Week 10 – Desire and Design

This week we talked about how our desires intertwined with design process. As we all know, needs and desires are different. Our desires often drive us crazy. We could do crazy things when our desires are unfulfilled. In commercial design, consumers’ desires and cultural wants play a crucial role in the design process. As humans we want to see something easy, pleasing and something which would give sense of belonging to us. When Tony talked about sensual pleasure and showed several picture examples of advertisements and designs on it, I came to realize these things I’ve never actually paid attention before! It was interesting knowledge for me.

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What do you think of this Burger King’s advertisement? Let me tell you despite the obvious hinting tag line and graphic, before this lecture, I did not think about this referencing to sex at all! The use of the word ‘blow’, the female’s mouth and the position of the burger didn’t mean anything to me. I was blind but now I’ve seen.

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Week 9 – Museum Field Trip!

So this week we went to the Burke Museum and Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. I’ve never been to either places. I rarely visit museums or art galleries in my life. I don’t really like museums in general but I found the art gallery interesting!

Here are some pictures from the Burke Museum:

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My first impression on Burke was how the space looked like it needs some help with the design. It gave me the old, stuffy vibe I always tend to avoid while visiting a museum. I had the direction map from the front desk and it did not help me at all with the wayfinding system. It was not clear and I had better luck navigating around without the map. In addition, some of the lighting were too dim in several spots. Their choices of fonts and typeface gave dated look and some colors combination also made it hard to read. I did not have pictures from the lower level but I could tell you that the space was poorly organized and it was really hard to navigate around. There were a lot of bright colors used to represent each Asian country but due to each station’s placement style, the colors became too much.

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I noticed a very big difference of experience when I was in Henry Art Gallery. It was so spacious! The art pieces became the center of the space. As you can see from the pictures, the space was basically nothing but art pieces. It really did the art pieces justice, I believe. Your eyes immediately directed to the beautiful sculptures, photographs and paintings. I also noticed the big difference in lighting, color scheme and typeface. In here, the design looked more modern, simple, sophisticated and clean. Neutral colors like brown, white and black were used most in the gallery. I especially love the use of high ceilings. I did acquire a map for the gallery. It looked much much better and organized than Burke’s map. It helped a lot in navigating and it was easy to read and understand. The signage in the gallery were also effectively put and easy on the eyes.

Week 8

I was absent this week and learned that we were supposed to blog about Aesthetics of the Extremes. Since I did not come and therefore had no idea what happened during lecture, I figured I would just blog about my app project. I choose not to blog about what I don’t know since I do not want to repeat my mistake back from week 4. (I was also absent then and my blog post just was not up to par)

I decided that I would make an application for a game website called Orisinial. Since Tony said to have fun with the project and we were free to do any app, I chose orisinial. Orisinial is a website where you can play several mini-games there. Most of the mini-games are cute and for children from the age of 13 and below. I used to play the mini-games in this website a lot back when I was still in elementary school.

This below is the screenshot of the website.

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As you can see the interface design is simple, colorful and cute. You can go to the website at http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/

Ferry Halim is the owner of this website. The website has no mobile application however you can purchase each mini-game from iTunes to your device. My app design would be simplistic with the use of soothing colors and represents sweetness. I want to pay a tribute to my favorite childhood games. I encourage you to go the the website and try out the mini-games! They are really easy to play and very cute.

Week 7 – Interface Design and Wayfinding

This week we learned about Interface Design and Wayfinding system.

Interface Design

Interface to me means first impression, interactions and the manner of engagement. We talked in class about interface design which Tony described as the many different systems of approach to a given device. Before this lecture, my knowledge on interface design would solely based on windows machine or Apple OS. I was not aware of the various other things that could be classified as interface design. I believe that in interface design, apps (applications) in computer or phone is the most commonly known types of interface design. Tony mentioned this week that we are supposed to design an app as final project and present it to class in week 11. I had no idea what app I would make. I had a very bad flu (again) this week and had to leave class early. Another lesson for me this week: always finish your antibiotics! (I was sick too with flu on week 5.) So down below are the pictures representing interface design.

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Wayfinding system

Before this lecture, I have never really thought about how crucial is wayfinding system in our life. I never really gave much credits for signs and whatnot. After this lecture I realized that having good wayfinding system in a space is important and especially in commercial spaces. I remember there were times I had difficulties in finding places like restrooms in the airport. I travel a lot in life. I had to travel overseas by myself since the age of twelve. My parents lived in Indonesia but I’ve always studied overseas since I was eleven. I made a lot of transits on numerous airports. I would really greatly appreciate good wayfinding systems in airports. Hong Kong International Airport is probably one of the largest and busiest airport in this world and you basically had to get from one gate to the other by tram. If the wayfinding system in HK Airport is bad, thousands of people could get lost. Changi Airport in Singapore is perhaps the best airport I’ve ever been. It has really effective way finding system.

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Week 6 – Viral Campaigns

“Viral campaigns are non-traditional advertising or branding campaigns that attempt to use mystery, event and non-traditional means to promote an idea or company.”

While we were discussing viral campaigns in class today, I realized that this is a relatively newer version of creative marketing. Tony was saying how people initially freaked out when there was first flash mob. It reminds me of how different my initial response to flash mobs when I first saw it on TV. I was very young and thought that it was very cool and entertaining. I guess being born to this fast-moving changing era, I am used to new things. Some of which are sometimes weird, eccentric and ridiculous in some ways. I believe that viral campaigns is a very smart marketing tool. Only out of the box tactics would get people’s heads turned.

Viral marketing uses techniques to market using social networking. In today’s world where social networking plays a huge role in our lives, viral marketing is probably the fastest and most efficient way to get words into people’s mouths and to their Facebook and Twitter feeds. It does not have to be obvious. It is even not necessary to have the specific company sponsoring the ad’s name there. The use of mystery for example, would leave people talking and questioning what’s behind the particular campaign. It will then lead to the company.

While I was listening to the lecture, I could not help but to compare US and my home country, Indonesia. Viral marketing has been used widely here in the US for a decade. In Indonesia, it is not the same. We have 250 million people yet our marketing strategies is yet behind. It is not until recently that it began to move forward. This also reminds me that culture also plays a role in viral marketing strategies.

We also talked about meme in class. I first came across meme via 9gag. A meme is an idea, behavior or style which carries cultural ideas through a lot of media like writing or videos.

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Week 5 – Group Work Evaluation

Coming to class this week with red teary eyes, blocked nose and massive migraine was definitely not in my agenda. I had a very bad flu and it was really hard to be physically stand there to face the designer. I kept sneezing all the way till class ended. To make matters worse, we realized that we were much more disorganized compared to other groups in the class. We ran behind schedule as we struggled to put everything together. We were short-handed. It was messy and nerve-wrecking.

We received the least favorable comments in the class. No body was to blame on this. I was absent the week prior and just did not ask or try to find out what else the group might still need. Sure I did my part when I was absent, but it was not enough. It seemed like everyone in class had nice presentation. I was not sure how we got mine. There was no communication. Besides working on the small logos, I had nothing else to do. If I knew that we were lacking in Power Point presentation, I would have done it. Besides that, Tony mentioned that we were too focused on the product design rather than branding itself. There were a lot of not too positive comments about the logo. The logo which I made. It didn’t help with my sickness. I felt like I was about to pass out any moment.

Here’s the very first logo that I made.
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David and I were supposed to come up with logo design. I was not sure what he wanted so I just designed one out of my head based on our views on urban society and the fonts that we selected. Then as a group we decided that we would leave the backpack behind and change the font to Copperplate in addition to changing the gradient color from blue to purplish.

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I posted 2 variations of the logo. One with the tag line straight across and the other one going round. I did not know which one the group agree on to use until after I arrived in class. Certainly we had communication issue and nobody really stood up to lead. However I really like my group members. They are fun to work with and they are encouraging. They are probably the most pleasant group members I have ever had for group projects in my entire education history.

The designer and Tony both mentioned the font on the logo and the color and the overall shape of the logo. So I went back home and made changes. Here’s the final look.

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Here are the rest of the logos…

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Week 4 – Modernism and Post Modernism

I was not in class this week due to a medical appointment. I gathered that we’re supposed to blog on Modernism and Postmodernism.

After reading the textbook, I came to understand that Modernism is a more structured and polished and Postmodernism is a more personal and freestyle. Started during Industrial Revolution era, Modernism was inspired by urbanization of western society. “Form follows function” as quoted from the textbook, is probably the easiest phrase to describe Modernism. In the other hand, Postmodernism is a freestyle. There are no rules. I also learned about the grid. In my Design Layout class, we are also learning about the grid and how to use the grid to create layouts.

I gather that Modernism is associated with Realism and Impressionism. One of the earliest Modernist painters was Edouard Manet. In between Realism and Impressionism, Manet painted what was before him. A perfect example is his “Olympia” (1863) in which he painted a French courtesan. It became a controversy. In addition to the subject matter, Manet painted her as she was — bold, brash and unashamed. His predecessors would paint it in a lovely, classical nude way. This is the first of many examples where artists broke from traditionally accepted standards.

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Édouard Manet – Olympia (Paris, 1863)

Movements that fall under postmodern art include installation, multimedia and conceptual art. Hybridization of forms and media is common, as in the work of Jenny Holzer. She is known for her installations, in which original or appropriated texts are displayed using a variety of media, including electronic displays and projections. These pieces demonstrate a fusion of electronic art with literature and design.
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Jenny Holzer – Singapore (2006)

Jenny Holzer – Berlin (2001)

Week 3 – Class Field Trip

For our field trip we were asked to compare three stores on the list Tony provided. I chose H&M, Anthropologie and All Saints.

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H&M

Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) is a multinational retail-clothing company originated from Sweden. They represent ready-to-wear, fast-fashion clothing line for both women, men as well as teenagers. Their branch store in Downtown Seattle is decorated with mostly white, black, grey and splash of red. The typeface has sans-serif bold Gothic style. The two levels store was dense with clothing racks and displays. It has chandelier lights installed. The store was divided into sections. The upper level for women with casual to semi-casual clothing style. On the back of the store, there’s a section of semi-formal to formal clothing. The lower level was more dense. It was decorated in bold, edgy style. The clothing there was casual. It was the place for both basics clothing and teenagers fashion. Men section was there too. The lighting were dimmer in the lower level as compared to the upper level.

Unfortunately I could not take photos inside H&M store, it was too packed with costumers.

Anthropologie

Anthropologie is a chain of retail stores that sells women’s apparel and accessories, home furnishings and decorative items. It is headquartered in Philadelphia and is owned by Urban Outfitters, Inc. Being under the same company, Anthropolgie and Urban Outfitters stores which I visited in Downtown Seattle were decorated around the same ideas. It is hard to describe what the style is. Perhaps a little bohemian style, vintage, 70s to 80s. They represented clothing line for definitely younger consumers than H&M. The first thing that stood out to me when I first walked into the store was the scent. Both Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie has great, just great flowery, sweet scent. They sell perfumes and lotions in the stores too. In contrast to H&M more minimalist, clean and posh decoration and clothing style, Anthropologie delivers a more fun, carefree clothing. They have a lot of maxi dresses, flowers and unique patterns fabrics with vintage flare. In terms of decoration, Anthropologie reminds me of a home, flower garden, a backyard. It has stone/wood floors and flowers everywhere.

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AllSaints Spitalfields

Better known as AllSaints, is a British fashion-retailer headquartered in London, UK. They sell menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories. I would say their target demographics 18-30. Like H&M, AllSaints has white, black and gray palette. Their retail design evokes a mood of decadent decay and distressed glamor with vintage details added to layer upon layer of carefully aged materials. Their store in Downtown Seattle is like an true artist’s studio. Merchandise were displayed with that ‘thrown together’ look emanating the idea that these are pieces one might find in an old junk shop. Not to be fooled, the merchandise carries quite expensive price tag. I saw this just amazing gray peep-toe boots which sells for USD350. It has open floor plan, much more room to breathe unlike at H&M. It has cleaner, edgier feel with less clutter unlike at Anthropologie’s. I would say I like this store the most compared to the rest just because I think they sell clothes which is more my style. And the fact that I fell in love with the shoes. The merchandise were all displayed nicely in mostly unique display racks. The lighting in the store was the dimmest of all three stores in my opinion.

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Besides comparing the three stores, we were supposed to compare another three stores of our choice which are related to our group project. We chose to compare Mountain Hardware, Columbia Sportswear and Eddie Bauer.

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear is headquartered in California, established in 1993 and was bought by Columbia Sportswear in 2003. It manufactures high-end outdoor clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, and gloves. Mountain Hardwear was the first store we visited during our trip. The logo did not stand up so much to me personally. I couldn’t figure out what was the thing on the logo. My team member David told me it was an image of a nut. The typeface on the logo gave me the feel of hard out door-ish feel. The design also looked cheap and outdated as compared to Columbia’s or Eddie Bauer’s. When the logo gave outdated mood, the decoration of the store was completely otherwise. It was painted with white, black, grey and just the right amount of cheery yellow. They creatively put tents up on the wall as decorations. There were a lot of hues like blue, purple and green on the merchandise too. I feel like compared to the other two companies, Mountain Hardwear’s target demographic is probably for the youngest.

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Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear is founded in 1938 by Paul Lamfrom in Oregon. They manufactures and distributes outerwear, sportswear, footwear, headgear, camping equipment, skiwear, and outerwear accessories. In 2001, it was the largest American seller of ski apparel. From the use of color blue on the logo, I would translate the company to have target demographic the youngest compared to the other two companies but I was wrong. When we first walked into the store, it was all clear that the target demographic for Columbia is between mid thirties to fifties. The store was decorated in all basic and natural looking style. It has wooden floors, stoned walls and it gave a very outdoor feel. The high ceilings gave the store more spacious feel. The store looked clean and sophisticated-ly decorated. It also has brighter lighting than Mountain Hardwear’s store.

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Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer is a local company established in our very own Seattle back in 1920 by Pacific Northwest outdoorsman, Eddie Bauer. The company offers signature outerwear, apparel, outdoor gear, and accessories. The logo looks really traditional, vintage, and polished. It has spacious floor plan. They also sell colorful merchandise. However, Eddie Bauer describes their target market as educated, active, married, in their 40s, and wealthy. The store was decorated similarly like the both Columbia and Mountain Hardwear. It has wooden flooring, spacious, good lighting and gave outdoor feel.

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Week 2 – Branding

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“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” Warren Buffett, Investor and philantropist

“If I lost control of the business I’d lose myself–or at least the ability to be myself. Owning myself is a way to be myself.” – Oprah Winfrey, Television mogul

In a world full of businesses that are always competing against one another, it makes sense that companies are always looking for ways to stand out from each other. A great way for a business to differentiate itself from competitors is to develop an effective brand. Branding is a way in which a company seeks to identify with an individual character. This character usually has a direct relationship to the intended demographic of the company’s consumer base. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience.

Tony said in class, “we become what we associate with and we associate with those things we see as popular.” I agree with his statement. Branding does affect people’s choices. It becomes parts to their lifestyle. I remember from early childhood my mother would only buy certain brands of food when we were doing groceries. Growing up, I too, became very selective when it comes to brands. Not only for food, but almost for everything. Once I realized the existence of luxury brands I became even more picky. Branding affects society greatly too. In the Indonesian ladies circle, we extinguish ourselves from other circles by brands. For example, the top tiers being Hermes and Chanel, followed by Prada, Ferragamo and the lower tiers Gucci, Louis Vuitton. It’s all about who’s got the most expensive branded bags or shoes. It does not matter how perhaps you don’t like the shape, color or the weight, you will buy certain brands, just to belong to certain circles. That sense of pride and arrogance which could be embarrassing sometimes. But that’s just how strong branding is.

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There was once I was so obsessed about brands. Possessed by the one-of-a-kind orange hue, the H sign. The only thing my former circle of friends would talk about was not how their day went nor their grades or school projects. They were only talking about the latest Hermes bracelet, Hermes scarves, Hermes belts, Hermes handbags, Hermes this, Hermes that.. And we were only about fifteen to sixteen years old at that time. Over the years I grew sick of having just ‘branded friends’ and went out of that circle. But I wouldn’t throw away my orange boxes. Every one of them are all still safely and neatly stored in my wardrobe. Well, there’s no way I’m ever giving them to anyone ever anyway.

But here’s the catch! Lately, there’s this company who piggyback on famous brands to sell their products. My branded friends were very angered by it.

homiesNotice something familiar? Homies? Hermes? The composition of the logo is exactly the same. They just changed the usual horse carriage illustration to a truck. The font is the same. They basically just changed the word E and R on Hermes and changed Paris to South Central.

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These brand parody t-shirts instantly became a hit. They sell it around from approximately 100 bucks in the US for just one shirt. A lot less than the original brand t-shirt which could sell for above 400 US dollars per shirt. Sure, it is a good marketing strategy for the company who produces the parody shirts. I have friends who could definitely afford to buy the original shirts but they opted to buy the parody shirts. Just because it’s becoming a trend. Some of my friends who already own the original shirts even went on and buy the parody shirts as well.It sure is a good marketing strategy but for me as an artist, I believe that high-fashion designers’ work is art. You cannot just take and mess with somebody’s else hard work. Burglar!

Week 1 – Applied Design

Today I learned several examples of contemporary design applications. I believe that today’s lecture has opened my eyes to the various applied design applications in the world. Before I assumed that graphic design is only about designing posters, brochures or logos. And today I learned that design is about so much more. I found several example images on the power point really interesting.

We went through signs, signage, maps, info-graphics, apps, periodical, motion graphics, environmental design among others. I learned that the use of colors is really crucial on design. For example, in signs, signage and environmental typography design, choices of colors will really affect the end users. Or perhaps in the case of info-graphic design, how would choices of colors show the increase or decrease in the data? In addition, design layout, illustration and typography are also essential to create design identity.

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Terminology

Raster: a scanning pattern of parallel lines that form the display of an image projected on a cathode-ray tube of a television set or display screen.

Vector: a quantity possessing both magnitude and direction, as force or velocity.

Type face: the style or design of a font.

Font: a complete assortment of type of one style and size.

Serif: A fine line finishing off the main strokes of a letter.

Sans serif: a style of printer’s typeface in which the characters have no serifs

Em-space: An em is a unit of measurement in the field of typography, equal to the point size of the current font.

Ascenders: is the portion of a minuscule letter in a Latin-derived alphabet that extends above the mean line of a font.

Descender: is the portion of a letter that extends below the baseline of a font.

Kerning: is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font.

Bezier: A collection of formulae for describing curved lines and surfaces.