Sunday, February 28, 2010

LIVESTRONG Army of KC | Tour de BBQ


Recently, I sought out an incredible opportunity to volunteer with the LIVESTRONG Army of Kansas City. Fortunately, based on my blog and a few pieces featured on my facebook, they were willing to bring me on to their communication committee as a designer. I will be designing the official poster for the Tour de BBQ taking place on October 2nd. This is a huge event that attracts cyclists from all over the world, I will have the potential to implement my design in to several other poster and promotional designs. The organization recently brought on Muller, Bressler, + Brown to re-vamp their website and I will be working hand in hand with their creatives to develop a cohesive campaign that will flow seamlessly from print to web. To have the opportunity to be apart of this organization and to be able to implement my design skills to something I am very passionate about is incredible and I am very excited to get started. This really goes to show what Kansas City has to offer, and it is still difficult to put in to words just how ecstatic I am about this not only because of the exposure but the meaning behind it all. I plan on documenting all my progress and process for the project on my blog as well as update with the organization and events. If anyone is interested in the organization or volunteering for events, feel free to contact me and I can direct you to the right person. Any feedback and comments would be more than welcome, thanks for checking out my post!

Friday, February 26, 2010

T4 Experimentation with Read + Pattern

So, I have made yet another great discovery within my experiments! As noted in my last post, I have thrown around the idea of creating patterns to demonstrate flow of the forms in both horizontal and vertical directions, and in that respect, I will be pushing the line between what is type and what is art. I started out working with words I have previously created and seeing what interactions they had reading left to right as well as top to bottom. They definitely created some very interesting forms, but I wanted to search with something that had a bit more meaning, something that would take a lot more to read in to. So I went back to the alphabet, and by happy accident, I reflected the type and discovered letters that read as different letters when they were reflected. My goal since then has been to create forms in the negative space that define 2 letters; one original and one reflected. From there I plan to moved towards their interaction in pattern work, the most difficult part is coming up with actual works on both sides of the reflection...For now I am just working with single letterforms and considering a series of pattern works. I would love to come up with a double meaning word or phrase but we will have to see if that comes to light before I run out of time. Enjoy!

working with repetition and reflections (above)

crazy! (above)

guess both letter for each and you get a gold star!! 

 Here is a look at some work that developed  during class on Friday. I worked intensively with the patterns, in the end working with a single form and how it can be reflected and repeated. I suggested the introduction of color, not sure if I like it or not, the pure black and white reference speaks strongly to the form and give simple yet impactful contrast. 

I also took an approach dealing with the interaction of words from baseline to the top of the word below it. So essentially, I worked with breaking from line to line to define the top and bottoms of the letters in each word. I work with a more free flowing, organic form as well as an angular, rigid, sharp form. I feel this is my best discovery yet, and successful at my goal of creating flow and interaction both horizontally and vertically.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Info Arch P1: McCoy vs. Vignelli | More Development

Based upon small group peer critiques and feedback from my desk crit, there were several things I needed to resolve in my design. The development was still very much at the beginning stages and lacking content and clarity. So that was my number one goal this go round; working with content and giving the user something to work with right from the start. I also found a more interesting way to integrate the full viewing of the essays that will be visible from all screen navigation versus only the index page as before. I pushed the timeline idea, working with 18 spaces, and in those spaces, including significant work from both Vignelli and McCoy. A lot of consideration went in to what pieces to include and there may still be some shifting in the final selection. I also created another outline of both the essays to grasp yet a better understanding of the two designers, and it was definitely helpful in defining my development; as was looking at other design work.

So, in this stage of development I have worked towards defining the 3 different columns of information. The title and timelines columns will be fixed above the fold while the body content will scroll, it will also include the new addition of drawers that will reveal the full essays. In regard to the timeline itself, I considered the best way to give the user content without giving too much would be to display a tight crop of the piece for that particular date. I felt the images would be more successful than trying to implement some sort of text, or numbering. A couple elements that still need to be resolved a bit more are the roll-over states as well as the on-click states. For this round I made the on-click states the fill color associated with either Vignelli or McCoy; however, I do not feel that it distinguishes enough, possible removing the timeline image block altogether once it is clicked on and the content is being viewed?? Hmmm....

forgot the click-state here...oops!! (above)

apparently here too...I need to get on that. (above)

click-state! (above)

the click-state for this page is where I discovered that its not as distinguished as I would like it to be (above)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

T4 "Type Image Message" Reading Response

The basic idea in this reading is how the viewer depends on type and image to give form and meaning to many messages and ideas. With this idea, images are more opened ended with many interpretations whereas words or type are shapes with learned, recognized meanings.  In relation to my type experimentation I am pushing this idea, melding image and type; creating type as image.

As far as which of the compositional strategies I have used most in the past, I would have to say my work leans heavily to the fusion of type and image. Working with type and image as one, and the type of 'cause and effect' relationship they have upon each other. In this relationship type and image are carefully constructed around each other and often create visual metaphors and other rhetorical devices.

Pertaining to my current work at kcai, I definitely see myself experimenting a bit more with multiple strategies. I have definitely created a lot more dimension within my work and my portfolio since starting at kcai. I have not only carried on the strategy of fusion but also the multiple meaning and clarity of separation, and the displacement, interruption, and exaggeration of fragmentation strategies.

In relation to my type experiment I am working heavily with inversion in which type and image exchange roles. This is relevant because of the idea of exchanging the roles of type and image, creating type to be viewed as image. It also works in the realm of fusion in regards to type and image working as one and connected in space. As well as the idea of transforming experience in regards to what is viewed in the positive and negative space. I am not certain that I can fully define my experimentation within these strategies because of the fact that I am dealing with type appearing as image as well as type. But I would like to explore the possibility of my experimentation fitting it to the other two strategies as well as further implementation in to the two already mentioned. I may do so by looking at contradiction (separation) appearing by what is read in the negative and positive space. Or pushing it towards multiple meanings that are woven in to the message that is defined as well as the overall image that is created (fragmentation).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Info Arch P1: McCoy | Vignelli Concept Development

Based upon the feedback I received from critique of my 3 concepts last week, I have decided to pursue concept number one; working with the timeline. I am still in the process of working out some of the interaction, but I have resolved some issues that were mentioned during crit. These solutions most likely will not be final but they are a push in the right direction. Since this concept is mainly driven by the work of Vignelli and McCoy the essays will be broken up depending on what pertains to what piece. So, this round I have made access to the full essays for the viewers pleasure.

I have also revised the click states for the timeline blocks as well as ways to display the date pertaining to the event. I refined the design overall by establishing a 4 column grid to develop better hierarchy as well as to allow the text and timeline to live in their separate spaces. Within the bodies of text I reworked the hierarchy of the heads, subheads, and body as well as the placement of those elements. In an effort to streamline the users experience I decided to integrate the background information on the subjects of Modernism and Postmodernism into the timeline itself versus separate links. I also did the same with the biographical information for Vignelli and McCoy. Working with pull quotes and how they can break the containment of the regulated column width adds dimension to my design, they are also distinguished hierarchically by scale and color. And although it may not be the final solution, I have pushed the integration of the commonalities within the timeline for Vignelli and McCoy, they play directly off the "+" [and] in the main title. However, it does not work as well with the on-click dates but it can definitely be pushed to be more successful. Enjoy!


Monday, February 22, 2010

T4 Typographic Experimentation | Patterns??

Hmm...this could be really interesting, this just occurred to me in consideration with the questions I was asking on my post from last night. How can flow be creating both vertically and horizontally, and how does interaction occur line to line versus letter to letter??

Some examples working with the positive form:


I like the idea of working on horizontal lines with emphasis on vertical interaction, therefore, words, phrases, and letters will have to be carefully chosen...

A better idea of the horizontal/vertical emphasis | Joshua Blankenship

Sunday, February 21, 2010

P2: The Persuasive Experience | Project Brief

 Wear sunscreen, you don't want to look like this guy...

ACME LIFE | New Product Launch Project Brief

ACME is considering the launch of a new product within the health and beauty line, sunblock. This product has potential to work independently as well as in an carefully considered kit environment. The product container and its contents will be environmentally friendly and all-natural, benefiting the earth as well as consideration to the consumer. The goals is to create a hassle-free experience/environment for the consumer.

This product will hold true to the unparalleled quality and effectiveness in addition to an elaborate and engaging branding strategy. Intensive market research will be conducted to determine distinguish-ability in branding and contents.

Consumer Research-- Based upon personal experience and observation, for most, the idea of sunblock proves to be an uncomfortable burden upon whatever fun, exciting event may be waiting. There is also consideration as to whether a spray/mist or lotion/cream based sunblock is more efficient and effective. The spray/mist sunblock proves to be more quick and convenient and not to mention virtually hands free. Consideration is also taken by consumers as to what the sunblock is to be used for; swimming, sports, camping, etc. Ultimately the consumer will be the one driving this product, therefore, relatability is key.

Market Research-- Within the market itself there is very little change brand to brand as far as packaging and color palettes; this is definitely an area we can exploit to make our products jump off the shelf and into the basket. The current manufacturers utilize a cool blue and warm orange color palette with very similar containers mostly catered to function versus experience. However, most do take in to consideration the activity to the extent of sports and water, long-lasting and even some with bug repellent. There is also some color reference in regard to SPF as well as specialized sunblock for face, babies, sensitive skin, etc. An area that is beginning to develop is the consideration to comfort, producing sunblock that is oil free and also  containing natural ingredients.

The target user in most scenarios will be adults, mainly parents, but there are exceptions; so the target user for this product is not gender specific and holds a wide age spectrum. However, this can be broken up as each specialized product with appeal to different action seekers. Not including the involuntary users, this product would appeal to male and females age 22-65 years of age.

In addition to being earth-friendly and all-natural this product will bring a new experience to the monotonous hassle of applying sunblock before laying on the beach or shredding the slopes. The branding aspect of the product will utilize packaging and color palettes not yet exploited by most of the competitors.

1. This approach will cater the sunblock to certain activities whether it be camping, swimming, or sports and may also be included in specialized kits possibly formatted in conjunction with lip balm, after sun lotion, and after burn lotion. The motif will appeal to the target audience within each activity and become heavily theme driven.

2. Another option focuses on adjectives pertaining to the idea of the oh so terrible sunburn, as well as elaborate color motifs distinguishing SPF, long-lasting, waterproof, etc. This approach will focus on simplicity and clarity of the message with the possibility of humorous relations; also to be considered in a kit-like format creating an environment for the user.


- Sunblock (spray/mist)*
- Sunblock (lotion)*
- Lip balm
- After sun lotion
- After burn lotion
- Biodegradable hand wipes?

*Each has the potential to a wide array of SPF and specialization

T4 Further Study of Interaction | Reflection

As mentioned in my previous post, I have moved towards exploring the relationship of letters in the context of words and phrases. I have taken my previous experiments of defining form with negative space and applied those to a study of how letters interact with each other. Based on what those forms created together, I made tweaks and discoveries of what did and didn't work; I also approached it from completely different angles.

There have been many elements that have come to light during this study and things seem to keep revealing as I push in different directions. For instance, as you will see in the work below, there is a dramatic difference in personality and appearance when working with geometric forms and hard angles versus more organic, curvilinear lines and shapes. It also seems that the more organic, curvilinear letterforms work much better and have more appeal that those of geometric shape. As before and here too I had a difficult time defining those purely geometric letters, and they proved to be even more difficult being at the start of a word or phrase. In regards to the more organic letterforms, they created a better flow in the piece and much like reading traditional type they guide the viewers eye from left to right through the word or phrase. I have had successful horizontal flow but once again working vertical has proven to be more difficult not only in definition but making it flow with the rest of the composition.

Throughout this process I have created foundation elements and have pushed them, maybe even too far, towards minimalism to make them as simplistic as possible and really pushing legibility (also shown below). Another highly noticed characteristic is the contrast in density in regard to the positive and negative forms. With this there is also somewhat of an illusion of off spacing that is created when letterforms are defined with less versus more. The exact opposite occurs when the letters are defined with more negative shapes as they appear heavier and much more bold. To add even more interest in the piece I have taken a couple approaches where I have broken the baseline, x-height, and vertical height of the ascendants. This give an interesting element and makes the discovery of the phrase and letters and bit more difficult because of the flourish the extended shapes give. In the first round of this idea, I worked strictly with letter contour and hard angles giving the finished piece a very rigid and geometric feel. This brought to light the personality and overall feel of the work as you will get an increasingly different feel when viewing a rigid, sharp composition versus a more round, organic piece. In terms of personality I have also learned after working strictly and breaking free from the foundation font I work with is that sticking to the foundation form give the composition a more composed, predetermined feel with less personality.

My experimentation has come a long way but I feel there is much more to learn and many new areas to explore. One of interest, in contest with these exercises, is what effects will text breaking into several lines have? Could that solve the problem of vertical interaction? Could there be a vertical flow simultaneous with a horizontal one without creating too much definition and holding the minimalist approach?

organic/curvilinear VS. geometric/angular (above)

first development with an previous alphabetic experiment put into context (above)

an approach after analyzing the initial development (above)

working with unity between common forms in the letters and taking a stab at really pushing legibility

Saturday, February 20, 2010

T4 Experimentation with Interaction

So far through this experiment process I have been focusing on the development of negative space and how it can define a letter. However, my process has evolved from working with individual letters and the alphabet to seeing these forms in contexts. When making this move I was finally able to break free of the typeface(s) I have been using, staying close to the actual form of the foundation font limited my definition and interaction. After playing with the defined letterforms in the context of words and phrases I have discovered yet another realm; working with how the negative space from each letter interacts with one another. I have worked with this at a surface level working with the forms I have already developed, but from these I plan to explore the relationships even more. Here is a look at what I developed during class on Friday, creating letterforms and applying them to words and phrases.

Bauer Bodoni, working with counters and line contour, some work better than others, and like most of the other experiements, I have had struggles defining the more geometric letters such as 'l', 'j', and 'i'; however, this may easily be resolved when working with interaction in context.

Color coding to visually show relationships of form.

Working with a pre-defined shape and how it interacts with the knocked out letter.

Working a previous study in context.

Why I am using "hamburgefonts"

I plan on re-working some of my previous trials to see if any interaction surfaces.