Thursday, June 13, 2013

Graphic Design Final Project

I began searching for examples of bad designs online. This image came up after I searched "Billboards" in Google and browsed through the images that came up. I found multiple examples of bad design under this search, but this one was exceptionally weak due to its cluttered, busy appeal. The imagery used was unappealing and it's readability was difficult, thus I immediately knew it was a prime example of poor design. The biggest flaw I noticed in this advertisement was the poor use of proximity and the unorganized placement of the elements in the design. Next was the text, and how too much was used with too many fonts and colors. The last major flaw I detected was the distracting, kind of gross-looking picture of a burger off to the right that took attention away from the more important information.
First sketches for redesign

Once I started to evaluate the BurgerFresh billboard using the Design rubric, I realized that a lot of the basic principles of design needed to be worked on in this piece. The categories that needed the most improvements were proximity, typography, and craftsmanship. With the location of important details, the use of typography, and precision in mind, I began brainstorming a new design. I first new I wanted to clean up the advertisement by removing unnecessary information and illustrations, including the image of the burger and the red bursts around the "Best Burgers in Texas" and "$1 Breakfast Menu." After simplifying the overall presentation and unifying the fonts of the text, I planned to align the information so that the logo would be at the center and the left over information would be lining the top and bottom of the design.

My first redesign
After completing my first redesign, I reviewed it based on the evaluating rubric. Although it was already much higher than the original ad, my first design scored the lowest in the contrast, proximity, color, and craftsmanship categories. I planned to fix these first by adding a few more points of interest to break up the uniform simplicity of the design and fix up any minor precision errors. With these goals in mind I began sketching. Then I took my new ideas into Adobe Illustrator and began applying them to my design.

First I used up some of the empty space and added contrast and repetition by placing two cartoon cheese burgers to the left and right of the BurgerFresh logo. Then I began playing around with color combinations to improve that aspect of the design. I realized that as it was, my ad looked too much like a flag for a country with the two red stripes. I then decided to remove the top stripe for some asymmetry and allow the baseline of the text to guide the reader as well as put the text in the same red as the stripe had been to maintain balance. There were still other ways I could have fixed any of the evaluation issues. One could have been to add another color to the entire theme, such as the blue in the BurgerFresh logo. I also could have enlarged either the center logo or the top and bottom banners to increase the proximity. Last, I might have included a text blurb advertising the "$1 Breakfast Menu" for additional contrast.

Overall the hardest improvement for me to make for this Graphic Design project was the placement of the logo and the removal of the large burger. The burger took up most of the space in the original design so I had difficulty trying to figure out how I would fill up the empty space. As for the logo, I had to trim around the white space to fit it onto a yellow background which took a lot of time and precision. 
The strongest part of my design is the logo and the symmetry. I edited the logo and removed the background coloring to ensure its unity with the yellow background. Also, it's position on the centerline of the design makes it the most noticeable aspect of the design. The ad is overall more effective by emphasizing the main idea and selling point. The other strong part of my design is the balance and symmetry. The bold alignment of the text along the top and bottom of the poster directs the viewer through what is important. Additional color is splashed in beside the logo with the burger cartoons, they are small, however, provide pleasant contrast and symmetry.

Less noticeable than the main elements of my redesign, but still has value, is the font I chose to use for the text. In the original design the fonts of the additional information were not uniformed and clashed with the calligraphic font of the logo, adding to the overall cluttered feel. I ultimately took note of the glyphs used in the BurgerFresh logo, which are actually ligatures, and reviewed a wide selection of fonts before landing on one that just about exactly matched that of the "BurgerFresh" in the logo. I then wrote out the other information in this font to correlate with the logo.
If I did go back and revise my design one more time, there is at least one thing I would change. I would enlarge the top quote by a few font sizes, as well as increase the measure of the bottom phone number and address to give those aspects of the design greater emphasis. This way all of the text would be legible no one would have a problem reading my advertisement along the side of the highway.

In general I am very proud of my work for this project. I am specifically proud of my innovative thoughts and planning and creative redesign of the original ad. I am very happy with the way I was able to totally clean up the original design and raise its placement on the evaluation rubric from below basic to borderline advanced. It is much more clean and appealing now. I learned a lot from this project and next time I plan on using what I learned to my advantage. In the future, I will master my use of the pen tool and cropping so that there are no errors and take into account the size of every element of my design. I can use the patience, precision, and care for detail I have acquired in this class and transfer them to my other classes. Now I can more effectively evaluate all of my work and focus in on what needs the most improvement. This project has made me learn not to be content with the first product, that it is ok sit back and look over my work. Nothing will be perfect the first round, that's why we need to try again and work that much harder each time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Name Collage

Above is an image of my name collage. This project came from our class trip to the MHS Art show, where we viewed the artwork and took pictures of letters in the work that would later spell out our first and last names. Upon selecting which photos to use, we then were instructed to assemble the letters in photoshop using layer mask on most of the images while cropping others.

For my name, I chose to use some actual letters while for others I used shapes and designs that resembled letter sin my name and oriented them so that they would appear as letters. Such an example is the seagull portraying the "V" in my last name, or even the swirls of light that look like the "M" and "e" in "Maggie." On letters that required context clues to identify the shape, I cropped the original image and zoom in on the specific letter I wanted, such as the encircled 1 acting as an "i" or the seagull. For the stand alone letters that did not require background support, I used the layer mask in photoshop to outline only the letter itself, such as the "S" and "R" in "Servais."