Friday, January 24, 2014

Memorable Experiences

     One of the most memorable experiences for me was the pumpkin carving. It never really occurred to me that carving pumpkins was a design skill, but I guess it is! It was fun to be able to take a break from doing actual school work and get our hands dirty.
     Another memorable experience for me was both of the times that we went to VIA. Seeing people do what they love in such an amazing environment was inspirational because I could see myself being one of those people. I hope that my experience the next three years in London will be half as amazing as VIA.
    Lastly, these experiences wouldn't be half as amazing as they were without my classmates :) I have never been such a close-knit class where everyone gets along so well. We all have different personalities but they all blend together perfectly. If there is one thing I am going to miss about high school, it is this Graphic Design class.

Work I am Most Proud of

      When I decided to sign up for graphic design I anticipated doing something that would help me learn more about magazine design. Maybe something along the lines of an ad for a local company or a font exercise, but I never thought that we would actually do a magazine cover. In the past the only magazine cover I made was in 8th grade for a Civil Rights project, but I cut and taped it all together myself. Creating this magazine cover confirmed that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. 
     I am proud of the final product of my magazine cover for several reason. Firstly, I love the color scheme. My favorite colors are black, white, and pink, and I try to emulate that throughout my life, whether it be clothes, room decor, or anything else. The contrast makes the pink pop against the black background which really makes it stand it out and look different from the other magazines. 
     Another reason why I am most proud of this artwork is because of the layout. I tried to fit as much info as possible without it looking cluttered, and I think I succeeded. Although the different pieces of text are spread throughout the cover, I made sure that they were all equally aligned with perfect proximity to each other and my figure in the middle. 
     Lastly, the cover stories are things that I am truly passionate about and would love to write real articles about. I think that by adding these personal touches my magazine instantly is 10x better. 

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.

There are many things that I learned doing this “real world” project, but three of them stand out to me the most. One of these is that you have to learn to design for the client, not yourself. When I first went into this, I designed what I liked and what I thought would be great for a tennis tournament t-shirt. When I received the critique from Carrie, I realized that I had been designing the shirt for myself and not for somebody else’s liking. After that I tried to change my design so that it would please Carrie, the client.
Secondly, I learned that the best way to work on such a large project like this is to start the day it is assigned and work a little each day. After you sleep on it, new ideas come to mind. I feel like if I had just done my whole project in one day there would be so many missing elements.
Lastly, I learned that patience is very important when using photoshop. I’m the first to admit that patience doesn’t come easily to me, so this project was hard for me, but once I learned to have patience, my work turned out much better.

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.

 The trip to VIA was by far the best field trip I have ever been on. From the second we pulled up to the building I was in awe; the old-library gave it such an artistic feel. When we went inside the first thing I noticed, of course, was the way people dressed. Everyone was so fashionable and stylish, I even commented on our tour guides shoes (they were from J. Crew). The decor throughout the whole building was so modern, contrasting perfectly with the vintage feel of the building.
I’ve heard about VIA a lot before but I never really knew what it was. Not only is it a place for graphic designers, but script writers, film-editors, and the list goes on-and-on.
The thing that stuck out to me the most was the impact that the commercials VIA created had on the business of a company. I always see commercials on television but I never really think about them. After our trip, I realized an effective commercial really does work because its memorable. Some of the companies that they made commercials I had never heard of, but thats because I’d never seen them on tv.
I hope that in the future, whether it be for a magazine or another type of design company, I would hope that the chemistry and atmosphere was at least half as great as that of VIA’s. When I went to VIA I saw myself: the fashion, style, decor, talent, and creativity.
The highlights of the second trip was definitely when I got told that I could have a summer internship at via. A man (whose name I cannot not remember) introduced himself as a creative director at VIA. I was instantly intrigued because that is what I want to be, but for a magazine. At the end of our trip I went up to him and told him about me and my aspirations and asked him how he got to where he is. He told me the most important thing to do is “internships, internships, internships.” He explained how it doesn’t matter if I start out at a no-name magazine with an unpaid internship, because everyone starts from somewhere. You have to start from the bottom in order to gain the experience needed to succeed. He asked me if I was interested in a summer internship with someone in the creative department, and I could not be more filled. Hopefully this internship is the start of many to come.

Magazine Cover Designs


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

When I was creating my magazine cover, the most important concept that I learned was that although a magazine cover is two-dimensional, creating three-dimensional elements will make it pop. I achieved this by making the background black and white and having my body in color. I placed the myself over the title, which created a three-dimensional effect that would not have been there had I not created different layers. Another important concept is coloring the text to match and complement the image. For example, I used the eyedropper tool to pick out the shade of pink from my dress that I thought was the right tone and hue. The contrast between the black and white background and the bright pink font is pleasing to the eye. The last concept I learned was to make sure to emphasize the correct pieces on your title. By making certain text, such as “trend report” and “matte” pink, the readers eyes are drawn to the text that is considered most important.
All three of these concepts are crucial for me in the future because I want to work in magazine publishing. I feel like these pieces will help me stand out from the other students next year in college.
Based on the necessary criteria, I give myself a 3.5-4 out of 4 because of my attention to detail and creativity. My feature stories are catchy and make the reader want to buy the magazine to see what is inside. I think that my title is sophisticated and matches the theme of my magazine which is high-fashion. I spent at least six hours outside of school working on my magazine. I would create a cover and then think of new ideas and combine those with my old cover, eventually ending up with this cover that I love. I think it is this process and attention to detail that makes me deserve the rating of a 4.

Logo Designs

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

The name of our company is “Written in Black”. We produce fashion graphic tees that are white with black ink. The name “Written in Black” was derived from the idea that all of our shirts will be made with black ink, otherwise known as written in black. Our company is geared toward teenage girls and young women who are looking for a simple statement piece for their wardrobe.
Before I started designing my logo, I made sure that I was clear what the message is that I’m trying to portray through my logo. My business represents fashionable youth, so I wanted to keep it light and fresh. It also had to be girly, but in a modern, sophisticated, young way. After I had determined what my brand embodies, I was able to move onto the second step which is the principles of effective logo design. There are five important principles that I had to keep in mind. The first is to keep it simple, but unique! The simple font and feather ensure that this logo is indeed very simple! The second principle is closely related to the previous one: memorable. A memorable logo is achieved by creating a simple one, which I feel I have achieved. If there is too much going on in the logo, customers won’t be able to remember it. The third principle is timeless. This design that Libby and I created is timeless because it is a font and object that is common and everyday. Another principle to keep in mind is versatility. This logo that I created is visible and recognizable at any size.
Through this process of logo design I have learned several things that are important for my future work. One of these is to make sure the design embodies what your company is trying to achieve. If a law firm is designing a logo, they would want something sharp and stern to portray that they are not to be messed with. On the other hand, if a daycare center is creating a logo, they should go for something that is happy and friendly, inviting people to bring their children their. This connects with the second important concept which is the importance of color. When people see color they have a certain feeling. Back to my previous examples, a law firm would be best to stick with a grey scale color scheme with maybe a hint of red. Dark colors such as black and grey are powerful and strong, and the red is also a symbol of intensity and strength. The daycare would be best off using bright colors to portray happiness. If you switched the color scheme with the two companies, the logo would be completely off. The last important thing I learned is to keep it simple.    If you do not have a simple design, people will not remember it.
After reviewing the criteria and our final design,  I give our design a 3.5-4. To start with, we began by brainstorming ideas on paper for names and logos. We came up with around 10 different name ideas and decided on the one “Written in Black.”  We then brainstormed again to think of an idea for a logo that matched our name. After several drafts and designs, we finally came up with the final product of the feather writing our brand name, portraying something being written in black. We strived to go above and beyond the expectations on this project, and I think that we succeeded.

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.

      When I created the designs for my pumpkins, I never was very pleased with them. However, I never thought out the fact that I was going to be carving on an actual pumpkin. My surface design turned out great, but it was much harder than I anticipated. Getting the correct thickness and thinness was very difficult with the tools that we had. 
      For my large pumpkin I decided to do a design that went all the way around the pumpkin. When I was almost done I realized that if I cut out the middle...the pumpkin would be in two pieces! I ended up having to restart and do the "boo!" design, which I actually ended up liking better. 
  This assignment taught me to really think a plan through before you start working on it. This will prevent mistakes.