All posts tagged graphic design

Updates for July 2013

I’ve taken care of a few much-needed updates for the site, adding a book review from May and samples from the zine I’ve been volunteering on, which was released in June.

Since May, I’ve been working on the second edition of Divergent Consistencies, ensuring that it meets Lightning Source’s specifications and awaiting a proof.  Our initial order for standard color through LS was disappointing in terms of paper and print quality.  So we’ve elected to go with premium, but various hiccups in the process have led to longer waits.  For those interested in online publishing (something I discussed back in April), there is definitely a learning curve with Lightning Source that might be too challenging for many beginners.  They do not hold your hand through the process, that’s for sure!  But we’ve found their customer service very helpful and professional.  If you’re serious about self-publishing, want to cut costs, and are willing to learn, I can’t recommend them more.

I’ve also been working on an exhibition book for Artworkers, a show organized by Hugh Merrill at the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, MO, which we’re hoping to have published in the fall.  Unfortunately, I don’t yet have samples available to show.  In addition, I’ve been working on creating samples for a book on social practice art, by Hugh Merrill and Adelia Ganson, which we are hoping to have published through a traditional publisher.  Until we know more about what’s happening, the details will remain “hush hush.”

Much of my time in May and June were focused on the design of the first issue of Undercurrent, which is currently available online and locally at Double Rainbow.  You can learn more about the project and see samples on the portfolio page here.  I’ve also been helping to spread word about the zine throughout Kansas City by helping to table on July First Friday at Kultured Chameleon Gallery and last Friday at Badseed Market.  Our zine was also featured as part of Plug Project’s Art Book Fair, and we celebrated the release with some zine creators last Thursday at Double Rainbow. Our next issue is slated for December.

Thanks for stopping by my website and having a look around.  If you’re an interested employer or a potential client looking for a graphic and/or web designer, please feel free to contact me with your questions or projects.  I am available for freelance work and still looking for a fulltime gig.  Let’s talk!

Book Review:

The Complete Graphic Designer

This is a solid, albeit rather brief and basic, guide to graphic design, covering mainly fundamentals and how the business itself runs. The language is clear, straightforward, and highly informative, while the numerous examples help to highlight different creative strategies and good design for a multitude of assignments. That it covers both the aesthetic/theoretical and practical/business side of things is quite helpful. Though it’s worth noting that this is not a comprehensive idea book or resource guide. It also won’t tell you how to run a design business, how to bid on jobs, etc. only what kinds of projects are common, different types of clients, and different types of solutions.

The last book on the subject I read was more concept-driven and the design distractingly cluttered. This one, on the other hand, is more practical in its orientation and a very quick read. It’s probably most ideal for beginners, or more experienced designers looking for a simple refresher course. The numerous examples and overview of best practices make it a worth including on one’s home shelf (though I will continue seeking something more expansive).

Original review posted on GoodReads.

Book Review: The Elements of Graphic Design

The Elements of Graphic Design

I would give the actual text of Elements of Graphic Design 4 stars, as it is chock-full of useful information and really helps cement basic design principles. However, I’m giving it 3 stars because the structure and design of the content makes gleaning the information at times a challenge.

The content itself is pretty basic graphic design principles, how to think about them, how to use them. Size, color, proportion, white space, grids, typography, etc. While is could have been organized so there was a little less repetition and clarity, most of it was well explained and demonstrated. Much of it was not new to me, but then I have a BFA, worked a good deal in the graphic art side of printmaking, and have spent a good deal of time with typography. I didn’t study design, however, and much of this is framed as a teacher might cover it in a class, therefore quite welcome. I’m especially grateful for the checklist of questions to ask about a design, which is extremely helpful for clarifying potential issues in my design work that I’m not always good at identifying or articulating.

The design of the information, though following the kind of order and internal logic described in the text, is often too busy, overloaded with examples and quotes. All quite helpful indeed, but the lack of white space and inclusion of 3-4 threads of information makes everything difficult to parse. You could argue that the author is drawing attention to these elements by using them in a more heightened way, but then that begs the question of whether it really helps the reader to grasp the actual content. I don’t really mind design that challenges presumptions of good design and pushes the limits, but within the context of just conveying best use principles, this may not be the best approach.

This is certainly a great-looking book, and I’ll be keeping it on my shelf for the general guidelines and checklist, but personally I would prefer something with a more straightforward approach to the content.

Original review posted on GoodReads.