Saturday, February 28, 2009

final icon set

Summation of unique design decisions: One of my design decisions included a rule set of: severe detail reduction (in comparison to my original illustrations), a separated element, some rounded edges and some sharp edges. Also, since the theme of my set is journey, I added motion to some of the objects by placing them on an angle or placing one on an elevated plane (as in the case of the walking boot).

Project discoveries: One of the discoveries I found to be true within icon creation is, less is more. Including less is potentially clever and interesting. Additionally, an icon with minimal detail, when rendered well, can communicate a more generic object for broader audience understanding. For instance, the reference photo for my dog icon was a German Sheppard. By focusing on only vital details, such as ears, snout, and tag, my icon resulted as a basic dog companion.

Connotations: I desired to connote an exciting travel experience rather than a hopeless one; therefore, my first design decision included reducing the objects to only positive icons. Even the money cup could be viewed as a tool of necessity, rather than tragedy, within the context of the objects surrounding it.
The connotation I am attempting to imply by confining the icons within a rounded rectangle box is travel signage. Similar connotations consistent with my theme (as learned during the final critique) are map key, camping ground post and guidebook.

to revise a backpack

I chose to avoid unnecessary details (i.e. pocket or bungee straps) in order to communicate a generic backpack. The addition of the sleeping bag clarifies a traveling/camping connotation.

the final backpack (at this moment in time).

Friday, February 27, 2009

color samples

Since my spreads contain recurring colors, I chose two more for back up.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

sinning in broad daylight

walking with my girl: my rule set included, me, this mannequin, a costume change (except the one time I forgot), sometimes random people and sometimes random mannequins.

my process (for attempting to communicate the animal instinct of lust) included raw meat; I have been looking at David Lachapelle lately. (Sometimes you can risk your life for a photo and end up with nothing.) I have chosen the one on the left.

(clockwise: from the top left): gluttony, pride, wrath and sloth
The Seven Deadly Sins project reminded me of my first semester in the photo department at kcai. I explored alter egos, all the while worshipping the work of contemporary artists, such as Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills and Nan Golden's counter culture exploration.

The rush of energy that floods my body before, during and after taking a photo is ridiculous. Although shyness and awkwardness are my vices in real life, when I have a photo in mind, my inner ruthlessness takes over.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

on second thought

After placing my icons within the confines of a box, I have rethought the line originally placed on the cup (see previous post). Suggestions welcome.

CNN weather watch

an integration of digital text and my hand-cut type designs

finessing the icons

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a happy ending to an icon story

revised bus

To decrease the amount of white in the bus icon, I thickened the sides of the windshield/grill and created a roof.

Monday, February 23, 2009

typographic serendipity or tragedy

this is me being too literal with type:
this is me getting intuitive with type. (i.e. getting intune with my inner cameron):
this has potential, (but I think I like the above compositions more):

icons & a coin cup dilemma

Options for the coin cup. Originally, I thought the scale change of option a was great, now I am not so sure. Are the highlights necessary? If the coin cup were isolated from the set, would it read bubbles, eggs, white blood cells or gloriously, shiny coins?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

at heart a gentleman.

This project involved an investigation of the semiotics of a person whom I admire.

Marlene Dietrich was a dangerous woman known for following through with her passions. She tested gender rolls while romancing the masses; also during WWII, she fiercely longed for Hitler to be defeated. In Berlin, the place of her birth, Dietrich achieved fame as a actress and cabaret dancer. In 1930, her fame exploded with the release of a movie titled, Morocco, where she played an androgyonous character who dressed in men's clothing and referred to Gary Cooper as her girlfriend.

During WWII Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in response to her disgust with Hitler. She entertained U.S. troops and even joined the U.S. military. Upon being approached by Hitler's associates to return to her country of origin, she declined. Her movies were then banned in Germany.

 I chose bedroom eyes, as a symbol of Marlene Dietrich, since she was a romantic who seduced the masses with a glance. The bed is laced with one of her quotes (that would make my conservative mother cringe), I am at heart a gentleman.

The WWII (montage within a montage) on the right, is an index of her devotion during the war. 
This is a picture from her 1930's film, Morocco. I feel that the characters she played in these movies are not only icons but potential indexes of personalities she has once embodied.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

a matrix of icons

Upon transforming the icon drawings to a vector format, the images have become cleaner and are hopefully on their way to becoming clearer to read. I was able to make quick decisions on details. For instance, the dog's whiskers that were once the subject of my adoration, have been removed; I felt the freckles were an unnecessary detail and instead added a dog tag to help the translation of animal companion. Also, I simplified the shape of the boot and placed one on a different plane to imply movement. A friend encouraged me to add a silhouette of a head to a coin of the money cup icon. The coins were previously translating as bubbles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

domestic dysfunction

my first stab binding experience.

The teapot (mother) is pleading to be heard by a detached husband. The "p" has been cropped in order to allow the word to rise from the spout.

Frustration: In addition to using a condensed font with uncomfortably tight tracking, the "R" and the "A" are also colliding.

Previously the observe text curved along the edge of the teapot similar to the treatment of the advice text. For variety, I tucked the "o" behind the teapot and added a little breathing room for the observation to include a pause before advice is given to the son.

storyboards of a menace

Some of the changes included making the word struggle actually look like a struggle, placing the word restrict in a more suffocating space, adding a "frustration" page to show the mother's exasperation with the son. The mother's spread for "dialogue/advice" changed to "observe/advice", the son will now "listen" and "respond" to the father, rather than "listen/repeat" and lastly the mother "pleads" to the father for understanding rather than being "thoughtful". She is a needy person after all.

glasses, clip, teapot, wrench.

Our story turned out to be a family struggle. We decided the glasses represent an all-knowing father, the clip represents a suffocated daughter, teapot represents an ignored mother and the wrench represents a menacing son.

Friday, February 13, 2009

index, icon, symbol, public sleeping

my index illustrates a love for meditative activities... sitting, knitting, drawing, taking pictures, reading (books by two of my idols, phyllis moore and maria buszek), drinking tea and snuggling my cat.

an icon of me from a recent performance art series (fall 07), sleeping in public. Also a demonstration of my recurring experiences of being alone in a crowd. 

a symbol to represent my adoration of delicate patterns.

snout as guide

For the dog icon, I focused on my intuitive drawing to realize the necessary details for clear visual communication. The snout was my guide. I added the (whisker) freckles in order to clarify dog, rather than other possible translations, such as bear.

Since the purpose of an icon is to communicate something clearly with a reduced amount of visual information, do I need a windshield to communicate VW bus? The unique, grill shape seems to carry enough information for the specific emphasis.

(in real life, I have very few shoes)
I am still in the process of deciding if the lace holes are to be the focus or the laces, as well as adding a tread to prevent the viewer from interpreting these as... corset.

thumb evolution

an attempt to exhaust some of the (impossibly countless) "illustration to icon" morphs. Does the last row of abstractions still translate, hitchhiker's thumb?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

on Olympic icons

When I compare the consistency and legibility of Olympic icons through the years, I have come to the conclusion, (with a few exceptions) simple equals clarity.

The 1948 London logos are more illustrations than icons, and consistency seems to be a lacking as well. Some logos include the athletes and excessive detail, while others lack both. In contrast, the 1964 Tokyo icons are simple, clear and consistent. All the logos were created from solid geometric shapes. Extraneous details have been left out and the effect is surprisingly refreshing. 1968 Mexico designs have also achieved clarity and consistency; the silhouetted icons are a quick read even with the incorporation of patterns and a glorious color palette characteristic of the Aztec Indians. 1968 Grenoble logos seem to have a consistent feel of movement and excitement, but clarity may be a problem. I am unable to decipher at least one of the icons since the pattern is so intense. 1972 Munich/1976 Montreal are undeniably simple, yet full of joyful angles to suggest movement; 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul have a similar feel, as well. And lastly, 1996 Atlanta consists of clean silhouettes with a repeated space between one of the legs and the torso. The body proportions seem accurate to give the logos an illustrative feel.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

dominate text

These are revised layouts with text as dominate, rather than image.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

American Nomad

When I first picked the two word story "homeless hitchhiker," I romantically imagined an aventurous traveler, rather than a hopeless, street person. Since the words "homeless hitchhiker" exude more negative connotations than I am able to refute, I have decided "American Nomad" would be a more fitting title.

shameless investigation

I spent time with Rainbow the other day. (She is as amazing as her name.) Since my book has a journal feel, the incorporation of travel writing would add to the continuity of the theme. Shamelessly, I asked to see her journals.

Rainbow directed my photographing to pages she wanted to share.

cigarette, knife, thumb

I chose a worn, leathery paper for the cover material and black, waxed thread to emphasize appearance of a hand-made, travel journal. Each page displays a background image of a map to also connote journey.

For the cigarette layout, I photographed a friend holding a rolled cigarette. Since a nomad is typically cautious with money, I thought this type of cigarette would give the appropriate connotations. Also, one of the cigarettes is screaming, "rebel"; the traveler is rebellious to the structure and normalcy of society.

For this layout, I recruited Rainbow holding the knife that she typically carries on her belt strap. The woods scene is to propose a hiking/camping theme, allowing the knife to represent more function than fear. I also added journal text about camping and hiking.

This is the first page, the thumb layout. The connotation of hitchhiking leads to the connotation of adventure; I decided to enlarge the text for "Adventure" to establish a theme. This layout consists of thumb shots of my friend, the map background, a complete scene of Rainbow hitchhiking on Main st., as well as a travel journal excerpt about hitchhiking. The journal text is cropped in order to redirect the attention to a general theme of traveling, rather than a concrete story of Rainbow's life.

The process of gathering visual evidence has allowed me to learn more about a friend. (What could be better?) Her stories are enamoring. I am also becoming more and more tempted to pursue even a short experience of this lifestyle.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One object: many personalities

I have learned that photographing an object from different angles and ranges of focus can influence the objects' translation. A close view appears more intimate and a distant view, a little cold. As far as the text, I have attempted to complement the meaning of the image with connotations of a teapot.