Conceptual Design Project: D.I.Y. Home

For this project, I was initially torn between this story and a story about a high-tech hoodie that has pockets for several different kinds of devices and assorted tech accessories–I had drawn up sketches for both of them, even started mock-ups for both of them, but I ultimately landed on this one because I thought it would be the more tangible of the two to design for (plus, I had been taking an intro informatics class at the same time and was more intrigued by this story’s topic). The narrator of the story is chronicling his attempts at turning his house into a “smart home,” utilizing the Internet of Things to connect everything from his fridge to his front door and controlling it all from an app on his smartphone. However, half of this chronicling is detailing all of the problems that occurred while doing this, mainly problems with connectivity. He ultimately had to call tech support in to fix all of the issues with this allegedly DIY-friendly project.

In my design, I wanted to emphasize connectivity problems, the home, and the correlation between the two as described by the author. I thought one of the clearest ways to do this would be to display a lot of common error messages one might see on their computer due to connectivity problems, along with a lot of error symbols. With the sheer quantity of elements, I was hoping to convey the same overwhelming sense the author felt as more and more things kept going wrong. Going along with the error message vein, I also decided to incorporate the dreaded blue screen of computers that displays when something goes catastrophically wrong–in both versions of my design, I employed this along with the typical typeface of computer code and error messages one might see when a computer bluescreens. In doing so, I hope to further convey the high-level of tech error the author was describing.

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However, all of these elements may have been a bit overwhelming, and I perhaps should have stuck with one style of showing error instead of employing both. This is especially the case with the final design I turned in, the one dominated by error windows. I would say it successfully conveys the stressful, overwhelming feeling of the narrative, but that in doing so it has a high potential to overwhelm the reader and steer them away from reading the story at all. I much prefer my largely bluescreen design, perhaps just because it is so much quieter than the other design, but also because I feel it lets the story speak more for itself with such a simple illustration. Had I done this project again, I would have gone with a simpler design overall. I would likely still keep the bluescreen, but maybe play with the error icons and the shape of a house (internet bars and roof?) to make for a simpler, clearer illustration that doesn’t overwhelm the reader.

The Conceptual Project

Electric cars need to make some noise!

Electric cars need to make some noise!

I chose the story of electric cars. I chose it because I thought it would be the most easiest one to create a magazine cover.

The most difficult part of this project is to catch the main idea of the story and translate it into image that audiences can know what the story is about only by seeing the image. My main idea I captured from this story is that the electric cars need to make enough noise to warn pedestrians.

I made several sketches. At the beginning, I drew a coordinate axis to represent the negative relationship between the number of accident and the noise of the car. However, I found that the story didn’t say a lot about it. Later, I drew an electric car and a ear to represent the pedestrian, but it was difficult to place them together properly. I came up with many ideas such as an electric car towards to the zebra crossing, an electric car in a shield. Unfortunately, I didn’t like them, and I didn’t think they can represent the main idea of the story well.

At last, the final idea came up, a speaker and an electric car. I want it to look like a sketch drawn from a car designer, and the designer add note to the car that it needs a speaker. Later, I modified the idea, and decided to draw a speaker on the car to make the image easier to understand and straight forward.

The drawing process was easy. I think myself is better in drawing than generating an idea. I want my car look like hand-drawn but I don’t know how. Therefore, I searched online for the tutorial, and follow the steps in the tutorial.

In conclusion, this project helps me to improve my ability of creating. And I think the most interesting and attractive part of these projects is to trigger me to learn more because I want to make my project amazing.

Conceptual Post

Conceptual Project

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This is my conceptual poster. The topic of my poster is based on a story about “gamify” the hunt for Carbon Dioxide emission.

The two main idea of my illustration are:1. Hunting CO2 globally; 2. It is a game. So I started my work drawing a globe with several continents. I made the continents 3D in order to give it a better look. I applied the gradient color to the globe to reduce the boringness of the work. The little person in the middle of the globe is the person who plays the game. I gave his/her a tie to show that he/she is a scientist. He/she is holding a hunting net to hunt and report CO2 emission. Because CO2 were mainly produced by power plants, so I drew a factory with smokes coming out of the chimney.

I created a “game start” button and a hand shape on the left side of the spread to represent that if one clicks this button, the game will begin. The large amount of white space around the button makes the button significant. In order to make this piece more like a game, I used a game feel font to cooperate with the illustration. The headline of this page is called: Be a hunting scientist. It is relatively large compare with the explainer and the descriptions because I want the audience to focus on the illustration on the right side of the page. The use of the orange background is a contrast of  the blue globe. These two color shows that CO2 can cause global warming.

The hardest thing that I have encountered doing this project was trying to show the design idea in a simple way. I was thinking to apply what I have learnt from my infographic class to this project, which I will make the entire page a map,and put the scientists at the polluted spots on the world map. But I am afraid it will look too serious and lose the game look. Overall, I like my work.