Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Critique: Prototyping and more department designing

Hello again! This past week seems like it has flown by, but so does this entire semester. (Remember that boys to men feature?) The prototype assignment/project is no exception. All of a sudden, we compiled all the files and sent them to the printer. I can't wait to get the proofs/ real copies back! Part of the whole project are examples of future covers of the magazine, and I volunteered to design one of them for DIY Summer. That is the image that is to the left. I never realized how hard it is to make sell lines fit into certain areas on a photo. I might have just been dealt a dumb photo though. I also tried to make it not look like Lauren's cover (I might have failed on that part). Regardless, I think it looks neat!

I also designed my second-to-last department page for VOX last weekend. It was pretty cool because I had to come up with an idea of how to use four photos on one page for a Battle of the Bands preview. Aimee helped me some with the arrangement on the top. It was also helpful that the sidebar for the anchor was pushed to online only. It's pretty neat.

You can't miss: Only 6 typefaces? Ever?!?

I don't know about you guys, but I love typefaces. I love finding or altering a type to meet my designy needs. This week on, Massimo Vignelli talked about how he only needs six typefaces to do his design work. This was the guy in Helvetica that talked about his love affair for the typeface. He's pretty interesting to watch, and he knows a lot about typography!

Response: More and more websites

So not only are we creating websites, but it also seems that every other j-school class is doing this too. I guess this is a good thing, but it is also a stressful thing. In the time I have spent meddling with HTML, I have learned that it is a personal process of development. Someone can tell you what to do to make things work, but the hard part is UNDERSTANDING what make what work. Enough on that...

I really enjoyed seeing everyone's website mock-ups. They are all super different! I guess I should have anticipated this though. Our designs all year have all been super different. It's good that we all have a style, right? I am excited to see the finished products on the last day of class!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You can't miss: Jane Lynch as Madonna

I know we talk about Vogue the magazine a lot, but what about the song by Madonna? Also, what about music video design? This video has been circulating the interwebs for about a week, but I still think it's worth noting. The black and white effect is fabulous, and the art direction for the characters in Glee was perfect. Even if you don't like Glee, Jane Lynch or Madonna the video is priceless! The photo, of course, is from and FOX.

Critique: Coding things, desinging things, interviewing for things

You know what sucks about websites? The fact that they are never finished. You might get something you like one day, but a week later you want to change your whole aesthetic. I made myself stop changing things about a week ago, but after the critique we had yesterday, I want to change it all over again. I am really considering going back to html/frame version of my portfolio instead of this flash business too. There are just a million ways to do one thing, and it all generally confuses me. Regardless, you can check out my work in progress here.

I haven't really designed much lately aside from Meredith prototypes, and you guys already know what those look like generally. I did design a cool photo page for the Missourian last week though. I got to design a whole page photo feature, which is hard to come by at that paper. Anyway, I wanted to make the top photo even bigger, but then I wouldn't have room for my headline. (They don't exactly let us write on photos at the Missourian.) I think it turned out pretty good though. I adore the white space at the top of the page, too, so I guess it's good that I didn't up the photo.

On a side note, I'm up for another job! I'm super excited about it, but I don't want to jinx it... More on this later, I'm sure.

Response: MU College News Design contest

Monday and Tuesday marked MU's College News Design contest. It was a lot more exciting than I had predicted (especially because I won things!). I really wish I could have seen the morning categories though. It was all newspaper design, which I kind of have a soft spot for. I did get to see a majority of the other print categories though, and it was great to hear what the judges thought of some of the work. All of it was just phenomenal. When we sorted the entries a few weeks before, we didn't really get to look at the pieces. Having them all spread out on the long tables of room 100a RJI was mind boggling. There are so many great designers out there doing great work! Below are my winning designs. The first one won honorable mention in the front page daily broadsheet category. The second one won second place in the multi-page news feature category.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You can't miss: Crazy-cool umbrellas

In honor of springtime, I decided to share this compilation of ingenuously designed umbrellas. Some of these are really cool, but others really make you scratch your head and wonder why these people have so much time on their hands.

Critique: DIY Summer

All of our pages had to be done for our Meredith prototypes by Tuesday so that we could show the publishers all of our work. That made for one interesting weekend. I got it all done though, and with a few minutes to spare. I really like how they turned out. We need to change a few unifying things such as bullet points and folios, but I think the magazine is coming along very nicely.

Above are my two front-of-book department pages, "Under the sun" and "Under the stars." They were two somewhat different departments because one of them had a lot of photos and the other one was a little lacking. Regardless, I think they turned out really good. I have had to tone all of the flip flop photos, and they still kinda look crummy. It was totally the jank photo studio equipment we used too, not the photogs at all. They were AMAZING.

I also designed a back-of-book department called "Fun at your fingertips." It was interesting to work with a crossword on the design aspect. I made it look cute though!

These last two are my feature pages. All of the photos are AMAZING and from the Meredith Creative LIbrary. Having awesome photos makes the design super awesome too. I also like working with publications that can bleed images. And yes, Jan, I do have a splash page, but I think the photo is amazing enough to carry it.

All in all, I am going to have to make a few changes, but not too many on these pages. That and John hasn't seen them yet...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Response: What to write about myself?

I always run into this problem. It happens in cover letters, interviews and resumes. I can make them all look pretty, but I have no idea what to say in the meat of the body copy. It's not that I am bad at writing what I am thinking, I just don't know what to say about myself. In the "about me" section of my Web site, I am running into the same problem. Well, right now I feel inspired. I am applying for a job I really want, and the first job that has actually asked for editing clips. I have them, but they are kind of old. I took copy editing a year ago (ok, not that old). Looking back over them tonight, I was inspired to write about myself, and, yes, I am doing it in a kind of roundabout way. I did need an intro before my blabbering about myself though...

I realized that I am a rare breed. I love design. I love color, typography, grids and breaking grids. I could read design blogs all day, be inspired by others' work and buy a magazine just because of how clean it is on the inside. On the other side, though, is this love of grammar, editing and language. Most of my life I wanted to be an English teacher, then it changed to journalism teacher, then journalist, now a designer. The funny part is that I think I have changed my mind again. Well, kind of. I want to be a designer, but I also want to be an editor. I feel exhilarated when I can start with a muddy memoir, scrub all the comma splices, word usage errors and other things out of it and end up with a beautifully written piece that still maintains the authors' voice. I might not be the best editor, and I might not be the best designer, but I think that with the combination of skills that I have cultivated throughout the years, I have a great chance of getting this job. I am good at what I do, and the best part is that I love doing it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You can't miss:

I don't know how far you guys have come with your Web sites, but I wanted to offer up this site I found. I read every CSS lesson and am using it religiously to learn HTML too. It is really helpful and the best part... IT'S FREE!

I know this is a short post, but I have to get back to everything else I have been doing. Have a great week!

Response: Web site craziness

Like most of everyone else, I have dived head first into the world of coding. I decided to write most of the code for my site so I know how it works. I am also trying to finish it as fast as possible because I want to start sending the address with job applications. I decided to go with a kind of standard approach to the layout, but still with some creative flair. The framework and resume will be in HTML, but the way I am displaying my work will be with Flash. I know it might be out of date in a couple years, but for now, it is what I want to work with. (And it is the program I know best as far as interactivity goes.) I am super excited to see everyone else's sites too. I know they will all be amazing! Below is a screen shot of what I have been working on. What do you think?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Critique: Breaking for spring

So, my spring break wasn't exactly what you'd call fun, exciting and amazing. I made the best out of it though, and I got to spend a lot of time with my mom, who I had not seen in a long time. I got my wisdom teeth out the Monday of break and was completely out of it for several days. I still kind of am, but that's another story. My photos represent either what I was feeling or what I was doing on the days I got to spend lounging (on massive pain killers) around my house in St. Louis. By day six, I got a little artistic, but overall the photos can explain most of that. The slideshow is kind of small on this blog setting, but you can view the album here. Enjoy!

Also over break (when I wasn't ridiculously drugged up, just when i was kind of drugged up), I looked for some "found typography" in the real world. I made two versions of the photo compositions I made. one is kind of an Andy Warhol-esque image assigning a color to each photo of a letter. The other version is of the unedited photos. Thoughts?