Thursday, January 27, 2011

Watch this!

This creature is cool, but also creepy at the same time!

This is a fantastic branding:

I LOVE the texture, style, and just about everything about this branding.

People you Should Know!

Saul Bass

I found this poster successful because of the color choices and the simplicity of the design. I like the upbeat energy that the style captures.

Paul Rand

This is a collection of Paul Rand's logos. They are simple, clean, and timeless.

Alexander Girard

Girard's work is upbeat and fun. I respond to all of his simple and fun characters and symbols. His use of negative space works well.

Alvin Lustig

Alvin Lustig's work consists of mainly two color pieces of art. They have a certain feel about them that makes them unique and I like the colors he chooses.

Alan Fletcher

I love the block, hand drawn quality of this work.

The Eames

These classic, sleek chairs are awesome. I love the smoothness and the style.

Maria Kalman
Steven Heller

20 Successful Logos

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Means This That Means That: A User's Guide to Semiotics


This Means This That Means That: a User’s Guide to Semiotics.

Semiotics is defined as a series of designs.

The word semiotics is from the Greek word “semeiotikos,” which means interpreter of signs.

Signs are important because they can mean something other than themselves

In the western World, we live in a society that is largely mechanistic and consumerist in outlook.

Semiotics is about the tools, processes and contexts we have for creating, interpreting and understanding meaning in a variety of different ways.

There are two basic types of signing, conventional and natural.

For example, it is natural for us to wear clothes in the cold, but it is conventional for shoes like high heels to be seen as a sex symbol.

There are numerous relationships that exist between signifier and signified. For example, an apple can mean temptation, and apple can mean healthy, an apple can mean fruit, an apple can mean apple.

Many of the signs we use to communicate are arbitrary in the sense that they are not immediately transparent to us.

With any icon there is some degree of resemblance between signifier and signified.

The medium many be presentational, representational, or mechanical.

iconic relationship- some degree of resemblance between the signifier and signified, such as a line drawing resembling the place depicted

indexical relationship - is a physical or causal relationship between the signifier and the signified, such as smoke is caused by fire

We need to know that symbols stand for in advance if we are to understand them, for example, a black tie is an arbitrary relationship for a formal occasion.

Synecdoche- using a part of something to stand for the whole thing or the whole thing to stand for a part. This could be using a personal story about malnourishment to raise money for a charity instead of providing abstract statistics as a whole, or showing images of just elvis' hair, and people think of elvis as a whole from seeing that part.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Cover Blog


SIGN: a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent.

INDEX: Something that serves to guide, point out, or otherwise facilitate reference.

SYMBOL: Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.

What makes a successful bookjacket?

A successful bookjacket is one that will engage the reader and will make someone want to pick up the book to read it. It must have a clear hierarchy and is interesting.

While researching bookjackets, I found many that are well designed. Here are 3 examples of bookjackets I think are designed well.

This bookjacket is well designed because it has a limited color palette. It is clear what the title is and the simple imagery is a nice addition.

I responded to the energy and style of this cover. I like the color palette and the font found on the cover.

I enjoy the negative space and the bold colors used on this cover. It is successful because the angled type and shapes highlight the important text.

Monday, January 17, 2011


1) The Woman in the Wall**

2) Patrice Kindl- She was born in Alplaus, New York in 1951, as the youngest of four daughters. Her father is a mechanical engineer, and her mother a housewife. After high school, she went to Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended for a year and a half and then ( dropped out and decamped for a drama school in New York City. She appeared in a few television commercials, waitressed, auditioned and did a little modeling. She started to settle down after a few years, and began to write seriously in his thirties.

3) Owl in Love, Goose Chase, Lost in the Labyrinth

4) Anna is more than shy. She is nearly invisible. Most of the time her mother and sisters don’t see, hear, or pay attention to her. At seven, terrified of the prospect of school, Anna retreats within their enormous Victorian house, and builds a house of her own: passageways and hidden rooms become her world. As the years go by, her family forgets she ever existed. Then a mysterious note is thrust through a crack in the wall, and Anna must decide whether or not to come out of hiding.

5) mysterious, upbeat, thoughtful, sensitive, sneaky, romantic, lonely, straightforward, forgotten, dramatic, suspenseful, odd

6) be yourself and face your fears

7)...lives with in the walls of her huge house to escape the pressures of attending public school.

8)...forces Anna to live unseen within the walls of her house.

9) “I’m small and thin, with a face like a glass of water. And I like to hide.” -Anna
"I didn't want to intrude in any way; I simply wanted to blend into the scenery with as little fuss as possible."-Anna
"She was a large doll, really quite as large as I was." -Anna

10) It's a fun story that has an awful cover.


1) Ella Enchanted

2) Gail Carson Levine- Levine grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan. As a child, Levine read avidly; her favorite book was James M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and she also enjoyed the works of Louisa May Alcott and L. M. Montgomery. She initially aspired to be an actress and painter, and participated in theater troupes before losing interest in acting. In 1967, she married David Levine. She majored in philosophy at New York’s City College, where she received her B.A. in 1969. She spent the next 27 years working for the government of the state of New York, mainly as a welfare administrator, helping people find jobs.

3) Dave at Night, The Wish, A Tale of Two Castles

4) At birth, Eleanor (Ella) of Frell was visited by the well-meaning, but misguided fairy Lucinda. Lucinda gave her the gift of obedience, which turns out to be a curse because Ella must now obey any order given to her.

5) magical, enchanted, lighthearted, fantasy, mystic, obedient, romantic, playful, spellbound, carefree, spirited, upbeat

6) magic can backfire

7) Ella is the protagonist, and she must constantly obey her curse of obedience.

8) The antagonist is Ella's curse, and her stepmother and two stepsisters.

9) "If someone told me to hop on one foot for a day and a half, I'd have to do it. And hopping on one foot wasn't the worst order I could be given. If you commanded me to cut off my own head, I'd have to do it. I was In danger at every moment."-Ella

"Decisions were a delight after the curse. I loved having the power to say yes or no, and refusing anything was a special pleasure. My contrariness kept Char laughing, and his goodness kept me in love."-Ella

"My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying child." -Lucindax

10) It's a classic fairytale with a twist. I thought it would be a fun book to redesign the cover of.


1) Nineteen Minutes

2) Jodi Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism - and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent - led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher - before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale.

3) My Sister's Keeper, Change of Heart, The Pact

4)In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.

5) heartfelt, passionate, surprising, destructive, honest, horrifying, violent, emotional, heart-felt, numb, contemporary, suspensful

6) Do we ever really know the people closest to us? The theme of identity.

7) Josie and Peter are two of many protagonists. Even though Peter is the shooter in the book, he was bullied.

8) Bullies Peter, which causes him to go on a shooting rampage.

9) "Something still exists as long as there’s someone around to remember it." -Alex

"Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young, but I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up." -Alex

"If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn't be filled?"

10) Heartfelt story that could use a better cover to get the feeling of the book across better.