Notes From the Future Desk: August


Jerrod Long

on 9/2/2016

This month we circle back to VIA’s design department. They’ll talk collaboration, Skillshare, their latest obsession, and classical vs. futuristic mural techniques.


Week 1: Strange Obsessions

As a design team, we have been obsessed with Stranger Things lately. The intro typography, that is (and the show too). From an inspiration standpoint, I love watching the details of each episode to pull out how mindful design really takes the viewer into Mike and Eleven’s world. The folks behind this are the same people behind the Mad Men intro (which shouldn’t be surprising).

Week 2: Skillshare is an incredibly awesome design resource

I always wanted to add some simple After Effects animation techniques to my designer’s toolbox, but never could figure out the best way to start out from scratch. AE is an amazing tool, but super complex and in depth. YouTube had a few decent tutorials that I tried out, but I really had to dig, and even then, most of them had some sort of expectation that you have prior knowledge of the program. Skillshare, on the other hand, gives you a direct, end-objective, detailed instruction on how to reach that goal and, best of all, is geared toward beginners . Each tutorial (class) is pretty specific and the outcome of your project will be close to what the creator is offering. And they don’t just offer design classes – You can learn anything from how to better photograph interior spaces – to how to cook some amazing Indian food. Two months after taking my first class, I’m still able to apply little tips and tricks here and there to a number of different client deliverables. Below are a couple of take-aways from the first class that I enrolled in:


Week 3: The Mural Transition

When you think of the future, hand painted murals might not come to mind… unless you’re a muralist that works for VIA. The murals we’ve produced are pretty massive, one at 600 sq.ft. and the other over 1800. We transfer the art in the old fashioned way, that of Michelangelo and Raphael, not so futuristic. Huge sheets of paper on a lift with and a little wind can cause some rather colorful expletives. Artists transfer with paper and pounce due to a lack of space for a projector. Now with short throw and art trace projectors with keystone and grid options our tracing days will become a thing of the past. Perhaps now we may add more color to our murals instead our language.

Week 4: Better Collaboration

Collaboration and iteration can be a bit messy. It’s hard to find everything in one spot, and it can be frustrating trying to sift through older versions of things, scrapped ideas and different file types to find the one. That’s why we are deciding to give Dropmark a try. It allows you to create different collections of files (whether that be links, photos, raw design files, pdf’s etc.) and drop them straight into the browser – or, I’ll do you one better – Install the browser extension to have access to a sidebar option to drag and drop files in. This beats the hell out of compressing files into a ZIP, emailing to a client, and forcing them to download and open everything one by one to preview. Make collections private or public, add your files to said collections, then invite users (clients or coworkers) to view. Best part is, they don’t even have to sign up or create an account. Simple collaboration and quick previewing with zero hassle. It combines the likes of Pinterest, Dropbox and Basecamp, but cleans up their messes and offers time-saving, dead simple collaboration. – Morgan


Your place for all the happenings in and around Jerrod Long that made it to print.

My great grandma lived on a diet that consisted of coffee, cigarettes and sugar cookies until she was 103.– Jerrod

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