APEI Internship Week 3

My third week as a Creative & Communications intern at American Pool was very exciting. Considering this week marked a few national holidays such as the first day of summer, bring your dog to work day, and national swim a lap day, the marketing team and I set out to promote the Guard for Life brand in relation to these holidays. In doing so, I was assigned to develop a few social media images designed to inspire individuals to go out and celebrate the holidays at the pool. For each of the holidays, I designed a few promotional images to be posted on the Guard for Life Facebook page. For those images, I also tweaked the aspect ratio slightly so that they could also be used as Instagram posts.

Another task I was assigned was to brainstorm some ideas for how the brand could hold contests on their social media platforms in order to get followers involved and engage with the company. A few that I came up with were photo contests, a “caption this” contest, and a scavenger hunt. I believe that these types of contests are appropriate for Guard for Life because they would be targeted towards individuals going out and visiting local pools to spread awareness of the brand. Rules will also be set for these contests ensuring that all submissions demonstrate proper pool etiquette and are appropriate for all ages. This could be very successful at getting followers involved, especially when there are rewards for the best submissions.

 

This week really allowed me to demonstrate many of my digital marketing skills towards the promotion of a brand through social media. With the growing trend of social media use among the younger generations it is important to stay active and promote yourself through those platforms. Staying aware of these random, fun national holidays is a great way for a company to become relevant amongst social media users. It is just important that they focus on the holidays that directly relate to the business.

 

Overall, my third week as an intern at American Pool was very successful and I hardly ran into any issues along the way. The company ended up using my images in their promotional posts on Facebook and Instagram for the 1st Day of Summer and National Swim a Lap Day. Because the marketing team collaborates on each project, I received positive feedback from my supervisor about my work. Often complimenting how well and professional it was put together.

 

Throughout this week, I was really able to see how well the marketing department is able to reach out to its followers through social media. They like to take advantage of the national holidays because it is a fun experience and it gives a special purpose to certain days. Why go through your work week like it’s just another ordinary week when there is something to be excited about almost every day? Have fun with each day and find out what each week holds to be celebrated!

APEI Internship Week 2

The second week of my creative and communications internship at American Pool Enterprises was mostly a continuation of the first. That being said, I was not assigned any new projects. Instead, this week consisted of further critiques of my work from my first week, and the creation of additional design samples to Guard For Life’s Lifeguard Appreciation Week giveaways and awards. These samples were mainly focused upon “Lifeguard of the Month” awards, such as a Bluetooth speaker and a lifeguard t-shirt for the awarded candidates. I also continued creating samples of temporary tattoos and performed multiple miscellaneous tasks around the office.

speakermockup

Bluetooth Speaker

tshirt

T-Shirt Mockups

While performing these tasks, I demonstrated brainstorming and teamwork skills to effectively produce quality design samples to the marketing team. I began each day receiving feedback from the team to determine which direction each project should impact the recipients and how the team felt each design should look. From there, I set out to brainstorm a few possible layouts and executed them in a timely manner. Once I produced a few samples, I then forwarded them to the team for further critique.

 

My participation in the design of these projects provided a positive effect towards the department. In the development of these design samples, I was sure to consider and implement the current theme of the project into a professional visual component. As a result, I was able to further contribute samples of my work to represent the company during the upcoming Lifeguard Appreciation Week event.

 

During this week, I was ultimately successful in the completion of each sample, although I did experience a few issues along the way regarding certain designs. For example, one of design ideas for the Bluetooth speaker involved me resembling the Lifeguard of the Month award certificate. The challenge with this was that the certificates feature a very intricate and creative background that was hard to fit into the speaker so that it would completely cover the design area. I was able to overcome this issue by making the background its own layer and zooming it so it would fit the entire display. As for the logo and typography, I had to break them up and rearrange them so that they would fit onto the speaker and remain legible.

 

When I forwarded my work over to my supervisor, she seemed quite pleased towards the work I was producing. She gave me very reasonable feedback and I was then able to incorporate such feedback into the project

 

As I continue my internship at American Pool, I will continue being a collaborative team member and do my best to produce the highest quality work possible to successfully contribute to the organization. I have noticed throughout my time there that teamwork is very important to the department and in turn allows for the best possible result for each project. Each person there seems to have a very significant role in the production of assignments, so I am sure to make each piece that I contribute amount up to the organizations standards.

Internship Week 1

As of June 6th 2017, I have begun my internship with the marketing department of American Pool Enterprises Inc. During my first week at American Pool I was able to become familiar with their Owings Mills office; meeting mostly the entire staff and getting to understand the flow of operations between each department for particular projects. As soon as I arrived for my first day, I was greeted by a marketing assistant and immediately received a tour of the office. I got to see how each department was organized within the building and eventually got situated at my personal desk. Following the tour the marketing assistant walked me through the company’s database and how to navigate through the Google Suite. At American Pool, the Google suite is their main source of file sharing and communication between departments. After becoming familiar with the facility, I was then prompted with my tasks for the day and sent to work.

 

For my first day as a creative and communications intern at American Pool, I was provided multiple tasks designing and branding free giveaways for Guard For Life’s Lifeguard Appreciation Week. Guard For Life is a branch at American Pool Enterprises that focuses on the employment and appreciation of lifeguards stationed at public and private pools that American Pool operates. The giveaways I was assigned to design and brand were temporary tattoos, a tumbler cup, a Frisbee, and a Bluetooth speaker. These items will be used either as a giveaway or an award to lifeguards.

frisbee

Frisbee Giveaway

My second day was composed of a continuation of projects from the first week along with assisting the marketing team brainstorm ideas for the design of Lifeguard of the week, month, year and national awards. These awards are to be given to select lifeguards who have displayed a strong work ethic and represented the American Pool and Guard For Life brand in positive manner. This day also marked National Best Friend Day. In celebration of this event, the marketing team and I traveled to one of the company’s pools to film a Snapchat video to display the importance of safe pool etiquette while having a fun, relaxing time with your best friend. For this project, I was the camera man and filmed the team representing a fun time at the pool as good friends.

tattoos

Temporary Tattoo Designs

In performing these tasks, I used a number of independent and teamwork skills. At first I designed multiple prototypes for each project to provide the team various ideas for the concept of the project. Once I prototyped the designs, I critiqued with the team and provided input towards which concept would be the best fit for the final outcome. The design we chose to be the final output will be used to represent the brand during the Lifeguard Appreciation Week giveaways.

 

Generally, the concepts I came up with were successful because we were able to choose at least one of the designs to use for the giveaway. Having some of my work being used by a company is an uplifting accomplishment personally.

 

During critiques of my work, my supervisor provided mostly positive feedback for each project. She seemed to like the work that I put in to each project and ended up approving some of my ideas. One, in particular, was the design of the Lifeguard of the week, month, year and national awards.

 

Overall, my first week as an intern at American Pool was very successful. I learned how a typical day of a graphic designer looks and how different departments within a company collaborate effectively to produce the best outcome for a project. The office in general has a fun, productive environment and everyone seems to enjoy working together.

JavaScript Basics

JavaScript (JS) is a dynamic programming language that encourages interactivity and custom behaviors to a website. It is one of the three core technologies of Web content production. JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, meaning that it runs on the user’s machine rather than on the server, as PHP and Ruby do. The function of JavaScript is reliant on the browsers capabilities and settings. Majority of websites employ JS in it, and all modern Web browsers support it without the need for plug-ins.

We typically encounter JavaScript to include interactivity to a web page. It allows you to create highly responsive interfaces that improve UX and provide dynamic functionality, without waiting for the server to open a new page. Using JavaScript, you are able to:

  • Suggest the complete term a user might search for
  • Request content and information from the server and add it into a document as needed
  • Show and hide content information
  • Test for browsers’ individual features and capabilities
  • Fill in gaps where the built-in functionality of a browser lacks
  • Load an image or content in a custom styled “lightbox”

 

There are two types of scripts; embedded and external. Embedded scripts are displayed with the content for the code inside of a script element. This is an example of an embedded script:

< script >

  • JavaScript code goes here

</ script >

External scripts, on the other hand, use the src attribute to point to a script file by its URL.

< script src=”my_script.js” ></ script >

The advantage of external scrips is that you can apply the same script to multiple pages. This benefit is like that of an external style sheet.

 

Script elements can be placed anywhere on the document, but are most commonly located in the head of the document or the very end of the body. This makes it much easier to find your scripts so you are not searching throughout the document trying to find scripts.

There are many ways to find different JavaScript functions through JS libraries. Some of the most popular libraries include:

 

JavaScript Resources

Here is a link to SpeckyBoy Design Magazine. The article featured in the link provides the top 50 lightweight JavasScript plugins & libraries from 2016.

One of my favorite plugins on this list is lightgallery.js. This is a plugin for a full-featured JavaScript lightbox gallery with no dependencies. Lightgallery.js is responsive, highly customizable and fully interactive. Hovering over an image in this gallery displays a magnifying glass where if you click, it will expand the image to its full size and display its caption. Overall, this lightbox gallery is sleek and fits well with almost any layout theme.

Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems (CMS) is a software used to simplify the creation and maintenance of websites. They are responsible for managing online content, generating web pages, and allowing users to upload and modify digital content without having a certain technical expertise. In most CMSs, content is stored in an administration area and can be modifies how ever you want. This administration area can be accessed through any web browser. With this content, CMSs allow you to organize the content on web page templates to achieve the style that you desire.

There are many categories that CMSs can fall under. Some of these include a portal site, blogs, e-learning sites, e-commerce, wikis, and social media sites. Each is going to offer a different set of tools and templates to use when personalizing your site. That being said, in some situations a CMS may not be the best option. For organizations, it is important to research how a CMS would implement with your business and find out if it is the right choice. Many CMSs don’t offer flexible workflows. If you force yourself into the wrong workflow, it could be disastrous.

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of open-source content management systems:

Advantages:

  • Most are free to download and install
  • Development support communities
  • Most licenses allow you to modify source code

Disadvantages:

  • Possible hidden implementation costs
  • Technical skills required
  • Large organizations require experienced staff to manage platforms

 

icons

Currently, there are hundreds of CMS platforms on the market. The three most popular CMSs on the market are Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.

Drupal is more of a framework rather than a CMS platform. Because it is more of a framework, Drupal is a highly flexible CMS. The only problem with this system is its level of complexity and bad UI.

Joomla is a powerful CMS that is capable of developing highly trafficked sites. Joomla lacks the complexity that Drupal has so it is easier for designers to get a site live quickly. Although Joomla is easier to use, it doesn’t offer very good security and displays an unnecessary amount of code.

WordPress is the most dominant of the three. It was initially only a blogging platform but eventually advanced on to managing websites. WordPress organizes content into categories and tags making it easy to develop relationships a produce descriptive content. Although WordPress is easy to use, it is inflexible.

Design Portfolio

Your design portfolio is the best way to display your work to potential employers. It is a representation of all of your design skills in one fully functioning website. A digital design portfolio should not only just be a way to display your work, but it should include elements of who you are. The way you design and implement your work displays your personality. An accurate display of your personality influences an employers perspective of you. When designing your portfolio, it is important to create a strong personal brand or identity.

Creating a personal brand is one the first steps into creating your design portfolio. When creating this brand, think about what parts of your personality you wish to display. Infusing your identity with your unique personality makes for a memorable brand. Consider your interests and personal characteristics that creates an identity that is unique between your competitors.

Here are a couple examples of strong, self-promotional brands:

Notice how these brands display what these individuals do through their logo. They both creatively incorporate their initials into a logo that is suitable to their expertise. This is a good technique to follow because it not only tells who you are, but also displays how your design characteristics.

Examples of Effective Design Portfolio Sections

Portfolio/Work

Mary Fran Wiley: Wiley displays her work as different sections on the page with screenshots of her websites. When you click on the preview, it takes you to a page where her work is broken down and shows her role in the project.

Pablo Vivanco: Pablo displays his work in a slide show. Underneath of the image of the project, he provides a description of his work.

About

Cleverbird Creative: Cleverbird’s website is a single webpage that skips to different sections of the page through the navigation. Their about section is fairly simple but gets the point across about what they do.

Build Films: This design company breaks up its about page into different section depending on what the content is about. Their use of tiled images effectively display some of their work through the use of their staff members.

Contact Info

Vitor: This individual uses the single webpage technique as well. In this portfolio, the designer implements his contact information into his about section instead of creating an entirely different section.

CreativeJUUS: The contact section on this portfolio does not provide an email or phone number to contact. Instead, it includes a form for viewers to fill out in order to reach the designer.

Responsive & Mobile Design

The second topic we are learning about in my Web Design II class is design content for a responsive and mobile website. The web landscape is vastly changing. No longer do web designers primarily focus on their desktop version of a website. With more devices being released that require Internet connection, websites need to become more versatile to meet consumers demands, while maintaining user experience. Mobile browsing, in fact, is projected to overcome desktop access within three to five years. Video game consoles are even coming equipped with fully functioning web browsers. With technology rapidly advancing and becoming more dependable, designers are beginning to focus more on responsive and mobile websites.

desktop-vs-mobile

Responsive Design

Responsive design is a design strategy that is centered on designing web content so that it responds to the environment it is encountered in. Ethan Marcotte came up with the term and determined three fundamental techniques for responsive design: flexible layouts, media queries to help adapt content various screen sizes, and flexible images and media. For example, the way that you would design a website for a desktop computer is vastly different than designing one for a smart phone. Smart phones have very small screen sizes compared to a desktop computer which limits the content that can be displayed on the page. If your mobile site has the same exact layout as your desktop version, it will be very difficult for users to find what they are looking for because they will be constantly zooming and scanning the page to make it legible.

 

Mobile Design

Mobile design has become the most primary focus for web designers recently. More people are using their mobile devices constantly on a daily basis because it provides immediate results to any search query one might have. People use their mobile phones to enhance productivity, comfort, and pleasure, anytime and anywhere. Everything needs to be fast and reliable on mobile devices. Users expect these devices to be immediate so designers need to implicate for those expectations. If an app is working slower than normal, users are going to immediately know. An app may look astonishing, but if it performs slowly it could be detrimental to usage and brand perception.

 

This is an example of my research: A Hands-On Guide to Mobile-First Responsive Design

Example of a responsive website: Instagram

Example of a mobile website: Twitter Mobile

Week Three

This week we were assigned to revise one of our previously made Facebook banners, create a smaller timeline photo of that banner, and create a same HTML page to display the two images. In doing so, we learned new skills such as file formats for images, image optimization, and saving images for the web.

There are three main file formats for the web; JPG, GIF, and PNG. JPEG images can be adjusted in compression to achieve the desired file size and visual quality. They are best for photographs where blends, gradients and hues develop complicated color combinations. GIF files are the default choice for simple graphics. They are best for type, vector, flat or hard edged images. PNG is a newer file format that are not supported by older browsers. They are best for web images, or images that require transparency against a background.

Image optimization is using the most compressed, yet visibly acceptable image in the proper file format for the image. It is essential to find the balance between file size and quality to produce the best visually appealing version of an image. A few programs that allow image optimization are Photoshop, Fireworks, and Lightroom.

When saving an image to the web it is important to know what each file format does to the image. GIF files reduce the file size by reducing the amount of colors. It then flattens the image in preparation for the web. For JPEG files, the quality settings determine file size and quality. PNG files, on the other hand, is normally given the best results through the adaptive palette. These files flatten the image similar to GIF files except it is done through an indexed color palette.

We were also given an article to read from hubpages.com titled “10 Tips to Improve Your Banner Ad Design and Click-Thru Rate.” This article talks about how banner advertising is becoming more popular as businesses are going online. It also provides a list of rules to make your banner more effective. One rule that it mentions is “Keep your message brief and to the point.” It is important that your grab the viewers attention immediately to influence them to research more. The more appealing the banner is visually the quicker a viewer will recognize it. If the banner is too cluttered or they have to read to figure out the message, most likely they will just scroll right by it.

 

Take a look at a few creative online banner ad examples.  http://digitalsynopsis.com/inspiration/50-incredibly-creative-online-banner-ads/

“10 Tips to Improve Your Banner Ad Design and Click-Thru Rate”  http://hubpages.com/business/10-Banner-Ad-Design-Tips-to-Improve-Your-Click-thru-Rate

 

Week Two

 

During the first week of my Web Design I class, we learned about texture in digital graphics. More specifically we learned about the resolution of images and placement in its design that makes it visually appealing.

This week we learned how to operate the Adobe Fireworks program. Fireworks is used to edit bitmap and vector graphics to be used with other Adobe programs such as Dreamweaver and Flash.

For our first assignment, we were told to create a Facebook cover photo for Wheeler Farm in Sykesville, MD to advertise their new campaign. We were told to create this photo using the Fireworks program, implementing what we learned about editing digital graphics. I was assigned to create a cover photo for their CSA for PTA program. This program is operated through Wheeler Farm and volunteers from the community to bring fresh, local produce to schools. In order to create this cover photo I used images found from Flickr and the farm’s website.

For information about how to create an appealing cover photo, refer to this site: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/25-facebook-cover-photo-examples/

Welcome!

Version 2

Hello everyone, my name is Tyler Cherigo. I am a Junior at Stevenson University, majoring in Digital Marketing. I am also a member of the football team here. I am creating this blog for my Web Design I class and plan to display my progress throughout the course. Hope you enjoy!