Social Audit

   A social audit is a strategic technique that’s completed to understand, measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of an organization. It is a useful research strategy that marketers use to analyze a company’s social media channels and their competitors. For our integrated digital media class I have completed a social media audit for two local bakeries in downtown, Kingston.
   Card’s Bakery is a classic, delicious bakery that has been in Kingston since 1987, and anyone from Kingston knowsCard’s is the go to place for quality, fresh, traditional homebaked goods. From cookies, to sausage rolls card’s has a great variety that nobody could resist. Crave Cafe is fairly new to Kingston but has quickly became a hit spot. Not only do they provide delicious bake goods but they’re also a great cafe to hang out in. They’re a bakery, coffee house, and a full service kitchen. To learn more about these bakeries please visit their websites or social media pages.
   After completing the social audit three main conclusions were made.Card’s Bakery could use these conclusions to improve their social media marketing. It will help them engage more with their audience and build more awareness of their brand. They are:
1 – Staying current on social media is important
2 – Using a variety of content is more engaging – Promotional & Non-Promotional
3 – Using social media platforms that your audience is using/ or are trendy is important
   Card’s Bakery could improve their social media strategy by using Facebook along side their other channels. To reach customer engagement goals it’s suggested to use a combination of both promotional and non-promtional content, and Card’s uses a lot of content to promote the bakery. I feel if they embraced the city and community more they would connect more with their audience. Also continuing to post on a daily basis is important so your followers or audience don’t forget about you or lose interest on social media. Card’s has a website and is a great business but it seems they have failed at attempting to keep up-to-date on social media. They are also currently not using Facebook, and that’s one of the more trending platforms today. With a little bit of help and a social media campaign I think Card’s Bakery could really benefit.
Social Audit
Social Audit for Card’s Bakery & Crave Cafe By Jessica Madore
   I think social audits are great tool for companies and marketers to use. If your company or organization needs to improve their social media strategy a social audit is a great place to start. It will provide you with the research you need to compare your social media channels, your competitors, and show you where it needs to improve. For more infomation about social audits go to, http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/ad346e/ad346e09.htm
Card’s Bakery Website:
Crave Cafe Website:
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My Intro to IMC

   To me it made sense to go into a creative field – I was always the kid making crafts or coming up with some creation.My grandmother tells me I should have been a veterinarian but last June I graduated from St. Lawrence College with an advanced graphic design diploma. Recently I have started a new educational journey  and I’m now taking the Interactive Marketing Communications grad program at St. Lawrence College.
Graduation Picture
Graduation Picture
   I decided to take the IMC program because I’m interested in learning more about marketing. The first week I was really nervous to start a new program – It meant new courses, new teachers, and new classmates. In the beginning, I found it easy to adjust from the graphic design program to the IMC program. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t know anything about marketing, but I think the graphic design program and IMC course are a great combination for future grads. The two courses allow students to take their existing education or knowledge and expand on it. Not only that but the courses use some of the same terms, and same kind of projects too (blogs, creative briefs, websites). I feel confident with my graphic design background that this course will be a success for me and my future. To learn more about the program go to the following link, http://www.stlawrencecollege.ca/programs-and-courses/full-time/programs/a_m/interactive-marketing-communications/kingston/ .
   One of my favourite classes so far is Integrated Digital Media. The social media aspects of the program is really intriguing and catches my attention. We learn about different kinds of social media platforms, when you can reach your audience best, and how to analyze data. The part I have enjoyed the most is how a social media campaign works. An online program through Stukent (https://www.stukent.com.) allows us to run a hypnotical social media campaign and then analyzes the data afterwards too see how successful the content was. You can see how many impressions, engagements, and conversions the company would hypnotically make.

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  I enjoy all the IMC courses but another one of my favourites is the Content Marketing class. Recording and editing videos have been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what the other half of the course brings. For the first seven weeks the course focuses on video then the last seven weeks are all about the content. I’m also looking forward to working with one of my former professors. So far we have learned the video and editing basics for creating any video.
  I would recommend the Interactive Marketing Communications program to future graphic design or marketing grads that want to continue their education. It’s a great course to learn more about marketing. The program is great for people who love to solve problems, research, and anaylze data.

A Little Motivation

Letterpress printer and designer, fine artist, and family man, Vince Perez is one of Kingston’s most talented designers. His studio, Everlovin’ Press, is known for specializing in readymade and custom letterpress work. Not only is Vince a talented printer and designer, but he is also involved in many community organizations. He has an eye for detail and believes in original ways of producing work.
While being a graphic design student at St. Lawrence College I’ve had the honours of meeting Vince and hearing him speak. He was a quest speaker for our entrepreneurship course, and I met him on portfolio review day – I really appreciated his feedback and advice, and felt lucky to have been paired with him for reviews. I think Vince is really inspiring and has motivated me to believe that it is possible to be a successful graphic designer in the Kingston area. He’s inspired me to work hard for the things I want in life, and that it’s okay to be working on multiple things at once, just remember to take care of yourself too.
One of the community organizations Vince is part of is the Fat Goose craft fair. It’s a non- profit holiday season craft fair based in Kingston and has been running for 8 years by volunteers. Their goal is to create opportunities for crafts people of any stripe to exhibit and sell their work to the public. The Fat Goose Fair offers access to affordable, high-quality handmade goods to the public. Want to apply or interested in attending this event? Visit the website at http://www.fatgoosecraftfair.com.
When Vince talked to our class and I spoke with him on portfolio day he also gave some great advice. I asked him if he had any suggestions on being a graphic designer in Kingston and he told me that with Kingston being a small town it’s best to be involved in many different things to expand your network and opportunities in the city. Some more advice he gave was:
1- Know your niche or your unique skill. Don’t be afraid to be different.
2- Communication & good relationships are important
3- Believe in yourself
4- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take risks.
Vince Perez is an inspiring printer and designer, who’s very talented and known as a renaissance man. Everything he does, he does with passion and this drives the motivation that keeps him creative and working hard. Want to learn more about Vince and his work? Be sure to check out his website http://everlovinpress.com or follow him on Instagram @everlovin. There’s no doubt you won’t be inspired too!

Do You Know the RGD Rules?

Over the last few weeks our class has studied the RGD rules. To me all of the rules seem very important to follow, but one rule that stood out to me was rule #6. Rule #6 states, “I will ensure I receive compensation for graphic design services that I provide except for pro bono work”.

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From webinar, Understanding The Basics presented by Hilary Ashworth, Julian Brown RGD, and Stussy Tschudin RGD. http://www.rd.ca/resources/ethics

As a student RGD this rule means to me that I will not provide graphic design services without receiving a fair compensation in return, unless it’s for a pro bono project. It’s important to me, as a graphic design student that our work is appreciated and valued. This means I will limit the amount of my time and work that I donate and that I will not donate my services to charities, or organizations that have the ability to pay for services. To also provide all clients with an invoice, including pro bono work but with a 100% discount that still shows the value of my donation. When charging for design services I will also always use a fair compensation rate that is suitable for my qualifications.

The following example shows how easy it is to not receive a fair compensation for your work. Nathan is an RGD grad student who loves to skateboard, and follows all of the top skate companies on social media. His favourite skate company has recently asked followers to submit concepts for a board design. The winning submission will receive $250 and 1 of the final skateboards. Designing for a skate company would be one of his dream jobs, if Nathan submits a concept would he be violating the RGD rules?

Yes. The company is using their reputation to take advantage of designers instead of hiring one. This devalues the work of graphic designers. This is a form of spec work – also known as crowdsourcing, which violates the RGD rules because the designer would not be compensated fairly for their work. Nathan shouldn’t participate and should inform RGD so the Ethics Committee can make the company aware of the issue and recommend how to properly find assistants with designing new materials.

I will incorporate this rule into my design practices by not participating in spec work or encouraging anyone else to. I also wont participate in any skills tests unless it’s part of a job application. Terms must be agreed upon before taking the test, and no work will be used in any commercial way. Before engaging in design work I will use a contract and proposal to clarify all project details between the client and I, to ensure it follows the RGD rules. This way work can be determined in advanced if it’s pro bono, freelance, or spec.

As I begin my graphic design career I will make sure I incorporate all of the RGD rules into my design practices. Do you know the RGD rules? If not I highly recommended checking them out on the RGD website at, https://www.rgd.ca/resources/ethics. Not only is great advice for graphic designers to follow during their career, but it also helpful.

What Really Counts

Over time I have realized there’s more to being a great graphic designer than I thought – It’s also important to overall be a good person in your work and be professional. That means it’s about more than just having top marks and portfolio.

While studying the RGD Rules of Professional Conduct, I choose to look at rule #1 a little deeper. The first rule is, ‘I am committed to meeting the professional standards of the graphic design industry and working towards the betterment of the profession across Ontario, Canada, and Internationally’.

To me as a student graphic designer this means being professional in all aspects of my graphic design work is important, so I can be successful in the industry and achieve great impacts with my work that will inspire and innovative others. It’s important to do this by being honest and responsible for upholding the industry standards. As a student graphic designer it’s my duty to lead by example to show others what they can achieve in their work and motivate them to do the same.

An example of when this rule could be used is, I see someone breaking several RGD rules while working, but they’re not an RGD member. In this case I would not report it to RGD because the Rules of Professional Conduct only apply to RGD members. Check out the full list of RGD Rules of Professional Conduct on their website, at this link https://www.rgd.ca/resources/ethics. All RGD members are required to follow these rules while working as a registered RGD graphic design.

I will use this rule, along with the other RGD rules, to help guide me through my graphic design career and remind me to be professional. It’s my responsibility to always continue my design education, and I will also only represent RGD if I’m a member. While learning the RGD handbook and these rules, I have realized there’s more to being a good graphic designer than I thought, and that it’s important to overall be a good person.

Board Games Over Time

Growing up most of us remember playing board games such as clue, sorry, monopoly, and more. Over time these board games have changed. It’s not the game itself that changed but the design that changed. This could be the design of the package, the board itself, the logo, or the game pieces.

The history of board games starts a long time in ancient times. The games were mostly engraved in caves or tombs and were written with symbols, signs, pictograms, or icons. The oldest board game was found engraved in tombs from 3,500 B.C. The game was called Senet. Mah Jong, which is still a popular game today, was found etched into titles from 800 AD.

ancient_boardgames
Senet engraved in tombs

 

Overtime classic board games have changed; Most of these changes have been improvements. Some of the logos and packaging have been re-designed so legibility and contrast are better. Legibility hasn’t just improved on the packages but on the game too. Different typefaces have been used and more hierarchy was used. This also increased readability. Some improvements were made in the technical design of games. Such as the game Mouse Trap – When I was a child I remember being ecstatic over the game, but of course it fell apart every time. Today the game is better designed and more sufficient.

 

Today apps are more popular than board games, and people are almost always using technology. Kids are also more interested in playing on a device than playing a board game. This creates more competition for the board games. To reach today’s target audience most classic board games now have an app designed to be played on a phone or tablet and a website to play online.

 

Looking back we know that board games have been around for along time and have changed a lot. From typography to technology many things are different and have even improved. I think it’s important for kids to still play physical board games and want more board games to be designed specifically towards kids. My favorite board game was The Game of Life. What was your favourite board game and how has it changed?

Check out some more great articles about boardgames changing:

http://flavorwire.com/387389/your-favorite-classic-board-games-then-and-now/10http://
www.makeuseof.com/tag/x-classic-board-games-can-play-phone/http://
www.popsugar.com/moms/Updated-Versions-Classic-Games-34615315#photo-34615326

 

Expressive Typography

Type can be rendered lots of different ways. When deciding how to render your type, it depends on the kind of project and the audience. One way to render type is called expressive. Expressive typography is using letterforms to create a visual image to express a message to the audience in a more dynamic way.

The definition from www.creativepro.com states, “Letters are not just abstract notions, carriers of meaning; they are also real, physical shapes. Paying attention to those shapes, and using them as a visual element in graphic design, is an essential part of the art of typography.”

Expressive type can show physical subjects but it can also show emotions, thoughts, and energy and motion. The type will have a connection to the visual to express the meaning or concept to its audience. Words can be interpreted in different ways to represent a meaning. Look at some of the great examples below:

lei_rachael_exercise2
Work By Rachel
sink
Sink By Tracy Baker

The type can sometimes appear to look like an illusion to also form an image. The letterforms are used to create shapes or outlines in a compelling way, which leave gaps for the human eye to fill in. Sometimes the type can appear random by it is carefully and accurately placed. The work below is a great example of this:

typead
Ad from “The New York Times”

Expressive type can be fun, but you need to be cautious when designing with it. Typography rules still need to be kept in mind and it’s important to make sure content is appropriate for the concept and its target audience. To learn more about expressive typography check out the following links below:

 

https://www.behance.net/search?content=projects&user_tags=1381287

http://creativepro.com/dot-font-expressive-typography/

https://rachaelei.wordpress.com

 

 

Serifs Vs. San Serifs

 

When deciding on the perfect typeface for a project there is a lot of things to consider, but one of the main decisions a designer needs to make is whether the typeface will be serif or san serif? There are some helpful factors that can help you decide which one suits your design/ client best. Some of these tips are:

Research should always be done first – Brand values & personalities, audience, and more will effect what typeface suits any project. The application of the design will also be considered when making this choice because some typefaces are better for the web than for print. Colour and type treatment will also affect legibility and readability; certain typefaces handle more weight and size changes better. Audience is an important factor, especially when designing for children or someone with visual impairments.

Serifs are known for being more decorative and have little decorative strokes that extend at the end of letters – They can be in the forms of a tail, sharp or blunt. Because of these decorative strokes the typeface will guide the natural “flow” of the eyes when reading. Serifs are normally used for large body of text to make it easier to read, but legibility can be affected by weight and size.

Some More Facts:
– Used in books, magazines, and news papers
– Most commonly used
– Classic, elegant, formal, confident, and established
– Most well known typefaces are Georgia, Rockwell, Baskerville, and Times Roman

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Showing a serif & san serif in a heavier weight and what the difference is

San Serifs are known for being simplified and more modern; they don’t have decorative strokes extending from the ends of the letters. Depending on the typeface, the edges can be either sharp or round. Even though san serifs are not recommended for larger amounts of text, the readability can increase at smaller sizes. When designing for children or the visually impaired it’s good to use a san serif typeface because it will be easier for them to read. San serifs are also recommended to use for web design.

Some More Facts:
– Used for annual reports and brochures
– Modern, friendly, direct, clean, minimal
– Captions, heading, credits, chart, and graphs
– Most well known helvetica, Arial, Future, Franklin Gothic

d-serifsansprint
San serif is more appealing when designing for children who are learning how to read and write. 

 

Next time you’re deciding on a typeface I hope this blog post has made it easier. Remember to always decide on whether the typeface should be serif or san serif and to always do research. The one key thing to remember the difference between the two is that serifs have little decorative strokes on the ends and san serifs don’t.

serif-san-serif
Serif Vs. Sans Serif 

So what are you using, Serif or San Serif?

Want to learn more? Check out The Final Battle – A cute infographic about serifs VS. san serifs. http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2013/03/serif-vs-sans-the-final-battle/

 

Sources:
https://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1/type-anatomy/serif-vs-sans-for-text-in-printhttp://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2013/03/serif-vs-sans-the-final-battle/http://alexpoole.info/blog/which-are-more-legible-serif-or-sans-serif-typefaces/https://designshack.net/articles/typography/serif-vs-sans-serif-fonts-is-one-really-better-than-the-other/http://www.betterwritingskills.com/tip-w017.html

 

The Design Process

Some say that the design process is more important than the final outcome. Process is important because it helps create a better solution. It’s kind of like the foundation of your work. It also shows why you have made the choices you have and you can expand and evolve your ideas and create more options for better work.

For all of my projects, I have used the design process and it has helped me improve my designs. The design process I use is strategy, design, and production. When you get a new project it’s best to start with research. After research, you start compiling notes, content, and sketches. The more sketches the better. Creating as many different possibilities as can, will help you discover new ideas. After generating as many ideas as possible, you work on the design until perfect, and then print and hand-in.

There are lots of other good design process techniques but it’s good to find one that works best for you. A good design thinking process that I recommend is the one D.School uses. Their steps are:

  1. Empathize – problem from the perspective of the user’s experience
  2. Define – problem statement
  3. Ideate – brainstorm & research
  4. Prototype – different solutions
  5. Test – impact

So, when working on a project I think it’s great to use a design process. There are lots of different processes to follow. Do you already have a favorite one? If not try researching the different kinds or even check out D.School’s design thinking process at http://dschool.stanford.edu/redesigningtheater/the-design-thinking-process/ .

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 D.School’s Design Thinking Process