Monthly Archives: August 2008

My last semester has started and I’m taking Advanced Motion Graphics, Advanced Digital Graphics, Chemistry and Internet Programming. For Adavanced Digital Graphics we had to photograph each letter/number in any category we chose. I decided to photograph architectural things, mostly in alleys and outside. The gallery below shows my results. Please note that the thumbnails are cropped wrong, so to get a better feel for them view them at full size.

Bloggers often talk about news stories/write their own opinions on a certain national story/issue. I have even heard news anchors mention the blogosphere and the shear number of bloggers who will write about big news stories. Well, recently I’ve experienced this same phenomenon at a very personal/local level. But unlike some bloggers who rant and rant about their narrow-minded opinions, this splash in the local blogosphere was made for all the right reasons.

Blogging is a way to tell your side of the story in a situation that would be difficult to confront otherwise. It also is a way to tell what you know to be true, even if others are saying otherwise. I experienced this in the past when I expressed my thoughts about pledging/depledging a certain fraternity. Although my situation did have some backlash, it was a way to let people know what I thought.

So when a community of believers experience something that they don’t believe is right or warranted, blogging is an outlet for them to tell friends, via their blog, their feelings and what they see as the truth in the matter. I find it especially interesting that this small community of bloggers has embraced Michael/Melissa and express to the world what they know in their heart is the truth. So to summarize this recent phenomenon in my local blogosphere here are the thoughts on the situation at hand:

To summarize my thoughts on the matter. I haven’t been living in Fredericktown for the past three years to experience things to the fullest, but I have been friends/student of Michael since 7th grade, and I know he is the hardest worker, best musician, funniest person I’ve ever met. That’s what makes this situation so difficult because there has been silence from one side over the whole matter. I really want to understand the MH side of the situation, but with a lack of openness on their end it makes me question things. Michael has been up-front with me and open, and so I have to rely on reason and logic and know that he did nothing worth what was dealt to him.

And so, there you have it… my thoughts from 500 miles away from the situation. I hope I’ve positively added to the conversation that others have written about.

I started thinking, “You know, I’ve done a massive amount of design/layout for Meadow Heights Church and a few other places like BSU at Truman State University… so why not get all of my best work together and see what I come up with.

So here ya go!

*side note*
I’ve been keeping track of my blog’s visitor statistics and my first post about newspaper ads is the most popular of any I’ve written, with an average of 15-20 views a day. It also is ranked high in search engines when searching for ‘how to make great advertisements.’

With that knowledge, I decided that I would write part two…

In part one, I talked about some reasons to be different, aesthetically. Here are a few more reasons, along with thoughts about the ad’s message.

  • limit the amount of content you have. An ad should grab attention not inform the viewer of every single detail.
  • Use only a few sentences, bullet points or short phrases. Similar to writing for the web, you want to give the viewer a break from the massive amount of content in the stories surrounding the ad.
  • Aim your message at a targeted audience. Be sure your audience isn’t just all males or all females.. that’s way too broad. The broader your target audience the less effective your message becomes!
  • Try to portray the uniqueness of your product/service that is being advertised.
  • Steer clear from using most free fonts in the ad. They are generally very poorly designed, have poor default kerning, etc. There are some great free fonts out there, but be picky and be prepared to do a lot of work on your typography to fix the flaws.
  • Be sure your ad is appropriate for where it is placed in the newspaper. Newspapers usually control this, but just in case… it’s probably not a good idea to put a beer ad next to the comics. Your kids will end up seeing that ad.
  • Take advantage of the placement, if possible. If you know the page your ad will be on, try tying your message to the subject matter of the surrounding stories. Or ask if your ad can be placed near certain subjects/stories.

Some of these items apply to graphic design and advertising in general as well as newspaper advertising. Are there any other tips you would add?

Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media DesignerI just received the book MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer by Hillman Curtis I skimmed through it and caught some insightful words:

A common mistake of designers is thinking of themselves only as visual communicators. We’re fortunate to speak the visual language fluently, but we also need to translate literal and thematic messages. In other words, we need to be bilingual. As a designer I need to listen and ask questions… …without (that), I’m as good as blind.

I’ve talked a lot lately about branding myself as a designer, so it was nice to hear what Hillman had to say about it. I came across the part where the author talks about designing his design firm’s website (hillmancurtis inc.) Hillman had some insightful words:

My thought was to design something bold and cutting-edge, so I studied the work of my peers: designers who I thought were doing new and exciting work. Still nothing was working. The designs I turned out fell flat, and every night I went home empty and depressed.

He goes on to say that his wife told him about a poetry conference she went to at which C.K. Williams said that when he’s creatively blocked, he falls in love with a master. He looks back to those who perfected their craft and takes cues from their mastery. For designers, that might be Paul Rand, Saul Bass and many others.

Who are you looking back to, that perfected their craft?

Posters should have a definite style or brand yet carry that style out with minimal content. Here are few posters I’ve designed in the past.

This was created in conjunction with a pamphlet that targeted the idea that finding WMD was a slam dunk case. And yes, the CIA director actually said that. I put statistics of the war and came up with the tag “Not Quite a Slam Dunk” This was intended to have a David Carson feel, with the typography… I’ve realized I’m not the “experimental typography” sort of person.

I created this poster for my senior portfolio, along with a CD design, website and bar coasters. I drew the guitar in Illustrator and then finished it in Photoshop. Check out Paul’s music at Myspace.

 For an ongoing freelance job for Meadow Heights Church. This concept started out as a small web ad and later became this 11×17 poster.

Do you need a poster designed?

If you are looking for someone to help you design a poster or anything (business card, brochure, website, logo, etc). I’m your man. You can get in contact with me and I’ll create something meaningful and awesome for you next project.