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VCOM 40 :: Business of Design

Summary and Homework, February 17

Discussion: We had a spirited discussion about how to manage creatives, best practices for staying creative, supporting creatives in a creative environment, etc. I am arranging a tour of PureRed soon so that you can see such an environment in action. Cheree found a great resource which I sadly did not take home. We will post it for you all next week.

HOMEWORK: Next week topic  will be how to break into the T-shirt business. Read this article and explore my links about how to start a niche business.

FYI: On March 24 we will have a guest speaker, Joan Beiriger, who will discuss licensing your art. Start reading up and learning about this interesting facet of the design world now.

Summary and Homework, February 10

Discussion about contracts and how to write them. We also reviewed everyone’s portfolio work to date. KEEP it going! You need a portfolio….honestly!

Completed work on OC comps. Nice work! If you want to see the draft 1 comp that went to the client you can download it here (link is only available for 7 days):


  • Page 1 shows a possible look for the bottom of the e-mail blast (below the illustration)
  • 3 pieces were not included because they did not meet the scope of the work. If one of these is yours I hope you understand why yours is not included.
  • The comps were completed by 2 classes (VCOM 59 and 60) and are in alpha order by student last name
  • I did NOT security lock the pdf which is something I usually do when sending comps to a client. O’C has proven to be a trustworthy client.


Our topic for discussion is managing creatives.
Read this online article and be prepared to discuss this topic:

Summary and Homework, February 3

All students in the portfolio class reviewed their portfolio concepts. Students in this class are supporting them in their understanding of self-promotional strategies.

NEXT WEEK’S DISCUSSION TOPIC: WRITING CONTRACTS AND SETTING FEES FOR CLIENT WORK. As a head start, attached is the paperwork I wrote for the O’C job. After our client meeting last week I sent the Client the summary notes of the meeting to clarify the Scope of the Work. On Sunday I wrote to firm up details re: the Constant Contact e-mail blast. O’C has now requested that the Design Shop not only create this year’s illustration but also develop a customized e-mail blast template. I included my correspondence with the client in order to get this info prior to writing the contract.

my summary notes of Client meeting: OC_St.Pat_Summary_1-27-11
my correspondence requesting further info re: e-mail blast: Clarification
contract sent to Client: OConnor_St. Pat_Contract_2011_sample

HOMEWORK: Read and understand the examples provided and then RESEARCH INFO RE: FEES AND CONTRACTS. Have examples with you and be ready to lead the discussion. As a head start, I provided several links on the site under “Paperwork Examples”

Summary and Homework, January 27

Discussion and Homework:

What strategies are needed for a great self promotion campaign (TO BE CONTINUED!) YOU are responsible for this topic. Do research, bring in links or examples if you have ones that are newer /different than mine, and be prepared to lead this discussion next week.

O’C initial meeting notes summary: IF you did not place your notes of the meeting into the server, THEY ARE OVERDO!!!! Attached are my notes edited from Laura Alatorre’s (good job Laura!) Several of you wrote good notes too. It was easy to use one as my start. Laura’s last name starts with an “A”, so it was at the top of my list on my computer. I could have used any… DOWNLOAD MY NOTES HERE so that you can compare them with yours: OC_St.Pat_Summary_1-27-11 You DO NOT have to create a comp UNLESS YOU WISH TO! The client is completing her to do list and will get back to me no later than Monday. I will then create a contract and will post a copy when it is signed.

IMPORTANT! Client meeting Thursday, 1/27

A client will be joining us for an initial project meeting this week, Thursday, January 27 at 1 PM in studio 300. I apologize for the short notice, but I just confirmed the meeting date tonight. The deadline for the project’s completion is the first week of March, thus the immediate need for a scope of the work discussion.

Our VCOM students have done design work for this company for the past couple of years. Since this specific project involves DRAWING, I am inviting my Illustrator students to join us at the meeting. All VCOM 40 and 60 students must attend or e-mail me why you will not be in class at that time.

Come prepared to take notes, ask questions, etc.

Project Info:
Create a St. Patrick’s Day greeting “card” that will be sent to our client’s clients.This year the card will be delivered via e-mail rather than printed and sent via USPS.

Project Details to date (More will be forthcoming at the meeting)
How the Irish Saved Civilization
As the great libraries of Europe were looted and burned by Germanic invaders after the fall of the Roman Empire, much of the literature of Western civilization was saved by unlikely Irish scribes, only one generation past illiteracy. These scribes copied thousands of manuscripts that served as the repositories for Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian culture. Their work is the reason for the survival of much of western literature through the dark ages and into the beginning of the Middle Ages. Without their efforts, much of Western Literature would have been lost.

Client Background Information
Our client is the O’Connor Management Company, a construction management firm. They work as the owner’s representative/consultant, the middle man between them and the general contractor. O’Connor is a valued leader of quality management that takes ownership of their client’s needs and problems, and values their resources as their own.

O’Connor’s owners are are Irish, so to be fun and different, they send out annual Saint Patrick’s day cards instead of Christmas cards.  The card is a unique vehicle used to make contact with their clients annually and helps to show appreciation. Every year our client comes up with a different Irish related theme—a picture along with some interesting facts about whatever the topic is. This year’s theme is posted below. Begin to research ideas NOW! For instance, what documents were transcribed? What do they look like?

NOTE: To give you an idea of what is covered in a similar meeting, attached are SummaryMeeting_1-28-10. Last year’s theme was “Kissing the Blarney Stone.” Also attached is OConnor_Contract_2010.

Summary and Homework, January 20, 2011

It was so nice to see and meet you all yesterday. This should be a great class albeit a large one. To summarize, you are not required to do portfolio or design studio work unless we have a class client or you wish to do so. Let me know if so… Your task as a group is to collaborate and partner with each other and with the portfolio students to make the entire class have a rich, successful experience.


Cull through as many of the links that I provided you with as possible, especially those that discuss what a designer does and inspirational portfolio links. Next week we will discuss SELF-PROMOTIONAL BRANDING. Bring as many items (print or web) to share as you can. Jot down interesting notes for discussion. If you find links bring them with you on a thumb drive.

Business of Design

This class is all about the design business. You will participate in weekly seminars with topics relating to the business of running or working in a design firm. During studio time, some of you will be responsible for LPC Design Shop client work projects. For those of you who wish to, you will be able to work on your portfolio in a collaborative, supportive environment alongside the Portfolio VCOM 60 students. Others will be here mostly to gain experience in the field of design. This class is repeatable which is why there are different goals for people.

VCOM 40 is a very different sort of class: you will work collaborating as a team and competitively but cooperatively in order to best serve our client(s) and yourselves. Several of you will also work in teams to support personal goals, such as building your portfolios in order to graduate and get a job and/or move on to freelancing, especially with the VCOM 60 students who meet in our class. ALL of you need to check your egos at the door, and be determined to provide the best solutions based on the scope of the work presented by each client.

I will soon post the CLASS ROSTER sorted by interest group. Some of you will be meeting separately as well as in class. I will post the times.places for meetings after the first class.

Class officially starts at 8 AM. We will start work at 8:15 AM unless you are otherwise advised (e.g., when a client is expected.) DON’T STRAGGLE in LATE. We are a TEAM and this is your workplace.

READ THE 40_syllabus_F11! Bring any questions you may have about the syllabus to class next week. Please see me individually re: my grading policy if you have any questions.

Your final is Friday, May 27, 9:30 – 11:20 AM. It will be a culmination of everything we do this semester.

There are no required books. We will have seminar discussions based on resources on this site.

You will always be advised if/when a client is coming to class. We will communicate with each other via this web site. Come here often to check for updates, new resources, etc. and READ YOUR E-MAIL DAILY! When you need to dress up and/or come early to class, you will be advised well in advance.