Personal Logo: Illustrator Basics — May 14, 2015

Personal Logo: Illustrator Basics

Personal Logo
Personal Logo

This has to be one of my favorite badges. I decided to make a logo on Illustrator since I found it so interesting when doing the logo badge. The logo I made is a my personal logo I can use for my portfolio.

I decided to focus on my initicials for the logo. I really like my initials and believe they look good together. When looking for a font, Qualité Deluxe Platinium seemed classy enough to look professional, but also very fun. I started the logo with a rectangle then added two layers which include the letters themselves and the swirls around the letters. The colors were based on my idea of elegance and how I wanted to present myself. The swirls around the letters make the logo have a bit more life and makes it more fun.

I mainly used the brush tool for this logo. The rectangle was made with the rectangle tool and the letters with the type tool. When I started doing the swirls I was surprised to find the pattern the brush had. After changing the pattern a few times, I decided to keep the one depicted in the logo. The gray color of the swirls are a nice contrast between the white letters and black background. It was very fun trying to represent myself into a logo and I really enjoyed working with Illustrator.

LOGO

Garage Band —

Garage Band

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 7.53.12 PM

First of all, I am a PC user. I am not very familiar with Macs, but thankfully I have enough experience that I can navigate a simple Mac. I decided to do this badge because it gave me an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new.

At first, I tried paying around with the different beats to see which one I was feeling the most. After an hour I had half of what sounded like a funky song. However, I didn’t really like it and had no idea where to take it. After finding a specific guitar loop I decided to erase everything and start over. With the guitar as a base, I started to look for other instruments that would go well with the beat and would complement each other. This took the longest time since most instruments sound amazing by themselves, but don’t always work when paired with other instruments.

I had never played around with this specific program before, but I had a lot of fun creating my own song. If I were a musician I would find it extremely helpful when trying to make a demo or recording a song. There are still other things I would like to learn from it, like can you add an instrument loop you found online? Garage Band was overall a positive experience. Below is a link to the song I created on Garage Band.

SONG

Wireframe Wizard: MV Photography — May 13, 2015

Wireframe Wizard: MV Photography

Home Page
Home Page

For this wireframe, I wanted to focus on a photographer’s website, since they have an emphasis on the images. I made up a mock photographer and called her company MV Photography. I looked at a lot of different photographer’s websites and saw how they, not only emphasized their images, but they also had simple navigation to make it easier for the user to navigate the page. The website is basically the photographer’s portfolio, which means there needs to be some samples displayed on the home page to show the photographer’s versatility. The coverflow seemed like the right choice for this. In the other two pages, I tried to think about what the user would want to see or do. Overall it was an good experience since they it was easy to see what a photographer would want in her website.

MV PHOTOGAPHY

Minimalist Design: Male Leads — May 12, 2015

Minimalist Design: Male Leads

One of the most important rules for minimalist design is to make everything as simple as possible. For my minimalist designs I decided to focus on two of my favorite female characters: Jon Snow from the Song of Ice and Fire and Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games. I used different principles in each design, but they both adhere to the basics of minimalist design.

Peeta Mellark
Peeta Mellark minimalist design

For Peeta’s design I implemented the minimal amount of color. Blue and black make a great contrast and they convey some of the character’s traits. Initially, I was going to have a white background, but the blue represents Peeta’s serene and calm character that is so important in the books. The black on the font and the outline of his upper body represent the dark times he went through.The font was easy to choose because I wanted to stay in within the Hunger Games world.Since I relied on a silhouette for the subject, I believed it was important to give the design a bi more context. This is why his name is included in the design. Another principle I decided to implement was the “substract until it breaks” where I included just the silhouette of the character. The actor who plays Peeta in the films has a very distinct outline, which I thought would be interesting to see. Even if someone is not familiar with the actor, it is still an attractive outline of what is understandably a man. The silhouette also represents how he was “just a piece in their game.”  It was very fun to work on this design.

Jon Snow minimalist design
Jon Snow minimalist design

For my Jon Snow design I decided to add a little bit more. There are more colors in this design, but the colors themselves are not very lively, which represents the character. His wardrobe and hair is distinctive enough that it can be recognizable without his face. The gray and black colors on the subject represent Jon’s occupation in the Night’s Watch. His job is to protect the Seven Kingdoms from anything that might want to cross the Wall. His environment is cold and harsh, which is why the colors are dark and demure. The last element in the design is “You Know Nothing”. This comes from a new famous phrase that characterizes Jon Snow. The font is based on the medieval “feel” the Song of Ice and Fire books and Game of Thrones series has. The swords on the letters make it look medieval and slightly menacing, which is perfect for this character. The subject also has no face, which is part of the “substract until it breaks” principle of the minimalist design. The character does not have an easy life. Being raised as a bastard of an important lord, he has felt left out and not like his legitimate siblings. His faceless form represents how invisible he felt during that time and how that still affects him.

Both of these designs highlight different aspects of the characters. One focuses on colors and shapes, while the other has more emphasis on different colors and words. The first is more minimalist than the second one, but they both adhere to the minimalist design principles.

Blogging: Everything You Didn’t Need to Know About Pop Culture — May 6, 2015

Blogging: Everything You Didn’t Need to Know About Pop Culture

Capture

I decided to start a blog, which I tried to update regularly. The focus was mainly pop culture and fandoms. I started off the blog by focusing on shows with female protagonists. I analyzed different aspects of the shows including character development, representations of minorities and women, the overall story, and the messages of the show.

At the time I started the blog, I was very invested in the show Parks and Rec. It was because of this show that I wanted to start a blog and talk about all the different aspects of the show and about what makes it so good and popular. From there I went on to reviewing Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Broad City, HBO’s Girls, Scandal, and Once Upon a Time.

I had a lot of fun writing this blog and it was an opportunity for me to rant about whatever I wanted and still make interesting points about the shows. After I told Dr. Delwiche about the blog, he reminded me that I needed to connect it to technology. Oops.

After talking to him I decided to focus on how technology has influenced fan activity and the different fandoms. Thanks to my capstone on slash fanfiction, I have a pretty good idea about how fans have used technology to expand their community and connect with each other.

As you can see from my blog, I am very interested in fandoms and feminism. I plan to continue updating this blog and reviewing other parts of today’s pop culture.

Code Academy: JQuery —

Code Academy: JQuery

jquery

I was able to finish the Code Academy course on JQuery. This language is very similar to Javascript in the sense that it also needs a separate js page and it makes the content responsive to the user’s activity. It was an interesting language to learn, but the course did have its disadvantages.

As with the other coding languages, Code Academy tends to be overly precise sometimes repetitive or it lacks instructions. There were multiple times when I thought I had the right code and even verified it in the Q & A Forum, but still could not pass to the next level. It was very frustrating trying to look intensely at my code and try to figure out what was wrong. In most cases what was missing was an extra space. What I wan to know is: are the spaces that important when it comes to coding in the “real world”? In my experience with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, while limited, has taught me that small things like spaces are not that important. Shouldn’t the computer be able to read the code anyway?

Another problem that I faced was trying to understand the instructions. Code Academy uses a lot of analogies and tries to use “real world” situations to explain how the code works. For example, if they are trying to explain how a specific function will work they would say something along the lines of, “Imagine your code is the sandwich, but you want to get rid of the bread, this function would do that.” Again, in my experience the technical explanation has worked the best. I much prefer the way Dr. Delwiche explains how things work than Code Academy.

Unlike Javascript or HTML, I had to consult the Q & A Forum multiple times. Even after I knew some Javascript I still didn’t feel completely comfortable writing JQuery without some help. There are patterns that are similar to those in Javascript. In both languages you have to state things like “if the user clicks this button this function will run”, which was easy to understand.

I imagine JQuery being used in the “real world” for pages that want to have an interaction with the user. I speculate it is used for things like a cool company’s website. Probably something related to technology since JQuery can show the user the capability of the company.

Overall, JQuery was daunting and frustrating, but I blame it mostly on Code Academy. This program is definitely helpful for beginners but it does have its draw backs. Depending on the language you pick, you can either have a great understanding of the language or you will end up as confused as I was multiple times.

Logo for Pope & Associates — January 27, 2015

Logo for Pope & Associates

popeandassociates

Client: Pope & Associates (fictional law firm from the show Scandal)

A business as important as Pope & Associates needs a logo. Without a logo, your firm is a faceless man. Your firm should not only be known for its effectiveness, but also for its logo. This logo represents your law professionalism, values, and effectiveness. The black, grey, and white colors in the logo were used to represent the no-nonsense attitude that characterizes your firm. It is simple and straight forward. When trying to describe your firm, two of the words that worked best were professional and effective.

The font was chosen based on these words and how they looked in different fonts. Plantagenet Cherokee seemed like the most appropriate font for the words. It is professional-looking, but has enough soft edges that make it more approachable. Notice how the letters P and A are bigger than the rest of the text. This represents what keeps your firm alive: Ms. Olivia Pope and her trusted associates whose goal is to help those in need of your services.

Since your firm is full of gladiators who fight for the good, a gladiator helmet is also featured in your logo. The helmet reminds your clients that you will do everything in your power to “fix” their problem. It also represents the values and standards that you follow and that have made you indispensable for your clients. The helmet is also a good trademark that will make you recognizable and unique.

The tagline “Consider it handled” is something that you tell your clients when they present you with a problem. Your firm’s effectiveness at “fixing” its clients’ problems gives you the confidence to give your clients the certainty they need. This confidence needed to be portrayed in your logo since it’s such a big part of your business.

The logo can be used for business cards, letterheads, etc. and it’s a helpful way, not only to promote your business, but also to identify with a specific image that represents who you are and what you stand for.