For Digital Page Formatting, our second project consisted of putting together four banner ads (of different shapes and sizes) that try to sell a specific food or drink- no brands, just the generic food. Here’s a glimpse at what I did- all ads are animated (the gift tag swings, the words appear one by one, and the prompt to click blinks), but this shows just the static image for now.

I used Illustrator to create the giftwrap background and the gift tag, Photoshop to put everything together, then Flash to animate and complete the project.

fruitcake banner ad 1

a leaderboard banner ad: 728x90

Then we had to show the context of our ad by embedding it in a web page. I chose Food and Wine because of its relevance to food, and also because my ad colors and style flow nicely with its design.

Food and Wine Example

the static leaderboard ad is shown at the top


For our first Flash project in NMS521- Web Design II, we had to create an animated greeting card (at least 20 seconds) using Flash CS3- Actionscript 3.0. This is my very first attempt at creating a Flash animation, and I chose to do National Free Speech Month. I drew all the characters in Illustrator, then imported them into Flash.

Our first project for Digital Page Formatting (Human Computer Interaction in the CDM school) was to create a transformation card. My playing card was the four of hearts, and I went with a water/reflection theme since it would allow a traditional placement of hearts, and the reflection could allow the card to be turned upside down without too much confusion.

We also had to create the back pattern for the card. Since I had fish and birds, I created three new fish for the three other suites- spades, clubs and diamonds. Then I created a pattern that incorporation rotation, reflection and glide based on our pattern class notes.

Here’s how it turned out:

photo transformation card

Last week, we finished the rough draft of the social media guide, which focuses on Facebook and Twitter. It ended up being pretty long, and I was surprised at the amount of content we had to include.  Social media seems second hand to me now (I could probably tweet in my sleep), so writing for someone with little experience reminded me how complicated the sites can be, especially in learning best practices and trends.  I wasn’t in class due to a work project, but we connected on Basecamp, and Piush recommended putting the best practices section first for each of the sections. Another possibility would be to separate best practices from the rest of the guide, since they might use this the most after they learn the basics.

For this week, we’re working on a case study of social media for City Farm. This could be really beneficial since not all businesses and nonprofits can benefit as greatly from social media as City Farm. They have a lot of qualities that make social media click for them (as seen by their almost 900 Twitter followers), and I’m excited to explain in detail why this is. I’m also excited to see what the video team has come up with- I’ve noticed a lot of Basecamp action from them this week.

This post is a little later than expected, but for week eight we made a lot of headway with the invoicing project. We wrapped up our individual parts (focusing the latter recommendations on exclusively mobile applications). I was really impressed with the Ring It Up app- it has some great invoicing options, printing capabilities, and a lot of tools that City Farm could really use. I’m curious to see how Andy and the Resource Center guys react to our ideas. Ben did a great job with pulling together the different options and writing a recommendation, so I think we’ve created a pretty handy document.

We’re also finished up with the Facebook tabs. Everyone edited theirs to create a consistent font, and we threw them up on the Facebook page in class. I think they look really good, and they make the Facebook page look more professional. Anyone can just create a page, but having custom built tabs means knowing a bit of design and code.

For Week Nine we’ll be focusing on the social media guide and hopefully creating something really useful. Ben’s focusing on the Facebook how-to, while I’m writing up the Twitter part.

This week we wrapped up our tab designs for the Facebook page- all we have left to do is edit them to make sure the fonts match, and this will be easily accomplished. It seems that everyone went with a clean design and plenty of white space, which provides consistency. Tonight we’ll be critiqued by the entire group, so I look forward to getting some feedback for the final edits.

For Facebook, we’ve also created a video tab that displays their new video. This will allow for a great platform to display future videos.

Twitter is doing really well this week, too. We have over 500 followers and are featured on 50 lists, which include topics like “Chicago foodies”, “sustainable food” and “local food”. These are all great keywords and titles for City Farm.

Finally, we’ve been able to do a little work on invoicing. Ben came up with a great document to start, and we are splitting up potential invoicing solutions to report on how they could work for City Farm. I’m researching Invoice Bubble.

Tonight I look forward to discussing a social media guide with the group. After that is completed, the social media set-up should be finished. However, the accounts we’ve worked hard to establish will need constant monitoring  and posting.

I feel like we got a LOT accomplished this week, especially on the social media front. But just perusing through the sign design uploads on Basecamp, I got really excited about what my teammates came up with! I think the vintage-grunge themed designs look amazing.

The City Farm Twitter account is already yielding some pretty successful activity. We began following a list of almost 4,000 people (all those who have already followed similar groups on Twitter), and since Twitter limits the number of people you can follow each day, we’ve reached the maximum number every day this week (200 a day). We are currently following about 1,000 people, and have 200 following us back. That’s a 20% conversion rate, which is very, very good for Twitter. My projection (and hope) is that we can get City Farm 1,000 Twitter followers by the end of the quarter. This is a lot more than most businesses have, and will provide them with an attentive (and free) audience to interact with whenever they want.

We’ve also been seeing some great individual responses on Twitter- we already have:

One person contact us about volunteering

volunteer tweet

One person contact us about offering free advertising

tweet free ad

And a fruit smoothie place contact us about using local produce in their store

twitter smoothie

twitter smoothie 2

I’ve retweeted back and hope to talk with the advertising lady today. That could be a great opportunity to design a banner or text ad for City Farm, and free advertising is always great!  Once I get the Fresh Choice contact info, I can send that over to Andy so that he can answer any questions they have.

Besides Twitter, the Facebook tab designs seems to be going well. I’m finishing up my CSA design and look forward to seeing the others in class tonight! I’m also looking forward to discussing invoicing options and creating a report for them.

My goals for the next week are to finalize the Facebook tabs, making sure they work properly, and to continue to get the most out of our Twitter account. If anyone’s interested, I use the program Tweet Adder to seek out people to follow. For the next week, I also hope to look into this possible advertising contact and see how we can get City Farm some free advertising.