Tag Archives: maryville university

Maryville University 2013 Graphic Design Senior Show

This year, I was asked by my teachers to design Maryville University’s 2013 Graphic Design Senior Show signage. Every year, the graduating seniors of the program get to show off their portfolios. I chose to illustrate type in a decorative and fun way to create an inviting and intriguing display. I first sketched out my design, taking reference from Victorian era typography and signage. I wanted to create an energetic, lively design with movement. The curling banners and ornate designs in the back aid to this, as well as the showy illustrated type especially in the “w”. I spent a lot of time on the refinement of the letters and layout. I was challenged with making the 3 connect to 201 and the overall weight and balance of the piece. Overall, I am very happy with the way this turned out, although it took quite a lot of time out of my other projects. This graphic is for the postcards, however, I still have to create the poster.

Maryville University 2013 Graphic Design Senior Showrefined senior show sketchsenior show sketch

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Old Inkwell Brewery: Senior Capstone

For my senior capstone project, I chose to design packaging and the identity for a brewery which I named Old Inkwell. I plan to design 6 craft beers based off of famous authors such as Earnest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, and Mary Shelly. I have been doing a lot of research on each of the authors, as well as learning a lot about the brewing process. I want to pair specific types of beer with each author appropriately while additionally choosing witty names for them. So far, I have decided that the series will be called Aleing Authors. I have a few names for each of the specific author beers and will post them as I progress. As far as the style, I am drawing inspiration from a lot of nineteenth century posters and typography, as well as many craft beers such as Rouge, Bocanegra, and Ballistic Brewing Co. I also have been inspired by Helm’s Workshop and Tomasz Biernat who both incorporate vintage aesthetics with modern design.

This logo was completely hand drawn except for the text “artisan brewers” and “est. 2012”. But besides that everything else is hand drawn and outlined in ink. I aimed to create a wood carved-esque, etched, illustrative logo using an inkwell as my subject. I was inspired by hand drawn type and slab serifs from the nineteenth century. I not only will apply this logo to the bottle necks and beer caps of my project, but also to coasters and promotional materials that I hope to create as secondary pieces for my capstone. I will be updating this blog as I continue researching and designing elements of my project of this semester.

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Magnolia Fine Arts Magazine

Magnolia Facebook Page

Magnolia Web Page

So this year, I was on the Magnolia staff, Maryville University’s fine art’s publication. It was a rewarding experience, but also hectic. I worked on the layout and cover design with Sarah Kidwell. We had about a week and a half to design the whole thing and get it to the publisher, Midtown Printing, in Saint Louis. They did an excellent job; this year we chose to foil stamp the cover design. I had never worked with foil stamping before, so I was a little wary about the delicate type and serifs getting messed up . . . but the cover turned out great, even the printing on the spine is legible.

Magnolia, Maryville University's fine arts publication.

Magnolia, Maryville University’s fine arts publication.

This photograph I took doesn’t do the book justice, but I just don’t have a good camera right now or good lighting. I’m planning on taking much better photos once I’m back in school and have access to all the equipment. But for now, I’m posting these images to give you guys an impression.

Inside cover of Magnolia

Inside cover of Magnolia

I’m really excited for next year, I can’t wait to work on the next publication. But I want to start the layout early regardless of if the submission deadline gets pushed back. It would be nice if we don’t have to pull a bunch of all-nighters again. But even with all the work, it was a great experience and I liked working with our editors and other staff members who were all very cool. The magazine wouldn’t be anything without all of them, it was definitely the success of a team effort.

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National Blues Museum Windows

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This project is something you do once in a lifetime, it a very unique opportunity to be a part of.

Recently, my graphic design class at Maryville University participated in painting the windows of the soon to be museum for the National Blues Museum located on Washington Ave. in Saint Louis, Missouri. The window mural is about a city block in length and 11 feet tall. The goal of the mural was to incite a sense of liveliness and energy in the area and for the future museum. The windows are creating a lot of buzz and interest in the museum. The blog documenting our class’s work and progress can be found here.

We were also featured on KPLR Saint Louis, here is the link to the video.

I helped come up with the concept and design for some of the windows. Below is the section I designed.

section of the National Blues Museum Windows I designed and partly painted

Planning the concept for the National Blues Museum’s window mural was a project that was unlike any other I have had in school. First of all, I was surprised at the creative freedom we were given in planning the design for the windows. There were very little requirements other than the logos for The MX District, The Laurel Building, and The National Blues Museum that needed to be included. I found it a challenge designing for such a huge scale. It is hard to imagine how your work will transfer once it has been blown up to scale.

This was my first time working on a project with real clients. I had imagined they would be much more demanding and strict, but in reality, they were very friendly and provided us with lots of information on the project and building.

The whole project still didn’t seem real until we were at the site and started prepping the windows and drawing the outlines of the shapes. While working on the windows, it finally came together in my mind that this project was actually happening. Up until that point, it still seemed like a fictional class assignment. I was excited to finally see our concepts put into action.

Overall, I had a lot of fun working downtown on the windows. Many pedestrians were curious about the project, asking questions and taking pictures of us working, which I believe will really work in favor of the museum. I think that with the attention we are receiving for just the basic window prepping, when the actual painting is up, people will really be excited and curious. Overall, I found the work very engaging and challenging because we were transferring a drawing from an 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper to windows measuring 5.5’ by 11’. This project is something you do once in a lifetime, it a very unique opportunity to be a part of.

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Web Design: Challenges and Triumphs

Contour Contemporary Furniture Store Site

Currently, I’m enrolled in Web Design II at Maryville University, and our first project this semester was to create a website for a fictional business of our choice. This included brainstorming and conceptualizing the business itself, and creating their identity and visual style. We even filled out a design brief and included a bit about their background to better understand the targeted market. Overall, I thought these preliminary steps were necessary in order to better understand our business and create a strong design.

I named my company Contour and envisioned it as a modern and contemporary furniture store that focused on creating furniture for the urban dwelling middle and upper class. An important aspect I wanted to stress was conservation of space through design by creating a very clean and modern look and also by using thin sans-serif typefaces like Raleway and Helvetica Neue. Through the images I chose, I tried to convey functionality, cleanness, and compactness. Some things I wanted to avoid were bad connotations associated with modern design such as coldness, exclusion, and a lack of humanity. I wanted my website to be inviting but sophisticated, so I chose a warm color palette with brown, tan, yellow, and a rusty-red. I was lucky to find a lot of great photographs on flicr that were large enough to stretch across my entire page and had some of the same color tones in them. My next step was to create a comp in Photoshop, and then get started on the design.

Because I was on spring break and I did not have dreamweaver (and I had already used my 1-month free trial), my professor Jon Fahnstok suggested that I use a program called Coda to design my site. This was new to me, I had never used the program before. It took a little getting used to, and my flow changed a bit. I felt like I was looking at the CSS page a lot more than I do in dreamweaver, which helped me understand more about the process. Overall, it took a little more time to design, and I had to test a lot more, which wasn’t a bad thing. But in the end, I got the hang of it. I was able to lay out the basic structure and get everything into the html that I wanted, but once I returned from spring break, I was glad to switch back to dreamweaver to do the jQuery portion of my website. I created an image slide show that showcased furniture with a second slide show that had about a 2 second delay with descriptions that faded in, describing the different pieces of furniture. I expected the timing and overlap of the two slide shows to be more challenging and code heavy than they actually were. With a little playing around with the timing and absolute positioning, I was able to get the slide show working correctly.

I think the most challenging aspect of this project was the positioning. I wanted the contents in my header to be centered and inside my grid, but the image slide show was to expand to 1080 pixels, larger than my 960 grid but remain centered. For a long time, I struggled to get the slide show to center correctly so the viewer could grow and shrink the window and the slide show would always be centered in the screen. Then Jon showed me that I had to create a container for the contents to live in and set the margins to auto, so I could absolutely position the box and have the contents centered within them.

One thing that I know I need to work on is to use less div tags, and to have my css styles work for more than just one tag so I don’t need to create a new one for each additional piece of content. I think this is easy to understand, but hard to carry out because when I started designing, I knew what my home page was going to look like, but only had a vague idea of what the supporting pages would be like. So when I decided I wanted to have a light background on my supporting page because the images looked better, I couldn’t use a lot of the css styles for my paragraphs and headers because they wouldn’t show up on a light background well. Another thing I struggled with was the layout of three columns I had on my home page. There was some awkward space that had been created next to my small images and a paragraph describing the business. I tried many different ways to resolve this, but in the end, I eliminated the paragraph and replaced it with a big tagline under the image “Contour- innovative design for urban layouts” which I felt described the business well enough, and combined with my images, seemed sufficient.

Overall, I am happy with my website, and I feel like I was able to successfully convey the company ‘s vibe and reach my target market. I feel like I learned a lot, and I am more comfortable with html and jQuery. I feel like I can proudly put this website in my portfolio, and hope it will successfully show off my knowledge of web design.

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