Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Office: Design 101

Anybody watch The Office? If you don't, you should really start. There's no other show that puts as much attention to detail, subtle character development, and overall hilarity into every frame of every episode.

Anyway, last week the episode ended with a great clip that those of us who are new to design and to working in design software can really relate to.

Go here and scroll to 19:22, which is the last little white dot on the timeline (it might make you watch a commercial first, sorry) to get to the final clip of the episode.

Poor Pam, I really felt for her, but maybe this means she'll head off to design school, and eventually get a much better job--just like we're all going to do one day! Wishful thinking...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Collect a Scent

Apparently, I collect perfume bottles. I didn't realize it until this show-and-tell assignment. Sometimes I buy perfume just because of how the bottles look and never use the perfume. And the ones I do use, I hold on to and line them up on my dresser. So, guess that makes me a collector.

I am having troubling finding Sicily perfume, so having that bottle is kind of sentimental to me. There's nothing left of the fragrance, so all I have left is the scent of the bottle. Maybe that makes me creepy, I don't know.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Getting the Gig

I've bitched a few times about clients on this blog. But how do you close the deal to get a client contract in the first place? For me, it's mostly about knowing people and "takin names." Sometimes, though, a prospective client is deciding between you and some other fine freelancers. How do you make yourself stand out from all the rest and get the gig?

I like this blogger's take on the subject, particularly the part about your "leave behind." This is again from The Copywriter Underground.

The pitch is finished. The prospect’s eyes are bright and shiny. They’re licking their lips over the program. They want it. Bad.

Yet they can’t make the final decision. But their boss can. Can you really rely on them to repeat your pitch from memory?

My preference is to leave behind a single sheet of paper summarizing your pitch.

Read the rest of this blog entry.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Scathing Blog

I haven't seen that many movies lately, but I'm sure I will catch a few this summer. Before I head to the theater I always check out Pajiba. They feature "scathing reviews for bitchy people." Love it. I also enjoy reading their reviews after I've seen a movie to find out how my opinion matches up with theirs or find out about something I might have missed while watching.

The reviewers are hilarious. They bash the crappy films quite nicely, but they also have a lot of knowledge about film making and give very insightful critiques and well-written reviews of good movies, like Brokeback Mountain, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Juno.

Plus now they have book reviews and daily news updates. I also like their Guide to What's Good for You, which describes their favorite group of films in a particular genre or completely made up category, like the movies that feel most like real life, the best third date flicks, or the 10 worst blockbusters of all time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day Bloggin

When I'm bored at work, I check out a few blogs. To feed my girly side, I read Outblush.

It features reviews and info on fashion and makeup, but it also has some of the most randomly awesome products, particularly related to food. Check it out:

Cakesicle pan
Lip balm
Doughnut maker

I'll post some other blogs during the week. By the way, it was once my dream to become a full-time blogger. Maybe it's time to revisit that dream. I also want to write a screenplay. My dreams really are varied, aren't they?

What Caught My Eye

I'm really interested in poster design and typography. Probably because I am still very clueless about both. When I see cool looking posters and type, it makes me want to be a designer. Maybe one day. For now, I'll just write some taglines and check the spelling.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Putting "You" in Your Writing

Sean often brings up that we should put some of ourselves in our writing--in the description piece, to put some of our take on the product, and in other pieces, to add little things like funny phrases and personal touches that help give our work a certain flair. Copyblogger.com addresses this subject. This is more for blog writing, but I think some of it can pertain to other types of work as well.

Your unique point of view. Your writing style. Your own individual, personal stories and the way they shape your message.

There’s just one problem with all of that. It’s terrifying.

It sounds great and idealistic to just be completely yourself online, to strip naked on your blog and hope people will love you. In practice, it’s not just scary, it’s a good way to give yourself a ferocious case of writer’s block. Not to mention making life easier for the occasional wacko or stalker.

Read the rest of this blog entry.