R/600/9038 ­& R/600/9010 – Communicating and Presenting Ideas in the Creative Media Sector & Contribute to good working relationships

R/600/9010 1.1

Explain the importance of balancing the needs and tasks of people

It is important to create a balance between the needs and tasks of people in the workplace. There is an obvious priority to tasks in the workplace, as these are what generates revenue. Ensuring that tasks are managed so that they are completed to deadlines is vital to being successful. Creating timescales for projects is a good way to manage each task. It is important though that there is communication within a team concerning their needs. I may need another team member to change a deadline for their task in order for me to complete mine. If I find myself unable to reach a deadline I would communicate my needs to the manager so that the priority of other tasks could be adjusted.

However, it is important to remember that people have needs too. Having employees focus 100% on the tasks whilst at work can be very draining on them, and allowing them to have small breaks to distract themselves can actually improve productivity. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/239054/why_employees_should_surf_the_web_at_work.html)

We have a fairly relaxed and flexible working environment. I feel this generally improves productivity and certainly builds team morale. This is as long as tasks get completed to deadlines, if colleagues spend too much time socialising it can affect tasks getting completed and this can reflect negatively on morale. To this point, we generally coordinate coffee breaks etc, so that everyone in the team works and breaks equally.

It is also important to note the needs of clients. For example, a recent project I have is creating the Annual Report for a client. They have a final deadline for the project to be completed so it can be printed and delivered for an event. They also need to be aware of my needs in order to complete the project; receiving content in time to actually create the layout.

 

 

R/600/9010 1.2/1.5

Explain the Importance of sharing information with colleagues

Explain the Importance for liaison with colleagues to productivity

 

It is important to share information with colleagues so that everyone has all the facts. It is particularly important if multiple people are working on the same project. For example, when creating a new website we would have different people on different tasks, i.e. setting up plugins, gathering content, designing. Some of these tasks may be dependant on having other tasks completed, so it is important to keep the rest of the team updated on your own progress so that they know when something is ready or so that they can focus on a specific area so as to not hold up other stages of the production. By liaising with your colleagues you can make sure everyone is aware of what stage each other is at and ensure everyone can work productively.

When starting a new website project, we will have someone complete a form with all the basic information of the client (form template below)

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 10.42.46.png

This will be shared on Dropbox in the relevant client folder so everyone in the team has access to it. This is useful as we don’t need to rely on one individual for specific information, particularly due to how our company is structured with employees & volunteers having flexible hours.
We also email each other with updates of how stages of a project are going. Image below shows how I was informed that a domain transfer was progressing.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 10.49.23

This meant I could begin packaging the offline version of the site to be transferred to the new domain once we have it linked to our hosting provider.

R/600/9038 1.2

Compare a range of techniques used for influencing and persuading others and their application

 

There are numerous ways one can influence or persuade others, with different techniques being more suitable and effective depending on the context.

 

One can try to persuade someone verbally by having a discussion. This works well when trying to persuade one person as you can adjust your argument based on their input. Alternatively, you can use written communication (e.g. email, printed report). The benefit of this method is that it gives the individual you are persuading the opportunity to go over the information at their own pace and really process the facts. When persuading a larger group, preparing a presentation can be a successful technique. It allows you to put your point across and have supporting data displayed on a screen. Another technique would be to provide a demonstration. This can be useful when the matter that you are discussing is somewhat abstract, an example could be when working on a logo design for a client. Showing them an alternative design is much easier than trying to explain how a particular different design would be better (without them seeing it).

R/600/9038 1.3

Describe how to give and receive constructive feedback

R/600/9010 1.3

Identify ways of tactfully requesting others to change working arrangements to improve own productivity

 

When giving constructive feedback it is important to speak objectively and not attack an individual personally, this can be done by separating the situation from the person. It is also important to be specific with the feedback. For example, if you had presented a design to your manager and they said “I don’t like the colours used”, the only useful information you have is that the colours used need to be changed. You could edit your design and still be using colours that aren’t right. Better feedback would be “The colours aren’t right, I think using warmer colours would work better as it would reflect the nature of the product more”, this highlights a reason why the original is not successful and provides a guideline for what would work better.

 

Another common technique when giving feedback is known as the “feedback sandwich method”. This is where you offer a positive, followed by a criticism and ended with another positive. This helps it not seem like an attack on the feedback receiver as you don’t jump in with what’s bad and highlight the positives of their work.

 

When receiving feedback it is important to remember not to take it personally and not to get emotional over it. It is also important to clarify any feedback you receive to ensure that you have understood what is being said properly, this also shows that you are listening and willing to make improvements.

 

When requesting others to change their working arrangements to improve your own productivity, it is important to communicate and explain your reasons and needs and allow them to respond. You may need to find a compromise that benefits both parties. It is important that you do not force them, or make them feel forced, to change their arrangements as this can conjure negativity and damage relationships.

 

An example could be that I have a task and need additional help to ensure I can deliver it to the deadline. A colleague may not have such time sensitive work so I may ask them to assist me, however by doing so I may end up putting them in the same situation as me in the future. In light of this, I could ask them to assist me and then I would help them with their tasks so they can maintain their schedule.

F/600/8323 – Produce Copy for Interactive Media Products

Task 1

1.1. Identify relevant constraints, possibilities and opportunities offered by the selected target medium/platform

1.2. Identify key constraints or considerations arising from the use of an online content management

 

I typically write content for websites using the WordPress CMS. WordPress offers a basic text editor allowing you to set text styles and import media, it is however rather limiting. Often making your content appear just how you want it requires additional CSS. A lot of the websites I work on use the Divi Theme which does offer more freedom in layout and style due to the Divi Builder plugin. This essentially offers a grid system with pre-made modules which offers more freedom in how content is laid out. Additionally, created layouts can be saved allowing you to load previously made layouts for new posts and maintain a consistent style for similar posts.

 

A benefit of using the WordPress CMS is that there is a multitude of plugins available to improve functionality and experience. A common plugin we use is a Social Network Auto-poster. This allows us to define certain post types that, when created, will automatically be shared to connected social media accounts. Furthermore, the Divi Theme (and most modern themes) is fully responsive, meaning that it will display nicely on various screen sizes.

 

I also write content for printed media, generally for advertising purposes such as flyers or displays. This is usually done in Photoshop or Illustrator. Working with text in design software essentially allows full control over the appearance. What isn’t available is spelling and grammar checking, so this has to be done manually or outside of the design software.

 

Task 2

2.1. Identify a style that is suitable for the target audience and purpose of the communication

home roller.jpg

The attached copy is from a roller banner for the company I work for to be used at events. The target audience of the copy is essentially anyone in attendance at the event where the banner is being used, with the aim of it to express the core identity of the company. As such, the writing style needs to be clear and concise, conveying the key facts about the company in a way that it can be comprehended quickly.

 

As the banner is generally used at events, the copy has to be written in a welcoming tone to encourage people to talk to us. Rather than referring to the company by name “we” is used. This personifies the company, which makes it more approachable. Verbs such as “offer” and “provide” are used as they aren’t forceful and have charitable connotations. “Sell” could have been used instead of “offer” and it certainly would have made much clearer the fact that what the company does is sell a service, yet it would have had a colder tone and focused too much on the business aspect of the company rather than the charitable aspect (as a CIC).

 

2.2. Maintain a consistent style both within texts and between related texts

Show at least one other example of a post to show that you have a consistent style by analysing this as before and commenting on the similarities in style.

homead.jpg

The provided example is an advert highlighting the services the company offers. Like the previous copy, “we” is used to personify the organization and make it appear more approachable. Again, verbs like “help” and “provide” are used as they are less forceful and indicate the company’s focus on helping.

 

Task 3

2.4.  Structure the text-based content for readability and accessibility

2.6. Format copy, following relevant writing conventions, style guides and policies

 

As a lot of the copy I produce is for printed media, length/amount of text is often depending on size and context of the media. For example, the roller banner is 200cm tall and 80cm wide which gives me a lot of space to add text. However, in the context it is used it is better to include less text. This is because it will generally be viewed from a distance, meaning text needs to be large. Additionally, the audience is usually viewing it at a busy event and it is not suitable for them to be standing still reading large swathes of copy. Whereas an A5 sized flyer is much smaller in physical size, it is more appropriate to include more text as the reader can hold it and spend more time looking at it.

 

I generally have to be quite adaptive with the style I write in as I often produce copy for different clients. If I am given a guideline on the tone they use in their writing I will follow it, otherwise I will read through other copy they have and reflect its style in my own writing.

 

As demonstrated in the previously attache examples, I will use paragraphs to break up text as it allows the reader to distinguish different points easily. Similarly with the list of services, I chose to include one item per line as it enforces that they are separate items, which can be important when using terms that the reader may not know as to avoid confusion.

 

Task 4

2.7. Produce appropriate captions or descriptions to accompany content

 Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.32.39

When adding images to WordPress, the media library allows you to define the image Title, Description, Caption and Alternative Text.

 

Task 5

2.9. Produce and embed metadata

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.27.55.png

We use the SEOPresser plugin on our WordPress websites which allows us to add metadata to pages and posts on the website. Here I have defined the Title Meta, which indicates the title of the page, and provided a Meta description, which provides a brief overview of what the page is about. Utilising metadata help with SEO and the data can be used as snippets when displayed in a search engines results page.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.30.50.png

Task 6

3.2. Check the accuracy of any facts and figures quoted, seeking advice as required

 

How I check facts and figures depends on the context of the information. For example, if I am writing about the services a client offers I will contact them for an accurate list of check their website/social media to see what they have previously stated. If it is a more general fact, I will use google to see if I can find a reputable source that backs up the claim.

 

For example, for the advert attached above, I asked my line manager for an up-to-date and accurate list of services the company offered to include in my advert, and then had her check the final version to ensure it was all correct.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.02.15.png

 

Task 7

4.1. Review the content against any legal and ethical considerations

4.2. Make any necessary changes to comply with relevant legislation

 

One of the main legal and ethical considerations when producing copy is that the information is truthful and not misleading. I ensure this by fact checking and confirming the information is indeed correct. Furthermore, it is important to write statements in a way that is clear and comprehendible and not to word text in such a way that its interpretation is ambiguous. Not adhering to this would breach certain laws and open the company up to legal issues.

With the advert attached previously, I ensured that the information was all accurate and truthful and had my manager check it to both see if it was correct and that it isn’t worded in a way that could mislead the audience.

Another consideration is copyright. If I have used someone else’s copy it is important to get their permission to reproduce it, or if I am quoting them to ensure I include adequate reference to them. Copy can be protected under copyright law so using it without permission would be a legal issue, there is also a matter of how ethical it is to use someone else work without permission, even if it is technically legal to do so.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.24.56

Y/600/9039 – Converging Technologies

1.1

How is digital technology used in the creative media sector and what relationships has this created between different industries in the sector?

 

In the creative media sector, digital technology is a vital component in being able to function and improves productivity and efficiency in many areas. At the company I work for (a marketing company) we use digital technology in almost everything we do.

 

Looking at a typical project that we would undertake; the creation of a website, we use digital technology at most stages of development and production. To begin with clients are given a form created in Microsoft Word to assess their requirements for the website. From this we can begin to create wireframes either using Photoshop or a wireframing tool such as Sketchapp. These are then uploaded to our cloud storage and a link shared via email to the client for feedback. Using digital technology for these tasks allows us to produce and share them quickly and easily.

 

When building the site we use the WordPress CMS and a premade theme. This allows us to quickly create the website and add content without the need for excessive coding as the CMS and theme both provide a foundation to work from with the necessary features and code required already existing.

 

Once the website is completed we can use social media to promote it. Social media allows us to reach a wide range of people with ease so we don’t need to target the desired audience individually. We also sent out an email using Mailchimp which allows us to create a professional email and send it out to a mailing list incredibly easily.

 

The use of digital technology in the creative media sector has allowed collaboration between different industries to be achieved much more easily. It has also meant that there has been a merging of some of the services these industries offer due to the ease of access to the technology. For example, a web design company may previously have just designed the layouts and coded the website, whereas now, with digital photography and the availability to create professional imaging easily, they may be more involved in producing the content for the site as well.

 

2.1/2.2

What is meant by converging technology and what impact has it had on the workforce within your organisation/industry?

 

“Technological convergence is the tendency that as technology changes, different technological system sometimes evolve toward performing similar tasks. Digital convergence refers to the convergence of four industries into one conglomerate, ITTCE (Information Technologies, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, and Entertainment).

 

 

Media convergence is the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content, media companies and communication networks that have arisen as the result of the evolution and popularization of the Internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space.”

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_convergence)

 

 

Converging technology is where separate technologies evolve to perform similar tasks as other technologies. A prime example being mobile phones, which besides their core function of voice calls and text messaging are now cameras, gaming devices, payment methods (e.g. Apple Pay), video players and basically a computer in your pocket.

 

The impact that technological convergence has had in my industry is substantial. With the improvements to smartphone cameras, a lot of content can be created and shared quickly without quality being a concern. Social Networks have also allowed us to created targeted advertising for a lower cost and with improved accuracy compared to traditional methods (printed ads, radio ads etc).

 

3.1

How has converging technology changed the expectations of audiences/consumers within a chosen creative media industry?

 

Looking at web design/development, one of the main changes in consumer expectations due to converging technology is the focus on mobile-friendly design. With more people accessing the internet from mobile devices (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/11/01/mobile-web-usage-overtakes-desktop-for-first-time/) there is a demand to make websites that work well on smaller screens and with touch input. Additionally, due to Social Media being such a widely used tool for organisations, there is a strong need for Social Network accounts to integrate with websites, be it by displaying posts from the Social Network on the website or by having new content from the site being automatically pushed to the social network accounts. There is also an expectation for websites to be full of high quality content, particularly high-res images and HD videos.

 

3.2

How have ideas for multi-platform content been used to reach new audiences/generate revenue?

 

A great example of how multi-platform content has been used is Lego. Lego has branched out from a physical toy and released a series of computer games, the more recent ones being tied into larger entities such a Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. By doing so they can introduce their product to fans of the other series as well as gamers. Additionally, Lego has created feature length films, most recently The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. Creating a successful film can be a huge revenue boost, and The Lego Movie generated over $450 million at the box office and a further $128 million from domestic video sales (http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/LEGO-Movie-The#tab=summary).

 

By expanding into different platforms, Lego has offered new ways to generate revenue and can reach audiences who may not typically be interested in their core product.

 

3.3

Describe examples of commissioning processes and funding opportunities in relation to converging technologies

 

It is much easier for new projects to find funding with the advent of crowdfunding organisations such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. These crowdfunding companies allow a user to upload their pitch to the site, set a funding target, offer funding incentives etc. and then anyone can help fund it.

 

A prime example for the effectiveness of crowdfunding is the Pebble Smartwatch. The company failed to attract traditional investors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_(watch)#Funding) so turned to crowdfunding through Kickstarter. Their target was $100,000 and they offered the smartwatch to users who backed $115 (effectively pre-ordering the device at a discount). They achieved their goal in 2 hours, and went on to raise over $10million during the campaign.

 

Pebble researched other successful Kickstarters to build the most effective campaign, deeming a “video that had a personal pitch and talked directly to your customers and viewers was really important”. They also realised that the most important aspect to a Kickstarters success is how traffic is driven to the Kickstart page. In light of this, they target a number of relevant tech & gadget bloggers as well as teaming up with Engaget to promote the launch of the campaign.

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaelprice/heres-how-the-pebble-smar_b_5798406.html)

The launch of the Kickstarter essentially went viral, reaching a wide audience and gaining massive exposure through online and social media.

 

For content creators who regularly release new content, e.g. Youtubers, websites like Patreon offer an opportunity for funding. Patreon is another crowdfunding solution, however it works on more of a subscription basis, with individuals pledging an amount on a monthly basis in return for extra content. Other methods to receive funding can be to include adverts on their content or to gain sponsorship.

 

Additional Evidence to Complete Mandatory units – L/600/9040 – Y/600/9039 – R/600/9038

Task 3: Explain What Makes a Good Presentation

R/600/9038 2.1/2.2/2.3/2.4

There are certain factors that determine whether a presentation is successful, such as whether the information is conveyed so that the audience can understand and follow it. This could be how information is displayed, for example, a complex graph mapping multiple data points may be suitable if the presenter gives these to the audience in a hand out, allowing them to study them more thoroughly. Whereas if the same graph were to be displayed on a screen during a slideshow it may be harder for the audience to fully comprehend the information being provided. Another key point determining the success of a presentation is if the audience is captivated by it, if they aren’t then it generally means that they are not taking in the information being presented. A common mistake made is when the presenter reads verbatim the content of the slides or handouts they are using in their presentation, the audience doesn’t need it read to them. A better tactic is to provide the key points or ideas and to talk around them, they serve as a reminder and to reinforce their importance.

The topic of my presentation was “Using Youtube for your Business” and was presented to a room full of members of a business networking group. I created a PowerPoint slideshow to be displayed using a projector as I spoke on the topic. By using a powerpoint it allowed me to display key facts and ideas to the audience as well as visual examples on the topic. I kept the content on the slides to a minimum, just focussing on the most useful and important bits of information. These also helped prompt me on where I was heading with my talk allowing me to keep the flow of the presentation going.

Feedback form members of the audience on the presentation were generally good. They felt that it was easy to follow and that I explained the points well, and that they had learned something. Some members wanted the presentation to go into more detail or expand on certain topics, which is something that I agree would have been beneficial, however, due to the mixed level of experience in the audience I felt that it was best to focus on the key concepts and some of the basic tasks related to the topic. Reviewing the slideshow that I created again, I feel that it would benefit from some more thought in regards to the formatting. Some of the text became too small to be easily read, due to including too much content on the slide. I should have spread the content over more slides, allowing me to use larger text and improve legibility. Additionally, some slides lacked content and featured masses of white space which is somewhat wasteful and makes it less visually appealing. However, the slideshow was an aid to the presentation and not the main aspect of it, so perhaps focussing too much on it is not necessary.

Video of my presention:

Copy of the Powerpoint:

youtube-presentation

 

Undertake Technical Adjustment of Images – M600/8995

Task 1 – Report

1.1/1.2

Colour theory concerns the aspect of colour and how it interacts with itself. There are three things to consider when discussing colour.

  • Hue – The colour itself, such as red or green
  • Saturation – The vibrance or lack there of in the colour
  • Lightness – The levels of black or white in the colour

pri-sec-ter

At the base level, there are three primary colours; Red, Yellow and Blue. Combining two of these gives secondary colours, such as green or orange. Between primary and secondary colours are tertiary colours, for example, between yellow (a primary) and orange (a secondary) you find yellow-orange (a tertiary).

When one colour is being used it is defined as monochromatic and deals with the different shades, light to dark.

tint-tone-shade

Looking at the use of colour on the web and finding examples of websites using complimentary, monochromatic and multi-coloured colour schemes.

Complimentary colours achieve what their name suggests, they are colours that compliment each other. When looking at a colour wheel, finding the complimentary colour for a selected colour involves looking at the opposite side of the wheel.

Complementary

It is worth noting that there are two main systems for colour, additive and subtractive, and they do differ slightly. Traditional colour theory concerns subtractive colour,  that is where the combination of colours results in the absorption (subtraction) of light. Subtractive colour is relevant to printed materials or painting. Additive colour concerns digital mediums more, where the combination of different light colours results in new colours. This also leads to different definitions for primary colours, where green is deemed as primary and not yellow. The below example highlights the difference in subtractive and additive colour, notably, the combination of all colours resulting in black for subtractive (due to all wavelengths of light being absorbed) and white for additive (due to the presence of all wavelengths of light).

color_cmy-and-rgb.jpg

To ensure that the colours seen on one’s monitor match up with the colours of printed material there are two main things that can be done.

Firstly, is to ensure that the image file is using the correct colour mode for the printer. Displays use an additive colour space (RGB) whereas printed media will be subtractive (CMYK) due to the nature of how the image is constructed. On many photo editing software packages it is possible to assign different colour profiles to the image files, such as CMYK, which will cause the screen to render the image’s colours nearer to how they will appear when printed.

Secondly, is to calibrate the display. This can be done  with software and sometimes with additional hardware.. Calibration involves a few steps including adjusting the Brightness and Contrast, setting a white point and selecting gamma levels. Once the calibration has been completed a profile will be created, this can be used on the computer to direct how the display shows colours and, in some cases, used on the printer. The benefit of using the same profile for both the display and printer is that they should both produce identical colours.

It is important to note that ambient light can influence how colour is perceived when viewing both a display and printed materials. Ideally, a room will be used where the lighting can be fully controlled. This generally means having blackout curtains so daylight doesn’t interfere and using special lightbulbs with a high colour rendition index, generally outputting a colour temperature around 5000K. Additionally, the walls in the room will be painted in a neutral grey.

Colour Depth can affect file sizes, in that a greater colour depth would produce a larger file size but provide more accurate colour. A colour depth of 16 bit is generally the standard, provided a good representation of colour, using a lower depth of 8 bit for example, can be useful for simple graphics, keeping the file size smaller, but can produce artefacts, most notable in gradients where the transition because rough, with distinct jumps between shades. A colour depth of 32 bit would be used when file size is not a limitation, generally in print work.

When working with image files there are a few details that influence what format I use. As a general rule, I will begin with the highest resolution version available, which is usually a larger resolution than is required for the final product. This allows me to resize the image with less chance of quality degradation, as I am more often than not reducing the size. If I were working with an image with a lower resolution than was required and increased its size there would be pixelation evident. I tend to use a DPI of 300, as this is widely recommended for print work. A lower DPI can be used for web based work, generally 72 DPI, due to how monitors work, the benefit being that less bandwidth is used. The file format used ultimately depends on what stage of working the image I am on and the final use of the image. If I am working images I have taken using a DSLR I will start with a RAW file. This means the image contains all the data the camera captured with no compression, allowing me more options when processing the image. When working the image, I generally use a file format of PSD (Photoshop Document). This allows me to work in layers, creating changes or making additions to the image without actually altering the base image. The benefit of this is it allows me to make adjustments without having to start from the beginning each time a change is required. The final version of the image will use the JPG extension in most cases, this compresses the image while retaining most of the quality and detail, allowing a smaller file size as well as being a widely accepted file format. For certain images, mainly logos, it is beneficial to have a transparent layer, in which case I will use the PNG format as this supports transparency.

1.4

Metadata is data that provides information for other data. In the instance of a photo the metadata provides information about the photo data. Most digital cameras now include the following basic metadata:

  • Camera Model
  • Lens Model
  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Date/Time of capture
  • Resolution
  • GPS data (if camera used is GPS capable)

The benefit of having this data is that it allows you to recreate the settings used by the camera when taking other photos. For example, if you are tasked with taking some headshots of new employees for a company’s website, having access to the metadata of previous headshots used allows you to create images with a consistent aesthetic.

It is also possible to add metadata to images, such as Copyright information, author and descriptive tags. Adding the copyright information helps protect the owner of the image as the copyright information is in the actual date of the image. Adding tags or keywords to the image can help in organising and cataloguing files, allowing for them to be searched using set terms and can also improve SEO effectiveness.

1.5/2.2

For work, the hardware I use is a Macbook Pro as my computer. The reason I use a Mac rather than a Windows or Linux based computer is partly due to the fact that Apple hardware tends to be the industry standard in the digital creative field. Additionally, having used a Mac for a significant amount of time I am more used to and can work more efficiently on one.

If I am taking photographs I currently use a Canon DSLR, though this is purely as it is what is available. Canon and Nikon are the main brands when it comes to DSLRs, each have their own benefits. Generally speaking Canon cameras offer better video capabilities than the Nikon counterparts, which can be useful for work as I can use one camera to do both photography and videography. Personally, I prefer Nikon cameras, in part because I first used Nikon DSLRs so am more familiar with using one but also due to the fact that Nikon have kept the same lens mount for their DSLRs as on their SLRs. This allows the use of older lenses which are often high quality but at a fraction of the cost of modern lenses, though some features, such as autofocus, may not work.

The Adobe CC suite is the main collection of software I use at work, mainly Photoshop but occasionally Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom and Premier Pro. I use the Adobe software as it is widely viewed as the best software for the job. Additionally, it is what I learned to use and so I am proficient in using them. There are alternatives to the Adobe softwares, for example GIMP is often viewed as a good free alternative to Photoshop, however I find it too different and would take too long to learn to use it as effectively as I can Photoshop.

1.6

At work I use a variety of file formats depending on what stage of a project I am at and the intended use of the file.

RAW – used when taking photos and first processing them. RAW is a lossless format meaning it keeps all the data the camera captures, allowing more control when editing the image.

JPG – when create final versions of images or working with stock images. JPG is a compressed image, meaning that data is stripped from the file and there is some (usually unnoticable) quality loss, meaning that file sizes are smaller and better suited for distribution. Editing certain aspects of an image, such as exposure, can produce lower quality results than if working with a RAW file.

PNG – mainly for images with transparent layers. PNGs support transparency making them ideal to use for logos when uploading them online.

PDF – used when creating documents that are to be distributed and for certain print jobs.

PSD – used when working in Photoshop. PSD is the photoshop document format and what the program uses when working in it. PSDs are not suitable for distribution as compatibility is an issue if you don’t have photoshop, however, they are ideal for working in as they are a lossless format and support layers.

Task 2

2.1

Typically, when working on a design project I will be given a project brief. This will outline what the intended result is and any relevant information, such as colour schemes to use. First I will see what assets I need to complete the project, which will either be provided by the client (typically logos and copy), sourced from third parties or created by me (photographs). If I have created my own assets to use, the first step is to transfer the files from the camera to my computer, which I do by connecting the devices over USB, using my computer’s file explorer to locate the image folder on the camera and then copying the files to the relevant folder on my computer’s hard drive. Typically, I will capture photos in a RAW format,  so after transferring them to my computer I open them in Photoshop. Here I can make any minor adjustments to the image in terms of exposure, white balance etc and then save it, typically as a PSD file. Often I will need to do further adjustments to the image, such as cropping the image of removing the background. Once these changes are done I will save a new version of the image as a PSD. The final step is to add the image to the project I’m working on, such as a poster, and save the finished design in the relevent format, typically JPG. At this stage the file is ready to distribute to the client.

Task 7 – Report

5.1/5.4/5.5/5.7/5.8

The main legal and ethical issues relevant to the work I do are related to copyright and permissions. Often, there is no budget available to source images for use in a project, meaning that either assets must be created by myself or that images must be found with a free license. This generally means that images with a Creative Commons license are used. However, some CC licenses aren’t suitable, such as the Noncommercial license or NoDerivs license (can’t modify the image) so preferably images with a CC0 license are used (no rights reserved) as these allow the most freedom. If I produce my own assets its generally a simpler process, as I (or my company) own the copyright for the images (unless stated otherwise in the contract). If I am taking photos of people, I generally ask them to sign a Model Release Form (I use the one provided for free by the Royal Photographic Society – here) though this is dependant on the circumstances. I only really use this if I am photographing someone for the sole purpose of using the image as an asset in a design (rather than taking photos at an event).

Sometimes the client has suitable assets for a project, in which case I would ask for permission to use them or they would state that they were to be used.

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Message from client indicating previous assets can be reused

It’s important when being given assets by a client to only use them with their permission and not to use them on other projects.

Asset Requisition and Managing

Using a poster I created for the East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) as a case study, examining Asset requisition, and anything related to it, as well as proper file management.

ESCU Payroll Eastbourne Borough Council copy

The idea behind the poster was to advertise East Sussex Credit Union’s Payroll Scheme. Although the poster eventually was tailored to each of the Employers who were part of the scheme, the initial brief was for Eastbourne Borough Council.

The posters were to be displayed in the staff toilets of the Borough Council offices, and so a humorous tagline around “spending a penny” was requested. It was decided that an image of falling coins, or a stream of coins, would accompany the tagline. Initially, I searched on license free image libraries, such as Pexels and Pixabay, for a suitable image but failed to locate a suitable image. My search then went to the paid stock photo sites; iStockPhoto, ShutterStock, Adobe Stock etc. I ended up using iStockPhoto as we already had an account with them. When I found a suitable image I sent a request to my manager to acquire it, with her approval the image was purchased from the site using their credit system, essentially you purchase credits which can be used to purchase images.

The image came with iStockPhoto’s Standard License, which gave us perpetual and unlimited usage (there was no expiration on when we could use the image, the image could be used for unlimited projects). The license came with restrictions too, such as no commercial use of “Editorial Use Only” images, no use in trademark or logo, limited print run of less than 500,000.None of which affected the use in the project. iStockPhoto offer an extended license for a higher fee which removes some restrictions, such as the print run number. Use of photos from iStockPhoto does not require creator attribution (unless for editorial uses) and also permits modification, which was required for this project. It was important to read the License agreement before purchasing the image to ensure it could be used as desired, the key areas being modification, attribution  and usage, all of which were satisfactory.

It was also decided that an image of people working together on a computer would be required, this would be positioned with the application information to highlight the helpful nature of the ESCU. Rather than search through stock photo libraries for the right image I decided to produce my own assets to use. The main benefit to producing my own assets is that I would not need to spend time finding the correct image, instead I could choreograph my own to achieve the desired result. I enlisted two coworkers to be my models and instructed them on how to pose, capturing images as I went. It was important to get my models, and myself, to sign a model release form, this protects both the model and the photographer in how the photo is used and any claims made to ownership etc. I used the form provided free by The Royal Photographic Society (available here).

When producing your own assets you can apply a Creative Commons license to it, which gives you protection on how the image is used, depending on which license is used.
A breakdown of the Creative Commons Licenses:

  • 88x31
    Attribution
    CC By

    Lets others distribute, remix, tweak,  and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.

 

  • 88x311
    Attribution
    CC BY-SA

    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

 

  • 88x312
    Attribution-NoDerivs
    CC BY-ND

    This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

 

  • 88x313
    Attribution-NonCommercial
    CC BY-NC

    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

 

  • 88x314
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    CC BY-NC-SA

    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

 

  • 88x315
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
    CC BY-NC-ND

    Only allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

 

  • 88x316
    No Rights Reserved
    CC0

    Allows content creators to opt out of database and copyright protection, allowing their work to be available as freely as possible in the public domain.

Sites like flickr allow the user to select a Creative Commons license for their work. Alternatively you can apply your own license, giving you more control on how you want the work to be used. You can also distribute your work through a Stock Photo company who will usually have their own license and usually take a commission fee on sales.

When working on projects it is also important to adhere to sensible file management systems. By organising files and using appropriate naming, it can allow yourself and others to find the necessary files easily, as well as preventing accidental deletion of files due to misidentification.

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Initially, my files are organised in folders, named by client. This allows anyone to find the relevant project first by the client.

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Looking in the ESCU folder, we can see how I separate each project by title, keeping the ESCU tag in all of them. This allows anyone to find the relevant project from its name, and by keeping the client name in ensures that if the folder is moved accidentally, or copied to another device, it is still identifiable by client.

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Looking in the ESCU Payroll Poster folder, we can see how I have created a separate folders for the Assets, Finals and Masters. Additionally, all the project files can be seen here. I chose to name the project files in the following way: CLIENT NAME project name version number, e.g. ESCU poster v.2. This naming method allows anyone to identify the file by client and project easily as well as indicating which version it is, though without the entire set the version number as not as useful. Versions 1 to 4 were some initial designs, deciding which direction to move in. When it was decided that the style of version 4 was the strongest I then made adjustments, with each one updating the version number through v4.0-v.4.3. This naming method allows one to view the progress of work and identify quickly the newest version. It is worth noting that if it were decided that v4.2 was stronger than v4.3 for example, new files based on v4.2 would follow the naming pattern of v4.2.1 etc. When the work was finalised I simple named the work by its base version number and indicated it Final.

The Finals and Masters folders essentially contain the same files, however the Masters files are Photoshop Documents and still contain all their layer information, so if need be can be edited. The Finals are the compressed JPG version ready for distribution to the client. The naming convention for these files is CLIENT NAME Project name Partner Name, e.g ESCU Payroll East Sussex County Council.

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There are some flaws to my naming system, particularly the irregularity in the project name, changing from Payroll Poster to poster to Payroll. Additionally, the version number system is perhaps not the most suitable, as if I were to move back version and work from there the newest work would not necessarily have the highest number, which is somewhat counter intuitive. Perhaps a more suitable method would be to include the date in the file name, in which case using the pattern YYYYMMDD would be most suitable (where Y denotes year, M month and D day), e.g. 20160205. I would chose YYYYMMDD over the standard date format of DDMMYYYY as when organising files by name on a computer the latter would not give chronologically accurate results, as demonstrated in the image below.

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We can see the file marked as the 7th of February appears after that marked the 5th of October. Whereas, if the YYYYMMDD system is used, the results provide correct listings.

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