Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Final: Typography Book.

With so many people doing the "SAE Baja" event for the upcoming Baja race that our tech center will be playing host for, I decided that I would be the one to do something out of the norm, and not anywhere near what others were doing. I decided that I would tackle something that I wanted to do for a long time; make a book on typography, but not only make it, I wanted to incorporate the things I had learned in finishing processes this semester, and perfect bind my book for a great finished piece. My thoughts started out with picking some of the type specimen that I frequently use in many of my designs. I figured that the best idea would be to spell out typography on succeeding pages each in a different font. Count that; 10 letters, 10 typefaces. So, this in mind, I began making a folding dummy. The folding dummy was also used for my roughs, and I would have them posted on here, but because I used coated paper, you can not see the pencil that I used over the glare of the paper when I tried to photograph them, so, for this project, you're just going to have to wait until the end to see the final result. With my dummy/rough, I began to layout my InDesign file and knew that I wanted my pages to reach a final cut size of 6x9. All of the inside pages have a full bleed of 1/8". The Color scheme I ended with was two shades of gray, one 60% black and the other 80% black, paired with a mint color, (PMS 346 C), which was converted to a process color when used.

I knew that my intention was to create examples and showcase typefaces for professional typefaces, with an audience that would be into a more classic typographic mindset, I began laying my pages out, which took several days to work all of the minor kinks out. My project  has the special elements of full bleeds, two scored folds on the cover, and a finished perfect bound book. This book is printed on dull coated stock, and in my personal opinion, It really feels nice in your hand. Doug Younger printed each of these for me, and said in production, roughly these would cost about $2.00 a book, plus about $1.00 for binding, which I did myself in the lab. For you typographic nuts out there, eat your heart out at these elegant, timeless typefaces!

one of the spreads

another page spread

Magazine Advertisement

When I was given the prompt for this assignment, I knew immediately that I wanted to create an advertisement for GQ magazine. For those of you who are not familiar with the magazine, GQ is a magazine for gentlemen, plain and simple. By gentlemen, I mean the suit and tie type that sips a fine scotch while recalling his stock trades for the day on his blackberry at the fancy pub. The advertisements are classy, and bold typically in the magazine, and not to mention, VERY EXPENSIVE to advertise with GQ. At rates like $154,123 for a full page ad, and $96,646 for a 1/2 page ad, not many companies can afford to advertise with them. Many of which are for colognes, watches, alcohol, vehicle, clothing designers, or cellular device/company advertisements. With a subscription to this magazine, I began looking through the magazines I had with an eager approach to looking at them.

With an open mind as to what to promote, I kept seeing several things I would have liked to do, like the typical clothing ad; black and white photo shot of a overly beautiful woman, and man in some sort of sensual pose, with a brand at the bottom suggesting "wear our clothes... and this could be you." Well, I would like to be the first to suggest that maybe you should try consulting a doctor first if you believe that by wearing a certain designer, that you're magically going to be better with the ladies, fellas. This aside, I think that the ads are still designed and laid out well. With many things that had my attention pulled, I had ran across a very cool vodka advertisement, and I was sold, because funny almost always strikes people's fancy.

With this already suggestive name, I began some wordplay. You would be amazed how many slogans you can come up with for that, I'm sure the design department for EFFEN vodka has a hay-day with the sayings they come up with. I mean, really, how can you not have fun with that name? Okay, okay! All jokes aside, I decided to go and search for this insanely amazing vodka on the shelves, and much to my surprise, I found it on the shelves of a local liquor store, however, they only had the "black cherry" one left. I bought it, and took it the next day to the lab to take photos of. With the photos shot, I began editing them, and placing my ads together. Surprisingly, these did not take me much time at all, and I felt like I ended up with a very nice piece.

Full Page
Half Page

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Variable Data Project

This project was different than any other project that I have ever done strictly because of the way that I had to design this piece. Let me explain myself a little bit. Variable Data, in design terms, is the means of substituting data from a database into specified fields to create a custom piece that can be sent to whomever it may be addressed to. This allows for a much more specialized target, and allows for a higher rate of hit, simply meaning; people will stop to look at things that are specialized to their liking, rather than getting a piece that will contain the same thing to every recipient.

In designing this piece I started with the concept that I wanted to create a direct mail piece for a dentist office. The piece would be targeting two groups; male and female. With the two target audiences, I then designed two different looking pieces, one that contains imagery and colors for the male target audience and one with imagery and colors for the female target audience. The specialization did not just stop there, I decided to add more fields of changing data. I included two instances where the targets first name would be used, as well as an instance where a particular service would be given free that was specific to the consumer.

I enjoyed this assignment because it allowed me to learn a part of the industry that will be very crucial I feel, to the future. With a basic knowledge of Variable Data printing, and how it works, I think that it would be something that I will try and explain and push with clients in the future, while explaining, in the long run, it will only help business.

Four States Regional Technology Conference

I recently attended a session on Social Media at the Four States Regional Technology Conference (FSRTC), and I honestly felt like I walked into the wrong session. The session was being presented by Wells Hall, and it was honestly more of a history lesson as opposed to what I was hoping it would be; a explanation and breakdown of how to promote and utilize social medias and apply them to a business.

After sitting in the session for a few minutes, I realized that I was completely bored with the lecture and where it was going, but despite this, there were a few things that caught my attention. Did you know that there are so many videos on that it would take a person 1,000 years to watch all the footage, if there were no more videos uploaded. Also briefly touched on was how people are being noticed for talents on The example used was for a British lady by the name of Susan Boyle. Susan was a contestant on Britain's Got Talent, and wow'ed the panel and audience with her voice, she then became viral on YouTube, and her video became and instant hit by landing more than a million hits in a very short amount of time. By this, she landed a contract and by the new year, she had the number one selling album in the world that year.

Coincidence? I think not. The power of social media is mind boggling, to say the least. The contact that social media has is very vast. Virtually EVERYONE in a form of social media is connected, whether it be through friends on Facebook, or videos suggested, or friends telling you about videos on YouTube, you can bet that somehow, you are conected with someone, who is connected to another, and another... and along the line, you will be connected to someone on the complete opposite side of the world. This is the technology we live in today. This is the new word of mouth. This is Social Media!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Colegio Newspaper Advertisement

With alot of thought on what to create an ad for, I came to a decision of trying to promote a new and already known nightclub to the Pittsburg area. I am currently in the process of working with the staff of The Jungle as a DJ. I'm also going to use these to aid in this process to show that I can also help promote events graphically.

Thus said, lets get to the topic at hand, shall we? Once my decision of what I was going to promote was made, I began thinking of ways that I could utilize the $100 budget that we had with the correlating column inch pricing that the Colegio has. I thought about spending the entire $100 on one big ad and it hit me, "Wouldn't 2 or 3 advertisements throughout a newspaper be more effective?" I began to see what would be the best options to creatively and wisely use my budget. I chose to run two ads sized at 2x4 (3.79x4) and a third ad sized at 3x1 (5.75x1). The combined total of the ads was $87 which left me a decent ammount of money left over.

I began to draw my thumbnails on how I wanted to lay each ad out, and the ideas just kept flowing. The possibilities just never seemed to end. I still never settled on a few layouts that I could really like, so I picked two that I felt worked best, and tweaked them until I felt that they would be appropriate.
Some of my thumbnail sketches

Some rough sketches of the three ads
With the thumbnails and roughs out of the way, I began to lay my ideas out in the desired programs, of course keeping to the black and white requirements. The design process was very slow on this, as I did a lot of searching through news ads on things that I would like to try, and things that I felt would look well. Trying to keep several things in mind that will and will not work for the news print was quite a task, but also very useful in having such guidelines before creating one in the real world. The project turned out well, in my opinion. I basically promoted an event, and informed the audience that The Jungle will host an event called "Rumble in the Jungle" every Wednesday night, as well as a promotion for the new DJ. 
First ad
Second ad
Third ad

Brendan Murphy Symposium

Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy, a senior partner from Lippincott design firm in New York came to Pittsburg State University to speak to us students about how he has made it where he is now. Brendan was an athlete that became injured and began to focus more on his scholastic work than he had prior to his injury. Brendan had said that until his injury he never focused on school like he did after. It was then that he caught my attention, and I was intrigued by his story, because I shared so many similarities with him. He shared his story, accomplishments, and some of the work he has done with us.

I felt like I related to Brendan, having been an injured college athlete myself. I could relate in a big way with what he was saying about how he paid more attention to his grades after his days of being an athlete came to a halt. I also connected with him when he said he came from little to no money, as I also do. He mentioned that this was his major motivation, because of that he worked extremely hard so that he could better himself. It was very inspiring to see this, and to know that at one point he was in the same shoes that I am in.

Aside from his story, I also learned a few things while I was in there. Brendan touched on an area for branding that I have never heard of before that he referred to as sensory branding. Sensory branding, as he said, was not only seeing a company and identifying them by their logo and such, but associating a sound DNA, and/or smell with the branding as well. I thought this was very interesting, as I had never thought of this before. I also learned that in the real world, you will crank out typically 300-3,000 Identity designs before you typically deploy them to the client. I thought this was insane, yet he assured that it was very common.

In closing, Brendan was an inspiration to me once I realized that his story was so close to mine. He was a very great person to relate to, and I personally feel that some of the things he shared will be things that will have to be addressed in the future such as sensory branding, which was something that I did not already know about. Lastly, how he was motivated, really set in with me in a way that someone could not relate to unless you came from a background of little or no money like he or I have.

Photo credit:
"PSU Honors Outstanding Alumni - News Story - Pittsburg State University." Pittsburg State University: Home of the PSU Gorillas! - Pittsburg, KS. 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <>.

Gap Logo a Fail?

Gap, as you may know, surprised consumers recently by launching a new logo on their masthead of the website. While Gap, secretly developed this new logo, and launched it with no warning the company got immediate feedback, most of which was not good feedback. The company eventually, a week later, changed their “more contemporary, modern expression” logo of black “Gap” type with a blue box behind that was offset back to the classic “blue box” that we’re all familiar with.

First, I would like to address that with the old logo, the company has/had a true identity; therefore, the consumer would not be familiar with a new logo after seeing the same one for so long. I believe that the old logo is timeless as well as simple. With the combination of those two, the logo is dynamic in a sense that it subtlety actually makes a larger impact than you realize, now, on with the new logo. Obviously, I am not a fan of the new logo that was created; I tend to agree with one comment that, “It looks like it cost $17 from an old Microsoft clip art gallery”. With that being said, from old to new, I can see what the company had in mind. With the clothing industry constantly changing, their clothes were evolving, and they felt that so should their brand. However, the follow-through of the graphic firm that so clumsily slapped this design together was terrible, as well as they really did no research on where the brand was heading, and how to develop a design that facilitated the style that the company was embarking upon.

With the unveiling of the horrendous design on the website, the company’s viral feeds were inflicted like wildfire with comments and posts about how ugly the new look was, and rightfully so. As a consumer of gap, myself, I was shocked that a company would even consider this after them having such an amazing identity already. Yet, as the old saying, “Out with the old and in with the new,” must have been on someone’s mind, the purpose was not in the right area. Come out with new clothes; just keep the same old logo that everyone is familiar with. The unveiling being a total bust, Gap executives concluded that they would revert back to the classic “blue box.” Not a moment too soon, I am afraid, as the holidays are right around the corner, and I could only imagine just how much work it would be to do such an overhaul to such a large company in this amount of time. Aside from this point, Gap also has been down in sales 4%, which is very minimal in the retail industry compared to several opposing brands. Should this strike up the thought of a new logo? Perhaps, but why? Would it make sense for a company to spend that amount of money to overhaul their company when they had a fall in sales like this? These are questions that only the executives of Gap could answer, and apparently they thought it would have been a great idea until all of the feedback was given.

This feedback leads me to my final point. Social networking programs such as twitter and facebook; have they hindered the rebranding of large companies in a sense that the feedback can be given and taken into consideration unlike beforehand where companies would overhaul their identity and people would just have to settle for it? Personally, I think that there are many companies out there that have tried this, and they were shot down as well. After doing some research, I found an article talking about other identity flops like Tropicana a few years ago, and how they also reverted after catching flack on facebook and twitter.

Concluding that personally the old logo is a better piece, not only in design quality, but because it has a certain long term relationship with the Gap customer as well as being timeless. The new logo was scrapped and not used, and for good reason, the general public hated it.

photo credits:
Fuller, Elizabeth. "New Gap Logo Withdrawn: The 'blue Box' Lives on -" The Christian Science Monitor - The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <>.