Saturday, October 31, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 9 - Strategy, Strategy, Strategy

Multi-media dominates my Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center internship, but at the Riverwalk strategy and communications are king and queen.

I have been laboring away at this strategic communications plan that spans online communications, traditional communications, videography and design as the backbone our communications efforts for the new Riverwalk enhancement projects. This document will be the guide for me, my coworkers and members of the board to use in our outreach and communications efforts as we attempt to raise funds for the enhancement projects. 

I just put the finishing touches on this plan and now the footwork begins! Check back for more internship adventures from the Riverwalk.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 8 - When Halloween and Surrealism Collide


I had a blast collaborating with the art director at my Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center internship to create the new logo for our Halloween party, the Dark Matter Bash. This event coincides with our Surrealism exhibit, so I drew inspiration from the melting subjects of Salvador Dali.

To bring this inspiration to life, I returned to my graphic design thesis and a technique I explored for it, called scanner photography or scanography.  My scanner method involves moving my subject as the image is scanned, creating organic abstractions.

Above is Serena Wolford's contribution, a typeface logo set in Futura.  I then took it to the scanner and, within a few minutes, I had these initial explorations (below).


I narrowed the explorations down to my top few picks and explored other forms of manipulation, such as crumpling (below) to draw inspiration from Man Ray, another Surrealist artist.


After the second round of exploration and re-scanning, I made one more final edit of my top three picks and brought them into the computer for digital manipulation exploration (below). After creating some fake solarized looks (also inspired by Man Ray) I returned to the Dali inspiration and investigated manipulation of the logo with Photoshop and Illustrator's liquify tool.  While the same tool, the look is different depending on which program you are using.

Above is one of the Photoshop liquify manipulations, the one which Serena and I selected as the best, and below is the final logo composited onto the liquify study and then refined.
I handed over the finished black and white vector logo (above) to Serena, who then implemented it into various print and online collateral, such as the 3x8.5inch fliers below. It's pretty cool when you can get two designers who can easily pass their designs back and forth, and even cooler is watching how the design progresses under the different visions of each designer. It's a fascinating evolution.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 7 - The Elephant and Piggie Integrated Project

Cool things can happen when you offer more than one key skill.  Elephant and Piggie was my multi-media project (aka integrated project) using my key skills in graphic design, photography, and videography. 

Not only was I able to create my own marketing collateral, but I created a graphics style that others were able to use in their marketing communications efforts for this play at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Graphic Design - Posters
The first item was a series of posters in 4x5 inches, 8.5x11 inches and 11x17 inches.  As blogged about earlier, I created several designs in Adobe Illustrator, pitched them to the client, and the winning design was this one below.  The headline is a logo by Serena Wolford, a required element.


Print Advertising
The print advertising was a collaboration effort with art director Serena Wolford. For the Independent newspaper ad, I created the rough design for the upper half and Serena designed the bottom half. I supplied the Elephant and Piggie character graphics for Serena's ad on the cover of the GO! (a special insert of The Gazette newspaper).

My design for the upper half of the Independent ad.

Our Art Director, Serena Wolford, made more ads using my Elephant and Piggie graphics, such as this banner ad on the Gazette "GO!" special publication.
The interview video with the lead cast was also a collaborative effort with our communications manager, Amanda Weston, who wrote the questions and conducted the interview.  After a good deal of editing in Premiere Pro, it was launched on YouTube and smaller, 1-1:30 minute segments were posted to Facebook to build interest in the show.

Images are such a crucial part of both communications and marketing. You can gain so much in such a short time with an image than with a paragraph, and it excites your audience if you can do it well. Therefore, the last crucial part of my Elephant and Piggie project were professional level photos of the dress rehearsal.

Social Media Marketing
I photographed the dress rehearsal Wednesday night, ran the top images through Adobe Camera RAW later that night, emailed the photos first thing in the morning, and by mid-day on Thursday Amanda had them plastered throughout our social media sites.


The graphics from the posters and the images from the dress rehearsal were posted to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center home page (below), the theatre page and the play's dedicated sub-page.


Overall, the Elephant and Piggie integrated project was an exciting one that let me highlight my skills as applied to multiple media while maintaining a unified message and vision.  It also let me try something new; it was my first time diving head-first into cute graphics. It's a project I'm happy to highlight from this internship!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 6 - Behind the Scenes at the CS Fine Arts Center

Part of what's great about my Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center internship is it's part of my job to run around, poke my nose into things, and find great angles for photos and stories to market. Here are studies of our costume studio, storage, prop room and the workshop for the stage. Adobe RAW edits were styled after old pinhole images on high-grain film.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 5 - Elephant and Piggie Theatre Posters

Elephant and Piggie! Here is the behind-the-scenes look into all the design for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center musical, Elephant and Piggie's "We Are In A Play!" 

It's very rare that I get a design job that is cute and cuddly, so it was great fun when the art director let me take the lead on all the posters for the musical.  The logo headline was designed by Serena Wolford.

Since these were posters for an illustrated book, I was tasked to find an illustrated style that communicated Elephant and Piggie without copying the style of the books.  Time for a designer's best friends, the copic markers and Sharpies!


I often make two or three different design ideas, and quite often I'll make versions of at least one of them (like the two above, with varying color and composition choices).

I also like to make a rough design that deviates from the norm, that breaks expectations and explores other possibilities.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  In this case, the rough below explored the idea of the characters 'coming to life' and so I used my own photos of an elephant and pig.  And since the play is written to appeal to adults as well as children, this poster was an appeal to adults as well with a style that wasn't entirely kiddie. My boss and I loved this one, but the above rough was the pick of our art director and client.


Which brings me to my tip to graphic design students: never show your client a rough you wouldn't put into your portfolio. I loved the photo-realistic rough, but I also loved the selected design. I would feel equally proud to put any of these roughs in my portfolio. If you feel the same about your work, you will always sleep at night after client meetings!  If you don't love it, leave it at home (because odds usually are, that's the one the client will pick).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 4 - Elephant and Piggie Theatre Photos

This week is the premiere of Elephant and Piggie's "We Are In A Play!" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Elephant and Piggie has become my integrated project at this internship: I've created posters, video interviews with the lead cast, contributed to print ads and now this photo session of last night's dress rehearsal for use in our social media marketing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Internship Adventures, Part 3 - Break Dance in the Gallery

The gallery has long been the showcase of high art, but other forms of art are entering the white rooms and halls. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is one of the art centers stepping forward to embrace street art and their Oct 3 JAM FAC event featured muralist El Mac and Fuse as well as a break dance competition.

I had a blast photographing and videographing the JAM FAC for my arts center internship. There was airbrushed letterforms to please the typography lover in me and nothing is more fun than action photography set to a good beat. Photographing talented dancers in a bright, beautifully designed glass hall? Win!