Monthly Archives: February 2014

Week 6: Prototypes, Potter & Pastels

Critique: Host magazine prototypes

Host Cover Host department page host feature

It was really hard for me to start designing my prototypes because I was not entirely sure which direction the publishers were wanting to take the magazine. They said they wanted their target market to be women 25-40 but also men, and they didn’t know if they wanted to focus more on drinks or entertaining. I decided to design my prototypes more like a city or regional magazine because they tend to be more gender neutral than most entertainment magazines. With the cover and name plate, I wanted to keep it simple but bold to catch people’s attention. With the department page I just tried to keep it organized and easy to move around the page. The feature I had a little more fun with designing. The thanksgiving story made me want to focus more on the food, and I chose to make the title look stamped onto the table to add texture and personality. I’m still not completely satisfied with my designs. I would like them to be a little bolder and texturized, especially if they decided to focus more on the alcohol, but I think we have a nice start, and hopefully our publishers will have some decisions made when we meet next.

You Can’t Miss: Eye Magazine‘s “Graphic design method acting” i.e. Harry Potter!

The Daily Prophet, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005. and narrative.

The Daily Prophet, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005.
and narrative.

I, like many of you I’m sure, grew up with Harry Potter. My mom read the first few book aloud to me, I finished the series myself, have seen all the movies and was severely disappointed when I did not receive a letter on my 11th birthday congratulating me on my acceptance to Hogwarts. The series was a large part of my childhood to say the least, so I was extremely pleased to read this article in Eye Magazine about all the graphics used in the movies. From the newspapers to the “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes,” all props were designed in full by designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. The graphics they designed not only brought this beloved story to life but they helped to shape our childhoods.

If you want to see some of the designs close up, hop across the pond to the Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter Studio in the UK. Getting to see all the details that went into each newspaper and book was one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Photo Inspiration: Colorful Colorado

Colorful Colorado

Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world for many reason; one of which is how beautiful it is with inspiration bursting everywhere you turn. I love the contrast of the black with the pastel colors and the organic mix of the blues, oranges and pinks in this sunrise photo. It made the 5 a.m. car ride a little better.


Week 4: Spring Weather Redesign

Critique: T/F redesign T/F cover T/F redesign

I was super excited when I found out I was a finalist for the T/F designs, but I will admit it was a bit of a buzz kill when I saw the portraits I was supposed to use. They are nice photos but hard to use for my design. I guess I just assumed whoever won would get be involved in the photo shoot. I think I was still able to create the same idea with the portraits. They were a little more limiting than I had hoped because they were all just from the shoulders up and straight on. I also struggled with figuring out the item to use in replacement of the film reel. The DVD was the obvious choice, but it really reminds me more of music than film.

feature 2 T/F feature

With the feature, I made the timeline smaller and rearranged the elements so more could fit on the page. I still like my feature, but I wish I would have created something a little more visual that using more text heavy stories.

You Can’t Miss: Berlin snapshots: Wiyumi

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To me, Berlin used to just be another European city. Then, I did a project about modern artists using innovative new techniques with paint and other mediums. When half the artists were located in Berlin, a little light bulb went off telling me that maybe there was more to Berlin than just its wall. It is actually one of the top cities in the world for designers of all kinds and has inspiration lying everywhere (Including its graffitied wall). The latest issue of Eye 74 features Berlin and its design aesthetic. After reading this article, I sure wish Berlin was a little closer.

You Can’t Miss: HOW Design Live Speaker Frank Baseman On Design Lessons

philau_deckcards_spades1-1024x683 philau_deckcards_clubs2-1024x683 philau_deckcards_hearts1-1024x683

Playing cards, smlaying cards. All the ones I’ve ever played with have been extremely boring with their blue patterned backs and the same old faces. But life has changed. Good design now applies to playing cards. Frank Baseman was simply looking for a giveaway to make people want to attend the University of Philadelphia’s graphic design school, so he came up with the idea of beautiful playing cards. I have to say they would have had me at first draw. I think these make two excellent points. 1. that everything in life can be more beautiful and 2. there are endless possibilities of what we could be ask to design for.

Photo inspiration: Argo Tea

argo tea

This past weekend I spend a significant amount of time in the Chicago-O’hare airport due to a flight cancellation. In a 6 a.m. desperation for caffeine, I stumbled upon Argo Tea in concourse E. They not only have chocolate croissants and a great selection of hot tea but the cutest packaging in all of hot drink history. I found their travel mugs illustrations so inspiring that I went back three times. They also have a small size in orange, but go big or go home.

Week 3: Playing with True and False

Critique: True/False design

It took me quite sometime to come up with a theme idea for my True/False design.  We had very little direction to go on, and so I just wanted to make it seem fun and a little edgy. I knew I wanted to focus on the people of T/F, so I went with the idea that they add color to an otherwise black and white world. Kind of like The Wizard of Oz.
T/F 1

To come up with my cover design, I searched the internet for a man holding a film reel because that was the first object that came to mind when I thought about a film festival. I then mashed these two images together to create one and converted it to black and white. Next, I  cut out the image and layered it in front of the “T/F” repeat text. Finally, I spent a significant amount of time deciding what three colors to use coming out of the film reel and added them at about 50 percent opacity. T/F coverI’m actually very pleased with my cover, but it should be interesting to try to create the same look with the real photos they took this week. I also can’t use a film reel because the film makers don’t use them anymore. So, I’ll have to do some thinking on that as well.   T/F opener I went with the same idea for my opener only using teaser blurbs as the pops of color. I do need to add page numbers to the cover blurbs, and I would like to work on the positioning of the title so some of the letters aren’t as over lapped with the red. I haven’t seen the real photos yet, but it should be an interesting task to try to create the same look if there isn’t a photo of someone with a camera. T/F feature

The feature was the hardest part for me to design because we really had no direction and no concept of what the stories will look like. In my redesign, I’ll shrink down the timeline, fix the first story so the dek is not separated from the headline and rework to be more realistic for the actual stories. I think it should really help to have the first drafts, especially with the timeline because I had no idea how many blurbs there would be per month.

You Can’t Miss: Eye Magazine‘s review of Michael Rock’s latest book, Multiple Signatures.Multiple Signatures

Michael Rock is the founder of the graphic design firm 2×4. He has done amazing work through out his career as a designer including designs for Prada, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Kanye West. Multiple Signatures is obviously a book about design, but it includes more than just Rock’s commentary. He collected ideas and concepts from several notable designers, architects and thinkers, such as the infamous Rick Poynor. I was glad to see this post because I think it is a great book for all designers to read if not just to look as the inspiring and impeccable graphics that litter the pages. 

You Can’t Miss: Em Magazine fashion week editionEmI know it’s another student publication, but as a fashion enthusiast, I had to share this article I found on SPD’s website. Em Magazine is a student run fashion magazine out of Emerson College in Boston. The staff is made up of six people, and I commend them for their great photography, fashion and design. I am a fan of clean crisp design and that definitely fits the bill for their publication. It seems to have a similar design aesthetic to W Magazine; one of my favorites. Another part of the article I wanted to bring to light is SPD’s student publication competition. If anyone is interested here are the details:

Photo inspiration: Chinese New Year in London

C New YearI actually took this photo just over a year ago when I was studying abroad in London. However, I still find it very inspiring. It was taken on a very raining Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square. It is actually one of the things that helped me come up with the idea of using a black and white photo with color bursting out of it for T/F. Although the photo isn’t in black and white, the red stands out so strongly it makes the rest look dull and colorless.

Week two: Snowed in with typography

Critique: A blizzard outside meant I only had one day of actual classes this week and extra time to obsess over my typography assignment. Garamond is a very elegant and old-face type, so I did not want to clutter my handout. I wanted it to have a very clean feel, so people could really appreciate the font.

Pre garamond

Originally, I had the “Garamonds” in black, but it felt a little boring. Although it is an old font, I wanted to show it can be used in a young, fresh way and not just for body text. I pulled the teal and yellow from the Dr. Seuss example because I found the color palette very inspirational. I layered the bold, italics and roman on top of each other to show the weight variations and how they differ. I think it ended up being very affective but still visually pleasing. I used the &, W, and Q as line breaks because these are the only three letters considered to be fancy, and I thought they showed off the typeface better than three lines. My design is a little too simple, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the reader. Garamond

You Can’t Miss: The Hollywood Reporter Jay Leno cover

This cover won SPD’s cover of the day on Monday, but that’s not the only reason it’s noteworthy. I have always been a fan of handwriting mixed with photography, but it can be very difficult to pull off, especially when it is more than just the title. By breaking up the text on poster boards, it makes it easy for the reader to understand and find the cover lines, but it still has the artsy and imperfect feel of handwriting. They type is organic but easy to read, and using a few different colors gives the reader multiple entry points. It’s also a nice touch that Jay Leno is holding the coverline for his story. It makes it easy for the reader to know why he is on the cover. I commend The Hollywood Reporter for a great design and stepping outside the design realm that is typical for Hollywood gossip magazine. hollywood You Can’t Miss: Typography for sale

What does Antique Road Show have to do with typography? Well, in this past month quite a bit. In the episode of the BBC TV show that aired on Jan. 5, 2014, Paul Atterbury inspected original type drawings salvaged from Linotype and Machinery. Atterbury suggested that the piece might sell for  £5 a piece of  £3,000 for the set, which is part of a collection of 100,000. Others have been selling in Anthropologie store for close to  £40. Who knew type was so valuable?
Antique Road Show

The show  brought to light the issue: if splitting up the collection is ruining it or sharing the beauty. Are the type pieces better split up amongst type lover for their enjoyment or kept together as a collection that students could use as a resource when learning about typography? They offer detail about hot metaling and allow for context of how different types differ exactly. I have to say after doing our typography assignment, I would love to have one of these hanging on my wall. They really pay tribute to the art of typography. Antique Road Show

Photo inspiration: Pug-in-a-blanket

If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with my only niece, Pippa, the practically perfect pug. She is full of life and vigor that I try to channel whenever I am feeling lazy. I took this photo when I visited my sister last weekend. I think the rawness of the lighting and the slight tilt is very inspiring. I love the dated Polaroid idea. It’s something I’m playing with in my T/F design.
Pug in a blanket