academic and occupational. Basically, I need to remember to use the most impactful words possible, as well as the least amount of words possible.  The most effective statements are made with powerful words, not long ramblings. 

Pictures throughout the course

Design Integration Mastery Journal

Connecting/Synthesizing/Transforming 

In one of my assignments from class, I had to discuss my takeaways for the month. This is absolutely the core of the concepts that most resonated with me this month. “I had a number of takeaways. One of the most prolific for me is that fact that research is important. One may think they know everything, but there is simply no way that can be the case. Even if you so, you’d only know it from your own perspective, and would need to see things from the other side of the coin, so to speak, in order to form effective tools to help a brand. Another key takeaway for me is that preparation takes time. For the most part, one cannot produce an effective media plan in the blink of an eye. Some thought and care must go into the plan in order to present the product or brand in its most appealing light. Which, ultimately, goes back to research being an important component. A third takeaway is that one must be ready to explain their logic and reasoning for choices. I live by the motto that no one can tell your story better than you can. Once you take on the task of producing a media delivery plan it truly does become your story, and people look to you as the subject matter expert for the reason particular choices were made and why the plan shaped up as you presented it. I will definitely use all of these insights as I move forward, not only in school, but in the workplace. “ (Murray, 2019)

Problem Solving 

Not just this class, but this entire program has been a challenge to every paradigm I held and things I thought I knew when it came to design. In the past I shunned, even ridiculed at times, in person research of subjects. I used to think why go through the trouble of talking to people when my own opinions were “good,” or I could access the internet. In retrospect, that’s silly. Additionally, the skills in my personal problem solving tool bag have expanded exponentially. This class has exposed me to concepts and resources that I have explored further, and will keep near for future use. When it came to design problems, I always looked at things from my own perspective. Now I have learned how to look from many perspectives. For this last project I did, the problem I was attempting to solve was the creation of an effective media delivery plan for BoxPark Sushi. I wanted to make the brand relevant and appealing for both the seasoned user, and the prospective user. Though my work may not be as innovative as, say, someone working at Pentagram New York, I think it was creative and a good start for someone green to the industry.

Acquiring Competencies 

I also learned some new technical skills. I was able to “play around” on InDesign. Previously, I typically would only use Key Note for certain projects. I took time over the Labor Day break to read up on the nuances of the program and learned ways to incorporate its usefulness into my presentations and work life. All in all, this was a great month, and I feel well prepared for the next class and project that I will take on.

Mastery Reflection Design Strategies and Motivation

  • Connecting/Synthesizing/Transforming What research did you conduct and utilize to arrive at the final work you present
    I did a lot of hands on learning going to different sushi restaurants & a lot of personal interviews of people who eat there & to get there own opinions about the place. You can only learn so much from a book, but what i did learn from George Felton (Advertising & Copy) book were great such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Settle & Alreck’s Shopping List of Needs.
  • Problem Solving—What design problem were you solving? What design problem does the medium you designed for solve according to the industry? How did you solve the problem? (***Remember—a design problem is not the same as a technical problem***)
    I tried looking into why you have “Gas Station Sushi” and what made the difference in “High End Sushi”. So i played with more then anything, making that a big selling point.  I thought there was pretty much only one way to kill a fish. I was wrong. Most “high-end” establishments use a method known as “ikejime.” This is thought of, by those who make sushi, as the “right” way to kill a fish. The fact that this makes for the freshest fish is indisputable. This method paralyzes the fish and drains it of its blood. As a result, the flavor and texture of the fish is preserved. Disrupting the brain and spinal cord with this method mitigates all the effects of biochemical reactions, creating a more flavorful fish than one might find at, for example, a gas station sushi vendor.
  • Innovative Thinking—How does your work compare to others in the industry? How did you approach the subject of innovation? How is your work innovative?
    Well since this class had a snowball effect of work, week 1 stacked on with week 2, to week 3 & so on there wasn’t much lean way on on my creative level and sushi is not my strong suit.
  • Acquiring Competencies—What did you learn overall throughout this process? Any new software? Techniques? Skills? Explain.
    I learned about the level of work that goes into creating a design briefing, your not always going to make stuff in Adobe, sometimes you have to use your words to get the job done.

Reflection
Overall this was a interesting class, i liked the hands on aspect on it the most.

Mastery Reflection Organizational Structures

Overview of the design:
I wanted to keep the running theme from last week, which was of exploration of the town. So, I made a showcase of S.E.H.A.D and all the reasons why people should get out of their homes and come see it. “Come and see the thriving, friendly community and newly refurbished Adobe Theater. Come and see what it’s all about” is the basic overview. I fine-tuned this just a bit from week 3. I spent some time on Lynda.com to see how to make more fluid, more appealing graphics. Purpose of motion style: There is no change from week 3. The kinetic typography served a few purposes. First and foremost, it was used to add interest and create a more compelling, educational story. It was also used to increase the entertainment value of the message. Use of motion style in real world application: I used it to weave historic facts into an appealing, educational message. It’s eye catching, and it keeps the audience engaged. That’s one of the main reason it’s used so much in the world, whether it be phone app, movie title, commercials, music videos & so on.

Rationale: Connecting, Synthesizing, and Transforming – What research did you use to arrive at your design conclusions? How did you synthesize it into what we see? How did you transform the research into the final design solution?

There are no real changes to the answer I provided in Week 2. However, I did incorporate valuable feedback from the professor about what makes a design innovative. I researched the video library the teacher provided. I also received mentorship from a friend at church who uses kinetic typography in the videos for services. Then I utilized principles and concepts I saw at play in both sets of work. I did, however, spend some time researching the Forbes database of articles on Motion Graphics. I also revisited some Lynda tutorials. I put those concepts to use by experimenting with designs and observing things in the “real world.” The book Animated Storytelling was another great resource on the “how to” of Motion Graphics.

Problem Solving – Clearly state the design problem you are attempting to solve with this graphic? (Remember a design problem is not a technical problem) How did you work to solve this problem? Does your design solve the problem? Why or why not?

How to convey a lot of information in such little time is a problem I solved during Week 4, and every other week of this course. As I stated in previous weeks, “I come from an acting background, so if you want to tell a story you just go out and make a show or write something using the least amount of words to convey the most meaning. However, to convey “come to S.E.H.A.D” in less than a minute was a challenge. Additionally, I had to address the design problem of Week one and Week two of trying to embrace historical significance while remaining modern and relevant. The key way I solved this was spending time with locals and seeing how they embrace both. Then I took their ways and beliefs and examined how modernism and history often embrace to other cultures and communities. It was interesting to hear and read stories of the Spanish explorers that came to explore the area, and how their descendants settled the areas, and brought their culture, which is still evident today. Words that are commonplace, originate from that time, such as Nopal, Arroz, and Carne, which are all favorite foods today. Traditions such as fiestas to celebrate are commonplace. Cities and areas that bear the names of these early explorers remain, such as Dona Ana County, San Elazaro, and Las Cruces. These early settlers often captured their history via paintings, just as their descendants still do. This all gave me a great sense of culture for developing the idea for my storyboard. After much scrutiny, my storyboard idea addresses this problem in a lighthearted, laid back way that is indicative of the culture of the area.”

Innovative Thinking – Looking at the research, examples of the style you selected already produced, competition, etc. How does your proposal create a unique experience for the audience? How is it innovative?

I wanted to have constant motion with the words, shapes. I wanted to have a contents flow & motion with everything. I believe the timing and rhythm I used is innovative, never having been done for this particular area of the country before. I stayed very true to the nuances of the area in order to showcase it. Interestingly, that hasn’t been done before.

Acquiring Competencies – What did you learn overall throughout this process? Any new software? Techniques? Skills? Explain.

I learned some of the intricacies of the world of Motion in media. I also developed an appreciation for, rather than learned, how motion is used in virtually every single thing we see. From posters, to movies to apps, motion is present all around us. I did learn motion is not just one simple thing. It comes in many different styles such as Motion Posters, 2.5 D Parallax, and my new favorite, Kinetic Typography. I also was able to pick up some skills with After Effects. I’ve experimented with it in the past, but never used it substantively for any project. I plan to continue to learn more about this program, and become fully proficient in it.

Story Journal

Week 1

Monday


On Monday June 3rd, I met a friend, Michael Rojero, at Starbucks.  He wanted my assistance in coming up with several designs for t-shirts.  I am glad I went.  This really pulled me out of my comfort zone.  I couldn’t just go off of what I thought best, as I usually do. I had to listen to Michael and understand his needs and vision for the designs.

Tuesday

Today, June 4th, I watched Godzilla in IMAX with a few friends & it was beautiful.  I’m a huge Godzilla fan, so seeing it in IMAX was thrilling.  The screen was large, and the lights and sound were great.  The music score, however, was the best part.  It helped me truly embrace the content before me.  The score also brought a tear to my eye, as it caused me to reflect upon all the hard work that goes into the creation of such a film.   

Wednesday


Today, June 5th, I attended Board of Directors Training.  I’ve been selected to be Vice President of the Board for the Entertainment Business Council, which will stand up in July.  We covered many topics, including what my specific duties would be.  This was a great meeting.  However, I must admit, I had several moments of distraction.  I was preoccupied with what my next assignment was for this class, when was it due, and what would I place on the Storyboard for this class. 

Thursday

On Thursday, June 6th, I woke up before the sun came up and headed off to Ruidoso, New Mexico.  Ruidoso is a tourist town, hidden in the Lincoln National Forest.  However, we did not go to be tourists.  We went to help a old widow do maintenance and repairs around her home.  Interestingly, she had forgotten she asked us up, and didn’t feel like too much company.  So, we bagged a few trash bags full of rubbish and pine needles, and a few other things, then decided to make the best of the day and picnic in the forest. 

We found a great spot near a riverbed.  It was here that I “met” a little bug who literally followed me around.  The bug’s behavior made me stop to think how the world must seem through his eyes.  It also made me stop to wonder how the world looks through the eyes of other people.  For a moment, I truly appreciated the fact that each individual experiences the world in a different way.  For example, I am color blind, so I know I see the world a little differently. This led me to think what would the works of Van Gogh, Michelangelo or Edvard Munch look like had they been color blind, as well?

Friday

On Friday June 7th, I met friends for lunch.  We talked about everything, but nothing in particular.  I was glad that we had the opportunity to meet up.  This lunch made me appreciate the little things in life, like friendship.

Saturday


On Saturday June 8th a friend of mine celebrated his graduation with a party.  He is moving about eight hundred miles away, so I made a special gift to remind him of “home.”  I used Illustrator in making it.  It is basically a logo for our city.  In most regards, it is quite simple.  But I know that he will look at it, and always give thought to where he came from

Summary:

One of the themes I noticed throughout my week that was a constant, was my appreciation for the “small” things in life.  Interestingly, the small things, to me, aren’t really small.  The simplistic things are really are truly the biggest, most important things for me.  I believe I had several different kernels for stories this week.  The interaction with the widow up in Ruidoso is definitely a story kernel.  My time at the river bed is another story kernel.  The bug interaction is a story kernel.  The laughter shared with my friends at lunch is a story kernel.  Even the way I felt as I moved out of my comfort zone to help my friend design shirts could be construed as a story kernel.  Each of these story kernels ties to my theme of appreciating the simple/small things in life.  I lead my life in such a manner every single day, so I suspect I just may have more story kernels that are similar in nature next week.

Week 2

On Monday, I saw Aladdin in theater.  It was visually spectacular for me.  In the past, I’d never been much of an Aladdin fan.  Mulan was “my thing” when I was growing up.  The new Aladdin, however, changed that.  The imagery was vivid, and seemed to literally call out to my attention span and capture it. There was one thing I wondered the entire time I watched:  How long did it take to render all the footage?  I could envision my Mac exploding, just at the thought of that. 

On Tuesday, I tried to flesh out my ideas from last week’s homework assignment a little bit more thoroughly.  I focused on the letters E and P.  I tried to make them more unique.  (E and P are the first letters of El Paso, Texas.  I want to use the letters with graphics embedded that portray the local culture.)  I need to figure out which program is best to use for this.  I’m vacillating between Illustrator and Photoshop. Both are great programs, and both have their cons, too.

On Wednesday, I had lunch with a longtime friend and her boyfriend.  We met at a pretty interesting place called Pieology. In a nutshell, it is like a Subway restaurant, only pizza instead of sandwiches.  We have known each other since elementary school, so we talked about all sorts of events that have happened and people we have known since then. 

On Thursday, I saw the new X-Men movie.  It was a great movie, in my opinion.  It diverged from the storyline in the comic book, but I enjoyed the creative license that was taken.  During the opening, I was trying to figure out which software was used to make the opening logos.  A little research led me to believe it was either Cinema 4D or After Effects.  I don’t know how to use either of them well, so I plan to learn soon. 

On Friday, I focused on homework.  I really focused on how to use motion.  Saturday was more of the same.

A recurring theme I noticed with me this week was “How?”  How was something done?  How was something made?  How was something completed or started?  How does one get better at one thing or another?  I think I can identify two story kernels.  My experience of watching X-Men and wondering how  the logo was made, and in which software.  I also think having lunch with my friend could make an interesting story. 

Week 3

Monday June 17,

Discussed logo design with Ben Leyva, a 2020 Independent Candidate for President. He had chosen green and purple as his colors, so I spent some time researching these colors and finding something more appropriate for him.


Tuesday June 18

Huge monsoon-like thunderstorm took place at night. So I just drew my mountain with the lighting trying to capture something in the moment

Wednesday June 19

Went to The Gathering (youth group) at my church. I noticed they used Kinetic Typography in the slideshow. And wondered how it was made.

Thursday June 20

I traveled to Los Angeles for the AT&T SHAPE Conference on the Warner Brothers lot. I took time to “smell the roses”.

Friday June 21

It was raining in Los Angeles. The weather was about thirty-five degrees cooler than in my hometown of El Paso, Texas. We went to a taping of a TV show Raven’s Home.

Saturday June 22

This was the first day of the SHAPE Conference. My group decided to see the speakers on Saturday and do the tours, etc on Sunday. The speakers were very informative. (This conference is a huge tech conference that focuses on impending tech trends that will impact the entertainment business in the coming twelve months.) The speakers I enjoyed the most on Saturday were Rooster Teeth and Tyra Banks, though they were all informative and enjoyable. Rooster Teeth and Tyra were captivating to me because they talked about how they started in the business and how research helped them succeed, along with knowing their audience, competition & yourself

Sunday June 23,

This was another day spent at the conference. I experienced a number of great, interactive exhibits and also did a tour of the lot. Though this was not my first time at this conference, or the first tour, I looked at everything from a different perspective. I looked at things from a design perspective. There was an interactive Game of Thrones exhibit, as well as an interactive story that immersed the user in the experience using AI. Looking at these things from a design perspective gave me, what I think, was a deeper experience that just going in to be entertained. I examined how things worked so that I could garner ideas for my own future projects. I paid close attention to the day’s speakers as well. On Sunday, most of the speakers discussed VR, AR, AI and the future of tech not only in the world, but particularly in the field of Entertainment. A few speakers really stood out for me on Sunday, especially the E-Sports speakers. The speakers that stood out most to me were PVPX from Cloud9 and Dimez, from Mavs Gaming. They talked about how they started and have maintained and progressed in their chosen field. What really stuck with me, though, was how they both reiterated the fact that you MUST know your audience. I also took away their assertions that you must stay focused, be persistent, and have a good support system. The other thing that resonated with me was when they both said, basically, you only get out what you put in. I felt this was pertinent and timely advice, no matter what your career field.

Week 4

Monday June 24,

I traveled back to Texas, taking in all the sights again. I really paid attention to how nature can be used for a media design project

Tuesdays June 25

We stopped in Arizona, and this really got my imagination going. I was thinking, what if each state had its own mythical creature. Arizona’s would surely be the Phoenix, and I believe Texas would be a sleeping dragon. I say this because while it is asleep, the world is quaint, but if forced awake by chaos, the world will shake, so to speak.

Wednesday June 26

I went bowling with friends. While there, I contemplated a new logo for the bowling alley. They have the same logo and other branding since I was in about the third grade. So, while there this time, I just wondered what could be done to update the look and make the branding a little fresher.

Thursday June 27

I met with my Full Sail classmates via Google Hangout. It was great to finally put a face with a name after six months of school together.

Friday June 28

I had lunch with a local Mastermind group that I helped start. The entire meeting was about seeing things differently and exploring the “what if.”

Saturday June 29

Homework day

Sunday June 30

Sunday’s sermon at church was a continuation of my last two weeks of seeing things differently. The subject was our connections with other people. Some great advice was given on how to see these connections differently so that they are more likely to flourish. I realized, thinking outside the box can apply to literally every aspect of life.

Summary

Throughout each day, the recurring thing for me definitely seems to be in line with Steve Jobs “think different” tagline. I’ve been immersed in opportunities to think differently. When I accepted the challenge, my world became more colorful. This is something I will continue to do. As for story kernels that came of my activities, there were a couple.
I think the most interesting would be my thoughts on mythical creatures for each state. Whether I created such creatures, or told a story of someone on a path to such work, this could be used a number of ways, especially for entertainment or marketing.
I also think the information I learned from the SHAPE Conference is a great story kernel. I experienced so much in those two days, I feel like it opens the door to endless tales. There was a plethora of information I gathered that would lead to design related stories on a technical level. However, there was also much information that would serve to entertain if told in a story.

Month 5, Design Research

Connecting/Synthesizing/Transforming—What research did you conduct and utilize to arrive at the design decisions you present

I researched the history of San Elizario, Texas’ historic district. I looked into what makes it special, and what it brings to the proverbial table. I compared it to its competitors, and I tried to understand what could make their area more alluring and stand out more to potential visitors.

Problem Solving—What design problem were you solving? What design problem does the medium you designed for solve according to the industry?

The design problem I was solving was staying relevant. San Elizario is busily working to figure out how its precious historic district can capture the hearts of visitors from beyond the area. The San Elizario area has typically relied on the Billy The Kid image to lure visitors. The Spanish and Mexican culture of the area, however, provides much more alluring aspects to draw visitors in. The Spanish and Mexican culture are also part of the every day life of residents. In pitching the area going forward, visual imagery should incorporate these more prominent aspects.

Innovative Thinking—How does your work compare to others in the industry? How did you approach the subject of innovation? How is your work innovative?

The work I will develop/have worked on for this area incorporates a mix of industry standard marketing concepts, and innovative ways to showcase the rich history and culture the region offers. Color schemes and taglines are key to this.

This a map of my downtown

Acquiring Competencies—What did you learn overall throughout this process? Any new software? Techniques? Skills?

This entire process has helped reinforce to me exactly how important research is. I previously did not fully appreciate that notion. I didn’t utilize any “new” software or processes, but I did, however, become more proficient at using the tools I already have available. Wanting to showcase this area in innovative ways caused me to look into functions and tools in the software I already have that I have never used before. I also learned that design plans don’t matter if you haven’t done your research.

Mastery Journal Reflection Effective Copy Writing – Online

This course has certainly been an interesting one for me.  I learned a number of things that will certainly help me in the years to come.  Prior to this degree program, I’d never made anything of what I’d consider “sellable” advertising quality before.  I’d mainly used Photoshop or Illustrator for personal projects.  Though I’d used my work in my own business, I’d never designed anything I would have considered sufficient for someone else.  I lacked trust in my abilities.  This is, at least in part, due to the fact that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and was never sure if my work was “good enough.”  This class in particular helped me to understand some areas I needed to explore in order to improve. This class also helped me better understand my strengths and weaknesses. 

While in this class, I enjoyed each project.  I had fun researching which company I would ultimately use.  I settled upon Canine Companions for Independence.  This company really resonated with me on several levels.  As a result of that, I decided it was a company I could design an ad for that would resonate with others. 

Everything in Felton’s book was quite informative.  I literally couldn’t stop pouring over it.  If I rested from it for any length of time, I wanted to get right back to it!  Part of the reason for that is because I was having a horrible time crafting a tagline for my chosen company.  The book was full of great theory and advice that would lead to the creation of a great tagline.  For me, I received the greatest insight when I got to the section on puns.  This segment of the book truly started the flow of my creative juices, so to speak.  It was difficult for me to come up with a paradox or parallel.  It was equally tough for me to use repetition.  It was very easy, however, for me to develop plays on words/puns.  So, I went with that tactic.  In moments, I came up with several. 

My biggest take away from the testimonial ad coursework we did is that they do not have to be elaborate.  Succinct and concise generally packs a far more powerful punch.  Prior to this degree program and this particular course, I almost always made very detailed, very elaborate designs.  I now realize that simple, clean and straight to the point is best.  The bottom line is to create something that is memorable. Chances are, the end recipient won’t remember the intricacies of a drawing, but the will remember a tagline or a feeling they received when reading or seeing the ad.  “Given all the celebrity testimonials, can “normal people” with an obvious relationship to the product be effective?  Absolutely.”  (Felton, 2013) From the reading, I also came to appreciate just how impactful a testimonial is in an advertisement.  Felton said “Find the heavy user and let that person demonstrate how great the product is.”  As I pondered that statement, I ultimately agree a great deal with that statement.  My own personal purchasing habits reflect an uptick when a sincere testimonial is given about a product or service I am considering. 

Target personas

First and foremost, I learned the significance of building a proper target audience profile.  Fortunately, my research for this was gathered with ease.  The company I chose had this information readily available.  Their research appeared to be quite thorough.  This was in contrast to their competitors.  For me, that showed that this company goes above and beyond in the things they do, and that was a selling point to me. It also identified an additional demographic to me, those who go above and beyond.  Athletes, first responders, musicians, etc.  This all helped me craft my Target Audience profiles.  If I know who I am talking to, I can tailor the delivery of the message.

 For example, I would not speak to a group of firefighters about the importance of having a fire extinguisher in the home in the same manner I would speak to a group of fifteen year olds.  Their knowledge of and prior use of the product are most likely very different.  Their ability to afford the product are different.  As the company I chose already engages in very (seemingly) strategic marketing, I continued that same notion in the personas that I crafted, as well.  As Felton states, understanding and identifying your target audience is one of your greatest assets.  (Felton, 2013)

Six types of testimonials

In this first design is a service dog and his owner offering mutual assistance to each other.  The owner is opening a can of dog food for the dog, while the dog holds the owner’s cane.  I believe this would fit well in the Just Plain Folk category. 

I have a business background.  (I earned an Entertainment Business degree from Full Sail.)  So, when I tackle any “problem,” I’m very analytical and strategic about it.  I always employ the five step model for problem solving.  That means I identify and analyze the problem.  Then I analyze a possible solution.  I develop multiple courses of action. Then, finally, I pick the one that is optimal.  This is the very process I used in selecting this design.  I had developed a number of other sketches, but this one seemed most optimal, and in tune with the company’s target audience, and self-described mission and vision statements. 

“For this ad, it is split down the center with two different colored backgrounds.  On the left side, there would be a black and white photograph of Dorothy and ToTo. On the right side, there would be an owner with their dog.  The heading would read “Adventure Awaits.”  This would allude to the fact that you can go on your own adventure no matter who or where you are.  I also considered using Lassie, or Rin Tin Tin instead of ToTo and Dorothy.  I felt Dorothy (Judy Garland) and ToTo were most widely known, however, and went with that choice.”

 The target audience for my company is full of adventure seekers, people who live life to the fullest, and those who go above and beyond expectations in most everything they do.  People like this typically look for credible endorsements of things they are thinking of buying or engaging with.  Oftentimes, that comes in the form of a trusted name or face, like a celebrity.  As the company deals with service animals, I chose a celebrity animal, ToTo.  Not only would that lend some credibility, but it would conjure up a visceral connection for most everyone, as ToTo is ingrained in almost every single person’s childhood in some form or fashion. 

When I first turned this in, I stated “This drawing was plain and simple.  I placed a person in a wheelchair.  Then I placed the dog watching the view by the seaside, next to his person.  The headline would be “The view is better together.”  Then there is information about the organization in smaller print to the side and at the bottom.” 

This was targeted to individuals who are “extreme users.”  Again, many extreme users fit the target demographic of the company.  I chose this design in particular because in married several elements into one, powerful image.  Adventure, travel, having a “buddy” to do life with…  I had tried these images separately.  I felt they became most powerful when tied together.  I felt this sketch to be a high value solution to my ad campaign needs.  It showed many faces of the product in one, concise way .Selling is about solving the customer’s “problems” or needs, and I felt this image captured the fact that this company can help you have adventure, find enjoyment in life and have a friend by your side.

This image is to be split diagonally, with an old black and white photograph of the first service dog, Buddy, and his owner Morris Frank on one side. On the other side, would be a current photo of someone else with their service dog.  The heading would say “Serving through the ages.”  The body text would be a short recap of various dogs who have been service dogs and affiliated with the organization I chose.  There will also be verbiage placed that outlines when the organization was established.  I designed this to meet the criterion for fitting in the Historical Figures category.”

I think the historical figure is important because it highlights the company’s track record.  It shows that this company has experience in solving the consumer’s problem and taking care of their needs.  It also shows that there is a company track record of being committed to things the consumer values.  Further, it shows the company delivers consistent value.  That is why I chose this design versus any others I had considered adopting.    

For the purpose knowing context, I must repeat that when I originally turned this in, I stated “In this design, I sketched a person with a wheelchair who needs assistance in opening the door.  The service dog provides said assistance.  The heading would read “Always lending a hand.” The body would include what sorts of assistance service dogs are capable of providing.  This would fall under Ironic testimonial because many people do not feel a dog would be capable of doing so.”

I felt use of irony was an important tool to use in targeting this company’s audience.  People who live life as the target audience of this company does- adventurous, going above and beyond, thinkers, planners- would appreciate the little details.  They are the type of people that will pay attention to what is there, and what is not.  They will understand meanings or correlations that others will not ascertain.  I felt shifting paradigms from the owner taking care of the dog to the dog taking care of the owner would resonate with this group.  I felt it would reinforce the value of the “product” offered. 

This sketch depicts a child and a service dog running/playing affectionately.  The heading would read “More than a friend.”  The body text would showcase the various types of service dogs.  Verbiage would also be in place to point out when you get a service dog, you are getting a new addition to the family.

First 3 ads

Secrets, ideas, reasons and facts help make headlines more enticing.  I tried to utilize that notion as I crafted my headlines.  Additionally, I incorporated Mr. Felton’s wisdom.  He declared “Nothing cuts through the crap and clutter of advertising better than a real, true fact about the product.”  (Felton, 2013) I also chose to use what I thought was simple, but powerful language.  I also did research to make sure that I did not simply parrot something a competitor was saying.  For the first concept, I showcased the “power” of having a service dog from my chosen company.  I highlighted the fact and concept that one of these dogs has been trained to be there to help, around the clock.  For the second ad, I showcased the fact that though you may need help, it doesn’t have to always come from a human.  My third ad showcased the fact that these dogs become a part of the family.   When it came to body copy, I focused on highlighting the deepest benefits to having a service dog from this company.  I also used friendly language and made solid promises that could, no doubt, be kept.  Most importantly, though, I was very clear in what I said the company could deliver, and what the user could expect.

Final 3 ads

One of the chief things I did to create a unique solution that met project expectations was to incorporate advice I received from my professor.  I removed the colored boxes that I had the fonts resting upon.  I did this in an effort to make a more coherent and flowing ad, as opposed to a “blocky” one.  I also added two of my top three taglines from the discussion board to the ads.  I feel this verbiage was more visceral than what I had first used.  I also went for a less serious ad, opting, instead, for a much more light-hearted concept.  I used puns.

My final takeaway’s from this class

For me, the biggest takeaways were something I already knew.  However, I gained a much deeper appreciation for these concepts in this course.  First and foremost, I learned that less is more.  Being concise and succinct packs the most powerful punch.  My second takeaway was you need to have an understanding of your target demographic if you wish to appeal to them.  And thirdly, there is much merit to the mantra “make them smart, not just pretty” when it comes to taglines.  We live in a world where people are inundated with many graphics and pleas to buy something.  So, society has become adept at tuning out most of that “noise.”  As a designer, that means my content must be appealing and make them want to dig a little deeper. 

Reference

Felton, G.  (2013).  Advertising: Concept and Copy (Third Edition).  Retrieved from vbk://9780393733921 

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