A New Project is Under Way!

I can’t give away too much information yet but a fun project is currently in the works. What I will say, though, is that a lot of hard work will be involved, lots of planning, plenty of designing, much coding, some database-ing, and apples too!

All major updates will be posted here on the blog with excerpts shared on Facebook and Twitter. The final project will make it on the Projects page of the website also, so there will be plenty of ways to stay up to date.

Stay tuned!

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How One Brisbane Couple Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is!

For my final subject at college, I had to choose out of three briefs and use Graphic Design to help solve a problem. The project brief I picked was raising awareness of Homelessness in Australia via the “Here for Good” campaign by Torren Universities Australia.

After doing substantial research on the subject, I found out some shocking facts. Here’s a small list:

  • on average, 1 in 200 Australians are homeless
  • in NT, that number is 15 times worse (1 in 13 Australians)
  • the number 1 reason for homelessness is domestic and family violence
  • the number 2 reason for homelessness is financial difficulties
  • 59% of homeless Australians are under 35 years old
  • 17% of homeless Australians are under 12 years old
  • the greatest need that homeless people have is foot-wear and foot-care

While flipping through the news this week, I noticed an article titled, “Power couple make $750,000 investment to fight homelessness“.

It is so good to see people using what they have to help those who are less fortunate and that doesn’t always have to be through money. Your profession, your skills, your time, and your care could go a long way.

There are a couple of foundations that strike a cord with me and I hope to be able to do more for them.

Are there some charities or foundations that you sponsor and help out with? Share them in the comments below.

* Feature Image from https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/power-couple-make-750-000-investment-to-fight-homelessness-20180610-p4zkmr.html

The Neighbourhood Watch Streetsmart Handbooks

We are proud to say that 1VINE Design is now a proud supporter of the Streetsmart Handbooks which are produced by Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.

The Neighbourhood Watch’s goal is to create safer communities all over Australia and New Zealand. Here’s more from their website.

Our goal at Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) is to assist Australian neighbourhoods become safer, connected and inclusive communities through the establishment of crime prevention initiatives.

The purpose of the Streetsmart Handbook is to support teenagers and their parents by providing personal safety information as a preventative approach to crime and personal risk.

The Streetsmart Handbook is produced in conjunction with Countrywide Austral and addresses personal safety and crime related issues relating to cyber bullying, depression, community social behaviour, drugs, alcohol and more. The handbook also lists key organisations and helpline numbers for teenagers and families who need extra support and assistance.

A big thank you to the team at Neighbourhood Watch for all the great and important work that they do.

Certificate Issued by NHWA - Queensland
Certificate Issued by NHWA – Queensland

Should you hire a separate website designer and developer?

This is going to be a strange post to write because, for the most part, I’ll be advising and recommending against what I, myself, do.

But, before I get ahead of myself …

 

What is the difference between the two?

A website designer works on the concept look of a website. His/her end product can only be used to help you decide on the look and feel of your website. This is usually either in the form of an image, using software like Photoshop or Illustrator, or even as a protoype, using online tools like InVision or Sketch.

What the website designer produces can then be used by the website developer who uses that work as a reference for coding the website. The end product of the website developer is what then becomes the usable and viewable website.

In other words, the website designer draws the plans to your specifications, as the client, and the website developer builds based on those plans.

Knowing that …

 

Can the two be one person?

For the most part, no. That’s like asking if an architect or draftsman can build a house just because they draw up the plans. It is difficult to specialise in so many different areas and still be competent in all.

When it comes to comparing website design and development, you’re looking at two vastly differing professions. One is strictly creative and the other involves dealing with logic and problem solving.

I see many graphic design students come out of college thinking web development is only knowing some HTML and CSS. That’s not the case. With the long list of different programming languages, libraries and frameworks out there, it takes years of study, practice and hair-pulling to master all of that.

 

So, that’s it then?

Not exactly. Like I said before, “for the most part” the two cannot be catered for by the one person.

So, why do I do it and why do I believe I can?

I’ve been working in Graphic Design for the past 12 years and in programming and web development for the past 15 years. I’ve used over 11 programming languages, not including the extra frameworks / libraries and I am continually learning.

Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t like I will take on just any project and hope for the best. There are many cases where I will hand parts of a project over to people who are more specialised and more competent than me.

 

In Conclusion

The original question is to the client, who should you hire? My response would be to do your research. How many experience does this person have in both fields? Are they a good designer? Are they a good developer?

Don’t be bullied into hiring a jack-of-all-trades. Any designer or developer who isn’t willing to give you time for a peace of mind should not be trusted. Always always ask to take time to consider your options. A professional who is confident with their skills will be more than glad to give you time to see more proof of their competence.

Happy Hiring!

Case Study: Coca-Cola Advertising

For a change in post style, I thought I’d take a look at the history of graphic design and marketing over the years, especially in advertising approach, design and slogans. Here’s a company that prides itself in its consistency of always being the same – so much so, that it was one of its advertising campaigns:

Coke_Elvis
They don’t make ’em like they used to … We do!

Check out those sideburns!

Looking at Coca Cola’s advertising campaigns since they began till now, that’s over 130 years, it is remarkable to see how design and marketing changed. Now, that may sound a little contradicting since I just introduced Coca Cola as a company that prides itself in consistency; but, not so. Consistency can be in colour, which is evident in Coca Cola’s case. Consistency can be in trademarks; take a look at Coca Cola’s logo for the complete 130-year period (it actually changed the logo for one year and then quickly reverted back – see Coca Cola Journey). Consistency can be in product, which Coca Cola claims to be true in its case also.

However, when it comes to advertising, your approach has to change with the times. I’m not talking about going from black and white to colour, or going from paper to Television. Even in the same medium, you will need to slightly adjust the way you present your message and the target audience.

The slogan in the earlier advertisements was, “Drink Coca Cola!” As the years went, the slogan changed and it became about why you should drink Coca Cola; it’s refreshing, it brings happiness, it’s the real thing, you can’t beat the feeling and, finally, it’s a way of life – the Coke side of life.

It makes you wonder where they’ll go next!

The images below don’t portray the complete history of Coca Cola ads but samples of each decade starting from 1889 till 2017.

Which is your favourite? Share in the comments below.

For the full history of Coca Cola’s slogans, visit Preceden.

Hiring More than Just Good Looking Paint

Ten years ago, when I was still studying at university, I worked as a labourer with a Painter at a construction site. Prior to that, if anyone had mentioned painting, I’d only think of the end result. You can paint a wall this colour with that pattern using this sort of brush. That’s it. However, there was so much more that went into planning and preparation that I had taken for granted; there were so many elements that could affect the end result. For example, what material is the paint going to be applied on, how will the light entering the room affect the choices put forth by the client, what alternatives need to be looked at, how rough / smooth is the current wall, how many undercoats are required, what paint colour to choose knowing that it will change as it dries, and what are the current trends? What is going to make a visitor look twice before passing on from that room?

In the same vein, when you hire a graphic designer you’re not just picking a colour or pattern on a wall and you’re not just getting good ideas. Anyone can come up with good ideas. In the game design world, you’ll often hear game designers say “ideas are a dime a dozen”. Good ideas are everywhere. Knowing which ideas best suit a scenario and how to implement those good ideas is the key.

Here’s a list of some of the benefits of hiring a good graphic designer:

A good graphic designer
listens to you

A good graphic designer
understands what you need even when you find it hard to word your thoughts

A good graphic designer
cares about who you are and what you do so that their designs truly resemble YOU

A good graphic designer
studies your competition and finds ways to make you stand out

A good graphic designer
tests your design on all the products you want to use it on

A good graphic designer
even tests your design in different environments and on various mediums to allow for future possibilities

A good graphic designer
is willing to go the extra mile to make the process easier for you

A good graphic designer
finds what will make your customers look twice before even considering anywhere else, and then takes it up an extra notch

A good graphic designer
stands by his / her designs because what they do matters to them.

So, a little more than just picking good looking paint.

If you’re looking for a good graphic designer, get in contact with the team at 1VINE.

Ways to contact us:
Email: contact@1vinedesign.com.au
Phone: 0426 238 272
Website: 1vinedesign.com.au

Don’t Count the Years; Make the Years Count

How long has it been since you scrolled through a list of job ads? Go to your favourite job seeking site now and take a look at a handful. Do you see a pattern?

Chances are, most, if not all, of those job ads ask that the applicant have some number of years experience in a similar role. It seems legitimate, right? If you’ve been doing something for a certain amount of years, you should have that many years’ worth of experience. Simple maths, right? Wrong.

Before I changed professions to do Graphic Design, I worked in Engineering Consultancies for 12 years. During that time, I noticed how quick the years pass and, before you know it, those jobs you could never apply for before because of that one condition “3 years in a similar role” are jobs you’re suddenly over-qualified for. But, are you really? Are you really over-qualified or do you just have a number of years under your belt?

I put myself under a strict self-review and realised that in a 6 month period that I had really applied myself, I had learnt so much more and progressed much further than a whole year preceding it. Of course, having someone from whose experience I could learn helped a great deal; but, the fact of it still remains. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot mode and let the years count while your progress remains stagnant. In that case, you may have worked for 5 years in a role but your real experience and growth only amount to 4, or even 3.

Was it just me, though? I entertained that thought in my mind and reviewed those I was working with. Some colleagues had great mentors around them; but, rather than learn and leech information and knowledge from them, they were piggy-backing off their experience. Let me rephrase that but in plain English; rather than use every opportunity to gain knowledge from those more experienced than them, I noticed some people weren’t solving problems themselves but opted to have others spoon-feed them information and direct them every step of the way. Here I was helping someone with double my years in experience. Did that make me smarter? Not so much. It just meant that I made my years count a little more.

That’s what I want to leave with you. Don’t count your years but make those years count. Use every opportunity to grow, to learn, to give value to your experience.

How, then, do I propose that employers look for candidates? That’s a topic for another post.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comments below.