Work Experience

Week 10 | CultureHUB

Week 10 | CultureHUB

07th November – 11th November 

What did I do?

This week I started working with Anna on CultureHUB Magazine. CultureHUB has been running for over a year and is a free magazine distributed all over Northern Ireland and is starting to reach readers in the south as well. I have volunteered and worked with Anna before, she took me on for the same role of a Junior Designer.

Since we have less than a week and a half for the next issue to go to print, I had a lot of tasks to do. First of all I organised the online website which blogs daily on articles that are also in the magazine. I tidied some of the settings and then looked to see if I can add pop-ups to pages. Since facebook is a great way of reaching out to people and attracting new readers, Anna thought it would be great if we added a pop-up encouraging people to go onto the facebook. I found a few plugins to help me do that (since her website is on wordpress), it took some time before I got the one that was most suitable for us. The best thing about the plugin was that it gave me the control of where to put it and which blog post to add it to. So after setting up a nice simple layout for a pop-up, I had the option of adding it to any blog post. It had to be done manually, so from now on I have the responsibility of adding the pop-up to each blog post on daily basis. Styling was limited but with knowledge of code I got to style it with css myself as the plugin provided that option.

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After that I also added a new plugin which allows users to share the article to facebook and it also counts every share and displays it. It is a really interesting plugin, the only downside is that it takes a while to reset cashe and count each share, setting up constant refresh would have slowed the website down so I had to just use the default settings.

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Later in the week I also created an editorial for an article about a band called The 4 of Us. The written piece was interesting and shown how long the band has been playing and the fact that they just released their 10th album. When it comes to magazine editorials I always look to Pinterest for inspiration. Some of the designs there are very good to note ideas from. Since it was a double page one, I decided to take advantage of the great quality photographs we had and used it as a double page image.  I used yellow as part of the design, it was a more retro vintage shade to match with the feel of their band. Then I added a cover at the bottom of their new album, the space was filled with a feature which also has a link to their website. I absolutely loved doing this design. I was inspired to use the most important quote in a stand out yellow colour from Anna’s previews design I seen. However I cut out the text box to be in a circle to make it look like the hole in a guitar and text looks like strings.

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At the end of the week I have been thrown into doing my very first advertisement. We had a client from CraftWorld belfast and she brought bags of products for us to show off in the advert. I had the absolute pleasure to set up a display for each category and then Anna photographed it. This is where I felt so open to just be myself and do what I felt looked good, thanks to Anna who gave me the freedom. She actually really liked my ideas as I set up 6 different displays for 6 categories: Art, Craft, Modeling, knitting, Cardmaking and Ribbons/Materials. I spend most of the day doing the displays to make sure to have a wide variety of photos to choose from. I had a great time doing so too. Here are a few of my favourites:

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After this was done, I spend some time coming up with a cute design for this advert, I was meant to make a mock-up so Anna could change it a little to her linking and edit it more suitably. I made a very pretty advert with some of the text the client wanted, however I was not sure what to do with the text when I worked on it at home. However anna wanted the mock-up design anyway and told me not to worry about the text. Here is what I made:

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What did I learn?

This week I learned more about WordPress, got to explore it and use different plugins to see how everything works. I loved using it as it is so simple and time efficient. From using plugins I realised some of the ones on wordpress may not be professional as some just don’t work and are under developed, so I had to be cautious to what I was downloading.

This was also my first time creating an advert for a client to be published in the magazine, I learned to explore possibilities of what the client may want. I researched Craftworld, looked at colours they had on their website, what they used and how they branded themselves. Any design choices had to come from there.

I also learned some new tricks in Illustrator, like how to cut out a circle in a shape and then turn it into a text box, this was a very good tool. Anna is very good at showing me some Illustrator’s functions.

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