Documentation of Palpitations


Just another weblog


GE has a nice site explaining the benefits of renewable energy:


The Economist: Thinking Space


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Concepts: wk of 03/07

Cool websites:

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Cool interactive graphics

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Cool interactive sites

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What am I doing for Project 2?

1) An animation.
2) I will either:
a) be working to ban UV rays from the state of CO as part of a public awareness campaign OR
b) be doing an advertising spot for chicken eggs
3) In the case of UV rays, I will be informing the public of CO’s over-indulgence in beautiful sunshine or, for the chickens I would actually be branding eggs
4) UV rays: Public awareness, boycott sunshine
Eggs: Buy organically-produced eggs from happy chickens

Project Plan:
Create an animation that will serve as a public awareness campaign about UV ray exposure in the state of Colorado. Colorado recieves more sunshine that any other state in the union. What my campaign aims to challenge is the fairness of Colorado being subject to such an overwhelming amount of sunshine. Due to the health risks that are implicit of prolonged UV ray exposure, the advertisement will aim to promote an annual 30 day ban of UV rays within the state boundaries of Colorado.

Design brief:

Description of problem:
As a member of the 50 state union of the United States of America, residents of the state of Colorado ought to be entitled to the same health and safety as the residents of any other state.

Prolonged exposure to UV rays can have a drastic effect on one’s health and well-being:
Dry skin
Painfully burned skin (sunburn)
Premature aging of skin
Possibility of contracting melanoma cancer

Call to action:
It seems to me that people, as citizens, should have a say in this manner. The message will be relayed as a PSA spot. The tone will be extremely serious – live’s are at risk. An animation will help to soften the blow of this topic, as people may not be able to handle a more graphic representation of the situation, though some sequences may include photographic stills in order to visualize some of the health risks of prolonged UV ray exposure.

The audience for this message will be residents of the state of Colorado. The message will be presented in a very easy-to-understand manner (appropriate for all ages) but will likely be aimed towards individuals aged 18+ since this is the voting population.
Red-headed individuals are some of the most susceptible to the immediate health concerns of UV ray exposure, so there is likely to be more ginger people featured in the animation.

Solution analysis:
Through the animation, I wish to inform people of their ability to provide input on the topic of UV ray exposure. Prolonged UV ray exposure can result in various health risks, affecting one’s quality of living. In raising awareness of the topic, we are wishing to eventually have it placed as an item on the voting ballot in the next voting season.

The campaign will raise awareness of prolonged UV ray exposure within the state of Colorado. Awareness of the topic will provide residents with the opportunity to voice their concerns of the health risks of prolonged UV ray exposure, and also provide them with the base to go forth and democratically represent themselves during the next voting season.

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Week 4

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Week 1/31 posts_Concepts in Motion

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James Victore

James Victore
The tremendous body of work by James Victore features work that touches us and influences viewers in many, many ways. On September 22, 2010, the artist/designer gave a lecture at the MSCD Center for Visual Arts (CVA), where he promoted his new book, Who Died and Made You Boss?, and also gave us insight about how he approaches “work.”
Victore’s lecture began with an introduction that explained how his title came about. We were able to understand that while his work was very personal in the way that it came about, he was always able to relate a narrative. This is often a challenge for we designers. How do I make something that I really like, that I can be passionate about, but without running the risk of excluding others? For us attending the lecture, we had knowledge of Victore and his work, and just generally wanted to know more about him and what he has to say. But what about someone that is approaching Victore’s work for, say, the first time? What if you are not familiar with James Victore or his style? This is simply answered by looking at his work. It immediately develops a narrative in the mind of the viewer – something that we as students of design are working hard to understand and must master if we wish to become even moderately successful.
Often our success in a design lies not wholly within the aesthetic qualities that it possesses. Instead, we are needed to create a narrative for the work that makes sense of the aesthetics. Like a well-composed research paper, we must be able to provide evidence to back up our position. What we learn is that design much more than what looks nice or is positioned in a way that makes sense. These are only tiny facets, minuscule aspects of what makes a design complete and whole. It must also be able to tell a story, and do that quickly.
Beyond a body of work spanning over two decades, we were able to see how Victore’s work related to him as a person as well as his approach to work and the style that he developed. That is the beautiful thing about a book that focuses on one’s self, or even a portfolio. Good design comes through practice and education, but how does one develop a collection of works that accurately and actively describes who you are? What do you care about? What influences you? Only by looking at a large body of work can a viewer begin to see these things. Most importantly, we must remember that this does not happen suddenly, like lightning. It is a process. It is developed. It is nurtured. Essentially, it is a narrative, this autobiography. I believe that as we grow and become more educated, our range of interests grows and deepens. A good designer is able to tap into this epic reservoir and proffer this in their work. Influential design happens through passion. At the risk of appearing cliche, knowledge is power. Our ability to draw from our passion through expansive knowledge creates better results in the work which we develop.
I learned all of this, but I also heard one other thing that evening. “Perfection keeps us from finishing. It also keeps us from starting.” This is something that I have to learn how to deal with on a more personal level. Indeed, it is not desirable to settle, but instead we must realize that once something is done, it is time to move on. In moving on we can take the things that we learned from our past endeavors and use that knowledge and practice to create better designs and work in the future. We have heard the stories of several mathematicians who have lost their sanity, and eventually their life, in search of an equations or solution that would would answer a burning question. While an answer is great, a single product should not tell the entire story of one’s life. There is a great deal of life to live, and trying to be perfect hinders our improvement and stifles creativity and life too.

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Jennifer Lester of Philosophy Communications

When Jennifer Lester from Philosophy Communications presented her lecture about managing and marketing campaigns, she gave us information about her firm, what they do and how they help to grow businesses. Philosophy Communications is a PR firm in Denver, meaning that they are concerned with attaining third-party reviews, awards, and news stories for several businesses. They also keep an in-house design team, so she was able to extend the meaning of her presentation beyond marketing strategy to include what we do as designers.
Lester reiterated two points several times which are to be kept in mind when conducting a firm such as Philosophy Communications: audience and purpose. These two ideas are essential to understanding your clients and helping them to build a successful brand. She began her lecture by illuminating eight of the top marketing mistakes that businesses make, thus allowing their brand to fail.
Not managing a brand is a mistake that many companies make, allowing their brand to fall by the wayside when competing with others. When companies forget to implement a solid structure, consistency suffers.
Relying on a single marketing method is never enough to create a strong brand appearance. You must consider the needs of the client, the needs of their audience, and what is the expected outcome of a marketing effort.
Starting and stopping marketing efforts also causes failure in consistency. When a possible audience seeks information, they must know where to find it. It is beneficial to have a broad range of marketing outlets, but consistency of placement and occurrence is required to create a strong campaign.
Novice designers often have a tendency to create messages based on what they like rather than what they can do for their clients and/or audience. Being able to figure out exactly what a client needs and being able to realize that in marketing campaigns is a key to success. Having a strong firm is beneficial, but creating their own look is not. It will never help the client to realize their brand vision if the work is more about the designer than the company.
Brands and businesses fail when they do not implement metrics to measure marketing successful. They must use several research methods to determine which campaigns are successful, why, and how to replicate those results in the future.
Not everyone is a writer. That is why it is extremely important to have a professional write copy for marketing campaigns. People are paid good money to do this, and the benefits can be seen in the results that are produced.
When businesses fail to communicate their marketing strategy to employees, they are missing out on additional touchpoints, not to mention company commitment and awareness that are necessary to grow and become a successful business. Keeping these lines of communication open is essential to a productive marketing campaign.
Companies often spend money on marketing campaigns without proper rationale. Creativity is great, but misdirected creativity can result in a loss of brand presence. Even for new companies, research is necessary to determine which route can produce quality results, thus leading to a continued flow of research and avenues to reach their audience.

The second part of Jennifer Lester’s lecture focused on building a brand. This means, getting specific. Specific in the ways ways specified above, but also working with information collected from research to analyze and promote new, meaningful ways to market a brand. Knowing your audience allows you to get in touch with what they need from you, what they expect from your brand, and how knowledge of these can be used to create an experience. Being able to identify a unique selling proposition helps to separate your brand from the myriad others available to consumers. How is your brand similar to others? What is special about your brand? How can you emphasize this to create a unique position and carve your brand’s own niche in the market? It is also important to be consistent. Consistency is essential to create a respectable brand and provides accessibility.

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Postcards from Dave

Dave hates the internet. Actually, Dave hates most technology. So he will never know that I have posted transcripts of his postcards here. Go Dave.

1. To ye ‘ol Boulder Boys, David N_____ here, sitting in the central square of Perugia on a balmy Italian Saturday night. Italians love to go out in the evenings, every evening, no matter what. You eat dinner about 9:30pm and afterwards if your so inclined, you can go to the discotec. If not you can just wander around the city, sipping wine and eating ice cream. “Fare in passiare,” as the Italians say. The women are very beautiful, and they are very good at ignoring you. I think I’ll stay her for a while. Hope all is well.

2. For the residents of the Gaylord house of Denver, “Get Iced.” Hello all, as you have probably guessed from this postcard, I am in Perugia. Words really cannot do justice to the magic of this place. Here, it’s a fine thing just to be alive. Italians have a wonderfully slow pace of life, which is very pleasing once you get used to it. From 3:00 to 5:00 every day, shops all close. Nobody works because that’s just the way it is. A daily break. That thinking really carries over to all aspects of life here. Italians don’t really need to do anything to be happy. They talk alot and eat good food. A man I know named Vitorno says he will hire me to work in his restaurant, so I think I might just become an ex-patriot after all. Don’t leave Borje home alone.

3. Kyle, give this to Pete. Pete give this to Big Newt. Thankes (Greeley). (Italian wine stain) There once was a man named Giacomo. He always had a 5 o’clock shadow, and all the bella donnas in Italy wanted to have his mindset dedicated to them and to them alone. One morning, Giacomo woke up and his yellow Ferrari did not seem as cool as it once did. And Giacomo was sad, very sad indeed. Hope all is well in Greeley. Your truly.

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Kyle J. Reder

Flickr Photos

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