Thursday, September 30, 2010

VISUAL Cookbook?

One thing I am proud of is I follow Ellen Lupton (@ellenLupton) on Twitter. High five? Anyway, today I came across one of her tweets about a visual cookbook from IKEA. All I focused on were those four letters that reminded me of my love for IKEA. So what did I do? Well, I clicked on the link of course and discovered clever uses of everyday food, ingredients, and cooking utensils. Here are some examples:

The design is evenly laid out and very creative, except for one problem- I don't know what it is supposed to be. I first assumed the design contained ingredients for a particular dish, but I can't really make out what all of the ingredients are to determine what the dish may be. Another problem is the text on the page is in Swedish (I think), so when I could have read to find out what was going on, I couldn't because I am limited to English only.

I really like the design, but I am in desperate need of help to find out what it means! I want to believe the message of the design is not difficult to put together, unlike most of IKEA's furniture. Can anyone help me?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Visual and Verbal DEFINITION

I came across a couple of pages in my September 2010 edition of Real Simple magazine that demonstrates how products are defined visually and verbally. Let's take a look at the visual definition.

This particular page shows how to use cornflakes to make delicious snacks. There are actual recipes with visuals of the ingredients and the final result. This page stood out to me because it works with cornflakes, which I hadn't spoken of since I referred to my flaky peers as such. Also, the idea of using cornflakes to create tasty food besides fried chicken captured me. I think Real Simple does a great job showing us how the individual ingredients combine to make the end result.

Now the verbal definition.

This is an ad for the V8 Fusion that tastes like cranberries! This visual doesn't provide much information about V8 Fusion or the ingredients in this beverage. The text adjacent to the glass  explains the product contains a full serving of fruit and vegetables with no added sugar. Oh, and all you taste is juice. For someone unfamiliar with V8 Fusion, this verbal definition informs that person of what it is all about.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Comic Sans GOES OFF!

One of my classmates from typography class sent out a link to a funny and clever monologue from Comic Sans that I want to share. It was actually written by designer and writer Mike Lacher. For those of you who are offended by swear words, you might not want to expose yourself to this, but you will be missing out. Just sayin'.

The link is below. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

whiteSpace is EVERYTHING

One of the first things I learned about graphic design is that the presence of white space on a page is awesome! It makes everything look clean and organized, and that is important when selling anything. There is nothing I dislike more than an ad or flyer that has entirely too much going on. It makes me not want to look at it, let alone read it to retain info. Please, my brain just can't take it. I for one like things that are simply done. It just fits me and my personality. I have never been a flashy lady, and jeans and hoodies serve me quite well. I prefer to be in calm environments, and my fav drinks are simple (ie. water, OJ, vodka & cran). Anyone who knows me can vouch for this, so looking at semi-chaotic works are not really my thing.

One magazine that I adore is Real Simple ( It's like it was created for me. Not only is the content great, but the layouts are so pleasing to my eyes. This magazine really demonstrates how white space should be used from a design aspect. Also, you can learn a few recipes and affordable fashion tips, which is always helpful!

The pic below is from the March 2010 cover.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BAD Food Photography

So, as I flipped through my Oct/Nov 2010 edition of Fine Cooking, which is full of wonderful layouts, delicious recipes, and great food photography, I stumbled across an ad for Carolina Rice. It is the print ad above which is apparently the best representation of their product they could come up with. I could definitely use a couple of paragraphs to critique the ad as a whole, but I won't. I really want to focus on the image they selected to present how their product could be used (yes, the seafood paella, or Pacific Rim Rice with Seafood as Carolina Rice calls it). 

Well, here is my opinion- I am NOT feeling it. The photo really isn't appealing, nor does the dish looks appetizing. The image is blurry, which I really don't understand because it is a close up. The blurriness also makes the already unappealing seafood even more unappealing. I am sure a better dish and photo could have been selected for this ad, which would have represented the use of rice better.  I will probably always associate this image with Carolina Rice now, which is sad because I love rice and have never thought of any rice negatively. 

This is a sad day...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Love is BRAND new

Hey! My name is Crystal, and welcome to my blog. I've never written a blog before, so this is completely new to me, but I hope you will join me on my journey to explore the fascinating world of graphic design.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I'm 25 years old and live in Baltimore, MD (born and raised). I have recently decided to go to grad school for Publications Design, where I realized I have a knack for designing that I didn't really think existed. To make a long story short, I have decided that graphic design is the path I want to take in my career from here on out. I even decided to combine my marketing/advertising skills (I studied both in undergrad and worked in the field since graduating in '07) and newly found designing skills and start my own business helping companies develop their brand identity (Shades of Simplicity, LLC baby!). It is still in the development stages, but it WILL happen :).

Anyways, I started this blog to document all of my encounters with graphic design, whether it is must know information, history, print ads I come across, etc. Also, I would like my followers and peers to share any info they would like to disclose about their encounters with graphic design. I honestly think that sharing ideas among peers is the best way to learn anything.

Talk to you soon!