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My love for design began through roaming the pages of Vogue and being enchanted by the hundreds of luxury advertisements that filled the magazine. I have always been intrigued by the beauty of fashion photography, how labels use branding to increase their value and the role texture plays in communicating emotions. I enrolled in AP 2D my junior year, a class that not only taught me how to work Photoshop, but encouraged me to break the rules and tap into my artistic influences and visions in a way I had never done before. During the last two years of high school, I realized that I learn best through practice, that I use bright colors because of the way they make me feel and that my love for fashion is central to my creative process. When I began taking this class, my first ever official design course, I was confident in my eye and my talent, but weary about how I could turn my rather maximal collage style into what I always thought good design was: minimal. Over the course of the semester, I realized that design is not just one thing. There is a place in design for voices that challenge the norms and make work that is exciting. Design must be efficient, but it does not have to be minimal. It is important to know the rules, but not necessarily to follow them. As this semester comes to a close, I am still navigating my artistic identity, but with a clearer outlook moving forward into the future.
Out of all the designers I researched, Jessica Walsh’s work spoke to me the most. Not only is she a millenial designer shaking up the industry with her ambitious creative direction and bold color schemes, she is also one of just thirty six women to have founded their own design studios. I first found out about her through a Google search of famous designers, she was one of the few women that popped up. I was immediately fascinated with her agency, &Walsh, and the work they do. Whether it was their personal branding, involving a wide range of merch and modern animations, or client work for
fashion brands like Milly or Egyptian restaurant Zooba, Jessica Walsh and her team find a way to create diverse work that is both commercial and creative. In addition to her innovative, surrealist design work, Jessica Walsh has received success for her personal projects. Most famously, she and close friend and fellow designer Timothy Goodman dated for 40 days and documented it online in their blog-turned-book “40 Days of Dating.” This project caught my attention, along with her “12 Kinds of Kindness” experiment, because it demonstrates her humor, which is often at the center of her work.
I had seen Saul Bassâ€™ work on Pinterest when I was first learning about graphic design. I was instantly drawn in by his signature style of sharp text, bright colors (typcially red or orange) and sillhouettes. His work appears to be so effortless, largely due to the use of negative space. Bass does not need to fill every corner of the page to catch your attention, in fact it seems like he does not even need to do much. A simple hand, feather or phone will do. Looking at Saulâ€™s work inspired me to push myself with design and use negative space in my own work. These film posters, most notably his work for Hitchcock, are
striking because of the illusion of texture. Although these flyers are made just using solid colors, the striking lines Saul is known for, specifically in his sillhouettes and text, add dimension and prevent the posters from feeling flat. My personal favorite is his Vertigo poster becuase of the use of simple lines to create depth and make the viewer feel as if they themselves are falling. To me, Saulâ€™s work is the epitome of timeless design and inspired much of my approach to this process book. Even all these years later, his creative vision and signature style is often referenced but will never be replaced.
Of all the fashion brands that I love and look up to for artistic inspiration, Jacquemus reigns far supreme. His Spring 2020 show was beautiful in terms of both the clothing as well as the set, a pink runway placed in a lavender field. Jacquemus has a minimalist aesthetic, often using light colors and ready-to-wear garments, with the occasional patterns that look like painted flowers. A lot of the clothes are based off Simon Jacquemusâ€™ life in a small town in Southern France. I personally feel an emtoional attachment to the clothes because they remind me of summertime. When people talk
about clothes telling a story or being emotional, I think of the Spring 2020 collection. But, even more than the clothes, the brand has gained norotioty for its ridiculous accessories. Whether that be bags smaller than oneâ€™s palm or over-the-top large straw hats, the brand is willing to experiment that blurs the lines between luxury and humor. On top of the beautful clothes, Simon Jacquemus also has released two books solely of images he has taken, often times with his iPhone. The pictures are not only visually stunning, but continue to elevate the brand as a creative force in the fashion industry.
Summer has been my favorite season ever since I could remember. I am a Virgo and my sister is a Leo, our bithdays being five days apart, so for most of my childhood summer was a time of celebration. When I was a little, I spent most of my days at camp, entering hula hoop contests, competitively playing dodgeball and Capture The Flag or celebrating with snow cones. As I aged out of summer camp, I began my first internship at Intuit, a museum in Chicago, where I made lifelong freinds and led workshops around the city. My new found indpendence in high school led me to take the Red Line up North for the scenery, spend sunsets with friends at Hollywood Beach and bike on the streets while blasting music. My best memories have consistently been tied to summer, and it is one of the few times of the year
that I can be completely still. Creatively, I give myself breaks and prioritize going outside instead of staying inside to work. However, I try to work on a few passion projects throughout the summer, as this is also the season that I feel the most inspired. Over the last year, summer has transformed into the main subject of my personal projects. My longing for those three blissful months of the year has led to mock clothing collections, coming-of-age short films and just about everything else which I find myself working on. Summerâ€™s imapct shows up in how I gravitate towards bright colors, typically blues and greens that remnd me of laying in the grass or relaxing at the beach. When I am my most creative, it feels like eternal summer.
When searching through images on Pinterest, I was unsurprisngly most attracted to images from my favorite movies, music videos, fashion shoots and TV shows. My personal aesthetic is a reflection of the media that inspires me, and the media I am most drawn to has always used bright colors, and used them boldly. I first realized this when I saw Funny Face, a movie I could not get out of my head for years. What started as a casual viewing turned into a magical experience where I quickly became captivated by the bright lights that lit up the streets
of Paris and the green walls of the jazz club. Now, I look to more recent examples, like Sex & The City, the music video to Watermelon Sugar and Call Me By Your Name as my personal aesthetic blueprints. I picked these five colors because they reminded me of the media that made me want to become an artist. It was important for me to include variety in my color scheme because I do not believe one color can define who I am as an artist Each one of these colors is tied to a scene, a still, an outfit or even a song that allowed me to dream beyond my reality.
shopping bag When designing my stationery and other branding material, I made it my goal to combine all five of the colors I selected in an effortless way. The range in hues at first was daunting, but I found that experimenting with overlap tools and transparency effects helped to both capitalize on the
flow of the logo mark and create transitions between the different colors. For future job interviews, I plan on using these materials as a way to show employers a small piece of my playful design style. I believe design should be fluid and eye-catching, elements present in my branding and work.
flower logo fall/winter
butterfly logo spring/summer
final logo The final logo combines features of both the butterfly and flower logos to create an ambiguous form. The logo is constructed using my initials (ESS) and was 3D rendered in Photoshop. This logo became my favorite not just because it combines elements from two other logos I loved, but also because of its versitality. Since the logo is such a unique form and does not clearly depict an object, it can be rotated, cut off the page or distorted while remaining just as effective. This allows me to rotate the logo not just for branding items, but also for accessory design (earrings, keychains, chains), which is a large part of a personal project I am working on outside of class.
First three of five planned social media ads (one ad per color swatch).
When I think of effective content on Instagram, my mind goes to fashion photography. Most of the accounts that I follow are either fashion brands, photographers or influencers and models known for their style. When conceptualizing this mock ad campaign, I realized early on that I wanted fashion to be front and center. I also wanted the images to capture the colors chosen from my moodboard. I specifically focused on pink, blue and orange for these photos. The
pictures were taken by myself via self timer, then were cropped to focus on specific parts of my face. I posed shirtless so that all the attention could be focused on my accessories, which I made by rotating and collaging my logo mark in Photoshop. I then edited background scenery correlating to the chosen colors in order to make the photos appear more surreal. During their creation, I realized these ads had a y2k aesthetic I really liked due to the obviously edited background and the style of glasses I wore in the bottom right picture. Luckily, the Reross Quadratic font I already chose correlated with the theme. I further accentuated the y2k, early internet look by creating a border around the website name.
“Electric ladies, will you sleep? Or will you preach?”
Janelle Monae is one of my favorite artists of all time for so many reasons. Before I invested in her discography, her signature black and white style captivated me. She was one of the first female celebrities I saw wearing traditionally men’s clothing and being celebrated for it. I remember checking out the video to Q.U.E.E.N, the lead single off of the album, after finding out it had won the VMA for best art direction. The video was a black and white futuristic dreamscape setting resembling that of a museum. But, even more striking than the stunning visuals was the actual song and lyrics. In Q.U.E.E.N, Janelle Monae alludes to her queer identity and rebelling against mainstream society, which
are themes that is very prevelant in The Electric Lady. When designing this poster, I wanted to focus on her iconic style, specifically her red lip, tuxedo and short hairstyle. I chose to sillhouette these elements because, since they are so synonymous with her brand, the average viewer can recognize who is being depicted while still allowing a level of ambiguity. Her pose and style is slightly reminiscent of corporate Amerca, specifically white collar, male businessman, the subject of critique in much of Janelle Monae’s work. Her pose and style in the poster symbolizes power and, in a way, her reclaiming that power through her music, style and fierce advocacy for the androids of society.
I gravitated to the Utopia typeface because it has such a calming flow, most specifically seen by the asterix and the question mark. The poster highlights these features all while depicting its own little utopia.
Reross Quadratic was by far my favorite typeface and I ended up using it for my branding material. I was attracted to this typeface due to its smooth qualities, specifically with the lower case letters and symbols.
Ever since I was young, Vogue has been a creative staple in my life. The inspiration behind most of my art, I am always fascinated by the versatility and constant reinvention of the iconic cover. When assigned this exercise, I knew that these covers would be the perfect theme for investigating color schemes. I had seen some of the covers that ended up being chosen, like Kaia Gerber for Vogue Paris, but others I saw for the first time through research. I loved observing how the many different Vogue publications have their own unique, stylistic approaches in creating the covers. I was surprised by how challenging it was to find eight covers that obeyed the color schemes, but I did it!
Brands depicted: Fendi, Jacquemus, Valentino, Prada, Dior and Balenciaga
The Challenge: Create six icons using Helvetica Bold, 72pt. No erasing or skewing, just cutting using other shapes.
I chose to embrace the return of small designer bags for my icons by using six of my favorite iconic designs as my inspiration. I set out to mix high and low by using Helvetica, one of the most famous and basic typefaces, to create these detailed, high-end bags so that you could not tell it was created from placing letters and symbols together. My goal
required a lot of creative problem solving, specifically with creating the larger arcs for the handles of the bags. Using Helvetica Bold to form the shape of the letters on both the Dior and Jacquemus bags was another problem I had not anticipated. Although it could feel tedious, this project taught me a lot about seeing things as more than their obvious function.
Collection of work created in my Introduction to Graphic Design Class.