Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Dreaded Figure Grounnnnnd...

So, before I start explaining this project, I need to rewind and tell you why I dreaded this assignment so much. Like I said, I'm taking Brand Identity for the second time. My most hated project of the entire semester (even year!), was the Figure-Ground project. What was this assignment? A big pile of crap, that's what it was. Oh, you mean, what were we supposed to design? Simple: a figure-ground relationship with your initials. Just throw two letters together, move them around a little, and voila, you should have it! But no, like many projects we (all artists) take on, it was much more involved. I labored day after day, fighting with this thing. The final product was turned in, I was given a pity grade, and into the trash it went. Even after the project was done, I tried to fix it, but decided I was simply given the wrong initials. It was my parents fault. HAHA, ok not really, but I decided I didn't need to stress about it so much, and just move on.

Needless to say, we were assigned this same project my second round in the class. Be open minded, try it out, don't even look at your last attempts. After some good self-pep talk, I went for it. And only a few hours later, fully focused and determined to redeem myself, I found my solution. When I turned the 'S' just so, with that font, and looked at what had just presented itself, I could barely hold in my excitement! This is gonna be good... And it's about freakin time Joni! So now that I have given you more than enough info on this process, without further 'ado, my initials in a figure-ground relationship:

...critique: The class hates me. HAHA not really (although they said it! :P). It just means they liked my work. It's a good thing :) My professor only had one thing to suggest: kerning on my signature line. But the logo itself worked really well. -- I've fixed the kerning, and changed the colors in this image.

This project taught me a lot, and gave me a boost in my design skills. I think the biggest lesson I learned from this project is that with Graphic Design, an open mind is key to being successful. I compare all that was happening in my life when I first attempted this project, also the class. I was not focused on school, had several life-stressers that I just couldn't get my mind off of, but was still expected to create original, creative, really good ideas. Now I do a lot of things to relieve stress, like exercise, play guitar, and not set such crazy, unrealistic expectations. I've found that lifting all that pressure off has helped me deal with all of life's little stresses much better, and has actually improved my design sense.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back at it!

Well, I'm back in school full-fledged this semester, and it feels good to finally be designing again! I'm taking 4 classes: Painting 1, Intro to Computer Science (nerd alert! 8) ), History of architecture and Interior design, and Brand Identity. Yes, Brand Identity, for the second time. Why would I be taking it again, you ask? To strengthen my portfolio is what it boils down to. I haven't been designing for the last six months or so, but am now able to re-focus and get my portfolio going again! It needs a lot of work, and I'm excited to see how it turns out.

Our first assignments...


Black and white self-portrait, referencing a mirror, with oil paint. It has been about five years since I've even touched oils, or paint in general, and i now wish I hadn't taken that big of a break from it. I absolutely love this class. It's a time for me to relax, throw color around, get my hands dirty, and paint however I want. There's a lot of freedom in painting, and a feeling of connection with the canvas. Sometimes, working on the computer all day with Graphic Design, it's impossible to feel the intimate experience that you get with "traditional art" (by this I mean NO electronics, just a brush/pen/charcoal/etc, and a blank piece of old-fashioned paper/canvas.) Here's the first painting:

...critique: The painting feels more like an emotion, than a real life depiction. It feels complete with the the background having texture. Some students left the canvas white behind their faces, but on most of them, that felt incomplete. Critique was really easy, being our first project (and in Painting 1)

Brand Identity

Abstraction assignment. Pick any animal and simplify it to it's greatest degree without losing the essence of the animal. I chose a... well, I'll let you guess. Here's the out-come:

...critique: The overall mark works great. It has the essence of (the animal-i won't spoil it for you!) and has a great closed gestault. One suggestion was to make the 3 "swirls" on top of it's head the same shape, but varied size. This would make it more unified but still have the variation I'm looking for. I'm going to try that.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Past work in Brand Identity

Here's a couple logos I did in my first Brand Identity class.
Origin: An investment company
Mythos: A Greek Restaurant