Aimee’s GD Blog

A place to share my work and thoughts

Reading #15, 16 – Ch. 8 & 9 June 12, 2009

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 4:46 pm

These chapters deal with how to keep yourself out there and keeping you in peoples minds. He also covered things you can do when you are finding it difficult to find a job. You can enter yourself in design competitions, which are like beauty pageants for designers, but are great ways to get noticed. You can also join organizations that are centered in the design world this lets you network, and that is really important. You can go to conventions and lectures and network there to. Then he talks about the creative process and creative briefs, how to create and live by a personal creative philosophy. He also talks about how to collaborate.

Self Promotion Creative Process


Reading #12, 13, 14 – Ch. 5, 6, 7

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 4:42 pm

These chapters deal with how to set up your own space and studio, how to get employees and how to keep them. How to develop and nurture a creative staff, and even the mundane aspects of running a studio. One of the most interesting things about this chapter was that finding employees can be so hard, because if they are any good they have aspirations of setting up their own studio, so they are basically just marking time before they move off into their own career. How to promote yourself and strategies to get the job done were also covered. He also touches on clients and how to deal with difficult and tedious clients, as well as nurturing your great clients.



Reading # 9, 10, 11 – Ch. 2, 3, 4

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 4:34 pm

The next three chapters deal with how to get a job, working freelance and setting up your own office. The book does a pretty good job at letting you know how you can approach this. He also goes into portfolios and the interview process, what you can expect and how you should be prepared. What are the benefits of working freelance or sharing a space with a partner. If you should work from home or rent a studio. When the time comes to set up your own studio, what do you need to, know? Business plans, location scouting, who you want to work with or even what your name should be? I found this to be very good information and was some of the most practical and helpful stuff I’ve gotten out of the book yet.



Reading #8 Forward, Introduction & Ch. 1

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 4:21 pm

This Real ArtStefan Sagmeister writes the forward, he discussed his career and how he dealt with the difficulties inherent in the field. He advises that you must get away from your job, and take a break, this way you can recharge. Adrian Shaughnessy says that this book is just what the world needs, yet another book about design, but as he says this one is about the dirty bits, its by designers for designers so it is a bit more in the trenches than others. Chapter one tells us about the three things a modern designer needs, Cultural Awareness, Communication, and a sense of integrity.


Reading #7 Personas: Practice & Theory

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 4:16 pm

Personna Mapping“Personas: Pra ctice and Theory” was very interesting it covers how to sort of create a ideal person to build your ideas around. This ideal user prototype is based on the data you have collected from research and other studies. This helps you to be able to create predictably successful ideas because you are creating a sort of synthesis with your data, to create one ideal person. This helps you be able to look past the individual tastes and ideas of the people you are studying and get to a consensus to help you create better design.


Reading #6 Emotion Through Design

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 6:45 am

Sagmeister AIGA Poster

“Is it possible to touch somebody’s heart with design?” This is the question from Sagmeister. He recalls his time at the 1997 AIGA National Conference in New Orleans. He talked about the swag that the attendees received. It was “well produced fluff” but it didn’t make any real impression other than it was pretty. So he wants to prove from his experiences that design can provoke an emotional response. He outlined his 6 qualities that are essential for good design that can touch the heart.

1. New Perspective
“They have the ability to make me see things in a new way.”
2. Trigger of Memories
“Somehow they remind me of an experience, maybe of my childhood.”
3. Passion and Guts
“They show passion and commitment.”
4. Surprise
“There is an element of unexpectedness.”
5. Virtuosity
“There is virtuosity of craft or technique-or simply just the astonishment that somebody can be good at something.”
6. Beauty
“And then there is beauty or whatever I see as beauty.”

Life Instructions

I really loved his list and examples. Some of these same items I have also seen and really love. Some of these things I have never seen but would love to in my lifetime. I believe that this list is essential for great design that will touch people.

Walter Demaria Lightening Ann Hamilton Wet Wall


Reading #5 Directed Storytelling May 4, 2009

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 11:42 am

“To do research into an experience… is to experience it.”

Directed Storytelling is a process used to gather accounts of people’s lives. This is a great quick method to use if time and budget are a concern. If you can’t afford the time of a long-term ethnographic research, directed storytelling is the way to go.

“The general rule: if you cannot directly observe something, use directed storytelling.”

This process is ideal for groups of three. One person is the storyteller who shares the story of the experience. The second person is the leader who leads the storyteller with questions and assists if the storyteller gets stuck. The third and final person involved is the documenter. They write down all if the important elements or ideas of the story on separate sheets of paper or post-its.

These ideas and elements are collected and sorted into groups, clusters and/or patterns. The clusters with the common elements are worked into a model or framework that show how the common elements are linked. This framework ends up being the “shorthand” for the common experienced that the participant’s have had. The hierarchy of the common elements will be developed from these frameworks and will assist the designers with the development of the design solution.

This program can be used for many different data gathering applications. It has been used for figuring out problems with the Blackboard system and to do a study to see if giving or receiving gifts was better. It is a quick and easy way to gather and present information from the user’s perspective when there is little time or budget.