Week one: Let the fun begin

Critique: Spring Preview designSpring Preview design We started out Advance Design with a bang. The bang being our first cover and feature designing having a due date of exactly one week into class. We had to design a cover and spread for the Spring Preview issue of Vox. My head was spinning with ideas until our professor, Erica, said don’t do something obvious. It shouldn’t have, but this stopped me in my tracks. I became obsessed with the idea of coming up with something that hasn’t ever been done. So obsessed that I couldn’t think of anything for hours. I finally came up with the idea of a mechanical theme based around springs. As I struggled to conceptualize what this design would actually look like, I noticed my rain boots sitting on the floor of my bedroom. I then decided to use these with hand draw illustration around it. I had originally planned to have the cover black and white with the only pop of color being the boot, but it didn’t seem “springy” enough. I went with color that fades out to represent the idea that spring is the first time we see color in nature resurface. cover series To create this cover I printed out a photo of the boot and then traced around it. I drew the illustration with pencil and traced it with sharpie. I then scanned the illustration and image traced it in black and white using Illustrator. I added the boot in Photoshop. Finally I added the color in Photoshop. I started out with just a green, pink and orange color palette, but then decided to add the blue to represent water in a puddle and the purple as the fifth color for the different event departments. Overall, I’m happy with my design. That being said, I think it would look better with heavier font for the title, instead of the hand drawn one I created. I also could have worked to make the color fade out more. I think the color is a little too heavy. It pretty much goes from colored in to black and white. If I could go back I would make it a more gradual transition. Spring Preview spread For my feature spread I really wanted to maintain my same theme from the cover, so I hand drew the title artwork using the same process as the cover. I wanted to incorporate the five colors I would use for the different event departments, but I think it retrospect this made the page a little too overwhelming. I think had I just used a couple of colors it would have been more affective. I also think I could have made my event headings smaller and simpler. This would have allowed for more events to make it on the page, which is a good thing when working with limited space. Overall, I’m happy with my design, but I do think I could have tweaked it, such ass using a font instead of hand drawing words and simplifying my designs to make it more affective overall.

You Can’t Miss: Starbung Wars and Consumer Whores Starbucks The difference between inspired by and stealing has always been something I have struggled to define. Although I know there are no new ideas, it seems like it is a very fine line between the two. It also differs between the people you talk to about it. Some will say as long as it is not exactly the same you are fine, but other will argue that being remotely the same is stepping on the original designer’s creative rights.

This article on printmag.com about Starbucks’ logo I found especially interesting. It shows you can never be to careful even if you are creating a parody of a concept or organization. I’m not sure what I believe. There is the element of freedom of speech, but it also obviously a knock off of the logo.

You Can’t Miss: Type on the Tongue a taste of type I’ve heard “What does type look like,” “What does type feel like,” “What does type remind you of,” but never “What does type taste like.” I found the article “Type on the tongue” especially interesting on Eye Magazine’s website.

Comic Sans

Comic Sans










The article centers on a taste test by Eye’s staff of Helvetica, Comic Sans, and Impact. The baked types were created by designer Sarah Hyndman and are meant to reflect the personality of the typefaces. Hyndman is making an excellent point here. Type doesn’t just look pretty. It appeals to all our sense, so we need to choose it carefully. Sadly taste wise, I think I would like comic sans.

Photo inspiration: Spring flowers and yogi frog

Flower inspirationI took this photo on Monday while I was working on my Spring Preview feature design. A friend sent me surprise flowers with a note that said, “Just because you deserve them.” I was filled with such joy and excitement (I’m never receive surprise flowers before) and they really helped me to take my Spring Preview design in a different direction. I had originally planned for the cover art to be all black and white with the only pop of color being the green rain boot. These flower brought a taste of colorful spring to both my bedroom and my design.


8 thoughts on “Week one: Let the fun begin

  1. I really like your Spring Preview design, but honestly my least favorite part is the springs. I didn’t really get that you were going for springs the first time I saw it. I thought it was just a combination of pretty patterns. I really liked the colors and whimsy of the patterns around the boots, but the springs at the bottom of your spread seem a bit tacked on to me. I think sometimes one of the hardest things as a designer is to edit down (which is something I’m now working on with my addiction piece).

    Also, I think it would be much easier to pick a font to use in a given design if I was given the choices in cookie. Just saying.

  2. JenniferLiu says:

    Your “what’s making a splash this spring” was a really fun and creative spin on the concept of spring and changing seasons. The colors are bright and vibrant, not the typical pastel scheme that most might immediately associate with spring. I think the “splash” concept with the colors fading outwards also helps balance out the dominant image of the boot, so the color isn’t to overwhelming across the cover.

    As far as the “Type on the tongue” project – what a fun idea! Especially after reading through “Just My Type,” I feel like I’m starting to recognize and evaluate typefaces and fonts everywhere. This is one area that I’ll definitely have to work on, but it’s a good reminder that type does more than just present information; it has to work together to convey a certain message.

  3. jessie lueck says:

    As an amateur designer, I’m really struggling with understanding what is okay to emulate and what crosses the line. It is so true that there are no original ideas, so how do we enter into a world where we get paid to be original? It’s such an overwhelming thought.

    Take what does type taste like for example. I would never think of something so fun and clever! I love the thought of people interacting with type through all five senses. That probably would help me better explain my specific design choices.

    I loved your Spring Preview design. I’m glad you decided to get explosive with your colors. The color of your rain boot isn’t bold enough to make as big of a splash (see what I did there?) as your additional color choices.

  4. Lo Elle says:

    The idea of stealing vs. being inspired by designs has always come up when I was studying fashion and working in the industry. I personally like to err on the side of changing something I was inspired by as much as I can, but the reality is that so many things have been done before and you can end up ‘copying’ someone, maybe without even knowing it.
    I’m not sure how this “tasting type” thing works, but I sure would like to try it! I don’t know how convinced I am that there’s a point to this whole thing, but I love when designers step out of the box with something like this. In fact, I’d love to be sent some letters to taste… I’m getting hungry thinking about it.
    I really admired your creativity with the Spring Preview cover and I think you did a great job of illustrating, but still keeping your design nice and crisp… which is something I always try to aim for (and sometimes fail at) when I illustrate.
    Also, you have great friends! Surprise flowers? Lucky you… 🙂

    – Lauren Elliott

  5. raquelcmendez says:

    You should check out the book Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I also always think about how what I’m doing is so unoriginal and lame, because I’m ultimately inspired by other people and not just thinking it up on my own. But this book basically says that nothing is original. Even every fantastic original idea we think is so special was inspired by some other dude’s idea. Us trying to re-create our heroes’ designs will ultimately lead to us discovering our own style, because unless we straight up plagiarize, we can’t make a perfect copy. The culmination of everything we love about other people will lead to our individual voice. This might be the worst summarization of a book ever, so you should just check it out. It really helped me and gave me more confidence in designing!

  6. First off, I love the idea of springs. I thought that was so clever and innovative along with the rain boots as the main focus of the cover. As you said you thought you would have liked a heavier font and not hand drawn for the feature spread, I thought your hand drawn spring preview was great and actually looked like a real font. Okay, so I’m a sucker for baking and cooking things so when looking at your post for tasting type and I’m definitely going to be trying that out very soon.

    I definitely understand that Starbucks coffee logo rip off thing. I’m sure Starbucks wasn’t a happy camper when they saw this but it also makes a statement and gives a different point of view on our society looks at things. Lastly, who is your friend and can I be friends with her too? Haha so kind of her to do that but so great that you automatically thought of the design and colors aspects that went along with it.

  7. qing_tian says:

    I really love your cover when you showed it in class. It reminds me of spring without using the obvious choices. And it is fun to see the use of a photo paired with illustrations. And for the types on the tongue, honestly speaking, I did not get the reason why designers hate comic sans so much before I saw the comic sans cookies. They did not look as delicious as the other ones. So I get the idea haha.

  8. Janelle Pfeifer says:

    I really agree with what you said about knowing the difference between drawing influence and copying. It might be something that is easy to avoid but it really isn’t. Also, when you throw in the option for parody, things get really tricky. I know you are a TAM minor like myself and with fashion it also gets tricky. There are no copyright laws in the US for clothing since it’s “utilitarian” but as designers we have to be more careful. It’s always my fear of thinking an idea is original and then seeing something that is close to it that was created years earlier. I feel like there aren’t any original ideas left in the world so it’s almost impossible to not imitate or copy.
    As far as your design goes, I think it was a very creative idea. I think we sometimes forget the concept of “rain” during Spring. So I think you took a different approach to spring that was not as expected. Your illustrations were also really cool, and I loved your concept of spreading colour over your cover. Very creative. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with this semester!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: