Fall 2009: A Semester in Review

13 Dec

I can’t believe how fast this semester went by. It was a total blur. Now that I have some time to breathe, I thought I’d post a comprehensive look at my work from this semester.

Let’s begin with Typography II.

Our first project was a semester-long exercise during which we had 50 days to design 50 album covers in 50 different typefaces. We had only as long as the album’s play time to design the cover, and it had to be in grayscale with only abstract imagery. It was an interesting and challenging project, and I learned a lot about my own process and the importance of influence (mood, music, etc). Here are a few of the highlights:

Our second project involved redesigning the existing (nightmare of a) calendar for the Cadek Conservatory of Music here at UTC, and then introduce it into a legible but aesthetically interesting poster.

Next, we were to create a brand for a fictional museum of collections. We were to then create a promotion for an exhibition of a personal collection. The poster for the exhibition was to feature our classmate’s collections as other featured exhibits in a series.

Around the time Simon Esterson came to speak at green|spaces (amazing), we each took the Nancy Spector essay on Stefan Sagmeister, “States of Wonder,” and set it as if it were to be a featured spread in Eye Magazine. We also designed covers. This was one of my favorite projects all semester.

The idea of the drift is an enchanting one for sure. To create a psychogeographic map, one must drift away from the norm, from the comfortable, and get lost in unfamiliar territory. I chose to go to the mall, a foreign place in my world, and experience it devoid of my sense of hearing. It was bizarre to say the least, and I chose to represent it in an entirely hand-made fashion, which is also totally out of my comfort zone. This is my one project from this semester that I’m not happy with. In my opinion, it came out looking too arts-and-craftsy. Oh well. Nothing ventured, etc. etc.

Our final project was to create a type specimen poster for the typeface of our choice. I chose Akzidenz-Grotesk and accented its strong, geometric forms with a great deal of whitespace and sharp angles.

In Web Media, we did a lot of reading and a lot of learning. We completed three projects in the semester. The first is the logo we designed for the fictional Web in the Wild conference.

Next, we experimented with HTML and CSS to create a layout with given content.

We then created a layout concept for CSS Zen Garden. This project didn’t require us to actually write the CSS like the first one did, but just to create the layout in Photoshop. I chose sushi as my theme. Yum.

Process and Materials also included a lot of reading, but also some great exercises. We spent the first half of the semester working on Photoshop exercises to gain a greater handle on our photo manipulation skills. We then used those skills to create a poster for the Layers Magazine back page design contest, which I won. That was totally unexpected and amazing. I think it speaks to the talent of our class that two of the three runners-up were classmates of mine. We rocked that contest.

We then wrote and designed a book that we published through Lulu, a self-publishing company. This was a nerve-wracking experience that taught us a lot about working with print-on-demand.

Our final project was a presentation on an assigned printing term. We were to come up with a 5 minute Keynote presentation, a poster and hangouts for the class, as well as a printed tshirt featuring our term. My term was “overprinting,” which is the process of colors mixing as they are printed on top of each other. Overprinting can be used as a way to trap images, or forced color overprinting can create a pleasing visual effect. For my t-shirt, I chose to screen-print my image onto my shirt, physically producing a true overprint.

Whew! That was a huge post! And being so, it’s an appropriate homage to this semester.


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