Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Swing of Things

Critique: Spring Preview
These first two weeks of design have been pretty intimidating. Sometimes I don’t feel up to par with everyone else in class, but I know I will improve each week. I'm finally getting back into the swing of classes though. The month-long break made it harder than usual to get going again. 
I was pleased with my Spring Preview cover design. I decided on fruit as my theme, so I think I accomplished staying away from the typical rain, tree and flower ideas. I designed the fruit in InDesign. I was impressed with myself, but it might be because I haven’t had much experience creating “art” like this. I would love to be an expert Illustrator user by the end of the semester.

Response: Design History Reading
It was neat to read about the history of magazine design and look at samples from the past 80-90 years. Finding recent covers and spreads that have similar design as those from so many years ago was neat. I found multiple examples from SELF magazine. One spread’s layout is around a single bleed photo that’s used as an illustration and background texture. This is like a McCall’s spread from 1959. In 1954, Harper’s Bazaar issue includes a spread of two women. The focus is on their body curvatures rather than their faces. This shows up in SELF on an exercising spread. The woman’s body takes up an entire page, and her head is not in the photo. Leslie’s Weekly in May 1903 has a single bleed photo on the cover with only the title and a handful of words. KCH&G’s February 2011 issue is very similar and has only two cover lines. Finding so many examples shows that certain design might go out of style or change, but not usually for good.
You Can’t Miss This:
I found this cool tape art on the blog I’m following. I had never seen anything quite like it. Check out more photos at designverb.
I came across this typography tutorial to create a splashing water text effect in Photoshop. The site has a bunch of other awesome tutorials. I haven’t yet, but I plan on trying some out.


  1. I really love the typeface you used on your cover. It's fun without being too over the top.

  2. I think that you're actually really good at executing your designs technically. Your cover as a whole looks really clean, although your type treatment could have fit a little better in the available space. It looks like you generally know what does and doesn't look good when it comes to creating designs from scratch, which honestly can't be said of all designers. For example, your color palette is great, and your font choices match your theme well. So you innately have a designer's instinct.

    The only concern I have with this design is that "fruit" is a pretty broad topic that you didn't specifically tie into the issue theme (other than making the title "Spring Preview"). To a reader it might seem kind of random (although mine probably seems kind of random, too). Since you're already really good with your execution, I would just take a little more time in the beginning stages of your design to makes sure everything ties together really well. Good job so far, Nicole. You definitely have what it takes to produce some really great stuff in this class!

  3. Your cover design with the fruit is so fun! I like how you came up with a bright, playful idea that is unique from typical spring/seasonal themes. The illustrations look nice.

    I agree with Danielle that your cover could tie in the spring preview with the fruit more. I see that you used the watermelon seeds as the dot on the "i" which is nice, but to someone who doesn't pay close attention to design, might not stand out!

    You could try and incorporate the category names as stickers on the fruit to bring the theme together a little more.

    And you definitely have a great eye and mind for design; I thought that all last semester in our lab class and was excited to see you in the capstone!

    The only thing that makes you better is LOTS of practice and reading/looking at as much design you can get your eyes on. With this class I'm sure we'll be immersed in all of those things!

  4. The tape art is really cool and creative. I also like the typography you chose for your spring preview spread. Great choice for the theme you chose.

  5. I get intimidated sometimes too, but this class is definitely building my confidence and teaching me how to defend my design decisions. I think your fruit actually looks really good. I like your typography choices, but I think that it looks a little odd when the type comes out of the teal box.

    Thanks for sharing the photoshop tutorial. That's the one program I need a little work on, and these will help!

  6. I'm impressed that you created your illustration in InDesign! Those skills will transfer well in learning how to use Illustrator better. Everyone in capstone is here to help each other improve, and I'm sure others in the class would be willing to get together and practice — I know I would be!

    You have a great color palette going in this design, and it definitely evokes the right feel for this type of section. Great job!

  7. That tape art is awesome! I need to go buy a couple rolls. Maybe instead of sidewalk chalk around campus, people will start advertising with tape art.

  8. Your Spring Preview cover is really cute. I think the most important thing to do when trying to learn Illustrator is actually using it over and over again to become comfortable with the tools. Your fruit turned out to look really nice! The simple shapes you used make for a cohesive theme.

    I think the font choices you made don't really match that theme as well, and I agree with previous comments that that text should have been up higher to be in the box (or pushed further down to show it was a purposeful placement).

    I do like the blue box at the top to separate that headline. And looking at the typography, the "S," raindrop/seed dot on the "i" and the "w" inside the "g" works really well together.