To start off this week we looked at two titans of the industry, Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad. The first couple videos I watch were from an interview with Ira where he describes his craft. One thing that really stuck out to me was from the first interview. He was talking about how different written and oral storytelling are. With written story telling, you have a topic sentence followed by facts which form an outline. He then talks about audio story telling and the outline is completely different. The first “building block” is the anecdote. Some kind of story or sequence of events that gives momentum to your story. Then after this is the moment of reflection. This is really the “why?”. This explains why you are listening to the story and gets you thinking about it. In an interview with Jad, he describes radio as a sort of “co-authorship”. I found this perspective on radio very interesting and one that I am agreeing more and more with. If somebody describes something to you, they can be as descriptive as they want, yet you are the one making the image in your head. They are providing a starting point and some vague details, but you are the one actually building the drawing in your head. And I find that very cool. I believe that is why radio is still around because no other form of information (other than books really) does that for you. TV just shows you the item. There is no room for creativity. They show you what it is and that is what you accept. So I have learned that to tell a story, you need to also tell why it is important. Just telling a fun or thrilling anecdote is great, but the listener will feel empty at the end. There needs to be a so-what?. Also, we should paint a picture for our listeners. There should be a sense of co-authorship when telling stories, because that is what makes it fun!
So this week our assignment was to keep our camera with us as we went about our business and to take pictures of things that represent specific design elements. This assignment was very fun and really gave me a good appreciation of the design elements because we had all week to look for them. So first things first, lets look at the four images I took.
So lets look at color first. This example was found as I was driving around Fredericksburg, and saw this person driving their R8. You wouldn’t even have to paint this car and it would still be a beautiful piece of German engineering but lucky for us it was a perfect pearl white. And Audi does a very interesting thing with this car and that is that the whole body of the car is one color, except for the side scoops by the doors. This (along with the body style), give it a very aggressive look. Also, since the scoops are closer to the back of the car than they are the back, it draws the viewers eye from the headlights towards the back, making you appreciate the whole car. That makes this a very effective use of color.
The second example came from what seems to be my daily trips to Target. I’ve been shopping there for many years and yet, I had never come to the realization (maybe I just didn’t care enough) that the Target logo is actually a target. The logo is designed to be a metaphor. Target wants to be your “target” for all of your shopping needs. And that was amazing to me. We never really think about the meaning behind logos but this unit has really made me think about that. I mean, if I showed you this image:
you would know immediately what store it was because we subconsciously look at it all the time and associate it with Target. That is why the Target logo is an amazingly effective at providing metaphors..
The next image was developed as I was sitting on the couch watching a nationals game. The image is of an Apple TV remote but this idea really applies to a lot of Apple’s products. A ton of apples designs are based around minimalism and making the most use of the space they have. The aluminum bodies and thin footprint of all of their products are a great example of this minimalism. They really show how something small and minimalistic can be extremely effective and I believe that marketing is partly why they are so successful.
The final image for the week I got when I was driving home for the weekend. This is actually an image from the drivers seat perspective of my dashboard. I believe Chevy does a great job of putting balance in not just mine, but a lot of their vehicles. The way the speedometer and tachometer are balanced on each side of the dash give it a very clean look. It is not busy, but it provides a great amount of information, therefore creating balance. So I can say that this balance in cars, makes marketing and selling them based on balance so effective.
Overall, this assignment was a very eye opening experience. Driving around and seeing so many design elements all around me was very cool. And moving forward I know have the tools to break down certain design choices and infer as to why companies went with them.
This design blitz was very fun! I carried my camera with me all week (in some cases my iPhone), and took pictures of things that I thought represented some aspects of design that we are studying. I will go more in depth analyzing the aspects of design that I found but the 4 I tried to focus on were color, metaphors/symbolism, minimalism, and balance. This challenge was very interesting as it was so different from last weeks assignment. Last week, we had 15 minutes to take pictures but this week we had all week. I feel that this really gave me more of an appreciation for the elements that I was looking for. Here is my link for the design blitz pictures, but if you go to the next blog post, you will see the pictures and an analysis of them!
For this assignment I had to reverse a GIF. I thought it would be kinda funny to do something related to eating (and maybe kinda gross), so I went on giphy.com to try to find something. I found a great GIF of a hamster stuffing his cheeks with carrots. From there I took it over to ezgif.com to use their reversing tool. The process is actually really simple. You just upload the GIF you want to reverse and it’ll do it for you, then you just download the reversed GIF. And just like that, I had a hamster pulling carrots out of his mouth instead of eating them! It ended up rather comical.
For one of my GIF assignments, I chose to do the band X Ambassadors. They have been one of my favorites for a long time now and I wanted to pay homage to that. Their lyrics for almost all of their songs have such deep meaning and can be analyzed for great discussion. They push positivity and self love and many other great things that inspire people. With that said, lets talk about actually creating the GIF. As for that, it was actually pretty simple. First I went on Youtube and found a video of them preforming their song Unsteady live. Then I went over to giphy.com and used their Youtube to GIF converter and that was about it. Just choose the start time and duration and you’re good to go. Enjoy the GIF and if you have some free time check them out, they’re a great group of guys!
For my final assignment I chose to make a DS 106 wallpaper (I actually chose to do 3). My wallpaper aesthetic is very minimalist and clean. I love high resolution wallpapers with not much going on. I don’t like to busy my work space. So my thought process was to create these wallpapers with that in mind. As far as creating them, I basically took a 4k resolution wallpaper from a google search. Something clean and simple, then chose a very clean font. In this case it was “century gothic”. And in Photoshop I just added some text related to the class somewhere in the image where it would catch the viewers eye, but not distract from the image as a whole. The only trick to the mountain one is to put the bottom of the text a little bit below the peaks of the mountains, and then just use the eraser tool to remove the bottom of the text. This gives it the illusion that it is in the background. Enjoy!
Blues Brothers has been one of my favorite movies for a while now. And this is without a doubt one of the most famous lines from the movie. It is a classic line that many people know and love so that is why I chose it for this project. My dad was the person who first showed me the movie and I loved all of it. The cars, the humor, etc. My thought proccess for this assignment was to make a wallpaper that could be used for desktop backgrounds. The first step in this project was finding an image for the background. I chose this red and blue version of the main characters. I then started with a blank canvas in Photoshop which I made the size of my screen resolution (in most cases this is something like 1920×1080). I colored that canvas brown. Then I put the graphic of the main characters right in the middle of the canvas. I then put the quote on top of the graphic and chose a font that reminded me of the retro time that the movie was set in. I put the final words of the quote on the bottom because it seemed kinda empty and that was it!
This was the third assignment that I chose to do. This was another one that was relatively easy to do in Photoshop. First I chose a background, in this case it was a peaceful beach. Then I simply used the text tool to place text on top of the background. The design around this assignment was to create a stark contrast between the two things. The first was the background. I picked a beach which most people have fond memories of. The image has cool and calming colors in it which help add to the calming nature of it. When I think of serenity I think of sitting at the beach listening to waves crash. Then I put some text on top of it which completely contradicts the background. In this instance, I chose “You have so much work to do” (which is completely true!). The worry of having work to do and the stress it adds contradicts the calming nature of the beach.
For my required assignment this week, I had to take an existing picture and change the environment in which it was happening. For me, this assignment was more of a learning process than anything else. First I had to take the original image (which is a picture of 3 of my friends) and remove the background. I used a mixture of the magic eraser and background eraser tools in Photoshop to do this. This was tough though because the magic eraser makes a kind of educated guess about what is actually the background. If your background is not pure white, it will usually make a mistake somewhere. So next I had to use the regular eraser and zoom in very close to the image to remove all the stuff that the magic eraser could not get. Next I put something different in the background and that’s about it! In this case I thought it would be funny to have something in the background that you would not expect. I was searching around and found this pic where the bear looked like he was waving and thought it was perfect! In the future I may not use the magic eraser at all. You can see where it deleted his hand a bit and avoiding the magic eraser would alleviate this issue. My friends were posing for a picture and now they have a visitor in the background!
This assignment really peaked my interest. I’ve always lived by a motto that is very special to me: “Day By Day”. Most of my personality is really centered around this idea. When I wake up every day, I have until midnight to worry about. I deal with the things that I can in that amount of time. I need not stress about something happening days or months from now. If you are stressing out, start with what you can do now until the end of the day. Then start it up again tomorrow. So for this assignment, I chose to use that as my tattoo. I went online and looked for a font that I like. I picked the one called Absolute. I liked the flowing nature of it while at the same time being bold with the lines. This is what I would get if it was a tattoo.
Next I added another layer in Photoshop and tried out some different colored backgrounds and the result is pretty interesting. The red one adds a edge to it. It makes it rather dark and mysterious. The blue makes it very calming and peaceful. The green is bright and cheerful. And finally the black has almost an adverse effect to the original image. It is overwhelmingly dark and really isn’t very upbringing.
Overall, this was a very fun assignment. And who knows, maybe I’ll have to head downtown to Sorry Mom and get this one done!