When I first read the cover story, I had NO idea what I was going to design. The only thing I could think of were demo c.d.s, televisions and MTV, which I knew probably everyone else in the class would be thinking of as well. I decided to make a collage of c.d.s and take a photo of it myself, which is probably the most unoriginal thing I could have done, and I was a little embarrassed when I saw everyone else's covers Tuesday in lecture. While trying to think of a good cover read, I wanted to come up with something that would roll off the tongue easily so I decided to go with "Singing for the Screen". I later thought that the picture I chose didn't really go well with that title, but it was too late for me to change it, because I thought that as I was driving to the VOX office at 8:30 Monday morning.
I originally struggled with the font color I wanted to use, which was a deep red, but it blended too much with the photo and made it unreadable. I decided to go with white after that and keep the VOX heading white as well. I was not pleased at all with my final product and I am very glad we have the chance for a redesign, because I am determined to come up with something WAY better than my first attempt. I made the mistake of choosing an idea and not giving myself enough time to really think about it and maybe come up with a better concept altogether. In the future I am going to sit down and take a good, long look at my design and tweak, tweak, tweak it. I am in the process of redesigning the cover and I think it's coming along quite nicely. I have a brand new concept and am looking forward to posting it soon.
I didn't struggle as much with this feature design as I did the cover design. I did the feature before I did the cover and I spent a lot more time on it than the cover. I initially wanted to do something with the faces on money, but again, I thought everyone would do that and that it was not a very creative or unique idea, so I decided to do an illustration of the stock market crash and incorporate the headline with the graph. I used the graph to make the "A" in "FACES", which I really loved, and used both pages of the spread for the illustration.
At first, I struggled with making the line on the graph really stand out, but then I asked my roommates what they thought of my design and they gave me some helpful tips. I have really learned this year to ask others of their opinions on my designs because it can only benefit my designs. The only thing I struggled with on this feature was finding a great place to showcase the photos of the men featured. Looking back, I could have done that in a nice way by doing my initial money idea and putting their faces on the first page with the headline. Overall, I was pleased with this layout, but I have many different ideas for the redesign, which I will post early next week.
I have just begun the photo assignments and love them so I'm looking forward to continuing them, as I love photography, but am not very good at it. This will be a test of my skills.
The readings this week from Graphic Style were really fun for me. I was especially interested in the heroic realism era because I think this could really apply to America's current situation with the economy and the war as well. This type of illustrating and presenting design could make a huge impact on our society, because now is the time when people are looking for guidance and help to get through their economic struggles. Publications across the country have given President Obama the image of a hero, and that is exactly what heroic realism did. I think design with a little more modern twist on heroic realism could be something people would like.
Another point I wanted to touch on was the comment Jan made about coming out of this experience with a cash of ideas and resources. I have never thought so much like the way I do now (like a true designer), nor do I have anything close to a collection of design ideas and resources I can turn to. This makes me excited/nervous for the "real world". Excited because I have this opportunity to obtain that cash of ideas, but nervous because I feel like I'm somewhat behind. Learning about the different eras in design and art has really opened my eyes to the history of design and I think it will only make me more confident as the semester and my life a designer progresses. After all, I am here to design, so I need to know everything I can about it.
You Can't Miss
I recently found an online portfolio called "Emotions by Mike". Mike is a graphic designer who began in 1998 and has since worked in many different designing areas, but is now doing freelance designing. It's very colorful and bright, which can be helpful to someone having a rough day or just a case of the Mondays. He likes to use big illustrations that come off the page and they are all very in-your-face, which I think is fun and somewhat like the designs I try to create. It's just a resource if you're trying to find a kind of different design than you would normally do, because I know that's what attracted me to it. The artwork is copyrighted, so I could only pull small images from the site, but enjoy!
The blog I'm covering this semester is one of Jeremy Leslie, at www.magculture.com/blog, who is the Executive Creative Director at the London-based publisher John Brown. He is also the author of the books "magCulture" and "Issues".
This week, he actually ran out of space on his blog and promises to be back shortly, but with his remaining space, posted about the current magazine trends in other countries. He write about magazines using black as the color for the cover, and how some go against it, but how he thinks they are great. I agree with this completely, because I think it makes the magazine look really powerful and especially if it's a very important issue of the mag, it can really make an impact on readers and even just those browsing the news stands. The recent issue of People has a black backdrop on the cover and it looks stunning.
I agree with Jeremy Leslie and think more mags should start doing this. Don't overuse it of course, but definitely an issue that really has something to say should have a cover which really grabs readers and makes them want to buy it. Let's face it, sometimes people buy magazines simply because it looks pretty, as we saw in some of the judging in Tuesday's class. I was guilty of choosing some of the magazines because of its cover.