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Week #3: The Structure of the Studio

Before I continue with this journal I want to explain the environment of the office, all the people who work at Veneer, what their roles are and how the firm is structured. The office is pretty small and open. It has a very collaborative environment because most people sit at this long table together instead of in separated offices. There is also a really big window (you can’t see it in the photo because it would be directly behind the camera) and skylights that let in a lot of natural light. There is no artificial lighting except in the knook that has Paige’s desk and the knook that has the desk for the video editing. Here are some pictures of the office.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 9.05.10 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-16 at 9.05.33 PM

Paige, the woman who I originally contacted for the internship, is the CEO, Founder and Creative Director. Basically she is the boss. She delegates tasks to the other members of the firm and coordinates all of the small jobs to make sure that they all come together for the finished product. She is also the main person who communicates with the clients. From what I can tell, there are five main groups of jobs: graphic design work, organizing the interactive design, coding for the websites, video editing and publicity for the clients.

Andrew is the main graphic designer but I have never meet him because he lives in New York. He creates most of the logos, graphics and layouts and then sends them to the other members of the firm so they can incorporate them in their websites, videos, newsletters, etc. for the clients. Kiefer also creates some of the simpler graphics sometimes, but I get the feeling that she doesn’t really like doing it.

Natale’s job title is the Senior Interactive Producer & Development Team Lead. Natale’s job stresses one of the main values of the Bauhaus movement that I talked about in the last entry: interconnectedness of different types of design. She mostly does this through the information given to the audience about the clients. When I first asked if they all had specific jobs or job titles, Natale laughed and said that Paige introduced her to each client with a different job description depending on what she was doing for that client. Kiefer also works with Natale (her job title is Interactive Producer). Natale and Kiefer work with the clients to figure out what types of information they want to include on their websites, newsletters and advertisements, etc. and how to phrase the messages. They also make sure that the websites are set up in a way that corresponds to the information the clients are trying to give the audience. For example, on The Food Business School’s (one of their big clients right now) website, Natale and Kiefer decided what types of information should go on each staff member’s page. They chose to put a picture of each staff member, a description of their prior experiences in the food industry, a quote and links to writings about or by the staff member. They also make sure that the brand identity for each client is consistent and connected in each product or service they provide. For example, if they include a paragraph about a special upcoming event that Annie’s Pasta (another one of their clients) is providing, it is important that this event also appears in the event section of their website. When I worked on researching each of the staff members from the The Food Business School to find important articles from the New York Times and other important journals about the staff members and put descriptions and links to these articles on their staff pages, I was helping Natale and Kiefer maintain the information on the website.

Han and Kellen are developers. This means that they write the actual code for the websites. Paige and Natale work with the clients to figure out what types of information should go on the websites, the most important things for the viewers to see and how the website should be structured. Then Han and Kellen actually create the structure of the website. After the structure of the website is set up, Natale and Keifer can put all of the information and pictures in.

Kesten (Paige’s husband) and another guy (who’s name I don’t know) are responsible for editing videos. I am not sure if they are full time employees or if they just do freelance video editing work and Veneer happened to need them to edit their video for The Food Business website. Either way, they have been editing the same video everytime I have gone there. There are a lot of different factors that go into editing the video to make sure that the client is promoting its brand identity and image in the desired way. For example, there was one sentence of the video where the speaker’s voice went up a little bit at the end of his sentence. Kesten and Paige spent at least 10 minutes discussing if the little inflection in the man’s voice took away from the video too much and how they could fix it.

In the same office as the Interactive design firm is a public relations firm. At first, I didn’t realize that these were two separate businesses because they all work in the same room, sit at the same table and have basically the same clients. Dina is the head of the public relations team. Kat works for Dina as well as some other people who’s names I do not know and who do not come into the office very often. Lauren works for Paige and is part of the Interactive design firm but does basically the same things that Kat and Dina do. These peoples’ main jobs are to get major journals, radio shows, etc. to publish articles and interviews about their clients so the clients can get their names out there and attract business. They also prep the people getting interviewed and help them come up with key points that they want to stress and how to word things to give the interviewers the correct message about the business’s desired identity. Here is a graphic that explains the structure in case you were confused by all the different names.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 9.05.54 PM 

On Monday at Veneer I got to help with some digital art work! Exclamation point because digital art and design is what I want to study in college, hopefully get a job in one day and the reason I sought out an internship at Veneer in the first place. It is very interesting learning about all of the other aspects that go into interactive design, but graphic design is my real passion. The graphics I worked on are part of an infographic for a client that works with businesses to create a healthy and productive work environment. The layout and color scheme for the infographic was already created (probably by Andrew or Paige) and the facts and statistics that needed to be included on the graphic were given to us from an earlier brainstorm meeting that Natalie did with the company. First Kiefer and I read over the facts and then brainstormed clipart that we could include with each fact. An example of a fact was “Doing one-on-one meetings while taking walks can enhance thinking and productivity”. For this fact, we decided the make a clipart graphic with a thinking bubble and foot prints inside. After we had come up with all the ideas for the clipart, Kiefer set to work formating the text in the infographic and I got started creating the clip art. Here are some pictures of the clipart! (the background of the infographics is similar to this color orange so I put them on an orange background)

Clip Art for Journal

 

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