Good-Byes Are Hard but They Must Be Said Eventually

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bye gifI had an absolute fun time in this class and hope that I’ll be taking more courses like this in the future. I loved spending time with all of you and hope to see you all again soon! 🙂 Be sure to say hello to me if you see me at Wal*Mart or hanging around somewhere in town. I apologize for missing the last class on Friday last week. My alarm didn’t go off and I slept in. I guess I was more tired than I thought I was. Again, I’m sorry about that.

I hope you all have a fantastic and great holiday break! May you get all the things you want and spend time with the ones you love and cherish! See you all next semester and I will end this post with one of my favorite Tom Jones songs. Enjoy!

Banner Tutorial

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While looking at fellow scholar’s blogs, I’ve noticed that most of the banners look really awful. They’re either too big or they’re way too blurry and pixelated. You really can’t just pick up any image online and expect it to work. So I decided to make this post in helping all of you create a better banner for your blog. The rest of this post shall be under a break and please click on the images to see them in their full-size.

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Since Halloween is around the corner

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I thought I’d share these videos with all of you. While I love Halloween and dressing up, we all need to keep in mind that it’s never ok to dress up as something that is completely racist and offensive. Sadly, a lot of people still seem to do this around Halloween even though it’s 2014 and we should all know better then to do this.

So please watch these videos if you have time. They use multimodal discourse excellently and I personally like the graphic design that both these women use. The first video was made by YouTube user Chescaleigh and the rest were made by YouTube user TheeKatsMeoww.

 

Audiences and Priorities

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Audience

Always Keep the Audience in Mind!

Any class that we go to in college will have at least four audiences. I used to think that there were mainly two audiences in classes, the instructor and the scholars. On Friday’s class, I have learned that there are actually two more audiences that come into play.

Each of these audiences have different priorities and it raises a question, whose priorities are more important? This is hard question to answer because many people have different thoughts and opinions about this subject. I don’t really think I can answer the question myself. It requires tons of research gathering and studying that I sadly have no time for.

However, lets go over what priorities these four audience have.

Administration:

Should we really measure one's value by their grades?

Should we really measure one’s value by their grades?

The administration of FLC wants instructors use Canvas to show their scholar’s weekly progress in the courses. Higher education is a business for them so they need measurable pieces of data from the instructors. Higher GPA’s means possibilities of more money given to the school by new students. Most graduating high school students want to come to a college that has students with high GPA’s.

As much as people want to believe in The Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love,” we live in a world where we need money to sustain businesses and our own personal lives. As Patrick said, when it comes to business, keeping everyone happy is important but money and profit have to come first.

I do have to ask though is that should we really judge someone based on the grades they got in college? Sometimes life gets in the way of learning and education. Goodness knows how many semesters I’ve had to skip because I needed to work more and provide for my family. It makes me wonder if the administration ever takes that those factors into account.

Scholars:

Trying to find that balance.

Trying to find that balance.

Most scholars often find themselves balancing their priorities for family, friends, work, partying, free-time and self care along with passing classes in school. We’re people, we got lives to life and bills to pay. Sometimes, we just to have to put off school to take care of ourselves and our friends and family.

Program (Writing):

Making a good and convincing argument.

Making a good and convincing argument.

The writing program wishes for scholars to engage with their works and learn the ability to make good arguments. We argue almost all the time, even if we’re unaware of it. Don’t most of us have inner debates about whether we should go to class the next day or not?

The Toulmin Method really provides helpful steps in making a great argument.

  • Make a claim
  • Find Evidence
  • Make sure the evidence warrants your claim
  • Bring up counter arguments and rebuttals of original claim
  • Have these rebuttals either strengthen your argument or be prepared that it may weaken it

Faculty:

Personal Responsibility is a must!

Personal Responsibility is a must!

Bill Mangrum’s priorities for this course are for scholars to have self initiative, personal responsibility and to have the ability to self assess themselves. Personal responsibility is incredibly important to me because we all need to be responsible for ourselves as adults. When I go to work at Wal*Mart, I need to be responsible for my own work and make sure it gets done. If I can’t finish it, then I need to inform my own manager that I was unable to finish the work. That’s how you be a good honest worker when you have a job. If I don’t tell my manager anything then I’ll get in trouble for lack of communication. This is why the instructor wants us to communicate with him if we are unable to finish work for the blog or attend a meeting.

It’s hard for Bill’s priorities to intersect with the administration’s priorities because as Jared said on Friday’s meeting, you can’t put everything into numbers. Bill is an understanding instructor that knows that most of us have jobs and family to take care of outside of school. I personally didn’t have time to do this assignment over the weekend because I was busy with work and over school assignments.

Now with all that in mind, I’m going to end this post with a list of my own priorities in case anyone wanted to know about them.

  • Family
  • Sleep
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Food
  • Paying Bills
  • Work
  • School

Why Gender Neutrality Can be Good For Designers

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I work at Wal*Mart and every time I walk by the toy section, I always see something like this.

Blue for Boys

Blue for Boys

 

Pink for girls

Pink for Girls

For me, It’s just so cringe worthy to look at. It makes me feel bad for designers that are forced to limit their creativity just because of strict gender binary rules in society. I know that bright colors are the best to use when attracting children as a main audience. I have to argue though that just sticking to blue colors for boys and pink colors for girls is just getting unoriginal and boring at this point.

Seeing the article about Sweden making a new gender neutral pronoun – Hen not only gives me hope for gender rights in society but also for designers. We can have a chance to use a wider range of color scheme when advertising to children. It doesn’t just have to be blue or pink and all children will be allowed to play with whatever toy they want. I hope this is the way it goes but I know it’s still gonna be a rocky road. There are people that won’t accept changes in society so easy and we have to be prepared for that.

Hindrances in Writing

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Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to write a paper and you find obstacles that prevent you from finishing the task? That happens to pretty much all of us.

Writer's Block - Calvin and Hobbes

Writer’s Block – Calvin and Hobbes

I’m certainly not an exception to this rule and if anyone says that they are, chances are that they’re lying.

We had a very intriguing and good discussion on Friday about this issue. There’s quite a bit of hindrances that hold us back when we write papers and essays. Chayse Romero pointed out that when writing, you need to be very specific when doing research questions. Asking many questions is fine but if you just ask boring and general questions, it won’t really lead to any answers that you need. Candra Lowery elaborated as well on this point by stating that research questions can lead to further questions. What if the question we thought would solve the problem just lead to another problem all together? Now more research has to be done and it takes longer to get the paper done.

Chloe Speshock stated a problem in writing that I believe many of us can relate to and that’s not knowing where exactly to start. I almost never know where to start when I writing and drawing something and this is probably why it takes me a long time to finish assignments. Alex Byron said that another hindrance in writing would be not being familiar with specific terms in a discourse you’re taking. There can be language barriers that prevent you from advancing further in your field. I can defiantly relate to this because in desgn, we have our certain terms for design concepts and ideas. For example, a single word left out on the bottom of a paragraph in the last line is called a “widow.” You don’t want to have these in your designs because critics will point that out immediately.

Carlie Anderson talked about how writers fear doing details because the more detailed in writing, the more responsible they are for their work. I personally could just simply say on twitter or facebook, “Work sucked today” and I wouldn’t be in any trouble at all. However, if I elaborated on why that day sucked, I could get myself in trouble if I made terrible comments about coworkers or customers. Also, what if I said something that was completely false? I would get into even further trouble for that. When it comes to writing papers however, we all do need to learn to take that responsibility and move on from that fear of detail.

Another hindrance in writing would be not knowing how to narrow down the topic as Erik Keil said. We all tend to off topic in writing so this is very true. Candra made another possible hindrance is that the willingness to adapt and be fluid can be very difficult for most of us.

The instructor, Bill Mangrum, told us of the two last hindrances that happen when writing. One of the hindrances is the willingness to be wrong. Let’s face it, none of us want to be wrong when we’re presenting our final work to our instructors. However, we just need to accept the fact that we’re gonna be wrong at a couple things. We’re not perfect, we’re gonna make mistakes and we just have to accept them and move on. In art and design, when I present my final product, I don’t just show it to the instruct. I show the artwork to the entire class to be critiqued. I need that critique in order to improve and make the artwork better later on for portfolio review.

The last hindrance that Bill stated is probably one of the most important ones to know and that’s the fact that none of us want our work to embarrass us 20 years from now. We all get that familiar feeling when we pull out posts in facebook that we made in 2008, or when we look our drawings/designs from previous years. The thing is through is that we all need to move on from this. Yes, the art I made years ago was awful and worth of many cringes but if it weren’t for that artwork, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Trust me on this everyone, you will improve on your work. As long as you listen to any critique that’s given to you and apply it to your work, you will do much better in the future. That’s my personal belief and I will always stick to it.

How Language Can Help Graphic Design

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After reading some of Language: A Reader for Writers by Gita DasBender. I found 8 interesting articles that I believe will apply to my major that is Art in Graphic Design. I do believe that these will all help me improve on my art and designs in some way and become more professional in my major.

  • Body Language Arika Okrent (Pages 18 – 27)
    Body language is important everywhere, even in graphic design. Gestures used by people in ads have the ability to evoke certain emotions from the target audience.
  • Is Your Language Making You Broke and Fat? How Language Can Shape Thinking and Behavior (and How It Can’t) Julie Sedivy (Pages 32 – 37)
    Certain structures of language are often used to entice the target audience and convince to buy a product. They could probably even be convinced to switch from one product to a different one.
  • Writing for an Audience Linda S. Flower (Pages 74 – 78)
    Making ads and designs for a specific target audience will help a product to sell better. Learning how to write for specific audiences can go a long way for me in making advertising designs.
  • Washington State Sees Results From ‘Plain Talk’ Initiative Rachel La Corte (Pages 82 – 85)
    While keeping in mind that structure of languages are important, I also find that using my modern speech in ads and designs can help me better connect to the target audience. This article could help me further understand this notion and apply it more to my designs.
  • Sweden’s New Gender-Neutral Pronoun: Hen Nathalie Rothschild (Pages 145 – 149)
    As society grows and starts becoming more open to gender neutrality, it also opens more doors for graphic designers. We can be encouraged to use more creativity when designing or promoting products for children.
  • When the Media Is the Disaster Rebecca Solnit (Pages 237 – 244)
    It’s important to be aware that graphic design can bring terrible ideas and beliefs into the minds of people when there is no proper research done. If we generalize too much and discriminate against oppressed groups of people then we are not doing any good for the audience.
  • Words as Weapons Susan Benesch (Pages 245 – 252)
    Word choice is integral in graphic design, it can really make or break a sale. If a designer doesn’t use good word choice in their design then everything will fall apart. This article could be helpful to me in this area as I often struggle with appropriate word choice.
  • Digital Tools ‘To Save Languages’ Jonathan Amos (Pages 308 – 311)
    Digital media is becoming more mainstream each day. This can really open up a new world to graphic designers. It can gives us more opportunities for jobs and careers.

The Definition of Inquiry

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Yesterday in class, we all had a discussion on defining the word, “Inquiry.” It was actually more difficult then I imagined it would be. Everyone had to come to an agreement when it came to a definition and many thoughts and ideas went through our heads. We did ultimately agree on a solid definition of Inquiry and here it is.

Inquiry – The process of obtaining knowledge through a question(s) and/or observation(s) that is relevant to the discourse.

However, there are a few questions that I have about this.

  • Can the definition be more than one sentence?
  • Could it have been simplified further or would that have lost it’s meaning?
  • Should the word “specific” have been used to clarify that certain questions need to be asked when inquiring information?
  • Would subject/topic have been a good word to use besides discourse?

The definition of Inquiry can actually apply really well to my graphic design profession. If I ever get a job as a Graphic Designer, I cannot choose my client. I could pretty much be making designs for just about anything. I could get a client that owns a biking company but I don’t know the first thing about bikes. My design teacher has us brainstorm ideas for our client and the first thing that we must do is research the company and ask lots of questions.

This is honestly the hardest part of design because it’s much more difficult to think up of ideas then to actually do them. It took me two and half weeks to think of a concept for my current project in Advertising Design. I have studied the product that I’m making ad’s for and asked for help from other students. I have come up with a pretty clever idea, I just hope it turns out alright when I get it done next week.

Multimodal Photos

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Going around the campus and seeing multiple forms of communication being used all around was pretty fun. I have taken a lot of photos but I’ve decided to focus on these five. This is going to be under a break because the pictures make the post super long. I don’t wanna make anyone’s internet connections slow down so hopefully this will work and be convenient for everyone.

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So What About Style?

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So What? was a very informative and intriguing book to read. It was very helpful especially in how to make a compelling argument and how to cite sources properly. I’m honestly terrible at citing sources and I know this book has defiantly given me insight on it. I admit that I skimmed through some of it mainly because I was running out of time and needed to work on other homework. I’m gonna bring this book to work with me this weekend and re-read any areas that I skimmed over. After all, like the book itself has said, repetition is always necessary when reading for research. This is really true for me because I need to read books repeatedly in order for me to properly understand the writing that it has.

The one topic that actually stuck out to me was style. We may not think about it but style is very important when it comes to writing anything. When I often write personal blogs, I am often more casual and I usually don’t filter my language. I really swear a lot when I’m upset with an event that’s happening in my life and I also tend to repeat words to emphasize a point. However, I would not use this language on a professional paper or hardly even on a public site. I can compare the posts I make on a personal site like Livejournal to a site more open to public like Facebook and the differences are plain to see as night and day.

As a designer, I always need to be aware of style when advertising a product. Some can be simple, funny, cute, cool, or shocking. For example, my current project in my Advertising Design class is making ads for the Sawyer Mini. The Sawyer Mini is a small water filter that can be attached to various drinking containers and used like a straw to clean out dirty water. All the ads require a body copy that briefly explains what the item can do. I need to use language and a style that is understandable to the target audience of the product. My target audience would actually most likely be the general public so I need to use words that are simple and appropriate while also being reassuring. This is pretty much what I wrote as a body copy,

“From revolting to refreshing, the Sawyer Mini can filter dirty water to clean, healthy water instantly. So go ahead and enjoy your drink, Sawyer’s got your back.”

This may be subject to change because when I’m working on my projects, I’m always making changes to see if the overall design seems correct. This Thursday, I’ll be consulting my instructor and classmates to see if this is appropriate wording to use. Any one of you are also welcome to make a suggestion. When it comes to both writing and art, it’s always important to hear multiple points of view on what makes our work successful. If I just relied on myself then I wouldn’t be able to make any progress or improvement.

Speaking of this project, I decided to take the funny approach by having pictures of drinking glasses that are filled with dirty, disgusting water and having a caption that describes the complete opposite of what they are such as “Delicious!” This will hopefully further convince the audience to buy the product because it can turn even the most filthiest of water into clear, healthy water. I can’t say for certain that it’ll convince everyone but making an image that sticks to the audience’s head should at least interest them in what the item can do.

It’s kind of funny how the more reading I do for this class, the more it can actually help me with my graphic design.