Welcome to the first blog post, about my work. I have been working now for some time on a contract in the City of London, working in a large financial company which shall remain nameless. All I can say is that they are big and big elsewhere too, not just in London.
Well, my role there involves a lot of presentation graphics type work, and I work in the afternoon and evening, which makes getting to work very easy — no hassle with rush hour trains or buses, that I like. And I avoid the crush hour too when coming home, as well as getting up at a more reasonable time than the crack of dawn.
So this blog is going to be about my own experiences working in the City of London , what happens that might be informative, educational or entertaining, or just about anything that I can think of that might help others who do the same sort of work as me.
So let me write about today’s experiences. I went to work on buses and trains as usual, and on the train I noticed a man with a very unusual looking pair of glasses — except that they were not glasses, they were the actual GoogleGlass, which I have never seen before for real. I have to say they looked ridiculous and totally naff — what is the point of it? Anyway, he seemed happy with it on, but I would think that if you are concentrating on watching the tiny screen in front of your right eye you might not see the lamppost in front of you that you are about to walk into.
And what if you are blind in the right eye? Seems like it is only for the right eye, so left eyes get left out. Probably for the best though.
Once I was at work, it was pretty much the usual stuff. As this is Summer, and especially August, work is slow, so there is not always much to do. But as we are contract staff, we do not get the luxury of set hours and set pay — we only get paid for the hours we actually work for, so if the work is quiet, it’s a case of sorry, but there is not much work so you can get off early — which means less pay. Already our regular hours have been reduced by one hour per day, so that is quite a bit per week of lost pay. But when it gets quiet they send us home early by more, so I might get 2 or 3 hours less. At least today it was the normal hours minus one.
Work consisted of creating a template for a new presentation, which means using an existing PowerPoint file, and putting in new colours, graphics, layout, and creating example charts — all of which I excel at, so quite a good thing to work on and no doubt those I created it for were happy. But being a graphics specialist, I really like to do more in the way of graphics work like creating covers for presentations. At least after doing that template I got a chance to work on a cover, even if it was just adding a new logo to what was there already. But, not as easy as it sounds.
First I have to find the logo. Yes, there was a copy of the required logo in the email, but the quality was poor, and copying any graphic out of Microsoft Office and into Photoshop means a huge loss of quality for one thing, and these logos are usually going to look better if they are vector graphics. So l looked online at the usual websites for finding vector logos, and could not find it. I then looked on Google for the actual company website, which I found.
Once I get the website, I then look for a page with company reports, as they are usually quite good quality and have the company logo in them in vector format. Most of them are created in Adobe InDesign, another great program that allows page layouts to be put together and works well with Photoshop and Illustrator (and we have all three installed on the PCs there).
So if I can find a PDF of an annual report and download it, and then open it in Illustrator, it is very easy then to remove all the other stuff leaving just the logo I want, and then save as an AI file, and then export to EMF so that the EMF can be used at a later date in a PowerPoint presentation if required. But for this job the AI file is all we need.
So then it is a case of opening the cover page in Photoshop, making a new copy (in case of needing to go back to the old one at any time — a good practice we use in this office so that any mistakes are easier to rectify) and then going to the File menu, then select Place and choose the AI file for the logo, and let Photoshop insert it. Then move it around and position everything nicely, save the PSD file, and also save a copy as PDF (for print, set up as A4 with 5 mm bleed all around). Then also save a copy as JPG, a flat raster image that can be put into PowerPoint.
So after doing that, it was still not finished, as I then had to open the JPG in Photoshop and crop that to the page size of the PowerPoint file, and then in PowerPoint, in the slide master, set the background with a file — yes, you guessed it, the JPG I just created and cropped.
And that was that — an updated PowerPoint presentation with the new logo inserted at high quality, and a PDF with bleed for print. What more could anyone want?
In future I shall describe more about the various things I do, from a technical point of view, to give your readers any tips on using the software and how to get presentations and printed documents looking right first time.
David King, MD, Avoura Ltd.