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We at MindActive are admittedly a technical bunch – we’re always showing off our latest projects with cutting-edge web and digital technology (apps, holograms, motion graphics, and so on). However, this doesn’t mean we’re uninterested in more traditional forms of graphic design. On the contrary, we bring the same passion we have for those techie marketing programs to our print and logo design projects.
Byron Sletten, a partner at MindActive, and futurist Kim Gordon recently discussed data visualization for Mind Matters at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO; see this video for a sample of the interview.
For years, designers have embraced the ideals of elegance and simplicity. When in doubt, you could always fall back on the time-honored traditions of grid-based design, modern sans-serif typefaces, and minimalism to produce Good Design. It was a philosophy that was reliable, safe …. and, perhaps … boring? Many designers have been restless for change, to take risks by embracing the messy world of color, texture, and pattern.
I can personally deploy SharePoint enterprise-wide, from installation and design to administration and training, because I’m incredible. I’m like a bona fide superhero.
As a member of what the media calls the “Millennial” generation, I’m supposed to be always chasing after the latest and greatest in new technology. But in a lot of ways, I’m actually very old fashioned. I only just recently got active on Twitter. I’m still not quite sure why I should use the Story feature on my Instagram. And, like a creature out of the ancient past, shrouded in myth, I used Photoshop to create web design comps. I cut my teeth in design school using Photoshop for web design work, and liked the ability to control my designs to finest detail. But the question lingered … what if there was a better way? Was it time to brush off the cobwebs, leave my dark and forlorn lair, and seek a new design tool?
We need to stop looking down!
We are becoming a society that looks at our phones more than we look at the world around us. The small screen is a window to the world that whole generations look through, is giving them such a wider view of the world with so much more at their fingertips. Using an iPhone, iPad, Android, even Apple Watch has become everyday life, part of our routine.
As a graphic designer, I spend a lot of time talking about color. Just a few days ago, I was discussing with one of our web developers which shade of blue would work best on a website. To someone outside the design profession, this can be puzzling — why spend so much time and effort on weighing the differences between teal and cerulean? Does anyone other than designers care that much about a color? You should — color is an extremely powerful branding tool! The emotions conjured by your use of color will help create a memorable story that customers will associate with your brand.
With a Master’s degree in teaching and a background in designing global corporate training initiatives, I’m sometimes asked how I approach training roll-outs for new products and services. My reply is generally, “It depends on your training goals, and how much time you’re willing to devote to getting them accomplished.” I also usually ask “Do you have learning management systems in place to help with the nitty-gritty of the training administration?”
Technology has always defined wealth and power in the world. Those who controlled it had the power, from developing more efficient farming tools, to industrialization, to the information and coding era we live in today. These technologies have one thing in common: they were completely dominated and controlled by people. Nonetheless, things are changing... again.
I’ve been making artwork since I was a kid, and continue to do so today. Working as both a graphic designer and an artist has given me a unique perspective on design work. Both artists and designers work in the visual realm, but often have very different goals — while artists explore the elements of composition to express personal feelings or ideas, designers apply these principles to solve problems. Creating artwork gives me a freedom to explore ideas visually that I might not have when creating work for a client. The work I create personally often feeds into and improves the work I do professionally. Here are some of the reasons why I feel that exploring the world of fine art will make you a better designer.