You see them everywhere.  Photos of beautiful landscapes or happy people cover with sayings like “Dream Big” and “Keep Calm and Carry On”  or this:

Motivational posters are supposed to give you a feeling of hope and inspire you to do great things.  Well, maybe I don’t want to KEEP CALM!  Sometimes these posters are just annoying!  How nice would it be to one day see TRUE statements everywhere you look?  Something like, “Exercise sucks!”  That is why I chose to do this assignmentIt asked us to create an image and put a contradictory statement on top.   Basically, I created an anti-motivational poster. 

To do this, I used my new favorite app on my iPad, Canva (there is also a desktop version).  I chose Canva because it offers several FREE design templates for posters and a TON of copyright free images.  I followed these steps to create my poster and have included screenshots.  After logging into my account, I clicked on the link on POSTER under the Create a New Design tab.  I found the layout I liked then searched for the best positive photo I could find.  I drug the photo into the template, and adjusted the size to fit. 

Then I thought of the worst thing to tell a group of determined teen runners and inserted into the text box in the template.  I used a cheery font and placed the caption just below center of the photo.  By doing this, more of the facial expressions and body language is visible.  This makes the caption seem even more contradictory.



(I found the copyright free example of the positive motivational poster on the website Pexels)

From Subways to Helvetica

Massimo Vignelli.  I had not heard his name until today yet his influence has surrounded me my entire life.  In 1950, pre-computer age, he created one of the most used fonts of all time, Helvetica. His simplistic, modern style can also be seen in logos, interior design, furniture and more.   When interviewed for an article in the New York Times, Vignelli said “Design is a field that encompasses the entire outside world that surrounds us.   From this chair to that furniture there, everything you contemplate, has been designed by someone. “    This is never more evident than in his most famous design, a map of the New York Subway.  Vignelli used his clean style to make the complex system simple to understand.  After reading the book  The Vignelli Canon, I came away with a deeper understand of the importance of design in everyday life and a strong appreciation for the pioneers in the field.

Here are 5 Lessons from Massimo Vignelli.

Design Blitz Week 2

Everywhere we look, we can find amazing examples of good (and sometimes not so good) design.  Open the refrigerator and what do you see?  Jars, bottles, cartons with logos and pictures begging you to choose them.  Our mailboxes are full of advertisements, envelopes with company logos, fliers designed to capture our attention.  This week we were asked to complete a design blitz including pictures of items, logos etc. that represented four elements of design.  I chose the elements of design that really stand out to me when I look at labels and logos – symbols, color, typography and rhythm.  Rhythm surprised me the most because I have been reacting to it subconsciously.  After learning more about it, I am recognizing it everywhere.  See below what I think of these 4 elements.

Metaphors and Symbols:


Well I didn’t have to look far for this one.  The symbol of the apple has come to represent technology, innovation and status.  When we see the simple apple with a bite out of it, we immediately know the company it represents.  This symbol is among the most recognizable logos in the world and one of my very favorites.  I cannot help but get excited when I see a boxwith this symbol!  Check out other popular symbols at Change Conversations



This seltzer can uses Rhythm in their logo.  It shows repetition, movement and pattern.  This is an example of Flowing Rhythm because the lines bend and curve. The lines are shaped and spaced to invoke a feeling of calm and flow.  When I stare at the center of this logo, I imagine sitting in the sand with big waves rolling onto the shore.  Check out more about rhythm in design from the Interaction Design Foundation.



Pepsi got it right when they chose the color scheme for their flagship product.  Their spot on use of the primary colors of red and blue, are not only aesthetically pleasing, they also evoke a feeling of patriotism.  Color is so very important in any design.  Choosing the right color can make or break the project.  The blog, 99 Designs gives a great explanation of what particular colors mean.  Blue, represents  trustworthiness and red symbolizes excitement.  Yes, I trust this can and am really excited to open it!


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This Michelob Ultra bottle is a great example of using typography to create an image and feeling.  It incorporates 5 different fonts and uses spacing and color to draw your attention to each element of the label.  The fancy script font gives an expensive feel to the logo.  I love the use of the script embossed M on the bottle.  Check out the blog The Daily Egg to learn more about things like white space, spacing, fonts and more.


ily, ily not

This GIF assignment was a fun one.  It had me think of contrasting ideas that would make for a fun GIF.

I used two platforms for this assignment.  The first one I used was Snapchat.  Being a twenty year old girl, I am very familiar with snapchat and its functions.  One thing that makes it a good platform for creating simple images is its extensive bank of emojis and stickers, as well as its ability to lay text over any image.  I used the text tool to at the text “ily” (which is text-speak for I love you) in one image and “ily not” in another.  I then used the stickers and text tool to add various emojis of hearts around the “ily” text.

After I created my two images, I uploaded them into the app ImgPlay.  This allowed me to create a loop that alternates between the two images at a speed of my choice.  After messing with the speed settings, I saved my GIF to my phone’s library.

The end result is a cute, modern day take on the old phrase, “He loves me, he loves me not”.

Um, excuse me?

My chihuahua mix, Mo, is a goldmine when it comes to funny facial expressions.  He is high strung, and loves to be the center of attention, so I knew he would be the perfect subject for a funny GIF assignment.

To make my gif, I first found a funny video of Mo and our new puppy, Bennie.  I then opened the app, GIPHY, onto my phone.  This app makes creating your own gif extremely simple.  All I had to do was upload the video I wanted, picked what part of the video I wanted to use, and then trimmed the video to the length I thought would be best.  After the editing process, I simply saved the GIF to my phone’s library.

The end result is a very funny Mo that I think we can all relate to!

Since 1965

For my 4 Star assignment I chose creating a simple logo.  My grandparents have owned an auto repair business since before my mom was born.  I wanted to create a modern, simple logo that also honored the business.  To do the project, I used the app Logo Maker.

It does not have many free templates, but had what I was looking for and offered customization. After choosing the template, I removed 2 of the photo layers and replaced the symbol with a simple red car.  I used Halvetica font because I learned it looks good on everything!  Using Navy Blue font for the company name helps it to pop.  The tag line in gray is subtle yet effective.

I believe the modern font style and photo with primary colors give an up to date yet classic feel to the logo.  The tag line “Since 1965” adds distinction and credibility.

final product

Paradise Found

A white sandy beach, bright blue water and a chair.  That is my idea of paradise.  About now, I could use a little beach therapy.  Since I am mid semester, I can’t leave but I can dream.  The Destination Postcard assignment hit the mark for me.  We were asked to find a picture and create a postcard by applying words over the picture.  Canva was the recommended tool.

I began by searching for stock images of sandy beaches.  Once I found my fave, I opened my Canva app on my iPad and searched for postcard templates.  I chose a cute FREE template then noticed that Canva has over 60,000 stock photos to use.  With the template open, I clicked where I wanted to place my photo.  I then chose the photo from their collection.  I populated in the template.  I cropped the photo to fit.  Next, I cleared the template text box, chose the font, color and size and added my wording.  I repeated the same process under the picture adding a location name.

I wish more people used real mail.  Receiving a postcard is simple for the sender and super special for the receiver.  It is nice to know someone took time out of their fun vacation to do something nice for me.  A text is nice but a card with a little handwritten note is the best


I decided to take this class several days after it had begun.  I enjoy the type of work the class covers so was not worried about taking it online while living 3 hours away.  Well, I quickly began to feel overwhelmed as I tried to catch up the mid-week assignment and do week 1.  I became confused and worried.  To make things worse, I am taking 2 additional online classes and have a job.  I just kept falling further and further behind and getting more and more confused.  I think it would be easier if I were on campus and could take advantage of the tutoring that is available.  Not wanting to give up, I sat down and powered through everything.  Google is now one of my BFFs. 

I found it challenging to learn all of the different platforms and do all of the assignments but I am definitely learning a lot.  I am going to keep going, power through and do my very best.  I will push away the anxiety and focus on one assignment at a time until I have completed everything this course requires.

I did have a lot of fun with every assignment this week.  I love photography and enjoyed telling stories with my pictures.  I was able to spend time through photos with my adorable dogs.  This really drove home the important role photographs play in our lives. Learning new techniques was awesome.  I can’t wait to practice more of what I learned. This was a fun (and challenging) week.


Material Review and Reflection Post

Photo Safari  –  Photo Safari (gallery)

Assignment Bank


Photo Safari

This assignment gave us fifteen minutes to go on a “photo safari” to take as many pictures as we could of the examples on the list provided.  The options ranged from a photo of a pattern, to an inanimate object being brought to life.  I chose to go to my room to hunt down some photos.

I think that the photo that worked best for me was the one that I took of the shadows casting against the wall.  The lamp shade on top is a bit off centered so it creates a diaganol shadow on the wall.  The rabbit mask (that I made myself, just saying) is lit on one side, making the other half of it covered in the shadow.

I really enjoyed the challenge aspect of this assignment!  Having parameters to each photo made it feel like a puzzle.  It was also very fun to look through my room and the things that I see everyday through a new perspective.

Reflections on Photography

After reading The Story Behind. . . Migrant Mother, Maria Popova, the importance of a single picture became more clear.  Her seemingly candid photos captured the feelings, heart and soul of an entire era. I was inspired to create a picture that told a story.  While my picture is nowhere near as deep as anything Popova published, I hope you can look at it and make your own story. 

Watching What is Visual Literacy showed me that visual literacy is a language that must be taught.  With 90% of the information we receive being visual, it is important that we can read what is being said through what we see.  In my photo, I chose to mix textures and create interesting angles.  I wanted to create the unexpected, much like the red spiky sculpture in front of the traditional stone building in What is Visual Literacy.  What do you see?