Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And again on fonts...

This article gives 23 good examples of bad font choices. For those of you in Allison's 501 (or 02?) class last semester- we did an exercise where she showed us pieces like this in class.

This article is called "A Few Good Fonts." The list looks like a good one, though I am still on a search for a list that tells me flat out what scenarios are appropriate for each font. (For example, a list of good body-text fonts, or headline fonts, etc.)

A list of (some) fonts organized by class, modern, typewriter and headline fonts.

More on fonts


This is a handy little infographic that tells us what fonts to avoid.

What font should I use?

How many times have you asked yourself that, this semester?
Having never taken a typography class, I wrestle with how to tell a good font from a bad one on a daily basis in the class. I would love a list of everyday use, easy-to-read, for-print fonts, and a list of 'no-no' fonts, as there seems to be some common understanding of both in the design world-and it's an understanding of which I'm not yet in tune.

So I've been Googleing this like "good fonts vs. bad fonts." The hardest part is trying to find blogs and articles from credible sources. But, after a lot of skimming and filtering, I've come up with a few links that I think might be helpful for everyone.

The first is from Smashing Magazine which I think is a good source (correct me if I'm wrong) for design topics. This is their list of 40+ free fonts that they thought were 'excellent for professional designs' in 2008. I plan to download all of them.

This is a list of 30 'free but professional' fonts from SloDive-- a blog site that claims to be for "design and resources." Although the overwhelming and busy look of their website concerns me, I'm confident that you can find some gems there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Football & Infographics

If I'm going to dissect an infographic, it might as well be about football. Even better to be about the SEC. I was excited to come across this little gem... Ampersand Design and Technology has a few football related infographics on their site, starting with this one. Visit the page to read the background info.

Cats on Groupon

















A friend of mine sent me this a few weeks ago -- I don't know if it's something she just found, or if it was a funny clip going around, but this is serious example of the power of advertising. Check out this groupon ad from Santa Cruz. Is this guy kidding? Or maybe a genius... it's easy to do the math and see that he made $3,000 for this. $3,000. For drawing pictures -- bad pictures -- of cats. CATS! With the right advertising, ANYTHING can be made into a novelty item. Hilarious.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Holiday Card

So I sent out my first Christmas cards last year in what I thought was a very 'grown up' move, and this year, I decided to do the same, but make my own. A few weeks ago my boyfriend and my parents and I went on this bike/train ride thing- you ride an old train up to Frostburg and then bike back. Very scenic. Along the way, we passed this really cute farm with a big red barn. It was so cute I decided to test my photoshop skills and try to put it in a winter scene for my holiday card. I added a wreath to the barn and followed online directions (about a million different times to get it right) to add a snow scene. I experimented with snow on the roof, and snow on the ground, but in the end this is what I went with.
To finish it, I tried to upload it to one of those "use your photo on these holiday card template" sites, but I couldn't find a template that worked. I found one with text similar to this, but it was in a funky color, took up too much of the photo, etc. So, I decided to take that inspiration to finish the job in Indesign myself and have them printed like 5 by 7 flat photos.

I'm pretty excited about the way it turned out! Luckily though, I don't have any designers in my address book :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BOR 90, aka DoGZilla, BMW Oracle's America's Cup Ticket

I'm working away on my America's Cup infographic and to be honest, when I got the idea of creating the graphic, I really didn't know that much about the event. I had some ideas and had heard a lot of talk about it living in Annapolis, sailing capital of the U.S., but I didn't really know the details. I thought I'd share a little about what I learned as a preview to the infographic crit, and some background information on design in a very 3D sense.

The aerodynamics and research that must have done into this the building of these racing yachts is unreal, let alone the cost of the actual construction. Overall, we know know that Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and owner of the winning yacht, BOR 90, spent over $400 million dollars on his team's America's Cup campaign- that's twice what they spent in 2007 when there were eliminated in the Louis Vuitton series. The boat itself is rumored to have most more than $50 million, including the backup and spare pieces that were produced and never used. Apparently with pieces of this size, the team had to build backup sails in case any were damaged. The initial budget was said to be somewhere around $10million when planning began in 2009, but that number quickly sky-rocketed. Each sail was said to have cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and each has a life-span measured in hours.

BMW Oracle made headlines everywhere when they decided to go with a fixed wing- only the second to be used in an America's Cup race. Also taken into consideration was the number of hulls on the boat-- three for this trimaran, as opposed to its competition (Alinghi of Switzerland)'s catamaran with two. According to a variety of articles I've read, the fixed wing was initially designed to be 80% the size of a Boeing 747 wing, but in its final production was over two times the length measuring in at more than 220 feet. The vessel is the size of two basketball courts.

There is so much more that goes into the design of one of these things, I am hardly knowledgeable enough to go on, but this article does explain a little more about the technology
they have been developing and are using.
*Sources: CNN.com, Wikipedia, AmericasCup.com, SailingWorld.com

Princess Di Infographic

I am not very interested in the Prince William and Kate situation. In fact, I had to Google his name to double check as I was writing this blog, which doesn't say much about my knowledge of current events. But anyway, I feel like Kate-Princess Diana comparisons are popping up all over the place now (US Weekly is going nuts with the trivia and Kate v. Princess Di articles), and what I am interested in seeing out of this scenario are infographics. Last night, when I was mulling over the organization of my America's Cup infographic, I got to thinking that maybe a more timely infographic would have been one about the Princess and soon-to-be Princess. The information is available now more than ever, and I'm thinking that if I don't make it out of my America's Cup graphic alive, I might potenitally think about switching topics, or creating a second one (very ambitious idea) for practice/potential portfolio work.

I Googled "Princess Diana Infographics" this morning to see if anyone had already gotten started on the idea, and though I was surprised to find that there weren't any published recently, this little tidbit was everywhere. It's called "The Last Day of Princess Diana." I am still not sure that I know the qualities of a good infographic, but this one is certainly interesting. I imagine some would say it's too 'decorative' and that the various photos don't really offer any additional insight, but I personally was intrigued and disected the whole thing when I found it. I think maybe the true sign of a good infographic will be one that makes a boring/uninteresting topic come to life. Maybe I'll never be able to distinguish between good and less good (but probably terrible) infographics concerning topics of interest to me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Tribute to Chris Henry

I hope y'all saw this before the Pats/Lions game on Thursday, but in case you didn't, I'm posting it here. The video was made as a tribute to Chris Henry, the NFL (Bengals) player, who passed away last year after a fluke car accident. I thought the video related to class both because of its relationship topic-wise to my campaign pieces, and also the construction of the video itself. In addition to the video here, at one point during a mid-game commercial break, they did a short campaign commercial in which Henry's mother, Carolyn Henry Glasby, said "I'm Carolyn Henry Glasby, and this is my family now," as the shot panned out to include about 20 people from four other families. At the end the clip showed the Donate Life logo and website.

I think that we'll probably be seeing a lot more of campaigns similar to these now.

Check out the video.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Show and Tell: Infographics: Good, the bad, the ugly...




















I found this little nugget by google-ing "bad infographic."

First of all, I feel like if you are going to use percentages and circles, let's put them in one. Isn't that why we have circular graphs? Yes, I think it is. Also, the colors are awful and arbitrary, and finally- let's talk about the side-by-side size comparison. Why make the 25.5% bigger? Why? This is just poor, poor planning.

This one below I think is a little gem, but I'm not sure if it's because of the subject, which creeps me out as equally as it does intrigue me, or if it's because I bleed orange. (Go Vols!) Whatever it is, I think the information is laid out as simply as it could be (there is a lot of information here), the graphics are clean, and I don't feel overwhelmed by numbers. Also, I'm happy to see that the numbers correlate with the sizing of the color blocks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photoshop Tricks

I found these while I was looking for a stamp font for my project six box. There are some pretty interesting things on here, but mostly it just made me feel really bad about my photoshop abilities haha. Ohhh, so much to learn.

Cool Photoshop Tricks

Ad Irony

Last week I drove by the Ethan Allen store in Annapolis and stopped at the traffic light right out front. I've never been inside an Ethan Allen, but I thought to myself, 'based on what I know about EA, if there is one still thriving after all these years, Annapolis surely hasn't been hit economically as much as other cities.' Then I got to thinking about their sign-- I think their logo is so simple and pretty, and in the 20 years I've lived in Annapolis their signage out front hasn't changed a bit. I thought 'that is a logo that has withstood time, and apparently, done it well.' I took a photo of it with my camera phone with the intention of blogging about the store's classy logo later.
Yesterday I drove by the store again and there was a giant, yellow, "Going Out Of Business Sale, Thank You For 20 Great Years" banner draped over their pretty sign. Haha. Ohhh irony.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Subtle Christmas Advertising

I love a good deal. I'm a sucker for advertising (and I have a years' worth the Omaha steaks in my freezer to prove it.) Put the two together and I am Groupon's target audience. I'm pretty sure the inventor of Groupon watches for my username to show up and then snickers to himself as I spend my last dollar on the day's next great deal.

I especially love (other than the killer good deals) the tiny blurb that Groupon writes about the company on the bottom left half of the page - you know, after the list of deal details.

Anyway, more than all of these things I LOVE Christmas advertising. So when I read Groupon's little sarcastic/morbid tagline for Ethan Allen I was caught off-guard and laughed out loud. Today's groupon read:

"Every time someone sleeps on a floor, eats dinner off a cardboard table, or uses a Rubbermaid tub as an ottoman, an angel gets sucked into a jet engine."

Don't get the Christmas connection? Think 'It's A Wonderful Life.'
"Every time time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!" (Sweetest line from a movie ever.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Show & Tell Narrative Package

I am not a big fan of Vitamin Water itself but I think their packaging is great. They reach a large but specific audience with the narratives on their water bottles, which are always hilarious. The color-coded products are also great and in line with their competition, Gatorade.
My only issue is with the fact that "product" is a widow and I think the entirety of the first paragraph should fit in the color block. I hate that the sentence/paragraph cut by the white. To me it looks awkward and like bad planning. I do like the lack of capitalization, but I have no explanation for that.

Otherwise I think the two components: narrative and color, work well together. The design and color of the packaging is toned-down, it's not too crazy and it helps to broaden the consumer scope, and not alienate older, (or younger) or more serious consumers. I also appreciate that the narratives are different on each bottle, so you might be more likely to experiment with their different flavors to read them all. Also, the narrative really kind of makes a certain segment of consumers think they need the water. Like it was produced specifically for their set of needs. In reality, the vitamins in each bottle aren't that different and all really do the same thing. But if you read each of the labels, you might think you need to buy the whole lot of them for all your different hydration scenarios.
This blog article outlines six different reason Vitamin Water marketing has worked.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Everybody loves a woodchuck

I've always thought that Gieco missed the mark on their advertising. The Gecko is okay (mostly because of it's mysterious accent), but otherwise I've felt like their concepts are a little out there. Their new commercials though, are phenomenal.
The first, with the pig crying wee wee is pretty popular, but I actually didn't really get the humor until I saw the woodchucks, which I think are hilarious. Now that I get the humor I think the entire campaign is awesome- I wish I'd gotten it sooner.

Funny though, how some pieces of a campaign resonate with different people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F_G2zp-opg

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God Bless Texas

About once every three weeks I share something that has absolutely nothing to do with design or the other contents of this blog, but something I found while looking for something to add to this blog. Because I find it on blog time, added to the fact that I'm pretty consistent with my inconsistency, I feel justified.
This week's deviation from the design path is pretty awesome. I'm sure you've all seen this as it's gone totally viral in the past week, but in case you missed it, here it is.
In Texas football is so huge that even middle school football is huge. Granted, I get paid to follow middle schoolers (and younger) around in their athletic endeavours but trust me when I say in Texas, it's ten times the deal it is here. You can tell, even, because this video is shot so high up I'd imagine these kids were playing in a legit high school or college stadium. If not- they have sick middle school fields. There are no "stands" from which to shoot footage from such an angle where our little tikes play here. Anyway... the QB told the line to hold really still, and the rest you can see here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Blog, New Conan

I came across this blog tonight and I think it's pretty great. It was actually started by another design student, I even checked to see if it was a UBalt grad, but I don't think it was.

http://www.idsgn.org/

Anyway, there are several topics this blogger touches on, and posts can be searched by category. It looks like right now he/she is doing a typography series, and this week's post is on Baskerville which I love (thanks, Marie).

An earlier post the blogger compares Conan O'Brien's old logo and his new one. How did I not see this before? I absolutely love (not just amy-love) the new logo. Normally I hate more than one text color (especially on the same line) and I also usually hesitate to use white text, but I think both work great here. I think playing on his iconic red hair is brilliant and the design is really clean and simple.













I'm a big fan.

A Doggone Good Story

Since I know you all love Garden and Gun so much I wanted to use this opportunity to pull a fun narrative from it for our show and tell.

Every issue, there is a section called "Good Dog" in the magazine. I'm not much of an animal person myself, but this particular story really tickled my fancy.

The Canine Criminal is a about the writer's childhood dog, Max, who was particularly mischievous. The smart, witty but kind of dry, sarcastic humor made me laugh out loud. Several of the writers in Garden and Gun have this same tone/style, and this story was no exception. The conclusion is definitely cute and funny, although I do wish it had a little bit stronger; I wish it rounded out the narration a little stronger, or gave me an indication of what eventually happened to Max. I have more questions about the little guy. What else did he do? How long did he live? Did he have any Max Jr.s? So maybe the conclusion is fine and I just wanted to hear more about the pup. You can decide.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Absolut Ads

Just a random thought...

We've all seen them; they are by far some of my favorite ads.

Does anyone have any idea who designed them? Are they from an in-house group, or an agency?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sex Degrees of Separation

Remember this little nugget of fear-instilling wisdom?

When I think of an infographic, the first thing that comes to mind is this creepy chart that used to hang in our health classes, and on the back of the door of the nurses office in high school. I'm not even sure that it's an infographic exactly, but it's a visual representation of health information, so I assume it fits the bill. Basically it is supposed to show you how when you have sex with one person, you are having sex with everyone they've had sex with. Think they've only had a few partners? Don't let your fear and investigation stop there. You've not only had sex with them and everyone they've had sex with, but also with everyone that their former partners have had sex with, and so on. I can't speak for everyone, but I thought it was pretty effective in high school, though it almost crosses that line of being so creepy that you don't want to look at it, or you do, and think "that's ridiculous" and ignore it. Eight years later it still makes me wrinkle my eye brows, that's for sure.

Apparently this little gem is huge in the UK, and a pharmacists there has even gone as far as to create a calculating device. Factoid: The article says that the average Brit has slept with 2.8 million people, indirectly. Didn't think I'd leave you wondering, did you? Just FYI: the article, links to the calculator.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Favorite Words

I'm told (often) that I am pretty dramatic. It's not uncommon for my word choices to be overlooked and brushed off, even though in their best form, they are meant to invoke a rise out of those who hear them. I don't know how to explain it other than to say that I regularly use words that are 'the most' of what they mean. Maybe you'll understand when you read my list....

Urgent
Imperative
Absolute
Demand
Require
Fathom
Must
Devastate
Tragic
Livid

I also say 'dang' a lot which I've said all my life, (pre-having lived in Tennessee or North Carolina) but is apparently a southern thing.

And random other words that I love and use often are:

Love (so often that my friends clarify "Wait, you love him/that/those? or you 'amy-love' him/that/those?")

Flail
Pickle (the tough situation, not the food-- although I like the food itself, too.)
Boot (both the shoe and the verb of kicking out/getting rid of.)
Whistle (which is strange because actual whistling sounds make me instantly mad)

Marie Claire Hoopla

I work from home so The View is my guilty pleasure. Today, they were talking about a freelance writer for Marie Claire who apparently ripped into the new show Mike & Molly, and said she was disgusted that two "morbidly obese" people were given the starring roles on a show, and furthermore, how it disgusts her to watch "people with rolls and rolls of fat kiss." In fact, she says, she finds it "aesthetically displeasing" just to see fat people walk across the room.

Anyway, I had to look into it... apparently since the article was posted (it's on the MC website), the company has fielded something like 30,000 angry emails -- that number obviously growing. The comments and news reports are everywhere -- and from both sides: that of the angry reader and those upset that she is being attacked for voicing her opinion. (More so angry readers, though.)

Anyway, this is the article (with an apology note attached, and about 500 pages of comments).

Also, this is just one of the many articles written about it. (If you want to see what the papers are saying...)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Grammar Quiz: Inaugural vs. First Annual

I read on someone's Facebook wall the other day a comment correcting someone on their use of "first annual." They said that the correct term is "inaugural." I'm pretty obsessed with the nitty gritty things like that, but I've never heard of "first annual" being poor English. I understand the argument that you can't be sure something will be annual until the second year (things come up...) but I don't know if social climate or skepticism can be a reason to exclusively use "inaugural." Also, I thought that "inaugural" was the first of anything--- like presidential addresses. It's not necessarily annual. Of course, I wouldn't be posting this if I knew the answer-- I've looked it up and on several different grammar and English sites I've seen the argument but no definitive answer. Was anyone taught one way or another by an English or journalism teacher? I'm interested to find out... Until then, I'll keep Google-ing (or go get my AP Stylebook out of my car -- I can't imagine anything not being in there.)

What does you're shirt say?

This is from a t-shirt printing company. I get the irony or sarcasm, I do. Even still, I can't stand to look at this. Ahh! It's so awful. I will say though, that the "disappointment" over "disappointed" is overkill. Kind of ruins it, really. I don't think people regularly confuse the tense of disappoint, it probably would be less painful and more amusing if that line was correct. At least t-shirt companies are mainstreaming the idea of poor grammar being annoying.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Call to Action



I will write more following class on Saturday, but I wanted to post these two PETA ads from two different campaigns. The first is the Go Naked campaign and the call to action is to "be comfortable..." and to "Let animals be comfortable." Basically, don't wear fur.
The second is the "Go Vegetarian." I think they use the same style, slant and concept but with two different subjects: wearing fur and eating meat.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Car Logos


I thought this was interesting... Car logos over the years. In class we discussed the idea that if Gap wanted to update their logo, they could have just changed the GAP to a sans serif font. It looks like for the most part, that's what car makers have done. Almost all of the brand names get cleaner (except for maybe Ford). Personally, I think BMW's progression is the best- very small changes to a cleaner, fresher look. Although, I'm not sure what's going on with logo four, but maybe that's because I don't know what Motorsport Roundel is?


http://thechive.com/2008/12/17/car-hood-ornaments-logos-changes-through-the-years/

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Made Me Think Of Beth...

This has nothing to do with design, but my mom sent it to me and it made me think of class because I know how anti-fast food Beth is :)
Last week I think she/you mentioned using fast food as the topic of project 3, and I thought she/you might want to see this.

Apparently, a photographer left a McDonald's happy meal out on her kitchen table for six months (this bothers me in itself. Does she not have bugs or mice where she lives?) Anyway, it didn't decompose, or mold, just got hard and plastic-like. Gross. I don't eat fast food either(except for Chick Fil A and Taco Bell-- but don't ruin those for me, haha), but now I have another reason not to.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101012/bs_yblog_upshot/mcdonalds-happy-meal-resists-decomposition-for-six-months

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kitty Campaign

These are three pieces of Fresh Step's little campaign. Personally I think the concept (a cat not being able to find its box) is awful, and the ads themselves are ugly. I will say, the rooms in which the cats are placed get less and less ugly as the campaign continues.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Missing Missy

We stopped on this checking out the blogs last week and I said I'd fine and repost this on mine.

A friend of mine forwarded this to me a few months ago. Had I not started the Pub Design program I would probably not have gotten the humor at ALL. My roommate, a social worker, didn't think it was funny. I tried to explain for about three seconds but it was useless. Still, I laugh out loud every time.

Enjoy!

Missing Missy

Rape Stairs: A Practical Design?


This is not exactly graphic or even visual design, but because I googled it, thought about it all week, and decided it is designED to be as it is, I thought I would blog about it...

At a football game a few weeks ago, I was walking down the stairs to the stadium and I noticed a woman with a child in front of me taking their sweet time. As per usual I was running late and needed to rush but I didn't want to be rude and rush around them.
Anyway, as I was trotting down the stairs, I noticed that they were uneven. Equal in height from one step to another, but every other step was about a foot longer than the others, which were pretty shallow, front to back. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked up, trying to find a pattern or a slope in the natural hill that would warrant such a design. Nothing.
So, I called my boyfriend- he loves all things architecture and is a wealth of otherwise useless information. Turns out, there IS a reason.
Rape stairs.
What?? I hope you all comment to tell me whether you've heard of this concept before, because I'm interested to know if it's a common peice of knowledge-- I'd never heard of such a thing.
Apparently, studies have shown that women can climb stairs of unequal lengths and patterns exponentially faster than their male counterparts. Apparently it is nearly impossible for a man to run up unequal stairs. According to Aaron (boyfriend) nine times out of ten a guy would "eat it" by the third stair, whereas a women would skip right up them, essentially escaping the wrath of a predator.
Because of this information, colleges, schools and universities everywhere are starting to replace crumbling old stairs with the kind with uneven steps- making them safer for the women on campus.
Surely there is a better name for them-- but after extensive Googleing, I found information to confirm Aaron's answer, but I didn't find a better name. Let me know if you know of one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Show and Tell: Recycle Sunshine

As mentioned in an earlier post, I love designs of things from other things-- much like these Prius commercial. Stephanie mentioned in class that she didn't think that the idea translated as well from the commercials to print, and I completely agree. You don't really get the same animated effect-- it looks more like they drew this sun and moon, and then sketched little faces onto it, rather than arranging people and capturing the image. Still, I think it's a good campaign. The whole "Go Green" concept is very popular right now, and to take it a step further to the recycling of sunshine gives it a cheerful tone.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

$28 million Copy Edit

So interesting...

New York Street Signs to Receive a $28 M. Copy Edit

By Dan Duray

September 30, 2010 | 2:17 p.m
(Getty Images)"> (Getty Images)">
New York City has begun a federally mandated project that will replace the all-capital lettering on the city's street signs with a correctly lowercase version in a new font, the Post reports. The effort began earlier this year, and should cost $27.6 million by the time it's completed in 2018.

The new font is called Clearview, and was designed for this purpose. The changed signs should be easier to read, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who also pointed out that "on the Internet, writing in all caps means you are shouting."

Read the rest...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What is it called?

Does anyone remember what it's called when you use a lot of one element, put together, to make another? I think it's called ambiguity- but I remember that ambiguity was a lot like something else, and I might be thinking of that something else. For example, the Prius commercials, where the car is driving along scenery that is composed on a million little people? (See left. I think ambiguity is more like the photo to the right.)


Anyway, I LOVE this element.- The one to the left, I mean. I am so intrigued when I see things like that, it's so nerdy, and I can't explain it. Incidentally I got really excited this week when I was a recipient of an email forward that is closely related. The forward contained a parable, which I'll attach to the bottom of this post, but it's the pencil projects that I think are really neat.
The projects themselves are pretty cool- some more abstract than others, but the fact that they are exclusively out of pencils is really creative.














I saw something similar to this a while ago- I can't remember if it was in class or online, but it was a series of projects done for a marketing company, for which the artist took those paint sample strips you can get at Home Depot, and such, and made really interesting designs. (I'll try to find photos of them for another post one day.)

















This is the parable that came with the photos:


A PENCIL MAKER TOLD THE PENCIL 5 IMPORTANT LESSONS JUST BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE BOX :


1.) EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK.

2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.

3.) WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.

4.) IN LIFE, YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENINGS, WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.

5.) TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.

Good Food Writing

For our show and tell this week, we had to find an example of good food writing. The piece I found- an article on fried green tomatoes in Garden & Gun magazine- quickly caught my attention. The article, called Slice of Heaven, described the food, how they were once made, how they are now, why we love them, etc. The section also included a recipe for fried green tomatoes, and an into to a chef who is apparently famous for them in North Carolina. I thought the photos were excellent as well. In a health or "Cooking Light" kind of magazine, they'd be terrible- but to go along with the article, which raved about pork fat being an essential frying ingredient and targeted the southern population, they were perfect.
And more on the topic of Garden & Gun magazine, last week in class I mentioned that I didn't know exactly who the target audience is for the publication, so I did some research this week. The median age of readers is about 45 years old- and the median income well into six figures- I think just shy of $200,000/year. 33% of readers own more than one home. So I'm thinking that I probably couldn't pinpoint it earlier, because I'm not in it, ha. Still, I do love the magazine. I love the layout and the photography, and I do love to read it. The slogan says the magazine represents the "Soul of the New South," and the human interest stories are always interesting. I'm not as big a fan of the fashion section, but I also usually love to thumb through the travel guides and restaurant reviews. The recipes though, are always the best part.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Business Cards

Since starting this program in Fall of 2009, I've developed a crazy interest in business cards. The more I can get my hands on, the better- something which, as it turns out, makes me a great network-er. (Ha ha). My background is almost explicitly in writing- my only design experience in newspaper layout, so most of the design concepts are new to me. I've always been a fan/critic of advertising- commercials, billboards, etc, which is what probably initially led me to this program, but since I've started to learn more about actual design, I'm enthralled with business cards. Mine- work issued- are pretty plain, but neat. I think then, I live vicariously through other people's business card choices, and get super excited when I see some I like. I keep them around for inspiration, and stand by the claim that you can tell alot about a person by looking at their business card- despite the fact that most people use design templates they find on mass printing sites. They still had to make choices, creating a card to reflect themselves. If they hired someone else to make the choices- even strangers at the store- the card layout and design was choosen based on impressions, sometimes even first impressions- so then at the very least the business cards represent what others think of the business card holder.
This business card is one I collected recently from a photographer at one of the football games I went to. She was sweet, young- probably in her 20's and very spunky- blonde hair with bright pink streaks. Lo and behold, her business cards- which she'd let the person on staff where she bought the cards design- are black on both the front and back, with pink text/designs and irredecent (not sure if you can see that on the photo) accents. Voila! I imagine the designer didn't have a tough time trying to figure out a color scheme. The card is very cute, with definite spunk. Not something I'd choose for myself but based on my own first impression, very fitting for the photographer.