J-Gray's blog

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Well it's been an extremely long time since I've posted on here but I wanted to share a project that I've been working on with everyone. About six or seven months ago I started helping out with DesignChat.

DesignChat is a live video chat that airs every Wednesday night at 8pm CST. We broadcast from smbolic (formerly SamataMason) and interview some of the coolest people in the industry for about an hour each week. So far we've had some amazing guests like Milton Glaser, Erik Spiekermann, Debbie Millman, Jessica Hische and many others.

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Skills for Portfolio

It's been quite a while since I've posted an entry but I've been quite busy working on my portfolio and some other things. I had an idea to add a section to my portfolio where I don't show finished work, but rather specific skills. It's just going to be a small section where I can show things like before and after pictures of color correction, illustration, etc. I am not a type designer but would like to show some sort of type treatment as well. Does anyone have an idea of a type exercise that might be good in this context? As always, I appreciate any advice you have to offer.

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Proofreading Ability

As a designer and someone who constantly notices and pays attention to type, I have developed a very keen proofreaders eye. I have always been one to notice typos and inconsistencies in formatting. I'm not claiming to be an expert writer or anything of the sort, but I am usually able to pick up on mistakes that go unnoticed by others. I feel that this is a valuable skill and something I should play up on when applying for marketing and communication positions. I do not want to be a professional proofreader, I would just like to stress that this an "extra" skill I have and something that a might give me a leg up on another candidate.

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Snow Leopard

Well I finally went out and got Snow Leopard today. I was really looking forward to it because my computer is a little light on memory and I thought the smaller, more efficient operating system might help. I have a 20" iMac G5 that I bought in early 2007 and although it is far from new, I've always kept it up to date with the newest software.

Well... not anymore. As soon as I popped in the disc to start the install I learned what I didn't see in that tiny type on the side of the box. Snow Leopard can only be installed on Intel-based Macs. I already have Leopard and seeing as Snow Leopard was more of an update than a whole new OS, I assumed it would be fine. I was wrong.

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iStock Selling Logos

I just received an email from iStock Photo that they are going to be offering logos. They are looking for designers to submit logos that will be sold for one time use. They are offering $5 per and an additional $5 if they meet their goal of 10,000 approved designs.

I initially saw this and thought about submitting a few however, upon thinking about it I think this is a pretty terrible concept. I know that there are plenty of sites out there like "$50 Dollar Logo" but iStock is a pretty popular site and I hate to see things go this way. It just undervalues the work of graphic designers and makes it harder to sell our services. I also question how well font licensing will be upheld.

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Logo for Self Promotion

I'm currently exploring the job market and hoping to relocate to St. Louis sometime soon. As a graphic designer, this of course becomes a project. Our resumés are judged not only by what they say, but how they look as well.

I'm trying to put together a package that includes an envelope, cover letter, resumé, business card and miniature portfolio to send out. As of now, I'm using Neutraface for the type and one spot color and black for the layout. I'm trying to decide if that is enough branding for my purposes or if I should create a logo for myself as well. I've had professors tell me as an individual it is unnecessary and shows arrogance. On the other hand, it's one more opportunity to show my skills and adds personality.

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Mobile Typography

I just recently got myself a new mobile phone. It is an LG enV Touch. I was going through the settings and noticed that there are 5 different menu fonts to choose from, VZW Font, LG Serif, LG Edge, LG Joy, and LG Script. I'm sure this isn't the first phone to have this but I have to admit, I was impressed. Even though I'm sticking with VZW font which is a clean sans serif and the default on the phone, it's nice to have options.

I did a little bit of searching and from what I can tell it isn't possible to upload your own fonts but I could certainly see that in the future. It's an interesting possibility to say the least.

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Spec Work?

When I arrived at work this morning and turned on my computer I had an e-mail about an upcoming project. As I mentioned in my last entry, I am getting my feet wet with e-mail marketing and have become the go-to-guy on the subject. The e-mail started with a few basic technical questions that came up in conversation with a customer. It then said that as a means of convincing the customer to go with us for there e-newsletter, we (I) would come up with a design of what it would look like and help advise them on the content.

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E-Mail Marketing and Type Limitations

One of my new tasks at work is e-mail marketing. We are starting to use it for both self-promotion and as a service that we will now offer to our clients. So far I am just getting my feet wet and sticking to the basics as I learn the ins and outs. As a designer who works in the print world 99% of the time, I've had the usual frustrations with typography that go along with the web.

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here goes nothing,

I've never been much of a blogger so I'm not really sure how this usually goes, to me it makes sense to start with an introduction. My name is Jim and I am graphic designer getting started in the field. I have a BA and about a year of experience in print production. I am very interested in type but I am not a type designer. I would like to try it and hope to soon.

My intent with this blog is to use it as an exercise for myself to think about type in new way. Let's see what happens.

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