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Web Design

Animation: http://www.minichips.com.co/. This alien-themed site is fun to play around on. Even the animation of the navigation icons and the loading symbol contribute to the fun, kooky theme of the site. Rollover icons and links to Facebook also make minichips a well-designed, user-friendly site.

Fashion: http://www.fivedollardivas.com. This feminine site uses Gestalt principles similarity and proximity to make a consistent, easily navigable page. I also like the use of simple typography. I wish the secondary pages had more links to other pages, but overall I’m impressed by the easy navigation on the home page. There are so many elements for the user to explore and click on.

Sports: http://www.hofsaesstennis.com/enflashlow/ensite.html. This site uses one major element – the tennis ball – with different animations to create a consistent, harmonious design. The color scheme is simple and appropriate; green and yellow are the dominant colors in a game of tennis. White space is also used effectively to frame the animation. The green bars on the top and bottom of the page anchor the graphic.

Travel: http://www.thecanyons.com/springgruv/sg.html. This site was cool and engaging. It’s targeted toward a young adult or teenage crowd. The warm colors contrasted with the black make the site bold and eye-catching. All text on the secondary pages is short and headline-style; there’s nothing for the user to get lost or bored in. The site was designed with quick-scanning users in mind.

Typography: http://delamberg.net/. This site is basic. It rests on a foundation of typography with content in an outline style. It still feels modern and artistic, however. Most users are familiar with an outline and can easily navigate the site. I also like the cool colors with the large sans serif font.

Education: http://www.B7Ven.com/. I like the cool graphics, frame of white space and digitized styleof this site. It loads quickly and is easy to navigate with simple buttons. I also thought the portfolio page was a nice presentation of portfolio items: simple and beautiful.

Corporate: http://mars.fortis-watches.com/. This site is bold and sleek and makes great use of contrast in its design. Its navigation is simple: move left, move right. The clicking dial feature and large watch images are a nice touch.

Logo: I like the simple, bold design of this logo. The Gestalt principle of continuation is utilized in the M, and the sans serif font contrasts the script in the logo.

Kids: http://www.idbox-monaco.com/. I think this site is awesome. It has beautiful graphics, fun sounds, nice animation and great color choices. The secondary pages are just as cool and link to all other pages for easy navigation.

My choice: http://www.richardwarddesign.com. The colors attracted my eye to this site, and the typographic logo works well with the soft pastel color scheme.  The site is easy to navigate as its page icons always stay in the same place as the user clicks through the site. The designer also used white space to nicely frame the pages and focus on the colors.

April 6, 2010 at 3:46 am 1 comment

Features Design

This example of type attack is used for a story about the meaning of a hockey goalie’s mask. I look at the image and see “hockey” but not necessarily “goalie mask.” Still, I find the design engaging and appropriate because it uses words that are meaningful to a hockey player. The layout also adheres well to the design and Gestalt principles of harmony, contrast and similarity.

An artistic illustration drives this business features page design. The idea of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon is applied to a story about two startup businesses that became successful. I like the bold, warm colors and contrast.

An entertainment features story about the Oscars is designed with a photo illustration layout. The illustration manages to convey a lot at one time: different stars up for the awards, movies the celebs represent and the exciting question of who will win. But the illustration is still clean and makes beautiful use of white space. The bold headline complements the illustration.

This sports features page is driven by a documentary photo. The story about NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is well represented by a photo that conveys ideas like a burning desire to win and smoking the competition. The headline, “Front Burner,” also complements the photo.

I picked this page as my choice because it utilizes different elements of the above examples. I can argue that type attack influences the big headline. A cutout from a documentary photo is also used. I also liked the application of the art of the simple idea in the layout. The designer used the golfer’s last name, Yang, and half a yin yang to make a simple, clean and beautiful page.

March 23, 2010 at 1:42 am 1 comment

Layout and Page Structure

I think this page from the Daily Herald shows good rhythm in its page structure. Columns are different widths and the page is balanced with images. Nothing is stacked boringly on something else, but each element works together for a cohesive whole.

I also like the structure of this layout from the Wichita Eagle. The variety in column width is more interesting to my eye than a constant width. The page is balanced with images and focal points that break up text and add color. Again, this page is rhythmic, not static.

I find the structure of this page stagnant, heavy and boring. The design lacks rhythm and discourages me from reading any of its giant blocks of text. I’d like to see more variety in column width and the grouping of elements, more images as focal points and more information layering.

The structure of this layout also feels static to me. The tiny bit of variation created by the ad at the bottom of the page drives me nuts. My mind automatically groups the ad with the story above it and gets annoyed when it realizes they don’t actually fit together. I’d like to show more variety to avoid weird groupings by my eye and break up the text more.

February 23, 2010 at 1:56 am 1 comment

Information Layering

This page from the Des Moines Register exhibits strong information layering in its package story about medical marijuana. The pie charts and bar graphs, bold headline, drop cap and large photo complement the story and appeal to scanners and samplers.

I thought the designer for the Republican American did a nice job of breaking up text and layering throughout this front page. The sidebar provides quick briefs to appeal to a sampler, and each story is accompanied by a box or image.

Strong layering is exhibited in the foods package for this Sacramento Bee front page. The smaller photos show local ingredients used to make the dish in the dominant photo, and the map shows where each ingredient is found. The layering also points readers to interactives on the Web.

I think the designer of this page from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin missed some layering opportunities. There is some quick layering at the bottom of the page about the Olympics, but the main stories could have used more variety than just copy and photos. The stories about the tuition bill and district school improvement plan both bored me. I might have gone with some boxes focusing on three questions: how things are now, what’s changing and what’s next.

I think this Anchorage Daily News page also missed some layering opportunities. In the audit story, an information box about the main points of the proposal could have broken up the jargon-heavy copy. I also found the photo of the skier rather boring and lacking context with its nearly solid snowy background. I might have cut her out and done a photo illustration.

February 17, 2010 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

Color in Design

The following color scheme examples are based on the color wheel shown in the graphics e-text.

These Web sites use complimentary color schemes.

These Web sites use split complementary color schemes, shown by the pairings of green and purple and of red and teal.

These triad color schemes use shades of red, blue and yellow.

These monochromatic color schemes use only shades of one color.

These analogous color schemes use colors that lie next to each other on the color wheel.

This Web site examples a psychological implication of color in design. Green is associated with the earth and peace, so its use on savetheearth.com is appropriate.

Red and pink are associated with love and romance. Valentine.com’s design uses the colors in its Valentine’s Day Web site.

Blue is associated with water and tranquility. The color works well in a calm, simple design for water.com.

February 9, 2010 at 12:47 am 1 comment

Type Classifications

These two examples of old style serif fonts exemplify characteristic uneven serifs. In the first example, the diagonal stress of rounded letters is also evident.

Even serifs distinguish these examples of transitional serif typefaces from old style fonts. The stress on rounded letters is still diagonal. The examples also show straight shoulders.

These examples of modern serif typefaces show straight serifs, drastic contrast between thick and thin strokes and horizontal stress on round letters.

Grotesque sans serif fonts like these show narrow counters and uniform stroke thickness.

These geometric sans serif fonts have uniform stroke thickness and even weight stress. They are based on geometry, as can be seen in the perfectly circular O’s.

These examples of humanist sans serif fonts are distinguishable from other sans serif fonts by their uneven stroke thickness. They look more like human handwriting than the grotesque and geometric sans serif typefaces.

These examples of blackletter fonts are both found in the nameplates of newspapers. They look like calligraphy.

These novelty typefaces are decorative and don’t fit into any other category.

Script fonts like these look like fancy cursive handwriting. Like the novelty fonts, they don’t fit into any other category.

Square serif fonts like these have blocks instead of curved lines for serifs. They work well for adding contrast and catching focus.

February 2, 2010 at 5:06 am 1 comment

Good Design assignment

Sage Media Design created this cover and inner page for Glow magazine. I like the rhythm and continuation created by the white branches on the model. The lines and contrasting round berries move the reader’s eye along. The photos on the inner page also show rhythm because they form a Z-shape. In addition, I like the harmonious color scheme.

I thought this magazine layout by Bryan Blake for his school project was different and creative. He used typography, color, simple shapes and repetition to energize his design. The large photo illustration draws focus, and the pull quote on the inner layout pulled interest to the content. I also thought the contrast between bright color and black and white added to the alternative rock feel of the piece.

Tyler Denis’ layout created for his Web site, Denis Designs, uses its photo and headline as dominant focal points. I like the contrast between the title case and all caps in the headline. I also think this layout gives the feel of being outdoors or looking through a window and wishing to be outdoors, both of which fit an article about golf. The design complements the content.

Tyler Post designed this page for his portfolio on newspagedesigner.com. I like the dramatic action this layout generates. The photo illustration highlights the contrasting colors and figure-ground relationship of the two teams. The lower half of the layout also contains some photos to balance the strong package.

I’m not sure who designed this page from newspagedesigner.com, but its dominant photo of Florida State’s coach Bobby Bowden caught my eye. The harmonious color scheme works well with the blues of Bowden’s eyes and jacket. The photo practically jumps off the page due to the figure-ground relationships between it and the background typography. The typography also produces rhythm with its different alignments and contrasting colors and sizes. In addition, I like how the designer used the typography in his layout to give facts relevant to the story.

This layout from the Times Daily in Alabama stood out to me because of its unusual use of color on the front page. The teaser sidebar grabs attention with its soft color scheme. The asymmetrical balance adds rhythm and movement. I would have made the headline for the Haiti story larger, but I like the white space used to frame the package. The design is balanced with images and utilizes dominance with its large photo in the Haiti story.
This Web site for photographer Stefano Bidini (http://www.stefanobidini.com) amazed me with its mastery of animation. The design utilizes sharp contrast between black and white and color and exhibits unity throughout its pages. The animation creates rhythm, and the thick black bars reach off the page in a show of continuation. Figure-ground relationships are also explored on this site with the large, moving Bidini in the background and the information bars in the foreground.
Passion 2010’s Web site (http://www.268generation.com/passion2010/) also used cool animation in its intro with simple black and white text. The bluish and orange color scheme is complimentary. The repetition of the double-arrow icon creates continuation and rhythm to move the viewer around the site. In addition, the rectangles on the home page represent proximity.
The bright, contrasting colors and cool interaction on Designoftoday.com contribute to a crazy, modern tone. The animation creates rhythm and is simply fun to play with. The illustrations on the home page are proportionate to each other and show similarity in their design. I also found the color scheme interesting because it used only the four process print colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

January 21, 2010 at 5:19 am 1 comment

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