Find the Producer in You

producing

Contrary to popular belief, images don’t just appear. There are people who work to make them appear visually appealing to all of us, whether it is a film, book cover, or what we read most about in this text, advertisements. Images within advertisements are designed by producers with the intent to create an outcome. Usually this involves selling a product or message. However, there comes a certain point where the producer’s ideas don’t play a role anymore. And that’s where you come in. Continue reading

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Visual Culture

icons

What do you see when you view this image? I know what you’re thinking because it is an image that has become an icon all over the world. How did this picture of a wide-eyed, veiled, young Afghan woman become so popular? In their chapter on “Images, Power, and Politics”, Sturken and Cartwright go into detail about the methods behind representation, the myth of photographic truth, images and ideology, negotiating the meaning of images, the value of images, and image icons such as the National Geographic girl above. Continue reading

You See More Than Just Purple Here

info

Our first big project involving our chosen themes was the info graphics assignment, which involved us depicting information in an appealing fashion. The theme that I chose at the beginning of the semester relates to the name of my blog, Jogging and Blogging. I wanted to portray what types of individuals and groups come to campus daily throughout the entire semester as I trained for a half-marathon. Continue reading

It’s All About the Composition These Days

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.27.18 PMYou know that feeling you get when you are reading something for class and then you flip to the next page that happens to be a two-page spread of pictures and images? It’s a good feeling, right? That wonderful sense you get that your reading is almost over…and then you realize you have a lot more to do–but that’s not the point. When you see this, you probably think you’re in luck because the authors of the book just didn’t have anything else to put on the page, like they messed up, right? Wrong. Turns out, everything behind a message is scrutinized until it can’t be reviewed anymore. So listen up, because there is a lot behind the composition of a multimodal message, as told by Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen in their chapter on “The Meaning of Composition” in Reading Images. Continue reading

Business/Personal Cards: Take 2

Revised Personal Card

Front:
Business Card 5_edited-2FINAL

Back:

Card5back_edited-1final

Revised Business Card

Front:

FINAL BUSINESS cupcake

Back:

FINALBUSINESSBACK

As you can see, I made very drastic changes to my business card. I decided to get a little more creative with the idea of a business card, so I chose to make myself a cupcake designer. I had some fun with the background pattern, which I found on Google, and I made the logo with a cupcake and the use of two different fonts in the center. I used BovenoCF again, but this time I added another font called Janda Stylish Script. I like this business card a lot more than I liked my first draft, which I think is one of the main points of this project: to like your own creations.

It’s Critiquing Time

As Goodman pointed out in Chapter 7 of The 7 Essentials of Graphic Design, it is important to other designs before we critique our own. I’ll admit, it feels a little less awkward critiquing a design of someone I don’t know, so bear with me as I critique my own classmate, and later on, myself.

shannon

For her fun and personal card, my classmate Shannon chose to go with a vertical format, which I think was a wise choice because it is different and clearly fits with the figure she uses. I honestly have no critiques with the front of this card. I really like the font she uses because it represents her own personal style and correlates nicely with the image–which I really want to learn how to do in Illustrator! I think the spacing is nicely done as well, along with the contrast of the white background and the popping colors of the figure’s outfit.

back-fun2

The back of her personal card connects well with the front of the card with its pink and orange colors, but I think she can do more with the spacing. She needs to move her name up and make it bigger–maybe center it on the back of the card–and then make sure the alignment of the contact information is more secure. Otherwise, I think this is a fun business card with not a whole lot of changes to be made.

Next is Shannon’s business card, which I find to be very similar to her personal card, which is not a bad thing at all. However, I do think it is a little too simple. The text “let me pencil you in” is cute, but I think there should be more to the front of the card. I would suggest moving the text either to the top or bottom corner of the card and then insert an image above or below it. Possibly a logo? This would create more of an identity and allow more spacing to come into the picture.

formal-front1

The back of Shannon’s business card appears more to look like the front with the gold dots. I would suggest moving some objects around and maybe doing something similar with the dots and add it to the front as well. I really like the spacing here though. Everything seems to be in symmetry and the typography is the same as the front of the card, which shows consistency and continuity. Overall, I think Shannon’s simplistic and sophisticated ideas appear very well in her cards and my critique of them has helped me prepare to critique my own. You can find Shannon’s business card thoughts on her blog http://siteseeingwithshannon.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/business-cards/.

formal-back1

Critiquing Myself 

Business Card 5_edited-2Card5back_edited-2

The images above are my personal cards. I chose the background because it correlates well with my theme for the semester, jogging through Furman. The image to the left is the front of my card and has a few elements I’d like to change. First, my name needs to be in alignment with my email address and phone number to emphasize structure and organization. Next, I’d like to change the color of my name to the turquoise color of my email address, and switch the latter to black because it will put the focus more on my name and not my email. I think aside from the alignment, my spacing is good because I did not want too much going on near the running feet, and the bottom right corner seemed fitting for my three lines of information. The use of the turquoise color is the color used in the theme of my blog format, which I used to connect my card to my blog.

Switching over now to the back of my personal card, I think the layout could use some work. For example, I’d like to eliminate the black area around my logo (J & B with K)  and move the logo down next to my blog url to promote the blog together. The black is sort of this used-up space that serves no purpose at the moment. Otherwise, I don’t want to add more or take away anything else because I think the grey tones with the running feet at the top is enough and I want to keep it simple. But I am always up for suggestions and am currently in the process of altering it.

Final Business Card 1_edited-1Back of Final Business Card_edited-1

My business card (front and back) are the cards I need to spend most on reshaping. First off, I am not a huge fan of the pattern in the background so I don’t exactly know why I chose it. Secondly, I think the color of the typography should be more reflective of my personality (so something like blue or purple) because this golden brown color is not really me. Next, I will have to make my name bigger and move around my information below it so that it is not as spaced out from each other. I would also like to change the font of the information below my name so my name stands out more.

Moving on to the back of the card, I think I could make a new logo similar to the one I made for the back of my personal business card and replace that with the “don’t be a stranger” quote, which I am currently questioning why I added that in the first place. I think it is a little too informal for a business card, even despite what business you are in. Once again, I’d like to change the font and colors of the typography, as well as tweak the spacing around as well. The contrast of both sides is poor and I want to focus on that the most as I engage in changing around my cards more.

Critiquing others’ work is difficult, but critiquing your own is even harder. I know I have a lot of work to do with my cards, but overall, I am happy with the start I made and think both my personal and business cards have the potential to easily work with and make better.

It’s All About the Brand

coketarget

Coca Cola and Traget. These two logos have created each of these companies’ brands and have made them who they are today. The typography, placement, and contrast all have something to do with these logos. Everything Goodman discusses in chapters 1 through 4 of her text appears in both of the images above. And so do the final three chapters of her text, as I will go over in a moment. If you saw these images from far away, I’ll bet that you could immediately identify the company because of its design. And that is what branding is all about.

Before we get into defining your own personal brand, Goodman talks about grid systems in chapter 5. Although these grids do not appear in the final design, they make all the difference when you in the designing period. In other words, they are very subtle but brilliant. Grids are essential for creating visual consistency because it allows you to take a step back and see all of your work separated and gives you the ability to make changes.

In chapter 6, Goodman discusses how recognition is all everyone–especially companies–really wants. To receive recognition, you must first form an iconic identity. You do this by performing the following:

  1. Distill. Find the best designs possible for you image, and then choose the most promising options and eliminate the others.
  2. Translate. Transform the started elements into your own personal style and keep changing it until it defines you.
  3. Formalize. Bring all of the elements you have just transformed and bring them into visual agreement with each other. Appearance goes a long way.
  4. Simplify. Make your design as graphically simple as possible; no one likes clutter.

Finding your identity won’t happen overnight, it is a process that takes time. Here is a cool video that quickly gives a visual of how a designer plays around with tools to create a logotype:

So once you’ve found and taken care of the perfect iconic identity, it’s time to market and advertise your name. You need to make sure you build on to your established logotype so you continue to earn recognition. For example, you can see in the image below that it is an icon we all know very well. If you have ever been traveling on the interstate and need to find a place to stop and grab a soda or make a bathroom stop, you know you will be able to find those golden arches from a mile away because the icon is so notorious and memorable. And that’s what you want—and need— to be.

M

Finally, the last chapter in The 7 Essentials of Graphic Design touches on critiques and analysis of designs everywhere. In order to be a great graphic designer, you will need to identify the good graphic designs and the bad graphic designs and figure out what you could do to add your own personal brand and how you can make it better. But first, you need to know how to critique and analyze other designs before you start critiquing and analyzing your own. So get out there and start looking at other designs and observe to its core; after all, it is a knowledge of basic design principles that fuels successful designs.

On a side note, here is an info graphic that relates to my project idea:

project

Here is an example of why we get so many visitors on campus; whether they are walking down the mall, down by the lake, or just walking on the trails around the outskirts of campus, they all have access through the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

The First 4 Essentials of Graphic Design

graphic design

After reading the first four chapters of Allison Goodman’s “The 7 Essentials of Graphic Design”, all I can say is, when will my graphic design ever look like that? The book’s design in itself is superb and reflects well on the messages Goodman is sending to her readers. I think a lot of us think about the work that goes behind graphics in design, and we probably all have a few staple designs engraved into our minds. I can even remember a few from my childhood and into my young adult years. Good designs stick, and Goodman’s sole focus is to send that message, along with many others, to you. Continue reading

It’s All About US (The Consumers)

HCD

There is way more to designing a product than what meets the eye. I suppose most of us view the process of designing a matter of a designer waving his or her magic wand and BOOM, there’s your product. Well, obviously that theory is wrong, so what truly goes into creating the products we use every day? Norman goes into detail of this phenomenon in chapters 6 and 7 of “The Design of Everyday Things”, and once again amazing me with tons of information I was unaware of before. Continue reading

It’s Official Now: We’ve Got Cards

One of our most recent assignments was to create two business cards that represent two parts of ourselves: the business side and the personal side. With the only requirements being that we had to use two fonts and as much creativity as possible, I dove into the task head-first.

Here is what I chose to make my more fun and personal card look like…

Front:

Business Card 5_edited-2

Back:

Card5back_edited-2

Why I chose this:

Well, for starters, the background is alone in itself, a perfect depiction of my blog, Jogging and Blogging. I thought the subtle feet jogging at the top of the page added just enough “energy” to the card, while the cement-color of the rest of the card targeted more attention to my font. The turquoise color of my email address connects to the font color on the back of the card, tying the two sides together in another way. Moving on to the back of the card, I designed a small logo “J &B with K” that stands for “Jogging and Blogging with Kamber”, my url name, and a fun way to remember my blog and brand. Again, the turquoise color stands out amongst the darker shades in the card. Overall, I am happy with what I chose for my personal card because it shows my serious side, but also connects to my personal brand I have created throughout the semester.

Fonts used:

  • BovenoCF
  • Lucida Handwriting

Business Card 

Front:

Final Business Card 1_edited-1

Back:

Back of Final Business Card_edited-1

Why did I choose it?

I wanted my business card to be sophisticated, serious, and simple. Hopefully I accomplished that with the classy pattern (found on https://www.flickr.com), gold font, and minimal information I put on the card. I let the pattern speak for itself by not adding a lot of excess information or images, which was my intended goal all along. On the back I wrote “don’t be a stranger” because my goal for any business card is to get contacts, so I want to appear open to conversation and communication with others. Overall, I am happy with this choice for my business card as well, because I think it looks exactly how I desired it to look and I think it accomplishes its goal.

Fonts used:

  • Lucida Handwriting
  • BovenoCF
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