North Island College – Advanced Communication and Interactive Design
IMG 113 – Typography
InDesign Magazine Cover and Table of Contents Design Project
North Island College – Advanced Communication and Interactive Design
I shall be visiting local business’ in search of unique, creative, objects to photograph for my current Typography project, an ALPHABET PHOTO BOOK staring downtown Courtney merchants. My hope is to create a unique, local themed book that will be printed in a hard cover, 8×8 inch format that features some of the amazing local merchants and products that can be found in Courtney’s beautiful and active downtown core.
Participating stores will be listed along with the pages their store has been featured on and each participating store will be able to order one book at cost. I hope to also feature some of the stores here on my blog as well.
Best of all, the book will be available in ebook and printed versions with 100% of proceeds going to a Vancouver Island Children’s Charity, Hugginz By Angel.
Merchent Release Form
I have also been starting to plan for my Summer 2017 Job search. In order to maintain my funding status in September I need 640+ plus hours of employment over May, June, July, and August.
I would LOVE to be focused in one position where I can make the most impact, possibly with a NonProfit assisting with administration and marketing both this summer and summer of 2018. However, our local job economy is small which means I shall likely have to consider a few part time positions.
I may be working within a Community Living position so I am updating my HCA level first aid next month and looking for some CPI training (as mine is rather outdated). Which means the next two months shall be intense with Interactive Media Studies, outside workshops, and updating my job search tools.
A busy spring is predicted …
I have been asked three times in the last few weeks which Social Networks should business owners use as part of their marketing plan.
Social Networks play a KEY part in engaging and communicating with your customers and ‘Potential’ customers. Before you launch your personal brand or business brand onto Social Media, you should be sure to have clear guidelines on your ‘professional character and conduct’ on Social Media.
Social media posts are FOREVER. There may be a delete button BUT there is no real delete once you post something. Anyone can ‘screen shot’ in seconds and what you post will always be available. So, before you start be sure that you have a clear plan and guidelines and remember to NOT ‘emotion post’ without taking time to think about it before you hit enter.
Disclaimer aside, it is important to ensure you have your brand and name at least ‘parked’ on the Internet and Social media networks. This means deciding on an AVAILABLE user name that you can use consistently over as many networks as possible and registering for them so no one else can.
What Social Networks should you register on?
Most people think of Google as a search engine. It is so much more, but primarily, you will need a Google account to be able to create a quality listing in their directory.
It is also a good place to start as you can create a GMAIL account that will provide you with an email to use when registering for other social networks. Don’t use your everyday email to register for social networks. Using a dedicated email will allow you to delegate your social media management and tasks in the future as needed.
You tube is now operated by GOOGLE. Use your Google ID to create a YouTube page for your business.
Linked in is a Professional Social Network, register as an individual and then create your COMPANY Page.
Facebook is constantly in a state of change and while you may think of Facebook as simply a place to share your life with your friends and family, Facebook Pages show up in the top three of Search Engine results and if you want your customers to find you, you need to be on Facebook.
Create a Private Facebook account, and once registered create a Facebook PAGE for your business. *do not register your business on Facebook as a ‘person’. The pages provide the tools you will need as a business on Facebook.
If you are using your personal twitter account for business, keep it professional. I suggest simply creating a profile for your business while you learn to use Twitter. Twitter is a great networking social network for businesses.
If women buy your products, you need to be using Pinterest. Create a plan for organizing your ‘BOARDS’ ahead of time to save hours of editing in the future.
Instagram is a photo sharing Social Network. I encourage Business owners to not just register but actively use this network. Find a tablet or even a phone that is not being used anymore and set it up with the Instagram mobile AP. Your staff can take daily photos of your products, promotions, and interesting thing and upload them to Instagram.
These images can then be easily fed into your website to keep your content updated daily without having to call in your web manager.
Tumblr is a Social Networking site for sharing that is owned by Yahoo (yes Yahoo is still around).
Meetup: This can be a great tool for getting people in the door of your business and OFF the computer. A local coffee shop I know of has a weekly ‘CO-working’ meetup inviting local professionals who work from home to come in and work from their coffee shop to change things up. This is just one example of how you can use Meetup as a business and marketing tool.
While you may debate if Skype fits into the Social Network definition, you should create an account and create an accurate business profile.
I fully admit it; I do not use Snap Chat (my teens do). However, if your target audience is a younger generation (13-24) you probably should look into how you can incorporate Snap Chat into your Social Media management. Either way, you should be sure to have an up to date profile page.
If you are still wondering why you NEED to start considering Social Media in your Marketing Mix, you need to read this article: 12 Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business
A website is meeting point for an organization’s administration, customer relationships, sales, and marketing strategies. It is only one piece of your Marketing Mix, Your Customer Relationship Management, Sales Platform, and Administrative Tools.
Bringing all of this into one media is challenging. Ensuring that your website is also ACCESSIBLE to everyone means it is even more challenging. A balance between design, information, sales tools, and a user friendly interface means collaborating. Don’t forget this one often forgotten piece; ACCESSIBILITY.
How is your website viewed by individual browsers is important.
How is your website viewed by those with specific visual, auditory, neurological, and physical disabilities is also important.
The WAI – Web Accessibility Initiative provides web designers with clear guidelines and resources on how to ensure their projects are Accessible.
The Center for Universal Design is another important resource for Webdesigners who need to make themselves aware of accessibility standards. They present seven different principles; Equitable Use, Flexibility in Use, Simple and Intuitive Use, Perceptible Information, Tolerance for Error, Low Physical Effort, Size and Space for Approach and Use.
The first principle (Equitable Use) is important for web designers; “The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities” NCSU
Canadian Standards for Web Accessibility can be found on the Federal Governments website here.
“The power of the web is in it’s universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Tim Berners-Lee
Wondering if your design is accessible? Consider using the WAVE Chrome Extension to evaluate your content for accessibility concerns.
How are you incorporating the evaluation of accessibility in your web designs?
School officially started this week, though class time was limited it gave me time to make it through the large new student to do list on campus. Orientation at North Island College was great. The resources were useful, entertainment, tours, free stuff and the highlight -I learned how to use a full size fire extinguisher.
The program orientation included all of the instructors and the mantra was – the workload is HUGE. I am a bit intimidated. Just a bit. Though I am NOT the oldest person in the program – I am the oldest person in most of my classes.
I spent the morning in the ART Studio. (I am in LOVE.) Getting my hands VERY dirty. Playing with a variety of black and white drawing materials. After class I picked up my supplies and this evening will get them all organized and finish my first assignment. What I learned today from our instructor; It would seem I be an artist who needs LARGER canvases. I think it may simply be I have spent so many years limited to a computer screen’s dimensions that the LARGE piece of paper created an adrenaline rush and feeling of euphoria.
It is a sad yet exciting day here today. I just stood on the front lawn and waved goodbye to my youngest son. I raise my children with a goal of preparing them for goodbye. Hoping they will have the skills needed to make good choices, be active in their communities, contribute to society. I didn’t cry when my kids started school, I celebrated it as growth. I didn’t cry when they went to camp or left to spend the summer with their dad on the other side of the province.
This morning I cried. Last night I cried. My son is 14, I was expecting a few more years spent dragging him out of bed and reminding him to take his vitamins. For the last month he has been PACKED and ready to leave our small town for an even smaller community.
He was born a little old man – we use to say if we threw a lid on his head, some glasses, and a buckle he would have at age two weeks looked just like his namesake “Uncle Darryl”.
This boy is in some ways YEARS beyond his age. I suppose he is what people talk about when they use the term “an old soul”. He is still just 14 (well almost 15) and his jokes may make your eyes role – but his understanding of the big picture – of the world – often blows people away.
This morning he left with his father to Douglas Lake, BC. To live on the largest working ranch in Canada. Douglas Lake Ranch – where he will homeschool and live the life he loves. Hopefully everyone there will appreciate his quirkiness, willingness to work hard, and occasional gloomy Eeyore days.
All I could think of as the two of them drove away was my little guy barely 2 years old following his dad around both in Carhartt overalls with a Timmy’s takeout cup in their hands (double Double was one of his first 5 words learned). We need to put our kids first – and this was one of those days where I had to do that.
I picked up my text books for school this morning (an adventure as I failed to bring my list with me). I arrived with my daughters (aged 13 and 5) just in time to watch the Pride flag raising (part of Comox , BC’s Pride celebrations #ComoxValleyPride ). It is nice to be a part of a school that lives by and celebrates #diversity
I have been asked why I am returning to school after years of freelance website design, management, and marketing. It is a question I have reflected on all summer…
I began writing html in 1997 and successfully raised my children working in Internet advertising/marketing (HerMedia) for over 7 years. I watched the rise and fall of many online businesses, blogged before blog platforms existed (writing my pages in html), created and sold a few great websites… However, a brief hiatus of 4 years to care for my sister has created a gap in my knowledge. My favorite design tools were bought by Adobe, Social Media boomed, and my little sleepy town no longer has under 200 people with smart phones (something I only use to see when I visited New York or Vancouver) #smalltownlife . My kids finally understand what hashtags are and use them more then me.
The biggest reason though is that despite my years of paid experience working within the eCommerce, Internet design and marketing industries .. without a piece of paper locating quality telecommuting positions has become near to impossible. I could launch my own business again, but the 20 hour days and travel it takes to lead that venture isn’t feasible anymore. So back to college I go to complete an advanced 3 year program in Interactive Media and communications. I know I can expect many of the program’s courses and materials to be a review. I also know I will meet great people and learn new things.
After our visit at North Island College, the girls and I spent the rest of the day visiting downtown Courtenay. We spent quite a bit of time at Whale’s Tale Toys, discovered the Raspberry Meringue’s at Hot Chocolates, and found a few trinkets and gem stones at Winds of Change. Followed by movies and spending time on the school home away from home with the girls. I think we shall have some fun times here over the next few years.