Collage

Some themes and patterns I gathered from my collage without realizing it during the creation process was lifestyles, healthy living, and vibrant colors.  Creating this collage was an interesting process since we had to move quick in tearing things from the magazines we brought to class.  I was immediately drawn to typography and did not use any images or photographs.  I of course was drawn to the words that stood out on the page, may it be the color or size of the type in comparison to other text in the spread.  I also chose words that spoke to me in relation to my interests, such as working out and staying healthy in a physical and emotional sense.  When it came time to paste all the words into a collage, I just wanted to create something that showed how these words were all grouped and encompassed a lifestyle that I like and work for.  I tore some of the words and cleaned up some of the edges to fit it all together like a puzzle.  We had a few minutes left and I had finished creating my cluster, so I used the scraps to embellish and balance out the color usage.  I had unconsciously created a sort of circle/oval to show the grouping of all these words.  It is interesting to realize that things with rounded edges appear softer and less harsh, as opposed to if I had made these words into a rectangle of sorts and had not created this flow.  The patterns of the idea of healthy living came about mostly because the magazine I was picking from was a fitness magazine since that is what I am into.  So choosing these types of words were not really a surprise since it has importance to me.  The color aspect is also important to me because it is what grabs my attention and gives this sense of positiveness to this lifestyle.  Majoring in graphic design has me looking at colors and the messages it can send.

Most of my peers who had commented on my collage had similar insights about the themes and patterns present.  A few that I had not thought of was the fact that my collage looked like an eye.  I had not intended this, but do see where it looks that way.  I had mindlessly embellished with the scraps, but found the comments about the eye very interesting.  Other words that were expressed were confidence and beauty, and I can see where these fit in as well.  Another comment that I found interesting dealt with the composition and placement of the words.  I seemed to have clustered all the words relating to gym and fitness in the center, and the extraneous words such as men, citrus, and  the brand name, Pandora, fall off the surrounding border.  I can see how this relates as well and feel that maybe I had done so in a sort of hierarchical sense; what is most important to me in life and what may fall to the wayside.

What was interesting in this assignment that I was not use to was just doing things out of impulse.  Being a graphic design major, and always having an interest in the arts, I always meticulously plan out a project or piece beforehand and then work at the execution.  Especially in graphic design courses, we do a lot of process work developing a concept and working toward the best way at expressing an idea, but here we worked in reverse which felt so different for me.  I was a little stressed while working thinking I was doing something wrong, or would mess up in some way, but really there is no right or wrong.  The final product came out rather interesting and revealed a lot about me.

Concept Map

For this second map we were to create I chose to make a concept map.  I was very unsure how to begin and looked at a lot of links and examples to get a better idea on how to go about creating it.  I did not exactly know where to start for a focal point since I wanted to do something I was knowledgeable about, but could still explore the inner workings of.  I also did not want to choose something that I incorporated into my mind maps from the previous assignment, so decided to use school as the focus.

Being a college student, I could think of many things to build off of this central theme that related to me, my experiences, and struggles as a college student.  I started working with the key terms to branch out from the central focus and realized I could work through it multiple ways.  College offers so much through the experiences in and out of the classroom, as well as the struggles such as money and looking toward the future.  I began to really think of all the things I have experienced during my first three years in college, and coming upon graduation in a year, it made me realize how the future is fast approaching.  Thinking about my past three years and what I have been through was taken into account, but then it turned to more about the future and where I am headed.  School is just a chapter in my life and sitting down and actually analyzing it in this way was an eye opener.

I do believe it is important to live in the moment and take things one day at a time, but it is also important to be prepared for what is to come and keep an open mind as to what is to come.  Unlike a mind map where it mostly came down to word association, the concept map I created had a deeper meaning to me.  Had I had a larger sheet of paper I am sure I could have kept building it further and further, analyzing and breaking down things more and more.  Seeing as how school is such a broad topic that can be broken down and thought about in many different ways, it would be interesting to see one of the branches really take off.  It is also interesting to realize that even if everyone made a concept map focusing on school they would come out completely different.

Although concept maps could be used to review for exams and such, I found this experience more exciting as it was more personal and really racked my brain to think about me, my life, and my school.  I learned how to make a concept map, which I had never done, and also learned more about myself in terms of my life and schooling.  I am pleased with how it came out, and look forward to using this technique more often when looking to resolve a problem, explore a concept, or even as review for an exam.

Mind Map

My first mind map built off of the concept ‘spring break’ as this was suggested in class so I decided to run with it.  I could think of a few key words off the top of my head which associated to this central concept, but did not anticipate filling the entire page with words branching outward.  The doodling portion was my favorite, as I am a graphic design major and interested in the arts.  The visual portion to this intrigued me as this form of mapping was different than what I may have done in other courses.  Simply making  a list of terms that grew from a central idea could better be explored through this technique.  The mind map not only turned out to be educational in pushing my thoughts and ideas further with each association, but it also turned out to be a rather aesthetically pleasing design.

The second mind map built from the word ‘tennis’ that appeared in my first mind map.  Choosing a branch from the first mind map to create a second mind map made me nervous.  Since I had already branched that ray out and associated words with that a bit, I did not expect to be able to create an entire new mind map with that word as the focus.  Since we were to allow ideas to flow freely without judgement, I wrote down every word or thing that came to mind.  I did not hesitate or second guess my word as it all seemed to work together.  The farther out from the central focus I got, you could still see how it could be brought back to and associated with the beginning focus.  Again, the doodling was fun and being able to illustrate certain terms or ideas for emphasis made the mind map visually pleasing.

Creating these mind maps were a lot of fun and an interesting experience.  I did not expect to have so many associated words to build off of my starting concept in the center.  The twenty minutes of mind mapping went by really fast.  When I came back to each mind map after the hour, I did not expect to add words.  It is amazing to see how much each concept could build and grow outwards so much.  I was excited about exploring this visual concept we learned about in class last week and through our readings.  I had never heard of mind mapping so was worried at first about whether or not I was doing it correctly.  I looked at more examples online about what mind maps were and what they looked like and discovered that no two will be alike.  When creating my second mind map, I wanted to make it visually different and not employ a lot of the same doodles or illustrations.  All in all, I enjoyed the experience and look forward to using this technique for other assignments or classes when looking to further explore a concept or idea.

Tennis

“Hello mister racket; how do you do mister racket.”  This is how I was taught to hold my tennis racket.   Shaking its hand as I began to form a bond.  I was only 4 when my mom forced one into my hands, hoping I would come to love the game as much as she had growing up; playing all through high school and all through college.  She would take me to the courts along with my sisters and we’d go through the basics.  This is how you hold a racket.  This is how you swing a forehand, a backhand, how about some volleys?  Slowly I got the hang of it, grew to love it, and the game is my passion.

“I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.”  ~Yannick Noah

Time is irrelevant out on the court.  There are no time limits, halves, periods, quarters.  The lines on the ground bar no connection to the hands of a clock.  The grid pattern of the net have no reference to a digital clock.  Your racket?  No, that’s not the round face of a clock either.  Everything stands still as you battle point after point; seeing who will back down first.  You’re in the moment taking one stroke at a time, one point at a time, one game at a time.  The court is your world, in this moment, and nothing else going on outside matters.  Your mind must be in the game. They say ‘love means nothing in tennis.’  Although this is true, as it is the zero, the bagels, and zip of any score, love also means everything.  Giving your heart to the game, your strokes, and shots, is what will produce success.  Winning isn’t the ultimate goal.  But walking off the court knowing you left it all out there, that’s the best victory. Leave it on the court.  I tell this to myself every time I step out to play a match.  Giving it all I got, playing my heart out, this is what I came to do.  Love may mean nothing in tennis, but how about this one, “Tennis begins with Love” –author unknown.

For this final project I tried to utilize multiple programs we had learned about from the semester.  To start, I brought all of my images into Photoshop and changed them to grayscale.  I decided to put all my images in grayscale for my presentation because I like the look of it as being clean and polished, and the colors (or lack of) are consistent to each other.  I felt it tied all the images together rather than having random colors on each.  I had to change the contrast on a few to get the desired effect as well.  For a few, I created a vignette edge as well.  I had used PowerPoint to create my storyboard and it was helpful to layout the images in the order I wanted before dragging them into iMovie.  Once I brought the images into iMovie I had to utilize all the settings in there as well to create blends, fades, and Ken Burns effects.  I like the way Ken Burns looks and it allowed me to emphasize on a portion of the photograph when needed, such as my first image where I wanted to emphasize the hand holding the racket, since that is my opening line.  After I fidgeted with the image clips for a while, I worked with the audio.  The audio is not my favorite to work with.  I recorded my voice in iMovie two separate times.  At one point in my video there is a pause for a quotation on the screen, so created an audio portion for before and after this, rather than physically pausing during recording.  I had gotten song clips off of the website provided and brought them into Audacity to blend them together to fit the allotted time.  Being a design major, I enjoyed playing with the images more so than messing with audio and movie settings, however it is a good tool to learn.  All in all, I am pleased with the final product and am impressed with all the programs I have learned this semester.

Breast Cancer PSA

Roger Williams University is holding a Powder Puff game November 21st on the turf field, from 12 pm- 4 pm, for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.  Signups will be held in the Commons Thursday, November 17th.  It is $5 per person or $40 per team.  There will be raffles and food.  All proceeds go to the Gloria Gemma Foundation located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  Their mission is to raise breast cancer awareness, and this is Roger William’s way of supporting their mission.  Get your friends together and come watch or play.

We kept the script exactly the same for both the Still PSA and the Video PSA.  It managed to fit nicely over both versions, while the images progressed or the videos played.  We kept the title slide for each of our version, because we thought the pink ribbon was essential to this message.  For the video version, we did not have any footage from the actual powder puff game on campus, so downloaded and used clips from videos we found online.  For transitions in each, we used fading effects to blend the images together so it flowed nicely.

This was my first time using IMovie, but luckily my partner was familiar with the program so walked me through everything we did.  Organizing the photographs for the Still PSA was not that difficult, as it allowed you to pick the amount of time each image would be show, this way we could time it out to exactly 30 seconds.  We chose music from the program itself and were able to fade it out at the end.  Our voice over was easy to drag in as well.  For the Video PSA we had 3 YouTube videos of Powder Puff games that we chopped up, and used 10 seconds from each.  We faded these together, and even added a circle effect when going to a new clip.  We were stumped for a while as to how to get our voice over and soundtrack we had used in the Still PSA version to copy and paste in the new one.  It did not allow us to just copy and paste the audio files, and we could not find them saved on my partners computer.  What we ended up doing was copy and pasting the entire Still PSA into our Video PSA and deleting the parts we did not want.  All in all, I am pleased with how this public announcement came out and am glad I am more familiar with the program now.

Current Topic: Prezi

This was my very first time using Prezi and it took a while to get a handle on the program.  I really like how it works.  The graphics are neat and flow nicely.  I looked at a lot of the information and self help links to learn more about the process.

Organizing the canvases and figuring out how to organize the information I wanted to convey took some time.  I put all the information in before I played with any of the paths.  I chose a theme from the options they gave, and thought this one fit my theme, Flickr, because it was like snapshots like photographs.  I incorporated the color scheme that Flickr uses on their website as well to show the correlation.

Something I found difficult was creating the paths.  Sometimes the captured screen would zoom too much or too far away, and getting it right and to save took a while.  I still haven’t figured out how to work the autoplay.  I saw that you could change the time to 4, 10, or 20 seconds.  For some of my paths I would only want it to stay on it for 4 seconds, but for others that had more text, 10 seconds would be better.  I am not sure that you can change the timing within the show or it all has to stay consistent.

I liked using the program and want to use it more for future school projects and assignments.  It has nice graphics that are different than PowerPoint.  The thing I like about mine the best is the overall design.  The colors and doodled arrows that lead to the next idea look nice in my opinion and convey the playful and fun atmosphere the website has to offer.

Prezi: Flickr

Music Kiosk

Arcade Fire

For my music kiosk powerpoint presentation I chose to showcase the band Arcade Fire.  I first inserted all the text and information on every slide before I did any of the animation.  For the first slide, I changed the spacing between the letters of ‘Arcade Fire’ because on their website and merchandise, this is how it is shown.

For the second slide, it took me a while to figure out how to do the animation of fading the previous bulleted point.  I basically did trial and error and played with the settings before I figured it out.  I changed the dim color to a light beige so you could still read it against the background, but wouldn’t be as dominant as the one highlighted.

The slide with an album cover and track list was the easiest.  I had to figure out how to make the tracks come in one at a time, rather than the entire text box all at once by highlighting each individual song and selecting the setting to ‘after previous’.

The slide with the table was the most challenging.  After making up the entire table, I could not figure out how to have each row or column animate individually, so had to create individual text boxes on top of the green grid I inserted.  After doing this I could animate each individual row or column.  This is the first slide where the animations are a little crazier and more up beat, because it is where my song picks up the tempo.

The last slide of images was fun to do.  The animations all sort of clash, but I think it fits as the music continues and they are left on the screen for a few minutes to view as the music fades out.

Concert Poster

For this concert poster I chose a band comprised of my friends from home.  They are an indie-rock group call The Ghost is Alive and Well.  Since they are not a popular group, although striving to be, they have no group shots that I could have incorporated.  The PacMan theme is their thing so decided to use the ghost and yellow PacMan bubbles.  I drew the ghost myself using the pen tool to create the curves.

I chose the font OCR A Std for the band title because I liked how it looked like a video game/ computer game font, which fit with the PacMan theme.  I used Century Gothic for the information on the poster because it is a san serif so is easy to read and gets the information across quickly.

The format I chose for the composition was the rule of thirds.  I wanted there to be a hidden grid pattern that helped your eyes flow through the poster.

I did not really face any problems during this assignment.  It was one of the first times I have used InDesign but felt it was very similar to Illustrator, which I prefer.  I liked having the hidden lines to help you line things up better.  The tools were easy to find as well.

I am most proud of the composition of this poster.  I find it aesthetically pleasing with the positioning of the ghost and the text.  I really like the colors and the way I created a glow behind the name of the band since it is ‘ghostly’ and also helps it stand out as the main event.