OneMethod: Darcy Reaume and Daniella Gullo

OneMethod

blog_onemethod

Speaker: Darcy Reaume and Daniella Gullo
April 4, 2014

Today we hosted our final guest speakers, another reminder that this great experience is coming to an end. Darcy Reaume, Design Director, and Daniella Gullo, Social Media Manager, enthusiastically shared the process and culture of OneMethod Digital + Design, Toronto’s largest independent agency. 

OneMethod’s award-winning services include: interactive experiences, social marketing, mobile marketing, motion graphics, advertising, print design, branding, strategy, sports marketing and interior design.The OneMethod team is made up of business leaders, project managers, social media managers, social strategists, community managers, creative directors, design directors, copywriters, designers, photographers and legal specialists. Nestle, San Pellegrino, Toronto Raptors, Svedka Vodka, Perrier, Kit Kat, Aero and Scotiabank make up just some of their client list.

Darcy and Daniella shared OneMethod’s strategic planning approach:

  • Identifiable,easy to grasp brand
  • Answer brand issues
  • Identify unique selling concepts
  • Establish image for the brand -their values, personality and properties.
  • Communication Pillars: Explores 4 – 5 areas of creativity to eliminate stretching the brand too far, to measure performance and to minimize client push back.

They talked about the still new field of social media branding and its inherent dangers. There are now multiple, easy to access, inexpensive, platforms for companies to advertise their products, brands and services. All content needs to be amplified in order to get any engagement or make an impression.  Every post should be treated as an advertisement and have a strong objective. Companies have to be careful about maintaining their brand’s values and tone in this uncontrolled environment.

Overall today’s talk was very interesting, an in-depth look at the process and thoughts behind the every day decisions especially those related to social media and all its hurdles.

Thanks to Darcy Reaume and Daniella Gullo for coming out and wrapping up this year’s guest speaker experience with a bang.

LinkedIn: Darcy Reaume

LinkedIn: Daniella Gullo

Company: OneMethod

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Bell Mobility: Miranda Urbanski

Bell Mobility

bell_photo

Speaker: Miranda Urbanski
March 28, 2014

Miranda Urbanski from Bell Mobility was our guest speaker today.
Miranda is Manager, Web Marketing Communications with Bell Mobility.

Miranda has a fine arts background. She has an MFA from Waterloo and, with a Sotheby’s Art Scholarship, completed a Master of Art Business in the UK. Between her master’s degrees Miranda completed the new media design program here at Sheridan in 2007. When Miranda was ready to enter the workforce she was advised to emphasize her web design credentials.

Miranda shared some insights she has learned in her career so far:

  • There is more than one way to get where you are going
  • A career path is more like a jungle gym than a ladder
  • Always have a Plan B
  • Nurture your network
  • Learning is lifelong (creativity favors the interested mind)
  • Pay it forward
  • If you are not learning in your job or it cannot advance your career then it is not the job for you.

Thank you Miranda for returning to Sheridan to share your experiences with us. It was interesting to me on a personal level as my educational background is also in fine arts. I hope you continue to find time for your art. That is what I hope for myself also.

LinkedIn: Miranda Urbanski

 

Design Lab: Alexander Younger

Design Lab

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Speakers: Alexander Younger
March 21, 2014

Today we were lucky to have Alexander Younger, Founder of Design Lab, talk to us about his company and give us us pointers for a successful job search. Design Lab, founded in 1992, is a Toronto web design and marketing agency and calls some of Canada’s biggest companies their clients, including RBC, Loblaws and The Beer Store. They also represent the brand of my favourite interior designer, Sarah Richardson, who is also Alexander’s wife.

Alexander stressed the importance of the culture of a company: attitudes, goals, practices and values that contribute to the overall character and community. He stressed how important it is for us as prospective employees to research a company’s culture. Design Labs is committed to helping their employees grow their careers and they recognize the importance of a work/life balance. It is also a green company, all their technology is run off solar power.

Next, Alexander talked about the process, comparing two of the most prominent methodologies, Waterfall vs. Agile. Waterfall is a very linear approach with distinct steps. It is favoured by clients because there is a clear timeframe and price structure. The Waterfall method works well if the requirements don’t change during development. The Agile method is delivered in stages. Each stage is tested and the overall requirements can be revisited at the end of each stage. Clients are wary of this process because it is difficult to price and to specify delivery date. Design Lab likes to combine the two methodologies, starting with Waterfall and moving to Agile at the design stage.

Alexander had some pointers for our job search. He said the Sheridan program is held in high esteem by employers which is a real confidence booster. It is important to get to know the people in our program and to stay in touch after graduation, they are important contacts for our future. This won’t be a problem as they are a great group of people.

Alexander’s job search tips:

Do your research

  • go through the company website
  • jot down points and thoughts
  • talk to peers about the agencies you are interested in

Cover letter

  • short and sweet
  • give a reason for them to hire you (hint on how you know the company)
  • good resume (can include what you do outside of work)

Prepare your portfolio

  • make it nice and simple
  • showcase your skills and experiences
  • list the goals you had for each project
  • links to Facebook and linkedIn

The interview

  • ask questions
  • be polite
  • interview them as much as they interview you

Ask lots of questions

  • what is my role
  • describe an average day
  • what opportunities do you offer
  • describe your culture
  • ask to meet the team

After the interview

  • write thank you letters
  • write down questions for next interview
  • most importantly Never Settle

Thank you Alexander for a very interesting and informative talk especially the job search tips.

LinkedIn: Alexander Younger

Company: Design Lab

Weather Network

weatherNetwork

I take the Weather Network for granted, I’m glad it’s there and find it very helpful (especially this winter), so when given the opportunity to visit I wasn’t sure what to expect. I never imagined such a fascinating, diverse and complex place.

First we had a presentation hosted by John Gallant, V.P. Design and User Experience.

John explained that the Weather Network’s twenty five years of success can be attributed to their culture which is built on clearly defined values:

  • Open direct communications
  • Strong leadership
  • Promotion from within
  • Encouragement and support of employees to grow their careers.

The Weather Network is operated by Pelmorex Media Inc. Pelmorex also operates Météo Media, Canada’s only French weather network. Internationally they operate in the UK and Spain. Pelmorex recently acquired Beat the Traffic which provides real time traffic info for your location.

The Weather Network operates on many platforms: web, apps, smart TV, TV and sponsorship. Each platform has to to be tested for user experience: research, usability, heuristic evaluation and experience mapping. And then you have consumer integration. Testing is done throughout the design process and across all platforms. The scope of the operation is amazing.

After the presentation we were treated to lunch and had the opportunity to speak to people in the Design department, some of them graduates from our program.

Finally, we were taken on a tour which was great fun. We visited the green room, watched Fatima do a weather forecast in front of the green screen and visited the Beat the Traffic studio and talked with one of the presenters.

Thank you John Gallant for an eye-opening presentation, Stacey Litrenta for a great tour, and all the designers who took time to talk to us. Thank you for lunch and gifts, always appreciated by students.

LinkedIn: John Gallant

Weather Network

Information Visualization: Professor Isabel Meirelles

Information Visualization

Speaker: Professor Isabel Meirelles
February 14, 2014

Professor Isabel Meirelles was our speaker today and her field is Information Visualization. Professor Meirelles is an information designer and associate professor of graphic design at Northeastern University, Boston

Information graphics (info-graphics) communicate information by revealing patterns or relationships not easily deduced without the aid of visual presentations. Image types include charts, graphs, maps, schematic drawings, statistical graphics.

There are five aids to visualization:

  • External aids enhance our cognitive abilities
  • Context is key to understanding
  • There is not a single answer to a given problem
  • Solving a problem requires finding the right representation
  • The dimensions of intuitive and deliberate thoughts and processes

The real power comes from devising external aids that enhance cognitive abilities. Cognitive principles convey meaning, increase working memory and facilitates search and discovery.

Professor Meirelles showed us many examples of visualization at work. A map of Europe showed the languages spoken by using a colour legend. This one set of specific information gave us a visual key to the borders of the countries.

A visual presentation of information is not enough by itself. There are skills to learn to identify, design and organize the information for the desired outcome. There are also skills needed to interpret this information. In Professor Meirelles words “ The master chess player does not see the same board as the novice”.

We can learn more about visualization techniques and presentation in Professor Meirelles book Design for Information: An introduction to the histories, theories, and best practices behind effective information visualizations (Rockport, 2013).

LinkedIn Page: Professor Isabel Meirelles

Creative Niche: Adele Wootton and Craig Hodges

Creative Niche

Adele Wootton and Craig Hodges

Speaker: Adele Wootton and Craig Hodges
January 31, 2014

As our course is winding down it is time to focus on what is ahead – starting our careers and building our personal brand. To this end Adele Wootton and Craig Hodges from Creative Niche shared their knowledge and experience and provided much need advice when they visited our class.

Creative Niche is a world leader in connecting creative talent with the best companies in the their fields. Adele, Director of Client services, and Craig, Relationship Manager, have a wealth of experience and we are very lucky to have them share it with us.

The focus of the presentation was resumé preparation. Points to cover in a well constructed resumé are:

  • Identify the role you want in a company.
  • Conduct an assessment of your abilities, skills and experiences.
  • P-A-R:  Problem-Action-Result. What was the challenge? What action did you take to overcome the challenge? What was the result of your action?
  • List of soft skills e.g. strong work ethic, attention to detail, team player, positive attitude.
  • List of hard skills and skill level e.g. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator.
  • No fluff – better to be short and concise than to pad with filler.
  • Customize your resumé for each position.
  • Be concise and specific about accomplishments.
  • Showcase academic achievements, extra-curricular activities and related courses.
  • Do not include your home address (so you are not judged on accessibility).
  • Provide a direct link to your website with a PDF option for printing.
  • Check if your resumé successfully conveys your strengths and your suitability for a position by sharing your resume with people who will give you honest feedback.

Not only did Adele and Craig walk us through the daunting task of preparing a good resumé they gave us a questionnaire to help answer all the points listed above. I’m finding this a really helpful tool as it removes the terror of seeing a blank page staring back at you.

Thank you Adele and Craig for the invaluable help.

LinkedIn Page: Adele Wootton and Craig Hodges

Company: Creative Niche

TraffikGroup: Lily Varga

TraffikGroup

specker image lily

Speaker: Lily Varga
January 17, 2014

Visiting us today-Lily Varga from TraffikGroup, a Toronto advertising company working with digital, print and mobile platforms Lily is a Digital Art Director and she’s been with TraffikGroup since 2011. Lily is a graduate a  of our program and has had a variety of interesting work experiences. She excelled in Flash and her first job was designing Flash banners for Lavalife. To gain workplace experience she freelanced with Creative Niche. The downside here is not (usually) being able to use the work you produce in your portfolio.

TraffikGroup is part of the Diageo conglomerate of companies. Diageo is big in alcoholic beverages including Guinness. I’ve been around Guinness advertising all my life – one of our bathrooms at home is covered in vintage Guinness print ads. For my “marketing moment” last semester I chose Guinness because their commercials are so innovative and interesting. Also, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Guinness museum in Dublin which was amazing. TraffikGroup are introducing a new Guinness product to Canada – Black lager. The commercial show a scene where all other lagers are virtually invisible because they are ordinary.

For Foundry Cider TraffikGroup designed the wrap for transport vehicles including TTC streetcars. The TTC sent templates for five different vehicles. These are big templates – 400 dpi could barely handle the file size.

Lily stressed the importance of responsive websites. TraffikGroup designs for desktop first and then dumbs it down for mobile. We’ve had differing opinions from our speakers this year about how to create responsive websites.

A happy workplace is very important to TraffikGroup. They work hard and play hard together . I think TraffikGroup sounds like a great place to work. The work/play environment fosters a sense of community allowing a comfort level that fosters sharing ideas.

Thanks For Visiting Us

LinkedIn Page: Lily Varga

Company: TraffikGroup