Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Collaborative Design Project Part 3 - My Artifact

For my artifact I designed the new logo and website. I also did all of the photography.

Here is a screenshot of their current website's homepage (it doesn't show all of it but here's a taste):

[Photo Not Available]

This is a link to it if you'd like to see it for yourself: www.scoutandcloth.com

The following was identified by exploring with the current site...

  • They have been online for approximately 2 years now and as far as I know their site hasn’t changed
  • Not professional
    • If someone had never been to their physical shop or had a different reason to trust the shop the website doesn't come off as legitimate
  • Not navigable
  • The arrow in their logo goes right to left instead of left to right which causes dissonance because we read left to right (more about that later)
  • Odd combination of many different fonts
  • No set color scheme
    • A lime green like neon accent color is being most used
  • Inconsistent photography
    • The photos are a mix of professional, iPhone, and random ones just taken off of the web
  • Spacing is all over the place
  • When navigation tabs are hovered over and clicked on they go blank
  • Too many taglines and quotes
    • “Classic style with bohemian flair”
    • “Life was meant for stylish adventures”
    • “Actually the best gift you could have given her is a lifetime of adventure” - Lewis Carrol
    • “We aim to provide a fun, easy and adventurous shopping experience every time.”
  • Photo slider and then the single photo below it spans across the screen while the other pages seem to be closer to a width spanning from the “HOME” navigation tab to the “SHOPPING CART”
  • Social and other buttons are not found on any other pages
  • Very squished and then has a lot of dead space at the bottom after their Instagram
  • Mixing of all lower case, normal, and all caps on drop-down tabs and within the shop item names
  • The photos don’t fit right in the boxes they appear in on all the shop pages but the actual shop tab because those ones don't have a box around them
  • The actual shop tab, not one of the drop-down tabs, only includes 4 pages with items not seen anywhere else and wouldn’t be seen at all if someone were to go straight to the drop-down tab they were looking for
  • Has a drop-down of 11 tabs as follows...
      • Not updated with the actual latest
      • The first page has 6 items and the second page only has 1 item
      • Only 1 item
      • Has “The Latest & Greatest” on it with no shopping options
      • 5 items
      • Landscape photo boxes when the other tabs have horizontal
      • No space after the comma and then a random hyphen
      • Has “bottoms, skirts & dresses” on it with no shopping options
      • Has “The Latest & Greatest” on it with no shopping options
    • SALE!!!!!
      • Five exclamation marks
      • Has “Clearance & Last Call items” on it with no shopping options
    • Gift Card
      • Has the option to purchase a paper or E gift certificate not a gift card
      • Has “The Latest & Greatest” on it with no shopping options
      • Only 2 items
  • This page is is the owner’s story and doesn’t include anything directly about the shop till almost the end
  • What is currently on the page is suited to a blog post but not an about page
  • Three little icons and the photo borders are a different color than the lime neon green color seen everywhere else
  • A “SIGN UP FOR emails now” in a blue colored box is located at the bottom of the page
    • Doesn’t belong on an about page
    • The blue color isn’t seen anywhere else  
  • Messy
  • No clear purpose
  • Also, this is huge, the “CONTACT” page is currently a drop-down tab from the blog
    • It contains left-aligned two-columned confusing text
    • Yellow (another color not seen anywhere else) ribbon toward the end of the page
  • Has a out of place cutoff link to their Pinterest page on the bottom right
Now, here is a screenshot of the new website's homepage (it doesn't show all of it but here's a taste):

[Photo Not Available]

This is a link to it if you'd like to see it for yourself: skyeamandaphotogra.wixsite.com/mdia3560

The following (to name a few) can be identified by exploring this new site...

First and foremost it has a completely professional design. It is simple and clean but still eye catching. Right off the bat, the viewer sees that clearly this shop now carries men's wear which is the addition we made to give our rebranding launch campaign an edge. 

The site follows the Law of Similarity by grouping images, type, etc. on the homepage with their purpose therefore separating them from the other sections with the help of the Law of Proximity. This is also seen throughout the rest of the site by color and blocks of color, headline text being a different font and size, and so on. Another way this is aided is by the uniform way I arranged the spacing.

Speaking of the spacing, it is all in accordance with the Law of Continuity by allowing the viewer to follow the smoothest path through the entire site. Everything is in alignment with header width wise and height wise it varies by page but is still consistent. 

I am really happy with the way our choice of a grayscale color scheme accomplished allowing the clothing to speak for itself.

Furthermore, the logo doesn't compete for the viewer's attention either but does unify the brand as a whole.

As you saw before, their current logo has an arrow pointing right to left:

[Photo Not Available]

and as I stated before, this creates dissonance for the viewer because we read left to right.

The company also uses another logo as shown here on their gift certificate. I don't ever remember seeing this logo but I'm sure this was my inspiration because my final logo looks similar. I felt that having "and" instead of an ampersand looked more professional and integrated better. Closing the line to create an actual rectangle turned it into a very simple combination mark logo able to be used across all visual communication design domains with little variation. In turn, this establishes the brand by being consistent.

Lastly, photography wise I used a lot of desert backgrounds to highlight the shop's location but also used downtown and a natural light studio for variety because the clothes have variety and the people wearing them obviously will too.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Collaborative Design Project Part I - Company Name, Campaign Objective, and My Persona

Our group decided to rebrand the local women's clothing boutique Scout & Cloth and introduce a men's collection to it as well. I will be designing the new logo and website.

We decided that each of us would write our own persona. Mine is the following:

Cami is 21 year old Dental Assistant with a passion for fashion when she isn’t in her scrubs for work. She is newly married and finds it’s always hard to clothing shop with her husband during the short time they have carved out on their busy once-a-month-errand-running-Saturday because her favorite shop isn’t close to any of his and it only carries women’s clothing so he doesn’t want to go.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Compose Your Frame

"Linear elements, such as roads, waterways, and fences placed diagonally, are generally perceived as more dynamic than horizontally placed ones."

At first glance, you may not think that his photograph has diagonal lines.

I believe that it does, although harder to see I think they are still effective. 
Even more so because they are so subtle.

The lines I am referring to are on the mountains behind them.
The colors come across diagonally leading right to the couple's faces.

"Motion vectors take the eye and lead it through the frame. The closer the proximity of the object to the frame the more amplified the psychological context."

In this case, the motion vector is the bride's veil. 

Then there is the rule of thirds...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Design Evaluation

I wanted to compare something personal. 
The following are my past and present photography business logos.


I enjoy the comparison of these two because instead of just being similar in targeted audience, they are literally trying to reach the identical ideal cliental because they are representing the same company.

To give context, I love to shoot portrait, fashion, and wedding photography. I am still learning a lot and I think it's important to analyze how far I've come in order for me to improve. Hopefully I can get to the point where people stop asking me to do family photos and do them for free.

Anyway, these logos essentially portray who I am as a person and need to do so because when someone wants my photographs they hire me. It's different than just buying a product directly.

Now, here are some reasons why I categorized my old logo as "bad" and my current logo as "good":

The old logo used three different fonts and three different colors that is creating a dissonance. For clarification, Amanda is my middle name. Having "Amanda" bigger than "Skye" created confusion for a lot of people. I received calls and emails asking for only Amanda. One phone call in particular, a woman called asking to speak with Amanda. I said, "Yes, this is Skye Amanda speaking." and the woman on the other line said, "No, I just want to speak with the owner, Amanda!" It took me awhile to convince her it was the same person and that I was that person. On a different note, with the relation of size, "PHOTOGRAPHY" is almost as large as "Skye" but pulls more attention because it is in all caps. In the end, for someone that was wanting to be taken seriously as a photographer that very amateur design did not achieve that goal at all. It lacked far too many things to be effective.

Onto the current logo...the first thing that I am grateful I did and realized was essential for the design I desired was doing a combination mark logo. That means that it has both text and symbol (in this case the floral antlers). Although, this design is good compared to the first, I don't think it's the best. It still has a color scheme that is very, "little girl." At the same time though, it is trying to serve a purpose by reflecting my photography. By that I mean that my photography is very light and colorful, 99% is done outdoors in nature, and I love to include animals. Improvements from the last logo include putting my name (first and middle) on the same line in the same font using the same size to give continuity. I chose a script because it flows better and lower case letters because they are less "in your face" and gives a simplicity. This time, the colors of the text aren't random. They are all being pulled from the flowers and antlers which falls under similarity. "Photography" is scaled down to make it easier for the eye to navigate the design and it is in a different font to give contrast and in a color from the antlers to tie everything in.

I could go on and on about it all but I'll leave it at that.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Contrast, Balance, Harmony

Photograph by Jorden Keith

I adore photographs like this. The ones that get and keep me thinking and feeling. I learned that there's a reason for that. Because contrast requires us to ask more questions and dig deeper. The fact that this photograph is in black and white forces the eye to focus on the person. This reminded me of a quote I once heard, "When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls." That quote is chillingly beautiful to me. This photograph really emulates contrast. From the light background and her darkened face, to her freckles, to her light hair, to the texture of her denim button down, to the flower in her mouth and the flame ignited in her hand. To me, she's creating an act of defiance against the societal norms of feminine beauty. She's showing that strong and independent is beautiful. Those elements come together to create an asymmetrical balance and ultimate harmony (relates in contrast, color, shape, and theme) for me that I can't shake. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Visceral Response

Meet Samri. 

Samri is an orphan from Ethiopia, Africa. She was five-years-old when I took this photograph of her.

In this photograph, I see a line that takes you from the hand that is holding her to her little hand holding tightly onto her doll. The fact that she is eliminating the space between her and the person holding her hand made me wonder of her relationship with that person. Does she trust them? The texture that is shown on their traditional clothing recreates the culture I was a part of when I was around them. Lastly, for me, the light that is coming in and giving a glow to her face and a slight rim to her doll gave me a feeling of hope for her and her future.

Stupefying. Stupefying that I so tend to live in such a little bubble. When in this bubble I seem to forget about the world around me and that there are children, like Samri, who grow up in third world countries and pray to be lucky enough to have someone to hold their hand and maybe have a doll of their own, while I am too busy to give them a second thought because obviously buying the newest version of the iPhone takes precedence... I don't know if you've ever felt overwhelmingly guilty about being so selfish but I know when I met Samri I did. It was a feeling that made my stomach drop to my toes. It's beautiful that Samri was able to be adopted into a loving home in the states. Many, many children are not so fortunate. What is even more beautiful to me, maybe even selfishly beautiful, is that when I realize I am stuck in my bubble I can think back on this photo, realize how big the world really is out there, and then take any step I can to make a difference either in myself or outside of myself.