From April 4th, 2018
As I sit here, prepping for my upcoming job interview with Princess Cruises later today for the Product Management: On-board Revenue Summer Internship position, it occurs to me that I’ve been less than stellar in both the frequency and content of my most recent posts. And, as much as it pains me to say, that will remain true for this post, as well. For, I have neither the time nor inspiration to weave insightful, articulate narrative, and I have neither the patients nor the stamina to draw a clever, witty illustration.
Instead, I will simply regurgitate what I did yesterday as an assignment for one of my graduate classes, as it demonstrates my basic problem solving and may be helpful to somebody who stumbles across this post, based on the keywords tagged.
Yesterday, I had to composed a marketing poster for a product I’ve been developing under an educational licensing agreement with the U.S. Navy. The poster is to serve as a backdrop to a tabling event for potential investors in two weeks time. The goal of the poster is to draw attention to our product, the problem, and our solution… all in as few words as possible (much like an advertisement you’d see in a subway station).
I enjoy these sorts of graphic design assignments as it gives me a chance to stretch my creativity, and the engineers on my team are clueless when it comes to drafting something that is visually appealing, bless their hearts.
For this assignment, we were told to use Canva because the department has an account from which they planned on printing our posters out for us. If you don’t know what Canva is, it’s pretty much a browser-based graphic design editor for marketing materials (flyers, posters, brochures, presentations, etc.). They have all kinds of pre-made templates that look really professional and make it easy for somebody without an eye for design to make quality print marketing campaigns.
Usually, I like to make my designs form scratch, but yesterday, I was in a hurry, so I started with the Orange Monochrome Collage Modern Research Poster template, created by Ivy Sabado:
Pretty good looking, right? Clean, lots of white space, good balance between image space vs word space. I choose this template because I knew that I needed to display multiple images to get my message across, but also because I wanted something orange that would grab the attention of the viewer in the way traffic cones grab the attention of drivers.
Canva is a drag and drop program, so for my first draft I just chose images that I already had lying around from the various slide decks I’ve made for this project. But, I also needed to mock up some renderings of the product with different material finishes and orientations to see which ones worked best:
I also wanted to create a logo to fit in the little square box in the bottom right of the template. At first I tried just changing the P•C that was already there to A•A (my product is named Air Amplifier), but that looked a little too basic and it kept reminding me of Alcoholics Anonymous. So, I decided to make a new logo from scratch.
I started by drawing out wavy lines on a piece of paper. I wanted to make the “A’s” look like aerodynamic jet streams flowing over the invisible body of the “A”. After a few attempts I got this working by using a lowercase “a” for the first “A.” Then I got the clever idea to make the second “A” a normal upper case “A” because it’s being amplified by the lowercase jet stream “a.” This is what that process looked like:
Not much to look at, right? I then took a picture of the bottom most “aA” with my phone and uploaded it to Google Drive. From there, I imported it into a stripped-down free version of Photoshop that I use called, SumoPaint. In there, I messed around with the color, saturation, contrast, texture, style, and brightness, until I ended up with something like this:
Not bad, eh? So, at this point I kept encountering problems with trying to save my new logo because at times, SumoPaint can be very shitty. So, I resorted taking a screenshot of my logo in SumoPaint using another program called, Screenpresso. I find I have to do this a lot.
Anyway, after I got all my content in order, it was time for me to do some mock-ups. My first attempt looked like this:
I thought this was perfect, but after getting feedback from my professor, I was told that it was still unclear what the product was to a stranger who knows nothing about this project. She also commented that the product picture in the top right corner looked a little jarring and out of place, and the pictures could be made more emotionally impactful.
Needless to say, I was butthurt by her criticism, but after taking it in I realized she made some good points. So, I made some tweaks:
First, I messed with the imagery to see if I could make it more emotionally, impactful.
Pretty good, but the product picture still looked a little out-of-place. So, I tried messing with the order of the pictures to see if that would make it look better:
I kinda preferred the one before.
So then I decided to sacrifice the white space, bring the product image into the bottom with a transparent background, so that the top half tells the story behind the problem and the bottom half presents our solution:
I think it looks pretty good. Although, I might go back and try for more of a sepia tone on the picture in the bottom right.
Anyway, that’s my lazy blog post. I hope you enjoyed, and if you did, please, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Okay, bye bye now.