Term 3 - Week 3 - Personal Branding, and Career Planning
Today we started by discussing the different aspects of a brand, which could include a:
Some of these aspects are of course vital to a brand, like an audience, and a product. Other things like history and reputation depend on how long your brand has existed, and other things like a tagline may or may not be totally necessary to what your brand sells. We considered how this paradigm for a brand my specifically look for us upon graduating.
Product – Labour (animation skills)
Our image – Showreel, website, social media, exhibitions
History/reputation – BA in animation from NUA, Collaboration, motivation
Audience/customer – Employer, client, financial backer
Our image encompasses other things like perhaps a logo, colour palette, and icons, that would be incorporated into the different platforms we use, like a logo before/after our showreel.
We also talked about important branding is in today’s world, which is proven by the amount that companies will invest in creating and retaining an image, the larger of which will pour billions into researching their market and creating what they perceive as the best possible image to entice them. The Olympics brand team, for example, went to great lengths to protect their image from McDonalds, who tried to encroach on this by raising their logo into view of cameras within an Olympic stadium. The crane raising the logo was promptly broken by the brand team, to prevent this from happening. The team, of course, most definitely had enough money to cover the cost of such an act.
Apple’s brand bible is another example of how important their image is to the company, with strict guidelines for companies who are approved to sell/repair Apple products to stick to when advertising anything regarding Apple. Other companies most have a similar level of rigidity for similar circumstances, such as the Adobe brand, which must stay consistent across many differing products.
We looked at colour theory and history in a little more detail, following from last weeks look at how hardware company colours, and their targeted audience. We noted how before colours were manufactured, many hues were premium, such as purple, and would only be used by people who could afford it. Despite how easily colours like this have become available nowadays, that same premium aspect has carried through the centuries, and the same goes for colours like blue, and black.
Post-World War 2, and most notably during the 60s, freedom of expression was greatly explored, including a boom in the use of colour on just about everything. We’ve quelled that usage today, but the colour boom has impacted how we perceive colours. Using colours so freely has created an association with being manufactured, and products now that contain pale, “natural”, greens and browns, are perceived as having some association with the environment, and tend to insinuate a product as being friendlier for the environment.
The usage of pink as a “girls’ colour”, and similarly blue for boys, is a recent phenomenon, brought on by advertising campaigns. Gender specific clothing also came about for similar reasons. Prior the industrial boom, boys would be dressed in pink dresses, and this would have been entirely normal, although such clothing was only affordable for those who could afford it, and the poor would live a life probably devoid of colour.
For homework this week, we had to search for graduate website/portfolios, which is a little harder than I thought it might be. I was expecting for there to be at least some kind of hub where people could post their portfolios/websites, and others could search for their required skill, and browse the portfolios that come under their selection. A few sites come close:
https://www.behance.net/ Isn’t made for the sole purpose of finding portfolios, and favours people who are featured by the developers.
https://www.awwwards.com/about-us/ Focuses on people who win awards
https://www.twine.fm/jobs Creatives can come to you for a job, but not vice versa.
Maybe there are places like I described, but I had a hard time finding anything close to that description.
I liked the originality of the home, which was unique in how it displayed work, but was simple and didn’t clutter the rest of the page. If the compilation slowed down, or perhaps provided the option to look through the work in an interactive way, by scrolling through the work, I think the page would be pretty much on point, save for a lack of contact details. The contact details aren’t obvious and require going into the about subpage. I would assume some people would want to skip the about me page, and go straight to contacting the individual, and if the details are stowed away in the about page, they may go overlooked. There isn’t a projects page, rather a drop-down menu that lets you look through the titles of projects, so what the projects pertain to is a guessing game until you click the link. I think it’d be far better to either just put the projects below the initial reel on the home page, with accompanying images that could be clicked on to go into more detail, or to do this but on another separate project page at least.
I think the white text on black this website used is a pretty good alternative to the popular white on black style, as it puts less strain on the eyes, and is a relief for people who look at screens all day. The theme also fits the individual’s style of work and helps emphasise the crazy colours and forms. The home page is a slideshow of 3 images from seemingly separate projects. I suppose they 3 of their favourite or most recent projects, and it keeps the page simple. I might have added more projects and added the option to select the project you might want to see, with a visual aid in the selection bar. The slideshow stops when you hover over an image, which is a nice little touch, and should be standard in most websites nowadays. Again, it’d be nice if there were contact details on the home page, but at least they are obvious within the info subpage.
This website has a very informative home page, regarding the individual’s projects, which I think is a nice touch. Each project has a series of images to scroll through, and a short description beneath, keeping the page clean. The page loads a little weirdly on my monitor, which has a less common 21:9 aspect ratio, but wider monitors are becoming commonplace in not only the creative industry, but pretty much every industry that require an efficient workflow (because of the work space a wider screen provides you). There are a series of logos below the page menu that take you to various pages the individual uses to display their work, and for contact, although they are quite small, and blend in with the background. Alternatively, there is a contact page, but this is hidden in a drop-down menu that appears when you mouse over about in the menu, and by now I think I’ve made it clear I think that’s a pretty rubbish thing to do.