Week #9 and #10: Spring Break

On both Monday and Thursday at Veneer I helped Paige with two different formatting projects. I wrote earlier about the client that is starting an online education program and how Veneer’s first order of business was to come up with a name for the client. They finally narrowed it down to the top 30 best names and then Paige picked her personal top 7.

Paige had me format the top 30 best names on 8.5×11 inch documents with two names on each page so they could print out all the possible names. I think they are going to do some kind of brainstorming activity with the prints but I’m not exactly sure what. The second formatting task was to edit the layouts of the merchandise that the education company could order to give them an idea of what their name, slogan and branding would look like on a notebook, pencil or web site. Paige had already designed the layout with the bag, notebooks, pencils, ect, but she asked me to make copies of the layout and add a different one of the top 7 names into each, find a domain name (url address) that suited the possible company name, add in the correct slogan and edit part of the iphone graphic. Here is an example of the layout with one of the potential company names:

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I am not sure if the education company will end up actually wanting Veneer to make them bags and notebooks, but I like the idea of showing a client the ways that their name could look on different products before deciding on a name.

This week I also found out that I got into RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)!!!! I am really excited to go there! I cannot wait to be a part of this community and to learn a lot from the professors at RISD. I have found that when I am surrounded by creative people who are enthusiastic about what they are creating, I am much more motivated to be creative and work on design, just like when high school students surround themselves with people who care about doing well in school and getting into college, they are more motivated to work hard. I had a conversation with my WISE mentor, Trish, about this idea recently. She commented on how people who live in Orinda and who are part of our community really value getting a good education and how the adults who live here serve as good examples of people who work hard in their chosen professions. I feel very lucky to have grown up in a community where I am surrounded by hard working people who expect and encourage me to also work hard.

Dina, the head of the public relations firm that shares the office space with Veneer, was inspired by Paige taking in a high school intern, and got in contact with another school who has a program similar to WISE. The program is similar to WISE in that it helps high school students find professional, real world experience but it is also very different because it is mainly for students who come from low income families. One of the students from the program who is interested in public relations wrote Dina an email with poor grammar and no punctuation sent from an iphone. Dina was shocked at the students lack of knowledge in how to contact an employer for an internship and asked the people in the office their opinion on how she should respond. However, when I thought about the situation a little further, I realized that never in school have we learned how to write a formal email or discussed the difference in communicating informally through texts or formally through email. I have learned how to write emails through living in a community where formality is expected and through having parents who are both professions in white collar industries. This student that contacted Dina cleary was not as lucky as I am to have grown up in a community where simple professional skills like writing emails are taught. Dina ended up deciding to contact the teacher and ask the teacher to sit down with the student to write a more formal email. I hope Dina ends up taking the student on as an intern because working with Dina will be a great experience for him/her!

I was a little too ambitious for my goals over spring break and didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked to, but I did get a good break and am re energized for my school and design work. I did get the ball rolling on the branding project for Elijah (the WISE student who is pursuing music for his project, working on a mix tape and asked me to help him with some graphic design things for his branding image). In the beginning of break Elijah sent me this email:

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When I first read this, I was pretty overwhelmed. One day I would like to be able to say yes to a project like this, but as of now, I have no experience in marketing, have no idea where one would even start to market a mix tape, do not have the connections to do this and do not have the time to spend the hours it would take to manage a musician’s public relations. However I do want to help out a fellow WISE student and the design aspect of this project sounds interesting and like a good thing to put into my portfolio so I responded with this email:

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.31.39 PM

Elijah emailed me back with a list of the products he wants (merchandise, business cards, a website, and stickers and posters) and I told him that I would price everything out for him. The prices will depend on how many copies of each he wants made and how many colors I use in the designs. Printing is expensive! I haven’t priced everything out yet for him but I know from previous experience that printing only 3 color posters can cost almost 60$ at a nice printer. Of course there are discounts for bulk orders but I don’t think Elijah quite understands how expensive it’s going to be to print everything. I also have no idea how much I should ask him to pay me for my work. I’m hopefully going to talk to my dad about this tonight or tomorrow. Elijah already has a logo and I think its pretty cool. Here it is:


Mr. Poling also asked me to work on a design project for his writing lab. He wants a logo, letter head and a decorative sign for his door. Because the writing lab is supposed to be for students who are struggling with writing and need extra help, the logo is supposed to be inviting, friendly and non-intimidating.


One thought on “Week #9 and #10: Spring Break

  1. Mr. Poling says:

    Your thoughts on the seemingly simple task of writing a decent, business-like email are insightful. One of the many things I respect about our WISE program is that it requires students to learn and practice these real world tasks. You have learned well. As for your connecion with fellow WISEster, Elijah, I hope that whatever you do turns out to be a win-win for both of you.


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