Noted: The Details That Matter

by Kevin Potts

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, the graphic arts industry was populated by full-time illustrators, production assistants and compositors. With only composing sticks for laying out type, straight edges for defining grids, a human proofer to catch spelling mistakes and an arsenal of X-acto blades for making edits, these guys lived and breathed detail. Mistakes were costly. It was a trade position that required lengthy apprenticeship; job security depended on getting all of the little things right.

While many of the tactile skills needed for our new generation of PC-based web design and development are radically different, a critical eye for detail is as relevant as ever. In fact, because of the lower cost of entry and increasing commoditization of design, that eye for detail is not only necessary for staying afloat in the profession, but a requirement for success.”

What does the above highlighted statement mean, and why is it important for today’s upcoming designers and veterans?

Full Article: A List Apart: Articles: The Details That Matter

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Will Design Students Find Work After Completion of Studies?

GD Studio 1 students are doing great work. They’re really a good bunch. I’m starting to wonder, given the current state of the economy, what future in graphic design do they have. Most certainly, students must be great designers, demonstrating fully, their understanding of the design fundamentals and their application. They also must be well versed in design for interaction as well as print. Please share your thoughts with them.

“Value” Is Once Again Driving Design

In recent blog posts and articles designers and business people have been writing about garnering, what I call, “value” in what we create. This word value has finally come to the forefront again of many discussions, both within design, business, and design education communities.

All this buzz around once again putting value in what designers create to the top of the discussion is very exciting to me as a design educator. Over recent semesters, I’ve found it rather difficult in conveying this need to students. One of the reasons that comes to mind as to why this was happening is the desire and perhaps in some cases, the false perceived need in some companies minds to imitate or copy products and services that have been commercially successful in the market place. Hence, students seem, to just want to imitate or copy what has already been done. Innovation and thought seem to reside on some other planet for many students.

With the need to garner “value” in what designers create and companies market again being seen as critical, I now have tools that I can use to guide students to this framework of thinking.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

What Do Designers Think About The Concept of Personal Branding?

While at WordPress’s WordCampSF, I heard a really great talk by Dave Gray of Xplane | The visual thinking company. In that talk, he mentioned David Armano of Logic + Emotion. Last year David Armano did a presentation on the concept of personal branding at the Chicago Convergence Conference where he stated “The hallmark of any brand is authenticity . . .”. He then proceeds to speak on the advent of personal branding. Here’s the video of his talk.

Personal Branding-Brand U.O, David Armano, Critical Mass

My question: How does the concept of personal branding come into play for graphic and other design professionals, both on a personal level and when dealing with clients?

I most certainly am using social media to gain more exposure through the use of specific types of blog postings, tweets and status updates; and when I meet clients or potential clients, I am very aware of the visual representation I want to present.

What do others think of this? Are you more aware of the need to present or create a very specific brand for yourself, and do you incorporate this concept as part of the design strategy for your clients?

Fast Company Magazine related article: The Brand Called You. http://bit.ly/Yvl8 (Great find by Arne Van Oosteram of designthinkers . Thanks Arne.)

Pentagram’s Joe Marianek explains his OnDesign logo design for Creativity.com

Joe Marianek of Pentagram shares his design process for the OnDesign logo that is part of creativity.com. Find out his steps as he moves through the process of the logo’s design.

“When I started on the assignment to create a logo for OnDesign, I hesitated. As a patron of many online design rags, I have always managed to avoid the trouble of considering a blog’s logo; the typeface, color and gimmicks usually escape me and feel invisible.”

Read the full article . . .

How Valuable Are Old-School/Traditional Design Skills Today?

Inspired by LinkedIn’s Communication Arts Group’s discussion forum post:”When you learned to work on a computer, did you take classes or teach yourself?”, I want to pose the question: How valuable are traditonal design skills like thumbnailing (preliminary sketches and verbalization), and marker and paper comping? Are they still being used today? Are they being taught in design programs today? Join me in the discussion.