This weekend, I have to finish up a website and get it programmed by Monday. We had to make something up so I chose a jazz tv channel. I designed the logo and drew the saxophone player. I’m not sure if I can finish it up in time. Because we also have to have a poster done to accompany the website.

Another project I did this week is for Partners in Prevention, a state-wide campaign on campus about not drinking alcohol… or something.. not really sure, I just do the website 🙂

Here is what I came up with.

Since last week at this time A lot of things have happened. I got a website design and programmed for The Serve Center on campus. It’s for their “Big Event”

This website actually validates as XHTML Strict,without errors and I’m excited about that.

Here’s a screenshot:


I also was asked to head up the Agriculture website for Truman. Their current website is http://agriculture.truman.edu The department is very small and they want to get their name out to interested high school students.

So, I have a daunting task ahead of me.

I will also be creating a poster to be sent to all Missouri high schools advertising the Agriculture department. This opportunity came up because an Ag. professor teaches one of my classes: The Horse in Art, Science and History. It’s the most interesting class I’ve had so far here at Truman. The professor and I share the same interests in christian music, books (Blue Like Jazz, etc) and he’s on Facebook. So I will be working with him and the other Ag. professors three hours a week to redesign and reconceptualize their website.

I’m excited.

I was recently burning some old design files onto CD (all 500 mb of them). They are taking over my computer. I noticed a few website screenshots that I thought “this stuff sucks” when looking at it. One such website was the very first website redesign I did… it was for Sargent Construction Company

To make this more interesting I will show you the website design before I was hired in 2004 to redesign and re-conceptualize it. This is what I was hired to redesign:

Now let’s look at my first-ever attempt at redesigning a website. Before this website design, I had never done anything but make graphics for the web, or change the header of a website. I knew HTML really well, and that’s about it. The image-editing program I used was Microsoft Image Composer, a free software that came with an old version of FrontPage. Here it is:

Ok, so during the Summer of 2004 I continued to work full time, because they wanted a page on their website for all of 300-400 construction jobs they did. Complete with pictures and details of the buildings. That meant, opening up every floor plan sheet that was stored in their closet to get the building dimensions and other information needed for the website. This also meant that I would be driving around Fredericktown to take photos of all the buildings they have built there. Here is the current website, a little more complex and better designed.

So I’ve been working hard in Printmaking to learn all this new stuff. Here is my second relief print. The first one I did is framed, and hanging in Ophelia Parish… so I couldn’t get it scanned.
For relief printing I basically carved from a peice of wood the white areas in the picture. Then you press paper against it and it looks like this… Yeah, I’m not too happy with the results.
The next project was using two colors and I chose to draw a guitar, because I always see guitars when I’m in my room, since my roommate as numerous Stevie Ray Vaughan posters, and 4-5 of his guitars sitting around… So here’s an ode to SRV:

The AIGA trip to Chicago was amazing. And not because there were 6 guys and 19 girls on the trip. Because I realized that I loved the atmosphere and the work environment that the design firm had, that we visited. I definitely want to live there sometime before I settle down.

Here’s what trip was like.
We left on Thursday night. I rode with Jessica, Schuyler and Julia. We stayed at Julia’s parents house for Thursday night. Jessica and I realized how crazy senior VisComm majors really are. Schuyler just kept screaming “Chicago 2006”.

Friday moring we headed to the city to check into the hotel and visit The Grillo Group. It’s a design firm of 3-4 designers and they do some awesome stuff. They went through a normal day for them and showed us some of their work. They also took a lot of our questions.

After visiting The Grillo Group we walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It was pretty awesome, but I think The Art Institute is much better. We went to the Art Institute on Saturday and then headed home.

At Giordanno’s for dinner


Jessica and I at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Art Institute of Chicago

Julia, Me, Jessica, someone, and someone else (two freshman who I don’t know the names of)

Jessica and I outside of Chipotle

Here are the Rapala Fishing Lure ad and the Brochure for Society of Illustrators I mentioned in the last post.

For the left half of this, I found cool frames, pictures of people holding fish and a photo of wood panelling and put them all together to come up with the “bait shop wall”

This was a brochure which is folded in half and then in thirds and it was a mailer. The back of it was served as a poster.
Poster –

Information side –

Just the front cover –

Before the last two projects we had to design a poster for the Native American Heritage Month that Truman has every year. I chose to stylize just an Indian Headdress and bring attention to the people as a whole. This is why I left out a person wearing it. The headdress was hand-drawn with ink and then scanned in.

Recent BSU Design
Tonight is the FUEL service and I designed this by compositing a night sky and a closely cropped photo of a sculpture of jesus. I had to colorize it and change the contrast, This took only about 20 minutes.

Newspaper Design
Last semester I worked at the Index and did page layout and designed small information graphics. I learned a lot when it came to dealing with a lot of text. The Index put to use the idea of modular design. Modular design is where each story and things related to a story can have a box drawn around it. So you can’t have a story (including related photos) laid out in any shape other than a rectangle or square.

Graphic Design is a much broader spectrum than Newspaper Design. So a lot of times you can recognize the graphic designers that have worked a lot with newspaper, because they start using newspaper-only design rules in their other types of design. For example, using justified text, when left-aligned is much more pleasing to the eye; or being limited to only one typeface because that’s how they did it at the newspaper. It’s ok to use 2 typefaces, and they don’t have to be the same ones for every design.

Here are two frontpages that I did the layout for.

This first page layout is an example of what we would do every week. This time we had a unrelated photo to add, and it usually has a unique title. Well, for filler text I put “Grapes of Wrath” with the tree photo… and the copy-editors liked it and kept it. So, you never know when your spur of the moment thoughts will be worth something.

For this one, I had to come up with a concept to go with the story. I chose to have a photographer shoot a photo of a person laying on the floor with a toe tag on their foot. I then cropped and colorized the photo to look dead. I also had to create a shadow below the foot on the ground because the photo ended.

What I’ve learned in regards to graphic design.

1. You should stab yourself in the hand if you feel the urge to use a drop shadow, stroke or gradiant.
A direct quote from my Professor. I believe that drop shadow can be used, but very faintly and only to achieve better readability

2. Large blocks of text should be no larger than 14 and should be a serif font.

3. The client is always right, but that doesn’t mean they decide upon the specifics of the design. It’s the designers job to make great design and please the client at the same time. The client should give the designer what they want the result to be but they should not dictate the means (specifics) to getting those result.

4. Pixelation… not good

5. Obtain your graphics and photos legally. Nothing, when it comes to photos online is free, and if it is, the quantity of photos isn’t very large or the photo probably isn’t that great (quality or conceptually).- Check out http://www.sxc.hu/ for some top-notch, free stock photography… they don’t have a large variety though.

6. Use pencil and paper to sketch your design before using the computer. The computer is a tool, but you’re the designer.

7. Website design: HTML tables were meant for tables of data, not for designing a website. That’s what CSS is for.

8. Website Design: Using an image map is cheating, and your grandma who is using dial-up at about 5kbps will not have the patience to wait for the page to load.
I’ve learned these things in the past 3 years here at Truman, and I know I will learn a million other things in the next year and a half that I should avoid when it comes to designing.