EPK up in the IRL

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The poster for the movie was fun. It was light. It was obvious in design. But an EPK is a whole different story. An EPK is the flier/pamphlet handed out to let other producers know what the movie is about, how it was made, and who is behind it.

Designing this EPK was a tad difficult, as the layout is in a multi-page design. I wanted to keep the layout unique and open, so I did not create page division, but let the design flow from one page to the next. I stuck to the color palette given yet kept an emphasis on the cool blue to create uniformity. Different sized stills from the set give a unique visual hierarchy and keep the eye moving. And to keep the idea from the poster, I included the provided illustrations of the objects from the set.

Having such a flowy, open design proved to be difficult and time consuming, but in the end, it proved to be unique and visually appealing.

HERE is how to make your own killer EPK. Get going and get out there!

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Illustration Attempt No.1

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As a lone wolf designer, the world is easy: you can come and go as you please, following the winds of random design inspiration. Enter clients.

This being my first time working with a design client, I was excited and nervous. I hoped this producer I was working with was nice and not too demanding… so besides the personality of the producer, I was given specific instructions: a still from the movie with a specific color palette. ILLUSTRATED.

In my previous post of Frida Kahlo, you would see that I like to have an illustrative lean on my design. But fully designing a piece on InDesign? How?! I soon found out. I mostly used the pen tool and created lines, angles, and shapes to create the illustration above. I stuck to the given color palette, and used the fonts given to me. We kept a tertiary, muted feel in color and a humorous idea: a dude sitting on the toilet. I kept as close as I could to the set design from photos I was given, and make a simplistic, minimalistic, and fun movie poster.

Want to meet the mysterious producer? You’re in for a pleasant surprise. Check out her work here

#SO to Columbia Grads: layout design

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The time had come.

It was time for me to create my own layout design page. I was given all I needed for my quest: an article and photos. It was time to embark on my journey to being a visual journalist.

Which really just required me to sit in front of a computer on InDesign for a few hours. This “journey” brought me to layout text, Photoshop my images for uniformity, and create a non-distracting color layout. I settled on a cool color scheme to give weight to the serious topic of college graduation, and I used straight lines and edges.

I kept my photos similar sizes and captioned them in an interesting way and created a headline to wrap all the ideas together. And by only using lines, color, and five pictures, I created a simple layout that kept emphasis on what was important. My quest was completed while maintaining a put-together theme to celebrate Columbia College Graduates.

Read the original Columbia Chronicle article here!

Get the Infographic: a How-To

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Once in the visual journalism world, one will have to make these funky things called infographics. We’ve seen them all before: maps, stats presented in a colorful way, graphs, and the like. And there are quite a few things to consider when making one. Here are my steps for the YouTube chart above.

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Look at what data sets you are given or can find, and make sure you have all the data for all your subjects. I looked on Billboard to find the charts for the week of April 9, 2016.
  2. Once you have your research, LAY IT OUT! There are many different types of charts to show data, and I chose a table. Make titles obvious with different sizing and colors, like I did. I chose a color palette based off of the YouTube logo to be consistent with the theme of my data.
  3. PLUG IN YOUR STATS! Once I had everything laid out, I put in all my data sets for each song. One thing I utilized is color: negatives were put in red, static put in grey, and climbing charts were shown in green.
  4. STYLIZE! The point of an infographic is to make data look interesting, so use good design. I utilized a grid to make the table, but I contrasted it with circles to show the hierarchy of songs and the visual interest of the album covers. I also created a visually stimulating title and made my overall font different (yet Sans Serif, so easier to read).

So now you know the steps, so go out and be the great visual journalist you were born to be!

See this week’s YouTube Billboard Chart here

Hyphen Studios and Web Design

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As a college student, its rare that I am excited about midterms. But this was a midterm I was actually looking forward to. The assignment? Create a homepage for a website on InDesign. I’ve always wanted to do this, and as a Web Development minor, it was fun to be on the designing side of a web page instead of the construction side of it.

I started by picking my topic; I thought designing for a studio would be cool. I like how art spaces design and they usually have a clean, minimalistic look on the web. I designed the head title in crisp blocks in Black and White to keep it simple and to relay the name in an obvious way. I chose to set up my web page in blocks of white and color to keep a minimalistic feel. For my color palette, I chose varying shades of grey, black, and a deep chartreuse to make the site fresh, simple, and sophisticated.

For my posts, I wondered, what would a studio post about? So I used my photography and wrote ledes that are directed towards artists who would use studio space. To create visual hierarchy in these posts, I separated the blocks by size from the top to the bottom to show which post to look at first. Navigation is on the top, and a “footer” is below including all the tabs a studio would need for artists to get more information.

And to connect users to further online spaces where Hyphen Studios is, I created round, all-black social media links to contrast the boxy look of the page. Also, ads that match the color scheme are aligned not the right-hand side of the page with hyperlinks. All this to create a flawless, clean site for a midterm that was unique and fun (at least for me).

Want to see the site that inspired me? Check out this cool site!

Making Old New Again

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This image above hails a mysterious timeframe. Was it from the 20s? Was it from a play last week that showed in the Lyric Opera House? Who knows! But this image started out very different. Below, the original is aged, spotted, muted, and looks like your grandmother just whipped it out from her boudoir. (“This was me in my glory days!” she would proclaim.)

But really. The process of restoring old photos is very similar to my previous post on Photo Toning with an added emphasis to keep the visual quality of the original image. I’ll explain how I did it using Photoshop.

 

BEFORE:

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When editing this photo, I started by cropping out the rounded edges to maintain it’s look as a digital image. Then, I fixed the color quality: I lowered the sepia tones, brightened the cool colors, heightened the whites, and lowered the blacks. Then I added overall contrast to make the image more alive. With the quality of the photo, I reduced the “noise” in the photo to lower the grainy quality, and I lowered to exposure to lessen its aged look.

Then I burned out all the little white dots. This process took some time, because you have to zoom into the image and darken all the little age dots throughout  the photo one at a time. Then I also did this with all the stripes that run through different parts of the image in lighter shades. Once this was done, however, the new image retained its original message and color quality. But it was clear, enhanced, brighter, and newer-looking. Grandma would be proud.

Click here for an awesome professional example of photo restoration!

Tone and Crop (Photo Struggles)

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This image before you was not always as presentable as it is. Before, it was large, included unnecessary detail, was overexposed, low contrast, and had serious toning problems. Enter Photoshop.

This photo is my first work done using Photoshop- in the past, I have always used Lightroom for photo editing. Photoshop has a lot more bells and whistles, but I learned how to use it quickly. For this particular photo, I started by cropping it. I rid of most of the apartment complex in the back to properly frame the right edge, then I cropped the top and bottom to carefully wrap around the frame to create its own vignette look.

With toning, Photoshop is a different animal than Lightroom. It allows you to be specific on where you burn (make spots darker) and dodge (make spots lighter). I did so with this image to make the bright street in the background less bright. I also did so to the old man, who is the focal point of the photo. Then I added contrast overall and to the shadows on the ground to create pattern and visual interest.

The end result? I cropped, toned photo that keeps visual hierarchy in the fact that the focus is the quaint old man reading the newspaper. The process to get there? Not so easy. The photo struggle is real.

Want to learn how to do this yourself? Create a summer light look on Photoshop here

 

 

A Feel For Color

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Mastering B&W swatches is one thing, but the world of color is another. In InDesign, you can create combinations of colors using either CMYK or RGB formats, both best for either print or digital presentation. When I chose my colors, I was seeking one mood in particular: sophistication.

What constitutes sophistication? Straight edges, cool colors, contrast, and ease for the eye makes a composition that is altogether flawless and streamline. From this, I made the mood with simple rectangles and varying angles to carry the eye to specific points. Then I used chartreuse and a cool teal with varying black, white, and greyscale to create contrast and a modern feel. Layering smaller rectangles made focus-points, and the end result was flowing yet angular. Sophisticated. Like me, perhaps?

To match my own sophistication with my composition, I made my design my Facebook cover photo! The contrasting colors and straight lines matched nicely with the  dark lines and neutral colors in my profile picture, creating a modern, well-designed social media experience.

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