Annoyed, About To Bust

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This week has been okay I suppose. I missed class on Tuesday but I went to class Thursday and it was so boring. In my religions class we were talking about cults and what they are. The teacher showed a video that immediately reminded me of the mathematical equations of cults. This teacher is a brand new teacher and just graduated himself so naturally he is a hot headed, disagree with literally everything you say, bad teacher. Anytime he would ask me a question he would answer it himself and I of course would show my thoughts on my face. He asked “What is the difference between brainwashing and education? Not much I would say.” I looked up the definitions and showed them to a nearby student and they literally laughed out loud. My PR Pubs class was okay too. we had a guest speaker who was funny and quirky. She was teaching us about what her job is like for OU. I forgot her title but basically she designs mail, cards, shirts and other stuff to get students interested and keep them engaged. Our professor was trying to teach us the value of direct mail- which he did. 

Shopping For Photos

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This week in PR pubs we began learning about Adobe Photoshop. I had significant experience with this program in the past but hadn’t worked with it in a while so I was excited to jump back in again. 

On Tuesday, we began with watching Lynda videos to learn the in’s and out’s of Photoshop. Starting back at the beginning to learn the program was interesting because I knew how most of it worked but there were a couple things that I had forgotten. The videos were very informational and help remind me about things I had forgotten before.

On Thursday, Tiffany, from the admissions and recruitment office, came to talk to the class. She talked about the planning that goes into designing a piece for such large audiences. She explained how expensive it is to print pieces but also that when the number of pieces you print goes up, the price to print goes down as well as the price to mail. She said that different students receive different mailers, not everyone gets the same one. 

She began to explain that students with different levels of interest receive different mailers. There is also a program called slate that is used to identify different audiences. The program can identify people by race, age, location and several other factors. 

I’m excited to begin working on the direct mailers for the new residential colleges. I don’t know a lot about them but I’m excited to learn. 

´╗┐Photoshop Tutorials and Internship Inspiration

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This week was exciting primarily because on Thursday, Croom brought in a special guest speaker: Tiffany Haendel from Recruitment Services.

She discussed the basic principles of graphic design as they pertain to her work in university marketing. She also gave us a peek at how the office’s communications work, explaining that potential students on OU’s mailing list can receive emails, snail mail, and texts, if they sign up for the service. Slate, the program she used to achieve this form of hands-on marketing, is something I’d heard about but hadn’t yet seen for myself.

She also passed around two examples of design work she’d done during her time here at OU, the first of which was harder to read despite its larger font size. Tiffany explained that higher leading improves readability even if the font size is smaller. She then proved her point with a second piece, which was meant to serve the same purpose as the former, that had those better traits.

Thursday’s excitement didn’t invalidate Tuesday’s work, though. We watched videos on to learn the basics of Adobe Photoshop. More of it was familiar to me than I thought it might be – GIMP is a similar program, albeit much less sophisticated – though I was amazed at the lesson on making selections.

In GIMP, you’d have to zoom in and spend hours making a very precise cutout to achieve anything remotely close to the same thing (I know because I’ve done it far too many times).

My other favorite lesson was the one about changing the color of an object within an image. 

I re-watched the video twice to get a better feel for the tools he used and the steps he took to achieve that final effect. I’ll probably practice this technique on some mini project of my own soon so I don’t forget how it works.

Overall, this was a good week for PR Pubs, and I’m excited to see what we do next.

Week 6 Reflection

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This week in class we were assigned to write 2 media advisories and 2 media pitches. I read the online lectures and formatting about media advisories and media pitches and was ready to jump in. Writing the media advisories wasn’t too bad I just struggl…

Widening my Adobe Application Horizons

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PictureImage of OU acceptance box Tiffany (guest speaker) worked on. Image from:

This Tuesday in Croom’s class we began to tackle another Adobe application which was Photoshop. I watched some tutorials on Lynda on the basic tools and how-to use Photoshop. Some of the differences between Adobe In Design and Adobe Photoshop threw me off such as how there are layers on the canvas in photoshop but there are no layers in In Design. With any new application comes uneasiness and uncertainty but by the end of class, Photoshop did not seem like such a foreign application to me. On Thursday we had a guest speaker, and her name was Tiffany. She spoke to us about the essential elements to think about when designing projects in Photoshop as well as where her inspirations came from when designing for OU Admissions. Her take on typography and how important leading was when designing something to be printed showed me that little things could make a huge difference in a design’s look. Also, I found it interesting how she looked at big corporations such as Stitch Fix for inspiration and not just universities so that OU would stand out and be different from other colleges. Having her come speak was beneficial and helpful because it helped me realize some things I needed to take into account when starting our photoshop design project next week. I am excited to see if I can create pieces that appeal to a particular age group/public and keep all design elements in mind as well within the next few classes to come. 

Some of the inspiration for the admissions box pictured above came from this Stitch Fix box. Image from:

Photoshop Time

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​PR Pubs is picking up the pace and really testing our digital and creative skills. This week we dipped our toes in the water and tested ourselves in Photoshop. Yes, the miracle software. The one that makes everyone look gorgeous and not real. But we aren’t touching up model photos or anything… we are designing from scratch. Our class is still beginning to learn the lay of the land but we have been watching a lot of videos before creating our own direct mailer. Surprise that’s what is to come in my PR pubs class. Next week we begin to design our own personalized direct mailer for the residential colleges opening on campus. 
Today, we had a speaker from the admissions and recruitment office at OU; her name was Tiffany. Tiffany enlightened us on what really goes on being the advertising and media at OU. She described their software they use for emailing, texting and mailing out information. They target their markets specifically so they don’t waste OU funds on pointless postcards and to get the most out of their audience. She explained how OU personalized each postcard once so it felt unique to the new recruit. Tiffany not only spoke about the design aspect but also gave us future tips if we are interested in going into design or even just applying for an internship at OU. These were the five tips or ideas I took away from Tiffany’s presentation.

  1. Tiffany prefers her interns to have very minimal design experience so she can truly train and influence them. This was interesting to me because as I have been applying for internships, I have been rejected because I do not have 3-4 years of experience. Well what is the point of an internship?? If I am applying of course I don’t have experience. It’s a tough world out there guys!!
  2. Tiffany gets bored always creating a red postcard or using the same colors over and over again. She does this because this is the OU brand and changing it would mean the audience would not connect their advertising with OU. Would Apple change their logo just because they got bored always slapping an apple on their products? Nope!
  3. Tiffany starting out was not perfect at designing. She passed around a pamphlet that she created when first starting out that she said was awful and then showed us one she made three years later. Her design skills advanced through working at her job. This displays how you are constantly growing and learning in a design job. The game is always updating and changing.
  4. Tiffany has created many protocols for her staff and herself when designing for OU. I noticed in a lot of her slides there were always three points or strategies her office uses for everything. Everything goes through a process and a heavy editing cycle.
  5. Lastly, Tiffany’s presentation overall was not the most exciting, but you could tell she was passionate about OU, her job and trying to reach our class positively about the admissions and recruitment office. She really knew her stuff.

Overall, Tiffany enlightened our class more about what goes on being closed doors at OU and about the design background OU has. I am looking forward to working with Photoshop next week in class and listening to our next guest speaker. Stay tuned to preview my Photoshop work!
P:S: Tiffany described the new admissions box when you get accepted to OU. Apparently it’s a cute box not a folder like I got four years ago. How do I get my hands on one of those?
Always with Love,
            Heather Gilbert

Learning Photoshop & Learning from Tiffany

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This week we watched Photoshop tutorial videos on Lynda. I’ve never really used Lynda until this semester and I’ve learned to really like it. The instructions are clear and I appreciate that there is a transcript to go along with the videos. Here are some new things I learned about Photoshop:
1. If you simply press “B” on the keyboard while using Photoshop, the brush tool becomes selected.
2. I liked the analogy that the layers on Photoshop are similar to a stack of papers. You can only see the top paper (or layer), but there can still be other papers (or layers) beneath.
3. I finally learned what the lasso tool does!

On Thursday, Tiffany Haendel from OU’s Recruitment Services lectured our class. She was really insightful. Here are some of her tips and pointers that stood out to me:
1. Utilizing leading with a smaller font is more easily readable than using less leading with a larger font. The leading allows areas of lots of text to not look as cluttered.
2. OU now sends an acceptance BOX (instead of just an envelope) to admitted students. This is a way to make the recruitment experience more exciting and personable.
3. The point of sending mass communication emails, text messages, postcards and other mailed items is to communicate a call to action. Printing is especially expensive, so if a piece of mail does not serve a purpose or encompass a call to action, it could possibly be a waste of money. 

These are some of the biggest takeaways I got from Tiffany’s lecture. Thank you for visiting us, Tiffany! You were very insightful. 

This old image on this University of Oklahoma postcard makes me think how far we have come with technology and graphic design. (Photo from The Postman Loves Me)

Unit 3.2 Reflection

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This week we began learning about media advisories and media pitches. The goal for both of these pieces are to communicate with journalists about events and organizations that are happening and encouraging them to write a story about the topic. 

Before this unit I didn’t know how to write an advisory or a pitch. I knew what they were but didn’t have any experience with them. It’s really interesting to learn the most effective ways to communicate with journalists to encourage them to write a story about the event or organization. 

I would like to learn more about how journalists use this information to write stories and what else journalists would like to see in the advisory or pitch and topics that they wouldn’t ever want to cover personally or things they are interested in. 

I already knew that becoming a public relations professional would mean communicating with journalists but I didn’t realize how many different tools were used to communicate the message to them. Pitches and advisories are both very effective tools used for different things. 

This skill set will help me in my career because it will help me to communicate better with journalists which will then help get the word out more about my organization or event. Getting journalists interested in something that I’m doing will get the public more interested as well and will overall help my company. 

February 22nd, 2017

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Photoshop and guest speakers, oh what fun!

Photoshop is crucial in every aspect of graphic design, and it is a large part of my publications class. This week we have learned some basic fundamentals, as well as a small amount of practice with the program. The majority of the week has consisted of tutorials, however we have big plans in store. For the next few weeks, we will be completing assignments using our newly learned photoshop skills (hopefully we will have developed some by then.)
Like graphic design, photoshop takes patience, practice, and persistence. Without these three, you might as well give up now because it’s not happening. I know that it is slightly frustrating and little bit difficult, but I also know that it is a useful skill that I will be so thankful for in the future. 

This week was also full of a fun surprise: a guest speaker. Guest speakers are exciting because it allows for a change up in the normal, every day routine. This week’s speaker was named Tiffany and she worked with OU recruiting. She talked to us about a wide variety of things, including some of the important aspects that graphic design and photoshop has in her job. She brought two different OU recruiting pamphlets, one that contained small font and large spacing, the other has large font and small spacing. You would think the design that contained the larger font would look the best, right? Wrong. The large font, small spacing duo was actually pretty overwhelming and hard to read. The one that had the large spacing was much more organized and it made me want to read it, apposed to the first one which made me want to say “yeah, that’s a lot of words, I’m not even going to bother.” The skill sets and concepts that I’m learning now can benefit my future and our guest speaker today is just one example of how often these techniques are used in the real world. I am so excited to gain more experience so I, too can put my knowledge to work to create a design piece that is sure to amaze.