Tuesday, November 22, 2011

University of Toronto - Email Campaign

Simple email campaign for the University of Toronto. I was looking up universities before I received this project and UofT is ranked as one of the top Universities in the world. Pretty cool it's just in our back yard but for me it might as well be across the world. I hate travelling to the downtown core. It's mainly why I try to avoid working for any ad agencies because of the wasted travel time to get there. With all the buzz that's going on from multiple TED talks on the subject. I hope to see more distance learning and e-learning in their curriculum in the near future.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MailChimp Saved My Bacon

With all the talk about email mailers that reminds me of a useful tool that came in handy called MailChimp.

When I was building out some email campaigns and needed to run some test deployments I normally send it through a simple and basic mailer I wrote in PHP that sat on my server. The only problem was one day it stopped working or should I say there was a huge delay of 1 - 2 hrs before I received a test deployment of the email.

I jumped on MailChimp and test deployed without any problems. The only issue was the extra footer bar they added with MailChimp branding to the bottom of your code. I'll take that over 1-2 hr delay any day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flash Video Player

This was an interesting project where I was only in charge of the video player. The functionality and look was very similar to Vimeo's player with the addition of other functional aspects. The interesting part was the HTML I received. It was more or less "off" before I got a chance to touch it. In the freelance world it's a game of hot potato. So to cover my bases I made a back up on my server to prove that it was off before I began integration.

It's common for most clients to think I'm only capable of Flash but what they don't know is that I have roots back in the good old HTML days. The client asked if I knew HTML and if I could look into the issues. Seeing as though I finished the video player under budget I figured I could spend some time to look into the HTML side of things. I was very tempted to just recode it HTML5 compliant but it wasn't what was being asked. To do so would require more time which equals bigger budget. These are some of the things you have to weight out when your developing or designing.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SickKids Email

Imagine you had to code an html email campaign with no CSS not a single line of it to produce the same results as the photoshop file. That's exactly what happened in the case of building HTML email for SickKids.

Just to be fair it wasn't SickKids that imposed these rules but Reader's Digest who is going to serve up the HTML.

If you're a developer your next thought is to slice up the design into images or make it just one large image BUT there's a stipulation that states a division of 60% text and 40% images and a large image will be rejected. Then you have to deal with background image issues with Outlook which is even worse than IE6. You get the idea but in the end I pulled it off and below is what it looks like.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deadlines Kill Creativity

I find it funny because the argument is how deadlines kill the creative process and yet another deadline is made in the video.

I feel for anyone who works in a creative field that has ever suffered with tight deadlines but that is normal every day occurrence for me. I agree the quality of work is dependent on the amount of time spent on the process but with creativity it is endless. If you were to ask an artist to put a cap on their creativity they wouldn't because no artist wants to be known for pushing out crap. This is why we have account managers, project managers and managers in general to manage artists who are unable to manage themselves. Even the best have to say enough is enough which is what Ron Crabb, a talented and established matte painter, said when he was working on a piece for over 2 months. Keep in mind he was working out of his own pocket for that project.

Its about end of day now and even I have to stop on this post because I could go on and on about creative processes and what I've learned from working with different agencies but I've got to throw in the towel so I can get back to my deadlines.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cats More Lucrative Than Porn And Charlie Sheen

If only advertising agencies really changed their business models and modeled it around cats. If only I had a video camera when I was a kid and had all these cats. I could have had millions in internet theoretical dollars!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scheduling Time Machine's Backups

I wanted to write this post since this morning but got caught up in some work and wouldn't you know it Time Machine thought it was a good time to start backing up your files. If you've ever used Time Machine you'll know what I'm talking about but when the backup happens your system starts to slow down drastically which totally messes up my work flow.

My only option was to either stop it and occasionally it'll stop unless you stop it as frequently as I do then it will just give you the middle finger and keep spinning. The other option I just discovered was to an app called TimeMachineEditor.

It allows you to schedule Time Machine whenever it bests fits your schedule.