This is your brain on drugs.

Just another weblog

Assignment 6 (examples of cliche) March 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 7:28 pm


This image uses the blood and the number 13 to denote Friday the 13th. The red color and the dripping effect of the blood seems cliche to me, as this is imagery that is always associated with horror movies.



I thought the use of the hand image in the middle was a bit cliche on this poster because that image is associated with music or rock music, and the poster is peddline a Web site for sharing and listening to live music. The lighter image is also a bit cliche since this image could also be associated with rock concerts.


This poster seemed a bit cliche because it uses the birds and sky image along with the blue color to denote freedom, which is somewhat overused. Birds fly free and the sky is blue – these seem like pretty obvious or overused ideas to show freedom.


Assignment 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 7:20 pm

Cliché and Metaphor

An image is cliché if it uses a symbol or color that is trite or overused and has a specific, implied meaning (red = stop). For instance, if you used a red circle with a line through it to denote “no” that might be considered a cliché because we all associate “no” with that specific symbol or image. Likewise, if you used yellow to signify the sun or green to signify money you would be using those colors in a cliché way. Clichés seem to have a negative connotation, particularly with regards to artwork. However, there are situations when using a cliché might make the most sense. For instance, we use symbols on packaging and instructions because they have defined meanings that users can instantly identify with. A cliché usually seems also to have less deep meaning than say a metaphor.

A metaphor could be an image or color (or words) that represent an idea, and particularly an idea or something else that the image or color wouldn’t normally or automatically be associated with.  Metaphors seem to function differently than clichés in that they are more subtle and often get at a bigger issue or make a deeper statement about something. It seems that clichés are more obvious and oftentimes are meant to be as such. A metaphor can also function as the entire “story” or continuing theme throughout a work, whether it’s written, painted, digital, or even a live installation. Metaphors are important because they can inform an entire piece – the entire piece could be based around a certain metaphor, which is carried throughout all aspects of the design. A metaphor can also give you the basis for the piece you’re working on – it can give you the “platform” that allows you to shape an idea, instead of just throwing together a mishmash of un-structured ideas. It can give a piece structure and meaning. Metaphor also allows an artist to work towards a specific goal and address a specific issue or idea.

Cliché is the obvious whereas metaphor is the subtle.


Assignment 3 March 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 9:47 pm

Q: What is the difference between using digital technologies as a tool versus as a medium?

Response: It seems that the major difference between using digital technologies (DT) as a tool versus using them as a medium, is that when you use DT as a tool you use it in a much more limited sense. You use the tool as it was meant to be used and to create a defined object, whether it’s a Website, a picture, and so on, that has specific limitations and a singular purpose. For instance, a basic Website’s function is probably to disseminate some kind of information to people. Whereas when you use DT as a medium it seems that artists push the limits and boundaries of the DT they’re using. If you were a New Media artist creating a Website, you might be using the Website to do things other than the basic function of disseminating information. You might use the Website to make the audience feel a certain way.

Additionally, in our book, Paul discusses different approaches in New Media that artists have taken, and often these may start with a DT, such as coding, software, networks, etc. but the artist uses the tool in a way that it wasn’t necessarily the original intention of that given tool. This reminds me of our first project, which involved using a software program that isn’t meant for creating artwork, to create art. Originally it seems that most technologies weren’t created with the idea that they could be used to create original, interesting works of art but New Media artists have taken those technologies to a whole new level, exploring not just what a technology can “do” on its face but they seem to use those technologies and the unique environments they present (like interactivity and bending the idea of space and virtual reality) to also critique not only our world but the technologies themselves and the impact the technologies have on our world.

It seems that this also means using the tool in an explorative way and not an instructional or one-dimensional way. I think of sitting in a class learning how to use Photoshop to edit pictures, which is basically what the program was initially created to do. But now, you see artist using Photoshop to create these amazing and layered works of art. I think this quote from our book gets at this idea:

“Code has also been referred to as the medium, the ‘paint and canvas’, of the digital artist but it transcends this metaphor in that it even allows artists to write their own tools – to stay with the metaphor, the medium in this case enables the artist to create the paintbrush and palette.”

It seems that not only code allows digital artists to do this but most DT. It presents the artist with all these possibilities and ways to customize something to fit their needs. This is very different from traditional artistic mediums, such as painting. Painting is very one-dimensional, in terms of working “outside the box”. There are only so many ways you can change this medium up – maybe the way you apply the paint or the colors you use (and how you use them) but ultimately it’s a much more closed space to work in than the freedom digital technologies afford an artist.


Project One: “Burning Mess” February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 6:04 pm

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”!

Poster 3


Project One: “Motherhood” February 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 4:13 am

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.

Poster 2


Project One: “Karma”

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 4:00 am

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.

Poster 1


Ad Analysis (Assignment 4) February 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cegehin @ 1:26 am

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!”