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Portfolio. Jenny May


GRPH 221 Professor Stacy Asher University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Art and Art History Spring 2014


Table of Contents About Me............................... ......................................................2 Project 01............................... ......................................................3 Exercise 01............................. ......................................................6 Project 02............................... ......................................................9 Project 03............................... ....................................................12 Exercise 02............................ ....................................................15 Project 04.............................. ....................................................18 Exercise 03............................ ....................................................21 Exercise 04............................ ....................................................24 In Summary............................ ....................................................27

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About Me Welcome to my first semester of graphic design. My name is Jenny May, and this is the physical memory of my work this semester. My Graphic Design I class was a whirlwind of work and learning, so in the interest of documenting my experience, I have assembled this portfolio as a visual odyssey of my development as a designer. The projects are arranged chronologically, with brief descriptions giving an idea of the unique challenges each exercise and project presented. Over the course of the semester, you can see my growth and watch my struggle to develop my own design sense while following the cardinal rules of design. Graphic design can be summed up as form meets function. It is my sincere hope that this portfolio serves to convey everything I accomplished this semester in a clear and concise manner. But moreso, I hope this portfolio serves as a capstone, a final aggregate of the valuable lessons I’ve learned this semester.

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Project 01

The challenge for this project was the collection, organization and presentation of a large number of images. The images exemplify graphic design’s diversity: street art, stickers, books, pamphlets, window decorations, license plates and more. My exploration of graphic design was focused on the northeast corner of the 14th and O Street intersection. To begin, I collected 200 images of graphic design from that block, looking in places expected and unexpected. Once a sufficient sample had been formed, my analysis of images began. Some images were arranged in matrices, illustrating the different symbolic representations of a concept. Other images were connected in typologies and laid out in grids to compare and contrast the types of design in one medium. One typology includes the element of time, showing the way design has developed over the last 40 years.

To me, this project was an opportunity to broaden and refine my definition of graphic design simultaneously. Finding so many examples of graphic design in a small area made me rethink the boundaries of graphic design and start looking in atypical places for design. Creating typologies and matrices, on the other hand, helped reinforce to me the commonalities of all examples of graphic design and create a more cohesive, refined definition of design. I tried to keep my matrices and typologies as straightforward as possible, using strong examples and clear, concrete categories. My page layouts are clean and clear to keep the focus on the images and the relationships between them. I feel my design is successful, as it allows the relationships and concepts behind the pictures to shine through without an overwhelming artist presence or overdesigning.

The block I selected for study. Many pictures were taken in a small area which was an interesting challenge for me.

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connotative

subjective

metaphor

This matrix shows various representations of the word “book�. This type of analysis helps broaden and refine our understanding of graphic design - the relationship between signified and signifier is always present, even when it is obscure or complex. And the system of the grid is helpful to organize the information and connect the disparate elements.

objective

denotative

micro

index

macro

book sign

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core


This typology shows the amazing variety of graphic design that can be found all around us. I chose the idea “sticker� and found as many variations of the word as I could in a two-block radius. I managed to find over 40! Here is a small sampling, arranged in a matrix to help with comparisons and ease of viewing.

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Exercise 01 For this project, we were given three vocabulary terms to research, define and design on the page. I chose the design principles of scale, figure/ground and framing, and I used design to reflect the main points I learned about each.

le

sca

Scale, in more simple terms, is the size of things. There are two main types of scale: objective or subjective. That is, the size of an element or composition can be made to be physically imposing or minuscule, such as when content is made for a billboard or a postage stamp. This is objectively scaled up or down. Subjective scale, on the other hand, is the relative size of elements in the composition to one another. By adjusting the sizes of elements relative to each other and contrasting their scale, you can make elements on a small 8.5 x 11� composition look enormous or tiny. As well as creating depth and a sense of size, I am manipulating scale in my compositions to create visual interest and variety. When all elements in a composition are the same size, it can create a flat, stagnant feel to the image. In trying to make my works dynamic and action-packed, I am experimenting with scale differences to create a sense of depth and movement. Scale can also be manipulated to create the sense of objects moving closer to or further from the viewer. Scale is a powerful tool in animation, and is a good way for me to create a logical progression from each frame as well as make each picture interesting and complete. Jenny May GRPH221 Beginning Graphic Design Spring 2014

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ground f i g u r e

Figure and ground are two elements better known as positive and negative space. The figure represents the subject of the composition - that is, the elements that are meant to be the focal point of the image. The ground, on the other hand, is everything else that appears in an image and makes it complete. It is important to think of the interplay of figure and ground when creating an aesthetically pleasing composition. Considered figure/ground relationships can also create visual tension that snares the viewer’s attention and keeps their eye on the page. There are three main types of figure/ ground relationships: stable, reversible and ambiguous. In my composition, I am trying to consider the ground as much as I consider the figure. Using the figures of my shapes to create interesting ground, I think, will make my composition stronger and do more to engage the viewer. I am striving for some level of ambiguity in my figure/ground relationship, as I know that interplay creates the most tension and interest. Using figure/ground more in the sense of positive/negative space, I am also trying to strike a good balance of value, to make sure my overall composition is a considered tone of gray. Figure/ground relationship is one of the most difficult parts of graphic design in my opinion, so I am trying many experiments to find the most successful contingency among elements. Jenny May GRPH221 Beginning Graphic Design Spring 2014

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framing

The way you center an element in the middle of the page, or don’t, can be critical to an audience’s understanding of it. Framing or cropping is a useful tool for conveying a sense of motion as well as hierarchy. Choosing to squarely frame an element dead-center with ample whitespace completely alters its meaning in comparison to an element bleeding off the edge of the page. Frames can also be implied as well as explicit. Elements surrounding a shape can give it a frame, as can ragged whitespace or a carefully placed line. A frame can be a literal border or a specific crop of a larger image. Either way, the way a shot is framed always displays the importance of each element and its place in the composition’s meaning. In our project, the frames we have to work with are very literal and apparent. Seven boxes, outlined in black, serve as our borders, for us to decide what action to include and what action to crop out. I think one of my biggest weaknesses on the first iteration of the project was not considering my framing enough. I kept most elements stably within the set frame, giving my compositions a stagnant feel. In this most recent iteration, I began to experiment with having different elements cut off by the frame as well as experimenting with internal framing to bring attention to overlooked elements in my composition. I tried to use deliberate whitespace and edge alignment to create frames within the frames- to create hierarchies that would add logic to my designs as well as aesthetic interest. Jenny May GRPH221 Beginning Graphic Design Spring 2014

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Project 02

The challenge for this project was the collection, organization and presentation of a large number of images. The images exemplify graphic design’s diversity: street art, stickers, books, pamphlets, window decorations, license plates and more. My exploration of graphic design was focused on the northeast corner of the 14th and O Street intersection. To begin, I collected 200 images of graphic design from that block, looking in places expected and unexpected. Once a sufficient sample had been formed, my analysis of images began. Some images were arranged in matrices, illustrating the different symbolic representations of a concept. Other images were connected in typologies and laid out in grids to compare and contrast the types of design in one medium. One typology includes the element of time, showing the way design has developed over the last 40 years.

To me, this project was an opportunity to broaden and refine my definition of graphic design simultaneously. Finding so many examples of graphic design in a small area made me rethink the boundaries of graphic design and start looking in atypical places for design. Creating typologies and matrices, on the other hand, helped reinforce to me the commonalities of all examples of graphic design and create a more cohesive, refined definition of design. I tried to keep my matrices and typologies as straightforward as possible, using strong examples and clear, concrete categories. My page layouts are clean and clear to keep the focus on the images and the relationships between them. I feel my design is successful, as it allows the relationships and concepts behind the pictures to shine through without an overwhelming artist presence or overdesigning.

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‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ :

Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep, Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!’

How Romanticism Shaped the American West

‘We detachments steady throwing,

The history of the American

West is being transformed by exciting new ideas, new questions, new scholarship.

‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ How Romanticism Shaped the American West

With a Foreword by

Jenny May May OCTO

PRESS

My first iteration (upper left) used a variety of textures and colors to make for an expressive and abundant feel. In my second iteration (left), I utilized transparencies and more sparse, symbolic language to free up space for the book’s title, author and publication data. My final solution (above) featured strong text elements.

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For many years this field was dominated by popular images of the lone cowboy and the savage Indian, and by Frederick Jackson Turner’s concept of the frontier as a steadily advancing source of democracy and social renewal. But now historians and even the merchants of popular culture are pioneering new views of the frontier and the West by taking up a rich array of new subjects, including the stories of diverse peoples as well as the history of the land itself. The transformation of western history continues to be an open-ended, turbulent process, a process that is documented for the first time in full detail here, set in juxtaposition to the Romantic epic ‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ by Walt Whitman.


‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ :

Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!’

How Romanticism Shaped the American West

‘We detachments steady throwing, Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,

The history of the American

West is being transformed by exciting new ideas, new questions, new scholarship.

‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ How Romanticism Shaped the American West

With a Foreword by

For many years this field was dominated by popular images of the lone cowboy and the savage Indian, and by Frederick Jackson Turner’s concept of the frontier as a steadily advancing source of democracy and social renewal. But now historians and even the merchants of popular culture are pioneering new views of the frontier and the West by taking up a rich array of new subjects, including the stories of diverse peoples as well as the history of the land itself. The transformation of western history continues to be an open-ended, turbulent process, a process that is documented for the first time in full detail here, set in juxtaposition to the Romantic epic ‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ by Walt Whitman.

Jenny May May OCTO

PRESS

Above is my final solution for the book cover. I settled on a design with a strong visual hierarchy and a clear separation of text and image. My book cover is at once aesthetically pleasing and subversive, which reflects the subject of my book - taking a second look at the romanticization of the West and the negative effects it had on the past, present and future of America.

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Project 03

This project began as an exploration of the different types of logos. Once I had familiarized myself with the wide variety of logos, I was given a logo with no explanation of its representative value or associated company. Instead, I focused on its visual form and language as I redrew the logo in Illustrator, learning both the pen tool and precise craft. The logo was then to undergo a multi-process transformation: disturbance, disintegration, diffusion, recollection, reorganization and finally emergence as a new logo in the visual language of the original. The process of creating a logical progression while also making each composition strong was a challenge. In my first few iterations, I found myself struggling to keep time and motion both in play. However, I found the readings we did to be extremely helpful in improving both my compositions and the overall work. I tried to emphasize the ideas of conscious white space in a tension-filled figure/ ground relationship, scale as a means to convey motion and hierarchy, and continuity between frames to show

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motion and change in a logical way. Once I began to utilize these ideas, the relationship among the disparate elements became more engaging and more apparent. I also thought extensively about how the viewer’s eye moves across the page and attempted to keep the audience engaged and centered on a focal element. Learning about and consciously considering these formal elements led to a finished product that I felt fulfilled the transformation sequence and is both visually appealing and logically sound. Now that the composition was complete, I began experimenting with the concept of color. With a focus on color relationships, I formed six logo processes with differing color combinations: monochromatic, complementary, analogous, triad, contrasting pairs of conditions, wildcard. It was a challenge to include color in a tasteful, meaningful way that added to my existing composition. But again, by thinking about formal concepts like hue, value and intensity, I managed to transform my process.


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The transformation of the original logo to my final new logo was one marked by large forces acting upon the logo. The challenge of the assignment was to create a sense of cohesiveness and time through the use of consistency and variety. I focused on creative use of scale and the frame to make each frame look dynamic and able to stand alone as a strong composition.

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Exercise 02

This exercise was an exploration of the impact of color on the logos designed for project 3. Color can affect the mood, emphasis, connotation and even symbology of a logo. In the following color studies, I used different systems of color to explore the possibilities of my logo: the forms that could be pulled out and highlighted, the meanings that could be implied, the general emotions that could be conveyed. Color is a powerful tool with endless possibilities!

Monochromatic

Analogous

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Complementary

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Triad


Contrasting Pairs

Wildcard

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Project 04

The purpose of this project was the exploration of type as form. The research portion of the project was extensive, and involved the collection and abstraction of found text in the environment. These samples were then used for their formal qualities of value and texture to create an interesting composition. In total, five of these compositions were made, with a focus on balance, hierarchy and variety. The type samples were arranged on a 3x2 grid system, which was deviated from only when it served to enhance the composition. These five works were also made to look like parts of the same system with a narrative thread among them.

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My first attempts at composition showed a strong adherence to the grid with experimentation in balance, variety and values of gray.

The basis of this project was the grid- both using and deviating from it. I chose a grid with three rows and two columns for its challenging simplicity.

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I pulled from diverse sources like magazines, campus advertisements and newspapers to get a variety of textures, weights and styles. The common motif of the diagonal was used throughout the compositions to unite them- the diagonal emerges from the text and eventually overtakes it, becoming a force of manipulation within the frame.

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Exercise 03

Robert Owens and I were partnered on this research-based project with a time constraint. The challenge was to research as topic and present a well-designed summary of the most important information in under an hour. The design elements most crucial to this assignment were hierarchy, grid and system. The layouts had to be very logical and easy to read for projecting and disseminating the information. I learned a lot about interactive email and good graphic design in the process of creating this project.

What Is Interactive Email?

What Is Interactive Email?

Examples of Interactivity: 1. Surveys 2. Videos 3. Links to social media 4. Links to your site

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MailChimp Send Better Email

Established: 2001 Pros:

Can write your own code Free for up to 12,000 emails/ month Can create your own templates

Cons: Poor customer support Limited templates Not as much help for beginners http://mailchimp.com/?pid=GAW&source=website&gclid=CP-xo_qv9L0CFcURMwodQVYALQ

VerticalResponse Marketing. Just Like That.

Established: 2001

MailChimp:

Pros:

http://mailchimp.com/?pid=GAW&source=website&gclid=CP-xo_qv9L0CFcURMwodQVYALQ

Free for non-profit Good pricing Good customer service

Cons: Surveys cost extra

http://www.verticalresponse.com/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=vr-b-s-us&utm_term=Vertical%20Response&utm_content=e|39147709177

Constant Contact Successful Marketing Starts Here

Established: 1998 Pros:

Variety of input/output formats Good customer support Trustworthy WYSIWYG interface

Cons: More expensive

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Our research led us to the top 3 companies for this type of marketing: MailChimp, VerticalResponse and Constant Contact. All three companies have different strengths and weaknesses that a potential customer would have to evaluate before making an informed decision. More information can be found on their official websites:

http://search.constantcontact.com/overview-home?gclid=CJvVm6mw9L0CFYsWMgodYFAA7w&utm_id=GOO910401D&cc=GOO910401D&ef_id=U1ZxAQAAAXTFXg6M:20140422151045:s&s_tnt=56380:4:0

VerticalResponse: http://www.verticalresponse.com/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=vr-b-s-us&utm_term=Vertical%20Response&utm_ content=e|39147709177 Constant Contact: http://search.constantcontact.com/overview-home?gclid=CJvVm6mw9L0CFYsWMgodYFAA7w&utm_id=GOO910401D&cc=GOO910401D&ef_id=U1ZxAQAAAXTFXg6M:20140422151045:s&s_tnt=56380:4:0


Pros 1. Can link to social media 2. Interactive email clients give reports on the number of customers who read the email 3. Interactive email clients take steps to keep your content out of the spam folder (e.g., unsubscribe customers who never open the messages) 4. Interactive email clients generate neater code easier than companies writing their own HTML/CSS

Cons 1. About 20% of all emails will be deleted as spam 2. Customers are unlikely to follow links back to your site 3. The service is costly for large amounts of email (50,000+ emails/ month) 4. Most users see these emails as a nuisance

5. Engages the customer

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Exercise 04

Our final class assignment was, I think, appropriately a look to the past. We were assigned famous graphic designers who have had a marked impact on the world of design and researched their lives and work. Once we had a good understanding of their impact, we designed a simple, succinct infographic to convey the heart of their life and work to the viewer.

Jacquelin Casey

International Typographic Style Casey was a graphic designer of the post-War tradition who attended the Massachusetts College of Art in the late 1940’s. There she trained as a fashion illustrator and advertiser, where design is used to elegantly and effectively convey a message rather than being the artistic focus onto itself. Her later graphic design work show this clear, thoughtful sensitivity to openness, a limited color palette and bold, thick lines.

I was very interested to learn more about Jacquelin Casey, and I found her life and style to be fascinating. In my poster, I emphasized bold, graphic elements that would engage and capture the viewer along with good information to educate. Infographics are challenging for their short message and even shorter time to grab the viewer, and I enjoyed the challenge of communicating quickly, effectively and beautifully.

Casey was at the peak of her designing prowess during events such as the Cold War, the moon landing and the Vietnam War. Her career also saw the beginning of the digital age and a subsequent yearning for more traditional, hand-worked solutions during the 1980’s. As cultural tastes and signifiers changed with evolving values, Casey’s designs stood as traditional, modern designs that were universally relatable. During this overhaul of American politics, human rights initiatives and domestic revolution, Casey’s designs remain objective and uncluttered, a hallmark of the International Typographic Style to which she adhered.*

1927 - 1991

“My job is to stop anyone I can with an arresting or puzzling image, and entice the viewer to read the message.” - Casey (1988)

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*All photos and information courtesy of http://library.rit.edu/gda/designer/jacqueline-casey


Jacquelin Casey

International Typographic Style Casey was a graphic designer of the post-War tradition who attended the Massachusetts College of Art in the late 1940’s. There she trained as a fashion illustrator and advertiser, where design is used to elegantly and effectively convey a message rather than being the artistic focus onto itself. Her later graphic design work show this clear, thoughtful sensitivity to openness, a limited color palette and bold, thick lines. Casey was at the peak of her designing prowess during events such as the Cold War, the moon landing and the Vietnam War. Her career also saw the beginning of the digital age and a subsequent yearning for more traditional, hand-worked solutions during the 1980’s. As cultural tastes and signifiers changed with evolving values, Casey’s designs stood as traditional, modern designs that were universally relatable. During this overhaul of American politics, human rights initiatives and domestic revolution, Casey’s designs remain objective and uncluttered, a hallmark of the International Typographic Style to which she adhered.*

1927 - 1991

Casey was a member of the International Typographic Style, which emphasized simplicity and legibility. To this end, I used Helvetica and simple, primary colors that mirrored Casey’s iconic designs. The abstracted arrow in the upper right corner serves to draw the viewer in as well as subtly point to the beginning of the information about her. I pulled the blue from a few of Casey’s designs into the heading to tie the whole piece together with a sense of cohesiveness and repetition. Overall, I strove to keep my design simple and clean to reflect the work of Casey.

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landing and the Vietnam War. Her career also saw the beginning of the digital age and a subsequent yearning for more traditional, hand-worked solutions during the 1980’s. As cultural tastes and signifiers changed with evolving values, Casey’s designs stood as traditional, modern designs that were universally relatable. During this overhaul of American politics, human rights initiatives and domestic revolution, Casey’s designs remain objective and uncluttered, a hallmark of the International Typographic Style to which she adhered.*

1927 - 1991

I also made use of the Fibonacci sequence in my typographic hierarchy to easily establish a clear and visually pleasing combination of type sizes. I used embellishments like bold and italics sparingly, instead favoring juxtapositions of size to differentiate sections of text and lead the viewers’ eyes.

“My job is to stop anyone I can with an arresting or puzzling image, and entice the viewer to read the message.” - Casey (1988) *All photos and information courtesy of http://library.rit.edu/gda/designer/jacqueline-casey

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In Summary This class provided a variety of challenges that I had to rise to as a designer. I learned about topics as diverse as systems, history and advertising. I learned how to use tools of the trade like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign. As well as learning basic rules of graphic design such as the grid and use of whitespace, I learned when to break them. Most of all, I developed my own unique design sense this semester and discovered my personal style. I learned so much, but I think one of the most valuable lessons of all is the value of the creative process in crafting the best possible solution. Over the course of the semester, there has been nothing more valuable to my design than iterations, ideations and research. So many lessons learned, and so much design still left to do! I know I will take the things I have learned in this class into my future as a designer, as I develop my own unique style and continue to expand my living portfolio.

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End.

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