Archive for THOUGHTS

DIA Masterclass

DIA Masterclass

The branding master class 2013: Andrew Hoyne of Hoyne Design, Dayne Moffitt & Linda Jukic and other leading lights of the graphic design community in the same room discussing branding design & other relevant cool stuff.

The participants of the DIA, 4th master class are all graphic designers, visual communicators with at least THREE years in the industry. It’s a day for practitioners to learn more about the discipline of branding. It’s being held on Saturday 14 September, 2013 in the Terrace Room at The Australian Museum on the corner of College and William Streets, Sydney. The number of tickets available for the masterclass is limited to fifteen.

Tickets cost $200 plus gst for DIA and AGDA members and $250 plus gst for non DIA members. For more information about the day or reserving tickets contact Jacqueline Hill at jack©designasaw.com

See you there!

A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

…. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

We’re cranking up the Christmas Carols in the studio these days, and the above lyrics are from my all time favourite, O Holy Night. The photograph I took a couple of years ago in Jindabyne NSW.
How to get a design job (with us)

How to get a design job (with us)

I was recently invited by Nicky Hardcastle, lecturer in Visual Communication at UTS to share some thoughts about what I look for in a design portfolio. Thought I’d put it out there for the wider world web to benefit from.
Incidentally, we will be looking to secure a new designer for our team in the early months of 2013. If you think you can see yourself as the next Boheemian, please go ahead and send me an email. 
Obviously, these tips are from my perspective and relate to design positions at our studio… hopefully they are useful for anyone wanting to secure a job in the design industry, generally speaking!
What advice would you offer to a designer when creating their portfolio? Or when presenting it? (top 3 dos and donts?)
DO
1. Kill your babies. That is, know how to edit your portfolio in a way that shows your best 10 (or so) projects. Go for a succinct, punchy portfolio which really shows your strengths. 
2. A spellcheck. And for goodness sake, learn how to spell stationery.
3. Set your PDF to ‘open to fit screen’. 
4. Flatter us. I can almost guarantee you’ll get your foot in the door if you tell me you’re a fan of Boheem’s and that you know and love the work in our portfolio. Just sayin.
5. In your interview, think of 4-5 key things about yourself you want to communicate in the twenty minutes you’re given. They might be: ‘I did work experience here’, ‘I won this award’, ‘I completed a WordPress course’, ‘I run a blog with 5000 followers’. Weave these points into the conversation, don’t assume we’ve seen that stuff in your application. And then ensure to ask at least one or two questions about us.
6. Be flexible and generous. This one is a little controversial, so do with it what you will: if you offer to work for free for us for a few days so that we can get a feel for your strengths, if we are in need of support in the studio we are likely to consider getting you in (or having you work on something for a couple of hours at home). Once you’re in, you’re already a step or two ahead of the other candidates. Of course, we’d never officially suggest this, but if you show flexibility and preparedness to give some, we’ll relax a little and give some back.
7. Keep your email short – 2 paragraphs is fine.
8. Ensure that the images in your portfolio are clear and crisp – lo-res, pixelated images aren’t a good look.
DON’T
1. Send anything over 5MB. 
2. Send more than 2 PDFs (one portfolio, one CV/ letter).
3. Send any file type other than PDF – if you send me a Word Doc I will delete your email without hesitation.
4. Include anything offensive.
5. Show print marks on your files, seems obvious but I have actually seen that a lot.
6. Ask about salary in the first interview.
What do you look for in a designer’s portfolio?
Neatness. A clean portfolio which is easy to read and displays projects in a way that makes it clear what they are about shows me that this designer knows how to effectively visually communicate.
Personality. We’re not accountants. Design, whilst at most times very hard work, is an exciting industry in which people dress in jeans and Tshirts, enjoy brainstorming campaign ideas in the sunshine over coffee and head out to local art openings of an evening. If you like baking on the weekend and are easily distracted by polka dots, throw this in. It’s an insight to who you are.
Intuition. We’re keen to work with people who can think conceptually and come up with creative and smart ideas. 
A good match. You might be Australia’s next big name in design, but unless I’m convinced that you’re the right fit for the studio and for the type of work we do, I won’t consider offering a position. We’re a small studio and it’s important we’re all happy working together. If you’re not successful in an interview it may have nothing to do with whether or not you were able to ‘wow’ us; it’s got everything to do with us building a team of like-minded creative people. Some designers we meet with amazing portfolios are better suited at other studios with a different focus, we’re ok with that and hope that our candidates can understand that too.
What kind of projects should be included in, or excluded from, the portfolio?
Include: A range of projects to show your skill set: some logo design and brand development, some newsletter layout, some digital / online work.
Exclude: Let go of the pages upon pages of illustration, photography and retouching – that’s not what’s going to get you a design job.
What would you say are the most common mistakes in portfolios and presentations?
1. Not addressing the email to the recipient, ie not using their name
2. Not adhering to the specifics in the request for applications in the advertisement (if there’s been an ad). Read the ad carefully and if it says to use ‘Mid Weight Designer’ as the subject, do that.
3. Messy files with awkward typography
4. Spelling and grammar mistakes.
All the best to the jobseekers out there!
Brief history of Olympic pictograms

Brief history of Olympic pictograms

Continuing in the same Olympic theme, I thought I’d put a bit of a study together of graphic pictograms over the years. From what I could see, the icons used in Munich in 1972 were repeated in Montreal in 1976. It’s really interesting that they were bold enough to use colour for Mexico City in 1968, but kept them monotone (I added tints for fun) until Sydney broke the mould in 2000. The Mexico City illustrations are also the only ones which don’t depend on human forms to tell the story.
Designerlympics

Designerlympics

Despite needing to keep my eyes popped open with matchsticks right now due to staying up far too late many school nights in a row this week watching The Olympics, I wanted to do a brief little review for us all on branding and design for this world-class event. Reason being, and I’ll cut straight to the chase, is that I’ve been pretty thrown by the typeface they’re using for the London Games this year. Love or hate it… we are not in total agreement here in the studio, but in all honesty I’m leaning toward ‘hate’. Actually correction, I’m not leaning at all, I conclusively completely detest it. 
The London 2012 custom typeface is known as “2012 Headline” and was designed by Gareth Hague of Alias Foundry. I’m wondering how on earth the designers so successfully held the wool over the committe’s eyes, to convince them it was a good idea to go with something so clunky, irregular and quite frankly, uncomfortable. Perhaps it may have worked as an upright typeface, especially since the ‘o’s are not slanted anyhow, but to me the decision to italicise something already pretty awkward just seems to make it visually choke. 
I’ve had a dig around the net to see what people have been saying, and my favourite was a succinct comment found on a forum which said, ‘where THE F did they manage to find a font uglier and more moronic than comic sans?’ Funny.
We look back over the years and although the Sydney 2000 font, ITC Binary has definitely dated, it certainly oozed personality and screamed ‘important, big and exciting sporting event with serious competition’. Both Athens and Beijing settled for classic sans serif typefaces, Gill Sans and Frutiger (I think). And then we come to the font “Rio 2016”, which is the font designed by the prolific and classy Dalton Maag foundry for the games in Rio (I know, surprising name eh). These guys have absolutely nailed it – this font is a great reminder of why we call type symbols ‘characters’ – its fluid form really personifies the richness of the city of Rio, its joyful Brazillian people and the energy of the athletes in action. Thumbs up from me.
Color Collections

Color Collections

Designers, have you ever found yourself moving the CMYK dials mindlessly back and fourth, hoping to land the perfect colour harmony for your next design project, but feel they just don’t want to land as naturally and as beautifully as you’d like? I found myself in that situation recently, and soon after came across these wonderful and very helpful colour blogs, which I’m certain will prove to be extremely useful for future design projects.
At the top we have Design Seeds, which displays palettes inspired by God Himself, and the amazing combination of hues which can be found in winter vegetables, moments of stillness in the African countryside… and some human-made beauty. What I love most about this site is that you can search for the colour by hue which you can define as a RGB value, as well as browse by theme.
In the middle we have Color Collective, which is one person’s collection of palettes derived from mostly fashion shoots, where someone else has obviously already curated the colour. It is handy having it all in one place, though, and I like the way that the mood is set by the colour combinations.
Lastly there’s Just Jaime – not offering as many and without links to photography, but a lovely little collection nonetheless.
Matching CMYK to Pantone

Matching CMYK to Pantone

For those of us out there doing any colour picking for design projects, you might be familiar with the frustration of needing to find a Pantone colour to match the CMYK you used in your draft, half way through a job. I have at best spent aaaaages thumbing through our Pantone Swatch books trying to find a good match, but often I’m wanting a Pantone number when I’m not in the studio.
Here are two great sites which will help us all when we find ourselves in this predicament in the future. The first one at font.is gives a pictorial step-by-step instruction of how to match colours in Adobe Illustrator. But my favourite is this very ordinary, unassuming page at ginifab.com – which simply provides four boxes for us to type our CMYK breakdown, and then promptly delivers the Pantone equivalent. Not always completely accurate, but pretty close!
A Heritage in Typesetting

A Heritage in Typesetting


For some people, it’s the happy tune of Green Sleeves as the ice cream truck comes hurtling down the street which reminds them of their childhood. For others, it’s roller skating up and down the driveway for hours on end in the afternoon, and refusing to remove said skates at dinnertime. For me, it’s the smell of fresh ink, climbing on dusty piles of paper in storage rooms, and the loud CLUNK – CLUNK of the letterpress machines which takes me back to the good ol’ days.

I don’t know about the whole nature/ nurture debate, but I believe I was quite possibly destined to be a graphic designer. It’s in my blood. Back in the days before ‘graphic design’ was even a career option (and one could change a font with the quick click of a button), my grandfather, Alf Pausey, was a typesetter and printer. He ran his own print business, and donned his blue overalls every day to head to “Poppa’s work”, where he’d carefully set letter by letter, line by line using copper and zinc printer’s blocks. I remember his hands were always covered in ink. When the pages needed to be collated, it was done by hand in the back room – overseen by Margaret (who always had an Arnott’s biscuit for me).
When Poppa wanted a new typeface, it wasn’t quite as simple as downloading what he wanted from myfonts or dafont. He had to invest in a few new timber drawers full of letters – in all the different point sizes he thought he’d use. And I get the feeling that when a client made a change, it was never as simple as opening an Indesign file and re-typing.
Thanks, Poppa – for the precious heritage you’ve passed on to me.
Meet my lover, Colour

Meet my lover, Colour


Sometimes a striking colour palette is the difference between mediocre and brilliant design. And with a gazillion specks in that rainbow gamut to select from, it can be an overwhelming experience to choose the right combination. That’s why colourlovers.com is our go-to for all things colour. You’ll find over 1 million palettes created by other colour lovers to inspire your creative projects.


These palettes pay hommage to my favourite colour of the month… mint.

(One of) the way(s) of the future

(One of) the way(s) of the future


Now, I don’t consider myself particularly web-savvy, but I do like to stay up-to-date with what’s being made available online which is going to make my life better, and make my clients’ stuff as cutting edge as possible. I don’t think I know what HTML stands for and quite frankly, I don’t care. What I do know, is that Flash (the thing that makes some fancy websites animate and what-not) is a royal pain in the butt. It takes ages to load, and doesn’t work at all on my iPhone.

Enter HTML5. I don’t know what the H, the T, the M, the L or the 5 stands for, but I know it makes my life easier, my web browsing quicker and me generally happier. Apparently it’s the thing which is going to make viewing videos sooooo much better online from here on in. So I can watch all the Double Rainbow home videos I want without having to wait for anything to load. Hurrah!
Above is a little drawing I did using some HTML5 code at this site: http://mrdoob.com. Have a play, it’s a lot of fun. Would love to see some other creations… feel free to email them through!
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