March 6, 2014, Graphic Design, Graphics, Infographics, ProPoint Graphics Designers
Given the collective number of hours we sit at our desks, it’s amazing how many exciting events take place at PPG. Like, this one time, Rachel Jones ran into the office, grabbed the latest HOW design magazine and bolted into Jim Confalone’s office (he’s our creative director). There was a pause, and a lot of people were keeping one eye on their screens and the other trained on Jim’s door.
Rachel had just discovered that ProPoint Graphics is a winner in the 2013 HOW International Design Awards for our infographic, The Evolution of Business Presentation Technology! We’re on page 87.
This is a big deal to us because HOW magazine has been a go-to resource for the graphic design industry for almost 30 years. The HOW International Design Awards recognize design excellence on a global scale, with winners representing the year’s best design innovation. We couldn’t be more pleased.
March 4, 2014, Graphic Design, Infographics, Project Spotlight, ProPoint Graphics Designers
March 9 is daylight saving time! If you’re like Monica Siguenza, a designer at ProPoint Graphics, the thought of losing an hour of sleep leads you to wonder why we go through the disruption each year. “I was always confused by the change and I came to find that I wasn’t the only one,” she says. “It’s something that we are very familiar with since we do it every year, yet we don’t quite fully understand why.” This is why she decided to create PPG’s latest infographic “Daylight Saving Time – A Historical and Practical Guide.”
We learned quite a bit. For example, one reason for daylight saving time is to conserve energy, but there isn’t much information or many hard facts on how much energy we really save. The monetary impact remains ambiguous as well. What we do know is that when spring rolls around people have extra time to exercise, which can be relaxing after a long day at work. A small shift in time can affect our behavior and lifestyles, even though the amount of hours remains the same. It’s the difference between being on the couch and being outdoors.
Here are 12 facts about daylight saving time (one for every hour) that will help you get ready for the big “spring forward” and learn the history behind changing our clocks.
February 27, 2014, Best Practices, Presentation Development, Presentation Preparation
In all sorts of industries, there are phrases that sound constructive and insightful but don’t actually mean anything at all. The design industry is no different. When you boil it to down to its simplest definition, graphic design is the communication and organization of information. The problem most people have working with designers is that they don’t know how best to communicate with them, so they rely on ‘fluff phrases’ that sounds nice but really don’t mean a thing.
Nobody is perfect, so try not to let it get you down. So let me take one of these ‘fluff’ phrases and explain why designers hate hearing them.
“You’re the expert here.”
I am convinced that this is meant to be a compliment, but it really isn’t. It pops up when a client isn’t sure what they want, so they rely on the designer to come up with something that articulates everything they are not able to put into words. “You’re the expert here” basically says: we defer to your judgment to read our minds and give us something we didn’t even know we wanted.
That is a lot of pressure to lay on a designer. But pressure is something we can deal with. It just goes with the industry. The bigger issue is the amount of freedom it gives the designer. This phrase gives us unlimited freedom to try to tell the story that you know best. We can deliver Picasso, but if you were looking for Rembrant there’s gonna be an issue. It is a little known fact that designers love restrictions. We crave them. We long for them. We will also never admit to this; you’re just going to have to trust me. Limit us. Tell us what we can’t do. Some of our most creative and interesting designs come when it seemed like we had no options at all.
It is okay to not know what you want. In fact, as helpful as it is to show us what you like, it can be even more useful to show us what you don’t like.
Before you (client) and I (designer) set up a meeting, please do your homework. Think about the message you need to communicate. What are the important points? Know your brand. Know your visual language. Know your restrictions. If you have an idea but can’t put it into words, don’t be afraid to sketch it out. Then we can still talk about it. Assuming that we have all the answers because we ‘are the experts’ is a mistake. We know deisgn. You know the content. Let’s collaborate.
Jeff Sholl – Designer ProPoint Graphics