This course was a lot of fun. I’m glad I finally got some experience with the Adobe applications. I’ve been chomping at the bit to do that!
My favorite project was the logo project. Part of the reason for this is that I think I’ll actually use these designs for my resume and business card in the future.
I came down with appendicitis on Wednesday night, just before we were to embark on the final project – so unfortunately I missed out on that – but I do look forward to getting going on that, hopefully this break. Everyone said it was such a cool project – I really regretted missing it.
I think it was Mary who derided these kinds of competitions during a lecture a little while back.
This one is a competition open to anyone to design a new t-shirt design for Coca-Cola. I believe the criticism was that these kinds of contests result in only a one-time payment to the artist, and basically coax a whole bunch of hours out of starving designers to compete with one another for a very hard-to-achieve goal.
Nonetheless, when I saw this, I have to admit that my head started swirling with t-shirt designs. There’s something exciting about having your design appear on a Cola t-shirt. Even if you are whoring yourself out for it.
Good.is asked users to sketch a picture of their favorite meal, then asked their viewers to vote on the best. I think it’s a cool way to get readers/viewers involved in the editorial process. The two best sketches went up on the good.is website.
I redesigned the website for the Seattle Buddhist Center because I thought that the original version of their site looked pretty hokey.
My first step was figuring out my color scheme, which ended up being predominantly orange and white, with varying shades of gray. I had two reasons for the orange. First, and most importantly: orange is the color of their logo. I used that exact shade of orange for the stripe at the top of the page and for the links at the left side to achieve continuity. Second of all (and this is probably the reason behind the organization’s choice for the logo in the first place), orange is used a lot in Buddhism–especially Tibetan Buddhism. The monks’ robes are orange, along with much of the decoration that lines Buddhist temples.
They’re doing a walking tour of street art in L.A.
A lot of times I’m put off by graffiti (I’m talking tags…you know, the lazy stuff) – but this particular project looks very interesting. It’s graffiti done right, and someone who’s familiar with it showing you around to see it all in one fell swoop. Very cool.
The businessman I used for the poster is very similar to the businessman I used for my logo project. In fact they might be second cousins.
The tie and suit suggest professionalism, which works for this poster because what I’m advertising here is a certification program. The person I’m advertising to is presumably interested in gaining a level of expertise–a credential under their belt. The business suit conveys this.
On the other hand, the people interested in environmental issues are often people who tend to be a little more on the free-spirited side–so I couldn’t go too overboard with the upstanding businessman appearance. I’m attracting a liberal audience here. That’s where the quirky design comes in: the legs extending down to an unconventional, handdrawn typeface; the tree growing out of the head.
The tag line, “knowledge to grow on,” as you can see, is a play on words. The tree growing out of the businessman’s head connotes knowledge about trees–more specifically, tree-keeping. I made the tree a peach tree, because people in Georgia will identify with the Georgia Peach. I gave the businessman a trowel in one hand and a certificate in the other to convey to the viewer that he will gain skills, and he will get a certification.
I used the typeface Minister Std. because it looked like a more legible offshoot of my own handdrawn typeface (especially the capital R).
The background is a pale blue because it looks clean, and complements the natural, organic look of the poster. I wanted there to be a lot of empty space around the peach tree especially in order to convey a clear blue sky.
On my resume, I chose the Strangelove typeface because it was simple, elegant, and yet whimsical, unexpected.
I carried that typeface, and the sentiment behind it, into this project as well.
The logo reflects my personality. Traditional, professional, but also quirky. It also reflects my writing style too: stripped-down and easy to understand, but often exploring unexpected, sometimes humorous content.
There’s this rotating panel of designers who basically scours the web and print world for the best designs out there. Sort of a best-of-the-best kind of thing. It’s a good way to keep the bar high for design excellence.
As they put it in their own words: “With all the blogs and image-sharing sites already in existence, why launch Design Envy? In short, the wide range of excellent work happening in the profession doesn’t always come through in AIGA’s traditional channels and publications—nor has there been a consistent way to discuss and interact with the selections until now.”
As a words-on-the-page guy, I was at first daunted by the whole design thing.
How reassured I was to see The Believer featured on page 141! The Believer is a literary magazine (and a damn good one at that) featuring long-ish nonfiction essays. It’s sort of an off-shoot of the fiction mag, McSweeney’s, run by Dave Eggers. Eggers himself is a writer, and apparently (and I didn’t know this before) also a gosh-wow good designer. He designs the covers and tables of contents for The Believer. The design of this magazine is a throw-back to nineteenth-century almanacs. Easy-to-read, and suitable to the new wave of hip erudite readers. I like seeing this sort of thing: a designer who is not really a ‘designer,’ designing in a way that is actually better than a ‘designer’ might otherwise do it, because he himself IS the audience he’s designing for. Tying this into the discussion about grids–I like how the grids on The Believer cover contain different elements in them. They’re not all text, or all image; they’re a combination thereof. This creates variety in an otherwise very structured, uniform layout. Nice effect.
Another literary character implementing grids in an exciting way is F.T. Marinetti, who would make certain lines of text larger, so as to span multiple rows. I don’t think this works so much in poetry (frankly, this kind of thing often strikes me as more gimmicky than artsy), but I do think it can be an effective trick in the designer’s toolbox when it comes to designing things like magazine covers and advertisements. The sort of stuff that a reader is not expected to read in a linear fashion. For instance, the postcard by Piet Zwart on page 160 is beautiful. The letters of varying size suit their purpose, and draw the viewer in.
I used the Strangelove typeface for the word-mark and headers. (Strangelove Narrow for the first name; Strangelove Wide for the rest.) I identify with this typeface. It’s tall, skinny, and quirky. Like me. It also resembles my own handwriting.
The body sections of the resume are in Futura typeface. I thought this was a good typeface for me, because while Strangelove conveys my quirkier side, Futura conveys my more professional side. Also, Futura is similar to Strangelove in some ways. It is sans serif, and it, too, has a sort of handwritten feeling (especially the lowercase a).
The overall layout of the resume is pretty simple and stripped down, much like my writing style. It was important to me to carry this approach into the resume design, seeing as how I will be applying for writing jobs.