Thursday, January 31

I Got The Job!

If you follow me on twitter you will already know that today I received a phone call informing me I got the job!

The job itself will be working with The Air Ambulance Service as their designer, this might sound a bit random but it really is the perfect creative job. The main role will be helping to design across a whole range of items; web, brochures, campaigns, mailers and newsletters to name a few.

TAAS are looking for a whole new creative direction with lots of new ideas and fun - which is fantastic! I really couldn't be happier and looking forward to starting soon.

I don't have a photo to illustrate this so here is Marilyn Monroe jumping for joy. Because obviously I would look this good if I were to do the same... :)

Sunday, January 27

Amazing Studios

This is quite an unusual post for me but it's quite fun so I decided to just go with it. The topic is really interior design for designers; taking a look at some cool spaces and studios to inspire you to be more creative with your own work space.

In general I prefer the cleaner desks but there are some good ideas on how make your work space a source of inspiration whatever your tastes are. I think my favourite is the top middle picture on the edge of the river and the one with the slide. Both would be really fun but I don't think I would ever get any work done.

I have collated some of my favourite images into quite an extensive Pinterest board of amazing studios, for image sources or more examples see here.

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Friday, January 25

New Toys

Recently I had to have my mac wiped. Luckily I am quite up to date with my time machine and was able to recover most things last night, although it did take some time.

I was also able to add on some new Adobe goodies which I am very excited about.

This is a screen shot of my desktop, if you look to the dock you will be able to see a whole load of new adobe software I have added.

I have previously owned Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver but now have an extended collection of After Effects, Flash, Audition, Story, On Location, Encore and Premiere Pro.

(Plus the less exciting, yet useful Microsoft Office Suite)

Although I have used some of the products before, some of them are relatively new to me, and will be experimenting with some film editing and letting you know how I get on.

Mac & Genius Bar

I've had my mac for about three and a half years.

In that time we've had a great relationship; it got me through my degree and didn't complain about being covered in sandwich crumbs and nail varnish. A perfect partnership.

This was until Tuesday, when my mac shut down and refused to boot or let me access any files. After trying a few Internet tricks with no luck I decided to book a Genius Bar appointment and drove down to Bristol to fix it.

I had never used the Genius Bar before but, as with Apple in general, I expected it to be efficient and easy, and I wasn't wrong.

After a short wait Hugo was able to diagnose and treat the problem of my corrupted hard drive and talk me through the process, after a short instillation my trusty mac was handed back to me in full working order.

When I got my purse out the lady at the counter informed me the operation was free and thanked me for visiting, I was surprised but very pleased by the speedy and apparently free service. Also very thankful for my functioning laptop.

I put so much of my life on to my laptop; work, photos, bank details, software, emails; everything. Which makes it nerve wracking when you do have a technical error and worry that you may never recover this precious data. In future I will definitely be backing up regularly!

Tuesday, January 22

Handwriting App

I have found a cool new app.

No, it's not Temple Run 2.

It's called iFontMaker, an app that allows you to make your handwriting into a font. I'm a fan of all things typographic and I love the way that this app allows you to add some personality to your emails.
I've only had time to play with it quickly but will aim to compile a whole alphabet of my own handwriting

Monday, January 21

Creative CVs

CVs: most people have them, and most people will have some boring microsoft word construction that gives meaning to the word dull.

Which is fine; it does the job and tells the story. That is unless you work in the creative industries, where your CV should be an extension of your portfolio and showcase your creativity and flair.

Recently I redesigned my CV in a clean, typographic, swiss style and since then have received positive comments on the more exciting layout I designed, even non-designer friends could appreciate it. It also makes me feel confident when applying for jobs that my CV will stand out in the sea of others.

To inspire you to do the same I have collected a few to show with a whole host more to be found on my dedicated Pinterest board for creative CVs - you can check that out here.

This first design is simple but the subtle design elements such as use of colour and type make it visually interesting. The layout also allows for a lot of information on the page without it feeling crammed.

This CV has a mood board, casual feel to it with the added illustrations but gives a sense of personality to the design. The designer has stuck to black and white to counterbalance the "busy" layout.

I was really interested by this CV as at first I thought it was real code. This would be a perfect example of a creative CV for a web developer as I think this shows a lot of knowledge in this area to create such a realistic pastiche.

I love this design because of the timeline style and punctuation of lime green throughout to make this visually interesting. The level of thought and effort gone into this piece is evident and really conveys a sense of pride and care in this designers work.

When researching creative CVs I found that info graphics were a prominent feature in many designs; this is not something I would consider myself but has lots of interesting potential for a designer who favours that area, such as this designer. I find this design quite confusing to read on screen but undoubtedly clever. 

For more of my selected CVs or to find the original source for any of the above please visit my pinboard here. If you have any great examples yourself please send them my way.

Friday, January 18

Final Year Uni Survival

This January thousands of final year students will be going back to uni to complete their degrees and get the grades, my boyfriend and friends included. While thinking about them and what they would be facing in their most stressful term I began to think back to how I was feeling this time last year.

The last part of uni can be difficult with the amount of work and revision balanced between trying to have a social life and still get the results you want. These are some tips I stuck to to make my last term easier and a lot more fun.

1. Get organised.

This sounds like an obvious tip and it is, but get organised about being organised now. Get all the equipment you are going to need to revise, write your dissertation or do your coursework now so you can start as soon as possible. You can't cram two months of work into two weeks.

2. Don't rely on technology.

When I was at uni I had to submit digitally a couple of times. It's much more convenient and can be done from the comfort of your home. Unless the uploading system goes down, which I did on the day of one of my submissions. Luckily I decided to submit early so as not to risk our unpredictable uploading system crashing and I'm so glad I did.

Uni regulations don't count their intranet going down as a valid reason to submit late meaning you loose 10% of your overall grade per day your work is late. It can be the difference between a grade.

3. Whatever it is - it will get done.

The amount of work you have to before the deadlines or exams can be SUPER daunting. Don't stress;  just break it down into lots of smaller, manageable deadlines so you can chart your progress and ensure it get's sorted on time. Plus, if it's really important then it will get done, somehow you just make it happen. You'll be surprised how fast you can work when time is short.

A picture from final hand in day. 

4. Don't Stress.

This sounds simple now but don't stress. Just don't. I wasted hours worrying over small details that seem insignificant now. Stressing just wastes time and energy that can be put towards something productive. Put it to one side and move on.

5. Party

Your lecturers won't advise this but I definitely do. The final term of uni is long and difficult and you need to remember that it is your last term, so make the most of it while you're there! I worked very hard but my housemates and I always made time for a few cheeky drinks to de-stress and get away from the pressures of finals. It's not all about work!

Friday, January 11

General Updates

I have been getting up to lots of things lately, so to save four short blog posts I have condensed it all down into one little post with bite sized pieces. Like with any catch up you always have to have a hot drink, which explains the image, obviously.

Image sourced from here

1. You may have noticed that my blog has had a slight make over recently and now has more of a personal feel. Changing the layout is something I have been wanting to do for a long time yet not really got round to, I am keen to have both my website and blog use quite a consistent theme and I think this is a good match. Over time I hope to tweak and improve both to create a better synergy between all my digital presences.

2. Post placement I have been applying for lots more jobs and Internships (as usual). My placement at Big in December opened my eyes to lots of possibilities and this week I've really had an "I've got nothing to loose" mentality and applied and emailed people about a whole range of opportunities. My aim is to try lots of different things, not necessarily design, and just gain as much experience as possible by trying new things. So far i'm enjoying it.

3. My good pal Alex is owner of Albatross Clothing; an ethical clothing company with morals at the heart of everything they do. This week I have been working up designs for a new apparel range after receiving an invite to submit work.

Apparel design is not something I know a lot about but I definitely wanted to have an emphasis of fun in the designs I created as the Albatross audience is young people. Once focus group research has been completed I will hopefully know if these designs will be going forward to be sold under the Albatross brand. Fingers crossed the designs make the cut!

4. Finally I have been working on some freelance projects. The first is for an accounting firm which really came about by lucky coincidence, hopefully I can provide something that will really work for them a their brief was quite vague and I have a few ideas I want to pursue.

So that really concludes general updates. Hopefully some exciting things will start happening next week :)