February 23, 2011

Individual Health Concerns

These are the issues that Taylor and I concluded to be some of the most current and pertinent heath concerns for individuals.
  • Cancer
  • Weight
  1. nutrition
  2. ingredients/chemicals in food
  3. diabetes
  4. hearth disease
  5. fitness
  6. FDA
  • Affordable Healthcare
  • Sleep and related issues
  1. stress
  2. insomnia
  3. long work hours
  • Prescription Drugs

February 18, 2011

USA Today: Revised!

Lots of changes! Hopefully this page has more character than previously. Unfortunately, Cooper Black is bringing a little too much character to the pages, but that can be fixed with a Clarendon patch-up. Everything still needs a bit of work, but that's ok, it's made leaps and bounds since last class.

Some notes to cross through as a fix things:
Incorporate the persona back into the presentation to make it more personal/relate-able
make sure general craft is tidied up–line stuff up, even spacing, etc

February 16, 2011

USA Today Progress

Working out the kinks of the design that I am moving along with. It wasn't a super great crit, and I've got a lot to do to get this where it needs to be. Not going to lie, I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut with this project, and I'm not sure why. Anyway, things to work on:

  • typography is default, and could use some jazzing up
  • make the weather icons work!
  • customize the shapes some more
  • more photos
  • make sure all the boxes line up
  • fix a bunch of the pages!
  • tweak colors so they are readable
  • make it not boring
  • make it not flat

February 15, 2011

Subculture: Camera Journal


So, the quality of most of the photos we got back from the camera journal were not the best quality. But this isn't really a surprise, and it's fine they came out like this. The real gem of this research collection method was the descriptions that our interviewee filled out for us.
Not only did she help describe some of the more difficult-to-see pictures, but she gave us some insight into her feelings towards the objects. She stressed her dependence on some of the things pictured, like the therapist and the nurse. She also took a lot of pictures of different part of her home. While she did this to show the different contraptions she had to use from day to day, to us, this painted a bigger picture to us, showing us that they sometimes have to modify or renovate their whole homes so it is compatible with the person they are caring for.
She also revealed some of the frustrations that she had within some of the pictures she took, which is something she didn't really discuss the first time we interviewed her. She talked about how the wheelchair was a lot more trouble that it might seem as first, from the most obvious inconveniences to the smallest things like the fact that she couldn't have rugs or carpet (otherwise the chair would snag).

February 12, 2011

Subculture: Initial Book Designs

Here are some of the pages I've been working on as part of the subculture book. I've already begun to mess around with these new colors (not partner-approved yet). What's most difficult so far is just creating copy to supplement the information we have gathered. One goal of making this book is to make sure we get as much of the juicy information we gathered on these pages.

It's still lacking it's "something special" though. We will be brainstorming on this tomorrow.

February 11, 2011

Webpage designs

The three directions that I brought to the table last (last, last) class (sorry, a bit behind) are these. I tried to refine the idea of my modular, customizable design. The direction that I ended up going along with was a combination of the first and third designs shown here. Color coding seems like a logical convention to use here, and it is something that was used on the original USA Today webpage.
Time to refine!

February 10, 2011

Subculture: Interviews

Dianne–wife and caregiver to her brain damaged husband
Sandra–wife and caregiver to her husband who had back surgery
Nancy–Currently a part time caregiver for and elderly women
Gwen–former caregiver for a variety of patients

There was a lot of great insight gained from these interviews. Each woman that we talked to (although our topic is not exclusive to female caregivers) had a lot of great answers for our questions and gave wonderful, entertaining stories and examples that we will be able to use in our subculture data collection.
As we asked about the pros and cons of being a caregiver, all of the ladies seemed to give us similar answers. To start off with, they all truly enjoyed what they did, and didn't consider it a hardship, even if it wasn't by choice that they were in their situation. They have big hearts and only have the best interests of their patients in mind. While it can sometimes be difficult to handle the mental and physical strain their responsibility puts on them, they would have it no other way. They all seemed to unanimously say that patience is the key to the work they do, since sometimes it is slow, or sometimes patients are not cooperative, or something goes wrong.
They have many concerns that come along with their job that might not be that obvious just from doing secondary research. For instance, their own age is a huge concern among them. Since they are baby boomers, 46-64, they are beginning to encounter health concerns that come with getting older. Along with the physical strain that they put on themselves while caregiving, this can add up to a decline in health. Also, money issues are another problem for caregivers and their families. Depending on the state of the person they are caring for, they might have to give up their job to take care of the person. And also, their patient might have been formally employed. Then, with the loss of one or two incomes coupled with medical bills, finances are a big concern.
Overall, this is a group that has a lot of love and a lot of problems. They also have great stories to tell.

For more on this, watch for Familial Baby Boomer Caregivers: An Insight by Kelsey Anderson and Joseph Shopen in your local bookstore. (tehehe)

February 9, 2011

C/ID Reading

Branding to think about:
  • Signage
  • advertisements
  • printed material
These can all have their own look at feel, but the overall brand of them must be cohesive. Consistency is key, of course. It seems like when creating a brand to put on these materials, in the case of several of the examples, the more simple, the better. With a large, clear, and simple design for a logo, the Frieze Art Fair could be applied everywhere. And the simple colors were enough to make the signage identifiable (as well as the categories the corresponded with, I'm guessing) but not so crazy that they were their own art piece.
Which also makes me think, there are certain times when it is best for the brand to NOT be overstated. Too much going on is overwhelming.

That's not to say, though, that the imagery can have its time to shine. My favorite assortment of brand applications is the Mori Art Museum. It has a simple but very bold design, with several elements that the designers can alternate across different media. Something to consider? Yes.

February 7, 2011

Subculture: Shadowing

6.00 pm

She begins sitting on the couch, she is watching the entertainment news programs. She switches to a country music channel. Her husband is wheelchair-bound. It is a very quite house. They are both very quiet. While we are talking to her, Steve makes sounds, Dianne tells her helper that he needs to go to the bathroom. But Dianne doesn’t help with this, she tells us she can’t do all the physical lifting, that’s what the helper is for. She feels kind of awkward with us here, she seems really stiff. We sit for a while, making small talk. He husband thumps his foot against the wheelchair, and mumbles something. He cannot form words very well. She gets up and goes straight to him. He talks to her again, not making any words again. She is talking to him in a quiet, soothing voice. Simple language. Not like talking to a child, but still very basic. She somehow understands what he’s saying–Joseph and I don’t understand anything he says. She wheels him over to the kitchen table, and sets his out place mat. His is very still, she says that she must have been right that he was hungry. There is a younger woman in the kitchen, she is one of the part-time helpers (she is younger, looks like her twenties?) Dianne joins her in the kitchen and works on preparing the meal. It’s something mushy. She sets the food in front of Steve, and she helps him put his special silverware in his hands, and then the helper takes over for her. We continue with the interview.

From the shadowing, Joseph and I gleaned some key insights to the everyday life of Dianne, a woman who is on the "heavy care" end of our subculture spectrum. We did this shadowing when we initially came to interview her. Earlier, during the interview, she mentioned that she is very reliant on media sources such as the internet (she loves pandora), email, and her television with satellite. This seemed to prove true as she was always a bit distracted by the TV But when her husband needed help, she was quick to jump to his aid.
Sitting with her, we got a clear idea of what some of her values were. She values the time that she spends with her husband, in contrast to the idea that he could be in assisted living right now instead. She does all that she can to keep her husband with her. Her shortcomings include her physical limitations that keep her from being able to give him full care. Because of this, she relies on the 24/7 support of hired helpers. She says that it is hard to find helpers for certain hours and certain days (like no one wants to come in during church time).
Anyway, her simple language is something that seemed to show her speaking style, as well as her knack for patience (an essential skill, all care takers have noted). Even though it is unclear to other people, Dianne was able to understand what her husband said to her, and he seemed to understand what she was saying back to him.

February 2, 2011

Symposium Concepting

Typography: one of the basic elements of graphic design. But more than that, typography is something that you experience non-stop, all day. This (poster/postcard/whatever artifact they’re reading off of) is typography. The girl wearing sweatpants with the word “juicy” on the back? That’s typography. The alphabet cereal you had for breakfast? The book you’re reading for English? The little smilie face you put at the end of your last text? Of course, all are forms of typography. But what are some of the kinds of typography you don’t see everyday? Come to the (symposium name here) to learn about the broad spectrum of what is TYPE.

Abstract to Practical: A Typographic Exploration

Type: An Exploration Of The Written Laguage

Typographic Breakdown: The construction and deconstruction of all things type.

Letter Mania

Now You Read It, Now You Don’t

It’s not all Books and Posters: Type explanations and experiments of KCAI graphic design students.

Typographic Map: Covering all corners of what lies within its borders.

ty·pog·ra·phy - Defining and redefining type.
[tahy-pog-ruh-fee] - Defining and redefining type.

I shot the serif: wrangling the elusive typography.

Typography Trapeze: A circus of exhibits and activities revolving around the world of type.

Since we have another snowday, and therefor a while before we review this list, it is subject to change between now and then. :)

February 1, 2011

Baby Boomer Care Givers Analysis

To begin with, Baby Boomers are a group of people that span 20 years in age, from 46-64. This means that they are getting older, and might have parents that need caring or spouses that require help. The caregivers that we focused on were those that either fell into this because their family situation required it, or used caregiving as a part-time job now that they were wrapping up their careers. After interviewing a number of caregivers, we noted many traits that they seemed to share, as well as information such as their frustrations, worries, and concerns.
Caregivers of the Baby Boomer generation are genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of their patients, and are dedicated to whoever they are helping. During our research, it came up a lot that the baby boomer generation is an altruistic one, and this seemed to prove very true as all of our interviewees had past volunteer experience before becoming caregivers. A trusting personality is an essential quality of these caregivers, as they are asked to do a lot and they have to be careful not to offend or demean their patients throughout the day. This can sometimes be difficult, since sometimes patients can really give them a hard time. As one woman, Gwen, put it, “you’ve got to learn how to appease them, because you’re both set in your own ways.” But their patient, upbeat attitude keeps them going, in addition to being able to adapt to the person they’re caring for.
The caregivers we talked to were all very modest, downplaying their importance and happy with the gratitude they got. This surprised us, as we thought they might feel more burdened than they seemed to be. But they all seemed to love what they did and were content with the personal satisfaction they got from doing this.
Another thing that came as a surprise to us was that none of the women we interviewed had any professional experience that would have trained them to be care givers. Nancy said that all her experience came from being a mother, and another caregiver, Sandra, said that aside from some instructional packets (she is caring for her husband with a back injury), she relied learning quickly and being a good communicator to make things run smoothly. When shadowing Dianne, it seemed like she must have had some sort of training, the way she adjusted the wheelchair of her handicapped husband, or described all the equipment they used.
One worry that many baby boomer care givers seem to share though, is that they will soon need to start thinking about caring for themselves. As they age, they will be less and less able to take care of their patients, so they need to both find ways to continue aiding the patients, while accounting for any help they will begin to need. Financially, too, this is something that concerns our subculture quite a bit.