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May 11, 2006

documenting Leif Erikson Park

My section: Leif Erikson

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James' section: the viking ship

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Tony's section: the stage

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About this project:

Tony, James, and I worked together on this project. The assignment was to pick a location in the Duluth area and document it. The final product had to be 12 ft long or tall and incorporate photography, illustration and typography.

We chose to document Leif Erikson Park. We went down to the park together to take pictures, gather ideas, and brainstorm. While we were looking thru one of the windows of the stage towers, we thought the view was very surreal. Our first solid idea was to take a panorama of the brickwork of the stage and replace certain rocks with pictures of the park. We scrapped that idea, but kept the brickwork. We included a panoramic photo of the lake behind the wall since the lake is such a large part of the park's identity. Our idea for the illustration and typography was to make it look as if it had been drawn on the wall with chalk, since there were various markings on the brickwork in the park from people that had previously been there. We wanted the piece to inform the viewer about the history of the park, but we also wanted to keep it playful and imaginitive- not boring.

We split the project into 3 main parts so that we could work on a separate small file instead of all of us working with one gigantic file. Each of us chose a subject from the park: I chose Leif Erikson himself, James chose the viking ship, and Tony chose the stage. James did the overall photography, and then each of us did our own text and illustration.

It was difficult to settle on a final idea for the project. Another difficulty with this project was creating a piece that was 12 ft long. We thought that panoramic images would be a good way to create one large piece and keep it unified. Unity is also created by the color similarities in the photos and in the color of the "chalk." We used the same methods of drawing and scanning in our text and image. We tried to keep each panel consistent in the size of the imagery.

We generated surprise thru the size of our photos. We also placed the photo of the lake behind an altered photo of the brick wall. This is the view that you would have from the park, but there is no such wall that you would look over like the one we depicted. We also added "Gen was here" "James was here" and "Tony was here" into the corners of each of our pieces to leave our personal mark. This emphasizes the idea of documenting what has happened in the past.

I think we were very successful in our craftsmanship of the final project. We intended to mount each of our sections as a solid 4 ft piece, but foamcore is not available that large. We then decided to split each of our sections into 3 16" sections and mounted them all separately. We ended up with a total of 9 separate pieces, but they lined up very well after we finished so we were happy with the result, although it was not our original idea.

May 1, 2006

Hawk Ridge project

I could not have chosen a better client to work with on this project. Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory has been awesome to work with and is a great way to practice my skills on projects that will actually be used in the community. My roommate, Kelsey, and I have done work for them in the past. We worked on a newsletter for them as well as a t-shirt design. They were more than willing to give me a project when I asked them this semester.

Debbie Waters, the Education Director, is my contact person and she is great to work with. The project that she gave me was to redo their raptor identification guide for visitors. We decided on a quad-fold using legal size paper. She organized a bunch of pictures that I was to make silhouettes from so that visitors would easily be able to identify the shapes of the different raptors that fly over Hawk Ridge. The guide includes a front and back cover, 2 graphs and the whole inside was used for the raptor identification information and silhouettes. I think I will also be doing a more in-depth version of the visitors guide for them also, which will include more information and raptor data, etc. I think I found out that I like organizing information- I think. So maybe I should look into the information design branch of graphic design?

To extend the project for my portfolio, I decided to redo the Hawk Ridge logo and apply it to stationery. It took me a long time to come up with a logo solution that I really liked. I wanted to use one of the silhouettes somehow since it's a strong and simple image that represents what visitors go to Hawk Ridge to see. I started working with both serif and sans serif typefaces, went in the sans direction, and then back to serifs. I like the look of all capital letters, especially since it was hard to work with "Ridge" having a descender- I couldn't figure out a good way to place "Bird Observatory." I chose blue to represent the sky as well as Lake Superior. I feel like I use blue too much in my work in general, but I thought it was fitting for this identity.

I hope I continue to work with them in the future- I feel like I'm helping out a great organization and it's awesome work experience.

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