Tag: morgue file
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
— Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Here we are at Mac Lab Saturday School™ number two. Early on, I threw out a challenge to the kids: Who’s going to provide this week’s blog image? Fadi G had about a dozen ideas in various stages of completion and when he tried to submit this one I asked him to zoom out to see what it looked like when reproduced small. As the rest of the page came into view, I immediately pointed to a different design and said, “That’s brilliant!” (No larger version yet and this still needs a little editing, like any work-in-progress.)
When you’re designing your own logo, you should always strive to make it relevant to your skills and interests. Make it both personal and professional. The reason I was so immediately taken with this idea is that Fadi’s becoming an Illustrator expert. Out of all the ideas on his page, this is the one that shouted FADI! to me. To him though, it was just another idea. No big deal. I’m still not sure if he really likes it or not but it’s too late to escape this week’s claim to fame. Sometimes, especially when designing logos, less is more. Check the quote at the top of the page again. That message will be with us the rest of the year. Count on it. Perhaps some clever student will design a poster with typographic finesse that captures the essence of those words. I sure would like to display that quote forevermore on the Wall of Fame. (Hint, hint.)
Oh, and for anyone else considering the Adobe-esque logo angle, it’s officially been taken. You’re going to have to come up with some other brilliant idea. Lucky for you I got up in the middle of the night to begin constructing third party logo galleries to help you to get a feel for what I’m looking for: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | More are on the way. Check out the other links on our Inspiration page to feed your imagination.
This post is subject to editing as it was written in the midst of MLSS chaos.
1026: The Republic of Moldova just joined the Mac Lab party. If 128 have now visited, how many does that leave? (Didn’t think you’d learn about geography or global politics in the Mac Lab, did you?) Now, back to our irregularly unscheduled deprogramming…
Simplify: While you’re trying to simplify your design, think about simplifying your name as well. George M was working on his design this past Saturday. When he asked for a critique, I suggested shortening the four-word grouping he was playing with. After a few minutes, George M (last name spelled out) Graphic Design had become GeoGraphics. He’s not only got a catchier name (and his own TV channel!), his design challenge just became more manageable. Simplify!
Inspiration: Back in the day, whenever I was working on a new design, I’d have my morgue file handy and I’d page through it over and over again. To say I’d seen some of those images over 1,000 times would be an understatement. Only a fool would believe I was wasting time. I was feeding my imagination. A morgue file is a living breathing resource. It changes just like you do. Are you the same person you were five years ago? Five months ago? Five days ago? No, of course you’re not. The imagery may not have changed but you have. With each new viewing, new connections are established. Plus, new imagery is always being added to a morgue file. It’s one of the lessons my first graphic design professor taught me back in 1974 and it’s a lesson I took to heart because it worked for me time and time again.
As with many things, today’s morgue file may be digital rather than physical. Though I’d encourage you to begin your own, I’d caution you that it can be a time consuming process. For me, it’s a labor of love rather than on onerous task. (I brought in one of my old morgue files if you’re interested.)
Think about this: You only have 180 hours per class each year. If the Mac Lab were a full-time job, that’s only four and one-half weeks on the job. (And you wonder why I encourage you to come in early or on Saturdays.) I know you don’t have time to build a solid morgue file so I’m building one for you. It’s right here. I’ve already spent far more than 180 hours on this project. When I saw that many of you were becoming overwhelmed sorting through the thousands of logos found via Grand Central Linkage, I spent about 20 hours sorting through the pile and pulled out 100 of the best examples for you to focus on: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | This morning I found a page featuring negative space in logo design. I continue to search for resources to help you to succeed and I’ll be adding more logos as I find them. All that remains is your commitment.
Look through these pages: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | (Yes, again.) Now, work on your own design. Begin by simplifying the name of your business. Think: GeoGraphics. (No, you can’t use that name. It’s just an example.) How might you simplify your business name? If possible, think: alliteration. Continue to produce thumbnails. Hint: These will be scanned and included in your portfolio.
Updates: Period 1 just had 3 simplicity home runs! Three long names shrank and three designs saw the light by shedding unnecessary clutter. Example: Christian L was using CML Design & Illustration as his business name. Check this out. Simplified! Period 2: Katie Photography + Simplification = PhotoKat. Yes! Period 3: Ryan Inkel got simplified. Last period, one budding designer was trying to work out a simplified name. I pointed to the last three letters of his last name. DNA is a pretty evocative name for a creative firm, isn’t it?
1027: I’ll keep things short today as I hope to be adding updates with student success stories as the day progresses. There’s a new series of tutorials you might find of value. Watch this video to see what I’m talking about. Check out Abduzeedo’s Great Visual Identities.
Featured Artists: This year’s Logo Gallery is open for business.
1028: I’ll be at Kearny High School to observe The School of Digital Media Design today so continue to work on your logos. Do I have to say it? Simplify! Learn how to use the Pathfinder as well. Trust me. It’s a skill you’ll learn to love. Reminder: Misbehavior = Saturday School!
1029: Looking forward to checking progress today. Short video to share during class. Hint: Has something to do with simplicity.
1030: Overview of the Droid typographic fail: Smart vs Prime (Yes, I forgot the n in punctuation. Hey, I got up at 2:10 this morning!) | The Droid Fail | Glyphs and Tips | Update: McGarryBowen is the agency with egg on its face. Update 02: Several students have told me that they saw the Droid ad last night and it’s been altered so that all of the apostrophes are consistent. But they claim all of the apostrophes are vertical (primes). If that’s true, well, I’m going to have to see that to believe it because that borders on the inconceivable. Unbelievable Update 03: Here’s the latest version of the Droid ad (thanks to Steven K for locating it on Verizon’s site). Now all 9 apostrophes are incorrect. Typographic incompetence! Thank you McGarryBowen for providing this once in a blue moon teaching moment!
It’s a mystery to some, but in design, less really is more. More = Clutter (produced in-house by Microsoft employees in 2005.)
Next Week: Multitasking begins in earnest. The final project before 3D and Digital Arts go their separate ways. See a preview of what I’ll be looking for, design-wise, right here. (I’ll have more on Monday. 02 is complete. 03 is currently under construction.) Choice of subject matter is wide open but your design must be simple and elegant. The Elements and Principles of Design will come into play in a big way. See Looking Ahead in the 1023 update for more information.
No Mac Lab Saturday School™ tomorrow. Next dates: Nov 7 and 14. Happy Halloween! Be good. Have fun. Be safe. Don’t egg my car!