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Helvetica, it’s everywhere!

Everywhere you look there are million advertisement and thing that the majority of don’t notice is the typeface. There are millions of typefaces used and the one typeface that is overused, Helvetica. Now I’m saying that Helvetica is a bad typeface, it’s one of the best typefaces out there because it’s invisible. In an article Everett states “For many people, it’s the font they see everywhere but never really notice. It’s the carrier of maximum content in minimal form, designed to deliver a message without adding any special typographical flavor.” I agree with because Apple uses this typeface in their products and in their advertisements. This typefaces neutrality and its modern look is what big companies look for to update their visual identities to separate themselves from their competition. It is also a great typeface if you’re design something because Helvetica pretty goes with everything. It’s not overpowering, nor does it express it’s owns personality.

Little Texts on the Screen

In 1903, Edwin S. Porter’s film Uncle Tom’s Cabin created subtitles for the first time in media history. It was a big deal because the story content and dialogue could be fully explained for silent movies without audio. Today, subtitles are still widely used which is great news. However, some subtitles on TV cables are not designed accurately. The design of typography for subtitles needs to be functional—readable. The choice of distance, stroke, size, color, and speed can make subtitles functional.

Here are some problems: the background on TV is changing all the time and can be too dark or light, making captions hard to read. In this situation, the typography design can fixed with stroke, background, and color. Letter stoke needs to be thinner and in black, so the letters can have more positive space inside. If the stroke is thick, the letters will have less positive space that subtitles will look strange. The opacity background of texts works well for some people. Important of all, the best choice of color for subtitles is white or yellow. For distance, there should be different size options of subtitles for people sitting a few feet away from their screens.

Who knew the typography of subtitles can change people’s lives?

The End of a Marathon

After midterms are over, every college student looks forward to Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving is the time to relax and stuff our faces with homecooked food unless you are a designer like me and have final projects and papers due shortly after you return to college. Personally, between working and spending time with family, I did not have time to do school work, which left me cramming all the work I should have done on Monday. And, in typical college student fashion, I forgot about one of my assignment was due Monday and not later this week. My point is life after Thanksgiving break is stressful, and especially for graphic designers. Final projects are all due in two weeks along with final papers since we do not have exams during the final exam week, and we turn in final projects on the last day of class. Also, students’ motivation to get anything done after the break was left at home, unfortunately. How do you feel after getting back from Thanksgiving break?

Student

The Value of Antiques

In Las Vegas, there is a street that is filled with antique and vintage shops. These shops have all sorts of antiques and vintage finds, from furniture, clothes, decorations, old bottles, and even some taxidermy mounts. The area was relatively successful with sales and the number of shoppers passing through.

      

But what makes antiques so desired and supported by society? Why is there so much value in the mundane past?

What I have come across in my enjoyment of antiques is that these pieces tell and contain history that serves more than just a commercial purpose. I find that the old and unwanted pieces serve me in feeling a bit unique when finding the perfect candlestick or frame. The antique finds allow me to see designs and other products that are not being produced today but still have so much value in them. The value of the authentic vintage design mixed with the use and deterioration of a piece produces a unique and personal design.

         

Looking Out for the Future

A lot of designers in the recent years are looking to design and produce products in a more environmentally friendly way. For example a company in the Netherlands called Plasticiet, is changing the way we use recycled plastic.

They use the recycled plastic to produce sheet-like material that looks like terrazzo stone composites and marble. They currently produce sheets that are 80cm by 80cm, they want these sheets to be made available for interior and furniture design. The fun and beautiful patterns on the sheets would work really well on any furniture design. They are hoping to collaborate with companies like Ikea, a large company that can reach to a lot of people.

If more and more people have the passion and ambition to create and design things while being environmentally conscious, it would be a big step forward in saving our Earth. When it comes to designing and art, we should be looking for every possible way to make our work environmentally friendly

Have you updated to MacOS Mojave?

Have you updated your MacOS software yet? MacOS is an operating system on the MacBook and recently Apple Inc. released their fifteenth major update, the macOS Mojave. The latest design of this software includes new features such as dark mode, stack, and new ways to screenshot and look through your gallery. The drastic change to this software is the dark mode feature, it is a new look to your computer that helps you focus on your work. The main goal for this preference was to create a beautiful, distraction-free working environment that is supposed to be easier on the eyes. For starters, if it feels to dramatic of a change, Mojave includes the dynamic desktop wallpaper. This function allows the desktop to match the hour of the day where you are, from light to dark. Another exciting component to this update is the quick look. You can edit your files without having to open it and look through your gallery through quick actions. The stack functionality is a new way to keep your documents organized.

There are other significant updates to the Mojave, making the design interface simply more easy and powerful. Plus, you can now facetime up to 32 people, making it convenient to connect with your friends, family, and colleagues using any Apple device. I typically stall on any types of updates; however, I saw my friend with the new software and immediately downloaded it. I have been using the dark mode and enjoy the sleek look it gives to my desktop!

 

No More Warm Beer

Every gone to the beach and brought a beer with you and not long into your time being there it gets all warm and gross. Now there’s a thermal case that’s been created called the BottleKeeperthat solves that issue. This device is essentially a thermal bottle that is designed to hold a beer bottle inside of it. The thermal casing allows for any beer that is stored inside of it to stay cold for hours. To store your beer inside, the bottom of the thermal twists off allowing for the beer bottle to enter. The cap is extra-long and hollow so that it can seal the beer bottle inside and has a built-in bottle cap opener. The casing of the bottle is also has excellent shock absorbing capabilities, so just in case someone slams a volley ball at your beer, the bottle won’t break. The overall design looks very well made and durable.

 

Since the bottle in stored inside of a reusable casing it probably reduces incidental littering that happens when people pack their beach stuff up and forget to grab their crash bottles. Being around the holiday season, this is also a very good gift for a family member or friend that enjoys beer. The design also comes in seventeen different designs, so there is quite the variety to choose from. The BottleKeeper was a product that was showcased on the popular TV show SharkTank. Ever since it has had great international success. Now there’s no more need to worry about your beer getting warm.

Mastering the Basics: Color

One of most fundamental principles of art and design is color. What a simple concept. The correct use or lack of color in every design is critical in successful design. It is not as simple as it seems. Some designers have a natural ability to choose the most effective and complementary colors to type, image, space, etc. Because color is so complex, many need to be educated and understand color studies and theory.

I often find myself tripping over hues and saturations of various elements of my designs, including large color fields and color of typography. Majority of the work is often just right, but the color is often just not effective enough. As a design student, it is important to know the tools that I have. I don’t just have to rely on my own eye and senses.

Color Scheme Designer has become one of my most used tools in deciding which type of color groups to use in designs (mono, complementary, triadic, etc.). It not only gives inspiration for schemes, but also gives designers better understanding of color systems, if they are not well versed in those, already. The easy access and availability of this resource makes this complex job so much simpler, but also educates the mind of what colors work and what colors don’t. Going the easy route is sometimes very beneficial!

The new version of the design packaging of Xbox Adaptive Controller

Microsoft has redesigned the packaging of Xbox Adaptive Controller to make it easier to open for gamers with limited mobility. In May, the brand released the Xbox Adaptive Controller which is a video game controller for people with a disability.

Following feedbacks from consumers with disabilities, the company considered how it can improve the packaging of the controller for those with disability. First, the team decided on a “no teeth principle” in response to the behavior practiced by people with limited mobility when they are opening packages. Second, Microsoft has taken away anything on the package that could cause cuts.

They added loops so consumers can remove easily the product in different ways. Another feature they added was a cardboard loop on the outside of the specially designed box. When the player pulls the ring, the shipping box pops open. Finally, Cardboard air cells have been included to the box to protect the product and in that way, to get rid of bubble wrap and plastic, meaning the packaging can be recycled.

Effortless Design? There’s No Such Thing

When I first saw Ray Collins’ photographs of ocean waves, I was stunned. The presence of the water is almost palpable, rushing and thundering down yet glimmering like colored glass.

Ray Collins Wave Photography Ray Collins Wave Photography

But as beautiful as these final works are, we only get to see Collins’ best photos. A subject as ephemeral as the sea is hard to photograph, and the process takes preparation, research, and trial and error, even for an experienced photographer. “The actual process of pressing the button to capture the image is usually three-quarters of the way down the list,” says Collins.

The best art and design looks effortless and is taken for granted. People don’t wonder too much about what it took to paint the Mona Lisa; they just appreciate the final product. Likewise, the best movie soundtrack is the one that no one notices, that blends into the background. As designers, we want people to think at your painting, poster, or drawing, and think, “How could this piece be any other way? Everything is in the perfect place.”

But the secret to the illusion of effortlessness is… well, effort. Long hours with the pen, camera, or mouse are the only path to quality workmanship. The quantity of graphic design on online advertisements, social media, and websites is so overwhelming that we don’t often consider how much work goes into each of those designs. We only see the end result. In fact, the goal of most design work is to make viewers forget about the designer and see the message.

However, it’s important to remember that, no matter how minimalist or geometric a design is, there was a person behind it. Good design doesn’t happen spontaneously, it doesn’t materialize from a computer, and it certainly isn’t effortless to create.