Archives for July 2010

Blogging and Quilting: Lessons Learned in Both

Two of the great things about being self-employed are bartering for services and scheduling your own time. Last month, I took advantage of both when I exchanged my blog coaching services for quilting lessons.

My neighbor Chris Kirsch is an internationally-known quilter, teacher and author of two books. Her quilts are absolutely stunning! She teaches quilting at Waukesha County Technical CollegeMadison Area Technical College and workshops throughout the country. She also hosts quilting cruises—her most recent was to France and an upcoming trip is to Ireland.

Are you a quilter? And are you drooling?

Well, I sure was when I read all this in a recent newspaper article. As a self-taught hobbiest, I’ve sewn enough quilts to know I’m lacking plenty in skill and technique.

I also noticed Chris wasn’t doing any social media. By not getting involved online, particularly with blogging, she was missing great opportunities to market her books, classes, cruises…hey, even her quilts.

Needless to say we got together and talked. And sewed. And blogged.

After only a few weeks, I came out with this super Lone Star table topper. There’s no way I could’ve matched these tricky corners on my own, but with Chris’ interface technique they were as easy as clicking Adobe Illustrator’s align button.

And Chris? Well, she’s got not one, but two, new blogs online. If you’re looking for mega-helpful quilting advise, click here. And if you want to follow her quilting extravaganza to Ireland (and plan for her next trip:-), click here.

Want to learn her easy Lone Star technique? Click here for her next class.

And finally, if you need help setting up your own blog, give me a click. I can help get you going, or I can set it up and/or write for you!

Other clients who have benefited from customized blogs and training by Adunate:
Living the Promise Ministries
Nitardy Funeral Homes
Xsell Products

How (Un)Ethical is Our Design?

Yesterday, my daughter and I discussed a recent New York Times article regarding criticism of an Obama cover photo.

The photo was used by the weekly news magazine The Economist for its June 19 issue. It shows Obama standing, head bowed, hands on hips, with an oil rig in the background. And he’s alone. It’s a dramatic shot evoking a strong message.

Turns out, in the original photo, Obama isn’t alone. Reuters photographer Larry Downing shot the image with two people standing alongside Obama, participating in an apparent conversation.

The Economist’s decision to digitally remove these two has caused a bit of ruckus. Some, including Reuters, feel altering the image has also altered the message.

My daughter’s and my discussion was interesting.

As a visual communications professional, I surmised the magazine wanted to convey a sense of isolation, that Obama is alone in his responsibility of the Gulf oil mess. The Economist’s editor claims not, but given the headline “Obama v. BP” and the story’s content, it’s hard to imagine otherwise. Whatever their motive, editing the extras from the photo creates a very striking composition.

My daughter viewed the issue from a journalistic side. As an attorney interested in government and current affairs, she felt altering the image was a misrepresentation of the event as it occurred. It did not convey the truth.

With today’s sophisticated editing software, this conflict of ethics becomes commonplace. We define graphic design as the use of words and images to visually communicate a message. Photojournalism, on the other hand, is the use of photography to tell a news story. The question we must then consider is how blurred can the line between the two become?

When does editing a photo become unethical?

Is editing software a threat to photojournalism?

Is a magazine cover a journalistic piece or an artistic piece?

How do photojournalism, advertising and art differ, and how should editing ethics apply to each?

What’s your opinion?