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!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

clicking my heels together in preparation for spring break

1. On Monday I met with my Meredith group and we made a schedule for ourselves and divided up the work a bit. We are all going to come up with concepts for our style guide and meet next Monday. I am excited to finally really get my hands on this project. I am also excited because I can tell it's truly all going to be a group effort and the decisions we're making is all together. 

2. We were told on Tuesday that our cover ideas had changed so between yesterday and today I came up with covers for the photo essay about women in stereotypical men's jobs. I have to say I was much more excited about this cover instead of payday loans. I had a really good time designing these covers. Here they are:
I really tried to listen to what Jen and Meredith have been saying in class about covers and how the text needs to be big and bold, the image needs to be eye catching and easy to understand quickly. I hope I achieved that. I think I did, however, I do know I always get an entire new point of view when they get printed out and others look at them. So we'll see tomorrow! 

3. Also this week I worked on logos for the organization "Show Me Dharma." It was the first time I have ever really worked on a logo and I think some of my images and worked and some of my ideas were to involved to work for a logo. I am definitely still learning about how to design a logo. Here are a couple of examples:

In class on Tuesday we talked about our creative process. It was really interesting to hear how everyone comes up with their own ideas. I think what struck a chord with my the most though is when Kristin was talking about over analyzing everything. I do the same thing. Especially with my design work. I am not completely confident yet in my work. I mean I believe I am a designer and I have talent but as far as being completely confident, I am not there yet. Because this is something I am so passionate about, I over analyze it so much. I over analyze what people say about my designs and I go over and over again the decisions I make. Especially during the design process. But like Jan said, how much analyzing is too much? When does it help and when does it become a hindrance? I don't think I know yet. 

I found this series by Matt Siber called floating signs.
I thought it was a really interesting series that made some pretty photos. Also I think it's kind of funny that it puts these normal signs and icons in almost a Godly sight. It gives the companies a different kind of image, that is for sure. 

In one of his old posts he talks about the magazine called Remarriage. 

I thought this was interesting 1. because it is such a niche topic but 2. it caught my eye most of all because of the logo. I thought this was a great example of a logo that had played with the type in a fun and smart way. Sometimes I have trouble coming up with subtle and attractive ways to play with type so I like finding fun examples. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

life in my black chucks this week

Well, I have to say this has been the first week of the semester I haven't had anything due in this class that I am working on. So I pretty much have taken the week to try and catch up on my other classes. Reporting, midterms, papers, etc. They all seem a little arbitrary being only 2 1/2 months away from having to find a job. But, I guess to get there I need to graduate, which means finishing my other classes as well as doing work for this one. 

However since I have made myself work on other things this week, I feel a little deprived of design and have been conceptualizing my website and logo as I walk around campus. It looks great in my head, so I now I just need to move forward on the computer. 

In class on Tuesday Phillip gave a presentation on Playboy and I thought it was really interesting that they tried to put the bunny logo on every cover. I had never noticed that before. I mean I don't often look at Playboy but the logo is so iconic and is on anything and everything these days. They definitely succeeded in making that the real brand of their company. I know putting it on every cover had a huge part of making it so important to the company. Especially using it in fun and creative ways. Just like the photo Phillip showed where it looked like they had drawn it in fireworks. 

I think this kind of household branding is something that every company tries to achieve and whether you agree with the actions of the Playboy company or not, you have to give them props for making a bunny head this iconic.

I was looking on some FOLIO blogs and I found this article about Tiger Beat. Which I know obviously this isn't a magazine that all of us probably read all the time but in their last issue half of the magazine was 3D. I have to say, Tiger Beat and all, that is pretty cool. For their target market I thought it was pretty ingenious. The little 13 year old girls that pick up that magazine will just die when they get a poster of the Jonas Brothers in 3D! I feel like in the print world we are all having to find new and creative ways to do what we do so that we can compete with all the other mediums out there. This, I thought, I great example for Tiger Beat. I mean they include the 3D glasses in with the magazine! 

Try to tell me if you were 13 you wouldn't love it!

I still haven't seen a new post from my blogger, but I went back in his files and saw an entry about a cool cover. 

I thought this was such a great photo montage. If I saw this in a store I would definitely pick it up. The blogger made some remarks about how could the magazine actually be fast coming out only 4 times a year. That I don't really care about because I was just admiring the art on the cover. I thought it was fun and lovely. I like!