Skip to content

Are Graphic Designers even necessary anymore?

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 11.50.04 AMOver the past several days I have noticed several new ads on TV adverting how easy it is to create a website yourself. Without the need to hire anyone to create the site for you. There are many different web services available now where you can create your own website for free or you have to pay a small fee and you don’t have to hire anyone to code or design the site for you. So my question is… as these online services become more and more popular how important are graphic designers in all this? Designers are responsible for creating web pages for many business, companies etc. but whats going to happen to these web design jobs when all people decide to go the way of the easy online, create your own site for cheaper route. Do these online services like, work just as well as a designer? Are designers replaceable or do web/graphic designers offer something that they will never be able to get from an easy online service?

Who Knew?

The art of letter forms is not new. We study writing and its origins, generally agreed as Sumerian cuneiform writing circa 3300 BCE. We study multicultural progression of written languages. As designers, we study its display.

Until March 22, 2015, the Sackler Gallery is exhibiting Nasta’Liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. I went to see nasta’liq, a calligraphic script from 14th century Iran, but was not prepared for the graphic design.

I was hit by grid structures; intricate floral designs in extra large margins and around scripted phrases; borders upon borders (a current graphic design no-no); décor and script together in one border; flowing letter forms; and diagonals/triangles as text blocks. The symmetry and asymmetry had me drawing in my notepad.

I knew graphic design wasn’t new, but I didn’t think it was this old. Please take the time to visit. The inspiration is worth the trip.


script by Mir Ali Haravi ca 1525


Script by Sultan Ahmad Jalayir ca 1400

Divan_by poet Kamal_Khugandi_script_by_Azhar_Tabrizi

“Divan” by poet Kamal Khugandi with script by Azhar Tabrizi ca 1450

Times New Roman

Is there something wrong with the state we turn in papers for courses we take at the college level? Are the MLA, APA, Chicago style, and other established style guides for producing papers wrong? Or, are they exactly what they need to be.

The twelve point double spaced paper, with Times New Roman, a cover, and bibliography page is something that every student knows by heart. At one point or another, every single one of us has produced, and turned in, a paper exactly like this. These papers are admittedly not very pleasant to look at, but they accomplish exactly what they are made to do. Above all else the, this set of rules was put in place to make papers as legible and easy to edit as possible.

I have encountered some design students who dislike turning in anything that looks like an MLA style paper. I have even met people who will go out of their way to design their paper before turning it in. Is all of this regret and embarrassment really necessary? After all, you are delivering to the client (teacher) exactly what they asked for. Perhaps this means the problem lies further up the chain, if there is even a problem.

Obviously, these professors teach in other disciplines aside from graphic design. It should go without saying that any paper turned in to a graphic design professor should look nice. I am referencing papers you might have in a general education course. Do you feel a sense of regret or shame when turning in an MLA style paper? Could an academic paper be anything more than what is established; should it be anything more?

You are an Artist? So…You Aren’t Doing Anything Practical With Your Life?

I have been an artist of many mediums, my entire life. I began in the performing arts arena as a professional modern dancer, that held a company contract with the Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company in NYC. Following retirement, I began my career at GMU as a graphic designer in the visual arts.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from an adult woman who I used to teach ballet to. She gave me her input on my chosen career path.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 1.54.05 PM


My first response was along the lines of, “Politely go F@*$ yourself.” But I restrained myself and responded in a manner that I felt would politely discredit her well-intented opinion.

While time has gone by, I have remained bothered by not only by her boldness, but the lack of awareness many people have for the art and design that surrounds them everyday. Design is everywhere and in everything. Art is everywhere and in everything – whether it is noticed to or not. The practicality of it is beyond obvious, right?

My jaw drops at the lack of awareness many people have for art and design, as well as the ever present notion that the arts is not a “practical” way to live ones life. Can you imagine a world with NO art and design? I care not to think such things. But apparently some people think the beauty that enhances their lives, and they take for granted, appears out of thin air.


What beauty looks like

Esther Honig, a journalist and social media manager, that sent head to shoulder portraits of her face to 40 different artists in 40 different countries, along with text that simply said, “make me look beautiful.”

Each artist, using Photoshop, altered Honig’s facial features, coloring, and expression to achieve the ideal model of what their specific country finds beautiful.

What she received back from them was amazing.



Being born and raised in America, it is engraved in my head that the idea of beauty is tall, skinny, tan, blonde, well-endowed (T&A). Especially as women, we think a lot…A LOT about what beauty is, are we beautiful, do other people think we are beautiful – and we try to achieve, maintain, or fix aspects of ourselves to achieve the coveted title of being beautiful. It is as if we forget that the world is a big place with lots of people, which means their are many perspectives and opinions. There isn’t one mold of anything, thank gosh for small miracles.

However, this causes me to wonder about technology’s role in shaping what people think is beautiful. We see advertisements everyday as flawless examples of beauty, and we then measure our selves against these pinnacles of perfection. Our sense of what is real is shaped by the click of a mouse.

It’s scary because it’s so easy – and people believe that it is reality.

It takes two clicks to shave inches off of someones hips or create red lips or make someone’s skin lighter or darker. But, in reality it takes serious time or is not possible.

Without technology, would people – women and men – be nipping, tucking, dying, starving, and killing themselves to be “beautiful”?

The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife…

Advertising design plays an important role in selling products and services. It refers to the creation and organization of visual artwork used in advertisement. Having a good image and a good slogan will always help pulling in variety of consumers. However, there are companies out there that are very well known for their brand but not their brand’s value.

Clif Dickens, a graphic designer, created a site that would support the honest consumer feedback on products. features a collection of well-known brands with different slogans. Honest Slogans takes company logo and brands, using the same typeface, adds a new funny twist, and creates new parody advertising images. The idea behind his work is simple but brilliant. Finding the right typeface could be difficult for some designers. I also thought what each slogan says is very true. Some people may agree but most would argue that these slogans are true.

You can see more of his collection through Here are my top 10 favorite. What do you think? Are there any brand that you would like to add?. Comment below and let me know which one is your favorite…





A Solution that Works

Having had beautician aunts expose me to skincare products since I was ten, all skincare pretty much looks and does the same thing to me: trying to make you look better. I never pledged allegiance to a brand because none were effective enough to be memorable.

However, I received a free Laneige sample to try and was so excited not because Laneige is a famous brand, but because of the packaging.



The creams illustrate a  simple color scheme of light blue and white, which together portray clean elegance. Doing research later on, I discovered laneige means snow in French and I found the colors to be even more appropriate for this brand. The decoration was simplistic but smart. The sleeping mask pack illustrates a snow pattern, true to its name, and the simplicity of the packaging makes it stand apart from other brands. Also, the san-serif font reduces the intimidating sophistication often associated with high end beauty products, thus appealing to more consumers.

The product itself stood out to me because it smelled great and seemed pretty effective. But who cares about that when the packaging is so awesome.

Sometimes The Top Design Isn’t The Best Design



Let’s face it…the design of the Colombian Women Team’s cycling outfit is…different.

And naked! Well, sort of.

In the recent Giro di Toscana, an international annual bicycle race held in Tuscany, Italy, the Women’s team from Columbia was spotted wearing outfits that gave the illusion they were partially nude. These uniforms weren’t see through or exposed any skin by any means, but due to their flesh-tone and emphasis on the lower torso of the body, they appeared to be almost pornographic and have caused quite a stir for many people.

“It’s sexist!” or, “Unacceptably Indecent!” Are some of the few phrases that were used to describe the impression left on people worried that not only do the outfits mock the sport and spirit of equality and fun in cycling, but that the uniforms are degrading to women.

So what are your thoughts? I think this is a case of poor design execution. Just because it was chosen to represent the team and even sponsored by the Colombian government, that doesn’t make the design a good one.

Granted, this outfit is unique and will be memorable to many, but probably not for the reasons initially intended!

More Info: (Cycling Uniforms on Mashable)

Evolution of the Apple Logo

Did you ever know how many times the Apple logo changed?

We see this logo everywhere, especially us designers. However, I think it is interesting to take the time and find out the process of this logo that we see everyday and maybe learn from it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.00.23 PM


The first logo was featuring Isaac Newton under an apple tree. A year later, it changed to focusing on the apple itself when Steve Jobs commissioned Rob Janoff to design it. The vibrant colors were usually to grab children’s attention for school.

Did you ever ask yourself why there was a bite on the apple?

The bite on the apple was purposely added to show scale and prove that it is an apple. If that bite wasn’t there it would look like a cherry or any other fruit. If you notice, “bite” sounded like “byte,” which is ” a unit of digital information in computing and telecommunication.”

It finally changed to monochrome because they felt that the rainbow didn’t work on the metallic MacBooks.

We really should be looking at these logos around us and appreciating them more.

Friendly pictograms of 2014 Rio Olympics games


Pictograms for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games have been unveiled by the Organising Committee, marking the first time that all of the Olympic and Paralympic sports have been individually represented.The pictograms were inspired by the official Rio 2016 typeface – developed by Dalton Maag – and were first drawn by hand. They were then digitally reconstructed to follow the contours of the letters. My first impression on these pictograms is streamline and friendly. The bounding shapes are nice, round without being just a circle or oval. Also, these are consistence with their logo which is a simplify, streamline, and abstract icon. Compare with previous icons that from London and London, there is much more friendly. I think “friendly” is a great feeling for branding like Olympic games, so it tells public it is not only a game for top athletics but also a party for normal people. Moreover, it encourages people to take part in this activity personally. These pictograms make me excited about the Rio 2016 Olympic. Can’t wait for The GAMES to begin!

This is the video about the inspiration of those pictograms. Check it out.