Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NA: Project 8 Critique Statement

In my interactive diagram, I have explored the use of a designer controlled structure, employing occasional interactive elements. Most of the interactive elements grow/ enlarge when hovered over, peaking interest and prompting the user to click on them. By using flash, any information that could not be fit into the bubbles in my print versions could be contained, better relating to the shapes, and creating less clutter. While my schematic does not employ code, uses rollover and movie clips to keep the user interested, and to keep the animations moving quickly. Moveable buttons also keep the user going so they don't become too bogged down with any one particular button. Color transitions have also cut my schematic in half. In the printed version, feedback section had to be another linear segment, much like the first blue to orange length. However, since in a digital medium color transition is simple, the same could be accomplished in a single length by changing the colors, and heading the opposite direction.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NA: Information Project Response/ What I learned.

In my information project for Narrative, I set out to create an instructional video to operate a Holga 120 CFN. We've done demo's and went roughly over creating and moving text in space in after effects. However, after the past lomo projects, I've been using analog methods and combining them with digital methods to create interesting effects. So with this project I decided to shoot my text as print with a video camera, and then bring that in on top of my recorded video.

In the process of filming Casey (My subject for handling the Holga), stability was a major issue. Walking with a camera creates a lot of shaking, so I set out to learn to make a poor mans steady cam. Essentially I filled 3 water bottles and attached them to the legs of my tripod. This greatly reduced the shaking when lifting it with the camera on top.

Shooting the text on paper creates a lot of shadows. Other than levels, I learned to use white clean surfaces (paper in this case) behind my white subject matter. With less shadows in the recording, there were far less shadows flying around the screen. I particularly enjoyed the areas where the cameras focus blurred the type. If I had created the text in after effects, it all would have felt too perfect and clean.

In the process of overlaying the text and video, I had to cut the video. I learned that shooting from multiple sides of a subject can create for interesting jump cut transitions, and can help cut down time that would have taken for the camera to move or pan around the object. The text movement was a learning experience as well. Rather than trying to line its movement up perfectly with Casey's movement in the video, I learned that letting the movements be drastically different helped to create contrast. This was essential after choosing to pause the video in the places where text entered the project. In this way, the type wouldn't distract from the video, and the text could be easily taken in and legible. The relationship in the narrative in terms of timing was a difficult process as well. I didn't want it to feel to start and stop, so in several cases, I learned to combine several type segments together, eliminating a few stops and letting the video continue for a while. That jumpiness also got in the way of some of the cut transitions in the audio editing.

The text acts as the instruction in the video, and the video sort of confirms the text or the action the text was trying to convey. I thought this relationship was more interesting than having them run simultaneously and stopping the video also creates a reference to photography.

Throughout the project, I was greatly limited by the recourses. It occurred to me too late into the project that I should have started finding a lomo to use at least a week earlier. I could have shot and had more time for editing had I done that. I was also bonded to the Media centers schedule in using the hd sony handicam. Having more time in the check out would be nice.

In the integration process, I've learned basic green screen idiology, though I did it with black and white. It was an interesting experiment in using the switches/ modes in after effects to knock out flat planes of color. I am frustrated that I couldn't figure out how to make my type white rather than black after applying those effects. I hope to figure out what went wrong in future projects. Perhaps it was just an error on after effects part.

Throughout the narrative, the contrast between video and text times was a key part in the informative process. Keeping the 2 channels separate but still integrated was a great learning experience in creating multilevel narrative.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Visual Language: Shannon and Weaver Model Reading Response

In Visual Communication From Theory to Practice, they first cover the Shannon and Weaver communication model. At the time, it was created in relation to telecommunications, but was found to be applicable to all forms of communication. 

Their model was extremely simple, with a spot for Source, Transmitter, Noise, Receiver, and Destination. There was no section for feedback, which they continue to describe as a necessity in design and advertising. The presence of a beta testing stage allows for a test run, a period to iron out the wrinkles in the project. It also is a great way to gauge public reactions, and to take estimates on statistics like sales figures and the effectiveness of the message being conveyed. It's much like public speaking. When giving a lecture, it helps to see nods or other bodily gestures as feedback to know that the audience is understanding the message. If there is no feedback, you can't know that your message is getting lost, or going over someone's head. 

The noise was also an interesting section. Listening to a professor talk while they make far to many hand gestures is difficult. The extra fluff or stuff that gets lost creates a barrier that the viewer or listener must deal with. They mention the arts and crafts movement and the movement away from redundancy. This moved into modernism and the push for minimalism. Function over aesthetic. However, in transmission, and the sending of information, redundancy helps to cement an idea or get it across faster. This I agree with to an extent. There is certainly an extent to where repetition of an element is too much. Repetition generally causes a design to lose it's initial sparkle. 

Visual Language: The Berlo Model Reading Response

Berlo's model was by far more interesting to me. There were many details not included in "A Communication Primer".

The model starts with listings of elements beneath the 4 main parts of Sender, Message, Channel, Receiver.

Sender: Communication skills, knowledge, social system, culture, attitudes

Message: Elements + structure, content, treatment, code

Channel: Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting

Receiver: Communication skills, knowledge, social system, culture, attitudes

Sender and Receiver both share the same qualities because they are essentially the same, especially when feedback becomes part of the scenario. We are all sending and receiving data constantly. The schematic still focuses on the relationship between a 1 on 1 sending receiving situation rather than a mass of people.

In the section under Sender, which also applies to receiver, Particularly thought the section on communication skills was the most important. The other 4 seemed new to me though, and they were interesting reads. The knowledge of the content that is being sent or received is completely imperative. If I were to receive an essay written by a scholar on a subject I wasn't familiar with, the terminology and level of writing would soar over my head, creating noise and distance between me and the message. The same can be said for social systems. With each generation comes a new barrage of slang terms. These words become noise between that generation and other generations without understanding of these terms. The writing style also fits in here. If I were to read The Divine Comedy, the writing style and wording particular to that time period are going to become a barrier between me and the content I'm interested in.  Attitudes also become a big deal. If the receiver has no interest in the message being sent to him, such as spam mail in our inboxes, then the end result will be far from what the sender originally intended for that person to receive. The most interesting point however was his mentioning of touch used in social communication between the British and the French. Touch in that situation becomes an additional level beyond spoken word and even body language. With multiple channels conveying information, the message can be both more concrete and easily understood, or distorted by misunderstanding of the channel and it's intentions behind it.

The Message section explained the importance of encoding. In the encoding process, the sender must consider which code will be used, how it will be encoded (in order), and with what means. If using images, icons, symbols, or anything based in a worldwide acceptance of meaning, the sender has to consider with what extra information and contexts that message will bring to different cultures. Hierarchy also plays a major role. The elements that become placed in front of the others by aesthetic techniques or subject matter are going to come across to the viewer in the same way, assuming that the receiver has the same level of interest in the elements.

The Channel is a very broad section. The fact alone that he classified channel in terms of our senses limits this down exponentially. I loved that. Rather than rooting channel in what is currently available to us, such as television, computers, verbal language, writing and books, music, etc., the senses keep this nearly limitless amount of possibilities as a simple and timeless experience. Rather than you experiencing the message through email or what's on your screen, you receive the message through sight of the information on the screen, which is being encoded to you through the eye.

Visual Language: A Communications Primer Response

So, starting off the next project, we have started studying communication, and the process of broadcasting information. This video on is a 1953 instructional film for IBM, explaining this process and the noise that interfeers with this transmision.

In todays world  communication is sent in infinite ways, be it by computer, music, television, by mouth, by body language, by icons and symbols, or even the signals your brain intercepts and decodes when interacting with any of these communications. This video did a great job of bringing this complex process into a simple diagrammatic experience.

Using this diagram, explains the information transfer process in a nutshell.

  1. The Sender has information
  2. The Sender encodes the information
  3. The Sender transmits or sends the information
  4. Various noise, be it audio, visual, physical, mental interfere and alter the information
  5. The Receiver gets the information
  6. The Information is decoded
  7. The Receiver then attempts to understand the information
However, it leaves out a major aspect of the broadcasting process. The feedback.  In a game of telephone, it's crucial that the beginning sender gets feedback, or return information from their receiver. This allows for mutual understanding unless the noise is so great that the feedback is also distorted. With feedback, a person can attempt to fix the noise, or the connection, and can correct any mistakes made in the encoding process that may have become noise itself. 

The simplicity of this diagram also leaves out many aspects of our decoding and encoding process. All aspects of our lives such as politics, culture, social constructs, etc. effect how we send and receive information. In the film the narrator mentions if you speak chinese to him and he can't speak or understand chinese, then he can't understand the message. Well beyond that, there is a further level of understanding. Through the process of understanding the chinese, there is a barrier or translation that must be overcome. A word in one language might have other meanings or contextual information that comes with it that the receiver misses out on. If you watch a Japanese move that has English subtitles or has been swapped with English dialogue, there is information lost in that transition of Japanese culture and linguistics to the English dialect. This can be said of any communication of differing culture or mode of communication that hasn't reached a worldwide agreement of meaning. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Visual Language: Tropicana Article Response

I thought this article brought up some valid questions that I've considered myself a few times. While it's true that a company should always look at new personas or ways to present themselves to the public, there are certain elements of ethics that can sometimes become a safety for the consumer to attach to. When a company has a reputation and has existed for a long time, people become comfortable with their advertising and design elements, and see them as a form of reliability. Companies like Morton's salt that have been around for many years barely change their design, sticking to that sense of nastalgia. However, it's also true that new design can real in a new generation of consumers. While I might not agree with Pepsi's new logo, the generation after me might, and it is securing new generations of consumers that keeps a company going. So while I do believe that keeping old design elements, I find myself a Coca Cola fan. Using their series of products, they've managed to use old design elements for classic products, while using newer ones for new products.

As for the quick feedback that these companies are receiving in terms of their newer designs, I find myself confused as to why companies like Tropicana aren't getting public response on their new advertising and design before spending the money to produce it. I understand the need for surprise to grab an audiences attention and to gain press, but we shouldn't ignore the need for constant criticism from peers and public groups.

Visual Language: SoyJoy Process Post

So the final critique for the modes of appeal project starts tomorrow. This post will show some of my process throughout the project and explain some of my concepts and reasonings.

To start out the project, we learned about the 3 modes of appeal, and how to use those effectively to persuade an audience. The project was to redesign a products packaging using the 2 modes of appeal that it isn't currently using, and to make it look better of course.

For my packages, I chose Mrs. Meyers basil liquid hand soap, SoyJoy fruit and nutrient bars, and Nescafe instant coffee. The 3 backages were different materials and had considerably different forms. Mrs. Meyers was using Ethos, SoyJoy was using Logos, and Nescafe was using Pathos.

After passing our package choices by Jamie, we started doing thumbnail sketches for each product, attempting to create concepts for the 2 modes of appeal that each product was not utilizing.

My best sketches seemed to be SoyJoy's. I think I might have been biased toward SoyJoy from the beginning, but the relation between fruit and the human body was an interesting concept. After deciding on which package we wanted (SoyJoy), then we began a round of digital iterations. I also couldn't find an online eps of SoyJoy's logo, so I had to vectorize it myself.

The Berry direction worked best for Pathos. The bright colorful and fresh fruit helps to pull at the consumers hunger and healthy habits, while the words represent the benefit of each berry eaten. For Ethos, I liked the direction using a SoyJoy bar in place of a fitness aid. This created an interesting dialogue between the importance of SoyJoy's nutrients, and the activities of reliable and consistent athletes. They create a sense of trust in the consumer that SoyJoy is a necessity to their diet/ work out routine.

The Berry direction however was too crowded, and very illegible. The full bleed imagery also didn't work well with SoyJoy's persona. The bike direction also didn't hit it off to well with my peers, and while working, the idea of being 100% U.S. grown popped into my head.

With our concepts firmly in hand, we began to fully design them, and mock them up in real size. The photographic images in both directions switched into vector artwork, using flat plains of color and representing the simplicity of ingredients that SoyJoy uses in their ad campaigns. I created my first box, designing around the sides for my Ethos direction, and I created many iterations for the placement of text and image for my Pathos direction.

The colors needed to be worked out for the Ethos direction. The soil was too dark, and the sky wasn't quite blue enough.

The side was also begging for a mission statement. I digitalized the nutrients table so that it would be clear, and because I thought it was a necessary experience. Overall, the design for the box went well, and I moved on to the final box. As for the Pathos direction, I chose a pale yellow, with luscious reds and magentas for the berries. Things popped, and I moved on to designing the final box for it as well, using the same template as the Ethos box. The berries were arranged in a sort of balancing act, reflecting the life of the consumer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prague Astrological Clock Tower Video: Projection

First let me say that this video's format is something completely new to me. I've never seen such a vertical format in an online embedded video. It's a little awkward on the screen and some of you might have to zoom out a bit, but it works wonders in terms of presentation. So I came across this video celebrating the 600 year anniversary for the Astrological Clock Tower in the city square of Prague. Some of the parts showed excellent use of physics and in terms of a linear narrative, it worked wonderfully. I can't wait to use projection in the environment someday.

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Visual Language: Digital Compositions

So, with a handful of concepts from each mode, we have started our digital compositions.

The first 3 are for my pathos (emotional) appeal. They just went through critique, and I've decided to go with with first direction. Assigning adjectives that we all want in our lives to delicious looking berries or fruit. The appocoliptic imagery was too random, and didn't necessarily speak to SoyJoy. The 3rd direction was also rejected. It was meant to convey a sense of concentration. Showing berries in berries to promote the idea of a lot of fruit in a small package.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Visual Language: Class Critique and Concept Directions

So, returning to SoyJoy. After my meeting with Raynoldo during our mini critique last friday, I've narrowed down to the 6 best directions to go to. (At least from the ones I've already created. Some new ones might reveal themselves as I work.) These 6 are obviously divided as 3 concepts for each of the two modes I'll be using, which were Pathos and Ethos. The bullet points following each concept are the ways Ray and I thought would work well graphically.

Photography or Illustration will appeal to the consumers emotions rather than vector lines and shapes. Perhaps even a combination of the two. Maybe the SoyJoy bar and the rest of the image are different rendering methods?)

1. The human figure, male or female, placed in a dramatic scene, but armed with a SoyJoy bar in their pocket, hand, somewhere on their person. (If rendered analog, charcoal might be nice, or some other rough tool. The lighting should be dramatic in terms of the dangerous aspect, but the Person with the SoyJoy bar should be even and calm.)

  • Man standing before a destroyed city.
  • Woman Staring down a tidal wave or storm.
  • Kid staring down bullies.
  • Kid on a bike looking at a huge hill.
  • Cowboy with SoyJoy in place of gun.
  • Boxer staring down another boxer.

2. SoyBeans or fruit in place of an important body part or organ. (The human body will be photographic to help relate to the consumer, but the Soybeans/ Fruit might be rendered with something simple. Pen and ink, colored pencil, and Watercolor all sound interesting. I might even try drawing with the fruit or soybeans themselves and see what I can do with them.)

  • SoyBeans as 2 halves of the brain. (Think Healthy)
  • SoyBeans as Lungs 
  • Berries as Heart
  • SoyBeans as muscles

3. Using the fruit in SoyJoy to represent certain things we all want; Happiness, Strength, Stability, Relaxation, Health, Simplicity, etc. (Photography or a medium with intense colors.)

For the SoyJoy brand, I think that an all photographic approach would establish more credibility with the consumer, and really get the point across of SoyJoy brand bars being a health supplement and betterment to someone's life, fit or not.

1. The SoyJoy bar finds itself in place of some fitness tool or aid.

  • In place of Ipod for runner.
  • In place of water battle holder on bicycle.
  • SoyBean in place of Yoga ball
  • In place of weights.
  • In place of punching bag.
  • In place of jumprope handles. 

2. SoyJoy bar partially buried in farm soil. (Grown on U.S. soil.)

McCoy Lecture

The McCoy lecture reviewed ways of creating and conception an idea, whether that be in writing ideas on post it notes, or working in an open collaborative space. It was very relative to all of our classes, but certainly visual language first and foremost. We were taught to create ideas in a quick and analog process, using paper, pencil, really whatever is around, and Mr. McCoy brought similar processes to light. Particularly those pertaining to prototyping, and creating simple "props" of our projects in order to simulate the experience, and perhaps better it for the final product. Cardboard and duck-tape were an excellent example, since you can cut and work with them anywhere in a quick and rough fashion. 

He also talked to us about going out and experiencing the project yourself. Now this was geared toward his role as an industrial designer for sure, but it could be said of any part of design. In his example, he was reinventing the shovel, and in order to gain more footing on the product he was redesigning, and what could be bettered about it, he would ideally go out an dig a hole, using the shovel. I recently did a presentation over Tronic studios. In one of their video pieces, they were recreating the surrounding environment for a 57 story tower. In order to make the video experience seamless with reality, Tronic set out to the rooftops to laser tape measure the distances between all the buildings and other elements of the surrounding area around the tower. This is a level of dedication and craft that I will certainly try to create in my work process. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Visual Language: Benneton Reading

In these readings on Benneton, I found the transformation of the companies message to be an amazing thing. While it's true that their advertising has carried heavy messages, some too hard for people to swallow or accept, Benneton's decisiveness in what they stand for creates powerful imagery, imagery that someone will stop and look at, regardless if they like it or not. While some might hate this tactic to be used as advertising, I embrace the idea. Sure it's rough, but the effectiveness to which the company gets it's viewers attention is well worth it. The David Kerby ad really pushed the importance of aids close to home. In a world where advertising is everywhere, standing out is quite difficult, and the slap in the face sort of advertising they've created over the years has become it's own sort of entity in advertising. One that's not afraid to say "This is happening" and we don't care if you like it or not. I also believe that their strategy of release is brilliant. As they release the images, Benneton's work becomes stronger, and more accepted with those companies or areas that refuse to release their ads. Benneton really has become the epitome of a picture equals a thousand words.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Visual Language: SoyJoy

So I've chosen to design for the SoyJoy packaging. I'll be using Ethos and Pathos for my modes of appeal. I'm not certain as to my concepts yet, still sketching, but I'll upload some scans of my thumbnails later.

Some adjectives I've put together to sum up the SoyJoy experience:

  • Wholesome
  • Healthy
  • Simple
  • Moist
  • Fruity
  • Bold
  • Succulent
  • Complete
  • Tempting
  • Uncomplicated
  • Sumptuous
  • Baked
  • Fresh
  • Hearty
  • Lean
  • Organic
  • Whole
  • Luscious
  • Light
  • Natural
Hopefully using these adjectives will bring some ideas to the surface, or at least influence how I take any photos of fruit in the future. I personally like the idea of keeping the fruit to the minimal, but the fruit is a major selling point and attraction for the hungry consumer. So we'll just have to see.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Narrative: Project 5

This is my final file for the project 5 turn in (formerly refereed to as "the combination".)

Narrative: The combination from Brandon Lyon on Vimeo.

By printing out the text and recording it digitally, I was able to create transitions that give space between the elements of text and audio. I was originally afraid that both elements couldn't run at the same time, however, with these new little breaks created by the fades and focusing, I found that my brain at least, could take them both in at the video's pace. I originally had the text filmed straight on, but I enjoy the angled recording I did later. It makes it a little more dynamic, and it shows bits of the other slides. Since I wanted the printed text to relate to the linear strip of film, showing the other text brings simultaneity and foreshadowing of the next slide of text.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Type3: The type mailer

So in this new project for type3, we have to choose 2 existing typefaces that play well together, and create a type mailer that would hypothetically sell these to graphic designers. The mailer is a folded poster that would be placed in mailboxes and alert the designers to a new typeface or typefaces that they should buy.

So I chose Univers and Meridien, both typefaces designed by Adrien Frutiger. They are both highly adaptable, and similar in form while still contrasting in their little details.

So this is what I have so far for the poster side. I'll be printing it today to see where my folds hit, and that might change where I place my text. Can't have a fold running through paragraphs of type.

Narrative: The combination

So following the film canister project, and the history of lomography audio project, I've been tasked with combining these 2 media. This is certainly a learning experience in taking an existing project and reinventing it in a different format to work well with another existing project.

Now my dilemma is that I have text and audio, and they are both on different subjects. Can the human brain sift through 2 different channels of information and not become completely lost and thrown off?

So I'm taking the text from the film canister and taking the text into flash, where I can pair it with the audio. I'm hoping that by creating pauses in each of the 2 channels for the other to exist, alternating the channels if you will, that the confusion won't occur. Once the project is finished, I'll upload the flash file. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Visual Language Project 3: Packaging and Modes of Appeal

So here we are at project 3. Unfortunately I didn't get selected for the Jazz poster's that went to the folly, but maybe I'll have better luck next time a contest comes around. Anyway, we've moved on from Rhetorical tropes to a new thing known as "Modes of Appeal".

We've learned there are 3 of these:
1. Emotional (Pathos)
2. Logic (Logos)
3. Ethics (Ethos)

These are essentially channels employed in just about everything to appeal to us/ grab our attention. These are essential in package design, and that brings us to project 3 of the Visual Language course.

For this project we had to choose 3 different packaging solutions, 1 representing an example of each of the Modes of Appeal. We are later going to redesign the packaging for these products, using a different mode. This won't be redesigning the container necessarily, just the graphics on the packaging to better sell the product, and to appeal to the consumer in a different way.

So for my emotional piece, I chose this Nescafe Classic ground coffee product. The jar is glass, and it relies on a simple label to carry it's information. The imagery itself is what's doing the appealing. The coffee and warm tones rely on our wakened emotional state brought by coffee and the alert warm sensation it brings for our morning. It serves as a perk up and emotional lifter throughout the day, and the packaging uses these emotions to pull in it's customers.

Intended Audience: A bilingual group of average citizens who need a warm wake up routine in the morning to fall back on. This could be anyone from employed to students to the teenager trying their first cup. Nescafe, owned by Nestle, uses an image of a warm cup of coffee to appeal to the cold groggy morning individuals who need a little help to get started each day. The fact that it's an instant product also appeals to our impatience or short time for preparation before work and events. The warm tones give a sensation of happiness and readiness.

For logic, I chose a box of Soyjoy brand health bars. These contain many nutrients and fruits, and are formulated for a healthy body. The practical and simple packaging combined with the wholesome ingredients and message target an audience with a logical solution to a healthier body.

Intended Audience: A consumer seeking a healthier body using simple and noncomplex ingredients. Due to the nature of the packaging, they will likely be a gym member or fitness person of some sort. The packaging is simple and heavily geared toward the logos (logic) mode of appeal, with a lot of listed health information and they use the rounded square to bring in a similar formal element, almost making the package into an info-graphic sort of mode. The red color choices also relates to the berries used in the product, as well as promoting a genderless feel. Sure it's not a protein power mix, but it's not working in a female only way.

Finally, for my ethical mode packaging example, I chose a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day liquid hand soap. The label and it's type around the bottle are very simple, carrying a simple message. The soap is aromatherapeutic, cruelty free, never tested on animals, and are biodegradable. The bottle itself is made with 25% post consumer plastic. These little things mount in the consumers ethical center, and convince the buyer that they are doing mother nature a service by using Mrs. Meyer's products.

Intended Audience: The house mom who wants a simple clean product for daily use within the household and with her children. The green generation are also included, because of Mrs. Meyer's highly ethical production process, cutting out wastes, cruelty, and harmful cleaning agents. The packaging is simple and modern with it's use of text and how information is worded and ordered. Younger generations will be drawn in with message and package design, rather than the product only targeting an older adult audience. The packaging is partly recycled as well, furthering their mission for environmentally friendly and simple products. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lomography Project 2 Statement

In the 2nd part of the Lomography project series, I attempted to make a handout using only typography. It was a difficult process that I'm still struggling to get right. The idea was design a series of "slides" with information describing Lomography and it's 10 rules to a new and unknowing viewer. I used a variety of colors for the type, but mostly kept things simple. I was hoping for my final product to be a film strip of photos taken from the printed text. I learned that by taking shots showing text that would come up in the next shot. This would create a feeling of simultaneity. The film would also be semi-transparent so you could hold the negatives up to the light to make the colors brighter and see things beyond the text in cases like my light leak and vignette filter panels. In order to get the colors right on the negative however, I learned that I have to shoot the colors inverted. I also figured out that shooting a flat black comes out more transparent than shooting white in film negatives. I guess I still have a lot to learn however, when it comes to light and film photography. My indoor lighting conditions weren't getting enough light to my film, other than the film rolls that turned out way over exposed, possibly due to heat from last summer, 4 of my 6 rolls turned out with nothing on them, completely underexposed. So I'm still learning to deal with that and I'll be redoing the project as intended at a later date.

In the meantime, I printed the text and attached it to the inside spool of an empty film canister. This represents the analog film used in Lomography, and creates a user experience and reading order as the viewer pulls the strip out of the canister to read it. I enjoyed learning how to open a film canister and close it back up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Folly Poster Documentation

In our visual language course, the class was tasked with creating a poster for a select Jazz artist performing at the down town Folly theater. We were first paired with another peer, my partner was Vi Pham, and we began gathering research on their musical career, style, instrument, other band members, etc. Vi and I were assigned Jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani. It's been a great project, and I love his music. Nothing but possitive feedback.

To give you a bit of an idea to what we had to work with, here is a link to his music. Take a bit and enjoy.

So to start, we created a mood board. This essentially was a collection of imagery, colors, typography, just about anything to hint at the mood, style, pretty much what Sachal and his music "are". 

Colors that seemed to fit reflected his calm, modern, and experimental style. The typography followed suit in the forms of modern san serifs. Sachal has always been a city dweller, and has a very sophisticated air about him, so modern architecture also found its way in. The placement of the imagery could have used a bit of work looking back on it. Probably something more organic and free.

After the mood board, Vi and I split ways. The project was essentially a competition. The Folly will only choose one of the posters from our entire class to advertise at the Folly, so we all set off to make our own posters. From here, we created matrixes that taught us the use of rhetorical tropes such as Hyperbole, Pun, Metaphor, Synecdoche, Parody, Irony, and much more.

Using these tropes, we sketched little ideas for design motions in our posters. Here were a few of mine:

After a very specific and difficult critique of our matrixes, we set off to make 15 sketches of 3 of the matrix ideas in poster format.

The next critique for these sketches narrowed my focus down to my hyperbole idea. This was the last image with the microphone hidden in the landscape. The city really reflected his big voice in a big city, while remaining true to his modern/ indie style of Jazz. I also loved just how geometric a common building facade was. So with idea in hand, we started making digital iterations of the poster. The media used to make the poster was left up to use. You could use water color, photography, pencil, the computer, whatever. I did a combination of photography and illustrator.

The illustrator posters ended up looking far to flat and didn't really speak much to Sachal's style and warmth. The photographic one however, with the lit up city turned out interesting. I had to create a small city out of paper and lit it from underneath. The microphone however, was not coming across as a microphone at all and there would have to be some major work done in terms of craft and typography. Further iteration was needed, so I began making more buildings and reshooting them with a better camera. I also checked out a real microphone and shot it under dark light to place it in the city separately.

In the first 3, I cut out the text and lit it to get the shadows. I wanted to use lighting to tie the text in with the lit city, but the text came out looking quite scary actually, and difficult to read. So I returned to vector and illustrator in the 4th poster, and continued with that same idea of putting text on a plane. It was certainly better, but still needed work, and the amount of buildings and such were far to many.

The color of the light was also a little stark, so I turned up the saturation a bit and added some warmth to the poster. I also separated the type in a name group and information group, so that the viewers eye were travel across the poster. I photographed light and shadow and brought it into the type so it wasn't such a flat plane of color and would mimic the darkness at the base of the buildings.

I ended up choosing the layout of the 1st poster, but there needed to be more space and some more treatment done to the type's perspective. The purple also wasn't speaking much to the mood boards colors, and didn't really represent Sachal all to well. So After going through greens (too alien), orange and reds (to monochromatic), I finally settled on blue, which I love.  Below is the final poster.

The blue really pops, and gives a feeling of sky with it's texture, which really speaks to me. The dark city representing Jazz clubs and the Jazz scene, while the sky represents Sachal Vasandani's airy and open music.

The final step was to make our posters black and white, and place them into new formats to fit in magazines and papers as an advertisement.

So the final critique is today, combined with a public showing of all of our posters. Many people including the faculty and a representative from the Folly will come and based on what they see, choose the poster they think works best. I'll let you all know if mine makes the cut. Thanks for reading!