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Swamp Thing

Detective Comics announced that on May 31st it will premiere Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing first appears July 1971 in House of Secrets issue 92 and since then has appeared in many other comics and has earned a comic of his own. Alex Olsen was a talented scientist in the early 1900’s married to Linda. Olsen’s college Damian Ridge secretly loved Linda and planned to steal her away from him. Damian Ridge tampered with Olsen’s experiment which in turn killed him in an explosion. Ridge disposed of his body in the Louisiana marsh and Swamp Thing was born, an earth elemental made of plant material.

This is the second time that Swamp Thing has graced the TV screen, Swamp Thing had three seasons from 1990-1993. During these seasons he battled companies dumping toxic waste, villains that planned to destroy large parts of the forest to build shopping malls and your run of the mill thugs. This remake, however, is set to tackle some of the same environmental issues but will have cameos from other DC shows, much like the show Smallville. This series is starting near the end of the semester so it’s the perfect show to kick back and relax with until August when your back to pulling overnighters on design projects.

Inspire

“Not everything is design. But design is about everything. So do yourself a favor: be ready for anything.”

Reading these words from a design review by Michael Bierut felt like my inner child had been given the keys to the biggest toy store in town. Like permission had been given to continue reading that page turning collection of short horror stories under my bed sheets with a flashlight. To never grow tired of pursuing, or let go of, the things I love. I’ve always felt a sense of uncertainty and difficulty when thinking about my future as a designer and the work I’ll (hopefully) be doing, because whenever the thought crosses my mind, so does the possibility of having to completely curtail myself of other passions and hobbies. I’ve dreaded the eventuality of losing the things that inspire me, the nerdy minutiae that ignite my desire to design, and more importantly, to create. Hobbies like video games, comic books, films and television shows, musical instruments, and other similar things I have written blog posts about, have a negative connotation. They are viewed as things that, after a certain age, should be grown out of.

Michael Bierut, in three short sentences, washed away all doubt and reaffirmed my already established belief: true passion cannot be contained. Trying to focus my mind on only one creative outlet is destined to give me tunnel vision and, worse, drown out potential inspirations. Reading about an eye-opening experience for an established graphic designer and his resolve has quickly become my biggest takeaway from writing for designers as a whole. Bierut’s few yet powerful words have an appropriate finality as the end of the semester approaches: design is about everything. So be ready for anything.

And if anything, I hope this helps anyone reading this feel less guilty about playing video games all night.

Redbubble: A Sanctuary For Artists

Artists that are just starting out have a hard time getting noticed for their hard work. They produce new and innovative content that is hardly seen by the public. While the struggle continues, some have discovered a place to practice and sell their artwork.

Redbubble homepage screenshot

Redbubble is a sanctuary for artists and designers. The moment a customer discovers their work they start to gain a following. After the artwork is uploaded onto the profile, it can be put on anything including clothes, stickers, cards, or posters. Once customers click on the profile, see the portfolio, and purchase products, those artists get recognition. Since gaining a presence on social media can be hard, artists find that Redbubble is a more focused artistic setting where they can make money and receive feedback on their work. For instance, Andrea Lauren is a Redbubble artist who has gained success in her many patterned designs and has a following of almost 2000 people.

Emerging artists want recognition for their projects and they need somewhere to present their content. Redbubble is a perfect place to do so because it never hurts to make money and gain a following at the same time.

Enhance Your Garden This Spring!

With spring here, everyone is starting to clean up their flowerbeds and buy fresh flowers. Figuring out what color flowers to get, the type of flowers, and the size of the plant are all relate to design. Design is everywhere whether people realize it or not. Being aware of the proportions of the plants and the space that they will be living in is crucial to making sure your decisions and ideas will be executed accurately. This article talks about eight different design principles for landscaping that will help anyone be more successful in planting their own plants. The article highlights that being aware of the size of plants and using the golden ratio method are key to your success in creating your own garden. There are strategies of planting plants in a certain order from biggest to smallest. Bigger plants take up more space and you don’t want them to hide smaller plants, so you plant the bigger ones first and then plant smaller plants around it. This strategy may seem obvious, but it is still effective in ensuring a great garden. By being aware of these simple design principles, your garden will be enhanced in no time. Landscape design is very similar to interior design because you are designing a space. Both fields consist of determining what will enhance the space in a new and appealing way. Knowing what types of plants will work best in certain situations is also important. I hope everyone who is cleaning out their old plants and getting ready for spring is channeling their inner designer and creating beautiful gardens.

How Instagram Changed Advertising

Have you noticed how so many brands look the same and are following the same design conventions? So called “lifestyle” brands market their products in a very similar format: A high resolution photo of the product with no text placed against a simple background (usually a solid color) that offers high contrast. The reason that this style of advertising is so popular is due to Instagram’s image heavy format. On Instagram the image is the central content. Text is relegated to captions and not usually placed on top of a photo. The reason for this is because studies have shown that millennials value authenticity in their brands. Advertisers have shifted to appear more authentic by making their advertisement content appear similar to the type of content that that their friends and influencers would post. The line is often blurred as we can see below.

Honda’s advertisement looks like something an influencer would post. The emphasis and content are virtually identical. If a user is scrolling, there is a chance that they would not be able to distinguish between the sponsored post and the influencer post who they might already follow. Advertisement is constantly evolving, and it is up to PR companies to understand the current climate and advertise accordingly. Instagram offers a platform that is an advertisers dream.

Komprehension of Mortal Kombat’s Logo

MK11 Hybrid Logomark

In case you don’t follow the gaming news or just don’t care about these kinds of games, Mortal Kombat 11 is releasing April 23, 2019. The graphics and character models have definitely changed, yet one thing that stayed is Mortal Kombat’s logo. We all know this logo, the dragon in-profile in a circular border. The logo type chosen is a serif typeface that just fits with the bloody combat game. The game has gone through multiple iterations that was kept in sync with the evolving gaming technology. However, the MK logo has been well-established since the beginning that both the logomark and logotype is synonymous with the game. Game covers for Mortal Kombat have interchanged between the mark or typeface because no matter what is placed on the cover, the game is not hurt by any sudden changes. It has gotten to the point that their marketing team is able to incorporate other elements in their logotype for their current iteration without damaging the core essence. For example, the current iteration is ‘Mortal Kombat 11″ where the design team starts to incorporate the number ’11’ with the logotype. The logo has been minimally changed to a cleaner look but I believe that Mortal Kombat has the best branding system in gaming, and whoever disagrees can face me in Mortal Kombat! …or just explain in the comments below.

Original MK Game Cover Art

Movie Posters

Movie posters help set the tone for the featured movie. It helps bring in an audience that might not know what the movie is about, but feels compelled to watch because of how great the poster is. I have seen many movies over my life span and I have notice that some movie posters look the same as others.

In these posters, they have the opposing sides looking at each other getting ready for battle; see any similarities? I do

In these posters, they all look the same and even include the same actor! Just a picture of Matt Damon with a san serif font written across his face in white.

I found out that companies do this because when they see success come from a movie and they try to replicate the poster in hopes that it will bring their movie success as well. I understand why the movie companies do this, but part of me wishes there was some variety.  

Branding Snoop Dogg

With the growth of legalization of marijuana in some states, packaging design is becoming a tool in order to promote their product. However, with the stigma still lingering on topic of marijuana, it’s a little difficult to approach, let alone to sell and advertise it. Snoop Dogg has recently released his own line of smoking accessories, POUNDS, which launched in 2017.

When I think of Snoop Dogg releasing a product, I think of the obvious, Drop It Like It’s Hot and weed. When I came across the package design for POUNDS, I was surprised. The design to the product was elegantly discrete but still didn’t hide what its purpose was intended for. The colors where bright and bold, sophisticated typography on the box, and held a contemporary identity.  It was completely different from what I assumed for it to be – monochromatic hues of green, a billion pot leaves, and smoke floating around.

Not only did it have a contemporary and sophisticated look, but I think every person who saw it would give it a second glance due to its nature in design. This package design almost looked like it was a liquor bottle design. Snoop Dog intended for the product design to be kept, not tossed out (a major plus, environmentally friendly). Which explains why there was much thought into the packaging. Although the recreational use of marijuana still carries a heavy stigma, I think it’s safe to say the packaging design coming from this field is making its way into the game.

Eat Mor Chikin

One of my favorite corporate logos is the Chick-fil-a logo. It has only changed minutely in the 72 years the food chain has been open. First of all, the font is perfect. It’s playful yet elegant; using cursive yet its rounded like a fat writing utensil a child would use. The capital “A” at the end of the logo is an interesting choice as well, but the authority of it balances out the “C” at the beginning of the logo. Now, my favorite part is the “C”. Not only is a beautiful curly letter on its own, but it was turned into a chicken to advertise their products. This chicken is created out of simple shapes and adds to that fun aspect of the logo. Not only is their logo beautiful, Chick-fil-a has the best menu in the fast food industry. To make them more interesting I found a list of interesting facts about the company.

Lefties Left Out

Have you ever noticed that everything is made for right-handed people? Don’t believe me? Notebooks, the spiral bound is on the right side which gets in the way when left-handed people try to write on it. Binders, the rings for a binder are on the right side so when a lefty tries to write on the first page they have to turn the whole binder sideways so that they can write somewhat normally. There are left-handed scissors out there but in school, there are maybe 15 right-handed scissors with one left-handed one. We live in a right-handed world that lefties just should fit in. Everything is designed for right-handed people just because it is the majority. I know that right-handed people would have never noticed anything was up because why would they? The world caters to them, but all my fellow lefties out there know the struggle of smearing ink on your hand when writing and when trying to sign something at a credit card machine, having a little battle with the pen because it’s on the opposite side you need it to be on. Everything should have a left-handed option because there are lefties out there, we are not THAT rare and we DO matter. So if you’re a righty and you are reading this, take a second to thank the world for designing things for righties and be glad you don’t have to worry about smearing led all over the side of your hand or awkward write in a notebook to avoid the spiral from indenting your hand.

To read more about the struggles of a lefty, click here