A Review on New Vector Drawing Programs

One of my favorite software tools to use is Adobe Illustrator. It’s my default application to take my initial sketches from the idea stage to a working composition. It can be very tempting to begin to play within Illustrator, but much of the time I will actually make thumbnail sketches and ideas on paper and either scan or photograph them to bring into Illustrator to begin pulling together my ideas into cohesive, editable options. When I first was introduce to Illustrator, it was back during the days of Adobe CS2 and from there I’ve jump every other version, going to CS4, and now with CS6. I use Adobe CC but I also still have a machine that uses only CS6. Continue reading

When The Man Comes Around

Imagine if you will…I’m 6’8”, right around 320 lbs. I’m no small guy. I’m fumbling over my introduction notes, making sure I memorize everything and practicing how it sounds as I softly recite a few takes. I’m standing right behind a white support pillar that is maybe 18” or 20” across up at the front of the room. I’m not exactly hidden. Continue reading

Open Design Process

When I first got involved with the open source community, I had plenty to learn. I delved into the philosophy of open source, the Creative Commons copyright licenses and other licenses as well as meaningful contribution to ideas, projects and products. WordPress was probably the first product I started using and understood as open source. Since then, I tried out hundreds of open source projects, products and software packages, thanks to amazing people who post projects to GitHub, LayerVault or make them available through their Dropbox account. Continue reading

Primary Healthcare Consultants

I’m always pumped when one of the client sites I’ve developed goes live. It still gets me excited to see something I worked on is out there for the public to interact with and utilize. Last week, I had that excitement happen again as Primary Healthcare Consultants was launched.  Continue reading

Building a Design Community

It’s about 5am when I started writing this post and already I’ve sent out more then a dozen emails reaching out to some those in my design community on behalf of AIGA Central PA. I’ve been working on planning an event with my good pals Bri Picarri and James Castanzo to do a presentation and panel discussion with in-house designers in Central Pennsylvania this November. I imagine by the time I get into the office, I will have sent off a few more. It’s nice to communicate via email today after a long week of meet ups, having lunch meetings and after work drinks with my peers in the industry. Emails equal less driving and more background music with Alexisonfire. Continue reading

Reforging a Commitment

I’ve been a long time advocate of the AIGA. Ever since I have been a student at Hussian School of Art, I thought it was important to be a part of a professional association for design. I poured over the AIGA website and read as much as I could about design, design thinking, application, theorems, and sustainability before I ever attended an actual event. That first event was a networking night at Roxy’s in Philly. Ever since that night, I felt even more affirmed that this was the field that I wanted to be in. Continue reading

We’re a Happy Family: Working with other Designers

Remember back in middle school and high school when you were assigned group projects and you couldn’t pick your group members? Unless you were grouped with other highly like-minded individuals who strived to get through this easily and with a good grade, you were kind of screwed. Having to depend on others to do their portion of a job, and do it correctly, is always an x-factor that you can’t control. Your work is judged and graded upon how your group’s ultimate end project performs, not by individual merits. It’s not in our nature to openly collaborate with others, it’s something that is learned and constantly adjusted as we work with others. One thing that middle and high school got right was that you’ll find yourself working with others in the rest of your life. Continue reading

The Value of Internships

I recently met with a teacher from Harrisburg University about the possibilities of an internship and what that experience would look like at my daytime firm PPO&S. We chatted about what Harrisburg University has to offer its students and what they want to provide for their students in the way of real world application of knowledge. This got me thinking a good bit about my own experiences being an intern and also running an internship program. For design students, of any discipline, a good internship can mean the difference in establishing your career. Continue reading

Understanding Agency and In-House

When I was pursuing my degree in graphic design, I though that advertising agencies were the only types of companies that employed designers. I was very naïve. As I learned more about design thinking, application and strategy it became very clear to me that designers had many more options than just traditional advertising agency route that so many think of. The idea of what an advertising agency was and is was also very nebulous. A full service ad agency goes well beyond creative development work, in the sense that most young designers know of, and goes into media buying, public relations, radio and TV and digital development. Some shops decided to focus more on the creative, falling under the term of design studio (but even that term is nebulous, at best) while others are full blown integrated marketing firms that work with clients on all of their needs. For most young designers, this is probably what they think of when they imagine working as a professional. But there is another way and this post will describe the realm of in-house designers and give a basic overview of the pros and cons of agency compared to in-house. Continue reading

Should Designers Code? A Continuation

This past March I wrote a post titled “Should Designers Code?” and it generated a lot of discussion. As all good SEO experts would suggest, I spread this post far and wide throughout the Internet, submitting it to Medium, a few groups on Facebook and on Reddit. I posted it through Twitter and it gained a lot of traction there but the network that surprised me the most was LinkedIn. I posted this question and link to my post to several professional groups and it blew up. Continue reading

Videos and Films for Creatives

Each week I find a cool video series, podcast, or film trailer that excites me to no end. I wanted to grab the best ones and share them with you here. Continue reading

Making Freelance Easier

I told myself that I would never make a list for a post, but here I am. Currently, I’ve been working on a lot of web development for a series of medical associations, the spirit board Etsy project is underway, and I have several proposals for this weekend’s AIGA board retreat. Suffice it to say, I’ve been pretty busy. This list is of tools, services and resources that I use as a freelance designer and developer that have made me one efficient professional. Continue reading

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