Monday, November 30, 2015

Communication Artifact

Our group decided to bring alive a business idea of one of our group members. He had been wanting to create a food truck similar to "Waffle Love" but with his own flare-- incorporating his love for scones. The name was already decided previous to our meeting: "Get Sconed". Since we all thought this was a fun, creative name we went with it.

My job was to design the logo. We talked first about what type of image we wanted to portray. We wanted to be high energy, fun, a little hipster-retro, and eye-catching. We decided on a color scheme with some nice complementary colors and some contrast in values. This was the scheme we decided on:

With our colors chosen, we had to find a font that fit the image we were going for. We found 2 fonts that were 100% free on We went with one fancy font that we felt had the effect we were going for, and a complementary simple font that was easy to read and worked nicely when placed near by. These are the fonts we used:

Next it was time to decide on a logo design- this was where I came in. I started with some mock-ups. I had about 15 ideas that I sketched up and later presented to the group. Here are a few of my rough sketches- 

You can see the tally marks next to a few of the sketches. Those were our group votes. As you can tell, some were more popular than others-- so I took the top ideas and made them into comprehensive outlines in Illustrator. Here is an example of a few of the finalized comprehensives I made: 

While there were quite a few more options I came up with- these were the top competitors. The very top logo in this image was the finalized product. The two underneath were runners-up. We felt like the top logo really gave that "blast" of excitement we were looking for. It incorporated our colors in a way that was easy to read and appealing to look at. Even though it was not actually my personal favorite, it was a favorite of the client which is the most important person to please, and the overall pick from the group. 

The logo incorporates symmetrical balance, continuity, simplicity, and contrast. It has the feel and effect that I think the group was going for, and I think it could be used as a true logo for a professional business. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mis-en-scene: Disney Cinderella 2015

For this project I really wanted to analyze the transformation scene in the latest version of Cinderella. There is so much that was put into this scene, but I mainly want to focus on the costume designer Sandy Powell, and everything that was put into creating this ball gown.

While I can't get an actual clip from this movie (because it is so new)- Here is a link to the trailer:

Sandy was given free reign on the look of the Cinderella gown. The directors told her she could conceptualize the original Cinderella dress, or scrap it and come up with a completely new idea of her own. After trying out many colors and styles, Sandy decided to stick with the original cerulean blue. The dress took more than 550 hours to make. It boats on countless layers of fine fabrics, and is made up of just over 4 miles of thread! Luckily, all the material is so light. Sandy says that if you were to toss a piece of the material in the air, it would float. Underneath, the actress, Lily James, is wearing a corset and a crinoline over a wire cage (to give the dress its shape). Not only that, but the dress is wired with tiny LED light circuits. The lights were hooked up every time the dress was worn, and they were controlled by a computer. While the dress was quite enchanting on screen, it wasn't quite so comfortable to wear. The actress exclaims that it was "like torture" and was "so tight and delicate". The dress took about 45 min. to get in and out of each time.

Now that we've talked about the gown, let's talk about the shoes! The shoes were made of actual glass! They are Swarovski crystal. There was a lot of research that went into the design of the shoe. Sandy Powell actually went to the Northampton Museum of art, and looked at the older shoes they have on display. She was permitted to look at the archives of the museum, and found the pair of shoes that inspired her glass slipper. The original shoes were created in the 1980s, and had a ridiculously tall 5-inch heel. The museum lent her the shoes, she made a 3D copy of them, and Swarovski turned them into reality. 8 crystal shoes were created to be used on set, but surprisingly enough, none were actually worn by Cinderella herself or by anyone else on set. Lily James has size 9 feet, and the shoes were made to look much smaller. Because they cannot bend, it is basically impossible to have them fit on anyone's feet. Sandy tells us how they made the shoes actually appear to be on Cinderella's feet: She says, "I made a pair of shoes in leather that were the same shape of the original shoe that I found and the same shape as the glass shoe. So a pair of shoes that would actually go onto her foot. Then the visual effects people turned that into the glass shoe. I don’t know how they did that [laughs]. That is the magic of the movies".


Thursday, October 29, 2015

John Hughes
I have not spent much time analyzing films or directors before this class. I mostly just enjoy the film experience they provide. As I was searching through some of my favorite movies, I was having a hard time finding a common denominator among directors. But as I began to search directors, I came across John Hughes. He directed many of the films I grew up to love through my childhood, such as: Ferris Bueller's Day Off,  Home Alone, Dennis the Mennis, Flubber, 101 Dalmatians, Miracle on 34th Street, and all the Beethoven movies.
Most of his films are comedies, and feature main characters who are somewhat rebellious and independent. Hughes dropped out of the University of Arizona, and began selling jokes to different performers. It seems his career formed sort of by chance, based on his surroundings. After his success with the movie Mr. Mom, he landed a deal with Universal Studios and the rest is history.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Compose Your Frame

I've always really liked this Photo Shop store sign. I decided for this assignment to use this row of downtown stores as my content. With a little editing, it turned out pretty decent I think. Rule of Thirds: The sign is meant to be the focus. It is placed inside the intersecting quadrant when the photo is broken up into the rule of thirds. The Diagnol Rule: The roof on each of the shops form a diagonal line leading the eye toward the D on the mountain. The mountain itself also forms a line dividing the frame. Vector: This image uses graphic vectors, the shops and the sidewalk encourage movement in the frame.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Axioms of Web Design

When it came to picking a well designed website that I have visited often, the first webpage that  came to mind was They have always had a clear, well-organized, and attractive looking 
website. However, when I went to visit it this weekend, I noticed that the display that I am normally
use to has been drastically changed. The display below is what I am typically use to seeing when shopping REI, but the new design (while quite different) is still very appealing.

 Here is a good idea of what you will see if you look up their webpage...

Simplicity plays a big part here. They are working well with the consumer's ability to scroll through the website. They understand how the customer will interact, and have done a good job in making it easy for them. The search bar is conveniently placed at the top of the page, where it is easily visible right next to the REI logo. The drop down menu also makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

After that, they highlight trends and equipment for the current season...

Advice for the outdoorsman... 

And special deals and paraphernalia for members- all just as you scroll down the page.

When you do decide to click on a link, like "climb" for example. It will pull up a page that looks similar to this. The space is clean, the colors are attractive, and it is easy to read. Here, the grid structure is much more apparent than on their home page. 

You will notice that if you adjust your screen size, the webpage adjusts along with it. The menu bars will appear differently as the webpage becomes larger or smaller. This shows that the webpage is compatible with all screen types, including that of a mobile smart phone. While the images, layout, and font usage are are clean and concise; the information is clear and navigation is easy. This website is designed for a number of different people- climbers, bikers, hikers, campers, yoga enthusiasts, runners, skiers, etc. But REI is able to appeal to a large target audience with their warm outdoor colors, their naturalistic photographs, and their clearly formatted website. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I was asked to post a few examples of my Hand Lettering... 

These are still very amateur. I've been working on hand lettering for almost a year now. While I enjoy doing it, I still have a lot to learn- 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good Design vs Poor Design: 09/21/15

Our competitors are: Tazo Tea vs. Simply Balanced Organic Tea 
I will be analyzing the 3-dimentional packaging of these two teas and deciding which has a stronger branding design. 

Fist, Let's talk about Tazo-
We have a nice use of color here. Inviting yet not over-powering because of the white space. It is obvious right away the brand of the tea because of the size of the name right on the front of the box. We have the line of color along the left hand size of the box that leads your eye to read down the margin and glance at the image. A line of continuity is followed around the bottom rim of the packaging. Although the swirly line fades off as it reaches the front of the box, it feels complete. The law of pragnanz is also apparent here. This design is very simplistic, even down to he image on the front. It gives us a clear message of what is in the tea, without really even needing to read the label... 

... While the design of the individual packaging is quite nice on its own, the real strength of the design can be seen when viewing the different flavors of tea side by side. The images on the front remain consistent, and keep the packaging balanced by placing one object on each side. We can see that even though the images are cut off on the sides and spaced out from one another, the design still follows the gestalt principles of law of closure and law of proximity. The colors change, but the fluidity remains the same. 

I also wanted to point out their chai tea packaging. It is a different version of the original design, but still remains an obvious part of the group without too much separation...  

Ok, next lets look at the Simply Balanced brand. This design is nice, but not as strong as the first example. First, the only continuity happening here is the plain blue background surrounding the package. There are no lines to draw my eye anywhere, or to lead me to want to turn the box and look at the rest of the packaging.When I look at the front able my eye becomes trapped in the circle. Good design doesn't do this. If we compare the side label with directions to the example above we can see a huge difference here. Tazo has taken a huge advantage of all their negative space, and has made the directions clear and exciting to read. They have added an interesting caffeine guide that makes it simple to read and understand. Simply Balanced however, has a ginormous blob of empty space that really isn't working to their advantage. These directions are boring, and almost nothing is happening on this panel of the box. To me there is nothing original or exciting about this packaging. It is a poor design. 

After my analysis, it is clear to announce that Tazo is the clear winner. Their design is neat, simple, and follows all the gestalt principles.