MLK Day and Origami Cranes

Last week in poster design class we had to design a poster that was a response to the MLK quote:

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

But, we could only use circles, squares, and equilateral triangles. The shapes could also be cut by each other, or put together. Only black, white, and one other color could be used. No gradients, tints, shades, or opacities could be used.

I instantly thought of Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” in response to this quote, and I knew I wanted to use birds. I wanted to show the juxtaposition of freedom and captivity, because I feel that love frees and hate imprisons. In my searches of bird images I ran across an image of an origami crane and thought about the process of folding and unfolding and thought it was a nice symbolic reference that fit with everything else I wanted to say. And here’s the final piece:

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Poster Design and Hot Dogs

For our poster design class, we had to design posters that represented the Seven Deadly Sins. Each person got assigned one of the seven, and i got Gluttony. I researched quite a bit about gluttony, themes of gluttony, images of gluttony, etc., and tried to boil down what gluttony meant to me. All I could think of was how sick I feel when I overindulge. Which made me think of Tums. And that was it. The epitome of gluttony, to me, is Tums. So, I give you, many, many hot dogs. And Tums.

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Special Topics Winter Quarter: Week 3

Oops, I’m a little behind on blogging! I spent quite a bit of time last week working on researching competitive magazine websites. I’ve been working on the wireframes for the home page, but am still figuring it out. There is so much content to deal with! I really want to create the best experience for the Pace reader, but I also want to create a website that is different enough from my other digital magazine, Trek. I am trying to find a good layout for the home page that allows the reader to have access to the newest articles up front, but also allows them to easily access any of the content. I tried looking for new ways to create an interesting sticky header, but I still think the animated header theme from Codrops is still my favorite. I’m going to try and manipulate it better than I did with Trek though.

So far I have set up the Pace wordpress site (www.whoisemilyford.com/pace), have installed my theme (animated header with gridism as the base framework), created a home page template, and have installed all the main plugins I will be using. I may end up using a slider plugin, but I want to research a little more on the best one to use. I’m working on finishing up my wireframes and plan to start coding this week!

From hand drawn to digital art

For my very first poster in our poster design class, I decided to go a much different route than I do with all of my other design projects. I decided to illustrate. But I wanted to still be able to edit and manipulate the poster in Photoshop. I’ve seen my classmate John, and others, pull this off many times but haven’t really tried it myself. So I asked him for some pointers to be able to take my illustrations into the digital realm. He has a great instagram with his work and his blog is pretty inspiring (http://www.johntwentyfive.com/blog/), you should check it out. I also googled a bunch of random tutorials to see what people were doing, but none of them were all that helpful. This post said pretty much the same thing John said, but it’s fairly helpful: http://cgcookie.com/concept/2012/03/16/tip-turning-scanned-pencil-sketches-into-digital-paintings/

First I started off by brainstorming ideas for the concept of my poster. It was a concert by a collective group of musicians from different bands. I knew it should be an eye-catching illustration that is somewhat random, but also evokes empathy and emotion, because that’s what the collective’s music is like. It was also a benefit for MusiCares, which raises money for musicians in times of need. So I knew that the poster needed to capture humanity somehow. I eventually ended up creating the shape of a guitar with hand written type.

Second step was to draw it! I sketched it out many times in pencil till I got it where I wanted it.

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John gave me a tip and told me it would be easier to work with if it was in crisp black pen, so I traced the pencil drawings (very carefully) on the light table, with a fine tip sharpie.

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I then scanned these and opened them in Photoshop. I converted them to grayscale and then did a levels adjustment. Go to Image–>Adjustments–>Levels, and move the highlight, shadow, midtone sliders around until the image looks as black and white as possible. You want to get rid of any grays in between black and white.

step1 step1b

Then, to make sure you make it really dark, do a threshold adjustment and move the slider until it looks as saturated as possible.

step2 step2b

Then, you’re going to select all the white or all the black. I selected all the white. Go to Select–>Color Range–>and use the eyedropper to pick black or white on the image.

step3 step3b

Once you have the white selected, (or the black, and then selected the inverse), delete it. Then you will just have the black of the type. To make it a little thicker and darker, double click on the layer in the layer panel, and then in the layer style dialogue box, add a color overlay of solid black. At this point, you can command click on the little image of the canvas in the layer panel and you will have all of the black selected. You can copy and paste this into a new document. Then you can start painting color with the outlines.

step5

In that document, I deleted the white background, made it black, and added a layer of solid white, with a layer mode of overlay, to give the background a gray glow. Then I painted behind the outlines with soft brushes with different opacities. Here is the final poster:

FM_Poster_forBlog

Pace Magazine evolves. Again.

After extensive research about digital magazines and the process of making a magazine app, I’ve decided to go back to my original idea of building the Pace digital experience as a website. Most of the software out there to make magazine apps is expensive, or iffy on what kind of prototype you can make for free. I also thought about what format Pace would benefit from, and decided that content really is king for Pace. Women reading Pace want information, quickly, and concisely. They may not care about a fancy video intro to a training plan, they want the plan. A website gives them the ability to reach more interactive content if they so choose, but also lets them get to information they want easily and quickly.

I also started thinking about how Pace could benefit from other brand touchpoints. If I can get it together and build this website at a timely pace, I’d like to include a Pace training app that would have social interaction and reward points for training that would give discounts to registration for the Pace marathon/half marathon series. The series would include 6 major cities a year to start; LA, Seattle, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.

That’s where I’m at at the moment. Working on figuring out content so that I can finish the wireframing that I’ve started.

Winter Quarter 2015 Special Topics-PACE magazine digital format

EF_FINAL_Pace_cover_web

I’ve decided I’m going to create the digital version of PACE print magazine for my winter quarter special topics. I thought a lot about what to do this quarter and went back and forth with many ideas. After talking to a handful of classmates, I decided expanding PACE to have a digital component would be a strong portfolio piece. It will show brand extension and my abilities to take something static and create interaction. I am pretty excited about this project and hope it turns out as well as the original PACE. I haven’t decided what platform I’ll be using to build the PACE digital version but that will be the task for week 1. Figure out what makes the most sense based on software cost and the actual content of the magazine and direction PACE would take with their specific content. Since I’m not 100% sure how I’m building this yet, the timeline is a little rough.

 

Week 1: Research competitors to see what other sports/fitness magazines are doing with their digital editions. Research digital magazine app building software to see what the pros and cons are of each one. Pick a platform and start watching/reading tutorials. Start putting in print magazine content and make sure the platform will work.

Week 2: Go through existing content and identify where interaction can be utilized. Figure out what extra content may be needed there and what holes exist. Brainstorm what new content could be added and start collecting new content. Start contacting photogs about potential photoshoots/video sessions if necessary for new content.

Week 3: Start layout of magazine in platform. Start working on photoshoots/videos if they are needed for new content.

Week 4: Production of magazine. Photoshoots/videos if necessary.

Week 5: Production of magazine, User testing?

Week 6: Production of magazine

Week 7: Production of magazine, User testing?

Week 8: Production of magazine

Week 9: Finish magazine

Week 10: Tweak and troubleshoot any last issues

Week 11: Present final magazine to class

 

Week 5- T-Shirt Design for SCCA

Our Special Topics class was cancelled last week due to Seattle Interactive Conference. It was an interesting experience at the very least. I got to see the Cranium founder Richard Tait speak about building Cranium and his new venture, the sports drink Golazo. He was VERY inspiring. It might have been all the soccer references and his Scottish accent, but he also had a lot to say about passion and company culture that really resonated with me. Also great and very inspiring was the co-founder of Killer Infographics, Amy Balliett. She took us through a couple of their project case studies, and I was hooked. I would love to work somewhere like that.

The other thing we did in the week between 4 and 5 was t-shirt design. Every year they ask the second years to design a t-shirt for the school and everybody votes on the winner. I tried to keep my design process to an hour (that’s the “suggested” amount of time you’re supposed to spend on it). I knew I wanted to do something with type (shocking, I know) and something swiss. Here are my final designs:

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