As a fan of public access television, I created this based on my school’s TV show, BRCC Today.
I currently attend the Acadian Thruway campus of Baton Rouge Community College, the site of the former Capital Area Technical College and Louisiana Technical College – Baton Rouge. My instructor, Ms. Angela Saia, strongly advocates us snapping photos of our classwork and sharing it the masses; I’ve always followed her advice, and this is no exception. This page will be used to display my development and training throughout my time with her.
This semester, we worked on signage for the different campuses as a result of the BRCC/CATC merger. In addition, we worked on our own personal newsletters. As a class, we got hands-on training in the various digital pre-press processes, including laser engraving, paper binding and screen printing. The primary software we used this semester are Adobe’s Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. Ms. Angela showed me how to vectorize and clean up my logo, but my relationship with Illustrator remains so-so.
In November, Mid City Merchants, a community of small business around Mid City Baton Roue, called for our department to make twenty double-sided signs to place long Government St., advertising their White Night Light art showcase on November 22. Things were going perfectly when our morning class plotted and weeded the vinyl, but things went awry in the evening classes. The next morning, we had to fix damn near every sign because the other students’ carelessness. No worries, Javan H. rescued as many signs as possible. Below is my documentation of the process.
The centerpiece of my Fall 2013 classes was my newsletter. The newsletters, created in InDesign, are essentially a class tradition; I remember when a friend of mine was working on his back in 2011, when I first learned about CATC. Lauded by the entire Graphics department, this was my very first time using InDesign, much less a rendezvous with the software. This is why I say that if you’re experienced in Photoshop, MS Word, PowerPoint or any combination of the three, you’re good to go; InDesign is now one of my favorite programs. Arranged as a magazine–pages 8 and 1, 2 and 7, 6 and 3, and 4 and 5–the layout was printed on 11×17 gloss paper, saddle stitched and trimmed at the edges due to our class printer’s inability to print to the edge, also known as a “bleed.”
The cover photo below is a downloadable copy of the newsletter, and beneath that is gallery of the spreads for this “My Day in History” assignment.
Our first assignment was a portfolio–a follow-up to a business card assignment we did last semester. Ms. Angela suggested we use Illustrator, but we were allowed to use InDesign which, for me, made the assignment easier. Our portfolios were to consist of a cover page, followed by a series of pages that descend in length down to a business card.
In March, our class took a field trip to one of the Lamar Advertising offices here in Baton Rouge.
In March, our class took a field trip to one of the Lamar Advertising offices here in Baton Rouge.
My next assignment was a two-color design. Most of the students did things the cheap way by choosing a simple picture and putting it in Photoshop. But that’s not how I roll. I designed a newsletter akin to the one mentioned above. However, it followed the theme of my old job’s newsletter, ‘The Source.’ This two-color newsletter archived some of my favorite dream logs that I’ve posted on this site. To view it, click the cover below.
My final assignment for the semester was to design a button. By this point, I was deep working with Tammy Brown and the school’s interview show BRCC Today. I had now become a full-on independent producer, so I designed my button based on that. I created this all in one day, probably an hour from start to finish. The button was designed in Adobe Illustrator CS4.
My second semester flew by, partly due to the fact that I was busy with BRCC Today and other local TV projects. However, none of that barred me from completing all of my work and remaining on the Dean’s List.
But first, we’ll start off with Adobe Illustrator. For my entire run at Acadian, Ms. Angela, as well as our aide Ms. Ann Nelson, have been trying to get me to fall in love with ol’ Ai (Illustrator). Illustrator and I had a checkered past going back to my Spring 2012 semester at the Mid-City campus. Even after two Vector Guru tutorials, I still couldn’t get into it…I think…
This did disappoint Ms. Angela a bit as my next assignment was for Typography. However, she did let me use PowerPoint to finish an existing font.
For GRPH 1300–Typography, I chose to do more work on my Michaela font family, named after one of The Real Housewives of D.C. (remember the party crashers?). Full disclosure, I always liked the names ‘Stephanie’ and ‘Michaela’ for a girl, and I happened to be watching DC Housewives reruns while designing; I was 21 at the time. Let me go off into a tangent for a bit: that show was produced by Half Yard Productions. I’ve seen their logo on TV for years, but only recently did it make sense to me. Take a look at it below, then think carefully about the name.
It was during the production company’s 2014 run of 100 Days of Summer that I realized the “foot and a half.” The math: one yard is thirty-six inches. Half of that is eighteen inches, or a foot and a half–a half yard. I thought this was GENIUS!
— Javan H. (@JJLucasH) January 26, 2014
About my font, I designed Michaela in 2010 based on the logo for Woods & Water, an outdoors store in Tuscaloosa, AL. I fell in love with the slab serif style during that tedious move to Atlanta that late that year. The three-part family would Michaela, a mixed-case font, Michaela Flourish, a mixed-case font with flourish capitals, and Michaela Flourish Caps, which is all-caps. For practical purposes, I started with Michaela Flourish Caps, using it for the cover to my song ‘Buckhead Station.’
However, this semester was the perfect opportunity to get back on track, designing Michaela Flourish.
Midway through this assignment, my inflated ego chose to take on some extra credit. About a quarter of the way through the semester, I saw this massive 5’x8′ banner reading “BRCC Acadian Campus” in giant letters. They were made as signage for the exterior of our campus, and Ms. Angela needed another one done. Feeling myself, I lunged at the opportunity, completing it with help from two other classmates.
Mine was hard to miss, as not only did it face the front of the school on Acadian Thruway, it was also plotted in the correct Tomato Red vinyl. But after a few weeks, those signs were replaced by ones that had the actual BRCC logo. I went ahead and let the rookies–the new kids–handle those so that they could pay their dues.
WHAT PART OF LABOR FOR EDUCATION DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?
–Angela Saia, my favorite Saia-ism
Our other assignment for Typography was to use our font in an application. I my case, I chose to create an ad for the cleverly-titled J Ribs, complete with fries and a Barq’s.
Later, we had to do another project of our choosing in Illustrator. Feel free to re-read the first half of this semester’s entry. Okay, so by this point…let’s just say that a very big project was in development…and there would soon some a time where I needed to design a logo for the broadcast. Backed into a corner, I could no longer make any excuses. I decided to give Illustrator an honest try…
…and much to the excitement of Ms. Angela and Ms. Ann…
…I fell madly in love with Adobe Illustrator!!!
So much that it’s inspired me to soon buy a set of Adobe Mnemonic pillows for my room, which doubles as my production office.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to show what I’ve worked on as again, it relates to a TV show that’s currently in development.
Lastly, we had to a create brochure about anything we wanted. By this time, I was hot and heavy with filming, quickly developing my own style and technique. That inspired me to do my brochure on DSLR videography. I named it ‘The Quickest, Fastest, Cheapest Guide to DSLR Videography’ in honor of Ms. Angela, as “quickest, fastest, cheapest” is one of her many Saia-isms.
Please check out the guide by clicking on the picture above, and also take a look at our appreciation lunch for Ms. Angela below.
By this point, I’m all over the map. On one hand, I’m helping develop a new show for the Baton Rouge market, which had all sorts of ups and downs. On the other hand, MyScene TV is coming out of hiatus, and on the third hand, I was juggling various personal, family and especially social issues But on the fourth hand (at least fourth), I’m being hounded by the school about my work-study, which I was ultimately removed from because of an oversight. The previous semester, I had to report the financial aid secretary who supervises the work-study program; she clearly had an issue with me. However, this latest situation was different. Rather than waste any more time it, I kept on going.
Ms. Tammy had been promoted to Site Administrator of the Westside Campus, which led to her being moved to Plaquemine. Because of this, I was only able to get out one more video, as neither of us had much time on our hands.
By this point, I’m already pretty connected in the Baton Rouge television market, with more and more seasoned professionals becoming fans of my work. This is part of why the Westside feature, my first full-length television broadcast, was called “my best work to date.”
With all of the above taken into account, this semester’s assignments revolved around my own branding. Graphics for the TV shows served as Visual Design (Photoshop) assignments, but for Special Projects (SPPR), I chose to re-design my business cards–something more representative of me.
This is the original one from either first or second semester. Here, I just grasped at something; it doesn’t say much. Where’s the design? Where’s the style? Where’s the technique? I was also hella uninspired during that time. I was steadily reminded of it this semester, as my whole demeanor was different. But now that my name was out there, I needed something that popped.
I recently completed the Javan H. Virtual Set, which I have billed as “the most customizable virtual set in Louisiana.” Of the three TV projects I’m involved in, two will be using it; their crews and the business advisors are in love with it. In tandem, I discovered ‘spot UV,’ the technique of placing a UV coat over a specified area. After a little bit of research and a lot of inspiration, I came up with this.
Special thanks to WeThePrinters.
The concept of spot UV (color-on-color, in this case) can be a little controversial, as it requires your business card to be held to the light in a certain way. But a black-on-black card always catches people off guard, which is why they instantly warm up to it. It establishes a sense of mystery, the unexpected…
Now, I’m completely done with all of my assignments. Two years of labor for education resulted in a lifelong career goal coming to life…completely out of nowhere! To remind you, I’m in broadcasting, while this program is for print graphics. But with all that I’ve learned, I’ve yet to do one of the most basic tasks, something that the other students always look forward to: designing a T-shirt.
While shadowing Brian Hertzock in 2014, one of the first things I was reminded of was that production crew always wear black. Just like in the service industry, it establishes neutrality. This has been my rule since then, but I still wanted a shirt that would serve as a billboard when filming out. Here, I had the choice of silkscreen or PolyFlex (vinyl). I chose PolyFlex, not only because I’ve done silkscreen before, as seen above, but for what I was doing, it wasn’t worth burning screens, doing this, that and the third. Another one of my favorite Saia-isms is “…what’s quickest, fastest, cheapest.” For me, this method hit all three points.
Special thanks to Ms. Ann Nelson.
In the end…
I graduated from Tara High School in 2007, choosing BRCC because I didn’t complete my financial aid in time; I was accepted into UNO. I had only completed one semester, before spending three years chasing pipe dreams, making bad friends and attempting suicide twice for reasons too numerous. But as the dust settled, I returned to BRCC, picking up where I left off for the Fall 2011 semester. My grades were great, and my writing assignments were so on-point, that Mrs. Mary McKeough had to double-check for plagiarism.
I eventually landed a dead-end yet well-paying job at a very unsafe library. Clawing for a way out, I felt the need to jump ship from the school I loved, to an old building in a questionable area, a place I only knew about through a former friend who was enrolled in Graphics at the time. I set foot in Room 130, with the latest BRCC Today broadcast playing in my head. Two people were in front of me as I tried to get into Ms. “Sigh-UH’s” office.
“And YOU need to speak up for yourself.”
She didn’t even know my name yet, but knew the recurring theme…
I went to class at 7:00am every morning with the most rotten disposition, angry at the world, angry at everyone whether I knew them or not. Flashing out in front of my goddaughters, cursing out patrons at work, smashing things, holes in walls–I was in a very ugly place at the time. But one Sunday in January 2014–second semester–I met four missionaries while filming random footage at the river; it was sunset. This is when I found my faith, and from that very day, everything changed. It was around that time when Ms. Angela, having seen my work one very bad morning first semester, sent me to Ms. Tammy’s office. That day in April 2014 would become to rest of my life. This is why I heavily advocate both faith and education (there’s a difference between faith and religion).
I did as much as I could how I could, and it culminated with a 4.0 GPA and an academic honor…all after having the rare opportunity to rub elbows with the chancellor.
And I have Baton Rouge Community College to thank for it.
“Was that great or what?”
–Tammy Brown, BRCC Today