Monthly Archives: October 2011

For my color composition, I was inspired by the rad Color Scheme Designer site. It is so helpful and the design of the site has an intuitive layout. This is from the “accented analogic” setting from the color scheme site. I gather that the accented analogic scheme must be a blend between the analagous and complementary color schemes that we were taught in class. I made a kind of plaid with the colors:

color composition plaid

For the next part of the assignment I  made a series of squares that faded out in saturation to give the illusion of transparency. The challenge from the assignment was to refrain from using the opacity tool in Photoshop.

faux transparent red squares

I took the color hue test and got a PERFECT SCORE!

color hue test before submitting

color hue test before submitting


my color hue test results

I guess I’m pretty proud of this, even if it doesn’t necessarily mean anything! I have always been fascinated by color theory and color psychology. It was nice to do a test that reminded me of how the subtlest of changes in saturation or hue can really change the feel of a color, and that is why it is OK to obsess over paint color for a room or about what exact shade of white one wants for their wedding dress.

color test ranking

My ideas for the midterm project are inspired by insomniacs. I sometimes have trouble sleeping when I can’t seem to stop thinking. At first my idea was to have a program in Processing that would visualize the medical detriment one does to oneself when they don’t get enough sleep, using data from medical journals, etc. that would be categorized and color-coded and would appear on a human body illustration. It would be visually soothing and at the same time encourage the user to put their thoughts to bed and just go to sleep. I wasn’t sure if this would be complicated enough for the midterm, so I kept thinking.

Another idea related to insomnia would be to make a fun “Yawn Game” wherein the insomniac would click on a streaming video of yawners or a simple interface where a (or a series of)  yawn animation(s) would play when clicked, hopefully inducing the insomniac to yawn, too, and feel sleepier. (You know, because yawns are contagious.) I am struggling to think of a way to make it more of an interactive, fun game without penalizing the user and further stressing them out, making the whole thing counteractive to the point.

Along the same lines as the Yawn Game, I had another idea to have a sleep aid in the form of numbered (from 99 or whatever high number to 1) sheep jumping over a fence, inducing sleep. I thought it would be cool if it could be activated on the computer, the person could get into bed, have a projector hooked up, playing the program on the ceiling above the person lying down, so it would just play as they lay there, without having to get up. It would go to sleep automatically.

*addition to this idea^ : add video frame of person in front of camera. Also add tone output of lullabies and intermittent yawn sounds.

Another related idea that I had was inspired by the Pen-sieve in Dumbledore’s office in the Harry Potter books. The insomniac would see a soothing pool/fountain of water playing back at them with video input, and use a text-input to enter their worries or thoughts into a vestibule on the interface. They would then drag the text with a magic wand (the mouse) into the peaceful pool of water or fountain, where they would beautifully fade away and visually extricate themselves of those worries or thoughts so they could go to bed more easily. A soothing water fountain/trickling sound would be played either throughout the whole thing or just upon completion.

These are all therapeutic concepts and I hope I can do one of them in a week with coding that I am not yet familiar with. I need to choose just one.

I built upon my sketch from last week for this assignment on arrays. I was nearly done when I thought I’d add a println command to see what happened. It crashed Processing on my computer, erasing my work. This is my second attempt at this . The ellipses are not so much comets anymore. Try pressing the mouse and also try putting the mouse in the upper right corner.

Link to assignment on OpenProcessing.

Screenshot of successful program:

successful program

successful program

Screenshot of frozen computer.

frozen computer due to println command

frozen computer due to println command

We were asked to design a new, improved ITP logo. I made some sketches and here are the results. I came up with two designs. One simply uses the square brackets around “itp” to evoke the use of the [] brackets in computer programming languages, as well as how they are used in the numerous email subject headings on the ITP student list. The second logo idea I had was to incorporate a lightbulb into the design to indicate how ITP is a place where new ideas are put into practice. I tried drawing a simple lightbulb with ITP text inside, but it looked silly. I then thought about animating the “i” to look like a person, but also maybe like a light by placing rays around the dot on the “i”. I was also thinking a lot about the rays that are found on the keyboard of a laptop/computer’s brightness button. It could evoke the “bright idea” sentiment.

These logos I created are text-based. I like their simplicity and impact. I really don’t care for the currently used ITP logo, so I hope some people will think that what I came up with is an improvement. ITP logo sketches and designs.

The other part of the assignment was to choose a logo that I think is successful and to prepare a 3 minute presentation on it. I have always been drawn to the very simple, smart, iconic National Geographic logo.

The logo as discussed in the agency's book

The logo as discussed in the agency's book, courtesy David Airey's site.

It simply consists of a yellow/gold vertical rectangle with the words NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC to the right of the box. The logo instantly harkens the viewer back to the iconic National Geographic magazine cover border, which is that same yellow/gold. The concept is so simple, but so effective. This logo was designed by Chermayeff/Geismar. On their site portfolio, they discuss how they created web guidelines on the proper use of the logo identity. I could only find, from an interview of Tom Geismar on LogoDesignLove that the current logo was done in 2002. In their book, Identify, discussed on David Airey’s site, they discuss the NatGeo logo:

“Beyond the basic signature and guidelines for usage, recommendations were made for the extensive use of the color yellow, especially for product packaging; the use wherever possible of appropriate and striking photography; a standard way to incorporate a message about the society and its purpose; and how, without restrictions on layout and design, the use of strong, clean contemporary design can help update perceptions of National Geographic.”

National Geographic Logo Current

Current National Geographic Logo

I think this logo really succeeds in updating perceptions of National Geographic, as they hoped. It works. Prior to this logo, the National Geographic Society had some very different logos. I found this seal-type logo that seems like it must have been pretty old.

National Geographic Society seal

National Geographic Society seal

Anyway, I was aware of Chermayeff & Geismar because it happened that a girl that was interning at my previous place of work several years ago had the last name Chermayeff and one of the photographers there noted upon meeting her that she had the same last name as the famous graphic designer and his wife, who is also a prominent figure in photography — the intern happened to be their daughter (or granddaughter, I am not sure). I looked into some of the work from Chermayeff & Geismar and was pretty awed by it all — I felt really out of my element as a photography person. But it opened my eyes to the impact a good logo can have and how good design in general can really enhance numerous aspects of every day life.

This film from their agency really showcases their work.

Their site’s About Us links to this.

Their astonishing timeline.

I think their work speaks for itself!

Servo Motor Control with an Arduino

I am posting this lab from week 4 a little late.

There were a series of problems I had once I followed the lab instructions. The sensor’s analog value turned out to definitely not be 0-1023. It turned out to work best (after my other discovery below) at a value of 0-700.

The other problem I had was that I had placed my pin for the sensor to be A1 because that is the way the picture showed it. But the written directions were to stick the pin in A0, and the programming code reflected that. I was wondering why the servo was not turning much at all and I finally looked over everything after trying out different analog values and it turned out to be that the sensor was still reading something at the A1 pin, but it needed to be in the A0 pin. Interesting.



Here is the video of my “creative” interpretation of the lab. A mini surrender/”I’m sorry” flag wave.