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Design Something With…

Design Something With…

A GUIDE FOR EARLY GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

 

Design Something With… is an introductory graphic design reference book for high school students in career and charter schools. It’s divided into three smaller books tackling subjects like Design Basics, Typography and The Grid, and Production because books are heavy and you should be allowed to pick and choose what you want to carry. Each book is given a designated primary color and fit in a box set rendered after a Pantone color chip. The type system uses Helvetica for most primary headings and embraces Baskerville for all body copy. 

Design Something With... Design Basics

Design Something With… is a candid take on introductory level graphic design information. It uses sidebars, added opinions, and advice throughout to give perspective on what separates academic information from that of the real world. Inspired loosely on the revival of Memphis design in today’s modern aesthetic, it’s a bright, interactive vehicle meant to engage and entertain the audience.

Design Basics: Table of Contents

“Each book utilizes production techniques like fold-outs, pouches, accordion pull-outs, and smaller books to give a visual and tactile learning experience.”

Design Basics: Elements of Design
Design Basics: Adding scale to the Elements of Design

Type & The Grid

 

The second book in the set is called Type & The Grid. It gives the reader perspective on type through a hierarchy of learning. First, it explains the elegance and anatomy of the letter. Then, it moves into full words and how typefaces and kerning make an impact on their appearance. From words, we move into lines and paragraphs – discussing leading, raging, and eventually moving into type on a grid. Because type and the grid are technically separate topics, they’re given different colors to represent their sections. They are so closely related, however, it was appropriate to put them in the same book.

Design Something With... Type & The Grid
Type & The Grid: Type Anatomy spread
Type & The Grid: Explaining the difference between a font and a typeface. Showing examples of type classifications with accordion fold.
Type & The Grid: Listing the most common typefaces and providing their perfect match under every flap.

“I used visual cues [like highlighting the rag] so the reader leaves with lasting impressions that build stronger design practices.”

Type & The Grid: Paragraph rag

Production

The third book in the set focuses on Production. It covers resolution, color in print and web, binding and production techniques, client relationships, budgeting, and tips for excellent craft. Though the book has a heavy focus on print design, it instills vital knowledge on the reader about producing a well-manicured comprehensive design for a client. With the design industry heavily embracing technology, I find design students struggle with their craft. Design Something With… Production provides tips and tricks to combat this issue.

Design Something With... Production
Production: Spread on CMYK color printing
Production: Spread on popular book binding techniques

“Illustrations simplify complicated production techniques and provide comic relief to combat the dry nature most textbooks have.”

Each of the books ends with a ‘Words of Wisdom’ section. Here, professionals in the industry share their real-world responses to questions students are afraid to ask in the classroom. Questions like, “What typeface are you sick of?” and “Should a design student know art history?” are answered here.

BLOG POST
Want to know more about this project?
For extra spreads and more insight detailing my process and design thinking, visit my blog post, “Writing & Designing a Book.”

The Royal Tenenbaums Poster

The Royal Tenenbaums Poster

This is a movie poster I designed for The Royal Tenenbaums. The poster focuses on the narrative of Royal’s deception in regards to his family. He tells them he has stomach cancer and this lie brings everyone closer together. The turning point in the film occurs when his family realizes he’s been taking jelly beans in place of medicine and he isn’t ill at all. I chose to illustrate this event in my poster.

In my design, you see Royal’s hand reaching into a pill bottle, but pulling out something that’s clearly a Jelly Belly jelly bean. White roses are also a common symbol in the film. They appear every time the family visits the cemetery and also signify Royal’s character development from a scheming con-man into a caring family man. I made this my framing element.

“Can’t someone be a shit their whole life and try to repair the damage?”

– ROYAL TENENBAUM

The aesthetic of my poster is a combination of old chromolithography found in my moiré pattern and expressive poster design. My typographic treatment of the title is meant to reference the old Oklahoma! posters, with their curved type changing in scale. I also noticed throughout the movie Wes Anderson sticks to a vibrant color palette focused on pinks and greens; therefore, I chose this color palette in my poster.

Blog Post
Want to know more about this project?
To learn more about the animated aspect of this poster, visit my blog post, “Movie Poster Animation.”

Tactix Tenant Brokers

Tactix Tenant Brokers

Tactix is a real estate brokerage firm that advocates exclusively for the interests of tenants. During my time at Michael Graves Architecture & Design, Tactix approached us to design a chess piece icon, a brochure, and a poster design. We extended the project further to include an animation, as well.

The chess piece icon we designed for Tactix is based on the Knight. This further solidifies the idea that they fight to defend the rights of those in need. The icon’s design was inspired by the rigid structures found in Cubism and was further transformed into a clean vector graphic with an accompanying tagline.

We were so fortunate to work with Tactix because they encouraged creative solutions. It was liberating to have the freedom to try new production methods. 

When we approached the visuals for the poster and brochure, we felt it was best to proceed with a modern and masculine aesthetic. We used illustrated vector graphics because they have a crisp, clean appearance. To avoid looking sterile, we also included a light screen-printed texture that adds a humanistic feeling to the designs. Tactix Tenant Brokers help families in the tri-state area, so it’s important that we illustrate their sense of justice in delivering fair housing for all.

Spread the Joy Nesting Cards

Spread the Joy Nesting Cards

 

The Spread the Joy Nesting Cards were conceptualized by Robert VanVarick of Michael Graves Architecture & Design. I drew the bird design to allude to the bird symbol Michael Graves had originally designed, and I incorporated his patterns to make the designs more personal.

The main card was given a painterly effect to give it that special “hand-made” effect. It was interesting because it was printed on kraft paper, first with a hit of white, then with color printed on top.

My second design was also intricate because I had to communicate value and density just by altering the scale of patterns. It was exciting to print because it was printed on blue stock with only white ink. It was really neat to take my design go to production and work with a printer closely to ensure it was perfect. There were 130 cards of each design.

Blog Post
Want to know more about this project?
To learn more about the animated aspect of this card, visit my blog post, “Spread the Joy Animation.”