Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Photos: Day Three

On the road to Des Moines, Iowa. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is one of the best campaigns I've seen in a while. They're completely original and inspired. I always knew there was a reason why Cadbury was my favorite chocolate:

Photos: Day Two

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week One: Back to Business


This first week back to college has been hectic. Between a ferocious case of jet-lag and the stomach flu, I wasn’t sure when I’d get back into the swing of things. However, a remedy of 10 pm bedtimes and a variety of hot drinks, has helped to make this transitional week a productive one. I went back to work at the Design Center, but so far, most of the work has been a bit administrative since it’s the very beginning of the semester. We are preparing to move into a beautiful new space in the new Student Center, which means (drum roll please) we’ll actually have natural, non-fluorescent light! Here is a postcard design I'm working on for the 2009 Winter Activities Mart:

I'm pretty excited about the cute polar bear I made in Illustrator.

Additionally, we jumped right into things in Advanced Magazine Design. Our cover + feature competition was exciting, but a bit stressful. After perusing my magazine design annuals for inspiration, I knew exactly how I wanted to execute the feature, “Faces of the Economy.” The story stresses that “economy” is everywhere. I wanted to help readers “see green,” so my solution was a type treatment. Here is my competition submission:

Here is the near-finished product:

I think it works well. It’s not distracting, and, at first glance, some of the currency symbols might go unnoticed. I also enjoyed working with the other elements of design—the sidebar and the pulled quote. The typeface, Didot, gives it more of a sophisticated look, but the combination of green and diagonal lines draw you into the spread.

I wasn’t so excited about my cover design. The story is about alternative marketing in the music business. I interpreted the story as indie bands, who are “in it for the music”, are now selling their EPs to companies like MTV. John Henry & the Engine did just this, claming they just wanted their music to be heard. Still, their music is being heard now. Do they really just want people to listen to their music or do they want to make money? This question is presented on the cover as a full type treatment:

The “sold-out?” in the corner implies that these bands could be “selling-out” in the colloquial sense. Also, they could potentially be selling-out of records if the right people are listening. I feel like I put a lot of thought behind this design, but it’s so basic, that I’m afraid editors would think it was thrown together at the last minute, when actually, it’s what I’ve worked on the longest. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

In addition to the Cover + Feature competition, I’ve also been designing the Spring Preview feature for the Feb. 5 issue of Vox.

This is tricky, since the deadline is much earlier than normal. Thinking of good ideas quickly is tough, but luckily, Philip and I have come up with a theme that I’m quite proud to say we designed. Still, the 9-page spread is taking much more time than I thought to put together. While we wait for the final text, I’ve been working on sidebars and designing the small sections where larger stories and art will go. The splash page, though, makes me so happy. I love the combination of patterns (I’m a pattern geek) and colors. More than that, I’m looking forward to presenting something fantastic on Thursday.

In the next week, I plan on picking up more work from the Design Center, meeting my students in Mag Design 1, and finishing up the Spring Preview feature. Additionally, I’ve got to get in touch with several people about freelance opportunities (yay, even more work!).


My boyfriend gave me the most amazing book for Christmas: Stefan Sagmeister’s, Things I Have Learned in My Life. We had talked about Sagmeister, the very famous typographer (notorious for carving his resume into his body with a razor) last semester. He has been working on large-scale projects that are both philosophical and uniquely-executed. It is difficult to describe, but the book is divided into fourteen separate books, which detail Sagmeister’s projects. They slide into the cover, which is a picture of Sagmeister’s face that has been die-cut, so that whatever book goes inside first shows through. It might help if I took some photos:

Going through each of these projects is completely inspiring. He uses his talent, beliefs, design and found objects to create beautiful and thought-provoking images. He inspires me to think outside of the box, and some of the things he has learned should be my own mantras.

Besides the work that is shown within the pages of these mini-books, the packaging itself is like nothing I’ve seen before. It makes me rethink how books should be—what they can be. Especially now, with devices like the Kindle that threaten the beauty and integrity of books. Things I Have Learned in My Life makes you work to get through it. You should have to, after all, if you want to truly learn something.


This guy is a genius. The 2008 Feltron Annual Report is finally here, and if you haven’t seen it in previous years, its definitely worth a nice, long look. It’s created by Nicolas Felton, a graphic designer (one of ADC’s Young Guns), and it’s essentially, his personal annual report. The infographics are simple, yet highly-functional. The annual report is essentially Felton’s year-long diary. There are so many details. It makes me wonder how different people process information and show that information in a design. Would I have thought to make an infograph of my museum visits? How does one show how many hours per year he or she spends at work? The colors and the typography throughout the piece are timeless but relevant to 2008. It’s a wonderful, creative, honest way of presenting yourself and looking back on your year, quantitatively.

I’ve been following Made by Many. This week there was an interesting critique on an article written by Reuben Steiger. He asks why ad agencies didn’t get on the ball about web design when they had the chance early on. Why did so many ad agencies ignore the bright, shining light of opportunity and countless dollar signs that stared them in the face years ago? He gives three reasons. I’ll sum them up. Agencies couldn’t be bothered with the production aspect of work. Back then, the web looked really gross, and what kind of award-winning agency makes ugly things? Finally, grasping the technology seemed impossible for creatively-minded people.

These same reasons are quite similar to my own feelings towards the web. Even now, when I use the web every day, I’m afraid of the work involved when it comes to truly understanding it. Designing websites for us—the kids who grew up in the “digital age”—is quite frightening. This semester, I’m hoping that Made by Many and help me jump through the fiery hoop and never look back.