Monthly Archives: June 2007

It’s been a while…
…since I did a print project. I’ve been so wrapped up with learning more about CSS, website standards and doing digital illustration that I’ve almost forgotten about print design. I kicked back in gear with a project for Meadow Heights’ Worship Concert. Here are a few screen shots from the bulletin which will be 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 when folded.

I’m currently taking Trigonometry and I was surprised to use my knowledge of the unit circle to decide how best to create the radiating circle on the back and the background of the inside. I’m beginning to understand why a liberal arts education is so important… if only to make this one design.


inside of the bulletin

“what the heck’s with geck?”

That’s what the professor said her husband told her when he heard she was calling it Gecko Mathematics.

I echo that same question.

But I’m going with it, for now anyway. I’ve created an emblem. It’s only about 3 quarters of the way finished.

My Process:
I first sketched a few gecko’s from photos online. I then traced one of them with ink. Then I taped it to my Wacom Tablet and began tracing it into Photoshop with the Brush Tool. The key is to turn on “Shape Dynamics” and Other Dynamics” This makes your drawing resemble your normal style because the line gets lighter and thinner when pressing lighter and it gets darker and thicker when you press harder. This effect helps with the visual liveliness. After drawing the outline I filled it with a light green. Then I used the brush tool with slightly darker colors to draw in the darks, then I chose a lighter color to draw the highlights.

I have 3 layers in the document. 1 is the green fill, 1 is the outline, and 1 is the eyes created with the pen tool.

I do feel this illustration lacks some liveliness due to my color change in the outline. I took out the lightness and darkness and made it a solid green… I need to make it skinnier, define the highlights and darks to be more realistic, and then incorporate it into the logo for the website.

I’m open to your critique.

Blast from the Past
I don’t know why I’m posting my design work from high school. If only to prove a point that Truman State University is teaching me something about design. I was a senior in high school when my then band director requested I design his website for his political campaign.

This was my first website job.

Notice my inclination for good typography… or lack thereof. I used drop-shadows and edges/strokes on all text. I used a script font, I used a pointless “welcome message”

All these are what I now know is generally bad to do.

You live, You learn.


website job number one

I won’t blame this on the software I was using, but it definitely didn’t help. Anyone ever hear of Microsoft Image Composer? It was shipped with old versions of Microsoft FrontPage. It is what I used until entering college and being forced to use Adobe Photoshop.


farewell dearest Image Composer


You’ll be missed

This program didn’t have layers, channels, pen tool, etc. It was essentially one layer and you could only “undo” once.

Only one undo.

You Photoshop guys wouldn’t survive in the world of one undo.

I survived.

On the (Photoshop) Drawing Board

gecKo mathematics

  • I’m working to complete all the secondary pages for this website, then I need to brainstorm ideas for how to present a math workbook online so that parents and teachers can see the teacher manuals and student workbook all on the same webpage. For all you teachers out there… I’m trying to create the online equivalent to a teacher edition book. The solution will be and should be much different than the typical wrap-around column with teacher notes on the outer edge and bottom of the page. Webpages aren’t print documents and can’t handle a very wide layout.
  • A gecko illustration is also needed for use on the website.

Worship Concert 2007 @ Meadow Heights

I get to create everything from website ads to the bulletin to the powerpoint slides. I still have the bulletin and powerpoint slides left to create. Here is a sneak peak:


website ad


front of the bulletin (8 1/2 x 11 turned on its side with the fold on the top)

Agricultural Science
I’m currently templating and programming the tertiary pages of the current website. I basically copy and paste the content from the current pages and put them in a blank webpages, then view the code to delete all the extra formatting that I’m using stylesheets for.


A screenshot sneak peak

See them live!
Homepage, Secondary, Tertiary

Korean Math becomes gecKo mathematics
The Korean Math project that I spoke about previously has sort of warped into having it’s own identity. The new name is ‘gecko mathematics” Why, I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

What will happen when a possible sponsor asks what the concept behind the gecko is? We won’t have an answer… unless we say the truth which is,”because the professor’s grandkids like gecko’s.” This situation has confirmed to me the importance of a concept, even if it’s a simple one.

The website design that I presented previously is now programmed, thanks to my 4 hours of work. It is located here.

Korean Math becomes gecKo mathematics
The Korean Math project that I spoke about previously has sort of warped into having it’s own identity. The new name is ‘gecko mathematics” Why, I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

What will happen when a possible sponsor asks what the concept behind the gecko is? We won’t have an answer… unless we say the truth which is,”because the professor’s grandkids like gecko’s.” This situation has confirmed to me the importance of a concept, even if it’s a simple one.

The website design that I presented previously is now programmed, thanks to my 4 hours of work. It is located here.

Korean Math Redux
I mentioned in the last post that I would be redesigning the Korean Mathematics website for a professor. I have previously done illustration for this project. First let’s see the current website design:

I wanted to make the navigation easier to… you guessed it, NAVIGATE. The wording of the links were also very ambiguous. “Help American Education”… ok but how and “what will happen when I click on this?”

Also there is a faux logo. It looks like a logo but it’s really not, its just some clipart paired with a title.

Text as images: See those quotes below the photo? that’s one big image. This website’s largest image contains quotes that don’t even need to be images.

Use a grid: as my viscom professor, Rusty would say… “let me see what grid you used to lay out that page.” This one doesn’t have a grid. I don’t always use a grid, mostly because I automatically use one without thinking about it. Sometimes it’s VERY necessary especially when figuring out hierarchy. To view the grid in Photoshop use Ctrl + ‘

Redux:

Here it is with my grid turned on:

I clearly defined the logo, even if it is just text. Simple is better. I think I read this on Seth Godin’s website: “Let your products/content give meaning to your logo”

I made the navigation stand out and moved it to the top. I also made the titles of each navigational link shorter in length and larger in size

The most important part of the website is highlighted below the logo, which happens to be where the viewer looks first.

Thoughts?