January 19, 2009

I am in two classes right now which have both have presented information regarding print and its origin. The approach of both have similar intent but different circumstance. Processes and Materials is a class intended for introducing and/or restablishing contact with the ebb and flow of various external resources in design such as preparing files, images, and design work, to be functional outside of the mac…or pc. History Of Design, reflecting on what design has meant to past civilizations and how that ifluences current practice and how current design can be affecting where we are heading as designers. Both of these classes have presented information to me regarding the printing press. The History of print is one that I have been all to absent with, giving I have enterted the design world through the adobe world. Moveable type is so interesting to me. Its as interesting to me as a digital photographer warps backwards and takes intro to dark room. Gutenburg’s inventions of the press, is one that involves a process of setting type and printing through a punch and mold system which allowed for mass printing for the time.  These letters would be placed together within a type tray, which was then used to print text. After printing one page letters could be reconfigured to print other things or oftentimes other pages within a text. Interesting stuff. My professor Leslie Jensen-Inman gave us this link via basecamp regarding Gutenburg. The whole video is broken up into many parts. Long but interesting.


January 19, 2009

Reading Creating the Perfect Design Breif, which is one of my steps to professionalism, and finding it interesting and overwhelming. Peter Phillips explains the process of creating the perfect design brief as preparing a stir fry (an adopted analogies from Kim Zarney, whom Phillips credits much appriciation to) …so Im wandering if being a vegitarian is effecting my connection to this book right of the bat… However my fears of meat based frenzies are secured by interesting approaches with analogies. This analogies says that anyone who knows anything about stir fry knows that the ingredients must be prepared before due to the fact that the process is a quick frying process. This can easily be appropriated for deisgn in that before you get into the bulk of a project for a client or even undergrad class you must prepare the parts before you fire up the grill…or wok in this case. The guide or receipe clues us into the neccisary igrediant that will be included in the process and refelct the outcome so that everyone knows what is to come. This is where the design brief becomes a relative concept. The design breif is the recipe for the frenzy of greatness and informs everyone involved what is happening and what to expect. We are currently in the process of writing up our design breif for a special project we are doing with Leadership Chattanooga. I am particularly engaged with the Business Objectives, Design Strategy, Project Scope, Time Line, and Budget (Phases). Which is just a portion of the entire brief. All an interesting and detailed process.

January 19, 2009

working with images….hmm.

I have been digging into The Production Manual, which is quite an exquisite book. This post is in response to the first half of the section found in the elements section regarding working with images. This section navigates you throughout a series of exercises exposing you the designer to various types of ways to dig into an image and form it into other visual elements. The first section of tutorials guides you through generating images through different image types i.e. bitmaps, line art, greyscale, and halftones visa via adobe photoshop. I find that most of these exercises in this section are more for exposure to options within digital processing as opposed to generating a striking piece of photographic genius. Some of the photo filters are easily accessed and render images that are heightened by their artistic appeal…interesting to the average joe but maybe not to the designer or photographer. However, more magic comes in the later sections that deal with altering CMYK and RBG images. Even for someone halfway familiar with Photoshop these exercises are enlightened if not refreshing within the Photoshop world. I have found myself forgetting how to achieve certain effects and am glad to be having a lengthy lesson. For class we are having to produce to sets of images saved out in three file formats for each exercise which is painstaking but necessary in molding the short-term into a long-term knowledge base. I must also point out the this book is well designed and is printed on a thick heavy-weight cover which makes it all the more delight to have around.


January 13, 2009

Some basic notes on image files…useful information to refer back to, for the forgetful image/design gatherers/producer, like myself.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): big file sizes can result in troublesome transferance and hard storage, however the use of a TIFF insures no compressions which means a TIFF is a loseless file format. Large crisp work. Awesome.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics): also a loseless file type, however in contrast with the TIFF in storage the file looks for a way to compress the file, yet the file is recovered exactly.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): Things we should know about JPEGs is that they are our friends for storage but that they throw out information in the process of compression that is unretreivble and sad in the case of photography.

RAW: RAW formats represent a lossless formats that gather images in their entirety, yet carrie a large storage responsiblity. RAW files require specific software to manage and edit. i.e. photoshop.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): GIF images have often times been a tricky file format to me. Im never quite sure when to use them. Simply GIFS lower file size by minimizing the pallete of used colors. GIFS can be used in animated forms as well which is slightly old school, but neat.

BMP: Used mainly when dealing with Microsoft.

VECTOR is an alternative file format to the Raster based image types listed above. Vectors contain geometric information which can be scaled without any pixelation.


January 13, 2009

thoughts and things regarding Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap:

In this read I found that many of the ideology presented is valuable to the business of design as well as the industry of business in the corporate since. Neumeier states in the introduction to the text that a brand is not what you say it is but rather what they say it is, which is a concept that took me quiet a few seconds to wrap my head around. i suppose as a designer I had never really fathomed the reliant nature than designer or brand had with the public. The publics view or response to the product is what gives headway to the making of an identity, or the feelings that shroud a mark, logotype, or monogram. This book also opened my mind to the fact that most mass consumption in the market has become based upon symbolic attributes…what tribes to we belong to, what does it stand for, who else is buying it…which is something that I, as an American consumer, follow all too subconsciously. Above all else The Brand Gap, is short read that is eye opening and can be respected by many in several trades. However something that is stressed throughout the read that Marty includes is the last section titled take home lessons is something previously stated, yet unable to be stressed enough…

” A Brand is a personal gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s not what you say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.”

This statement can rack a designers brains…why the hell do we do what we do? What purpose does the mark hold from a designers perspective if we cant possible communicate importance, style, superiority, or interest? 

Might be sleeping on this for a few nights.