City of Orlando Flag Design Contest

Recently I co-hosted a workshop for my Media Communication students to help generate ideas for the City of Orlando's Flag Design Contest.

The workshop consisted of three main parts:

  1. Research
  2. Design
  3. Sketching

First, students watched Roman Mar's popular TED Talk: Why City Flags May Be The Worst-Designed Thing You've Never Noticed. This short, humorous video highlighted the North American Vexillological Association's 5 Basic Principles of Flag Design.

Vexillology is the study of flags.

Did you know that? Neither did I!

The North American Vexillological Association urges the following points:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Use meaningful symbolism.
  3. Use 2-3 basic colors.
  4. No lettering or seals.
  5. Be distinctive or be related.

After watching the video, students collaboratively brainstormed what iconic symbols, shapes, and colors best represent the city's past and where we're headed as a community.

After narrowing in on their individual design concepts, students fired up Adobe Illustrator to digitally mock-up their ideas. Interestingly, official contest entries were required to be hand-sketched and submitted on a 3x5 index card. So from Illustrator, students reverse engineered their designs into this lo-fi format.

As an educator, I was pleased to see that official contest rules also required a short descriptive explanation of each design. I often tell my students that anyone can acquire technical skill, but that it will be their ability to communicate their intent and execute their ideas that will set them apart in the industry.

City officials received more than 950 submissions from around Orlando and chose 10 designs to be voted on by the community.

My Official Submission

The main focal point of my design is an orange circle. This shape is intended to represent many iconic symbols within the Orlando community: citrus, sports, amusement parks, bodies of water, unity, and progress. The purple triangles show converging directionality to represent movement, diversity, and inclusion, as well as the tourism and hospitality industries that make Orlando an international travel destination.

Freelancing: From Pitch to Process to Paid!

Recently I had the opportunity to present a freelance-focused workshop alongside the very talented Mike Dunn as part of Full Sail University's 8th Annual Hall of Fame.

For the past 8 years Full Sail has (literally) rolled out the red carpet for accomplished alumni to come back to the university and be recognized for their outstanding work in the industry.

Giving back is a huge theme of this annual event.

Hall of Fame inductees (past and present), industry leaders, and Full Sail faculty host presentations, panels, workshops, and networking events in what's become a week-long conference-like extravaganza.

As mentioned above, Mike and I were tapped to present on the topic of freelancing. This workshop was focused on tools, workflows, and best practices to help our students become productive and creatively engaged freelancers.

Check out the full presentation below!

Meet Sady

Sady's Graduation from Full Sail University - Photo Credit: Shawn Rinehart

Sady's Graduation from Full Sail University - Photo Credit: Shawn Rinehart

Nearly five years ago I was introduced to Sady Paulson through a digital story created Mark Coppin, a student in my Filmmaking Principles in Education course. Mark is the Director of Assistive Technology at the Anne Carlsen Center and also an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Through his video portrait, I got to know Sady, a self-proclaimed:

"Normal girl with dreams."

You see, Sady has Cerebral Palsy, but it’s never held her back. With the help of assistive technology and accessibility champions like Mark, she’s relentlessly pursued her passion for directing and video editing.

Prior to starting her Digital Cinematography degree at Full Sail University, Sady needed a simple portfolio web site to showcase her video editing skills. It just so happens I do that kind of work and, because we have so many mutual friends, Sady and I were able to connect on this project.

Sady's First Portfolio Site

Sady's First Portfolio Site

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Sady completed her 32-month bachelor's program - with honors I might add! As a Full Sail faculty member, I had the unique opportunity to watch Sady’s educational journey unfold, both through her frequent Facebook posts about her homework and conversations with her instructors about her progress.

We were awestruck!

Sady’s now pursuing her Masters in Human and Social Services at Walden University and hopes to use her talents to make strong contributions in the areas of accessibility, social justice, and belonging. She frequently gives presentations about the impact technology has had in her life and her story was even featured on the Apple web site.

The Sady I know is a normal girl, but her commitment to achieving her dreams also makes her extraordinary!

Go Sady!