You know you’re getting better when…

10. When you look back on old pieces, that at the time you thought were amazing, and now they just look a hot mess.

9. When in the middle of class critiques, you can name all of the typefaces the person used.

8. When you use the word “typefaces” instead of “fonts“.

7. When people ask for your opinion on their work.

6. When you finally understand what all the hype is about over HELVETICA, and you like it.

5. When grocery shopping is never the same again…packaging woot woot.

4. When you can finish something on a deadline, and don’t think it’s witchcraft or that hell froze over.

3. When you know who Doyald Young is.

2. When you understand the difference between designing and decorating.

1. When you are 100% happy with your work…and so is everyone else.

Constructive Criticism

This week I got constructive criticism on a piece of work that I was extremely proud of.

The class was packaging and the assignment was a matchbook re-design.  The client I chose was the Beauty Bar and I created a matchbook in the shape of a compact mirror with my idea being that when women smoke in the bar, they mess up their lipstick, so there’s a mirror inside with the handy-dandy matches.  I was really proud of my design/ idea/concept and I worked really hard on it, 3 weeks total.  I was so excited to get my grade back only to find that I had earned a 79% on the project. Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhh

With the stress of everything that was going on at the time, I got so overwhelmed and just broke down…in front of the teacher.  Not to say that I was sobbing hysterically, but my no good lousy stupid tears wouldn’t stay in my eyeballs. Once I got myself together, I asked for her reasoning behind the grade.  Basically to sum it up she explained to me that had she given me an A I wouldn’t have gone back and fixed it up for my portfolio.  She said she loved my project, but the functionality of it wasn’t all there. (Couldn’t close it properly, and the matches were hard to get out, also my color scheme was horrendous).   She said it was innovative and inventive but the grading scale/curriculum doesn’t take that into consideration.

She is giving the class 5 weeks to perfect/tweak our designs and get better grades on them.  Her giving me that miserable grade was the best gift I’ve been given (or lesson I have learned), at the time I was simply too emotional to see it. I would rather have someone tell me the truth, that my work could be better, than lie and say it looks great.  That 79 is fueling me to work harder, smarter, until my matchbook is truly worthy of an A+.

Ten Ways to Procrastinate

A few tips that can help you avoid getting shit done.  Or it you want to look at it from a different perspective: What Not To Do.  

10. Put on The Newsroom.  After awhile, you won’t even remember where you are, or that there’s a pile of homework awaiting.

9. Make lists, like this very one you’re reading.  The time it took me to write this, I could have my algebra finished…

8. Twiddle your thumbs. Hey, this counts as exercise!

7. Walk the dog. It may be 110° outside, there’s a good chance you’ll melt, and Fido may give you the evil eye all day long, but hey the dog’s not going to walk himself.  Don’t have a dog?  Borrow your neighbor’s.  Procrastinating means being resourceful!

6. Eat stuff. Preferably food, it’s up to you really, as to what you put in your mouth.

5. Make a cape out of your favorite blanket. Then parade around the house in it, feeling so accomplished.

4. Kern. Now that I can kern like there’s no tomorrow, I like to do it to pass the time.  There’s that handy dandy little kerning game that I enjoy so much.

3. Contemplate the meaning of life. Why are we here?  What is our purpose?  What does it even mean?  Why do I have a massive cowlick in my hair?

2. Fall into Facebook. It really is like falling down a deep well, with no stepping-stones to climb out, and no one hears your screaming.  Maybe it’s not that dramatic, but when you look at the clock next you wonder how six hours went by.

1. Look at something shiny. Sometimes you just can’t help your-

…self from looking.

I found the secret to graphic design!!

I FEEL LIKE I HAVE BEEN SPOKEN TO AND ENLIGHTENED BY THE DESIGN GODS AND THEY GAVE ME THE SECRET TO THE UNIVERSE..HOPEFULLY MY BRAIN DOESN’T EXPLODE.

     Read a book today that completely changed my entire approach to designing. Basically it talked about not even logging on the computer until you have a concrete idea and sketches for your design and use the computer to execute your vision. Sitting in front of illustrator, moving fonts around is not having an idea. The computer is a tool for executing your idea not obtaining your idea. I have done that a million times, waiting for the screen to give me the solution.
Copying stock photos from google is not creating something original. It said to use your voice. I am seriously mind blown by this book, and am now starting over with my client’s entire logo. It literally listed all of the things I had been doing and explained why it was wrong. I am turning a new leaf with designing, and I FINALLY GET IT.  

The secret to graphic design is to have an idea.  It’s the simplest of things yet the base of all that is beautiful.

#ahhamoment