May 10, 2006

Documenting Place

When we started brainstorming for this project, we first had to come up with a place. We chose Gooseberry Falls because we had all been there and we knew the area very well. We thought a place that was a type of river would be great as a twelve-foot vertical work.

Dividing everything up turned out to be pretty simple, but everyone helped each other out in different areas. I did the photographing and collage work, while Nick worked on the typography, choosing the poem for the work, and coming up with the idea of replacing the water in the photos with type. Erik worked on the illustration but there wasn’t too much of it in our project. So he definitely made up for that by helping Nick and me tremendously with our jobs along with assembling the work itself.

We had started with a very complex idea of shower curtain strips waving in front of our collaged photos and type. This had turned out to not work because we couldn’t iron out the wrinkles in the curtains. We eventually simplified by cutting down the size of the width tremendously from 4 feet to 8 inches. This seemed to work better because the viewer could focus more on the type.

The unique part of our project is that the water was taken out of the photos and replaced with text that is flowing along a wavy path. It is then collaged down the work that is 8 inches by 12 feet, looking like a river of waterfalls.

Our work has a bit of surprise at the end with a silhouette of us three group members. It appears that three people are looking at this work and you can see their shadows by the sun.

Our craftsmanship is very unique and well executed with our seamless collage that runs the full 12 feet. We also spent a lot of time working on the waved edges, which we found out adds a lot of visual interest to the work.

May 2, 2006

Timing is Everything

I’m going be honest. When we were supposed to pick an article out of the Citizen Designer textbook, I was a bit rushed, so I saw the title of mine caught my eye, “Timing is Everything.? I did not think it was going to be anything like it was though.

The guy ranted for two thirds of the article about how Bush rigged an election and that he had one foreign visit in his career. It had very little to do with…ya know…design. Well, he did give credit to all of the people that made these postcards for Sphere Magazine and talked a bit about the process. I was not too impressed with the content of this article, and wish that I had picked another.

But there were some points to be taken out of this. Peter Hall made some points about how “Timing is everything,? meaning that your content in your design is time sensitive. This could be applied in almost any type of design and is a great point to bring up.

I know that I am bashing Hall for ranting over politics when I am hypocritically doing the same, but the difference was that he went off on a tangent and it had very little to do with design.

EXTRA CREDIT: Portfolio Reviewing and Studio Tour

For our studio tour this semester, we were invited to Yamomoto Moss. This was one of the cooler firms that we had visited. Last semester, we went to Duffy, Sussner and Aesthetic Apparatus. Yamomoto Moss was more along the lines of Duffy, where they are a bit of a bigger firm and had a handful of big clients. We all asked a lot of questions, mostly about portfolios and how to get a job (surprise surprise).

We also had gone to the portfolio fair that the SDO had also put on. This was VERY interesting and totally worthwhile to go to. I had gotten feedback on my book, and most of the things I agreed on. We had also gone through a lot of general questions about books, and what they should look like, how many pieces, etc. I was lucky to take some notes on these things, and have them under my “jobs? folder. I guess I won’t really know for sure if UMD has prepared me well for getting a job until I get into the field, but it seems like its going smoothly so far. Thanks to the SDO for organizing this event. Well worth it.

May 1, 2006

ABXRR

ppcSm.jpg Our client project for the semester was working with Jamie Harvie, who was with The Institute for Sustainable Future. His goal was to educate more people in how to use products that were friendlier to the environment and to make sure that there was no misuse of antibiotics on farm animals. The way that he got this message out was to use these characters that he had made up over the years.

Our job was to use these characters and create a campaign called The Anti-Biotics Revolution Revolution, or ABXRR. So we started brainstorming with Jamie as to how we were going to accomplish this. He had a great amount of ideas for us and we started to sketch and get these ideas to paper. We had Erik and Trevor do the preliminary illustrations and the rest of us worked on color schemes and layouts of different ideas.

We had a problem with communication with our client at times. Near the end of the project, we had a whole set of cards, post cards, berets, pledge sheets and a logo set out, but it turned out to not be what Jamie was envisioning. So we did not get a final product to our client that he had liked in the end.

I had learned a few things when working in this group. First, if there is no leader, one should be appointed, because it wasn’t clear who was to make decisions. Also, I learned that you have to be a little more forceful with your client if they can’t make up their mind, or it is unclear what they want. There were many things that my group and I could have done different to make this a smoother process. Even though we didn’t come out with a final product, I still came away with some useful lessons throughout the whole experience.

EXTRA CREDIT: byDesign

BDwebTN.gif For the weekend, a group of us from the SDO went down to Mankato for ByDesign on the MSU campus. When we got there, we heard a lecture from Paul Wharton from Larsen Design. He had told us about some scenarios where things had gone wrong. Overall, it was good lecture.

The next day, we started off with our first workshop, which was Final Cut Pro Tutorial. Through this, a guy from Apple showed us the basics about Final Cut Pro. Although I had already knew about these things in FCP, it still got me fired up for some editing that I could do for my cousins wedding.

The next speech was Kate Pabst and Emily Eaton. They were partners in their own firm and had shared with us their success and falls while being in the industry. They talked about the evolution of the web and how they were the ones to help NWA get their site up. I thought it was exciting to hear that they were part of some of the first web sites ever made.

One of the other workshops was Macromedia Flash. It seemed that this gentleman, who had a background in graphic design as well as computer science, was talking a bit over all of our heads. But it was still very interesting to see the possibilities of flash.

One of the best parts of the weekend was going out with all of UMD and MSU students to BW3’s and other such establishments. Much fun was had. There was talk later of having UMD’s SDO doing something like this next year. Only time will tell.

Overall, it was a VERY fun weekend, and I learned a lot about other school’s GD departments.