Masks

I’ve been wearing a mask when out in public for a few weeks now. I was at the local grocery store yesterday morning and was happy to see that most of the customers had them on.

I know this behaviour seems strange in North America, but it’s been the norm in most Asian countries for a while now. I was in China for work a few years back and face masks are extremely common. We just need to get over ourselves and get into the habit of wearing one when in public.

I had been using plain white masks but my mom decided to make me a custom Spider-Man mask (I don’t care that I’m middle aged, I think the mask is awesome).

awesome spider-man mask

There are a number of options online if you want something more colourful or fashionable. Threadless has a great selection of designer masks with a portion of the sales going to charity.

This graphic design studio came up with an emoji rebrand with masks. I think they make a good point that the only emoji with a mask looks sad. Would be great to have the option of adding a mask to other expressions.

In conclusion, get a mask, wear a mask. Help make it the new normal.

April 28, 2020

Some Old Logo Work

Just like I did with some of my old web design work, time for some logo designs from long ago.

Anyone who is, or has been involved in design will understand how painful it is to go back and look at your old work. If you don’t work in a creative field and want to know why, check out this fantastic clip from Ira Glass on the creative process.

Alright, here we go!

First some logo designs from my personal website rebuild that I never finished. Three girls and a geek? Gross. blog logo

blog logo

A number of years back I got into photography. I was shooting for weddings, families, various events. I needed a website to show my work and attract clients. I was actually pretty proud of the branding I created with Made Visual”. You can see how I used the blue gradient in the M” to create the V” for visual. I wanted something simple and I wanted to avoid using the word photography” in the logo. Here are some logo treatments for various social media platforms

made visual logo

Facebook

made visual logo

This was for printed cards

made visual logo

I did the branding, print work, and web design for this client. I loved contracts where I could create the entire brand from top to bottom.

Green dot logo

It’s been interesting working on branding design for the first time in over a decade. Design definitely follows trends. If you go to Dribble or Behance you can clearly see what current popular designs are getting the most attention. Like fashion, you look back at your old designs and immediately wonder, what was I thinking?!”.

April 23, 2020

Is the iPad a Computer?

Desk

My current desk setup.

I LOVE my iPad Pro. It’s become the main computer in my life. My iMac mainly gets used by the kids now. If it was just me, I don’t think I’d even own a Mac anymore. That idea would have seemed nuts to me just a few years ago.

Recently Apple released iOS 13.4 which added trackpad and mouse support for the iPad. It’s really well done. I’m currently using a Magic Mouse and it works flawlessly. I love the way the shape of the cursor changes depending on what it’s hovering over. Or the way it snaps to the app it’s closest to when on the home screen.

Apple has also started shipping its new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and I’m torn. It’s looks fantastic, has backlit keys, an extra USB C port for charging, and a trackpad. However, if you use your iPad for creative work, like drawing, there’s no way to bend the case to the right angle for that type of work. It’s the reason I don’t own the older keyboard case from Apple.

Magic Keyboard

If you mainly use your iPad working in a browser or writing, get the new keyboard, it’s definitely made for you. For you creatives out there? Maybe not.

I really liked the Magic Keyboard review from The Verge. They did a good job of weighing all of the pros and cons. Check it out.

April 20, 2020

Back when IE 5 was God

I’m a bit of a digital pack rat. I have files going back over a decade of website and design work. Some of it freelance, some of it contract, some of it as a full time employee. It was fun going though what, I thought at the time, was good design work.

Graphic design and illustration is a little like fashion. There are recognizable trends as you go through the past. I thought I’d post some of my old work for everyone to enjoy. Or laugh at. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Flash websites and splash pages” were all the rage when I first started out. Since I no longer have Flash player installed there’s no easy way to view those files anymore. Suffice to say I was very proficient with Action Script.

I was working full time for a creative company when I designed this website for WestJet. I believe they actually ended up using this design. Would you look at those old Mac OS scroll bars! Westjet

This was a site I built for a music teacher and composer. You can get a glimpse of my old logo in the bottom left corner. Viev music

This one makes me cringe. I never did launch this rebrand of my personal site (thank god). Three girls

I didn’t do any of the logo work or branding there. The client simply wanted a clean website. simply developed

Maybe next time I’ll post some of my old logo and branding work.

April 16, 2020

Time to Think

Being unemployed and being in quarantine has given me a lot of time to think. It’s one of the reasons I decided to hire a career coach. I needed a third party to help point out any blind spots I may not have been aware of. It’s hard to notice the patterns in your life precisely because they’re happening to you. Everything just seems normal!

While looking for work I’ve been taking some courses, trying to learn new skills and sharpen some neglected ones. One of those in the latter category is web and graphic design. It was one of the first real jobs I had out of school back in the days when you had to optimize for IE 5. I worked for a few different creative houses in Calgary and did a few years of freelance work as well. I got eventually decided to leave the field after I had kids. I thought that I needed something with a more stable income as well as a decent benefits package.

My life has changed a lot since then. I’ve worked as a Trainer, as a Development Specialist, and as a Manager for Apple Retail. There were aspects of each of those jobs that I loved, but I always wondered what would have happened if I’d stuck with design.

I mentioned steady pay and benefits earlier as the reasons I left, but it was more than that. I could do development” work if I needed to. I was competent in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and (gasp) Actionscript. For you kids out there Actionscript is the code you used to develop websites in Flash. I was good at it, and not many companies had a developer on board that knew it well. A lot of my contract work was for Flash projects. The problem was I didn’t really like coding. I’m much more of a right-brained thinker. I preferred working in Photoshop and Illustrator. These days Design work is much more fleshed out. You can specialize in different areas like UI/UX, illustration, web design, print design. back then you were expected to be a jack of all trades.

So, I’ve started taking some courses and learning some new software tools specifically for my iPad Pro.

ipadproapps

I’m going to document my journey as best I can here. Maybe on other platforms as well?

April 14, 2020

The effects of staying indoors

This video is the best one I’ve seen yet, that shows the human side of our current situation.

It shows perspectives from all over the world and how people are coping with having to stay at home. Please take some time to watch it.

April 13, 2020