IAB Canada HTML5 Webinar Series: Moving From Flash to HTML5

webinar

IAB Canada recently held a free webinar series about HTML5 and how it’s changing the new advertising landscape. In the same way that websites have become responsive, ads are quickly following suit. Responsive ads are fluid, lightweight, and must adhere to IAB guidelines. Fully animated ads average 15KB in size, and the best part is, just one ad can service multiple screen sizes. This means designers no longer have to create separate ads for multiple screens — with the right tools and code, just one ad will do.

Paul Vincent, CEO of Neuranet, hosted the first webinar of the series and spoke about transitioning from a Flash ad environment to one based in HTML5. He showed us many examples of responsive ads that adapt to various screen sizes, including animated ads.

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RGD HeadStart Conference: Part 2

The second half of the RGD HeadStart conference was just as jam-packed with useful information as the first half, plus with extra free goodies (seen above). The presentations exceeded my expectations and made me think about things I wouldn’t have otherwise considered such as how to be a successful freelancer. I also got much needed advice on how to approach interviews, and how to lessen the anxiety when it comes to networking. During the talks, we were encouraged to tweet pieces of information and quotes that we found valuable during the conference. To my utter surprise, I was selected as one of the winners of the contest. I received a book called Playing with Sketches: 50 Creative Exercises for Designers and Artists by Whitney Sherman. As a book lover and artist, I was over the moon. I now have a way to help combat art-block, and I can fill my sketchbooks with new ideas.

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RGD Headstart Conference: Part 1

abby-headstart

I was generously invited to attend the RGD HeadStart Conference by the kind folks over at Creative Niche. HeadStart is RGD‘s largest conference for emerging designers and students. There are various presentations and panels that discuss the latest trends in the design industry, how to land your dream job, how to start a successful freelancing career, and more! Their experienced speakers guided us through the process of creating a strong portfolio, and also gave invaluable interview tips. One-on-one portfolio review sessions allowed industry professionals to give us constructive criticism on our work. It also gave us the chance to practice our interview skills. It was a full, jam-packed day, and I learned so much that it couldn’t be contained in one blog post. Let’s begin!

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It’s Always Sunny at The Weather Network

John

No one’s ever too old for a field trip, and our class did just that when we visited The Weather Network‘s headquarters in Oakville. We were blown away by the hospitality and kindness of all the employees who work there. The Vice President of Design & UX, John Gallant, welcomed us with open arms and gave us a thorough presentation about the company’s work. We were even treated to a pizza lunch, tour and gifts. We couldn’t ask for more, and we certainly got more than we expected! The trip opened my eyes to the hard work involved in delivering the weather every day.

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Information Visualizations: Changing the Way We Look at Data

design-for-information

Isabel Meirelles gave a presentation at Sheridan College’s lecture hall about why we need information visualizations. She is an information designer, author and associate professor of graphic design at Northeastern University in Boston. Her presentation looked at information visualization from a research and historical perspective. She gave us an overview of how information visualization was used in earlier centuries by scribes, doctors and more to convey complex information in a simpler form. What I found most interesting was how web design and interaction design play a huge role in making information visualizations more compelling and easier to understand.

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Designing Your Resume and Portfolio with the User in Mind

Craig and Adele

Craig Hodges and Adele Wootton came to visit us from Creative Niche, a recruitment management company that helps connect employers with the top talent in the creative industry. Adele is the Director of Client Services, and Craig is the Relationship Manager. They both have many years of experience working in creative recruiting, and shared valuable tips regarding resumes and online portfolios. They covered how to conduct yourself in an interview, soft skills and hard skills, and the difference between working for agencies versus client-side. If you’re looking for a job in the near future (like me), you might want to read this!

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The Highs and Lows of the Web Design Industry

ImageOur first guest speaker after winter break was Lily Varga, the Digital Art Director at TraffikGroup. The company is an integrated advertising agency located in downtown Toronto. They develop strong marketing strategies for clients like Diageo, Canada Dry, Xbox, and many others. Like the majority of our guest speakers, Lily is a former graduate of Sheridan’s Web Design program, and had a lot to say about what life is like after graduation. Before landing her current position, she dipped her feet into various jobs and had many horror stories to tell. Thankfully, her stories all have a happy ending.

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Behind the Scenes in the Digital Production Industry

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The Creative Director of Colorfield, Michael Gramlow, came to speak to us about the digital production industry and the importance of getting your work recognized in a rapidly changing environment. Colorfied’s clients are generally ad agencies in the U.S. (hence the reason why their name doesn’t have that oh-so-Canadian “u” in “colour”) even though they’re based in Toronto. Their creative work involves everything from web design, animation, development, production management, sound and design production, shooting, and tons more. Their clients include Chevy, Ford, Subaru, NBC, American Express, Google, Old Navy, amongst others. As designers, we don’t always have to work for agencies, there are other options out there, one of which is the fun (but highly work-intensive) world of digital production.

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Interactivity, Transmedia, and the Things You Can Do With HTML5

Pietro

The Secret Location‘s very own VP and Creative Director, Pietro Gagliano, dropped by our class to talk about interactive digital story telling and transmedia. Pietro showed us extensive and impressive case studies of past projects, including process work, wireframes, mood boards, competitive audits, and reels. I was blown away by the amount of interactive game-related work that his company produced for big clients like The Amazing Race Canada and Big Brother Canada. Next time I watch these shows, I’ll remember the hard work of Pietro and his team.

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UX Design in the Realm of Startups

Genco

This week we had the ever dapper Genco Cebecioglu,  CEO and Creative Director of Junction Design, speak to us about UX design for startups.  Junction Design is a Toronto based visual identity, UI/UX design studio. Their clients include Mobilicity, Virgin Gaming, and Metrix Group, to name a few. Genco had a lot to say about the successes and pitfalls of starting your own business, so if you’re ever planning to do that, you might want to read this.

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