28 September 2011

YouTube: Design Like A Pro

I found a user on YouTube named Designlikeapro. Niki is an artist and a full time graphic/web designer, a digital artist and a marketing manager with over seven years of experience in design. (so she knows her stuff). The YouTube channel only has about 15 videos, but she makes each video based on what people want to know and need tips on. I think these are excellent videos. I watched, "Design Tip # 2 To Bleed or not to Bleed?"  In the video she talks about how InDesign is used best when finalizing an image before it is taken to the printer. She demonstrates a postcard that she made in Photoshop, changes the sizing a bit to add a bleed, and drags it into InDesign. She describes how important it is to have a bleed. It looks more professional to have space instead of having the text tight on the edge. What I never really thought about was how she explained about to properly make your image a proper PDF, making crop marks to show the printer where to cut the image. It was a simple tip, but I  am glad to know it. She also has a Twitter page, Facebook page, and even a Blog. i plan on viewing her other videos on YouTube. 

26 September 2011

Coil Pot Techniques

Native American and African coiling techniques as well as the techniques we use in class are different yet similar.  The Native Americans after they gathered their clay and kneaded it for several days, almost pound the clay into a flattened tortilla like shape and then it is placed carefully into a puki. I found it amazing to see how they make their coils with just their hands as they clay hangs down. As each thick coil is attached to the bowl it appears that is is mostly pinched on to connect the two pieces. Lastly, it is polished by a polishing stone. In class, we use a puki and make each coil to add on, but they are made using a table and not made as thick.  African techniques, I think are more similar to what we do in class. Although a chunk of clay is taken and placed on the bowl (instead of using coils). They use their fingers to scrape diagonally away the lines that the binding together makes (which is what we do with a tool). They also use a plastic sheet for fine smoothing like we do in class, like we use a S4 scraper to smooth.

After looking at the powerpoint I feel like I have gotten a better understand of what Chinese potter looks like. Also when I was looking at the Victoria and Albert Museum website I found myself more attracted to tall and skinny forms. The forms that really bow out and come back in. It almost seems as though I enjoy the "contrast" of each in and out dramatic motion. I chose no textured pieces, however, I do not have anything against them. 

Merrian-Webster describes aesthetic as 
"concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty."

I would say that my aesthetic is smooth, tall, and has dramatic movement (to simplify it). I define my beauty not my normal simple forms, but forms that "challenge" itself (and look challenging to make). All that interests me has an upward directional force as well, which I find interesting. 

16 September 2011


More companies look to become more eco-friendly in their products or product packages. I feel like Puma really tries to be eco-friendly. Here is a prime example of Puma changing their shoe box to reduce the paper and much more as a company turns to reducing the affects on the planet. In the video I watched, it explains their thoughts, ideas, process, and affects the product has done. The point out how much we use and are related to boxes. We are surrounded by boxes and don't even realize it. Thinking about it, it seems more extreme than Helvetica taking over the world. I like how they showed the different ideas that failed. It shows just how many failed designs they went through to get this one really good idea. I personally like seeing the process because it shows that coming up with something is not easy and takes a lot of time to accomplish a good one.
Check out the Clever Little Bag!

Adobe Podcast

After much waiting for it to download I finally got to watch this nice video podcast about publishing from InDesign to an iPad wirelessly. It seemed very high tech, all the things that InDesign can do. I am not very familiar with it so I am still learning all that it can do. It makes sense, but I thought it was cool to make two different orientations for when the viewer turns the iPhone or iPad. I do not own any of these devices so sometimes these thoughts do not cross my mind right away. My favorite part was the image sequence of the bike. I was surprised that InDesign could do something like that. Viewing this podcast has showed me, not only is InDesign good for magazine layouts and portfolios, but as being update with technology it also creates wonderful spreads for an iPad like device.

06 September 2011

form follows function

When researching "functionalism" using Credo Reference, I found that it is a concept that a piece of work is not only created for beauty, but is also for the purpose that it serves. There used to be a distinct line between functional objects and art work. An American modernest architect, Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "Form follows Function." Which means that the structure or design was shown through how it is expressed. It almost naturally takes the form it functions into. After remembering all of this from my art history class, I decided to look into what "machine atheistic" is. The Bloomsbury Guide to Art explains it as a "love affair with the efficiency and gloss of machinery..." I find it very interesting that they described it as a "love affair." This shows the complex relationship between its from and functionality.

I first thought about making a pencil/pen holder, then a toothbrush holder. Both I could really use because I have been using a cup to hold my toothbrush. Then I thought about making a little organizer to go in my drawer to hold my pencils/pens, but then that form just seemed to boring. How about a cookie jar? Eh, I don't really eat cookies that much....and the same goes with candy. Maybe a popcorn bowl, I could always use one of those. I would really like to make my own hot cocoa cup, but I am not sure.
So I decided to just check out the Internet, it usually gives me good ideas. I stumbled upon this website http://flickrhivemind.net/flickr.... this started me thinking.... It also lead me to some Flickr accounts that I decided to add as my contact.
I also found this candle holder that really got me thinking I could use one of those because I do like candles very much, I usually don't have a place to put them, but I wonder how well that fits into the assignment.. It is a container and it's function is to hold a candle. Maybe it could work after all.
I could apply this same thought process to my hot cocoa cup; it is a container that holds hot cocoa and it requires a handle to lift the cup.... It almost feels to simple..
What do I want to make?

I don't need any containers for jewelry, I use Altoids tins. I use glass bottles to hold my change. I have a container that holds all of my paper clips and tacks. There isn't really much that I need a container for....

Decision: I am making a candle holder.

I just got to find the right design to go on it. I like the design of the candle holder I looked up, but I don't really want to copy it. I like the leaf patter of the small bowls that Cris Couto did. I am thinking of staying organic and not so much geometric because I don't think that it will translate well on a rounded surface such as this candle holder.
Looks like I am going to have to sketch out some ideas.