March 26, 2010
Time for lots of iterations!
March 24, 2010
A list of things I want to learn/do:
It's lovely to have found this moss "recipe," since previous to this I always just hunted and used moss I found at different locations. Not only does this prevent a lot of problems (bugs in the moss, uneven coverage, dying moss(kind)) it also opens up a lot more opportunities as to what I can do with it! I don't know if the weather will allow, but I'm gonna try to find some good moss tomorrow so I'll have some moss terrariums off to a good start, ready for spring. I'll also be familiar with the process, so I can make more moss spread later, maybe try experimenting with where it is applied. x)
Makin Some Curtains
I need some curtains, now that the sun is actually starting to show up! Also, I don't know how to sew, and it's on my list of things to learn. I figure big, simple rectangles can't be too difficult. It's a start!
Perhaps a Peg Board?
Another interior design project. Freeing up cabinet space by making a peg board pot and untensil holder! Julia Childs knows best.
Some other images for inspiration:
Montage/ collage with patterns/veneers. No Purpose, just playing with shapes:
Water colouring. Illustration. Flowers.
Cut paper. Cats with glasses.
Botany. Dried and pressed plants. On display.
Functional and Fresh. Tangle free necklaces? We'll see.
Found plantlife mashup.
I don't know if I'll get around to any of this at all, but it's something I at least want to look into. I can only spend so much time looking up information about food/cooking for all three classes! :)
The template was created by Deluxe Templates, and the banner and colors were all put in my meee. I don't know enough about code to do one myself, but I can understand enough to modify an existing template.
March 22, 2010
1. Comparative data between states, and nationwide, allowing looks at different years as well (lots of numerical and location data available on this site).
3. Greenist Cities. Boulder is number 7! Cool! It is also the country's best organic food suppliers. No wonder I enjoyed it there so much, haha.
4. Organic Vs. Nonorganic Prices
5. Organic Food Timline
2. Food Trends through the Decade. Covers important eating/habit/changes that involve food, like the Super-Size Me documentary, diet trends, the recession and its effects on home cooking, etc.
3. Food Price Trends:
4. Culinary Events Calendar. Shows a break down of months, weeks, and days. Shows events and special days (both historical and current).
6. Strange Food From Around the World. Gross! Very interesting look at what other people eat in other areas of the world. I would definitely stick with the more "normal" strange foods, nothing like the animal brains or stuff like that.
2. History of Eating Utensils. Positively riveting information. A must read. (that was sarcasm)
4. Top Ten Useful Utensils
spoiled soup pot -cooking accidents (mess-ups AND injuries)
3. Fire Safety Methods.
Pizza Box - Fast Food
1. The History of Fast Food. This is a concise time line of important dates in fast food history.
Each point on the line is clickable for additional information. A portion of the time line:
2. Numbers of fast food restaurants in the USA. Very cool website, these developers made this map through google maps. There's also a Starbucks version of the map. Very cool.
5. Cost of Fast Food in Different Countries
Graphic Design: The New Basics
- a graphic representation of a structure, situation, or process.
- allows us to see relationships not visible through straight lists of numbers or verbal description.
- no metaphorical distractions of excessive flourishes ("chart junk"), stay within the realm of objective observation.
- also called a graph, it's a set of connections among nodes or points
- centralized networks - all power issues come from a common point
- decentralized networks - spine with radiating systems
- distributed networks - node-to-node relationships with concentrated nodes of connectivity
This reading shows a lot of really good images for image mappings, and I'll continue to look back to them for inspiration and reference and my factoids begin to shape into information graphics. The different distributions of hierarchy in the graphs was really interesting to explore, and shows how varied the format of this information can come in.
Graphic Design Sources - p.154
This was a really concise, clear reading about the important elements of information graphics! It's hard to summarize so much straight-forward information, so first, important points and lists:
Challenges of Information graphics
-people find statistics to be boring
-people resent the idea that things, attitudes, Points of view, and choices are reduces to numbers.
-stats tend to be very cold, with little depth into the topic they cover
- many statistical information take time to decipher
- the end result of understanding the info and remembering it is rewarding to the viewer
Graphic displays of data should:
-serve a reasonably clear purpose: description, comparison, contextualization
-show the data
-cause the viewer to think about what the data mean rather than how the display was made
-avoid distorting what the data have to say
-encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data
-reveal the data at several levels of detail, from fine structure to broad overview
-be closely integrated with the statistical base of the data and the verbal descriptions, including the title, of the display
-not confuse design variation with data variation
-not show more information-carrying dimensions than the number of dimensions in the data
-assist in remembering the information
-respect the viewer’s intelligence
Principles of graphical integrity:
1. Proportional correspondence: The representation of numbers , as physically measured on the surface of the graphic display, should be directly proportional to the numerical quantities represented.
2. Data-ink proportionality: The largest share of the ink should be used to show measured quantities (as compared to the ink used for the measurement system).
3. Clear Labeling: Data need clear, detailed, and thorough labeling to eliminate graphical distortion and ambiguity. Write explanations of data on the graphic. Label important events in the data.
4. Contextual relevance: If you do not furnish the context, the viewer will. (if something goes up, something related goes down, etc.)
5. Device Relevance: Suppress vibration grids self-promoting graphics, and expression of data by the use of relevance graphic devices, typographic manipulation, and finesse in the relative weighting of elements.
6. Shape Relevance: Information should not be squeezed into forms that deny its characteristic shape. Being true to information yields its own form.
Hiebert's rules of graphic displays seem to be really similar to Tufte's rules. Some differences that I really enjoyed though were: encouraging the eye to move around the image, having multiple layers of information (both narrow and broad), and also respecting the viewers intelligence. Even with information graphics, it is important to remember go waaay back and refresh ourselves on the earliest principles of design, and arrange these elements with meaningful scale, proximity, layering, etc., etc. Plus, there's no reason to need to dumb down information for the viewer. Taking it from a plain text form and placing it in a diagrammatic layout is clarification enough. Being too simple is insulting to the people who read it (and also insulting to our ability, haha).
March 20, 2010
March 12, 2010
The video keeps skipping and messing up when I try to upload it as a .mov file on vimeo, so I'm going to research into how to fix that tonight. I don't really want to upload a seven second video that skips most of itself. Blech! Also, something seemed to get buggy when I exported the video, and the night portion of the interstitial didn't blink like it's supposed to, even though all the keyframes are still on the right layers.
A lot of time was spent choosing colors by sampling the photographs that we gathered at the veeeery beginning of the project as source images for our icons. One thing that I had trouble with initially was only choosing the colors that I thought that I wanted from the images. I looked for oranges in carrots, green in the leaves, and grays on the pots and pans. Because of this, my first round of colors were not very successful; I was looking for specific colors instead of exploring all of my options. Shame on me. After talking with an upperclassman though, it was suggested that I try sampling colors from parts of the images that might not be the focus of the image (ie: the kitchen in the background, instead of the pot itself). The colors that I came up with in this secondd round were a lot more successful, and from this set I chose the colors that I ended up using for my final set:
Color scheme pyramid! Those are actually the colors I chose for the one-color, two-color, and three-color icon sets, respectively. I really like these colors, and I think they're pretty successful at conveying the ideas of both "tastiness" and "dangerous.
The final icons (2 and 3 color sets):
Ater the critique today, I'll be making some more changes to both the colors and the icons themselves. Or, better said, I will be altering the distribution of color throughout, not changing the colors.
Notes from today's critique:
- Pizza Box • possibly needs a rounder edge, or perhaps a hint at the demention of the box. It's an improvement on the last icon, but still needs some work! I'll also try removing the thin lines on the inside of the pizza, which can actually allow me to make my curlies a bit bigger, which will be nice. Lastly, no green for the pizza color. Gross.
- Extinguisher • Maybe the exhaust needs to be changed so something more similar to the flames on the pan icon. It looks like a fiesta extinguisher right now.
- Recipe Box • Skewing the box so that it is similar to the pizza box, so it is not so dense and flat.
- Soup Pot • Try to make the bubbles/lumps look more refined, similar to the leaves on the carrots.
- Three-Color Set • Try making only a tiny piece of each icon have the third color, so it's more like an accent. It will help unify the set, yes?
March 11, 2010
This article brought up several interesting points about the use and function of icons, while cleverly incorporating them into the actual text. This was pretty cool, since it only made the point of the article even stronger, showing how easy it is to substitute words with icons, but retaining the message.
Reduction and consistency are the basis of the Neurath's pictograms, and are important rules that all (successful) icons need to conform to. But while western culture finds Neurath's icons to be easily understood, they rely heavily on the viewers being educated on the icons beforehand and also rely on contrast with the icons they are placed with. The man icon can stand for many different things, not just the toilet, when placed next to a water fountain, or in an elevator, or sitting down.
My favorite part of this article was at the end, when icons from another culture were compared to their writing system, and then attempted to translate to a "western" meaning. The ideographs created for the Japanese airport might not seem as clear to a foreigner, but when explained, it is immediately understood as a car rental, or hotel information icon.
It also brings up the interesting point that just as much as we may try to convince ourselves that icons are always clear, they are not. It is the same for English and the Latin alphabet. For something that is prided for being so rational, there are so many irregularities that there's never one way of reading (or pronouncing) things! Very interesting food for thought.
The beginning sketches messed around with the themes in a really elementary manner, trying to make it super obvious which picture was each sin. While this was a nice way to help understand the meanings of each of the sins, each idea was a pretty typical, expected representation of each sin. Moving forward, I tried to think of ideas that were still clear and understandable, but not as cliche. Here are some of my early sketches for some of the sins:
Even in the drawing stage of this project, I realized that I wanted to pay particular attention to the facial expressions on each of the chicks. Drawing this was a lot easier than making it work on the actual chicks. Formally, the chicks are just a piece of really fuzzy pipecleaners with legs and eyes glued on. With such a simple object, it was a fun challenge to try and convey their emotions while keeping everything as simple and crafty(since they're so crafty-looking to begin with). Even just adding a pair of eyebrows to the little toys made their emotions recognizable; it's crazy how something so tiny can make such a big different in our understanding of emotions. Then it was just a matter of twisting and standing or sitting them in a position that helped to further convey the sins they were representing.
In order of appearance in book:
In the end, I chose to have 4 photographs containing text, and 3 without. I think this is a good split down the middle. I considered having each composition contain speech, then reconsidered, because it seemed like overkill, and too redundant. In the opposite direction, I also considered trying the photos with no text at all, but decided against it. The sin that each photograph is representing it clear without the text, but I liked the text to help reinforce the theme, and also to add a bit of humor to the images.
For the cover page, the index and the colophon, I kept the text all pretty simple, with the added character, the text-made chick, peeping up every once in a while. Minimal color, just an Easter-y pink, was used. Craft-wise, all the images printed out pretty well, and the construction of the book turned out really well.
Overall, this was a really interesting project that tested my skills in ability to compose interesting and informative images while keeping the set as a whole cohesive and visually compelling. Also, this was a fun experience in constructing and setting up artificial environments for the subjects of my photos, even though in the final images I chose to omit most of the extra details that the environment provided.