What is copyright?
Copyright is the exclusive right to control reproduction and commercial exploitation of your creative work. Copyright protects any kind of artwork, including illustrations, photographs and graphic design. Except under certain circumstances (see “work made for hire” below), you own the copyright in your work at the moment you create it in a “fixed” form of “expression.” A fixed form of expression is any tangible medium that can be perceived by humans, including traditional forms—such as paintings, sculptures, writings—and new forms that require a machine to perceive (e.g., GIF files, CDs, websites). What about work made for hire? What happens if the work is not made for hire? When should a client own your copyright? What is copyright infringement? What about fair use. For these and more visit the AIGA.
What is copyright?
Are you curious to see how the culture of a city can impact the design choices that are made?
Nikki Villagomez has been investigating how culture plays a role in the decision making process, more specifically, the typography that is used. Nikki will present a photographic sutdy through pictures, taken throughout her travels, and talk about the comparisons (and contrasts) in type choices based on geography and locale. May 17 2012 in Richmond —Visit the AIGA to find out more.
The expectations of designers have broadened in recent decades, as have the range of design disciplines and practices. AIGA is committed to representing and supporting the interests of designers as they explore new roles. At the same time, social media and the internet have increased expectations for access to communities and information.
AIGA has always adapted to the interests of the profession, and is now shifting to a model that makes membership more accessible, increasing participation while providing opportunities for those who value AIGA’s role in the advancement of design to make a stronger financial contribution. A larger and more diverse membership makes AIGA’s collective voice stronger and more compelling.
A new member participation model
In order to achieve a more open and inclusive community with a shared interest in design, AIGA is launching a new approach to member participation. Beginning this month, AIGA is shifting from a membership model based on the stage of an individual’s career to one that reflects the member’s interest in and commitment to AIGA and all that it entails: adhering to the profession’s principles, advocacy of the value of design, support for designers’ interests and stimulating conversations critical to design’s future.
We believe that the new model will allow many who have left AIGA membership to return, draw in new supporters who may not be practicing designers and make it possible for every designer to afford to join. We expect practicing designers to join at the Sustaining Member level, equivalent to the historic “professional” member, although we have lowered the cost of every membership level in recognition of the challenging economic environment we are traversing. We hope those who understand the value of having a unified voice to advance the interests of design will join us at even higher contributing levels that are now available.
Our goal is to double membership—to 40,000 members—by 2014.
1. Scrimping on photography
The problem: For some reason, lots of clients will happily pay for hours and hours of a designer’s time, printing costs, etc., etc., but they’ll freak out when it comes time to pay for photography. Either they’ll want to avoid using it altogether, or they’ll send you a bunch of lame images from their marketing department. Of course, not every project needs photos. But when you know they would make a big difference to the quality and effectiveness of the design, it’s frustrating to be told no.
How to fight back: Tug at their heartstrings so they’ll open the purse strings.
Good photography has the ability to provoke an emotional reaction. Use that to your advantage. Whenever possible, avoid using weak place-holder images in your mock-ups. Before you present any mock, even an early iteration, take some time to find great imagery that helps communicate their brand and your design. And don’t be afraid to draw on some expert advice on the subject. When David Ogilvy wrote his classic book Ogilvy On Advertising, one of the key lessons was the importance of a good image for memorable design. And, as the good folks over at FutureNow write, “Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner”.
3. Too much information
The problem: The average client seems to have never heard the old adage: less is more. No matter what you’re designing, they’ll want to add more copy, links, calls-to-action, logos, headers, footers, global nav elements and 1-800 numbers. Part of the problem is that they think that if it’s there, their customers will read it. And sometimes part of the problem is that they’re balancing the needs of fifteen different divisions within their company, who all want some of that prime screen real-estate on whatever you’re designing.
How to fight back: Ask them what they want the design to accomplish, not what it should contain. No matter what you’re designing, it should have a purpose. Whether it’s a poster, product packaging or a corporate homepage, the design should serve to accomplish something for the person who will ultimately be viewing it. Once you’re discussing what a viewer needs from the design (rather than what the company wants it to contain) you’re on the right track to reducing the amount of information to only that which is necessary.
The “Long Neck Theory” by Gerry McGovern states that every website has a very short list of “killer tasks” that visitors to the site want to accomplish. His testing indicates that just 5% of content, which serve those killer tasks, is used by at least 25% of visitors to a site. And past that key 5%, the vast majority of the rest of the content is only useful to a tiny percentage of people. Which means that not every little bit of content on a site needs prominent placement.
If you’re designing for the web, hopefully you’ll have an interaction/information architect on your team to help fight this battle. But if not, a little knowledge of some basic usability guidelines can go a long way. If you want to read a very smart and easy to read introduction to the subject, check out the book “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug.
Imagine you had everything you needed to share your vision with the world: talent, skill, dedication, desire. Everything, that is, except money.
Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships allow college students from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds not only to realize their artistic dreams, but also to give back to their communities. Go to: http://www.aiga.org/worldstudio-scholarship/ to learn more.