The Mission of Semester 106

a digital storytelling adventure

Tag: DesignAssignments

Agent License Plate

To round out my star assignments for this week I completed the Design a License Plate assignment worth 3 1/2 stars. I thought this was a good one that I could use along with out theme with my Agent. The one issue I ran into was that my agent’s whole thing is that she is kinda boring. So the idea of a vanity plate seemed a little off but I went with it anyways. I remembered in elementary school using the Virginia DMV website to create license plates so I went back there to look at the site to see if that was still an option. When I navigated there I found they had an interactive form for creating a novelty license plate. Thats when I had an idea what if I created a license plate that could be a novelty gift to my character so it reflected how people perceive her. I started going through all the different hobby and other types of plates trying to figure out what would be a generic kind of plate that still was not the absolute standard one. While I was clicking around it hit me, when I found the heritage plate that it was perfect.

This plate used to be a generic plate that people would get (I think from what I found) but regardless it is one you frequently see on the road. It is slightly different but still sticks to standard Virginia themed imagery and is not overly flashy. Perfect got the plate down, next was to decide on the words. The act of creating a vanity plate usually is because you have something interesting you enjoy or support. Again boring is her thing but I went back through my description and thought about it paperwork came up as something she does enjoy. However being a strict person she would want everything with proper spelling so that was too long instead I went with simple “Papers.” It was to the point it expressed something she does enjoy and it makes sense. Plus in the context of agent fawn receiving the license plate as a gift from others it would make sense that paperwork would be something other people would realize she enjoys and potentially be a bit teasing as well. (Which she would not take offense to.) I’ll admit I thought this assignment was going to be much quicker than it actually took but because I wanted to try and get it to really be meaningful and not just random it took awhile. Which was good though because it gave me more time to critically think about my character!

 

Agent Fawn Plate

Destination- Beijing

So for the pick 1 of 3 assignment for this week I chose the Destination Postcard design assignment. I went with this one because I realllly like postcards. Love them! I actually send them to people rather frequently and even send them to people living on campus (cause hey no postage needed). So this assignment felt like something I would super enjoy. I was trying to come up with possible ideas on what to do when I looked at my computer background and it hit me. My computer background is a picture I took several years ago when I visited family in Hong Kong my aunt and I went on a 3 day trip to Beijing. It was so cool but the best part was we went to The Great Wall and basically no one else was there. So I got some really amazing photos of a completely empty Great Wall.

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 2.41.17 PM

(my computer background for reference, it’s much cleaner when I am not mid project)

So I thought they would be perfect material to make a nice postcard that seemed professional. I wanted to keep it simple because that is what I am inherently drawn towards. I decided my text would be a simple “welcome to Beijing” but I did not want it to be boring so I came up with a cool idea. I was brought my photograph into photoshop and then used the eye dropper tool. Now the eye dropper tool is neat because it can isolate a particular color in your picture and select it so that you can use the color else where say like in text for example. The picture I chose was a contrast between the blue sky and the grey brown tones of the wall so I eye dropped a light brown color from the wall. I then put that color into the text, however I realized it was too light and did not stand out enough, so I went and found the darker brown in the stones to use that instead. I really liked the idea of taking the color out of the stone because it made it feel like the text was more connected to the picture not just dropped on top. New new color worked great but it was just missing something so I messed around with some fonts then skewed the text so it was slightly slanted and whala! Done.

 

postcard for Beijing

 

I am happy with how it came out. Ultimately it is not a revolutionary design or anything but it is cool and I thought it had a nice flow. I purposely put the text for instance on the other side of the wall so when your eye travels down the wall at the edge of the horizon the text meets your, but it is also slightly off center because dead center felt like it was lacking composition.

Agent Fawn word cloud

The Character Word Cloud assignment worth 3 stars, was all about creating a word cloud for your particular character. (Though the example was a tv show.) The suggestion was to use wordclouds to create it. I decided to use the assignments I had already written for my character to fill up the the words, including the original character dossier. So I first used this site and went through all my posts to use what I had written about Agent Fawn into the list of potential words. It presented a very bright blob. Now bright messy blob did not strike me as something that well reflected my character even if the words might so I started playing around with the different portions of the word cloud. For instance I set the color to be all grey scale because I felt that gave a more appropriate tone. I also noted that you could mask the words into a shape so I picked a file folder again because it felt rather appropriate. Except when I picked it it turned out that I did not have enough words to concretely fill up a file folder so I decided to include the outline of the mask to make it more clear what the shape was supposed to be. Here is what I came up with.

wordcloud agent fawn

Now I could have been done here but I just still felt like it was missing something so I decided to use another tool Voyant to see if I could get different ranged results. Now Voyant actually does a lot of other things than just word clouds, it also can track frequency of words, phrases, exact numbers, and more. However I just used its word cloud function for this assignment. Here again I also played around with changing the colors from neons to a more muted set. (Voyant had less options in color range and none in shape, it changed shape based on number of words you told it to include.) So I got a second word cloud.

agent fawn voyant

I think by having the two different word clouds it shows how even though they use the same words the context feels different. The greyscale file folder design has a much more quiet side to it, while the Voyant cloud keeps the emphasis solely on the words itself. For those reasons I found it more constructive to really understand the character from both perspectives and the ways that words have different feeling from the design.

4 Icon story

I decided to do the Four Icons/One Story project worth 3 1/2 stars. Realistically I decided to take on this project because I saw they included the Noun Project and I really think they have awesome stuff on that site. (I even wrote an article on the Noun Project for work.) I was really excited to try and come up with something cool that I could create with a movie. Now I know we are not supposed to give away the movie we picked and I won’t but know it took me forever to come up with one that I could simplify into just four icons and still be happy with it.

Since I pulled icons from the Noun Project I have left their attribution in small print inside my design. That is because the Noun Project asks you to purchase a one time fee for any icons you wish to use that does not require accreditation. (The fee going to the icon creator.) Since I was not looking to use any of these icons again I decided to use the free version and maintain accreditation. (I know technically I could’ve just cropped it out but I wanted to honor the Creative Commons license.)

I brought all of the icons into a blank photoshop file and arranged them in the order that I thought would best convey the story. I tried out several different icons for the same concept to see what looked most aesthetically pleasing, mostly based off the clearness of certain icons or the line art.

Any guesses what it is?

4 icon challenge larger