Experience = design confidence x10

Recently we had an opportunity in Graphic Design III to do two real projects for REAL living and breathing (yep… they had a pulse) clients.  What an experience for both myself as an instructor and 14 year design veteran, and the students involved in the project. We’ll hear more from them later.

Project 1, was a financial advisor with an amazing way of helping his clients. Wanting to help them to give as well as grow their funds, he is driven to the clients by his faith… and his wanting to help them in every part of their financial life.  It’s amazing that businesses still can run this way, right?

His firm is called Marshall Financial Planning. And he luckily had an idea of his wants/needs before hand. His tag line, is GROW. PROTECT. GIVE.

The project started off with a bang with good thumbnail work (though I always can see more… a-hem!) and conceptual ideas by the students  as well as interactive time with the client in a round table discussion before and at various stages of the project. The students actually presented several ideas each and we walked through the painstaking presentation board setup such as creating pockets for easy access so the client could remove mocked up business cards and see how they would feel in his hands. {Note from the instructor: graphic design is an interactive process, to be touched, held, and emotionally engaged}.

This project went smoothly, only a few things that I hope the students have learned. While I always discuss, and encourage them, I also demand that they go above and beyond expectations. To be honest, in this area we need a little more work. They are designers and should give the client the “wow I would have never thought of that” moment.  I had them also very involved with the estimating process. There is no small task in the overall process of creating for a client.

At this point I think they’ll agree that experience is truly the best teacher. I created this for myself as I was going through classes, and I am excited to guide opportunities like this in the Belhaven Graphic Design program.  I have attached the latest of the chosen logos for Marshall Financial Planning.

This logo below, is designed by Andrew White. I think you will find the concept clear and Marshall Financial will find success for their clients as they teach them to GROW. PROTECT. GIVE.          Stay tuned for Project 2 of this series.

Marshall Financial

(Gr) Avatar — No It’s Not the Movie

Most of us read blogs from time to time, some of us even subscribe to a few choice ones, and finally some of us leave comments on blogs (even if it is not for some contest)…… well that is all very cool!!

So, what I want to write and challenge you with today is this….. the savvy blog reader has an picture, an identifier, a moniker, ……. an Avatar.

…….My challenge to you is to develop a Avatar to use for posting comments on blogs.  Here is site that walks you through uploading and using one.  You can even have different ones based on which email address you choose to use and other things.

Gravatar — globally recognized avatar.

Besides it is always nice to put a face to name (or new friend) and we hope you would feel free to post your comments on posts that you read here.

So there it is, learn about Avatars, create one, then leave a comment for us and show it off!

Home for the holidays

The holidays are great times.

They can be times of reflection as we travel and head back to old stomping grounds. They are exciting as we think of the scents and colors of the season. But most importantly they are an individual experience.

Many times in class we will discuss design and concepts, and reaching within our own creativity to pull out fresh ideas, but what does that mean to us really?

Well, my take on this is that Design inspiration is EVERYWHERE and you never know where it will strike. Traveling is one of the best ways to re-ignite that spirit because we get out of our own routine and into a fresh set of circumstances.

As you travel this holiday, turn your senses on to patterns, color, and textures of the seasons, whether it be a combination of color in Uncle Paul’s shirt, or the gorgeous colors inspired by nature on our overflowing plates at our holiday meal.

So come back to class with a renewed sense of design, and a new palette too, because the beets you toss, might be an amazing color next to the sweet potato mash in a new design layout {see my headline color combo}.

Oh… and most importantly, give thanks for your talents, your vision and the people that support you in your design endeavors. Safe travels to all.

Design Inspiration Starter List

Thank you Dr. Parrott for that insightful and wonderful post!  It is not hard to see why we here at Belhaven are excited to have this new major, and all the possibilties this major can open up for the students.


A friend of mine who works for a very cool and hip design firm had this Design Inspiration Starter List posted on his blog that I thought was fantastic.

So check it out!

Thanks Andrew & the Paragon crew for posting these resources!

— the importance of graphic design gets lived out every day

There may be no more important way to reach the world for Christ than through images.  As Christians our words matter a little, our actions matter most, but it is the images of communication that grip people if they are to consider ideas outside their familiar turf.  In this age, graphic design may be one of the most important evangelism and discipleship tools available to us.

It is contrite to repeat the old saying, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” – today, the right picture, with the right headline, presented in the right way speaks volumes.  And to me the importance of graphic design gets lived out every day:

  • I just published a book, and we spent more time getting the cover right than I did writing chapters, because if entirety of the book’s message doesn’t come across on the cover, the book will never be opened.

  • When we print our magazine for Belhaven, I spend as much time working with out team about the graphics as I do about the words.  I know the recipients of our magazine may or may not read the story, but I know they will all see the graphics.

  • When I write even a simple email to the campus, I know that how it is laid out will determine how well it is read.  The words don’t change, but the presentation can make the words be heard rather than lost.

I hope our students will become the best – for business, graphic design firms, and ministry organizations. And I hope they will be people with a calling from God to not be satisfied with just showing us razzle-dazzle of creative designs.  Whether selling a product, shaping an idea, or sharing a ministry focus I pray we will have graduates who “serve rather than be served” – which means in graphic design that the goal must be to meet the needs of those to whom you are communicating, not just boost the designer’s ego so they are able to win awards.

I’m thrilled we’ve started this graphic design major. With the thousands of images that come at us every day, and the short attention span of people, it is the graphic designers who have more opportunity to set the cultural agenda for the world.  The good ones will be heard.

Dr. Roger Parrott
President, Belhaven College
1500 Peachtree Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202
(601) 968-5919 voice — 352-1911 fax

Blog:  http://blogs.belhaven.edu/president/
Home page:  http://www.belhaven.edu/

Belhaven College – Our Standard is Christ
He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.

Psalm 18:19 …. Belhaven College 2009-10 Verse of the Year