Draft Graphic Design Project

draft-graphic-design-projectAs mentioned previously on my blog, part of my job in terms of outreach for my department’s division is about energy conservation. I really wanted to do something that brings awareness to it. So, I started with doing a keyword search for background images that dealt with energy.

I wanted to create an image that could be used for the division’s website, social media and could also be inserted into our division newsletter that’s emailed and printed for distribution. After looking for a while and searching different variations related to energy, I stumbled upon a light bulb background and knew it was a good start to creating something with it.

I liked it because it had great use of the “Rule of Thirds” with the bulb on the left vertical line. That allowed opportunity for me to use the open space on the right-hand side for other elements. I also loved the darkness of the entire image so I could use the inverse (lighter) colors for text.

As for the three smaller pictures – I took those myself. I used a macro focus on all three and tried to use a neutral background to not take away from the object itself. Using one of the tips from one of our readings on digital photography composition, I adjusted the aperture to blur the background of the photo. While it was all neutral backgrounds, I really wanted the objects to be in focus because I knew how I was going to use them.

Working on the Gestalt Theory of proximity – I grouped all three photos together on the right-hand side of the canvas. I had the idea to spread them out but it just looked cleaner and they grouped well together with them lined up. Then the text next to them would line up better as well, looking like a list format instead of just haphazardly placed on the canvas.

From the Layer Masks Photoshop tutorial, I used it to make the three perfectly square boxes to insert the three images in them. I even used the “group layers” option and then duplicated the group to make it much easier and faster to create the three photo boxes.

In terms of the title, it just worked out to put it on the bottom. I had all this space with the background image and with the placement of the light bulb it seemed to make aesthetically more sense to place on the bottom instead of the top. I used a ruler guide (again, from what I learned from the Layer Masks tutorial) so that I could snap a perfect rectangle on the bottom to create a filled box with a lot of opacity. That rule tip really came in hand for this one.

That was pretty much it for the project. Simple and straightforward – in my experience with outreach, it’s the best way to the get a message across.

Photo credit: Lightbulb background image from Pixabay:


Building Awareness to the Public

When I began working for the government in 2012, I started out in the Investor Education Program of the Securities Office of the Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs (DCCA) for the State of Hawaii. It was a newly created position because it had an element of multimedia as part of the outreach efforts. Over four years later, I still find myself working in outreach for the state.

The topic I’ve chosen for this blog is, naturally, on education outreach for the general public. I spent over three years with the Securities Office before moving into my current position in another division of the DCCA, at the Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA). Even with the move, the type of position remained the same – education outreach.

When I started, I was a Securities Multimedia Assistant and now I am an Education Specialist. Despite being in two different industries (investments and public utilities), the mission of my positions have only differed slightly. In Securities, I did a lot more event planning and project management for the outreach efforts. At DCA, outreach is more driven by public relations (media) as well website and social media updates.

My work in outreach is to bring awareness to the public of 1) what my office does for Hawaii consumers and 2) prevent or promote the industry topic (i.e. fraud prevention when I worked in Securities and encourage energy efficiency at DCA). Often times the public doesn’t know what we do – or worse, they don’t know we exist! So outreach is an important part of our state department to be able to help the public help themselves.

I’m glad that I was able to make the move because then I got to branch out more into different forms of communicating with the general public but I also got to use the experience that I’ve had from the old division and implement them into the new one. Now, I have a whole arsenal of outreach tactics to spread the word to the general public. Sure, the topics are vastly different but the methods to bring awareness to an audience have the same principles.

I look forward to exploring more about the topic of education outreach in the hopes that I can bring what I’ve learn in the course and apply it immediately to my position to advance my office’s outreach approaches in the future. It’s already been a few years and my interest in education outreach has not waned. I hope to continue down this path and bring more to the table as I learn and grow in the program.