Week 2 has been much more productive at the office. While I can’t really say what I am working on, I can say I have never been this engulfed in a Photoshop project…the file I am working on is over 500MB! There is a creative pitch meeting coming up next week so I have had the opportunity to work on my own comp that will be shared with the upper teams. “Comps” usually means a rough concept or layout for me, but at Spike – and many other creative departments – comps are pretty much production ready designs. All text, image treatments and layout needs to be as clean and refined as possible. The one thing they do post-design is have a professional retoucher give the images one last go before going to print. Working the comps this past week has me looking at the ads and movie posters I seeing on the train in a new way. I have always wondered how they create the contrast, vibrance and compositions. Before I just assumed they were created “in-camera” or with very limited Photoshop arrangement. I learned that many ads are created by bringing in all the elements separately. Each individual, object, texture, and environment is shot and edited in its own document. They are then placed and retouched to create a cohesive composition. To do this, and understanding of lighting, shading and perspective is critical.
A great practice tool for me was resizing and prepping large posters for printing. On my first day, I was asked to resize a MMA event poster for some of the execs. “No problem” I thought to myself. Then I opened the 1 GB .psb (large document Photoshop) file…
It was overwhelming at first, but once I learned how to navigate their files I actually picked up a few new techniques. Organization is key – especially when working on files in a collaborative atmosphere. Last quarter I wrote on the topic of in-house collaboration and Spike is an example on how this creates effective project outcomes. What I really appreciate about the team here is the equal level of accountability and input everyone has – even the interns. There is a willingness to step up and help if someone is loaded down with more projects and people speak up if they have an idea, even if they are not assigned to that particular project. To be honest I expected a little more ego, but no one has appeared to be above another. Viacom is a large company and being noticed can be difficult or even impossible. This team really seems to be about making Spike and Viacom collectively stand out.
On to week 3!