Ivy Bridges’ Conceptual Magazine Design

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For my conceptual magazine design, I chose the old technologies that won’t go away story. This story was the most interesting to me and I chose the headline “Retro Renewal” because I felt it reflected the contents of the article well, without being too wordy.

With my illustration I wanted to juxtapose the difference between the retro camera that has been resurfacing with new technology that’s on the market. This is why I decided to add the old and new cameras together. I placed them on the fold line of the page, that way when the reader is viewing the page they are able to see the new and old as separate entities, but can also choose to look at them as they converge with one another. This plays on the concept of old coming back, and merging or even replacing new tech.

To create my camera illustration, I completed a process of taking images in Photoshop, cutting them from  their background, then dividing them into two. I chose both Nikon cameras and made sure to cut distinctly where the letters met so that the two halves were still readable as Nikon, and played more with the convergence of two. Then I used image trace and 16 colors to add an illustrative quality to the pictures, so they look more like a drawing than photographs.

I also chose to add a polaroid picture to the design to further reflect the story. I felt the addition of the picture added more to the nostalgic feel and also served as a great place to add the deck of the story as well as the byline. I wanted to place the author’s name in the spot where in the past people would write or sign polaroids.

For my display type I had to create, I used the pen tool to create a series of lines and shapes that formed letters. I based my typeface off fours. Four shapes/lines created each design in a one point line. For letters with a single bar, I chose to amplify the thickness to two points. This created a more exaggerated look. I then used the green from the camera with the eyedropper tool to create green lines in the R’s. For my other display type, I chose to use American Typewriter as I thought it tied everything together with its retro feel, reminiscent of the camera I used in the illustration. For my publication, I went with Orator as this is the font I used in my logo design. For my body text I went with Georgia because it’s a classic serif font. I also chose to use wide open tracking for the body text. I felt the spaced out look worked well with the style of the story and layout.

To further unite my design and add more interest, I created lines with multi-sized dots, to play more off the technology aspect of the story. To add color to my design, I took the green from the letters and added this to the side circles.

If I could do anything differently, I would make the “Nik” and the “On” line up better with one another. However I had to sacrifice this to make the lens and the size of the body of the camera to line up together. I also think playing with the texture in the back could be interesting. I started to do this but I felt there was too much going on after adding in a background. I tried to add some color in, but I feel more could be added to make the design pop more. Finally, I wish I had been more successful with creating my own display type. I like the way it ended up looking and its retro quality, however I feel I could have challenged myself more and created something with the brush tool, rather than creating a series of shapes with the pen tool.

Bradbury Thompson Influence Project

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For my poster design, I chose to take influence from the designer, Bradbury Thompson. I chose him because I admired how he experimented with typography, color, and imagery as he layered material to create new, unique designs. I enjoy the simplicity of his design and the quirky way he combines a CMYK color scheme in many of his designs with distinct imagery that you may not first associate with one another. Thompson was a hugely influential graphic designer with a prolific career in book, magazine and stamp design.

Many of his designs feature a central image in multiples, which is why I decided to layer 4 images of a bike on top of one another. I found the image on a free image website and then began to edit the image in Photoshop. I first cut the bike from the image, fine-tuned everything with the eraser tool, and then turned it to greyscale, as most main imagery from Thompson is black. I also chose a photograph rather than an illustration of a bike because many of his works feature real photos, rather than drawings.

Many of Thompson’s works feature the use of CMYK colors. For my stripes, I utilized these colorings. Many of his designs play with the transparency of the different shades. I chose to minimally lighten the cyan, keep the magenta opaque, and significantly increase the transparency of the yellow so that the black dots used in my image would shine through and create a layered feel. I also used the stripes to play with Thompson’s use of geometric shapes in his designs. In some of his designs other than his well-known CMYK designs, Thompson utilizes halftones to add detail. I did this with the black halftone dots to add more complexity to my design. I had problems adding the halftones on Illustrator, so I ended up just adding a pattern to my shape, yet I am pleased with how it turned out.

Thompson was known for his own font he developed, called Alphabet 26. I could not find his font online for free, so I used a similar font called Mean 26 that was inspired by Thompson. His style simplified the letters, where uppercase and lowercase forms of each letter were the same and the case was expressed only through letter size.  I chose to use this same style as I felt it goes with many of his designed pieces which all use this same typography. However with the font I chose, the numbers were much larger than the text even when applied in the same size. I tinkered with this some and tried to make the size smaller so they would match, yet I decided to keep it this way as I felt it made the typography look more unique and less traditional. It also added more emphasis to the numbers which I thought made sense because the 500 is such an integral part of the race, and the dates are important to be emphasized so viewers know when the event is being held. I also chose to line my “Little 500” text up with the cyan stripe, as Thompson likes to play with the placement of his typography. I also intentionally lined up the bike tire to fall in between the two words, as I felt this tied things together more.

If I were to do anything differently or create this project again, I would choose a more illustrative designer, to work more with creating more difficult imagery on my work. I think it would be interesting to play with texture more, but most of Thompson’s work does not utilize texture. I believe that I was somewhat successful in taking influence from Thompson. I created a design with use of geometric shapes, a central image, CMYK color scheme, halftones, and typography similar to what he would use in his designs. I could have done better with the differences in opacity that he frequently used. I felt that in my final design the difference wasn’t distinct enough. I also could have worked to take a different approach and take more inspiration from his work unassociated with CMYK, or his vast stamp work. However I am happy with my design and look forward to furthering my Photoshop and Illustrator skills more.