I am a person who loves to do a million things at once. There are so few hours in a day, that I feel the only way to get through it all is to get through it all at once. Unfortunately, this can lead to a mistakes that, depending on the situation, can be costly. Sometimes, though, they can just make you happy.

Today, while working at The Company That Must Not Be Named, I was chatting with a friend on gchat. No big, we’re both working, so it’s just a message here and there. Suddenly, he signs off as I was talking to him, no goodbye, nothing. Not a problem, like I said, we’re both working, but I thought it’d be funny to send him an affronted otter to show my displeasure at his abrupt departure. Yes, I know, weird, but it IS the internet, you know.

When I decided to go back to copying and pasting code in my spreadsheet (yeah, I know, riveting), I forgot that I still had the picture in my clipboard. The result, you can see below:

    lolsheet
    Click for LOL-tastic Excel

Of course, I backtracked immediately, but for a second I just couldn’t help but laugh…and wish I could have kept it there. Spreadsheets would be JUST SO MUCH FUN if they had affronted animals staring back at you.

Yes, I am aware this job is getting to me, I don’t need to be reminded.

Design: My Personal Logo

March 28, 2012

For an assignment for class, we were asked to create our own logo that we would use for personal business cards. This is what I managed to come up with. It’s not perfect, but I still like the way it came out. The dragonfly is a symbol of creativity, which is what I always strive towards. What I wish I could figure out is how to make the logo save at a larger scale. When I saved it as a gif, it showed up as tiny, compared to what I worked on. Any thoughts?

personal-logo

Logos Logos Logos!

February 29, 2012

They’re everywhere, but do you notice them? Do they have an impact to you? Here are some that have just caught my eye:

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2012-02-29_12-59-25_125

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For this week, one of the assignments that I need to work on is to design a flag for an unrepresented people using Adobe Illustrator. As it took me two years to just become somewhat proficient in Photoshop, which I still maintain I learned through sheer force of will, you can imagine my chagrin and frustration. But, overall, the project wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be once I got the hang of it. The next step in that case was to choose my unrepresented people. Well, as you’ll see below, I decided to choose a people that are just crying out for help, that lash out at the world because no one will help their plight. Whether that plight is that no one agrees with their un-researched opinions or that no girl will ever touch them willingly, they will forever fight to be heard.

Yes, the people I chose for this flag project is the Internet Flame Troll.

flamerflag

I chose a relatively simple design for this project. A lit match as an obvious reference to their flaming tactics, plus the famous (or infamous) Forever Alone Troll Face adorning the top. It is my hope that this once nameless, faceless group can now have a symbol of solidarity to cling to.

For the latest design assignment, we were tasked to come up with a diptych and/or a triptych. For those who don’t know, it’s just a series of two or three images put together that are related either directly or tangentially. Below is my first attempt at making a diptych:

Diptych 1

Triptych 1

Both to me speak of things left behind. Either a memorial to someone, or a message to the Universe. I love the idea of things once loved lost, so ordinary except for the beauty they offer others.

Media Design: Typography

February 17, 2012

For a project that we needed for my design class, we had to do typography. It’s actually kind of amazing how something as simple as the typeface, size, and placement of words can add or detract from the overall effect of a message. I mean, they’re just words, right? But it seems like the brain just doesn’t absorb the meaning behind the words proper, but also the little details the designer brings to the table. We had to choose a subject with which to work on our typography projects, I chose “Lido Beach.”

Lido Beach 1
The image above already radiates calm, so I felt that it was my job to make that sense of serenity carry through the words. Lilting arches in the lettering, not unlike those of a gentle wave, and colors borrowed from the beautiful sunset, I think I was able to ensure that my words don’t disturb the environment depicted. (Font used was Coventry Garden; source: dafont.com)

Lido Beach 2
This shot that I found is much more dynamic, the nightlife portrayed with subtlety at the bottom. In order to go with that theme, I chose a more futuristic typeface and hollowed it out, showing the sky underneath. The halo around the text connotes neon lights, which can make you think of discos or wherever kids go these days. The overall effect is one of vibrancy that fits in well with the image. (Font used was Neuropolitical; source: dafont.com)

Lido Beach 3
This one is my favorite image and the inspiration for the project. The band is called, you guessed it, Lido Beach. I chose a font that I felt would jump off the page and vibrate with music. I also wanted to stay within the earthtones of the shot, so I actually picked out shades from one of the band-member’s jeans and played around in that color family. I think the effect I created was that of calm on the surface, but ready to rock at any moment!

Like I said, it’s amazing how much a couple of words can change with just a few adjustments.

So, for last week, we had to composite two images together using a little of what we learned in class. Having never done anything exactly like this, I was a little stumped as to how to move forward. But then I got some inspiration, so I decided to try my hand at it. It’s still VERY rough and needs a lot of work, but I’m pretty proud of it so far.

mittromney_tooface

This image was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about the insanity that is the race for the Republican ticket. At one point, I likened all the candidates to escapees from Arkham Asylum. The most obvious being Mitt Romney as Two-Face. What I love about this concept (which I’m sure has been done before) is the fact that depending on who looks at it, the “bad side” of his face could be his liberal or his conservative nature.

I hope to do more of these in the future if I can master the technique a bit more.

So, when it comes to graphic design of any kind, no two layouts are ever alike. Everything falls to taste, preference, budget, time constraints and other myriad issues. But sometimes a design is just amazing, or it just sucks and you need to call a spade a spade. Here are some examples of what I think are some great layouts and some terrible ones.

5 Terrible Layouts:

instylebadlayout
Gah, this one is hideous. First of all, it doesn’t play up how pretty Drew Barrymore is. In fact, I actually think it makes her look severe and unattractive. Also, the way they designer cropped her took a chunk off her head and her hair looked like a helmet. And the fact that she is wearing something light and is against a light background makes her torso disappear. Obviously the people working on this particular cover did not take their subject into account at all.

aboutsitebadlayout
I feel a little bad about this one because last semester a speaker from About.com came to my Media Sales class to tell us about how they work. He was so passionate about his work and so proud of the expert information they provide to their audience that I just didn’t have the heart to voice my opinion about their godawful layouts. I’d love to take in the full effect of their information, but with the ads breaking up the article every two sentences, it just make the site look cheap and is distracting from the content itself.

wordpressbadlayout
Yes, even my beloved WordPress is not exempt from being a Bad Layout. I didn’t used to consider this a bad layout until they decided to update everything. I will be able to get used to it eventually, but I feel that in order to create more user-friendliness through the magic of Flash, they lost the concept of simple navigation.

cafepressbadlayout
thaicraftbadlayout
These last two I chose because they just look so generic and not inviting to the average consumer. If you don’t claim a look that is unique to your business, you run the risk of looking like a domain marker that is trying to trick people into buying fake inventory to steal their credit card information. Fool me once, shame on you.

5 Good Layouts:
aboutsitegoodlayout
Just as I dislike the layouts of the articles for About.com, I love love LOVE the layout for the front page. Simple, easy to navigate, and focused on the content.

openculturegoodlayout
Another site that I love is that of Open Culture.
Besides the fact that it’s awesome, the site is very clean and easy to navigate.

crimereportinggoodlayout
This is just a really cool cover (if badly scanned–my fault!). It’s dynamic and bright while still conveying the seriousness of the subject matter.

hammerofwitches
Here’s another really neat book cover. It’s so dark and dangerous looking. I just wish it were for something cooler than a dry translation of legislation that was used against people standing accused of being a witch.

thebeautynerdgoodlayout
One of my favorite blogs to look at, Chronicles of a Beauty Nerd feels like an oasis, cool and comforting. I’m not sure if it’s the content, the design, or both.

I don’t know if I managed to help anyone differentiate between a good or bad layout, or if I just made it more confusing, but this is what I believe can make or break a product/site/etc. You be the judge in whatever you see in daily life.

So, for my first Media Practices: Design photoshoot, I was told to choose any theme I wanted and for this week, I chose to photograph what I saw as I walked to work in the morning. I did this using my Droid 2 cellphone with an app called Vignette. I did this simply because it was in my pocket on my way to work when I had the idea. I also decided to not use any text to describe the shots I took. So, this is what I have, for better or worse.

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I hope you enjoyed our morning stroll.

Maybe I spoke too harshly?

January 27, 2012

Ok, so in my last post, when I told the Year of the Dragon to “bring it,” I meant it as an affirmation of strength. Last year beat me down a lot and I was proud that I was able to get through it. So, I wanted to end with a statement that reflected that pride and that fortitude. What that was not intended to be, however, was a challenge. I wasn’t trying to goad 2012 into throwing all its got at me before we even enter February. And yet, here I am, at home recovering from both a really bad cough that I had been dealing with for a few weeks, but also rather debilitating food poisoning from eating a bad batch of Belgian fries on Wednesday. Now, I won’t name the place that I went to where I got the fries, because I have eaten there a bunch of times and I’m sure this is a one-off event. But even so, the result of that fateful lunch was me having to stagger out of my first class of the semester a good two hours early, barely able to stand, let alone make my way back home. Though make it back I did, but not before clearing out at least one subway car and one Metro-North car. In the future, if you ever see someone getting sick on a train, try to help them out, or at least show some compassion. It’s more than likely that person is incredibly ill like I was and unable to hold out until reaching a bathroom.

To say the food poisoning sucks is, I can very well imagine, an understatement. After I got home, I still dealt with stomach spasms at regular intervals until I was so drained (literally, I guess) that I could only pass out for a few hours at a time. The next day, though not so sick, I was still weak as a newborn kitten and hit with a bone-deep ache that I just couldn’t shake.

So yeah, I was trying to be strong, but please, don’t give me more than I can handle. I may have survived this time, but next time? I honestly can’t be too sure. I’ve spent two days at home away from work, but am only just now starting to really recover. Thank God it wasn’t any worse or I think I would have needed to go to the hospital.

In other news, I have started a new semester and I’m actually pretty happy with the new classes. Hopefully I won’t be so anxious all the time as I was last time. I’ll keep you posted on those when I actually get to sit through a class all the way through.

New year, bring it! But…not too much.

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