After living in Seattle for over 25 years, I’ve moved to Portland.
While in Seattle, I worked with some great organizations including the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Art Museum, YMCA, American Diabetes Association, several local design and marketing firms, and the University of Washington’s Haring Center. I’ve enjoyed working for all of these organizations and found my projects to be interesting, creative and meaningful. My co-workers were dedicated and talented people — many who have become lifelong friends.
Seattle has some great professional organizations that I was fortunate to be part of. One of the first ones I joined when I first moved to Seattle was the Society of Professional Graphic Artists (SPGA), which later merged with the Graphic Artists Guild. Later, I joined the AIGA, IxDA Seattle, UW’s Accessible Web Group, the UW WordPress User’s Group and the Seattle WordPress Meetup Group. Each of these organizations and their members were very helpful, informative and encouraging as I further developed my professional graphic design, web design and development skills.
My husband and I have been visiting Portland over the last few years and finally decided to move here. Every day we explore Portland more and are loving our new, “weird”, friendly city.
I will continue to work with some of my existing freelance clients and to work remotely for UW’s Haring Center. I am looking forward to learning more about Portland’s Graphic and Web Design communities.
On a recent trip to the library, I ran across Art Chantry Speaks, by Art Chantry. After almost putting the book back on the shelf, I decided to take it home and read it. I’m so glad… I really enjoyed this book.
I moved to Seattle in 1991 and by then Art Chantry was celebrated for his rock posters, rock magazines and album covers. While I didn’t personally know Art, I had heard him talk at the SPGA (Society of Graphic Designers) meetings and knew other designers who shared studio space with him. But I really didn’t connect with him as a person or as a designer.
In reading Art Chantry Speaks, I learned about his love of the history of Graphic Design — the one NOT taught to students in design school. Art traces back many graphic design trends, styles and influences back to the designers who really created them rather than the designers who took the credit. Art also looks back on how the graphic design business evolved from a profession populated by mostly self-taught sign painters to the current “art form” that it is considered today.
Having a clear idea of who your target audience is helps you to create artwork that will resonate with them and be more effective. However, what if the targeted audience changes right before the artwork is due to be printed?
This happened while I was working on a design project at the Seattle Art Museum. Diwali Ball was a fundraising event created to raise money for the upcoming Gardens and Cosmos exhibit. Diwali, the “festival of lights”, is celebrated in many Indian communities and was the perfect theme. For this event, the museum was planning on having a DJ playing Bollywood music to accompany dancing, henna tattoos, drinks and Indian food. The original target audience for this event was young adults, 21 and over.
To create artwork for this event, I was inspired by henna tattoos and the bright colors that are traditionally used in Indian artwork. Since the DJ music was going to be a large part of this event, I decided to design artwork that combined all of these elements to create a fun poster, postcard and other marketing materials.
The clients loved it.
However, a few days before these pieces were supposed to go to press there was a big change in focus. Since young adults typically did not contribute much money to previous fundraising campaigns, it was decided that the campaign should feature a more traditional design that might appeal more to an older audience.