Tuesday, March 13, 2012

50 Stunning Examples of a great redesign: My Top Picks | Function Web Design & Development Blog

While re-evaluating & updating the business plan, a quick web search yielded this compilation of forms and "re-thinking"- truly "stunning examples," as the link title implies!

50 Stunning Examples of a great redesign: My Top Picks | Function Web Design & Development Blog:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Android as Business Card

While on-site last week, I had no peripherals but a potential Client inquired about Landscape Architecture and their, respective project…typically, this ended with a business card and a follow up phone call to schedule a visit (after they had perused the site).  Then it dawned on me as a new (2 months) user of this great “tool” – put that information on THE PHONE.

Here’s what I did:
I started with the usual, marketing scenario, collecting work examples of different project types, catering to my Client base.  I compiled a few basic .jpg’s, organized them by project type (separate albums) and uploaded to Google+.  Taking those same images, I compiled them as pdf’s offline, incorporating a QR Code into an “e-Business” card.  
eBusiness Card view - Note:  Be sure to test your QR Code (I used my wife's phone to verify it worked)
The successive images are all oriented "landscape" (same as the cover) taking advantage of the maximum screen size and native orientation in which most images were created.

Slide 1 in the Commercial / Office Work pdf.

This way the “Inquirer” (via Norton Scan, other) can scan the QR Code, directly from my phone screen, go to web address, and save it (vs. entering in the web address, by character).  Organizing this information on the phone, I created three directories in the Android root folder (by type) and incorporated “000-“ at the beginning of each folder name, “putting” them right at the top…(Once in My Files, be sure to hit Settings->List by->Name)...

Once they’re accessed through Adobe Reader, however, you see them under “Recently Viewed,” skipping the rest!
Recently Viewed listing (once Reader is opened)

“Poof” “Pow” “Bam”– within a few seconds, I have on-site access to media examples and can walk an Owner, right-then-and-there, through different fee scenarios, as I gauge the amount of work/Scope involved.  
Or, I can use this "e-Portfolio" (in any setting) after the question arises, “Do you have a business card?”  Now, I can grab the phone and pull up that information...Albeit, I’ll still carry hard copies, for now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Frederick Law Olmsted Is Holding Us Back (There. I Said It.) « The Dirt

Excellent commentary re: what Landscape Architects use, as background references (as well, I'm guilty, as the writer states!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

QR Codes & Space Invaders

Is it just me or do web-generated QR Codes look like the figures from the Space Invaders game circa 1982?  Lame.  Last weekend, a work-around dawned on me, as I unrolled a recently-produced graphic for our Rotary Club, noticing the black/white “blocks” ruined the entire cohesiveness of the page…I grabbed the smartphone, pulled up the app, and started playing with outline shapes (see the “Final”/intent incorporating a circle), colors for adequate contrast, and dpi/resolution/crispness of the “blocks” themselves…Guessing I’m not the first to have thought/tried this, but here are examples of how I attacked the problem:
With a 30" x 40" Board/brown background, viewer's
eye skipped the text and went right to the QR Code

Substituted the white, added a contrasting color, and
adjusted the "surrounding" space

More relevant shape, coordinating color, and verified (via the App)
that the new QR Code was "legible" to the phone (catering to those
who are versed/use their phone to seek out weblinks)
Added tweak to add some relevancy from the logo

With some trial-and-error (mostly maintaining crispness of the code itself and figure/ground relationship/background color), I have drafts that fit-the-bill and do not detract (as badly as before) from the “whole” of a marketing board, especially considering the final “yard sign” contains fewer graphics with increased  opportunity to visually-detract from the overall.  I’ll apply this concept to future marketing graphics, appearing on a black/dark background, 

Off with the white!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Idea Chain

Two impromptu conversations with students at the Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction, and Planning galvanized the fact that ‘design-is-design’ and allied professions have both intense opportunity and intense constraint.  The first conversation was energizing, an unfolding world, that of design, beginning to open, and the second, much heavier, with fear of the unknown job market ahead.  To the second student, I relayed that the job climate, even though dodgy, is improving, with new niches opening and/or being created each day.  After all, this is what designers do – create, certainly applicable to new employment, specialties, and trending businesses…question back, “…but where?..in what field?”

While the first “re-energized” me as a Designer, with talk of the “kit of parts,” “negative space,” and caffeine-fueled nights in the studio, the second spurred some design thought – just how do you identify with, market, and/or create a job opening with Firms, move from being a student to being an ‘entrepreneur of sorts,’ creating your spot?..Enter discussion of social media (a common thread for students).  Life of an Architect is a wonderful example, full of fun images, creative discussion, and pragmatic advice…it’s a view of the creative realm… balanced with a commitment to the health, safety, and welfare of Public and Private Clients, in concert with inspiring design.  In the end, as I explained, “we are all Designers,” whether focused on context, structures, interior, or exterior, viewing the solution-scope under a different “looking glass.”

I encouraged both to seek real world dialog, read blogs, and continue to find “what inspires.”  In 1994, that meant I went to Vicenza and other “places of note,” while in the midst of works I had only seen in texts…Palladio, Da Vinci, Mies van der Rohe, Scarpa, etc. – I tried to absorb the breadth of detail, space, and style, in reality.  In 2011, such study/analysis can be “clicks” away…do “the stacks” still exist in certain college libraries!?  The information age allows for diversity, expediency, and sheer volume.  With these factors in mind, I encouraged them to ‘niche-find.’  Target a specialty and become the most knowledgeable about it.

While not yet part of the Professional world, students can, in fact, contribute, many are in touch with recent graduates who are part of this world…Professors could be “stuck” in experiences from years ago – students oblivious to poignant information –recipe for disaster.  What to do?  At the very least, look to control your world, glean and absorb your content, and square your sights on your interests and specialty…at the most, form meaningful dialog with professors, or at the least, walk your way…so much is out there…just engage.

As both set out, we’ll see if this “old guy’s” advice is taken, they tune in to the stream, or opt for a path laid out in advance – seems students now have an incredible opportunity to engage like never before, not just take the “first job.”  The last points made were seeking a real-world conversation, being at the right-place-at-the-right-time, or following up about recent social media posts.  These could yield a job directly, create a lead (work indirectly), or create a focused, follow up conversation…Many jobs still remain unpublished.  LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter provide the canvas, now you pick up the brush -

In the end, who was more inspired, them or me?