Graphic Design for Dummies

First of all, it has been awhile since I actually talked to you guys… Hi!

I started this blog while I was at a job/internship for a small transportation-orientated nonprofit where I had some graphic design type tasks. The timing was kind of perfect because while I was teaching myself skills for the job I was able to make some interesting “art” for my blog as well. (P.S. I made the “Journey as Janelle” banner myself)

I liked using my own computer for that job because frankly it is faster but it is a Mac and the only copy of photoshop software the organization had was for a PC. I decided to look online for ways to design what they needed because it was pretty simple and I had made a flyer using purely online programs before… as in I did not have to purchase any software or download anything.

I found two amazing websites that I cannot rave about enough. I use both of them semi-regularly for personal projects as well as to beef up my projects for school.

1. Canva
This program could be used for just about any graphic you can think of honestly. I’ve used it for flyers, my banner, social media posts, etc. I guess you could think of it as a much more visually attractive powerpoint. Meaning that you add pretty simple things but with some creativity you could make something super orginal. They have a ton of templates, some free some $1. I’ve personally never spent any money on the website but if you wanted to make something that looks really nice very quickly I can see why a buck would be worth it.

2. PiktoChart
            This program can be used to make those amazing, expensive looking infographics that you see on the web… you know the ones that people are paid to make. Yep, you can totally make them for free! YOU! Seriously I cannot stress how user friendly both of these programs are. To publish infographics from PiktoChart without the watermark you do need a “pro” account. It is not expensive by any means and you also get something like 400 templates (which they are constantly adding to). For the sake of transparency, I do not currently subscribe to a pro account but that is mostly because I am a broke college student.
The reason I respect them and also what inspired this post is that they give free lessons on their website! They offer a ton of tips and tricks as well as a “Featured Gallery” which can be a great place to find some free design inspiration. When you make an account you subscribe to their blog which provides you with a weekly email of some new way to use infographics or make yours better. Obviously, you could unsubscribe from that feature but I actually love reading my “Harrison from PiktoChart emails.”

If you are sitting here confused about what infographics really are or if you don’t think they are all that special, check out this Buzzfeed article. Look how much cooler this article is because of some crafty design work!

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

Consumers Demand, Food Industry Responds Positively

Great post about stores and restaurants embracing sustainable meat and produce!

The Dietitian's Digest

FullSizeRenderFrom the aging Baby Boomer who wants to make healthier decisions in the second half of their life to the Millennial who eats out a lot and places a high priority on healthy, sustainability and convenience, there is no shortage in demand for healthier food options that taste great. The food industry from beginning to end is responding positively. Change is happening at every stage from the farmer to the manufacturers to grocery stores and even at the drive through window.  Fresh, natural and recognizable ingredients are the buzzwords that cause pocket books to open. Here are a few of the plate improving highlights coming your way.

Target     Target understands that its largest consumer, the Millennia’s are environmentally concerned demanding less packaged and nutritionally savvy demanding less processed. They’re responding by reformatting aisles to include more organic, natural (a yet to be regulated term) and gluten-free. Target plans…

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Tiny Houses: Small Living, Big Impact.


What are Tiny Houses?


The idea of living small has become a movement in the US and several other countries. A combination of desire for eco-friendliness and saving money has enticed brave residents to scale down their lifestyles. Lofted beds, two burner stoves, multi-use furniture, and hidden storage are just a few of the things tiny-houser’s choose.

So How Tiny are They?

According to the US Census Bureau, the Average single family home is 2,169 square feel. That is the average…meaning that there are many larger homes as well. The small house movement began with homes at least half that size. More recently, staff at the Tiny Life tells us that the average tiny house is actually between 100 and 400 square feet.

Get Tiny.

Part of the experience, for some, of living tiny is building their own home. A quick google search will yield hundreds of free blueprints for creating your own small home. But for those of us who aren’t handy with power tools, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has commercialized mobile Tiny Houses. Tumbleweed’s founder, Jay Shafer, has been monumental in popularizing mobile Tiny Houses. One of the largest problems that arises is where to put them – RV parks are not necessary tiny home friendly and zoning laws prevent them from being built more permanently in most places.

Your Part.

Perhaps a tiny house does not entice you for your own living situation. To be honest, my desire to materialistic currently outweighs my desire to do the earth a favor by living small. But I am still a huge proponent and I hope to work with the tiny house movement in my career. Why? Can you think of a better solution for the homeless?

 A separate post on that topic soon but in the mean time check out this blog, which gives specific directions on how to build an inexpensive, efficient tiny house. Even better, give Andre Heben’s book, Tent City Urbanism, a read.

Or check out this video:

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle