Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chromotherapy: Can Color Really Heal?

Chromotherapy, sometimes called color therapy or colorology, is an alternative medicine method. It is claimed that a therapist trained in chromotherapy can use color and light to balance energy wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Of course it should not be confused with Light Therapy, which has been proven to relieve things like major depressive disorders.

Just like we learned in color theory, Chromotherapists claim a scientific basis for their practice, proposing that colors bring about emotional reactions in people. When performing chromotherapy, color and light is applied to specific areas and acupoints on the body. Because colors get associated with both positive and negative effects in color therapy, specific colors and accurate amounts of color are deemed to be critical in healing.

Here are some explanations of what each color targets to heal and an image (not the greatest image, thanks to Wikipedia) to display the areas the color is applied.
  • Red: Used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
  • Orange: Used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.
  • Yellow: Used to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
  • Green: Targets the heart.
  • Blue: Used to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
  • Indigo: Used to alleviate skin problems.
  • Violet: Targets the top of the head.

  • There has been much criticism of the practice, just as anything this far out usually receives. Does it really work? Can color heal parts of your body or mind? What are your thoughts on color and the healing process? Would you pay to have a Chromotherapist attempt to heal you?

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    7 Tips to Stop Procrastinating

    As much as we would all like to think we are always "on schedule" and "timely," the harsh reality is that many times, when faced with a project deadline, you are always working until the last minute to finish it. There is no shame in this. In fact, I've heard rumors that people work much better under pressure. There is obviously a lot of pressure when you're still working on a project 5 minutes before it's due to the client.

    But, that isn't always the case. Procrastination is actually one of the most common problems we face today. There are so many distractions and ways to become sidetracked. How can you avoid them? Below are 7 ways to help you stop stalling and actually start doing.

    1. Stop thinking and start doing.

    You will always have a plan for a project. But could too much thought be a burden? The answer is yes. Instead of getting caught up on how to create the "perfect plan," which we all know does not exist, try to set a solid, well-structured plan that can be created in a reasonable period of time and execute!

    2. Don’t blow a task out of proportion.

    If you put off something hard, it will most definitely make it impossible. As you continue to put something off, you can't help but think about it more and more. The reality is that when you are dwelling on the task at hand for so long, it actually becomes a negative thought. This makes for a very tough project to accomplish. So, plan a little and take the proper action.

    3. Just take the first step.

    It's really easy to get overwhelmed when you look too far into a project. Sure, it is something you should be thinking about, but not suffocating yourself with. When you have trouble beginning the first step, it's hard to get out of that funk. Soon enough you're wandering the internet for hours in hopes to put the project off anymore. So, take that first step. It will put you in the mindset that you are being productive and putting effort into the task.

    4. Start with the hardest task of your day.

    Sometimes we dread calling that super annoying client or writing up a 5 page research paper. The fact is you will have to finish it no matter what. The trick here is to do the hardest thing you have to do that day first. This clears your mind and completely relieves you of the stress you would have if you put it off. Feel good about yourself and start the day off right by tackling what you dread the most first!

    5. Just make a decision. Any decision.

    Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

    That quote pretty much speaks for itself, but do not take it lightly. We are faced with hundreds, possibly even thousands of decisions a day. You may not always choose the best possibility, but at least you are taking action to way onward!

    6. Face your fear.

    It's many times hard to just take action right away. Putting it off is always the easier solution, but why is that? We could be scared of failing or worried that we will look like a fool. The reality is you have to take responsibility and just do it! Even if you fail, it only makes you stronger and teaches you what not to do next time. Take a hold of your fear of starting and just start already.

    7. Finish it.

    Is there something that you have put off for so long that you just haven't gotten around to finishing it? There's always something with all of us and the truth is that this can be very daunting. It can put you in a very negative state of mind even though you may not realize it. Just try to finish what you started. But, if you start a project that you don't like or think you could do better, then do it over. Restart and make it even better. You'll feel a lot better about yourself in the end!

    Thanks to the Positivity Blog for the inspiration!

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Recommended Blogs #1

    This is a first of many, in a series I have termed "Recommended Blogs." In an effort to expand your knowledge, you may want to check out other sources of news on top of the BoldHeart Blog, although you can get most of everything you will ever need to read about here. I follow many blogs. From health to technology to graphic design, they are all great and I learn more than I ever thought possible from them.

    This will be a series of many, where every month I will be releasing some of my latest findings and great resources for you, the graphic designer. In this first post, I would like to mention many of my close friends who also have blogs. Many of these authors being very close friends of mine. So, what are you waiting for?! Read, comment, and spread the word! Oh, and if you know of some great websites that I haven't listed here, leave a comment with links to them!

    Recommended Blogs #1

    You The Designer
    A graphic design blog featuring tips, freebies, design jobs and more!

    Design Observer

    Writings on design and culture can be found here.

    Creative Review Blog
    News and views on visual communication from the readers and writers of Creative Review.

    Zeb M. Wood
    A digital diary delving into the graphical habits of a raving lunatic.

    Dan Baldwin
    The Illustration Brothel, where you will find illustration work and the whatnot of Dan Baldwin.

    John Ludwick
    Zealot Crazy Talk, the babblings of someone who knows no better.

    Jon Lyons
    Stay updated on all the art and illustration of Studio Frogisis.

    Lance Goyke
    Views, tips, tricks, and the frequent life from the eyes of a health enthusiast.

    Seth Quillen
    Freelance graphic artist and comic guru, who goes by the pen name "Koompa."

    Anirudh Bhalotia
    An AnimationMentor student's journey, views, experiences, life, opinions, thoughts, and emotions.

    Ricky Lee Potts
    Design + blog + opinion.

    Remember to spread the word of these and my blog in your venture through the internet. If you haven't already started following, now is the time! You can subscribe many ways by using the "Subscribe to" feature at the very top of this blog. It's easy peasy!

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Ten Signs You May Be Overcharging

    It's one thing to charge too little for the projects you do, but to overcharge is something to take into consideration as well. I think it's well overlooked and I can attest to it. So, what are the signs that you may be overcharging your clients for project quotes? Here are some that you should be aware of. Humor aside, most of it is completely true!

    To justify the price on your quotes, you’ve started writing extra words that usually mean the same thing. For example: Creation of Concept, Concept Development, Concept Refinement, Tweaking to Concept, Amendments to Concept.

    You're still living off a project you finished in 2007.

    Even your largest clients and big companies ask to pay you in installments.

    Clients often ask you if you are using US dollars to quote your prices.

    When you have to charge a client for design changes, they often fall over in their chair in the midst of a heart attack.

    Nobody ever hires you twice.

    When you give a client a price quote, they feel insulted. Their response: "If you didn't want to work with us, you could have just said so."

    You tried to use the Freelance Switch Rates Calculator and your computer exploded.

    When you hear what your lawyer charges per hour, all you can think is "Ha! Small fry."

    You have reportedly charged $500,000 for this logo!

    Thanks to the Freelance Switch blog for this article.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Live Action Illustration

    I'm not aware of a correct term for this type of design, so I made up my own based on what seemed right: Live Action Illustration. Throughout my web browsing experience, many of these types of illustrations keep popping up. You can even see many similar effects featured in commercials. They are visually pleasing and interesting to look at.

    If I feel the need, based on the feedback I hear, I will try to do some research on this type of illustration and do a history/breakdown post. Heck, if none of you give me any feedback, I'll still get to the bottom of this! So, possibly expect a post in the near future.

    Anyways, what I really wanted to show is some of the best "live action illustrations" I have found and my attempt to mimic the style. While analyzing what these illustrators did and what I created, many aspects stand out to me that I can improve upon, but I think overall I achieved the look. Plus, I didn't use some hot girl as the centerpiece. I'm sure that helps. Here is my illustration.

    It was a lot of fun creating this, regardless of the turnout. It wasn't too time consuming and the result seems very appealing. Also expect to see more of these illustrations by me in the future. If this sparks you to create one of you own, please make sure to send it to me via email or leave a link in the comment section of this post!

    Here are some of the better illustrations I found on the wonderful wide web. Enjoy!

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Frank Chimero: Illustrator and Writer

    Frank Chimero is a illustrator, graphic designer, and writer based in Springfield, Missouri. He also teaches design and typography at Missouri State University. I follow a fun website of his called Questionable Characters, where him and Ben Barry have the answers to any graphic design questions. Opps, I mean puppies!

    It's a pretty fun website, filled with informative and sometimes random answers from professional designers. Remember, you ask the questions. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few that I've asked, but I'll hold back my feelings until tonight when I cry into my pillow.

    Frank has a wonderful website. It's simple, straight forward, shows off his talents, and has an amazing store where you can buy awesome prints he has created. This is probably my favorite part of his site and what really drove me to post this. He has an extremely original series of posters called "The States Series." He is working on illustrating every US state in a way that is more than creative. Below are a few of my favorite: Colorado, California, and Illinois (respectively).

    On top of this wonderful series, which I highly encourage you to browse, he has a lovely set of inspirational design posters for people like you and I. For Christmas, I will be asking for about three of these! They could quite possibly be these three. Again, I highly suggest checking the "shop" link on his website to see all of these amazing works. Kudos to Frank and an incredible illustration style!

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Amazing Videos for Inspiration

    If there's one thing I talk too much about, it's inspiration. For some reason, it matters to me more than a lot of other steps during design. Whether you are a designer or a fireman, inspiration is needed to keep motivated. I believe it to be essential for creativity and fuel for great work.

    Below, you will find a plethora of videos that could make you laugh, cry, and inspire you in many different ways. Search through them and watch as you become engulfed in videos handpicked by me for additional inspiration to liven your day!


    The Credit Crisis Visualized - Ever wonder what is really going on with credit and the housing market these days? Thanks to Jonathan Jarvis for creating this visual masterpiece to educate all of us who simply do not have the time or patience to research the issue.

    The History of the Internet - An beautifully animated documentary by Melih Bilgil explaining the inventions from time-sharing to file sharing, from Arpanet to Internet.


    Matt Heil Photography Video - A great compilation of photography by Matt Heil that illustrates an imaginative story of the music that it is synced with.


    Steve Jobs Stanford Comencement Speech - An extremely inspirational story told from Steve Jobs' perspective. Learn about life and death and how you have to view it everyday.


    Air and Simple Gifts - Maestro John Williams arranged a piece based on Aaron Copeland's arrangement of the old Shaker Tune "Simple Gifts" for the 44th president's innaguration, producing wonderful orchestral piece that is completely beautiful. No animation, but musically is an inspiration.

    Radiohead Grammy Award Performance - Accompanied by the USC marching band during the Grammy Awards, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead reinvented 15 Step, the first song featured on their newest album "In Rainbows."

    Movie Trailers

    Watchmen and Wall-E Teaser Trailer - AtomicGreymon, from Pixar Planet's forum, decided to create this teaser trailer to hype up both the release of Watchmen and the much praised Wall-E.

    Diseny/Pixar "Up" Theatrical Trailer - Pete Doctor, director of our beloved Monsters Inc., has done it once again, with a riveting story boosted by humor and lifelike characters. Watch the trailer here!


    Miller High Life Once Second Ads - Super Bowl commercials produced by Miller rethinks the way to market during events like this be transforming one comercial into many by creating one to two second clips that get the point across.

    Don't SIGGRAPH - SIGGRAPH IUPUI released its first live action promotional video for the 2009 Student Exhibition based off of the very famous "Don't Vote" sensation to persuade more people to vote in the past election.


    Obama's Elf - London-based animator Michael Schlingmann created this funny 20-second animated pun. Great animation and very original idea, I must say!

    The First Moon Landing a Hoax? - Did NASA really land on the moon? Watch some conspirators talk about thier visions and read about my thoughts on the matter.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    The Color Series: Orange

    You are reading text on a screen right now. You are looking at colors, fonts, layout, and many other elements of design within this blog. This triggers subconscious thoughts in your brain that you are completely unaware of, at least the untrained mind is unaware of. Color choices and font decisions create moods, which the graphic designer tries to get across with their design.

    As you have noticed, this blog have changed visually. The substantial change came about for a couple reasons. The first being that I had tampered with the old HTML so much that it was impossible to add handy dandy Blogger widgets, which I plan to incorporate more into my blog. Secondly, the old one felt plain and incomplete. As a designer, I coped with the flaw by adapting to my feelings about the it, hence the new and improved BoldHeart Blog!

    So, what's your reason for the color scheme Josh? Well, for one, templates are wonderful and easy to modify. I got lucky and found a Blogger template very similar to the vision I had in my head of my new layout. Not quite the same as the BoldHeart visual identity, but close enough, still hinting the same 70's wallpaper and furniture colors.

    Why hello 70's! How are you doing? I'm not sure if it's just me, but I am a very big fan of these color pallets. But why? Transition into brief color theory history blog post segment.

    The colors are very warm. They almost make me want to hug them. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Sounds like a decent color to me. Basing design around this color scheme creates those emotions in the viewer. Orange is even said to increase oxygen supply to the brain, producing an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity.

    To make a long story short, if you read this blog, it will make you smarter. It will induce happiness, creativity, encouragement, and more oxygen to your brain. So spread the word and tell your Facebook and Myspace friends of the blog that acts like an intense hair commercial: invigorating, stimulating, and full of babes in the shower! Oh wait! Scatch that last part.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    10 Mistakes Designers Can Make When Creating Logos

    We all design logos. At least us designers do. It is an extremely important part of graphic design and a huge visual element to any business. There are also many mistakes that designers can make when designing logos as well. Our goal is to eliminate any and all that could be made throughout the process. I came across this list from Logo Critiques and found it vastly informative.

    1. Beginning the design process without an explicit objective.
    Take the time upfront to meet with your client. Ask them questions about their business, who are the major competitors, what are the goals of this company, who is their audience, etc. Filling out a creative brief with your client is a good habit to get into for starting new projects.

    2. Designing in a vacuum.
    Not knowing what your clients competition is doing can be detrimental. Take the time to talk with your client about the competition, then do some further research on your own. It will help you to arrive a stronger solution in the end.

    3. Not being able to answer the question “Why?”
    Not having a solid strategy or rationale behind your design that ties in with the clients business objectives can make it hard to defend and sell the logo to your client. Personal tastes are easily introduced when all the designer has to say is, “This logo is cool.” If you can’t answer why, it’s also highly likely, you as the designer haven’t adequately considered your clients needs and business strategy.

    4. Going to the computer too early in the design process.
    Start your concepts with paper and pencil. Going to the computer to early can limit your creativity. It is much easier to work loose and quickly on paper.

    5. Not listening to feedback from someone because of who they are.
    All feedback is valuable. Swallow your ego, and listen, you never know what insight you might find.

    6. Not choosing the right typography.
    Choosing a typeface is an important part of the logo design process. Helvetica and Times are not the only options and in most cases are not the appropriate option either. Take the time to find the right one and then refine and tweak it as necessary.

    7. Not considering the applications the logo will need to be used in.
    It’s easy to create a detailed logo that doesn’t reproduce well in all applications. Understand your clients needs and limitations when design the logo.

    8. Using computer/application tricks.
    The computer is a great tool, but it will not make your bad logo good. Adding effects, like bevels or shadows, etc., to dress up a bad logo will not make it better.

    9. Showing too many options to the client.
    Narrow down your concepts for the first client review to about 3-5 concepts, which is adequate in most cases. Use your skills as a designer to pick the most appropriate designs. By doing this you eliminate the crap and will also streamline the whole process.

    10. Presenting a design you don’t want the client to choose.
    If you have a design you don’t want the client to choose, Just don't show it! All too many times the client chooses the one we don’t want them to. Why give them the option?

    Hi, I'm a MAC

    Hello there, I'm a MAC. Yes, and I'm proud of it!

    I was just introduced to a new commercial from the series of "Get a MAC" ads and laughed (hard) as usual. The thing that gets me is that they are so true. Alright PC users, bring it on. Try to prove me wrong and say that it is totally not worth the money buying a MAC. Say that Apple only makes a pretty product and a non-functional computer. Well, I'll tell you this, you're wrong!

    Once you have used a MAC, there is no going back. I have paid the extra money to have this brand of computer for several reasons. For time's sake, I will list only a few:

    1. Reliability: Apple computers are proven to last years longer than the same level PC. There are no viruses (don't tell me there are because I know there are, but it is incredibly unlikely you will ever get one). My iBook G3, which is close to 8 years old, is still in great condition for its hardware and model.

    2. Hardware: I paid more for my MAC. I paid a lot more than you paid for your PC. Your PC has "more RAM" and a "faster processor." That's what you think. It's all in the operating system! I could have half the amount of hardware in my MAC than your PC and they will run close to the same speed just because of the amazing hardware that powers such a reliable OS.

    3. Security: I know I touched on this above, but it's that important. I have never received a virus on any MAC I have ever owned. Ever! To add to this, none of my friends nor anyone I've read about has ever gotten a virus on their MAC. This is saying something because I can name several friends of mine who have gotten countless viruses on their PC. And please understand me when I say this, I do know that it has been demonstrated that you can give a MAC a virus. It's just as likely as getting struck by lightning.

    4. MAC Users Love Their Computer: I love my computer and I could name tons of others who would never think about switching back to the PC world. That alone is saying something. You don't hear PC users saying that. There is something in that.

    Like I said, these are just a small handful of reasons why I choose MAC over PC. There are so many more, but this gets the point across. I'd also like to take this time to say I am not apposed to PC's. In fact, I own one in order to run a certain 3D software, but that doesn't negate the fact that my heart lies in Apple. There is so much more I'd love to say on this topic, but I'll keep it brief and maybe post on this in a year. Who knows? For now, I leave you with the new commercial I spoke of at the beginning of this post. Enjoy!


    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    25 Unspoken Rules of Graphic Design

    1. Your fonts will default to the worst possible font available on the machine you are showing your work on.

    2. If you have two versions of a photo, the wrong one will make its way to the printer.

    3. The less time you have the more useless your computer will become.

    4. Speed. Quality. Affordability. Pick any two.

    5. Grammar checkers are a no no.

    6. If three designs are shown to a client, your least favorite will be chosen or any combination of worst components of each.

    7. If two designs are shown, a third will be requested. If provided, then one of the first two will be chosen.

    8. If you ask for more copy it will be sent as a .jpg. If you ask for images they will send Powerpoint presentations.

    9. Clients don't have their company logo in a usable print ready format so don't bother asking.

    10. The best designs never survive contact with the client.

    11. You will misspell the name of the client's spouse.

    12. Your best idea is already copyrighted.

    13. There is no stock photo ever made that matches the image you have in your head.

    14. Time allowed to complete work is inversely proportional to time taken by client to work out what to complain about.

    15. No matter how detailed the tech support FAQ is, nobody has ever heard of your problem.

    16. The number of colors in a client's design will equal the number of colors in the original bid specs, plus two.

    17. Your client will often not like your design but not quite know why.

    18. Computer crashes always happen exactly 30 seconds before saving.

    19. A client who knows exactly what he wants is worse than one that has no idea.

    20. Clients who do not provide content upfront will complain about the use of Lorem Ipsum.

    21. Everything has to be done immediately and deadlines are incredibly important, unless the client has to provide materials or approve your work.

    22. The client will always think they know more about graphic design principles than you.

    23. Your first price quote will rarely be approved.

    24. You cannot force inspiration. It will only come when you aren't looking for it.

    25. The customer is always right and an idiot.

    I know there are at least 5 more rules that you would love to add to this list. If there are enough responses, I may compile yet another post of the "Unspoken Rules of Graphic Design!"

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    3 Steps to Make Your Dreams Come True

    We all dream of doing big things in life, whether you want to own your own company, walk the moon, or perform in front of thousands of people on the big stage. But, are you doing the right things every day to make these dreams become a reality? Are you setting yourself up for success? Below are three steps you can take to ensuring you are on that path.

    1. Motivation

    What really motivates you? Why do you want to walk the moon or start your own company? I cannot give you those answers. Only you know why you strive for these goals and what keeps you motivated. It could be that you are wanting to buy a new house, more money, or just more freedom of your time. Whatever it may be, you need to find what it is that motivates you. If it's buying that amazing house on the coast, you could post a picture of that house next to your computer or somewhere you will see it everyday.

    Even when you experience a major setback, be sure to keep your head up. The struggles in life are what make us stronger and teach us to be smarter and stronger people. Without obstacles, what would be the point of achievement? So, make sure you reward yourself for the things you accomplish, whether is be large or small. Pat yourself on the back because you have to stay motivated!

    2. Planning

    This step comes natural to me. No matter what the situation is, I am constantly planning ahead! I sometimes have reason to believe it gets on people's nerves, but that's alright with me because I am always ready. Enough about me though, let's focus on what you need to do. It may seem like an obvious step, but it often times can be overlooked and neglected.

    To make sure you stay loyal to your plan, follow these 4 steps:

    1. Create a simple plan for reaching your goal. Write it down on a scrap piece of paper or type out a nice document. Whatever method you choose, make sure it is written.
    2. Go back over these steps and make sure that they are all obtainable. You don't want to have any steps that you feel unnecessary.
    3. Establish a feasible time frame. Don't set goals that are impossible to complete.
    4. Be realistic when setting your goals. Make sure you are committed to them and are actually able to achieve them.

    3. Action

    Remember that there is no point of the first two steps without taking action after establishing them. You cannot accomplish any goal without actually taking action to reach it. After you created your plan in step two, you should have realized that there are many little steps you have to take each and every day. Yes, it's going to take perseverance, but if your dream is important enough, you will do whatever you can to make it come true. This should always be the case. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not accomplish everything they have overnight!

    You can always go back and revise your plan. Sometimes obstacles in life can slow you down and put a halt on your plan of action. Just make sure that you continue to strive towards your dream, as if nothing got in your way. Take every step you take with a motivated attitude and a vision to be the best you can. Also, remember that it will take you time. You know what they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day!"

    Thanks to Small Business Webology for the inspiration.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Very Creative T-Shirt Designs

    I love a good challenge. Who doesn't? Well, bums, that's who. Those who aren't cut out for life in the fast lane. Did I really just say that? Anywho, it pushes your skills and keeps you working at you highest potential. This is the best situation to work in and it should always be the case because if you aren't working to your potential, you're obviously not designing as well as you could be (assuming you are a designer). But, this goes for any job that you may be working. Why not put all your effort into what you do? Take pride in what you do.

    I say all of this because these shirt designs seem to be created by individuals who were thinking hard and designing to their potential. They may not be the most intricate of designs, but some of the concepts are just amazing! After all, designing is way more about concept than it is production. I'll refer to a cherished quote:

    "Think 8 hours, work 2."

    This is probably my favorite design of the bunch. I just can't imagine the looks I would get wearing this around all day. Confusing? Yes! The shirt was designed for a FedEx campaign, making the wearer appear to be holding a FedEx package on their side.

    I will admit that it took me a second to realize what this shirt was, which makes it all the better. Although, the only way the shirt would work is if you had back hair, it's still an amazing concept! This was for marketing hair growth products in Singapore. What better way to show that your product grows hair than to actually make you hair appear to be longer?

    The invisible t-shirt! How cool! I understand this because I use Photoshop and other design programs. If you don't know what this is, the checker board means that that part of your design is transparent. I will say one thing. The image of the eraser on this shirt is not what it looks like in Photoshop. It could look like that in other secondary (not as good) programs though. Sorry, I'm just nitpicking now.

    Are you at all grossed out by this? I am! But, look on the bright side. With this shirt, you won't even have to take your shirt off during a shirts and skins game of basketball, assuming you're on the skins side.

    A marketing plan to promoting the change of Music Connection re-branding into Marshall Music. I think the micorphone and headphones are the better of the three because the guitar looks quite awkward without a neck. Either way, I'd buy one. Any takers?

    No more worrying about carrying your roller blades or shades around. You have them on your shirt! A nice illusion. I think the Ray-Ban shades would trick some people a little more than the roller blades. I mean who carries their roller blades around with them? Better yet, who roller blades anymore?!

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Tylenol, Santa Clause, and a Whole Lot of Marketing

    Graphic design, visual communications, new media, and any other fancy schmancy combination of words you can put together to describe this industry all mean the same. We solve problems and present the solutions visually, regardless of what your title is, a graphic designer does just that. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. There are many titles that mean different things, but for the sake of this post and my sanity, I'm keeping is broad.

    Tylenol decides to take a very different take on marketing. Their drug obviously relieves pain, reduces fevers, and even halts symptoms of allergies, but does it cure the symptoms of these situations shown in the pictures below? Well, of course! That's why they are marketing this way. Tylenol decided to show some really awful situations and subliminally tells the viewer that no matter what the event, even discovering Santa isn't real or that your goldfish is dead, Tylenol medicine can cure it!

    Oh, and if you still believe in Santa, do not fear. I was only speaking in relation to this piece of marketing material and in no way doubt his presence on Christmas. I mean come on, it's completely rational to believe an extremely overweight, old man can travel to every single house in the world by squeezing down every chimney, eating the cookies and milk set out by the children, and managing to not get sick. He is real folks!

    Anyways, did you know that the active substance of Tylenol, acetaminophen, was first used in medicine in 1894? Well, now you do! Boy, that's old!

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Hello! Want A Business Card?

    I have seen many business cards in my day. Big ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones, bad ones, good ones, and the list goes on! I actually just counted all of the ones I have saved over the past year and a half and it totals to 70. To me, that's a lot, but I suspect that in one more year, that number will double if not triple. Some of these cards I have make me feel important. Some of the companies that have given me their cards include Lucas Film, Maxon, Disney, Mental Images, Lightstream Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, and Starz Animation just to name a few.

    See a trend here? Of course you do. Everyone who's someone has a business card, whether they are representing themselves, their company, or a company they work for. This seems to be the number one marketing piece for yourself that is fast, efficient, and gives a complete stranger all the information they would ever need to stalk you!

    Going through the cards I have collected, I notice trends. I will save that for another blog post though, so keep your eyes open. But I do suggest you take a look at many different kinds of business cards and their designs to get a sense of how people represent themselves on this tiny piece of card stock. It's truly amazing thinking about all of the ways people present their information on a 3 inch by 1.75 inch (in most cases) piece of paper.

    Getting to the juice of this post, enjoy my business cards. I went with a very nice, neat, sleek, and very presentable design that obviously follows the BoldHeart visual identity. I get the point across and tell you who I am on the card and how you can contact me. Make sure if you bump into me, you ask for one because they feel so much better than they look, although I'm not too fond of my wooden desktop as their backdrop!

    It Doesn't Hurt To Ask

    Just recently, I was at a lovely deli by the name of McCalister's. I was indecisive of what I wanted, but knew one thing: I was going to order a chocolate chip cookie, no matter what! And I did, along with a nice bread bowl of soup. What I had for dinner isn't as relevant as what I'd like to talk about though. So, moving on.

    Closer to the end of mine and my friend's meal, our waitress came by to collect our empty dishes and see if we wanted refills. McCalisters, having the best sweat tea known to man, we both asked for simple refills of our tea. When she came back to our table, I thought I'd play a joke on her. In a serious manner, I asked if I could have a free refill of my bowl of soup. She laughed. I then proceeded to continue the joke, asking her if I could have a free refill of my chocolate chip cookie. She laughs again, a little harder this time.

    But then a heavenly note rang from the skies above and cast down a miraculous blessing. That's a bit overboard, but I think you catch my drift. Anyways, after she finished laughing, the waitress said, "I think I can help you out with that one. What kind of cookies would you guys like?" We were astonished! It worked! Just because I asked, we were able to get something free. Now, I wasn't trying to be stingy or cheap. Remember earlier in the story I actually ordered a cookie with my meal, so this would be my second. Why not take a free cookie whenever possible? I know you would.

    The moral of the story is not to joke around with people a lot and think you can get your way. Rather, I challenge you to just ask questions. The simplest question can lead to something great. My list goes on. Recently, I had dinner with a local business owner, not because he invited me, but because I asked him. What do you know! This past December, my flight to Singapore was paid for by my school, not because they were sponsoring the trip, but because I simply asked for $1,500 and was granted it. This is no joke!

    So, can I ask you something? Well, I'm going to anyways. What is one thing that has happened to you, where you never thought it could happen, but it did just because you asked?

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Jon Lyons: Frogisis

    BoldHeart Design has been mentioned on the new Frogisis website under the links area! This is a big deal for a start up like BoldHeart! The very talented artist and illustrator by the name of Jon Lyons has just announced the launch of his new website. He goes by the pen name Frogisis. Jon currently lives in Helena, MT, working as a freelance artist and illustrator, and is available for commissions, specializing in representative illustration.

    Be sure to check out his latest works, which guarantee a double take, while showing off his many talents within graphic design and traditional art. You may even find some humor in much of his work. I'll never forget the infamous "Pope Fight" drawing (see below)! I wish I could explain. Below are some of my favorites of his work.

    Jon, thank you for the support! Congratulations on the continued success of your artwork over the past years.

    6 Common Myths About Freelancers

    When it comes to freelance design, people always seem to make rash decisions based on the lifestyle quicker than they should. Below are my opinions based from an article that disproves ten myths regarding freelancers. I have chosen the most prevalent six.

    6. Freelancers spend the day on non-work related activities. I don’t think they do any work.

    This is an extremely common misconception, which in some cases can seem like the only way to live if you're a freelancer. Wrong! As a freelance designer, you cherish flexibility and live your life in a manner that many others with traditional office jobs cannot. They are most productive during certain times of the day and they only know this. Some work through the wee hours of the night and are able to enjoy a nice walk and relaxation during the day. Deadlines are of most important and they know this. The only way to create a name for themselves is if they stay on task and that's what freelancers do.

    5. Freelancers don’t have the resources of large companies. I’m afraid I won’t get quality work.

    Although they may not have the manpower or large office space that many firms are able to have, freelancers have so many resources at their fingertips to keep themselves just as resourceful as the next graphic design company. They obviously produce good work because stepping out on your own and competing with the big guns is no simple task. Upgrading software and skills is always something easily accomplished with devotion and perseverance; something freelances are sure to have. There are online forums, communities, social networking websites, and much more to keep them in touch with the community.

    4. Freelancers are unsupervised. I’m afraid they won’t finish the work on time.

    Freelancers have a large amount of professionalism and pride in their work, sacrificing their entire company on projects and the work they produce is involved with every project completed. They know not to risk all of that just by staying off task. If anything, this motivates them more. Just like the first myth listed above, freelancers know what hours they work best during, so their creativity can be maximized this way.

    3. Freelancing is too risky. It’s all or nothing.

    Yes, this can be an incredible risk that many people wouldn't dare take. That shows that those personalities are not cut out for freelance. But, a freelancer knows this and completely indulges in it, giving all time and energy into their work and the future of their name in the industry. Whether you want to start big or small, there are always going to be risks. One way to ease into being a full time freelancer is to slowly begin taking on small projects while holding another job. This way you are able to build a name for yourself as well as keeping a steady stream of income just in case something comes up. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you though.

    2. I’m not a salesman. If I started freelancing I’d never be able to get clients.

    Unfortunately, as a freelance designer, you are your own marketing department. Unlike a firm, where there is a set marketing director or position that finds the work, you have to do it all yourself. Of course this can be very intimidating, but that is what it takes. There are many resources available to make yourself marketable. This is yet another time commitment. You cannot produce work until you have found it.

    1. Freelancers spend all day on their own. They don’t have a social life.

    False. I for one pride myself on having quite a hefty social life. I love my friends and cherish every one of those relationships. Of course there are those days where you don't get out of the house and stay in your pajamas (aka: work clothes) all day, but don't make this a habit. Many freelancers choose to get out of the house and go work at their local coffee chop, just to change scenery and get away from home. I just recently learned of the term called "coworking" in which many freelancers share a workspace or office. This allows them to interact with each other, free of any normal workplace disputes or arising problems, keeping the environment happy and inviting. They are just as flexible as if you were to work out of your home.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    "Experience Is Key"

    A good friend of mine by the name of Lance Goyke is an avid learner. No matter what he does, he seems to always figure it out for himself and hold his own beliefs to it. Very respectable in my opinion. I know it's hard to imagine these days, but he has a blog. These are short for "web logs." Who woulda thunk it?

    His latest post published really hit me hard, not because it was about graphic design necessarily, but because it was extremely truthful and accurate. I don't say this too often, but in this case, I could not have said it better myself. His post is as follows:

    "Everyone loves to have experience. Compare two people you're considering hiring, same price, same education (or "education"), but one has been doing it for 20 years longer. Everyone wants the guy with more experience.

    Now for someone young like I am, 20 years of experience is far away. That would more than double my lifespan if I started immediately! So how can I, an aspiring college student looking to make a name for himself, get the experience to compete with other professionals?

    Well first and foremost, since I haven't harped on it, educate yourself. Make sure that the others are not actually better than you on paper. Don't expect to learn a whole lot in college, but make sure you learn something every day. The internet is fantastic for this if you know how to take what you read with a grain of salt.

    Now let's consider a case where education is not worrisome. Well what is the next and most productive step (remember Pareto's Principle and get results)? Get experience from another trustworthy person who has it.

    Let me explain. Make sure you are a sponge to information. Listen to everything. Use a mentor's experience to your advantage. That is the single trait that you can learn the most from a mentor. Caution, though. Make sure you understand what you're learning. Hardly ever is something black and white. Knowing the intricacies will make you a master of your craft.

    Something I've found that has been helping me lately is to be the trainee. It's a great way to get another perspective, and therefore understanding your client's side of things. This is crucial."

    Lance says it like it is. Indulge. I suggest you take his advice and consider following the workings of a passionate health enthusiast. I know I will!

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Don't SIGGRAPH!

    SIGGRAPH IUPUI is proud to release its first live action promotional video for the 2009 Student Exhibition: Don't SIGGRAPH! If you haven't heard of the event, it is going to be face changing for IUPUI and central Indiana students.

    The video is for advertisement of the event on Friday, April 17th, 2009 from 5pm-10pm at the IUPUI Campus Center room 450. Everyone including business professionals, students, faculty, and friends are invited to check out the amazing work that IUPUI computer graphics students have to offer!

    For more information, visit our website at I better see you at the event, or else! Please share this video and information with everyone you know! Send it to your mom even. Hell, I did!

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Bailouts, Stimulus Packages, and Investments: Oh My!

    All this talk about the economy and the money we have spent in the past two months has put me on the edge quite a bit. Trust me, it's not just me though. I don't agree with the way things are going and the "changes" that we are seeing, but that's not my place since this is, in fact, a graphic design blog, I'll let other critics share their thoughts.

    These topics and words we keep hearing that are being thrown around the media sometimes loose their meaning. In this case, I would like to emphasize what $1 trillion looks like! With the money our government has been giving away lately, that number is actually common. Unbelievable, yes, but it will be even more unbelievable once you have seen these visuals.

    I recently found an article in which the author decided to use Google Sketchup to create 3D $100 bills. The reason for this was to demonstrate the true weight of this high amount of money. I'll say one thing, it definitely has weight!

    $100 (Contrary to popular belief, this is the largest US bill currently in circulation. I hope you knew that!)

    $10,000 (This could fit in my pocket. I just may keep one of these handy for a rainy day.)

    $1 Million (I could actually put this in a backpack and walk around without anyone noticing that I am actually in possession of that much cash!)

    $100 Million (Not too bad. This fits nicely on a wooden pallet.)

    $1 Billion (Now we are making some progress. I'd take it!)

    $1 Trillion (That is a 1 followed by 12 zeros! Notice the pallets are stacked.)

    Now when you hear the word "trillion" you may think twice and be more impacted about the topic being presented. I know I will!

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    BoldHeart Design Going Bankrupt

    Today marks a sad day. BoldHeart Design has been compromised and will not be able to continue services. It is an extremely unfortunate event, which I was not expecting to happen, but it did. With the economy in shambles right now, we are just not able to continue on the endeavors set forth and will not be able to sacrifice the time and money into a market that is dying.

    Many experts have said that start up graphic design companies should discontinue services and find a new niche because they are bound to fail within the coming months. Over 78% of even successful firms are having to shut their doors due to the bad economic weather. I have taken the advice of these professionals and decided to board up the windows, although it is extremely sad doing so because BoldHeart just recently came into existence.

    My apologies go out to all of those who believed in this company and who held high hopes on it doing great things in the future. And shame on those who do not check the date. This is what they call "April fools!" On this day, you are to trick people and make them worry. I bet I got you!

    BoldHeart will not be giving up its struggle to start something great! In fact, there have been quite a few project requests coming across my desk, which promises work to keep this company afloat. All "facts" stated above are completely false and in no way represent the graphic design community. They sound pretty real though, don't they?

    Oh, by the way, gullable is written on your ceiling and I suggest you get some cleaning supplies to scrub it off.