Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AXIOMS of Web Design

The website I chose to evaluate was as I am a big sports fan.  After going through the various designs in the class, I now see just how much help the website needs. I am glad I have a looking glass to see through in the form of design to help my vision expand to what it really needs to be.  I attached a link at the bottom of the post to view the actual website for reference.

The business and communication objectives are clear in the design.  It flashes nothing but ESPN's brand and photography of sports to entertain the viewer or onlooker, (hence the name Entertainment and Sports Programming Network).

The lower right design here is missing.  All that is on the right side of the page are twitter feeds from various individuals who work for, associated with, or play sports that are covered by ESPN.  For twitter followers, unlike me, this is very blasĂ© and isn't necessary for the landing page of the website. This is a good segue to the next section.

The grid of the website is apparent.  You can make out the structure and rule of thirds in the grid.  However, it is jumbled and full of clutter.  As I mentioned earlier, the twitter feed on the right vertical third should be done away with, as it clogs up the already crammed space needed for the other stories and scores.

They recently upgraded their website within the last couple of years, but it wasn't for the better.  The older design was simple, without cramming, and had less advertisements and popups.  The intuitiveness of the website is a plus, however.  Being able to dictate and navigate the pages are relatively simple thanks to a navigation bar in the top horizontal third,

Continuity isn't as great as it should be.  Trying to fit all of the information possible on the page isn't appealing to the eyes, nor the continuity of the page as a whole. Hence, more isn't always better in this case.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My New Pet: Adobe

This was my first attempt at Adobe Photoshop. For the group project, I was designated to create a print ad for the campaign.  This campaign is selling homemade jewelry that are made out of guitar picks, strings, etc.

Let me say how time consuming this program is, if you do not know how to use it.  With a lot of searching, clicking, erasing, and so forth, I was able to put this into what I think is a half decent ad. I first used the rule of thirds in compiling the items.  I used a guitar string to run across the top third for the earrings to hang from.  And since it is around the giving holiday season, I threw in the colored lights to balance out the color in the foreground from the earrings with the ivory backdrop. I chose simplicity because, well, I didn't have a choice with this being my first attempt with photoshop. The earrings themselves play as vectors pointing downwards for anyones eyes to look at the bottom of the page where the hashtag, website, and social media for the products are located.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The film I have chosen is Cinderella Man, directed by Ron Howard.  This movie is based on a true story of a man (James Braddock) who was a boxer that watched his prime come and go.  Once he was washed up, the great depression hit.  He had to beg for work at a nearby dock everyday, and somedays he didn't get picked.  Life got really hard, until he got a second chance to get into the ring.  This time, he literally was fighting for his life, and his children's as well.  He eventually comes out on top by beating the champion of the world, Max Baer.

In the scene above, the boxing commissioner and a lawyer are showing Jimmy Braddock and his coach some film from Max's previous fights.  It depicts the vicious fighting style of Baer, and discusses how he even was responsible for the death of another boxer in the ring. The commissioner is trying to talk Braddock out of fighting, but he emphatically defends wanting to fight against Baer.

The scope I looked through to view this scene was the director himself, Ron Howard and the cinematographer, Salvatore Totino.  In order to capture the emotion and the distinct drive that James Braddock had, Howard had to do a bit of homework.  Howard was interviewed about the movie and cited that his father growing up in the depression was a huge boxing fan, and he had heard of Braddock from his father.  Thus, when coming up with the script and screenplay, Howard had to find notes, journals, and photographs of Braddock.  Hence, this is how Ron Howard, as director, was able to keenly hone in on the fine details for a visual depiction of the drive, courage, and loyalty that the late James J. Braddock had.

In this scene specifically there are 3 main things that pulled the scene together for me. First it was the lighting and shadow.  Salvatore Totino used the shadowing and figure ground relationship in this scene, along with the film as a whole, to capture the era and the depression itself. Totino wanted to capture the emotion and feeling that came with such a time, thus he used the shadowing to his advantage. The use of film from that era in the scene is complete genius in my opinion.  The contrast of the light and dark of the room brings you into the setting as it were.  He used an older camera to make the color and texture grainy so it would pull you into the time.

Shooting in such a small room make the proximity law bring out the similarity in the actors themselves; this is the genius done by Ron Howard to pull together the scene from the surrounding area through the actors themselves.  You can see that contrast by viewing the skepticism of the commissioner and the lawyer on one side with their auditory as well as the shadows where they reside, while a type of faith and obligation of duty rested on the other side with Braddock and his coach and the shadows, or lack thereof, are dispelled by bright light.  This also displays balance by the viewing of the film being run in the middle of the two groups, which is placed the end of the room for viewing.  This triangle of sorts, with its varying 'degrees' of emotion and lighting shows a closure, a knitting together for the eye to be pleased.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Frame, Composed.

I took this while driving back from a friend's nearby cabin.  I stopped, and had to have this captured.  I tried to use the rule of thirds with the double-yellow line being the vector to string together the thirds.  Where the top third and leftmost third intersect is where the road begins to bend and leads the eye along down to the valley.  The contrast of the trees and green in leftmost third and the red and tan rock in the rightmost third bring in the compositional aspect of the rule as well.  The road itself is taking the eye on a very, very slight diagonal turn as well, which can be agitating to the impatient. The cracks in the road which reside in the bottom right seem to be a vector of sorts, pointing the onlooker down through the winding asphalt path.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Well Done vs Poor Design

Gestalt is a term meaning "unified whole."  This concept surely does a bit of justice to the well designed insignia/brand logo for The Ledges Golf Club in St. George, UT.  I feel that this logo identifies with the five main Gestalt principles beautifully.  First, the similarity in the label can be seen with the eyes right off the bat.  The contours of each arch are all lined the same, giving the eye a chance to move around the individual arches and see the "unified whole" that makes up the label.

It is also an extremely simple design, with the contrast being immaculate here.  The six arches create a hexagon, and that is the major makeup of the brand.  What makes the proximity seem like glue are the three colors that were chosen.  They are laying on top of one another and each outside edge of the arches has the same tan color; this in turn makes the piece look as though there is a hidden star of some sort.  The colors playing off one another also represents the area of the golf course, as it is located near Snow Canyon, which have the tans, oranges, reds, and so forth.  This type of relationship brings the 'identity' aspect to the conversation.  The continuity of the shapes in place together brings closure, and when looked at long enough, is pleasing to the casual onlooker.

The poor design, to me, is the logo for Southgate Golf Club, also located in St. George, UT.  There are a few arguments that can be made on behalf of this logo to explain and give reason as to why this design is very well done, yet that can be the case for many, many designs out in the visual world.  To me, however, this design doesn't quite measure up.  

Simplistic? Of course.  But other than that it is left barren and unfamiliar.  There isn't much of an identity here, either.  I mean, you can see that the designers tried to bring in the 'red' theme like everything else in the St. George area, but how it is placed onto a mountain peak just doesn't fit right. This leads me into the next point (pun intended).  How the black and red mountain peaks are aligned give me the feeling of looking at an insurance company's logo, not a leisure sport's home.  The closure, or lack thereof, is leaving any onlooker to search for more.  Are they mountain peaks, or the grim reaper's collection of scythes?  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

CoNtRaSt, HARMONY, & balance &

This photo was taken by my friend Garett Garcia on my iPhone 6.  We were golfing out at the Sand Hollow golf course at dusk when he took this, and it was while we were driving in a golf cart. Thus, it was a complete accident how it turned out.  However, that is how many of the beautiful pictures come to be.

The contrast does many things here.  The soft and subtle green grass evolves into an intensity of reds, yellows, and oranges.  This gradually fades to a slight pink hue and finally into that deep sky blue.  Psychologically, this image has toyed with my mind and emotions.  I feel very calm looking at the picture overall, as most individuals see a sunset as romantic or soothing (which can be very cultural as well depending on one's context of life).  This sense of security and calmness comes from the social meaning of a sunset, which most people group together in saying that the "twilight" of life is the most sublime, and where one enjoys themselves the most.
Yet, my eyes always drift to the focal point of the sun.  It's an explosion.  It catches me off guard the longer I study it.  The soft salmon pinks between the navy mountains and the white clouds shows the contrast of space the best.  It makes it feel as though the sun is a worm hole, sucking the earth into it, and that space between the mountains and clouds makes it seem as if the sucking is at an extremely fast pace; what an excellent play on space this is.  The contrast between the texture of the grass and rock formation covering the sun, compared with the seemingly silky, smooth sky really hits home physically.  If I were to place my hand on the sky and clouds, it would definitely feel like a type of soft fabric, i.e. silk, velvet, or felt.  Contrasting that is the almost 'carpety' feel of the grass, which gives another dimension of contrast in the position of these two elements.  The catalyst of the 'pop' of light that makes the light rays is the rock formation.  The rough shape acts as a covering for the light to make a splash.

The aforementioned light rays act as the "balance beams."  To me, it is as if the earth is somehow suspended from these lines of light, holding onto the light and keeping the earth in tact and appropriately aligned.  At first, I thought that without the sun and beams of light in the picture, it would have felt more in balance. Yet, that is just what we are accustomed to.  Seeing patterns of the horizon being a line, or a harmony of dark and light.  Somehow the sun pulls away from that normality, and disrupts the expectation of a smooth transition enough to make it perfectly balance each of the sides of the picture.  This has everything to do with the orientation.  Without the effect of the rays, and the perfectly assembled perspective that the clouds bring would not have the zoom-zoom Mazda effect.  Lastly, the social perspective of a cowboy or desperado beating the odds comes to mind.  This cultural aspect gives one a sense of winning, or overcoming.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Visceral Response

Like many in the class have pointed out in their responses, nature is the most stupefying reality in the entire existence of human observance.  This picture was actually taken on my birthday last year with my iPhone.  It is located in Kolob Canyon, which is directly adjacent to Zion National Park.  It was a very rainy December day in St. George and I told my then fiancĂ© that I would love to go see the weather and landscape in Kolob.  I had previously been there when it was inclement weather, so I wanted to venture into this part of stupor to recapture that vivid, yet elusive feeling.  What a wonderful birthday present.

The way the jagged lines that the clouds form over the red and jolting mountains gave me the chills.  We were driving up the road and as soon as I looked to my right, I was floored.  It spoke to me beyond the ears.  It encapsulated a very real power from within with the contrast of the red against the white, combined with the texture of the rock and the bristling of the sage and yellow grass.  It is as if the unseen crispness of the air protrudes from the picture to add a sense of being in the picture; the stiffness of the lines in the grass conveys this perfectly.  All of the mild and cool hues brushed up in contrast against the vibrant reds and oranges sent chills and tingles down my spine. I didn't think I could capture the shadows of the cliffs against each other on a phone camera, but it came out amazingly.  The clouds are shrouding the heavens, evoking a mystifying feeling that somehow there is more that we are missing.  Yet, that is what is so 'stupefying' to me, the curiosity and wonder that brings the breath-taking effect to one's being. In describing this frame of time and place, visceral truly is the only relatable process between the mind and the soul.