23rd May2012

Officially A College Graduate!

by sam

Holy cow I made through 4 years and I am officially a college graduate!! The last few weeks have been hectic and stressful to say the least. I had to finish up both of my portfolios, take my final exams, and complete the Interactive Digital Design Portfolio Review. The review consisted of a 5 minute presentation of our web portfolio to a room full of 50+ people.  We had to introduce ourselves, explain our identity, and talk about our favorite works.  After I made a joke about branding myself the “fish girl” and everyone laughed I felt like the weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was able to speak more confidently.  The after the 5 minute presentation we had 5 one-on-one interviews with professors and local industry professionals.  The interviews seemed like a breeze compared to the presentation, I was much more comfortable sitting with someone and having a conversation with them.  I am glad that we had to do both though because being able to speak in front of a lot of people is something you need in the design field. Your suggestions and ideas are important and need to be heard.  You could have the most brilliant idea but unless you can communicate that to your team, it is worthless. So now the next few weeks, or months depending on how it goes, I will be searching for jobs in the NY, NJ area.  The whole process scares and excites me at the same time, but I have to move on to the new chapter in my life!

07th May2012

Pantone Everywhere

by sam

Over the past few days it seems like Pantone has been everywhere, even in my life outside of design. (If there even is one because at this point in the graduating process it seems to be the only thing I do!) The other day I was walking around New Haven and stumbled across a pack of Pantone post cards which took a lot or restraint on my part not to buy. Then today I found out that Pantone unveiled 336 new colors. Check them out here!


30th Apr2012

Amazing Video

by sam

I just saw this video via www.mashable.com and it blew my mind.  Someone synced different pieces of a video of “We Are Young” on four different iPhones and played them together.  I sat in awe the entire time trying to figure out how they did it.  Check it out!! http://mashable.com/2012/04/30/iphones-we-are-young/

08th Mar2012

You are the CSS to my HTML

by sam

And this is how you know you’re a design nerd <3

08th Mar2012

Learning to simplify

by sam

I have been so preoccupied with making a statement with my scales pattern that I had an overwhelming amount of them on my comps for my business cards and letterhead. These comps and sketches have taken over my life. I find myself being inspired by the strangest things. I used Pinterest to look through other designer’s work and found a lot of inspiration there. I had to sit back and reign it in. After simplifying and thinking of ways I could use line rather that pattern to accentuate my logo I came up with a design that I really love and that is much simpler and cleaner. Now I’m onto making comps of my web portfolio. I want the site to reflect the look and feel of the letterhead and business card but also incorporate new elements and be visually pleasing. I want to incorporate the simple teal line into the website but it doesn’t necessarily have to be used in the exact same way that it is used in my business card and letterhead.

I also have been looking over my work from the past and going through and tweaking everything so it represents my work in the way that I want it to.  There are a lot of typography changes from my earlier work that needs to be done and some spacing details that need to be fixed.  Most of them are details that only designers would notice but that is exactly who will be viewing and meticulously going over my work.

23rd Feb2012

Step One Complete

by sam

MY LOGO IS COMPLETE! I finally found a way to represent my last name in a logo without it being overly obvious and branding me as “that fish girl” for the rest of my life.  Instead of working with a fish, I decided to work with the textures and colors of fish. I chose to use blue, teal, and a deep purple and created a pattern that resembled scales to use within a “b.” I was so against using a fish in the beginning that I did not realize how beautiful I could make one of its elements work for me.

Now it’s time to begin the rest of my identity design.  How will I incorporate this logo or parts of it into a business card, letterhead, and envelope? I went to look at Barnes and Noble and was extremely disappointed in the lack of books on the subject.  I know they are out there but there was only one semi-useful book on the shelf.  Lucky for me the one or two different examples of business card and letterhead packages in that book inspired me because it would work beautifully with my logo if altered a bit. Also while browsing the store just for fun I came across some Nook covers designed by Jonathan Adler that use the same colors and similar pattern that I use in my logo.  It helped me to see how I could use that pattern elsewhere, beyond just within my logo. Now its on to finalize those!

15th Feb2012

Time is Ticking…

by sam

Countdown Until Graduation

As the time to apply for jobs nears I have a lot of decisions to make. Where do I want to live? What kind of company do I want to work for? What type of work do I want to do? It’s almost enough to drive me crazy. (If it hasn’t already) When I considered where I wanted to live and work in the future, like most college graduates in the tri-state area, New York City is my dream. I have had the chance to intern in two very different parts of the city and found things that I liked about both of them. I live in New Jersey so any company in the New York/New Jersey area is where I want to be.

I have interned at three very different companies; a financial company in the marketing department, an advertising/design firm as an interactive intern, and a nursing school as a design intern in the public relations department.  I felt the most at home at the advertising and design agency.  I found everything that was going on in the office interesting and was learning more and more every day. I could see myself working in an office similar to that everyday and never getting bored.  I found myself staying later than I actually needed to because I was so wrapped up in the work that I was doing. I also want the company to not be so large where I do not know everyone who works there. I want to know who everyone is and what their role is in the company.

I am drawn in by print design but I also have recently discovered that after doing an interactive internship, I love web and mobile design.  It offers new challenges that push me to think outside of the box.  I am pursuing a maters degree in Interactive Media which has increased my knowledge and  interest in the interactive field and I have become fascinated by the recent developments of advertising and promotion through social media.

08th Feb2012

Logo Dilemma

by sam

Logo Study from 2008

So I started to brainstorm ideas for a personal logo and it is probably the hardest project I have ever done.  For some reason, when it comes to branding myself go blank.  Give me a brand new company, or tell me to make a logo for someone else and I have no problem, but for myself, it requires me to think about how I want to be portrayed and I am not quite sure I’ve decided that yet.  While doing some research, I went back to the sketches of different corporate logos I did during a logo study a few years ago and looked at what I liked about them and what I did not like.  I then tried to think abstractly with the definition of my last name but let’s face it, Baccala is a salted codfish and I definitely do not want to be known as the fish girl.  (My mom thought about hyphenating her name when she got married because it is really beautiful but then quickly realized it was a bad idea.  Her last name, DelCuore, means “of the heart” so it would have literally meant “of the heart of the salted codfish.”)  I also have come to the conclusion that while I am pretty good at visualizing an executing on a computer, my drawing skills are lacking a great deal.  My sketches leave a lot to be desired so I need to really work on my drawing technique.  With that being said, I started jotting down ideas of what I wanted people to think when they saw my logo.  Immediately I wrote down, sleek, clean, and bold.  I want it to be memorable and have a pop of color that can be tied in throughout my entire branding, like my resume and portfolio.  I started playing around with the shapes of the letters in my initials and name and came out with a few logo beginnings that I can really see turning into something great.  Like turning an S on it’s side so that it looks like the infinity symbol or using a talk bubble with my initials abstractly cut out.  Designing personal pieces are the hardest things to do because ultimately, you are trying to sell yourself.

31st Jan2012

And the Portfolio Project Begins

by sam

As I begin my second semester of my senior year of college I am finally faced with tackling something I have been putting off for too long; creating a portfolio. I don’t even know where to begin which is why it is such a relief that I have an entire class devoted to it this semester. I have been reading two really great books that have opened my eyes to all of the different types of portfolios I can create and how to start thinking about what kind of portfolio is right for me. (Designing A Digital Portfolio by Cynthia L. Baron and  Building Design Portfolios: Innovative Concepts for Presenting Your Work by Sara Eisenmen)First you need to figure out who you want your audience to be before you can determine how your portfolio is going to look. I want to show my portfolio to art directors at marketing and advertising firms so I need to have an organized and clean portfolio design. I have interned at a financial company, a school of nursing, and an advertising and design firm and felt the most at comfortable and excited about the latter. I have not decided whether or not I want to include my design process in my work or have a separate notebook in the back that I can show if they ask for it. I know that showing how I solve problems creatively is really important to most art directors but I haven’t found a solution that is exactly right yet. I like the idea of having “flexible content” so that I can take out and add in work that is geared toward the specific company that I am interviewing with.


27th Jan2012

Sh*t Graphic Designers Say

by sam

My friend Melissa just showed me this video called “Sh*t Graphic Designers Say.”  There have been many parodies since the original video “Sh*t Girls Say” and while most of them are not very funny, I found this one hysterical because everything in it is completely true.  I find myself saying a lot of these or thinking them in my head. I think one that I would add is “Did you seriously just tell me to use Paintshop?”