Photodesign Project

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Description. I was asked to take a new picture and then use my Photoshop skills to add text, design elements, and a consistent color theme.

Process. I enjoy monochromatic color schemes and the color blue, so I knew I wanted to do something fun with that color theme.  I found this neat quote that says, “a book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair” by Katrina Mayer. So, armed with my library card I went to the library to look for books that I liked.  I sketched out a couple of ideas of how I would take a photograph of the books, but I was still not how my exact layout would be. I searched for neat looking books in blue. Did you know that it is hard to find books at the library that fit that description? All of the books have a dust jacket, so you don’t have that old time book look.  Anyway, I looked through the kids books and found the Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud and thought it had potential. I checked out all I could. I then went home and set up some pictures. This picture came fun and and fit the quote perfectly!

Next, I put my picture in Photoshop to edit. I edited the picture using levels, vibrance/saturation,  selective color, and sharpness.  Then I flattened the layers and transferred the image into an 8.5×11 size. I added a border all the way around my photo with a bigger rectangle at the bottom to add my quote. The text was the hardest part for me. Trying to get everything lined up and looking nice was a bit tricky for this novice in Photoshop. I’m sure that one day I will look back at this and laugh, but that night I was not laughing. I finally got everything done and submitted it to Brother Stucki for a critique.

Critique. Brother Stucki told me to make all of the borders the same size. I had centered the text and he told me to play around with the text and to offset it a little to not make it center. I played around with the text and tried many different ways with the text to place differently. I finally figured out a way that the text could look good. I followed the line created in the photo with the edge of the book and my daughter’s foot one side of the picture and I aligned the text with that. I had my husband, Joe, look at it and he liked it the best out of all of the versions I created, except the totally centered text.  I have to say that I also like the centered text, but I wanted to follow Brother Stucki’s advice and try something new.  I am not super good at this, so the teacher might not like it either. I am excited to see his review of my final project.

Message. Everyone should read books because they let us experience things that we could not experience otherwise.

Audience. My poster would appeal to book lovers, businesses promoting books, families, fans of the book the Bear’s Song.

Top Things Learned. How to use Photoshop. I never understood Photoshop before this assignment. I couldn’t ever figure out how to undo my mistakes. It took me a lot of trial and error and I still have a long way to go, but I finally figure it out!

Color Scheme and Names. I used the color scheme of monochromatic blue. My color’s hex color codes are dark blue (#05S27E), medium blue (#0D70A4), and light blue (#22A9DC).

Highlighted Font Name and Category. Baskerville MT Pro Semibold which is a serif typeface.

Copy Font Name and Category. Legacy Sans ITC Pro Book, which is a sans serif typeface.

Information on Image Used. I took this picture on January 30, 2017 in my living room.

Thumbnails of Any Original, Unedited Images Used in the Project.

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YouTube Presentation.

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Learning Photography

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What I Learned. I really enjoyed this activity. I took a photography class about 10 years ago. I forgot most of what I learned, but this assignment reminded me of how to do some things. I’m glad that I was able to dust off my camera and give it some love. I really enjoy taking pictures I just don’t have a whole lot of time to play around with that particular hobby right now. The pictures are pretty straight forward. I tried to use the rule of thirds in all of my compositions and I just focused my subject in the proper focus point in the viewfinder.  This is how I did the foreground in focus and the background in focus also. I used the focus points in the viewfinder telling my camera where I wanted the focus to do and my camera focused on that point and did the rest. I wish that I would have had more time to do this assignment because I really wanted to try light painting. I will have to do that later!

Although I knew how to do most of these things already, I really enjoyed using Photoshop. I have very little experience with Photoshop. I have only used it a handful of times and I need to experiment around with it more. I know there are so many things that you can do in Photoshop, but I was impressed with the differences that you can make in the lighting of the pictures on just the few tools that we used. The levels, vibrance, selective color were all useful tools to sharpen the coloring in my pictures.

Magazine cover featuring me!

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Assignment. Create a magazine cover featuring me with three to five stories that are about my life.

Video of Finished Project.

Thought Process. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted my magazine to be about.  We are building a house right now, so I originally thought that I would do some kind of Better Homes and Garden magazine. I went to a friend’s house and took some pictures, but once I got home and uploaded them, I realized that my camera was on the wrong setting and all my pictures were not a high enough resolution to put on my magazine cover. I thought and thought and thought some more and remembered some pictures that were taken of me rock climbing a couple of years ago. I hoped and prayed that I could find them and that they would be good for my magazine cover and they were!

The topics that I chose for my stories revolved around rock climbing, which would make sense for Climber’s magazine, and also are things that interest me. My main article is Local favorites, 10 great climbs in Utah because I live in Utah.  Then I have an article with the title of how to plan, pack, and afford the biggest trip of your life because I like to travel.  Next, I have an eye-catching title that reads Eat. Climb. Eat. 15 recipes for all day power because I enjoy cooking. After that an article says climbing is the perfect activity for your kids because I have seven children and they are a major portion of my life. Finally I have an article that reads why friends are essential for a good climb because its always nice to have fun with friends.

After I chose my image, magazine, and article topics the process went smooth. I first sketched out my possible designs on a piece of paper. Once I settled on the design that would work best with the photo that I chose, I created a template in Adobe Illustrator. I put my image in Photoshop to brighten it up a bit. From there I used my template and added in my image and my article titles on the page.  Finally, I played around with fonts for the project.  I knew I needed one serif and one san serif typeface.  Climber magazine uses a serif typeface for their title and I matched it as closely as possible. I ended up using Stempel Garamond Bold. I then found a san serif typeface, Neue Haas Grotesk, that looked good with the Garamond typeface.

Thumbnails of Sketch and Illustrator Template.

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Critique Process. After I finished with my magazine cover I asked my husband what he thought about it.  He pointed out that I need to add one more article title because there was too much blank space. I came up with an additional article and added that in. Next, I posted my magazine cover on the class Facebook group and Brother Stucki gave me feedback.  He mentioned that I needed to use my Serif typeface more because I had only used in on the title of the magazine.  He also suggested that I change the color of my article titles.  I had used yellow, but there was no yellow in the picture of me that was on the magazine cover. He told me to use the eyedropper tool and capture a color that was already in the photo.  I did have to add a text box to make the type stand out in one of the article titles.  After I made these changes I again asked my husband of his opinions.  He said that he liked it and wouldn’t change anything.

Message. I wanted to create a magazine cover that was about me and the things that I love. I hope that people with better understand who I am when looking at this assignment.

Audience. I think that people who are interested in knowing more about me, those who want to know more about design, and those who like rock climbing will like to look at this magazine.

What I Learned. I learned that the layout of magazine covers are more complicated that I thought.  It was hard to come up with article titles that seemed interesting and would grab the reader’s attention and also fit into the limited amount of space that you have on the front of a magazine.  I also learned that it is best to coordinate the colors from your picture with the article titles.

Color Scheme. I used complementary colors of green and maroon with gray.

Title Font and Category. I used Stempel Garamond LT Std Bold which is a serif typeface.

Body Copy and Category. I used Neue Haas Grotesk Display Medium which is a sans serif typeface.  I mixed this with the Garamond Typeface in the article titles to add visual interest.

Thumbnail of Original, Unedited Image.

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Source of Image. The picture that I used was a picture of me taken by my family.