Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final Portfolio

Example of Best Thumbnail Color Comps:  

 My best thumbnails were the Jeep poster thumbnails. I had the best selection of possible compositions to choose from, and whichever one the client chose, I made sure I wouldn't hate any of the compositions I had created. I made sure the concept was almost overly simple because my eye tends to go to the image that stands out and the most simple placement of text. I think the majority of these thumbnails accomplish that goal. I also chose not to u
se any other color besides that of the Jeep just so the image could stand out more on a white background. This thumbnail process was the most successful in helping me visualize what the final composition would look like. 

Example of Best Marker Comp:

My best marker comp was the Jeep poster marker comp. It was the marker comp most closely resembling the fina
l production and it was the tightest, most efficient comp compared to the rest. I did have a bit of trouble rendering the text, and the placement of the Jeep was a tad different on the final production, but those were the two minor differences. This comp took me an extremely long time to render, even though it was only half the size of the final. I believe because I took the time to comp the poster correctly, creating the final poster was that much easier. 

Example of Best Traditional Copyfitting:

My fishing magazine spread marker comp is the best example of traditional copyfitting. I successfully completed the copyfitting process correctly, and it was almost dead on. I did adjust the paragraphs in the final production because there were too many of them and it did not look very professional. I read the text and fit the paragraphs that were most coherent together to make the text flow better. The actual copyfitting process was much more efficient after having already completed one other before. I actually knew what I was doing compared to the first time on the Marceline pamphlet when I was a lot less efficient and organized. The copyfitting process is actually very helpful if done correctly, but is very time consuming. This was a good learning experience and I will not take the computer's built in copyfitting capabilities for granted after having to go through this process by hand.  

Example of Best Design:

My chili cook-off poster design is the best and most successful design out of all my projects. Since I was only able to work with black and white, I wanted to create something simple that would catch the viewer's eye and real them in to read the text. I also didn't want to overwhelm the viewer with intense black graphics or images, so the graphic I created was made specifically to balance with the text physically, and visually. The quality of the graphic is really illustrated, which gives it interest compared to a typical photograph. The simplicity also makes the message more clear to the viewer and they do not have to organize visual clutter or movement to get the message. The fonts are easy to read and are easy
 on the eyes. 
Example of Best Typography/Typesetting:

My final Jeep poster is the best example of my use of typography in a design. I had to make a lot of adjustments to the different sized texts I chose to work with. It was made a bit easier because I chose Helvetica, which is a simple font. I had to do a lot of cerning to make each size font fit in its designated location on the composition, but maintain visual appeal. This was difficult because there was limited and awkwardly shaped space in which the text was supposed to fit. The overall design of the poster is really simple, but it is deceiving because the text took so long to set properly. The image was also difficult to set, but that's a whole different story involving eps files from Illustrator. This poster was a learning experience and I believe it showcases my best example of use of typography and typesetting. 
Example of Best Creative Concept:

My best creative concept is my fishing magazine spread. My style thus far is very simple, but still appealing for that reason. In this project, I took an image and altered it in PS. I worked with the text and balanced it between the two pages, but it is not symmetrical. I wanted the photo to have the most visual weight because of the rich colors and imagery pertaining to the text. The headline is flushed left and reversed to white, which really stands out against the image. The font of the header is also an interesting font that contributes to the mood of the content in the text. I reworked the original header font because it wasn't cerned very well and I think it turned out much more appealing. And my favorite part about the design is the fade I created in PS specifically so I could use black type, which served its purpose nicely, but also gives the illusion of fog. I think this unintentional addition is successful in providing to the outdoorsy mood of the spread. 
Example that Demonstrates Proficiency in InDesign:

My Cosmo Magazine rework is the best example of my proficiency in InDesign because it shows that I can utilize the tools I am familiar with and recreate a magazine spread to almost an exact replica. This was a fun challenge and I was able to better grasp the importance of a good InDesign design when I had completed this project. I didn't think it would be as challenging as it was, but it was really rewarding to suffer through the things I needed improvement on because I became much more familiar with the tools available. Working with COB images was also a new challenge at the time and I'm glad I was able to finally figure out how the path tool works in PS. I also figured out how to package all the materials into a folder with this InDesign project, though not as successfully as I had hoped. This project was a great learning experience and shows some of my best capabilities in working with InDesign. 
Example that Demonstrates Proficiency in Illustrator:

The Jeep I created in Illustrator is my strongest example of proficiency using Illustrator. This was a large challenge for me because I had never used Illustrator tools in depth like I did while creating the Jeep. It was an interesting challenge because I solved all the issues I had by myself for the most part. I had trouble getting the windows to look like windows and I figured out how to use layers to solve that problem. This project is definitely a great example of how I had to use the little time I had to make this project wisely and efficiently to meet the deadline. And using the pen tool to trace the entire image was very daunting at first, but as soon as I became used to it, I got on a roll and was able to complete the illustration on time. Again, this was very challenging, but I felt like I accomplished a lot because it turned out looking as I wanted it to, and on time. 
Example that Demonstrates Proficiency in Photoshop:

The fishing mag spread shows my proficiency in Photoshop because I utilized a lot of the basic and more advanced tools to get the exact result I wanted. I was again forced to figure out what tools I needed to use and how to use them with this project. I knew I needed to make a white fade at the bottom of my spread but I had no idea how to go about that. I used the gradient tool and used a white screen gradient to get the effect so I could use black font. It also gave it a foggy feel, which helped contribute to the overall design. Working with the image was also a challenge. I found it on Google images and thank goodness it was a larger photo to begin with because it was still difficult to work with. I could only imagine working with a smaller photo. But it was fun to get to work with the Adjustments toolbar. I was already familiar with many things available in that toolbar, but I discovered more that I wasn't aware of such as the Curves and Levels. This project is an great example of a good design coming from a learning experience. 

Example of Best InDesign Final Art Production:

I chose the Marceline pamphlet as the best example of my InDesign final art production. I chose this project because it contains the most fonts and links compared to the rest of my InDesign projects and has the fullest final folder of materials. This shows that I am able to fix and maintain links while working, and that I can properly package fonts and links when I'm finished working.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Final Fishing Mag Spread

I am happy about how my final magazine spread turned out. It is really simple, which is important in conveying my personal design style, and uses a quality photo well. I did have to make some changes to the copy because one I had the text into place, I realized there were way too many separate paragraphs and it looked really broken up. I took the liberty in reading the text to see where I could attach certain paragraphs so the story would still flow while maintaining aesthetic coherence. Otherwise, the copyfitting was almost dead on, minus a couple really minor measurement mistakes. It was a challenge trying to make the text show up on the photo. I first wanted the text body to be reversed (white) but that would risk mistakes in the registration process when printing the final production. So I altered the image in PS and I believe the solution works well. This was a good learning process and I believe the final production shows strong points in my style and way of working with the programs. I also like working with magazines a lot more than pamphlets, and I think that is also apparent.  

Final Marceline Pamphlet

This process went a lot smoother than previous InDesign pamphlet designing. Transferring my ideas into the program was a lot easier because I had a plan before hand, because I had the copy fit to the space I intended, and because I am now a lot more familiar with the attributes to the software. Printing also went a lot smoother in that I knew what I was doing do I was more efficient and had no issues in the process. Copyfitting did help visualize the final design. There were only a few minor copyfitting errors that were not able to translate coherently in the final design, but otherwise, it was very accurate. I do wish I would have printed to thinner, non-glossy paper so folding and assembling would have been more efficient. There were tears in the paper from me forcing it to fold. I wish I would have made the font of the informational text larger or more bold because it is really light in the final production. Overall, I think my pamphlet is a bit boring when it comes to eye catching colors and visuals, but the color scheme I used is very soothing to the eyes and besides the font being to thin, conveys the intended information well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fishing Mag Marker Comp

This marker comp was a lot easier to do compared to the pamphlet because there was less text to copyfit, I knew how to copyfit more efficiently at this point, and there was less space that needed a design. I like designing magazine spreads a lot more than pamphlets to say the least. I did have trouble drawing the header text, which will be white in the final production. I also need to figure out what I am doing with the text. I originally planned for the text to be reversed white, but I think I'm going to make the font smaller. If I do make the font smaller, I'll have to figure something out to avoid making the text white. I think I'll have the darks of the background photo fade to white at the bottom so I can keep the text black. That way it is easier to read, and there won't be a big registration risk in the printing process. 

Marceline Marker Comp

This marker comp was exceptionally difficult, not only because there was so much text to copyfit, but also because I'm not gifted in the art of pamphlet design. I really can't stand designing them and I believe that shows in this design. I did make a huge improvement in copyfitting, though. I now fully understand the importance of going through the trouble of copyfitting, though I'm most likely never going to use that tool once out of school because the computer software does that for you now. This marker comp took a long time to complete. It was tedious going through the copyfitting process that deals with math. I had no idea I'd be forced to use my calculator for any of my design classes. Not that it's a bad thing, just not something I was expecting. I think I'm improving on making marker comps overall.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fishing Magazine Spread Thumbnails

This was the thumbnail of choice in the latest meeting. All of the thumbnails suggest that I am going to put a photo in the background and then add the type and headers on top, most likely in white. This layout is one of my favorites because of the balance between the text and the focal point of the image. This layout also suggests incorporating additional photos of successful fishermen and their catches in the lower right hand corner of the spread. It should be interesting working with large format photos in the layout and I hope to find a good photo that will allow for having consistent white text (so the image is darker in the areas where the text is going). It will be fun working with these elements...hopefully. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Marceline Pamphlet Thumbnails

Even though I didn't use any color in these thumbnails, they still took forever. I'm not too happy with the layouts of a couple, but some have good layout design. The top three are to the left and I will most likely pull the strongest parts of these three designs to create the marker comp and final design. The process of choosing the best comp was more difficult this time because there are so many different ways I could go with the particular designs in these thumbnails and with other ideas I have. I am a bit worried about the copyfitting process, not only because I'm still not 100% sure how to do it, but also because there is a lot of copy that has to be squeezed into this pamphlet. 

Final Jeep Poster

Making the final poster was a lot easier than coming up with the concept and creating the marker comp. I had all the information ready and all I had to do was enter it in to the computer. I did have trouble inserting the Jeep into the final poster. As a result, I learned how to save the Jeep graphic as an EPS file while still in Illustrator, then export it into my InDesign document. This way it is still in vector form, it is a better quality image because it is not in bitmap form, and it can be resized easily without loosing quality. This is a really helpful tool to know for future reference when inserting graphics from Illustrator into InDesign. As far as the effectiveness of the final poster, I think I could have been a bit more creative with the use of the four colors available. I do like how I kept it simple overall, though. I believe it conveys the message effectively. If I had more time, I would have gone into AI and added mud to the graphic to further add to the mood of the event being advertised. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jeep Poster Marker Comp

This marker comp was a bit faster in the sense it's not a full size comp, though it was just as frustrating, but for a whole new set of reasons. Adding color was a challenge because I was only able to choose 4 colors to apply to the Jeep illustration. This will be a challenge to translate these colors into the final poster because I may have to delete some color from the original Jeep. I also had a fight with the pen I chose to use to write the informational font. It smeared very easily and took a while to dry. That was my stupid mistake, and it added time to the project because the ink had to dry. It also ruined the final comp when I went to put it onto the foam board. I smudged the text when I pressed down on it, which was very frustrating. 
The process is becoming a lot more clear as far as what I have to get accomplished before moving to the final comp on the computer. The original thumbnail that my "client" chose from had BlairMD font, but in my notes I specified that I would prefer to work with the font until I found a more suitable one for the particular event. I chose Cracked font and my client approved it. I also had to choose the informational text font and it had to be simple and easy to read so I chose Helvetica. When translating this design onto the computer, I have to use a grid, most likely a 7 column, I have to fix the text and header orientation and I also have to resize the Jeep. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Final Chili Poster

Creating the final chili poster was a lot easier than the thumbnail and marker comp process. I believe it was easier because I knew exactly what I had to do and went about it in an efficient manner. The graphic was drawn by hand and took a little over an hour to complete, but it took less time than the marker comp did because it was a smaller scale that I was able to scan into PS and resize. The text was much easier to work with because all I needed to do was to type the information in. It also came out looking a lot better in the particular format. There were less gaps and negative space within the text so it became much more efficient in this final process. Like a few others, I wish I could have added to the poster with the effects available in the software, but I stuck with the original composition and I think it is successful overall.