Thursday, July 3, 2008

Perennial Obsession

When I moved to Georgia, I got really excited about the fact that I was going to be able to have blue hydrangeas

and wisteria

and all other kinds of warmer zone perennials. The flowers in Vermont are certainly wonderful and I miss the cool summer breezes too but how amazing to have a hedge of hydrangeas instead of boring boxwood. It's been a definite trade off though and what I think I've missed the most are the lilacs.

Georgia doesn't have lilacs, and while I'm developing a fondness for the crape myrtle (I live two blocks off Myrtle STREET actually),

it's just not the same as the trusty old lilac. There's something so classic, comforting and homey about a big old lilac bush. I can't wait until I have my own yard again. There will be perennials and vegetables GALORE!!

For my Type is Mass class with Anne, we had to make a self-promo piece that was rooted in something we cared a lot about or an experience we'd had...something that revealed a piece of ourselves while at the same time delivering our contact info etc.

I chose to do a suite of three leave-behind pieces (I'd likely only leave one at a time but variety is good, especially if I were to interview with more than one person) based on my love of perennials. I used bulbs for ease/practicality... each one contains a bulb of either a daffodil, hyacinth or lily (well, actually, they're shallots and wasn't bulb season at the nursery) and the concept is that I'm a "Perennial Designer"...a metaphor of me as a hardy, dependable, carefree, colorful, disease and pest-free designer (that last one was thrown in to prove I have a sense of humor too.) On the front is my contact info and a big H carved out with plastic backing to see the bulb inside. One side shows the watercolor illustration I did, a second side has the USDA hardiness zone map and the third side lists the characteristics of a perennial designer. On the bottom of each box is the name of the flower (in calligraphic hand drawn text) with planting/care instructions. I used the HTF typeface Archer, a beautiful slab serif, on all of the keystroked type.

I started by making a paper comp so I knew what size to make the box, then flattened the box and used watercolor paints for the illustrations (each illustration was close to 10" high but I made sure they were proportional to the final box size so I could reduce them easily):

Then I drew the decorative frame and wrote the flower names for the bottom of each box. About 100 frames and 30-40 iterations of each word later, these were the best:

I scanned everything and then placed it all in InDesign and set the Archer Text. Here are the finals of each side... the flower illustration wrapped onto the top of each box:

The finals are 3.5 inches tall by 2 inches square (actually, business card dimensions). Each piece is attractive enough that you wouldn't mind keeping it on your desk (with my handy contact info just an arm's reach away) and you can always think of me when your flower blooms each spring! My critique panel thought this idea was a keeper.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Editorial Icons

OK, I'm already bored trying to do this in chronological order so I'm just going to add labels to each post designating which quarter the work was done in.

While we were working on our cut paper posters, we had to go back through all of our thumbnail sketches and pick 5 of just our animal, and 5 others of our animal in the style of our civilization. I don't exactly know why they're called editorial icons. Once we had the 10, we had to shrink them down so they were no more than 2 inches at the biggest dimension and place them on a 10" x 10" sheet in such a way as to force the viewer's eye to go to the strongest icon. This would be a tactic to use when showing clients multiple options of logos, for example, when you want them to choose a particular can actually position them on the page using directional forces (swelling, point, centripetal forces) to get them to choose the one you think is the best design.

Here are my non-civ icons (ie, just my sheep). We were also given criteria that we had to meet, such as at least one icon has to be a notan:

And here are the Absaroke/Crow sheep:

Here's how I placed them on the page. They had to be equidistant from each edge, which by default made them centered. The most powerful spot on the page is always the top right so that's where you're supposed to look. Sylvia thought they worked okay so that was good enough for me!

I just remembered how many friggin' times I had to draw a sheep.