What a week! As my internship and time in NYC slows down, I have started to focus more on all the things I want to learn in the office and all the things I want to see before I head home. With only 3 weeks remaining and a long list of things still on my list, these next few weeks will be pretty busy.
Office wise, I have had a chance to try out and learn so many new terms, design and production techniques, and gained a better understanding on how design in the entertainment industry operates. I still would like to learn more about how the on-air and motion graphics works. I was speaking with one of the art directors this week about the skill expectations placed on designers today. In additional to a foundation of the base Adobe programs – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign – designers are expanding or specializing to keep up. They are learning programing languages, coding, animation, 3D rendering, copywriting, and other skills that would make them a more valuable assets to a creative team or company. Since interning here, I have become more interested in animation, motion and interactive design. It could come in handy down the road.
At Spike, they have two areas in the creative department where I am working: on-air and off-air graphics. Off-air focuses mainly on designing print projects, web graphics and pretty much anything that is not seen on television. Subway ads, billboards, email blast, logos – they handle it. This is where I work. On-air handles the end pages, animation, renderings and promos seen on Spike. The two teams work cohesively to make sure the brand and identity of the network and programs speaks to their demographic. I like the idea of this arrangement because it creates opportunities for cross training and learning within the department. In last week’s post I mentioned watching my logo being rendered for a presentation. This set up also makes it easy to get feedback on specific elements of a project. When it comes to type, on-air may ask someone from off-air about the selection and layout of copy. While each person on the team has a particular strong point, they still make sure they are familiar with other areas to help cover while someone is out or to help on busy days.
In the past I was opposed to learning every single creative application as I worried about the time it would take and not being able to master them enough to list on my resume. As I started working as a designer this changed. When you work on similar projects over an extend period of time, you begin to think about ways to mix it up and bring something new to your audience. I have had plenty of opportunities to do so at UNC Charlotte, which has opened the door to exploring interactive and digital design. Audiences are always evolving and as a designer I have to learn to keep up with their needs. I still love print and identity, but I know more people are retrieving and sending content digitally. Over the next few weeks I will get a chance to hang out with the on-air graphics team to learn how motion graphics work, best applications and set ups. Pretty excited!
Speaking of exciting…I will be at Comic Con! Well I will be there in spirit along with one of my designs for Spike All Access! I worked on some postcards that will be handed out to attendees and a design for the show hosts who will be in San Diego covering the event. Who knows, someone from Marvel or DC might pick one up and call me to design their next movie poster:-) As a designer it is always exciting to see you work produced and serving its purpose. Hopefully I will get to catch a glimpse of the cards on-air or on the different social media platforms Spike will be using throughout the week. I have been working on other projects, but this is the only one I could share:-) I also worked on a shirt mock up and a few other promos for their partnership with GIECO.
I also had the chance to assist on a shoot in Time Square. Like many designers, the team here uses mock ups and renderings to show how a final design before producing the final. Instead of using stock mockups, they shoot their own. We went out to Times Square on Friday afternoon to take photos and video of the billboards and screens to use for a new project. Going to Times Square is always an adventure between the performers and the large amount of visitors walking through. Considering all that was going on around us, it was a pretty smooth process. Can’t wait to see what they do with the footage.
Outside the office I did more exploring and checked a few things off my “To See” list. Wednesday a group from my building explored Little Italy and Chinatown. I did not realize they were right next to each other. We stopped at a Cannoli spot then for dumplings. I was glad we did a lot of walking. It is cool to see how the different cultures of the neighborhood blend and carve out their own piece of the city. Friday I went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to check out the exhibits and their store. It is like IKEA for artists! You go in with the intention to buy a keychain or magnet and you leave with over $100 worth of stuff – but it is cool stuff so it’s worth it.
Saturday I hoped on a train to Brooklyn to check out the MTA Transit Museum. It is housed in an actual subway station and chronicles the history of public transportation in the city including its construction, how it is powered and significant figures who impacted the history of transportation in the NYC. One of my favorite exhibits was seeing how the display of subway cars and the timeline of the the cost to ride. It went from 5 cents per ride and cushioned seats in 1904 to $2.25 per ride and no cushions today. Crazy.
After hitting up the museum shop and racking up on some cool subway schwag I found a Shake Shack with a short line! This place is known for their burgers, shakes, frozen custard and ridiculously long lines. People are willing to wait so I figured it must be good. It was a great fast food burger, but the milkshake was the star.
After stuffing my face, I decided I needed to do a little more walking so I went to Grand Central Terminal. This is one of the most beautiful building interiors I have ever seen! Later in the day I went to Top of the Rock Observation Deck with a few other interns and students from my building. Located in the Rockefeller building, this place offers one of the best views of Manhattan. If I had to choose between Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building I would say Top has the better views and deck layout. You go based on a time slot, there is more room and multiple viewing levels. This makes for better pictures and less of a crowd. Being up that high I need my space.
Sunday I explored the Flatiron district, named after one of the city’s iconic buildings. There was a free tour of the area and after I walked around to snap a few pictures of the buildings is the area. I came across a BBQ place and decided to give it a try. I had been craving good BBQ since I left NC. It was pretty good and they even served sweet tea in mason jars – as in the sugar was added during the brewing process, not at the table. The food was actually really good, the price not so much. I think I will just wait until I go home to get my BBQ and sweet tea.
Overall a great week. Looking forward to more adventures in the city during week 8! Check out all the pics from this week (a little bit of last week).