Intro to Graphic Design

Ursa Books Logo Project

The second project for Intro to Graphic Design was both familiar and unfamiliar. We were challenged to create a logo for a fictional company that we would create. We were expected to create name of this fictional company by selecting one category (exhibit or museum, book store, food store, or sporting goods store) and selecting one theme (plants, weather, constellations, animals, countries, or cultures). Given this limited pool for choosing a company name, I decided I wanted to create a logo for a bookstore, based on the Ursa Major and Minor constellations.

Looking up illustrations of the constellations was somewhat less than helpful.

Ancient civilizations had interesting ideas about the anatomy of bears. So I turned to my favorite source for artistic inspiration: Disney animation concept art. I looked up concept art from Brother Bear, the Jungle Book, and Robin Hood to help me decide what elements of a bear are the most iconic and communicate the idea of a bear.

Bears are my favorite animals (aside from birds), and I wanted to draw some downright adorable and cuddly bears. I wanted them fat, I wanted them fluffy, and I wanted them snuggly. My initial sketches were very Disney-esque in their first iterations, which is a good choice for animation but not for a logo. Logos are meant to be iconic, and to communicate an idea without excess colors or shapes. You should be able to hit a balance between simplistic and communicative, which was mainly what I struggled with in this project.

From the initial sketches, we created digital sketches in Adobe Illustrator. Mine were excessively colorful, without a ton of variation in the typography.

We were required to create 16 different variations of our favorite digital sketches in total, which drove me up the wall as I tried to consider different color combinations. Unfortunately, my professor ripped these apart in class, telling me that the bears looked more like an advertisement for a nightclub than a children’s bookstore. He was right…

To gather additional feedback (and avoid nightclub bears), I created several mockups and posted them on my Facebook page.

I loved all of these logos, and it was incredibly difficult choosing between these final four. The responses from Facebook were immensely helpful as I continued my deliberation, and I was so grateful to everyone that replied! I finally decided on the top-left logo, and after editing it, printing it, and mounting it, I had my final project.

Or so I thought. This project was the most poorly received of the semester, with my professor specifically citing the rotundity of the mama bear and the amount of detail within the logo. I’m still not sure that I agree with his detestation of the adorable and chubby bear, but I decided to take his advice and revamp my final logo.

Having to edit my beautiful baby bears felt like a blow to my artistic integrity, but I’m actually happy with the final draft. This logo will be displayed in my portfolio, and I’m looking forward to receiving more feedback on it in the future. What do you think? Do you like the final project or the revamped logo better?

Thanks for reading!

Intro to Graphic Design

Shapes Project

Now that I’m entering a new semester, it seems like an excellent time to reflect on my projects from last semester, specifically my Intro to Graphic Design projects! I wasn’t overly enthused by the prospect of going into yet another Graphic Design class, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned. But first, I had to endure… the Shapes Project. Usually, I have some sort of direction or inspiration for my projects, but this project was intentionally abstract and it frustrated me to no end. The description for the project was to “Create a composition using basic shapes and the principles of design.”. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong. We had to start by drawing and inking 48 individual compositions, all different from each other. My creativity gave out around the 5th square, and I had to push myself to finish. We then had our compositions critiqued in class, reviewing them and deciding on our favorites. From there, we had to progress and create 48 more compositions, either basing them on our original compositions or creating entirely new ones.

After the hands-on, traditional process, it was time to move into Illustrator. I was lucky in that I already had significant experience in Illustrator, so the process was fairly intuitive for me. The rest of my classmates were still learning this process, so I spent most of my time in class refining the digital versions of my sketches.

These are all of the digital sketches I created in Adobe Illustrator in preparation for the final project. My professor was especially helpful when it came to refining my sketches, providing me with a fresh pair of eyes and a different outlook.

I presented my professor with this digital sketch, in an attempt to find a better composition or at least edit it to look more interesting. Within ten minutes, he helped me transform my static composition into this more interesting and dynamic creation.

From there, it was much easier to refine the digital sketch for the final project to turn in. I did have to revise the finished project after turning it in, changing awkward tangents and creating better alignments. But overall, I was happy with the finished project, displayed below:

The finished project turned out better than I had hoped as a digital product. In actual practice, however, the final project was less than satisfactory. On the morning I had hoped to print out my final project and mount it, every single printer at BYU-Idaho went down, and the issue was not fixed until halfway through class. I had to run back and forth within my breaks in-class to get it printed, and ended up gluing it and mounting it directly after class finished. The lesson learned? Print and mount your projects a few days before! If all the printers decide to give out, you don’t want to be an unwitting victim.

Thanks for reading! My new website should be up and running within a few weeks, so make sure to check back!