Monday, November 30, 2015

Graphic Designers and Networking/Advertising their Work Through Social Media by Sierra Mergliano

Graphic Designers and Networking 

Through Social Media

            The life of a graphic designer is often times glorified and made out to be an easy, fun job.  People who have never indulged themselves in the arts often assume anything to do with art is easy and that making a living off an art degree is slim to none. When deciding to attend the Tyler School of Art, many people questioned what I would do with a degree in art and wondered how I would make money afterwards.  Sure all of these questions were on my mind but I feel as if they would have been on my mind anyway even if I had decided to go with physical thera­py, which was my initial plan. Through my own experiences as a graphic design student, I know the amounts of hard work and hours that go into the role and respect how challenging it can be. I have also seen how successful one can not only after college, but during college as well. A huge tool that seems to fuel success that I have found is through networking and advertising your work through social media or over the Internet.
            Today, pretty much everyone has a smart phone, which allows them to access the Internet and social media apps.  The term “digital natives” is given to the generation who is so used to the idea of instantaneous gratification that technology today has to offer, they can’t imagine living without it. Society and developing technologies have created this idea that you must be doing something or looking at something constantly.  This comes along with the need to view something, whether it is reading text or viewing images, within a matter of seconds.  Graphic design plays a huge role in not only building a brand but also grabbing a user’s attention and keeping them interested for those seconds.
            Social media is built for users’ short attention span and keeping them interested for that short time they have to either entertain them or advertise something to them. For example, when making a tweet on Twitter one can only use up to 140 characters, and on Instagram where one is limited to posting one image at a time or one video that is limited to 15 seconds. Consumers, especially ones who use social media, respond best to first impression when it is an exciting graphic image over listening or reading.  When this image is used constantly over a variety of social media platforms, one starts to build brand recognition.
            Today the Internet such as promotional websites (Etsy, Soceiy6, Artfire, aCrater,etc) and specifically Instagram is a huge way artists such as graphic designers, use to promote and advertise their work.  When researching some of today’s top graphic designers I found list including the top designers to follow who advertise their work specifically through Instagram. 

 Some of these designers include:

Stephen Powers: 

Originally he began as a graffiti artist, but is known today now for an ongoing mural project known as “A Love Letter to You”, which highlights the complexities and rewards of relationships. In Philadelphia alone, him and his crew painted more than fifty walls along the train along Market Street.  The project, sponsored by grants funded through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative and produced with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, has created positive review from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His Instagram feature a wide variety of his design work, often using sharp shapes and punchy topography. 

Eric Marinovich:

Eric is a San Francisco based lettering artist and designer, and is know for being a co-founder of Friends of Type. His clients include big names like Nike, Google, Ford, Ford, and so on. In 2012 he founded Title Case, a creative workspace, where he holds lecture and design workshops.  His Instagram includes many snapshots of his work, highlighting his recent project titled “Hip Hop Hullabaloo”.

Tad Carpenter:

Tad Carpenter grew up with two artists as parents, therefore has been surrounded by creatives his entire life. HE is a designer, illustrator, author and teacher based out of Kansas City with clients such as Target, Macy’s, Rayban, MTV Adobe and much more.

Many designers I tend to find on Instagram are often connected to a site where you can buy prints of their work or printed on a variety of products. One designer that I found on Instagram who I also now follow on is Henn Kim. Although her page didn’t lead me to a personal website displaying her work, it lead me to her society6 account featuring her illustration work on item I could buy. 

Other Instagram accounts act more of centers of design inspiration such as PICAME, an Instagram account displaying work from multiple designers including their names so you can go to their own personal Instagrams and find more info on them individually.

The use of this one social media app has lead me and many other to the discovery of many graphics designers and their work.  It is a tool used to not only get your work out into the world, but it one that one can use to experiment with new styles of design and inspiration. Despite my love, graphic design still comes with many challenges such as technical challenges, working in an industry that in constantly improving and changing, expanding you portfolio, maintaining a unique, distinct style, networking, time management, and most importantly getting clients. Technology and software is constantly being developed, which can help designer create more appealing designs for their clients. With the help of social media and using he Internet to your advantage, these challenges can become just a little be easier to overcome and create a greater opportunity for growth and success. 

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