Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Ending Is Just A New Beginning

I fired my job last week. Since most of the money I was making was just going across the street to the daycare for our 11-month-old, my wife and I agreed that letting the job go was the best solution. Especially since I never broke the $40K/year ceiling the entire 6 and a half years I was there.

Years with no raises were the sacrifice I paid so that when the opportunity presented itself, I would at least have the experience at that job to boost me towards the next step. Clearly, that experience and knowledge was never factored in when it came time to seek the replacement for my Supervisor, Lorrie. The questions were tailored to exclude my experience, skills and background. It was all specifically designed to exclude me from the promotion. I was good enough to do both my job and the supervisor position for the 3 month period in between Lorrie retiring and the interview process, but not good enough to actually be hired for the position.

The thing about firing them is that I still had a great amount of potential and the promotion was a huge part in fulfilling that potential. So I am left with feeling that I left something that I didn't get the chance to finish the way I wanted. Recognizing that is key to getting over it and moving on to my next great adventure.

Now I get the chance to raise my 11-month-old daughter at home and play with my 6-year-old for the summer. In addition to being Mr. Mom, I get to spend any extra time on creative things like my art and freelance graphic design. And maybe some laundry and cleaning bathrooms like a good Mr. Mom should.

So, yes, I like to view this as me firing my employer rather than quitting my job. I also hope to look back on this and see it as the best decision I ever made, besides asking my wife to marry me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Great What?

So I refilled the printer at work and was unwrapping the package it came in. Something about the package didn't seem right. It was Hammermill's Great White. The sharks didn't look right. They didn't look like Great White Shark(s) to me (it's actually one shark, that was duplicated, but hey, they're a paper company, right?).

See, I've been drawing sharks since I was a kid, so there are a few things I noticed about the anatomy of a shark, particularly the great white shark.

So the picture didn't sit well with me and so I start studying it a little more and determine that it's not a Great White Shark but a Bull Shark.

Tomato, Tomahhto you say? Well, think about that the next time you take a bite out of a Habanero chili instead of a Pablano. If course, you will be too busy drinking water or shoving ice in your mouth to say much, just make the hit stop, Mommy!

This is like making an Apple Pie with McIntosh apples, close but no cigar. It's going to taste totally different. Totally.

So why do I care? Well, first, I caught it, do there's that. Secondly, it's not correct. Like a misspelled word in a letter to a College Admissions Board, it's going to count against you.

Thirdly, who can't do the requisite research on something that is going to be printed millions of times so that they don't look like idiots when someone DOES notice?

Any shark will do. Just slap one up there. Hell, put a frog, what does it matter to me? It's just sloppy design.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cool Business Cards

I got a call from an old friend (and client) about doing a refresh on his business cards. My friend is the kind of client that Designers love; open-minded about ideas, creativity and can see the big picture when it comes to laying out money to attain those goals.

So when I created his business cards back in 2006, they were stretching the boundaries as far as using newer materials and techniques.

What we created were cards that make an impact, are memorable and durable. They are durable physically but in another way as well. The cards have a perceived value to them, so they are much more likely to be kept and not thrown away. And isn't that the point of having a business card?

The cards are made if 3mil plastic, transparent but with a three color design on them (red, black and white inks). Brian swears by these, he says that his cards always make a positive impression and his contacts usually make a comment about them.

We are just now beginning the process if refreshing this with a newer design but boy did the old design make a great impact.

Here is what they look like up close:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pins for "Read. Think. Act."

I got these today in the mail. The vendor turned them around in less than two weeks. They turned out well and there is a stamped "Made in the USA" on the back, which is a consideration for me when buying stuff like this.

I am surprised in the quality of the pins, they aren't die-struck, the graphic was laid in and then some sort of polymer or resin covers it. Very nice printing, very crisp. Nice contrast and decent turnaround for a product of this type.

Ask Catherine Read for one if you see her, I bet she will have a few on her at all times.

Bumper Stickers and Lapel Stickers

I ordered these about a week ago and they arrived only 6 days later. Great service from my vendor!

Catherine is going to love these!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Buttons

We got more buttons this week for our client (and friend, and neighbor), Catherine Read, who is running for City Council.

I did the design of the look and feel for her campaign, a bright green with gold highlights. She got her degree from George Mason University so that was the inspiration for her "colors".

Catherine has been involved with the local politics for the good part of the last decade because she really does care for the City and wants to improve it. We support her in her efforts and are very proud she is taking this big step in getting involved with her community and serving civically.

Go Cat, Go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

15 or 75?

I ran across this ad at the mall and had to try and decipher if they mean 15 or 75. Either way it seems like a great deal but I really think of you are going to use a decorative font, make sure that it's readable.