Firstly, let me congratulate you for getting this position! This section should provide you the know-hows of the Creative Officer! It’s not that difficult, I promise (though it’s not that simple too!!). I’ll try to keep it as simple as I can, but really you just need to be creative! Try to have a mind-set of a graphics designer (even though you may or may not be one) and think of the ISA as your boss and the international students as your clients. Don’t worry too much about doing an amazing graphics job, do what fits the situation!
Right, enough of the corny intros! This handbook should provide you of what your job is in the committee, your job to the students, and your job to yourself.
The creative officer is a fairly straightforward position in the ISA.
All you have to worry about are:
- Designing advertisement materials (posters, cover photos, event photos)
- Photography and Videos (you may choose to hire a photographer, think of the budget)
- Ideas for events promotions (c/o with Media and Communications Officer, Events Officers, Liaison Officer, Secretary, and Presidents)
Literally, all you have to do is be CREATIVE. Always try to be as CLEAR and CONCISE as you can with event details. Remember, you’re trying to reach out to students who can’t be bothered to read posters/adverts with more than 10 words, so try to have an eye-catching advert with clear details.
You’re not expected to know how to use loads of editing software, though it will be helpful to know how to use at least one of them. I use Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator most of the time, but am not limited to these three. Most of the graphics I’ve done are in an Illustrator file (i.e. the ISA logo, ISA banner (in case it breaks/tears and you need to get a new one), Global Week stuff). You can find the files in the Creative Officer Folder, under the folder named “Graphics”. If you’re not familiar with Illustrator or Photoshop, there are LOADS of YouTube tutorials (I ALWAYS WATCH EM WHEN I’M CAUGHT UP WITH SOMETHING HAHA!), or if not, try to contact the Designer of YUSU to get ideas/tips or just to know how graphics should be done.
It is not your job to upload graphics on the Facebook page, twitter, or emails. BUT you may become an admin for the Facebook page. What you need to do then is if you’ve spotted a mistake on the design or the wrong one was uploaded, tell your committee that you’re updating the photo, tell them why, and wait for the approval of your presidents. Never act upon yourself with the ISA social media/ emails because it is NOT your job.
What to do now
So... what are you expected to do?
To be honest, I don’t really know because it all depends on your Presidents or Committee. Don’t worry about the logo, that has been done for you, but do know where to find it and where to use it appropriately. I’ve also uploaded all the past ISA graphics that I’ve done over my term, it’s up to you and your committee if you want to use them or if you just want to slightly change them. I suggest using them again and updating details so that there is consistency in what the ISA does, but really not obliged to use it. Your job will only be as good as your committee is, lack of communication leads to a delay in design, so ALWAYS be the stern one in asking for the finalised event details so that you can do a great design job.
You are free to make watermarks for photos for every event, though making them might be very laborious, think about your time-frame. Otherwise, use the ISA logo as a universal watermark.
Things to look out for
As you are part of a committee that handles a student network, you MUST be sensitive to different cultures. A simple misuse of flags, language, or any graphics can become a huge issue, so avoid using controversial advertising techniques or graphics, they’re horrible anyway.
Always get your work checked by the committee. As much as your presidents are in charge of the final decision, input from your committee is vital in achieving what you want to say or include in your designs. Just upload them in the google drive or Facebook group (not in the group chat please cause you’ll lose the important comments).
When working with sponsors, always include their logos in any of your designs. Make sure to ask for logo use requirements (like sizing, for ex. YUSU logos cannot be smaller than a certain size/proportion to the entire design). If you are using logos from sponsors, send them a copy of the design before printing out posters, forms, or uploading them to the ISA social networks. You can get in trouble if you don’t meet their criteria so DO send them a copy of the design. Keep in mind, you are not using something that you own, so you have to get another set of people who owns it to check that you’ve used it correctly (somehow like referencing but in a photo). If you are unsure of the requirements, it doesn’t hurt to ask them.
Stock vectors/images are useful, but make sure you use them properly! When you download stock vectors/images, they usually have a “read me” file, READ IT because it contains proper use of things.
When working with a photographer, make sure you discuss this with your committee before hiring one. Budget can be a limiting factor so be in touch with the Treasurer. It is your job to issue a contract (a template can be found in the drive), or whoever found the photographer to hire. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to negotiate fees. If someone in the committee volunteers to negotiate with the photographer, make sure you’re in the loop so that you don’t miss out on things.
Working with YUSU and other societies
YUSU this year was great in giving feedback on designs. George (our awesome YUSU person) was very helpful in making sure my designs were good enough for release. Work closely with YUSU, they have a graphics designer that you should be able to contact should there be any design issue that you face. Do note that the designer is usually busy, so ask questions that are related to quality of the design rather than “how to do this, how to do that” because you’ll find those in YouTube, I promise.
You’re not really obliged to work for other international societies, but may offer to help them advertise their events. If your committee decides to do an event with a society, make sure to ask if you’d need to help in making an advertisement as the society you’re helping may have advertisements ready. If you are submitting graphics for YSTV or other societies, make sure you give them the right files and file type. For videos, a vector is usually better than a jpeg file as it gives them a chance to animate or change things without needing you to change it for them (obviously the need to ask if they can change it).
Important Dimensions to Know
- 1920x1080px - Plasma Screens (Wide screens)
- 210 x 297 mm - A3
- 210 x 297 mm - A4
- 148 x 210 mm - A1
- Typical Bleeds - 3-5mm (1/8 inch)
- 851 x 315px - Facebook cover photo size*
Please ask what your advertisement will be used for.
*Facebook often updates this, cover photo size differs on event pages to Facebook pages. Please check online.
HAVE PRIDE IN YOUR WORK! That’s what I lacked last year and realised that maybe all I needed was confidence because it turned out well for me in the end. As a final note before I pass the torch, your design will be seen by many and not everyone will love the job you’ve done. As long as you know you did your job right, you’ve done your best, and gave it all to the design, then you’re more than alright. The problem with art is either people love it or hate it, there’s nothing you can do as a designer than be proud that what you did is of quality and integrity. Also, be friends with your committee members, it makes your life a lot easier knowing that your committee supports your design, and that you’re doing a great job. They’d also tell you their honest opinions if you’re good friends with them so your design can get better.