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Photo from Pexels.This week in public relations publications, we picked up where we left off last week. We learned some good tricks on Photoshop and got some great insight into the process of designing direct mailers. We took that a step further with m…

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Photo from Pexels.This week in public relations publications, we picked up where we left off last week. We learned some good tricks on Photoshop and got some great insight into the process of designing direct mailers. We took that a step further with m…

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This week, we were tasked with going to a student centered apartment complex and getting information and seeing how they sell to their potential clients. The apartment complex I went to was Crimson Park. When… More

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For PR Publications, I was tasked to take a tour of Campus Lodge Apartments. Suffice it to say, the experience was nothing spectacular. You can look at their information packet here. When I first walked through the door, I didn’t even have the time to sit down before being greeting by a leasing specialist. Her… Continue reading Campus Lodge Research

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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. 


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This week was filled with the acquisition of a diverse range of information. I began to wrap my mind around the creative mammoth that is Photoshop and began to think about the logistics and planning that go into design. For this week in review, I feel it is best summarized by two major themes:
1.Photoshop, much like anything else in life, is not learned all at once; rather, it is learned in stages, over time, with experience.

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On Tuesday, I sat down to listen to an hour’s worth of videos about how to work within photoshop. To my surprise, the first 20 minutes weren’t news to me and I knew what was going on. (small victories, small victories)
Thanks to my previous dabbles in InDesign, I realized the basics of Photoshop are rather similar. However, after working through the final hours worth of videos, I discovered there was still much to learn.
And by “much to learn,” I believe “much” can be quantified in about..mmm…26 hours worth of videos. Which, arguably, would only still scratch the surface of the enigmatic Adobe Creative Suite application.
To my slight dismay, I don’t have 26 hours to dedicate to video watching. But even if I did, I’m not sure it is the most efficient way to learn my way around Photoshop. I think the best way to learn will be to experience and to allow time and practice to work their magic.
Practice makes progress, right?
2.Strategic design is the best kind of design
I’m going to be honest: I favor the strategy of design over actual design itself. Not that I don’t enjoy designing, but my brain truly enjoys the problem-solving, research and strategic planning element of PR publications.

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The inter-workings of how a publication will work and who the publication will reach are 90% of the battle. For instance, let’s say I designed an amazing postcard for my sorority. Let’s imagine the design of this sorority postcard is so stellar that it puts the designs of all design the world’s gurus to shame. This design is absolutely perfect. (I know there is no such a thing, but just for toots and giggles, suspend your disbelief with me for a minute)
If I sent this perfect postcard to, say, middle-aged, single fraternity alumnae, it would, at best, be admired for a few seconds before making its way to the bottom of trashcan to become friends with empty beer cans and greasy pizza boxes.
The only way to make design effective is to leverage its audience.
A person projects meaning onto a piece; and trust me, I know this from my years as a fine arts student, writer and generally artistically-inclined individual. It’s a basic truth in the art world. Shakespeare could write the most beautiful sonnet, but it is going to mean something entirely different to a child than it would to his lover. Audience is everything. Perception is everything. Reception is everything.
Such is design, such is life. As I said before, picking the target audience is 90% of the battle. The other 10% (designing with said audience in mind) will carry a publication to the finish line.
“Good things take time”:Pinterest
Design Quote:Pinterest

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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. 


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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 lynda.com 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.

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Hi guys, Stella Mae here, designer extraordinaire alter ego of Kate Stanke, back with another blog post about the wonders of creative PR Publications. This week in my PR Pubs course, we started a new track course: working with Photoshop. The last time I had worked with Photoshop was in my Yearbook class at McKamy […]

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As we progress further along with PR Publications, we continue to add new skills to see what else I am bad at. We started using Photoshop, and I think this is the most difficult one yet.I feel like Photoshop has integrated itself as the go to picture editing software. It’s one of those products that’s so good at its job that it can be used as its own verb (like Google and Hula Hoop). I have been eager to get my hands on it, but when you first open the program up, it’s very intimidating. Just