Inspiration #12

This past weekend I was walking around U Street in DC and took notice to a lot of the artwork that’s abundant in the changing area. After some quick Googling, I came across Murals DC, a joint project in DC to help minimize illegal graffiti with legal graffiti.

Here’s the description of the project:

Murals DC is a partnership between the District’s Department of Public Works, the DC Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, and Words Beats & Life Inc. Initiated in 2007 by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, the project has resulted in the creation of over thirty murals that reflect the character, culture, and history of neighborhoods in the District, particularly in areas with high incidents of illegal graffiti.

Murals DC aims to help replace illegal graffiti with artistic works, to revitalize sites within the community, and to teach young people the art of aerosol painting. The goal of this initiative is to positively impact the District’s youth by providing them with the resources they need to engage in this project. By offering them instruction in proper technique, the supplies that they need, and spaces to legally practice and perform their developing skills, the Murals DC project promotes respect for public and private property as well as community awareness for the young people we work with. (

I think this is a really cool project and I love that DC is taking the time to both honor its neighborhoods and the artists that live in the neighborhoods.

To learn more about the project, you can visit



Inspiration #11

This past week I came across an interesting blog on graphic design, “Freelance Graphic Designer: The Kit” on The blog itself is about a woman finding her place both in the entrepreneurial world as well as in the graphic design field. What I found most inspiring about her piece was the information she included about different resources including blogs, websites, and books. Furthermore, the resources she mentions in her blog are ones that are applicable to anyone at any level of skill, which I appreciate as a beginner.

The full article is online at

Inspiration #9

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing logos and in particular, we’ve talked about updating and new branding. We’ve often used the example of Starbucks, going from a full on image with their name to just an image with a distinctive green color.

For my inspiration this week, I found an article focusing on how logos have changed within a decade, including Wallmart and BP. Many of the logos has become much brighter and much more focused on brand recognition.

The article is online at

Photo Essay: Identity Systems

For my photo essay, I decided to look at different beauty products.


Website use of the logo:



Brand use of the logo:



Overall, I like the way that the logo is used as a logo, it’s very clean cut and to the point on the website and on the chap-sticks themselves. However, I really dislike the use of the branding on the green chap stick. I think because it’s for a different audience it works in some elements, but overall, I don’t like it.

Clinque Happy Perfume:





This is my favorite use of an identity system. I think the way clinique makes everything very simple and uses the color as the accent is extremely smart and allows for brand recognition. The design is very simple, sleek, and consistent.

 Pantene Pro-V: 


Pantene Natural

Green Pantene


For my third identity system, I decided to use Pantene Pro-V shampoo. For the most part, I think their shampoo/hair products are pretty well branded but as you can see image two is not as well branded. From above, image one is their logo and images two and three are some of their products. For the most part, their bottles reflect the third image but because of the discrepancy in identity, this is another system I do not like.


Maybelline Mascara:





This is one of my favorite identity system schemes. The first image is Maybelline’s logo and the two following images are two different products. Although both products have completely different branding, they all feature the logo. I think the fact that Maybelline has different branding but keeps their logo consistent is both smart from a branding perspective and for appealing to several different types of customers. For example, older people may be more attracted to the tradition mascara, while younger purchasers are attracted to the brighter packaging.


Johnson & Johnson:





Like Maybelline, Johnson and Johnson has several products, but does a great job making sure that each of their products feature their logo. For example, their shampoos feature the logo in the same location across the board. Furthermore, the company has found creative ways to incorporate their logo into non-traditional products, as seen in the third image.

Inspiration #8

There are two articles that I found for inspiration this past week:



After our discussion on team jerseys/colors, I thought the mascot article was fitting. Furthermore, BuzzFeed put out a great article on logo branding for children. The article focuses on a study conducted at Cornell University finding that cereal box mascots are featured as looking down to attract children. I think it’s interesting to realize that everything surrounding merchandise is much more planned and plotted than I had originally thought.

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


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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Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 5.42.09 PM

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.