First Iterations of the Final Assignment

Hello evil-doers.

In the absence of new material this week, I thought we could post up our most recent versions of our final assignment to give each other feedback. I suppose we could also comment on the guest lecture, but to be honest I don’t have much intelligent to say about it because most of it was beyond me. Most of what I walked away with was that I need to do a lot more thinking before I consider grad school.

So, I’ll post my iteration and paraphrase Professor O’Gorman’s comments so far. He outlined a few areas of concern, all related to the front face of the cover. First, he said that there is a desire to want to see the centre of the spiral, and the pipe blocking it is disruptive of that. Though I see his point, I was thinking that the spiral makes the viewer focus on the pipe. Second, he said that the text at the bottom seems something of an afterthought. My dilema is that the large text “Words & Images” isn’t the full title of the pdf… “Magritte’s Words and Images” is. However, due to the current way my text works, adding “Magritte’s” on top would ruin the balance of the design.

I’m up for suggestions and will certainly give constructive criticism if you guys post your designs up!




White: Text







As a brief refresher, Tuesday’s workshop called for us to create a hypericon for Barthes’ “The Third Meaning” using an image, display text, and subtext. The only large images I could find were portraits of Barthes himself, which I didn’t think were the right approach because Barthes doesn’t discuss pictures of himself in his work (as far as I know). So, instead, I found a picture of Ivan the Terrible, which Barthes discusses because of the actor’s beard. It was not the greatest quality image, and I wanted it to be full-bleed for my hypericon, but it is what it is. For display text I found Barthes’ actual signature, which, for me makes the hypericon resemble a Ray-Ban ad (see below). Finally, I used a simple Serif font to write “The Third Meaning” and to avoid too much display text. I know writing in all capitals is frowned upon, but I figured I wasn’t abusing the technique.

rayban_Black Kids_clubmaster

Finally, I thought (assuming it’s within the rules) that we could post up screen shots of the early iterations of our final assignment on the blog. We could brainstorm ideas with each other and get feedback prior to submission? I’ll post what I have in my next post!

Happy St. Pat’s folks!

It’s Tufte to keep up with you, group.

I wanted to somewhat extend what Tufte talks about with PowerPoints to graphs (which are often included in presentations). There is a common assumption that graphs effectively organize data to create information. While I don’t deny the potential for graphs to be rhetorical and effective, I find that they are another element that are often redundant or, “phluff” in PowerPoint presentations.

Not only are they often too simplistic and merely a visual regurgitation of bullet points already touched on in a presentation, in terms of design, they often box information within legends or other graph components.

I am trying to find the graphic artist who notoriously made nonsensical digital graphs, but I cannot seem to find the artist’s name. However, extending Tufte’s contributions to graphs also brought to mind College Humor’s “Graphic Truth” articles. Here is one example page that displays satirical graphs. Note, in particular, the pie graph that has no purpose what so ever, which is an exaggerated example of the point I am trying to make.

3-D Art

In preparation for the final assignment, as well as class on Tuesday, I’ve been focusing some energy on Alex White’s “The Elements of Graphic Design”. This post in particular, will discuss Chapter 9: Three-dimensional space.
In this chapter I enjoyed looking at several of the examples that flood the pages. In particular, and if I understand the captions, I find Michael Bierut’s poster on page 138 interesting (bottom right image). The perceptual illusion of the shadow and the curved portion on a 2D poster is really amazing. It makes meat want to see the actual poster in person to truly believe it. Perhaps that is the urge Walter Benjamin was talking about when he stated that people want to have a closeness to a work of art. Anyway, this particular illusion of a third dimension sparked my interest.

A couple of examples outside of the textbook came to mind after thinking about Bierut’s poster.

First, 3D chalk art (as seen below, first image), tricks the human eye to great degree and effect. The example I have inserted into this post is just one example, and I invite you to enter a quick Google search to explore for yourself. I chose the example that I did because I have a fear of heights, and it amazes me that chalk on an otherwise normal street is enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Side note: Do people get paid for this? This must have taken an age to create.

Second, the baseline logo at the Air Canada Centre for Toronto Raptors games attempts to look 3D, despite merely being screened onto the court (second image below). The illusion of a 3D sign is exclusive in this example. Depending on the angle that you view the image at, it will either look 3D or like a horrible experiment with WordArt on Microsoft Word.  I’ve attached an article about it below the image.




Juxtaposition-Similarity: Do any of these work!?




I say we use the below ad of a dog and his owner. Similarity means that the product is similar to what is being depicted. Here, what we have is an owner who looks similar to his dog. However, we can say that the idea is that because they look the same, he should feed his dog with good food (as he would want too), so he should feed his dog Cesar dog food.


Adding the Ads

How’s this? I erased the black, put the ad in a layer underneath the poloroud frame, and filled the rest white. I’m up for comments and suggestions. I’ve also fixed all the other little things.

EDIT: I now have tried placing our current 7 ads into the frames in a similar manner. I think it looks decent. I’m short of other ideas.

IMPORTANT: IF WE USE THE M.A.D.D. ad, it needs to be doctored/ photoshopped to remove the text. So that would use up our one photoshop option. Only other option is to find a new ad for replacement opposition.

Post your thoughts!




Quick Update

I haven’t uploaded this to drive because I don’t know if it’s what people had in mind. CS100 was driving me insane so I switched over to this as a creative outlet. So all that’s been updated is the text on the poloroid. I tried to get a sharpie-looking font. Meaning Operation and Visual Structure colours match from the headings to the poloroids.

Is the font to your liking? Does including the company, ie: “Hawaiian Tropic” put too much text on the poster?

By the way, I think the font looks a little bit more sloppy from a distance. But the actual pixels, screen print (second image) shows that the font is quite basic.


screeny4 screeny3

Breaking News

Greetings fellow evil-doers.
I thought this blog post could explain what I’ve done to the poster today, as well as pose some questions.

First: the sticky note. I’m not sure what the text should read, so I put our group name and the assignment name from the syllabus. The only other thing I could think of was including “” in even smaller type below, but I thought it might just contribute to “clutter” (Alex White bonus points?). I also added a meme face that is looking to the right to add to the way-finding effect. The meme face and the font on the sticky note were both free downloads from It’s a great site to find free fonts, and the “handwritten” category was particularly helpful for our realistic poster. The font for all of the text on the poster is called “Mari David” and comes in regular, bold, and extra bold. If the drop shadow is not executed very well on the sticky note it’s because I never really know what I’m doing with drop shadow, so feel free to make it look better.

Second: the pins. Whoever added the very first pin to the .psd deserves the credit here. I just duplicated the original for the other 8 polaroids. Each visual structure (juxtaposition, fusion, and replacement) correspond to a different pin colour. I simply focused on colour-coding the pins; I did not worry about what colours I was choosing. If someone had a better colour scheme in mind, it’s an easy fix. Another thing we can consider is whether or not we want the pins to be in the top-left corner of each polaroid, and piercing at the same angle. It makes the design have more unity with all the pins being consistent, but this makes the poster lose some realism.

Third: paper headings and other pins. The other headings are just downloaded ripped paper stock photos. Again, the drop shadow may be shoddy. The font on the headings is from the same family as the sticky note, it just happens to be the regular version (the sticky note features the bold). I chose dark blue to make it look somewhat like a pen, or a blue sharpie. Also, as discussed in class, I included a different type of pin for these headings so that our design choices show intent and classification.

Forth: the axis. I figured out a way to fit the “Complexity” and “Richness” axis on the poster even though the “Visual Structure” heading overlaps the border. I placed them in the bottom right corner rather than the top left, which seems to work. I don’t know that it’s a problem that the arrows point at the words. (Look at the original matrix on pg 116 of the original article to see what I mean.) For the labels here, and the arrows themselves, I read a tutorial to make a chalk-like brush. It was fun!

So, some questions:

  1. Can whoever made the original border, make it thicker? Maybe another 50%? The “Complexity” and “Richness” labels are too squished. I didn’t want to mess up the border.
  2. Should we keep the pin arrangement as is? Or make them more sporadic?
  3. Should we keep the pin colour-scheme as is?
  4. Should anything be removed from the sticky note? Or should anything be added?
  5. What do you guys think of the font choice? I know we have to keep a logical pattern with our text. So far, the same font is used everywhere (albeit one is the bold version). I think it looks good right now, but should we use a different font for the poloroids?

Screenshot below, .psd on Drive.



Quick post before class

I have this written down but our matrix is looking close to complete again. We can compile this quickly before class and show Prof. O’Gorman again to see if our ads check out. What I’ve posted below is up for discussion, they are just what I think are our best examples.

  1. Juxtaposition-Connection: Edding correction pen World Cup or Miss Teen USA ad.
  2. Juxtaposition-Similarity: MagLite monk/halo ad.
  3. Juxtaposition-Opposition: Hawaiian Tropic two-page tan ad.
  4. Fusion-Connection: Disneyland Paris Santa ad.
  5. Fusion-Similarity: Shoppyland toucan ad campaign, example shown is the jester one.
  6. Fusion-Opposition: N/A
  7. Replacement-Connection: Alberta Tree Movers floating squirrel ad. OR Bosch drill ad. (Both attached to this post)
  8. Replacement-Similarity: Harribo orange ad.
  9. Replacement-Oppositon: N/A




Moving Forward.

I should start off by saying that that I was very tempted to change the background image to Dr. Evil.

I’ve been extra critical in my new search of ads. As a result, I’ve only found two I am completely comfortable with in a considerable amount of time.

1. Disneyland Paris Ad. Fusion-Connection. I didn’t get this ad until I read the comments where it was posted. At first, I was thinking that the glasses were representative of a famous French person (but then I put my finger on who the glasses reminded me of… Ghandi… who wasn’t French). The glasses are key to understanding the fusion of this ad nonetheless. The combination of the glasses and the nose form the iconic shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. Professor O’Gorman was looking for ads that had fusion with the product logo, and I think the logo is fused onto Santa’s face here. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what the connection to Santa is though? Depending on our explanation, I suppose it could also be Similarity. It’d be nice to know the official explanation there.


2&3. Edding Correxion Pen. Juxtaposition-Connection. Below, I have posted two different print ads from the same campaign and for the same product. The idea is that the white-out-thinger can fix mistakes, and can rewrite history. The juxtaposition comes in with the image on the left, and the right, while the product is placed in the middle to show the chronology, connecting the images on either side. The first ad displays the infamous headbutt of French soccer star Zinedine Zidane (white) on the Italian Marco Materazzi (blue). France went on to lose the game, and Italy won the tournament. The pen corrects this “mistake” and the image on the right shows Zidane celebrating with the World Cup trophy as if France had won the tournament. The second ad works the same way, but instead features the hilarious Miss Teen USA South Carolina incident in 2007. I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard of it. The pen can fix her answers and ensure that she wins the tiara! juxtaposition-connection2 juxtaposition-connection