Professional Knowledge

AIGAAIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is an organization founded in 1914 to help graphic designers hone their skills. As its website says,”AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.” Under the inspiration tab on the AIGA website, there are many articles written by graphic designers from around the country, and the world. These articles are only available on the organization’s website, though they are free. What is not free is a membership with AIGA, though all members have access to a variety of benefits, which include being able to write articles for AIGA. Being a source for graphic design knowledge and trends, graphic designers are likely among its only readers and contributors, and they probably read it for the same reason I would: to gain further incite into their profession. However, I have not read much on the site, nor do I plan to. My reasoning is this: when it comes to graphic design beyond the fundamentals, you can gain incite and inspiration from all kinds of sources, and very rarely (at least in my experience) are any of them “official”. For me, the most effective thing to do if I need inspiration is to seek out what other designers have gotten up to. Whether I build upon their ideas or go in a completely different direction, everyone is a potential source for inspiration.

AIGA (n.d.). About AIGA
http://www.aiga.org/About/

AIGA (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/

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Job Outlook for Graphic Design

Graphic Design job outlookThe job outlook for graphic design is expected to go up by 13% by 2020. It is a very competitive field however. The outlook for computer systems design is expected to go up by 61%, specialized design services by 27%, advertising and PR by 17%, printing and related fields by 2%, and publishing is actually expected to decrease by 2%, though internet publishing isn’t and in all likelihood won’t be negatively effected by this. As far as publishing online goes, I personally would be interested in online game design, though my style for that would probably just be to develop regular games that would stream on people’s browsers. To become a graphic designer, typically a Bachelor’s degree is needed. However, most of the skills that are needed can be self-taught, and given that college tuition is getting more and more expensive, I wouldn’t be surprised to find graphic designers striking out on their own and letting their portfolios talk for them. Currently, the internet commands a large portion if graphic designers’ time. Web site design in particular is a big business.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 2012). Bureau of Labor Statistics.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Arts-and-Design/Graphic-desgners.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 2012). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Arts-and-Design/Graphic-desgners.htm

Resume Analysis

As I’ve written my resume, I’ve learned that above all else, your resume must look professional. To achieve this, the first thing you need is a good structure to your resume that emphasizes your strengths. If you have skills but not experience, you focus on skills. If you have experience, clearly, emphasizing skills may not be necessary, as your experience will speak for itself. And in any case, whatever you most want to be seen should be at the forefront. Second is that a good resume may, depending on the field you’re applying for, need to stand out graphically. In my field as a Graphic Designer in particular, it is necessary that my resume itself be a reflection of some of my skills. Third, though it may seem like a minor thing, the grammar and spelling on a resume must be immaculate. Some errors are honest mistakes, but there are no “honest mistakes” on a resume. To have errors on your resume is to say that, all skills or experience aside, you may be incompetent (in spelling at least).

When I was analyzing the four resumes in class, I found myself being quick to note any flaws I might find first among the candidates so I could move on the the next candidate, later discovering that some of the ones I skipped over so easily were better qualified than my glance over their resumes suggested. This also applied to the way I honed in on qualities I perceived to be good. This is not a good practice, and given more time to look them over, and if I actually needed to have one of them come in, I would’ve weighed their strengths and weaknesses more fairly and accurately. Noting how time-consuming looking over those resumes was, I would reiterate how important it is to make a resume that is brief, to-the-point, and structured in a way that highlights your strengths.

With regards to an objective statement, I think that in most cases it’s unnecessary, unless you make it more personal. Hernandez(2013) says, “The problem with statements like these (even for entry-level job seekers) is that they’re generic, vague, overused, and they talk about what you want—not what you’re capable of offering the employer.” I think including personal information is a double-edged sword, though you can blunt the edge pointed at you just by using a modicum of common sense in what you include. To reference the last week’s class, saying you like to gamble is probably going to be bad more often than not.

Hernandez, J. (2013). Why Your Resume Should Never Have an Objective Statement.
http://www.biospace.com/News/why-your-resume-should-never-have-an-objective/286632

Quality Life Resources. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.qualityliferesources.com/resume-examples/

A Graphic Designer’s Code of Ethics

AIGA Looking over the Graphic Designer’s Code of Ethics, I found some things which run somewhat contradictory to each other. I think this is interesting:

7.1 A professional designer, while engaged in the practice or instruction of design, shall not knowingly do or fail to do anything that constitutes a deliberate or  reckless disregard for the health and safety of the communities in which he or she lives and practices or the privacy of the individuals and businesses therein.  A professional designer shall take a responsible role in the visual portrayal of people, the consumption of natural resources, and the protection of animals nd   the environment.

7.2 A professional designer is encouraged to contribute five percent of his or her time to projects in the public good-projects that serve society and improve the human experience.

7.3 A professional designer shall consider environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of his or her work and minimize the adverse impacts.

7.7 A professional designer shall strive to understand and support the principles of free speech, freedom of assembly, and access to an open marketplace of ideas and shall act accordingly.

As I see it, this (7.1) means that the greater majority of advertisements should not, by the value of the designer’s conscience, exist. Considering that advertisements make up a rather large portion of many designer’s jobs, this is a problem. Further (7.2), charity is always something that everyone in every honest career should think about, but strictly defining it seems very odd. Next (7.3), most of a graphic designer’s work today is digital, and beyond the literal (making art designs) designers don’t usually have a choice with regards to the informational content. On the other hand (7.4), we’re designers, and art is an expression of free speech. To that point, if our views run counter to other’s ideas, we shouldn’t let those ideas stop us from designing things our way. Assuming, of course, that we aren’t being paid to design things another way.

On the whole though, The Designer’s Code of Ethics is filled with guidelines which are very good and make a lot of sense. I encourage anyone who is interested to check it out.

AIGA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/media/images/logo.gif

AIGA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/standards-professional-practice/

Dr. Siatra

The main thing I learned from Dr. Siatra during the APA workshop was that if you know the basic format, every type of citation is simply an extension of that. She didn’t say that exactly, but that’s what I noticed from watching her go through the examples. Aside from that, what she went over in class were things that had already been covered, and it’s highly unlikely that I will remember how to cite anything. I will still be using the book or an online citation guide/auto-citing service to cite all my sources.

Online Ads vs Print Ads

Print vs PCThe last time I picked up a magazine outside a doctor’s office and really looked at it was months ago. And the ads in that magazine? I’m fairly certain I both did not look at them enough for them to register in my mind and did not buy whatever product was advertised. When the newspaper comes in, it wasn’t me who subscribed to it, and I don’t (typically) read it. I am a first generation computer-age kid, and the days of the morning crosswords seem to be on the out. So what place do print ads have?

(Trammell, 2012) had this to say: “For sure, both online and print advertising have strengths and limitations. Online offers click ability, immediate updating, targeted placement strategies, lower pricing and detailed tracking. Print offers tangibility, strong branding, memorability and readers who tend to be more highly engaged. Plus with a print ad, you have the ability to convey more of your message than with a banner.”

From this we can gather that the advantages to print media are its physical presence, the increased likelihood that it will be seen multiple times and thus remembered, the fact that people reading an ad on paper may not have so many distractions, and the ability to have a greater area on which to advertise.

Based on these advantages, I don’t think print ads are obsolete quite yet. However, digital media is quickly offering alternatives that remove these advantages in most circumstances. I for one have barely seen any advertisements offline while I’m at home, and I don’t see this trend changing. This may mean that in the future, finding a job at a print shop may become somewhat more difficult.

Trammell, M. (2012). Is print advertising dead? definitely not!.
www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/2012/01/17/231405.htm

3 Points About Blogging

From Michael Agger’s(2008) article “Lazy Eyes: How we read online”, three important things I gathered were that I should have:
• One point to make in each paragraph.
• Half the words in a normal paper.
• I should avoid scrolling.
I do however hold that anyone worth the effort will have a slightly larger attention span. Ex: me.
I may hunt for information, but I usually stick around for the whole article.

(Agger, 2008)

For the full article, click here.