Category Archives: Design Concept/Ideas

MEADOW HEIGHTS CHURCH ‘REMEMBER’ MESSAGE SERIES

Another message series! I’ll have another one to post in two weeks. This one was a borrowed set of graphics from LifeChurch.tv. What is borrowed is the glass image and ‘remember’ logo. The rest is a unique design that fits the Meadow Heights ‘style’. It’s funny that Meadow Heights ‘style’ is identical to my design style. I just counted how many message series graphic sets I’ve designed for Meadow Heights….. drum roll please….. 28!

 

ICONNECT – YOUR ONLINE CONNECTION TO ALL THINGS ATSU

Still being developed, but I just had to share this. This is website numero deuce that I’ve developed for ATSU. It follows the same style that atsu.edu does and still has it’s own identity. The most important aspect is the ATSU blue banner that is consistant across all ATSU websites. The footer is a unique aspect that will be used on all new websites I develop. It’s an alternative to the global navigation at the top of the website.

 

SGA – STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

This is a sneak peak at an even less developed website. the goal here is to globalize the two SGA’s – one for Arizona campus and one for the Missouri campus.

I’ve spent the last four months working on starting my own freelance business known as Creative Improv. It is a unique collaboration between myself and Michael, but also might include more folks in the future depending on the specific project (photographers & programmers). Michael and I would always tell each other, “you know we should start a design business”. Well that’s what we’re doing. I’m the designer while Michael is the creative director. Check out our website so far: http://creativeimprov.com – not much yet, but more is coming.

Creative Improv’s thought process is centered on the idea of simplicity that Jazz Bassist, Charles Mingus puts forth:

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Speaking of simplicity: This is one of the first concepts for the Creative Improv website.

click to view it larger!

Be sure to ‘follow’ creativeimprov on Twitter.com to keep up to date on the website progress and new projects we are doing!

NEMO Triathlon Website Redesign
This week I worked on a few different websites, but they can’t be shown yet, since they aren’t public on ATSU’s website yet. This one was a homepage design for the triathlon that the Rec Center at A.T. Still sponsors

Get excited!

I was reading the Just Creative Design blog today and this quote caught my eye. It’s from an interview with logo designer Luka Pensive.

I avoid showing off numbers of concepts at once as the client is paying me as a designer to see what’s the best for his business/product identity. My task is to deliver a quality, recognizable and unique logo that conveys the message, not to confuse the client and say “hey, here are your 10 concepts, now pick one” – imagine if you came to a (not computer) hardware shop and said you need a nail and shopkeeper told you “here we have 100 different nail types, choose the one you like and get back to me”. Trust me, even if you picked 10 types, you’d come home with the ones you don’t need.

This is the first of many weekly posts. I hope to publish new design work weekly.



ATSU NEWS RELEASES – http://news.atsu.edu

ATSU was publishing news releases statically on their website. I worked with the Communications & Marketing department to integrate a blog-style news releases website. It’s complete with an RSS feed on www.atsu.edu

ATSU GLOBAL NAVIGATION
The various websites connected to atsu.edu really needed consistency of design and style without being too bulky in the top header area. My solution was to implement a site map in the footer of every new website that is created (just http://news.atsu.edu so far). This allows us to get rid of the drop down navigation on the top and leave more room for a page-specifc header and content.

Meadow Heights Church New Message Series ‘Zip It’
I’ve been designing message series’ for Meadow Heights for over 4 years now. This particular design is one side of an invitation card. Check out the Imagine Campaign and Signage I completed for them. It’s interesting to me how for some clients I’m used more as a graphic designer and for other clients I’m more of a web designer for them. I kind of enjoy having regular graphic design work to do for Meadow Heights – it keeps me using those skills I learned at school. BTW – it’s strange to speak of ‘school’ as a past tense thing.

from left - Home Storage Solutions magazine cover, 'Stack Your Storage' magazine spread, Table of Contents

from left – Home Storage Solutions magazine cover, ‘Stack Your Storage’ magazine spread, Table of Contents

A few days ago I received a package in the mail. The package was from Dave Stone at Workbench Magazine. It contained the magazine that I spent all summer conceptualizing, branding, designing and redesigning. I had so much anticipation during the past 4 months about what it would be like to finally get the printed copy of the magazine. If you are a designer, you know the feeling of getting to see your design work finished and printed.

From the beginning of the summer, I sometimes doubted my ability to take on such a large project. After all, it was 100 pages and I was charged with the task of designing and redesigning every article in it. Beyond that I got to come up with an overall brand and style that could be used throughout.

I got to work with the amazing Doug Appleby. He’s an assistant art director at Workbench and a pretty awesome photographer as well. He challenged me to never settle for less. This usually meant designing 15-20 versions of a single magazine spread. I must have learned something, because by the last week of work, when we were putting together the table of contents, it only took about 5 versions – with a few tweaks.

If you want to see a preview of the magazine, check out http://www.woodsmithstore.com/w0901a.html

Check out this blog post – “An Amazing Summer So Far“. It was when I first started my internship at August Home Publishing.

I would never have guessed that of all places, Fredericktown, MO would be home to a really awesome illustrator like Tim at Unique Ink.

Michael Goldsmith and I teamed up to create a truly ‘unique’ website for Unique Ink. They offer screen printing/poster design/vinyl lettering and a bunch of other stuff. His artistic style is really hip. It’s hard to put my finger on something that it reminds me of, but it’s sort of retro, detailed, flat colors & monochromatic.

The cool thing is that Tim designed the website and handed it over to us to turn into a website. His website design is very fresh and ‘never been done before’ because he doesn’t bring to the table past website design experience (like I do). I think that’s what I like about it most… that he designed it… and Michael and I just helped to make his design a functional website, while adding our own touch of detail, accessibility & functionality.

Michael & I have started Creative Improv, a print/web design firm, a few months ago. For a sneak peak at our mantra, check out CreativeImprov.com. We will be launching the full website very soon – get ready.

Oh yeah, and I’m starting my new job at A.T. Still University as web developer on January 5th.  It should be an exiting two months!

The best is yet to come.

Initial sketch and final intaglio print

Initial sketch and final intaglio print

Bruce Mau is a designer from Canada. Mau runs a successful design firm in Toronto and Chicago. He wrote something called the “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.” It is basically a list of 43 things that exemplify Mau’s style, strategy toward every project.

My motion graphics course has incorporated this manifesto into our recent video project. We were to create three 30 second videos (1-type dominant, 1-imagedominate, 1- negative space dominate) that explored a particular point from the manifesto. I chose to explore number six,‘Capture Accidents.’ 

My concept was that during the drawing process there are accidents that occurr – a misplaced line here, wrong proportions there, or smearing of pencil lead.

smearing of pencil lead

I wanted to focus on this because I’m left handed, and if you are too (both McCain and Obama are left handed!), you know that this always happens. Notebooks or sketchbooks weren’t meant for left-handed people. The idea I had was to do what the manifesto says – to capture and gather accidents and ‘ask different questions’ or create something great from that accident.

I chose to record myself drawing one of my old sketches of Jesus being persecuted and accidentally smear the pencil lead where the wood block is on the left of the drawing. But then I would turn that smear of lead into the shading of the wood block.

Below is the type dominant version for ‘Capturing Accidents’

In part four, I take a look at the recent website redesign by John McCain and compare it to his previously all black website.

Beautiful Design
I believe I’ve said this on my blog before. This presidential campaign has largely been about change. Most significantly, a change from really horrible design in political campaigns to truly beautiful design and focused branding, most on the part of Obama’s campaign, but most recently with McCain as well.

Finally, candidates are seeing the value of a great brand and beautiful design. By ‘great brand’ I’m talking about the cohesive theme and logo. For Obama it has been ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’. For McCain it has been ‘maverick’ (or is it ‘a couple of mavericks’?) and ‘Country First’. What I think is even more effective is a theme that gets placed on a campaign by the public. In this case it was in the form of Internet viral advertising, especially the ‘Yes We Can’ music video. I can’t think of a viral advertising ‘brand’ that has been placed on the McCain campaign. There have also been some negative viral advertising affecting Obama such as Internet rumors that, ‘He’s a Muslim.’ As Campbell Brown on CNN pointed out a few days ago “So what if he is a Muslim? Since when was that a disqualifer for president?”

Website (re)Design
The website design for both candidates can make or break them in terms of young vote. Young people are all about hip and cool. That’s what first draws them to a candidate in some cases, then they look at the issues. This isn’t the case with all young voters but for some it is. So how does a young voter remain on a website that is black, gray and a little blue with pictures of people their grandparents age? The answer is: ‘they don’t.’ So as I first visited McCain and Obama’s website you can guess which one I was drawn to more, especially as a designer. A young voter’s life is always ‘changing’ and they usually have much ‘hope’ for their future. And what is it that Obama has focused his campaign on? Hope and Change. What do people want after Bush’s presidency? Hope and Change. What do I want a little more of in my pocket? Change. (haha, get it?)

Before McCain’s website redesign at the end of the summer, it wasn’t successfully keeping young voters there and giving them something to grab hold of. His website color scheme was a depressing black and blue and there were about thirteen pictures of him on his biography page (mostly black and white). That is thirteen reminders of how old he is. The constant replaying of McCain’s POW video on his website didn’t connect with young voters since it is from a war so far removed from our generation. Also, McCain’s stance on the Iraq war is not striking a chord with young people as a whole. For example, the statement about being in Iraq for one hundred years. Overall, I concluded last spring that McCain was not reaching young voters and needed to utilize his website in better ways.

Finally a Redesign for the Maverick
What do you get when you have just one maverick? A black and gray website. Add a younger, less-experienced maverick to the team to make ‘a couple of mavericks’ and what do you get? A website very similar to the competition. I say this because McCain’s website changed for the better about 2 months before adding Sarah Palin to his mavericky campaign. Check out my screenshots of the McCain website next to the Obama website. If I were to just glance at these, I would guess they were from the same campaign. Almost identical blue, glowing white shadows/lights, addition of ‘people group’ mentioned in a previous post. Why would anyone want to go from the deathly black and gray to hopeful blue and glowing lights? It might be that they noticed Obama’s website was well designed, structured and communicated their theme of change and hope. I guess communicating the theme of ‘country first’ is visually depicted identical to that of ‘change’ and ‘hope’.

That, or the McCain campaign generously borrowed design ideas from a better looking website. How blatant can you be? I believe my side-by-side image says it all.

In part five I take a look how Obama and McCain are getting out the vote and recent online buzz (Keating Economics, Fight the Smears, Yes We Carve, etc)

In part three, I continue my discussion of McCain and his ineffective use of the web. This is part three of six.

Excluding 50% of Americans
John McCain’s website does not have a ‘Students for McCain’ webpage. In fact, last Spring he had only three people group webpages: Lawyers, Women and Veterans for McCain. But still today, there’s no “Students for McCain” webpage. What gives? This would lead one to believe that McCain doesn’t value every voter, and only values his three favorite type of voters: Women voters, Veteran voters and Lawyer voters. Sure, these three groups are probably the most likely of any group to actually go to the polls and vote… but why exclude 50% Americans?

A Logical Approach with a Community-Driven Approach
Barack Obama didn’t exclude all non-women, non-veterans, and non-lawyers. He has webpages for many ethnicity’s, sexual orientations, and political parties. He also includes: People of Faith, Kids, Seniors, Small Business, Labor etc. Most important to my discussion is that he has a ‘Students for Obama’ webpage. This, combined with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter social networks is giving Obama a huge edge with getting young people’s attention. Within each page there are blog posts particularly relevant to that category. That is brilliant because now someone in that category can ‘comment’ and discuss issues with people like them. Building a community is central to Obama’s website; from his various blogs on people webpages to ‘MyBO’ where voters can get involved locally through events and more.

Shaping Up (kind of)
Sometime in the past few months (late Summer), McCain decided that he should have pages for more people than just women, lawyers and veterans. Maybe he finally realized that not everyone in American fit into those groups. I’m theorizing that he took a gander at Obama’s set of people groups and trimmed it down a little, leaving out many important people groups. Ironically some of the them being: LGBT and ‘Students for McCain’. He might not agree with LGBT voters or even Student voters but you got to at least try and reach out to them. He strangely added ‘Bikers for McCain’ (probably because Cindy McCain is a biker girl). He also has ‘Americans of Faith’ and thought it necessary to add ‘Catholics for McCain’ as if Catholics aren’t American with faith. He’s even got a news article on that page titled “Obama’s Catholic Problem.” Maybe Obama should put a news article up titled “McCain’s Young Vote Problem.”

He’s got people group pages, but their iss no community aspect.
These people group page on McCain’s website don’t offer community opportunities. For example, Catholics can’t interact with other Catholics for McCain while on the ‘Catholics for McCain’ webpage. So the result is saying: “See, I can write articles pay people to write articles about Obama’s Catholic problem and get pictures taken with Catholics”; instead of saying, “Here are some important issues to Catholics and a blog/comment section so you can discuss it with other Catholics.” The side columns to any people group webpage on McCain’s website offer non-related items, while Obama’s side columns offer some people group specific steps that can be taken along with non-related items.

In part four, I take a look at the recent website redesign by John McCain and compare it to his previously all black website.