Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Can't Miss: Trick Photography

I found an awesome trend called "Sleeveface." It's when a photographer uses the sleeve of an album cover to cover a part of their body and it creates an illusion. There's some really cool artwork that they can create by doing this.

Critique: Nosh

This week I did a lot of work for Nosh. The first drafts our group did was a work-in-progress. We had to find the best way to display our recipes, titles and deks. We have found a way to make everything cohesive and I think our magazine is coming along really well.

We are going to add web refers and department openers to the book also. I think once all the elements are laid out in order it will look much more cohesive and like a real book.

I need to work on the feature a lot more, but it's coming along the way I want it to look. I plan on designing the quiz a lot more and incorporating small food items.

Response: Prototypes

When we looked at everyone's prototype it was obvious that many of us were in different stages of the design process. There were many different elements that I liked about everyone's design.

In Shindig I really liked the many different elements that they plan on using. The different types of arrows and colors make the entire magazine fun and come together. I really like how this group is also planning on using different texture elements. This magazine has some flair and a distinct style that works really well.

In Modern Midwest I liked the slab serif fonts for the department titles. It's a very cool font. It seems fresh and fun. The colors also have a young vibe to them that works with the feel of the mag.

Cupboard also has some fun elements with it. Once the template is finalized I think it will come together nicely. I like how the nameplate looks. It makes Cupboard seem younger than the name of the magazine. I'm excited to see the final product.

Plaid Dad has some great stuff and it has some issues with the publishers. I like the diamond plate that the magazine carries throughout the department pages. I would try and get the publishers to make up their mind in regards to what is a feature and department page. I think it is coming along well though and I'm excited for tomorrow's presentations.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Critique: SJI Logos Round 2

This week I've been working on a lot of different design assignments. Tomorrow I have three covers due for the Strange Addictions feature and the second draft of Food Challenges. However, my latest design endeavor has been reworking the SJI logos.

The above logos are the the two are the ones that were chosen for SJI to see. They both have a sense of diversity in the color choices. The first one I chose to use the three primary colors because these three colors can be mixed together to create all the colors in the rainbow. The"I" in this logo also is meant to represent a person. The second logo shows diversity in the people joined together and in the muted color choices. The colors are different tones of red, yellow and blue.

It was definitely a challenge to not design the obvious sporting logo, but to incorporate SJI's mission of bringing diversity into newsrooms.

Response: Portfolio review

Yesterday I had my portfolio critiqued by everyone in the class. It was an quite an interesting experience to have work from the entire semester and whatever past work I had displayed for everyone to critique. I know that with each passing person it got exhausting having to answer the same questions, but I tried to give the best feedback possible because I know a lot of us really appreciate the criticism.

Although it was a long process, I did enjoy each time a new person put all their designs out on the table. It was so fun to see all the work that someone did, and it was great to see how someone's work progressed. I know that personally my design skills have gotten a lot better, and I have become much more familiar with software and different programs since I have been immersed in so much work during  this capstone. I'm excited to get my critiques back to see how I can improve on some of the existing work in my portfolio.

You Can't Miss: Comic Sans Criminal

This is funny. It's a site called Comic Sans Criminal. It's all about the evolution of Comic Sans and people's use of the font. You really just need to go to the site; it's too hard to explain.

This week on designing magazines I found a post about folios. The guy that maintains the site writes that in his opinion, folios are not something that should ever be touched or changed. Ever. This "page furniture" as the Mag+ instructor from last week called it, shouldn't ever be touched by a designer because it is meant to stay the same issue to issue. However, I disagree. I think if there is ever a special issue that the publication is putting out, then why can't the folio change? Wired changed their folio to coincide with their Star Wars themed issue. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a problem with it as long as it doesn't change every month.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Critique: SJI Logos

Designing 20 logos was such a challenge! I knew it was going to be difficult, but I didn't realize how big of an assignment it was until I began. We were told that most of our designs didn't incorporate enough about diversity. We need to wrap sports, journalism and diversity all together to create one logo.

I'm going to work on my top five a lot this weekend to try and get all aspects of SJI represented. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to incorporate diversity yet, but I'll find a way.

Something I found interesting was that some of my designs that I probably spent seconds on were the ones that were most liked. I'm guessing that it was because these were the ones that were easiest to read.  I'll post the final designs this weekend.

Response: iPad conference

The iPad conference on Monday was amazing. Ever since I've been in the Magazines Across Platforms course and have been learning about tablets I've been hooked. It really set in when I went to New York and had the opportunity to talk to almost every magazine's iPad team.

I really feel like the Platforms class is helping to make me think like a Web Producer, which it's supposed too, but I do find myself thinking about how my designs can translate to the iPad.

I'm still planning on watching the rest of the sessions that I missed soon, and I cannot wait to begin working with Mag+.

You Can't Miss: TOC

Designing Magazine's doesn't update their blog that much. Actually they haven't updated since June 2010, so it's safe to say they don't update it ever. Every week I'm greeted by the same stuff on the home page and I'm forced to rifle my way through old posts until I find something worth blogging about that's not outdated. Today I found something that probably won't ever go out of date - The TOC (Table of Contents).

The post talks about the many different types of TOC's. In Editing we learn about the TOC and how it appeals to three readers, the cliff-notes reader, the person who uses it as a index and the person who still needs to be sold on the publication. However, personally I agree with Designing Magazines that the TOC is the most looked over aspect by designers and readers.

The post talks about how the TOC is very important when it comes to a redesign, but afterward it's a second thought. Desgining Magazines sees the TOC as only being there for advertisers, not for the reader at all.

Personally, I never really look at the TOC unless I'm super interested about something on the cover. I prefer to find things on my own, but I'm trying to make an effort to not skip over it anymore.

Book Nook
I seem to find a lot of furniture stuff lately. I thought this book nook was very cool. It looks so inviting. It's basically the essence of curling up with a good book.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Can't Miss: CMYK designs and cakes

I was looking through some posts on designing magazines, and I found a post about how CMYK is trending right now in design.
Spread from designing magazines site.

When I was looking through Popular Mechanics and Men's Health I noticed there design is also very CMYK. I'm sure it's not 100% CMYK, but it's pretty close. 

Take this months cover of Popular Mechanics for instance. While it does have builds of different blues, it has the true highlighter yellow and hints of cyan. Throughout the magazine there are mostly cyans and yellows, with other hints of bright green. Men's Health is the same way with the cyan and yellow. I know that these colors probably aren't true CMYK, but it's interesting how this is trending right now.

Because of my love for the Food Network I decided to look into cake designs from Charm City Cakes. Ace of Cakes is one of my favorite shows on the Food Network. They make amazing-looking cakes. Have a look at the stuff they do, it's unreal. 

Response: New York City

Last week I went on the trip to New York with the Magazine Club and I was able to visit in the offices of Real Simple, ESPN, Sports Illustrated,, Men's Health, Women's Health, Redbook and Whole Living. The seniors on the trip also had the opportunity to have dinner with the creative director of People en Espanol. The entire trip was an amazing. I wanted to share some advice that we got at most of these places.

As far as the iPad is concerned everything we have been hearing in school is correct. If you want to get into the publishing business, especially as a designer and a dot com person you will for sure want iPad experience.  Fortunately, the iPad hasn't been out all that long so none of us are much farther behind than those in the industry. Everyone where we went many of the people who worked on the iPad had help from designers, so it's key to know how to think and conceptualize for things on the iPad.

Herman Vega, the creative director of People en Espanol, told us that when we are applying for jobs and showing our portfolio to edit it down to only the best pieces. Which might be obvious, but he said he would rather see a portfolio with 10 great pieces than 20 mediocre pieces. He also said not to over design your portfolio or resume. He said to have it designed, but make it subtle. There's nothing worse than a poorly designed portfolio and resume. Also, some of us might be applying for jobs and might not have the clips that are similar to that particular companies design style. He told us that even though this could be the case, that it doesn't matter as long as the design is good and conceptualized and clean.

At Men's Health the HR director came and talked to us about some tips for applying for jobs in New York. She told us that even if you are out-of-state to say in your cover letter that with 24 or 48 hours notice that you would be available for an interview. She told us to never get the hiring person involved in your travel plans or even let them know you are traveling because they don't care, and the minute they feel like your a problem they stop considering you. She also said to address weird dates on your resume. If you had an internship over winter break and it was only 3 weeks, then say in the cover letter that it was a winter internship, otherwise they might see that as you got fired or your lazy and quit.

These are just some tips, but overall the offices at each place had it's own vibe and many of them were collaborative. Working at any of the places we visited would be a dream.

Critique: Lala

This week I've been working on the feature spread about a man who goes to MU that cross dresses as a woman. Unfortunately, it's looking like the story might not go to press as of now because Lamont, also known as Lala, doesn't want the story to run anymore. So because of all this madness, the text is still in development and no photos have been taken. I've just been working with the typography.

I decided to take it over-the-top feminine because the writer says it's like he puts on a character when he goes by Lala. He says that he doesn't ever want a sex change and he doesn't consider himself a female, but he loves cross dressing. With my type I went very feminine. I added illustrations under the dek for two reasons. One, there are no pictures on the spread so it looks super plain. Two, it shows the battling differences that Lala goes though. That is also why I made the first column back-to-back with the text and dek.

I will probably tweak it more before tomorrow, but this is the main concept. It's been hard designing without text and pictures because I don't know how good the pictures will be and how much room for text is needed either.