Reading Reflection: Scales

I actually really enjoyed Designing Print Materials of Different Scales and found several of the tips provided in the reading to be very helpful including:

  • Use a second color sparingly on a business card
  • Point 8-10 font is perfectly readable – 12pt looks too big
  • Do not put anything in the corners – leave them empty
  • Create consistent imagery on all letterheads/envelops/ stationary materials
  • Consistent layout should also be used on all items as well and it’s best to produce items at the same time
  • Do not center everything (unless there’s a really good reason to do so.)
  • The second page of the letterhead should contain a small element of the letterhead, but not overwhelm the paper
  • Many of the same tips above apply to flyers, but flyers are more “fun” so you can get away with different font/letter types

Scale also provided many helpful tips:

  • In regards to logos, the logo must be legible in both a small size, as well as a large size
  • Scale is both literal (the actual size of something) and subjective (it represents something accurately, like a map is drawn to scale.)
  • Contrast in size creates a sense of tension, which may be helpful for logo design
  • Spacial scale can also be used to distort images and give the viewer a meaning 
  • Point of view (making small objects look bigger/bigger object look smaller) creates a sense of illusion
  • Inflated scales make things extremely large

 

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Success Project

UMBC Success Version 1:

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Version 2:

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Between versions 1 and 2, I think I got a bit more creative with UMBC Success and had a more targeted approach with the text. I did not change the second logo item and only slightly altered the second text example, but the others were either redone or edited. I thought this task had several upsides in terms of anything goes, but I struggled with it in terms of a practical business move. For example, I think my logos themselves could be more creative, but the text is where I thought I could get away with being both creative and practical because people could put context with the creativity. I think this week’s project really tested my own person design style because we could do whatever we wanted, and I found that even have a “blank page” to work with, I still gravitate towards more traditional fonts/sizes and a square/rectangular feel.

 

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For the first set, I was trying to stay in the black, yellow, and red theme, but I think my sizing is off on the logo.

For the second set, I was trying to go with Red, White, and Blue and play on the “American Dream” theme.

For the third set, I wanted to use color, but still keep the design very clean cut.

 

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For the combination, I tried to stick with the same themes. I think overall, the idea to highlight certain words/phrases help break up the text and allows readers to get a quick blurb right off the bat. I was definitely challenged by this project, but have much more respect for designers that have little direction to go off of and can come up with wonderful designs.

 

Inspriation #7

My inspiration actually came from this past Monday’s class on photo editing. This past week I was asked to update a webpage adding 40X40 photos, which, when originally sent to me were closer to ~1000X3000. So, not only were the pictures much larger, they were also not in the proper shape to just edit the image size. After thinking about the rule of three as well as white space, I was able to crop down all 10 images into almost perfectly sized squares. Although this seems like a simple task, I would not have thought to crop out as much white space as I had, without this past week’s image editing refresher.

Reading Reflection: Making and Breaking the Grid

I thought Coming to Order: A Brief History of the Grid in Modern Graphic Design was an interesting read. Most notably in the reading, I thought there were three things that stood out:

  1. The design of the grid has been an evolution. The author speaks towards many different people who contributed to the grid’s design including William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Peter Behrens.
  2. I found it really interesting that the design of the grid is something that evolved from many different perspectives and cultures. As noted in the article, many countries including Russia, America, and Germany contributed to the grid. Like many technologies, products, methods, etc. evolve over time, and the influence of the “world” also improved the grid.
  3. Finally, I liked that the article also included information about grid types including manuscript grid, column grid, modular grid, and the hierarchal grid.

Restaurant Menu Designs Using Grids

I really enjoyed working on this project for several reasons. First, I enjoyed this project because it had a purpose and I could conceptualize what the menus would be used for in regards to real users. Second, I liked our peer review sessions for this project. Not only did I receive good feedback in terms of my own projects, but I think seeing other people’s projects really helped me as well. Finally, this was the first project where I thought I saw steady improvement from the first version to the final version.

Menu Design Draft # 1: HCC710 Grids
My first attempt at making the menus was not the most successful. I think I had some positive elements, including creating “special” pages, but overall, I was unsuccessful in creating a usable menu.

Menu Designs Draft # 2: HCC Grids _ v2
Because I was so off in my first draft, I decided to do a second draft focusing on real language and spacing, attempting to focus less on rigid grids and more how the menu would read from a user’s perspective.

Cafe James Menu Version 3: Cafe James Menu
My first attempt at making the adult menu was not disastrous, as I think I started to really comprehend grid spacing and menu ease.

Cafe James Menu Final Adult Version: Cafe James Menu_Final Adult Version
As noted above, I found the peer reviews to be very helpful. From the first adult version, to the final version I updated font type and spacing to give readers more ease when using the menu. Both suggestions came from my classmates and I strongly feel the better font choices and spacing greatly improved the final product.

Cafe James Kid’s Menu: Cafe James Student Menu
My first attempt at making the kids’ menu went well for the most part. I think the look and feel is pretty kid-friendly. My class feedback consisted of changing the spacing just a bit to make it more readable and to contemplate using more images.

Cafe James Final Kid’s Menu: Cafe James Kids Menu_Final
For my final menu, I considered a few different options:
1. Using all images
2. Using no images
3. Using some sort of number system for ordering
4. Using a lot of color

Ultimately, I decided to keep the final version of the menu as simple as possible. I think the biggest reason I decided to do this was because of a class comment stating that images could upset the kids, and numbers may cause confusion. As for the background color, in my first draft I used a textured background but decided to nix that idea in the final version so it wouldn’t act as a distraction. Overall, I think this project brought home the fact that knowing your users and their needs/abilities is the most important element.

Reading Reflection: Color & Aging

I think the readings on aging, coloring, and typography brought to light many factors that I had not previously considered:

  1. I think it’s interesting that our eyes begin to turn colors into a more yellow-y tint.
  2. Lighting for older eyes needs to be a consideration.
  3. Using a matte surface is more effective.
  4. I was happy to learn that toddlers and young children are attracted most to red and blue. Although these colors play into gender norms, I think it’s interesting that there’s some physical explanation for the attraction to these colors.
  5. Tonal contrast is more important than color contrast when dealing with older viewers.
  6. Loss of light and loss of focus as viewers get older greatly contributes to the need to focus more on the typography used for clarity/legible reading.
  7. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) typography standards:
  8. ADA standards for use of appropriate typefaces in signage systemsSignage must both convey important information as well as convey information properly. This can be done by correct sign placement, typography, lighting and testing for readability.

Inspiration #6: Proof That Comic Sans Ruins Everything

After our discussion about fonts and Comic Sans, I came across BuzzFeed’s article, Proof That Comic Sans Ruins Everything. I think one of the reasons I find this post so interesting is because people, outside of the graphic design world, pay such close attention to font choices. Before taking this class, I focused on fonts in terms of how an email would look, making sure everything was consistent, but paying less attention to the actual font I was using, mostly relying on default settings. After having the history of fonts being brought to my attention, I more closely focus on the meanings behind the fonts I am choosing.  

Here’s the original BuzzFeed post: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lilis2/proof-that-comic-sans-ruins-everything.

Inspiration #5: Why We Love Tattoos

Previously, I wrote an inspiration piece about tattoos and choosing the typography. For this inspiration, I came across the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL_Fu_p5A1U. I think it speaks to both the decision to get a tattoo, but more over the art behind getting a tattoo. 

I think we often view graphic design as something that can be only applied to marketing, websites, walls, etc., but this video speaks to the depth of art and graphic design. 

Inspiration #4: Ikea’s Font Change

Keeping up with our typography theme, I stumbled upon Thought Catalog’s article, 19 Things You Didn’t Know About Ikea. I think #15 fits well with our class: Graphic designers and typographers threw a shitfit when IKEA decided to change their typeface from Futura to Verdana.

I think it’s interesting that 1. Ikea would make such a dramatic marketing change and 2. that people were so up in arms about the situation.

Here’s a link to Thought Catalog’s article – http://thoughtcatalog.com/michael-koh/2014/03/19-things-you-didnt-know-about-ikea/

Here’s a link to “The Full Fonty: Why Type Nerds Went Mental Over Ikea” – http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/09/01/the-full-fonty-why-type-nerds-went-mental-over-ikea/

Photo Essay: Grids

I enjoyed that we did a photo essay for our reading this week. I strongly feel that both drawing and finding grids was the most effective way to grasp the different concepts. Furthermore, I chose to use restaurant menus because I think they are great real life examples of how grids can be used. I think what I found most interesting about this week’s assignment was that there are infinite ways to present information using a grid layout, as exemplified through the menus I found.

Below are several menus that I liked:

MenuLg

lh_worcester_02_menu_page_2

menu_ch_1917_oregonb

menu-image

menu-1

Manuscript

1c8b812afea098ea432188a56c834a47

2 column grid

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3 column grid

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Modular grid

modular-grid-for-project-6

 

Hierarchical Grid

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My drawings:

IMG_20140518_220644_361

IMG_20140518_215559_018