Sunday, June 27, 2010

An original "Best of"

I found something recently tweeted by a friend of mine very inspiring. Seattle Met Magazine orchestrated a flash mob for its most recent "best of" cover. This cover, shown above and courtesy of the magazine of course, had to have had a lot of organization behind it. The art department staged a coordinating-colored mob of 250 people, acquired a helicopter to photograph from and even covered the event as if it were a news story. I think the cover is phenomenal (aside from the style error in the little pullout next to the heart. Note: More than vs. over). What I like the most about this whole concept is the fact that it not only represents the city (It was a rainy day, no less!), but it was so well-planned. It's pretty.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Found typography, Google Earth style

Remember that assignment I had to do for Spring Break? I believe it was called found typography, and the assignment involved going out into the world and finding unintentional letters. Once I understood whate the assignment was, I had a lot of fun. It encouraged me to look at things differently. Above is the combined photo of my letters. It spells out "LYNDZ," if you couldn't tell.

Anyway, what brings me to reminisce about this assignment is an e-mail I got from a co-worker. It is a website (illusion 360) that collected letters made from landmarks in Google Earth. It is a pretty cool collection of images though. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 primary election tab

So, I volunteered to come up with a cover concept for this year's primary election guide. The Savannah Morning News puts out a few tabs every year. Most of the time, they are for elections, and there is one "hurricane preparedness" tab, too. (Awesome, right? I never had to worry about hurricanes before!) This project consists of mainly the cover design and then flowing the agate info on the inside about the people running for office. The inside is going to be easy. It will make me want to bang my head against the wall, but it will be easy. It's the cover that I am in a rut over. I'm doing it all VOX style with the three concepts, then improving upon one of them for publication. Nostalgic, right? Anyway, I have two ideas pretty well hashed out (they don't have to be actually designed), but I am lost for the third.

The first one would be a type-driven cover with the word "ELECTION" spanning three lines (EL-ECT-ION) and filling most of the space. The tagline would read "It's kind of a big deal" or something along those lines. I think I could have a lot of fun with that.

The second one, though a little corny, would be a play off the "cast" in "casting a ballot." Fishing for a new governor, anyone? Ugh. I don't like what that sounds like . I might be able to work with it to make it less obviously ridiculous...

Any thoughts, designer-types? I am very open to suggestions!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My moving fiasco, pt. 2

Let's see, where did I leave off?

So, on 6/18, Trans United told me I would receive my things either the evening of 6/19 or the morning of 6/20. I then spoke to the dispatch guy about how much I would be paying them when my things got here. He refused to honor the $30 a day thing in the contract saying that I did not have a specific delivery date, just a day and a 21-day window (business days, of course) after that. I have several things wrong with that. #1: I was given a delivery time frame. Therefore, a specific period in which my things were to be delivered. Can this possibly mean anything else? #2: Why count only business days when you guys are clearly (I might have spoken too soon.) capable of delivering on the weekends?

Today, 6/19, I never received a phone call about my delivery. I tried calling the office several times, and the phone kept ringing and ringing until I would hang up. So, there's another broken promise.

In talking with my parents and weighing the options, we all kind of decided that priority #1 is going to be getting my stuff, even if I have to pay the full amount up front. I'm still going to be talking to lawyers about my next plans of action, though. That is on the agenda for Monday — whether or not my stuff arrives.

Also, in some Google searches tonight, I came up with a ton of recent comments about Trans United, especially on the Better Business Bureau's site. Angry commenters, all starting around the end of May 2010, have cited lying, damaged goods and late pick-up and arrival times. Sound familiar? Although, I am not sure if this helps me. I definitely would have loved to see these comments before I book the company's service, that's for sure. So, now not only am I worried about when I am going to get my things, but I am also worried about the condition they will be in when they get here.

I have a feeling if I were moving a five-bedroom house, I would be given more respect and time of day.

I'm calling the company again tomorrow to see if my stuff will get here in this decade.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My moving fiasco

So, in case you haven't been following, reading my tweets or helpless facebook statuses, I am having some issues with the moving company I booked to move my stuff half way across the country. Here's the down-low:

I signed my moving contract with Trans United on 5/14/10. It was for Trans United to pick up my things on 5/21 in Columbia, MO, and St. Louis, MO, and deliver them to Savannah, GA, on 5/31.

After the movers came to pick up my things, one of the guys told me that they cannot guarantee a specific delivery date, but they can guarantee a delivery time frame. So, I signed another contract with a delivery time frame of 5/29 to 6/7.

On 5/27, I was told that my things would be delivered on 6/1.

On 6/1, I was told my things would be delivered on 6/5.

On 6/7, the last day of the delivery time frame, Trans United told me that they had trucks break down on the west coast (nowhere near Missouri or Georgia) and had to resituate their deliveries. They told me I would have my things by the end of the week (6/11.)

On 6/11, they told me I would have my things by 6/15, but when I called on 6/14, they said it would be at least until 6/17.

On 6/15, they told me it might be 6/18.

On 6/16, they told me it would be 6/19.

According to the contract I signed, "If the mover fails to provide the service as agreed, (I) am entitled to be compensated at a predetermined amount or a daily rate (per diem of $30.00) regardless of the expense (I) might have actually incurred as a result of the mover's failure to perform."

I paid the company 50% on pick-up and owe them, without any deductions, $716 on delivery.

I have not yet received my things. I have been sleeping on the floor of my apartment, paying for a cable service when I don't have a television to hook it up to and eating microwavable meals because my pots and pans are in a moving truck somewhere on the west coast.

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau on 6/16. It contained all of the information stated above. Including my sought resolution: $30 A day deduction from the first contract's stated delivery day (5/30). Tonight, I received a response from the company saying they will only give me the $30 a day after the 21 day mark. First of all, that is not what I was told on the phone. Second, that is not what is in the fine print of the contract, which I read in its entirety.

I just want to be able to call this place my home. I know no one here, I am in a new city, and I have very few things that make me feel at home. I have been here for almost 3 weeks. It's actually kind of depressing.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reasons why I love journalism

#1 You are never doing the same thing twice. There is always a new story, new project or new style. It's hard to get bored. For example. I have to replace my lead story in the local section I am designing tonight because something else came up. Granted, it is a sad story about some Marines beating up a homosexual man. That's not cool. There is also always some type of changing media or new technology that alters the scope of the business. Whether it is the invention of television or a new tool on a website, these advancements keep the journalism industry fresh with new possibilities.

#2 The people. People working in this field do it because they love to do it. You very rarely work with someone who absolutely hates his or her job. They are fun people, too. They are easygoing, and I think that has to do with the fact that they deal with crazy, unapproachable people every day.

#3 The service (and competition). Every night at work, the metro/city editor will turn on the sound to the TV for WTOC time. WTOC is the local news station. At this point, we are able to catch any news we might have missed or gloat about the fact that we have this hard-hitting news story that the news station hasn't picked up on yet. The ultimate goal (aside from the friendly competition) being the ability to serve the readers. It's a service job. We find the news, and we present it to you.

I am going to finish this post with a video I stole from my friend, JPS's blog. It is somewhat related because it's a clip from the Newsies. I love the Newsies, and I love Lady Gaga. So, this is a total win for me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lost at the bottom of the barrel

I pride myself for knowing where I'm going or how to get someplace. I might not be able to give others those directions, but I at least know where I am going. Not anymore. I don't think I have ever felt so isolated. I also never thought I would ever really need a Garmin-type thing. So I am dedicating tomorrow to figuring out where the hell things are and finding decent ways to get places.

As for everything else that has been going on...

WORK: It's like a dream. Seriously. I am doing what I LOVE, and I am getting paid for it. I am still a little slow at getting pages out, but I am sure I will get better in the next few weeks.

I have realized one thing, though. Someone mentioned this on Facebook/Twitter/a blog/or something (sorry I don't remember who it was!), and I have come to agree with it. The Missouri School of Journalism is awesome, I learned so much while a student there, but the one thing I didn't learn was how to be at the bottom of the food chain. I didn't expect to be on the top of it coming out of school, but I never really thought about it. Now I know what it feels like to TRULY be at the bottom of the barrel in a newsroom. It's not too bad; I'm just seeing everything from a different perspective. My age is a dead giveaway. More than half of the people I have introduced myself to at the paper assume I am an intern. "Nope," I told a photographer today. "I'm legit."

I also have a plan that I will be laying out in the next month or so. The paper doesn't have a design styleguide. There are paragraph styles, character styles and library items, but there isn't one aggregation of all of the styles of the paper (that is probably why its taken me so long to learn them...). I want to help create one.

Once I know what the eff I'm doing.

SOCIAL LIFE: It's getting there. It's hard. I met some people on the beach, and they are really nice. They are all working people (a doctor, lawyer, grad student), and they know each other through a church group. Not quite sure what kind of church, though. Regardless, they seem to be really nice people, and they let me tag along with them sometimes. I don't exactly have a compatible work schedule, but it's been workable.

APARTMENT: Still empty. Next week, they say. Yeah right, I say.

So from the bottom of the barrel (and the floor of my apartment), I bid you good night.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today, I went to the beach.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the gorgeous Tybee Island. (What is WRONG with me?!) I was, however, a bit distracted by some new people I met.

I was setting my stuff up on the beach, and I just so happened to set up near this guy whose name I can't remember enough to spell. He was of Middle Eastern descent (I think), and his name was a little tricky. Anyway, we started talking and I moved my things closer to his on the beach. He was there with his friend, whose name was easier to remember (Chris), and they were just chilling on their day off. The one guy is a resident at a local hospital and the other is working in health systems management or something. That's what he is getting his master's in currently in any case. They were super chill and about my age — no older than 32 I guess. We hung out on the beach, then went for a swim. We talked, I told them about my job and China (It came up in normal conversation, I swear!). The guys knew each other through a church group, and they are both Georgia natives. I gave the guy whose name I can't remember my phone number, and he said I should come hang out with some of their friends.

I had planned on having a peaceful venture out to Tybee Island and to read my book, but what I ended up doing was much better. I can officially say that I know people in Savannah!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Springs at Chatham Parkway

I have been in Savannah for about a week. It doesn't seem like that at all, but that is probably because I haven't really had a home. I moved into my apartment at the Springs a week ago, but my furniture, clothing and other random life things have still not arrived. I am sleeping/living on an air mattress my dad bought me. You can see my living quarters above, cat included. (The photos were taken from my laptop because I am lacking the cords to upload from a camera...) It's not that bad I suppose. It could be worse. I think I just want to unpack all my things an really make this apartment my home and not some random apartment where I sleep on the living room floor.

My kitchen, however, is pretty well stocked. I just need my pots and pans to be able to actually cook things. The kitchen has its own little island (I LOVE kitchen islands), and my dad got me a couple of bar stools because there is no real room for a kitchen table. It's fancy.

The half-wall jutting out on the left side of the picture is the entrance to the apartment. I live on the second floor, but all the places have first-floor entries. So, you walk in on the ground level, and you have a coat closet and a staircase. There is also a screened in balcony with a storage closet. Yes, that is a palm tree on the door window. My bathroom is pretty neat. It has a hotel-style shower, lots of counter space and a small linen closet.

I would post pics of the bedroom and closet, but both are virtually empty. How about I give you guys a full virtual tour when my stuff gets here? Sound's like a plan.

I can however, give you a rundown of the facilities. It's a gated community less than a mile from where I work. There's a pool, weight room, laundry facility, all located in the clubhouse. The apartment complexes are set in a big circle around a lake, and there is also a dog park and car care center where I can wash and vacuum my car! It's a pretty awesome place and I got a good deal on it too! (Two free months rent that I can use to reduce my monthly payment!) While I am not sure where I am going to live next year, this year is going to be pretty sweet.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh, the difference of newsrooms

Tonight was my first official night on the copy desk at the Savannah Morning News. I survived it, but not without some difficulty. I haven't been on this end of learning design systems in a long time. Even when I was learning at the Missourian, I still knew some parts of PLANsystem beforehand. At SMN, we use DT, or Digital Technology system. It combines both the Web and print media, and it also attaches the photos and other media to the story within the system. I am not going to go into gross ridiculous detail about things, just that it's crazy that they can all be so different.

As for the job... So far I really like it. I am given a lot of responsibilty, and the people here seem to be nice. I have only been here two days, so I don't know many of them yet. I feel kind of young, but that's because I am. I just feel lucky to be here.

Just as a heads up, this blog is going to be expanding its horizons a little from talking about design and the wonders of color and type to more job-related and life-related. (ie Savannah, the paper and my new life in Georgia)