â€œCreativity is intelligence having fun.â€?
Laura Irwin Print Production Design Portfolio
- Albert Einstein
Laura Irwin Print Production Design Portfolio
Introduction This design portfolio contains a variety of content I have produced over the Fall 2016 semester. Each design I present comes with an explanation of the image and its content, describing my rhetorical decisions and thought process. Before you dive in, I invite you to read this brief intro duction in order to get a better grasp of the thought that went into creating this book. To begin, I decided to incorporate a vintage floral motif to this book to add to the “off-center” nature of the design. The flowers serve to compliment the different dystopic images I also chose to include. Yet they all follow a similar, trending floral theme. Despite the fact that the designs contained within the book have nothing to do with flowers or mixed medium collages of dystopic images, I felt the images were necessary because they act as a sort of reprieve or break from the content. Each image is just as unique as the one before it, contributing to the uniqueness of each design I have coupled it with. The reasoning or inspiriation behind the vintage images and collages, stemmed from a Pinterest search that led me to colage artwork that replaced body parts with nature and flowers. It was all very similar to Coldplay’s recent music video “Up&Up.” I was so drawn in by the classic style incorporated into the peculiar artwork, I felt it was an excellent theme for my portfolio because it represents me and my design style unique yet elegant. The typography was admittedly an accident. I was trying to create some sort of consistentcy or link between my own brand and the font in my book; therefore, I used Kannada Sangam MN for all of the titles and headers in the potfolio. In order to add a little extra design to the tyoe, I decided to add block to “highlight” them. Unfortunately, as I navigated InDesign, I suddenly found myself with an un-aligned highlight that actually complimented the look of my portfolio. It paired very well with the vinatge images and collages I used because it follows the unique and divergent look. I believe that this portfolio, though a continous work in progress, is effective visually and practically. I welcome constructive criticism because I always look to improve. Thank you! Enjoy. Sincerely,
Table of Contents
Flyer Design 6 Technical Information Design 10 Sales Document Design 15 Type Quote Design 19 Brand Package Design 22 Author's Bio 33
Flyer Design and Redesign
Beginning with color choice, the bright lime green on the pure white background, all the way to the different enlarged and minimized text, this document was difficult to look at and devoid of an information hierarchy.
The original document was designed to advertise an a study abroad returnee event for the GEO office. Many of the issues revolving around the first version of this flyer involved a lack of consideration for the target audience.
Redesign Taking all of these problems under consideration, I worked to make the flyer more effective beginning with making it fill the entire page in order to maximize the size of the paper. Next, I changed the color from a lime green to a deeper, more earth-toned green. I felt as though it was a much more inviting color that was not only easy on the eyes but also inviting in a symbolic way providing a “homey” feeling to welcome the study abroad returnees back. I decided that my information hierarchy should revolve around my target audience. I only wanted them to be the ones who were interested in the flyer; therefore, I made the title, “Study Abroad Returnees,” the central and most prominent piece of information on the document. I felt as though my top priority was filtering through a wide audience in order to catch the attention of my target, and only those who were truly interested would approach for more information or actually attend the event. For this version, the target audience was most important, which I tried to emphasize through theuse of grid lines and design elements such as the graphics and text.
Centralizing everything on a single axis was a choice I made because of the way the document flows vertically. I stacked the text into a “pyramid” with a globe graphic on the top in order to distribute information downward. I used a sans serif font, in order to keep the reader’s eyes in a constantly vertical motion towards the bottom to receive the most important information about the event. Everything was meant to be appealing and effective because of this easily readable flow. Starting with a circularshaped graphic was a deliberate choice because it was different from the straightedged text. It was striking enough to catch the reader’s eyes at the top and move down. Additionally, the color of the graphic was dull enough not to distract from the rest of the information, while the offwhite of the text called more attention to itself. I also chose to emphasize the more practical information such as time, date, and location by making it slightly larger because it made the document “skimmable” and easier to digest at a quick glance.
I also considered the context in which the audience would receive be introduced to the flyer (i.e.bulletin boards, handouts, etc.), and I concluded that the design choices I made would work for the target audience.
Emphasizing that the flyer was designed specifically for them to find and benefit from.
Technical Information Design
I ordered the drought levels along a central axis because I had the idea of creating a ranking like a thermometer. While I initially imagined placing all of the information on an actual thermometer, I decided against it because it would give the wrong impression of the information provided: drought isnâ€™t about an increase in temperature, it is about a decrease in precipitation and/or water availability. Instead, I created the illusion of a thermometer with the single dotted line in the center with the information stemming out of it. Additionally, the ranking was initially from least severe to most severe; however, after consulting a subject matter expert, I switched the ranking and decided to introduce the most severe drought level first and work my way down. The expert suggested that I switch the ranking because she believed that the way students would be attracted to the poster would be by seeing the most drastic and immediately dangerous information first. She said that it would be more appealing/interesting to them to see how bad drought could be instead of how good it may be currently.
Because this is a poster and would most likely hang on a wall somewhere in the Natural Sciences building, I had to take into consideration how exactly my audience would approach/ encounter the information. By having the most interesting information at the top, I would likely hold the audience’s attention long enough to get them to continue reading until the bottom. Either way, if they walked away before getting to the bottom, they would still learn something new because drought levels aren’t common knowledge for most people. This information hierarchy was very deliberate on my end because it created a very strategic way of having people grasp information no matter what. This hierarchy is also very visible through the way I laid out the title, sub-headers, and body text. By making the title as big as it was, I immediately provided a simple preview and description of the document.
The sans serif font served to force the audience’s eye downward towards the body of the poster. From the header, the audience could either linger over the massive body text directly underneath it or jump to the ranking below. The former simply allows them more context into drought classifications while the latter option allows for a more intuitive leap into the meat of the poster. The sub-headers are all the exact same font at the title of the poster, once again employing the use of sans serif to drive the eye downward. All of the body text is in a font known as Vollkorn is a serif font very closely related to Times New Roman. I used this font in particular because it wasn’t the conventional Times, but it gave the impression of being meant for more academic or informative body text. The serifs are used to hold the reader’s eye in place while they read over the text before moving on to the next point.
The specific color usage was chosen for two reasons. One, orange, yellow, and red is usually used symbolically when referring to heat or something that lacks water. That is why summer is usually when advertisers or designers use these warmer colors to allude to the actual heat present in the atmosphere. This heat implies a lack of water, which is what happens when there is a drought; therefore, I decided to uphold the societal imagery of heat through these specific color choices. Two, the U.S. Drought Monitor uses specific colors to classify drought levels. I showed those levels within the small sun icons that I placed along the central dotted line. I felt it was necessary to include the official color designations because they could be used in real time if/when a drought occurs. Each drought level has its respective corresponding icon with the color designation in the sun. I used this icon in particular to play off of the â€œheatâ€? aspect of drought. I saw it as a good visual for the audience as it not only broke up the central line, but also allowed for simple visual stimulation, maintaining the minimalist aspect of the poster.
Sales Document Design
I wanted to create a piece that would be attractive to college students and help them automatically associate the Odyssey with SEU. Because it is a national platform for students all across the U.S. to publish and connect through writing, I wanted to find a way to make it personal for SEU students specifically and show them that they can be a part of something larger than themselves. I don’t plan on catering this opportunity to every single SEU student. This sales document targets one group that could benefit from this opportunity in particular: writing majors.
My diction and syntax for this piece were very deliberate because I wanted to ensure that the target audience would be attracted to it more than anyone else. By calling them out explicitly when I use the phrase “SEU writers,” I reveal that this document is personalized for them. I then proceed to “introduce” them to the platform by using the word “national” in order to appeal to the fact that they not only would benefit from having written publications, but also from the fact that it is a national publication that hundreds of people would be able to see, if not thousands.
I have also determined that the best type of sales document that would deliver my message effectively would be a rectangular sticker. I assume that writers nowadays would have laptops and complete most of their work using laptops, so they could easily place a sticker on them as a subtle way to advertise. Additionally, stickers are incredibly attractive to college students, and I find that there is definitely a way to profit off of their affinity for these types of documents because they are so popular right now. I will now proceed to describe my design choices through color, font, and arrangement. The colors (Navy blue and a dulled yellow) represent the colors of the university. Although the yellow isnâ€™t the exact gold that the school uses, I found that it was much more attractive as a brighter, more playful color because it gives off the sense that the platform isnâ€™t completely
associated with the school while also making the design sort of playful in the sense that gold would be too regal or far too serious for what the platform actually is â€“ a sort of buzzfeed for college students.
As for the font, I used a single font: Hammersmith. It is a sans serif font that actually has the slightest of serifs jutting out from different portions of the letters’ anatomy such as the bases of stems. The font actually looks like a more formal cousin of Papyrus, which is why I chose it. I wanted to create some sort of relationship between the name of the organization and Homer’s epics, the Illiad and the Odyssey, as papyrus is usually associated with ancient Mesopotamia, particularly the Greeks. Hammersmith is sleeker and more professional than Papyrus, which is why I chose it to represent the organization instead.
The scale of the letters is deliberate in order to create a relationship between the text the way a headline and a sub headline would. The title of the organization would be the headline while the maxim underneath it would be the sub headline. This is also representative of how the actual articles appear online when they are published. This arrangement was meant to create a hierarchy and ensure that the audience would be attracted by it based on what they recall of other articles they may have seen on social media. And, if they didn’t recognize the name of the platform, as writers, they would still be familiar with Homer’s epic and would, therefore, still be interested in the piece. Additionally, I placed the flame (the actual logo that the national platform uses) next to the text because I wanted to not only economize space in order to create a rectangular sticker, but also use the shape to wrap the text and connect the text in a more exciting way with a graphic instead of just leaving it as just plain text.
Type Quote Design
For this particular piece, I understood that it was incredibly text-heavy and graphics or images would not be as accepted or would not serve any real or important purpose with the design. This was a conscious decision I made from the very beginning of the project: I would focus entirely on the typography and color usage. Starting with color usage, I decided to choose three specific colors – red, white, and blue. Because the quote was about voting and politics, I figured that a “patriotic” color scheme was appropriate; however, I did dull both the
red and blue in order to emphasize the white text and draw more attention to it. The blue was more of a navy tone and the red was more opaque; both shades not traditionally associated with the flag or America. The American red and blue are very “loud,” bold shades that present themselves strongly to sand out against any backdrop. The red and blue I used made them deeper, softer, and subtler; I made them less “obnoxious” and molded them to fit the intonation behind the quote – an acute backhand at anyone who refuses to vote in this country. They weren’t supposed to be loud colors, and it wasn’t
supposed to be a very loud quote. It was meant to leave you thinking and processing, and only deep and dulled colors could create that sort of environment, not distracting the audience from the text. Moving on to typography decisions, I made some pretty obvious choices when it came to text size and fonts. I decided to employ three specific fonts when it came to this quote: Times New Roman, Noteworthy, and Ayuthaya. I wanted to separate different portions of the text in order to emphasize phrases and words that I wanted the audience to focus on. For the “heavier” text, I used Times New Roman. This was because a serif font would guide the reader’s eyes more easily through the thick blocks and hold their attention until they arrived at the next break and a different font. I also made the text in Times much smaller in scale in comparison to the other fonts because I didn’t want to emphasize it as much. The text in Ayuthaya, the sans serif font used with a few short phrases throughout the piece, was to make certain words stand out to the audience. I separated the phrase, “Disgusted by politics” with this font because it helped grab the audience’s attention from the very beginning. It stood out in such an obvious way that it served to draw the audience in to learn more. I decided to add this font with all of the bold and noticeable phrases within the quote in order to call attention to the poster and help the audience break up the thicker parts of the text. I also made the text in Times much smaller in scale in comparison to the other fonts because I didn’t want to emphasize it as much. The text in Ayuthaya, the sans serif font used with a few short phrases throughout the piece, was to make certain words stand out to the audience. I separated the phrase, “Disgusted by politics” with this font because it helped grab the audience’s attention from the very beginning. It stood out in such an obvious way that it served to draw the audience in to learn more.
I decided to add this font with all of the bold and noticeable phrases within the quote in order to call attention to the poster and help the audience break up the thicker parts of the text. Finally, I ended the quote with Noteworthy because I wanted to separate the final portion of the text from everything above it. I felt that the last phrase needed more emphasis and distinction; therefore, I made it a scripted font, distinguishing it from the rigid fonts above it. I also made it bold so that the thickness would stand out against the thinner fonts above. This was a deliberate action on my part because I wanted to ensure that if the audience got anything from the poster, they would get the “punch line.” For me, this was the most important portion of the quote and, with that, I decided to separate it in a special way. I believe that the context for this piece would be during some sort of election season and placed around campus as a poster on bulletin boards, A-boards, and even a banner that could hang outside of Rags. Students would be exposed to these posters where ever they went, reminding them to vote or think about their vote in a variety of ways.
Brand Package Design
I am a born editor with an eye for detail, a passion for grammar, and the spirit of a writer. Devoting my abilities to creating and editing content, whether mulimedia graphics or publications, I will serve my discipline and profession with excellence, discipline, and creativity.
Nothing in the world has felt more natural to me than being an English major. This was something I realized when I attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication as a student presenter. During my time at the conference, I was able to meet and talk to plenty of publishers, editors, and English professors, all of who were people I wanted to and could become in the future. Being surrounded by people who love and care for writing and its proper instruction as much as I do simply solidified my passion and commitment to English as a subject. I have never been more “at home” or completely comfortable in a conversation than I have when discussing writing and its different topics, this was something I discovered at the conference. Despite the many people who have graciously commented on how “rare it is to find a job as an English major” or “how I’ll probably just end up being a high school teacher,” it is my intense, arguably insane, passion for my field of study that makes me continue dedicate time and energy to it. There is nothing that excites me or fills me with more joy than when I am editing or writing; my love for my major is what will bring me the success I seek and the happiness that I look for in my professional future. It is my intense and devoted passion to writing, along with my strong abilities as a writer and grammarian, that make me perfect when it comes to all things editing and content creating.
I wanted to capture the simplicity of my brand within my mood board. I used plenty of pictures that had different scenes that had laid out objects or information in a very neat and organized way. These very â€œput togetherâ€? images inspired my brand because this is exactly the sort of impression I want to give off to employers. I also incorporated other logos and designs that I believed embodied the neat organization that I wanted my personal brand to emulate as well. My Pinterest research led me to a variety of different minimalist logos that inspired me in different ways. This board of inspiration gave me the tone and mood I wanted to capture in my brand.
Dark Maroon used within logo is the color for the initials and the extension of the logo in the sample documents. This blend between blood red and deep purple creates a very regal and majestic color. Such a color alludes to a sense of sophistication and maturity that I want anyone who encounters my logo to percive. Anyone would be able to identify me as a responsible young person simply because this color presents different facets of my maturity and wisdom through the regality of the deep blend. By using this color soley for my initials, I create a direct link between these specific traits and myself. The Matte Navy Blue used within logo is for rest of “crop tool” shape apart from the intials. This color harmonizes with the Dark Maroon because it is a similar dark shade and lies close to it on the color wheel. I decided to incorporate this color to compliment the maroon so that the crop tool image would be visible as a whole while also being able to distinguish the initials within it. Additionally, this color is very “soft” in comparison to the maroon and could provide my audience another facet of my personality: gentle and sympathetic, but not weak.
Black is used for the border encompassing the logo. While the black compliments the dark colors within the “crop tool” part of the logo, its main purpose is to be a solid border color surrounding the main image. I wanted to create a box to encompass the logo because it creates a sense of security and stability. The black border will appeal to my editing audience because they will understand the imporance of adhereing to regulations when necessary. This solid and bold color alludes to that idea and directly associates me with it.
White is used as “negative space” inside of the border and around the logo. The white is meant to offset the strict black border. It is the negative space within the logo that gives a blank space of “possiblity”; I want to show that while I do follow the rules of editing, I also have plenty of room to be creative and inventive. White serves to express this sort of “unmarked space/potential” that my audience associates with me.
The image I incorporate into my brand is the traditional crop tool graphic that is commonly associated with editing graphic designs and/or publications. This brand identity is meant to display my work ethic and personality in a single image. I employ the use of the traditional “crop tool” image because it is a graphic that most anyone on any editing profession would be able to recognize and distinguish. The way that I make such a familiar image into my own unique design is through the incorporation of my initial into the actual “crop tool.” I show the relationship between editing and myself by literally making my initials a tool for editing. This is for my audience to see that I am one with my work and there fore will be completely invested in anything and everything I do.
The texture/material I plan on incorportating into my brand is known as a “Matte” texture. It is rough and smooth, but not glossy like a magazine cover. I would place it on thick material/paper, like cardstock to give it more of a solidity to associate with my brand. This arguably “expensive feel,” would reveal to employers just how committed I am to my image and brand, meaning I take my work and abilities very seriously. Choosing a dulled texture instead of a glossier one also gives the impression of deeper and more grounded individual that concentrates more on the quality of work rather than the superficial, shiny exterior.
My brand mark consists of various parts that can be separated and combined for different mediums. The symbol or logo is a letterform. I input my initials “L” and “I” into the traditional “crop tool” image. The mneumonic aspect of my logo consists of the “L” and “I” to represent “Laura Irwin,” imbuing the logo with personality and meaning. The wordmark is my name written in a scripted font. The wordmark and the symbol work together to compliment one another because the logo is so rigidly straight and the wordmark is so much more flexible and fluid; they balance one another. Initially, I intended to make my logo a simple wordmark with no additional ornamentation or pictures. However, as I came to actually create my piece it began to evolve into something much more distinct from the wordmark I had visualized.
This was due in part because I didn’t believe my name was enough of an explanation or was representative enough for my audience. Because I want to direct my logo to potential employers in the publishing and editing world, I believe my logo needs to illustrate my professional interests in a creative way. This rhetorical need developed into my transition from a wordmark to a pictoral mark for my logo. I decided that I wanted to reach my audience through a picture representative of the action of editing or at least some well-known symbol in the editing world. This led me to the “Noun Project” where I searched pictures such as “notebook,” “pencil,” “pen,” and “editing.” All of the results didn’t satisfy me because they were far too complex and began to steer away from my minimalist desires. It was then that I stumbled on the “crop tool.” While I didn’t normally associate the “crop tool” with the kind of editing I’m interested in, I still felt it was appropriate enough for my logo because it is still a representative and popular image of the editing world. I was also drawn to the image because it looked like a blend of my initials: L and I. I decided that this similarity was enough to scrap the pictoral idea and allow my project to evolve into a letterform. My tagline is a way to spell out my brandmark in a succinct and catchy manner. I decided to piece together a group of three independent descriptors that can be seen as soft skills and values I posses/maintain.
Reliable. Creative. Diligent. (tagline)
Typography The two fonts used within this brand is Kannada Sangam MN and Yellowtail. Kannada is only to be employed for the letters “L” and “I” which represent the initials for “Laura Irwin” and in the sample documents and title page for my name/signature. I made the “L” uppercase and the “I” lowercase simply because they looked better witin the image in that format. This font was specifically chosen because it is sans serif. The sans serif font not only works well with the “crop tool” imgae, but also assists in creating a vertical and bold linear direction that I want to allude to my straightforward and hardworking personality. My audience will appreciate how my font doesn’t display any excessive ornamentation because it shows them that I am an uncomplicated person who doesn’t waste time with being “too fancy”; this describes my work ethic and approach to editing. Additionally, the The layout (faded logo with black border removed placed behind scripted font) would serve to combine the many aspects of the brandmark into a single piece – the hard lined logo with the scripted font.
Kannada Sangam MN: Laura Irwin – Regular Laura Irwin – Bold Laura Irwin – Italics LAURA IRWIN – UPPERCASE laura irwin – lowercase
Yellowtail: Laura Irwin – Regular Laura Irwin – Bold Laura Irwin – Italics LAURA IRWIN – UPPERCASE laura irwin – lowercase 29
Print Materials My different print materials are strategic in that my future/prospective employer will interact with them constantly. Business cards are the most fundamental and traditional forms of personal branding. It is the first way â€œinâ€? with an employer because it guarantees at least a little bit of face time as you physically hand the card to him/her. In order to further interact with them indirectly, the letterhead I create would also appear on my resume and cover letter. Soon after handing them my card with my logo, they would encounter it again when I submit my CV. This further solidifies an
pleasing visual connection between myself and my work, reminding employers of their first interaction with me as I handed them my card and then letting my work/print materials also do some of the work for me. The folder design is a very unique interpretation of this print material. I donâ€™t plan on submitting my CV in this type of folder because I believe that my employers might find the extra work to unravel the string rather tedious and odious. Instead, I will reveal this particular material further down the application line by including my sample work in it to take with
me when I go in for an interview. This subtle, yet effectively pleasing design wouldnâ€™t do as much work as my first two materials, yet I find itâ€™s understated design to be just enough to leave another lasting impression. Finally, upon being hired or somewhere during the hiring process, I will give my employer a mug with my tagline on it. This specific mug will be solely for holding pens and pencils; it will not leave the desk of
my employer. That way, every time my employer is sitting at his/her desk trying to edit or complete a project, he/she can look at the mug and think of my skills and me. The mug is the final piece to the placement strategy because it will be the constant that keeps me on my employerâ€™s mind.
Laura Irwin is currently a sophomore English Writing and Rhetoric major at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She was raised in a small Maryland suburb bordering Washington D.C. and attended Bishop McNamara high school, a Holy Cross institution. Born to two educators, Laura has always carved a special place in her heart for academia, especially the Humanities. When she was in middle school, Laura’s father taught her seventh and eighth grade English and Literature classes. He once assigned her class an assignment in which they had to create their own short stories. Thirteen-year-old Laura was so excited by the assignment, she wrote a 10-page short story on fairies and an enchanted forest. When she presented this story to her classmates, she was automatically dubbed “the writer” of the class. It was in that moment that Laura discovered her passion and affinity for writing, editing, and content creation. Taking such a passion to high school, Laura excelled in every single one of her English classes, even taking on AP courses and earning 4s on her AP exams. She became president of the National English Honors Society and was once again labeled as “the girl who could write.” Naturally, she entered college as an English major and has never been more content in her life. She attended the National Conference on College Composition and Communication as a student presenter. She excelled in her American Grammar, Editing, and Rhetoric and Composition courses. And she has additionally discovered her affinity for design and her passion for visual communication and art. Looking back at her middle school experience, at the exact moment she began to feel her calling as a creator, Laura admits that the piece she wrote for her father’s class was absolute rubbish. It was one of the worst ideas and the writing was completely awful, even the plot was confusing and distorted. Yet, what attracted her was her ability to create a world with words and invite people in to share her world. It was then that she discovered the power of books and their ability to affect people in a variety of ways. She dove into reading and this opened up the doors that she entered in high school and now college. Laura hopes to continue studying and diving deeper and deeper into the writing world. After discovering editing and designing, she realized that this was her home and she was here to stay. Laura’s future plans consist of ambitiously working for multimedia publications such as National Geographic or an organization under Conde Nast. But for now, she’s enjoying her academic program, fascinated and inspired by the world around her, and excited for the future to come.