Recently in design Category
The redesigned carton is made of cardboard and a rubber band. It's flexible and environmentally friendly.
Think it will make it to the supermarket?
Just start writing. You could just get out what you want to say and agree to come back later and fix it or you could just start with a stream of consciousness.
Pantone announced the color of the year for 2013 today: emerald (17-5641 for those of you who like to be exact about this kind of thing). Those of us who prefer green may be a little smug about this announcement, but...does it really mean anything? Will we start seeing more designs using this color that purportedly "enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony?"
Is it more than a marketing tool? Is it fun, regardless? Would you have picked something else?
UMCF: What is your job title and department here at the U? How long have you worked there?
Jen Peters: Graphic designer at the University Libraries since September 2008 (4 years, 1 month).
UMCF: What's an average workday like?
JP: The majority of my day is spent in my office designing. I generally have at least five projects going at once, and produce them from concept to completion. I often start a project with a few quick sketches and typeface explorations before moving into InDesign. I often sort through images from the Libraries' archives and special collections and collaborate with our exhibits designer, Darren Terpstra. I work closely with the Communications Director finalizing text edits and creating and sending HTML emails.
UMCF: Favorite part of your workday?
JP: I love starting a new project, particularly brainstorming visual concepts and searching for the perfect typeface! I am fortunate to work with so much incredible art here at the Libraries such as these lovely seed catalogs.
UMCF: How does what you do support the mission of the University?
JP: We work to promote our vast resources which ultimately help expand the reach of research: our expert librarians, the millions of volumes held in our collections, tools to enhance productivity, and programs and services.
UMCF: Why did you join the Forum? What role does the Forum plan in your everyday work life?
JP: It was a big transition coming from an agency setting into my current position, working with only two other people. I joined to network and gain a better understanding of the communications work happening at the University.
I have learned so much by volunteering on the conference committee. I have been asked to help plan events at the Libraries as a result. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to approach potential speakers - designers and artists I admire.
UMCF: Where do you find creative inspiration?
JP: Design and photography blogs, any type of magazine, Pinterest, plus the incredible local art and design culture here in the Twin Cities.
UMCF: What are your hobbies outside of work?
JP: Riding bike, gardening, photography, skiing - anything outdoors!
UMCF: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
JP: We (my husband and I) have a 15 year old music loving cat. When my husband plays guitar, she demands to be in the same room, sitting by his feet.
A great example is Twin Cities illustrator and print maker Adam Turman who tells the story of biking in the Twin Cities through his collection of cycling prints.
Check out how to create the final product in this screen printing tutorial written by Turman.
And, plan to attend Turman's UMCF conference session "Let's Print" where he'll talk about the process of screen printing, but more importantly, he'll be teaching how to pull some actual prints that attendees can take with home.
Register by April 23 for the discounted rate.
In celebration of Beautiful U Day which is happening next week, some sustainable links:
- Companies are revolutionizing sustainable product design by using environmental life cycle assessment to benchmark their product impacts.
- Heard about the U's RFID program? Faculty and staff can bicycle towards points to reduce 2013 medical program rates.
- See art out in the open and year-round at Mankato's CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour.
- RiverFIRST is the winning design proposal for the Minneapolis riverfront. Watch the design team's video and learn about the 2010 international design competition which was sponsored by the Mpls. Park Board and Parks Foundation, with creative partners the U of M College of Design and Walker Art Center.
In light of the upcoming "Go for the Maroon and Gold" conference, happening a day before the 2012 Olympic Games begin, some Olympic design-related links:
- 39 Olympic Logos From 1924 to 2012
- Summer Olympic logos from 1896 to 2012, including many of the more colorful posters and logos
- The London Olympic Games Organising Committee on the 2012 Olympic brand: "The number 2012 is our brand. It is universal and understandable worldwide."
- According to an Olympic medals timeline, the London 2012 design is the largest Summer Olympics medal to date.
- Finally, who doesn't love the 2012 Olympics logo?
And don't forget to register for the conference. Rates go up after April 23!
Here's an edition of link roundup on getting good at taking pictures.
-- 14 Ways to Improve Your Photography in a Few Days
-- 90+ Online Photography Tools and Resources
-- How to Stay Up Late and Make an HDR Image
-- How To: Master Smartphone Photography
-- iPhone Photography + Social Networking = Instagram
-- The Washington Post Wants Your Instagram Photos to Illustrate Health of U.S. Economy
So this is a word cloud (courtesy of Wordle) of all the blog posts on the Comm Forum blog since Jan. 2011. If you're unfamiliar with word clouds, this weights words according to appearence frequency, presenting them within an image.
It seems "communicators" has been a big topic this year so far. Makes sense, since that is the topic of the May 12 conference. "Forum" is (quite literally) big, too. We like to toot our own horn, it seems. Social media mentions include "social," "media," and a fat "Facebook," but I don't see Twitter...Hmmm... So maybe the question here is, "What don't you see?" Because Twitter is BIG. I do see a slightly smaller "Neil." That would be as in Neil Diamond. If you missed that post, you better go find it.
What else are you missing?
It was as if I was experiencing them if for the first time. And since then, I've not stopped thinking about this dreamy perspective or how I wish I could travel at a slant into all the paintings at the MIA.
Try your hand at the tilt-shift technique in Photoshop.
What about your favorite online tools? Have you recently come across any great online resources like this?
A well-intentioned department wants its own newsletter/email/(insert random project here), but there's no one in-house to create it. What is a communicator to do? In the days of tiny budgets and shrinking staff, a solution to meeting your organization's needs is not easy to come by.
Some organizations and nonprofits have turned to using a content provider to fill in the gaps. In some cases the content provider just supplies generic text on a predetermined topic. In other cases, they provide copy and design services for client newsletters and webpages.
The choice to use these companies can help ease the load on existing staff, while still meeting the organization's communication needs. However, this set up also creates a host of other issues.
Who will manage the relationship with the company? Who will ensure your brand and style is represented appropriately? Will the generic content be compelling or suitable to your specific audience?
I wanted to see what Forum members think about this. Does anyone have an experience to share? Any tips on working with a content provider?
In case you didn't know it, the U of M has a Center for Writing, which supports the work of all U students, faculty, and staff engaged in the practice, teaching, and study of writing. And on Oct. 20, the Center is hosting a variety of writing events, including some quirky ones, like "Stalled Writing," an event that will take place in the Nicholson Hall bathrooms, where you can be "inspired by the porcelain muse," and perhaps move beyond "for a good time" to "Once upon a time."
If the bathroom isn't your style, they'll have "InTentsive Writing," which will take place in...you guessed it--a tent. Those looking to get outside any physical boundaries might have luck with "Artful Writing: Writing With, Through and About Art with the Weisman Art Museum," which will practice building perception skills and respond to works of art verbally and through a variety of writing activities. For more course offerings and more information, see the Center for Writing, National Day on Writing.
The site has been designed with the goal of sustaining and improving access and services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors--including those with disabilities. It's all about making the U-wide-web available to the widest possible audience -- including users of old, adaptive, alternate, or emerging technologies.
The site content includes the following seven categories, each represented by an icon used to identify category membership:
Documents -- includes information on accessibility barriers, best practices, and how to create accessible Microsoft Word, PDF, and Microsoft Excel documents.
Presentation -- includes information on accessibility barriers, best practices, and how to create accessible PowerPoint, Adobe Presenter, Apple Keynote and S5 online presentations.
Multimedia -- includes information on captioning, accessibility barriers, best practices, and how to create accessible Flash, QuickTime, Camtasia and Podcast media.
Learning Technologies at the U -- includes information on accessibility barriers and best practices for Moodle, Google Apps, MyU Portal, UMConnect Meeting, Clickers, UThink, and Wimba Voice Tools.
Web Content -- includes information on making Web pages and applications accessible. Includes a self-assessment tool.
Laws, Policies and Guidelines -- includes information on university policies, federal and state laws, and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines regarding accessibility.
Adaptive Technologies -- includes information on a variety of technologies available for making information accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Did you know the University of Minnesota's graphic design program has its own letterpress studio? You'll have a chance to visit it at this year's Communicators Forum conference on May 13. Associate Professor James Boyd Brent will be presenting a hands-on demonstration in the Session I Design Break Out.
Here's an interesting documentary about letterpress printing:
Ten rules for writing fiction (part two) :: I know several of you Forum members are also fiction writers. Here's a refreshingly insightful collection of writing tips from established authors.
Iconic TV :: "Created out of a love for posters, modernism and television, there wasn't a client out there to commission such a job so Austrian designer Albert Exergian wrote his own brief and created this self initiated series of posters throwing all of the above inspirations into the creative melting pot."
6 Ways to Optimize Your SEO for Misspellings - And Why It Pays to be a Bad Speller :: "it turns out that a significant percentage of web users are sloppy with their language - particularly when using search engines like Google. There are around 10 million misspelled search queries every single day."
How Much Should I Charge? [PDF] :: Suggested rates for freelance writers based on a survey.
A Little Less Conversation :: "Have you ever invited employees to a meeting just so they wouldn't feel left out? If so, you may be an overcommunicator."
The Brand Quiz :: Two colors, a visual hint, and a cryptic clue.
What Type Are You? :: A video quiz created by the always-innovative Pentagram. Happy Friday, fellow typography nerds.
Finally, who was at Ignite Minneapolis last night?
Ok fine, early January: you win. Here is the obligatory Best of 2009 post (with some decade wrapup thrown in).
- 50 Best Websites 2009 -- Time Magazine
- 25 Best Blogs 2009 -- Time Magazine
- The Pogie Awards for the Year's Best Tech Ideas -- The New York Times
- Picturing the Past 10 Years -- The New York Times
- The 10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2009 -- Mashable
- The Decade's 14 Biggest Design Moments -- Fast Company
What do you think of these lists? What would you change? Do you have other year-end lists to recommend? And was 2006 really the year of ironic mustaches?
Finding a way to volunteer your skills can be as easy as contacting non-profits you support and asking if they could use your assistance. Or, maybe you'll find like-minded people in these networks:
Proofread for good: I've been volunteer proofing for Distributed Proofreaders for a while and found it to be a well-run and supportive network. Volunteers go through scanned-in text of public domain works to help convert them to e-books for sites like Project Gutenberg.
Account plan for good: Planning for Good is a network of account planners who volunteer to solve problems for causes and non-profits.
Design for good: There are many volunteer design opportunities posted on sites like VolunteerMatch and HandsOn Twin Cities.
What volunteering have you done? Are there other sites or networks you recommend?
- Horrifically bad software demo becomes performance art Live software demos often go awry, but what happens when the mayhem is intentional?
- The Difference Between Art and Design The subject of what separates art and design is convoluted and has been debated for a long time.
- This Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear fan video has been posted for a couple months. One of the hundreds of comments is "I'm gonna throw up this is too good."
- Master the Art of Listening and Watch All Your Relationships Thrive by Gail Brenner, Ph.D.
- President Honors Nation's Top Scientists and Innovators National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.
- Twenty-four innovators in art, science, writing, and more are 2009 Winners Of MacArthur 'Genius Grants'.
University of Minnesota
- U of M College of Design Mentor Program Mentoring pairs create action plans which help students with career exploration, experiential learning, networking, and skill building. Time commitment is two hours per month.
- U of M showcases its new-media research resources MinnPost article on the University's Institute for New Media Studies
- Five Tips to Strengthen the Design of Your Nonprofit's Website by Jessica Teal, Design Manager for the Obama presidential campaign
- 10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines was #1 on popacular.com (a list of the most popular bookmarks from delicious.com)
- 13 Web-Safe Fonts at the Core of Web Typography List of fonts installed on over 90% of computers
- 1000+ Drupal web sites with case studies
Now that students and faculty are back in action, do you feel overwhelmed and overburdened? Don't let the demands of your work day get the better of you. Use your time at work more efficiently.
Does branding pay off for Colleges? Harvard thinks so.
Do you think Kayne's outburst at the VMAs was a publicity stunt? This expert does.
Brands are strengthened (or damaged) based on the experiences they provide. And in an increasingly social world, those experiences are no longer created for people but with them. On this blog you will find articles and insights about the opportunities and challenges created by rapidly growing and evolving Social Media.
Twin Cities Twitter (Shout out to Jessica Franken, our rockin' Blog editor) for sending this my way.)
Looking for Photoshop and Illustrator Tips/Tricks? Check out Pixel Perfect on Revision 3. You can download episodes via ITunes or watch right on the Revision 3 Web site. Side note: Revision 3 is an amazing resource for all things technology. Check out Tekzilla if you are a geek like me!
Myna is sort of like Garage Band in your web browser.