Recap: ABC Prospect Studio Tour
I learned a lot yesterday at the ABC Prospect Studio tour with our AIGA Student Group. Coordinated by our AIGA Faculty Advisor Shirin Raban, it was very considerately and enthusiastically organized by staff at ABC. Thanks to Stu, Chris, Kevin and others, including a surprise guest appearance by Pash before he jetted off to the last class meeting of Icons and Logos at 1010.
Not only did we get to see the General Hospital exterior, but we were introduced to the wide world of network broadcasting, its incredible pace and how it is changing thanks to social media and the good old Internet. Stu Brower, the VP of Entertainment Marketing, Operations, initiated us into the branding behemoth that is Disney and ABC. He talked about iPad applications, Facebook, social media integration and all sort of things that clicked with some upcoming course offerings we have with similar names. Being a designer can't be about making posters. It's got to be design thought and identity integrated across many platforms.
We also met with two designers who brand network television series'. We were shown "tears" which begin their process of brainstorming an identity for a series. Know the apple on Desperate Housewives? That's the doing of Kevin Anderson, the Senior Graphic Designer in Entertainment Marketing who invited us into to his office to show us how he works and what sort of stuff he works on. Fascinating stuff! He mentioned the fun challenge of updating the apple every season.
Kevin's enthusiasm for his job was clear, and he said what you've heard before in our program - any one can learn the tools. What you need to do is design and think and come up with metaphors and themes and identities. Sure you need to execute them, but knowing the design thinking is the big deal. Coming up with the apple, in other words, is where it's at. He also mentioned how important type is to a designer.
I don't join in on every event or talk, but when I do I'm always glad. It's exciting for everyone - both the hosts and the guests - to talk about what they love and what they're learning. It was an extra plus cool thing that Pash stopped by to talk with us as he just started there in his VP Brand and Creative Management role there a few months ago. It felt like the DCA community coming together!
Be sure to open yourself to finding your design community out there. If you have requests for future studio tours or speakers, please let me know.