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Portfolio Victoria Norton

GRPH 221 Spring 2014 Stacy Asher


Project 1 What is Graphic Design?

Designing systems for making meaning out of designed artifacts. Gathering form, organizing content, creating effective visual communications.

+When I went out to take my 200 pictures of graphic design around a square urban block I found myself drawn to the alleyways, and not the storefronts. My first few pictures were of posters, logos, and signs I found while walking down the sidewalk, but the most interesting pieces of graphic design I found were located in the alleyway where I spent most of my time. In that alleyway I found old signs and dumpsters with graffiti on them, and when I started taking more interest in these items I knew I wanted to have a focus in the graffiti or street art realm of graphic design. As an artist I found that graffiti and street art have more of an artistic style than the logos or posters on the streets, and this interested me because it was more of my style. +Typography is a big part of graffiti. All the time graffiti artists are coming up with a new way to spread their “brand” by innovating and manipulating words and letters. In a way graffiti artists are trying to market themselves, just like stores do with their logos. Graffiti artists such as Gary (aka. Stranger) have a specific style to their letters, so once the audience sees the piece they immediately recognize the clean, straight, graphic style as Gary’s. Some graffiti artists are not as interested in allowing the audience to have such an easy time figuring out who’s graffiti they are viewing. With twisted and hardly recognizable letters, “wildstyle” graffiti is difficult to decipher and may appear to just look like lines, but with time and a trained eye one can figure out the name or word the artist painted. +The typography of the old signs I found and even the typography in the logos of the storefronts mimicked the words and lettering I found in the graffiti in the alleyway. I found a connection with the marketing of brands and the marketing of artists, they both want to spread their recognition and notoriety amongst their audiences. This was the most surprising to me out of this project, to find a connection between two antithetical graphic design examples, one thing that is public another that is seen as taboo. Through this project I want to portray the connection between the normal graphic design of logos and signs and the less noticed graphic design of graffiti.


Project 2 Form, Form as Language

Find the message of visual form, and how it correlates with verbal meaning.

The goal of this project is to find the message content of visual form, and how it correlates with meaning, this is the problem I am trying to solve for my fantastic landscape-turned book cover. This means I am to visually represent my meaning or idea for the book I chose. At first I was very excited about this project, the first few assignments had more of an artistic approach rather than a graphic design approach, and as a studio arts major I felt like this project might be a walk in the park. However, faced with a computer as my medium I found it more difficult than I thought it would be to produce the type of landscape I wanted to construct. Also, once we started building a book cover out of our landscapes this project became even more evident as being graphic design .I found that the audience for my book cover would be women, because of the feminist-feel of the roses, women, and hollywood glamour. Not to mention the name “Femme Fatale�. The audience for my book cover could also appeal to those whom share a love of a more vintage-mid century style. I chose to incorporate these images and styles because I am interested in the old style and I find it more appealing than modern or contemporary styles. When I first started to look for images in the library I kept finding myself taking down the oldest books I could find dating back to the early 1900’s, and I fell in love. I was drawn to the romantic images and dramatic scenes, paired with sexual pinups and the all-American Hollywood glamour style I knew I had a theme. I think in the end I was successful. My book cover conveys the idea I want the audience to understand at first glance, and it is visually appealing. The only problem I came across for this project was that I felt as if my original landscape was difficult to work from, so I pieced together images from the original to my final book cover.


Femme Fatale

From the femme fatale of the early cinema to her post-feminist rebirth, this lavishly illustrated book and comprehensive guide traces the history of these dangerously alluring, manipulative, and desperate lethal ladies. Femme Fatale surveys the history of the femme fatale in world cinema, with more than 300 photographs testifying to the power of these mysterious women. The book begins with the silent period and its vamps, like Theda Bara, Pola Negri, Clara Bow, and Bebe Daniels, then moves on to the Pre-Code sound period of American films, which, showing liberated attitudes toward sex and women, featured actresses like Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo.

Femme

Fatale New York Times best seller

About the Author Victoria Norton was born, raised, and still resides in Lincoln, Nebraska. She currently attends The University of Nebraska - Lincoln as a BFA in studio arts. She lives in a small apartment with a roommate and her ferret, Sadie.

Victoria Norton

Victoria Norton


Project 3 Form as Identity

Create a short narrative about the evolution of a symbol. How can form represent identity? How can form communicate to specific identities?

This project was all about the sequence of changing an original icon into one completely different, by means of breaking it apart and using the raw elements of the original to make the new symbol. For this project we created a story of the original to the changed icon, using actions such as: Disturbance, Disintegration, Diffusion, Re-collection, Re-organization, and the new symbol. What I learned from this project was that sometimes it takes quite a few iterations to get to the final product, and that tweaking something slightly or coming back and looking at something a different way will help the end product to be better. We were to create a new meaning with the symbol we chose to end up with after our sequence, I chose something simple, but easily recognizable. Perhaps, this new company logo I invented was for an outdoor clothing brand, as this is what it appears to look like to me. I liked the idea of an outdoor brand such as Patagonia or The North Face, because these are brands that I am interested in myself. When I was designing the process of the logo I really wanted to focus on the nuances of the shapes, and how I could make a shape, either a negative or positive one move throughout the composition. I was also not interested in making the sequence look like an animation where all of the pieces follow a line, but I wanted to focus on the words themselves and try to represent them as best I could, while still making the story cohesive as a whole. During the process of building my sequence I really wanted a large amount of detail, to every shape and edge I wanted a purpose. I found that I would start aligning the shapes to make shapes out of the negative space in between them, this is something I really tried to celebrate within my logo sequence.


Project 4 Type + Image + Page Layout and the Grid

Visual Organization and Grid Structures + Found Typography and Exploring Typographic Variation

This project focused on using the grid to organize and create visual interest with found typography. I found that after cutting and abstracting the found typography within the grid it eventually created an image out of the negative space and positive black space that was the typography instead of reading as text. This project was very interesting to me, being a studio art major I find joy in creating artistic ways to present information that is normally very static and non-expressive, such as type and text. With my project sequence I wanted to have a sense of unity within the different images that could read as a complete story: beginning, middle, and end. Also, I wanted my sequence to have connections and subtle clues that let the reader know my sequence has a rhythm and personal style. I find it extremely vital for one to have a personal style that resonates throughout an artist or designers’ artworks, such a thing I try and achieve throughout my works as well. I strive to achieve a narrative with the typography that I used and the way it is arranged, by making the text say something without actually saying anything, only using the type as image. It was very important for me, while designing my layouts, to have each letter abstracted or combined through layering and cutting to create new shapes in the negative or positive. I believe I have achieved balance, space, rhythm and hierarchy within my sequence from the decisions I made during the designing process.


Exercise 1 Distilling content.

Outlining various chapters from your text book, “Graphic Design: The New Basics” Discover type setting strategies for outlines and proposals.

SCALE I used a wide variation of scale in my logo process for Project 3. For instance, I scaled different elements of my logo so that some parts would look monumental in comparison to other elements. In a few of my scenes an element of my logo process would be so big that it would bleed off the page. The elements of my logo are all in relation to each other; some elements seem quite small next to a piece that is very large and overpowering in that scene. When I printed out my first iteration of this logo design process I was unpleasantly surprised by the difference between how an image looks on a screen compared to when printed out. Just like it says in our “Graphic Design: The New Basics” book some designers, like me, are surprised when their design comes out of the printer and it does not look the same as it did while on screen. This is a problem with scale, and something that I fixed for my other iterations. I found that in my first print the elements of my logo were not heavy enough in comparison to the original logo, so I scaled up the pieces and added heavier shapes to have continuity between the original and my new logo.


FIGURE GROUND As I was composing my logo process I found figure ground to be something I wanted to incorporate, and did, without knowing it. I used the qualities of my shapes that were the pieces of the logo to create negative spaces within the image that would correlate to the logo as a whole. Throughout my later iterations I began to celebrate a negative space triangle by placing the edges of different elements to form the triangle by a line that was developed. Later on through the process that triangle begins to take form and becomes an asset in the end logo design. I believe that negative/positive space is one of the most important elements to our logo designs while in this stage. The black and white of the image share the same space, and should be treated in the same fashion. Instead of putting black blocks on a white background we should be adding white shapes or creating these shapes by the negative spaces between the black shapes. In my iterations I tried to line up the edges of every single shape in a way that makes sense and can contribute to my composition.

RHYTHM AND BALANCE In order to achieve balance in my logo process I wanted the original and my new logo to have a sense of balance and connection, by doing so I made the negative space between the shapes the same width between the two logos. Another way I tried to have balance between the logos was by making the shapes have the same weight, or pairing a heavier shape with a lighter shape. Most of my compositions are centered to create a sense of balance; I was not going for an unbalanced composition by making one area of the surface more dominated by shapes than another. There is a certain rhythm I tried to achieve through my iterations of the logo processes. I wanted to have a dynamic moving logo throughout the process that made sense as it progressed, exploding and changing directions, and then coming together in the end to have a cohesive new logo. I kept the rhythm of the heavier shapes paired with lighter shapes to add a sort of staccato to the progression, especially in the third and fourth sequence this is apparent.


Exercise 2 Color + System = Visual Language

Learn to design systems for color coding compositions. Further develop your design skills and proficiency in Adobe Illustrator.


Exercise 3 Language of Inter-activity

Graphic Design and the Internet.


Exercise 4 Authorship + Graphic Design History

Discover how graphic design shaped history and was shaped by history. Consider the concept of authorship and the intention behind the artists and designers.


David Carson David Carson started in graphic design in the early 1980’s, after becoming a professional surfer. In 1989 David Carson was ranked the 9th best surfer in the world, and this lifestyle has greatly influenced his career and style. Carson started out his career as the art director for Transworld Skateboarding as well as Transworld Snowboarding, this is where he began to find his signature style of grungy typography and photographs. After his time with Transworld, Carson left to be the art director for Ray Gun, debuted in 1992, a magazine focused on alternative lifestyles and music. For three years Carson worked for Ray Gun and during this time he became well known for his style and was featured in The New York Times and Newsweek. After Ray Gun, David Carson went on to open his own studio where he attracted clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Quiksilver, Nike, Microsoft, Sony, Pepsi, MTV, Nissan, and many more large brands. He became the creative director of the Gibbes Museum of art in Charelston in 2004, and has worked many other jobs since. David Carson is best know for his edgy graphics and dirty, almost illegible typography. Carson was greatly influenced by the artistic culture of Southern California, and his career in surfing. These influences are apparent in his work as a graphic designer, creating interesting compositions for advertisements incorporating overlapping techniques of typography and images. The audience Carson tried to reach through his work was the young adult , adventure-seeking crowd, with an emphasis on surfing early on in his career. David Carson has worked for many major companies and has changed the world of contemporary graphic design.

Victoria Norton GRPH 221 Spring 2014 Stacy Asher

“You have to utilize who you are in your work. Nobody else can do that. Nobody else can pull from your background, from your parents, your upbringing, your whole life experience.” + David Carson

David Carson is best knowm for his edgy graphics and dirty, almost illegible typography. Carson was greatly influenced by the artistic culture of Southern California, and his career in surfing. These influences are apparent in his work as a graphic designer, creating interesting compositions for advertisements incorporating overlapping techniques of typography and images. The audience Carson tried to reach through his work was the young adult , adventure-seeking crowd, with an emphasis on surfing early on in his career. David Carson has worked for many major companies and has changed the world of contemporary graphic design.

Graphic Designer + Art Director + Surfer 1970-2000

Defined the “grunge typography” era Significant Artist of Contemporary Graphic Design Former Art Director for magazines: Transworld Skateboarding + Transworld Snowboarding + Ray Gun + Blue

David Carson started in graphic design in the early 1980’s, after becoming a professional surfer. In 1989 David Carson was ranked the 9th best surfer in the world, and this lifestyle has greatly influenced his career and style. Carson started out his career as the art director for Transworld Skateboarding as well as Transworld Snowboarding, this is where he began to find his signature style of grungy typography and photographs. After his time with Transworld, Carson left to be the art director for Ray Gun, debuted in 1992, a magazine focused on alternative lifestyles and music. For three years Carson worked for Ray Gun and during this time he became well known for his style and was featured in The New York Times and Newsweek. After Ray Gun, David Carson went on to open his own studio where he attracted clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Quiksilver, Nike, Microsoft, Sony, Pepsi, MTV, Nissan, and many more large brands. He became the creative director of the Gibbes Museum of art in Charelston in 2004, and has worked many other jobs since.


Portfolio