Saturday, October 30, 2010

Round 1 Element Layouts

Moving forward with our research and identity designs we were assigned to do spreads made for print. These are a few of the layouts that I created. After really digging in and analyzing these, I am not pleased at all. These are just a few of the many iterations I did and happen to be the most "successful."
These all rely on the page as a frame too much. Going into this I had the idea of harmony, unity, stability, and sterility. The only problem with this is that it came across as static. These layouts are stiff and visually unappealing. They don't excite the eye or engage the viewer in a memorable experience. The first two images are the last two layouts I created in this round. I feel like a started to stumble upon something in these. If I would have pushed a little further after those two I think I would have had a solid first round to expand on.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thumbnails for Motifs

Iterate Iterate Iterate


These are some sweet designs from the Swiss designer, Josef Muller-Brockmann. He uses the grid to the fullest. The first is probably a six column grid. The second a three column grid. The third is an eight column grid. I think the first is beautiful in its organization and simplicity. The second is a nice use of vertical text and color. The third is a very organized clean way to inform the viewer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project Two Deliverable. Reflection


Activating and arranging graphic space in the posters was a bit of a struggle for me in the beginning. I had a hard time getting started with these. Creating an interesting composition while making the photo, line study, and typography interact meaningfully was a big obstacle. Once I got around to it, iterations started flowing and I feel like I was able to push the posters to the place they need to be. In the Paseo poster I arranged the graphic elements in a grid like fashion; a non mathematical, orderless grid that is. I sliced the photo and the line study into strips. I placed them in an alternating pattern then began to delete information. The play between positive and negative space began to play more, creating visual interest. The composition progressively becomes more solidified as your eye moves down the composition reinforcing the cohesion of the overall composition with its visual elements. Formally the juxtaposition of the photograph and line study is a comparison. The windows of the building mimic the blocks of black in the line study. Conceptually, the photo of the government housing juxtaposed with a progressive line study is interesting. There is this interesting play between a seemingly low place in society and a progressive line study. The Paseo area doesn't have that great of a reputation today. There is a lot of crime. Although some might feel like the neighborhood will always be stuck in this cycle of violence and crime, I feel like there is hope and potential for progression towards a safer community. The process from line study to the final poster was lengthy. The basic line study was manipulated by introducing vertical lines making it a complex line study. The line study was cropped and paired with a photo I took of a low income housing unit off of Paseo. The majority of the process was spend on the integration of typography. After finding a typeface that worked the question was Bold or Light. After deciding to give the type the same treatment as the composition (cutting of blocks) I printed out a bunch of "paseos." The analogue process of cutting and pasting the altered type was quick and efficient. The iterations were then translated into illustrator. After that it was just a matter of finding the right placement and alignment.
The Troost poster took a while to get where it is now. I arranged the space by filling the entire frame with the pairing side by side. Integrating the type was lengthy process as well. Finally I decided on having the text hand written. One of the lines in the poster acts as a baseline. Formally the juxtaposition is along the lines of continuation. Parts of the line study line up with the blinds and others line up with the negative space. The pairing is composed of some droopy blinds and a curvilinear line study. Conceptually the juxtaposition speaks to the hardships of the majority of neighborhoods on Troost. The strong black and white image of the broken blinds gives a powerful message in itself being damaged but the point of pairing it with the curvilinear line study was not only for continuation but for concept. The wave like structure seemed like a good way to portray the ups and downs of a lot of families in the troubled neighborhoods. The lines created by the blinds start to ascend on the right side. So reading the image left to right gives a glimpse of a community trying to move forward. There has been a lot of communal groups and businesses trying to tie the neighborhoods of Troost together to become more of a community that is safer and better for all.  The process in line studies was a warped one. The line study started out as a basic line study that was moved into a complex line study. The basic line study was manipulated in the scanner. Then it was projected on multiple surfaces to create new lines and angles. This was paired with an photograph I took in a neighborhood off of Troost. The pairing was put into illustrator and vectored. The photo was put back into its photographic nature while the line study was left as a manipulated vector. The type was a toss up. The decision between a typeface and a handwritten text was a tough one. After deciding that the san serifed informative typefaces weren't working, I moved on to some humanistic type. It was easy for these to look cheesy. I wrote TROOST in my own handwriting a bunch and played with tagging and graffiti like text. I then scanned them and vectored the text.
The West Bottoms poster is powerful in its simplicity. The poster has a lot of white space. Centering the image and line study was more of an aesthetic choice than anything. The typography is what creates a lot of visual interest in the poster. I feel with out the shift of the text the poster would become static and therefore boring. Formally the juxtaposition between the smoke stack and the random line study was a comparison. The width of the line study was almost identical to the width of the smoke stack. the emphasis in white space in the line study directly correlated to the emphasis of the open sky in the framing of the photo. Conceptually the juxtaposition between the smoke stack and the random line study had a lot to do with the white space. The negative space allows the viewer to breathe. Theres an open airy feel to the simplicity of the composition. This mimics the open, deserted feel of the west bottoms. The smoke stack speaks to the factory like setting of the west bottoms.  The west bottoms is an industrial place that has lost a lot of its boom but has recently found hope for progress. The revitalization of the west bottoms has been on investors minds for a while. The san serif typeface is used for its clean, industrial look. The process in this poster wasn't all that complex. The sky was cut out of the photo and the bounding box was removed from the line study. Once again a lot of process was spent on type. More specifically the placement of type. The way it is in the final poster is the most dynamic and interesting choice. The type is aligned with the rings in the smoke stack.
All in all I am proud of my work. I feel like I can truly say I spent a lot of time pushing this project more than I did the last. Consequently the work turned out stronger. Although I would have liked to play around with color more the Black and White images are more powerful.

Linear Evolution





This is the evolution to one of my posters. The line study started out as a basic progressive study. In the second phase it was built upon by introducing vertical lines. The original was rotated on its side and then manipulated with a second progressive study used as a grid. In the next step the basic line study was manipulated in the scanner and projected on a wall and photographed. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paula Scher Response

Paula Scher is a designer located in New York City. She has been located there for most of her career. Her work is heavily influenced by the city itself. She talks about this rich melting pot of cultures influencing her work which is interesting because not only is the physicality of the city influencing her work, the human demographic is influencing her work. In the sense of physicality, the cities tall slender buildings are mimicked in her condensed san-serif typography. The compact, intricate grid system of the city is reflected in some of her posters. A good example is the jazz fest poster. She makes the analogy of her work being like the gridlock and traffic jams at a stand still. Some said it was influenced by constructivist but she argues it was 90% New York that influenced it. undoubtedly the constructivist had a hand in influence but not as much as the city itself. New York is a loud in your face city and this is seen in Paula's work. The large text and colorful designs say NEW YORK. As far as correlation to the project we are doing, there is a lot. We found lines within these neighborhoods and throughout the city and tied typography into it. She is doing the same but on a larger, more physical level. Instead of making a poster and aligning text to the architecture and line work of the city, she actually does it in real life. She designs a lot of the signs in new york for store fronts and businesses. Each is different according to the business or area. Just like each of our posters and typography is different according to the characteristics of the neighborhood. This video was really interesting. I definitely drew some inspiration from this.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Final Monogram Itterations #2

More iterations based on the monogram that I thought would be the final. After talking with some classmates a few more possible ideas/ improvements came up. The two monograms at the bottom are the base for the other four iterations. The shift of the L was to see if legibility was improved. The change in weight was purely an aesthetic choice.

 Straight L opposed to the curved L?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vector vs Bitmap

There are pros and cons to both. Often vectors are used to easily scale images and bitmaps are more of a raw image. 
-easily scalable
-high contrast
-easily manipulated
-raw file
-good for photographs
-rougher image
-prone to pixelation

Monday, October 18, 2010

Poster Itterations & Partner Critique

poster iterations

Self Evaluation

This post pertains to the images above.

West Bottoms.
I think the Photograph in the posters are appropriate for the west bottoms. The posters that emphasize the openness of the west bottoms using white space are the strongest conceptually and formally. There are a few issues that need to be resolved all around though. The Typography still hasn't met the level of integration I would like. In hindsight the type may be too powerful. Not only is it competing with the line study and photograph, its too overpowering for the west bottoms. Alignment needs to be considered more in type. A possible solution is to make the type quieter by changing the size, weight, and breaking up "west bottoms."
I'm pretty excited with where these posters are going. In particular the first Paseo iteration. There are some formal issues in that need to be resolved. The main one is that the line study is starting to be lost. Solidifying the line study progressively as we near the bottom of the poster is a sufficient solvent. Also playing with the size will create more visual interest. Playing with size will introduce new compound shapes. These compound shapes need to be reflected in the type as well. Breaking up the letter forms in the same treatment as the pairing will enhance cohesion as well.
The main issue is that the pairing is stuck in a box. This makes the open space awkward and doesn't allow the type to interact with the composition as much as it should. The idea of introducing hand written or humanistic type is interesting. Often it can come off as cheesey and bad design but theres a time and place. I feel like using hand written text is a way to capture the characteristics of the neighborhood. We will see if it woks out. As the process moves on I am going to make iterations using both mechanical type and humanistic type. The more variation the better. Manually extending the lines in the pairing is another way to improve the composition. Conceptually this poster is interesting. Lately there has been some people in the community pushing the idea of unity and progression. Some organizations have been trying to improve the situation of Troost. Both improving the physicality of the neighborhood as well as the attitude of the community. The continuation between the pairing hints at the unification between neighbors. The broken blinds speak to the hardships of a lot of the people in the neighborhood. Juxtaposing this photo with the curvilinear line study begins to make the composition feel progressive in form. The idea of Progress is being pushed in the area of Troost.

I am excited to see what comes of these three concepts in the next round of iterations.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Round two of monogram proposals. There are 5 iterations of three different concepts. The first is based on the idea of Chlorine being compatible with nearly every other element. The C and the L are based around Futura Book. The second concept is the fluidity in state. It is used as a gas, liquid, and solid. Once again its always with another element so the letterforms are connected. The last concept is based mainly on form. I wanted to use the letterforms to create interesting positive and negative space.