Thursday, December 10, 2015

Subconscious exposure to directors

It was hard to find a potential pattern for me in maybe directors I subconsciously watched. One reason is time and another is access. Since college life has gotten a lot busier and I also have never owned a Netflix account, nor has my family so we are a bit behind in the times.

I never really followed favorite directors or really was even aware of who directed what films, but I mostly followed favorite actors. If there was a film that had an actor I liked, I tried to watch it. Of course Will Smith, is one of my all time favorites, but whose's isn't he and I really enjoy Sandra Bullock.

  • Joe Johnson-  Captain America: First Avenger and Honey I Shrunk the Kids
  • Christoper Nolan- Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (all time fav)
  • Tim Story- Think like a man
  • Andy Tennant- Hitch, It Takes Two
  • Grabriele Muccino- The Pursuit of Happyness 
  • Francis Lawerence- I am Legend, Hunger Games series
  • Donald Petrie- Miss Congeniality and How to Lose a guy in 10 days
  • Anne Fletcher- The proposal, 27 dresses, Step-up 
  • Jessie Nelson- I am Sam

I didn't find too many patterns in the wide variety of genres I watch, but maybe I would have if I would have paid attention to director sooner. Anyways, Anne Fletcher appears to pretty poplar having three films I have seen directed by her that I thoroughly enjoyed and director Donald Petrie with his films of "I am Legend" and his recent series of Hunger Games, which I can't wait to watch the newest in the series!

I definitely want to start paying more attention to not only the actors, but directors too, because you never you know who you might run into along the way. Definitely been insightful and hopefully will continue to be so as I catch up on all the good films I seem to have miss as we talk in class.

Axioms of Universities Sites

Brief Review 

After reviewing Andy Rutledge analysis of quiet structure comparing CNN and USA today it is funny to see how the tables seemed to have turned since 2007.

CNN was used as the example of how a web design could be consistent, quiet and a good design, where as USA today was what Rutledge wrote "the combination of several (noises) can amount to great significance," or distraction with the end result of a bed design.

However that was back in 2007 and now when you look at the websites today CNN seems to be a little more noisy than USA Today.

The first noise I see on CNN is that giant ad that takes up half the page before you even begin scrolling. They must be getting a pretty penny from Centrum, because that is rather ridiculous. 

As you scroll further down the page is then divided from two columns to three. It doesn't have a bad transition from two columns to three within the grid, but it takes you a while to notice it. The there a few inconsistencies within the grid that are mostly noticeable at the ends of the columns that don't quiet match up. 
The opening page for USA Today is noiseless. It is simple, balanced, harmonious. Continuous, easy to navigate and they even play into the principle of the lower right. 

The opening page for USA Today is noiseless. It is simple, balanced, harmonious. Continuous, easy to navigate and they even play into the principle of the lower right. 

As you continue to scroll the website continues to stay clean and simple. They use more of horizontal layouts to compliment the movement of the eye and follow the style guide well for organization, a little tight, divided by a thin line but consistent and I believe have created a lot less noise. 
Both websites play into the law of proximity and actually if the law of content was removed follow similar layouts as shown in Rutledge's writing, so maybe I just like the simplicity of USA Today's organization of information verses CNN's. Regardless, USA Today has made improvements.

The real website I want to take a closer look at is ours truly We will leave the functionality aside of its design, because trying to find things on this website is nearly impossible and I am grateful for the search engines. 
Our website is simple, but still is a little horsey. I like the sliding feature we have now, bea=cause I think it a quick way to show what is going on campus, but there is inconsistency having the school name and logo different and awkward part of the page. Also, like USA Today in 2007  I think our tool bar is highlighted by some unnecessary structural complexities and could be simplified.  Maybe they could be transparent and then appear as the mouse glides over the area. I think that would create some intuitiveness and add simplicity to the design.

 As we continue to scroll we see that the style guide is well executed and the website does well with the organization using the law of proximity. There is less complex organization and letting simplicity do the organizing. I also like to see that majority of things are horizontal and makes it easy for the eye to wander. 
But after a recent job shadow of a web designer here on campus, I believe our website is design is about to get a lot better and hopefully the functionality of it as well. 

One of the websites I know being used as a model is the University of Reno's

What you initially on UNR's page is much like USA Today's being noiseless. I believe they could create a better video for the visual, but the idea is good. Plus, I got to see the video we have in place and it really extracts an emotion as you see Dixie, unlike UNR's. 

What I like most about the website when you first come to the page is that it functions for multiple audiences. As an already attending student you can just get right into the site, and if you familiarizing yourself you just keep on scrolling. 

As you scroll the page is broken up into three sections that are titled and its headline is highlight as you scroll and I think makes a strong, continuous and intuitive grid. It is also intuitive as the numbers scroll to the factual information, creating movement on the page and keeping your attention. 
The name of the game seems to be utilizing law of proximity on websites, but they do it well and it eliminates unnecessary structural organization and like I said before, allows simplicity to be the organization.  The site also has more intuition with having arrows on either side of the proximity images, intimating the idea of flipping the pages of a book. This intuition I like is just as valuable as the lower right and maybe even more so in the context of a college website. 

UNR's design is noiseless and the front page really sells the school, with I think is a huge communication and business objective for a school to accomplish, but doesn't sacrifice the usefulness of it to its students either. 

I'm excited to see what our new website will look like, which, fun fact, is being recreated on WordPress. Hopefully it functions a lot better too. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Communication Artifact: LUVA Packaging

I think it is natural as human to want a little bit of everything and when it comes to design. I as a designer, particularly in my younger years as I haven't attempted to design much since then, was horsey designer. I put everything into what I was doing because that is what I wanted to do without any rhyme or reason. This class and gestalt hasn't prohibited my creativity at all with rules or law, but rather made me become effective in what I wanted to communicate visually, which helps get my message subconsciously to my targeted audience. 




I played around with a few idea with the law of closure trying to put the snowflake within a the frame of the heart, playing to the objective of winter and the existence of love outdoors in winter with the help of the product. I played further into the law of closure by adding a heart as the center piece of the snowflake, which adds some continuity in this design to have a heart within a a heart and adds the idea of winter love a little more prominent. 

The Box 

We decided to on keep a little more continuity in our decided design and play within our logo. 

The diagonals that make up the frame helps move your eye around it and creates the heart with the law of closure. The diagonals that also make up the front design drag your eye across the front surface where more continuity is found with a heart within the heart. The designs of the heart themselves add a touch of contrast with the outside frame made with broken straight lines and the inside one continuous curvy line. I think it adds a feminine touch to the design for our targeted audience. 

The heart that sits within the frame is transparent so the product can be seen. The logo is placed in the center for recognition and continues to have continuity with the frame emulating the logo seen.

The colors don't quite match the ones picked from our style guide, but my colored pencils don't let me pick pantone codes, so they were close enough. The gradient of the colors is meant to psychologically create the idea of a winter sunset. Beginning with a dark cold ground and warming into the subtle colors of a winter sunset with a frosty top to finish. The gradient of the color adds texture to the box and continuity as it wraps around the whole box, also giving the design harmony and balance.   

Diagonals continue to play a role as they not only bring your eye across the front design, but make you pick of the box and explore what is on the other sides.

The back design is where the sunset theme in the color becomes apparent as it is filled with either an animation or physical photograph. The leafless trees add texture to the frame and continues to paint to the psychology of winter and the love seen as the couple continues to walk into the graphic vector of the sunset. A motion vector is also implied with the backs of the animations toward the onlooker of the box. The gestalt principle of  figure to ground relation is seen a little in the animation version, but would be seen more if the photo was realistic as the figures would become silhouettes and instead of animated figures. The snow adds texture to the scene and motion as I left negative space at the top of the scene to create the illusion that the snow is falling from the night sky. More texture would be present with the addition of Christmas lights. The lights could compliment the style guide or I think a color outside could be added not to distract from our theme and add a nice hint of contrast to the design. 

If the scene stays animated I will use our more playful font of  Amatic Subheaders, to continue the balance and harmony of an  animated theme. But if we use physical photo I would use our more realistic font of Raleway Logo to keep reality with the photo. 

I continue to take advantage of the diagonal movement of the package on the sides as I write the slogan of our product there. I start the font smaller at the top and continue to increase the size as it moves toward the bottom of the package. I do this for two reasons, one it makes readability easier, but it also continues to create more movement. I keep the font Raleway Logo here, because I think compliments the logo font, creating balance and harmony. I tried to let the package speak for the product by not making it horsey with too many words. I think the sides of the packages help really drive the objective theme of the product home as the customer reads the slogan and then tries out the product with the holes provided to do so.

I am proud of the psychological experience I was able to paint on the surface of the package and help build physiological experience by allowing the product to be tried.

The experience of this creation was enjoyable as I was able to bounce ideas off of my group and guided by design and Gestalt principles to help give me rhyme, reason and understanding to design and to a real world product. Maybe it is a first step to a future career in design, regardless I am excited with my future encounters with design.

Side note: Sorry for the loud structure of this blog post and being quiet, neat, clean and continuous. I wrestled with blogger to save the changes I continually tried to  make, but it wouldn't keep them for some reason.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A flash back at....Typography

I know this post isn't relevant to the discussion now but it is a good review or look at typography out in the real world. Although we really are surrounded by typography whenever you go digitally speaking.

Before this class I never really noticed the skill or art that exists within typography, especially when it comes to being written by hand. I noticed though a few weeks back that where written typography cultural still largely exists is in coffee shops.

This is Perks, a local coffee shop in St. George and one of the few that seems to exist here, which is a hard concept to comprehend after having lived in Washington State for a couple of years.

Amy Bar is a barista at Perks and I watched her do this lunch menu while I did some homework and of course enjoyed some coffee. I wish I would have realized she was doing this sooner so I could have watched a little closer. It had taken her about an hour and a half to complete the menu. 

If you look closely, most the typography seems to be sans-serif, however some tips to certain letters appear to have slight serifs, but this could be due to the amount of pressure applied when writing.

If I was to pick classify the type of typography I would choose casual sans-serif. As for the coffee menu I would classify it under humanistic sans-serif

Bar said she had been doing typography for a while, but still isn't satisfied. 

Handwritten typography is probably a common skill among baristas and even a sought out one, because typography had to the texture within the scene of a coffee shop. The consistency within handwritten typography is what amazes me the most. 

Typography is probably also popular in local sandwich shops and grab-n-go restaurants and really can make or break a business. If the typography is hard to read, jumbled, or unorganized it can have a negative effect on customers not wanting to take the time to decode the menu. But if it is does right typography can add a lot of originality to a place. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mis-En-Scene: "Glory Road"

I was trying to think of a montage that really influenced me, but nothing really came to mind. So then I thought of what movie influences me or brings out emotions. One of the movies that tends to my emotions is "Glory Road" directed by James Gartner but I want to take a lot at the cinematography by Jeffrey Kimball and John Toon.

I was unable find the clips of the movies I wanted to share, but the link ahead goes to the trailer. 

I am unsure if the two scenes I want to share or a montage, but I like that they show opposites in the emotions felt in this movie and the aid of cinematography. 

Below I have shared just a few of my favorite frames from the scenes.. and hopefully will be able to share the scenes in class today thanks to the courtesy of YouTube rentals.  

The first scene starts at 32:50 and sets up the scene to be character led for a short period of time. The character followed is Harry  Flournoy. 

 Text in the beginning sets the scene. 

The Law of Pragnanz or Law of  Closure helps to build the scene and dominate role of the Harry's mom as she is pieced together between different cuts. She is build vertical giving you the sense of power and authority forcing you to look up at her as her whole image is created. 
This frame plays into the how negative space is used in cinematography for anticipation. I think you mostly see this is horror films, but is done well here to entice the humor within the scene. 

The next scene is also character led through Nevil Shed and starts at 36:20. This mini montage plays to entices a serious tone to setting.This first frame is a beautiful shot. The natural framing of the door helps produce the motion vector of the extra light spilling in, hinting at possible foreshadow as Shed is faced with being kicked off the team. The patterns of the bleachers and tile create great texture withing the frame. Where Nevil sits adds harmony to the frame.
In this scene vectors play a huge role. The first frame uses Shed's nose as a index vector toward the door seen in the previous frame deciding whether he should leave Texas.Then the same vector of his nose points toward the audience looking at the court, shown to the audience in the next frame. The two different angles of the index vector helps tell the story as Nevil debates between leaving and continuing to play basketball.
Great use of two-thirds here with the placement of the ball and another example of vectors using the lights as a graphic vector. The reflecting light off the dust on the court also adds beautiful texture.
Again, just another incredible shot where figure to ground is used as the subject fills and pushes against the frame, helping to capture that human emotion and drive the story.


The film of Glory Road is story driven rather than character driven, but is crafted so that pieces of character drive scenes piece together the story of the team. Gartner and Toon do a remarkable job of capturing human emotion and character personality as they use the Gestalt principle figure-to-ground and frame character by using other characters to place the audience within the characters view. I have always loved this film and now love it a little more consciously thanks to visual design and cinematography.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Compose Your Frame

I honestly struggled with this assignment. I am a pretty confident photographer and see myself as a casual iphonegrapher, but when I was trying to focus on keeping in the rules in play instead of just framing up  and shooting, I found the experience less enjoyable and difficult. I really didn't find satisfaction with the project until I started editing.

This turned out to be my favorite composition and works out nicely with Halloween this coming weekend.  It also helped that most of the rules are arguably found within it. Thirds can be seen with the sign hitting one of the imaginary intersections. A bit of symmetry is found at the horizon of the top step that divides the photo in half, also where one of the diagonal lines is shown. This particular diagonal line is slanted slightly creating a slow movement and adding drama to the overall mood and scene of the frame. The other diagonal is the white railing that is also a motion vector that points or motions enticingly for the door to be opened. The shadow also creates a graphic vector, with an opposite effect of starting at a single point of where the bottom step vanishes and expands as it closes in on the door leading you. The shadow also gives you the impression that the light is pushing and trying to fill the frame and again helping create that motion to moving toward the door and the mood of the scene to be played out.

Here is a slightly different angle of the composition that also alters the rules a little bit. The railing motion vector becomes the only vector, thirds is found more in the layout and the diagonals are slowed down is more, almost subtly. The color is a different shade and creates for a slightly more hopeful outcome, but still a dramatic mood is set.  

These was another composition I tried setting up that wasn't satisfying until after editing, but the color turned out great. Diagonal movements are obvious present in  the prominent horizontal and vertical rods. Index vectors are there for the picking, but the screw is the most dominant is most of these compositions. The rule of thirds isn't exactly noticeable in most of them, but I think the curve metal line in the middle of the frame plays a wonderful role of symmetry. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Design Evaluation

This assignment was a bit tough for me, because I could think of a million and one things that didn't function properly, but I couldn't think of anything that stood out to me for bad design. I kept thinking and pondering and trying to reminisce of thoughts I had about something that I thought just looked awful. I finally remember a design that drove me crazy, mustangs. 

 A mustang identity to me is a car that is powerful, robust, sexy and confident. When mustang comes to mind the comes to mind I image something around 1967 to about 1970. 

Looking back into the history and evolution of a mustang I found that the evolution is very drastic and they seem to have had a lot more down than ups (in my opinion) to the design of the mustang. However, the mustang I want to focus on for bad design is about the era starting at 1994 to 2004. In high school there was a black 2000 mustang in the parking lot. I hated it. Part of me could be biased because the girl who drove it hated me, but there was also another black mustang within that era and I thought they were both just ugly. The design to me is nothing what a mustang should be. 

The first Gestalt principle I want to address is the loss in the law of pragnanz and the simplicity in shapes. First the window is framed with all curves, loses those sharp angles. The shape seems to attempt a half circle, but it is lopsided, instead of the distinct figures with a triangle, square, triangle. You can see a similar thing happening in the grill with a half circle again that barely makes up a grill in comparison to the dominant, big bold rectangle on the 1967. The light fixtures as well, where the 2000 takes the shape within a shape and just picks the rectangle instead of keeping that contrast with a circle instead a rectangular frame. 

The biggest impact where the 2000 mustang lost its design is the law of continuity with line. The 1967 protrudes with lines and leads the eye down the body. For me it starts at the hood of the car and drags it along the windshield, across the side window and down along the hip. Or  I look at the grill to the line that leads my eye around the light fixture, jump to the line on the side of the body all the way down site seeing the tires and whole side of the body, up and around the hip to the back. 

But the 2000 lacks that continuity with either the lines being diminished or completely erased in the model altogether. This gives you eye no where to go, it doesn't lead or drag you eye to any place. IThe designers seemed to have taken the cheek of the older models, slapped a tail on the end of it and called it a mustang.    

The 2000 design and the lacks thereof doesn't make the car a "looker"  and the every word mustang has a  demand connotation that you must look or cannot help the desire to look. This highlights my point that the 2000 model loses in the domain of design of identity and what it means to be a mustang.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Evolution of Mustangs
 The Bad, the Good, and the Sexy