Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DesignVerb: Soap Leaves

DesignVerb is always bringing my attention to the coolest examples of design innovation in everyday life and today is no exception. Today I found the most beautiful and dainty leaves made from soap, which you would never have guessed by looking at them.

I'm just shocked by how real they look. I wonder what they look like after you use them, or if they dry your hands out. Maybe something this beautiful was only meant to be looked at? But then, why make leaves out of soap?

Response: Bringhurst

So, this week we were asked to read The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, and I gotta say, it's overwhelming. I already consider my use of typography to be my greatest weakness in designing and reading about the minute details that go into the formation of every letter didn't calm my fears that I know nothing about type.

I do think that taking the time to get all the way through the book would be a good investment in my future, so I will power on, but I'll admit that Confessions of a Shopaholic, which is currently on my nightstand, is a lot more inviting.

You Can't Miss: What has Vogue done to Adele's figure?

Women's magazines, why do you do this to us?

The Cut brought to my attention this photo of singer-songwriter Adele from Vogue.

Adele is a great singer who happens to be beautifully curvaceous, which you wouldn't know from this photo. Her positioning, clothing, the lighting and the undeniable use of photo shop have transformed Adele's body. What I'm still unsure about is where to place the blame? The stylists, art directors, photographers?

What makes matters worse is the dek featured under the photo: "At 20, the voluptuous, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Adele translates her passion for soulful sixties divas into a captivating style. Hamish Bowles delights in her unvarnished truth."

Really, Vogue? Read their article here.

And for those of you who have never heard Adele, check out the song that made me fall in love with her:

Critique: Week 8

This week has been all about Meredith (the project, not the TA).

With the help of Kirby and Jenn, I finally got my feet wet in Dreamweaver. It took a couple hours, but they showed me the ins and outs, and I am now confident inputting content on my own! I am starting to get really excited about the way our final project is turning out!

Unfortunately, I can't show all the hard work I have done at this point. Someday the world will see...

Oh, I also applied for another job this week: an art internship with National Geographic (what can I say, I aim high).

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Here is the promised link to the Books' department story "The Anatomy of a Superhero" with my illustration of Vox's own superhero, Voxman.

Unfortunately, the online version doesn't have the fun blurbs I wrote to accompany my illustration, but it does have a create-your-own-superhero web feature. So go and create a Voxman of your own based on my illustration (you do have to scroll down to the bottom of the page)!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DesignVerb: Green Design

I love sustainability in all forms (just ask my roommates who find my obsession with recycling slightly difficult to live with) and apparently so does DesignVerb!

They posted this article about Project Green Bottle, which makes plastic bottles with a chemical that will allow them to break down over time, thus being biodegradable. This is awesome because, as DesignVerb! points out, it factors in the reality that despite the ease of recycling plastic bottles they often end up in landfills. Way to go Project Green Bottle!

Critique: Week 7

This week, I finished up my superhero illustration. It will be on the Books page of Vox tomorrow as a diagram, as well as online at Vox Magazine in a fun interactive way. Special thanks to Meredith who taught me how to execute a flash project like this one! I'll put up a link to that when it is posted on the web site, but I kind of want to keep people in suspense, so I'm not going to even put up what's in print (okay, I'll post it after Vox comes out tomorrow for those of you who aren't in Columbia).

I also worked on logo designs for a health and wellness program here at the University of Missouri. I really enjoyed this project because it was completely different from anything else we have been assigned this semester, and it forced us to examine our design process, which turned out to be very helpful for me. Here are my favorite concepts out of the 1o that I executed, but they will need to be reworked before the final submission:

You Can't Miss: Rhymes with Twee Cards

I think it is helpful for me to see all the places that my design education might take me (especially when jobs are so sparse). Here's an example of something that all of us are clever, and talented, enough to do with our design skills post graduation (even if its just for fun).

I saw this on Daily Candy, so thanks to Sarah for drawing my attention to this fun web site! I subscribe to both the "Everywhere" articles and the "Chicago" articles, but check out the other cities that they have for one to suit your fancy.

This morning, they featured the handmade cards of Rhymes with Twee. The designer is so funny and does things like put guitar picks on the front with a message that says "I'm glad I picked you."

If any of you send someecards, these are kind of the flesh and blood (or paper and glue) version of those snarky messages. Check out the full article here!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Response: 20/10 Assignment

I found today's discussion of our different processes for designing to be really interesting. I think it really helped me to talk about some of the things I do when designing to go forward in the most beneficial way, and at this point in the semester, we do have a way of doing things and some rituals that will get us into trouble if we don't take note of them.

I know that I over analyze my designs (like I said, I over analyze everything thanks to my father), and I don't know that I will ever stop. However, I think this assignment was a really good one for me because it allowed me to systematically go through my ups and downs when designing. It also showed me that behind one bad idea is a potentially really good one- that is, if I don't get stuck on the bad one.

After our discussion, I came home to read my email and found an ironically appropriate article in my daily email from The Cut. They featured an interview with fashion designer Alber Elbaz, who designs for Lanvin. He talks about personal struggles with his weight, but also his low self confidence, which causes him to think that everything he designs is bad. They wrote: "Despite the continuous outpouring of praise, he is a perfectionist who always thinks his work sucks, which it never does."

Lately, I have been thinking that everything that I design sucks too! But its comforting to know that even the most successful people have doubts about projects that are so close to their hearts. If nothing else, I will just have to design more because inevitably I will like something... right?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

DesignVerb: "Everything's amazing and nobody's happy"

DesignVerb featured some REALLY awesome things this week from the world of design. This, although not entirely design related, is probably one of the best things I have seen in a while. This guy makes some great points about how we should all stop complaining (and this after my last post where I complain about waiting in lines... oops).

It won't let me embed, so sorry this link will have to do. Oh, and did I mention it's a clip from Conan?? That should entice some of you...

Response: True/False

On Friday, I attended my first ever True/False film. It's crazy to think that I have lived in Columbia for four years now and never been (I guess in my defense I was out of the country last year at this time). The film itself was really cool, but the event, well let's just say there are some things I would do differently.

One of my major disappointments was the difficulty of getting tickets. I know a lot of us had no idea how to get tickets in the first place, which for me was a simply a lack of investigation, but I felt as though it was pretty complicated. I couldn't go stand at the Artisan in the middle of a Thursday, and I bet other people with full time jobs would have the same complaint. It seemed to me that you really had to be in the know, or know someone who is (which is how I ended up getting my ticket- thank you Sarah).

We ended up waiting in a line, to then wait in line for tickets, which seemed a little redundant to me. Oh well, I got one, so I probably shouldn't be complaining, but I couldn't help but think if it were a little easier, more people would come out and see the films. The point of the festival is for people in Columbia to have their eyes widened by these amazing documentaries, and I can't help but think that the people who can't get tickets, or don't know how are the ones that really NEED to see them and be exposed to something outside of the bubble of Columbia.

I know that I would have loved to have seen more films over the course of the weekend, but all the waiting and lining up really deterred me from checking out more. Well, that and the price, but that's a whole other post...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Critique: Week 6

This past week, I finalized my Global Journalist spread. I wasn't entirely happy with it because I didn't think it was my most creative work, but it is always nice to have work from different publications to show your ability to adapt to different styles. At the last minute, I ended up designing a second spread. It was pretty similar, but it put my mind at ease:

I also worked on and sent in an application for a internship with Southern Progress Corporation. I had an open interview with a representative from SPC when they came to campus last semester and fell in love with the opportunities their company had to offer. Ultimately, I applied for work in several different departments, but my heart is set on working in any of their art departments. I had to send in design samples, so I am glad to have had portfolio critiques last week in class. Thanks guys for offering your opinions just when I needed them!

This week, I have been working on a superhero illustration for Vox that will also be an interactive component online. I am really excited about this project because it will give me some experience working in flash and will definitely add another dimension to my portfolio. I will post it next week when it is complete.