Friday, October 29, 2010


Just when you thought Johnny Rad's couldn't get any cooler....

Skaraoke! My new favorite word, verb, and holiday activity-who's in???

Feeling Lost.../ Stream of consciousness problem-solving

We've reached the middle of a really intense semester and I already feel like I've lost my steam.  This campaign project is throwing me for a loop and now I'm scared that all of the other projects to come will throw me too! Aaaah!!!

I know that the problem with my social cause campaign is a lack of clear focus but I just can't seem to nail it.  I started with the "fast food is bad you shouldn't eat it" approach and then veered into "do you know what you're eating?" abandoning fast food altogether.  The new direction is a lot better than the fast food campaign was but it's still completely unfocused.  Let's look at the pieces I have so far:

Ok, so I think the kids are out.  Childhood obesity is really a whole other campaign.  So if I'm focusing on knowing where the food comes from the science lab is good with tweaks, the factory is good but needs to be less concentration camp-y. Or does it?? These factory farms are basically concentration camps for cows and pigs and chickens so why not link the two? Or is that too scary??  Probably yeah-ok, so we'll keep the factory but make it more factory like.

So now my two biggest problems are 1: my copy, which is a big hot mess; and 2: my third piece.

Ok, so the point of this campaign is to make people want to be more aware of where their food comes from.  I'm doing this by showing places where the majority of food is produced that just doesn't seem quite right.  Food should come from farms and gardens, not factories and science labs.  Where else isn't quite right?

Ooh, what if I compared and contrasted? I know we shouldn't show cause and effect but compare and contrast might be what I need to do.  Like if I showed a factory next to a sunny farm.  Showed a garden next to a science lab?  A happy butcher next to mean looking executives??

To be continued...

Show & Tell/ Favorite Words

Last week in class, we had to come prepared with a list of our favorite words.  I found that this was an interesting little project for a number of reasons.  For me, it was initially a bit of a struggle since even though I use words every day, I don't think I've ever thought of any word as being a "favorite" word.  I started out with the words epic and amalgamation since they are two words I've noticed as being trendy lately-I also would like to think that my old band, The Mishaps, were at the forefront of the epic trend with our epic sound-an amalgamation of punk and heavy metal rock and roll.  Sorry, I really couldn't help myself!

 Another thing I noticed as we were going around the room listing our favorite words is that everyone's favorite words were quite illustrative of their personalities.  The words I ended up choosing were mostly words that I enjoy saying because they're just so damn cute and fun to say--words that always bring smiles:

cozy/ warm & fuzzy/ bumble bee/ cupcake/ glissando/ iridescent/squiggle/ atomic/ cuddle/ strawberry/ karaoke/ bubble/ blossom

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Did Today

This is what I did today:

This is part one of my typography assignment for the week: to illustrate depth and texture with typography in a table of contents page.  I got the idea for this piece from yoga class.

This is part two of my assignment: to work without a grid. Or something like that...I'm real tired. The inspiration for this piece came from the color guide.  Yay for color guides.

The lesson I learned from doing these pieces is to never procrastinate on typography assignments again.  They take a long time, they're hard and seven hours straight in the design lab leads to an unhealthy crazy feeling.  Time to go work on my campaign project...after I eat a large meal.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dandys Rule, OK?

Today as I was crawling around the interwebs, I happened to stumble upon The Dandy Warhol's band website and was thoroughly impressed by their design.

A band that sky-rocketed to rockstar status in the 90's with hits such as "Not if you were the last junkie on Earth...", "Everyday Should be a Holiday", and "Bohemian Like You" the Dandy Warhols have maintained a steady career trajectory and are currently touring on a greatest hits album: "The Capitol Years".  Wondering what my favorite Portlandites have been up to recently, I went to their website to find out:

Link to the Dandy's Website

There's a lot going on here but I feel like it's all super well-organized.  You have all of your (many) social networking links at the top, website navigation, and A BLOG! Woo!!!  Here you can find out what frontman Courney Taylor-Taylor reads on tour (Thomas Hardy, apparently), the status of his hangovers, and who's coming to his hotel rooms for parties!  Ah, the life of a rock star who just doesn't quit...

I especially like how all of the design elements of the page reflect the album art of the newest release.  The typeface used is interesting and gives a 1940's vibe to the page, as do the scratchy black and white photos and the visuals in the new video presented at the top.  The typeface reminds me of Citizen Kane for some reason, I don't know why.  All I know is that I need that typeface now.  Off to track it down!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Show & Tell/ Call to action

For this week's show and tell we had to find a call to action.  Inspired by the truth's anti-smoking campaign tactics, I found an interesting call to action example:

This conceptual piece calls for current smokers to quit.  As illustrated by the "Quit" logo.  Oh, those Brits are so literal, aren't they?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Table of Contents

This week, the majority of my time has been spent on creating these two table of contents pages for my typography class.  As I love magazines and hope to design and write for one/some one day, I absolutely loved doing this project and put a lot of time and effort into it.

Unfortunately I was unable to get any feedback on my pages since I skipped class to go see Belle & Sebastian.  Needless to say feedback is welcome here!

Page #1:

This is my favorite, mostly because of the cleanliness of helvetica and my new favorite color-cyan 100.  I hope to incorporate this palate into many designs in the future.

Page #2:

A little more Time-y and conservative but I thought the large-scale use of Bodoni made it a little more fun.

Belle and Sebastian

Having seen this adorable group of Scots just last night at Constitution Hall, I was inspired to write about the design aesthetic that Belle and Sebastian have maintained throughout their album art choices over the span of their now 14-year career. 

Their most recent album, "Write About Love" just came out on Matador Records. 

Looking at it during the ride home last night, the design snob in me started coming out-"It's so's not exciting...what's with this one lower-cased word?...there's no typographical hierarchy-wtf?!"

However, upon thinking about these design choices in context of the Belle and Sebastian catalog it all made perfect sense.


I really like how Belle and Sebastian have maintained some basic similarities throughout their album covers over the years--a monochromatic theme, the use of one typeface in a singular weight, and a photograph showing people yet never the band members themselves.

The consistency of design gives these albums a familiarity with their audience-when you see a Belle and Sebastian album, you know that it's a Belle and Sebastian album just from looking at the visuals-it stands out in a crowd.  The understated quirk and sophistication is also illustrative of the Belle and Sebastian sound. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the truth/social cause campaign

6 months and 26 days ago, I was a cigarette smoker--not a social-smoker or an "only when I drink" smoker, I was full on 1/2 pack to full pack a day smoker for a grand total of 11 nicotine-loving years.  However, today I am happy to say that I am not. 

When I was a smoker, one of my biggest pet peeves was people trying to enforce their personal opinions of smoking on me-usually while I was smoking: "You know you're going to die!" "Those things cause lung cancer, you know?" were the annoying catch phrases non-smokers employ to make themselves seem better than smokers.  My favorite comeback was always the self-righteous "Oh yeah??! Do you eat Big Macs? You know those will kill you just as easily as these will!"

Tonight I was lounging around thinking of ideas for my campaign against fast food when these fond memories blasted their way back into my brain.  What if I approached my anti-fast food campaign like the American Cancer Society approaches their anti-smoking campaigns?  Then I thought to myself: when I was a smoker what campaigns bothered me the most? The

A website I never dared look at.  A strong message with effective and ingenious design to back it up.  Tonight I ventured into the unknown.  I found treasure.  What I found was an effective social cause campaign.  Behold:

 The truth's "Shards 'O Glass" campaign

Here, the truth shows a fictitious popsicle company that realizes they are killing their costumers with their product.  This company does the right thing, tells the costumers not to eat the popsicles and recalls the product. The truth is asking the tobacco companies why they can't do that with their product.  

Now if only I can be as clever as these truth people about the dangers of fast food products...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Show & Tell/ Campaign

Here's a campaign I've been noticing from Springmaid for Target.  They're all very whimsical photographs of women on their beds, in different environments, each with different taglines.  Every time I see one of these campaign pieces I'm inspired to crawl into my own cozy bed.  Here are three pieces of the campaign that I've scrounged up so far:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Show & Tell/Visual Definition

Yesterday after many hours spent in the design lab, I meandered over to the oh-so-thoughtfully placed Starbucks across the street in order to pep up my pump.  While waiting for my latte, I perused the items that they have for sale such as *gasp* instant coffee.  Intrigued by this finding, I did some further inspection only to find a great visual definition! Check it out:

Couldn't be more clear-way to go Starbucks! You may be an evil corporation but you sure know how to make evil look (and taste) absolutely delicious :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Venus Zine

I just discovered a really great magazine today-Venus Zine! It's a women's magazine that primarily focuses on music (mostly women in music), but also has articles about DIY culture, crafts, current events, and pop culture.  Reminiscent of Bust magazine but with a more artsy angle. 

This month's issue features actress and musician Zoe Kravitz on the cover (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet).  Apparently this is also the first issue featuring their first re-design.  I haven't seen any past issues so can't really comment on it effectively but I will say that there are dots abound-they even put dots on their cover!

Show & Tell/Good food writing/Bad food photography

Since it was only last week that I discovered we are expected to post our show and tell objects on our blogs, I have some catching up to do.  Here we go:

Show & Tell #1: Good food writing/Bad food photography

Mmmm...sweet potatoes.  This article is from Real Simple magazine.  I think it does a great job outlining everything everyone should know about sweet potatoes--from how to choose and store to simple everyday recipes that any kitchen klutz can make.  Plus the photo is ace.  Good job, Real Simple!

This picture is an ad I found in the most recent copy of Veg News.  How sad that they're trying to make vegan cheese look appetizing and yet, to me, it looks like paste.  Would you like some Elmer's on your pie?