Project "Jason Dvorak's Resume: Collector's Edition"

The most important parts of this project was to a) correct issues I had with the original Datel version I did and b) have a more focused theme and use concepts I hadn't tried yet.

Breaking Back In...

First and foremost, one needs to understand the angle I came from in doing this project. I hate resumes, and I truly, whole heartedly hate job listings. Both are absolutely useless in their standard forms. It's essentially two people (the job hunter and the job describer) masturbating through a keyboard trying to make themselves sound insanely important and high profile regardless of what is being brought to the table. Every job listing requires some sort of fabricated fast paced, multi-tasking, 5 degrees-4-of-which-you-don't-really-need-for-said job, and a level of experience on a software platform that could not be possible. I once saw a job require 2 years experience on a program that had come out a month prior to the listing. Practically all resumes will have the person describing themselves as confident, self-motivated, and dedicated and other gibberish. I wanted to cut through the bull crap and just show who I was, want I love to do, and let the rest sort itself out.

Keep in mind I did this entire project for a job position that essentially doesn't exist until I have it. If the job market gives you lemons, you toss them and plant your own orchard. That said, let's begin...

The biggest problem in a Collector's Edition, at least a true CE, is the box. The outer box is the absolute selling point - like a résumé's objective. There have been insanely shitty CE packaging (I'm looking at you, Record of Agarest War Xbox 360 and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe) and I wanted to make sure I came out screaming " I AM SERIOUS! LET ME IN."  So while wandering around Hobby Lobby / Michaels I spotted a nice small metal tin that would easily fit a CD Case and some other items. I realized I wanted to do a slip cover, but there was no way I was doing a cardboard or paper one - the printing had to be deeply contrasting for it to have that sharp effect I was looking for. That's when I remembered my classmate Josh's creative resume where he used transparencies and attached them to a window. The effect was awesome as the natural light lit up the sheets and you could see his work from inside and outside. The only catch was that a) InkJet transparencies are a pain-in-the-ass-expensive locally and b) I was working with an image that was naturally white - if I printed it, all the white would now be Tin Silver. As it turned out, that was a huge blessing in disguise.

After finding the cheapest box of transparencies I could find, I strapped myself in and opened Photoshop.

The image that dominates this resume is of the left wall (right wall?) of the Robert Morris University 2nd Floor pathway that looks over the library. I always loved the hallway there - at the right times of day you got amazing cast shadows and reflections. In this case, the white of the columns and window frames played nicely with the bright blue sky. I played with the curves a bit and thanks to a setting on my camera got this amazing blue hue to peek out. Add in the blackest black you can get for contrast and BOOM, it looks awesome on screen. Then I did a test print and held it up to the tin was too dark. Since the transparencies would be slightly bowed, it cast a weird shadow that grayed out the tin's natural sheen. After some soul searching and protesting to the idea of painting, I instead trimmed white paper to match up to only that which needed illumination. In this case, the Resume Logo, the PlayStation Text in the Side Bar (its white, trust me - that's a wicked shadow in that image), and then the entire back panel. After having a stroke trying to line up the Resume paper panel, as I only had one chance to get the gluing right for fear of it smearing the ink, the other panels fell into place beautifully. The bright white works so well with the tin silver and the black that I even impressed myself - which may only have been me trying to justify the amount of work it took to get the measurements right. 

To keep everything safe while I was assembling the inner contents, I kept the transparencies between papers in another room and away from my accident prone ways.

If you're curious about how much contrast the tin provides, check out the front of the sleeve up top, and then look at the images of the shirt on the sleeve's back - that's how deeply the saturation levels changed.

For those that would like a closer look, I've provided the actual image files below so you can read everything clearly.

The sides of the sleeve proved the most annoying, but not because of anything they did. My printer is such that it doesn't have a uniform border - the bottom is actually larger than the top. I had to sit and figure out by hand how much space had to be trimmed from my original tin measurements for the two halves to print correctly and still have enough overlap to glue them together. That overlap went from half an inch to a quarter of an inch - and that was before the "Oh crap" moment.  Slight geeky moment - the ID Tag , the same SLUS that Sony used for 3rd Party games, is just my birthday; SLUS-123076. The SLUS and the PSX Logos were what I had to use for a visual aide to line up the not only the glueing, but the actual cutting / trimming of excess plastic. In my infinite wisdom, if never occurred to me to make the image a bit larger and make hand made crop marks since the folding point was in the middle of black on black print jobs. >_o;;

Now what would be the "oh crap" moment I am referring to? Well, after I had trimmed both sleeves, I had held up each one to the tin sides so I could measure for the scoring and eventual folding. With all that said and done, I quite literally began to sweat profusely as I ever so carefully began to score the sides of the transparencies - one small slip up, or too hard on the T-Square, and the ink would scrape off the transparency and ruin it. I did the back first, folded it ever so carefully, and placed it against the tin's bottom to get a nice visual reference and crapped my pants; I had measured wrong. The sleeve's 'walls' were jutting out at angle -  not straight up. The width I had scored was a smidge too small and caused the tin to not sit right. Having a momentary stroke / heart attack / anime freak out / sob, I decided to not toss it, and see if lady luck would be at my side.

I followed suit with the top, and after measuring it again to make sure where I was at for scoring, decided to move a smidge over - no mental reasoning, just said hey, screw the measurement. I carefully glued the halves together using regular paper as a shield from the cutting board's debris and nicks, and once it was dry, went for the money shot.

At first try, the sleeve wouldn't fit - it was big enough before, and now it wouldn't go down. That's when I realized the catch (no pun intended); I had packed all the contents in the box before I slid the case down. The shirt was causing the tin lid to pop off a smidge. I used a finger to push the lid down the whole 1/8th of an inch it was off by, and sure enough the sleeve slid into place beautifully.

 I also lucked out because that mis-scoring earlier was now absorbed into the top half's excess, and the lid's extra bulge, once let go, created the straight walls I was looking for.

The packaging was complete. 

Had there been beer here, I'd have drank all of it. That moves us to the contents...

"What's in the box, man...what's in the box?!"

So above all else, the contents of this box were the chosen few of several ideas I had. I needed to make the quickest impact and get the "Breaking Back In" theme across right off the bat. A T-Shirt, once the most prolific pre-order freebee, is now few and far between in Collector's Editions and rarely get used as freebies anymore.

The shirt serves two purposes: It allowed me to have a full frame image upon opening the tin, and it essentially acted as the packing material. If someone so chose - they could actually wear it. I have Becky to thank for this save - the original transfers I bought would not adhere to the t-shirt at all. In fact, after the first misfire, the 2nd shirt I did turned out, but upon the first fold the printed image broke apart.

Becky thankfully had extras of a different brand, and on that version's first try it worked like a charm. It took 3 shirts to get it right. Thankfully the rejects could have the mistakes just peeled off of them, so I have two plain white t-shirts left to futz with.

It took about 7 tries to get the Shirt Folded Just right - not to lumpy, not to small, and not to scrunched up.

Once you pull that out, you spot...

The Mini Portfolio!

This is a paper envelope made out of resume paper - I wanted the transition from the shirt to the folio to be the same image with a different name. Helps keep the 'design' stuff separated from the resume documents.

When you flip it over....

You see this - me and a wall of text referencing what's inside the folio. Note that when you flip this over, the first crack appears (and not like Doctor Who, fanboys / girls). This was a subliminal move on my brains part - only now do I realize that this would be the first true look at who I am creatively. Which means you'd be finally cracking into the shell / deeper layers of the resume.

The most important part of this image is the image of me. Not egotistically speaking, but quality wise. I suck at taking photos of myself. I do; I either come across retarded, high, drunk, sleepy, Rodney Dangerfieldish, or like I just woke up. It never works. The image used in this project was taken by my love Becky, in a moment of normalcy at the museum. She got me in my perfect moment - comforting smile, relaxed look, and it doesn't hurt that the words THE FUTURE are behind me. It worked so well with the blue tones that it was like it was destiny to use it.

The folio is sealed with two reusable small Avery labels so they would not tear the paper when opened.

For those with small monitors, I have blown up the text below. The conversation continues after the close up...

Inside the folio were trading cards that acted as my Graphic Design Portfolio.

This actually didn't go as planned - I wanted to have the 6 cards assemble so the back, when looked at as a whole would have been my plain resume, or some sort of winning prize verification with my contact info claiming they had "Won the Grand Prize New Employee". However, once again that printer issue would not allow it. No matter how I tried, the alignments would not work. So instead, I decided to provide a method to my madness.

Each card is a project I have worked on and has been either professionally published or went over extremely well. The Buca Di Beppo Kids menu, Chris's Maggie Rose stuff - both of which I did with Becky, various ads, and other small things. I had the majority of this stuff crammed into a single spread in the Datel version's manual, and they were simply brushed over. Here, I used the back of the cards to go into detail about how we / I approached the situation, why it worked, and how it related to product management and work ethics. The cards are numbered 1 - 6 in order of magnitude (restaurant chain, start-up bike company, etc).

This was the first time I had truly sat back and looked over my portfolio. It's obvious I could use some fleshing out, and some more diversity as far as projects go, but I think this is a pretty good start.

If I could do this over again, I would probably swap out the postcard sizes for baseball card sizes, or maybe business card size, and try and fake a foil wrapper to have them in. Nothing like actually opening a fresh set of cards to see what You got inside. :)

The folio and the game case were / are both bubble wrapped to protect them in transit, inside the case.

Once you're done looking at that, you get to the final piece in the puzzle...

The Revised 'Video Game' Resume.

First and foremost I got rid of the douche bag image of me. It looked too smug. Brought in the hallway, and this time added the crack to the window. Few neat things here: I did 99% of this from scratch. The fake ESRB, the PlayStation bar, everything but the actual logo is all me. I even used Illustrator to do the crack, logo, and the black 'bezel' for the inner tray. Shocking, I know.

Inside, I totally redid the entire thing. I was so ashamed of the Datel disc that I refused to even use any element or asset from it. I went back to the actual Identity Manual I have for the PSX and referenced the layout to make sure the disc was to spec. The only thing I didn't add was the copyright text that usually encircles the disc's edge. With the wonky alignment issues, I wasn't taking any chances. Oddly enough, it took me 7 tries to print it right because I either forgot to turn on / off a layer or forgot to turn off the template frame I scanned in.

Fun fact: When the disc is inserted into a PC to access the plain Resume, the CD ID pops up like a real PSX disc - SLUS_123076** - gotta love attention to detail.

**Yes I know some have actual names, quiet you!

 The back of the cd case was also a fresh start - though I did keep the renamed PSX icons. The "Number of Players" is now "Team Player", the Multi-Tap is now "Multi-Tasking", and so forth. The ESRB Rating of C for Creativity is followed up with descriptors most comical and truthful.

The barcode is my birthday and the end of the world:

123076 12212012. I'm not weird, honest!

The back insert was about the only thing that went off without a hitch more or less. It was a smidge smaller than it should have been, but when inside the case you can't really tell.

Also, now that I think of it, there's a hidden bit of irony to the CDR I used - it's a Sony Brand. :)

The final part, the manual resume, was more or less the same as the Datel one with some rather obvious changes. First and foremost, I removed all the Xbox controller images I had taken and replaced them with Dual Shock close-ups.

I then went in and adjusted some of the comments to be more up to date, and since I had removed several elements into the trading postcards, I had to re-layout some stuff do some stuff.

Those final changes are below, along with the PDF of the manual for those who care to browse it in full.


The 'Trophies" Page (originally "Achievements" in the Datel version, gulp!) is now entirely focused on the Sony specific. I entered 5 contests in total, and won 3 of them. Two were artistic merit, the other was because I'll be the guy who dies with the most toys and wins.

The God of War statue I won from the GoW contest is just awesome, and I like the effect of him busting through the side of the page. Fun fact! The Secret Agent Clank poster is was converted into a wallpaper for PSP. If you download the WallPaper Theme Pack my winning entry along with a few others are all in there.

Finally - the most beautiful out-of-my-ass-in-a-lactose-filled-waterfall repair job I could have pulled off. After assembling the manual, I had to create a custom template in Photoshop and toss all the Indesign stuff into PS to get the printing right. Turns out I missed a text layer on the last page. Rather then have to freaking reprint and realign 4 pages on a sheet *AGAIN*, I looked over at the transparency box. Slid that sheet through, trimmed, and carefully undid the staples in the book and got her in there.

The comment, while rosy and inspiring, now holds a deeper meaning on the transparency. In order to read it in a dimmer light, you have to actually pull the transparency up to allow light behind it.

Game. Set. Match.

 The PDF of the manual is below. Some of the fonts will look slightly weird.

Finally, I tossed in a press release for the entire thing in the box to add to the "new release"-ness of it.



The outer sleeve in flat form: