(Blatantly stolen from http://youreadesignerwhen.tumblr.com/. More there if you want more!)
This is the step-by-step process that I went through for each of my months. Each print probably took me a combined 2-3 hours, but I got faster as I learned how to work smarter.
Step 1: Find a backround and models that you would like to use. The better quality and the more of the body, the easier it is to work with.
Step 2: Cut the models out of their picture using magic wand with high tolerance for bigger pieces and polygonal lasso for details. After the bodies are completely cut out, magic wand the bodies, click Apple->Shift->I, and click delete. Tada! The models are cut out of their background. Touch up using polygonal lasso tool.
Step 3: Fill in missing body parts. Examples here. Save as a .psd.
Step 4: Move into Adobe Illustrator. Create a new document for print. File->Place->your .psd.
Step 5: Click “Live Trace” at the top of the screen. I like the preset “Black and White Logo” for the smoothest appearance. If you use this preset, be sure to set its color back to CMYK for ideal printing.
Step 6: Punch in your wallpaper, calendar, and quote, and you’re done! Be sure the colors and quotes match the month :).
O and G proved to be an exploration in different ways for different people. Many took it as purely an art project, like Casey, who made the beautiful Kama Sutra of Typography. Others, like Victoria, focused on the story of the letter-forms’ relationship. I decided to use the project to explore the variety of available fonts and use them to tell a specific story that can be seen without explanation in viewing the five-panel composition.
In looking back on the work, I wish that I had spent more time focusing on the beauty of a mother-child relationship rather than snapshots of the moments themselves. That’s what I am focusing on the grandfather-grandchild relationship in the color version of this project. Nevertheless, I learned a lot.
Firstly, I learned that there’s a font for everything. I know that I have an advantage because I have CS5 on my laptop and have owned an additional 1001 fonts since high school. In addition to that, I tapped into dafont‘s library to make the composition read as a I wanted it to. Nell even mentioned that I could have drawn in my second “o.” I didn’t, but the “o” does look quite similar to my original sketches, which brings me to my second point.
In graphic design, it is essential to first play with your ideas on paper. It’s kind of like organizing a paper. The ideas are all out in front of you and you can pick and choose the best compositions.
In terms of new skills, I learned how to group, use pathfinder, provide even spacing between objects, and use the limitations of the artboard to my advantage. There are many similarities between Illustrator and Photoshop, so I didn’t have too many difficulties figuring out layering and the layout of the tools panel.
More than anything I did on my own, however, was the education I got from looking at other people’s work. It has inspired my color design and pushed me closer to the beauty (as opposed to function) of graphic design. Hopefully I will learn how to combine the two.
Design You Trust, a digital imaging magazine that I’ve been subscribed to for a while, recently pointed to Cruzine’s Top 50 Design Magazines. I had no idea that there were so many design magazines out there, so I decided to take a quick peek. I ended up looking at 10 of the top 50, clicking on the website that seemed most appealing to me solely based on their homepage.
1. Creative Nerds
Creative Nerds is exactly what it sounds like. This is a site run by an open source community of designers; that means that you might qualify to write for them! Based in Britain, the magazine divides up their posts into articles, tutorials, inspirational pieces, news, and freebies. I found their latest article on Smart Creative Logo Designs Which Contain Secret Symbolisms to be quite appealing.
2. Cats Who Code
Cats Who Code is a site built for “those who create and maintain websites : web developers, web designers, webmasters, and so on.” In other words, if you don’t know a bit of CSS, PHP, or HTML, or if these acronyms mean nothing to you, then neither will this website. From beginner (how to code an HTML email) to expert (CSS3 typography techniques), Cats Who Code has a bit of something for everyone even vaguely interested.
3. Fuel Your Creativity
Fuel Your Creativity is a blog meant to inspire artists. Mostly designed for freelance artists, Fuel Your Creativity writes specifically for architects, artists, creative firms, fashion designers, graphic designers, illustrators, industrial designers, interior designers, and photographers. Though the website could use a little work (uh, where’s is “Home?” OH FOUND IT!) the articles are pretty straightforward and can apply to a wide audience. Check out their latest feature on Erik Johansson’s photo manipulations.
4. Web Designer Wall
Nick La, the owner of Web Designer Wall, barely has time to breathe. Not only does he maintain this frequented idea board, but he also runs N.Design Studio and Best Web Gallery. Primarily working as a web design website, La comments on current trends (does Flash still suck?), current people (ZURB!) and even current job opportunities for web designers. Not too bad for one guy!
5. Blog.Spoon Graphics
What drew me to this website above all the others was that it’s so freaking pretty. Maintained by creative designer Chris Spooner, Blog.Spoon Graphics takes a magnified look at Illustrator and Photoshop features. Chock full of free brushes, vector graphics, and icons, this website is ideal for just breaking into design or professionals seeking tutorials for specific Illustrator and Photoshop features.
6. Vandelay Design
Though Sebastian Scheuer owns the bovine themed web developer e-zine, his contributors take up a mass majority of Knowtebook‘s content. As an insanely disorganized website, its articles are surprisingly simple and easy to understand, down to some simple bullet points to summarize the short articles (check out Why and How to Keep Users on a Website). If you plan on using this website to grow your own blog or grab some freebies, plan on using the search bar (if you can find it).
8. The Design Cubicle
Brian Hoff isn’t the typical graphic designer. The website he writes, The Design Cubicle, encourages discussion in the contemporary issues of graphic design (is there a problem with free fonts?) and educates his readers while showing off his portfolio and pointing his readers to off-site simple how-tos (though they tend to be a little wacky, like how to properly apply for a design job).
9. Design Meltdown 2010
Patrick McNeil is frequently mistaken as a “a designer because of his blog… his book series The Web Designer’s Idea Book or his monthly column in .net Magazine; but really he is more of a developer then anything.” Despite his self-identified developerness, Design Meltdown 2010 begs to differ. The blog acts as an encyclopedia of past articles surrounding everything design from design styles to 404 pages. The only criticism that I would have is that there is SO much information that you should really go to this blog with a purpose, or else you’ll get lost.
Astuteo is a design firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, that offers a free advice blog. Again, the blog is not insanely easy to navigate, and it has unfortunately not been updated since 2009, but their articles’ advice has timeless meaning (read How to Stop Worrying and Love Your Job). Scroll through, but realize that the unupdated blog has a limited number of articles.
In class today, we started to work on our letter projects. My professor, Nell, had some constructive criticism regarding my choice of letters. She said that all she could see was “go,” but that it could work to my advantage (I have yet to see how, but I really like the two letters so I’m working on it).
I only got to work on anger because most of the class was spent on figuring out how to make a mask on Adobe Illustrator. For future reference, a mask is kind of like two pieces of paper stacked on one another, where one has holes in it to see through to the other.
To make a mask, create the object that you want to be cut out. Then, fill the canvass with the same-colored square or rectangle. From there, click the “Pathfinder” tab in the align box, and in that menu click “Divide.” Click the object that you want cut out, and tada, you have a mask! In my canvasses, I cut out 16 squares.
I need to pick five final panels for the class. Here are my four favorites based on what I had thought about in my previous post.
I have finally decided on the four images that I will use for my o and g project, representing the need for space, the feeling of being in love, a fight, and growing old together. The image above has been modified to grayscale so that the viewer can see it a bit better.
I find that when g is capitalized, it is a rather antagonizing letter. It stands taller than most other letters, intimidates, angers. The lower-case g, however, is far more passive, curling its tail well below the baseline in submission. Using the submissive g, I can still play on o’s underwhelming presence, using color (well, black and white as per the project’s limitations) to point out g’s intrusion on o’s space.
In closeness and cuddling, g and o express their love for one another. The cursive font allows for g to reach for o, yet still allow for o to prematurely curl into g. The vast amount of negative space only compliments the closeness of g and o, regardless of their size dragging g’s descender slightly out of the parameters.
G has the propensity lose it, and o tends to submit. Playing dead on the floor, o waits until G’s tantrum is over. G looms far above, screaming in its scratched-out font, in frustration in whatever o did this time.
Growing old together
This is by far my favorite of the illustrations. It was first found in the “in love” work book, but I liked it so much that I used the piece in this section. Both o and g are content with each other, curled into one another’s arms. They are small relative to their borders, but that doesn’t seem to both them because they are so lost in one another. I can see them laying here forever, growing old together.