Semester 1, Web Design
I graduated from UofT and Sheridan in 2012 and took a year off from school, worked part time, made jewellery, did some art and craft shows and had a lot of time to see moves, visit galleries, shop and sleep, sleep, sleep.
Then September rolled around and I was back at my favourite campus, Sheridan College in Oakville, to complete a one-year Web Design course. The blurb said it was an intensive course,I’ve always worked hard so I didn’t think that would be an issue but let me tell you I had no idea what INTENSIVE meant.
The class load was heavy and all the courses covered BRAND NEW MATERIAL – Flash, Dreamweaver, Tech., Typography and Marketing. I had a smidgen of experience in Design.
This blog entry is my last endeavor for the semester and as I look back at the last four months I cannot believe how much I have learnt and all the new skills I have acquired. I am proud of what I have accomplished. I won’t pretend it was easy, it was not – I pulled more all nighters in the last four months than I did all through university.
I am looking forward to next semester but I’m also a bit anxious about it. I will give it my all and I can’t do more than that but for now I’m off to La-La land so GOODNIGHT ALL.
Sheridan Sports Injury Clinic, Brampton
November 29, 2013.
Today was physical ﬁtness assessment day. Sheila Greenland, our professor arranged
a class trip to Sheridanʼs Sports Injury Clinic in Brampton to make us more health/
ﬁtness conscious. This is key for people in the web design ﬁeld who spend ridiculous
stretches of time sitting in front a computer screen.
The 4th year Physio students took us through three rotations:
• Stretching clinic – relieves stiffness and soreness, injury prevention. Many of these
stretches can be done while sitting at the computer and are really important in
preventing future chronic conditions. We covered neck, ﬁngers, wrist and back
• Strengthening clinic – to improve posture. My posture sucks so I was interested in
learning some corrective exercises. They really work, I felt I was standing straighter for the rest of the day. Now I just have to make this part of my routine.
• Assessment – In this rotation we were asked questions about our personal ﬁtness/
activity levels (unfortunately, going to the gym was one of the ﬁrst things I dropped
when I started this course), medical problems, medications, pain issues. For me itʼs
my lower back (my bad posture doesnʼt help). I was given an explanation for my
problem and some very doable exercises to gradually improve the condition.
Overall this experience was an enlightening one and it was also a lot of fun. We all got good advice that was very speciﬁc to the type of job we do.
I know this was not really an art outing but it is the making of art and the creative
process that is causing my pain issues.
Thank you to all the students who helped us, my back thanks you too.
Speaker: Michael Gramlow
November 22, 2013.
Colorﬁeld is a digital production company that works with creative agencies to bring
their ideas to life in the digital world. Our speaker today is Michael Gramlow who
founded the company with Amanda Loughran and Tim Scollick in 2012. Michael is the
Creative Director. The partners have all worked on the agency side which sets them
apart from other production companies.
Colorﬁeld works mostly with big consumer brands in the US – Chevy, Ford, Subaru,
NBC, Amex, Old Navy to name just a few. Michael shared details from the Subaru
project with us. The results of a survey showed 90 % of Subaru owners have dogs so
dogs became the focus of the campaign. the TV ad shows a dog buying a car.For
Subaruʼs Facebook page Colorﬁeld included four apps:
• Upload a photo of your pooch and create an “ofﬁcial state driverʼs license.
• Real time virtual chat with a Subaru expert who happens to be a dog.
• Subaru/dog matchmaker.
• Put your dog in a Subaru – upload a photo of your dog and put them in your favorite
Winning awards is important, not for personal recognition but business afﬁrmation.
Clients are attracted to award winning companies.
Michaelʼs advice for our ﬁnal portfolio:
• Less is more, focus on quality content rather than quantity
• Know your work, be able to discuss, defend and back up your ideas and execution.
Thank you Michael for taking time from your busy schedule to share your insights with
LinkedIn Page: Michael Gramlow
Company Web Page: Colorﬁeld
Speaker: Pietro Gagliano
November 15, 2013.
Secret Location is an award winning ﬁrm that focuses on brands and advertising,
entertainment, and original technology to achieve the best outcome for their clients.
Our speaker today is Creative Director and VP Pietro Gagliano. Secret Location is only
ﬁve years old and has 35 full time staff and 10 – 20 specialists on contract at any given time.
Pietro shared some case studies to give us an idea of the types of projects they do.
Endgame Interactive: Facebook Episode: Endgame is a Showcase TV series. Secret
Location created an online episode where the showʼs Facebook friends could interact
with the showʼs star to help him solve mysteries. It was a successful venture – 62% of
the fans connected through Facebook and 13.4% ﬁnished the full episode. This
innovative project won Secret Location an Emmy, a Gemini, a Webby and a slew of
Amazing Race Canada: For the debut season of Amazing Race Canada Secret
Location created the ofﬁcial interactive video and game site. They crafted three minute video “gamisodes” for each of the episodes. Fans could complete online versions of the challenges the teams faced on the show. An important goal was creating branded
content for the major sponsors.
Secret Location follow a three step process from concept to completion:
• Story – Best idea possible without budget or technological constraints.
• Form – Figuring out the best strategies to make the idea a reality.
• Function – Execute and test the plan.
Pietro, thanks for sharing your secrets with us, your company sounds like a very
exciting place to work.
LinkedIn Page: Pietro Gagliano
Company: Secret Location
Speaker: Sabaa Quao
November 8, 2013
Sabaa is a self proclaimed career entrepreneur with a wide range of work interests and a diverse education. He has a degree in Communication and Design from OCADU, a B.Comm from Concordia and an executive MBA from The Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is passionate about design, emerging media and branding. He is President and Co-Founder of /newsrooms, a network dedicated to building continuous content marketing and social media coverage for brands. His energy is contagious and I enjoyed his talk very much.
Sabaa’s tagline is “Creativity is the most important resource on the planet”, another reason he impressed me.
Creativity does not exist alone, you have to learn the tools and discipline to make it work. Discipline will protect your creativity.
- A “me too” strategy will almost always fail, so skip the imitation of anyone and everyone else.
- Design: if you can solve a problem you’re ahead.
- Know your “origin story”, you need to know the origin to better understand how to proceed.
- Recognizing when something is going to change creates opportunities.
- Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.
- Desktop web is in decline, mobile web is increasing.
- Going by the numbers will crush your creativity.
Thanks for the inspirational talk Sabaa and for bringing such great energy.
LinkedIn Page: Sabaa Quao
Company: /newsrooms, Filminute
Speaker: Genco Cebecioglu
November 1, 2013
Junction Design is a Toronto based UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) design studio and Genco, a Sheridan web design graduate, is its CEO and Creative Director.
The team at Junction follow a five step process to cut waste, deliver a successful outcome and optimize efficiency:
Research and listen to define the need.
Identify the user to determine functionality and risk elements and to optimize flows.
Collaborative design – team think tank to develop the ‘story’ and create visual identity.
Execution at code level.
Optimization based on user feedback.
Genco had some personal advice for us. He told us not to stress (unfortunately he didn’t tell us how) and not to sell ourselves short. For the Independent Project Genco recommended designing a site in line with our career goals.
Thank you Genco for the informative talk. Junction Design is in my neighbourhood, maybe I can arrange to visit when the workload is not so heavy.
LinkedIn Page: Genco Cebecioglu
Company Web Page: Junction Design
Speaker: John Alabaszowski
October 18, 2013
Today we heard from John Alabaszowski from Maclaren McCann, a top integrated advertising firm with over 450 employees.
Last year John took time away from his busy career as V.P. Group Creative Director to teach the Independent Project class for our program. He advised us to stay on top of advances in technology.
John talked about some of the interesting projects developed at Maclaren McCann. This is a very innovative firm that has trusting clients who let them take creative liberties. The Xbox game Gears of War 3 combines the use of gameplay with the live interaction of real people. It is a third party shooter game where you find “hidden cogs’ that lead to a prize that you collect in real life. The final prize is a piece of locust meat from the giant locusts in the game that can be redeemed at special butcher stores. This concept created lots of buzz about the game where people shared what they had found. This popular interactive component got people out of their homes and interacting with real people.
Another popular project was for Mastercard. Mastercard asked Maclaren McCann to create billboard posters looking for interns. Maclaren McCann grew this idea into the #Interns Wanted Campaign. This project demanded that the prospective interns navigate a variety of social media in order to submit a resume, so the very act of submitting a resume became part of the application process.
My personal favourite is their treatment of Wendy’s need to advertise their poutine. Everybody does poutine so a competitive edge was needed. The solution was to create an online petition – the Poutition – to make poutine Canada’s national food.
Thank you John Alabaszowski I enjoyed hearing about your exciting company.
LinkedIn Page: John Alabaszowski
Company: Maclaren McCann