Archive for ‘My Design Blog’

Work From The Heads Of State

0 Commentsby   |  11.16.09  |  My Design Blog

You can see more of their work and a link to their site on the blog where I found them…

Sickday & Letterpress Blogs

1 Commentby   |  11.16.09  |  My Design Blog

I was home sick today with a killer soar throat and the theme of my web browsing seemed to be ‘letterpress”. Here are some of my favorite new blog finds and with some images to wet your appetite… (blog from Studio on Fire) (Truly Smitten – explore her blog list) (Mr Boddington’s Blog)

Paper Quilling

0 Commentsby   |  11.16.09  |  My Design Blog

Here is some beautiful work from Yulia Brodskaya. Here is here website: and here is the blog I found her on originally

Project 5 (Spreads: Grids & Hierarchy)

0 Commentsby   |  11.05.09  |  My Design Blog

Overview Up to this point we have focused on the ability of typography (and recently image) to communicate expressively: to express or evoke certain emotions or feelings in an audience. We will now shift our focus to a more practical and measurable function of typography and composition. The field of graphic design is often focused on the organization and display of information. A client has some kind of message he needs to communicate. That message is then translated into a body of information; a good example is a book. A book has a main theme or message the author intends to communicate. The theme is titled then divided into chapters, sub-chapters, and paragraphs (or body copy). Notice that a book is organized in a specific hierarchy (title, chapter, sub-chapter, body copy). You can think of this kind of organization as a system. A designer creates a system of hierarchy in order to organize information in a way that is intentional and understandable. Ads, brochures, magazines, books, and websites all display information with different levels of importance. How are those levels of importance differentiated? This is the question we will now turn to.


Step 1: Sketch 14 spread in sets of 2 (7 sets total) Example Set:



  • collect 10 pieces of inspiration and post to blog (this can be a good sources)
  • play with proportions of the pages (tall and skinny, wide and short, square, etc.)
  • play with a variety of margins (large and open margins, narrow and tight margins, etc.)
  • work to get pleasing and balanced negative space
  • play with the elements on the page (headlines, captions, sub-heads, pull-quotes, page numbering, section titles, large images, thumbnail images, etc.)
  • try to make your sketches clear and neat (you can draw light guidelines and then erase them)
  • not required to be any wider than 4 inches
  • See “Rules To Live By” in Step 2

Step 2: Composition blocks:  Layout 3 sets of 3 spreads Example of 1 Set:


Composition block layouts should look as we described in class. Choose block values based on how heavy you imagine the final elements should be. See above for examples. Set’s should feel like they have a beginning, middle and end.

Some Rules to Live by:


  • Columns that are connected by content should be of consistant widths in order to clarify their connection visually.
  • A grid from one spread should be consistant to following spreads that share content.
  • The consistency of the grid should be visibly apparant. This visual consistancy can be subtle or obvious, generally conforming to the rules of unity and variety. But the grid should be decipherable upon a close look.


  • Hierarchical elements should generally be used more than once. The exception may be the element that sits at the top of the heirachy.
  • The visual distinction between hierarchical elements may be relative to their conceptual difference. Sometimes it may only be important to show visual variation without clear hierarchy. For example, in a resume the designer likely won’t need to indicate a heirarchical difference between the position title, dates worked and location. Giving the elements slight distinctiveness should be enough, ie. italic, bold, etc. In contrast, your name should clearly sit higher, hierarchically  than company names or major categories (education, work expereince, etc.).
Be careful of:
  • Trapped negative space. This can come from gutters that are too wide or chucks of negative space that fall between elements.
  • Too many elements on the page. Compositions should be easily held in the memory.
Step 3: Typographic Harmony and Hierarchy
Choose your favorite set from your composition blocks and replace blocks with actual typography and images. 
  • Be sure to stick to the same grid used in the composition blocks. Be tedious and picky about alignment
  • Use no more than 2 type families within the set. In rare cases you may use up to 3.
  • Text should only appear on backgrounds of solid color
  • Print pages at actual size often to view type sizes
  • Watch for widows and orphans


Step 4: Print & Mount Final Comps
Print and mount your final 3 spreads from Step 3 on gray matte board.
  • Prints should be spray mounted
  • Spreads should be printed at actual size (not shrink to fit). This may mean you need to print single pages separately and paste side-by-side.
  • Each spread should be on it’s own board
  • 3″ boarder on all sides of spread


  • Monday, October 24, Step 1 & 2 (14 sketches, block compositions)
  • Friday, October 28, Step 3 (final typographic compositions)
  • Monday, October 31, Step 4 (final comps printed and mounted) Please bring all sketches from ‘Step 1’ to class on Friday for review.

Design Studios

0 Commentsby   |  09.28.09  |  My Design Blog

I have been wanting to put together a list of some of my favorite design studios for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. So, I figured I would start slow and add to it over time. Also, if you have suggestions please leave them in the comments below. Here we go…

Evolution by Dove

0 Commentsby   |  09.24.09  |  My Design Blog

Personally I believe the Greeks would be in awe.

High def can be found here. View it on the Dove website here.

Grids For The Web

0 Commentsby   |  09.22.09  |  My Design Blog

Grids For The Web.

This is a nice series of articles on using grid systems for web design.

Branch Design

0 Commentsby   |  08.11.09  |  My Design Blog

Beautiful site and beautiful work.

Experience Design

0 Commentsby   |  05.27.09  |  My Design Blog

Beautiful example of experience design. This designer seems to combine experience and information design in extremely clever ways:

GOOD Information Graphics

0 Commentsby   |  05.27.09  |  My Design Blog

Good magazine has always put a strong emphasis on beautiful and clear information graphics. Here is a collection of all of their work:

information design