Icon Set

For this past project, I’ve been working on designing an icon set in Adobe Illustrator. We were instructed to create icons while applying several skills we’ve learned in Adobe Illustrator. I chose to create four characters from the TV series, Adventure Time. My husband is a big fan of this show so I figured it would be fun to create something totally unique. This TV series is very universal with humor that kids enjoy, as well as clean, witty things that adults would enjoy, hence why my audience are people familiar with Cartoon Network. These people can range from children to young adults. Throughout this post, I will discuss each characters and the different elements I used to create it. Below is an exported version of my icon set.

Icon Set NP


One of the requirements for this project was to export PNG’s of each icon. For the remaining graphics on this post, you will see a large icon next to a smaller icon. The larger icon is 400 pixels and the smaller icons are 60 pixels. As you can see, the icons below are a bit pixelated, but like I said before, this was the requirement for the assignment. You can see the crispness of the original icons in the image above.

This is Finn the Human. He is one of the main characters on Adventure Time. I actually had originally planned on just doing Finn’s head, but after careful thinking of the constant theme of my icon set, I figured that he should have a body because the other characters do. I used several different shapes to create him. For the most part he was fairly easy to create. The shape builder tool came the most handy to create difficult shapes such as Finn’s head. I learned how to use the curvature tool a little bit more while creating his socks.


Finn-400.png     Finn-60.png

Once again, the shape builder tool was a great resource to create something obscure as Jake’s nose. I was surprised at how nicely my shapes overlapped each other on his face. I had originally just done a circle icon with the character’s face on it. However, I wanted there to be a similar theme with all my icons, so I chose to construct the whole body for this character, rather than just the head.

The design of the Ice King was pretty complicated, especially when it came to his beard. I use lot of small triangles and combined them together while taking out other pieces using the shape builder tool. I used the reflector tool for the other half of the Ice King’s mouth, as well as for the smaller ruby’s on his crown. While combining shapes to make his beard, I also found the curvature tool quite handy to bring in certain points.

Lumpy Space Princess was the first character that I completed. A careful combination of tons of circles combined together created her figure. Since she’s floating, I figured that adding a shadow (also of combined ellipses) would really finish off the design. LSP-400LSP-60

By creating this icon set, I’ve definitely gotten a better grasp on the more complex concepts and principles found in Adobe’s Illustrator. There were several times when I had to resort to a Youtube tutorial video in answering my questions, but because I had a way to apply what I was learning, I feel more confident than ever in designing an icon set. I’ve become more familiar with the process of actually designing graphics of things that I either see in my head or see around me.







Magazine Spread

This assignment really helped me better understand and utilize various photography and design principles. I started out this project with a pretty rough draft. Although I put a lot of time and energy into creating it, something just didn’t feel right as I felt like I lacked a foundation of knowledge. After turning in the draft, I decided that if I was going to excel in this class and many more to come, I would need to figure some things out. I spent the next several days watching videos on YouTube as I followed tutorials using my own material. Fortunately, I started to get the hang of things. After analyzing my rough draft, it appeared to be really dull, boring, and with lots of errors and imperfections.

I feel like my overall design is not only appealing to the eye, but I feel like it would definitely attract my targeted audience– parents, youth, elderly, and really, anyone looking for inspiration. It’s even “church appropriate”. The colors are subtle, as are the fonts I chose. The pictures don’t necessarily yell out to a certain age, but because the spread has a warm, friendly vibe, I feel like it would attract the necessary folks that I intended it to.

I have utilized my new skills and followed my classmate’s critiquing to create this new magazine spread. Because of the warm message this address offers, I wanted to center my theme around something happy, hence why I chose beautiful pink flowers for a faint background in the title page. I wanted to make sure that the graphics I used didn’t take the attention away from the message, so I was sure to fade the graphics quite a bit. For the title, I used an attractive sans font, called “Nella Sue”. I then was sure to center the main message of this address in the top center portion of the front page with a sans serif font called “Are you freakin’ serious”. Some font names are just so creative. Love it.

Looking back on my original draft, one big mistake that I noticed had to do with my color choices and combinations. It seemed as if none of the colors were really complimentary to the pictures and design used. For the final spread I chose a light green to be the main color. I feel like everything else is quite complimentary, especially the picture used on the third page. The picture of my younger sister riding her bike is so precious. What better way to portray of God’s love and concern for us than by a sweet picture of a child. Because I wanted her smile to radiate, I made sure that no text could interfere with that on the design.

Proper use of photography principles and design truly makes all the difference. 

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Photographic Elements

This post is dedicated to basic photography composition rules. I have carefully chosen several pictures in which I feel properly depict the following: rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field. I have a deep sense of appreciate for photographers that not only understand these principles, but apply them. A successful photographer truly is one who regularly utilizes the various principles and rules of photography.

Rule of Thirds

I have chosen to analyze a photo of my husband, taken by PowerDay Photography© (http://www.powderdayphotography.com). My brother-in-law, Jedd Mumm, owns the photography business. They specialize in photoshoots of skiers and snowboarders up at Grand Targhee Resort. Below we see the original picture. I’m personally a fan of the Grand Tetons in the background.


As you can see, I’ve done a draw-over for the photography principle of the rule of thirds. This photographic element suggests that the most important elements in the picture should be positioned along the lines, or even at the points where they intersect. My husband is the main point of attraction in this photo. We see that he is almost in the middle of the upper quadrant intersection. There are no additional parts of the photo that are a distraction from the skier.


The picture I took that I feel like represents the rule of thirds is displayed below. This picture was taken just in my backyard next to a patch of blackberries. Although there is some depth of field seen in this example, I would like to focus on how it correctly demonstrates the rule of thirds.


As you can see, I’ve drawn over this image with a bright pink, showing the grid on which photography is based. The purple flowers line up exactly at an intersection of the lines. This is why this image is a good representation of the rule of thirds. It captures an image and creates a focus. Even though there is a lot of image space, I feel like it’s really balanced as the background is blurred out, putting even more of a focus on the beautiful flowers in the front.


Leading Lines

I absolutely love the smell of lavender. I think that lavender fields are an excellent example of photography principle of leading lines. This specific field is actually a lavender field in England. It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it? I will shed some light on how the photographer utilized the photography principle of leading lines to make this image so powerful and attractive to the eye.

Lavender field at Snowshill Lavender, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


I used red and yellow to show the various “paths” seen in the image. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the furrows, and any path or object that provides some kind of breakage or separation between the rows. The natural lines drawn in the image assist in directing our eyes to the focus, or to a median of some sort. In this case, our eyes are directed to where the image levels out, at the sunset. I’ve drawn red over the furrows in the field, and the yellow is over green strips which also provide a nice contrast.


I happened to go home this weekend, so I decided take my dog on a ride in the truck. Growing up, I had this route that I’d drive, and it basically just followed some back roads along several fields and farms. Now, here is my own photograph of a picture that I feel properly represents the principle of leading lines.


In my draw-over, I’ve illustrated the “lines” that help shape and create this simple photograph. In addition to the road itself guiding the eye, I noticed that the simple fence along the left side of the road demonstrated the principle of leading lines. Also, the green field also creates some contrast, emphasizing a sense of direction. I’ve drawn over the fence to show just how it guides the eye. On the other side of the road is the ditch, which also creates a line for the eye to follow. A little bonus of the leading lines photograph is the yellow and back sign in the left-hand corner. While it follows the rule of thirds, it creates a vivid contrast in this photo.


Depth of Field

Here is the professional picture I chose to illustrate the principle of depth of field. I was originally directed to Pinterest, but found that this image came from a blog. The photographer obviously wanted this specific daisy to stand out and be unique, hence blurring the background. I really like this principle because we don’t necessarily eliminate the rest of the picture, we just show our audience what we see as important or significant.

http://carolinejournal5.blogspot.com /2010/10/3-short-depth-of-field-and-3-long-depth.html

This next picture was taken up at Darby Canyon in Driggs, ID. As you can see, I’m successfully demonstrating the depth of field principle. I have taken a baby pinecone, and wanted to portray a message to my audience. While the main focus is on the baby pinecone, it adds an emphasized importance. This is what’s great about this principle. It’s easy to narrow in on the focus, and blur out the rest of the picture, even though it has its own importance. In the background we see a forest, full of majestic trees. This is the future life of this baby pinecone. A pinecone has the potential to grow into a large pine tree, which then fills another spot in the forest.


I absolutely loved this lesson. I learned a great deal about the various r rules of photography, and all of the “whys”. I feel like I have always had an eye for photography, however I knew nothing about the details or skills needed to create such art. After learning about the rule of thirds, I have a better understanding of how to focus in on an image without zooming up really closely. This principle taught me how to utilize extra space in a photograph. I also learned about leading lines and how when an image has lines of some sort, it aids in directing the viewer’s eye to a certain point or object. It also creates an attractive visual. Lastly, learning about the depth of field, I’ve been able to understand and appreciate the blurring of a background in a picture. It creates such a unique focus and style to the photograph.

Smell Like a Man

OldSpice©. Yes, I’m a girl, and yes, I use OldSpice. #PROUD. The advertisement below portrays typography in a way that is appealing to the eye, and is a great example of contrast. Throughout the duration of this post, I will explain the various techniques used in this ad to deliver a message. I will also discuss how the designer utilized typography to do so.


If we take a closer look at the image, we see how the designer utilized a contrasting relationship between the sections of the text, which I have marked in the image below. What we see in this design is a combination of separate typefaces and elects that are clearly distinctive from one another. Although the text is in fairly close proximity to its neighbor, you can see the difference. This ad is visually appealing to the eye, because there is a balance between the captivating graphics, as well as the organization and complimenting-nature of the text. I will take a detailed analytical approach to each section of text, starting top to bottom.


Typeface #1

purpleIf we take a closer look at the text in the purple box, we see that the typeface for the first set of text is sans serif. The specific sans serif font used in the ad is without serifs at the end of the strokes. The viewer doesn’t see any kind of thick/thin transition, but rather a text that we see as “monoweight”. If a text is monoweight, every angle purple-croppedand side of the text is the same thickness. To the right you’ll see that I drew over several letters. It wasn’t a difficult process because of the fact that the thickness remains the same throughout. I believe that the designer chose to use this kind of typeface, sans serif, to make the message not only bold, but persuasive. ” is a strong, catchy phrase with a lot of potential. Naturally, this is what our eye views first and foremost.

Typeface #2

blueThe next section of text that I would like to analyze is highlighted in blue. As we can see, the designer utilized another typeface on the ad. The script category includes all of the typefaces that resemble hand lettered, as if writ
ten with a pen or fine brush. I’ve learned that scrblue-croppedipts are to be used sparingly, just so they don’t take the majority of the attention. The script font does an excellent job
providing a contrast to the neutral fonts used so often
today. The image to our right shows an emphasis on the parts of the text where the script was obvious, such as when the letters connect, or even when they letters have a little loop.


This advertisement used by OldSpice© does an excellent job in communicating a message to the audience: Attention men: it is only through using OldSpice that you can smell like a man. Sure, I’m definitely not a man, but wanna know something? This girl uses OldSpice herself. Now, I wouldn’t say that I smell like a man because I use a deodorant flavor that smells like Skittles, yet it’s an OldSpice© brand. The fact that I’m a girl doesn’t persuade me to like or dislike this ad any more. The designer was able to combine two completely different typefaces, to make an ad appealing to society. There is contrast, there is difference, there is a balance. Typography is an amazing thing that can either make or break an ad. In this case, I’d favorably say that it definitely makes the ad.

The Perfect Cookie

Oreo’s. Who doesn’t love them? I chose to do my reverse engineer project on an ad produced by Nabisco for the 2013 Super Bowl. I’ve posted the original ad below. Notice the simplicity, yet boldness of the message. For the duration of this post, I will analyze the design and color of this ad by walking through how the designer utilized the following principles: contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, and color.

Drawover- Original


Although this ad appears to be quite simple, the designer was very effective in adding a certain degree of visual interest by using the principle of contrast. The viewer’s attention is caught immediately upon the first glance. We see that most of the contrast comes from theDrawover--Contrast variation in simple color choices. There are literately three colors: Oreo cookie black, off white, and a humble shade of blue. The colors are spread out enough that they don’t clash, yet they’re all quite complementary. Although the text remains the same, there is yet again another combination of those three colors. I think the Oreo cookie split in half, each part on a different side of the ad, I think that it’s so catching to the eye because of its contrast. Sure, it’s the same Oreo cookie, yet to the audience, the cookie itself is like completely separate from the creme, and vise versa.



I’ve marked several elements in this ad that represent the principle of repetition. The most obvious example is the two cookies. Although different sides are displayed, the designer chose to display a cookie on each side of the banner, which also shows repetition as it doubles for the second part of the phrase. The font remains the same size and same font style throughout the ad. The consistency in the font ties the ad together, and creates a sense of unity.


I think that one of the biggest reasons as to why I enjoy looking at this ad is because of Drawover-Alignmenthow the designer utilized the principle of alignment. As you can see, I drew a vertical line, and a horizonal line. There is an obvious visual connection when we look at the ad this way. If you were to cut it in half vertically, it would almost be a mirror image. The designer already placed a faint line horizontally, which serves as a breaker for the image, meaning that it helps with the organization as a whole. Unity is another result of proper alignment. There is nothing on the page that serves as a distraction or block. In fact, the entire ad is placed in the center of the viewer’s screen.


When a designer chooses to place items within close proximity or distance of each other, it’s as if they become one visual unit. The main purpose of proximity is to organize the design. I marked with yellow all of the points of proximity that catch Drawover-Proximitymy eye. I’ve marked  the four corners with “X’s” to show the white space, or unused portion. Although there is white space in this ad, I don’t necessarily see it was excessive. In fact, there is just enough space around the border of the ad that it looks balanced. We see that the proximity from the border to the edge of each banner is equal. There is a similar distance between the Oreo’s and the banner. I like how the designer didn’t try and cram everything into such a small space. It all seems fairly close, yet at the same time, extremely balanced between the graphics and the edges.


Like I had stated in an earlier section of this post, the colors chosen for this ad are very complimentary. I believe that the designer chose a subtle blue in order to keep the black and white balaDrawover-Colornced. While there are only three colors, I feel like the ad doesn’t need any more, otherwise it might be a tad excessive. I especially find interested how at the bottom where is says, “Choose your side on Instagram @ Oreo”, the color of the text switches to blue for the username. Although it’s not consistent, it goes really well and helps the username/account for Oreo stand out. After all, that’s what the designer wants us to remember.


After a deep analyzation of this Oreo advertisement, I’ve been able to put together all the pieces as to what makes a successful ad. A successful ad clearly delivers a message. It leaves the views with no questions or uncertainty. A successful ad is organized and attractive to the eye. In this Super Bowl ad, we see in what ways the designer successfully portrayed a message to an insanely large audience. It captured the attention of the Oreo lover, and even the folks that prefer the cookie over the cream, or the cream over the cookie. The basic principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, and color have provided me with insight as to what pieces are essential for a solid, meaningful ad.