Final Project Report

3 06 2010

Specific Contributions
My focus this week was to finalize the manual for our presentation this evening because we are also handing over the deliverables to our client. This includes a hard copy of the manual, the supporting CD, and a DVD of the final video. Last week we determined which versions of the stationary we would include in the manual so I spent this week finalizing those assets, saving them in workable file formats (mostly InDesign CS3) and inserting images of the final deliverable into the manual. Some of the assets required guidelines and standards such as the newsletter and the brochure. I established these standards and included them in the manual. I also packaged all the typefaces we recommended and saved the logos in workable file formats. Finally, once the rest of the group approved the manual and its supporting assets, I packaged them and burned them to a disc that we will include with the hard copy of the manual. One final touch was to design a label for the CD and DVD that was consistent with the branding on the manual. I think these turned out quite nicely and everything looks like it goes together. Secondary to what we needed to finish for the client, I also spent some time compiling sketches of logos and newsletter iterations for the portfolio site Sean is working on.

What’s going well
This was probably the best group I’ve ever worked with — both in my undergraduate and graduate studies. We communicated well and everyone did what was expected of them and I feel like we all contributed and gave constructive feedback to make sure we were producing the best product we were capable of. I am quite pleased with how everything turned out and how flawless we worked together.

What’s not going well
I still don’t know if we’re going to have a printed hard copy of our manual, which is a little disconcerting.

Final project reflections …
Not much to add here. Our team worked well together to produce everything our client was anticipating from us. I always had faith in our team and I am not at all surprised we were able to accomplish our goals. I think we were all pretty well experienced in the work we did so that certainly helps, but it is does feel slightly hapless that we weren’t challenged more. Still, the project was a great collaborative experience and I am quite proud of what we all have to show for it.


Project Contributions, Week Nine

28 05 2010

Specific Contributions
Last week we had a very productive class where Hannah and I worked on the layout of the newsletter and Susanna from the CityFarm group observed to get a feel for how InDesign is used for page layout. We were able to establish a few standards for the newsletter portion of the graphic manual. I spent the weekend and much of the beginning of this week working on the graphic standards manual. I was able to complete logo standards, (color, black & white, grayscale) logo area standards, logo sizing standards, etc. I also established tag line standards, file format standards, typeface standards, and pantone color standards. I took the submissions for stationary (letterhead, business card) and placed them in the graphic standards manual along with a brochure Hannah and Brooke worked on so that we could critique these assets with the class this week. I also created a mock of an email newsletter for the client, which will also be included in the graphic standards manual. Overall, a very productive week.

What’s going well …
Our group continues to get these accomplished and work extremely well together. The video is coming along nicely thanks to our dedicated group of people working on this and the manual and stationary resources are close to completion — just a few tweaks are needed and a final round of proofreading will be necessary. We are set to present the video and the manual to the client during next week’s class.

What’s not going well …
At this point I can’t really think of anything that isn’t going well … can I still complain about Basecamp and how I swear files just seem to get lost there?? 😛

Goals for next week …
Since we’re presenting to the client next week our goal is to have the video and the manual completed. We will present a printed copy of the manual as well as a branded CD containing all of the files, fonts, and supporting documentation. The video will be presented on a DVD and a YouTube link, which we will also provide to the CDM class working on the website re-design. One thing we were hoping to complete for next week is the portfolio website showcasing the work we did, but I do not think that deadline is realistic since we will be working hard to finalize everything for the client, which, quite frankly, comes first. The portfolio site will be finalized the following week.

Resources  from project team, class or instructor …
We have already discussed this, but it would be spectacular if we could have our professor print the finalized manual before next Thursday so we can hand over a nice, finalized piece to the client. Oh, and snacks … can always use snacks. 🙂

Project Report, Week Eight

20 05 2010

Specific Contributions
Late last week we received excellent feedback from the board members at St. Joseph’s regarding the first iteration of the logo re-design. This feedback prompted us to draw up a new iteration of logos to present to their board meeting tonight. I created two logos for this proposal and drafted the final PDF document we sent to the client with all of our designs. In addition, I attended a screening of the video footage we have so far and I reviewed submissions for the stationary portion of the graphics manual.

What’s going well …
Our team is still working well together and are getting a lot accomplished. We make a lot of decisions during the week and Brian is doing a phenomenal job at organizing times to shoot with the client, volunteers, etc., and he is great at communicating our ideas, questions, and concerns to the client — and vice versa.

What’s not going well …
We are having a difficult time locking down equipment for shooting our video. Additionally, we don’t have the resources in our classroom to log footage and edit the video during class time. I find it absurd that we’re relying on my 4-year-old laptop with an illegal copy of Final Cut Pro to edit our video.

What are your goals for next week …
Next week I hope to have a finalized mock of the newsletter and the brochure and we will have committed to a logo to use for the manual and the video.

What resources or help do you need from your project team, class, or instructor:
As mentioned above, it would be nice to have access to a computer lab equipped with the software, docking stations, and video cameras needed to log and edit the footage we’ve spent so much time getting. That way we’re not using our own laptops and apartments outside of class.

Project Report, Week Seven

13 05 2010

Specific Contributions:
I’m leading the graphics standard manual project so this week I provided a break-down of proposed deliverables we might want to provide the client as well as a drafted table of contents for the manual. At first I thought the manual and the deliverables (newsletter design, brochure, etc) should be separate projects, but now I think these items should be combined with the manual as resources. I’m really excited to get started on this project.

What’s going well:
Our team still seems to be working well together and we’re communicating really well – especially now that we’re using basecamp. Everyone is contributing to each element so far and I think the timeline is still looking pretty good.

What’s not going well:
I’m a little concerned about everyone’s involvement in the manual because I know the video project is going to take up a lot of time, but I also think a lot of what we’re including in the manual can be completed outside of class and face-to-face meetings. My other concern is the state of the logo just because I know a lot hinges on the completion of the logo in the video as well as the manual. But? In my experience a lot of this stuff will need several iterations and won’t be complete until the eleventeenth hour.

What are your goals for next week:
Tonight I want to present my ideas for the manual and get everyone’s feedback. Based on that feedback I’m hoping to get started on some of the more time-consuming elements like the newsletter and the brochure. I would like to see mocks for the letterhead, fax cover sheet, news release, envelope, and business cards by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

What resources or help do you need from your project team, class, or instructor:
I would like feedback on the proposed list of elements for the manual from my team, which I will get tonight during class.

Project Report, Week Six

6 05 2010

What’s going well . . .
This past week has been quite productive for our group. A few of our members took a trip to one site location to get some B-roll video footage and to scout the location. The entire group made it to the other location for scouting and an opportunity to meet/touch base with our client. This was a very informative meeting because we were able to hear their opinions on our ideas for the video as well as get input on what they’d like to see in the graphics standard manual and their interest in a logo re-design. This meeting gave the graphics standard manual team information to get started on the logo and create a break-down of all the deliverables we’ll need to create.

What’s not going well . . .
I think the fact that we do not have a logo yet is the biggest problem and we also need to decide on color swatches to incorporate in the newsletter, letterhead, website, etc. The film project seems to be going well, though I think we would all agree that more time would be ideal to make us all feel more comfortable. Film projects are quite time consuming and usually move at a slow pace, which in my opinion, is just the nature of the beast. I do, however, think we need to get moving on the logo and graphics manual as well as producing quality templates for the newsletter and letterhead because while we might be happy with the work, our client will always have suggestions for improvement.

Goals . . .
Tonight is a big night for us and I’m bummed I’ll be missing class tonight because I think we’ll be getting a lot accomplished. I feel we should have a selection of logos to show the client BEFORE the weekend so that we can get their feedback by early next week. That will give us an opportunity to move forward with the deliverables I mentioned above and hopefully we’ll be able to decide on what we’d like to offer the CDM class working on the website. By mid next week I would like to have a shell for the graphics standard manual so we can all see what’s going to be incorporated in the manual and better visualize the work that needs to get done. The logo and color are our #1 priority because they affect all elements of the project including the video.

Resources . . .
Depending on how things go in class tonight, I think we’re still going to need access to a computer lab with the Adobe Creative Suite. When we’ll need access to the lab will depend on everyone’s schedule, but this will hopefully give us a chance to work together on the deliverables mentioned above and assist anyone who is interested in learning more about how to use the software. We can go over logo creation in Illustrator, the newsletter template in InDesign, and creating layers for the video in Photoshop.

Project Report, Week Five

28 04 2010

What’s going well . . .
So far the St. Joseph’s team is doing a great job at participating in the Blackboard and completing what is expected each week by our project manager. The two meetings we’ve had in person as a group have gone pretty well — everyone is very vocal with their ideas and suggestions and there haven’t been any real problems or conflicts. The group seems to have a clear understanding of the three main projects and after this week we should all have a better understanding of the organization and the people who are a part of it. Our group seems to be committed to creating a quality video that highlights the three main points the organization would like to get across.

What’s Not Going Well . . .
I think some members of the group do not have a clear understanding of their role(s) in the project — probably because there are so many of us and so many elements to work on. Last week our goals were focused on the video and I think after visiting the facility this week and the realization that there are only 5 weeks left of the term will push the urgency of the project and we will hopefully have a better understanding of our role(s) and timelines for the projects.

Goals . . .
As co-art director, my goal for next week is to have a designated team of individuals who want to work on the graphics standard manual and to have a finalized logo. After we lock down all the elements we want to include in the graphics standard manual, I want to hear from everyone involved what they hope to get out of the project so that we might be able to assign each element to the appropriate person/persons.

Possible Resources
Provided we have a group interested in working on the graphics manual and some of these people are interested in learning more about Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, I would like access to a computer lab with these programs so I can organize an optional learning workshop and a couple production workshops where the group will actually be able to work on the elements of the manual.

Since the St. Joseph’s team will not be in class Thursday, I’d like to express my preference for a Wiki as opposed to the Blackboard format for collaboration. 

    Multimodality Reading Response Part Two

    14 04 2010

    I actually posted this video on my blog last week, but after reading the paragraph below from Kress, I tried to come up with a way to illustrate what the video is saying in a static image. I eventually gave up because I think, after reading the excerpt below, the video speaks for itself.

    In response to:

    “The screen, as an inherently spatially organized site of display, coupled with the affordances of the digital technologies, has shifted the centre of semiotic gravity to the new arrangement of the facilities of the screen and image-dominated representation. In that new arrangement, writing is not disappearing by any means, though it is being remade. Writing is newly organized by the demands of the spatial logic of the visual mode which dominates the ‘screen’; and remade too by the new functional relations of image and writing.” (p. 170)