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Designing a Movie Opening Sequence

Opening sequences for  movies can either  be amazing or a bore fest that you have to sit through in order to get to the movie. However, many movies have created amazing sequences that hook you into the movie before it actually begins. The three sequences I chose are from “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, “Oz: The Great and the Powerful” and “Catch Me If You Can”. All three films use motion graphics to create visually stunning sequences. They do not use any kind of video or actors, it is all done with simple graphics that are put in motion. Take a look at the above sequences and let me know what your favorite is or if you know of any other opening sequences that are amazing post the link in the comments!

How to design vs. How to be a designer

Recently I’ve just been reflecting on my path as a designer. I’d think about how far I’ve progressed in my education and the caliber of my design skills… Let’s just say that I’m not quite exactly happy.

I ask myself, “What is the issue? What is it that makes me feel inadequate as a designer?”. And ultimately, I reflected upon my experience so far in my design education. I have grown and learned a lot from all my classes. But there are times I feel that I come out taking less from the class than I’m suppose to. To me, that was a conflicting thought. Looking back now, I’ve been taught more on the side of how to design rather than how to be a designer. You may be asking now, what’s the difference? Isn’t learning how to design a natural progression towards being a designer?

Yes and no. Anyone could potentially learn how to design. They can learn how to operate some creative suite software and produce designs. But does that necessarily make them a designer? For me, not really. Designers know not only how to design, but they also are able to look further. They can look into the world, envision it in a different way and make that vision possible through their design. So in my mind, I find myself at an impasse. Am I someone who just knows how to design? What qualifies me as a designer? Where do you find yourself on this particular spectrum?

This post was sparked by Ken Baynes, Editorial Director of Loughborough Design Press, and his video discussion on design education. Check it out down below

Blending In

History-2008 cecilia-paredes-6

Last semester, I had the opportunity to do a research project to one of my favorite artists: Cecilia Paredes.

As you can see, Cecilia marks a bridge between art and the real world. In other words, she uses people as mediums and corporates into her paintings. However, her technique is what usually helps her work stand out from any other artist. Believe it or not, Cecilia paints those bodies based on background texture she uses. Doing so, the body suddenly becomes a chameleon and makes the body blend into the environment.

Based on her captivated success, Cecilia Paredes created a series of these paintings and called them “Photo Performances.”  What I love about Cecilia is her history and creativity. Just like me, Paredes was born in Lima Peru and had to transfer to different schools in order to become the artist she is today. Also I love how the design plays into these works. You can clearly see how much detail she puts into the body form in order to create an accurate blending.

Based from her concept, I also had the opportunity to create my own photo performances. However, I change the concept with my own interpretation. I decided to do a series of stereotypes that are popular within our society today. My main focus is how teenagers constantly struggle to be accepted, and “blend” into society. Therefore I took some stereotypes and use the people’s clothing to relatively  match with the background.

To give you a visual idea, here are my five photo performances that I made:

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Now that you have learned about this process, what are you thoughts? What are your own interpretations with Cecilia Paredes’ artworks?


Minimalist Posters Of Famous Films

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Spanish design firm atipo created a series of 15 movie posters in honor of “Paper Galler.” Each image uses only various colors, textures and manipulations of paper to convey the essence of an entire film.

After I saw these posters, I compare my own poster work to them. Did I say/use/express too much on my work? Did audience need some of information? It makes me have a self-doubt on my design stylize. I think the best design is the simplest design; also it can’t be too simple to confuse audiences. As a result, it will be the challenge for every designer.

About the 4 Elements of Timeless Logo Design

Days ago, I read the article from Bianca Rothschild about four elements of successful logos. There are Stylize, font, color, and package. Here are some thoughts after I read her blog. You will have various idea, once you have a brainstorming, but you must chose the best one of them. Focus on one idea that speaks to the key personality of your brand. Keep the icon clean and simple. The more complex the design, the faster it will date. About the Font, Stick with classic and well-crafted fonts, because trendy fonts that dates faster. Packaging is how you organize your icon and text. Only 1 pixel can give a different feeling to your clients. I think color is the last step of the designing. When choosing a main color, explore all the different shades of the color you like. It is usually best practice to stick to a small palette of one main color, possibly a minor secondary color, and then one neutral color.

I think the logo design is a process of accumulating experience. We must to see thousands works from other successful designers, and learn from them.

Working Habits

As a graphic design student, I often take short breaks while working on an assignment. I find that this really helps my work process because it refreshes my mind and helps me concentrate on the actual assignment better. I also like to listen to music while I’m designing because that also helps me tune everything out and focus on my work while spurring creativity.

I recently read an article about Susan Kare, the graphic designer who designed the icons and fonts for the first Mac computer, where she talks about her work environment and work habits. She likes to set up a comfortable work environment that also helps spur her creativity. Her office is decorated with a big mix of things, like paintings, books, and other personal items that make it feel like a work friendly environment. Kare also has some favorite stations that she listens to while working to help her concentrate.

I think taking breaks and  having a comfortable, relaxing work environment is essential to the design process. How about you? How do you work while you design or create art?

Here is the article:

The Sincerity Machine

Two words: Comic Sans.

The much reviled typeface has been used once again to irritate and annoy, but also prove a point. Jesse England rebuilt a typewriter with Comic Sans used as an alternative typeface. He has even gone so far as gluing onto the keys little letters that show just what you’re getting yourself into when you start typing.

The Sincerity Machine

But his point is a good one. A lot of hate for Comic Sans comes from its overuse by amateur designers who simply don’t know any better, and are trying to use something other than Times New Roman for their project.

So what is so wrong with a typewriter that employs the use of Comic Sans? The fact that this guy successfully trolled the entire design community by possibly ruining a perfectly good old-fashioned typewriter.

Well done sir, well done.

Get the full effect with the video from this link:

The Wonderful World of Watercolor

Tattoos are permanent body art. They aren’t always done with the best intentions and may not always be perfectly executed, but when done properly, they can be breathtaking.

Has anyone here ever heard of watercolor tattoos?

They are tattoos that are made to look like watercolor paintings, and I think they are the most beautiful creations I could paint onto my body. They are nowhere near tacky, and are something that I’d be proud so show off.

Instead of getting your boyfriend’s name inked onto your rib cage, try something like these flowers or this dandelion creation.

Watercolor 3   Watercolor 6

Rather than get a giant tattoo of your last name across your back or shoulders, try a colorful riot of ink splatters.

Watercolor 7

If you absolutely must have a tattoo of an animal, may I suggest this little bird, or even a mermaid?

Watercolor 8   Watercolor 4

The options are endless, but I think that a watercolor creation would be so much more beautiful a design to ink into your skin, and something that you won’t regret in the years to come.

Here are some more images I pulled from the internet. Prepare to be amazed!

Watercolor 1  Watercolor 2   Watercolor 5   Watercolor 9

Scary Movies & Scary Posters

I am not a horror movie buff. In fact, I rarely go out to a movie theater. But when I do venture out in search of a movie, it’s usually with my friends, and we all go see a scary movie together.

One of the things that I find most interesting about scary movies is the posters that advertise the film just outside a theater. They’re not overly colorful. They don’t scream at people passing by. They’re simple and almost elegant in their designs, and they advertise the movie currently playing.

And they’re extremely creepy.

For example:


As Above So Below, a film I saw last month, is only shown in red and black, but the brilliant shade of red evokes the instant thought of blood (an important part of nearly the entire horror genre). The Eiffel Tower is upside down, and at the top of the poster, a quote says “The only way out is down.” The way this poster is laid out is unsettling in that everything is literally flipped upside down.

The same goes for the new Carrie movie that came out last year.

Carrie 2013

All you see in this poster is the face of the actress, and yet you know that the liquid running down her face is blood. Most of pop culture knows what the main plot of Carrie is, but this simple poster evokes a kind of dread about what the updated version will have in store for its audiences.

Horror movie posters have a darkness to them, but they aren’t overpowering at all. Sometimes what’s most frightening about them are the images that imply the plot, like the poster for last year’s The Conjuring.

The Conjuring

Notice the shadow of a hanging person in the bottom right corner? Not only is it extremely unsettling, but that shadow is an important part of the movie’s plot.

These posters actively advertise the film and bring in customers, but they also do a subtle job of foretelling what’s to happen if you bravely step inside the theater and buy a ticket.


Book covers are an excellent example of packaging design. The designer can showcase their ability to compose an attractive cover through thoughtful selection and composition of typography, imagery, and color. I am attracted to series of books that share a cohesive and different design approach from typical covers in that genre.



The colorful elements pop out from the detailed sketch of the human head and attention was given to where the art is cropped. Strategically designed, the covers informs the viewers that there are six books in the series and that each book addresses a different part of the brain.


The book covers above are for a series of books about the fundamental principles of art. I thought it was appropriate that the content of the book was reflected on the cover and beautifully done so with basic shapes and colors. Through a similar color selection and composition, the books are unified and carry a sophisticated tone that makes the viewer wonder what the books are about.

These two examples caught my eye when I was surfing the web for inspiration. Which book covers have caught your attention?