Friday, October 30, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Postcard 1 & 2 Response/Feedback

I want to first reflect on the communications based on the first postcard and how certain things were portrayed and interpreted correctly while others were not. In creating the first postcard my objective was to focus more on the portrayal of a glass jug, its characteristics, and its prospective purpose. In which I did not limit myself solely to the portrayal of a glass jug in relation to beer brewing and your brand description. Also, with the lighting, my goal was to give a dark feeling to the image, but in relation to the idea of bootlegging, illegal activity, etc. You [Josh] are correct in the interpretation of the jug as "poison" as I was leaning more towards the idea of alcohol and "moonshine" that had that edge or kick to it. I also thought of the jug as being a storage container in transporting and dispensing from. With that, knowledge and context play a very important role in this communication; I have less knowledge about the fermentation process, as does the average audience, so these image based communications will need more context to relate to the subject matter. We do all have our biases and opinions as well, so the interpretation of our communications can always be misconstrued and I feel that is partially what happened in this instance.

Your [Josh] interpretation of my image from postcard one was rather hit and miss in comparison to the way I had hoped it would be interpreted. My intentions were to portray the rebel, bootlegger, rustic, and robust characteristics that I associated with the glass jug. As well as the basic aesthetics of the job and its unfamiliarity (as far as use) in today's contemporary society, so I intended to imagine this glass jug as hand-made, dated, and outlawed. I also focused on what might be housed in the glass jug and I mentioned before the idea of bootlegging and moonshine often came to mind. The idea that was not picked up entirely what that of rustic, and hand-made, portrayed with the vintage, grunge treatment to the image as as whole.

In relation to postcard 2, I found myself lost at first, and felt that it was ineffective as I gained no more emotion as I did when producing the first image. There is no context to even begin to figure out what the addition to the image is, it simply looks like a shape protruding out of the top of the jug. However, I can see it being iconic for something but still do not know what that is without it being refined. Again, the failure of this communication is because of knowledge base, you [Josh] know a LOT more about fermentation and the process of brewing beer than I do, so I took the liberty of doing some research of my own. From my best guess, and from its mention in my first card feedback, it is an airlock used during the fermentation process which allows carbon dioxide to be released but does not let air in. It makes sense now, but from first glance I had no idea what it was other than just something added to the image without a purpose, and not conveyed very well. One of my concerns is how this would relate to the average person with the same knowledge level of beer brewing as I? I do understand this is not a finished project but it would be something to take into consideration and push it towards a more iconic interpretation. However, someone interested in this brand may be an avid brewer themselves...Knowledge and opinion hindered our communications but may prove to be more effective later in the project.

So in our initial communication context and knowledge is where it suffered and therefore made it somewhat unsuccessful. In our communication there was a semantic level of noise in respect to cultural as well as social background and knowledge of beer brewing and fermentation. It ultimately lead to the partial failure of out initial communication, but could possibly prove to beneficial in the long run of this project. However, I do feel that the photographic representation was successful, as it is very iconic of a glass jug and it highly recognizable as being dated, rustic, and robust, but that failed to be interpreted by the receiver. There is definitely a lot to be learned from this initial process that pertains to communication and the interpretation and knowledge of the sender and receiver and how that can hinder the message being portrayed. These communication errors were also evident in the second postcard, and in this case, superior knowledge of the sender led to a misinterpretation or no interpretation at all rather from the receiver.

Josh Laston- postcard 2 (above)

postcard 1 (above)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NARRATIVE: Project 3, Sound; Interface Design Final Direction Ideas

Based on feedback from small group meetings on Wednesday, there are some iterations of the direction I decided to go. I am looking to work with icons, symbols, and physical objects that are interactive with the user and help create the overall "environment." I have also explored having the movie clips play in the physical environment or playing full screen, separate from the environment.

revisions presented on Wednesday (above)

final concept iterations (above)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TYPOGRAPHY 3: Project 3; Russel Wright Spreads & Progress

Here is some progress of my work for the Russel Wright book, Good Design is for Everyone...
There are some refinements to my essay and plate spreads as well as first round concepts of my half-title, full title, contents, and bibliography. Enjoy!


Half-Title (above)

Full Title (above)

Contents (above)

Plate 1 (above)

Plate 2 (above)


VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Postcard 1

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Postcard Progress

Well, I bought a glass jug and took some photos of it and ended up picking out about a dozen or so of the strongest images. I took photos from several different perspectives and tried to portray the key features of the glass jug that made it distinguishable. I was going for the idea of vintage, dated, rustic, and robust with my images. I won't go into too much depth since we are communicating with the other class, but I hope my images communicate what I had in mind while producing them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TYPOGRAPHY 3: Project 3; Essay & Plate Spread...More Progress

Here is more progress for both my essay and plate spreads... I have completed the reading in "The Elements of Typographic Style" and it gave me a lot of insight to things that I may not have payed as much attention to before. So I hope to reference those things and implement them in to my design for this book. Even more progress to come, enjoy!


VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Word List for "Glass Jug"

Below is my word list for "glass Jug" and I am sure by reading through it you can see the several different contexts that my words derived from. I often found myself coming back to alcohol and most of my words had a context of being "back in the day". If you think about it, the derivative nature of these words in the context I associated them with is fairly accurate; glass is not used near as much anymore, especially glass jugs, and if it is used it is often associated with alcohol. So there is a brief look in to my brainstorming on this subject and hopefully it puts me in a good position for Monday's class.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Reading Summations


Berlow's model of education is the idea of a cohesive relationship between the source and receiver of a message and the aspects of communication between the two. The term dyadic defines that relationship between the source and receiver and the important role it plays in communication. In that relationship, the more developed the communication skills of the source and receiver, the more effective the message will be to the source and receiver; the coder and encoder.

The sources of communication mentioned by Berlow are very logical and applicable when portraying a message; speaking and writing, listening and reading, and thought or reading. Also, the encoder, or source, skill level can effect the ability to analyze our own purposes and intentions, or our ability to say something and have it come across in the correct context. With that comes the ability or lack of ability to encode messages with what we intend to say, in other words, finding the right word to say that has a common meaning for both parties. These words that are put forth by the source, or encoder, effect how we think and what we think about; the way we express about our experiences are a direct reflection of out experience of the world. The lack of these skills obviously limit the ideas that are available and in the end decrease our ability to think through these ideas. The skills that are involved in portraying a message are the ability to know and apply the code's grammar, know and use a broad vocabulary, know and apply conventions, and the overall adaptation of the code to the audience.

The next idea of communication being affected by the knowledge or the source, which includes his/her own attitudes and whether they apply positively or negatively. The ways in which he/she produce and treat the message in relation to the logical mode of communication. The choice of the communicative channel and how it related to the competition, and it is also important to consider subject matter and the knowledge of the subject matter. The source also has to take in to consideration the socio-cultural level of the audience as well as attitude in relation towards self, subject matter, and receiver. 

The next step in Berlow's model is "Message" the includes the determination of the code itself, the material, order, and arrangement of the material in the message, and the selecting and arranging of the code and content.

The last step is "Channel" (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting) and relates to the media used to communicate the message. These selections are limited to availability, budget, source preferences, the channels received by the most people in relation to cost, and finding the channel with the most impact.


The reading on semiotics, gave a clear and concise view as to how symbols work and how the message can be transmitted to the viewer. However, these symbols and messages can by very simple but can also be complex and require advanced knowledge and context.

Symbols are signs with arbitrary relationships between the signified and signifier. The signifier is an action or symbol, and the signified is the message portrayed (i.e shaking hands = greeting, black tie = formal occasion).

Messages can also be transmitted through the medium whether it is presentational (voice, face, or body), representational (paintings, books, photos), and mechanical (telephones, internet, tv). The example of the Mona Lisa demonstrates the use of all 3 mediums due to her facial expression, it is a painting in its original form, and internet/TV in digital form.

There is also the context that related to an object in the relationship between the sender and receiver. A writer and reader (sender and receiver) with a context of literature and the object is a book. There is a distinct relation between the context and object that embodies the visual aspect of what is being communicated between the sender and receiver.


The first discussion within this reading was that of argument as to whether "academic" classes are of benefit to graphic design students and their studies. There was also the idea of what if graphic design was a liberal art? If so it would, theoretically, bridge the many subjects that deal with communication, expression, interaction, and cognition. There would be a focus on the meaning of design and how it can be created as well as the relationship of form and communication.

In relation to liberal arts are scholars or scholarship, and if design were a liberal art there would be no scholarship due to the fact there is no subject matter of its own. The subject matter of design is an unestablished problem, made partly determinable by the clients, managers, and the designer. If design were to take the form of liberal arts, there would be a strong emphasis on rhetoric that would influence the actions of individuals and communities, change attitudes and values, as well as shape society in a fundamental way. However there would be a balance in practice and analysis, but ultimately is not limited to just the communication mode of rhetoric.


The reading on theory to practice deals with the interference of "noise" that can occur during communication between the sender and receiver. There are 3 levels to this noise; one being an obvious problem such as smudged printing or bad workmanship, two on the semantic level which is caused by the receivers cultural background as well as their social group, and the third is effectiveness and whether or not the message is distinguishable.

In relation to sending a message comes the complexity or simplicity of the message, and the idea of "form follows function" plays directly in to this idea. This idea is plain but beautiful and was taken to its extreme during the 1920's and 30's beginning with Vienna and ending with Berlin. From there, Modernism proved its effectiveness without decoration. In society, decoration is redundancy and can be reduced by being less wordy or by using metaphors but those messages can become distorted in an similar way as the game "telephone". In cooperation with the message, redundancy give us context which then creates longevity is a product or message. A simple or less wordy message with little to know context is often confused and forgotten. These redundant concepts are portrayed with the use of metaphor, analogy, anecdote, and cliches.

The opposite of redundancy is entropy which is a technical language or an unfamiliar visual communication. Once and entropic concept becomes familiar and distinguishable, it is no longer entropy, it is redundancy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 2; Final Design & Statement "City on the Sea"


This is my final design for our re-design project using modes of appeal. I chose to re-design A.M. Cassandre's L'Atlantique Ocean Liner poster (1931) in a contemporary setting; his original poster has an ethical appeal; through the visual exaggeration of scale of the ocean liner in comparison to the tug boat exemplifies the building of character and trust with the viewer. The grand image of the ocean liner also shows authority and further represents the monolithic qualities (solid/unbroken hull) and is seen as strong, safe, and reliable.

The re-design is a logical appeal (logos) due to its diagrammatic nature displaying the amenities the Atlantic Cruse Lines have to offer and with that I played off of the idea of a "City on the Sea" to further exaggerate the point. I feel that it is very successful and the mixture of image-making with watercolor and vector illustration further strengthen the design and work together harmoniously.

Throughout my image making process I tried to explore mediums that would strengthen the idea of relaxation and "loose" nature of a cruise vacation. Through that process I arrive at watercolor because of it loose, expressive nature, not to mention the fact that it is water-based and its "water" characteristics. The strong strokes and color differences in the watercolor make it very effective not to mention the fact that the raw watercolor makes up the waterline where the ocean and cruise ship meet.

I am very happy with the finished product and it all seemed to fall into place very well, and I feel that it is an effective piece. It also adds more depth and dimension not only to me as a designer but also to my portfolio because of the exploration and use of image-making and combining that with digital production. Its adds a very fresh and pleasing element to the design that makes it very appealing.

I will also add photos of final critique as soon as I get them..

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 2; Oh The Irony....

So as I was looking to see what time my mom's flight got in today, there was a small advertisement for Costa Cruises "Cruising Italian Style...That's Amore" and they also played with the idea of a reflection on the ocean to give deeper meaning (no pun intended) to their idea of Italian style cruising. Just thought it was quite ironic due to my current subject matter and the ideas I pursued. Do you get the sense the guy in the boat is downing in this image?? I think it is quite effective. Enjoy!

TYPOGRAPHY 3: Project 3; Essay & Plate Spread Progress

This is some progress I have been making with my essay and plate spreads for Russel Wright's Good Design is for Everyone. I have made some adjustments to my essay spreads based on group feedback on Monday and the plate spreads are a work in progress, but they are some basic ideas for now. For the plates I am working off a similar grid structure as for my essay spreads. Enjoy!

"Drop Cap" (above/below)

Also, here is some of my inspiration for this project as far as grid structure goes...


I also thought this was a VERY effective grid, thought it was pretty sweet and I may just do the same in my garage someday....In all seriousness it is a very cool project; they are moving/storage boxes that have punch outs so you can "write" on them or make a message with multiple!