Sunday, February 19, 2012

Furlough week to do list

This week, I get the honor of an unpaid vacation! I am actually pretty excited about this, but I can see how it is a burden on others -- especially those who have to do my work when I'm gone. There's nothing we can do about it, though, except roll with the punches. So, what am I going to do on this week of unpaid leave? I'm glad you asked!

  • Apply for unemployment. Apparently I can get some money from the government while I sit on my ass for a week. Who knew? (And before I hear griping about taking government money -- I am just as entitled to it as everyone else who is unemployed. It's probably going to go straight back to the government in the form of student loan payments anyway. So there.)
  • Do my taxes. I usually put this off until the last possible day, but I should probably do it sooner. I hate taxes, and mine aren't even that difficult!
  • Figure out my health insurance/401(k) stuff for Gannett. I officially get health insurance on March 1 and I need to fill out some paperwork or something. I've also been delaying transferring my 401(k) accounts. I tend to put off what I don't understand. Being a grown up is hard!
  • (Now for the fun stuff.) Spend some quality time with my new Kindle Fire. It is a pretty new toy, and I intend on reading/facebooking/words with friending/angry birding like crazy.
  • FINISH my damn high school T-shirt quilt. I have been putting this one off for a good 6 years, and it needs to be done already! If I roll through that, I might start my college one, but I don't know if I'm ready to give up wearing some of my Marching Mizzou T-shirts.
  • Last but not least is visiting one of my best friends in Madison, Wisc. She just got engaged (and I'm maid of honor!!!!), so we are going to obsess over wedding plans, try on some dresses, go see one of her plays and watch the Oscars hopefully! I haven't been able to watch the Oscars for a few years, and I miss it so. 

Sounds like a pretty good week to me!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Building bridges, building a new life

I haven't posted any of my work lately, but I really haven't been proud of anything either. My time in Springfield didn't really produce anything stellar, but since I've come to Des Moines, I've gotten to open up a little bit. Having superiors who know a thing about design and have your back is a huge factor. I wouldn't have even attempted the page I am about to show you if I didn't have people helping me or supporting my design. I like Des Moines.

Anyway, here's my latest. It's a Sunday front page for the Springfield News-Leader. I got a good eight hours to work on it, and I think it shows. The story is about a community college that is starting to offer more remedial classes in reading, writing and math for students that need a little extra help. I thought of my college days and how much I highlighted things. I even highlighted things on the hard copy of the story before I started designing the page. I kind of inspired myself.

Right click and open in a new window/tab to see a larger version.

The challenge with the centerpiece was trying to figure out how to incorporate the lead photo with the rest of the package. Springfield doesn't do a lot of cutouts, and that is what I was worried about when submitting the design to the editors. With the background dropped from the photo, though, you could focus more on the student in the foreground and what he was writing, which could very well be the text hovering above his head. I only wish he were holding a highlighter (I could also do without the deck headline), but I can't win at everything.

The miraculous part is that the editors in Springfield loved my design. I was really worried, but my bosses at the studio had my back. And they didn't even need to back me up!