Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Concepts + Persona

Concept Statement


“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new.” Life is an ongoing domino effect. The decisions you make every day impact the future events and decisions that will come up. Once you make those decisions there is no going back, and you shouldn’t look back. Wherever you are at the current moment is due to your past decisions but the past is the past. We are constantly learning from our past. Avoiding mistakes we have made and therefore learning and growing as a person. Sometimes jumping deep into your past to learn things that were oblivious to you before is a good thing because you also learn about others along the way but occasionally investigating the past to open it up more is not the best idea. Certain information was never uncovered for a reason and once you uncover it, your views on life could drastically change for the better or for the worst. Only you have the absolute power to learn or hide from the truth.


“Every moment before this one depends on this one.” We are constantly in a domino effect. Each moment in your life is linked to the one before and after it. The past is what makes you who you are. As a child you are oblivious and naïve to the real world. After you begin to learn right from wrong, make your own memories and unfortunately your own mistakes you begin to build your character. You begin to mold your personality into something you will mature into. Although the past should stay in the past, it still is our only guide to figuring ourselves out. It will eventually make you or break you.


“Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone.” Every child lives with a mentality that everything in this world is picture perfect. They see no evil, no hurt, no worry, only the good in everything. The past is inexistent. It is said that children are much more fresh, alive, and live more human than adults. This is true, but for how long does this mentality last? Until when does a child begin to view the world in a darker light? Puberty? A child has far less memories to store than adults and because so, their minds aren’t filled with nonsense and are free of any fear or a bad past. They are innocent and naïve until the time comes when they begin to ask questions. Consequently, the answers they will find out will eventually distort their view on the world, drastically changing them from viewing things as picture perfect to a more realistic point of view. Revealing things from their past that will alter their present moment in time.

Audience Persona

Danica May is a young college student. She is from a small town in northern Kansas and is very close this her family. In the U.S tragic attack of September 11, Danica’s father was traveling back home from a convention when his plane was on of the ones hijacked. Sadly Danica lost her father that day and has been different ever since. Five years from the attack, Danica still continued to be affected by the tradegy. Danica has not been able to recover completely. After entering the University of Kansas, Danica was given the opportunity to read one of Jonathan Safran Foer’s books for her class and she has been changed ever since. After questioning why such a tradegy would ever happen and after replaying the last moments with her dad in her mind, Danica was able to put the past behind her and accept the fact that her father is no longer with them in person, only in soul. Foer’s books have give Danica a different outlook on life and have let live a more normal life.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Graphics Reading #2

"Make more from less." - Ed Fella
*Instead of imposing an idea onto the problem the problem should dictate the solution.
*a logo shouldn't literally describe the client's business, a logo is the identifier.
*logo gives direction and attitude while product informs the meaning.
*logos are most successful when they are simple and dynamic
* Memory is made from four critical attributes:

We see shape and color.
We position it within our understanding of historical content. Is it victorian? modern?
We form meaning from past information. "green light means go"
We attach a feeling to it. For instance if a green car hit you when you were a kid, green may mean watch out.
*Design for longevity
*A logo is the base for all other messages
:Good designers make trouble:
-Tibor Kalman
*Fused metaphor: take the product and fuse it with something else.
*To help fuse your product:
Find pairs, push two things together into one image.
To find metaphors, put the client's product into different formats to help you make connections.
"It's like a _____" or "Think of it as ______"

Look up key words from your problem in a thesaurus and mess with the different words.
*Aesthetics are important in the design of trademarks and logos
(icon) used to mean any image used to represent a person, place, thing or idea.
(symbol) a category of icon, they are images we use to represent concepts, ideas and philosophies.
Icons are either fixed or absolute in non-pictorial icons and fluid or variable in the picture aspect.

So anyone find a resemblance between the character from Comics the Invisible Art to Jeremy??
*words are totally abstract icons-- no resemblance to the meaning at all
*pictures are received information and writing is perceived information.


*Book jackets must have a strong successful concept; the cover should immediately give you
visuals about the book.
*Must by dynamic and compelling

*When defining the audience, one must sympathize with the person and make it personal
*Persona: a brief profile of a typical user that outlines specific personality attributes, desires, needs, habits, capabilities.
*When defining the persona's:
1st: identify the main audience
2nd: create a short list of specific attributes for the most common audience types
*1 designer can develop persona's although it is always helpful to do it as a group.
*Persona's help create empathy and deeper understanding for users needs
*Chip Kidd lives and works in NYC.

*Kidd incorporates the use of photography in his designs
*His designs are either well loved or hated, many say he is too literal--designing the obvious, while others praise his
dynamic designs.
*Logos date back to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian bricks that were marked with stamps
*Sometimes you don't need to put the entire picture/idea out. Using part of something and leaving out certain information is sufficient enough.
*Metonyms: one thing is substituted for another in a piece of communication. They use indexical relationships to create meanings.
*Metaphors work by a process of transference.
*There are numerous ways of producing a meaning: simile, metaphor, metonym, synecdoche, irony, lies, impossibility, depiction, and representation.
*Messages are always transmitted through a medium. Either Presentational (through voice, face, or body) Representational (through books, paintings, photos) or Mechanical (through phones, internet, tv)

Series: similar things placed in order or happening one after another.
Sequence: serial arrangement in which things follow in logical order or a recurrent pattern.

Representation of themselves or something other than themselves. Include gestures, facial expressions, slogans, music, body language, etc. They are formed by the society that creates them.
"I'm Lovin' It" whenever we hear this sung in the US we think of McDonald's
Spots on your chest. They are a sign that you may be sick.
A picture/word/etc that represents and idea. Points to a certain feeling, word.
Congratulations = happiness
The golden arches of McDonald's represents cheap food! or the Statue of Liberty meaning freedom.
combines two different things together to form a relationship where the first symbolizes the second. Doesn't have to make sense.
"That's hot" = That is nice, trendy, in style.
Dove = peace

What makes a successful book jacket??

A successful book jacket must be dynamic and compelling. It must grab the viewers attention and leave him/her with the curiosity of what lies within the reading. At first glance the viewer must be left with a visual of the story. The design must also be unique, must stand out however it must make sense and be organized. Here are a few examples of bookcovers I find successful or simply ones I like.

I enjoy covers that incorporate photography, are simple and clean, and mess with the viewer's imagination and head.

My Series
Fiction Novels by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Everything is Illuminated

Room After Room
(short story)


Author Bio
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American writer born in 1977 in Washington D.C. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Nicole Krauss and their son, Sasha. His works include two novels, Everything is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), several short stories such as Room after Room, The Sixth Borough, The Very Rigid Search, and Cravings. His works have been published in the Paris Review, Conjunctions, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Foer has also been awarded numerous awards. A few include: Zoetrope: All Story Fiction Prize in 2007 and Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) tells the story of a precocious 9-year old boy, Oskar Schell. Oskar is very intelligent and independent, writes letters to Stephen Hawking, designs jewelry, and wanders about New York City wearing only white while playing the tambourine. On 9/11, he discovers the family's answering machine contains 5 messages from his father trapped in the north tower before he dies, and he hides the messages from his mother. Oskar struggles to deal with this inconsolable loss, distancing himself from his mom who eventually finds another man, and dreaming of fanciful inventions that can protect people from harm. When he finds a key in his father's closet with the word "Black" on the envelope holding it. Oskar seaches the city for every family named Black in hopes they can tell him the secret of the key, in hopes of understanding his father better. Oskar's grandmother lives across the street from him, and she struggles with the loss of her son while remembering her own survival during the bombing of Dresden and the damage it did to her family. Jonathan Safran Foer explores the psychological fallout from 9/11 through an unlikely boy whose pain and ideas ring all too true. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received high praise with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a complex, hilarious, tear-jerking and terribly intimate story."

Everything is Illuminated
A young man takes a strange and unexpectedly funny journey in search of a family heroine he's never known in this screen adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Jonathan (Elijah Wood) is a lifelong collector of any and all objects pertaining to his family, and he has become obsessed with a woman he's never met. The woman saved the life of his grandfather during World War II, when the Ukrainian town where he was born was destroyed by Nazi troops. Wanting to know more about the woman, Jonathan flies to the Ukraine, where with the help of a hip-hop obsessed, gold-toothed tour guide and translator named Alex (Eugene Hütz), Alex's grandfather (a chauffeur who has claimed to be blind since his wife's death, played by Boris Leskin), and a dog named Sammy Davis Junior Junior, Jonathan searches for the meaning of the present that lies buried in the past, unexpectedly shedding the same such light on the lives of those around him.

Room after Room
The room of her body is the size and shape of her body.
She spent most of her life not noticing that she was in it. Those were the good times, when she was on assignment, in some country where no one knew her, from which she would report back on mass casualties and her own safety. But there were other times—usually in New York, usually at parties—when there was nothing that wasn’t her body. She became claustrophobic in her tight self. She became self-conscious in her loose self. The size and shape of her body didn’t correspond to the size and shape of her…

weird unearthly brave turning point children
quirky inexperienced heroical risk innocence
childish distort daring journey black sheep
naïve adventure intrepid bright odd
twist bold stake yellow curious
mysterious courageous dangerous red queer
offbeat fearless chance boots peculiar
kinky venturesome past fannypack singular
strange forward history Ziploc bags only
unusual daredevil travel doors one
solo individual soul alone funny
interested inquiring nosey questioning wondering
inquisitive speculative detective Polaroid journal
pictures camera family tragic historical event

naïve: having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous
twist: to distort the meaning or form of; to alter in shape, as by turning the ends in opposite directions, so that parts previously in the same straight line and plane are located in a spiral curve
journey: a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time; trip; passage or progress from one stage to another.
inquisitve: given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious
history: a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person; acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future; immediate but significant happenings.
curious: arousing or exciting speculation, interest, or attention through being inexplicable or highly unusual; odd; strange.
quirky: having or full of quirks
individual: a single human being, as distinguished from a group
bold: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring; beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative
innocence: the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong; simplicity; absence of guile or cunning

Organic _ _ _ _ x _ _ _ _ _ High-tech
Minimal _ _ x _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Ornamental
Retro _ _ _ _ x _ _ _ _ _ Contemporary
Complex _ _ _ _ _ _ _ x _ _ Easy
Machine made _ _ _ _ _ _ _ x _ _ Handmade

To Suggest List
To suggest a sense of childhood and innocence
To suggest a journey both physically and mentally
To suggest a simple and clean look
To suggest that past history reveals itself over time
To suggest that innocence is bliss
To suggest a sense of memories
To suggest a feeling of missing information
To suggest a feeling of curiousness a want for more
To suggest a sense of love
To suggest a feeling of quirkiness
To suggest a feeling of following a “black sheep”
To suggest an emphasis on “one” the individual, alone

“The meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the tree, the world was the river.” –Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I have no need for the past, I thought, like a child. I did not consider that the past might have a need for me.” –Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“That’s been my problem. I miss what I already have, and I surround myself with things that are missing.” –Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“Life. It was the ultimate secret.” –Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“Every moment before this one depends on this one.” – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I was of the opinion that the past is past, and like all that is not now it should remain burried along the side of our memories.” Everything is Illuminated

I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out.” –Everything is Illuminated

“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” –Charles R. Swindoll

“You have to know the past to understand the present.” –Dr. Carl Sagan

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” –Anthony Robbins

“Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone.” –Mary Astor

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reading Assignment #1

"A logo is not a brand unless it's on a cow." (I love it...)
"Artists and designers are always trying to find new similes." (mmm...true...)

I enjoyed this reading! The 43 pages went by faster than I had imagined. I like how each page is active and yet is still very informative. Two questions I had after reading these articles are:

I tend to think that simple logos/ brands are way more successful at portraying their message and are much more easier to remember than elaborate logos. Although elaborate logos may be well put together, I still think simple over rides elaborate. Is this just me or what does the majority of the population think about simple logos compared to busy and congested logos.

What is the most widely known/used logo of this time? How about in all of the history of the logo?