Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New info graphics

Revisions were made, and more revisions are too be made. Fixing my initial ideas were interesting, I still felt like I struggled on coming up with interesting ideas to use my icons within my graphics, but overall my final attempts are pretty simple and straight forward. Here they are!
Over all I have three main ideas moving into the digital world. One is just a mapping idea. Using the united states map to show the bad weather areas, and great picnic spots. But some good issues were addressed, such as: try showing the icons on the map, without a map. Play with scale more, and discuss why those ares are good and bad.

Another direction is time. I looked up some information about the history of now using my ideas for the translucent touch of a photo and a time line. Although, the way I use a time line needs some refinement and more interesting way of implementing into the photo.

Lastly, my comparison one is going to be about how to afford an picnic, and varying in spending costs, such as a small family, a date, or a more portable picnic for hiking, or camping. This will go over how which picnic baskets to buy and where to possibly buy them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

First iterations:Information Graphics

The first round of info graphics was interesting, challenging and fun. At the start of this, I was really flustered and kind of getting sick of my theme. But, starting the info graphics, it's introduced a new element that I'm liking. I'm definitely not saying that I'm the best at it, but I'm having a good time figuring out a good way to show a successful graphic that uses my icons in a good way. Here are some of my first ideas:
After speaking with Jamie about my initial ideas, I found out that time is problematic for my picnic. I honestly just could not think of a way to integrate it in a good way within my information graphics. Looking at these now my favorite is the collage of the picnic scene I went out earlier today to take some photos to use for this, but I'm also considering a nice collage/montage for this graphic and then. The mapping though in this one was good, but integrated a time-based small info graphic may be difficult. I was thinking about using my ant info graphic, but on the ant hill in my map.
Also, I'm going to expand more on the actual map of the united states to show where the fatalities have happened. Also, where the great picnic spots are in throughout America. Adding a nice bar graph, or pi-chart within this graphic is a need.

Another info graphic I'm going to start out with, is expanding more on the comparing of picnic baskets and wine. I'm going to make info graphic about an affordable picnic, and which items are the best to use, while being cost aware.

Magazine Layouts

Working through iterations of type layouts for our new project for magazine layouts I've already learned a lot. I was influenced by the magazine Real Simple for my layouts and wanted to work off those. So, working through them, I ended up trying to make a logical grid, but also breaking it and making not so logical. I'm new to these layouts, but It's been fun to deal with something new and also something that is known to break the rules here and there. Here are some layouts I'm working with now:

I'm going to end up working with the more square grid idea. It's 11x11. And also, I'm hoping to use my own images:

I've taken some variations of this, and just a picnic set up for my article, and possible information graphics.

I'm also planning on changing my layout a lot. Since content and making it relate is becoming a challenge for me in this assignment, I have three different articles running through the entire large article. Today, Michael asked how it relates to each other, and how it worked on a grid. Which, was hard to answer, because for some parts I pretty much disregarded my grid, and I just thought a variation of type would be clear of differentiation within content. So, going off today's crit I'm decided to change up my layout. I plan to have one introduction page with a large image, with an introduction to the first part I have. Then the next spread work as a spread that has mostly text on both pages, because with my current spreads I've been having a pretty even percentage of image and text, so changing that up would be nice. And the last spread would be half image and half text.

I'm really excited to be working with this, and I'm actually not so bummed (at least before I was) that we are using our project from Graphic Systems. I'm lucky I chose something I think is fun.

New Color Scheme!?

So after our last final crit in Graphic Systems, the feed back was given, and the final color scheme that I had initially chosen was seen as more of a cute, pretty type of picnic. Not disastrous at all. Thinking about this more, I really was somewhat disappointed because the colors I thought worked for my theme were what I was wanting to work with more. I don't know, I guess the retro vibe I was going for got in the way. But, I question that in some way. Why can't that be more of the focus of my icons? I know it's more about what my initial narrative is and how my icons successfully communicate it. Which is fine, and I definitely understand that. So, for that thought, Correcting my color palette and seeing where that took me was interesting. I ended up with a more dirty feeling colored icons with a little cute flare.  Although, this set works better. I think I'll definitely keep my initial color set in the mix, JUST IN never know. And, I really like them. I'm not sure how I'm going to use them, but you know...just in case.

This is my initial color scheme:

Fixed Color Scheme:

Some other possibilities I worked with was the same blue from my first set, and just replacing it with the red:
I wasn't completely sold on this, due it still had a cute/semi-friendly feel to the entire set.
It must be that blue...

And here is another iteration I was thinking about:
I'm going to implement it within my fixed color scheme as a possibly three color set.

I guess another reason I'm still considering keep the brown and blue scheme in the mix (in some way, probably not going to have much use) is that I like the idea of how friendly the colors are, but the icons themselves don't speak like it's a friendly fun picnic.
Comments are welcome =)

***Also, since our guest crit was kind of mixed up with my picnic basket, I added some more weaving lines on the basket.  they are each three dashes in three groups (That's how I decided to implement the idea of three within my icon). 

Friday, March 26, 2010

F + S: Informational Graphics

EDIT: When trying to talk about info graphic, it got deleted for forever. Sorry =(...

Here's a new one that I also really enjoy.

For this info graphic they are using icons to make up (most) of the seven continents. And within each of these continents they point out something that is different which most likely means that something has happened there. The reason I enjoy this is because it's simple, and even though it's in a different language I could get the general idea. If I could see the book up close I could probably have a better understanding of what those icons where. Now, I'm not so sure. People maybe?

Also, the color choices were nice. Black, red and white. I'm a fan, I can't deny it. It's very simple, not much to get confused about.

Reading: Graphic Design The New Basics

"A diagram is a graphic representation of a structure, situation, or process."

Reading through each of the examples given within this reading it has been interesting. All of the different possibilities is quite impressive, but also very over-whelming. Information graphics can be complex or simple. Being successful within each graphic though is what the challenge is. Proportion is a large part within the graphic itself. The right elements need to have the right kind of hierarchy. One of the examples that stood out to me within this reading was the last example by Kelley McIntyre. It's a diagram of a dirty apartment and little silly info about each different areas in the room. I liked this one because within my starting out approach I did a location of a picnic area and pointed out all the things one should look out for. It made me think about my view of what I'm looking at and how I can incorporate facts within the map. Also, color was another good point to address. The lists that Kelley made throughout the facts were interesting because they were simple and to the point, which is key and to the point. It's not over flooded with information, it has a good balance to the entire layout.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here are some book covers that I've found on the book cover archive. I really enjoy these. Especially the Nabokov books. They used a box which I thought was interesting. Working through ideas about my book covers I have been really questioning my initial approach. I would definitely like the classic eclectic feel to be part of my series for my picnic books. Although, incorporating vectored icons into the mix may contradict that. At least executing it successfully would be difficult.

Here's a cute picnic book cover....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Icon Info

Bad Weather-  
Rain and cooler-than-usual weather so far in June may have dampened demand for summer items such as sandals, swimwear and beer for retailers already hard put to counter sales declines during the recession.

-June in the Midwest so far is the coldest in six years and has been wetter than normal, but still not close to last year when it was the second wettest in 50 years.
-It is the wettest in 4 years in the U.S. Southeast and U.S. Southwest and the coldest in 42 years in the Southwest, the weather tracking firm said.
-With 15 days of rain in the first 21 days of June, New York City is on track for an all-time record in days and amount, Planalytics said. June is also set to be one of the city's coolest in 50 years, Planalytics added.

 Grenon, Andre. ed. Rain, Cool weather dampen U.S June retail sales. 22 June 2009. 22 Mar. 2010 .

- To date, (June 16, 2009) 34 people have died be lighting
- In 2008 28 people died by lightening strikes

-Hundreds of others were permanently injured. Of victims who were killed by lightening in 2009:
     -100% ouside

     -82% male
     -71% males between the ages of 10-50
     -21% doing yard work

     -18% going toward a safe shelter -Some good stats...

- Longest lightning bolt: 190 km (118 miles) 2001-10-13.

- Most strikes per year: More than 70 per km² in parts of Central Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[83]

List of weather records. n.d. 22 Mar. 2010 <>.
 Picnic Basket- 
-More than 1 in 4 of the hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth originated in Iowa.
-6.8 billion pounds is the total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 1006. There's a good chance that the meat, hot dogs, steaks and hamburgers served at the backyard barbecue comes from Texas. Texas accounts for about one sixth of the nations meat production. . They are followed by Nebraska, which produced 4.8 billion pounds or Kansas, 4.1 billion pounds.
-6 States are the number of states that had a revenue from broiler chickens of $1 billion or greater between December 2005 and November 2006. These six states are Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi or Texas. There's a good chance that the chicken on the grill comes from one of these states.
-About 50 - 50. Are the odds that the beans in the side dish of baked beams coma from North Dakota or Michigan. These two states produced 49 percent of the nations dry, edible beans in 2006.
-Over Half Corn on the cob is another popular Fourth of July side dish. About 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally comes from the states of Florida, California, Georgia and New York.
-Nearly half of the nation's potatoes were produced in Idaho or Washington in 2006. Potato Salad and potato chips are popular at summer picnics

Nyholm, Christine. Fourth of July by the numbers Interesting Census Statistics. 23 June 2007. 22 Mar. 2009 .

ANTS-bugs in food
-The Red Imported Fire Ant builds mounds that are, on average, 10” - 24" in diameter and 18" high.

-They also may extend 6' underground.
-A newly mated queen lays about a dozen eggs. When they hatch 7 to 10 days later, the larvae are fed by the queen. Later on, a queen fed by worker ants can lay up to 800 eggs per day. Larvae develop 6 to 10 days and then pupate. Adults emerge in 9 to 15 days. The average colony contains 100,000 to 500,000 workers and up to several hundred winged forms and queens. Queen ants can live 7 years or more, while worker ants generally live about 5 weeks, although they can survive much longer.

How Ants find food. n.d. 22 Mar. 2010 <>.
Most of us look back on family picnics and outings with fond memories. But let's face it, we also can recall an incident or two when someone got stung by a wasp or routed by an agitated nest of ants. Somewhere in the excitement of our escapes to the great outdoors-stuffing our wagons and campers with a host of supplies-we often forget to pack even a tiny ration of caution and common sense.
So, here are a few tips to remember:
    •    Give the area a walk-through before unloading. Most serious insect infestations will be obvious.
    •    Paper wasps and their close relatives live in large paper-like nests usually attached high in bushes and trees.
    •    Yellow jackets generally make their nests in the ground.
    •    Remember, wasps, hornets and the like are scavengers and are attracted to food. Keep supplies covered whenever possible and, if necessary, put some "bait" in an area away from where you eat or play.
    •    With the recent concern about Lyme disease, be more conscious of protecting against ticks. When hiking, consider tucking in pant cuffs and/or using repellents. And, at the end of the day, check each other for ticks.
    •    Remind the children that any "cute little" squirrel, chipmunk or whatever that seems willing to be picked up is undoubtedly sick or wounded and should be left alone!
    •    In the unlikely event that you see a snake, leave it in peace. Snakes are among nature's best "pest control operators."

-Changing the temperature at which food is stored can prolong the life of food because microbial growth is slower or stopped at high and low temperatures. Microbes grow best within a certain temperature range.

-The families tossed out an average of 470 pounds of food per year—about 14 percent of all food brought into the home—at an annual cost of $600. Every day, they discarded more than half a pound of fruits and veggies.

-Nationally, we dump $43 billion worth of food every year.

Spoiled Rotten. n.d. 22 Mar. 2009 .

- Avoid tasting canned food that is soft, deteriorating, fermenting, or doesn't smell right. Even a taste is enough to cause illness. Throw the food away: It is not worth a life-threatening illness. Never taste suspicious foods for any reason. 

Food Poisoning and Safety. 2000. California Poison Control Center. 22 Mar. 2010 <>.

- No more recent figures are available. But the current numbers must be close to 87 million cases, 371,000 hospitalizations and 5,700 deaths, according to an Associated Press calculation that used the CDC formula and current population estimates.

-About 1 in 4 Americans suffer from food poisoning each year.

Food Poison strikes 1 in 4 American a year. 19 Feb. 2009. Associated Press. 22 Mar. 2010 .

-Top five wineries
Top 10 Wineries from the U.S. n.d. 22 Mar. 2010 <>.

-Top 10 most affordable wines

Chronicler. ed. Ten most affordable Wine, Spectator top 100 wines. 15 Dec. 2008. 22 Mar. 2010 .

-Best stain removers
1. Oxiclean
2. Tide Stain Brush
3.Tide to Go
4. Spray and wash Dual Power laundry stain remover
5. Oxiclean stain remover wipes
6.Zout Stain remover
7. Spray and Wash Stain stick
8. Shout Gel
9. Bio-Klee Bac Out Stain and Odor Elimation
10. Clorox Bleach Pen

Sarah, Aguirre. Stain Removers Top 10. n.d. 22 Mar. 2010 .

-In adults, clumsiness is most often acquired, and may reflect an underlying medical problem. Difficulty with vision or the middle ear many manifest itself as clumsiness, as may the onset of neurological diseases or other medical problems with neurological components.

Attacking Birds- 
- If threatened, a bird will attack anyone or anything adults, children, pets, other wildlife including other birds, even buildings with windows that reflect the bird’s image. 

Sprott, Patricia and Frank Mazzotti. “Bird Attacks.” June 1991: N. pag.

Poison Ivy 
- About 15 percent of the 120 million Americans who are allergic to poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac are so highly sensitive that they break out in a rash and begin to swell in 4 to 12 hours instead of the normal 24 to 48. Their eyes may swell shut and blisters may erupt on their skin. This is one of the few true emergencies in dermatolgy says William L. Epstein, MD. Get to a hosipital as soon as possible. A shot of corticosteroids will bring the swelling down.

-Homeopathic. n.d. 22 Mar. 2009 <>.

-Treating Poison Ivy Exposures
If you are exposed, according to the FDA, you should quickly (within 10 minutes):
    •    first, cleanse exposed areas with rubbing alcohol.
    •    next, wash the exposed areas with water only (no soap yet, since soap can move the urushiol, which is the oil from the poison ivy that triggers the rash, around your body and actually make the reaction worse).
    •    now, take a shower with soap and warm water.
    •    lastly, put gloves on and wipe everything you had with you, including shoes, tools, and your clothes, with rubbing alcohol and water.

-Symptoms of Poison Ivy
After exposure to the leaves, stems, or roots of a poison ivy plant, children develop symptoms of poison ivy within 8 hours to a week or so, including:
    •    an intensely itchy rash
    •    red bumps that often are in a straight line or streaks, from where the poison ivy plant had contact with your child's skin
    •    vesicles and blisters that are filled with fluid
Keep in mind that children exposed to poison sumac and poison oak, other members of the genus Rhus or Toxicodendron, can get these same symptoms that are generically referred to as poison ivy symptoms above.
(Using medical terminology, these children develop rhus dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis, an intensely pruritic, linear, erythematous, papulovesicular rash after exposure to the urushiol oil in poison ivy.)
Other characteristic signs and symptoms of poison ivy are that the rash will worsen over days or weeks without treatment with steroids, the rash may not go away for up to three weeks without treatment, many children will have worsening symptoms with each exposure, and that some areas of a child's skin that had less exposure to the poison ivy plant will get the rash later than others.

-Identifying Poison Ivy
To identify poison ivy, it is most helpful to look at pictures of poison ivy plants. These pictures demonstrates a lot of things you should look for to help you identify and avoid poison ivy, including:
    •    three leaflets ('leaves of three, let it be')
    •    the middle leaflet has a longer stalk (petiole) than the other two
    •    leaflets are fatter near their base
    •    elliptical leaflets with slight lobes
    •    leaflets are all about the same size
    •    no thorns along the stem
    •    clusters of green or white berries may be present
    •    aerial roots may be visible on the stem

Ianalli, Vincint. Poison Ivy Treatment Guide. 1 June 2008. 22 Mar. 2010 .

Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Covers

These can all be found on

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break thoughts

Being home and relaxing these past few days has been....nice!

I went to Boulder, CO and Denver, CO with some kids from school and visited various types of firms. It was a lot of fun, and I'm really glad I went. I wasn't sure at first because I didn't know exactly what to expect from those firms and if they would disappoint me or make me really excited for what I'm paying to go to school for. It was shocking actually the range of places we went. We went to a large, large company and a very successful small, small firm. Then hit the more hip firm, and later hit the dry and wise shop. I don't want to sit here and pretend that any of these places were a perfect fit for me now. I still have a long way to go, and these reminded me of that. A lot of designers don't end up at their dream job out of college. It takes work and a lot of trial and error to happen. I was actually quite thrilled with this realization. It in some way took the pressure off for a moment.

Knowing and seeing what I experienced this past week has been great. And I'd love to go again next year, it's a great opportunity to see what's out there and see where a good fit is for you. Or if there is no good fit for you, make your way up to start what is.

Coming back to school will be tough, but being well-rested and dropping a very stressful elective will definitely help me finish the semester out successfully and I plan to really take advantage of it all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Type 2: Written Reflection

Finishing for final crit has been good. The integration of my different expressive typography has been difficult, but also rewarding. Seeing that I actually got it to work has been nice. Of course it needs some refinements, but moving on will be nice.

Working through all of these elements within this composition was difficult. Starting out with experimental type and then trying to make a set that's cohesive to be part of an add campaign was interesting. Trying to convey each word within a composition was fun, but also difficult because some are similar in content, or results. Then adding them together to make a cohesive composition as it conveyed the emotion of the word.

I felt that I did a good job on the bus by having a good and even gradation throughout the entire thing. But with the billboard was problematic, since there is only a short amount of space to convey a nice gradient and each composition that conveyed my experimental typography it was difficult to integrate them into a specific space. This definitely taught me the I need to think more about where I'll be applying my art.

For cohesiveness between each of my composititons I worked a lot with gradients and color tones. Also, I added a black bar with text in it across the entire bus and billboard. I think this definitely helps my composition as a whole system. Dealing with hierarchy is always a good exercise. I felt that all of my images were equally important, but on my bus I decided to really emphasize the storm idea, because wind, rain, and thunder all lead up to a pretty large storm. (most times). But, on my billboard I dicided to keep them pretty much equal. The rain is pretty repetitive, but it still covers the amount of space.