You know you’re getting better when…

10. When you look back on old pieces, that at the time you thought were amazing, and now they just look a hot mess.

9. When in the middle of class critiques, you can name all of the typefaces the person used.

8. When you use the word “typefaces” instead of “fonts“.

7. When people ask for your opinion on their work.

6. When you finally understand what all the hype is about over HELVETICA, and you like it.

5. When grocery shopping is never the same again…packaging woot woot.

4. When you can finish something on a deadline, and don’t think it’s witchcraft or that hell froze over.

3. When you know who Doyald Young is.

2. When you understand the difference between designing and decorating.

1. When you are 100% happy with your work…and so is everyone else.

Constructive Criticism

This week I got constructive criticism on a piece of work that I was extremely proud of.

The class was packaging and the assignment was a matchbook re-design.  The client I chose was the Beauty Bar and I created a matchbook in the shape of a compact mirror with my idea being that when women smoke in the bar, they mess up their lipstick, so there’s a mirror inside with the handy-dandy matches.  I was really proud of my design/ idea/concept and I worked really hard on it, 3 weeks total.  I was so excited to get my grade back only to find that I had earned a 79% on the project. Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhh

With the stress of everything that was going on at the time, I got so overwhelmed and just broke down…in front of the teacher.  Not to say that I was sobbing hysterically, but my no good lousy stupid tears wouldn’t stay in my eyeballs. Once I got myself together, I asked for her reasoning behind the grade.  Basically to sum it up she explained to me that had she given me an A I wouldn’t have gone back and fixed it up for my portfolio.  She said she loved my project, but the functionality of it wasn’t all there. (Couldn’t close it properly, and the matches were hard to get out, also my color scheme was horrendous).   She said it was innovative and inventive but the grading scale/curriculum doesn’t take that into consideration.

She is giving the class 5 weeks to perfect/tweak our designs and get better grades on them.  Her giving me that miserable grade was the best gift I’ve been given (or lesson I have learned), at the time I was simply too emotional to see it. I would rather have someone tell me the truth, that my work could be better, than lie and say it looks great.  That 79 is fueling me to work harder, smarter, until my matchbook is truly worthy of an A+.

I found the secret to graphic design!!

I FEEL LIKE I HAVE BEEN SPOKEN TO AND ENLIGHTENED BY THE DESIGN GODS AND THEY GAVE ME THE SECRET TO THE UNIVERSE..HOPEFULLY MY BRAIN DOESN’T EXPLODE.

     Read a book today that completely changed my entire approach to designing. Basically it talked about not even logging on the computer until you have a concrete idea and sketches for your design and use the computer to execute your vision. Sitting in front of illustrator, moving fonts around is not having an idea. The computer is a tool for executing your idea not obtaining your idea. I have done that a million times, waiting for the screen to give me the solution.
Copying stock photos from google is not creating something original. It said to use your voice. I am seriously mind blown by this book, and am now starting over with my client’s entire logo. It literally listed all of the things I had been doing and explained why it was wrong. I am turning a new leaf with designing, and I FINALLY GET IT.  

The secret to graphic design is to have an idea.  It’s the simplest of things yet the base of all that is beautiful.

#ahhamoment

To Kern or not to Kern, that is the question.

Starting my Saturday off with a little Shakespeare butchering. Whoo AHHAHHA.  So as you may or may not have noticed, I am in love with typography, but there is a minor inconsistency to that truth….I still sorta suck at kerning. *Flinches.  Please save throwing your tomatoes at my face till after reading my post.

I have been practicing my posterior (I have wanted to use that freaking word ALL week) off, even found a spiffy kerning game to practice with.  I have been improving, and by improving I mean sucking less.

I kern almost as well as a squirrel

That’s not to say that I haven’t been trying, but for a few days I was at my wits end and wanted to hire an assistant, whose sole purpose would be to follow me and kern my every sentence. Tempting, but not…morally right. Or so the angel on my left shoulder tells me.

I can’t live a lie, and that is exactly what I would be doing…even though I did have someone take me up on that offer because I think my absurd thoughts out loud. That person whose name will remain anon, is beyond magnificent!

In my search for the gleaming golden glorious secret to kerning, I have come to this conclusion: Kerning was creating for only the most anal-retentive-OCD-examine-every-detail-with-a-magnifying-glass-kind-of-person.  I am not such a person, which makes no sense seeing as I am a freaking Capricorn and we’re supposed to have that ingrained in our eyeballs.

My summer break will consist of me on a quest to find the unknown secret to kerning.  I am sure danger and intrigue will follow me every waking moment of the adventure, and there may even be pirates involved, I don’t know.

What I do know is, come next quarter this wench will be kerning like her blog so rightly deserves.

Typophile

You may find me odd, but I am currently having a passionate love affair with…wait for it: typography. It’s thrilling, exciting, and addicting as crack…But seeing as I am not so adventurous (or stupid), I have never tried crack. I do however picture typography to be as addicting as gummy worms. I can spend hours doing it, times just flies. Typography is my drug of choice, and am absolutely beyond insatiable. I have now accomplished comparing something as simple [uh try complex, biotch] as typography to sex and drugs.