Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final Porfolio - Thoughts

This semester has been an interesting experience. I hate waking up in the morning, and to do so AND be alert for class was a challenge. However, I think that the class, despite the intense workload and stupid deadlines, has pushed me to improve, and improve I have. My sense of design aspects has become more keen, and I feel that I understand the process of design and how much can change between concept and final production. I still need to work on getting a tighter design early on in the process, along with designing everything with a purpose, but I think I can make it as a graphic designer with a lot more practice.

Next semester (so far), I'm not taking any VisCom classes, but I think I would like to continue this major. I still haven't made the decision that will define my next 15 years...

This class has been fun (more or less), and I thoroughly enjoyed these last projects we put together. I think that regardless of which type of art degree I pursue, this class will have helped me to create more aesthetic designs for class and my various clubs and will be an essential skill that I will use much more readily than statistics or biology in my daily life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fishing Final Printout

This piece was easier to put together on the computer than on paper, because of text wrapping. I think my design was strong and it was interesting and fun to put together. I was pleased with my fish, because I spent a lot of time on it (and though I used live trace, I did have to undo a lot of the live trace and build it myself, so it was about as time consuming as the car, and I think I did a better job on this, because the graphic was naturally stylized, making it a perfect vector image. I really enjoyed building the water droplets.

Overall, I am happy with the way it turned out. I think it's effective and interesting, and it plays to my audience. I guess I'll see how the class takes it.

Marceline Final Dummy

This piece turned out well, but I learned that inkjet and laser printers print differently, and that is evident on my project, as the inside is duller than the outside. However, I don't think this detracts from my final presentation, as you never directly compare the two sides of my pamphlet, since I chose a gate fold. Also, I still have trouble lining up the pieces of paper, and my pamphlet is, once again, wrinkled where the two pieces of paper did not line up so well. Yet the rest was simple, and besides having to do some fancy Photoshopping and building all my characters in Illustrator, I think that this was the easiest part of the process. And it was empowering to see the final process and know that I was responsible for the entire thing. And I was proud of my final production.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Final Portfolio - Production

My best Illustrator example is my Winnie the Pooh graphic. For my first Disney graphics, I simply traced the outlines and made fairly static images. Yet because of the fairly small size of the images, I didn't redraw them. But then I decided that there needed to be line variation in the larger figures. So I created a black silhouette of the character and drew colored shapes over the image so that the character would have interesting line variation. It worked out well, and didn't take much more effort. I was pleased with how they turned out and thought that this was one of my best examples of that process.

The Photoshop piece is a collage of photographs that I had to rebuild for production. I took each image and rotated it to the correct angle and then placed a properly sized rectangle under each picture. I then used the warp tool to "bend" the corners of the rectangles and placed a drop shadow behind each on. Afterwards, I flattened the image and saved it as an .eps so that the piece would not show bounding boxes in the print version. This was the most I had to do in Photoshop this quarter, but it was technically challenging and I had never done anything like this before. I thought it came out successfully.

In InDesign, my final piece is my fishing spread. I made sure that everything was technically correct, and have discovered that my most common mistake is forgetting to convert images to CMYK mode. But all the photos have correct resolution and are .tifs, while the Illustrator file is an .eps. I liked the layout of this piece, and I think everything looks good overall, not to mention its technical correctness.

Final Portfolio - Typesetting

My best example of typesetting is found in my Favorite Ride poster. I chose two similar fonts that were sleek and elegant, something that I thought would correlate to my car and concept, and used them accordingly. The larger font was a little more script-like, which is why I chose the cleaner typeface for my smaller text, since the header text would be difficult to read. I thought the typefaces helped the concept immensely. The piece is supposed to be slightly mocking Bugatti for breaking their record, while promoting their own car. Yet I wanted it to be professional, so I chose a font that was matter-of-fact, stating the information while still being loose enough to suggest that they are, in fact, poking fun at Bugatti. I felt like this was a successful execution of typeface usage.

Final Portfolio - Marceline Pamphlet

This piece incorporates a number of the final portfolio concepts. It is my most successful and interesting marker comp, my best example of copyfitting, and is my best overall design and creative concept. I think this piece is overall my most successful design in the entire class, which is good, because it's shown my improvement throughout the course.

The concept was fun to come up with, because everyone has a soft spot for Disney. So I decided to go with nostalgia and "making memories," since everyone has fond memories associated with Disney. So I put all the pictures in Polaroid frames and placed them at angles, so it seemed like someone was displaying the pictures on their coffee table or something like that. I also scattered Disney characters throughout the pamphlet, to connect the viewer to these photos. So the concept funneled directly into my design, and I think because I had such a solid concept to begin with, the design itself was fun and easy to put together confidently.

Then, when I went into the marker comp stage (my personal favorite part of the process), the piece came together well. I love physically arranging all the elements of the design by hand and then tracing them onto a "final" piece that looks nearly professionally done. The most time consuming part of this was the copyfitting, but I learned how to do it, and it was surprisingly accurate. It gave me a good sense of space in my layout, and though I had to rearrange the copy multiple times, it was worth it, because I only had to make minor adjustments in the final printout, while the rest of my design was completely in tact. The computer generated version is posted in a later post for comparison. This was my favorite project, though it was the most technically difficult.

Final Portfolio - Thumbs

These were my most successful thumbnails in the process, because they all had potential to be good layouts, and were depicted fairly accurately. In fact, during the process, one of my least favorite layouts was chosen, and yet, it turned out extremely successful, because I had spent time to make sure all the thumbnails were decent layouts. The thumbnail process is my least favorite step in designing, but I see the value in it. I'll probably have to learn to take more time during this stage so that I have less to fix and adjust in later versions of the product.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fishing Comp

The fishing spread was so much easier to put together because there were only two panels to deal with and you didn't have to think three-dimensionally to make the whole piece fit together. I went with a more traditional feel, making the whole piece look "manly" and professional. The piece is clean and simple, presenting the text plainly and allowing the reader to take in the information with little distraction, although the photographs and graphic help maintain interest in the spread.

The graphic, by the way, took a lifetime to build. I think I spent an entire weekend putting that together, and it turned out really well. I think it has an even higher quality than my car. Because of the nature of the fish graphic, the pieces were tiny and had minute color changes and I think my fingers cramped up from all that clicking. But I'm pleased with the final graphic.

Marceline Dummy

This piece was fun to put together. The copyfitting took FOREVER, but it was extremely accurate. Also, creating the graphics were time consuming. But in the end, the piece turned out well, and I was happy with the product. I didn't change anything for the final production.

The worst part about this dummy was physically putting it together. As I was lining up the two sides, they folded and refused to come together nicely, so the inside has ridges where things didn't line up well. However, that is a minor flaw, since the rest of the piece looks fairly professional.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Favorite Ride Final Production Poster

I made a few adjustments to the final poster, including enlarging the car and taking the blue band all the way across the poster, and using reverse text for "Sorry, Bugatti." These changes were made to eliminate the need for a bleed. But other than that, the whole project was left unaltered, and I am happy with the final product.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Marceline Pamphlet Concept

My concept for the Marceline project is memories. I wanted to create a nostalgic feel for the place, because it seems that Disney creates that feeling in a lot of older people who revisit his work. So I worked with the concept of Polaroids, tinting of images, and using sepia tones to create that old-time charm. I also wanted it to seem welcoming, so instead of creating a strict layout, I incorporated a spread out look, as though someone were presenting their life to you in their home. That's what I'm working with.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Periodic Table of Typefaces

Funny chart of typefaces.

Favorite Ride Marker Comp

This piece was more fun to put together than the Chili poster because it was in color and you now had an additional element to work with. I found that the color helped me in my design, because I could rely on color changes to accentuate the piece, rather than just dealing with the interactions between positive and negative space.

My concept was dealing with the pride Audi had in breaking the world record for the fastest production car, and how they reclaimed the title as an American industry, when Europe has had bragging rights for almost 50 years. So I wanted to showcase the car with a message pertaining to that concept. I think I attained that fairly well.

The few changes I would like to make are simply taking the middle third and shifting it slightly to the left to better utilize the space, as well as using a stricter grid to align all the text. Besides that, I think my poster had a much tighter comp, and I'm satisfied with the layout. I guess it just takes practice, because not only is the process getting easier, but I'm also happier with my products.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Designing Power

This video talks about how much design can affect EVERYTHING. Also, how much influence a designer can have on the final product, if they are involved in the entire process. When designers started out, they were only one part of a long chain of events. Now, they have greater power and influence in the whole process. And this video claims that by including the designer in the ENTIRE process, not just the design aspect, you can truly affect the project.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chili Cookoff Final Poster

My final production poster looks fairly professional. However, I think the font is too light for the amount of negative space in the poster. I would've liked to change some aspects of the design, but since it was pre-approved, I was stuck with it as is. That was probably the most challenging part. Yet all the information is brought across clearly, so not all is lost, I suppose.