Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

danza macabra

(and so, a friend who is quite possibly responsible for me being in graphic design, based on my initial pursuit years ago to design posters for a few of her musical ambitions) mikal shapiro is putting on yet another amazing shadow play... see interview below by timothy finn, music critic of the kansas city star
and well, how about an amazing youtube video of mikal practicing/playing music that she will kill me for putting on my blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a slightly abused lime

the temptation of a pretty lime

Monday, October 26, 2009

lime twist list

tart, bitter, nightlife, fancy bar, hot date, strong drink, cocktail, martini, margarita, salt, mojito, daiquiri, gin and tonic, glasses repetitiously clinging, piano, lounge singer, black dress, sultry voice, spanish restaurant, beer, bubbling over (when lime is added), colorful atmosphere, patterned tile, mexico, ocean, salt water, beach, umbrella, garnish, pie

business man, glasses, "on the rocks, with a twist of lime", refined man, an english accent, wealth, argyle socks, someone who has a study (the room), someone who golfs on occasion,  combed hair, sweater vest, "sublime"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

notes from readings & lecture

Community (interrelated systems)
System (interrelated products)
Products (interrelated componenets)

Design methodologist chris jones, hierarchy of design problems. Components and products are at lowest level. Upper levels are system level problems (involving related systems).

Components level – doesn’t consider effect of design. Environment is not a consideration. Component is the car, highway, Put together the components of car, highway, and have a product
Community (interrelated)
Our role of designer has shifted from problem solving a news paper ad or website to
Considering how things are interrelated. Highway + the car + other vehicle
System- gas prices and how that affects society.

Today’s designer has to think about designs at this level- 
Cultural, technical, economic, cognitive
-How is my artifact interrelated with other artifacts?
-How am I impacting society as a whole?
-Or if object is at the component level, are we able to think about it at the systems or community level?

the old way: A lot of people think designers just add the pretty dressing to a product

We have the Educate people that design is strategic thinking. 

27-28 hierarchy of design problems, education of a graphic designer

The teacher that informed the author that he was too articulate and, great design happens when designers have no other way of expressing themselves than with form, makes little sense to me. I completely agree intuitive design requires a propensity of directed talent, but in the paraphrased words of Paul Rand—from the animation of last semester—form without content, is meaningless.  In comparison, Rand seems to be contradicting himself in the quote, from the reading, the student whose mind is cluttered with matters [other than design] is a bewildered student.

 Design is interwoven into communication, expression, interaction and cognition. Design should be about creating meaning. Successful design reflects the relationship of form and communication. According to the author, an ideal design education would include a study of the historical analysis of design, design skills and technique, a course on rhetoric as a design model—especially since successful graphic design requires the charm of persuasion within the categories of intellectual, logical, aesthetic and emotional.

 32-33 Vis Comm, from theory to practice

Within the process model, noise is defined as, anything that gets added to the signal between the sender and receiver. Noise ranges from poor craft (smudges in text), poor audio reception to effectiveness of message when it is in competition with other activities/diversions occurring (watching TV while knitting or something). Another less obvious noise dilemma, is an excessive level of decoration within the design. If the goal is to attract the viewer’s interest and to communicate something fluff can only complicate the design. (Fluff with cohesive connotations to the message, on the other hand is a great idea!?)

 In 1880 during the Arts and Crafts movement, a reduction of ornamentation was a trend and form follows function was given reign; this movement partially inspired the Modernist movement that began in Europe in the 1920s and 30s. During the Bauhaus movement, minimalism was supreme, while ornamentation equated vomit.

 In reference to noise, to little information or d├ęcor can distract from the message just as much as an excess. The message could be understood by only a select and educated few, which may the intention. If the purpose is to communicate, then the aesthetic language should support, rather than detract from the message.

 Although a message could be compressed by using less words and repetition, redundancy, can be a powerful and clarifying design tool.  Entrophy within design is the opposite of redundancy. It requires the viewer to understand an unfamiliar visual language; reaching a specific audience is the sender's goal. Basically appling entrophy can assist with creating an interesting design, but at the expense of clearly communicating to a broad audience.

 18, 26, 30 This means this , that means that

Messages are always transmitted through a medium. The medium may be presentational (voice, interpersonal), representational (painting book, photo) or mechanical (internet, tv, radio).

 wrong .(to be blunt) The eyes are still in fact the windows to the soul, unless a stoic, stick-figure, smiley face is the subject matter.

 A symbol, in Greek means, to throw together. In semiotics, some symbols are related to the nature of the object, for instance, scales to justice, doves to peace. Other symbols have only arbitrary relationships, for instance, sword to truth, goat to lust.

How we make sense of a message depends on how we interpret it and whom we think is receiving it. (I didn’t eat Grandmother’s cake.)  A distinction exists between sender and receiver. The aim of a sender is to transmit a message to a specific receiver without interruption. The process is: sender (writer), communication (message), receiver (reader), context (literature), object (book).

 Berlo Communication Model of: Source, Message, Channel, Receiver

1. Source - Successful communication by source is determined by Communication skills (vocab, grammar, knowing the audience), knowledge (attitudes,, knowing the subject), social system, culture (determines word choice, subject matter intended audience), attitudes (self confidence, attitude toward subject and receiver)

2. Message – code (for instance, word choice), context (what we say), treatment (hierarchy within message)

3. Channel – seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting. (determine what channel the message should be transmitted to have the most impact)

4. Receiver – see source as the same descriptions apply.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

final artifact take2

Based on the critique on Friday, I've made one alteration to allow this design to speak to the intended audience—a website. The original de Bretteville poster design included a phone number verses a website for two reasons, I believe. First of all 1984 was not a year when everyone lived by the internet and secondly the intended audience was illiterates. My audience on the other hand is the educated potential volunteer. 

Technically, I decided to reduce the size of the website in comparison to the call to action text so they would not compete. Additionally, I did not want anyone to mistake my poster for an ethos mode of appeal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

final artifact

My poster is based on a can you read billboard by a nonprofit organization of Shelia Levrant de Brettville. I have recently begun to worship de Brettville as she is a powerhouse of creating art with a message of social change. The mode of appeal for the original poster is logos, since it is a logical invitation for illiterates to make a simple phone call for help.

Pathos was the mode I explored for my campaign, since I am striving to kindle a viewer’s empathy. Through a roughened rendering style, an alarming color palette, and potentially alarming imagery, I am attempting to demonstrate that the negative effects of illiteracy extend beyond the individual. My highlighted message at the bottom of the bottle is a call to action for volunteers. Since the imagery is a child potentially about to receive the wrong dose of medicine due to his mother's inability to decipher the label, the potential volunteer tutor is given an elevated status of superhero of protection.

the sister was not a mister

I attempted to promote scandal with this cover. I would argue Gertrude Stein's, Tender Buttons are not just about buttons, objects, livingrooms and roast beef, but rather and elevation of everyday moments to a position of cherish. Since Alice B. Tolkas unabashedly was Stein's lover, and Tender Buttons is infact a euphemism for something else, my process included photographing two girls holding hands in studio. (possibly bribed by baked goods) I ended up sewing my my favorite quote from the poem, rooms, into the cover, the sister was not a mister, as well as the two hands touching. (This project easily fit into my all art projects should include yarn standard)dustin described some of the loose poem reinterpretations as barfing words on the page. i violently disagree. my experience with reinterpreting poems by the lovely gertrude stein was divine. i thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to describe the poem expressively with my hand and emotions combined.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This evening I photographed (new) friends, beth and bjorn. so far, I believe the top right composition may be the most comfortable to look at— this one doesn't include any uncomfortable, multi-angle awkwardness. In blatant contradiction, I do still appreciate the bottom left composition with ryan hidden behind the medicine bottle. (something strange and unexpected is happening with the medicine completely disguising him as an anonymous everyman character within my plot.) Also, the negative space is a pleasant addition.

My final rendering will be in the style shown above with the following copy possibilities:
(although I am not completely opposed to the existing copy, if chopping up the red type is working...)
- even simple tasks [can be, become, prove] dangerous for the illiterate.
-how do you determine the correct dose, when you can't read the bottle?
-caution: The correct dose is obvious to everyone. . . except the illiterate.
-caution: this child is about to receive the wrong dose because his mother is illiterate.
-caution: the side effects of adult illiteracy may be severe.
-caution: adult illiteracy effects more than the individual.
-caution: the [side effects, repercussions, dangers] of adult illiteracy extend beyond the individual.

(a note of fluff, many lovely hands exist in this studio including those belonging to laura, genia and cassie. Cassie was re-commissioned as my subject for her hopelessly handsome hands.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

illiteracy side effects

my idea for chopping up and creating nonsensical text is to demonstrate the concept that every sentence is seemingly written in code for the illiterate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

posters of pathos

When I showed another student my original collage with be a tutor hidden in the undiscernable message, she did not understand it as a literacy campaign poster. Maybe I just need to insert my protect a future message with a defenseless baby in the background; or maybe I need a new and clearer message. In the collage on the right, I attempted to add a message within the nonsensical text—so far it's not the right copy. The process is consuming to create, destroy, wrap and photograph, so I am pursuing the perfect copy prior to reapplying.

this or something like:
Even simple choices become complicated for the illiterate.
become a tutor (rather than be a tutor.) I would also add that this copy is actually the unspoken message contained within the hidden be a tutor poster, so maybe, just maybe, I am overreacting.

(above) A rendering style, I am pursuing for these (hopefully) alarming posters is a combination of photos of people, prescriptions and hands I happen to know—combined with richly colored and textured paper. By applying this glorious method of collage, I am able work with my hands to fulfill the call for raw and human imperfection (I feel the cut paper promotes the edginess of my message) and to establish a hierarchy through color by highlighting danger.

In order to roughen up the type, in the center collage, I actually rubbed it on concrete—I now agree that was not my best idea to remove the stiffness of the vector structures. For the collage on the right, I photocopied the type several times to remove the stiff edges. Next I wrapped the label around a bottle and photographed it to achieve the correct dimensionality.

Below are examples of my original iterations with different bottles, hands, as well as, with and without the addition of people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a light on washington street

On Saturday night, I had a very scary experience. A man with a gun approached me as I was getting out of my car in front of my house. Everything turned out fine; I screamed as if I were trying out for a horror flick. He didn't have much time to try to rob me since two of my neighbors heard my penetrating cry.

Just yesterday as I drove home, I noticed very few porch lights were shining on my street. Additionally, the street lights are few and pretty dimly lit; In an effort to deal with my new terrors of getting out of my car and racing to my front door in the darkness; I have decided to call upon the neighbors for help.

To me, a shining lightbulb is a possible index of safety. I am going to place these light bulb packages on the porches of several houses on my street as a gesture to inform others about my experience, to promote watchfulness and to encourage everyone to turn on a porchlight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

ideas for ethos

The following designs are based on a quote from the U.S. Dept of Education: One in seven U.S. adults lack sufficient reading skills.

For the above designs, I decided to use a pencil as an index of the educated. I destroyed about five to acquire the perfect ragged edge. The missing tip is alarming to me because I equate the inadequate pencil to a headless person.

Below, while driving in my car up and down the highway, I took photographs of signs. I decided I would need to pair the sign photos with a more dangerous background; a scenic view of the highway exists on an overpass next to the FBI building downtown. I parked in the FBI visitor's parking, grabbed my colossal camera, and lean over the edge—as a sniper. Only one person below honked at my suspicious posture. (Additionally, the cold air was not kind to my fingers).

Friday, October 9, 2009

design directions

For the second round of literacy iterations, I steered clear of drawing. (Although, I still plan to attempt husky icons.) I gathered a few books on furry animals and space to create imagination montages. On the more serious pathos, I photographed my friend Ryan reaching for a medicine bottle while holding baby June. Additionally I photographed a hand holding a bottle of medicine with a sarcastic label attached, Adult illiteracy is not a problem.

During today's crit, I received some good advice: photograph a hand with a bottle of children's medicine for clarity (if a child remains in the background), try creating a label of wacky mixed up nonsensical text, Chris had an idea of adding a label that said something like,
if you could read this you would know this expired last tuesday. I like it.

I am pausing with all the imagination pathos unless I find a great quote to complement and convert it to ethos.

A few quotes/paraphrases to drive an ethos poster: 
•We read to know we are not alone. -C.S. Lewis (I think that would be tremendous for the space composition.)
•Ninety percent of a child's mental and intellectual development takes place prior to age 5. -Read Early, Read Aloud Campaign
•One in seven Americans lack sufficient reading skills. -U.S. Department of Education. (The title of the USA Today article was, One in Seven U.S. adults cannot read this story. I found it striking.)
•Fourteen countries rank higher in literacy than the U.S. -U.S. Department of Education. 

below are my first round of potential posters. Originally I was excited to attempt to draw the excitement spilling out of a book. I feel I have not mastered this style, but I do agree with my teacher that I have been attempting that direction a little too much lately. The tedious experience of drawing is similarly relaxing to me as sipping tea and putting a pause button on life. (I wish I had possession of that button.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

why so serious?

I began my literacy research only to encounter sobering truths; illiteracy is not only a tragic waste of potential, it's also a danger to the individual and society. My original poster was based in California and so I have learned: half the working population is functionally illiterate, for the individual, illiteracy is a secret with much shame involved. The educational system in LA is problematic. Parents are encouraged to read to their children during the vital formative years 0-5. Preschool can assist during these years but is not an option for many lower income families in LA, as the waiting list is out of control. A high percentage of children are not passing standard reading tests, leading to a ridiculous drop out rate. Drop outs have less opportunities in society leading to low wages, poverty, low self worth, possible gang activity, prison. . . a terrible cycle.

a means of escape

My second round of potential posters carried a less serious focus. Honestly, these are altogether a new idea. Now I am considering a reading campaign based on the joys and stress reducing escape available to all with eyeballs and reason.

The imagination is unquenchable; if it can be imagined, it can be experienced, at least by a book, anyway. A person can travel to the moon, the iditarod, or have a living room full of zoo creatures in a matter of minutes.

Many of these (above) began with a chuckle. Humor can be powerful and persuasive and possibly add ethos points to the character of the designer.

Specifically in the Superman drawings, he finds it hard to put a book down, essentially equating reading to saving the world—or a kitten.

(above) a detail of a few.