Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Roundup 4/27

Google Logo in honor of Samuel F.B. Morse's birthday.

Awesome Typewriter Ribbon Tin Collection on flickr. credit: Jasmine Ou [Flickr]

Are you getting what you paid for? Indepth look at the quality of designer clothes sold at Target & H&M [Wall Street Journal]

CNN rates four logos from our failing banking system. [CNN Money]

"5 Reasons Why Developers are Switching to Mac" or "Ways to get a lot of pissed off geeks on a comment frenzy" [Smashing Magazine]

Yahoo plans to shut down Geocities! What will become of my Sailor Moon Shrine? [Yahoo]

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life After Art School

photo of me working on a painting for my senior project

I often have people approach me with questions about pursuing a career in Graphic Design. This isn't because they see me as an incredibly successful and talented individual, but because employed designers are hard to find in La Mirada, CA. Usually the questions come from paranoid mothers who are desperately searching for reasons to keep their children away from art schools. My mother was no exception and her go-to-person was my cousin who went to Art Center. During family gatherings he would tell freelancing horror stories (ie. ridiculous competition, crazy work hours, and insanely stubborn clients). His disdain for his job resulted in my mother refusing to let me apply to art schools. So when frightened parents come to me for advice I try to offer them a positive perspective. Yes the hours can be rough, a lot of clients are indeed insane, and the competition will continue to grow as long as 5th graders are learning Photoshop. I have never heard the words "you want to be a graphic designer? I hear the pay is excellent" muttered before in my life. But despite this people continue to go to design school because working a job you love is an incredible privilege.

Of course deciding you want to be a designer isn't the biggest obstacle. As with any job the first couple years of interviews, coffee fetching, and screwing up can take its toll on your enthusiasm. As someone with only two years of experience under me, this is where I stumble when offering advice. One day you're a self proclaimed genius and the next day you're freaking out because you found a bunch of typos after the press check. Needless to say I've made more than my share of newbie mistakes my first year and I still second guess myself due to my lack of experience. So when I let my insecurities get the best of me I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. For those, like me, that need the occasional encouragement here is a list of reading materials:

- Life At the Bottom is an amazing resource for students and those finding their niche.

Never Sleep - The site addresses the awkward transition period between student to professional. Never Sleep is actually a book, but the site itself has some great essays by Professors and Art Directors in the industry.

AIGA: Presenting Your Portfolio - Advice for Getting Started by Steff Geissbuhler. Short, simple, and concise.

May I Show You My Portfolio
- Michael Bierut shows off his first portfolio and offers some insight into his student work.

Speak Up: Pick One
- Debbie Millman talks about her disastrous first job interview. There are also some equally hilarious anecdotes in the comment section.

Speak Up: Design Academics - Generally all the articles here are worth a read if you're interested in Grad school.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekly Roundup

One week only: Feist music video starring Cilian Murphy directed by Kevin Drew. Beautiful reimagining of the lady in the lake story. [pitchforkmedia]

A different kind of body art [fabrikproject]

It's bad enough that Macs are overpriced, but must all mac accessories be expensive as well? Still, I want..[]

Ever wonder how newcomers survive in NYC? Early days in the city as remembered by Cindy Sherman, Andy Samberg, Chloe Sevigny and more. [nymag]

Educational Tables vs Divs guide for those of starting out in web design [smashing magazine]

Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black's new blog is up and running. And yes, I know I'm probably the only person in the world that would consider this news. []

Oliver Peoples ad feat. Zooey Deschanel and Matt Costas. Doing the geek chic glasses thing right [youtube]