Saturday, July 24, 2010

Creativity in multiple fields

Son of a gun, it sure has been some time since I wrote an update... where to begin?

Well, last night I had an exciting time polishing my favorite black shoes.  That may sound sarcastic, but it's not haha

Also last night, after my Allen Edmonds were brilliantly smooth, I followed my girlfriend's advice and made a Day Zero 101 Goal List.

Here's mine:

When you write one, right around #60, it starts to get really challenging and you kind of have to get creative and wrack your brain.  I'm anxious for #71!

I've been doing a lot of work with Arbitrage this summer too, and a lot of it is non-fashion-design-related stuff, which I'm excited about.  I get to flex my design and creativity outside the bounds of fabric and thread with things like sales, graphic design, management, marketing, public relations and web design.

Speaking of web design, if you like what you read, scroll back up to the top, enter your e-mail address and click the glowing, red button.  I spent a good amount of time getting it to be just how I wanted it so that new posts would be delivered straight to your inbox :)

Something I finished just yesterday was making a new press kit for Arbitrage.  After I actually had the design, content and layout how I wanted it, I had to wrestle with it to crunch it down to an e-mail-able file size without it looking like fuzzy garbage.  The 8-page document's source file is 153.3 MB!  Yeah, let's try to stuff that into an editor's inbox.

I think an important part of good design is not just making something that looks good, but making it as lean as possible and cutting out unnecessary waste.  I can't find the exact quote, but Betsey Johnson has said something to the effect of that it's not difficult to make a dress look great with a huge budget.

Basically, if you have five yards of fabric from one of the best textile mills around and hire only 60-year-old Parisian couturiers, it's hard to end up with a ugly product.  But if someone can still make a great dress with $100, he or she is an incredible talent.  Zac Posen's collection for Target is a great example of this.

So back to what I was saying, I was able to reduce the size of the press kit from 150+ MB to a bite-size 2.9 MB.  Basically what I did is save each page, excluding the text and other vector images, as jpegs at 150 ppi.  72, which I thought would be okay since that's the resolution of all things on the internet, made things just too grainy and pixelated.  Then I pasted all the vector images on top of the flattened images.  When I converted the text to an image well, it was still very readable but just not crisp.  I feel like the finished press kit has just the right balance of resources used (file size) and quality.  You can scroll through it below and if you want to get a closer look, click the "Fullscreen" or "Download" links on top of the PDF below:

We sent out some designs for samples for Fall as well.  To be honest, it's very frustrating to be bound to only a certain number of fabrics that are nearly all stripes from only one company.  But these three are the ones I designed that I like the best:

And here's a few of my favorite pages from my sketchbook:

I'm supposed to have 300-pages of sketches by the time school starts in a month... sweet Jesus...  I think I know what I should be doing tonight!

And for creativity in management, I had our interns Steph and Kristen watch this video and talk about human nature and the leadership principles they got from it!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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