This is the third poster that I created for this project. I had initially intended to create a poster about the [crappy] state of our privatized healthcare system here in the US but couldn’t find an avenue to express what I wanted. Well, suddenly, two nights ago as I lay in bed trying to sleep the idea for this poster came to me. I had been toying with something a coworker I’ve mine had said about our healthcare system, which is that, “it should go up in flames”!
Project One: “Motherhood” February 24, 2009
This is the second poster that I created for project one. I’m currently about five months pregnant, and I’m taken aback by how commercialized motherhood and pregnancy has become. Even before I became pregnant (not planned for me at all) I’d noticed how obsessed our media has become with celebrity pregnancies and celebrity motherhood. Now that I’m actually pregnant I’m bombarded with ads, posters, flyers, mailings, emails, etc. about all the “stuff” I need to be a good mom. It seems that almost none of this “stuff” has anything to do with the act of actually mothering a child, such as giving the child love, being nurturing, or even finding a good childcare provider. I’ve had to actually seek that information out myself, and to me this seems absurd. I feel like our culture is more obsessed with the “stuff” to raise a child (most of which a child seems to outgrow within a few years) than with the act of actually loving and rearing a child. Furthermore, it’s as if becoming a mother is akin to the latest fashion symbol or status. This seems pretty whack if you ask me. Sure, buying cute baby items is fun on occasion but ultimately I’m more concerned with how I’m going to teach my child about the bigger, more important things in life – things like respecting others and so on. So that’s where the inspiration for this poster comes.
This is the first poster that I came up with for our first project. I liked the tagline that I thought of so I decided to create a quick poster. It’s quite basic but does provoke some thought.
Ad Analysis (Assignment 4) February 13, 2009
This is a weekly ad that I receive in my Yahoo! email from the Safeway jerks because I have their special saver card, which really isn’t all that special. The ad is very interactive in that you can literally use the ad to create a grocery list, and from the ad you can click into Safeway’s website and use their store locator among other things.
Q1: What makes an ad successful?
Response: How it relates to its audience. For instance, it’s positive if the ad captures your attention and it might achieve this by using a catchy layout or placing the product a certain way. If the ad is memorable or not – if you can keep the audience’s attention and even keep them thinking about the message of the ad after they stop looking at it. The ad should convey a strong, solid, and pointed message even if it does so in a subtle manner.
Q2: How does the ad utilize formal elements to convey meaning? (You must use at least 10 vocabulary words from your design elements and principles handout)
Response: The ad uses contrasting colors throughout, particularly to delineate different sections of the ad. Additionally, they use the color red to highlight or emphasize the most important information, which in this case is the “low” price of the groceries shown in the ad. They vary font sizes to differentiate between more important and less important information. The ad also uses color photos of the products they’re peddling, which draws the viewer to the ad. The ad uses repetition in how it displays the products and information, which helps the reader know where to look for particular information. The use of repetition also creates a sense of unity in the ad. When I look at this ad I feel like everything belongs here. There are certain areas that might initially draw the viewer’s eye but everything fits together well. Overall, this ad is fairly simple and clean, and the information on it is well organized, which projects the image that Safeway wants their customers to perceive about their stores too. The ad also uses the basic line element to separate information. The Safeway logo also uses a red and white shape, which is now associated with Safeway (this is also shows a huge use of repetition since they plaster the logo on everything w/ their tagline).
Q2/Q3: How does the information flow? How are you visually led through the image?
Response: The general flow of the information is from left to right and top to bottom, which works because that’s the natural way that our eyes tend to flow across a page of information. Other than that there isn’t much visual excitement about the ad. It’s pretty tame but gets the essential message across, which is “hey, check out our cheap grocery sale items this week!”
Assignment 2 February 10, 2009
Q. How does digital art/ new media relate to or impact different aspects of our western culture?
Digital art impacts western culture because it’s so closely intertwined with everyday technologies, such as the Internet. For instance, it seems that digital art significantly blurs the line between what is art and what is not, particularly with regards to the Internet. Are videos on YouTube considered art? Are images that a person posts on their personal blog considered art? What’s most interesting is that it makes us consider things that we may never have considered “art” in the past, as art. When I think of gaming and anime and other digital animations I think of art – these represent a digital form of art, or rather the result of someone manipulating something (an image, a color, an idea) using the tools of new media. But, if you take comic books or the Sunday funnies it seems like these were not considered art when they first came about in the past. I would say they’re certainly considered art now but at the time they came out they were just dime-a-dozen comic books or what have you. So, it seems that digital art opens the possibilities of art because it expands our views and how we perceive things. And, to further this, the way that we’ve embraced technology and made it part of our lives also helps us expand our definition of how we define “art”. When I was reading the introduction and chapter one of Digital Art, Paul discusses how many artists use both analogue and digital aspects in their art, and she also discussed how often you can’t just look at a visual representation and assume that’s all there is to the piece. Some of the artworks she discusses are these laborious explorations into the workings of a machine or digital coding or genetic structure, and somehow the artists transform these, often using computers, into a work of art. It’s amazing to me that so much thought and planning goes into something that simply appears as an interesting or beautiful visual image; particularly when you compare this with traditional forms of art, such as painting, which is a relatively simple process. As long as you have paint, a brush, and something to put the paint on, you’re set to go. Whereas, many of the new media forms of art that Paul presents are completely calculated processes that have a specific end product in mind.
Obviously digital art relates to our western culture in much the same way. In a sense, it’s all around us. We’re surrounded by images, noises, and other things that sort of teeter on the brink of art versus commercialism. Additionally, I think digital art has spurred commercialism in many ways. It used to be that design and branding were reserved specifically for design companies. But now any company can create its own logo – whether it’s of any quality or not, is in the eye of the beholder. This sense that digital art is maybe more accessible is important. I think that oftentimes traditional forms of art intimidate people whereas digital art and digital culture in general are the opposite. The Internet represents this free arena for anyone to express themselves. Digital media has become readily available to people and this opens up the doors for creativity.
Crazy Quilt (assignment 1) February 3, 2009
To capture the individual images for this project, I used a program called Mathematica. This is a program that allows you to graph mathematical equations, such as trigonometric equations, etc. With this program you can create simple graphs or complex, 3D and colorful graphs.
I started by using an example equation that the program provided, which created a simple, 3D graph. I then changed that equation and just began applying random numbers for the “x”, “y”, and “c” values in the equation. I found that I could create some interesting graphs by doing this. Additionally, the program allowed me to manipulate the individual graphs I created. I could move the graphs in all directions, which changed the angles, shapes, and colors of the individual graphs.
Because each graph was encased by a gray, 3D box that displayed the “x”, “y”, and “c” coordinates of the graph, I decided that I would only take screen shots of certain portions of the graphs. I caputred pieces of the graphs as I moved them into various positions and angles, and as I manipulated the coordinates with the equation. This allowed me to collect several multi-colored images. Each image fairly small (a few KB), so I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to stretch or further maniuplate each too much.
I finally decided, after some deliberation, that the patterns, colors, and lines on each image reminded me of the patterns on a crazy quilt, so I thought it would be fun to compile all the images as a sort of digital crazy quilt. I used Adobe Illustrator to complete this portion of the project because I like the art board in that program, and I find that it works well to lay out several images.
First, I began to group the images by color. I had about four groupings: pinks and purples, blue-greens, yellows, and oranges. Then I started placing the individual images and worked to size each image to fit together. Finally, I exported the document as a jpeg and sized the jpeg down because it was too large.
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