Elf and Website

His favorite holiday movie is Elf, so he made trading cards, which was worth 4 stars. He also needed to customize his website, so he made a banner that he felt reflected his own style. That was also 4 stars. He used Pixlr and Google Images to make both of them!


PJ & SB Goods

I did the assignment The Ultimate Merger, worth 3.5 stars. I wanted to make this Wire related since Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell are in a deal with each other now. So what I came up with is a “package” logo, featuring both of them. I found a package icon on The Noun Project, and I found pictures of Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell. I made the package icon cardboard color on Pixlr, and ran both the Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell pictures through a black and white filter on Pixlr. Then, I cut out Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell’s heads and free transformed them as well as free distorted them to make them go in the direction of the sides of the box. Then I added the text to the box. I wanted to keep their logo somewhat vague since that’s how they talk about their products. In a way Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell are the ultimate merger since they are both very powerful drug dealers in Baltimore with many connections to all kinds of people.

Image Citations:

Package designed by Mahmoud Bachir from the Noun Project

Stringer Bell by HBO en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Wire_Stringer_Bell.jpg

Proposition Joe redright88.com/2013/01/18/rip-proposition-joe/


2011: The Year of Friends With Benefits Movies

I did the Design Assignment Truthful Movie Poster, which is worth 3 stars. In order to make this poster I took the Friends With Benefits poster and cut it out on top of a still from No Strings Attached using Pixlr. I used the magic wand tool to eliminate the background of the Friends With Benefits poster and then simply moved Justin and Mila onto the still with Natalie and Ashton. Next, I covered up the “Friends with Benefits” with the rectangle tool. Then, on a new transparent layer, I wrote out my text, rasterized it, and rotated it. Lastly, I moved the text over to my movie poster and added it onto the black rectangle, where the original movie title had been.

A little background of these two movies…in 2011, two movies came out dealing with the idea of “friends with benefits.” No Strings Attached came out first in January, and then Friends With Benefits came out in July. I remember seeing the trailer for Friends With Benefits  and thinking, “wait, didn’t they already do this.” However, in my opinion, (and according to IMDb)  Friends With Benefits is slightly better than No Strings Attached. Neither one of them are super amazing since they are the typical feel good, funny, romantic comedies, but nonetheless, Friends With Benefits is the better of the two.

1. Friends With Benefits: www.impawards.com/2011/friends_with_benefits_xlg.html
2. No Strings Attached: moviecitynews.com/tag/no-strings-attached/


Balance, Symbolism, Unity, Typography in the Everyday World

For the Design Blitz assignment, I found examples of balance, symbolism, unity, and typography either on campus or in my apartment. I also added the links to these pictures to the Google Doc.


In this picture, balance is displayed quite literally. The playing cards are balancing on each other to stay up in their triangular formation. Looking at the playing cards, you can also see that the theme of them is Star Wars characters, and what the characters seen here try to do in the movies is restore balance to the force.


This ying and yang kind of design on the front gates on the intersection of Double Drive and College Avenue is symmetrical. It could be a symbol for what college is like. There are good times and bad times in college, but it is all of it that makes it a college experience.


The chain links are melted together to make the chain. The chain links could also symbolism how if a bunch of people support an idea or a cause, the idea or cause becomes stronger and can withstand pressures against it.


The typography on this pipe is a serif font, with no kearning, and a font weight of something probably in between 400 and 800. The letters here are most likely a branding or a logo for the company who manufactuered the pipe. They picked a serif font because they want to appear professional and reliable, which are both general characteristics of serif fonts.


Upcycling v. Recycling v. Downcycling

I really wanted to try to make an infographic of some kind, so I decided to do the Learning By Design assignment worth 3.5 stars. Since I am not very good at drawing, I googled different infographic maker sites that let you make infographics for free. I came across Piktochart and really liked the different icons and fonts that were included in their free package, so I went away and registered and began making my infographic. I chose to do an infographic about upcycling because sustainability is very important to me, and although I am not a perfect environmentalist, I do try to at the very least recycle any of my paper, plastic, cardboard, or glass products. I also figured comparing upcycling to recycling and downcycling would be fairly straightforward without using a lot of text.

For the actual design of the infographic, I went with the wood panels background since I thought it conveyed a kind of rustic, earthy feel. I also went with the sketch-like typography since it also seemed to be a little more down to earth. The word upcycling definitely had to be green because it is the “greenest” option. Recycling had to be blue, because society has made recycling bins and the recycling symbol blue. Finally, downcycling had to be a dark grey because it’s the worst option, and objects that are downcycled are at the end of their lives. The design is also very literal when it comes to direction. The wine bottom getting downcycled into the trash is underneath the start point because it is going down in value and usefulness. The bottle getting recycled into glass ornaments, is somewhat of equal value and purpose so the recycle option is next to the start position. Upcycling the bottle into a cool lamp is increasing its purpose and value, since it can continue to be a lamp forever and so that option is above the start point. Overall, I enjoyed using Piktochart, and I think I accomplished my goal of making an infographic about upcycling.



A Bag, A Duck, A Purse, and A Barrel…

I chose to do one of the recommended assignments which is One Story / Four Icons, worth 2.5 stars.

I knew I wanted to do my icons based on The Wire Season 2, Episode 9: Stray Rounds since I thought there were some iconic objects in that episode.

I used Pixlr to put together my icon story and I used The Noun Project to find icons. I thought the four most iconic objects from Stray Rounds were Ziggy’s duck (RIP), McNulty’s european man purse, Bodie and Stringer’s duffel bag, and the barrels of paint chips that were actually Columbian drugs. So I searched The Noun Project website for ducks, purses, gym bags (duffel bag wasn’t the best keyword), and barrels. These are the four icons I ultimately picked.

Icon citations:

Bag designed by iconsmind.com from the Noun Project
Bag designed by Erik Wagner from the Noun Project
Barrel designed by Karthik M from the Noun Project
Duck designed by Isabel Martínez Isabel from the Noun Project

To make my icon story, I downloaded the four icons and imported them into Pixlr. Then, I created my background for the story by using the paint can to make the canvas blue and using a small radial white gradient on top of it. Then, I used the water swirl filter to make the background have a slight wave. The background is supposed to represent how the whole season is taking place down at the docks on the water. Next, I edited the individual icons. I filled in the duffel bag to be red like the one in the episode, I inverted the colors on the duck icon so the duck would be white instead of black, like the real duck, I filled in the purse to be brown and black, since the real one was brown, and then I filled in the barrel to be a silverly grey, also like the real ones. The only icon that gave me trouble was the purse. I had to manually make some of the pixels on the purse wither brown or black since the paint can wasn’t picking up all of the purse pixels.

Lastly, I selected all of my icons, copied and pasted them onto the background, resized them, and then added my text stating which episode these icons are representing. Even though it is a simpler assignment, I tried to make it more interesting/complex by adding in the different colors.


Minimalism Takes Detail

I love minimalistic designs for basically everything. From posters, to jewelry, minimalism is just really cool to me, so naturally I was drawn to the assignment, Minimalist TV/Movie Poster which is worth 3.5 stars. This assignment presented the perfect opportunity to make my design Wire related and that is exactly what I did. I made my poster a TV poster for the The Wire that draws in an element from Season 2 Episode 9: Stray Rounds.

To make this poster, I used Pixlr, per usual mostly because I don’t want to have to restart my laptop into Windows to use Photoshop or go to the ITCC or Library just for Photoshop. I set my canvas to 768 width 1024 height, which is one of the many presets, just rotated 90 degrees. I knew what I wanted my text to say, “The Wire is spot on.” which is not only a reference to McNulty’s code word the episode, but is also a very simple tagline for the poster. So in order to kind of play on the word spot, I played around a black and dark grey radial gradient in order to create a literal spot on the poster. I also knew I wanted the two lines of text to be diagonal from each other, so that is how I situated where I wanted the gradient spot to be. Next I played around with the text. I ended up using the font “Superclaredon” since I didn’t think a sans serif font would do the intense drama that The Wire is, justice. The color of the text is copper, or #b87333 (according to ColorHexa, which is my favorite site to find color hex codes) because on the The Wire they do a lot of wire tapping, and although i don’t quite know how that works, I do know that old telephone wires (as some today used by the Feds) were made out of Copper. So the text color is an homage to the old telephone wires.

Next, I knew I wanted to add in an audio wave, and make it blue, like it is on the show’s theme song sequence. So I used the drawing tool to make lines freehand and then color in the shape. I then duplicated the layer with my audio wave shape and vertically inverted it to make my audio wave have waves on both the top and bottom. After that, I added a noise filter and a scanlines filter to the whole audio wave to give it some texture. However, some of my audio wasn’t showing up blue after filling it in, so I decided to add a gaussian blur to the whole wave. Lastly, I thought my gradient background needed some texture as well so I added a square pointinize filter to the background since I thought that made the background slightly resemble the caging in the back of police cars.

And that’s how I made the poster! As you can see a lot of detailed work went into making a minimalist poster, and I will admit that I played around with more effects but I didn’t mention which ones since I did not end up sticking with them. I find that personally when I just play around with different tools or filters or effects I end up stumbling upon what I was trying to convey or what I envisioned from the beginning.


Cheap Sunglasses


In the Design category, I chose to do the Lyric Typography Poster assignment. The song I picked was “Cheap Sunglasses” feat. Matthew Koma by RAC. You can listen to the song here.

The lyrics I chose are at the end of the chorus and are “You’re cheap sunglasses. And they’ll see right through you.”

To create this poster, I used Adobe Photoshop. I knew I wanted to make the text go around to form sunglasses and so I made freeform lines around the tops and bottoms of two circles that I had inserted to use as guides for my lines. Then I added the text to the curved lines and played around with the anchor points until I was satisfied with how the text was laid out. I do wish I could have made the curves smoother but I really just do not have the patience to work with anchor points for more than a half an hour.
For the fonts I figured a serif font would work for the general words in the two lines that way the words I wanted to highlight would stand out when I made them either sans serif or display fonts. For the words “through” and “you” I knew I wanted them to be somewhat see through so I changed their opacity level to 35% and added a bit of a stroke effect for readability. I added drop shadows to all of the text to make them easier to read as well.

The colors and design of the poster came from the colors of RAC’s album Strangers which is the album that “Cheap Sunglasses” is on.