I Are Sidekick! Recap (from Design Sidekicks 02.17.12)

Last Friday I, and about 14 others, were sidekicks to some pretty awesome professionals in the design community. February 17th marked the day of a shadowing for local college-level seniors in the area. I was so excited because AIGA was able to accommodate 15 students and thanks to my awesome instructor, Ms Amber Gusa, Ralph, Mike, Harry, Lisa and I were able to be apart of that wonderful experience. I had a pretty cool talk with a few of the other students prior to the start of the event and I wish we could have spent more time together (thank goodness for Facebook).

At this event we were told to chose 2 of the available agencies/studios/printers to visit and I chose to visit SBS Studios and Hartley Press. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding with the date of the event so Hartley was unable to participate. However, Joseph Dagher at Dagher Printing stepped in to save the day.

SBS Studios is a place where they work on web design, online marketing and more. Us sidekicks that were to report to SBS Studios Session 1 included Harry and I, and one more student from UNF (I really do not want to misspell her name but I believe she said Katya – I may be very wrong, and if so I truly apologize). We were to meet up Ian Latchmansingh and walk with him through the studio, taking note on important pieces of information and just how the business operated. Well, due to a mix-up in directions I was a few minutes behind but Ian welcomed me with open arms. To everyone’s surprise he had yet to change the address to their new location on their website. I needed that laugh, it loosened me up for the rest of the day.

Ian gave us a quick bite to eat and a tour of the studio, which had a pretty cool work out area, a mini gaming area, awesome offices and a place to just sit and gather your thoughts that was free of any electronics. I thought that was a great idea! They also had a really nice working, arcade-style, gaming system, you know like the Street Fighter/Tekken/Pacman games that you would see in an arcade. After the tour he showed us a video they had on Vimeo. He also talked to us about the work they are doing with a website SBS had built from ground up. Ian went into detail about the stop motion project he worked on that featured cube-characters and showed us the green screen and Canon 7D camera they used to film with. He also talked to us about the sites and apps they were working on.

The most amazing part of this session was just the knowledge we gained from him. There was just so much information flowing from him and it was hard to catch it all but it was great! He tried to explain things like Cinema 4D, 503 and 404 sites, MAMP vs LAMP, what bad code really is, and where to find 447 web safe fonts! He also told us about font code generators, the webgl experiments, and other online portfolios that we could use, like Cargo and Carbonmade. Another thing that Ian went through with us was the process he goes through in dealing with a project. He showed us this program called Omnigraffel that he used for creating wireframes. He showed us documents that held brand briefs, sitemaps, and moodboards.

Overall had an amazing time at SBS I just wish I had more time to spend there and that maybe I could have a hand in whatever the days tasks were, even if it was filing papers!

Next I traveled to Dagher, this time I followed Harry considering we were going to the same place… But we got a little turned around at that point, too. Thank goodness Joseph was so kind and gave us directions. He was more worried of me talking on while driving rather than me being lost haha.

After a few cookies, donuts, and some water, Joseph gave us the history of his family and the business, as it is a family-ran business. He not only does local printing, but he does whole printing as well. They have a 6 and a 5 color printer. Dagher can do commercial offset and small digital runs but they can’t do web press.

After discussing the people and gadgets housed within the building Joseph talked to us about paper and how the ink reacts to the paper. He helped us in understanding the differences in CMYK and PMS colors in the bridge and showed us that some colors translate closer than others. He also reminded us that there are other factors as to what makes the colors change, including the paper. A fascinating fact I learned from Joseph was that the naked eye could see about 16.8 million colors, while you can only print about 10,400 colors. Amazing.

Joseph told us about little things that people do that is not the best thing to do while printing, like choosing a dark PMS color for a background and saying you want it to print at about 10% of that color. At that point you are guessing and it would be best if you choose a lighter color and if its not the color you want print at about 90%. (I hope that made sense. In my mind I compare it to dropping the opacity of a color in photoshop or illustrator. Why not just choose the color you want?)

Another thing Joseph went over for us were the things to look for when checking your proof, like check to make sure no shadows were drops, colors are close, etc. Another awesome tidbit of information was that no paper can come into the US unless it comes in as a harvested renewable resource. He also said that in the grand scheme of things, going paperless is not as environmentally friendly as most people think.

We talked about foiling, embossing, and stamps, duplex paper, screen printing, and raised ink, which no one really does anymore. Joseph really excited us and I could definitely feel the passion he has for what he does.

There were 4 things that I am sure I will never forget after my time with Joseph Dagher. One – send him PDFs! Two- He has an awesome letter press printer, that no one has used since the passing of his father. Three- Printing will never go away. Four- Don’t limit yourself.

I really thank AIGA for giving the opportunity to spend an entire day with these professionals and I can’t wait to enter this world of professional designing.

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