Friday, January 24, 2014

Memorable Experiences

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had from this semester was definitely all our talks we’ve had about our work.  Never have I had a class in which we take a the time as a group to discuss each individual’s work and how it could be improved.  It was so helpful and eye-opening to here and give feedback.  We would spend half the class working on an assignment, print, critique, and go back to make necessary changes that would better the designs.  This has impacted my learning because I was able to see other’s ideas that would make my projects more relatable and fun to create.  Another experience that I will never forget is visiting VIA, twice! We were fortunate enough to be able to visit VIA more than once.  Our class is always so enthusiastic and invested in what we’re doing and because of this, going to VIA again was such an easy.  We got to learn so much from the professionals at VIA and I think the fact that I got to have a real-life experience with the workforce in graphic design, changed my perspective and made us work harder.  A final memorable experience is the general fact that our class worked so well together.  I think having such a change in class size, from twenty to six really helped us to learn better.  We all worked so well together and collaborated.  Because we are all so different, we had fresh ideas.  Everyone was always so excited to learn and we always accepted new thoughts.  Our close-knit group also worked well together in the sense that we all became friends.  I think as a team, with Mrs. Noack, we all can really achieve a lot.  It’s been amazing what we’ve accomplish and no matter who were worked with, we seemed to make flawless designs that we didn’t think we were capable of.  Overall, these experiences will stay with me forever and because of this class, I will be pursuing some type of graphic design in the future.

Work I am Most Proud Of

I’d have to say that the artwork that I am most proud of is my screen-printed t-shirts.  Not only was this project time consuming, challenging, and fun, but it was also a new experience for me.  I’ve never screen-printed before so being able to try something different and get off photoshop was really neat.  Although I really love working in photoshop and designing on the computer, it was awesome for our class to do some hands-on designing that would change our perspectives.  I knew that I wanted to do a pumpkin and a sailboat right when Mrs. Noack first told us about the assignment.  For the pumpkin, I knew that I wanted to actually make it look like a unique pumpkin, not some clipart immature design. One thing that really got me excited about doing the pumpkin was that I always wanted a pumpkin shirt but I didn’t want to spend money to find a perfect one that wasn’t little-kid style, by doing this project, I could make a design that I like and would actually wear.  Better yet, I would get to make the shirt by myself and get comments from people thinking I bought it! Next, the sailboat design was really meaningful to me because I feel like it really captured the essence of design.  Simplicity is key and by creating a sailboat that wasn’t complicated made the shirt look more professional.  By having a sailboat as my design, I got to share my new skill with others because I gave a pillowcase sailboat design to my dad, my sailing buddy, as a Christmas present!  I really do believe that this assignment brought out my best work.  I didn’t need a bunch of nice comments to prove that my work was good. I genuinely worked really hard and thought a lot about my designs.  Even through the cutting out of the pumpkin and sailboat was tough, the hard work payed off into something that I could keep forever. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

BBM Tennis Tournament T-Shirt


To use creative problem-solving skills to design a t-shirt for an annual tennis tournament that raises money for the Cancer Community Center of Maine;
To understand the importance of being involved in a real-life, authentic learning experience.


One thing I learned as a result of doing this project is being okay with parameters and guidelines.  It’s hard to create fresh ideas when things are limited to what we could and couldn’t have on each of the t-shirts.  I think the biggest challenge was making the colors work together on the front designs.  Because we had to use all four colors, some of the colors either contrasted or didn’t work together in the ways I was trying to design. Another thing I learned was that originality is key. I knew from previous projects that being creative is excellent, but with trying to create a new design for a t-shirt that has been around for many years is super hard.  Finally, I learned that taking others ideas is okay.  I was afraid at first to take others ideas fearing that I’d just copy them.  After creating shapes and images using others ideas, my designs turned out better because I could compare to others to see what was and wasn’t working in my t-shirt designs.

VIA Special Assignment


To visit a local advertising agency in order to gain an understanding of the many possible career opportunities; To engage in a fictitious design problem with authentic graphic designers; to present and receive feedback about your artwork from authentic graphic designers.


First Visit

When I first found out we were going to Via, I couldn’t tell you my emotions.  I didn’t exactly know what it was and how it would inspire my class time in graphic design.  Once we got talking about Via in class, ideas popped into my head and my head starting spinning.  I realized that Via will be a fun place for all of us and a place where we can all relate. After starting this class earlier this fall, I didn’t exactly know truly what graphic design was but when I started taking the class, I fell in love with the concept and Via has enhanced that love.
When we first arrived at Via, the outside structure looked like a library.  This immediately caught my attention because I always enjoyed the feeling of libraries.  Once we walked inside the building, our whole class’s eyes lit up.  We were so excited to be here and share this experience.  The fact that Via is a cool place just made it all the better.  The inspiring and surprising artwork followed you through every room.  The artwork really gave a perspective of a fun, loving, and enjoyable place to work.  This was reflected by the people who worked with us.  They were enthusiastic, excited, and clearly are satisfied with their lifestyle.
The introduction movie that we watched before starting our challenge really gave me an idea of what design and art is trying to communicate to the world.  Graphic designers want to help the world and communicate peace.  I realized without them, we wouldn’t be able to survive our high-tech, modern world we live in today.  The video emphasized the importance of helping others.  At Via, they are always looking for new information and fresh ideas which is why the workers work as a family together.  When we use simple, everyday things, our minds don’t really go to the root of the product, just what it’s used for.  Outsiders of Via don’t understand that simplicity is complicated and it takes a lot of thinking to create even the most simplest, effective way to show something.

Second Visit

While we were riding the bus on the way to VIA, I was hoping we’d be able to work with the same people that we did last time. Personally, I felt there were extremely helpful, outgoing, and inspiring for our own work in the classroom.  One thing that I really enjoyed was their environment and friendliness.  When we first visited, I had to take everything in and couldn’t appreciate everything at first. Going a second time helped me to connect more with our mentors.  While explaining our ideas, they were always positive.  Even though they knew that we were beginners, they didn’t criticize our work.  As each of us finished our presentations of our logos, they gave us feedback that was helpful and you could tell that they genuinely were very interested in our work and weren’t asking questions just to get by.
I’d have to say my favorite moment of the trip was when Teddy asked Ihila what she was doing next summer.  Immediately in head I knew that it was either going to be a job or an internship and I couldn’t stop smiling.  Ihila was so thrilled and excited when he offered her an internship and she couldn’t stop talking about it.  To me, that’s what a passionate person acts like.  Ihila will be embedded in Teddy and all the workers brains for a while because she has a passion that they can see will be useful.
A final note that really meant a lot to me was when Teddy went over his videos he wanted to show us.  In general, he emphasized how we should all just follow our dreams and use our passions. I know it sounds really corny, but he had a really good point.  He said how everyone at VIA loves what they do and will continue because they have passion. It made me think about my goals in class and outside of class.  I really am hoping to visit VIA again in the future.

Magazine Cover Designs


To use knowledge and tools of Photoshop, along with conceptual design to create a magazine cover for a fictitious magazine.


Black and white texts and having light and dark colors contrasting for titles helped me a lot throughout the assignment.  I wanted to create enough contrast between the title and subtitles so that they both stood out.  I knew before I started working on the assignment, I wanted to create an artsy look that had solid colors, not necessarily a Vogue or Seventeen feel.  By having the girl with bright colors and being in front of the text, it helped to pop on the magazine cover. I also used the importance of boldness.  I chose certain font and color choices to make the titles eye-catching while matching the color themes.  These are important in my future work so I can know what to look for in other projects.  This assignment opened my eyes to what worked well together and what things didn’t.  Finally, I believe that if this magazine were real, it would be really fun and interesting to create future magazines that were consistent with the theme. Bold colors and patterns can be created in different ways and it would be cool to experiment with future covers.

I think that my magazine cover design deserves a rating of 3.  I do believe that it pops out and people would want to pick it up and read what’s inside.  Like I said earlier, I knew I wanted a unique and simple magazine cover. When I looked through the magazine covers on pinterest, I found bold, simple, and contrasting colors that worked well with each magazine.   When people think of dance, they think of elegance and maybe a more sophisticated-looking magazine, but I wanted to go the opposite way and create a new look.  Also, my stories for my magazine are really appropriate.  One thing I regret looking back on the project, is possibly choosing a new title font.  I like how it contrasts with the rest of the magazine while still creating an elegant tone that people associate with dance, although, I wish I experimented a little more with different fonts.

Logo Designs


To understand the process of logo design;
To design a clear and effective logo for the chosen company scenario


The name of my company is Kat Korner.  My company manufactures/sells cat food! I have a cat at home, so the fact that I got to work my personal life into my logo was pretty awesome.  The target audience for my product would obviously be any cat owner!

When I read about the Introduction to Logo Design, there were five key points that were essential in designing a logo: Simple, memorable, timeless, versatile, and appropriate.  I tried really hard to create a logo that incorporated most of these elements.  My logo is definitely simple, as I didn’t put much into the design of the cat. Keeping it simple will make the product memorable and also versatile.  Clearly a cat, and the creative company name, Kat Korner, are both appropriate for my logo.  The color, emotion and logo design website helped me to incorporate the name of the company into the logo.  If I were to just have a simple, sophisticated name, with plain font, it wouldn’t fit with my theme.  The fact that I used a curvy, fun font resembles a happy cat’s tail.

One thing I learned about logo design is to brainstorm first.  It sounds like a simple, easy task but when you’re brainstorming, it’s hard to come up with ideas, not concrete decisions. I had a hard time brainstorming general things about my logo design, and instead tried to go right into a settled idea that didn’t work. I ended up switching my company to animal food instead of kid food. I also learned that simplicity is key.  When we have so many new ideas jumping around in our brains, we want to use them all.  But I have to remember that Nike logo. Everyone knows it, yet it’s so simple.  Finally, not being afraid of originality is something I had to deal with.  It was hard for me not to think of logos and companies I already knew and incorporate them into mine.  Starting with a fresh piece of paper really helps to just let your mind float and see what it creates.  Also, if you find a lead, keep going, but if you get stuck, go back to brainstorming general ideas.

When I look back at the criteria and process of designing a logo, I realized that we did it. It was hard work, but so worth it.  After we had a brainstorming conversation, I got input and feedback about what I really wanted to do. This helped me to realize I really wanted to change my company into a animal product, not a human product.  Also, like I mentioned above, it was hard at first to create original ideas without using clip art or the internet, but after using the tablet, I created a simple cat that was unique and playful.  I really like how my company name came out, too.  It specifically goes along the cats tail to show that the logo and name compliment each other.  On another note, looking at the websites we use to brainstorm showed me the do’s and dont’s of logo designing; I especially loved Jacob Cass and his story.  He inspired me to work harder and to go further in my creative brain.  Finally, I believe I deserve a 3.5 because my logo meets all the requirements, is unique and original, and fits my companies theme (although all beginner logo designers need room for improvement!).

Positive & Negative Space Carved Pumpkins


To use problem-solving skills and knowledge of positive and negative space to create a unique design on the surface of a pumpkin and with carving a pumpkin


Every pumpkin has its own story. Pumpkins come small, large, fat, and skinny but they all have one thing in common: hard surfaces.   Unless the pumpkin has rotted, carving the surface of a pumpkin is really hard.  It takes a lot of patience to carve the surface area of the pumpkin.  One thing I found difficult was getting a clean edge.  Since the surface wasn’t smooth in all places, it was hard to clearly carve out the surface.  In reality, it would take a lot longer than we had to spend on the project getting every little piece out off of the pumpkin to make it look white and professional. 
I wanted a design that was traditional to Halloween, but also one that wasn’t scary.  I thought that an angel would be a good pick.  It took a few tries of sketching out what I wanted my angel to look like and what negative and positive space to use.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much time as the other students so my carving didn’t come out as neat and creative as I hoped. Nevertheless, it’s simple, cute, and carved.