Author Archive

Hitched

December 10, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Hitched

 

 

Design

In devising a modern take on the bridal magazine, I wanted to create an aesthetic that was pretty in a classic way, but also cool. I came up with “Hitched” for the title because I thought it was a casual and fun way to think of weddings and marriage. I chose the image of Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres for the cover because of the soft whites, pinks and greens in the photo. Additionally, I knew the expanse of greenery around Ellen and Portia would come in handy as a non-combative background on which to place text for the title of the cover story. I took the color for the title of the magazine from the pink in Portia’s wedding dress skirt, and I took the color of the cover story title text from Portia’s bodice. Portia’s bodice color also nicely complemented the cream color of the dog statue in the photo around which I placed the headline and subhead of the cover story.

Inside the magazine, I used one image to go with the headline of the cover story. The white board on the back of the green car used to say “Just Married,” but since the article I chose talks about subverting expectations of traditional weddings and marriages, I painted over the phrase in Photoshop. Instead, I used that canvas space for the text describing the article. I played around with using that space for the headline, but I thought that would be the expected choice, so I moved the headline beneath the subhead, while maintaining the hierarchy of information by using a larger font size for the headline versus the subhead. For a pop of color, I made the headline and subhead the same red as the taillight of the car. For consistency, I also used the taillight red to color the drop caps I used to divide up the lengthy article and for the buttons at the end of the article that navigate through the slide show. I chose to use numbered buttons as the slide show navigation, as opposed to forward and backward arrows so that readers would know exactly how many images to expect in the sequence.

Typefaces

My tablet magazine uses three typefaces: Ruzicka Freehand (in Roman and Bold), Helvetica CY and Minion Pro. I used Ruzicka Freehand in bold for the title of my bridal magazine because it had the elegant touch of stationary lettering, but was not overdone with frills so that it was still legible on the screen. Plus, I wanted to create a modern bridal magazine, a theme that is also emphasized by a less frilly typeface. For the cover story headline on the front and inside of the magazine, I used Ruzicka Freehand in Roman to complement the magazine title. I rendered the article byline and pull quote in Helvetica CY so that they would be easily readable on the screen and also slightly set off from the body text. The body text is in Minion Pro because that typeface is particularly legible on a screen, as many Apple products have proven, and people are used to reading it.

Cooperstein-Paige-Tablet-Vertical

Life mediated by screens

December 8, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Life mediated by screens

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AXIAM7dTTg[/youtube]

PBS’ Idea Channel recently posted about the way we relate to the world through our cell phones. The video makes the point that we build our identity through images that we build and compile on personal screens, often cell phones or tablets. I thought it was an interesting philosophical point to consider when designing something for screen consumption, like a website or tablet magazine. The user will relate to that content very personally if he or she decides to carry it on his or her personal devices.

Tablet design in all things

December 2, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Tablet design in all things

I came across this convertible laptop recently, which made me think of how the tablet is taking over and blurring the genre bounds of technology. With the release of Windows 8 for touchscreen laptops, designers must employ the principles of tablet design whether thinking of a user’s experience with a laptop or with a tablet. The two technologies are rapidly becoming the same thing.

Cooperstein Poster Redo

November 7, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Cooperstein Poster Redo

 

Audience

The audience for this poster includes textile artists and textile art consumers. Both of these groups will respond to a simple aesthetic design that highlights the crafts in the niche art market in which they participate.

Design Strategy

The Handmade Holiday Craft Show at Somethings Looming showcases winter textile crafts – scarves, shawls, gloves, hats and bags – produced by Reading-area artists. I chose to scan a pair of mitten-gloves as the main graphic for the poster. I liked that the gloves featured pulling thread and an evident weave to draw attention to the material that made the gloves. Material is one of the main aesthetic choices textile artists make in their work. I criss-crossed the gloves on the poster and faced the finger-side down, so that the rounded part of the mittens mimicked the look of silver bells, an image reminiscent of winter holidays.

For the background of the poster, I created a radial gradient using the two magenta colors present in the stripes of the gloves. I used such close colors so that the gradient would create only a slight glowing effect in the center of the poster. I wanted to create a point of emphasis for the location of the text describing the event and its details.

Typeface

I chose Papyrus font for its handmade look that complemented the theme of a handmade craft show. Papyrus also features larger ornamental capital letters while the lowercase letters maintain legibility, allowing me to use a single font for the headline as well as the body copy.

 

 

Justo Lamas website

November 5, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Justo Lamas website

 

Overview:

This website aims to create a space for the Argentine singer Justo Lamas to showcase his work, and for his fans to share their experiences.

Audience:

As a singer routinely booked by high schools to perform educational programming to students studying Spanish, Justo’s site could have a two-part audience including teachers and students. However, this site will focus solely on the student audience.

Following the option to create a portfolio site for an artist, Justo’s website aims to share his work with high school students, ostensibly his fans. The website will showcase Justo’s new music and chronicle his past tours, including space for students to post their own stories and pictures from his concerts.

Perception/tone/guidelines:

While students know that administrators hire Justo because he provides educational material, it is also possible to enjoy Justo as one would any other singer.

The most important thing for Justo’s website to communicate is that attending a Justo Lamas concert is a very inclusive experience. He invites as many students on stage with him as possible to help his show function in some way. His website will emphasize his work in the way that students form part of it.

High school students, as the target audience for the Justo Lamas website, should view the website as a tool to help them get excited for his shows and share their experiences at his concert. With that audience and purpose in mind, a scrapbook aesthetic functioned as the guiding design principle. The site is designed to look like a high school student’s notebook compilation of pictures and stories about a favorite singer.

Competitive positioning:

Justo Lamas has an educational group website, but it is heavily geared toward teachers and administrators who may want to contract a performance. There is very little focus on his songs or performance. The site largely communicates Justo Lamas in the light of a Spanish textbook.

Justo does not have an “artist’s website” that showcases his music. While Justo Lamas’ songs and performances are campy, high school students still enjoy them and I believe would enjoy having a space to easily find his work and discuss it.

Fonts used:

Coriander for the wordmark

Kolo for the navigation

Helvetica for the body copy

Tablet magazines beyond electronic copy of print content

November 5, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Tablet magazines beyond electronic copy of print content

Time magazine knows how to use its tablet design. Their video demo does a great job of showcasing how their tablet magazine functions as a different animal than their print magazine.

Instead of just dumping their print content into an electronic form, like looking at a magazine under a glass cover, Time took advantage of the intertextual capabilities of a tablet. The print content is connected to relevant online content and interactive components.

Also, a tablet’s digital storage allows for more options of accessing content, which Time uses in their access to stories via a world map. This feature could not exist as fluidly in print and would rather serve as a secondary table of contents. Because a tablet allows for roll over options to appear and disappear at a reader’s will, the map becomes a useful way to access content on a tablet.

In designing a tablet, I think it’s important to think of the message of the magazine in terms of tablet construction. If you think of a magazine in terms of print and then translate it literally into a tablet magazine, the reader will notice and not have the best experience with the content.

 

Clean website layout

October 29, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Clean website layout

A website should always pay attention to aesthetics since it functions largely as visual information. But when your business deals explicitly with the production of professional visuals, your website bears the burden of an impressive layout even more than most. I’ve been looking at websites for visual effects houses to think about how to produce a clean website layout that looks professional rather than like the administrators didn’t feel like fleshing out its content. Dive is a VFX house based in Philadelphia. The house mostly provides visual effects and color correction for films. Their website maintains a simplified design by prominently featuring a slideshow of the movies the house has worked on, topped by navigation links rendered in unobtrusive font.

Cooperstein Resume Redone

October 17, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Cooperstein Resume Redone

Design strategy

I used a magazine page aesthetic as a guide for the design choices in my resume. My wordmark functioned as a headline while I arranged the body of my resume in columns to mimic story text and sidebar copy. From the first draft of my resume, I eliminated the date column to the far left of my page, instead integrating the dates next to the company names in my “Experience” section. Date of employment is not the most crucial piece of information of my resume, so I wanted to remove it from the prime position of the top left.

 

I reworked my resume in the most noticeable way by updating my wordmark. The first draft of my wordmark had my first name sitting above my last name. The kerning of my last name was sloppy with an irregular space between some letters. Rather than worry about uniform tight kerning, which proved difficult given the “I” in my name typed in a san serif, I re-envisioned my name as a headline with equal size and spacing in the letters of my first and last name. I differentiated my last name from my first by coloring it purple. I had the type all on one line in one version of my re-do, but thought it trapped the space above my wordmark.  I decided instead to drop my last name down by half the height of my first to create more breathing room around my word mark.

 

Choice of typefaces

I constructed my wordmark with a sans serif in deference to the clean look of many publication titles. In the interest of simplicity, I kept my entire resume in variations of one typeface. I featured Kabel Std throughout my resume and manipulated font styles – light, book and heavy – to establish the hierarchy of information. I liked the typeface Kabel Std as a representation of me on paper because it has a light, modern feel with an emphasis on legibility.

 

Clean layout, but missing a link home

October 15, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Clean layout, but missing a link home

Thinking of the website project, I wanted to share my friend’s personal website. He’s a graphic designer who uses his website to advertise his work for future freelance projects. I like the clean layout of his homepage with his work broken down into easily digestible subcategories. The only thing I don’t like about the design is, once you click on one of the subcategories, there’s no link to return to the homepage. You can only further navigate further through and between the subcategories. That sometimes leads to users creating a convoluted path through the website that makes it hard to get back to things that were previously viewed.

 

Everyday objects

October 2, 2012 |  by  |  Comments Off on Everyday objects

I discovered a line of superhero stamps launched a few years ago. Besides being a cool thing to add to any envelope, these stamps made me think about the need for design in all things – even in small, everyday objects we don’t give much thought to.