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.

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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.

The assignment this week is to start putting together designs and framing for a website that we are going to create. As I said in my last, rather confused post, I have made websites in the past. Poorly, but still. A for effort? Anyway, the fact is, I have made them before and while I’ve always enjoyed creating them, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never planned one through. Let’s not break that pattern now! No, just kidding, I’ve been giving some thought as to what my website would be if I were to go back into my HTML ways. In the end, I decided that a jewelry business is a vague ambition for the future would be a good way to jump back into site designing. The problem is: I never gave much thought to what a jewelry business would entail. I need supplies to make inventory to sell. This is not as easy as it may sound as silver, gold, beads, findings, and tools all cost quite a bit of money. Money, which thanks to the Company-That-Must-Not-Be-Named’s meager salary, I don’t have. But even so, it’s kind of fun to come up with a place where I may one day showcase my pieces in the hopes to sell them. This business venture I was originally going to call “Myriad Designs.” Why? Because “myriad” is my favorite word and my tastes are many and varied, which is what the word denotes. Unfortunately, that seems to be a bit to on-the-nose, so I had to go back to thinking of something else. The title I ended up with was “Arsenic and Blue Lace” because blue lace agate is one of my favorite stones and because I’ve never met a pun I didn’t like. This is always subject to change as I am indecisive and not much in love with the name. But for now it works!

Anyway, when trying to come up with the color scheme for the site, I came up with three moodboards from the adobe theme site. These are:

calm&cute
I thought this one was sweet and very calming. Very girly. God, what was I thinking when I chose these?

orchid
This one works with the graphic I later made as a header graphic.

paleSuperman
…these are faded Superman colors. ‘Nuff said.

Along with those, I also made my header graphic, which looks something like this:
arsenicbluelace

I actually like the way this turned out. It’s from a photo that I took a few weeks ago of some flowers I saw at Bryant Park:
2011-04-08_18-47-04_591

Finally, I actually sketched out the vague format of my website. Shocking, I know, but it had to be done! I want a very clean layout with only the navbar at the top w/ the header image, and a couple of picture links in the body. And the rest of the site would be fairly consistent in that I don’t want to clutter my page too much. Here is an image of what, more or less I was going for:
2011-05-07_00-07-00_547

And this is pretty much how I want A&BL to look like if the site ever gets done. Considering I still have a ton of stuff to do BEFORE I ever get that far, we shall have to see what happens next in that regard. Until then!

There are plenty of things that a person can do to relax when times get rough. Some people like to knit, some like to go out dancing, some like to go to a firing range and shoot the hell out of stuff. And while this week I would have loved to stick hot lead into some hapless paper target, I simply couldn’t find the time. Do you know the effort it takes to find a range in the area, then actually go there, register and get familiar with the basics? Honestly, how do people fit it in their schedules? No, though this week had been frustrating, what with tons of nit-picky work to do and a raging supervisor who decides to give you a lesson on rounding numbers to the nearest decimal (I can’t make this stuff up), I didn’t go a-shooting. Instead, I turned to the next most relaxing thing I could think of: Photoshop.

Ok, so I didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter, considering that it was my assignment for Concepts, but still, I was happy to get back to a program that I neglected for so long. When I was in college I got into PS as a way to make my own desktop wallpapers. Even though I was frustrated as all hell, I was able to teach myself the relative basics, plus some extra techniques after two years. My love of Photoshop sort of fell by the wayside after I got a job (damn you work!), so it felt like coming home when I started working on this project.

The subject of my photoshop mischief was, of course, my lovely assistant, Ian. Taking the pictures I snapped last week, I was able to get back into my photo-editing groove.

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