This week, we were asked to explore the programs in our digital toolbox-namely, Photoshop and InDesign. I worked a little bit with Photoshop in my photography classes in high school, but I never gained confidence in my ability to navigate the program. And in all honesty, I was completely unfamiliar with InDesign. Thus, I was extremely nervous to start this weeks assignment.

The tutorials on were helpful, and I at least got my bearings once again in Photoshop.Once I opened up the exercise files and started working along with the tutorial, some of the basics started coming back to me.  InDesign was a different story. It was daunting for me to begin with, and I found myself repeating many of the tutorial videos. The Newspaper Markup was a welcomed break, and I enjoyed getting to work finding the elements of a newspaper. It also made for a helpful visual. Finally, I just decided to dive into the Typsetting assignment and figure it out as I went along.

This proved to be very time consuming, and resulted in me getting frustrated at times. I felt like I was taking too long to complete the typesetting assignment…it seemed so easy! I felt as if I had never used a computer; suddenly everything on my keyboard and screen seemed foreign. Though the initial challenges did make finishing the assignment all the more rewarding, I was still frustrated that there were certain skills I just couldn’t grasp.

In no way was I surprised by my reaction to this assignment;  I definitely have a tendency to get frustrated with myself when I cannot produce a product I am happy with on the first try. This is definitely unrealistic, but I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist.  InDesign remains a challenge for me, but thankfully I’ve found additional resources to help me on Adobe forums and YouTube. Hopefully with more practice I can feel more comfortable with my next assignments.


Newspaper Markup

A quick glance at the front page of today’s copy of The Seattle Times was all I needed to spot most of the elements of a newspaper.


I did, however, have to turn the page to find subheads, which were featured in a new article. Also seen here (but not marked) are necessary elements like the headline, deck, by line, body text, etc.

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Typography Games

The first game I played was the first on the list: Shoot the Serif. I am familiar with serifs only because I have had professors require a serif font on essays, etc. The game started out easy, but became trickier as the serifs became increasingly harder to recognize. The second game I played, which ended up  being my favorite, was Type Connection. I actually paired the fonts correctly on the first try! I like the way this game was formatted; it made it easier to find similarities between the fonts that complement each other. The final game I played was Kern Type, which I also liked. This game did get a little frustrating, but in the end I feel like I got it.

Design Blitz

After watching the videos and reviewing the slides, I scoured my apartment for some examples of the design concepts discussed, which were easy to find once I knew what to look for. The postcard from Holland pictured below was one of the first things that caught my eye, mainly for its use of a variety of bold, complimentary colors. I was also drawn to the watercolor effect of the colors.


The advertisement below is confusing not only because I do not speak Czech, but also because it is so cluttered. This is a poor example of use of space. Between the text and the photos, the eye does no know where to look. There is just too much going on.


Though I understood what the creator of this business card was going for, I think it is an example of balance that just misses the mark. The colors and text are too divided, and it does not feel like one piece. Its almost like two separate business cards were printed on one.


The sticker below, which is from a hostel, is a good example of minimalism. The bold red against the white background is eye catching. It creates contrast that is attractive and interesting. I also think the off center placement of “Switzerland” creates some contrast as well and looks nice.


The fifth example of design I found was in another sticker, this time for an art exhibition. Though I think the dominance of the logo and the color work well here, I was most drawn to the typography of the logo. It is simple yet interesting and still easy to read and understand.


Week 1

Welcome to my blog! My name is Jess Taylor, and I am (sadly) a senior at OU. Currently, I’m finishing up my semester studying abroad in Prague. I believe in doing things that intimidate you and Taco Bell. My life is guided by the principle “everything happens for a reason,” because as cheesy as it sounds, it reminds me to learn from my mistakes and take things as they come. I am motivated most by the people around me, because all of my friends really seem to have their lives together. As for design and how it fits into my life-I think elements of design are found in almost everything and we just have to look around. IMG_1137.JPG