ayana baltrip | design : speak

Professional Practice

Posted in Business, Design, Design Education, Design Matters by ayanabaltrip on 2015/08/10

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I’m teaching the Professional Practice class this term at City College of San Francisco and would like to get some input from my graphic design and digital media production friends and colleagues on how you run your businesses. Please share your input here on the blog. The textbook is the Graphic Artists Guild’s Pricing & Ethical Guidelines handbook and the course is 2 months long (8 sessions). The course starts 9/1/15. Registration ends this Friday, 8/14/15.

The course overview states: “This course will prepare graphic design and production students to skillfully manage freelancing and small business issues such as charging appropriate fees and sales tax, using contracts, understanding copyright and usage regulations.”

What I would like to know is:

– How have you structured business: Freelance/Contractor or Studio/Office?
– Do you submit proposals?
– What are some of the legal issues with which you deal, and how do you deal with them?
– How does Sales Tax factor in; or does it?
– How do you deal with Work-for-Hire situations?
– How do you quote a job: hourly or project? Why?

I would like to get an understanding of real world practices. Please do not feel you have to go into great detail or spend a lot of time.

Please review the course outline here to see the breakdown of content.

Thanking you all in advance for your time.

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Learning to Design a Cherokee Syllabary with Mark Jamra

Posted in Commentary, Design, Design Events, Design History, Design Matters, Typography by ayanabaltrip on 2015/08/03

I just caught this very interesting talk on TypeCulture’s Facebook page on designing an indigenous American syllabary via the Cherokee language whose written language is almost 200 years old. Fascinated as my mother’s maternal grandfather was Cherokee.

I love looking at writing systems outside of the Western cultures. For this talk, Mark Jamra references the book The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance by Ellen Cushman.

Also check out Afrikan Alphabets, The Story of Writing in Afrika by Mwalimu Saki Mafundikwa.

Check out TypeCulture on Facebook here: https://goo.gl/fISww4

Image: Courtesy Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_language

Video runtime: 59:42

Looking at process in User Experience

Posted in Business, Design, Process by ayanabaltrip on 2015/07/29

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In my last post, I talked about my quest into the world of User Experience (UX). Process is at the core of any endeavor, and most certainly UX. As a graphic designer, I’ve been intrigued to see how process looks in this area. As users, when we encounter interfaces, we often are left to our own devices in determining how to engage with them. UX helps refine the process for the user with clear, specific steps. User Experience addresses how a product, system or service behaves or performs, and what expectations users have in engaging with it. Users past experiences are key.

Below is a basic outline of three preliminary steps I’ve seen noted and have used that are important to this process.

• Define the users
• Identify the core expectations users have
• Look at how these expectations will play in the process

Thanking Mary Thorsby and Nikki May

Posted in Branding, Business, Design, Design Education, Design Matters by ayanabaltrip on 2015/03/20

Thanking the wonderful content strategist and writer Mary Thorsby and  great graphic designer and creative Nikki May for their incredible talk with the Portfolio class today on how to present oneself professionally online and offline. 

 

They covered writing the critical content for the portfolio and resume well and distinctively, and presenting ones best work. In addition, they encouraged students to let the clients and emloyers be “your” best advocates for your work. Really great advice.

Thank you so much Mary Thorsby and Nikki May!

Garcia Lorca spied

Posted in Design, Type by ayanabaltrip on 2015/01/30

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Brainstorming Alone

Posted in Design, Process by ayanabaltrip on 2013/04/04

A nice article at How Design outlining a 9-step process to brainstorming alone.

Here are the first six (6). You can find all via the link at the end.

Brainstorming alone often feels, to paraphrase Churchill, like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself by the handles. It can be a lonely and listless experience. No volleying ideas with partners. No yakking it up with teammates. No high-fives or shout-outs.

But not to worry. Here are nine steps to keep solo brainstorming from being a so-so experience.

1. Feed the mind.
Before you bounce into brainstorming, break out of solitude. Get outside. Look around — small scenes can lead to big ideas. Walt Disney came up with the idea of Disneyland while watching bored kids and tired parents dawdle in a dilapidated park.

Talk to other people. Ask questions. Actively listen. Take notes. Snap photos. And even when you’re stuck inside and alone, read books and magazines, websites and blogs, anything and everything.

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines and music, said Ray Bradbury, author of more than 500 published works, “you will automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry period in my life because I feed myself well.”

2. Make time to brainstorm.
“Every morning between nine and twelve, I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper,” says writer Flannery O’Connor. “If an idea does come between nine and twelve, I’m ready for it.”

With deadlines on our backs, most of us can’t spend three hours waiting for muses. But we can carve out small chucks of time here and there. Make appointments with yourself to brainstorm. And make those sessions short, fun and furious.

3. Judge not.
Opening a meeting one day, Sam Goldwyn, the legendary filmmaker, told his staff, “I had a fantastic idea this morning — but I didn’t like it.”

Sound familiar? Probably. Because, like Goldwyn, we’ll have fantastic ideas one moment and then the next moment convince ourselves that they are utter nonsense. Catch yourself judging your own ideas and slam on the brakes. Brainstorming isn’t the time to evaluate or edit ideas. That comes later. Focus on quantity, not quality while brainstorming.

4. Go nuts.
“Learn not to be careful,” photographer Diane Arbus told her students. Post that advice when brainstorming with yourself. Go beyond safe ideas. Move past the weary and welcome the wacky. Sensible thinking usually proffers predictable answers. Non-sensical ideas often lead to sensible solutions.

5. Create mind maps.
Mind maps — also called word maps and semantic maps — are great for single-handed brainstorms. Take a blank sheet of paper. Write your topic in the center and circle it. As your brain makes free associations, follow along with your pen, jotting down words and connecting them with circles and lines. In 20 minutes, you’ll have a page crammed with ideas.

6. Unplug technology.
It’s impossible for your right brain to be storming with ideas while your left brain is sifting through e-mails, texts, caller IDs, instant messages and other distractions. Disconnect from technology before starting to brainstorm.

See all nine (9) here: Brainstorming Alone.

Also: Check out the Creative Marathon for more tips on turning on the creative juices.

Delivering Concept via Conveyance and Theme

Posted in Design, Design Education, Teaching by ayanabaltrip on 2013/02/21

Today’s talk in the Multimedia Content + Form class.

In the visual media world, concept is illustrated through the use of conveyance.

Conveyance is the delivery method of meaning or mood from the thing observed to the observer. Conveyance is relative. Meaning it is dependent upon the our understanding of the cultural learning(s) of the viewer(s). We ask, what does the viewer already know about the concept being conveyed? What assumptions do they make?

Theme is the package enveloping the concept. It is the tone, emotional appeal, the presentation style: bold, cheerful, solemn, humor.

Keeping the above in mind, discuss how conveyance and theme are used in each of the following examples:

All Rights Reserved 2013

Delivering Concept via Conveyance and Theme.

Sharing with Students Today

Posted in Design, Design Education, Process, Teaching by ayanabaltrip on 2013/02/07

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Rise of Graphics for Social Justice Issues in the US

Posted in Commentary, Design, Design Matters by ayanabaltrip on 2013/02/07

Though the production of graphics for social justice issues, primarily as posters or street art has not diminished much in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, it has lost its prominence in the US.

Given this fact, it was nice to read today’s The Daily Heller: Triggering Concern About Guns.

by Juana Medina

by Juana Medina

To see a full array of the posters, go here: The Gun Show: A Collection Of Posters Against Guns

Multimedia Content and Form Class Today

Posted in Design, Design Education, Process, Student Work, Teaching by ayanabaltrip on 2012/05/03

Student peer commenting on the final project.

I have begun to integrate a peer commenting exercise in my classes as a valuable tool to help students “get out of their boxes” and expand their perspectives by engaging each other around the projects and work. This exercise is received well and students truly become engaged and begin to develop more confidence in their work.