Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You can't miss: This infographic resume

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It passes information rapidly and you never know what you are going to find ... like this infographic resume. I have no idea who Mike Anderson is, but I know he has a pretty sweet-looking resume. I don't know about you guys, but I stopped and took time to dissect every little part of this thing. While some elements seem a little pointless (for example, the 3-D images on his "Primary skill sets" chart), some add character to it. Look at the daily intake and output graph. It's just really fun. This graphic designer used what he is good at to sell himself in a unique way. I mean, even people that have no intention to hire him are spreading his resume across the Internet. It's got to be good then, right?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Response: CRMA 2010 preliminary judges

Today in design lecture, we got the opportunity to be the preliminary judges in a competition put on by the City and Regional Magazine Association. While I can't tell you what the class ended up voting for, I can definitely express to you how hard judging a design contest is. It was much easier to narrow the contestants down at the beginning than it was toward the end. We also got around an hour to do it. I feel like we could have talked about any one of the entries for that amount of time.

I feel like sometimes design is like poetry to critiquers. You could say, "Oh, I'm sure this designer put this here and that there and used this font because she wanted to convey this message." But in reality, the designer could have done it for completely different reasons. What Jan said about judges of competitions (SSND, CPOY, etc.) made sense. She said a judge could really like something one day, then on the next could like a completely different entry. There were some entries I saw today that I had mixed feelings about, and I could have swayed in either direction had I had been in a different mood.

There were so many good things about the magazines we saw today, though. I'm really glad I got the opportunity to be a part of the competition.

Critique: From boys to men

For my first assignment in advanced design, I had to come up with a cover and feature design for the Feb. 4 issue of VOX. The story was written by an intermediate writing student a few months ago. It talks about how in the U.S., there really isn't a mile marker for when a boy becomes a man. The reporter talked to several younger XYs in Columbia and even some that have graduated and have stable jobs, all of which agree they haven't yet crossed the threshold of manhood. Along with the story, I was given a few environmental photos, by Patrick Fallon, and studio shots of a "boy" and a "man."

I wasn't given photos of all of the "boys" in question and the photo illustration, to me, just didn't tell the story I wanted to convey. I created some word associations to try and figure out how I wanted to have the content drive my design. Initially, I thought of a ruler that measures how tall a man is, the notches depicting the steps a boy must take to reach manhood. I am not as good with illustrator than I am with a camera, and we had less than a week to execute our ideas, so I decided to shoot some photos myself and come up with objects that could represent both stages. I worked with a glass of beer, a video game controller, a tie, some nice loafers and a pair of chucks. The two images I wanted to tie together — the controller and the tie — came out well in a couple of the photos, so I used them for my cover and feature design.

I dropped the white background and coordinated colors according to the colors in the tie. I also had the deck wrap around the controller because I thought it would act as a nice balance to the heavy photo on the left. I tweaked the cover line font a bit so that it had a minor outer glow and could be distinguished from the other text on the page (not that the size did that already).

I used a similar illustration to drive my feature on the inside pages. It had to be four pages long. Seeing as the text was only about 1700 words, it took some stretching. I realized once I placed another controller/tie image on a white background that I should have taken more care to cut it out of the photo. I played it big because I thought that explained things better than anything else could. I kept large gutters between the legs of type to keep the idea of two separate worlds of boys and men. What do you think?

I am not entirely in love with my concept or design. Like I said, I was given less than a week, some not-so-helpful photos and a lot of space to work with. I understand the execution problem talked about in class, and I definitely need to work on my pen tool skills. One thing I thought worked really well, though, was the color scheme I used on both the cover and the feature page. The orange/gold/red mix, I feel, is a masculine set of colors, but still easy to design with.

Coming soon to a blog near you: spring preview! This design I am much more excited about, and I think I may have gone a little overboard. I'm not going to reveal too much, but a little sneak peek wouldn't be bad, would it?

As for other things I am charged with working on and thinking about... My first assigned feature is coming up and it highlights the different barber shops in Columbia. I am supposedly getting photos of all of said shops and maybe even a shaved-head photo illustration. After spring preview business, barber shop brainstorming will really take off.