10 October 2006

[design] In-House: That Fine Feeling of Accomplishment

I had a great experience today.

Since two weeks now I've been doing in-house design part-time for a Vancouver firm. The priority project of the week has been a magazine ad.

Now, the ad itself was designed by a person already affiliated with the firm before I got there. I will not comment on the style; that'd be talking out of school to say the least. She had gotten it into the shape she'd wanted it and needed me to take it the rest of the way; make sure it was tight. And this was done.

But the thing that was really a kick was troubleshooting the file. Some of the image files were, to be honest, lacklustre–and while I won't reveal what it is or what they do (beside the point as well as giving away stuff which I ought not to)–I will go so far as to say that lacklustre photos of these subjects kind of defeat the point.

Turned out the deficiencies were twofold: The wrong color model (RGB, of course should be CMYK for print) and low, low rez (72 ppi). Upping the rez to 300 ppi really made the subjects sharpen up, and changing the color model did darken the image on screen just a tic but the colors became much deeper, much more thrilling. The difference was obvious.

Another thing I did was in kind of a consultative mien. The ad's designer discussed some fine points of the ad with me and we batted around colors and positioning of text vs. photographs, white-on-black or white-on-color and such.

My point here is that, operating as I was today, I helped make people's plans in the organization I was in real, helped make them happen and, in the end, completed the design chain.

This is what a designer does: problem solving.

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