Mentorship, #10

Since I have started working at the marketplace tech company, I’ve completed approximately 244 hours in my internship. In all that time, the person I would consider a mentor in the company is my supervisor. He is the Vice President of Product and Community and the first person to interview me. I work with a handful of people which I communicate most frequently with the supervisor. I lean towards him for experience, knowledge, and preferences of the target demographics. The supervisor meets the clients and their fans to get first-hand information on the latest trends in the industry.

Regardless of constantly engaging the community and meeting with clients, he always tries to find the time to help me out via assets, instructions, and criticism. Moreover, we will meet over a video call if there is any miscommunication in our text messages. Often, he is dressed casually like a hoodie or jersey however speaks professionally in the video calls. It’s a great middle-ground from acting laid back with fellow interns to being very rigid around the chairman. During group discussions, I notice he tends to lead the charge in the design department. Others with a similar rank as my supervisor don’t speak as much in the slack app.

I’m not a great talker which my supervisor will find ways to include me in the conversation. Without him pushing me to engage, I would be considered an introvert in the company. I tend to turn off all forms of distraction on the web to complete the project as fast as possible. I believe my supervisor understands my thought process and tries not to overwhelm me with numerous tasks and things that’ll have me scattered. One can only wonder where he finds the time to multitask on multiple social platforms. It shows how improving our time management skills allows a person to be efficient in their workflow. As I continue to work in the company, I’m inspired to learn more from him and achieve better results.

MLA References

Self-Evaluation, #9

The first day I worked at the marketplace tech company, It felt as if I adapted to most tasks even though I struggled in some aspects. Over time, I’m able to produce large amounts of graphics for the company. They usually come to me for projects that require numerous versions, sizes, or formats. It can be hard to pick a particular project that best captures my performance. However, I have recently created some videos, images, and icons for my company’s Instagram. I had to produce 10 versions for each sports team. It consists of a signup walkthrough video via the client’s app. Moreover, I created a call-to-action image for them to share and an Icon that blends the colors of the sports team and the marketplace tech company logo.

When I first discussed the project with my supervisor, we quickly understood the tasks required. Most of our communications are over text but, sometimes, hop on video calls to elaborate the process. I try to keep a professional manner around him even though he seems relaxed at times. After I create the first rounds of prototypes, I share them with the design department. I try to utilize all the feedback is given to me also will participate in the critic. I try to visualize their ideas but not all of them are good ones. For example, they want a very detailed graphic in the video that takes half of the screen. It’s distracting as the video will be hard to keep track and fit everything within 15 seconds.

The team tries to be honest and emphatic of each other skills and limits. Instead of wasting hours trying to do the impossible, I look at solutions to make it seamless to share and post with our audience. The design has to be consistent as possible as the logo in the video is the same as their apps or the logo color scheme must match their team jerseys. Even though the design elements seem small, they can become a disorganized mess as we receive more clients. My supervisor is more in sync with my workflow and the time it takes to accomplish the projects. As I delivered the project earlier than expected, I saw exponentially less backtracking, instructions, and miscommunications overall.

MLA References

Team Collaboration, #8

Most of the projects I have completed so far with the company involve some form of teamwork. It can be as small as commenting their thoughts to producing the design live on a call. Before tackling any project, we tend to discuss the method and strategies for each task involved. There are some coworkers within the company that can give greater insight or knowledge. By sharing techniques, the project becomes easier to complete. For example, my supervisor instructed me to design a t-shirt for clients who joins as members. I received a single simple image and a QR code. However, the supervisor had a basic idea of how the shirt should look.

We discuss the ideas on a call and even share reference images to get a better understanding. The reason I listen to my supervisor’s words carefully as he has a deep connection with the target audience. The shirt design is minimal as we didn’t receive the dimensions yet. I added minor elements to the shirt. I wanted it to stand out with the athlete signature on the back and the client membership level on the sleeve. The company liked the design so I created more for the different member levels (Green/Platinum/Black). We tend to double-check on each other works to provide quality control. Sometimes, A person can get multiple projects that are too much to handle.

We might need help from others by sharing those files so our coworkers can complete them. I had a coworker send me a thank you card that was about 25 percent completed. It is sent with each product sold via shipping, like a receipt. We needed to prioritize saving as much space as possible on the Thank you Cards. During our calls, I would share my screen to make collapsing more interactive. It helps reduce the number of texts sent back and forth. Also, the coworker and I can struggle to understand the text. We should be mindful of language barriers as she is bilingual (French/English). With all the digital communication tools available to us in this age, there is no excuse for not using them to make work easier.

MLA References

Managing Workflow, #7

Within the marketplace tech company, I’m tackling numerous tasks like NFTs, banners, motion graphics. As a designer, I’m trying to be as flexible and adaptable as possible in the workplace. I need to get out of my comfort zone and take up more extensive tasks to achieve it. There were was an extremely long project that consisted of 6 athletes CrytoPunks NFTs. It sounds simple if it didn’t include 62 attributes for each one. The project has reached a total of up to 378 multiple versions. Moreover, the shapes of their heads, beard, and hair must be translated & consistent. When working on the avatars, I slowly realized how important to streamline and structure your workflow.

We must plan for the organization of a design via the naming convention, assets management, and exporting. In another project, I had to create video animations of athletes. They need to share the video on multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The designs are all the same but need to be adjusted to fit the different dimensions and sizes. I created a template for the project that allows changes on the fly. Rather than having multiple files, I used only two and linked the assets to them. It should eliminate any headaches and make production faster.

Our job should not be limited to only the aesthetics of the design. We need to look at the bigger picture behind a project or campaign. It requires time to research, plan, and build the art piece. I try to schedule each part of the project to benefit the company. Moreover, the designer receives additional time to perfect the project appearances with buffer time. This work mindset is crucial in my company as they’re constantly striving for convenience and speed. In the end, the company gets to advance much further without having any bumps in the roads that’ll slow them down.

MLA References

Ethics Assignment – Entry 2

2A) As a designer, my number one priority is to provide the most original and creative work possible for my clients. I tried to limit the sources from which I pull most of my assets. I stick to stock photography and illustrations websites archive that provide works under a creative commons license (often no attribution is required). However, there are sometimes moments that I need a specific image that I’m unable to find. I would manipulate the royalty-free graphics available to recreate the idea. I try to be truthful in its representation for false marketing leads to problems as seen in the article, “Ethics of Design”. The author explains how Sunny Delight markets its juice as being healthy and consisting of fruits. However, the ingredients rely heavily on water, vegetable oil, sugar, flavors, and only 5% oranges. People are consistently drinking this thinking it’ll give a positive in their health when it does the opposite. We must be aware of what the product is offering, the business that sells it, and the customers receiving it to design the project. One mishap in any of them can easily negatively affect the rest as a chain reaction.

2B) The methods that Shepard Fairey used to design the Hope Poster for Obama were wrongfully unethical. The article, “Case Study on Fair Use and Fair Dealing: The Hope Poster Litigation,” mimics the photographer, Mannie Garcia, Obama’s image without giving proper credit. He was meant to receive the Garcia Clooney image. Instead of using the proper image, Fairey went took the Gracia Obama Image instead as it stood out more to him. Fairey continues to give credit for the Garcia Clooney Image even though it’s the wrong image. Moreover, he tries to cover up his mistake for 8 months with lies and fabricated evidence. Garcia and AP, the website that archives the photography, had the right to be mad. The artist became lucrative from the work of another designer.

In the court, AP argued that it’s barely transformative and original which can be called stealing. The designer, Fairey, captures the exact angle, expression, and pose within the Garcia Obama Image. Minor differences between the images like the color are duotone and the figure is broader/smoother outlines. However, Fairy fought back with the argument that expression is a natural feature found in the world. The image can be used because it’s not distinctive or unique enough to be called an original work. I believe it’s a poor excuse to strip the image away from its copyrights. In the article, ” H&M faced backlash over its ‘monkey’ sweatshirt ad. It isn’t the company’s only controversy,” we can’t ignore that such a large company would post such racially insensitive designs. Designers should stop shifting the blame onto mistakes that can easily be avoided. They should have done the proper research as it’s their responsibility when handling the project. They let their greed or selfish impulses create disastrous situations for themselves.

Ethics Assignment – Entry 1

1A) When working in a marketplace tech company, all employees must act as a team that looks out for each other. What I mean by this statement is that the designers are to give unbiased criticism. Their comments aren’t influenced by unethical means like gaining an advantage, personal relationships, and status. Our goal, described in the AIGA journal “Design Business and Ethics,” is to work in the audience and “client’s best interest within the limits of professional responsibility” (AIGA 33). Furthermore, We shall not cause any harm to the audience, client, and environment. My company never portrays an athlete as physically or emotionally weak (like crying or losing) as it hurts both of their reputations. Most images we get on our clients consist of licenses with the freedom for manipulation or publication.

There’s a chain of command in approving the images, from the athlete, their agents, our accountants, creative directors, and the chairman himself. As mentioned in the article, “Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images, we have to be careful in dealing with an image or illustration as copyright immediately takes effect in its creation. By taking the risk of stealing creative material, the business can get sued, shut down, or be in danger of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The company sometimes has overstepped as it was to create mood boards/samples to send the agents. The items are viewed in private as digital rough to give the client an idea of what the future product will contain. The final results remove all placeholder merch on some of the templates and use real in-store products demonstrated on the web instead. However, we try to pay respect by compiling a document with research sources linking to each asset we come across.

1B) My supervisor and other superiors within the company design branch haven’t sent me any confidentiality documents. However, they expect me to keep the projects I received confidential. I’m unable to share specific details that might harm the company in any way. I try to generalize or personalize the description of the workflow. For example, I stir away from images, names, dates, or locations that the direct competitors can use to damage revenue. In “Why Every Designer Needs a Code of Ethics”, we need to follow specific codes of moral and ethical conduct that will help differentiate between the good and bad in dealing with sensitive materials. It can affect all future clients that require your service. If the designer has a career history of producing discrimination, A family-friendly business that has an inclusive policy will see it as a deadly risk to hire. However, it is also our job as designers to be aware of any project for unethical actions taken and to report them. Best to stop the problem at its source before the issue escalates with irreversible consequences

NFTs & Icons, #6

The marketplace tech company needs assistants in designing for their discord. To be more specific, they need ideas that can generate limitless amounts of emojis for future clients. The design needs to fit the sports theme while increasing social engagement in the chat rooms. Moreover, it can act as utilities from voting to role assignment and even title labeling. My superiors expect about 30-40 individual emojis delivered before their next meeting.

However, I decided to push those numbers up to about 80 with multiple versions of similar or the same emojis. The project included the client’s team mascot, foam fingers, athlete facial expressions, and memes. After delivering the task, my superior was not only impressed but had a chuckle by some of its content. They later gave me an identical assignment which it’s to create crypto punks NFTs of Mikey Willams. They’re pixilated digital avatars sold as unique art pieces on the web.

At first, I thought the NFT values were only limited to acting as a form of virtual expression. The longer I worked on it, the more I realized people have been buying it for thousands of dollars. It made me question why someone would buy it and how to sell it. Little did I know that these simple, tiny images can hold so much power depending on their environment. A minuscule feature once thought insignificant serves a larger purpose when used in the right hands.

MLA References

Following Guidelines, #5

As I prove my skills to the marketplace company, they become more trusting and willing to give havier tasks. Moreover, they needed to assess my strengths and see how it fits in the overall company. The numerous app template I competed in the past felt like a test based on precision, consistency, and efficiency. The next step was to allow more freedom in creativity. One of my superiors gave me the task of completing the athlete shields.

The shield is a small badge-like banner used to feature an athlete on the website. The design is of an athlete standing in front of a fiery/paint explosion. The athlete has their names placed on top of a painted title frame. They have different color backgrounds assigned to each sport. Currently, the company expects about 18 versions for all of its clients in total. The hardest part is to complete the background graphic and to find high-quality approved images (of the athletes) with no logos. The rest is easy as the design was planned as a template to be reusable endlessly.

Every design that the company has shown so far is a template in one form or another. The designs are great in making the transition for newcomers easier. Also, it’s cost-effective as they have to manage and design for a large client base. The creative director can make changes that the entire team will quickly adapt to on the fly. Furthermore, minimal design mistakes will break company guidelines. It taught me to look at the design’s longevity via its flexibility to be modified and expanded.

MLA References

  • Athlete Shields by Ramelvis G. De La Cruz and I Got It Inc.

Working in Production, #4

Lately, I have been completing numerous groups of app templates mentioned in journal blog 1. The app pages consist of a homepage, charter members, charter categories, Item events, item list/pricing, etc. They’re prone to changes depending on the client’s wishes or industry. For example, charter members get fewer pages than the team sets as there are more people. There are specific rules in creating the template that we need to follow. The guidelines allow the workers to be consistent with the brand identity.

One of the projects involving the app templates was the entire Pac-12 Conference. My supervisor assigned me to complete half of the task that included 12 teams or about 72 app pages. It sounds a lot which the higher-ups need the project done asap. These made me nervous about making a mistake that might delay the deadline. However, I found a rhythm in the workflow and took advantage of it by slowly speeding up the progress.

I discovered its importance in how each step is handled within a task as it can affect the time it takes to do the next one. For example, one can quickly copy and paste onto similar assets from one page needed for another. Rather than starting from scratch again, we reuse most materials like mockups, athletes, and body copy. It’s good practice to keep past graphics as one never knows what might happen in the future.

MLA References

Workplace Atmosphere, #3

In the marketplace tech company, I am working remotely from home. It can be harder to distinguish the culture of the organization as there is no physical environment. Nonetheless, the company uses a digital workspace called Slack which we share project files and conversations. Upon entering the app, one will notice a consistent theme of sports. The workers are all fans of a team or athlete. There are constant talks of player stats, collectibles, and NFTs.

The workers themselves are dressed casually since we meet over virtual calls. When I speak with my coworker, they’re friendly and understand each person needs time to complete a task. They do expect us all to prioritize the speed of our work and improve over time. Sometimes random messages would appear with praises/congratulation for doing a great job.

The workers must keep updated in the general chats of their progress. Chat text is as straight to the point as possible for there to be no confusion. It’s not all serious which we’ll occasionally crack jokes or go off-topic in a call. Moreover, the employee works independently and chooses the task from a list of projects.

MLA References