This is my first semester as a journalism graphics major at Ball State University. I started off as a photojournalism major not completely sure what I wanted to do. In high school I worked for my school’s newspaper and yearbook getting a small taste of the journalism world. I made the switch after speaking with one of my graphics professors and my photojournalism professor. It might have come also with a fear that I was never going to get a job with just photojournalism.
As August rolled around and I began my first real graphics class I finally discovered what it was like to be truly excited about a class. I wanted to learn as much as I could pouring myself over design blogs and spending hours on the fourth floor of the library in the design aisle of books. I began reading Megg’s History of Graphic Design first., where it started at the very beginning. I learned about writing, and art work, design eras and so much more. I then started reading another book that was a collection of essays on graphic design. The essays were written by different designers that discussed hot to take a closer look on critique graphic design. This helped me understand how important it was to know the history behind each graphic’s piece I was looking at. I began to realize that when a piece of design was in front of me, I should know the context of it to understand it better. I should know who created it, who it was for, who was paying for the design, what was going on in history, ect…
Another book we were assigned to read in class was “Visual Language for Graphic Designers”. In this book, Connie Malamed talks about how we have no choice but to be drawn to images. In the introduction, she discusses how we are also designed to want to understand images. One must ask two questions:
- What is it?
- What does it mean?
She states that the overflow of facts and information has changed the way in how we relate to information. We must learn the most effective way to inform our audience. As a graphic designer we need to know how the mind functions in order to do this.
In my design class this semester our main focus has been the basic design principals, and Gestalt Theory. These concepts have been embedded into my brain where I have my notes from those class periods hanging above my desk. We have learned how to apply these into our designs and understand them.
For our Geofacts project, I began the process with research. I did not know a whole lot about the Great Pyramids and wanted to find a topic that would answer a question that interests me. For my design then, I came up with the question of: Where were the materials used to build the Great Pyramids from? With this, I knew I wanted to illustrate a map (I was finally able to put my geography skills to use). I illustrated a pretty simple map. I wanted it to be easy to read and not overwhelming to the reader. On the map I put the three main locations where the materials were obtained from, and then also, the location of the Great Pyramids.
This was also my first time using Illustrator (i’m learning to like it now!) I made many sketches on what I wanted my design to look like, but struggle with getting it to look like that on my computer. It took till the final day for me to finally come up with a design that I felt was simple, and used the basic design principals.