The final ‘Zine

•May 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Final ‘Zine

Cover and Back

Cover and Back

2and7-page13and10-page114and9-page118and5-page116and7-page11

Gym Advertisement

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Advertisements are everywhere and we rarely take the time to sit down and look at them for what they truly are. For example, an advertisement for a gym might simply show a man or woman in good shape lifting some weights and telling people to come get a membership. Yet this poster does something different, instead of simply incorporating a typical gym user to be there for their advertisement, they went above and beyond and used the building’s construction phase as a way of helping their advertising campaign. The way the designers did this was by incorporating the cranes used in construction to act as a set of fly weights in order to create the illusion that the man in the picture is lifting up the materials required to build it. I think this works extremely well as a way of advertising because it causes you to look twice and that’s exactly what an advertisement is supposed to do. By forcing the viewer to look twice they then have that image in their head and are bound to talk to people they know about it.

Looking closer at the giant advertisement we see that it is about 20 stories high thus making the design even more impressive. According to the advertisement, the gym’s entire marketing campaign is revolved around turning construction sites into a giant representation of gym equipment. While I strongly believe that this is a cool way to advertise, I don’t think it’s as effective as people would think. Personally I like the novelty of the advertisement but it’s not an effective ad in my opinion. The people the ad seems to target is everyone, but the only people who are going to respond to it are those looking for a gym. The average Joe is simply going to look at this ad and think to himself “that’s really cool” but he isn’t going to be motivated to join. Therefore I strongly believe that the ad is targeted at the wrong audience. To me it’s more of a publicity image to get the word out, but really isn’t a targeted advertisement to get people to join.
Overall, I think the novelty of the ad is what makes it a good one, but I think it is horribly misdirected. From a design standpoint it’s amazing especially for the way that it incorporates the cranes, but from a marketing standpoint I’m quite disappointed with it. It doesn’t seems to be a promotion poster rather than an ad as it doesn’t give any information about the benefits of joining it simply shows a built man lifting weights.

Snowboard Poster Analysis

•May 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The idea of a poster is to grab someone’s attention at first glance and then to draw them in and tell them what you want to tell them. The hard part of this is the first part: grabbing the targets attention.  In a world full of busy lines, constant texting, and iPod laden individuals people today are more distracted than they’ve ever been. However, this poster drew me to it simply for the reason that it was eye catching. The black background contrasts sharply with the bright green which helps it stick out. The word BIG is written in an excessively large font which is semi-distressed and adds an extra level of intrigue to the picture. The text that surrounds the BIG is an interesting use of typography. I personally like how the white text surrounding the BIG is move off at angles either parallel to it and in one case rotated to be perpendicular to the BIG itself.

Along the left side of the poster are quotes about what it means to be a snowboarder. Personally, I’m not a snowboarder at all yet I enjoyed the style of the how they were written. They are much smaller and faded to almost a grey on the black background which doesn’t draw the eye as much as the giant green glowing snowboarder. I personally think that this snowboarder would look better in white rather than green because I believe the overall theme of the posters is the idea of “Go big or go home” when it comes to boarding rather than having the focus point of the image be the snowboarder. I think that the snowboarder detracts from the ability of the poster to convey its information especially because it catches the eyes second thus making the poster seem to be “Big Snowboarder” rather than a mantra of going all out.

As I said, I like the color scheme but I also think the boarder should have been white and not green. The posters typography, especially with the distressed letters in the font make it seem cool and hip which I found interesting and actually enjoyed. Overall I think this is a very effective poster but it could use a few improvements. For example, the quotes could have been a little lighter and not as hidden, especially because I like those the most and found out what the poster was truly about upon reading them.  I feel as if they were made more central to the poster, or stood out more it would convey that the posters is about a love and passion for snowboarding and not a big snowboarding competition or something of the sorts.

Slashdot Site Analysis

•April 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We all view websites on a daily basis whether it is for entertainment, news, school work, or simply because we’re bored. However, we often don’t look deeply at the design in which the site was made and focus entirely on the content presented unless the site design is so bad it takes away from allowing us to effectively navigate the site thus inhibiting our ability to find what we need. My homepage has been the same one for the past 3 years due mainly to content, but now I will look at the design of the site itself.

Slashdot.org has been around since 1997 and runs a format which is quite similar to many blogs on the web. However, Slashdot’s format existed much before the rise in recent web 2.0 applications. The site is host to a list of technology and nerd related news stories which are submitted to the editors by readers of the site. The articles may include anything from government legislation about banning video games, to the new Trek movie, to the use of Quantum Physics in photosynthesis. The site knows its designed for technology savvy people and its subtitle is “News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters”. Even the sites URL is designed to confuse those who are tech illiterate, for example if you tell someone the site’s address you would say this ” h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slashdot-dot-org”. This sense of humor and elitism run rampant on the site in its comments and in the articles it holds.

Being a blog-esque styled site, many of the news articles are commented on by the community. The comments are then moderated up and down based on relevance, how funny, how interesting, and how insightful the comment is. This has lead to much user interaction and has allowed Slashdot to grow in size. Another interesting thing about Slashdot is that it has led to a phenomenon known as the “Slashdot Effect” which occurs when it links to a smaller known site thus causing its servers to overload and get shut down. This occurred very early with the site XKCD as well as other webcomics. This has helped many smaller sites gain a larger following which in turn leads back to Slashdot thus creating an even larger community.

As a website, Slashdot effectively portrays its information in a blog post style allowing user comments and even categorizing the articles into areas of relevance. As an added feature, if you only wanted to see articles involving government legislation you can select to see just that category as different page. Overall Slashdot is a great site for tech related news with an active community of insightful, often biased, but overall good people.

The Human Equation, Analysis

•April 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The importance of album art is sometimes overlooked when we go about purchasing music from our local record store. In fact, with the majority of today’s purchases being done online at music stores like iTunes, the concept of album art is quickly becoming a relic of a bygone era. Gone are the days where an LP’s large cardboard sleeve was the canvass of a great work of art, now we have a small inch by inch square where the album art is virtualized on an iPod or other MP3 player.

However there are still some bands that care deeply about what their album covers look like, one such band is the brain child of composer Arjen Lucassen, Ayreon. Ayreon’s recent album: The Human Equation takes a look into the psyche and mental state of a man who is in a coma. The album spans two discs and tells the story of a battle of emotions and conflicting personality traits inside of a character called title “me”. Having a little background information about the album, we are now able to take a look at the surreal album cover which appears to be mask of a face caught in the center of a dream catcher with a pathway leading up towards it. It appears as if the light source is centered behind this face and the light rays emanate towards us. As for the typography, the band is featured predominately in the top center of the album yet, as an interesting twist, the album title is rather small and placed at the bottom, as if it is trying to be hidden. The font has some classical overtones, especially with the extremely long serifs on the letters, yet comes off progressive and modern at the same time. I believe that this is caused by the serifs not being as smooth and curved as those seen in things such as illuminated manuscripts but more rigid giving it a feeling of modernity.

As for the artwork, I strongly believe that it fits perfectly for the album and mood reflected in the music. The long path up to the mask is deeply symbolic of the path we must all walk before we actually find the truth about who we are. The art does exactly this by making us question what is truly going on in the image. It draws us straight to the center and then our eyes fan out radially as we slowly see more and more of what’s going on around the center piece. This falls right into the idea of the album, which tries to get us to look around who we are to finally understand ourselves.

Overall, the album art is a blast to the past when artwork was the center piece of an album. As a progressive rock band, Ayreon clings tightly to his concept and continues to use original pieces of artwork for their releases.

EDE Reading Questions

•April 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

1. If the concept of authorship, or owning a literary work didn’t exist during the middle ages, then what inspired people to write? Was it simply to get their ideas and thoughts on paper? For example, Milton refused ownership because he didn’t want to get paid, he also probably claimed it was God’s divine thought that inspired his writings, but what about the other writers? The ones who wrote secular books and manuscripts? How did they support themselves?

2. Now we have playwrights in the Elizabethan age writing for a profession and to make a living from the live perfomances of their works. What was the turning point in which people decided to make writing a profession? What was the reasoning for this? Was there some type of shift in public opinion of literature?

3. The text mentions that only few things have authors, such as plays, books, articles, etc. It also mentions that computer programs don’t have authors nor do federal regulations. Is this because more than one person is involved in putting the actual code or words to the page? Or is it because we don’t deem that what they created doesn’t “characterize a certain mode of discourse?”

Keystone Light Logo Analysis

•April 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As a freshman at the University of Illinois, everyone will come in contact with, whether they want to or not, a can of Keystone Light. However, as many people come in contact with Keystone they rarely stop to take a look at the design behind the logo and how, dare I say, it’s actually done quite well.

The Keystone Light Logo is simple in design and quite recognizable which uses a simple picture of a mountain with the text “Keystone Light” super imposed over the blue mountain in the background. The elegance of the Keystone Light logo is that its simplicity is what makes it recognizable to thousands. The interesting thing about the logo is the typography. Personally I like the way the Keystone Light is written on the can. The Keystone is placed above the Light and to balance out the Light they designers used a group of dashed lines which gives the logo a sense of movement, like it’s rushing through the mountains. I believe that it is this movement gives the can an edge over some of its competitors which tend to rely on static imagery to convey what their product is. Along with the movement in the logo, the text is also slightly italicized which helps bring that idea about once again. Taking a closer look at the font, I noticed that it’s a sans serif font which seems to cater towards Keystone’s primary consumers. I’m sure if they tried to use a Serif font, it would cause a conflict of interest because Keystone is produced by Coors and Coors is marketed as a classier drink. Thus the choice of a sans serif font is one that allows Keystone to appeal to an audience that is looking for a beer that is not what Coors is marketing too. Along with simple lettering, the color in the logo is in blue and white, a simple color scheme which helps keep things simple in keeping with their logo and design.

All in all, the essence of the Keystone Light logo does exactly what it is trying to do. It keeps things simple yet fluid in order to appeal to its audience looking for a beer that is what it says.