Thursday, March 31, 2011

Self Promotion

The Wichita had an interesting article this morning, about branding yourself in order to help you land that desired job.

Brands are not just for products and companies any more. They are about making the employers feel a certain way about you. You cannot make up a person’s mind for him or her, but you can help guide their attention in the right direction. This article can help you initiate a plan for your brand and some online marketing tips for yourself. With 8-10% of the public without a job, branding could be crucial get the leg-up and land that job. You can do most of what is necessary for free, which is great if you have been out of a job for awhile. Utilizing tools that you probably already use: facebook, blogs, twitter, linkedIn (similar to facebook but more professional).

If you are going to start using social media to market yourself, make sure you clean up your act. Get rid of questionable photos or posts that might make you unpalatable to a new employer. You should do that anyway, because whether or not you are prepared for it future employers are looking at social media to find out more about you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blogging for Design

As a designer it is crucial to be organized and creative. Finding inspiration can be a challenge. Today I have several notable ideas that popped into my head today, after doing some web surfing:

1) Writing and drawing in journals began my freshman year of college, as a forced assignment. By junior year, instructors had moved us from making personal ideas in a written journal to publishing posts a blog that the whole class could read. New intimidation comes when you have to develop cohesive thoughts that appeal to more than just yourself. They have to be relevant and have an educational basis. Now in the ‘real’ world I welcome have a blog. I have lapsed, but we all have to fail and pick ourselves up again. I have been looking into starting a blog for the company I work for and the time and effort we would need to put into the blog, in order for it to be a successful blog. Something struck me while pouring through tens (maybe hundreds) of blogs.

Not everyone is using them, but they were the most appealing to sort through and read. I spent double, sometimes triple, the amount of the time on a blog that used numbered lists. Using text variation rather than large blocks of text made reading a blog that much more enjoyable.

2) Noting the importance of blogs fits into my goal for the week of details. Blogs are built on details. You MUST pay attention to the simple things such as spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and potent material. Blogging is more important than I have given it credit in the past. It can help a company relate to customers, while educating them more on subjects related to your particular field. It allows a conversation to take place; it can and should be personable.

3) Little details such as using headers, italics, and type variety can create visual interests as well as organize the information and apply a tone to the text.

4) I have focused on ways to help making content appealing and organized, but the most vital member of a blog is having content people want to read. We can make a blog as pretty as we want, but if the content is lack-luster it won’t keep our readers’ attentions. Take the time to practice and review your thoughts to make sure they are cohesive and would appeal to your audience; not just more fluff to fill the internet with. It is more than just whipping out your thesaurus for some witty words.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Inspired
Not only do they have a great website, they do exceptional work...and vice versa. With my mantra this week to focus on the minute details, this is a great company to be inspired by. Branding companies have to pay attention to the details. Details not only the client does, but what they want to convey to to their audience. Details of the concepts and theories behind the branding, details of the visualize that materialize the branding ideas, and the details of creating a cohesive thought of the company by independent brains that can mold their own ideas. so check out the Brand Almanac, great work full of tiny details.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Focus on the Minute

My local AIGA chapter had posted a link to HOW's 29 Things Article. It has a lot of useful information, but what has become my mantra for the week is to for me to focus on the details. Being detail oriented is a skill set of many designers and particularly the best ones. On a busy day it can be hard not to carefully look over little bit before sending a file out for weakness...not running spell check. For this week I am making a checklist to do before I send out a file:
  1. Making sure all the points of the client are addressed
  2. Spell check
  3. Grammar check
  4. Layers are in order
  5. PDF has not dropped a layer out
  6. Graphic details

Maybe I think of more things to think of in during the week. But I should make a small list to stay as focused on one idea as possible.