Both by the same guy... and both wonderful.
Both by the same guy... and both wonderful.
In class the other day, we were talking about typefaces and their use... which lead me to a story — the later should be no surprise.
When my wife and I lived in Oakland, we owned a small two-seater car. For a lot of things, it was perfect — we were able to commute across the bridge in the car-pool lanes, parking was easy, and it was fun to drive. However, I have a picture somewhere of me trying to haul three 10-foot rolls of carpet in it. It was not a pretty sight.
Unlike a printer, a computer is something that you'll want for your very own (very soon). We don't suggest relying on computer labs or friends for this.
So many choices
There are a lot of choices out there, so let's keep it simple: we suggest Macs and we suggest laptops. With a well outfitted laptop, you can run the applications (CS6) easily and do what you need to do — plus it can be portable if needed.
There's nothing wrong with an iMac or MacPro, but it unnecessarily ties you to your desk and — in the case of a MacPro — is more computer than you need unless you're doing processor-intensive CAD, 3D, animation or video work. I do everything on a 13in MacBook Air.
Plus, when all of your friends have Macs (and likely the same printer), troubleshooting will be much easier.
This one. (The Epson 3880).
Q: There are a lot of cameras out there… which is the best?
A: The best camera is the one you have with you.
This is why I love the camera on my smartphone (and the reason I recently upgraded — I got a camera 2X better for $200... which from a camera POV is a good value). The great thing about smartphone cameras is that you often don't look like you're taking a photo at all which can be a bonus in a store or crowded train car. I'm often taking photos of the nutty things I see on BART and folks just think I'm checking my email… However, sometimes a smartphone camera (iPhone in my case) is not enough.
The "what should I buy?" question is a common one, so I'll post it here — in blog format — so I can keep it up to date with new models and so that we can refer to it as we need to...
Congratulations — you've just about landed a freelance job, but now you're wondering how to price it. Pricing can be the most difficult thing in the design business — even harder than coming up with new, good ideas. There are a lot of folks with differing points-of-view on this topic, too, and I encourage you to absorb and reflect on all of them — there are a lot of smart folks out there with a lot to say, so dig for it. Hopefully the below can serve as a bit of a brief guide if nothing else.
Remember that people will often approach you because you're talented (yay!), but don't have a lot of experience (doh!), and will consequently be more affordable. There's no shame in this on either side — all professions have their "beginners": dentistry, real-estate, cosmetology — even medical test subjects get higher rates with more experience. Design is no different. People are taking a risk on you and for that they'll pay a bit less, but even then, how to begin?
As of late, I've been trying to look at things more and more from the vantage point of our students. Not that this hasn't always been the case, it's become more top-of-mind recently.
Obviously, after 20 years in the profession, some things come as second nature, but they always weren't that way. Although much has changed in that time (for instance, there was no such thing as the internet when I was in their shoes)... much has not. Looking back at the things that had concerned me when I was at their stage has provided a few insights into it all.
For instance, inspiration — and where to get it — has always proved vexing and seemed like a good place to start. No one expects an early practitioner to venture into a field without something under their belt and — if not experience — it should at least be some solid inspiration, right? (and eventually both)...
Taking into account, too, that many of our students didn't grow up speaking English as their native language, some things that I might take for granted — like that a type combination of Franklin Gothic and Clarendon having a vintage "academia" feel — is cast in a very different light.
But rather than try to chase it down myself, I opened the question up to the students. Below are their responses.
Above: Screenshot from a wonderful kinetic type piece based on the wisdom of Ira Glass.
I've just kicked off a project based on — at its core — displaying information visually... or "infographically". So that I can get a bunch of links off to my students in short order, I've created this list. Here goes (and please feel free to add your own in the comments section below):
This is a pair of essays on production-specific topics that I hope to post in the next few days. The first is about paper and the next is about ink — both are topics that have come up in class recently. If you’ve something to add, please feel free to post in the comments section.
When beginning a discussion about print-production for the graphic design student, there are many places one could start. The other day I was thinking about how I learned this stuff and what was the most baffling and clarifying to me — and how I might explain it today to our students. Paper and ink have been a fundamental part of the communication designer's toolkit and — even in a digital world — paper has a place... yet is perhaps the most difficult your get your head around when thinking about type, weight and size.
[Most production-orieted things I learned while on the job as we didn’t have production classes (or the internet) when I was in school. I also picked up a lot by working as my own production manager in my first job at a very small studio and later with production managers at larger firms. Many thanks to Elizabeth, Jan and Melissa for their patience and understanding.]