On Friday February 17th, the University of Nebraska-Omaha showcased the Juried Art Student Exhibition opening event. The show is provided every spring semester for all students to participate in entering. This show provided over 37 student artists that are pursuing a degree in College of Fine Arts and Media. Attending this exhibition, provided not only a wide assortment of classifications of what art is, but rather gave an overall view of how art is interpreted, with showing sculptures, prints, paintings, mixed media materials and digital works.
An interesting aspect that came to mind when walking through the gallery is the connections that you create and the people you get to know. Throughout my years at UNO, I have met new artists, seen their style and their process work in design. What was remarkable, was seeing the development in those pieces and then getting to see the final product in the show.
This event served as an honor not only for my fellow art members in the school, but a proud moment to participate in the gallery with them. I have never had my artwork in a gallery event, so this was pretty impactful accomplishment. It shows that hard work can pay off. Overall, the experience was remarkable, talking with fellow artists and getting to view representation creations.
If you have not checked out the Juried Student Art Exhibition, it is located in the UNO Art Gallery until March 30th. Go check it out and see all the inventive ideas of creation.
In my four semesters of Graphic Design classes, there have been plenty of times I have found myself overwhelmed with too many ideas and frustrated with a lack of ideas. With the help of my professors and my peers, I conquered these obstacles to make myself a better designer. I would like to pass on some of the realities I have learned through being a graphic designer.
1. Your first idea isn’t always your best idea.
There have been plenty of times where I think that I completely nailed something on the first try, but in reality the only thing I achieved was limiting myself to one option. What saved me from this was creating thumbnails. Yes, it’s tedious, but it really does open your mine. Sometimes your first idea really is your best one, or it could be your 47th or your 64th. You don’t really know until you try. I learned not to be afraid of making multiple versions of the same idea too, because making having your type above your logo is more successful than having it underneath. You never know until you try.
2. Find inspiration pieces.
We all can’t beautifully imagine everything straight from our head no matter how hard we try. I found that looking for pieces that have the same look or overall feel you are going for makes designing so much easier. While you’re not exactly copying the piece, you can find out what in particular makes it relate to your own design. Is it the typeface, the color palette, the layout, the illustration style? Looking at a few pieces that really gets your gears going will propel you into a better design result.
3. Get feedback as much as possible.
Having your peers and your professors break apart your work down to every little detail is really scary at times, but it helps. A lot. At first, I only wanted to hear positive things, but I learned that only getting positive feedback isn’t going to make your work go anywhere. Criticism is going to make you find a way to defend your decisions or make you change them to fit better with what you are trying to communicate. Feedback doesn’t always have to come from your peers or professors either, asking anyone to see if someone be changed or edited to make it into a better design is important. Without the feedback I have gotten on my designs, I wouldn’t have been able to turn my thumbnails into comps or my rough comps into comps or my comps into a finalized version. There is always tweaking to be done if you really think about it, and the more feedback you get helps create the design that will communicate what you need to say.
If I had to say what my favorite brand is, personally and conceptually it would definitely be Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has it down when it comes to design, branding, advertising, and marketing. What is unique about the Coca-Cola Company is that it is recognizable anywhere. The branding is so strong that the logo is recognizable in any language. Whether you are enjoying an ice-cold can of Coke in the United States or China, you know exactly what it is.
The marketing team always has a fun, innovative way to market the brand in a way that literally catches the world by storm. Take for example, the “Share a Coke” campaign. It’s like going to a gift shop and finding a keychain with your name on it; you’re going to buy it because of the novelty. This was also true of the “Share a Coke with…” Anytime I would see a can that says “Share a coke with your best friend, boyfriend, etc.,” I would give the can to that person. But if they weren’t around I would send them a photo of it with a corny caption.
Let’s not forget the advertising for coke products. Coke and food go together. This has got to be one the simplest, most truthful phrases I have ever heard. I think most people (at least the ones who drink soda) can agree with this. The taste of the crisp, refreshing Coca-Cola pairs well with anything. Whether it’s pizza, French fries, pasta, or a hot dog, the best sidekick is an ice-cold Coca-Cola.
On Thursday evening (02/02/17), the lecture event of Designing Milton Wolsky, with speakers Madison Besch and Andrew Peterson, gave insight for new and current designers in the field. They gave great tips on their process of design in the image the client wanted, instead of their own beliefs. Each component had rationale from the typography, imagery, and even the grid. An interesting intake from the Milton Wolsky book was the fact that they used personal motifs as gaining a relation to the artist in his style, while embracing an energetic and playful layout. In relation, I hope to see more informative events that show what graphic designers can do in the community.
This Fall semester AIGA-UNO had a really neat opportunity to work with UNO’s Speech Center on campus to create them a memorable brand. I had the pleasure to be a Creative Director over this project and had the help of other AIGA-UNO members. The Speech Center provides wonderfully helpful services for students and staff and we wanted to help them communicate this to others.
Over the semester I got to meet with the professionals that work at the Speech Center and meet their needs by creating a new logo and poster templates for their major events. It was a great learning opportunity to conduct meetings with real clients, writing proposals and presenting concepts. It was awesome to have an opportunity to work with an organization that also falls under the University of Nebraska-Omaha umbrella. AIGA-UNO will continue to have an ongoing positive relationship with the Speech Center with helping them further strengthen brand elements and promote their organization.
For my thesis project, ‘Feeling the Rhythm,’ I wanted to create a poster series that mixed three interests of mine together — science, music, and graphic design. The visual component of my project is meant to represent a sound wave, interweaving between emotional genres to show one large spectrum. The monolinear lines were used in order to replicate continuity along with color gradients.
I began my project researching scientific articles on the psychology, physiology, and emotionality behind music. I started finding many studies done on the topic, incorporating color theory from studies done by researchers on the affects of color on an individual based on music genre. This really inspired me to do some smaller monolinear line work on classic, recognizable album covers that fit each genre. The purpose of this was also to give an album to listen to for those enjoying the emotion on each poster.
To add to the scientific feel of the series, I worked in two types – Futura and Andale Mono. Both types emit a scientific vibe that correlates with the presented research. Andale mono was a good choice because it was open and had a large tracking setting applied to it that made the text match the breathability of the line work.
Once the series was all complete, I wanted to replicate the essence of the series with how it would be displayed. In order to do that, I spray-mounted the posters onto matte board and had the posters hang from the ceiling spaced slightly apart to give each poster its own weight while remaining part of the cohesive whole.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my project. I feel it is the perfect culmination of my design skills coming together in order to represent elements that resonate with who I perceive myself to be.
In the beginning of the 2016 fall semester at UNO, we, the graduating BASA seniors, shared two things in common with each other—we were all going different directions, but we all started at here at UNO.
We explored themes of elevation, origins, and flight. In graphic design, vector graphics can make for better clarity. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black), colors used for printing, were also explored in order to show our dedication to the craft and presence of one another. To depict the these themes, we created a poster where vector graphics are utilized with cyan and magenta colors in the background coming together to form a purple in the middle. We used paper airplanes to break the surface on the poster and to replicate our places after graduation.
‘Vector’ is described as a force with both direction and magnitude. We decided to try something different with not only our name and theme, but also with our display. Never before had there been a large display of the BASA show title, accompanied by aerial paper air planes to reinforce the theme. We folded paper airplanes as table tents also, and this encouraged intrigue and unfolding amongst students around campus.
This final semester was such a blast working with creative minds and students. Hearing their feedback and watching their projects progress was a learning experience and a chance to see how far we have all come as designers.
Check out the Vector Web Page!
One of my biggest problems growing up was assuming that I could only be one thing. I could only be a writer. I could only be a doctor. I could only be (fill in the blank). It wasn’t until I was sitting in my junior level fiction class that I realized I would much rather give up all together than force myself into a career I didn’t desire simply for the sake of having one. It was an idiotic notion. I found myself changing my major in the middle of college, taking early education classes, elementary painting and ancient art history. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I certainly knew what I didn’t want: to settle.
It wasn’t until junior year that I began using college for what it’s actually meant to do. I was taking classes based on interest not obligation. I was finding my future by exploring all of my interests and passions. Not to say each moment was rosy. I knew I would end up taking longer in school than my peers. I knew I may see them moving forward past college while I was still chipping away at credit hours.This was another one of my big problems growing up, assessing the validity of my life through the triumphs and failings of others.
In fairness, worrying about what and who I will be is indeed a luxury. I have the opportunity to choose and pave my future. Once I realized this I stopped the pity party immediately. I found graphic design just when I needed. To me, graphic design communicates thought and feeling better than any other form. It’s a way of placing the written word into a succinct image. Quality branding evokes a collection of ideas. The Nike logo isn’t a haphazard swoosh; it’s a symbol for strength, endurance and courage. Budweiser even changed its name to America for a time knowing their company has become the standard for American alcohol. Purveyors of graphic design are behind this. Yes a substantial business model helps but how good is Budweiser anyway? Or do we just like it because we feel as though we’re drinking America?
These are a few examples of why my creative writing background prepared me to explore the field of graphic design. Words are a formula for design. Why do people buy the products they do? What makes for successful branding? How can I use words to breakdown company values, mission statements and consumers? I like to think I know good design when I see it but to create it, well let’s just say that’s my new big problem.