Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms | Video on

Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms | Video on

Rachel Botsman: The case for collaborative consumption

Beer Store Mood Board

If you are not familiar with a mood board it is a board that you use to provide you or others with inspiration, color, and direction for a project; this board creates a visual to the mood you are trying to portray.

I just recently learned of a mood board when I was watching Running Russell Simmons and viewing Courtney Love slobber over her mood board in a meeting to promote her show. Although watching her was unsettling, the idea of a mood board was rather interesting. She had magazine photos, sketches, ribbons, tassels and feathers on this large board. It was a bit messy and I couldn't really see what Courtney Love was going for.

Then yesterday, I was talking with my friend Kevin and my sister Jessica on gmail chat. (As I previously mentioned Jess is also a designer and Kevin is a good friend of my husband's who wants to start a beer store with him.) So, Kevin was talking with me about the name of the store and thought it wasn't working. So, I asked my sister for advice and she recommended a mood board. She explained it much better then Courtney Love's example and used one of our favorite blogs, Design*Sponge, and interior design blog, to explain.

On Design*Sponge the writer,Grace Bonney, will select a movie and create one or two small mood boards, in Photoshop, with objects that portray the atmosphere of that movie. See this one for When Harry Met Sally. So, I followed Grace Bonney's lead on how to create a mood board for the Beer Store and what you see above is the result.

I actually really like how it turned out, and it also provided me with some relaxation while designing it. My husband always talks about how he wants the store to look and I always talk about the research I have done on colors and lighting, so getting it all out felt quite good. I hope I hit the nail on this one. (I'm helping design the store) I'll find out what they think later tonight.

Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work

Friday, December 17, 2010

Syracuse University Poster

I was trying to get a job within the athletics department at Syracuse University (SU), in early December, although I haven't heard back from them I still have a lot of ideas swimming around in my head to design something for them. I wanted to design something in print or video. I did a lot of storyboards for a video, but Photoshop called my name on this one, plus snow was not helping my athletic field shots.

A lot of my inspiration for this poster came from a conversation I had at a local pub. A Syracuse University game was on the television and a gentlemen was talking to me about the history of SU and how they are not the Orangemen any more. I did find a style guide for SU online and found the orangemen was still prominent, but I still wanted to be creative. So, with inspiration from the color orange and texture treatments from Madden football, I excitedly decided to play with orange paint.

The idea for the ad campaign was to have actual SU athletes getting covered with orange paint. The paint would symbolize school spirit like when fans paint themselves, but the paint on the athlete(s) would instead be splashes of paint, like they are the warriors of orange. The SU athletes would either be in game mode or just be triumphantly standing, similar to a Nike Ad (as seen below but with eye contact) to make SU sports look sexy, fun, and top of the line. I felt that concept would be a strong visual communication for SU athletic admissions and could really make the student athletes, and the sports program shine for new comers.

In the end finding photos to work the project brought be towards an game-play football photo, which was still a great find. I think this athlete is Mike Williams Syracuse University's star wide receiver in 2009. He ranked seventh nationally with an average of 8.2 catches per game; and third in the country in total receiving yards with 623.

Neon Love

Found in Cortland NY

Coloring the country

I was driving through Cortland, NY's country side last weekend and it was filled with curvy roads, seasonal roads, wildlife, and lots of snow. But then out of nowhere we drive by something unexpected: these brightly colored cottages. I didn't know what to think, odd, cute, or creepy? My hopes were that they belonged to an artist community, finding peace on in a small community up on a hill. But I was wrong, the real news (from the locals) was Cortland University's grad students like them; so they can party loud in a house instead of within an apartment building; close enough.
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Santa, I need this Letterpress Kit

I first saw this on the movie for Handmade Nation, and didn't know what it was. Its a letterpress and it looks like a lot of fun look at all the options for pressing stuff.

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Wrapped up for Christmas?

You know when you see a hefty price tag and you know most off your money is going towards packaging, well this bottle is proof of that. Don't get me wrong this bottle has great shape, a fancy cap, and a lovely embossed leather wrapping. But I think this might be a bit much because I'm also curious if this rum actually tastes good, the bottle is so pretty I have to wonder if they're hiding something.

Update: Although I was previously looking at this rum as expensive because of the packaging, it recently went on sale and it is actually pretty good. It got my attention with the design which was a good thing but so did the price. Would it be sad to say that I would be more willing to buy this rum for the same price if it didn't have that leather looking belt?

Image Typography

Lovely typography found on a liquor bottle. Would have been a great post in October.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Soda Pop packaging

Fizzy Lizzy is all-natural blend of whole fruit juice and sparkling water with a cute design, she got me to buy the cranberry one.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Sister is a GOOD Thing

My twin sister, Jessica Haas, is a graphic designer, like me, and I have to say if it wasn't for me she might not be the great designer she is today. Okay, okay, this might be coming off a bit selfish, but there might be a lot of jealously here; not because she lives in NYC and just received her Masters from a Pratt in Package Design last Spring but because one of her designs were chosen (and published online) as a finalist in a design competition. But darn it, we shared a womb, a bedroom growing up, almost every classroom in school, and pretty much every friend we've ever made and I think that has to count for something, right?

Anyway, in all seriousness she and I are a great influence to each other. There is nothing better then always having someone to critique your work and help guide your way through the many graphic design life troubles.

So, the story about this "publishing thing" started one day in October. I was reading my twitter stream and found a great post from GOOD. GOOD is a website that lists "good things" within technology, business, health, food, media, design, and many other topics. That day the the interesting design topic was if the "current food pyramid was addressing the mounting public health problems associated with unhealthy eating", and listed a competition to design a new food pyramid.

After drawing up some sketches, as seen above, I sent Jessica my work to critique. She didn't think it worked too well, which I agreed, and offered some changes to be made. My idea focused around serving sizes; such as, too many carbohydrate and fat servings, which where located on the waistline of my human food pyramid, would increase in size along with your waistline. But most of the feedback that I received said it just looked like a man in a griddle. I unfortunately didn't have time to make changes and couldn't enter, but Jessica had a great idea that worked off of her thesis project that had to do with nutrition and helping people buy local seasonal foods. Below is her entry.

Click to See it Larger

Jessica Haas's food pyramid is a bit complex, but so is nutrition. Her focus for this chart was how to get the most from your nutrition by eating a diverse color palette of foods. It's a very elegant and original display communicating food color and classification. Nice job Sis!

If you want to get to know more about Jessica Haas read her blog, And She Did… A Packaging & Graphic Designer's Voice on the World of Neat Stuff , plus visit her web-page at Jessica Haas lives in Brooklyn, NY and is currently working has freelance designer.