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3 Tips for your Near Future

The reality after graduating for many of us, is that we will leave school unemployed. Luckily there are so many online resources that serve as free advice for this transitional phase. Here are just a few:

  1. IT WON’T BE EASY.
    Source as after source, this is the overarching theme. Unless you’re very lucky,  finding your first job will be the first real mission. Putting in a lot of hours and accepting no replies will be a given.”And there is a truth in the fact that only the toughest survive. The lazy ones fail.”– Chris Arnold
  2. YOUR PORTFOLIO IS KEY.
    Build. Your. Portfolio.
    Especially, your online portfolio–for accessibility. This is also your chance to be UNIQUE. You will be hired because you stand out.
  3. MONEY IS MATTER OF EXPERIENCE.
    Now I am not saying, be underpaid, never do that; though when it comes to your first job it is most likely not going to be your dream salary. That’s okay. Experience can be greater than money.Consider all that you do a learning experience!

(Continued)

Confessions of a Photo-Voyeur

Designing a composition for a photograph starts with voyeurism. Voyeurism is from the French word, voyeur, meaning “one who looks”. So if voyeurism, at its’ most fundamental core, is about making visual observations, then isn’t all of photography voyeuristic on some level?

Is voyeurism visual trespassing? Does it mean that the photographer does not interact with the subject? Or that the subject is unaware they are being observed? Are the camera and/or the photographer concealed from the subject? Or is the subject aware of both, but not concerned?

The definition of voyeurism is broad and ambiguous, which is why the subject is so interesting. Voyeurism transcends a continuum from sexual deviant to covert witness to innocuous observer. And so at what point on that continuum does the photographer become uncomfortable? At what point does the photographer realize she has clearly crossed a line invading someone’s privacy or possibly broken the law? It will be different points for different photographers in different situations. This is the fun of voyeurism. It forces the photographer to explore her own comfort zone with respect to encroaching upon those boundaries for the benefit of gaining photographic opportunity to seeing things she would not otherwise be seeing, had she not been looking.

The ultimate voyeur, Jimmy Stewart, from the Hitchcock film, Rear Window.

Stewart played an injured photographer who coincidentally witnessed a crime in a neighboring apartment while convalescing at home.

Graphic Designers are Contributing to Global Warming

In the graphic design field, it is important to see the drafts and final products on paper because it can look different on printed paper compared to the screen. Designers have to evaluate color, size, and even different types of paper to have the best finalized product design to show to either clients or for their own portfolio. But do you ever think about the cost when it comes to printing your designs, and I’m not talking about money?

“Every year, Americans use more than 90 million short tons of paper… 700 pounds of paper products”. So what do we do when we need to print our designs to see better results?

 

Here are 3 easy ways to help the environment and not contribute to global warming:

 

  • Recycle— Anything that can be recycled, just simply recycle it! This important step will help reduce waste and increase the number of recycled products.
  • Plan Ahead— Check all your printer settings to ensure that you are printing right the first time.
  • Recycled Paper— Try purchasing recycled paper and using them for your drafts and testing.

What’s up with copying in Art?

In graphic design, there are strict laws that protect designers work from being used. However, it seems like that doesn’t apply into the art world; there is an entire movement for that type of work. So why is copying allowed in art?

Well it can be traced back to Marcel Duchamp’s “readymade.” One of his most iconic readymade is the urinal that he titled Fountain (1917). Much like most of our reactions now, back then it was rejected by the art world too. But Duchamp wasn’t so pleased with the art world himself. He was a painter and wanted to go away from art being just visual, and emphasized the idea as central. This was his “anti-art” that critiqued, what even constitutes as art? Furthermore, his work pioneered Conceptual Art that focused on the idea of art work, rather than the finished product.

Later Duchamp’s readymade would extend into all fields of art. Ironically, Sherri Levine took Duchamp’s urinal, casted in bronze and titled Fountain (After Marcel Duchamp) (1991). She expanded upon the readymade and questioned the significance of a male artist that chose the piece in 1917, then a female reproducing it in 1991?

Take inspiration from everywhere

Wherever I am, whether it’s on vacation or at the doctor’s office, or even a fighter pilot helmet, I take inspiration from all of my surroundings. The key to a well-rounded perspective is to open your eyes to all resources and taking them into consideration.

Simple observation throughout your day will expose you to the world around you and familiarize yourself with the current designs. You won’t know what you like if you don’t look.

I’ve taken these helmet designs into consideration for a project in a graphics course. Keep your eyes peeled for something of interest. You never know what you may find when you start to look.

The Best Lions in the History of Art

I went to National Gallery of Art in D.C. Painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1615, Daniel in the Lions’ Den strikes my eyes as a realistic image of lions’ motion and Daniel’s facial expression. Measuring approximately 88 inches by 130 inches and painted with oil on canvas overwhelms my soul. The theme of Daniel in the Lions’ Den is based on the Biblical story of Daniel. The subject of this painting is Daniel surrounded by hungry and angry lions. Rubens, working with amazing creative energy produces the various motions, the asymmetrical composition, and the dramatic tones color in Daniel in the Lions’ Den.
There are lions activities going on. Daniel in the Lions’ Den enhances the emotional and physical tension, as reflected not only in Daniel’s face and muscles but also in lions’ different actions. Daniel’s eyes look up the sky. He prays and asks God for help. His facial expression is worried. The lions are all in different position and motion. Some are sleeping, some roaring and some just sitting there. Never bites Daniel. They have not hurt Daniel because I was found innocent in his sight.
It displays the asymmetrical composition. The painting is quite full and there is no space. This is because the majority of the space is occupied by the lions. Red blanket symbolizes Hebrew people and suggests the danger of spilled blood. Sometimes, whenever we are under the difficult situation, our points of view focus on the difficult situation. We do not realize and see the opened sky. Lions look down on the ground. Never see the opened sky. Ruben’s use of two different points of view gives me hope and wisdom.
This painting fills the brown tones color. Daniel’s flesh, near white and red blanket, is against the brown tones. In this painting, the element used is tone. We can see the light, medium, and dark shades of colors on the lions’ bodies and faces. This technique of tone also presents on Daniel’s body. We see the dark colors in the background, making the golden color and the pink flesh of Daniel stand out much more.
Daniel in the Lions’ Den reminded me of compositions as well as the depiction of space and movement represented Baroque art.

Behind Halo Top’s Rebrand

Watch out Ben & Jerry’s, Halo Top Creamery founded by Justin Woolverton is the new game changer in the ice cream aisle. Halo Top Creamery has ranked #5 on  Inc.’s 2017 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. What’s the secret behind it? There’s no secret but an ice cream that is low in calories and sugar. It’s every ice cream lover’s dream of eating a whole pint of ice cream guilt free. I have always chosen frozen yogurt as a healthier dessert option and it’s nice to know we now have a healthier option for ice cream. Woolverton stated, “We’re not going to defeat the obesity crisis by getting people to eat less; Americans, at least, aren’t hardwired that way. Instead, we need smarter food options.”

Halo Top was originally Eden Creamery when they first started in 2012 but Woolverton had to rebrand his product due to copyright infringement. He was sued again in 2015 only to change the packaging design. Despite these pitfalls, the rebrand of Halo Top has definitely improved for the better. It’s simple yet fun and stands out from other competitors.

Previous logo and packaging design

Current logo and packaging design

Read more about Halo Top’s story in the links below:

https://www.brandpackaging.com/articles/85139-halo-top-ice-creams-unlawfully-good-product-and-packaging

https://www.inc.com/kaitlyn-wang/2017-inc5000-halo-top-creamery.html

Bind it Yourself

I think bookbinding is not only an essential tool in a designer’s arsenal, but also an interesting and practical craft to take up. By binding your own books, you benefit by:

  1. Full customization– you get to choose the paper, the style of binding, the cover/page material, the cover design, the number of pages, etc. You get to make the book exactly the way you want it.
  2. Expense– you essentially only pay for the paper and the glue or thread, depending on the binding technique.
  3. Experiment with personal style (it’s a great conversation starter, too!)

Half of the market for graphic designers is in print media, making binding an important consideration in the process of creating a book. Having knowledge of the different types of binding can open up all kinds of creative avenues, and give your book a distinct look that simple saddle-stitch can’t provide. There are different ways to bind a book for different purposes (ie. if the pages should lie flat or not, if the book is about a particular subject or just a sketchbook, etc.) so it’s worth looking into to set yourself apart from other designers.

Some examples of my own bookbinding. Two of them are coptic stitch binding, and the third one is perfect bound using a pocky box.

Dressing Up Your Prints

What type of shirt are you wearing? When was the last time you looked at a brochure or flyer and how long did you keep it for? Well from the article, “Dress Up Your Print Materials,” it explains how good quality prints materials can be compared to good quality clothing. When you wear a cheap quality shirt, you might notice that it shrinks or wrinkles after washing it, the collar bends, the color fades, or the strings on the seams fall apart. However, if you wear a good quality shirt, you notice that it lasts longer, looks more elegant, fits well, feels comfortable, and people start complimenting on your shirt.

As a graphic designer, this got my attention because I could relate and understand why good quality prints can make a difference. If people see a cheap brochure or flyer, they might glance at it then throw it away and not care for it anymore. However, if you want to grab the reader’s attention longer, then using good quality prints could help because it makes them think twice before throwing away a good print design. To me, using good print design is another way to market yourself. Just like dressing up for a job interview, using good quality prints can make a good first impression.

This App Will Change Your Life

Making vectors, especially of complex patterns or drawings, can be pretty intimidating sometimes. I know for me, there have been so many instances where I’ve been discouraged from designing with analog anything solely because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of vectorizing it.

The Adobe Capture CC app was a game-changer though. *cue angels singing*

Using your phone’s camera, it turns photos into vector shapes, color themes, patterns, materials, and even brushes. It’s an extremely powerful tool that automates some pretty time-consuming processes.

 

In my opinion, the mobile app enables users to be designers all the time. Here’s what I mean: There have been so many moments where I’ll admire the colors in the sky or a patch of flowers on the side of the road. Instead of simply passing the scene by, I’ll pull out my phone to have Adobe Capture make color swatches that I can use in the future. The app syncs up with your Creative Cloud account, so anything you create can get sent directly to their desktop or laptop. It’s pretty great.

(Above shows how the app can take a simple drawing, vectorize it, and send it directly to your desktop via Creative Cloud)

Adobe Capture CC enables you to turn your design-driven thinking into action.