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All Posts by Traci Hudson

About the Author

Jun 05

What Keeps You Creative?

By Traci Hudson | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Core Values , Creative , Data Strategy , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Programmatic 101 , Programmatic Managed , Search , Social Media , Starfish Core Value , Starfish Family

creative, graphic design, designer, artist, creativity

In a word? Coffee. But on a serious note, it is a challenge to be creative 24/7. However, it is one of the daily requirements, being a graphic designer. It is important to keep things fun while staying true to the requirements set forth by the client.

Personally, I take a lot of photos while I am off of work. I also travel quite a bit, so I like to use my personal photos in the ads that I create. I go walking on my lunch break and look for cool images that could be used for backgrounds. Sometimes a picture of something seemingly boring like a gravel path can be interesting when added to an ad.

Starfish is a digital agency, so I also use the social media platforms that we design ads for in my personal life. I like to be able to keep it fresh in my mind how the images will look on phones or tablets. Each platform has its pros and cons, and it is important to be aware of both.

Plus our work environment makes easier to come up with ideas. We have a fun group and joke around when brainstorming.  Our more “out there” ideas get written on our chalkboard walls. One step into our office and you would have a chuckle at our antics.

I also like to look over ads that others have created so I can get ideas, but also avoid accidentally copying artwork others have done in the past. I look at ads that I have created before but try to make them look refreshed, and new and exciting.

Those are just some ways that I can keep myself in a creative state of mind. It is very important in this industry, and each person is different, which is what makes our company so great. We all have different perspectives and techniques that come together to create amazing content for our clients.

Mar 25

The Best Software for Graphic Design

By Traci Hudson | Creative , Programmatic

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

There are options for people that want to build graphics and different programs offer features for various needs of graphic designers. At Starfish, we use Adobe programs for most of our creative. Adobe offers several programs in its Creative Suite; InDesign, Photoshop & Illustrator.

When building ads, I tend to use both Photoshop and InDesign. I choose the images that will be used and edit them for contrast, colorspace and sizing, then I save them for use in InDesign.

InDesign is the program I use to lay out large amounts of text or to create multiple pages of copy. While most ads I build for Starfish are more graphics heavy, I use InDesign for most of the ads that I create. I previously worked for various newspapers and that is the program that we used the most. The text is easiest to manipulate in this program and it has guidelines that make it easier to keep items aligned. Drawbacks to the software include lack of adjustments for graphics, which means that they need to be ready for layout prior to being imported to the file, and the files can be quite large when exporting them.

Photoshop is my second favorite software for creating art. I love the multitude of options for editing, and its interface is pretty straightforward and simple to understand. The reason I don’t really use it for ad building is that I find the text tool difficult to use. But my favorite options are the filters, which I use to make photos look like paintings or stone. I also cut-out objects from the backgrounds of various images on a daily basis and photoshop makes that easy to do.

Illustrator is the most powerful of the three programs. It is used for creating larger, vector type files which can be scaled for large display signage and other uses. I typically do not use the software but it is great for people who want to create characters and logos.

I enjoy using these programs and they go hand in hand together with design. There are other programs available for designers and people who just want to do simple photo editing. There are free options out there as well. I am so grateful that I have the ability to use the Creative Cloud.