Monday, November 30, 2015

Communication artifact-packaging.

This is the packaging for the food truck that makes and sells delicious scones at festivals and outdoor events.  The company name is "Get Sconed" The main design features on this packaging are color contrast and leading lines.  Bright intense trendy contrasting colors are used to attract the eye of our cool hip audience of fun festival goers.  The bright festival colors emulate a festival or carnival spirit.  The over all simple balanced design, although more complex box designs were considered, follows the Gesalt principal of Pragnaz or simplicity.  The bright colors used are sectioned into thirds which is a pleasing design aspect.  The gabled box shape that we chose looks like a present or package and the lines that wraps around the box resembles a ribbon wrapping around the box to the other side and top of the box this Gesalt principal closure. 

This is the color Palette that our campaign chose. Bright contrasting festival trendy colors!

 These are some thumbnail sketches that were considered for the design of the packaging.

These were some of the patterns considered for the packaging, but we decided on the simple design.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Mis-en-scene Everything in a frame tells the story.  Mad Max Fury Road is a post apocalyptic story about one basic instinct, survival. Most sequences on the film are reflected in either red or blue.  Although the red and blue mirror the harsh elements, red sand and blue skies of the barren desert in which the film takes place, they also represent the key elements of the movie: fire, blood and water.  

Mad Max Fury Road Cinematographer or Director or photography- John Seale


I have chosen to discuss the role of the Cinematography or the director of photography (DoP)- John Seale in the following sequence;

Red Sequence:

Red Scenes:
 The red symbolizes fire and blood.  Red scenes are usually fast and violent, incorporating either by fighting, fire or the storm. There is so much that goes into the role for the director of photography (DoP).  In this case, filming is done almost always while in moving vehicles with dust and smoke rolling in almost every direction! One sequence in this film took 138 days to film!  Multiple cameras were mounted on moving cars, gliding down wire cables. Cameras filmed racing cars, balancing sets with background, suspended actors, actors shooting fire and smoke, motorcycles jumping over moving trucks, actors climbing, fighting and hanging off of moving vehicles. The director of photography job includes controlling natural lighting. The DoP must make sure the scenes are balanced, taking into consideration foreground and background, and that lighting is perfect, and that the scenes have proper contrast.  Many scenes in this movie are visually harmonious. John Seale shot scenes in similar coloring: red, blue, and beige.    Lighting and color were adjustments and amplified with filters or computers to reflect the mood of the scene. Computer animation added effects to scenes to include the storm, lightening, explosions, flying bodies, and cars.  The DoP is responsible for balancing and organizing all of these factors to give the film a unique visual identity, or look. 

Blue Scenes: 

Other beautiful, balanced and harmonious shots:

If you want to watch more behind the scenes making of Mad Max Fury Road;

Favorite Director

Favorite Director?! Yeah right, that is like trying to pick a favorite food!!!

Ok, let me try to sort this out a bit.  I would probably classify my most memorable movies into three categories based on most memorable; story line, music and visually stunning scenes.   

Story Line Favorites   Life is Beautiful  director Roberto Benigni.   The Vanishing (the Dutch/French version of course, the American version is rubbish!) the director is George Sluizer.   High Plains Drifter, director Clint Eastwood.  The French movie Monon of the Spring and its sequel Jean de Florette by Claude Berri.  I noticed I love a good revenge movie or one with a heart wrenching shocker of an ending!

Music Favorites  Bladerunner by the director Ridley Scott has an amazing soundtrack.  American Beauty by Sam Mandes has a memorable soundtrack as well.  I also love the variety of music on the Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann as well.  I also love any move with the music of the French band  M83 and am thrilled to hear their music in movies like; Oblivion, Divergent, Fault in Out Stars plus more.  Another favorite Band that creates drama and leaves a strong impression is the Icelandic band Sigur Rose (or solo Jonsi) who have provided music for 127 hours, Vanilla Sky, How to Train your Dragon, We Bought a Zoo and many many more! 

Visually Stimulating Shots Favorites  There are so many that fit into this category so I'll just name a few from recent movies that I have seen.  John Wick by Director Chad Stahelski.  Mad Max Fury Road by director George Miller.  The Dark Valley by Director Andreas Prochaska.  These movies have stunning displays of visually stunning scenes shot with high contrast of light and dark, cool and warm colors and shadow and light.  Other scenes display thought and consideration to maximize balance and harmony.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Compose your Frame

Driving up to Pine Valley, this spot gets me every time.  Why? Probably because it adheres to many of the suggested "rules" of photography.  The most obvious is the rule of thirds the Church and the road are on the direct intersections of the horizontal and vertical lines and are thus the focal points.  Additionally, the horizon line and more or less the mountain line line up horizontally in the frame with the landscape divided into thirds.  Leading lines are included as the three lines on the road draw your eye into the picture.  Diagonal lines create movement as the closes line (which is also aligned  with the second third of the frame) draws you down the road toward the trees.  Figure to ground is used as the contrast between the focal point the church and trees is exaggerated by the white church and the dark trees.   Patterns and repetition are in use with the poles of the fence leading to the focal point.  Also the pattern of the trees along the horizon line is present and is interrupted by the white church which is a bonus point!  Lastly a motion vector is present. There are three pointing shapes; the road, and the two sections of grass that lead the eye towards on of the focal points in the composition.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Axion of Web Design

Check out the website:
as you scroll down the next photo is pretty amazing.  This is a screen shot of it, which is pretty amazing but on the website as you scroll you mouse around this photo you can actually move around in the mess of jumping people in a 3D manner, an use of the affordance axiom.

 I really like this website and as I was scrolling through many different sites they seemed to cluttery.  This site has great photos with ideal lighting in black and white pulling you in with lots of contrast.  What is the business objective? It is obvious they are selling coolness! These hipsters are wearing jeans that are cool just like they are! The page design is simple and clean with a strong grid.  The prompts are intuitive and simple to navigate.  The page does not use the lower right hotspot to use for shopping (they use the top right for that) instead they use this prime location for people to follow and post their own pictures on social media.  They are taking advantage of free advertising! Lastly this page also converts to to other aspect ratios.  A similar but more simplified design and photos pulled up on my phone so the page looked great on my phone as well!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Design Evaluation

 The first Design sample that I will discuss is a bag of Dunkin Donuts ground coffee.  It isn't a terribly designed package, but for a large franchise I just would expect a better design. I am contrasting it to an Archer Farms a Target brand, which in my opinion presented the product in a more stunning presentation. 

Bad Design:
The Dunkin Donuts bag is mostly done in a not so appealing rust color. Their logo of bright orange, hot pink and white stripped is horizontally wrapped in a white banner across the top.   The color palette is not harmonious.  Although the rust color when connected with pumpkin and spice can be appealing, in this instance there is just too much of this undesirable color.  I think they should have used a more harmonious color palette. additional the balance is also off.  The writing on the top is too high and the writing below is too low.  The focal point is unclear because of this.  It took me awhile to figure out why there were two floating flowers in the center of the package, which completely throw off the balance of the package, but after viewing this for awhile, I discovered that the empty space that is bothering my eyes is actually a pumpkin head.  The two mysterious flowers are the pumpkins eyes!   I felt that if this pumpkins face were going to be pulled off better, it should have been done in more contrast, perhaps the pumpkin in the rust color and the background in a complementary color to add contrast.   This label says drink this coffee from a 70's cafe.  I visualize finger smugges on chrome bar stools and fresh wiped with bleach formica counter tops when I look at this label and see this logo. I just don't imagine I would get a high quality product by the looks of this package.  

Good Design:
The Archer Farms bag of Ground coffee on a shelve near the check out line caught my eye from far away because of its elegant harmonious comforting design.  First of all the packing was done in a powder metallic cool silver sage color that was striking against the warm comforting colors (and foods) in varying shades of orange.  Everything on the label is neat and balanced.  The font changes from warm to cool shades of red/orange to complimentary dark green.  The logo is small but centered at the top and the centered fonts vary from line to line giving variety.  All of the varying shades of orange and sage green are soothing and harmonious on the package.  The photograph is pristine with the highlights in the right places and the cinnamon sticks placed properly to pull you in to the picture.  Everything about this package says grab a warm blanket on a crisp cool fall day and a spicy mug of warm pumpkin coffee to comfort the soul. The entire label is warm and inviting.  I would imagine that I would be getting a very high quality product that tasted rich and complex when purchasing this product. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Contrast, Balance & Harmony

This is a photograph I took of some caves on an island in Scotland where my family and I lived for a couple years.  I love this picture because of the overall Balance and Contrast, It is very pleasing and calming for me to stare at this photo.  Overall this photo is very balanced, it is as if there were an invisible diagonal line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner separating lighter rocks from the darker rocks, this gives the light/dark a very balanced feel.  Contrast is them seen through out the  photograph from the different shadows cast from the basalt rock columns.  All of the shapes of dark shadows are scattered through out the photo giving variety.  Each shadow is beautiful and unique.  The shapes of the basalt columns are all very similar and the flow of repetition throughout the photo in addition to the cool calming blues and greys leave me with a feeling peace and harmony.  Over all I like to think that the combination of contrast and balance and individual aspects of harmony contribute to an over all feeling of Harmony to the photograph.