Halfway through Design Concepts

In the beginning of this week, the class was asked to review essential design concepts and how they relate to communication and storytelling.  I must admit, I never payed attention to the various aspects of design or even wondered why a certain advertisement or label was created in the way that it was.  Now that I have somewhat of a baseline understanding of these concepts, I am starting to comprehend how visuals are usually a result of a methodical process.

Daily Creates

Presently, the class was tasked on providing at least 2 daily creates posted on Twitter:

I throughly enjoy listening to 80’s music and find the music videos to be entertaining and somewhat comical.  In this video, Daryl Hall, John Oats and the rest of the band mates magically appear in and out of long trench coats and matching fedora hats while singing catchy lyrics in a melodic tune. The outfits alone may be enough to provide meme material, particularly a message where one would employ a 1950’s detective to keep an eye out for you.

Originally, I had the intention of creating my very first meme video, however I experienced technical difficulties with Imgflip.com.  Other suggestions on how to create a meme would be greatly appreciated.

This picture had me “rolling on the floor” laughing for several minutes.  I still laugh every time I look at it.  Faceinhole.com was a very easy website to use because they had many scenarios available to select from, clear instructions on how to upload a photo, and user friendly tabs to resize your photo within the template.  The subject chosen was my usually reserved husband who had no clue what his face was being used for.

Graphic designers who play around

The hyperlink above should take you to the reflection post of the week.  In this post, the class was asked to interpret, compare, and contrast the styles of two different graphic designers, Paula Scher and David Carson.  I throughly enjoyed watching the TED talks from these two designers.  While I was aware that Scher was behind the design of Shake Shack, I do not believe I had ever experienced David Carson’s work before I watched his video.

The concept that resonated the most was that they both encouraged the designer to create freely.  I felt that I learned to look past the obvious in design and to try and interpret the meaning behind the message. For Carson, I particularly enjoyed it when he presented two pictures of the “No Parking” sign, both with the same wording but essentially different font and writing style that presented a different meaning.  And for Scher, I saw the humor behind her interpretation of the United States, particularly when she stated that she would place cities and states in the incorrect place.

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Hunting for the perfect design

The hyperlink above should lead you to the designblitz assignment.  This exercise was intended to help solidify the exposure received to the basic principles of graphic design.  Below are a few examples of the advertisements photographed that represent various concepts.

Most of the images were captured on the same day while my husband and I were running errands.  In a few of the pictures, I did not even get out of the car to take them.  We were simply driving by a sign and I snapped a quick picture.  For the representation of space, I wished I had stepped back a little more to capture the entire building in a single frame.  The concept however should be obvious –  the designer has chosen to keep the signage minimal and simplistic much like the overall building.

The design concept that gave me a little trouble was proximity and balance.  It may have been the reason why I was having difficulty finding a representation – because I did not fully understand what I was looking for.  I should have spent more time with the tutorials on canva.com.

Question of the week:

If you could change one thing in our history what would it be?  Why?

What if the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 never happened?  As a result of these terrorist attacks, 2996 people lost their lives on that single day.  These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. During the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush later coined the term “Global War on Terrorism.”  The United States government increased military operations against groups accused of being terrorists and heightened national security to a unprecedented level.


Graphic designers who play around

This week, the class was asked to interpret, compare, and contrast the styles of two different graphic designers, Paula Scher and David Carson.

Paula Scher’s style is one of uncomplicated creativeness, where her claim to designing is simply just “to play” which she defines as “engaging in a childlike activity.”   She compared a great deal between being “solemn” and being “serious,” and as a refresher, I looked up the definition of both words to make sure I was understanding her interpretation.  Being solemn is defined as being more formal and dignified, while being serious is a state demanding careful consideration or application.  One of her key points that resonated was to utilize any passion you may have for a particular subject and to run with it.  The focus and desire which can stem from that passion may be the basis for creating serious play.  There is no hiding the fact that I care deeply about my dachshund Lenny, who my husband refers to as being completely and utterly useless.  Nontheless, Lenny is who I have decided to include periodically as a creative aspect into my blog, even though tying him in to a reflective post might be a little far fetched.


David Carson, on the other hand, has a very comprehensive style that I often found a little difficult to interpret because some of his examples were hard to read.  This is where I see a contradiction between Scher and Carson.  Carson made a statement where he said “not to mistake legibility for communication.”  His designs often felt chaotic, jumbled and illegible, while Scher displayed large font in the floors and walls of buildings.  However, both advocated for the audience to look past the obvious and to discover the message and emotion behind the material.

Graphic design by David Carson
Pave Environmental Graphics Paula Scher Inspiration Grid Paula Scher Environmental Graphics
Graphic design by Paula Scher


Both designers seemed to have a love for an experimental use of typography and pushed the envelop in creating innovative design.  One of the tutorials in canva.com that I throughly enjoyed was to “chose the right font” because it helped with the design principle of proximity, in which I needed clarification.  Proximity is where design elements can be visually connected in some way, either by font size or placement.

Even though I visually enjoyed the designs created by Paula Scher, I resonated the most with David Carson.  I liked how he encouraged the use of putting yourself into the work.  Carson discussed the importance of people – he felt that design work needed to be personal and subjective to be of any interest and value.  I wholeheartedly agree with his statement that a person’s unique background, upbringing, culture, and life experiences are what diversify design and create greatness.


Week 1 – Photography Reflection

This week proved to be extremely challenging.  While still trying to get a handle of how to maneuver through WordPress, I feel that I accomplished a minor goal in becoming more organized online.  Categories were added to the blog to help separate the different assignments and reflection posts, as well as the daily creates.  However, I do feel that I am still not utilizing the various options and tools available to create the most optimum blog.  So in other words, my blog is continuing to be a work in progress.

work simpsons GIF

Daily Creates

A minimum of two daily creates were required this week.  The activities were found to be enjoyable, and I ended up completing three:

May 23 – Design your own coloring book page

May 24 – Create your Bitmoji scene

May 25 – What’s your app idea

Thinking about Photos –  click the headline to be directed to the assignment blog.

Reviewing the different tips on better photography forced me to take a closer look that the types of pictures that I take.  I realized that I rush through taking photos and do not spend enough time trying to set up my shot.  A key point that resonated with me is to be more selective, and to think carefully about the shot that I am trying to achieve.

I specifically chose the “Religious and Residential” gallery in Abandoned America because I actually like visiting old historic churches and victorian homes.  I find that churches seem to be built differently depending on the geographical area.  For example, this is a picture of San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey, California.  It is the oldest functioning church and the first sandstone building in the state of California.

It was interesting to sift through photos of old abandoned churches from the gallery.  When asked if it felt the photos were a good representation of my version of a post-apolcalyptic aesthetic, I agreed because I did feel abandonment from a long time ago.


These are the photos I took for the Photoblitz assignment.  I actually really enjoyed completing this assignment, and enlisted the help of my husband.  He read to me the different prompts as both of us ran around the parking lot of the Lesner Inn working through the list.  It helped having another person available to point out different suggestions to capture.

Storytelling with Photos

My favorite type of story narrative is romance, due to the fact that I still consider myself to be a newlywed.  My husband is truly my best friend and life feels complete with him.  In this assignment, I placed these Instagram photos in this particular order to indicate the various stages relationships – courtship, engagement, and marriage.

This photo reminds me of a courtship between two people early in their relationship.  Every little gesture is appreciated and highlighted.  I choose this photo for the visual assignment “My favorite photo.”

This photo represents the newly engaged couple planning their wedding.  I tied it into the visual assignment “Places of Peace” and offered alternative venues that may also provide a sense of solace.

This gallery was probably my most favorite one.  This is my version of the “Five frame story” visual assignment.  I tried to provide a sense of compromise between Lenny and his buddy Neiko.  No doubt is compromise a necessity to a successful marriage.  However, these photos needed to be set up in order to obtain the desired message.  Dogs are not necessarily the best actors – they may or may not take to direction very well.  I ended up manually moving a dog out of the way in order to take the picture I wanted.

All in all, I felt that I learned a lot about photography in a short amount of time.  By being forced to discover different angles, depths, and to be more selective, I feel that photography can be a great way to express a feeling that you are trying to achieve.