Thursday, October 28, 2010

     My overall concept for these posters was to show the vacant nature of some of downtown by highlighting both the upper and lower parts of the area.  For both the skyline and the ground level I took the original image and broke it up, setting it against the area that is not represented to accentuate that vacancy.  In the first I juxtapose the progressive line study and the progressive nature of the building as it curves back into space.  I then progressively bring the lines down. The negative space leads from the upper section of the city to segue into the second poster.  The second poster is focused on the lower part of the city leaving the higher parts open.  I used the progressive manipulated line study to accentuate the movement of the stairs and also hold the upper area of the composition.
     My process included allot of reworking between the concept and formal exploration and decisions.  Using the different methods of line manipulation did allow for a greater palette from which to draw information from.  The use of analogue manipulation/sketches for the first drafts of these posters was helpful for direction but I found that moving into digital after that allowed for faster editing that for the most part allowed me to keep moving.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paula Scher

     Paula Scher is, from what I've gathered, a very expressive designer who is influenced heavily by her surroundings and her disdain for helvetica and every conforming, conservative, war starting institution for which it stands... sigh.  While I do enjoy her designs aesthetically and formally I find I often disagree with her reasons for her formal choices.  Doing a project a certain way for a thousand dollars is fine, but I don't think you should then be able to trace every decision back to "and it allowed me to keep the thousand dollars".  A thousand dollars does not mean you can make Utah an Island to justify your geographical misnomer.  But I digress (busts a vein).

     One thing that Scher does have right is her observations about how geography can influence design.  The world is full of lines which in turn make one giant grid for us designers to fit into.  Letting this grid influence our design allows for cohesion between the environment and design.  Obviously we probably won't be making a building in New York that follows the grid of our design.  More commonly the infrastructure will already be there as there are certain rules to follow, and nobody wants a design that doesn't look like it belongs somewhere.  This also forces us to create solutions for spacial relations we do not naturally process, and take lessons from these solutions.  The infrastructure that we have made is an extension of us, and our design is an extension of the infrastructure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grids...Where They Be?

This exhibition poster, created by a designer that goes by "Network Osaka", shows a good sense of proper grid structure in its design.  It is divided in half from top to bottom and horizontally in almost perfect thirds.  The first line of text below the title begins at the edge of the first third and extends to the end of the second aligning with the "I" in the title.  All text below that is aligned within the first third.  The title and the text below it take up an even amount of space.  Aside from the broken color gradient residing below the center line there are only a few instances where edges align with previously established grid lines.

Friday, October 22, 2010

BitMap vs. Vector

A comparison of bitmap and Vector... GO!

Bitmaps are great for your basic raw or edited photo.  They're as close as replication is going to get to the real life imagery.  They also have an atmospherical grain that can make foe a nice contrast between the hard edge and graphic style of vectors and other design elements.  Bitmaps are directly proportioned to their original file size and pixel dimension so if you distort or make a scale change you have to make sure that you do not stretch the dimensions beyond their limits.  If you do it will cause for large out of focus/grainy images.

Vectors are not based on the width of a pixel, but on shape alone.  Because of this you can stretch a vector image out as large as you want.  The danger here is for there to be some issues with proportions after an image is stretched so far.  Vectors do have a clean line that defines their edges, and can work together with themselves or be used to spice up a bitmap image.  They can translate well within many different formats which makes for quick editing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lines Critique.

Downtown: The line study itself demonstrates regularity which keeps with the buildings repetitious pattern of windows.  I took some of the bricks to make a more gradual transition between the photo and the study, which was previously to sharp.  The text is aligned with the line study/window extension, but it might not be adding any thing to it compositionally and it may have so kerning issues.  The sharp clean lines of the typeface I believe express some of the fast, sleek, and tall nature of the downtown area.  The building itself represents some of the business/living aspects of downtown.  In each of these I tried to use symmetry, asymmetry, and alignment between the line studies, the photograph, and the negative space.  The study and the photo should both represent aspects of downtown while the negative space should emphasis some aspect that is not present.

In this composition I'm trying to again use alignment, symmetry, and repetition.  The type is more integrated into the structure of the building, and plays against the thin vertical lines of the windows.  At the same time the line weight may need to be thicker because of the large blocks between the building segments.  The transition between the building and the study in this composition is much more abrupt than the previous one.  I cut the sections of the windows away from the side of the building and brought the line study up through those spaces to make more of a vertical flow between them.

For this composition I went further with editing out the front facing windows and placing them between two line study segments.  Taking out the windows except for the ones that are open gives it a sense of vacancy.  The text may need to have more presence and be aligned better to the established grid.  The composition  shows continuation and alignment.

With these compositione I tried again to draw attention, through alignment and continuation, to the negative space at the bottom.  The text may need to go toward the bottom for clarity.

I also tried to blend the lines between the building and the line study by bringing in parts of the building into the study and vice-versa.  Text alignment may be an issue.
This was meant to mimic my first iteration, and also give more emphasis on the line study through form and repetition.

The line studies for the midtown compositions are supposed to keep in line with the easier flow of the neighborhood in comparison to the downtown area.  I experimented with staying truer to the original line studies but it seems to busy.  Also placing the text in the bottom area does not feel right.  I ended up trying to take out allot of the original path and continuing the line study up till the upper slice of the image.  I need more of that part to make that work well though.  The text mimics the lines of that part of the photo.

In both of these the bottom half is far to busy and the text does not feel attached enough to the rest of the composition.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Juxt... J... Juxtap p p... Juxtaposition.

     Juxtaposition... a word that I've heard thrown around so many times since entering art college.  To put two images that have opposing content or contextual meaning, together creating a desired or undesired new meaning or relation.  In many cases there can be some serendipitous juxtapositions that aren't necessarily intended.  While these results can be powerful and unexpected it is probably important to keep an eye out for juxtaposition in design to avoid creating something too contextually off kilter.  On the other hand considering observations in juxtaposition when designing can successfully alter meaning, and allow for previously unattainable compositions that appeal to the viewer's sensibilities on a deeper level.  Cropping also plays a big part in keeping whatever cohesion is necessary in the composition, and to add drama and tension.

Friday, October 8, 2010


     Yesterday when we all traversed over to the theater to see Typeface I was expecting to see a movie that was not only about the process of the wood type but typographical principles as well.  It was however heavily weighted on the wood type and the museum/shop that still makes use of it.  It chronicled the history from past to present of this printshop up in Wisconsin.  It showed the workers who for the most part are retired, dead, or on deaths door.  The biggest most time consuming part of the printing process is not just setting all of the type in place but putting all of it away in their respective cases afterwards.  This was an even more daunting task for those pieces that were just laying around in the museum or in the collection of the small group of designers who set up a small printing studio a few hours from there.  Depending on the amount of use or neglect the typeface could succumb to damage which doesn't necessarily ruin it.  Any damage adds character to the typeface, which actually makes it its own unique set.  Methods using polymer instead of wood can never quite have the same feel of the wood type, and is considered by many to be of a cheaper quality.

     The movie overall was really depressing.  It focussed to much on the museum than over typography or wood type in general.  It seems as though from the tone of the film that the museum will eventually close, and the art of wood type will probably follow its lead.  The only way I could see it surviving is through those who would print for the novelty of it.  The practice itself is highly impractical in today's economy and fast paced environment.  Even the man who was previously in charge of the museum had to sit down and really think about his future. I suppose the movie was more of a warning about the future of wood type.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Type in Lines.

     Here is an example of lines being employed in an advertisement for an exhibition.  The designer is Berk Kizilay, and on a side note according to his Deviant profile he has a mustache...
     The image features a mass of type that is structured on a grid giving it a sense of order, but it is a random order.  It is just a little grungy for my taste but beautiful none the less.

Typography Posters

Do'n A Little Business On The Side...

     So the other day I got a last minute commission for some album artwork for a Christmas single.  I know that, looking back at it now, there would definitely be some things I would have done differently given more time, and that I shouldn't accept projects that require a twenty-four hour turn around.  This time though I thought I'd make an exception.  I threw some things together that I had in studio, and even used the photo room for the first time since I've been here.  When I went into Photoshop I tried to employ some of the principles I've learned in class with the type.  I tried to slightly imply a typographical metaphor with the title.  I couldn't be too abstract with it otherwise it wouldn't flow with the pre-existing album artwork.  In the end I was up till five in the morning before I considered it "first mock up" close.  On wednesday there were a few minor edits I had to do before I sent it off.

Mike and Types. (Cont.)

     Here are my bitmap words made from Mike and Ikes.  Kerning is as accurate as my eyes can tell.  Some of the guidelines I followed are a x-height of five "ikes" and major ascending serifs have one "ike" placed at a diagonal.  Ascending stems also must be two "ikes" wide, while horizontal must be one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lines Lines Lines...

     All of the elements we have dealt with have been linear elements.  However it is very easy to see these new compositions as having black lines on a white background (for me at least).  By definition (as a path) however I have to look at the bigger picture.  Everything in these compositions are lines, from the black or white lines to where they touch and the spaces in between.
     These linear elements work together to create shapes, curves, and even the illusion of dimension and perspective.  Closed or heavy weighted lines make a plane, and planes joined together with added perspective (with or without a vanishing point) can give you three-dimensional elements.  We have been using pre-existing dimension and perspective to form our lines.
     The linear elements together can work to create a grid for placing and organizing other graphic elements such as image and text in order to give them added perspective similar to the lines themselves.  Once these elements are aligned to this skeleton they become/create linear elements themselves.  I'm guessing that this aspect of lines will play heavily in the next part of the assignment.