Archive for January, 2009

image editing II

January 27, 2009

Onward we go on our image editing adventure. This image editing is killer. Some parts of it have been really easy to figure out, but others have been frustrating because The Production Manual does not explain how to do the effects, it just shows what you can do. Most of the time I have been able to figure it out within a few minutes and with some experimentation, but the hardest one so far was making a border with halftones. I had to get some outside help with that one.
I love having The Production Manual because I feel like being able to see possibilities will be helpful in the future, but I would also like something a little more in depth, so I am thankful for google and helpful classmates. Even with some difficulties, I have been enjoying the project. I think my favourite part has been editing pictures of my best friend in her Obi-Wan Kenobi beard. I kept cracking myself up looking at her and then my googly eye picture (shown above). Both are from the day we dressed up as Obi-Wan and Anakin and went to see Clone Wars.
I think the crazy lightsabre layer really adds to the picture, yeah?



January 27, 2009

Leslie gave us a copies of a portion A Designer’s Research Manual to read to prep us for the research we would need for our project with Leadership Chattanooga.
I guess I never really thought about the fact that designers would do research before popping out a design. Naivety strikes again! Reading can cure that ailment, so learning prevails. 🙂
This is my first time working with a client, so I really have not known what to expect. Most of the design I do for class projects before class with Leslie, I haven’t done much research before I dove straight into the designing process.
However, after reading, I found out that research is helpful to get a design that can reach its target audience more effectively. Designers can draw from research that has already been done to find the proper channels to reach the audience and about the things that audience prefers, from colours to music and etc. This is a super effective strategy for working with a client. It can bolster your design presentation when you inform your client that your design decisions were informed by copious amounts of research into what would best serve them and their target audience.
It also served to inform me that this research + design brief can be absolutely crucial to the design work going as smoothly as possible in keeping everyone on the team informed as to what needs to be done to achieve the best design for the client.

design brief

January 20, 2009

Creating the Perfect Design Brief by Peter L. Phillips is incredibly boring. I am all for learning new things and reading, but the reading was very dry. (Also, despite having “brief” in the name, the book does not seem brief. Even with its small size, the pages seem to stretch on forever.)
However, the material was helpful to refer back to as my team worked together to write the project overview and background and category review for our own class design brief for Leadership Chattanooga. Chapter 3 broke down the design brief section in pieces so that we could see how to structure our sections thoroughly to inform the rest of our teams and our client of all the things we know and need to remember for this project.
For the project overview we wrote two sentences about what we needed to do and what the result of that would be. For our category review we listed available products, the competition, pricing and promotion, brand, industry trends and company business strategy.
The information in the book was boring, but helpful. I probably will not read it again for fun, but I will definitely refer back to Creating the Perfect Design Brief for any information I need about design briefs and creating them. I think it could potentially be a helpful addition to my design future.

image experiments I

January 19, 2009

The only book we were required to purchase for Process and Materials was The Production Manual.
It is packed full of useful information for designing. (which of course, is what it intends to do and that’s just fantastic!)
Starting in chapter we embark on a journey into image editing in photoshop. My first thoughts about this were: Hey, why the heck didn’t we have this as part of our general education? We’re been using photoshop for several semesters now and most of the time I’m still not sure of myself photoshop-wise, but now I’m going to know some nifty edits and have a nice book to refer back to in times of need.
One thing I’ve found really interesting is the difference in effects on CMKY vs RGB images.
Here’s my original image in RGB mode:

And here’s that image in CMKY mode:

RGB mode has three channels: red, green and blue. If you split the channels, it does not give you a red image, a green image and a blue image. The look like greyscale, but when you put them altogether again you get a full colour image.
CMYK mode has four channels: cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). CMYK is more ideal for printing.
I’m also enjoying putting images together with layers.

I can’t wait to work on more of the image edits from our list.

printed material? oh thank gutenburg!

January 12, 2009

I have always been interested in history and fascinated by learning, but there can be times when watching a documentary can be so boring that all you get out of it is a good nap. This is not the case with The Machine That Made Us. With Stephen Fry hosting this magical adventure, history seemed much more fascinating. Every little discovery was a delight, and his enthusiasm was contagious.
Of course, everyone and their mom knows that Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press…and that was about the extent of my knowledge. I wasn’t aware until Stephen mentioned it that no one knew exactly what a Gutenberg press looked like. (kind of take it for granted that we don’t even know what he looked like. and yes, I laughed heartily at the comment about his fish beard.) It seems so strange to find that out considering his press set so much in motion.
History lessons also leave out that he hid out while he was experimenting on his press, and that he had to keep it secret so that no one else would take his ideas. The fact that he had others helping him always seems to get lost in the attempt to fill our brains with quick facts of how we got here. (of course, doing it all by himself now that I’ve seen all it entailed seems ridiculous, but when you hear the fact: ‘Gutenberg invented the press’ it’s like no one else was ever there. just Gutenberg.)
All the work that went into making the letters, the paper and the printing is amazing and I’m so thankful that Gutenberg kept at it. Even if it means I have to buy text books for class, I still love reading books and enjoying the benefits of printing.

the brand gap

January 12, 2009

The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier was informative and necessary reading for me as a designer. It was short, to the point and easy to read.
Neumeier helped to clear up misconceptions that I had about what brand is and give information for dealing with brand that I will no doubt encounter at some point in the future as a designer.
As I was telling my family about what I read at the dinner table, I was telling them what brand really is… and if you haven’t read the book, “brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.”
I gave the example from the book of Coca-Cola, because I know how my family feels about Coca-Cola, especially my brother. Of course there are cheaper brands of cola, but Coke told us it was the best and (my brother said, “Well, it is.”) we believe it. It is delicious and I know we would rather spend more for Coca-Cola than buy RC Cola. Coca-Cola has definitely succeeded in making their brand charismatic.
The book also mentioned that since the world has gotten so connected, we want products to make us feel like we belong within a smaller group or a “tribe.”
I experienced the joy of “tribe” thinking when I pulled into a spot next to another Volvo 940 station wagon. He shouted out his window as I rushed to class, “I like your car!” I got a sort of warm feeling in my heart as I waved back. We’re connected because we’re driving the same car. He probably bought his car for himself, whereas I got mine because my Dad got a good deal. Still, we’re in a special club for Volvo owners.
Connection seems to be a big part of brand now, and to keep from spilling the whole book to you, I’ll just stop here. I’d really recommend it to designers and anyone who is curious to learning more about brand and marketing.

Neumeier, Marty. The Brand Gap. Berkeley : New Riders, 2006.