Friday, May 28, 2010

A note to our Tiger Bytes readers

As you may recall, we posted a survey back in April to gather your thoughts about this blog. Just shy of the one-year anniversary of Tiger Bytes, we wanted to find out what you liked, what you didn’t, and how much of a role Olivet’s official blog plays in your lives.

Your feedback was interesting, candid, and incredibly helpful. We found that there are a few features our readers really like, while the other weekly articles could easily slip away without much hubbub.

Since Tiger Bytes’ inception, we’ve also been measuring the traffic to this blog. It’s clear that we have several faithful readers, but in comparison with our other University channels, the readership is relatively small and has not grown over time. Meanwhile, traffic to continues to increase every month, and the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers we have has skyrocketed over the past year.

It is for these reasons that ye old Tiger Bytes writers are signing off for now. We’ve had a lot of fun with this blog and getting to know you. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve uncovered a lot of trivial trivia together. Perhaps someday, we’ll have the pleasure of meeting you face-to-face in a Tiger Bytes reunion.

Your favorite features are not going away, but will simply be moved to other places, like, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube . And now that we have more time on our hands, we’ll be introducing new features in each of those places. Be sure to check us out!

(Cue Boys-To-Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Good-Bye”)

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and an awesome summer! And don’t forget to stay in touch.

All the best,

Heather Day, editor

(on behalf of writers Casey Manes, Kate Morgan and dozens of guest bloggers)

P.S. We didn’t want to leave you hanging on our final Trivia Tuesday answer. On May 25, 2006, in Madrid, Spain, 300 self-proclaimed geeks arranged themselves to form a human replica of Pac Man. Now there’s a good use of time.

Five on Friday

Featuring Donnie Johnson, director of graphic design

1. How did you become interested in graphic design?

I was first drawn to graphic design through my participation on the high school yearbook staff. I loved the end product after a year’s worth of work. The satisfaction of creating a book that would preserve so many good memories seemed like a great career to live out my life.

2. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought being an architect would be a cool job. Even up to the time of choosing a college major, architecture was at the top of the list. But for some reason that extra year of a five-year degree seemed like an eternity to me at the age of 18.

3. What's the best part about having your son, Logan, on campus as a student?
As a dad, it’s probably the first time in my life that I know more about what’s going on in Logan’s day than his mom does. He stops by my office in between classes a couple times a week. It’s fun being in the loop for a change.

4. You won the marketing office’s fitness challenge last year (trophy pictured above). What’s your favorite way to work out?
If there’s an awesome trophy to be won, I usually go for some type of cardio equipment like a treadmill or an elliptical machine. Then I can listen to a fast-moving music playlist to keep me motivated and help the workout go quickly.

5. What's the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
Saturday’s are my day to catch up on things around the house, like yard work and washing the car. It’s also a good day to tackle repair projects. Somehow simple do-it-yourself projects always end up taking me hours and hours after several trips to the hardware store. If I can get through everything on my to-do list on a Saturday, the rest of the week is a breeze.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Throwback Thursday - 1997

We're always proud of our students -- perhaps never more so than when they volunteer their time to serve others abroad and domestically. Opportunities to serve have long been a part of the Olivet experience -- we recently sent teams out to Argentina and Thailand. In this picture, Jodi Dennis assists with an operation at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland.

(Photo from The Olivetian, Vol. 65, No. 1.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Geeks unite!

Don your pocket protectors and put the icing on your Episode IV commemorative cake — it’s Geek Pride Day!

Held on the anniversary of the theatrical debut of Star Wars: A New Hope, Geek Pride Day is a relatively new phenomenon that has been gaining momentum since its inception in 2006. This year, celebrations are planned around the world, including festivals in the U.S., Canada, Israel, France, Belgium and Romania. Fittingly, it shares the same day as two other science-fiction “holidays”: Towel Day (for fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Glorious 25th of May (for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld).

So how exactly does one go about celebrating his/her inner geek? suggests recognizing the five reasons to be proud of your geekiness , which may lead you to reciting the “Basic Rights and Responsibilities of Geeks.” Associated Content offers helpful party tips, such as competitive gaming, a local film festival or even Star Trek costumes.

Or perhaps you can recreate the very first Geek Pride Day celebration.

On May 25, 2006 in Madrid, Spain, 300 self-proclaimed geeks arranged themselves to form a human replica of a favorite video game character. What character was it?

Take a guess in the comments section, and we’ll post the correct answer next week.

Answer to last week’s question: The series finale of Friends, which aired May 6, 2004, attracted 52.5 million viewers. Congrats to Megan for guessing correctly.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guest Feature: Design is Life

By Matt Moore

I love conversation. By nature, I’m an outgoing person, and I love to talk to people. But I have to admit, I often cringe when someone asks me, “So, what do you do for a living?”

It’s not that I don’t love being a graphic designer. It’s just that at this point in the conversation, I often find myself trying to fudge my way out of designing a sign, brochure, or flyer for the individual I’m speaking with in order to keep free-time for my family.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m flattered by the fact that my title gives you the instant confidence that whatever I would produce for you would be a stunning visual advertisement for your various endeavor. And generally speaking, I like to help those around me as much as possible. I’m from the school of thought, however, that says “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; show him HOW to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime!”

At some point, you may be asked to produce a print piece to advertise your business, church or activity. If you utilize a few simple tricks, you can make any design a winner.

I like to think of design as being like life. For starters, life is better — and so is design — if you keep it simple. Use lots of pictures (especially on the cover if designing a brochure) rather than lots of text.

Ever read the owners manual for your blu-ray or smart phone? Me either. No pictures! You bought it in the first place because it LOOKED cool, right? It’s the same thing with a brochure or poster. Good photos will produce better results over long, boring descriptions. If you want to talk about your vacation, isn’t it easier with good pictures? And you can get photos anywhere. Use your own or pull some from a Flickr gallery of a friend — with their permission, of course. Just don’t sell ‘em, OK!?

Another key in design is limiting fonts (rule of thumb: no more than three fonts per piece). There are some good free font sites like and that are “no strings attached’ sites with fonts that can really punch up a layout. Use a “fun” font to draw attention to the title of your project; use a plain font like Arial, Franklin or Times for body copy.

When it comes to the amount of copy, put yourself in the audience. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to read all of this text?” Again, design mimicks life, and it’s always better to LISTEN than to ramble. Besides, the project is ultimately for the audience and not you.
If you want your piece to be readable, limit the amount of text you put over your pictures. Nothing makes a brochure look more amateurish than hard to read text over a photo. Compare it to having a phone conversation with a loud TV in the background.

And be sure to maintain consistent borders throughout. My kids need consistent boundaries to make it look like I’m a decent parent. Your artwork needs consident boundaries to make it look like it knows what it's talking about.

Lastly, get help. (I’m always happy to share my opinion!) Just like we have a Heavenly Father we can go to for help, there are unlimited resources all around us for ideas. Of course, I’m in NO way comparing the Trinity to billboards, print ads and the Internet, but a simple Google search will reap great rewards in aiding any design project. Just like a simple prayer before a meal or a five-minute devotional before bed can reap great rewards in life.

We tend to make things a little more difficult than they have to be. Design can be pretty easy. Life is a little harder. There are always ways to make both simpler. Look for them and it might surprise you what you can do with each.

Matt Moore is an ONU graduate, a graphic designer within Olivet’s Office of Marketing Communications and an all-around nice guy.