5 Lessons From GRA217

1 Details

I really want to say details matter. Not like painting, graphic design needs to follow instructions. We have projects throughout this semester. The first one is resume, the second one is poster (which is my favorite one), the third one is website design, and the last one is magazine. Each of these has a purpose, no matter to attract, to persuade, or to educate. Details include the existing format, color theory, balance, words choice, etc.

2 Office hour

I do not how to explain how importance office hour is. Professor Strong is so great. She will definitely help you. Sign office hour ahead of time(sometime you need to sign office hour one week before). Each office hour last 20 minutes. For each project, you might need two appointments. Her feedbacks are super helpful. You will sure get some insights from her.

3 Always have backup

I have a hard drive. I never thought it would be broken. Each project would take at least 5 hours on average. Don’t be afraid. Time will past so fast when you do a project. Play with it and have fun. Cause you have spent so many time and energy into it. When those things lost, you would be so so so angry. Save often. Do not delete something by mistakes. Always have backup.

4 Keep it simple

It is true that sometimes the simpler idea is the better one. I remember the time I did my magazine cover. I was trying so hard to find typefaces. The last cover page I used the simplest one. The one I took the least time.  A lot of thought goes into a simple design surprisingly. After letting an idea settle, we always stay in that idea and never get out. That is not right. Make it simple. Do not add something. Each element will have a purpose. Know when it’s good to go with details or keep it to something simple. 

5 Links

There are a lot of links on blog. LYNDA. COM is so helpful. Some people might like use YouTube. You might know how to do this part, but you will never know other tricks you can use on your project. 


Lessons Learned

1) Go in for office hours whenever you can.

My friends were convinced that I was spending more time in Professor Strong’s office this semester than with them. Take advantage of the hours she offers and take the time to sign up early to see her. I found it helpful to go see her once in the beginning or middle of the project and once right before the final submission was due. Her feedback is incredibly valuable and she really cares about each and every one of her students!

2) If possible, get yourself the Adobe programs.

Whether it’s strategically utilizing the free trials for Adobe Creative Cloud or purchasing the full versions of the programs, make sure to find a way to have Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop at your fingertips. The Newhouse labs are definitely a resource, but it’s also wonderfully comfortable to be able to work on your projects away from Newhouse – be it in your dorm room, the library, or a nearby coffee shop.

3) Save often. Save everywhere.

Luckily, I wasn’t too far on my project, but I did have an instance earlier in the semester where my computer froze up and I ended up losing my progress. Now, God forbid that happens to you, but skip the frantic file recovery tutorials and troubleshooting by learning how to save all the time. Make it a goal to save your work on the hour? Also, don’t forget to save every version, even if it has the tiniest change. Store them on your computer, your flash drive, your external hard drive, and maybe even the cloud?

4) Read the directions. Multiple times.

Make sure you’re going into each project knowing exactly what Professor Strong expects and the requirements that you need to meet. Save yourself from a panic by reading the directions regularly throughout the project. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you didn’t know a file was necessary in the final submission folder the night before it’s due.

5) Be prepared for a challenge and put in the hard work.

This class was hands down the hardest class I’ve taken at Newhouse. It requires so much more foresight and so many extra hours compared to your other classes. The workload is intense and you and all of your other classmates will be investing hours into each project. Be prepared for some harsh criticism, and be more than ready to pick yourself back up after you fall. Don’t give up and make sure to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. This class is challenging, but by the end of it, your work will show immense progress and you’ll be a much more sophisticated student and thinker – I promise.


5 Lessons that I learned the hard way

These lists of advice from past students are not just to get an A, they are crucial for your survival. Professor Strong will teach you a lot about design and even a little bit about life, but if you want to get the most out of the class I recommend –

  1. Sign up for office hours now, like now, even if you don’t have an assignment yet – because they do fill up, but more than that – you want to make sure you start building a relationship with Professor Strong. She always knew where I was at with my design and what I personally struggled with the most, and that helped progress my skills.
  2. DON’T FORGET THE TA – I have never really gone out of my way before to contact the TA, I was a professor only kinda gal. However, (Rachel was my classes TA) Rachel helped me in so many ways, like she knew what it was like to be a beginner on Photoshop and helped calm a lot of my frustrations. She also was a new eye to look at my project, and saw obviously wrong things I needed to fix before turning it in.
  3. Save your design, save it now, even if you haven’t made anything yet put it in google drive – because you will lose progress when photoshop “has unexpectedly quit”. Professor Strong is understanding, but it really is on you to save your design properly and google drive, email, and of course your beloved flash drive are the divine trinity.
  4. You can do it, even if you really think you can’t – and that’s life advice too! I remember looking at past student’s work and even the students in my own class’ work and thinking, “whaaaat am I doing here”. Now, did I become a graphic design STAR? No. But I did really surprise myself on the work I created. It wasn’t half bad! You’re going to learn a lot, get excited!
  5. Start your project early enough to have time to WALK AWAY from it – graphic design, and this is definitely not the way everyone feels, but for me- is equivalent to the word frustrating. I am a perfectionist and not being able to immediately create BEAUTIFUL design baffled me! It takes a lot of time and procrastinating is bad in this class, not only cause you’re going to literally be exploding but because it is important to walk away from your work and come back with fresh eyes and realize that OF COURSE that font should be Avenir Next not Baskerville!!

Good luck, you’re going to learn a TON.


Lessons Learned

Going into this class and reading the tips that previous students had left, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and I was pretty convinced I would be failing the course. But, as time went on and we worked on different projects, everything became easier.

Tip 1: Read through all the directions of the project before you start.

There’s been many times where I have had to change aspects of my design shortly before it was due because there was something I missed in the instructions, like the dimensions that the document is supposed to be or using a grid, etc. Make sure you read all of the directions so you don’t have to make any last minute changes that could change your entire design,

Tip 2: Take advantage of office hours.

Everyone will advise you to do this, because they’re pretty much essential to getting a good grade. I would sign up for at least 2 office hour times per project, because each time you go to office hours your project will completely change.

Tip 3: Start early.

At least start brainstorming ideas for your project within the first few days of it being assigned. Even if you like to procrastinate, it would be pretty impossible to do any of these projects a night before it was due. Each different draft you make will be really different, so if you don’t like what you’re creating, just start over. But, leave enough time for yourself to be able to make enough changes to your final project so it’s the best it can be.

Tip 4: If you don’t like it, redo it.

Like I said in tip 3, if you don’t like your project, redo it. It’s not worth working on something you genuinely don’t like, because no matter what, if you don’t like your idea, even if you spend days trying to make it look nice, you won’t like the end product. It’s easier and more fun to work on a project that you are emotionally invested in, and that means you muist have some sort of connection and fondness for your core idea. That being said, if you are working on an something with a theme that you love and it still is turning out terrible, take a few steps back and either rework your idea, or find another idea that will work.

Tip 5: Have fun learning how to become a better graphic designer.

At the end of the day, this class teaches you how to convey your ideas in an appealing way. So, have fun with it, because you should love the things your creating, and you should be proud of your end products. Even if you’re not majoring in graphic design or you think you’ll never use these skills again (which isn’t true-you will definitely use these skills again), put in good effort, because your work will reflect your ideas and essentially your communication skills.


Lessons Learned

  1. It’s okay to make mistakes. Even monumental ones. Sometimes you don’t read the directions properly or you just plain do an assignment wrong (try to avoid this on the magazine assignment, since there’s no re-do), but with each mistake I made, I learned something new about the programs we used or about good design. Through making these mistakes, you can end up with a better project than you had before, which is why the re-dos are so important and you should really take full advantage of them to fix your mistakes.
  2. Start projects early. There have been so many times where I didn’t start a project until a few days before, and it didn’t give me enough time to create and re-create as designers should. In my personal experience, your first design is almost never your best. If you don’t give yourself enough time to draft, and design, and fix your mistakes, you’ll end up handing something sub-par in. The more I was able to redo an assignment, the better the final piece ended up. In addition, it’s never a good idea to start the project the night before (not even the résumé, which may seem simple enough). Not only do they kick you out of the labs at a certain time, but your mind won’t be as clear and you’ll just be rushing to get it done. Your mind needs to process what you’ve done and a lot of times you’ll wake up in the morning and realize 10 mistakes you need to fix when you take another look at it.
  3. Go to office hours as much as you can. Professor Strong is not only helpful and understanding, but she really knows what she’s talking about. It might be hard having constructive criticism on the project you spent 50+ hours working on, but it’s really good practice for the real world and you’ll realize quickly how helpful all of her advice will be. So many times my mind had just been stuck in one place, like “designer’s block” and she was able to point out what needed to be fixed and give suggestions that were truly so helpful. Don’t forget to sign up early as well! Slots fill up quickly!
  4. Use the free trial of the adobe programs, and the student discount if you are willing to purchase it. The free trial is great for one of the bigger project that you have that you need to spend more time on. Choose the project you want to use it for strategically, or you could purchase the adobe programs for a year with the student discounts. It’s so much easier to be able to open your laptop and work on it from your bed then to have to trek out in awful weather to the Newhouse labs. Having the programs on your computer also helps make it easier to start the project earlier and sporadically work on it throughout the day whenever you have a minute of time. In addition, you don’t have to wait for the labs to open to work on a project. You can work on it at 1 am or 6 am without a problem.
  5. Get out of your comfort zone. One of my biggest problems with many of my designs was that I always wanted to play it safe. The problem is, safe is boring and your grade will reflect that. Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, or good at design really try to create designs outside of the box. Even just attempting to create things that seems outlandish will help inspire you and bring you to a better design. You might not necessarily end up submitting your most out-of-the-box ideas, but if you don’t try you won’t be able to expand your way of thinking about design. Get inspired by looking up professional work online and see what you can do to make designs just as good as the professionals. It’s not as hard as you think, especially as you improve throughout the course and master indesign, illustrator and photoshop.

Five Lessons Learned

  1. Time Management– Start early on everything. Make sure to give yourself enough time on each project. Cramming last-minute does not allow the design to develop. Leaving time for your thoughts to develop and new ideas to come will help greatly. Also, it’s not fun being in the Newhouse labs late at night.
  2. Keep It Simple– The simpler ideas are the better ones. A lot of thought goes into a simple design surprisingly. After letting an idea settle, you will want to filter your initial idea to look more defined and make it the best it can be. Each element will have a purpose. Know when it’s good to go with a crazy font or keep it to something simple like Helvetica.
  3. Be Open to Change– Your final project will be great, but that does not always mean it will be your first idea. Be open about changing your concept or initial idea. Getting too attached to a certain idea can be more straining on you in the long run because not everything works out as planned. But it’s okay. Being open to criticism and revising after will be the best thing for a developing project.
  4. Download the Adobe Programs– The free trials of the programs are life savers. The Newhouse labs are great, but having the ability to edit your projects on your personal computer is so much better. Also the student discount goes a long way for the semester.
  5. OFFICE HOURS– Get signed up as soon as you can.  They’re a huge bonus to projects and helps so much with time management. Be prepared for what you want to talk about and be open to the criticism. Ask questions. Professor Strong is a great professor to work with and loves seeing students’ ideas. The appointments get scheduled quickly so make sure to be on top of your projects a schedule appointments.

5 Lessons I Learned That You Should Too

1. Take your time
The assignments in this course are challenging but they are even more challenging when you only give yourself a little bit of time to complete them. Start thinking about what your topic will be for each project as soon as you receive the prompt. The more time you give yourself for each assignment, the better and more professional your project will look, guaranteed.

2. Plan, plan, plan

Strong talks about the importance of sketching but it really is crucial. Having a general sketch is an incredibly helpful tool when creating your assignments. When you first come up with a concept, your head is swirling will all of the possibilities and ideas you can use to carry it out. It’s important to plan so you don’t get overwhelmed while designing.

3. The first idea may not always be the best idea

And maybe not even your second idea is your best idea (cough cough*website*cough cough). You get the assignment sheet, and you’re positive you know what you are going to do it for. So you get to work creating your draft only to not be very pleased with what you ended up with. Your idea just simply isn’t working. It is ok to give up on that idea if you just let Prof. Strong know. Sometimes what we initially think is going to b a great idea simply isn’t. What’s important is to acknowledge what isn’t working and not be afraid to try something completely different.

4. Office hours

Strong is very generous with her office hours and very willing to meet to work through any aspect you may be struggling with. Her expertise with graphic design is definitely something that should be taken advantage of.

5. Get the free trial

The Newhouse labs are an incredible facility. The only problem is that they are not located in your bedroom. Luckily, Adobe offers a free trial that you can download on your own personal computer for a limited amount of time. I also recommend waiting until half way through the semester to download so that your free trial doesn’t expire just before the final projects of the semester.


5 Lessons Learned

  1. Office Hours- Go to office hours early and often. I recommend going at least once before the rough draft, again before the final, and one more time for your revision. Professor Strong is always happy to help, and will always give you honest, constructive criticism. She will help you brainstorm, and she will give you advice on how to execute the ideas you have come up with on your own. This is probably the most important lesson I learned in this course. Many of the changes I made to my work throughout the creative process came from my discussions with Professor Strong in office hours.
  2. Be Patient- The creative process is just that, a process. There were times we were assigned a project, and I knew where I wanted to take it before Professor Strong even finished explaining it. Other times, I had no idea until the rough draft was due. Although that is not ideal, it is sometimes necessary. As you will hear Professor Strong say throughout this course, “do not settle on your first good idea.” So much of the work is done before you even start working on the computer. Make outlines, think your ideas through, and if when you start working, you do not like what you see, don’t be afraid to start over. Patience is key in this class.
  3. Worry about yourself- Do not worry about other people’s work and how it compares to yours. The class is about what YOU can create and YOU can improve from the first day to the last. You will never be satisfied trying to compete with other students.
  4. Keep an open mind- This class is what you make it. If you refuse to give it a chance, and you feel sorry for yourself for having to suffer through it, you’ll most likely continue to suffer through it. However, if you commit yourself to the work, and realize that there is a lot to learn, you’ll find it very rewarding. Putting everything into a project, watching it develop, and seeing the end result is a great feeling.
  5. Do what you want- Professor Strong will give you a lot of freedom. Take advantage of it. Create work that incorporates the things that you love. It will make the long hours in the labs much more tolerable, if not enjoyable.

5 lessons learned

1.Start early and manage your time: This is advice that I have struggled with this semester. In the beginning, I would not start until the rough draft due date was just around the corner. Trust me, the due dates really sneak up on you… So this is why you really need to start early! Even if that just means just an idea. Once you know of an assignment, THINK! Just start brainstorming ideas in your head because even that will help you with the process. Also, with everything else going on in your life, managing time is very important. I suggest getting a planner and setting days that you will be working on graphics, even if it is just thinking about it or sketching! Managing time is essential to be successful in this class.

2. Take the feedback and go to office hours: Criticism is sometimes hard to hear, especially if it is exactly the opposite of what you want to hear. BUT, do not think of it as people trying to drag you down, think of it as people trying to help you! Throughout the semester, I always sought for advice and feedback. Feedback is great to hear because your peers could be telling you something that you haven’t seen. Especially, listen to Prof. Claudia’s advice. She is brilliant with graphic design and can teach you things at office hours that you would have never known how to do! You should definetly make at least one office hours appointment for every project. Prof. Claudia just opens your eyes to so much more you could do with your project and improves it so much more.

3. Learn from mistakes: You are not going to be perfect at graphic design and that is okay! You will make mistakes but that is the best way to learn. As the semester goes on, you will take those mistakes and use them for the next assignment. Also, when it is time to revise your original project, you will already be ahead in the semester you will find the silly mistakes you made and laugh at them. At least that is what I did towards the end of the semester. It is amazing  how much you learn but you also learn from mistakes. So.. make mistakes!

4. Trust yourself: Yes feedback is great, but if you really love something don’t change it! Listening to yourself is just as important. Your own creativity is what makes your assignment different and special, do not second guess yourself. Take advantage of having a class based solely on creativity and embrace it!

5. Don’t be afraid: Before coming into this class, everyone who I knew took this class seemed like they struggled with it. This made me very nervous coming into this class because I had no experience at all with any of the adobe programs (which you do not need to have coming into this class!). Yes this class is challenging, but it is a good type of challenging. It is the only class where you can find your own creativity and embrace it. Everything you will learn in this class can be applied to real life, whether that is in your future career or personal life. Do not compare your work to others because you are not getting graded on that! Do the best you can and give it all you got because that is what you will be graded on in the end.


Lesson Learned

  1. Start Early and Take Your Time

There is no such project can be done in a couple of hours before deadline in graphic design. A successful project requires you to start early and thinking about the draft and structure of the project. For instance, the magazine project not only requires you to think about the draft in advance but also to read others magazines in order to get the feeling about what a good magazine would look like. Therefore, take it slow and start early will provide you sufficient time to work on the project.

  1. Get the Laptop to Work

It will save you a lot of time if you purchase the Adobe software on your own laptop, you will no longer have to take the bus back and forth from your home to the Newhouse lab. It also is more convenient for you to modify your work anywhere and anytime.

  1. Take the Advice

Listen to others’ comments about your works and take it seriously. If someone think some of the elements of your work do not make sense, they will not be the only one who think so! Therefore, ask some friends and professors about what they think about your work before you actually turn it in. Also, ask Professor Strong for help if there is any uncertainty about the project.

  1. Take the Feedback and Revision

As a starter in graphic design, the results of your projects will not always come satisfying. Therefore, it is very important for you to take the feedback seriously and treasure the chance to make revision. Normally the grade will be obviously pumped up if you do the revision and fix all the elements.

  1. Go to Office Hours

Go to office hours will be a huge benefit of you! Especially when you go with a draft or thought. There are very helpful suggestions and comments be given during office hours by Professor Strong, which will boost your grade dramatically. And make sure you sign up for the office hour in advance because they go very fast!


5 Lessons from Graphics

  1. Simplicity really is key: I learned quickly that adding something because you think it looks cool or pretty makes more an unattractive design over all.  By eliminating unnecessary elements, your project will be more focused your message will be better conveyed.  Focus strictly on what is important and let everything else go.
  2. Make office hours always: Schedule office hours every week, even when you think you might not need them.  Office hour appointments go quickly and I found myself needing design advice and unable to get it because I waited too long.  Professor Strong’s advice will overall make you a better designer and boost your grade.
  3. Trust yourself: While seeing Professor Strong is important, it is also important to trust your own ideas.  Far too often I left out a design element because I did not trust my own vision.  It is important to understand your growing skills and utilize them to your own advantage.
  4. Outside research is necessary: Don’t be afraid to use Google to help you create beautiful designs.  For each project, I spent hours look at Google images and reading articles about trending fonts, and font pairings.  My outside research allowed me to make better design choices and expand my own knowledge of the field.
  5. You’re not going to be amazing at everything: From this course, I found that I am able to create beautiful drawings on Illustrator.  However, I am still unable to use most of Photoshop’s tools.  Find what you are good at and use that to your advantage.  No one is good at everything and it is okay to give in sometimes and use alternative programs.

Lessons learned

In order to succeed in graphic design and get the most out of this class you need to put in the effort. I probably spent over 5 hours each week in this class working with the software in order to get really comfortable with it. Unlike other classes you can’t just put in a couple hours and hope to make something incredible, it requires playing around with everything changing the layouts a couple of hundreds of times or spending forty-five minutes searching for the perfect font for four words. It is a lot of work, but I found doing the work for this class 100x more enjoyable than my other courses.
2. LET GO  
Sometimes as designers we fall in love with certain components that we created and no matter how much we think they fit, they don’t always do. Listen to Professor Strong when she tells you an element doesn’t make sense because she will not be the only one who doesn’t understand it. In the end whether it be a picture you fell in love with or a something you spent hours in Illustrator using the pen tool to make, sometimes you just need to let go of it because you will end up creating something better through the process.

Having all of the Adobe software installed on you laptop will save you so much time. Halfway through the semester I decided that I was sick of the cold walks to Newhouse, sitting in a lab on a computer that was so huge I couldn’t look at the whole screen all at once. Not only was it convenient to pull out my laptop and work while in between classes, but actually ended up saving me time where I could get to bed a little earlier.  Instead of late nights in the lab I got to spend it in my bed cuddled up with a nice, warm cup of coffee and in my pajamas.

On all of these projects you can chose whatever topic you want to. I had so much creating my own type of magazine and searching through endless photos of things I was excited about. It got to be a problem that I only wanted to do work for GRA 217 over all of my others. For the website and poster choosing events and organizations made the process so much more enjoyable because I was able to put so much effort into something I was passionate about. It also never hurt to show off what you created because it could end up being something you were really proud of. Plus it makes the painful amount of hours seem so much better.

When I started this class I didn’t think that getting good grades would be SO hard. In the first few critiques I felt like everyone was so against me, but I realized everyone is only being critical to help me out. It really helped getting input from Prof. Strong in her office because sometimes I would get nervous asking certain questions in front of the class and signing up early is key as well! Getting feedback really helps with the creative and design process and if you’re ever unsure about something or feel that you should go a certain direction, you can’t go wrong with spending 20 minutes one-on-one with Professor Strong getting the clarity you need.


Real life of a graphic designer

We had a chance to see what a real graphic designer’s real life looks like last week during class time. Greg Breeding is a member of Journey Group,the creative agency in Virginia. He provided us a chance to dig in to their lives and get to deeply understand what is graphic design. It is kind of surprising that in the real world, graphic designers are closely related to the business. Greg told us that they will have to listen to their clients’ requirements and ideas; while figuring out a way to mix these ideas with their owns. At the beginning of this course, I thought graphic designers are some sort of artist. However, in the real world, graphic design has become a business like marketing and public relations. I now understand that even though the graphic design is a artist work, it is still some sort of business in the real world. It takes not only ideas and skills but also communication and corporation between the clients and designers in order to fit all these requirements. Greg also showed us what it looks like in their laboratory. What makes me feel attracted is the friendly relationship between all these co-workers. As I have learned through out this semester, graphic design is a individual job, but it also requires a lot of communications and a healthy working environment will definitely be a plus.


real life graphic design

Last week, we got the opportunity to see graphic design work in real life. Greg Breeding was kind enough to give us a tour of his workplace in Virginia. It was so cool that his company turned a house into a place for business. Instead of working in cubicles, they work in different rooms in a house, even some have fireplaces! Listening to his experience as a graphic designer was eyeopening. It seemed like such a great place to work and the work they do is so interesting!

The stamps that Greg has been working on really interested me. I never thought of stamps as being graphic design until this Skype session. It was interesting to see how he has modernized stamps into what they are becoming today. Merging old ways into new ways is something that graphic designers can do!

Overall, I loved this Skype session and it was a wonderful real life lesson. It gave us insight into a graphic design career. Although I am a public relations major, I know I will be working with graphic designers and Greg briefly explained that process and relationship. This just makes me excited for the future and real life work.


True Life – Graphic Designer

I found this in class video chat session to be extremely enlightening because as much as I enjoyed the movies we viewed in class of graphic designers, Greg tied their careers into the real world – which sadly, is heavily focused on money. For example, the graphic designers in the movies were extremely focused on the art and idea and creativity behind each and every design, which is amazing and helped me to understand the crucial importance and conceptual ideas of design. However, Greg was able to incorporate that mindset into the real world. He spoke honestly about having to work with businesses and accept their ideas into his and the companies creations as well.

Along with this, Greg was able to show us another example of the inside of the office of a graphic designer. It seems like such an amazing environment and I what I would really enjoy is the close knit relationships that designers have with each other. It is individual work but the need for the community is crucial.



Greg Breeding and Creativity

After having the opportunity to hear Greg Breeding speak about Journey Group, the creative agency in Virginia, I was able to learn a lot more about the inner workings of a design agency. One of  the most fascinating parts that I learned about agencies in general is the aspect of specificity within an agency. While some creative or advertising agencies are very general, and work with customers across all fields and activities, others, like the Journey Group, focus on a very specific type of audience. And even more interestingly, the Journey Group formed this audience through the strengths that the agency and workers had as a whole. Discovering that their target audience was non-profits and cultural institutions through their collective and collaborative skill sets really shows how an agency develops its own culture not only through the work that they are doing, but the strengths and weaknesses of the collective body of the company. I also found his knowledge of the client-firm relationship particularly interesting, because his knowledge was important insight for myself when I am working for an agency with clients. In addition, I found his approach to design to be interesting because I found some strengths and weaknesses in certain projects I did this semester. For example, I found it more difficult to work with the poster because I had a small set of space that I needed images and text to fit within. For the magazine and website assignments, I felt I had more freedom because there was more space for me to work with. So, through this course and hearing Greg Breeding speak, I felt I learned a lot about how graphic design and creativity is something everyone can have, but maybe all in different ways. Everyone can be creative, they just need to find the best outlet for that creativity to bloom.


Greg Breeding, Old Houses, and Stamps

Every Wednesday during my graphics lab section, you can find me bumbling my way through the various programs in the Adobe Creative Suite. ­During this time, the thoughts running through my head are usual notions of frustration, jealousy of the student next to me, confusion at how they managed to perfect the exercise given by the TA, and, overall, amazement by graphic designers. Graphic designers have the ability to tell a story using entirely visual components. Their skill and ability to think through design is nothing short of amazing. Greg Breeding and Journey Group, a design firm located in Charlottesville, VA, further prove how extraordinary or useful graphic design can be.

Greg Breeding, while also the Creative Director of the Journey Group, is an Art Director for the United States Postal Service. While I have always been aware of a stamps practicality, Breeding opened my eyes to the design and thought that goes into stamp design. His work with the USPS also showed me that there are graphic design career opportunities in almost every industry.

In addition, the tour that Breeding gave of the Journey Group office broke the preconceived notion I had about what a design office should look like. When I envisioned a design office of that stature, I envisioned a very industrial and contemporary space. Not only was Journey Groups office within a historical house, the corporate culture within that house was a pleasant surprise. Each individual seemed cheerful and happy to be in the office.

The opportunity to hear Breeding talk as well as the ability to ask him questions was extremely invaluable.


Greg Breeding and Graphic Design

The conversation with Greg Breeding was super interesting and taught me a lot about what careers in Graphic Design are like in real life. His workplace and company seemed like a really cool, unique place. Not only was the space itself interesting, but the projects his teams were working on seemed interesting as well.

One of the most interesting things about his work, in my opinion, were the stamps he worked on. I had previously never cared or even really noticed the artwork on stamps, but after seeing some of his designs it made me realize, like the video about Industrial Design, that everything is designed with a specific purpose or point in mind.

Overall, talking with him gave me a clearer view about what a graphic design job really entails, and what it would be like to work in a graphic design firm. It seems like an awesome, fun job, and there is so much that goes into everything they design: from planning to executing each design with their client’s needs in mind. I especially thought it was cool how he said that often times they will ask the client what they want, then come up with a  solution to their problem that may not be what they necessarily thought they wanted. I really liked that approach, because it seems like they keep their integrity to the message rather than their client, which I think is really important when trying to represent an issue or cause.


In Class Speaker

I really enjoyed listening to a professional graphic designer.  I think graphic design, as a career, has a certain stereotype and I think seeing and listening to a professional was an eye opening experience.  It is really helpful for professors to bring in professionals to speak because as young students, we are often pressured to make career choices early and often we make incorrect decisions.  By truly hearing and seeing the work a professional does, we are more prepared to make the correct career choices for ourselves in the future.

I thought it was really cool when he showed us the stamps he and his team have designed.  Stamps are tiny and the postal system as a whole is considered to be outdated.  However, his designs show that people are still invested in this old system and his designs are a way to modernize the industry.  Also stamps are incredibly small and it was very cool to see him make such a tiny box a beautiful and eye catching design.


Greg Breeding // Journey Group

My unwavering respect for graphic designers remained steady as Greg Breeding showed us around his office, full of probably some of the most creative people I would ever meet, all working together to improve design in the world around us. Seeing his working environment and the happiness apparent in the smiles of his employees made me realize that I, like Greg, want to work in a smaller, intimate type of work setting in the future – hopefully working in-house public relations at an entertainment company.

I found it interesting and, rather refreshing, that Greg catered to such a niche community of clients of nonprofits and higher education institutes. However, of all the things he told us, I really liked the faith that he put in designers when faced with difficult clients. In the designer / client relationship, the client has liberty to voice their opinions – but more importantly, Breeding reminded us that the designer, as the more experienced person, also has justification to say otherwise (which I believe is not as encouraged because it “goes against the client). The possibilities for a career in that field were really eyeopening and the call was an extremely valuable experience!


Greg Breeding – Journey Group

I found the discussion with Greg Breeding to be very interesting and insightful in regards to graphic design. It was exciting to see how a career in the field of graphic design would look and the ways in which graphic design is incorporated through Breeding’s business. He made a career in graphic design seem appealing through the kind of work he does, the people with whom he works, and the environment he works in.

It was insightful to learn about the designer/client relationship.  The client should give their opinion, but ultimately it is up to the designer because they are experienced in the field. It made sense when Breeding used the analogy that a client trying to take over the designing process is similar to a patient going to the doctor and telling them how they need to be treated. I just thought it was cool to learn how business should be conducted in the world of graphic design.

As a photography student, I really enjoyed listening to Breeding because I hope to incorporate the use of graphic design into my career, whatever it may be. It was fun to see the different opportunities that are available, especially as a MPD student.



The Meeting with Breeding

Last week we had the opportunity to see through the eyes of Greg Breeding as he discussed his experience in the design world. One of my biggest takeaways from his talk was his advice for clients working with an agency like his. He stressed the importance of letting the designer have some freedom to do what they do best, even though it may not be directly in line with the client’s image. Ultimately, it is necessary for the client to trust the designer to create something that will represent their needs.

Another thing that resonated with me was the overall vibe of the office. When Greg took us on the tour, he introduced us to some of his staff and every single person was upbeat and happy to be there. Personally, after college I want to work in a place where I know everyone and feel comfortable coming in everyday. I think that a somewhat relaxed environment like Greg’s office fosters the most creativity for people in this line of work.


So here’s what I learned :)

  1. Office hours will save your life.- When you have a creative block, or need some tips on work you think may be close to done, go to office hours. Professor Strong is so helpful and so sweet and you will not ever regret going to office hours. It will improve you designs incredibly as well as your grade.
  2. Procrastinating is the worst- I am a master of procrastinating but seriously don’t save things for the day before they are due. It will show in your work and you won’t be able to go to office hours for help, which is so incredibly important.
  3. Save things to different spots- Save things, then save them again to a hard drive or your google drive or somewhere else. Theres two types of people in this world and its people who’s hard drives have crashed and people who’s hard drives haven’t crashed yet. I remember seeing this when I read the advice for the next students and didn’t pay attention to it. Then, my hard drive crashed the day before a project was due…
  4. Pay attention and be active in class- Paying attention in class and being active in class discussions has paid off in so many ways. This is probably the most important lesson that I have learned and I cannot stress how much of a difference it made.
  5. Be open to new ideas- Your first design WILL NOT be the final you turn in. You will end up revising and re-revising many times, so many times in fact that people will begin to think you live in the CMR Lab. So, be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to take risks.

Journey Group & Effective Storytelling

We’ve all had that feeling—perhaps you’re experiencing it right now, looking at this entry of text and thinking ‘sheesh, what a slog.’ Graphic designer Greg Breeding understands. In fact, Breeding is here to help. During our class discussion with him over Google Hangout, Breeding discussed how visual storytelling is paramount to conveying a compelling story, as it serves to accentuate, texturize, and almost humanize the editorial content of magazines, newspapers, and online pieces.

In other words, graphic design propels text into the realm of emotional appeal. The creative agency Journey Group that Breeding is president of does work “for all aspects of society,” including the Post Office and nonprofits. Their magazine World Vision allows readers to sponsor a child every month and strives for community development—calls for change that require taping into the sympathies of readers and making them care. As Breeding said, stories that speak to the human heart cause change. Graphic design, when done with intention and nuance, is one mode of telling such stories.


A Journey with Greg Breeding.

When I think of design studios, the first thing that comes to mind is a big building with beautiful interior design and tons of designers working at high tech computers. That was most definitely not what Greg Breeding’s office was. The residential home turned office space took me off guard. It was more humble then I would have imagined based on the work that he and his crew has completed.  I loved that Greg talked more to the client side of things since most people in the class are going to being on the clientele for graphic design. That small insight into the design world helped to show what we will be walking into once we are professionals.

I found it especially interesting about the discovery days how his firm takes the time to get to know the client and the problem at hand. As a client I learned to trust in the designer and go in with an open mind because their outside perspective can help get a solution to the problem at hand. We may think that we need a certain format for an answer to the problem but, the designer may be able to come up with a better way to communicate the solution by using a different format then anticipated. A huge thank you to Greg Breeding for opening up his office and my mind to the Graphic design profession.


Greg Breeding’s Studio

Throughout this semester, I have found each project very interesting, but actually seeing what a design firm does and looks like was one of the best experiences. Listening to Greg talk about all of his different projects, who he works with, and where he gets inspiration was refreshing because it brought to life what we have been doing and talking about all semester.

When he was going through the process of a project, I thought the Discovery Days were an interesting part. He mentioned how they try to work with the ideas of the client and find a representation for what they want based on the rules established, goals identified and the problems. Then also listen to them throughout that day to come up with a unique idea that still accomplished their goal but differs from what the client may be picturing when they come to meet.

Being an NOJ major, I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of seeing what a graphic design studio looks like, but I find graphic design very interesting and love working on projects when I get the chance. The thing I remember most about Greg walking us around the office is how he mentioned there were writers and editors in the office as well. That small, close environment of the design firm seemed really interesting and opened my eyes to a new possible career path.


Lessons learning in GRA217

1.Every elements have their own use.

When we decide to use a elements in our work, we need to think about if it fit in out concept, out story.

And make all the thing become a whole.

2. ask for help, sign up more office hour

GRA217 is the first class for us to touch graph design, We might be feel confuse when we doing our project, ask for help is a good way to let you understand what you need to fix quickly.

3.make it simple.

Don’t worry your things are too simple. If you can use something simple to show your story. It also a good thing.

4.Be patient.

Might be we need to modify our work again and again. But do it and patient for it. You will find that it worth us to do that. The final one must be better than your draft so much

5.Start early

Pepare as much as time you can. Start it early so that you can have time to modify it.




We have a video chat with greg breeding during the class. It was a amazing experience.I am very surprise that his group is worked for non-profit organization. I think is unbelievable in this modern society.And He said that they use their design to let their target audience to well understand what they wants to tell them so that to change their mind and behavior. Actually, I also found some advertisements recently have a good impact on changing public mind and behavior.One of my favorite ad so far is “macma” which tell women how to exam breast disease. It’s memorable and change public’s behavior. But my most favorite is Blood and transplant. It’s a blood donation campaign, in this ad, Words losing some of the letters like “G o le”. There was increase numbers of people to donate blood. In my opinion. Design have a huge function to communications. how to use each elements to show our purpose is a long way to study.


Lessons Learned in GRA 217


Don’t overdo things because you feel the need too. Projects that have minimal text and design elements not only look better, but get the message across faster to whoever is looking at it. Looking back at some of my projects’ first drafts and then the final thing, it blows my mind how I thought it was possible to squeeze so much stuff into such a small space. It’s important to not clutter your projects with too much and sometimes you just got to embrace a little white space.


I’ll be the first one to admit that at the beginning of the year I was very surprised on how critical my peers and Professor Strong was on my projects. However, my designs would have turned out horribly if not for the feedback I received before turn in. Whether it was going to office hours or in-class critiquing, some comments mentioned aspects I had never even thought of in the design process and they really helped me out in the end. Professor Strong knows what she is talking about, so even if you’re doubtful at first, it will all work out. Criticism is not to tear your work apart, it is to make it better.


On some projects, you are given the freedom to choose your subject on what to design upon. I found that it is easier and also more fun to design a poster or website for an event or organization that already has a personal connection. Some of the student examples I saw with giant clients and international events that already have a huge promotional team and amazing design content published for them, just seemed like a hard challenge to take on. Choosing a topic that you love makes the creative process be A LOT more fun and enjoyable. Also, it is fun to then show the people involved from the events chosen your final project!


Having the Adobe Indesign and Adobe Photoshop software on my laptop saved me an IMMENSE amount of time and also made it easier to finish my projects more efficiently. Yes, the Newhouse labs are always available but being able to access your project anywhere at any time is a huge advantage. You are going to be spending hours upon hours on your projects and I found it easier to work in my room/cozy in my bed then sitting in a Newhouse lab at all hours of the night. Whether you choose to just get the free trials or buy it per month, it’s a life saver. Trust me.


Compared to my other classes, GRA 217 took up at least triple the amount of time than my other ones. This class is not a blow-off class where you can do your assignments the night before. You need to put a lot of effort into your designs and your grade will be brutal if you don’t. You are going to be redoing things at least once or twice, changing fonts and colors, and at the same time, trying to tell a story in every design. Not too mention if you have never used any of the three Adobe softwares, it takes a little time to get used to it. Although it is a lot of work, it’s a lot of fun (definitely better than writing a long, boring paper)!!


Lessons Learned from Late Nights in Labs

1. Patience is key. Be prepared to spend several hours in the Newhouse labs fine-tuning your work. It’s not going to be perfect on the first draft, or the second, or maybe not even the third, but that’s okay. Designing is a challenging and time-consuming process. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

2. Ask for help. I’m convinced that going to Professor Strong’s office hours saved my grade in this class. Her advice was invaluable and often helped me pick up on details I never would have noticed otherwise. Sign up early and often.

3. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. It’s tempting to put as many bells and whistles as you can possibly fit on a design, but the story can easily get lost in those extra elements. Sometimes a minimal design that gets the point across is the most powerful way to convey your message.

4. Take sketching seriously! The more ideas you have to choose from and experiment with, the better – that way, if one isn’t working, you don’t have to completely start from scratch. Any time an idea pops into your head, draw it out to see what you think. And don’t dismiss anything too soon; for almost everything I did in this class, the sketch I initially liked the least ended up being the one I chose to use in the end.

5. Use the Adobe free trials wisely. When I downloaded them, I thought they would last 30 days. They only last for 7. Choose your week carefully. (And remember that you don’t have to download all of the programs at once!)


Journeying Through the Journey Group Office

First and foremost: my new professional goal is to have an office with a fireplace. How much better does it get than that?

Listening to Greg Breeding talk about his work in the design industry was interesting and entertaining. As a PR major, I was especially intrigued by his mention of cult branding, the idea of creating a world around the brand. I love the idea of being involved in a project like that. Imagine how innovative you’d get to be while creating a company’s image! His discussion of the relationship between clients and designers also struck a chord with me. He advised us not to cling too tightly to our visions when we are clients; if we give designers some freedom and are open to their ideas, we’ll get a better final product. This is something I need to apply in other aspects of my life, too. I co-executive produce a TV show and work with a production team of about ten. I care deeply about how our episodes turn out and tend to have very specific ideas in mind. It is easy to forget that it’s not just *my* work and that all opinions need to be taken into account, whether we’re setting up an interview or editing an episode. The more input we have, the better the episodes turn out.


Lessons Learned!

  1. GO TO OFFICE HOURS: I found attending office hours to be one of the most helpful aspects to this class. Professor Strong gives great advice which really helped me improve my graphic skills. I know that personally, I usually disregard going to any office hours but for this class I found it to be very beneficial to my projects and my learning. Professor Strong is always willing to extend or offer more office hours so I highly suggest you take full advantage. Her office hours also fill up VERY quickly so I recommend you sign up for them right when you get your assignment sheet!
  2. BE CREATIVE: I was always scared to think outside the box when it came to my projects. I felt comfortable using the simple fonts and dull colors. But as the semester progressed and I became more comfortable with design, I became more creative and expanded my mind to things bigger and better than the color black. Do not be afraid to take that bigger risk on the first project. I waited too long to become creative and think outside the box and I believe that I could have done much better on my assignments if I took risks during the first project and not wait to realize that later on in the semester.
  3. DOWNLOAD ADOBE: I HIGHLY suggest taking advantage of the free trials of adobe. I enjoyed doing the assignments much more in my apartment then going to Newhouse only to find that the labs are taken by a class. Adobe offers 7-day free trial but if that runs out you can then purchase the software. Having the programs on my own computer made it a lot easier to complete projects since I was not relying on the Newhouse computers.
  4. ASK FRIENDS/FAMILY: Going to office hours was defiantly beneficial but I also found that getting my friends and family’s opinion on my projects to be helpful. I’m a strong believer that the more eyes the better. They also might catch a spelling error (which can prevent you from getting an A) or another minor error. It also helped open my mind to creative ideas that I would never have thought of myself.
  5. LAB TIME: I personally know that students get tons and tons of work and doing these graphic assignments definitely take time. Take advantage of the free time given in lab. I always got ahead in my lab class and it made me feel less stress in my free time. You can get a lot done in an hour and 20 minutes. That is also a great time to ask questions and learn new things about Indesign or Photoshop. There is a TA present in your lab and they are there just to help and teach you. Do not be shy or afraid to ask your TA to show you how to do something! That’s what they are there for!

Greg Breeding

The video call lesson with Greg Breeding and his design firm was one of the most valuable lessons I have gotten from this class so far. As a Public Relations major, in the future it is very possible that I will be working with designers often. Breeding’s step by step instructions on how to work effectively and respectfully with designers, along with his break down on what to expect from a designing firm was very beneficial information I know I will utilize at some point in my career. Because of Breeding, I know that if I have a specific and clear vision in mind, and if I can clearly communicate that vision, then both myself and the designers will have a much better time completing the job. I also was unaware of the fact that different designer firms specialize in different areas. I didn’t know that it was possible for a firm to say they only want to focus on stamps, booklets, etc. By knowing this, I can now not only look for the best designer for the job I need completed, but I can search for the best designer in a specific expertise to ensure I’m getting the best work possible. On top of this, I learned designers have pretty cool offices. Seriously, I think that office is officially my dream home.


Lessons I’ve Learned

  1. Save EVERYTHING all the time– Make sure that you are constantly saving your work. Save it on your hard drive and Google drive… save! save! save! You can never save your work too much. Nothing is worse than having to re-do your project because InDesign quit unexpectedly. No one deserves to go through that! Make things easier on yourself and just constantly SAVE YOUR WORK.
  2. The Adobe Free Trials are so useful!  It’s very hard to just rely on the Newhouse lab computers’ Adobe programs to get your work done. I found it extremely helpful that I had the Adobe programs on my laptop and was able to work on the projects whenever I pleased. Adobe offers a free 7-day trial for each of their programs… this was extremely helpful and very useful! Make sure you try it out on your own laptop.
  3. Office Hours are important. For many of my classes I dismiss the phrase office hours pretty quickly, but in this class in particular they are SO helpful. Prof. Strong really does care about her students and the work they produce. She is so willing to help each student create the best projects they can and is there for her students every step of the way. Whether we are reviewing things in class, lab, or you’re scheduling an office hours appt. with her, she is always willing to help- take advantage of that!
  4. Take risks!- Design is tricky because it’s hard to tell what things will work and what won’t. However, you’ll never know if you don’t try! Take risks with your work and be bold. Doing the same thing that everyone else is doing is no fun and won’t get you a good grade. Be daring (within limits) and try out new things. And hey, they might just work!
  5. Effectively use your lab time. Students are given lab time for a reason. Your graphic design projects can not be done in one night and if they are, that will definitely show throughout your work. Newhouse gives students an hour and a half class every week to learn how to use Adobe programs and work on various graphics projects due each week. I can’t stress enough how much work I was actually able to get done during these periods and how grateful I am that this was an allotted time in my schedule.

Final blog

1. In Graphics, I learned how to use InDesign and Illustrator. I also learned a few new things about Photoshop. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn how to use these programs because I can create super cool things with them. I will carry the skill to use these programs with me forever. I now have the ability to help my parents design an ad campaign for their jewelry business if I wanted.

2. Before this class, I always enjoyed design, but after taking this class I can proudly say that I have developed a keen eye for it. I learned how to come up with an idea and a concept, and how to successfully execute the idea and concept. I learned how to balance all elements on a page to make them seem like they belong. I also learned how to organize things on a page to make it appealing to the eye.

3. Creating a final product that you are truly proud of requires a lot of work. I learned that you cannot expect your first draft of a project to look anything like your final version. With that being said, you cannot procrastinate. If you do, you will run out of time and will hand something in that you are not that proud of. In my opinion, that is the worst feeling ever because I hate handing in work that is not up to its full potential.

4. You cannot get discouraged if your first few drafts are not that great. I can attest to this because all of my final products were different than my first drafts. Even though it is a lot of work, it is worth it because you eventually create something you are proud of. Don’t give up and try to not get frustrated if you don’t like what you designed or if you are having trouble designing. Inspiration is everywhere; look for it.

5. Look to get constructive criticism from everyone, as it significantly helps improve your project. Ask your parents, ask your roommate, ask your classmates and most importantly ask Professor Claudia. She is so helpful and if you put the work in, you will create something you love. She has an eye for great design, so take everything she says into consideration even if you are in love with something she is not particularly fond of.


Greg Breeding

It is hard for me to understand what a career using graphic design is like. I have never thought of any body’s career could like that. Greg Breeding gave me a better understanding of what a graphic design career could be like and I can feel the patient. I have to say their office is amazing. There is an amazing team behind him working for him. The interesting insight of his career is his patient of his work.

When listening to Greg Breeding, I could hear the excitement and passion that he had for his job just through the way he talked about it. I found this opportunity to listen to Greg speak to be motivational and helpful in my design with my major. Visual stories speak to the human heart and cause change.


Greg Breeding

While talking with Greg Breeding over Skype, I realized how passionate graphic designers are about perfecting their craft. I really loved his analogy comparing a client trying to take over the designing process to a patient going to the doctor and telling them how they need to be treated. This was really thought provoking to me because I have always thought that the client is the one giving their opinion on what kinds of designs they want or have imagined. However, that would be completely counter-intuitive since the client is paying a professional who actually knows what designs work best.

I also really enjoyed the tour Greg took us on because I thought that the idea of turning an old house into an office is really interesting. The house setting plus the way Greg interacted with his staff made me realize how great of an atmosphere they have at Journey Group. This just showed how each person actually has a good relationship with one another and respects what each person has to bring to the table.

Between the insight Greg gave the class into the design world and the actual tour of his office gave me a twinge of excitement for the future. I’ve always been nervous about what life will be like after college when I’m working for someone, epically in a creative field with all types of creative minds. I’ve always imagined a competitive tone to these kinds of jobs since everyone is trying to prove that they are capable of the most unique ideas. However, when seeing how everyone in the Journey Group office interacted with each other, I felt relieved that everyone was actually friendly with one another. Now I look forward to having my own experience in a job that hopefully is as cozy as their office.


Greg Breeding, Journey Group

Because graphic design is still so new to me, it has been hard for me to understand what a career using graphic design is like. Greg Breeding not only gave me a better understanding of what a graphic design career could be, but interesting insight into his career. In addition to the valuable information he provided us, he also has a stunning work space and an amazing team working for him.

One of the first things Greg said to us that helped me have a better understanding of what he does is that he said what he does is not advertising. His company is a creative agency that focuses on creative projects such as websites, magazines and books. His clients include nonprofits and associations and he has to help those organizations with  their visual storytelling. He also spoke about problems that come up with his clients. Similarly to every job, clients come to companies or agencies with a preexisting vision or idea. What Greg said works best for him is when the client understands that the creative agency are the experts and has good ideas as well.

I found this opportunity to listen to Greg speak to be motivational and helpful in my design with my magazine. Like he said, visual stories are what change peoples opinions and values. They speak to the human heart and cause change.


Greg Breeding – Journey Group

When listening to Greg Breeding, I could hear the excitement and passion that he had for his job just through the way he talked about it. That’s when I knew that his talk to us would be something that will be valuable in the long run. I know that when I grow up and get a job, it will most likely be on the public relations side of things, so I will often be a client for a graphic design agency such as Journey Group. That is why when Professor Strong asked about what clients can do to make people like Breeding’s job easier, it really peaked my interest. To me, that was one of the most helpful parts of his talk.

I really loved hearing about issues that may arise with his clients, and how those can be avoided. I liked when he compared the situation to when people go to the doctor and tell the doctor what medicine to provide them. You have to let the artist be the artist and let that artist decide what is best. A client should not micromanage the graphic designer, as that may not produce the best work possible. I hope that when I have a job and am working with a graphic designer, I can think back to my Graphics 217 class in college and remember how important it is to just let the designer do his work.


Greg Breeding video talk reflection

Greg Breeding first introduced his company during the video talk. He said the company is doing brand strategy and aims for marketing. They also create visual and story to their clients’ audience. He showed us a magazine they are doing. It is a non-profit magazine called Worldvision. The pictures inside are unique. Using visual to tell the story is becoming a trend. Visual is the most efficient way for people to accept the new things.


When Breeding talked about how to maintain the client relationship, he used the stamp yearbook as an example. The first step is to set up a date of discovering. This step is to discuss with the clients what they need and what goal they want to achieve. The second step is to craft a proposal. He also mentioned how to let the clients accept your company or designers’ idea is a critical skill.


In the beginning, I thought this is a very serious firm or studio. However, when I saw the real office, I feel this studio is just like a big family. The employees there like what they are doing and the environment is great. They all have a different responsibility in the firm. This is a great opportunity for us to learn how the designers work and create. It also taught us how to be a good client.


Seeing in New Colors

The conversation with Greg Breeding had me feeling like *Channing Tatum voguing*channing-tatum-vogue

He doesn’t even know it, but Greg Breeding gave me the opportunity to see in a different color. For a long time, I have been uncertain about my career after college. I spent three and a half years in Broadcast Journalism knowing I would not be the news reporter Newhouse trained me to be. Graphic design showed me an entire new world of career opportunities and Mr. Breeding solidified that.

Graduation is around the corner, and I have accepted that I will begin my career in busy New York City with 4 roommates. I’d probably be someone’s production assistant ordering cookie cakes for colleagues going on maternity leave. I was okay with that.

But when Mr. Breeding mentioned the Martin Agency based in Richmond, VA, I saw an opportunity. Richmond is right in my backyard and working at the agency would give me the chance to live with my mother and help her with my sister (who is transitioning into tween-hood) and my grandfather plagued with heart ailments. While simultaneously getting quality experience in a field I did not see coming: broadcast production.

Breeding said visual storytelling in the catalog world is imagining something totally new that one did not expect. And that is exactly what happened to me. I did not expect this Skype session to help me see in new, vivid colors. I am so thankful for Professor Strong and her awesome friends!

There was another gem Breeding dropped during the talk. He said being a controlling client is the equivalent of “going to the doctor and asking for the medicine you want.” We should let the doctor do his or her thing, right? They are trained in their field. From this I learned to stop overthinking and trying to control outcomes I cannot reach and to (reasonably) let things happen naturally. It was in a random day of class that I figured what I wanted to do in life. And that this broadcast  background is quite applicable to the world of design after all. This moment was liberating.



Greg Bleeding, Journey Group

The Skype session with with Greg was very interesting. I loved that he was so insistent on bringing the class on a tour. While to some the tour was the least important part of the video chat, it got me thinking. Everyone seemed very comfortable in the workspace. They were all friendly and seemed to get along just fine. Assuming that is how the employees always act, I think that would be a great, healthy environment to work in.

That is a very important characteristic of a great job. I couldn’t imagine going to work in a hostile environment because I would feel uncomfortable for the entire day and probably would not get much work done. But when you have friendly co-workers, there is communication about work and life, which makes the workday enjoyable.

Other than that, I found his discussion about his relationship with clients to be very insightful. I learned that you must find a balance between using your own ideas and the client’s ideas. At the end of the day, you are working for your client, but incorporating original ideas is important because it allows for a different perspective which can push the final product into becoming very successful.

Because it is Greg’s job to help clients tell a story to their audience, he must make sure he has good communication with them to make sure they are on board throughout the entire process. Communication with clients is very important. My parents own two jewelry stores and are basically the brains behind every ad campaign. Although they hired a graphic designer to physically do the work, I see first hand how they work together to come up with the final product. My parents work together to create a vision for an ad campaign and then describe their vision to the graphic designer. Then the graphic designer takes that vision and creates it on InDesign or Photoshop. After she completes a draft, she shows it to my parents and they discuss what they like and what needs to change until the ad is perfect.

Often times my parents ask for my opinion, and sometimes they take what I say into consideration. It is always good to have multiple eyes on something before completely finishing it because everyone will view and interpret the design differently.

I thought the video chat was a great opportunity to learn from someone in the field. It was cool to see someone use the tools we learned in this class in his real life job. It proves that this class teaches students valuable tools that will be used after college.



Greg Breeding reflection

My dad has been a mailman all of my life and when I was little, I would always be fascinated with all of the different collections of stamps that would come and go. Little did I know, the design process or the brains behind all of those collections would appear in my Graphics class (via Skype)! I loved the discussion with Greg. I thought he was such a cool person and gave a really nice description and demonstration on Journey Group and the type of stuff he works on on a daily basis. In terms of my expectations, he fulfilled most of them and talked about all of things one would expect in explaining their career. I did not expect him to use the term “visual storytelling” as much as he did. This took me a little by surprise because Visual Storytelling is the title of the COM 117 class which focuses entirely on film and video production. Although two completely different  genres of communication, it was cool to me that this concept was so central in both. I also was surprised about his description of “the perfect client” which is that they are trusting enough to put their product in Journey Group’s hands and allow them to be creative. As an advertising major, the ideal client in our sense is more or less the same thing: one who knows what they want, but allow room for growth and experimentation. An idea outside the box can sometimes be a breakthrough idea allowing great success for a company, brand, or product. I will definitely think of Greg and Journey Group now every time I see some super cool stamps!


Greg Breeding: The Visual Experience


Be a giant in the real world

This Tuesday, we have a “face to face” talk with Greg Breeding. He is a designer in an agency. I really learned a lot by his talk. He says that his agency is mainly worked for non-profit organization, which makes me admire. Since I am an advertising major, I know it is hard to make people be award of non-profit organizations and take some actions through ads. Mr. Breeding says that their job is to give the audience a good deign work which help the clients to make the target audience better understand the stories you want to tell, and hopefully they can change their minds to behave what you want them to behave. Visual design is a good tool for telling stories and communications. it reminds me of our website project. Every element we put there is to help people easy to understand the concept and get information easily. On the other hand, he talks a lot about the clients. This is a really big part since though we learn a lot of knowledge in college, working is different with studying in universities. You have to corporate with others, and serve others instead of doing what you like. It is important to talk to clients, know what their needs are, and persuade them to be open to our ideas, but at the same time, also meets their requirements. What’s more, he mentioned that they will give the clients a draft before the final version is done. This is like what we do in the course. We first have a draft, and then have the final version after revision. One day, we will need to work in the society, the real world, maybe we can’t do what we want to do every time, but at least we should try to persuade them and show our ideas to “wow” them.


Journey Group- The People Who Take Your Idea and Make it Better

I want to first start by saying that I love when Professors give us the opportunity to listen and speak to someone who does what we are learning for a living. I found that listening to Greg was very useful and showed me a real life example of what I have been working on during this semester. Greg first started talking about stores and how they are what change people. I really felt as if this gave a deeper meaning to graphics and design. One of the main discussions Greg talked about was the relationships that they have with their clients. My favorite thing he said was “at the end of the day, we are going to give you what you want. But give us the opportunity to show you our way of giving you what you want in a different way.” I loved how Greg and the company do not just do what their clients tell them to do but they open their minds to show their clients what they believe will be beneficial to their non-profit or organization. Greg also explained that through each step of the process he makes sure that his client is always happy and satisfied on what they are working on. This results in him having to re do a project multiple times before the client is fully satisfied.  I learned that their main job is to bring fresh ideas to their clients. I really enjoyed seeing the office and getting to listen and speak to other employees and be informed on what current project they were working on. I loved and really appreciate being given the opportunity to speak to Greg and see the atmosphere at such a well respected agency like Journey Group.


Greg Breeding

When I came to class today, I really had no idea that I would be given the opportunity to speak with Greg Breeding. I found his lecture to be incredibly insightful, very useful and relevant towards the future jobs many of us in class might have. Instead of speaking exclusively about what he does for a living, he described working with clients, many of which are in the work fields that we are all looking to enter. He discussed the process of initial client meetings and how he takes an idea of theirs and bring it to life. He starts by writing a proposal where he tries to accomplish the clients goals, list ideas of his own, and create a schedule. He crafts everything into a plan. Next, he (and a team) research all images. They work with a legal team, while designers do image research and editors get the content started. Each step of the way, he makes sure that the client is happy and informed. Once the client approves the initial work, the actual designing begins. Breeding stated that he has to do most final draft things 3-5 times before the client finally approves. I found this part in particular to be extremely unnerving, as even the best professionals out there have to create more than one final design product. Overall, I found all parts of this process to be very interesting, especially since I really didn’t know much about any of these design processes  before.  I loved speaking with Greg Breeding and really enjoyed getting to see behind-the-scenes at such an influential creative agency.



Same Story, Different Chapter

“Stories are what influence people”. This statement by Journey Group’s Greg Breeding was my biggest takeaway from the video chat I was fortunate enough to be a part of in today’s class. Hearing Mr. Breeding talk about a line of work that interests me so much, yet that I know nothing about, was a rare opportunity to see behind the walls of a successful creative agency. It baffled me to learn that Journey Group works primarily for non profits, because I never stopped to think that non profits (like the US postal service) required specialized designs or unique stamps! Once again (and for the millionth time in this class), my ignorance regarding the unfathomable amount of design in the world was corrected. Now each time I lick a stamp, I will think about the hours and hours of thought, sketching, and digital work that went into each small square.

Mr. Breeding reminded me how design speaks to the human heart and invokes change. This is the largest lesson I will take from design because it reminds of the life changing power that designers possess. Even when a designer knows he/she must satisfy the client, they hope that they will be able to alter the client’s prospective so that they may see their own desires come to life in a different, unique, and creative way. That is what I hope I have achieved through my own assignments in this class: a unique prospective. Mr. Breeding’s chat also reminded me that even the professionals must turn out 5 or more different versions of the same magazine cover, and that patience is key when it comes to design. I learned I must challenge my own ideas and never settle on the first thing that comes to mind. In this way, Mr. Breeding shared with me a new chapter in the same book of design that I have been learning from all class. Now nearing the end of the semester, I am eager to apply all I have learned to the final story I hope to tell.

side note: I hope, like Greg, that I will have a fireplace in my office one day.


Objects tell stories, if you know how to read them

We use thousands of products EVERYDAY yet it has never occurred to me that there is someone behind each design who has to thoughtfully plan out and think of every consequence that could follow one item. To non-designers everything they use in their lives is just an ordinary object that they use to cook food or brush their teeth with, but to an industrial designer it is a work of art. They plan so much time thing about the color, shape, size, edge and other details we do not even think about normally. One designer in the film, Objectified said “every object tells a story if you know how to read it.” This quote blew my mind because I cant imagine something in my daily routine like my contact case can tell an actual story… However now thinking about it I can see that there is a story behind how the contact case was fitted so that it gave enough room to protect these lens that I put in my eyes for days to ensure I do not get eye infections. The shape of the contact case is convenient, so I can bring it anywhere with me. The colors of the case’s caps are different colors so I can tell apart the left and right lens for each eyes. Another designer added to this idea by saying, “Good design is honest, innovative, consistent in every way, Eco-friendly” and so on. My contact case is  a good design. It was crazy how much this documentary showed me that there is so much innovation in our world, right down to a contact case.



Objectified Design

I really found it interesting when the documentary analyzed the design of the simplest everyday items such as silverware. It once again reminded me of the idea that everything in design has a purpose. Even the most basic items we use are well thought out. Nothing is just thrown together. Everything designers do is carefully planned, and the consequences of something’s design always have to be considered throughout the process. As a result, there is a lot of history and change with everything we use and see today. Even if something works, we should always push the boundaries and see if we can make something better.


Design in Everyday Life

After watching the movie Objectified, I realized exactly how big of a role design plays in my day to day life. The movie was incredibly eye opening and put a new spin on the items I use each day. Every bookshelf I pass, staircase I walk up, and chair I sit in has a huge element of design to it. It is so much more than just practicality. The seat of a chair, curves of the arm-rest, and shape of the back board is carefully thought out and all are conscious decisions.  Design has to do with appearance, usefulness, and innovation. Every design is carefully thought out and uniquely created. Basically, before Objectified, I never had put any thought in to the fact that design is everywhere and plays such a huge role in my life.


Objectified Simplicity

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been partial to IKEA. Perhaps it was all in the calculated simplicity of the products or maybe it had to do with a fascination in Scandinavian design. In any case, my mild obsession with the Swedish furniture retailer was always somewhat inexplainable – I just knew that I loved going to IKEA even if it was to to walk through the showrooms.

Yet, it wasn’t until the middle of the documentary that everything clicked: the appeal of IKEA lies in the form and function of their simple products. Alice Rawsthorn explains that the goal of industrial design has always been mass production resulting in the creation of standardized products that can be consumed by millions. IKEA seems to have nailed this; the standardization of their furniture and household products understands people and what they need.

And yes, one could argue that the lack of creativity in their goods yields homogeneity in their design and consequently, arbitrariness and thoughtlessness in their products; however, I believe that simplicity and minimalism is an indication of good design – just look to the ubiquity of Apple products for evidence.



Design is Everywhere

I think what struck me most about this documentary was the fact that I’ve never really appreciated that behind absolutely everything that I use in my day to day life, there was a creative mind behind it. Something as simple as a vegetable peeler that fits comfortably in your hand took hours upon hours of brain storming, modeling, and testing before it ended up in your kitchen.

This documentary, and this class as a whole, has opened my eyes to the idea that the best designs are the ones that look like they took absolutely no work at all. That’s not to say that if I just threw one of my sketches onto a poster it would be a great design, but what I’m trying to communicate is that effortless simplicity is the key to effective design. Whether it’s in the shaping of a typeface or the shaping of a vegetable peeler, design shouldn’t make its user or viewer do any work, it should lay it all out for them so that all they have to do is enjoy its benefits.


Design in our life

After  watching Objectified this movie, It change a lot of my views about industrial Design. Industrial  In before, I will not noticed that why a tools mades in its shape. Recently, I will say, industrial Designer design this tools in a certain shapes and structures with purpose. All of them are objectified in order to match the need of human being.Basically, Industrial design products are all appear in front of the customer with a complete form, we need to understand the designer’s intentions with its products auxiliary instructions. But any works of the birth were include time and energy accumulation. However, few people noticed at this point.  The industrial design products visible all over around our daily life, behind the seemingly ordinary design is the designers have their best intentions. Design is everywhere, Design is everything.



We walk around every day, using doorknobs, using our phone, typing on the computer, using forks and knives, writing with a pen. All these things were designed with a specific purpose in mind and we never really take the time to realize how much effort was put into making the perfect sized door knob, or the way that our phone fits in our hands, or the curve of our toothbrushes.  In the movie, Objectified, they said that “Good design should feel undesigned.”  This spoke to me because it makes you truly think about how natural the design of most of the objects in our life seem. Designers know what we need before we know that we need them. Being two steps ahead, is being a step behind in the the world of design.  When the thought process behind creating a new potato peeler was described, I realized that shapes and curves of objects have been changed to increase our comfort. If the design of any of these were changed, we would not be able to use many of these products in the same way, with the same comfort level as usual. Design really does matter in every way, shape and form.


Thinking like a designer….and an entrepreneur

As I learn about graphic design this semester, I’m also taking an entrepreneurship class. While watching Objectified, I was amazed by how similarly industrial designers and entrepreneurs think. For instance, both groups of people have to be observant; they constantly look out for problems as they complete day-to-day tasks and think of ways to fix them. They go through a long brainstorming process, coming up with multiple iterations of their product before perfecting it. They also have to study their target markets intensely. One designer mentioned the importance of looking at the extremes in a demographic to ensure that even those with difficult challenges can easily use a product. This concept is just as important for entrepreneurs; if a product is not accessible, it is less likely to sell.
I suppose designers themselves are entrepreneurs. They create a brand for themselves through their designs and try to sell that brand. It was interesting to see such a strong link between the two fields. Imagine what kinds of incredible products could be made if there was more collaboration between them…


Design behind it

When we see an object, we made so many assumptions about this object. What it does? How can people use it? Do we want it? How much do we think it should cost? Most of time, we do not see the designers behind it. Anything that is made by a man, that is designed by a man. People usually see the use of it, may not the design of it. To some extent, designers treat their jobs not only as designers for object but designers for life styles. They look into the future. They concentrate on what is going to happen not what has already happened. We already have Apple, people do not just want Apple in the future, they want something else. Create what they want is designers’ problems. People seldom discuss about how these things really affect us. These things fulfill people needs and make our lives more interesting.

After watching this video, I found being a designer is such an amazing job. it is their responsibility to make our life more gorgeous. People get used to it, so they did not realize what if our world be like without designers. Yes, we can have bed, for example, but not that cute and comfortable. I also want to mention the toothpick. neglect the design behind it. I have seen this type of toothpick when I was little girl. Back to 10 years, a box of it only costs around 10 cents. And the design of this toothpick has never changed. I did not kown the design behind it untill I watched this video. It was designed by a Japanish designer. Each of the little one can make itself a toothpick rest.


Creativity in Daily Life

The amount of times I have picked up a vegetable peeler and thought about its design could be counted on one hand. To any average person, this is a typical tool used in every day life, nothing else special about it. But, to a designer, every shape, curve, and color of the object is an art piece to be explored. This is what I really enjoyed about Objectified, it taught me that every little thing that I encounter throughout my daily routine has been thoroughly and carefully thought through.

The vegetable peeler was not the only example in the film that brought my attention to the inner mechanisms of a designer’s mind. The toothpick design really caught my attention because I have never seen or considered a toothpick to have any creative aspect. However, to a designer a toothpick has endless creative possibilities. The fact that the toothpick shown in the film had a detachable end, which could be used as a holder as well as indicate that the toothpick was used, was baffling to me. Objectified really opened my eyes to seeing innovation in any small, simple object.



Objectified is a video that changed my entire view about industrial design industry. As one of the speakers in the movie mentioned, “I want to have things that do not exist”, as well as the idea that even the most common things we used in our daily lives were designed intentionally with a purpose. For instance, simple objects like a toothbrush or a chair were designed to insure the comfort for the users. You know what is the best thing about industrial design? The best thing is that the users will not realize that the most common things appeared in their ordinary were all designed with a single purpose, to make them feel comfortable. Basically, the movie has mentioned the idea that “everything is designed” even though sometimes people didn’t realize designed objects in their real life. The main purpose and the motivation for the industrial designers is to make the user use more easily and comfortably.


It’s not just a toothpick

The film objectified really put the cherry on top of my official stereotype of designers. I have now watched many interviews with designers and saying that their minds work in a completely different way than most people is an understatement. I wish whole-heartedly that I could look at a hand tool and wonder why the handle is curved slightly in the middle or whether a few more ridged lines on the bottom could help with usability. I found it especially interesting when the designer with the purple glasses and white suit pointed out that everything new created is usually centered around the original archetype of the design. For example the camera. Yes, it has had many many modifications throughout the years but it is always a container usually with a cubical shape and a lense in the front. Another example is the chair, it always has a seat and four legs. He pointed out that his goal is to strive as far away from the archetype, completely refigure the way the world functions.

The toothpick, another example. A super small little piece of wood that you pick your teeth with. To a designer? An instrument that can be manipulated for maximum usability like the end being able to detach and be used as an anchor to hold it up. The little things in life are what matter the most, and the objects that surround us everyday, even the little end of a toothpick have an effect on our lives and designers are striving to make it better and more interesting every day. They always see the importance of the little details in life.



Why Everything is Made the Way it is

Industrial design is an aspect of my life that I have never specifically noticed before watching Objectified. As one of the speakers in the movie said, many people don’t realize that every man made object in their life is designed intentionally and with a purpose. Objects that seem meaningless like vegetable peelers and toothpicks have been meticulously designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, and usability. The most amazing thing about industrial design is its impact on every person in the world, and some products are specifically designed with me as a user in mind

One thing that was specifically interesting to me was that industrial engineers and designers specifically design their products with “outliers” in mind. They design products for these outliers who, for example, need the most comfortable grip on a tool, because the average population will be able to use that easily as well. This is really interesting to me, because I would have automatically assumed that products are designed with the average person’s needs in mind. After watching Objectified, it now makes sense that a tool would be designed with the person who has the most difficult time using that tool in mind.


Sitting Comfy

Ever thought about a chair? I mean actually, truly, deeply, thought about one. Me neither. When the film Objectified began to interview two designers and analyze the chairs they were creating, I was baffled. I was thinking, it’s just a chair. Four legs and a piece to sit on – simple. The two designers then began to discuss how everything in our world is designed and how the best things are the things that don’t even look like they were designed. I realized they were right. I’ve never once thought “I wonder why the designer did this” about a chair or other seemingly “simple” items such as apple peelers or napkin dispensers. After the film, I found myself questioning random things about why they were designed how they were. I thought maybe water bubblers are shaped like they are for water effeciency or maybe the parts fit together in such a way that the designers were able to create less waste while making it. I learned that if you want to make it in the design world, you need to be able to make a comfy chair or a least be able to see things for what they are and ask “why is it like that?”


Objectified Documentary Response

The concept about industrial design that I found the most brilliant, yet counterintuitive in the Objectified documentary was that a quality mass-produced product should be designed for the physical extreme ends of the consumer market. In the documentary, we meet an industrial designer who tells his clients that he’s less interested in the profile of their average customer and cares far more about the needs of the physical outliers. This point arose from the consideration of a vegetable peeler with an easy-to grip rubber handle. I’ve used a similar one myself, and I highly prefer it to the ones with abrasive metal handles, but I never thought about the designers’ motivations for evolving the tool to be more comfortable. The designers, it turned out, were trying to better the experience for users with arthritis. This demonstrates the idea that the problems, needs, and limitations of the market extremes are the callings that good design needs to answer. The middle ground, as the documentary says, will take care of itself. And I can testify to that, as I’m sure many other able-bodied people who’ve benefitted from similar modifications also can.


have things that do not exist

“I want to have things that do not exist”. Yes, we all do right? But what does this entail? And how can we get it? This is a quote from a designed in the documentary, Objectified. This quote probably relates to everyone in the world because we all want something that we do not know even exists. But it is those people, who make those “things” exist who are extraordinarily special. This documentary showed me even more that designers are amazing!! They literally do everything. Everything we use, see, touch, smell is all designed. From garden clippers, to chairs, to pans, to technology, everything is “objectified” by designers. Every object or “thing” has a story, if you’re willing to understand it.

Since watching this film, I have looked at everything differently. Especially my apple computer. There was a section in the film where we saw an apple computer come apart and watch it be built from beginning to end. It just blows my mind how it is humanly possible. I never realized or gave the time to think about how things are designed and built. It is truly amazing and it is hard to wrap my mind around it. Another favorite quote from the movie was, “launch a campaign on something you already know”. I like this because I think it is great advice for me in the future. I am looking forward to having a career in advertising/public relations. I am going to need to know how to campaign and this is a great first advice into my career.


Objectified Response

The Objectified documentary was an interesting film that took viewers around the world of design. From America to Poland, we were shown that through all the different styles, products, and design methods one can see throughout the world, the end goal is always the same: making your product the most efficient it can be. One part that particularly intrigued me was when a designer claimed that the only American company that has truly mastered this art of design is Apple.

Apple has been a leader in design since it’s beginning in the late 1970’s. Listening to one of the lead designers from Apple talk in such intricate detail about the smallest light or notch on the newest Macbook and how that each tiny detail contributes to the overall Macbook experience was so interesting to listen to. There I was, sitting on my own Macbook taking notes on the documentary in class, and I started to notice all these little design details that I never would have cared to notice before. Similarly to this, was when one designer said, “The microchip changed design from what you see to what you don’t see”. With this in mind, it was intriguing to see the Macbook evolve from it’s first model to what it is today in 2016.

Overall, I loved how this documentary opened my eyes to a different kind of design. It’s easy to think of jobs in design as solely graphic designers until you actually learn all the possibilities that design has to offer for students. After Objectified, I can finally understand what all my friends in the Com Design major actually do!


Storytelling Through Design

“Every object tells a story if you know how to read it”. This was my biggest takeaway from industrial design themed documentary, Objectified. It is crazy to think that each item, in every aspect of my life, is specifically and thoughtfully designed to be as useful, aesthetically pleasing, and functional as possible. Some design is so incredibly innovative that I, and the rest of the world, do not use objects to their full potential. The biggest example of this from the documentary is the end of the toothpick that breaks off to act as a stand. I have used toothpicks for years and never knew that this function existed! In this way, it saddens me to think how oblivious I am to innovative design such as this.

Design requires several ideas, people, and prototypes in order to discover the best solution possible and this documentary truly highlighted the thousands of ideas that designers go through in order to create the best design possible. Seeing the several different prototype designs for a potato peeler handle all thrown together in a box made me realize how many times a designer must fail in order to succeed. This puts my own approach to design, especially in our current magazine project, into prospective. This documentary taught me that good design, whether for physical products or digital pieces, elicit emotional responses and I strive to be the kind of designer that can make someone feel something while telling a story to the world.



During the movie one of the designers, Marc Newson, said, “My job is about what’s going to happen, not what’s happened.”  For industrial design that makes sense because being the first to introduce a product or material can be a big step. Another designer mentioned Apple as one of the top companies in the industry because they are so ahead of the game of design making things useful yet sleek and unique.

Newson’s quote is relatable to the field I hope to go into, online journalism. Social media platforms are extremely useful to reporters in sharing and getting feedback on their stories.  These social media platforms have even added new tools, like SnapChat’s featured news pages and Facebook’s live feature, that news networks have utilized to reach new audiences. I use SnapChat throughout the day and it has become one of the major ways I read news. It is a quick and visual way to inform people.  This has become useful because the average attention span for people reading things has shortened drastically over the past decade.  The Facebook live feature has allowed people to be at events or get reports in real time making the viewer feel more connected to the subjects.



My main takeaway from watching Objectified was the idea that “from when you wake up, everything has design.” After hearing this statement, I stopped and considered the extent to which this is true and realized how I take designs for granted. Before watching this documentary, I never really thought about how something so mundane as my backpack was carefully thought out by a team of designers. Or how even the desk I use in class, the case I use to store my laptop, and the emblem on my hat all took copious time and effort to perfect. The documentary provides an example of this when it mentions the pair of hedge clippers. A team of designers worked to create a special grip that caters towards people with arthritis to prevent them from dropping the tool while working. The grip they developed is simple and effective, providing extra aid to both those who need it and the average user. This documentary has helped me see just how much design is embedded into society and everything we use, and is a field that can never truly receive the credit it deserves.



Industrial design is something that plays a major role in everyone’s lives each day, but no one thinks twice about. We see industrial design the second we walk out of our homes, not to mention everywhere in our homes too. Industrial designers have to take a lot more into consideration than I thought. For example, when tools are being made they have to understand where the pressure points in the hands are so that the tools work.

One thing that surprised me in the video was when they were speaking about Target. Target has influenced pop culture thinking about the importance and virtue of design. Good design is something people want. Companies want people to buy their stuff. People want what is called, “the new now.” When something stays the same for too long, people lost interest. We want what is current, exciting and interesting.



Because we have been exposed to the same object multiple times, we expect the ones we see and use everyday to be ordinary. We don’t think about their design nor their function. For instance, when I walk into class, I see rows of chairs and choose one to sit down on. I don’t think about the design of the chair nor do I have to remind myself that chairs are meant for sitting. Thus, we don’t think about the design of typical objects; we only think that way when presented with new or modernized objects.

The documentary Objectified was interesting because it talked about the design and function behind those everyday objects. It forced us to think about objects in ways we rarely do.

(I also enjoyed the part when it talked about the faces of cars and how the car we drive becomes a part of our identity)



The documentary Objectified completely changed the way I look at the world around me. When I look around my room, I see simple objects such as beds, chairs, storage cubbies, etc. However, every single one of those objects was designed for a specific reason to fit its use. For example, in the movie it talked about how if you have never seen a chair before, you would still be able to guess what it was used for. The same goes for the storage cubbies in my room; if you did not know what they were for, you would still be able to guess they were used for storage.

Never before had I thought of a vegetable peeler or a whisk as being designed by people who do that for a living, but Objectified changed that. People are hired to make items appear the way that they are supposed to be used. Before this graphic design class, I really only thought of design as “design on the computer,” however this documentary especially changed the way I thought of graphic design.


Unobtrusively Objectified

One of the most striking aspects of designing everyday objects is the idea of unobtrusiveness. Designers are creating things that are simply meant to blend in to people’s everyday lives. This is contrary to the far-held belief that design is something that stands out and gets people’s attention, in the case of artwork or advertisements. For the designers of the toothbrush, or the clock, they simply look for the most functional, aesthetically pleasing design, that they know will  blend into the background of people’s everyday lives. In this sense, design takes on a new meaning. One designer claimed in the film that the objects used in the home become part of the family, and that emotional connection is powerful for these designers. It is the idea that the object is both visible and invisible within these homes, making the most powerful designs. So much work goes into making these designs simply fit into our worlds, we forget about the countless hours it took designers to create the chairs, and the shower heads, and the alarm clocks we use everyday of our lives. These designers master the art of being functionally invisible, a seemingly impossible task, in a way unlike any other job.



Before watching the documentary Objectified, I didn’t realize that design comes in so many different forms and functions. I realized design is a part of almost every aspect of life.

Design is not so much about appearance but rather it is about function. The true test of a design is how it functions and the ways in which consumers are able to use it. If the design is too difficult for consumers to understand and use, then it has not been very successful.

An example of design that is a part of our everyday lives that I hadn’t noticed is Apple’s Macbook. Apple is able to dominate the field of new technology because it provides consumers with beautiful yet simples designs that are also functional and easy to use.

It amazed me the process of industrial design and the extent to which the designers went to ensure a product was functional. An example of this was the tools. They designed the handles in a way that they would be usable and wouldn’t hurt the consumer’s ability to use them. Appearances are important, but function is key.

I always understood design as a means of appearances and how good a product looks. However, after watching Objectified, I realized the beauty of a design is useless if the product itself does not work. For example, I have a cousin who designs Fossil watches. He can design beautiful watches, but in the end, if the watch isn’t functional, the consumer will have no use for it. To me, this just highlighted the importance design plays in people’s everyday lives and the things they use.


Planned Obsolescence

I don’t even realize designers, whether industrial, environmental, or graphic, design my entire life. When I begin typing on my Apple laptop, I don’t say out loud “Wow, this laptop sure is ergonomic!”, I just experience a subconscious satisfaction. The fact that I use my laptop daily without complaining about it is indicative of the quality design. It fits. It works. It’s functional.

A designer in the film threw out this idea: why should things be built to be permanent? He discussed the short life span of items and the reality that they end up in landfills unable to naturally decompose. This negatively effects our environment, creating a huge amount of waste and pollution. I believe he was alluding to environmental aspirations like making all products out of biodegradable material.

I was introduced to the idea of planned obsolescence in my geography course. It is the policy of producing consumer goods with deliberately short lifespans to force people to spend money replacing the product. This is achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials.

I wonder if planned obsolescence is the intentional doing of industrial designers or the idea of the company producing the product to increase profit. There is value making products with longer life spans; it lessens the environmental burden of throwing things aways at increasing levels. I don’t think planned obsolescence is necessary because it seems to happen quite naturally. American society is all about consumerism; people want the newer, faster, shinier version of products and will forget about the older one once they get it.

Again, design, whether industrial, environmental, or graphic, plays an integral part of our everyday lives. And when we don’t realize it, that means design is far from obsolete.


“Objectified”- What is a good design?

I didn’t know that design has really played an important role in our daily life before I saw this documentary. I thought that design was just for people who like drawing and designing instead of people like me. however, after I saw the film, it surprises me that almost everything we use everyday include design. Also, good designers design every single detail not to show how they can make the product become cool and unique, but all about how to be functional in little design. One example is Apple. One of their engineer said they asked themselves “Can we do these 6 ones just into one?” during the process of design the keyboard. That’s why Apple dominate the major market. It always provides consumers with simple designs but good functions. Also, a good design can understand the human and object relationship. One designer says that they need to understand what people need more than themselves. One example for this is OXO. This is the company focuses on how to make people’s lives become easier. When they design the peeler, they tried various different types of handles, and test them one by one to see which one make people feel more comfortable and at the same time help them peel well without hurt their hands. This is only a company which produce food products, but they will make force analysis on people’s hands when produce a peeler and analyze that how the design makes people feel less difficult when peeling.


Objectified–design matters

At first, I was not paying much attention to design, and not interested in design and creativity, as well. However, when I saw the video, I found design is everywhere in our life. A chair, a spoon, and even a toothpick is all designed by thoughtful designers and a complicated experiment process. There was a German designer gave a very concise summary of what is design, “Design details, design is long-lived, design is as little as possible, design is environmental friendly, design is aesthetic, design is easy to use.” He also said there are not many companies take design seriously, but Apple is one of the exceptions. People may wonder why Apple is so popular these days. Before I watched this video, I thought they just had great computer engineers, good business strategies, and amazing leadership team. However, In this video, I saw the root of why Apple is so successful. They have a good design, and they take design very seriously. One of the Apple designers said a good design is indicating something, if not, it should not be there. A French designer said design is how to organize the space, and it is like composing the music. Also, the design should not just good looking. It needs to plug into human behavior because good design makes life more convenient and straightforward.


It’s a world of design, and we are just living in it

From watching “Objectified,” I have learned many things about industrial design that I have never thought about or even known about before. I found it very interesting when the speakers said that many of the best designs are done by people who do not think they are designing. This has showed me that everyone goes through their daily lives and are all in some way designing or improving an object. I also loved how the video mentioned that “every object has a story, if you know how to read it.”  There is a brain and a story behind every object resulting in its existence. It is crazy to think about how things become what they are today. Everything that surrounds me in this world is designed by someone who took the time to create this story in an object. Ever since watching the film, I look at objects completely different and its crazy to me how much an object evolves over time to fit a person’s needs! Peoples needs in the world are constantly changing so the stories of the objects must change with it!


If the “extreme” can do it, everybody can do it

The main concept that shocked me within the “Objectified” documentary was the theory that when something is designed, if the “extreme” types of people can use the product, then the middle-ground/average people can figure it out. The example provided in the film was apple peelers for older individuals with arthritis, but when I thought about it, the product also worked for everybody from kids to adults. This idea made me automatically think of my parents and grandparents with technology. It may have took a little getting used to, but my grandma can fully operate her iPhone and iPad with no problem whatsoever. I’m sure when the Apple team was coming together with the design for these two products, they wanted to make it as less complicated as possible so ALL genres and ages of people could enjoy it and operate it.  After seeing that segment, I really wanted there to be more examples of such products that were “inspired” per say by a specific genre of people, such as adults with arthritis. Like what was the “extreme” audience behind napkin dispensers? or riding lawnmowers? or a GPS? Now I’m just curious.


Aesthetics as a Complement, Not a Replacement.

I think there were striking resemblances between the industrial design film and the poster design project. I think that one of the largest resemblances is that both industrial design and the design work we did on our poster need to focus first on functionality of the piece and then next on the aesthetics of the piece. In industrial design that could mean designing a faucet handle that first and foremost achieves the job of turning on the water quickly and efficiently and then secondly has a look that is appeasing to the user and goes beyond just the function of turning on water. Similarly, with the poster, the goal of bringing people to a festival must first convey the informational aspect needed to find the location of the festival and know the time and date of it, then secondly it must attract the user in, be aesthetically appealing, and elicit an emotional response in the audience that would make them want to attend the event. In essence, this is what the title is all about as well, “To Inform and Delight.”

If these were approached in the other way, to first delight and then to inform, one risks the possibility of the audience being attracted to the piece but then having no functional use out of the piece beyond the enjoyment it has created in the user. In terms of poster design that could mean being attracting to a poster due to the cool drawing, and appealing colors conveyed in the work but not reading the information on how to attend the event which was hidden in the corner of the piece, due to the fact that the designer was focused only on aesthetic pleasure and not the informational intent of the piece. Likewise, with industrial design, if one approaches the faucet first from a design perspective and taking the functionality second to that, one might end up with a cool looking faucet handle that remains nearly impossible to turn on and off, what is arguably the true purpose of a faucet handle. This is also applicable to our website design in that we must make the website look appealing to the eye but remember that the most important part is that the user can navigate through the website, engage with your content, and ensure the goals of converting the user are achieved. Therefore, the aesthetics of design should complement the functionality of design but not overpower it or be used in place of it.


Step by Step How to Create a layer Comp

Create a layer comp

  1. Choose Window ->Layer Comps to display the Layer Comps panel.
  2. Click the Create New Layer Comp button at the bottom of the Layer Comps panel. The new comp reflects the current state of layers in the Layers panel.
  3. In the New Layer Comp dialog box, name the comp, add descriptive comments, and choose options to apply to layers: Visibility, Position, and Appearance.
  4. Click OK. The options you chose are stored as defaults for your next comp. To duplicate a comp, select a comp in the Layer Comps panel and drag the comp to the New Comps button.

Apply and view layer comps

  1. In the Layer Comp panel, do any of the following:
  2. To view a layer comp, you first need to apply it. Click the Apply Layer Comp icon next to a selected comp.
  3. To cycle through a view of all layer comps, use the Previous and Next buttons at the bottom of the panel. (To cycle through specific comps, first select them.)
  4. To restore the document to its state before you chose a layer comp, click the Apply Layer Comp icon next to Last Document State at the top of the panel.



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I think one positive of the poster is the interesting characters that could attract the audience and keep them entertained. I think one of the negatives could be that it is in black and white. I enjoy the black and white for its contrast and the fact that it looks like a sillohette but I worry that it might not be attention grabbing enough?