GDA Members Blow Off Steam

GDA members blow off steam
GDA members blow off steam

GDA members blow off steam


GDA members blow off steam as an exercise in creating a larger connection between drawings.

The Graphic Designers Association under the watchful eyes of Tyler Dockery and Marsha Mills created an artistic experiment using the “Exquisite Corpse” Model. Students drew individually and then moved around our whiteboard, picking up where others left off. A thoroughly Good time was had by all.

As our semester draws to a close, many students find that the pressures of the school year are mounting and that even while large projects are graded and completed, still more looms on the horizon.

“If I don’t push down some of this worry and let loose a little creative pressure, I’m going to explode.” GDA President Bri French stated. The artwork was used to begin conversations in the following class, but all good things must come to an end.

“Someone was obviously working very hard,” George Tsai, Instructor of Advertising and Graphic Design said. “I didn’t want to take it down”.

As finals approach, many students will be finding creative outlets for their frustration. As always, the GDA is always on the lookout for those individuals with the fortitude to start something new and exciting.

Dockery Presents a Presentation on Presenting Yourself and Your Work

Dockery Presents a Presentation on Presenting Yourself and Your Work

Now that’s a mouthful. On 4/8/2015, Tyler Dockery lectured to the GDA about Presenting yourself, your portfolio, and your work.

Click here to download Tyler Dockery’s presentation presentation

In the first portion of the lecture, we discussed presenting yourself and the idiom that first impressions, interviews, and presentations are really 90% Perception and 10% Follow-through. We viewed several images of individuals and then tried to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses, powers and abilities based solely upon their appearance. While we all agreed that this was stereotyping at best, we also agreed that certain visual archetypes helped us to judge and perceive without knowing everything.

Then we discussed clothing and personal ornamentation, and what that means, achieves, etc. For instance, Tyler Dockery worked with a design firm, Generate Design. At generate design, every designer wore a shirt and tie every day. The firm had a waiting area with posh design furniture, large iMac computers in plain sight, and Design magazines all around. This created a sense of upscale designers working in a strongly designed environment which was worth the estimates proposed.

Similarly, students entering one of Dockery’s classes for the first time will admit that they see him as someone who is particular, a stickler for the rules, no-nonsense, and needs things to be completed as quickly and professionally as possible. Students work hard, and provide good work. They also are pleased when they are not held at arms length, and find that classroom banter can be both personal and  professional at the same time.

Within the presentation, we discussed how resumes can be used to give an instant impression of your skills and talents. We discussed using the single page resume as a typographic and visual assignment to quickly show people what you know and how you do it. We discussed portfolio designs briefly, and what those said about you and your level of skill.

Within the presentation discussions, we talked about do’s and don’ts for your portfolio presentation, and three most common types of portfolio layouts: The front-heavy design, the front-back design, and the tentpole design.

  1. A front-heavy portfolio uses all of your good pieces at the beginning in an attempt to show all of your best work up front and really WOW the viewer. As the pieces trickle off at the end, they will keep that strong first impression.
  2. A front-back portfolio uses several very good pieces at the beginning (at least 3) and then the remaining good pieces at the end. This allows students to have a few strong pieces to WOW the viewer in the beginning, and then some strong pieces at the end to take their mind off of pieces in the middle which may not be so great.
  3. A tent pole design uses 1-3 strong pieces at the front, 1-2 strong pieces at the end, and then puts a strong piece between weak pieces. This lets a weak piece be followed by a strong piece and makes it seem even stronger in comparison. This also distributes good pieces throughout the portfolio, so that no sections seems weakest, and that a feeling of strong work stays throughout.

We ended our discussion with quick tips on how to present your work to clients when competing for money. Presenting to large groups is an important part of most design businesses, and Tyler Dockery managed to give out some quick hints (about 5-6) with recommendations about why these will be helpful in your presentation and perception throughout the design process. Some students thought that some of these methods seemed a bit underhanded, but business is occasionally war. Presenting is important, but never forget that you are presenting to win.


AIGA Portfolio Review A Complete SUCCESS!

Left to right: Winnie A Okwakol Ashley Patrick, Caitlyn Nichole White Stan Mallard Amanda Jackson Hollie Moser Michelle Price Lynette Williams also attended but was not there when we took this picture. She had a good experience.

Left to right: Winnie A Okwakol, Ashley Patrick, Caitlyn Nichole White, Stan Mallard, Amanda Jackson, Hollie Moser, Michelle Price,  Lynette Williams also attended but was not there when we took this picture. She had a good experience.

We had the AIGA Portfolio review at Red Hat today. It was fantastic! Marsha Mills got to check out the other schools’ student work: reviewing 4 people, two from ECU, one from Meredith and one from Methodist University (1/2 hour increments).

Our school put those other schools to shame. Few students from other schools were ready for a client review, although our team shined brilliantly. Many graphic design students from other institutions had NO web sites while our team each had a standing, visible portfolio website. All of our students dressed up nicely, had a presentation with resume, business cards, give-away perks and beautiful portfolios. Our students could talk about their pieces conceptually.

The day began with students picking up their seating itinerary and getting a 6″ X 9″ card stating which four reviewers they would have. Then they set-up their portfolios in their designated area. Red Hat is a very open environment, and big windows to admire the city. The keynote speaker spoke for 45 minutes with a ‘Jimmy Johns’ boxed lunch to follow. Then the student Portfolio reviews began. Every half hour volunteers would give us a 5 minute warning to wrap up the review and then off to the next person. This went on for two straight hours. Finishing the event was a fun raffle and comments about the review from a Q&A session that summarized weak and strong areas reviewers observed.

There were two Wake Tech reviewers that graduated from Wake Tech there, neither reviewed Wake Tech students.We got to connect with Amie Flynn and Yevette Navarro (Art Institute of Raleigh Durham), Kerry Jenkins (Methodist Univ.), Guner Swenson (ECU) and Woody Holliman (Meredith). It’s great chatting with them about the changes that are going on with their environment. Kerry is learning and teaching students Muse and it seems ECU may soon be integrating web design with their Communication Arts curriculum. Yevette is teaching her students how to show augmented reality using an app Quite intriguing. Looks simple too. Give it a look, and let us know what you think in the comments!