Stephen Alneus's ePortfolio

A Communication Design Portfolio

Blog: Workspace

Working outside of a traditional office environment has become somewhat of the norm at this point in life which can sometimes come with various pros and cons. Throughout my time, in this internship, I have had to push semester to this new normal of talking to people over the virtual meeting and letting people into your home space while on camera. I believe through my time of doing work remotely there have been various ups and down the experience of not really being on location is not quite the same as getting more of a hands-on experience but, has given me more of an opportunity to speak to people further away then you could have previously.

 While my internship didn’t require me to be on campus at a specific time every week, I was able to work any time of the day on the project assigned to me while getting the work done on time. Each week was different in terms of meetings, assignments, and the people that you would interact with. Some of the benefits of working remotely that I have experienced was the benefit of having the use of my own tools at my disposal. While being able to work in a quiet and stable workspace, at the same time some of those benefits came with some drawbacks such as how the benefits of work can lead to things such as procrastination with the comfortability of where you may feel like you are always have time to do your work or how you can easily to distracted do being at home where everything is accessible to you.     


Blog: Ethics Responses

In response to the Shepard Fairey Case and to the assigned AIGA Design Ethics Chapters as they relate to my current internship. The AIGA design is the professional association for a design that outlines the critical ethical and professional issues encountered by designers and their various clients. As a designer, you have a responsibility to learn and understand those ethical standards which include the client’s guide to design, the use of illustrations, copyright, and the use of photography in all kinds of work.

After reviewing the AIGA Design and Business Ethics, I learned various things and there were many things that were related to my internship as well. Such as when looking for work you need to be sure that the place you are applying to is right for you, from things such as culture, the company’s direction, etc. My internship, at Brooklyn College, matched up with the environment that I would look for in a work environment with things such as room to learn and grow. As a designer, I believe it is important to have a space to learn from your peers and supervisors about the things that you may not be familiar with while giving them the room to grow and develop as a designer. Being aware of the design needs that are being asked of you from both your clients and the set visual identity of your work environment. During my internship communication was a constant theme throughout my experience, which led to great feedback from clients and supervisors which helped me to improve my design. So, while being a professional designer it is important to ensure that the company’s ideals and yours are communicated effectively.

The Shepard Fairey Copyright Case: the images used in the hope poser during the 2008 presidential race is a well-known example showing those issues in the design industry. Shepard Fairy used a photo taken by Mannie Garcia and used it to create the “Hope” poster during the presidential campaign, Fairey failed to give proper credit to the original photographer which led to the belief that Fairey did it for commercial motivation as he earned large amounts of money for his work without giving credit to its original source. Which led to becoming a great example for designers in the industry about the legal and moral issues in order to make sure we are not making the same mistakes and always source your work and where it is coming from.       


Blog: Podcast

One podcast that I found which was informative was the “3 point perspective podcast” which is headed by three industry professionals from comic book artist to children’s book artist and provide information for artist of all skill levels to bring their art game to the next level, where professionals teach you all the strategies and tricks that they may use to be the best in their fields. Things such as samples from classes that they have thought such as light and shadow, understanding working with color while giving information about setting up websites to run your business, Negotiating terms such as pricing, scheduling, and working with clients. While giving information on a wider array of topics such as how to find time to do your work, finding ways to self-publish and teach people through their own experiences “how to get over your fear of success” which I personally feel can affect anyone psych in this work where the need to succeed can become an obsessive task.

Some of the move informative episodes that I found to be helpful were the ones that were more relatable such as procrastination as an artist which everyone can relate to looking at a blank screen or black sheet of paper and how daunting of a task it can be to create something that you would like to be unique or stand out or how to deal with artistic rejection when you feel that your work is good and you are looking to get you to work viewed as something unique but the success has not arrived and the anxiety of watch people that you know or view through the internet may have found success quicker then you are. But to also find ways to push through the low points in your art journey and find what best work for you and if your work is working with the audience that you are looking for. 

Blog: Networking Event #2

A networking event that I happen to find was the Afro Animation which is a black run network working and information event. Which happened on the days of Apr.27-28 where it brought together accomplished industry professionals to meet virtually and network to increase the diversity pipeline, discuss important subject matters on how to move the community forward, and enable all to connect, learn, and gain insight into the industry. While attending I viewed various guest speakers from the well-known movie studios and television networks such as Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Cartoon Network while able to real-time chatting and network with my fellow attendants and the various producers, storyboard artist, and writers that were in attendance. Some of the things that I found most informative were some of the best industry practices that some of these award-winners and executives on how to get a project greenlit and things to do to see an up-and-coming artist. 

Resources such as how to jumpstart your animation career with free resources like the “rise up animation” site which lets you form a mentor-mentee relationship with industry professionals while being able to have your portfolio reviewed by those same professionals. All of this allows you to get more in tune with the industry that you are trying to get into with various upcoming panels, and tutorials from industry professionals on designing and animating. Upcoming workshops and collaboration events to get a better understanding of what those in the industry are looking for when they are hiring future applicants while also giving those in the industry and those trying to break in the opportunity to keep up with the latest news on things going on in the industry. 


Blog: “Mentor”

Throughout my time in this internship, the idea of having someone that is well-vised with how the business of being a cog in a well-run machine is done is something that is at first was a bit of a difficult thing to do at times, when making work that already has a visual brand guideline in which most of all the work that the collective does has to mostly look like it was made by one person. At the beginning of this internship, the idea of making a poster seemed simple to me but after reviewing the work that I saw throughout their visual guidelines and with the guiding hand of a few senior members, I soon realized that there are various things that go into making works that are under a branding guideline. The beginning stages of an assignment are always a breakdown of what is being asked of you to do, whether it’s a poster, flyer, or giving different versions of the project to give clients options as to what they would like.

With every assignment and/or project given to me, I am relieved that an open line of communication is necessary when trying to get an assignment from beginning to end. There will be various versions of that one assignment and various edits given to you from supervisors and/or clients, making you aware of issues such as following a grid, spacing, and changing photos. What I learned from my experience with both the various supervisors and clients is that patience is key when approaching this line of work when starting a project with a brand such as this is being aware of the various details that go into making various posters, flyers, brochures, and banners while also being aware of the needs of managing the work that is being asked of you and being open to the changes that are needed of you. 

Blog: Self-evaluation

If I were to give myself a self-evaluation on the performance on of a project that I had done it would be when I had to update an old “International Affairs MA Brochure” the brochure need serval changes from Fonts and Branding, while also finishing off a flyer I found that I had to manage both being aware of how to correct the edits that were asked of me and how would I tackle the recreation of the new brochure that was asked of me. When it came to editing the flyer, I felt that it was easy in terms of direction because I knew what needed to be corrected. But when it came to recreating a brochure, it was a bit of a challenge to put a different spin on something that already existed with it being the first time working on a brochure for a while, try to sit in someone’s shoes, and trying to think why there did what they did in terms of placement, color choice, leading and spacing. I went to several versions of this brochure trying to figure out the best way to update the brochure without straying too far from the source material. 

When I found the right version and changes that best fit the brochure, that was the changing of the fonts, the spacing and leading that let the paragraphs breathe, and the changing of the various types of hierarchy that needed to be changed. It showed me that when you are tackling projects that are more type heavy you need to be careful about placement when it comes to arrangement and how the eyes of the viewer should be directed to move in a brochure, and how the color and branding can a line with what an overall company or business is trying to make as a uniformed collective.

Blog: Collective Work

When it came to collaborative work, I didn’t get much chance to do that because most of the work was a solo endeavor but, there were many opportunities to speak to a collective in the chats of the various assignments that were being given out. An opportunity such as how there are different stages to each project and/or assignment from interacting with the copy editor who is responsible for making sure that the copy that is being used in each project has no typos, and the hierarchy in terms of the type being used is set. While also being able to talk to various others through the use of a message board that is available to use inside each project window that shows a “To-dos” list letting you know what stage the project is at and the “Docs and Files” window that is available to everyone that can view the project in which you can view the projects copy, project notes, and design which can be used to drop off the indd, pfd , and/or jpg files.

What is successful about the collaborative work is that everyone is always open to questioning where you can ask people about certain aspects of the project that you are now sure about while also being able to view conversations between others whether it’s early or late in the project timeline in case there is something that you may miss so that you can correct or avoid mistakes while working on an assignment. While some of the aspects that I found were not successful for me were the large email chains which could be hard to keep up with when trying to meet a deadline and you must look through a stack of emails and you are trying to figure out what is directed to you in terms of your part of the assignment.

Blog: Introduction to the industry

During my time in this internship, I have learned various things but one of the main things that has stuck with me so far is that patience is key to a lot of the work in this industry, when being assigned work it is key to read and re-read what is being asked of you so that you can put your best foot forward when working on an assignment and being aware of how you are laying out your work whether it be through the use of the type that you use in terms of placement and hierarchy, the use of the logo and how you place it and the colors in which you are using so that your work is readable to all eyes.

Also, when going about your work, I have learned that awareness is very important when I comes to things such as email chains On a typical workday when there are a lot of emails and files being exchanged, it can sometimes be overwhelming given the day. There can be certain days where there is an overload of information can affect anyone work when they are trying to meet a deadline, so awareness of what you are work on and an attention to detail is important with both the assignment that you own and the information that you are being given to best conduct your work.

Blog: Workplace Culture

As the pandemic has changed how people do and go about their business, so has the internship that I have undertaken things such as work attire and how you would dress are not a main staple when it comes to this position. A typical workday would officially begin at 10 am, but I would usually start 10 to 15 minutes early to get my files together and get the jump on some work that I didn’t get to finish the previous day. After getting some early work done, I would usually hop on to the “Basecamp” site and view if I have any new messages or check my inbox to see if there are any new emails that would provide insight on any new changes to the work that I am doing such as edits, photo variation for the work or different various chooses that the client may like to see in the work. 

From that point, I would touch base with my supervisor on “Basecamp” to get active new assignments that would either be linked to me or found on the home screen, or we would review the work that I am currently working on. Throughout my day, which is typically a four-hour day of mainly working in InDesign, making posters, banners, flyers, and/or broachers, using the visual brand guideline as a template to get most of my work done. But, as overall work culture, even though we are mostly home base, I believe there is still a hands-on approach to this internship where I feel, I get the chance to learn how to go about making work in a system where most of the work being generated all look like there are coming from the same person or place.

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