Friday, April 3, 2009

Project Management/Scheduling

This post is about developing skills in managing projects and meeting deadlines. What you have to do once a deadline is given is to work backwards from that deadline. Take into account all the steps and processes you have to accomplish to meet the deadline and assign yourself a date/time where each stage must be accomplished. This gives you a complete timeline for your project and if you meet each point along the way, you shouldn't have problems. Remember to build into that timeline some slack to allow for potential problems. Production problems, changes in the project and a host of other difficulties tend to crop up towards the back-end of projects. The closer to a deadline you get the more likely problems will happen. Learn to anticipate problems. Don't miss deadlines! 

To relate this to your current deadlines... you need to get your .pdf of your Ride poster submitted to the print monitors by Monday. Tuesday should be your fall-back time to reprint the project if you had problems printing on Monday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Design early and often

When taking a comp into production you probably experienced the desire to make changes to the layout, because the design is not translating well into the computer and needs something not thought of earlier in the thumbnail or comp stages. But, you are restrained in doing so because the client has already approved the layout you are assembling. If your layout really sucks, you need to work to make it better, it just means you have to submit these better ideas for approval by art directors, creative directors, account executives and the client. Don't be afraid to suggest something to make a design better. That is the ultimate goal... to produce exceptional work. If can sell your supervisors on the alterations, it is their job to get the approvals on the changes. Don't let the process dictate quality. But, to be efficient in the process, you have to design early in the process so alterations aren't needed at the back end.

When introduced to this design process of conceptual development, thumbnails and comps, students have a tendency to delay creative and visual decisions until they can get on the computer. The computer seems to be a security blanket. But the real design takes place in the grey matter between your ears early in the process. The markers and technology only translates what is in your mind onto paper. You need to keep in mind when thumbnailing and comping how you are going to assemble the layout on computer. Experimenting visually and designing variations takes much less time at the thumbnail stage than it does on the computer. Use this stage to your advantage.