viscomtwo. icons. reflection.

I started out this project with a fairly good mindset as to what I wanted to do. I went ahead and chose something that I knew pretty well having swam on the boys swim team all four years of high school. I have a pretty nice understanding of how everything works and I also have a love and a passion for swimming so why not combine two of my loves in one project?

At the beginning of the creation process of the icons I was having a rather rough time making my objects less drawing-esque and more iconic. For some reason it just didn't fully click in my brain but once it did I whipped out a nice set of eight different styles of icons.
I loved the continuous line set. Not only was it a style that no one else was doing, but it also fit my story. Having my story be all about the swimming race and then having all my icons be one solid, continuous line fits magnificently perfect. However, the icons themselves are still not perfect and I more than plan on going back to them over the rest of the project to keep tweaking them, improving them, and even adding new icons to them.

I would say the starting block is definitely my weakest icon, as Jamie pointed out to me. All of my other shapes, for the most part, all have a solid form to them, not a lot of white spaces jabbing into them like my starting block. I will hopefully find a better starting block to reference my icon for that object to get it more solid like the rest. I would also love to have all these icons be as slick and smooth as the whistle. The whistle was my first, and still the best, icon of this set. It was the one that really set my direction into production.

viscomtwo. icons. going for gold.

My icon set, is about a swim meet. The objects I chose for this project were(in order from left to right in the image below) jammer(swim suit), cap & goggles, starting block, whistle, stopwatch, towel, medal. Below are the icons at 1/2 inch scale.
While thinking about how I wanted to draw my icons I had many different ideas. Everything from geometric shapes to cut outs. However, when it came down to choosing the route that I wanted to go with, it was without a doubt the single line route. My story revolves around a giant pool of water so the concept of having all of my objects made up of one continuous, fluid line made the most sense. I wanted to reference water and fluidity of it through that aspect of these icons.

Here is the linear process of my stopwatch.
Larger images after the jump.


desqtaup. one.

bulgarian stamps.

viscomtwo. readingfour.

Generate and cull. The term cull, for me, goes back to when I worked at an orchard this past summer. They grew hundreds upon hundreds of peaches each summer. We then sorted them and we had ripe peaches and culls. Culls were still good, just ugly. They would have dents in them, holes. This, in my opinion, correlates pretty well into design with what the article said. Create a gigantic amount of ideas and iterations and then go back through them all to figure out which ones work the best and which ones are ugly, dented, and bruised. You always want to pick out which designs convey the message the best, yet are, or have the possibility to be, aesthetically pleasing. The article also went on to say that if you feel you have a creative block, just start sketching everything or anything that comes to mind so you can see what you're coming up with and using what little bit you can get out to inspire you further. don't worry about how stupid or ugly they are, as long as you get the ideas out to inspire you.

sources: agrayspace.


dp. thirtythree. josef albers.

Speaking of AisleOne here is a post about something they featured. This is Josef Albers. We(us sophomores, at least) all know Josef Albers all too well from Terri's Color Drawing & Form class last semester. However, those weren't the only things he did in his life time. He also did album covers:
And this is just one example of a larger set of covers that he did. They are all quite magnificent(I would say wonderful but I've been forbidden to say that word, I've been told to update my vocabulary). They totally hark back to his color studies that he did, but they are still gorgeous in their own right. Follow the link above or below and there a more of them for you to gawk at. They have nice color palettes and the layouts are also very pleasing. Take a look at them, you'll be happy.

DP. 32. Aisle One.

AisleOne is very gorgeous website. I posted a link to this website a while back on my facebook account because of the gorgeous new layout and colors which actually match the color to my blog almost exactly. Grided, Helvetica'd, Sea foam-y goodness is the new website. They also have lots of wonderful stuff on there, as well. I have blogged about things I found on it before. There's a lot to love about it, lots of inspirational, retro goodness.

On another note, I want to change the name of these blog posts from "daily post" because they aren't daily any more(i am working on this, however every day will probably almost never happen until summer) I want to update the name but I don't know what to label these as. Any ideas?

ps. my blog can now be found on the right-hand side bar here.
sources: aisleone.


viscomtwo. F+S.

I was on FFFFOUND! the other day and was parrousing through the pretty images when I laid my eyes on this gorgeous piece. This is roughly the same sort of idea that I am working with. Drawing the woman figure in as little amount of lines as possible. The inner leg/groin region caught my attention because even up until now I still have not full accomplished my splash and the way this artist handled that area is nice and very well controlled. I will reference this sort of concept while progressing with my splash.

sources: ffffound!, rosenworld.


Image. Constructed Image.

This was the first round. I ended up laying his outfit on the floor and I quickly realized that taking the photos were going to be really hard. The background was an uneven white so I had to end up blowing out white and black to make the background even and in doing so I lost all detail in the clothing. Also, the shoes were hugely distracting. In retaking these photos I addressed these concerns and created this shot.
I ended up pinning up his outfit on the wall(the hat was interesting to get to stay).

The image is slightly creepy, yes. But in doing this I was trying to haze the line between Charlie Chaplin(The Tramp) and Hitler. All of Charlie Chaplin's movies were first and foremost there to make people laugh in a time of great distress. However, most of his work was also politically driven. An alarming amount of people didn't know that about his work so my project I focused my work on trying to bring across that aspect of his work. One of the most political movies he made was called "The Great Dictator" where he essentially played Hitler. He created his own "swastika" for the movie, which is what exists on his arm. The mustache is supposed to be hazy as to whether it is supposed to symbolize The Tramp or Hitler. However, when you read the quote(made to look like it is coming out of his mouth) it is supposed to contradict what his armband is trying to symbolize.

I went about this radically different from everyone else. When I thought about Charlie Chaplin and what he is most famous for, the first thing that I could ever think about was his outfit when he was The Tramp. So the most successful route for me to go, I felt, was recreating his outfit. I worry this is too literal. I ended up stick his quote where his mouth would be, put his mustache in, and his name where his eyes would be. I made it black and white to emphasize the armband, but i wish I had boosted the red more, it's not overly noticeable on the picture. I also left it grayer than what I was planning to also go with the feel of his movies. They are much much older and the quality of the footage is rather gray so I felt keeping the color muted and gray would actually work better for me.


sophomore year.

What's my impression as a sophomore

Life in the design department is actually quite wonderful. The classmates you enter this department with will become some of the closest friends you will have once all is said and done. With the amount of time you (should) spend in studio with your classmates and everything that you go through together it will strengthen your friendships with each other. I guess I can't speak for when you become seniors, but for now, at least, you will still get along with most everyone in your studio. By the time you graduate here you'll (hopefully) have many connections to use.  The classes you take and the teachers you'll have are definitely some of the best you will ever have. The program is grueling, that's definitely for sure, but it is well worth it. Graphic Design is a very demanding department, because Graphic Design is a very demanding field of work. You must have in your head, when you enter Graphic Design, the notion that you are expected to put your all into this program, there is not a whole lot of room for slacking off. The teachers treat this as a professional environment, all in the hopes to prepare us for the real Graphic Design world. From all of the discipline and structure the teachers set in the department, once you graduate here three years later, you'll thank them.
 *this post will be edited


typetwo. change one thing. updatethree.

My poster... it was pretty much stagnant since last update. I tried a couple different ideas for today(even tried bringing back a typeface from before):
But something about them just still isn't there. Michael put it best by saying that he still wouldn't hang it on his wall just yet. The interaction between the type and image still is not meshing cohesively enough. Next on the list? More angles!
more angles comin' at ya tomorrow!

viscomtwo. readingtwo&three.

I made a post a long time ago about a very famous set of pictograms. Yet, when Jamie asked me which post I made had the pictograms, I couldn't have told you to save my life. When I made that post I didn't know the term pictogram(at least I hadn't made that connection, which is something I am trying to work on...). Pictograms are exactly what we are creating right now. We are working our way towards a cohesive set of information graphics that collectively(and possibly singularly) tell a story. We are creating them to try to inform the reader successfully through image alone.

The NYPL Lion article is an example of what we are going through right now, yet for a much large client. It is interesting however to see the process of how the icon was created/updated. Most times you dont get the pleasure of seeing the process, you only get to enjoy the finished, polished product with no inner meat to be seen.


WILKOMMEN. So kann mann meine PDF schen! Es rockt der Welt!


Interestin' Finds.

So I went spelunking through fellow kcai design students' blogs earlier tonight and I found some stuff that people posted that I really liked. Below are links to the different articles I found interesting.

Visiting Lecturer. Steve Frykholm.

Steve Frykholm of Herman Miller lectured in the Epperson Auditorium yesterday(friday, 02/06/10) and it was suchhhhh a pleasure! But not only did I get to hear him lecture to the kc design community, but I also got to sit in on a critique from Steve Frykholm himself of the type project we're currently on. I took some notes over things he said during both lectures of things for me to think about and keep in the back of my mind. One thing I wrote down was to not be afraid to show off your work, yet don't be too overly cocky. Now I can't remember if he said that? Or if I wrote that down as a thought that I had and just decided to write it down. Most everything else really dealt with the current project in type.

One nice thing he said was to think about the environment that our posters will be in. We have that giant wall of graphics over by Futura and he said to print our posters at 50% and then tack it up on that wall and see if our poster sticks out to us. And that got me thinking about how much my poster pops. Steve didn't talk about everyone's posters and mine was one of the ones that he didn't mention(directly anyways), but that didn't bother me one bit. If anything it just made me think about my poster even more and how it reenforced how I need to think about how forceful, visually and informationally, my poster is.

VISCOMTWO. Sketches.

Okay, so it's no surprise that drawing isn't my forte. But these are my sketches for the icon project. To fully view it click on the image to get the full size(not the best quality ever). The paper in the center of the image are the intentional drawings of the five objects that I picked to draw. My five objects I picked from my list of 10 were splash, stopwatch, suit, goggles/cap, whistle. All the sketches around the center drawing(minus the smaller papers above and below the center paper) are all intuitive drawings of the objects. Faster sketches that take less time to make and that focus less on form and more on the feeling of the object.

From this point I pick three objects of those fave(probably the suit, stopwatch, and whistle) and refine them and then create a set of iterations with different styles applied to them.

TYPETWO. Change One Thing. UpdateTwo.

Yesterday, we had the lovely pleasure to listen to Steve Frykholm lecture in Epperson yesterday afternoon about his work at Herman Miller. Then, we had the even bigger pleasure of him also critiquing our posters for the "Change One Thing" competition we are working on in TypeTwo. This is the poster I based my direction on for this competition:
The main feedback I got on this one was that there were too many layers of information going on. The Red Cross, the rainbow droplet, the Red Cross as an "x", change one thing, and then the gay symbol. From the good feed back I got in crit I created the posters below. Taking the idea of using the American Red Cross as an "x" to symbolize the denial of gay men from giving blood. I have over twenty different iterations of this idea, the ones below cover the main span of the iterations. The first one below is the poster I liked the most so I printed in color for crit, the rest are the other iterations, I printed them in b&w.
The idea I presented in class was taken to very well. I got a fair amount of feedback, but the overall consensus was that it is a good direction for me to go in. The main feedback was just the overall placement of everything on the poster which may sound really big but all that takes is many different iterations of placements to find the best one, nothing I can't handle. The main thing was to move the blood drop more to the center of the Red Cross. For Steve Frykholm I worked on moving the droplet down but I didn't have time to get it done so I ended up putting the same poster back up, no big deal, it was a minor change that really didn't affect the entirety of the poster.


DP. 31. Paul Rudolph Drawings.

Love love love love love Paul Rudolph and his amazing drawing style.

Paul Rudolph was an architect living from the late 1910's to the late 1990's. His work has a very modernistic feel to it and the way he rendered his work on paper was very forward and new back then. He pushed the boundaries of how people rendered their work. I know this isn't a graphic designer, but he is a designer, and I love linear work. Lines are some of my favorite things(that and geometric shapes). Paul Rudolph's work is some of the most gorgeous linear work that I have seen since one Monsieur Frank Llyod Wright. Bask in his amazing artwork on the pages that the sources take you. You must delve deeper into this man's work. It makes me very happy.

sources: grain edit, the paul rudolph foundation.


TYPETWO. Change One Thing. UpdateOne.

Here are some screen caps of the three directions that I had going at the start of today.
The third one was nix'd pretty fast(you're welcome ray and brandon). However, the direction that I'm going in is more of the second idea, but with the aesthetic feeling of the first one. Below is my favorite iteration of what I have so far. I ended up WhatTheFont'ing the American Red Cross's logo to figure out their typeface to use it as another layer of recognition. The font ended up being AkzidenzGroteskBQ-Super.

VISCOMTWO. Icon List Update.

going for gold
swim cap & goggles
starting block
stop watch
lane lines
*i was going to post documentation of my intuitive drawings but a) they're bad and 2) i'm having a b' of a time getting them to document well. some of them are too light of drawings, others are fine however.

DP. 30. Borja Bonaque.

Yes, I know I've already done one blog post today, but I meant to blog about this yesterday(i think), but I never got around to doing it, so I thought tonight would be the perfect night to catch up on some much needed blogging/inspiration.

This artist's name is Borja Bonaque. Get acquainted with his work.
He is a graphic designer from Spain. His work is a wonderful mesh of geometric, grunge, retro, classy. However, all his work may be amazing, but what I am going to focus on is his Duet Type typeface.
This is quite the exceptional piece of typography here. I have an appreciation for many different styles and types of design. But my one, true love is typography so I tend to be waayyyyyyyyy overly critical of type face choices on anything and everything. This, however, is quite wonderful, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to let it off easy. There are still some quirks about it that annoy me. First and foremost is that "I" and how it is the only letter that isn't technically uppercase. There are some weight balance issues in when the crossbar connects to the stem it gets a little wonky in weight when curving from thin outward. Though one thing that I much appreciate is that the "W" and the "M" are the exact same shape just rotated. It's a very calligraphic element of this typeface(if the harsh thin thin and bold thick thick wasn't calligraphic enough for you). I'm drawn to the very structured aspect to this font but yet it still has subtle fleur details. Curved edges and curly circles at the end of some of the strokes. Not too overly rigid.

sources: grain edit, borja bonaque.

DP. 29. Kix Cereal.

Kix cereal was introduced in 1937, that's 73 years ago. The box has gone through many different stages in those past 73 years. Here are two of my favorite, more boxes are linked to in the sources below.
Vintage always seems to end up being much, much prettier than whatever the hell is out now-a-days. Kix has just recently released new packaging for it's cereal box and I'm just not feeling the change.

Here's what the box before looked like:
Yeah, okay, it was running rampant with too many strokes, gradients, and oddly ballooned text. But, at least it was playful, young, and full of spunk, everything that Kix cereal should be seeing as it is targeted as a child's cereal(though I'm now 20 and I'm still in love with it). The new packaging seems more targeted towards the parents(mothers) of the children. When I was a kid, I didn't want anything to do with anything vegetable related. But that's part of the main focus of this new packaging. Healthy.
Okay. The packaging isn't horrific, it's actually quite nice, but it would function a whole heck of a lot better if it wasn't on a Kix cereal box. It's too tame and too much reliant on the healthy symbol of eating popped corn(isn't that what Pops Cereal is, anyways?). I liked how Kix and Pops stayed distant from each other even though they're essentially the same sort of cereal. It makes sense that the new packaging is trying to emphasize the healthiness of it seeing as everything is on a health craze now. Kix is just working on making their product relevant after almost 75 years in the business. It's a task that I'm sure is not easy, and was well thought out before implementing. I just wish they would have kept the playfulness of the old box still in this new design. Even just something as simple as the bouncing in of the dot into frame and onto the 'i'. Over all the rebrand is a nice refresh, just not appropriate for this cereal.

Oh and every once in a while big-named corporations come out with old-style vintage versions of their current products for a limited time, and this is just a pure treat in my eyes. It gives me hope that people still know what good design is.

sources: theimaginaryworld.com, gentle pure space.