Boston Pizza and the Panookie

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So, a friend and I went to Boston Pizza a couple nights ago. Boston Pizza has recently redone their menu, and I think they have done a fabulous job. The imagery, typography, and colour choices all work together and create a great looking, visually appealing menu. I also noticed that they not only made their menus look fantastic, they also translated this look and feel to their stand-up cards on the tables.

This card here, I find was designed very well, and used all of the CRAP principles we’ve learned over the course of this semester. One thing they utilized well is the white space. In most cases I find, a lot of white space can end up being over-kill and make designs look washed out or hard to look at. I find, however, Boston Pizza cleverly used the excessive white space to work in their favour. They achieved a great looking table stand up card thing, and chose some catchy words with a catchy font. They hooked me! I ended up getting the Panookie.

When looking at the CRAP principles, they’ve hit all four. Contrast: you’ve got the white space, dark text, and crisp images to stand out from the background. Repetition: the same find is consistent across the card. Alignment: The elements of the card are aligned so that they eye can move easily across the card and see everything. Positioning: The text, cookie, and mug are cleverly placed, and if you use the rule of thirds, the text, cookie, and coffee mug are placed on the lines.

Anyway, just a well designed table card for you.

Kyle

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Vodka leads to phenomenal web design

Catchy headline, eh? I thought it was clever, haha.

After my rant on the gold sluicing website, I found a website that I absolutely fell in love with the design and I though that I would share it with you on this blog post.

This website that I’m looking at is for Grey Goose vodka, found at www.greygoose.com. The elements of their website work very well together and they truly capture the viewers interest with the vibrant and vividly clear photography. The consistent typography used across the website works great, especially with capitalizing the font across the website. They did a great job at making important information pop my making the fond size significantly larger than the content.

The layout of the website was done cleverly, especially with how the scrolling works. When you scroll down the website you it goes through five vibrant images that really drive home what Grey Goose wants you to see. They’ve really hit all the points on the C.R.A.P. principles of design. They show contrast in a couple different places. The navigation bar, which was cleverly placed at the bottom of the page is much darker than the rest of the layout. Also, the images they show also so great deal of contrast and visual appeal. They’re repetitive with the font that they choose, as well as the images they are also using are repetitive in the nature that they’re vibrant, full of detail, and close-up. They also played with alignment, rather than having everything justified in one spot, they have text justified in different places. The layout overall is justified to the center, but the elements of the layout are justified in different places and tastefully done. Positioning, this entire layout is based on positioning and where they want your eye to go. They hit this principle spot on, I think!

Anyway, long story short, I think they did a phenomenal job designing this website. Great job Grey Goose!

Kyle

Super-duper, easy-peasy, zit-zapping photoshop tutorial

So, I know a lot of us have to struggle with the odd outbreak of acne here and there. There’s nothing worse than going for a picture and ending up having a big ol red sumo-pimple on your face. Well, I learned pretty quickly how to remedy this with Photoshop and I thought I would take the time to give you a little tutorial on how to do so.

 

I quickly learned this method of zit-removal/cover-up, whatever you’d like to call it, as I struggled with some acne through the years. For the purpose of this tutorial, I took a photo of myself where I clearly have a zit problem that has made it’s appearance in the past few days. I will now show you how to rid this from your face! Or wherever it may be.

 

To start, open up your image in Photoshop.

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Now, for the super-duper easy zit-fixing tool, or better known as the clone stamp tool. On the tools panel, click clone stamp tool or more simply, press “s” on your keyboard.

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With the tool selected, make the brush size appropriate for the zit on your face. Now, for the tricky part. Move your curser to a part of your face near the zit that is clear skin. For my purpose, I’m going to use just above my zit. Now, press and hold the OPTION key on the mac, or ALT key on PC and you’ll see a little + show up inside the brush. Click on that clean and clear space on your face then let go of the button. The space that you click on will be where the brush “clones” from. Now, for the magic. Start brushing over your zit, and voila, it will be gone!!

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Hint: you may need to play around with different clear spots on your face to make the skin match the tone you want, but the end result is pretty realistic.

Believe it or not, this is what I did to all my high school grad photos. There was a zit that showed up the day before, and I made sure it was gone before printing!

Anyway, just a fun/quick tutorial.

That’s all for now! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! It’s super easy!! 😀

Kyle

 

 

Gold sluices and poor web design

I was doing some research for my dad on gold sluices and what’s needed to go panning for gold. When I searched on Google, a plethora of sites showed up, but there was this one in particular that actually caused me pain to look at. After learning in depth the design principles and all that sort of stuff in this class, I find I’m very aware of the design choices people make, and unfortunately in a lot of circumstances I find it hard not to critique.

So, this website. www.GoldHog.com. This website is absolutely dreadful. The only thing this website has going for them is they have a great logo that stands out from the rest of the content on the page.

Their navigation bar has WAY to many links. It’s hard to look at. I was searching for sluices, but there were so many options. “See sluice mats, how to measure, the perfect sluice, minors moss, full product list.” All of these options should be separated into subcategories to make them easier to find. For example, links like “home,” “tutorials,” “reviews,” for starters. 

All of their content they have mumbo-jumbled in the center and it makes it rather hard to look at. If they took the time to section off important parts of information, or even separated that information to different pages, this website would function a lot better. When we are creating a website, we need to keep in mind we only have about 11 to 15 seconds to make an impression on the viewer before they click off. This holds true. I clicked back on my browser and continue browsing Google until I found something else that was easier to look at, however I did bookmark the page to create this blog post. 

Long story short, when you’re creating a web design layout, make sure you group necessary information together. Don’t try and cram everything onto one page, that’s why we have hyperlinks! As well, keep the navigation bar to a minimum at first glance. If necessary, have a rollover menu show up when someone places the curser over the hyperlink.

That’s all for now.

Kyle

Semiotics.

Couple weeks ago we did a lot of talking about semiotics. Signs are everywhere, and most of us just go day my day not paying much attention to how much of an influence signs have on our lives.

There are many signs out there that we see on a daily basis that we probably don’t interpret as a sign, but we interpret their meaning. As we also discussed in class, a sign doesn’t have to be a “sign” to be a sign. There is some play on words, eh!

Now, I’m going to show you a couple signs, and I’m almost certain most of you will know what they are. The catch here though, is that none of the signs have any form of literary expression, but you’ll still know what they represent.

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What is the first thing that comes to you when you see the white and red, upside down triangle sign? Yield.

What is the first thing that comes to you when you see the yellow and black sign triangle sign? Caution.

My point here is, signs are everywhere, whether we recognize them or not. For example, anytime we see like a biohazard logo, radioactive logo, or a skull logo on a yellow triangle, we know that we need to caution because of xyz. It’s interesting to note how these signs don’t need words though, because we just know, based on the societies we live in, what they mean. The signifier or the sign signifies to us what they mean, because we’ve learned how to interpret certain signs.

Anyway, just a thought.

Kyle

A little photoshop tutorial!

Hello!

I was wondering what I was going to post for this blog post, then I thought I would do a tutorial on something I learned here a couple months ago. Nothing to major, but it can give you a neat and stylish look, depending on how you implement the technique.

I’m sure most of us know how to use the text tool, but do you know how to type text on a path? No? Well, let me show you!

First, take the pen tool and draw a path. For this purpose, I’m just drawing a random path. If you were designing something, for example, you could draw a path along the edge of a building, up a tree trunk, around a rock, or something similar.

Second, after you’ve drawn your path and you’re happy with it, take the text tool and set the settings as you wish (font size, font, etc.) then click at the beginning of the path you drew, and start typing! Now all the text that you’ve typed will follow along the path you created.

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Excuse my awesome grammar and proof reading skills. “Step 2: Click on the start of the PATH with the text tool and start typing!”

So, here is a picture I found online. Just for the purpose of showing what you can do, I did some text around a rock.

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Anyway, hope you enjoy! Have some fun. 🙂

Kyle

Bad, bad business card.

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Bad, bad business card.

Business cards are a key part of most companies. They’re a sign of who you are, and will leave an impression to whomever the card is being given to.

This is an example of a business card that was poorly designed, unfortunately. There are many things wrong with it. Let’s analyzing the CRAP of the design.

Contrast: There really isn’t much contrast, with the exception of the light/whiteish blue, and the darker sky blue. This leaves my eye very confused at what to focus on first.

Repetition: There is no repetition, but that’s okay. Repetition isn’t necessary when designing something, in this case a business card.

Alignment: This was not thought out very well… at all. We have what he can do on the top left that is justified to the left. We have contact information just off center that is center aligned. Then we have random text just placed about. With no plan of action for alignment, it can be very distracting and make what you’re designing hard to look at. Alignment also plays with positioning.

Position: It was clear that there was no prior planning that went into the position design of this business card. The content of the business card is positioned so randomly that I find it makes it hard to look at. Where do you look first?

The only locus of attention that is clear is the wolf in the left half of the business card, and even that is rather hard to look at. Overall, the quality of the business card is very poor.

When you’re designing a business card, for example, it is important to plan and figure out what the important information is you want to get across. I found a good site with some great tips for designing an effective business card. Thought I’d share:

http://naldzgraphics.net/tips/10-tips-in-designing-effective-business-cards/

– Kyle

Audi

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Audi

This is a very interesting advertisement/poster for the Audi R8. I like the way they have designed it. When I’m looking at cars the front end front end of a car is always the determining factor on whether I like the car or not. Sporty headlights, LED accents with HID or Halogen, all represented with a fierce, sporty looking feel is ideal. The Audi R8 captures this and successfully represents it through this print ad. I’m going to evaluate the print ad using the CRAP principles:

Contrast:
You can really see the contrast between the silver car and the black background. This makes the car pop off the ad and really capture your attention to the sporty feel of the front end.

Repetition: The style is repeated through out the entire print add. Complementing the white text with the red text. The sleek silver/white/red repetition gives the ad a very sleek and fierce appearance to it.

Alignment: They put the car in the lower third of the ad while having text above, leading your eye down to the focal point of the ad: the car.

Proximity: They used an up-close, photo of the front end of the car giving the viewer kind of a in-your-face feel. Gives off the cars bold and confident personality.

Overall, I really like this print ad. They did a good job at making it capture the viewers attention.

– Kyle

Trees in a cup

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Trees in a cup

I was looking through some scenery photos on Flickr and stumbled across this photo. Not quite what I was expecting to find when doing a search for scenery. It’s quite interesting though. This photo is very monochromatic. They chose an interesting angle and camera focus. Capturing the reflection of the trees was a very interesting creative choice that the photographer made. This created an interesting texture to the photo, making around the reflection blurry. The neat thing they did as well, was making the foreground of the picture the background (the mug/pale/whatever it is), and what would be the “background” the foreground (tree’s reflection). Does that make sense? The artist chose to leave a bit of interpretation to the mind. Is this reflection in a bucket? a cup? a mug?

Another observation I made is the negative space of the image. The black on the photo would be the negative space (the reflection, edges of the pale, etc) and the positive space being the lighter purple/blue.

Overall, I think this is a rather interesting and well composed photograph. The concept of capturing the reflection of the trees rather than just taking a picture of the trees was neat.

– Kyle