Wednesday, May 6, 2009

bright pink shoes for my bright pink future


1) First, I finished my global journalist design. The whole experience was definitely a learning experience. When I got the assignment and my pieces for the design, my editor and I were in completely different places. My editor had no idea what was going on at all. Thank goodness for Aimee. My first design was completely different from the second because the photo they had given me for the lead could only run super small. So after the editors realized that then, they understood my first design a little better. Aimee and I met to discuss more photo options and worked out all the issues. Thanks Aimee! 

2) Pets issue comes out tomorrow!!! YAY!! Everybody pick one up! I think it looks great. I am just so excited to see it. The other designers and I have been so involved with this thing since the very beginning and I feel like more than any other piece I have done this semester, this one is our baby. Here was our template example. I'll put up photos of my department and feature soon. 

We had our presentations with the lovely people from Meredith Corporation this week. I think they all went really great! They liked our magazine and were happy with the design and ideas we all had. I had a great time talking with them about our product and about the business in general. They had a lot of great things to say. I had absolutely a great time making Mix and I am very thankful to them and the time they gave us. 

I read on a design blog that Steven Meisel has shot every cover of Italian Vogue for over the last 20 years. His 317 covers to date can now be found in a book. What a fun book to have. And what a feat!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Running Shoes


Well I have to say this week kind of feels like finals week to me. Not a moment to breathe but I have to keep running. I know we have two weeks left of school after this one but, this is my power week. Currently I am writing my last research paper of my undergraduate career and I have to say, it feels lovely! Well, not writing it, but seeing the end in sight. Yay! 

However, in my design world...

1) My biggest project in the past two weeks has been my website. It went through three redesigns and a server crash but somehow made it out on the other end. It feels good to have accomplished that. I had never worked with any kind of web before so I was proud of myself for what I did. I feel like my home page still needs something to spice it up some more but I am happy with the rest of it. Web is definitely different from print in so many ways. It's very interesting. While my preference is print because that's where my heart is, the web feels like this whole new world for me that could be fun to explore some more. 

2) Mix went to the printers! Yahoo! However, this week I designed a mock cover for the publishers' media kit. I really liked how it turned out. They wanted the focus to be on food but somehow still go with their main feature story sell line they gave me. I think this one worked well. I had a lot of fun with it. Now we're all gearing up for our presentations to Meredith Corp. Our presentation is on May 5th and while it seems like a lot of people were nervous, I think I am just more excited. We have lived with and created this magazine and I am happy to present it.

3) This week I am currently working on the Pets Issue and Global Journalist. My first design of Global Journalist is due Friday and production of the Pets Issue is all weekend. I am very excited for both. The story I have is a serious one for GJ and then the Pets Issue is the exact opposite so it will be great to kind of work on polar opposite things.

Our style guide is done for the pets issue but Julia and I need more text before our feature on pet boarding can go any further. I really like our style guide. I think we came up with something fun and playful that isn't elementary. I'll share pictures next week! 

My response is more of an irritated rant. Where the heck did this swine flu come from and why is it necessary?? I was supposed to be leaving for Cancun the day after graduation and now, not so much. Stupid flu! Any ideas of where I should go instead?

I was browsing the net and I found on magculture this comparison of before and after Interview flags from one Art director to another. I thought it was really interesting to see two different takes on the same magazine. I like the current one much better, but I thought it showed an interesting transition. (The first one is old, the second is current.)
Well after watching this blog the entire semester there has not been one new post. I'd say it's safe to say you can take this one off of your list Jan. However, I went back and saw these really great spreads from New York Times Magazine. I know they're older but I love them. They just have such strong and fantastic concepts. I like. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

bare feet


1) This week we have been finishing up MIX. YAY!! I have to say I am happy with the finished product. I was more than ready to see it leave my hands after all the hard work we put into it, but I will be excited to see the finished product come back to me. It's pretty amazing to me that Lauren, Aimee and I designed an entire 52 page magazine. I am excited! Here are a couple of the finished pages that I did! 

2) I have also been hard at work at reworking covers for the Art of the Encore feature. We were thrown for a loop when we had no photos in for deadline, but I worked a cover out with a stock image and then made another one once we got the photos in. Meredith had given us the option of choosing covers for different stories, but I stuck with this one because I felt it was the most visually stimulating. Plus I am obsessed with live music, so it inspires me more than a news story about how movies are making lots of money. Here are my redesigns.

3) Also this week I have been working on Art Directing the May 7th pets issue for Vox. We're blowing up the issue into a themed issue and so the feature designer's and I get to completely redesign the whole issue. I think it's going to be a fun piece for me to end my year on. The theme is "Vox Unleashed," and our entire inspiration has come from the idea of being unleashed. I'll put something up once we've worked on it a bit more. We have a little template ready but it still needs a bit of fine tuning. I'm really excited to get to be on the Art Direction side of things. I feel like it's another great experience before I graduate. 

4) Lastly I have been doing my website this week. The server isn't being my friend and I have redesigned it 3 times in 2 days. I got in one of those moods where I hated everything that I was doing. I think I just got so frustrated I wasn't allowing myself to think creatively anymore. I feel like I've crawled out of that rut now spending a day away from it because I had a lot of other things to do today. Tomorrow I will be back at it and hopefully with more success! :0)

I watched SSND judging this week and it was really interesting. It's really fun to hear what professionals have to say about your peers' work. It showed me no detail is too small or too big. Pieces were thrown off of the table for overall macro mistakes and also for the smallest micro mistakes. Although I guess that is to be expected when it's a contest but it just showed me how important it is to make sure and look at the details and the overall larger theme every time. 

I was searching this week for some inspiration for my website and I found a site that listed a ton of sites as the design trends of 2008. They were all different sites made for different reasons and I thought they were fun to look through. It had my favorite feel to it. Check it out and pick out your favs.
Again no new posts. I think we can sufficiently say since I have not seen a new post all semester that this man has given up his blog. Oh well. I went way way back in his blog and found him talking about Bon Apetit's redesign. Because I have been designing for a cooking magazine now for the last semester I have been paying attention to more food magazines and this by far is my absolute favorite! It is quite gorgeous. Look at his cover example. YUMMY! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

nothing but ballet flats this week-so they don't touch my new tattoo


Well right now the work most prominent in my foreground is MIX. We had our first meeting with all the pages printed out on Monday and then the other designers and I had a crunch night that evening to get the style choices all on the same page. So the pages I have done to share right now are a couple of simple department pages but they can show at least the style decisions we have made. I have to say I am happy where it is going. I know there has been frustration between designers and the publishers but overall I have been happy with the process. I just think we had to learn to try and speak the same language. I think it's hard for non-visual people to communicate what they want and it's sometimes like we spoke different languages. But I thought it has been interesting to work with new designers I had never worked with and also with the publishers to all come up with this prototype. Here is a small taste of what I've been doing and where we are headed:
During the rest of this week I will be finishing my MIX feature and last department, so I'll put those up this weekend. My cover group was also supposed to be doing covers this week but the photo editor didn't want to give us the photos she had because she said they weren't cover worthy, so as of now we're on hold.

But the most important this weekend will be my website. I am going to buckle down and completely revamp it. I'm really excited. I feel like I am slowly but surely understanding more of the web and I want it ready and working so I can start sending it out to hopeful employers! Yay!

I got a new tattoo on Monday! I had been wanting to get something in Columbia before I graduate because my time here has been a great time in my life. I feel like I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately because I am about to leave and I have to say college couldn't have gone better. I feel like I succeeded in my collegiate career and had fun at the same time. I fell in love with graphic design and found something that truly makes me happy. I got engaged with the love of my life. I have the best friends a girl could ask for and in the last semester have met and become friends with some other great designers who are about to take over the world this May. 

Well enough of that sappiness! Still have to get through the next four weeks before I can get too sentimental. ha Either way I got a new tattoo by a lovely woman named Roxane and I think it's beautiful. This is a picture from the day I got it. (Oh yeah, explanation, I got engaged at the Blue Note. Get it? Blue Music Note. ha ha)

I found this site that had really great examples of fun and creative Error 404 sites. You know the annoying "site not found" message you get. I am looking for any web inspiration right now because I am trying to do my own website and also have been talking with a friend who wants me to design a website for his custom frame business. Since I feel like I am just learning the web I need all the inspiration I can get. I thought this was a fun way to look at inspiration from a site that you wouldn't even have to put anything on. I thought this one was super cute. Check out the link to see more.
Well, apparently this blog is having technical issues this evening because it won't come up on my computer. I'll keep checking and keep you updated.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

i need some dancing shoes


1) This week I have been working non stop on Meredith. Our final designs are due to the publishers on Friday so I've been designing for that with every free moment I have. I think this whole process has been a good learning experience because it's a good example of what happens when 5 people are telling you what they want and they want different things. I was very glad that we had our meeting last week with all the publishers because it made us all get on the same boat of where Mix is going. Amy, Lauren, and I have been working together this week on style issues and it seems like things are coming together nicely. I will be excited to see our final prototype. Here is one of my redesigns from a department I showed you last week. 

2) I also did the department for the Arts this past weekend and an evergreen for the department as well. I am not sure if I really feel like I am getting a ton better about departments. I feel like the last photos I have been given were better quality so that is good, but there haven't been any stories that required any illustrations or anything other than a photo request. I don't know how much growth my departments will show over time, but I guess we'll see.

Yesterday in class a few of my colleagues reported about conversations they had with designers in the industry right now. I have to say it didn't really help me, it just made me even more nervous than I already am. The thing is that I am not nervous about getting an entry level position, I'm not nervous about working hard, I am nervous that no one will give me a chance. I am worried that I'll have spent this time falling in love with design and then I won't get to do it. I'll have to find a position doing something else so that I can pay the bills. I just don't want to have worked this hard to get into a job I don't like at all.

Although, I think one really good thing that every person said was that you need to make sure your portfolio is diverse. I need to make sure when I put everything together that it shows all the different things I can do. 

This isn't exactly related to design but FOLIO just put out their annual list of the top 40 magazine industry influencers and innovators. As opposed to all of the dark and sad stories about magazines closing, I thought this article gave a little light at the end of the tunnel that some people are still succeeding. YAY!
On an entry a very long time ago the blogger puts this photo up with the caption "Ok, it's settled. There is no appropriate use for Papyrus." I have to say I agree 100%. I think it is a font made for birthday cards or postcards, not for magazines. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

from sandals to snow boots


Wow. I can't believe I was away from you for a week miss blog. I missed you greatly. But here I am! Back in full force!

1. Right before spring break I had covers due for Vox about a play which discussed what women want. I have to say this was probably the most I have struggled with any of the projects or pages for Vox all semester. I know part of that was purely because of the timing but, also part of it was I think I had trouble trying to match a decent headline with the picture and make it all look cohesive. Here are my two favorites from that batch:

2. This week and during spring break I also have been working on our Meredith prototype. I really like the way our designs are looking and I have had fun challenging myself working with departments with a lot of little details that need to look cohesive. I have had a lot of fun doing these pages though. I think our only issue as a whole is there are some major communication barriers between the designers and the publishing group. I feel like we're hearing different things from all the publishers about what they want and it seems contradictory. So this is the way we're headed as of now, but in the meeting tomorrow that might change. 

3. Also this week and over spring break I have been working on the first edit of my website. Today in class I gathered critiques from my classmates after my presentation and I can't tell you how helpful they were. I think my first edit of my website was so much me just trying to become comfortable with Dreamweaver that now I feel like I can go back in and spice it up a little. All of my colleagues comments really helped because this is my first try at any sort of web design so I will take any help I can get! It can get really tense for me working with web but, I want to learn especially so I am at least knowledgeable for when I start looking for jobs. 

I think my response this week will have to be about my spring break trip. I went to Panama City with four of my friends. For living in a land lock state, I am the biggest beach bum I know (minus my Mom). I love the ocean and the way it makes me and any of the stresses I have feel small. I think it gives me perspective. Not to mention it calms me. All of the senses. The sound of the ocean, the feel of sand between my toes, and the distinct color of blues (my favorite color) as you look out into the gulf. Walking along that beach every morning was exactly what I needed to calm me and rejuvenate me to get through this last push to graduation. Not only was beauty like that inspirational to my heart, but also to my future work. Here are a couple pictures off of our balcony.

So a couple of posts ago I discussed an issue of Teen Beat with 3D posters included of the Jonas Brothers. Then what to my surprise over spring break when I pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and flip a page immediately to a tear out pair of 3D glasses. Following was several pages with 3D photos of the upcoming animated films. Also in the middle McDonalds got into the action with a 3D ad of a hand holding a Big Mac protruding out at you. 

I think it's funny to see what one magazine does then several more pick up. As a designer I think it's a fun way to make your designs interactive. I am sure they had fun working on a new idea like this. I would have. I just think it's fun and rather funny that one of the trends in entertainment magazines right now is a trick that has been in books and movies for years. I like it! 

(Plus, as a fun extra for me, Paul Rudd was on the cover and I LOVE him.)
Well WAY back on my blog the blogger referenced his teaching page and I clicked on it. As an addition to his blog he has a page on books and tips for those who are teaching design. While obviously I am not teaching design, and just learning, I still found it interesting. It had some good tools: articles of interest, a few magazine profiles, etc. Check it out if you're interested.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

packing up my flippy floppies


1. I am once again working on covers this week. There was a mix up with the last cover story and apparently that story is not being done so we were asked to do covers again this week. I have 3 done but I am not yet sure that those will be the 3 I turn in so I am not going to put any up yet. I will do that next week once I know which three I turned in! 

It's been a good learning experience because it has been the first photo cover story we've been given this semester. Everything else has been photo illustrations. It has definitely been a challenge because the photos came back grainy and a little hard to work with so we've been creative freedom with editing photos, which usually isn't given. I am trying to come up with something content driven, not just something I played with in photo shop to make pretty. So we'll see how it all turns out! 

2. My Meredith project group met this week and made some decisions on our style guide. I think it is coming along great. I am working on the logo this week because we are still tweaking that a bit. I'll put it up when we have our final. 

3. I am redesigning 3 of my logos for Show Me Dharma as well. The class all voted on each others and which ones to redesign and it was pretty unanimous on which ones everyone thought I should design so that decision was made for me! I think I already know how they need to be changed as well, so I am excited to turn those in on Friday.

I realized this week that this class has made me so much more aware of what is around me. It makes me notice things about design and the world around me that I never would have thought of before. I was watching one of those cheesy commercials about the shot Gardasil and at the end the logo for the drug flashed on the screen and I thought, oh, I don't like that at all. But then as I looked at the circles above the dot on the eye I thought to myself, well they were probably trying to get across the idea of protection. Of it guarding you if you'll get that shot. 

Then all of a sudden I realized, here I was in my own house, by myself, dissecting the logo of an anti-cervical cancer shot. I need a life. ha ha. No, what I really realized is exactly what I am saying. This class has made me so much more aware of paying attention to the small things because I realize now that there was some designer behind it who dissected the idea of those circles for hours before coming to the final design. I like knowing that. I feel like an insider. 

Kelly McMurray on folio wrote a blog this week on 5 design tips that don't cost a thing. I thought it was a very interesting entry because everyone is looking for good deals on how to do things cheaper in this economy. That includes designing. One of her tips is to play with type and find typographic solutions to your problems. I thought that was a good tip and something I am trying to work on a lot.
On my blog this week there once again was no activity but I found an old entry where he talks about suggesting some books on design to be read. I found after the discussions and readings in this class how much books actually help. I didn't realize I could really find help for me and my art in books. Art seems so subjective and something you just do and feel, but these books really have helped me. Here is his list. Our required design book for this class is on there!