Journal Entries

Background:

November¬†2016: I was in Professor Davis’s Communication Design class when I told him that I am looking for a new job which I can boost¬†of my design skills in a short period of time. I was working at¬†the Angelo Musco LLC¬†as an in-house graphic designer/ photo retoucher at that time. He told me¬†he will let me know if he got some info. There was a silent form Professor Davis for a while as¬†he went to oversea vacation during the winter break.¬†During that holiday, I went to the two staffing agencies (Twentyfour-Seven¬†and The Creative Circle) and applying for some design jobs. I was updating my resume and my online portfolio constantly during those days. They sent me some job offers but it didn’t work out well.

3rd¬†week, January 2017. Surprise!!! I got an email from Prof. Davis, CC together with 3¬†other students names on it, that the Vyater Group, a branding agency in Brooklyn was looking for new designers. When I apply for the job via email, I get a call from Mr. Vyater on the same day, and I met him the next day at the interview. He already saw my online portfolio¬†so it is easy to talk at the interview. Mr. Vyater showed me the company’s current projects and explain me quite in details. I feel great because it is the type of company I was looking for. The interview goes very well.

The most important thing for me is, he agrees with my class hours. I have to work 3 days a week so that I can attend 2 days at college. I have 15 credits under my belt for this semester. Which will be my last semester with full-time credits. Besides, my boss wants me to continue working for 4-6 hours a week.

last week of January 2017. I was not officially started working at the Vyater group, but I got an email instruction to work on an illustration project. So I start working on that project and submitting my drafts from my home.

Disclaimer: Because of the nature of the advertising business, I would like to avoid the names of the clients, or avoid to show up my works as much as possible. I will discuss my everyday workflow in general. All copyrights will goes to the agency or to the clients. For my skill, please visit my website or other links that provided. 


January 31st, 2017. DAY ONE at the Vyater Group
I have to expect to “wear many hats” as a graphic designer working in an ad agency. There are multiple long-term clients, and projects are ongoing at the same time. We use “the Harvest” online time tracking platform to track how much time is spend on each project. Every week, I have 3-5 different projects working depends on the client.¬†I like this time tracking program¬†because, it is very effective both for the company and to understand my ability better (how fast I could do a layout, for instance). I can keep tracking on my timing well because of this software. All my working hours were¬†recorded precisely within¬†Harvest. Learn more about harvest at https://www.getharvest.com/

The Harvest time tracking web application and mobile app.

On day one, I started with a new project with a magazine ad. There is a branding guideline for me to use as a reference and old reference for the type treatments. I have to give about 5-6 versions of layouts. I have to report directly to the creative director, but I also have a senior college, who is quite helpful to me.


Week 1, February 2017

There was a digital illustration project waiting for me in the morning. I did the illustration of a pouch (for women cosmetics), I never thought about it but, I try my best based on some samples provided by the client. Art director and client generally like it, but there are more changes because they want a different size, so I have to work on again. I have to give many variations since the customer wanted to see many variations: only one big logo on the pouch, and with a small logo, and with many logos on the pouch, even with different colors, different textures. We end up at version 6. The client approved it and the design will go to the production. I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the basic shapes of the pouch and, end up in PhotoShop for the digital painting. Final presentation to the client was put together in InDesign.

Note: I need a Wacom Intuos Pro, to work on my digital paintings. For some hand drawing and scanning works, I use Sakura Pigma pens, Bristol board, and tracing papers. I ordered them in advance, so they are ready on day 2.

Between the above pouch illustration project, I have to help with mobile phone app design (user interface, UI design). This is done mainly in PhotoShop. Interesting and fun.

I also work on a logo for a TV Program. Somebody had already started on that project. I have to follow up and refine the previous logo and find the color matching. Also start working on the color percentages on different color models, CMYK, RGB and Hex codes for the web. I use Pantone color matching system for this project. There are also some color guides and reference materials to get help with. This job was done in Adobe Illustrator.


Week 2, February 2017

This week I continue on the main project¬†which is¬†the perfume products. This perfume is made out of 4 different flowers. The agency have to provide the photography not only the packaging of the product, but also about the¬†flowers. I we have to set up for a table top photoshoot of the flowers. I have previous experience shooting the flowers indoor. But I never shoot these particular flowers. The flowers were ordered from oversea, because it is not the season or they don’t grow in America. One of them (Tuberoses) didn’t opens. We have to wait another day. Besides my photography techniques, I have to learn how to take care of theres flowers. (The flower shoots continues for another few days)

Photos were shot in Nikon RAW (.NEF) format, for better flexibility in the post production. It was nearly one thousand of photos at the end of the day. There is another camera man who also shoot together with me. We helps each other. Photography sessions usually makes more tired at the end of the day compare to the day working only on graphic design.


Week 3, February 2017

There were nearly one thousand flower photos shot last week. I download them all from the cameras and did the basic editing and color correction using Adobe LightRoom. Adobe LightRoom is a very powerful industrial standard image editing software. This software is powerful because it can handle in editing multiple images at the same time. I batched a few hundred of photos at a time renaming them after editing. At the step two, I used Adobe Photoshop to do detail editing and making photo collage.


Week 4, February 2017


Week 5, March 2017


Week 6, March 2017


I have completed more than 130 Hours after week 6.