Class Assignment 10 – Final Blog Assignment

Welp, here we go! The final blog assignment! In honor of this occasion, I will continue my tradition of not at all taking these blog assignments seriously. Let’s get this started with the relevant link:

http://www.creativebloq.com/design/why-you-need-be-part-new-breed-21st-century-creatives-21514179

My last assignment was to read the article, then type up a 200-300 word response… That sounds hard. I mean, me, having to read like… what? 6 paragraph article? Then, type up a response that is more than 200 words when I’ve already wasted 77 of those words spouting nothing meaningful at all… WHY MUST THE END OF THE SEMESTER ASSIGNMENTS ALWAYS BE SO TRICKY!? >:O

Now, for once, I actually read the thing… not thoroughly of course, but I still read it. Essentially, this guy is talking about how designers and junk and stuff are going to get a whole lot more creative with their work considering how integrated the various different “mediums” are becoming. Though, I do feel the title is misleading as it doesn’t really give me reasons to be part of the new “breed” of 21st century “creatives”, more just why these creatives are going to be different I guess… Not 100% certain there, because again, I wasn’t being too thorough… BUT OH WELL XP

Anywho, onto my actual thoughts on the thing… I guess I agree with it, based on what I’ve been learning in class these past couple of semesters. My teachers have always been going over how much our potential clients will expect so much of us when we actually get jobs as Graphic Designers (That’s what I’m trying to get an associates for right now, in case you didn’t know). My teachers always told us when we were learning to design things, to always take into account stuff like sounds, how our stuff can be programmed and what not, where the interactive elements can go into our works and what not, and I was learning stuff like that as far back as my first Computer Graphics class where we pretty much only learned Illustrator and Photoshop (my poor sod-like classmates had so much trouble with that class, while I just BREEZED ON THROUGH LIKE A CHAMP >:) ). So yeah, it does strike me as likely that as we go on, people who get into the more creative lines of work are going to have to be capable of more things, they can’t just specialize and expect to remain relevant. (I’m fairly irrelevant at this point, so I think I’m a good authority on this…) People will be more willing to take risks, and sometimes, they will have to make those risks. (I think that was something mentioned in the article. Not entirely sure, but I’m definitely trying to parrot it…) Overall, it is going to become a much less forgiving environment in terms of “creatives”. (I’m now going to replace the word “creatives” with the word “catfish” just for the sake of variety) Things will get much more cut throat, but, that will lead to far more creative “catfish”. Newer, more unique ideas will begin to pop up and possibly flourish, leading to some very successful “catfish”. Then, potential clients are going to see the works of those “catfish” and demand that the work of the “catfish” that they are hiring be just as good. It will lead to this kind of cycle, where all the “catfish” out there are going to have to get a lot better and more well rounded in order to not drown in the sea of all the other average “catfish”. In short: both the words creatives and catfish have lost all meaning to me… But yeah, those are my thoughts on this issue in a completely rambling non concise way… Though I may just be reading too much into the article that I skimmed… Who knows?

Anyways, that was my last class assigned blog post (for now). You can expect most of the posts from now on to be more related to my art, in addition to a couple of other changes around the blog. Maybe. Possibly. Conceivably… At any rate, to all of you other college students who may be reading this post, your semesters I’m guessing are starting to wind down too, so I hope you guys the best in your finals, or whatever, and to enjoy your break… When it finally comes around… But enough, yammering on, I’ll see you guys next post.

PS – This felt wrong not to include, so here is a picture of a catfish. (Also, final word count 764):

263661-catfish

Just to confuse all of you guys who look at the preview of this post…

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Class Assignment 9 – The Future of Flash

Relevant links: http://weedygarden.net/2013/10/flash-is-dead-long-live-flash/

http://blog.open-design.be/2014/01/13/is-flash-really-dead/

So for this assignment, I had to read these 2 articles, then type up what I feel Adobe should be doing with Flash considering its current predicament… So guess what I didn’t read 100%? Those 2 articles! : D It’s like you guys know me so well at this point! All like, 6 of you…

So, what do I think Adobe should do with Flash? Well, I don’t feel Adobe should flat out just stop supporting it, but I do think they need to something new with it. As it stands, Flash is considered a subpar option at this point in comparison to things like HTML5 (that’s what I gleamed anyways… I may be misremembering the articles… could’ve been talking about DC’s Flash for all I know…), so I feel Flash needs to work towards a different strength of its… as in, not websites…

Focus more on animation maybe? I feel that’s what most people use Flash for anyways: animations and games that you find on Newgrounds… (How old is that site at this point? I know it’s still around, but like, is it still even popular? I mean, I could just go to the site to check… but that just sounds like work…) I mean, there are still a lot of people who think Flash animations are pretty cool. I guess I could be considered one of them (wouldn’t mind learning how to make my own, REALLY AWESOMELY RETARDED animations after all). And I guess a lot of phone apps are made in Flash too? (I’m going to just assume I’m right here because RESEARCH IS HARD) So yeah… I guess that’s the kind of path Flash should go down: the path of animations, games, and apps, because why not? I like 2 out of 3 of those things and are TOTALLY QUALIFIED to talk on this matter!

Anywho, my brief ramblings on the issue of Flash. Apparently, this was my 2nd to last blog assignment! Just 1 more and this blog can get rebranded to a full blown art blog or some junk and stuff like that… so you guys can look forward to that… or not… or something… Anyways, see you next post.

Class Assignment 8 – Designer’s Guide to Grid Theory

Relevant link: http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/grid-theory-41411345

So, for this assignment, I had to read that article, then write about how you can use the design grid when designing websites. First things first: what is the design grid? It is essentially a set of guidelines that help you figure out how various design elements should be placed in relation to one another, helping you establish an effective “rhythm” for your work. (The article said rhythm, not me. I am merely parroting it, which should not be surprising in the slightest if you’ve been reading my replies to these assignments…) Basically, the grid is used to help set up proper proportions for the page elements, facilitating the creation of what “we” designers (because I TOTALLY fall under that description) call the Golden Rule, or the Rule of Thirds. I’m too lazy to type out what that is, so here’s a Wikipedia article on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds

And here’s a completely unrelated Wikipedia article on an obscure order of fish:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimaera

Anyway, when things are put into the Rule of Thirds, we tend to find them much more visually appealing. (You humans can be so weird in your interests you know) Once you understand that, it’s pretty easy to understand why designers would use a grid when designing websites and junk. It helps them set up a good foundation and balance for their site, things end up lining up better, and that allows them to make it far more visually appealing among other things. Did I adequately answer that question? Was this post satisfactory to all “you people”? According to my standards: I DON’T CARE! SEE YOU NEXT POST EVERYBODY!

Class Assignment 7 – Style Tiles

Relevant link: http://alistapart.com/article/style-tiles-and-how-they-work

Some how, I ended up missing this assignment ALL of Spring Break… I feel so ashamed of myself right now… BAD SELF! NOTICE ASSIGNMENTS BETTER!

Anyway, I had to read the article and answer the following questions:

  1. What is a style tile?
  2. What can go in a style tile?
  3. What makes it useful?

Question 1 – What is a style tile?

Well, to answer that in sort of my own words… *COUGHCOPYANDPASTEDSTRAIGHTFROMTHESITECOUGH* A style tile is a design deliverable that references website interface elements through font, color, and style collections delivered alongside a site map, wireframes, and other user experience artifacts. Essentially, they are examples of what a website would look like that a web designer would show to a client… I guess.

Question 2 – What can go in a style tile?

Stuff like colors, fonts, design diagrams, site blueprints, patterns, something else from the first answer… Just something you want to include that would actually provide a decent visual for the kind of look the website would take.

Question 3 – What makes it useful?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that they’re useful because they provide you an actual idea for what kind of a design direction you’re taking. After all, going blind into something like that isn’t the brightest of ideas…

Is that all I needed for this assignment? PFFFFFFF! That was easy! Forget actually reading entire articles for assignments! I CAN GET BY JUST BY SKIMMING! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (Maybe it’s not exactly the brightest idea to admit to BSing your way through assignments on your blog that your teacher knows about… OH WELL. NOBODY SAID I WAS SMART, NOW DID THEY?)

Class Assignment 6 – The “Awwwards”

Relevant link: http://www.awwwards.com

For this assignment, we had to browse the winners from this site, pick a favorite site design that was used for a restaurant, and then we had to critique it. MERCILESSLY! MWAHAHAHAHAHA… Okay not really. We had to focus on these categories:

  • Ease of Navigation
  • Readability
  • Accessibility (load time, cross-browser friendly, etc.)
  • Branding  (large photography that shows off product, beautiful typography and illustrations that plays off the logo, consistent color scheme throughout the site, etc.)
  • Special Features and Interactivity (hover states, layered scrolling, animation, etc.)

(Copied word for word from the assignment, so you should know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.)

Anywho, this is the site that I picked: https://4rsmokehouse.com. Why that site? Because it was a steak house, AND I LIKE STEAK! Now for the critique:

Ease of Navigation – A cursory glance of the site (because you can’t honestly expect me to do a thorough inspection, now can you? You can? Well you’re crazy then! I don’t think I’ve ever fully explored a site, including this one!), leads me to believe the site is very easy to navigate. All the important options are always at the top, regardless of what page you’re on, the links are obvious what they lead to, etc. I give it, 9/4000 because I’m using a scoring system adjusted for inflation and the fact that I currently am not eating a steak right now and that is making me mad.

Readability – Gets a pass as well (so say, a C++++++++, which translates to a different letter that I don’t care to specific). The fonts are large (REALLY LARGE, like, BIGGER THAN WHAT YOUR GRANDPARENTS WOULD NEED), they are also written in a very clear san-serif, so everything is nice and legible, and NOT HEADACHE INDUCING, which is all that I’m really looking for in large amounts of text.

Accessibility – The site loads fast, and appears to work in a variety of different browsers. (I’m not surprised by that, it isn’t exactly a TAXING site in terms of design) Not much else I can say on this matter, so it gets 3 thumbs up, all on the same hand… Because the thumbs up is being given by a guy with a birth defect or something…

Branding – There are indeed large photos of the food that are very appetizing(…want…steak…), the fonts are consistent, as are the colors, yada yada yada… Its an award winning site made by clear professionals, what else would you expect of it? I give 5 stars / fish taco. Not as good as 5 stars / a giant stack of pancakes, but its pretty close.

Special Features – You hover over menu items, and it gives you close-ups of the food, the opening page has an animation of them FREAKING COOKING THEIR STEAK… I also wouldn’t be surprised if  there was also some layered scrolling in their somewhere… So yeah, they have some nice added features on the site that really adds to the presentation. I can’t think of another retarded score to give it, so here’s a picture of Nicolas Cage:

So FREAKING majestic. Also STEAK.

So, that was my “critique”, of the 4 Rivers Smokehouse website. It looks very neat and clean. Its clearly very professional. And it has delicious pictures of steak… (OMFGIWANTAGODDAMNSTEAKTOEATFORDINNER!!!!!) So yeah. I think its a good site. I can see why it got an award. Now I’m off to Florida to find one of their FREAKING STEAKHOUSES!!!!!!

Class Assignment 5 – Web Typography

Relevant link here:

For those who are afraid of clicking on stuff (I’m sure you people exist, though how you managed to get to my blog if that is the case is a mystery), its a 40 minute lecture on web typography. For this assignment, I had to watch it, and then posts my thoughts on it. Like always, just answering a list of questions in order with no care to how the answers relate to one another.

SUM UP THE TALK IN MY OWN WORDS!!!!! – (Read that line like someone is shouting it ridiculously loud in your ear. Like so loud, that your ear drums bleed and require some form of surgery to fix)

All right, I didn’t pay 100% attention to the whole thing, so I’m not going to be able to recall everything. Don’t give me that look. It’s 40 minutes long and I have a short atte… I wonder what I should have for lunch tomorrow… Anyway, the guy basically went over how not all typefaces are universal in their use, and that some have certain roles and also that… I think I should have tacos for lunch… He also went over how when people design webpages, they already put up enough stuff that you can’t really afford to have distractions, like say a badly chosen font. And also, that actual good type and fonts and stuff, should be invisible to us, like we don’t actually notice it. Plus, contrast is important, always go bigger, don’t be afraid to kern, and don’t drink the Kool-Aid (I might be misremembering that last part).

WHAT STUCK OUT TO ME THE MOST!!!!!!! – (Imagine the sound barrier just broke right next to your ear this time)

One thing that did stick out to me as interesting is that he mentioned that when something is written in a more unusual, and for lack of a better word “ugly” font, you tend to remember that information better. It got me thinking that maybe I could do stuff like that in the future.

Becausewhythehellnot

Class Assignment 4 – What is Fair to Use?

Link to the guy in question:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey

Basically, Shepard Fairey is the guy who made the hope posters for Obama. He has faced some legal issues in regards to just how he made the posters. The posters were based on a photo taken by someone else that he then modified into the poster, and didn’t end up giving credit or compensation to the guy who took the picture.

So what do I think this issue is about? In my most humble, and TOTALLY correct opinion, I think it is an issue with when is something considered fair use, (hence the title, which I actually decided one before I even figured out what I thought the main issue was) and maybe in addition, when a piece of art is transformative (enough changes had been made) enough to be considered “not copying”.

In this situation, was the work transformative enough? Considering when Fairey went to court on this issue, he actually lied about what picture he ended up using as a basis for the hope posters, and when they found out what he had actually used as his base, they said the hope posters looked a lot more similar. Now, having not seen the original photo, I can’t tell how similar they were, but, based of the fact that the guy actually lied about what picture he used leads me to believe THAT NOT EVEN HE HAD THOUGHT HE HAD DONE ENOUGH TO MAKE A TRANSFORMATIVE PIECE (fun fact: spell check doesn’t consider transformative a word…).

So that pretty much leaves it to a matter of being fair use or not. In my opinion, photos, unlike stuff like paintings and drawings, are not immediately off limits for fair use. I imagine it kind of like this: You take a picture of a wall. A friend of yours takes a picture of the exact same wall and by sheer freakish coincidence, manages to take it at the exact same angle and lighting conditions that they end up with the same picture as yours. Basically, to me, photos are a much easier thing to reproduce than other art forms, that and the fact that there isn’t as much originality to them in the first place. All photos are of objects that are already out there in the world, and two separate people can spontaneous generate the same idea independent of one another and decide to take a picture of the same subject and in the end they would end up with similar photos, where as to separate sketch artists did a similar thing, their pictures would be WAY DIFFERENT (for this little thought experiment anyways. Some people do have very similar art styles…).

So what does all that rambling add up to? There’s a grey area, simple as that. Without knowing just how little effort he put into his poster, I can’t make a more informed decision. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he probably did enough, though at the very least he could’ve given the photographer credit if he was willing to admit he used a photo as a base in the first place.

There are my thoughts on the issue, and with that all out of the way, can I just point out how hilariously ironic I find that the guy’s last name is “Fair”ey and he ends up in a legal debacle over “fair” use? What’s that…? You’re saying that’s not actually irony right there? WELL WHO ASKED YOU THEN!? THIS IS MY BLOG AND I’M GONNA SAY IT’S IRONIC! 😡