Canva Design Sprint!

Hello again!

This week in my Public Relations Publications class we were asked to dive into the Canva application: a web program that offers a user-friendly, somewhat intuitive workspace for design projects.  We were asked to design four different social media designs: a Facebook cover photo, a Twitter header, a Facebook post and an Instagram post.  For my organization/company, I chose again to design for Oklahoma Festival Ballet, the ballet performing company of the OU School of Dance.  I tried to focus my designs around our upcoming performances, with the exception of the Facebook post.

So, here’s what I did!

Facebook Cover Photo. Dancers: Nathan Young and Savannah Hawkins

Here we have the Facebook cover photo.  In Canva, the fact that the dimensions are pre-prepared was so helpful!  Especially the fact that when you are designing it gives you the area that will be covered by the profile picture.  It was really easy to manipulate/arrange/duplicate the photo I chose.  In terms of text, it was a bit more challenging.  The limited font choices was tough to be able to determine what I really wanted. Also, there isn’t a preview ability in Canva, so changing fonts can become a bit of a hassle.

Canva Design Sprint!
Instagram post. Jock Soto. Photo: Mark Hancock

In the Instagram post, I took advantage of a preset layout that Canva offered as an inspiration for my design.  The original layout included all of the same elements of text design, but in different orders and in different spacing.  I felt that with Instagram, the better the image, the more audience retention you will have.  That is why I went very minimalistic with the text; I felt that if I could engage viewers in the image itself, then they would be more likely to read the caption where I could put more information.

Canva Design Sprint!
Twitter Header. Dancers: Alyssa Grimsley, Devyn Kreeger and Melanie Jensen

The Twitter cover photo was interesting.  I don’t feel like the preset dimension should be followed in this case – while it certainly fits the desktop version of twitter; I don’t feel like such a narrow image would look accurate on the mobile version, which is much more widely used.  However, I went ahead and designed the header as if the dimensions were accurate.  I manually added a drop shadow to the words “Oklahoma Festival Ballet” to give it some depth and dimension.  This was more challenging than it is in Photoshop or other programs because I had to create a separate block of text, darken the shade of the color, reduce the opacity and offset the text.  Especially as I further edited the design of the piece, I had to change multiple settings and features of the text and the text shadow.  It was a lot of work that is simply solved with one button in Photoshop!

Canva Design Sprint!
Facebook Post. Dancer: Zeek Wright

Finally, the Facebook post!  This was the one opportunity I took to express a bit more creativity and really draw my audience into the picture.  I utilized some of the design concepts and principles that I learned in the Canva tutorials and in the “7 Social Media Design Ideas for PR Pros” that we read this week in class.

So, there you have it! But wait, that’s not all! I started designing this week before I read the prompts exactly, so I have a treat! Here’s a poster that I designed this week as well!  I used Canva for this, and while the resolution of the original image wasn’t the greatest, I got a good design out of it!

Canva Design Sprint!

 

Now, in reflection:

1. How did you respond to what you were asked to do?

This week was fun! I really liked the assignment, as well as working in Canva!  The only downfall is that I won’t be able to pitch my designs to the School of Dance because if they were going to use these pieces, they would’ve needed them a few weeks ago because of the time-sensitiveness of my designs.

2. How did react to what you actually did?

I felt that I did a good job.  I do feel that my design are quite rigid/mathematic/architectural, but they are visually attractive.

3. What are some of the affordances that an app like Canva brings? What are its limitations?

I loved the layout presets and the dimension presets for certain materials.  It was very easy to draw inspiration from the stock layouts that Canva offered.  In terms of drawbacks, the biggest was the tediousness of editing designs.  I love that in Photoshop you can isolate layers and view them independent of the whole design, and that was missing in Canva.  I think that Canva is a great “plug and chug” machine that allows you to drag and drop images and text into a document and make decent work.

Until next time!

Full Circle Bookstore– Social Media Design

This week in PR Publications I was asked to design four different social media pieces for a business of my choice. I decided to design for Full Circle Bookstore, a hole-in-the-wall book shop in Oklahoma City. It’s one of my favorite places to visit– the atmosphere and selection are everything a bookstore should be. After doing some quick research I realized they don’t have many design elements present on their social media pages, so I figured the lack of design (combined with my love for the store) would make Full Circle a good subject for this project.

I ended up designing four different pieces: a Facebook cover and graphic, a Twitter header, and an Instagram post. The Facebook elements go together in that they promote summer reading; the Twitter header and Instagram post are both generic pieces that can be used any time of year.

I enjoyed using Canva over the course of this week. It’s easy to make quality-looking designs without too much time and effort, and there are several options under every design choice (text, layout, color, etc.). Canva helped me create designs that complement the atmosphere and attitude of Full Circle that I wouldn’t have been able to even think of without the program.

Facebook Cover Photo

 

 

Full Circle Bookstore– Social Media Design

Facebook Graphic

 

Full Circle Bookstore– Social Media Design

Twitter Header

 

Full Circle Bookstore– Social Media Design

Instagram Post

Designing for Emotion Reflection

After purchasing “Designing for Emotion” twice, one time at the beginning of the semester and then again today because I forgot, I finally got to read chapter one. One thing that I agreed with was when it said, “What if an interface could help you complete a critical task and put a smile on your face?”. This reminded me of what Canva did for me with this week’s assignment. Not only was I learning a new design tool, but I was also enjoying what I was doing. I didn’t really disagree with anything in this chapter, but I have to say the Betabrand picture it showed of Cordarounds did not look like something I would enjoy nor buy! I did however, enjoy the example it provided.

Chapter One Designing for Emotion Reflection

In PR Pubs we’ve begun reading a book called Designing for Emotion, and this week we read chapter one.

One thing that I agree with in chapter one of this book is the idea that an interface must evolve. If it doesn’t, then the interface may no longer connect with the needs of the user. I’ve always wondered why apps always have so many updates, but I realize now that they are simply keeping up with our needs.

One thing that I disagree with from chapter one is what the user wants out of an interface. The author, Aarron Walter, says that interfaces must be both usable and pleasurable. I definitely think that it is beneficial if interfaces are both usable and pleasurable, however, depending on the interface, I don’t think they are both necessary. If it’s an interface that I have to use, I don’t really care if it is pleasurable as well as usable. On the other hand, if it’s an interface I’m choosing to use, I probably will only choose it if it is both usable and pleasurable.

This book has been interesting and educational so far and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it!

Is there a global community?

During a discussion group, my table in particular talked about how a global community is fleeting and how people only enter into a community to get something out of it. We also discussed if people enter into the community for the same end, the involved parties will eventually leave once they complete their goal. This directly relates to how the global community works within the clothes-selling component of The Bookstore. The Bookstore enters into the relationship with the suppliers of the clothes who enter into the relationship with the workers so they can sell the clothes and make a profit. Lastly, The Bookstore enters into the relationship with the customer, who wants a decently priced clothing item. All of the parties enter into the community in order to finish their goals, and after the transaction is complete between The Bookstore and the customer, the relationship is basically over within that community. The same with the manufacturer and the store, if the clothing is no longer wanted by the customers, there is no longer a reason for their provider to supply the clothes, and likewise their relationship is over. The relationship between the manufacturer and the workers is also null and void if the manufacturer finds a cheaper place to make the clothes. This view point can be one possible opinion of the global community.

“New Comers”

I have recently started volunteering at a local middle school working with “New Comers” from Mexico helping them in their Language Arts Class. When I first started I quickly realized that their level of understanding was extremely low and was shocked to learn that earlier that day the students had taken the state mandated writing test. When the “New Comer” was asked about the test, one said he just copied down the prompt because he didn’t understand what it was asking because the test proctor didn’t read it to them. This extremely intimidated me because I had no idea where to start in helping the students.

 

After volunteering a couple of times, I am more used to helping the students and how to start the lessons, but even after this I am still scared I am overwhelming them. Today we worked on the differences between similes and metaphors and I feel like they are understanding slightly better.

Social Media Reflection

This week in PR Publications our assignment was to design four pieces of media that an organization could use on their social media websites. Because this assignment was to be completed on Canva, a website I had never even heard of, I was very nervous to begin. I knew that if it was anything like Photoshop or InDesign, I would be in for a long night of teaching myself how to properly use it and watching endless tutorial videos. However, this was not the case with Canva.

After completing five simple tutorial videos, I felt fairly confident about doing the given assignment and as I continued to work on them I became very excited. I actually liked what I was creating and felt very proud to share my designs with my company’s audience. I think I was so excited about these designs because I chose to use the same organization that I used for the letterhead and logo design assignment–my parent’s pharmacy back home. I hoped that Bunker Hill Pharmacy would chose to implement my designs into their social media sites and therefore, I wanted my final product to be perfect. I was especially picky when it came to the backgrounds and layouts I used because I wanted the images to be relatable and actually look like something you might see in Southwest Oklahoma.

I really enjoyed designing on Canva! I found it really easy to work with and did not take nearly as much time to learn as Photoshop and InDesign did. Also, I loved that almost everything I wanted to use on the app was free. Honestly, I did not find any limitations with this app and would love to work with it again.

I do believe that without Canva, I would not have been as creative with my design. It gave me several great templates and ideas to go off to ensure that I could create an original, nice-looking design. I really enjoyed this assignment and am proud to say that I can now work another design tool!  Social Media Reflection

Social Media Reflection

For the sunset image I retrieved the photo from dannimcgriffith.com

A Boring Life Update

Hello Global Engagement friends (and other strangers), it’s been a long time since I was on here. My second semester has been quite busy and a few of the things I like the most have fallen by the wayside. It’s all my fault, really; taking twenty-one hours is a terrible choice when you like being outside, meeting new people and/or not tearing your hair out in great big scary clumps. In all seriousness though, in my last post I dedicated myself to going out and really experiencing the cool things OU has to offer, seeing as it would likely be my last semester on campus. I wanted to finally go out and see all that “global community” stuff everyone on here raves about, instead of being locked into a sport and reeling from the changes college brought. At the same time, though, I thought my classes were way too easy and I could bump it up; needless to say I was wrong. Now I’m stuck doing the same thing as last semester, instead of seeing all the cool stuff we have on campus. On top of that, the club I most wanted to join (OU’s Italian club, Baccano) seemingly fell apart as I’ve heard absolutely nothing back from the president of the club, and not a single notification of anything going on with them, so that’s a bust. I still don’t know any more international students than I did last semester, and I haven’t done much cool stuff with them, so honestly I feel like a bit of a failure as a Global Engagement Fellow. Anyways, with the semester getting a C- grade in regard to becoming engaged with global stuff on campus, I’ve severely knocked back my academic load for next semester and I have a lot of cool plans cooked up for next semester that I’ll be laying out in future blog posts. While this semester hasn’t exactly been as stellar as I hoped, I’m forward-looking and ready to really jump in to international life this fall!

Blog #2

Does media manipulate us as consumers? That is a question asked a lot nowadays in America. Many people are quick to assume that there is a higher force wanting to control them; and in some ways, they’re right. What “the media” is mainly about is creating profit. Any way that they can get money from us “consumers,” they will. That includes many different forms of manipulation. A popular form of manipulation the media uses is to show us that famous people or people that we look up to and admire are buying a certain product or living their life in a certain way. And they think we will brainlessly obey their commands.
On the other hand, sometimes media manipulation could be good for our population and for mankind as a whole. For example, a form of manipulation could be showing the public that a famous person or someone we look up to opposes smoking. In that case, smoking is bad for anyone and the “media” is trying to do good by manipulating us. Just as any other important power, it can be used for good or evil.