CommLab 2D – F11 – Dillon

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

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!

I thought of a lot of words that I could try to animate. This one is the one I kept coming back to. It looks simple, but I came to this final version after many tries. I think it looks good, but I don’t know if that might be because I’ve looked at it so long and don’t know how to judge it anymore.




Here is the other part of the assignment, choosing fonts that we think say something about our name, both sans serif and serif.

Andale Mono

Haymer Petite Capitals Light Light


Banda Regular

Museo Slab 500

Brosse Demonstrator

fontName (altogether)

For our week 2 assignment, we gathered pictures of examples of bad signage. Here is what I would do to improve these signs. (The thing is that I kind of like these because they are so earnest.)

Photo, Perfume, Beauty Supplies

Photo, Perfume, Beauty Supplies, and so much more!

This sign for Photo and Beauty Supplies says so much! But maybe too much, too literally? The sign lists about 20 services/products in just the bigger letters, and much more in smaller signs in the window. The colors pop, but maybe the sign(s) could use just two, to keep it less busy. There are a lot of different fonts (is it referred to as fonts in signage?) The problem with this store is that I guess it offers so many products/services that are not very often grouped together in one store, that there is no real template or easily recognizable way for them to succinctly market themselves in a sign. Like the fellow in class said last week in relation to the example of the copy-fax-postage storefront, in New York, places like that and this are all undoubtedly examples of bad signage, but they get their point across well, anyway… there is some kind of local adherence to the frenetic way sign-makers, consumers, and owners understand each other… perhaps.

Grilled sandwich, hot tea, fried chicken, donuts, etc...

Grilled sandwich, hot tea, fried chicken, donuts, etc...

This place was mesmerizing! I particularly love the bucket of chicken photo pasted in there on the red background. This place, from what I gather, is a restaurant that serves grilled sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this same place AFC serves fried chicken, and some other accompaniments (I would list them but the signage is too small right there). In this same establishment lives Donut Connection, where Hershey’s ice cream is served, along with coffee, bagel, donuts, and muffins. The main idea, though, from what I gathered from the condensed side view of the awning, closest to the building wall, is that the AFC serves fried chicken and a donut connection. There was also a blinking and scripted electronic sign that would flash, rather flashily, items on their menu, such as DonuT, Hot Tea, Lunch, etc.

I feel that this sign is also struggling to get across the idea that it is not a traditional one-off type of establishment. It is offering a variety of products that are not traditionally grouped together, so they feel the need to list everything they have on their outdoor signage. I sympathize with their problem, but I would say, again, that maybe they should streamline their menu and serve something as a main attraction, rather than everything at once and confusing prospective customers.



This LOCO 99 CRAZY 99 LOCO 99, on second thought, is not really all that bad! I totally understand that it is an incredibly — loco — cheap $.99 (y mas) store. I guess I would say that they needn’t have added the “subtitles” of school, baby, gift, detergent, cosmetic, house wear & much more. Those are all typically found in most $.99 stores, and they needn’t have cluttered up their sign with that unnecessary information.

The South Side Auto Parts sign makes sense, looking at it a second time around… The colors all mean something and they convey useful information for people looking to find a place that will service their particular make of automobile. But I still think they used too many colors — they should subtract two. Also, they could have refrained from capitalizing every Word in their “subtitles” — it looks awkward.

South Side Auto Parts and MORE!

South Side Auto Parts and MORE!