This article was written by Jason Schallenberger, a web designer at Velocity.
I am a web designer at Velocity. What that means is I’m the one who uses photoshop to mockup the different things that we create. If you were to build a house you would probably be going over building plans to decide which one fitted your needs. Then you would decide on a contractor to make those plans become a reality. At Velocity we follow the same process because essentially we are building your storefront on the web. We have great contractors like Mark and Anthony who make sure that the work get’s done. Just like building a house, when you meet with me, we go through what your needs are in the site. Then I make the plans for you in Photoshop and we can build out the look. What’s great about this process is we have complete creative control and we can continue to fine tune things just how you like it. Once we decide on a design for your site. Then it is able to be built with the foundation of code with walls of HTML and CSS.
Even though that’s my job at Velocity, my interest in design is not just limited to the web. I am in my last semester at Dixie State University studying Digital Design. Being involved in that degree has helped me to gain an appreciation for many other areas of design including 3D printing. 3D printing is one of the newer trending areas of tech because it is becoming much more affordable for consumers to get access to the technology. The university has one and for my independent research course I have been working in depth with 3d printing and modeling. Unlike the websites that we build, 3d printing let’s me get satisfaction in a different way because I actually get to hold in my hands my designs. I use the open source software “Blender”, it’s free for anyone and is a very in-depth software. I have only gotten into the very tip of the software but already I have been able to create a lot of fun designs.
When I started my research I wanted to really understand the printing process so all of the prints that I have done so far have been modeled in a 3D software and I just use their files and print them. Thingiverse.com is a website dedicated to designs that people have made and are free for anyone to print. The printer I use is the MakerBot Replicator 5th generation. I hear a lot that 3d printing sounds hard but the MakerBot, like many other manufacturing brands, have made it as simple as printing a document in an inkjet printer. Another thought is that it is really expensive. Once you have the printer itself the actual cost for the PLA or plastic material that you use to have an object printed is low. I printed an avocado planter the other day and the actual cost was $3.17. It’s something you could purchase for $6 somewhere but the fact that it can be customized and the design can be modified however I like makes 3d printing it well worth it.
With technology developing and manufacturing being able to done within the home I see design skills being more important than ever. Instead of selling products I can see the sale of designs becoming more common. Another role that I have at the college is I am the director of CIT camps. We hold camps through the summer for kids ages 8-18 to not only develop design skills, but we go over all aspects in the industry including coding as well. We also hold two intense, focused, eight week courses based on code and design in the summer. They are four hours a day which leaves room for you to still function outside of the course. They are focused for a more mature audience, preferably from juniors in high school to adults. Over 70% of people who were in last years Code School were actually placed into jobs in the industry including employees here at velocity. If you have an interest in code or in design go to camps.dixie.edu to learn more about the camps and to see if they would be a good fit for you. If you are accepted they are free for you to be a part of so it is a great opportunity.
I always looked at design as my job but the more I do it the more the more I realize that it is a way of life and an area that is a part of everything. There are many other areas of design then just the web and 3D printing, those just happen to be ones that I work with on a daily basis. To follow my projects and designs follow me on any of my various social accounts @jschally.