Skip to content

Duotone

Duotone is a lovely book all about two-tone palettes and limited color schemes in design. Even the cover of the book has a two-tone palette. Duotone has three major sections: color matching, duotone effects, and gradation. The purpose of this book is to show how effective and strong limited color schemes are in design. By having duotones from a variety of projects including book covers, posters, brochures, posters, and more, this book is useful for every kind of designer. Each page also includes swatches if you find yourself interested in using similar colors to the designs in the book.

This book explores designs created by more than one designer, showing how duotones can effectively be used with different styles, compositions, typefaces, and illustrations. Although I do not own this book, I found myself drawn to it. I’d love to buy it one day soon to look through all the pages to better understand how to limit the color palette in my designs. I think this book is great source for inspiration if you’re interested in limited color schemes.

Netflix’s New Logo Animation

Netflix recently came out with a new logo animation for when you open-up the app. It writes out the “N” and then it zooms in to these long colorful lines as the sound . There’s a lot of controversy to the new logo because it reminds people of 2013 or 2012 but I really enjoy it. I think it’s very modern and is a lot better than the previous one which was just the word Netflix on a grey scene and it pops out. This animation happens when you open the website/app up or when you start one of their original shows or movies. Netflix was very smart to do this to their logo animation because it is the look and feel that they are heading towards and this is just one step closer. Overall, Netflix was very smart with updating their logo animation and it’s very modern and upbeat looking which is what they were going for.

To read more about their logo animation click here

Infographics

            Info graphics have been gaining so much light recently. I was not aware of them and what they did. They are some way to inform people from young to the older generation.  These infographics are ways to communicate important details in picture form. I had to do one of these info graphics for a class. The only hard part about the info graphic process was knowing what exactly what to talk about or make it into an infographic. It would be better if there was a client involve that I could work with and give me instructions on what to work on as an infographic. I have a hard time coming up with things on the spot especially when there is artist block. Now that I know what infographics are I pay more attention to my surroundings. The most places I see them are the doctor’s office, dentist office, subways, and public schools. To read more about infographics click here.

The Art of Fake Design

What’s the sneakiest, most successful kind of design? The kind you don’t even think about. The kind you simply accept, even when the reality before you fits in a box. That is the beauty of design, that is, its beauty lies in its ability to be invisible; to slip through the cracks of our subconscious and be absorbed by our minds. And what better time to do that then when we’re melting our brains watching TV? 

Now you might be thinking about product placement, but aha that would be too obvious. No. The true beauty lies in designs that don’t take you out of the worlds of the imaginary. I’m talking about fictional brands. Brands that don’t exist, but that are so well designed and placed within the world of the fictional, that we simply accept them when we suspend disbelief.  

Some examples of these fictional brands include Pizza Planet (Pixar’s Toy Story), Stark Industries (Marvel’s Iron Man), and Oceanic Airlines (Lost). All of these designs look like they could exist in the real world, and that is why they blend in so well. They follow the same rules real logos and brand identities follow, and you can be sure a designer was present when these designs were made. 

The 12 most famous fictitious designs can be found here!

Computer Build

Recently I came across computer builds these computers are mostly used for gaming but can be used for other things such as process work. Building a computer can be a bit pricey and good in the long run. You can customize them and make the computer builds budget friendly as well. Not only that you can add more storage to that unit or add more cooling fans as well as lighting. What has come to my attention is that now these days the computer gaming has come up with different lighting systems for the computer parts. Especially the RGB colors that have come out recently are not only being produced by one company but many. These builds are not only for both gaming and process but can be a fun visual for people to look at. I want to build one of these computers to get better at doing graphic design work. The process of wanting one of these for an affordable price at the moment is a bit stressful because for my buying something I need to look for ways to get deals or compared them to different sites. I hope the result piece is worth all of this searching. To create your budget friendly computer build click here.

Interview with a Baby Boomer: Ikea Is A Four Letter Word

I asked my mother, born in the Baby Boomer generation, if there was something design-related she dislikes. It took her awhile to think of something, but soon her face scrunched up as she uttered, “sleek, modern, Swedish furniture.” I, of course, asked her why she did not like it.
My mom described Swedish furniture, namely Ikea furniture, as the following: ‘cheap ass’, cold-looking, and not homey. My favorite of her descriptions was “if you were going to strap somebody down and execute them, it would be on Ikea furniture.” She continued to say that Ikea furniture looks clinical, breaks down easily, and it doesn’t feel nice. I asked her if this was limited to furniture you would put in your living room, and she replied that she wouldn’t put Ikea furniture in any room.  Neutral colors like white, gray, and beige drain the color from a living space.
I decided to ask her what her ideal furniture design would entail. She prefers more antique designs. Nice hardwood (like walnut, cherry, or mahogany), a rich luster, medium brown tones, and being able to see the grain of the wood were all part of her specifications for her ideal furniture. She values craftsmanship over bare functionality.

I thought of the Ikea consumers that I know in my life. Most of the people I know who use Ikea furniture are young couples, college students, or those fresh out of college in their first real home/apartment. I also know a few others who prefer Ikea furniture designs because it fits a more modern home aesthetic for a decent price. I asked her if her stable financial situation influenced her decisions at all, as antique, hardwood furniture tends to cost much more than Ikea furniture. She denied her financial situation had anything to do with it; it was just her taste in furniture. She stated that she would rather invest in one good piece of furniture and sit on the floor than invest in Ikea. Using yard sales and Facebook Marketplace to find pieces of antique furniture for a good price is also an option for her.

While my mom does not represent all Baby Boomers, I have a question for the readers.

Why do you think the Baby Boomers prefer more expensive, antique furniture over modern, Ikea furniture? Childhood associations? Functionality? Durability? Purely aesthetic reasons?

A New Outlook

At the beginning of this year, Microsoft created a new set of logo marks for their entire office suite collection. However, one Microsoft program redesign, in particular, proved to be most intriguing. The email software, Outlook.

In the past, the logo for this popular email service had a navy blue and white look. On the right side, it held one tile of the famous Microsoft Windows logo, which was navy blue with a white “O” inside of it to illustrate the name “Outlook.” On the right side, using the same blue and white combination was an envelope graphic breaking out behind the navy window tile.

With the update, the logo has a much fresher feel with the use of a wide range of the blues scattered throughout. The logo mark still holds one tile from the Windows logo, yet now that tile is a complete square with rounded edges, losing all of the depth the previous shape gave us. Behind that tile is a graphic of an envelope, this time in a baby blue color. Within the envelope we see a vertical rectangle peaking above it, with different shades of blue printed throughout it. I believe this redesign Microsoft has done, with its use of a wide range of colors, will convey a much newer feel to their excellent product.  


Gryffin’s Album Covers

Album cover art has changed significantly over the years. Technology plays a big role in how music album covers are designed, and most are taking on very unique and stylistic approaches, incorporating different elements to make a cohesively fresh visual. Dan Griffith is one of my favorite DJs; he goes by Griffin, and had recently released a set series for his tour. The title of this set is called Gravity Pt. 1, and his different single album covers represents the songs well. I love the designs, all having an extraterrestrial theme. A lot of the cover art are very symmetrical, which is very pleasing to the eye. The newer designs are contrasted with geometric framing against the pitch black background, which places emphasis on the image in the center of the cover. The shapes are placed in the middle, creating symmetry and balance. These elements work well together to produce a clean cut linear yet abstract design.

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.