Weekly Summary (Week 2)

This week (week 2) was all about design. We were still focused on photography more or less but this week was all about setting up the pictures/looking at the design side of things. This week started out with a quick read: The Vignelli Canon. This was a great way to start the week as it laid out a groundwork for design and what to look for. It explored so many aspects and really taught me a lot about what to look for because to be honest I knew very little about design. You can see my post about the Canon here.

Next we will look at the assignments I had for this week. The first of which was an assignment where I had to design a tattoo that described my personality. This was a very fun assignment as I love tattoos. I designed the tattoo off of a quote that I like to live by: “Day By Day”, and then I use a couple different backgrounds for that assignment. You can check that out here.

Next I moved onto the required assignment for the week which was to take a pre-existing image and change the setting that it is happening in. This assignment was funny because you can really change the feeling of the image by changing the background. My friends thought they were posing for a picture, but instead found a visitor in the background! Link to the assignment here.

The next assignment was a funny idea to me. We had to pick some background and put text on top of it that was basically the opposite of the image. So in this case, I took a picture of a calming beach and put text on top of it that makes you stressed. Link to that here.

This next assignment was probably my favorite from the whole week. For this assignment we needed to choose a movie and a scene and put a quote from the movie over this. One of my favorite movies ever is Blues Brothers so naturally I chose this movie and one of the most famous quotes form that movie. My thought process for this assignment was to make a kind of wallpaper that could be used later on (it is now the wallpaper on my computer!). You can check out how I did that here.

This final assignment was my second favorite to do. In this assignment we had to make a wallpaper and incorporate DS 106 in there. I made 3 wallpapers for this post and designed them to be very minimalist. I didn’t want the DS 106 to be distracting, nor did I want the background to be. I think they are a great balance of both. Check them out here.

Next came my two GIF assignments. For the first I chose to do my favorite band, X Ambassadors, and turn a video of them in concert into a GIF. You can see that process here. The other GIF assignment was to take a GIF and reverse it. I thought it would be super funny to do something eating and I ended up finding this perfect GIF of a hamster stuffing carrots into his mouth. I reversed it and the outcome was great. Check that out here.

The final assignment I did this week was the design blitz. This was a very fun assignment for many reasons and I actually preferred it over last weeks photo safari. You can read my reaction to the design blitz here. After that you can check out my breakdown of the design blitz and my analysis of it here.

Throughout the week I did four Daily Creates:

This one was designed to make our own time magazine cover. I was recently in New Jersey when the government was shut down so I decided to make mine about the man himself, Chris Christie.

The next one was to use a PNG of a cracked screen phone and put something in the background to show what cracked it. I thought it would be cool to show the last picture you took, which in this case was the view from the top of a skyscraper. Before your phone plummeted to the ground.

The next was to take a picture of something familiar from a new perspective. I thought about it and decided that very rarely do I see my car from the passenger side. So I decided to do mine about that.

My final daily create was to create a motivational poster. I couldn’t figure out if this was supposed to be funny or actually inspirational so I just went with inspirational. I chose one of my favorite inspirational quotes which is “Do what you can’t”. I tried to make the text look like it was floating in the clouds above the Golden Gate Bridge.

All in all, this week was a huge learning experience. I got to use Photoshop a ton more. I got to read and learn about many aspects of design. I got to try out new editing styles and techniques. It was very fun. I definitely feel that I completed assignments this week much better than last week. I now understand more how this class rolls and how assignments should be completed. I tried to put a lot more instruction and background thought in my posts. The design blitz was both the most rewarding and most challenging assignment this week. At first, when I was walking around with my camera, I couldn’t really find many examples of the design aspects (probably because I was missing them). But after I came back and read more about what they were and what to look for, they were much easier to spot. Plus, through that reading I got to learn much more about design and the aspects of it. The most fun assignment this week was the movie assignment. Making a wallpaper based off of one of my favorite movies and movie quotes was so fun. If I were to do anything differently it would be the Are we there yet assignment. It was my first time really using the background eraser and the magic eraser. I used the magic eraser a little too much and kinda got into trouble. I would only use it a little next time and use more of the regular eraser. I really try to stay away from politics in a lot of my work. I let it creep through a little bit with one of my daily creates, but the situation was so funny I just had to! All together, this week was very fun and definitely to most I have learned so far in the class. Looking forward to next week!

Design Blitz Analysis

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.

Design Blitz

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!

Turn A GIF Into A FIG

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.

Favorite Musician Gif

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!

DS 106 Wallpaper

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!

Favorite Movie Quote

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!

Contradiction Creation

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.