More Tools in the Toolbox

These last two weeks, my PR Publications class has continued to expand the knowledge of tools we can use to create various publications.

Last week, we completed an assignment that focused not only on good design, but on speed. We only had two class periods to create four social media graphics for any company of our choosing. The graphics were supposed to be advertising a Halloween themed event.

We were introduced to Adobe Spark, a design program which is free and available online for anyone to use. The program was fairly easy to learn how to use. It’s interface is not that much different from the interface of Canva, an online design program which I’ve used before to make simple publications such as business cards.

The graphics were intended to be Halloween themed to advertise an adoption event.

I chose to create four graphics designed for a Halloween-themed adoption special, organized by the Humane Society. The most difficult part of this assignment was including valuable information within the graphic, while at the same time keeping the design clean and appropriate for social media.

A graphic I made using Adobe Spark

Admittedly, it was also very difficult to think of four fresh concepts to use for the social media graphics. The Halloween theme helped a lot!

After creating these graphics, we are now returning back to more complex design with our Newsletter project. For this project, we will be utilizing both Adobe Photoshop as well as InDesign to create a three-paged newsletter for a Fortune 500 company.

The most difficult part of this assignment so far is creating a template with an aesthetically appealing, on-brand header which is not too expensive to print and still functions as a newsletter. I have decided to go with the company Boeing, a Fortune 500 company which specializes in, among many things, airplanes and commercial travel. I’m looking forward to incorporating their sleek, blue and white design into my assignment.

 

Better with Time!

This week, we finished creating direct mailers for our theoretical client, the OU office of admissions. More than a couple of things were tough about this task, from learning how to use photoshop for the first time, to being creative and designing in an attractive way while following OU’s brand guidelines.

The process of deciding which students to target with my direct mailers was lengthy and full of changes. Eventually, I narrowed down my groups to two very distinct demographics.

The first group I decided to target is student veterans. In my mind, the students are those who have served and are now entering the college world needing a good community, and scholarships.  In my research I learned that the University of Oklahoma has made a good attempt to connect with student veterans, including requiring Green Training from the faculty.

To target this group I included familiar student veterans logos, while keeping the direct mailer clean and simple.

The second group I decided to target are the aspiring “campus climbers”. This group of students are those who are interested in things like community service, leadership groups, and other student organizations.

To target this group, I included pictures from various student organizations and attempted to showcase the many opportunities OU offers for involvement. I also used a more charismatic color scheme.

 

This assignment has taught me a lot of useful skills which will help me as a PR professional. I learned how to resize and combine images, create transperant images, recolor items, and how to create an attractive publication. After working with the photoshop program and going through so many processes, I can now create a work from scratch in photoshop, which is a nice feeling.

While I still prefer InDesign, I feel prepared to use photoshop in the professional world, and I look forward to creating more.

Photoshop: A Game of Trial and Error… and Error, and Error…

 

This week, in PR publications, we tackled the task of beginning how to learn Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshop is one of the most powerful photo editing programs that exists, giving users the capability to essentially work photo magic. Photoshop offers tools that allow users to do numerous things, including merge photos, create shadows, and completely alter colors.

Photoshop is a valuable tool for the PR professional because it can be used to design business cards, letter heads, direct mailers, event ads, and other public relations tools.

Being that Photoshop is so powerful, it is no surprise that it hasn’t been the easiest to learn how to use. We began our learning journey with an exploration of merging images, in this case two pizza related images.

Pizza on Wooden Peel

Pepperoni pizza

It was a difficult task, and took about an hour and a half of replaying turtorial videos, and tweaking settings to get a realistic look. Eventually, I was able to put a pizza holder under the pepproni pizza. Hooray!

 

Unlike InDesign, the other design application we have used, Photoshop works on a pixel by pixel basis, so images have to be spliced.

Personally, I prefer to interface and tools available in InDesign. While the photo editing tools are lower quality, it offers a gridded guideline, and makes it easy to build images centered around fonts and business-type design.

Another of my challengers arose from trying to create works for a client with a really hard set brand. This week we are designing direct mailers for the University of Oklahoma admissions office.

OU has a very set in stone brand, with logo and color guidelines, as well as specific guidelines like what font is preferred for documents.

It has been hard to be creative while following these strict guidelines and creating something which will represent OU, not myself.