Designing uniform structures for subsidiaries

So I just read this interesting article from Stephane Thomas, who analyzed, critiqued and attempted to create structural wireframe websites for subsidiary companies of Automattic.

Automattic is a company founded by the creator of WordPress and is a host to multiple websites, that are similar in service. His critique is that all subsidiaries have a different structure to their information, aesthetic and usability. What he proposes is that similarities of each website must be recognized before any designing is to be had. Once the information has been gathered, then one can go about creating layouts that all follow a standardized look, function, tone and feel. Then he took a few of the websites and tried to put them in some sort of united form. At the end of his test, he conceded that to reduce all information into simplest terms was extremely difficult. He did not, however, say that it’s impossible, but keeping information accessibility seamless through multiple websites is a complex task.

Overall, I never really considered the way information is compiled so that it is fitting across the board from parent company to its daughter companies. To reduce and organize only the key information so that all companies have a consistent and seamless flow, is beyond my scope. I do, however, see the usefulness is designing a uniform structure because it’ll allow accessibility and mobility in and amongst these websites a lot easier and friendlier.

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Geist, magazine style I appreciate.

I remember buying my first peculiar magazine, Geez Magazine, and being drawn to the visual interest
created with their designs. The content of the writing was something new as well and later took to searching
for relatable designs.

I’m not exactly sure, but my memory recalls the website being called Genuine Canadian Magazine. It’s a discounted magazine subscription website, but I was using the site  for magazines I could possibly check out in-stores. I chanced Geist and I’ve found it serves as a great aspiration I wish to someday fulfill.

The page layouts are fairly unobtrusive with its steady flow pacing. In designing it as such, they have focused attention to the content more than the design. This is due to the fact that this magazine is for creative writing, therefore, much of the visual design coexists with the content but does little to dominate.

There are ads placed throughout the magazine, but it’s not overwhelming. Personally, I find it entertaining to read, look, and imagine ads and their stories. So the number of ads didn’t bother me.

Geist’s visual and tactile design, approach, solutions and aesthetic are what  attracted me. Thus, enabled my choice in purchasing my first copy. Since then, I’ve stored upon a shelf, all the Geist magazines I’ve purchased, out of sentimentality. Overall, Geist might not for everyone, but I think it’s worth a look.

Helpful Adobe CS6 tutorials

I found a website in my search in creating a spiral in Illustrator cs6. It might be a simple function to preform in Illustrator, but it wasn’t something i could do properly. During my browsing I came upon a short video clip that explained how to create an equally spaced spiral. I found another tutorial video that showed how to create a simple op art rendering. Perfect, seeings how for a calendar project, I chose to mimic the styling of an op artist, Yaacov Agam. The author of these tutorial videos, Deke McClelland, only offers a select few of his videos for free, but it’s a good start for practice. I think it’s worth a look to get the ball rolling and from there, to branch out to other places.

Brainstorming about Nothing

In a recent post, I mentioned the Project of Packaging Nothing and how I would monitor my progress. Well here is another snippet of work done for this project.

So yesterday in class we had a gentleman named Brock, who comes from a design solutions company, and he came in to help our class better define the approach to this very open project. Since his professional job is to come up with creative solutions for design problems, an example being traffic flow within a store and how does one direct people? With his friendly demeanor and enthusiastic personality, he was able to stir within our heads, questions that asked more questions, that essentially lead us in different directions of perception. His task was to enlighten us that something as broad as, “what is nothing,” can be answered, if not condensed, when one acquires as much information as possible.

The main thing I got out of the session with him was lots of research, of all perspectives and sides and ways, is key when designing for a solution that will work. So for example, I did not think of this, but for me, my nothing, or intangible, is light. I explained my choosing, he said great but who’s going to buy it and who’s going to make it? I had no idea. Now I’m thinking of it a bit more about what he said, but I found that the little bit time he spent in our class, turned out to be very useful.

The PI Institute

So what is the PI institute and what’s it good for? Besides being a really interesting designed building, it’s the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. I’m surprised that my small town, when compared to Toronto, has a place where all over the world come and discuss/work on physics. The website has more detail about what it’s all about, but my main focus is on the architecture itself. Montreal-based Saucier + Perrotte is responsible for the creation of this 65,000 square foot building and Teeple Architects are responsible for the Stephen Hawking Centre expansion. On a side note, the newly built YMCA building’s library was also designed by Teeple Architects. The PI building received a Governor General’s Medal for Architecture for the design in May 2006.

DSC00092-1 Perimeter_Institute_Pano_edit2 Perimeter-Institute-1a Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute - September 20, 2010 - 2 ResizedThe photos are not mine, and I do not know who are the rightful owners of them,. Again, I do not take credit for these images. I intend to upload my own images, but I’m going to say now that they will be covered in snow due to the season. Poor timing has left me unable to snap a few shots, but it will be done.

Infographic of student evolution 1960 and up.

This is a small post, mainly because I thought this infographic was visually attractive in it’s simplicity, as well for the content is was displaying. The infographic can be seen here. It’s a short look at how many students were enrolled in post-secondary schools, the percentage of male and female enrolled, as well as new technology that impressed the students at the time.

Graphic design should welcome advertising.

Although I’m a student in graphic design, I still have an affinity for good advertising. Is some respects, I’m an advertiser, but more on the visual creation side. The webiste has 35 clever and well done ads. I wish that our class would touch upon advertising, because there is much in that field of work that would undoubtedly help us, for example marketing psychology and writing. Now I’m not asking for any dramatic changes, but a slow implementation of aforementioned topics would prove beneficial, and thus, would allow us to be more versatile.

Anyways, these ads, sure are trying to sell something, but I think is some instances, we’re all trying to sell something. Right now I’m trying to sell you that we sell things. Sure, my pitch is not for money, but maybe it’s for approval, or something we can relate to? All I know is that advertising wouldn’t be a bad thing to brush upon in my graphic design course.

Ludovic Balland, Modern Swiss Style

Born in 1973, Ludovic Balland studied visual communication at the University of Art and Design in Basel before specializing in typography (training at Dalton & Maag, London) as well as in typesetting and book conception. In 2002, he founded the studio The Remingtons in Basel, focusing on typography and typesetting techniques. The studio was awarded several prizes, for example for the book Globus Cassus. In 2006, Balland founded his own studio, Typography Cabinet, with which he mainly purses typographical investigations and editorial design.

Balland regularly teaches at ECAL/University of Art and Design in Lausanne, where he teaches typography in master’s and bachelor’s classes. He was a guest professor of typography at the Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany) in 2008 and has given several typography workshops and lectures. His notable works include the design of the visual identity and catalog of the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, the design of the 4th volume of Herzog & de Meuron’s Complete Works (Birkhäuser), and the design of a new visual identity for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Typography Cabinet received a Certificate of Typographic Excellence from the TDC55 (Type Directors Club in New York) in 2009.

The three-volume catalogue series Teaching Architecture, designed by Balland, was chosen as one of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books in 2010 and won an honorary appreciation in the Best Book Design From All Over the World category at the Stiftung Buchkunst Leipzig in 2011. Balland was also a winner of the Swiss Federal Design Awards that same year.

The information gathered for this graphic artist was from this site. I do not take credit for what has been written for Ludovic’s short bio, but I do take credit for what will be written after this period.

So I came across Ludovic Balland while searching the internet for all things graphic design. I have no prior knowledge of Ludovic or his work. I just followed the clicks of my mouse and his work grabbed my attention. I think what attracted me to see more from Balland was that his style seems to be influenced greatly by Swiss Style graphic design. It’s a style I mostly favour, so when I saw just a snippet of his work, I had to investigate it further.

tumblr_mfczfajgvA1qbzf5jo1_500 tumblr_mdteadRjXx1qi36d1o10_r1_1280 tumblr_mdteadRjXx1qi36d1o5_r2_1280So featured here is just a small selection of his work. To get a better sense of his style, visit his website. His strong display of typography skill is something that I appreciate, as well as colour selection and layout. This is only one example of someone’s skills whom I wish to work towards.

Slightly lit into the tunnel

I was looking up unique folding instructions for use in an upcoming project, Project of Nothing.

So I’m searching, it’s not to long till I’ve found something of interest. I watch it, I’ve enjoyed it, now what else does he have, he being Lori Pullman. I realize I’m on a neat website, with artful videos, and I decide to use the search engine. This site, by the way, is vimeo.com. I figured that if I found Lori’s videos on this site, I’m sure, although not certain, there might be more paper folding videos to be found. I then came across this video. I liked what I saw and continued to look through the creators profile. This link is for the artist/designer, Greg Barth. The video is just a quick overview of some of his work. I found it extremely interesting to see how he and his team plan then create, it’s wicked.

Now, I have a better idea for the end result of my package design, the Project of Nothing. I’m putting up just a fragment of the research I’ve collected. I’ve labelled each image with a specific title. The titles correspond to the function of each image. According to my interpretation of the project’s criteria, this “nothing” is intangible. Take for example love, if you had to reduce love to a product, what would you design to capture others interests.? Or image the packaging for the ability to grow flowers on grass by peeing on it. Now I didn’t chose something that ridiculous, instead, I chose to design for Light. With my concept, I’m taking what I think light is and how is/can it be interpreted, and revision my thoughts from what I’ve seen of other people. I have thumbnails, but I’ll long those up in a bit. I don’t have credits for the images that I’m reshowing, but I might have them on my pinterest account, bradical12.

Project of Nothing, mood board

Project of Nothing, mood board