Great graphic design should stop you in your tracks and demand your attention.
This is what the preceding image did for me early Sunday morning as I fetched my paper off the front porch (yes, I still read actual newspapers). Large as life and in glorious color: a green, one-eyed alien in a metallic spacesuit holding a decorative ceramic dish of what appears to be pork and beans!
I saved the section and made a mental note to read the artist credit— this was my formal (but not the first) introduction to the work of designer Oliver Munday. After visiting Mr. Munday’s archive site and current work on Tumblr, I began to quickly recognize book covers, posters, infographics, and the 826DC design work for the Museum of Unnatural History: the breadth, diversity, and high quality of work is overwhelming and impressive.
Great graphic design should also create envy, jealousy, and above all inspiration.
I had the privilege of participating in a martial arts seminar and instructor training with Kyoshi Dave Kovar (an elite martial artist with black belts in 10 Martial Arts styles) and many of the lessons learned in the dojo can be applied to the office.
Your attitude – are you teaching every class as if it’s the best class ever? Are you approaching each project as your best project ever?
Your appearance – are you tidy and professional? A tidy and professional appearance instills confidence in yourself, your team, and (most importantly) your client.
Your presentation – have you spent time preparing for class, and do you have a plan? Strategic planning, organization, and goals for your team and your business are absolutely essential.
The attitude, appearance, and presentation of your staff – have you provided the guidelines and guidance for your team to succeed in the three areas above? Lead by example, but also clearly communicate attitude, appearance, and presentation expectations to your team.
My seven years of martial arts training and study have been a great resource for maintaining my physical and mental health and I would encourage everyone to engage in a physical activity or sport as a tool to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
From time to time I receive these kinds of inquiries on LinkedIn and choose not to comment, but this one merited a response:
PRAY, WORK, PLAY, GIVE,
A well-reasoned, sincere, and articulate mission statement is personal branding at its best. Four active words can serve as a motto to quickly define your being, a mantra to motivate you through self doubt, and an ethical center to guide your actions:
PRAY—make time for learning, meditation, and reflection,
WORK—nothing meaningful is accomplished without genuine physical and mental effort
PLAY—constructive recreational activity and relaxation strengthens and rejuvenates the body and mind
GIVE—contribute your time, knowledge, and experience to benefit yourself and others
P.S: It may be impossible to truly achieve a perfect work-life balance, but having a core set of principles and practices can provide an important framework for addressing future challenges.
As discussed in part 2, Adobe Shape CC is an incredibly useful tool for scanning sketches into vector files, but I find the Adobe Draw CC’s ability to DRAW directly into the application to be faster and more functional.
I am creating a poster design inspired by the film Whiplash and Adobe Draw CC is ideal for importing my photo layer from my Creative Cloud library and tracing the image layer with a Bamboo Stylus Pen.
At this point, I can use Draw CC’s layers, brushes, color palette, and opacity functions to modify the image, or export the file to Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Adobe Draw CC is also a useful tool for creating custom fonts, so I am experimenting with the brush tool to render different hand-drawn text treatments for the poster’s titling.
Once upon a time (not so long ago), I laboriously scanned my hand drawn sketches into as a useable file format and meticulously traced as vector art. Now thanks Adobe Shape CC it is possible to transform sketches into vector art from your phone or tablet in a matter of seconds and export into Adobe Illustrator for editing.
Check out the video to witness this miraculous process:
As an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber I have recently added a suite of their mobile applications to my iPad to test their functionality and possibly integrate into my workflow and I have been impressed by these powerful, yet easy to use tools.
Create layouts, illustrations, edit photos and video, export them to Adobe CC applications.
Share completed and work-in-progress projects via the Community Drawings portal, powered by Behance.
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