Thursday, December 3, 2015

Artifact for Campaign - Website

So for our campaign I was designated to build the website. I'm still continuing to build it because this project and website are going to be launched in the next few weeks.

I think the design of this website communicates an abundance of simplicity, balance, and harmony. Simplicity because I didn't make it too overwhelming and it's pretty straight forward as far as navigation goes. Also simplicity is shown in the color scheme. It's somewhat monochromatic except when looking at the earrings. Because the earrings are already so busy and stand out on their own, I wanted the website to be very subtle and mostly white. The landing page is a bit more colorful then the other pages, however I think it still incorporates simplicity. I think it's also balanced in design because you can see the rule of thirds playing into the cover page. Not only is the cover page balanced, but I believe the entire website is mostly balanced because of the color scheme being used and how simple the lines are for eyes to follow. Harmony is also apparent in the website because of the aesthetic being used. It's very pleasant to look at. People are going to be visiting this website to view one-of-a-kind, beautiful earrings so it's important we stay consistent with that when designing the website.

I had a hard time distinguishing gestalt principles on the website because it's so simple. On the landing page your eye kind of follows downward to the right in a diagonal line. You could consider this to be using the law of continuity because the bottom right hand corner is where users typically let their eyes drift.

Next, I got to work closely with an artist who sketched up some potential logo designs. When Mary first tried to do the logo on her own this is what she came up with...

I don't think it's absolutely horrible, I just don't think this would assist her with recognition. It's not that unique and it's a bit boring. I wanted her to think a bit more outside of the box. I also wanted her to think about the generation and audience she would be appealing to. Then we came up with these...

For now, our plan is to utilize the guitar pick logo as the main one. To me, it incorporates the law of closure in a very pristine way. I also think it's clever. Clever is always good if it also looks good. As far as the other potential logo goes, we may have to redesign it so that people don't read it as "Groupie Glove." I had not noticed this until Professor Young pointed it out and I'm glad he did because it could be very confusing.

Overall, this project was great and I enjoyed working with everyone! Thank you for all the advice and giving us a great semester!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Axioms of Web Design

One of my all time favorite websites to browse and use is

Airbnb is a website that offers you a browsing experience you've never seen before. They aim for you to stay with those hosting their homes on the website. You can meet great people this way. It's like looking for a hotel when traveling to a certain destination image, but WAY better.

Not only is it aesthetically beautiful and simple, but it's also totally interactive. You can view basically any kind of information you might be looking for when choosing to visit a certain destination. One of my favorite interactive parts is the search box right when you land on their page. Instead of saying search it says, "Where do you want to go?

Their business objective is clear. They are promoting destinations by offering you places to stay for affordable prices. You also get to meet the coolest people ever and possibly create life long relationships with them.

"Affordance" is a key concept for designers. If you want to build products that are intuitive and easy to use, it is crucial to fully understand the relationship between the human mind and technology.

This is so true. You've got to be able to predict what the user is going to do and what they're going to want next.

Also, I 100% agree that in order for the user to want to continue browsing, the website should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If it's not, they tend to become distracted and abandon the web page.

In addition, they have an app which makes their concept very user friendly on mobile devices. They have literally nailed it with their design and user experience goals.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015



With every great movie comes the brilliant brains behind production design, artistry, and cinematography. For this assignment I chose to analyze the production design of a very famous movie called The Italian Job. Charles Wood was the main production designer. I chose to examine this role in the movie because I believe it creates a setting that would otherwise not be there without production design. It's an extremely important thing to consider when trying to create an incredible movie.

The clip I chose is towards the end of the movie when they're executing their heist and escaping through the metro system in Los Angeles. Some information I found said the director and production designer worked together to develop a style before they even starting filming.

---Pfister, the director of photography, wanted "dark textures and undertones and strong contrast"; he collaborated with production designer Charlie Wood on the color palette, and the two would confer with Gray on their ideas. Paramount preferred that The Italian Job not be shot in the anamorphic format, despite Pfister's wishes to do so. Gray wanted a widescreen aspect ratio, so they chose to shoot the film in Super 35 for a 2.4:1 aspect ratio. Once principal photography began, Gray frequently utilized dollies, as well as Steadicams and a Technocrane, to keep the cameras almost constantly moving.---

This statement I found clearly shows how much collaboration went on and how much thought truly goes into making a scene perfect in a film for whatever situation they're trying to create. For the clip above, it took close to 40 days to shoot. Right after this clip is when they start mobbing through the canal/riverbed in the mini coopers, which also contributed to the 40 days of shooting. 

From an artistic standpoint, I chose to showcase the mini coopers in this scene because there is A LOT that went into making these coopers what they are and making this scene what it is. Capturing all of this wasn't easy. Not only did they have to design a subway tunnel set, they had to actually make the coopers equipped to mob with pounds of gold weighing it down. It is said that the main actors also did most of their own stunts, which means they were actually driving like the movie shows. I'm sure creating the physical context of a subway tunnel for mini coopers to fit through wasn't that easy, however they still pulled it off. In this scene you can see the "dark textures and undertones and strong contrast" idea that they wanted to achieve really coming into effect. If they designed the subway tunnel set from the ground up, then you know it had to have been tricky for them to make it look like the cars were actually driving through there for a long time. I also really appreciated how they slowed down the camera quite a bit when the cars shot out of the tunnel into the canal. In addition, when "Handsome Rob" flips the car around and tells his teammate to open his door so the motorcyclist crashes, you can clearly see how much thought went into filming that action right there. The timing had to be perfect, which probably meant they did multiple takes on it.

Contrast, balance, harmony, texture, line, shape, color, figure/ground, pragnanz, proximity, similarity and closure are all present in this scene. Contrast because of the darkness and brightness from being inside the tunnel to shooting out of it, balance because every time one mini would cling to one side the others would balance it out by switching placement, harmony because of the three different colors of the mini coopers (patriotic) and the way they fit perfectly in the tunnels, texture because of the tunnel walls and water splashing when they fly out, line because of the obvious direction they were headed in the tunnel, shape because of the similar car shapes and the continuous tube shape they were being chased through, law of similarity because of the same types of cars and how they were constantly following each other, and the law of continuity because of the vanishing point being created in the tunnel and them eventually reaching a point where they can see daylight.

Individual Analysis:

It was said that they wanted this film to be as realistic as possible and I think they did a phenomenal job at doing so. This scene and all of the stunts included seemed very doable in real life. Very rarely did I notice a spot in this film where I thought something would be impossible. Overall I really enjoyed examining the production designer's role and how all the other crew members really do play into the entire picture. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

Production Credits:

Director - F. Gary Gray

Production Design by - Charles Wood

Supervising Production Designer - Diego Loreggian

Art Direction by - Mark Zuelzke, Doug J. Meerdink

Cinematography by - Wally Pfister (director of photography)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Compose Your Frame

This picture is influenced by the rule of thirds, the diagonal rule, and vectors. Firstly, you can notice the horizon of the mountain in the background. I believe this part really demonstrates the rule of thirds and that when you're trying to make the horizon stand out, the actual mountain tends to be more towards the second third of the picture. In a sense, the mountain helps break up the picture into thirds. Secondly, if you look closely at the wood underneath the two cacti, you can see diagonal slits inside of the wood that give this object more depth. I think this factor establishes the diagonal rule. Lastly, vectors are seen because your eyes are drawn to the multiple vertical lines that were made by this outdoor-window-contraption-type-thing. I don't know what you would call it, however, it was outside of a vintage shop where these two cacti sat and received life from the sun, mountains, and all surrounding up in Zion National Park. It was such a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Design Evaluation

For this assignment, I decided to compare two different types of light fixtures. My friend has been really into designing them lately so I went on a little adventure with her to Lowe's and found a very different looking design in contrast to the nature inspired light fixtures that she's been creating. Light fixtures, whether they're lamps, hanging lights, chandeliers, etc., they're all trying to accomplish the same goal.

I believe the comparison between these two fixtures would be considered a part of design in identity. I say this because one lamp represents a very fake look and the other one conveys a very authentic style. In my opinion, the authentic hanging light is the better looking one because of how well the abstract placement of the lights comes together with the overall realness of this piece. The real one actually came from nature while my friend and I were on a hike in Pine Valley, Utah. That's real design for you.

The lamp made at Lowe's is hideous to me. This may be because I've been lucky enough to see very real and genuinely inspired light fixtures, however, I am definitely still not attracted to the way they went about designing this Lowe's lamp in any way, shape, or form. Immediately when I saw it, I thought - wow the things I would do differently. Sure it looks inspired by nature, but it looks so fake at the same time. If you're going to use wood, make it a little more awesome. The price of this lamp also throws me off guard. When you take the time to actually design something how you want, it usually turns out to be a little bit cheaper. To me, this design is typical of people "wanting nature inspired decor", yet not actually hitting the mark when combining all components. Design should be 110% authentic. I think where they lost it was choosing the lampshade they did. I'm also not in love with the color of the wood they decided to use or whatever they did to royally mess it up.

The really amazing light fixture is the hanging one that looks so completely different. It's unique design along with the urban look was heavily inspired by walks in nature. Simplicity is beautiful. You can see the simplicity in color choice. It was also so simple to make. Not only is it simple, but also a bit diverse when looking at the different light bulbs used.

Overall, the lamp at Lowe's was not great. The hanging light fixture designed by my very good friend is so great. There you have it :)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Contrast, Balance, & Harmony

This picture demonstrates contrast, balance, and harmony. First, you'll notice the contrast in this old, abandoned wood structure. This building was part of a mine that is now desolate. The contrast really helps bring out the texture of the wood. If I could have wood floors in my house, I would want the wood to look just like this. This feeling leads me to balance. When I think of the home I want to make a living in, I imagine wood floors. Wood brings balance into my life because it's so related to nature. It's also very symmetrical, which can be another contributor to balance. The perpendicular lines of the architecture also bring a sense of balance. To me, balance has a lot to do with a straight line. As I imagine balancing things in my life, I can picture some sort of horizontal or vertical line that I'm trying to compare a situation to. I also love things in 3, so the fact that there's 3 vertical beams really makes for a balanced sight to my eyes. Lastly, this picture makes me feel harmonious. I say this because I was in a very beautiful place in Keystone, Colorado watching the sunset on the peak of mountain when this picture was taken. I could go on for days about why this picture brings harmony to my life, especially the color of the wood. I need it in my life. Basically, this picture of me makes me think of all the possible opportunities waiting for me in Colorado. This thought makes me feel very stabilized in life and definitely demonstrates the feeling of harmony. This picture greatly portrays my life as a mountain woman :)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Visceral Response

This picture has quite the story. Just recently, I was able to visit some absolutely stunning mountain towns in the state of COLORado. As we were exploring one day, we came across the abandoned town of Gilman. Apparently, in the 1980's, this town's water supply was contaminated by a nearby mine and everyone was forced to evacuate. They never returned.

I had never visited a town that was so desolate yet so alive at the same time. As I was strolling around, I realized how much potential this town has or did have. We ended up finding a skate park inside one of the houses, an old gas pump that was extremely weathered away, and so many other amazing things that just didn't even seem real. I kept asking myself why nobody had come back to this town to revamp it or why they haven't cleared things out yet. My mind was literally blown. I had never seen anything like this place before.

I'm a writer and when I'm heavily inspired I like to write. I was already so impressed by everything I was seeing in this little abandoned town and then... I happened to come across this typewriter that was just sitting right there, untouched, with an amazing view of the Rocky Mountains right behind it. I fell to my knees when I saw it.

This picture is how beauty feels to me. When I look at pictures, I see more of a story and an experience rather than noticing lines, contrast, shape, and things of that nature. However, now that I'm actually trying to notice how the vocabulary of design plays a huge part in the visual communication process, the lines feel so beautiful to me. I just decided I wanted to understand how the lines are a part of the story. The lines on the typewriter are what steal me away into the allure of the mountains. I picture myself here, alone, doing what I do best; writing. Mountains are a part of me and in this area of COLORado, they are stupefying. The lines on the mountain range are mysterious. This whole place is mysterious. The texture of the green grass and the focus on them is one of my favorite parts about this picture. The texture on the wilted typewriter looks urban and dull, yet so vibrant.

What really took my breath away was the amount of space in this open range of the Rocky Mountains. Nobody around. Nobody to answer to. I couldn't see one person for as far as I could look. It was a place I just wanted to let my thoughts out. Everything.