Week 2- Special Topics Plan of Action

For Fall quarter 2014, I will be working the process of creating logos. I hope to become a better sketcher, idea generator, problem solver and all around awesome logo maker. We will see what happens. I hope that be doing the work, over and over, my skills will improve. My plan is to work on one logo every week, during weeks 2 to 9, at which point I will pick the logo I feel was most successful, and extend the brand identity. Below is my timeline.


Graphic Recipe translation

My favorite project fall quarter was the recipe project. We had to pick one of three recipes to depict visually (no numbers, letters, or words) with vectors made in Illustrator. We had to show temperature and time and all the steps. Like the last project, this was not supposed to be an illustration, but a graphic translation of a recipe. We could only use black, white and grey. I chose Chicken Pot Pie. At first I was really overwhelmed. I couldn’t figure out whether to start with the look of the items or the layout first. I told myself I just need to start and began sketching.


And then I started trying to really nail down the layout, which ended up with me cutting out pieces of my sketches and arranging them in photoshop. That way I didn’t have to redraw the items when I changed the idea for the layout. I wanted to have a section with the ingredients and then a separate section with the recipe steps, but there were some ingredients that had steps before they became ingredients, so this layout was definitely challenging.


Which eventually lead to vector creation in Illustrator, but I was still not quite happy with where I was going. Here are some scrapped layouts/colors.


And then I had the eureka moment–what about a black background?? And then came the final:


Graphic translation project

For our production class, the second project was to create a graphic translation of an animal with the pen tool in Illustrator. I, of course, chose my favorite animal–the weiner dog! We had to find the highlights and shadows in an image and see what shapes were really necessary in portraying the essence of an animal. It wasn’t supposed to be an illustration (too detailed) or an icon (too simplified).

Here are some of my beginning sketches:




And the finished project:


For your viewing pleasure…


Here are some great projects I worked on last time I was in school at Seattle Central. Judging by the fact that we were using Flash, you’ll know that this was awhile ago…

An interactive Zune presentation

A Tegan and Sara music video


“Look and Feel” project


Today we had to turn in a mockup of an iPad app for photo sharing. Tim gave us a wireframe to work with and told us to make something that looked like it could actually be on an iPad. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed working on this project. While it took upwards of 5 hours, I was totally immersed in the project the entire time.

I think I like it here…I might stay awhile. šŸ™‚

Some sweeeeet banner ads!


We had to make banner ads in New Media today, and were given the choice of 3 companies: Starbucks, Gatorade, and Redhook. For some reason, lattes were on my mind. And apparently the holiday season.



becoming a bibliophile (and subsequently loving book cover design)


I grew up reading books. Not because my parents made me. Not because my teachers made me. Because I loved getting lost in someone else’s story. At some point, the beauty of the actual book crept into my mind, and by high school I had decided my life goal was to have my own magazine. One where I would write and edit the stories, take the photos, and do the design and layout. Eventually I realized that I was a horrible photographer, and liked writing research papers more the essays, but the design aspect stuck. I went to UW and got an English degree, but after graduation I found that I didn’t want to teach or go to Grad School. After waiting tables for far too long, I enrolled in this little program called Publishing Arts at Seattle Central. My favorite project was the book project. I got to take a book, redesign it, and then actually produce it. That was the moment I REALLY fell hard for books. There is nothing like picking out the perfect font that captures the essence of your favorite book. I printed out the pages and painstakingly stitched them together. I picked out beautiful paper endsheets and assembled my final masterpieces with great care. After school ended, I was lucky enough to find freelance work with Sasquatch Books (where I had interned) and a full-time job at Mountaineers Books doing production. It was a GREAT learning experience and I love all the people I got to work with, but I realized that instead of working with the designers creating our books, I wanted to be creating them myself, which is how I ended up back at SCCC. I know the book landscape is completely different than it was even a few years ago, but I like to think it’s just evolving, not dying. I hope there will always be some physical books along with digital books. Here are some of my favorite books publishers:

Chronicle Books

They publish a wide range of interesting, quirky books and have many different design styles. I like to read their blog because they have an awesome set of posts about cover design and the covers that aren’t chosen. I love looking at all the ideas that didn’t make it past the drawing board. Here is a link to one of those entries.Ā Some of my favorite covers by Chronicle:


Sasquatch Books is a great, local publisher. They make beautiful books. They also have a great blog that has design tidbits throughout, including this cover process entry, written by their Associate Art Director (a SCCA Alum!).Ā Some favorite Sasquatch Books covers:


Another great PNW publisher is Timber Press, located in Portland. I admit I don’t usually purchase their books, as they are mostly high-level gardening manuals and I’m a basic (basic) gardener, but they have some beautiful covers:


And last, but not least, there’s this non-profit publisher that has some GREAT books out there. Mountaineers Books has a lot of great narratives, how-to’s, where-to’s, and also some great lifestyle books in their Skipstone imprint. Here are a few of my favorite covers by M Books:


Really Awesome Blogs

Today Andrew asked us to blog about blogs that we love. Last year I moved into my own apartment and settled down into the full time job schedule, which left me with a lot of free time to finally do things I had always wanted to do, but never had the time for. I went on a crafting, cooking, gardening, DIY spree which started on the internet. The three blogs I’m featuring are places I was frequently daily, looking for inspiration and instruction. Obviously I’m a little busy these days, but hope to get back my free time eventually and find even more blogs like these.

1. Design Sponge

Design Sponge is a great blog, all about designing your space and your life. I usually spend most of my time looking at the Before/After section (inspiration for turning my junk into art), and the DIY section. I think this blog is successful due to its content. There’s ALWAYS something cool to make or an interesting look at someone’s space and the interior design. They update it pretty regularly and there’s always a weekly wrap-up post. The redesigned the site a couple years ago, and while I’m not a huge fan of all the elements, I like the thin sans serif font and the focus on photos. It’s really easy to navigate and you can find projects based on price, difficulty, material, technique, you name it! It’s simple and fun.

I love the thumbnails along with full size photos

I love the thumbnails along with full size photos



Great searching options in the Before & After section!


2. 101 Cookbooks

101 Cookbooks is beautiful AND useful. There are so many good recipes on this site! I think Heidi Swanson (the creator) is really successful in part because of the recipes, but also because of the simplicity and beauty of the site. She does weave her life, travels and personality into the posts though, and that gives her site personality in spite of its minimalist look. Her photos steal the show and everything else is simple. Great content, great delivery. It helps that she’s a photographer… Her site is also really easy to navigate and search for recipes by several categories.

Photo-heavy main page

Photo-heavy main page


Images for all the recipes, even in list form

Images for all the recipes, even in list form


3. Behance

I guess Behance isn’t technically what you might think of as a blog, but I use it for art inspiration. I think part of why it works so well is that it’s a collective of different people sharing their art. There is a wide range of styles because the sample is so large. I also really like all the search options that are easy to use so you can search for pretty specific things. You can also search for artists from specific schools, so I can see what UW design students are creating. Good to see what the competition is crafting in their students and alumni. They make it easy to follow artists and connect to them with social media. So it’s networking and inspiration, all in one.

You can "Follow" the artist, or send them a message.

You can “Follow” the artist, or send them a message.


Main page view, by thumbnails

Main page view, by thumbnails