Friday, October 26, 2007

Tour de Hallmark

Here's a shout out to all of the KU Graphic Design students who toured Hallmark today, and welcome to cre.a.tiv.i.ty! We are so glad you were able to come and visit Hallmark. I know that time is tight when you are in the middle of a busy semester, but I'm so glad that you all made the time. Keep in touch!

After the student group left today, I was thinking ... Do Accounting majors tour accounting firms when they are in school to learn about what it's like to work in the accounting industry? Do Engineering majors? What about Ag Business majors? I would wager a guess: they probably don't. My sister was a Child Psychology major, and she did some visits to local schools, but it was for class credit. A friend of mine was an Entrepreneurial Studies major, and he interviewed various local entrepreneurs about their journeys to start their own businesses, but again, it was required for his class.

That being said, what is it that we creatives hope to learn by visiting studios? Why do we choose to plan these visits and take time (that could be spent working on our projects) to attend these extracurricular events?

As a design student at ISU, we went to Minneapolis, MN and toured firms like Orange Seed, Franke+Fiorella, and Baker Associates. At the time, I am not sure that I realized what we would learn that day. It was a blur: we rode on a bus in the rain from studio to studio, wiping our feet as we went in, walking through the halls, our shoes squeaking on the polished floors, designers turned toward computer screens, their faces aglow. We would stand with our mouths agape while the Creative Director or Art Director proudly showed us the latest work created by the amazing talent within, their latest AIGA or Addy awards displayed on shelves behind them. Our eyes danced about, catching glimpses of people celebrating a project completed, someone pitching an idea to a new client, the receptionist with a sweet smile and kind telephone voice.

As I look back on that experience, I am not able to pinpoint the major lessons that I learned that day, but I do take with me the experience. Maybe we learned that we had a long way to go as designers. Perhaps we realized that an agency wasn't the right fit for us or that we knew that upon graduation, we would apply to the firms we had visited. Or perhpas we realized that one day, we would be a part of it all. But did we realize how big of a part we would play or where we would end up? If nothing else, the studio visits inspired us to create, and to keep creating. Inspired us to innovate and to grow. Inspired us to have the drive to get to where we are today.

That is my hope for you, KU, that you are inspired and ready to create whatever is next. The design world awaits...


gmengoni said...

Aww! I never really realized that no one else really visits their related "firm" or whatever...and on their free time! This blog is cool, I should get one! But thank you so much for having us! I DO remember it, you guys did a great job of showing us what is available/what it could be like. If anything, I was DEFINITELY inspired. I was like omg! I need to go home and redecorate my room! haha, or start getting my portfolio ready now! One really neat thing to see was that you actually had REAL 3-D materials or dolls created that you used in your pieces. That was neat to see, because it wasn’t just all computer generated. I’m so used to being able to create anything on Photoshop, but that inspired me to go out and either scan in real things, or even use them right on it! Anyways, thanks again and I had a great time!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

For more on the handmade/scanned/found/texture in design, you should check out the book "Fingerprint" by Chen Design Associates and Michael Mabry. It's awesome! They have it on for $35.00. "A new approach to design is gaining momentum as more and more designers seek to combine the power of the computer with the personal qualities of hand-made elements. Fingerprint offers insight into this fusion of the digital and the hand-wrought, with dozens of examples of some of the best work in the industry, including design that includes hand-lettering elements and design that incorporates collage. Featuring essays from some of the design community's leading thinkers, this book is an indispensable look at the future of design."

Anonymous said...

oops! i didn't mean to delete that other comment-it was just my own comment, but with a spelling error, so deleted it! don't worry -- i don't go deleting what other people have to say!

daryl_justine said...

Thank you so much for guiding us along on our tour! I found it very helpful to learn more about all of the different departments. One thing I thought was amazing about Hallmark was the endless resources; photography, fonts, illustrations, tools, classes and peers all to rely on so that every idea can be executed to its fullest potential. I would LOVE to explore the archives!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Daryl-glad you enjoyed the tour! It always amazes me to work at a place with such wonderful resources -- that is actually my favorite part about Hallmark, too. I hope to see you when I come to KU in December! -e