Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Senior Capstone Writing Response

       For our Senior Capstone project, our identity as artist/designers will be evident in the work that we create for the assignment. Our main objective is to design artworks that will express our perspectives on a particular topic (of our choice) that we will address. In order to catch the attention of our client and/or audience, we as artists should choose a topic that we can relate to or have strong opinions pertaining to it. Choosing a topic that follows the guideline of the previous statement would make it better for everyone to express themselves in an influential way.
       For my Senior Capstone project, I believe that Karl Marx’s perspective of the “House versus Home” theory helped me a lot in expressing my opinion of what design can do and what it is good for in terms of allowing a client to be comfortable with expressing his/her identity and/or personality. In my opinion, it is essential to create products, shapes, colors, and/or anything tangible that will attract clients of all races, ages, genders, religious practices, and etcetera to help them achieve to attaining a certain mood that correlates with the client and/or audience’s personality. It is my task as the designer of this project to visually create ways to convince the viewers to agree and comply with the particular view point that I identify with and relate to in this assignment. In my opinion, I agree with Marx’s theory; in my project I will be giving three examples of different people (an artist, a musician, and an athlete) that this theory could apply to. In general, the theory can apply to anyone, but it is good to have some examples so that my audience can understand the idea of using Marx’s theory to support my design perspective; it also shows my understanding of Marx’s theory.
I decided to design my Senior Project in book form because this allowed me to incorporate text with my images. Instead of using Photoshop, Illustrator, or taking photographs of specific places, I chose to illustrate my own images to give the book a more “personal, nostalgic” tone. The overall format of the book is to acknowledge the physical “house” that each individual mentioned (the artist, the musician, and the athlete) dwells in, versus the emotional, mental state of mind that one has when they envision their “home”, or according to Marx’s theory, a place where the individual “belongs”. Including my own experience as an example, I like warm colors such as reds and oranges. These two colors can also be found in images of sunrises and sunsets. To me, those type of images soothe me and allow me to relax and unwind from my stressful days at work, school, and etcetera. So with that being said, it is logical that I should surround myself with artworks and/or products that have a sunrise, sunset, reds, and oranges incorporated into it. In the book, I express how the artist, the musician, and the athlete’s house (an apartment or mansion) may be their place of residence, but their specific place of “belonging” or “comfort” is something totally different (an art studio, a concert stage, and a basketball court).

       Towards the end of the book, I discuss my opinion of how Marx’s theory correlates with the importance of incorporating design into our world today. I address this perspective in the “What Does Design Do?” portion of my book. In my opinion, I believe that Marx’s theory correlates with the importance of design (using interior design as an example) because with the aid of design, the client feels more comfortable when adding elements to their “house“ that reminds them of a place that they would consider their true “home”. Good examples of those elements could be wallpaper designs, patterns, fabrics, and even furniture. Overall, I am confident that my book successfully explains Marx’s “House versus Home” theory as well as my perspective of his theory expressing the importance of design and its resourcefulness and reliability to the designer’s clients.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hip Hop Haven

Fall 2009 Senior GD Studio teamed up with a Non-Profit organization called Hip Hop Haven to create some promotional information for them. Their main focus was to create awareness about Hip Hop Haven’s mission. They also wanted to bring people into the center. The package design was created by Helen Shaffer. She states “I decided to do a CD packaging project to house a mix tape and I put together that could be used as a promotional tool for the organization. I used recycled cardboard CD-cases and printed stickers to use for the artwork. Each copy maintains an element of originality as no two covers are the same. I am currently in a Client and Community class and we created some promotional information for a clients. I think this is a new approach, having each individual piece be different. Allowing the organization to change it and create their own vision. The design of the CD case has some collage involved and it is all stickers that you place on the CD case yourself. I think they did a nice job with the design and creating something that is eye catching for the audience.

Large-Scale Advertising

I have recently taken an interest in large scale advertisements. I'm really drawn to them mainly because of their size. Ever since designing for the exhibition, making work that is larges-scale is something that I've never done before but something I really enjoy. Seeing work when it's huge and almost daunting is really interesting to me. Although I do wonder if I'm interested in it just because it is so big. Design wise, creating work that is at that magnitude can either be a good or bad thing for designers. If you've never worked at that size then it would definitely take adjusting to because there is so much canvas to create on, bu then again it could also open your mind up and give you the opportunity to be able to really show your idea because you have so much space and also because it's going to be seen by so many people. Large-scale advertising is definitely something that designers can celebrate, but also be wary of. So many people see it, but then so many people see it. This means that the piece really has to be something worth showing at such a big size. No one wants to look at bad design 4 stories tall. This really puts the pressure on designers to make something worthwhile, although they do have a little bit of an advantage because at least fighting among other ads for viewing time by passerby's is significantly reduced because of the size.

I have been looking at a lot of wedding invitation over the past month. My family member just got engaged. She has asked that I help her design the invitations. I was searching the internet for some inspiration and I stumbled upon these really creative incitations designed by Stripe and Field. The cards are really simple and have a very lovely color scheme. I find them very unique and elegant. I have looked at many different kinds of wedding invitations and have not found anything that catches my eye. The patterns in the invitation are a simple green and tan color. The use of lines on the cards are also very simplistic. On the website they also show how they were inspired by the vintage sale books and textile books. The website of Stripe and Field also has the same feel as these invitation cards and is quite impressive. They do a really nice job using white space and a hint of color.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Odd and interesting design

It takes just a little imagination to make ordinary things interesting.

I have always be fascinated with the designs that people come up with when using ordinary things. People have passion exploring ideas and inspired designs. These designs can led to the development of a full range of functional, fashion-forward, and moderately priced accessories that appeal to a broad range of design-conscious consumers. The designers of these ordinary things probably look to create hope and try to make your life just a little more colorful, satisfying, and more fun.I feel it would be very interesting to design something someday that any design-conscious consumer would want to invest in.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Go Do Good, Chicago

Has anyone seen this mural at the corner of State and Madison this week, or the large campaign inspiring good deeds by Chicagoans this summer?

Ty Tabing, executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance says, "We are using the art as a call to action for Chicagoans to make a difference". Chicagoans can visit the website of the initiative,, to find out ways to join citywide volunteering efforts, which will focus on youth literacy in the month of June. But they're also encouraging good deeds of the more everyday variety.

I'm really excited to see design out there in our environment that not only provides something interesting to look at, but is also aimed at benefiting the community at large. Maybe I have a biased opinion because my own capstone project deals with ways in which we can engage our community in being active when it comes to pressing social issues. But nonetheless, I find it noble to see design 'doing good'. So come on Chicago, GO DO GOOD!


I found a very interesting ad for Votswagon Jetta. The complexity of the imagery is amazing. My one critique would be that Mom should look like she’s not falling asleep at the wheel, if “getting there” is what the ad is trying to convey. I do get the relaxation message of tanning at the beach, while the kids play nicely nearby.

I wonder about the designer’s process in making this image. The sand effect is the ad’s best attribute in my opinion. The photography is also great. Many questions come to mind…what is the car made of? Is this a digital photo or rendered on the computer?

The Votswagon logo is one car logo that I always loved because of the simplicity of its design. The san-serif V set on top of the W is very eye pleasing. The result of the crossed W worked out great for them, very clever. I do plan to go into logo designing after college. I’ll be sure to remember that less is more, and minimalism is usually the best way to go with logos. However, this will surely challenge my unconscious and kind of annoying tendency to fill the space, which I actually look forward to.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goodbye Food Pyramid!

Just read an article that explained that the FDA is now retiring the MyPyramid image ( aka the food pyramid). The new logo will be a pie graph shaped plate. Apparently, according to Michelle Obama, the MyPyramid logo which closely resembles the classic food pyramid that was used from the late 1950's till just recently did not really catch peoples attention. The new logo resembles a plate and has sections off what part or percentage of food should be from which category (fruits, vegetables, protein etc.)

I am going to miss the classic food pyramid! I don't mind the new design, but I do think that this will be easier to comprehend and hopefully aide the public in choosing the right portions for better health.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Design Hoarders

I recently stumbled upon this article by Steven Heller on the AIGA website titled What to do With Design Stuff? Heller argues "you are more likely to be a hoarder if you are a graphic designer than not". While the article itself is quite humorous, I find something really interesting about his point. I don't know about any of you guys, but I find that I have a hard time throwing things away after I have no use for them. Not in an obsessive of unhealthy way. I think it's more that now I have a relationship with the object and understand the design thought that went into producing it. For this reason, I think things with no real value may intrinsically hold what I might call 'design value'. For example, magazines and catalogs which are largely disposable and usually have a shelf life of no more than a month or two, for some reason seem valuable to me. And this is probably due to the fact that I understand the time and energy that went into making them. But maybe it is even more than that. Maybe I feel a connection with the person who designed it. I guess what I'm really trying to say is-I'm really not sure what it is, but design is so great because it can have such a lasting impression and relationship with its audience.