Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Slice of Life.

Yesterday I found myself at a friend's house printing out a copy of a poster I'm working on. He was finishing some work for the same class that afternoon. I borrowed his Ginsu sharp X-Acto blade to cut my poster together. It was a different type of blade, never seen one like this before, with a subtle curve along the blade. The Grim Reaper of X-Acto blades, and likely so, for as I began my first cut, my right hand slipped from the surface and slashed straight through the soul of my left index finger. One, two, bleed. A homemade wrap worked overtime to keep the blood from rushing down my arm. We went to class and my peers were instantly shocked at the red Bounty around my finger. So I presented, got feedback, and headed towards the hospital. Of course I had called Lyndsey and her sister, since it was still bleeding, the ER seemed like the right decision. I've got three stitches and am heading back tomorrow for a check-up, hopefully it's healing well.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Package Tests

Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

In my Packaging class, I've chosen Hanes Premium brand socks to redesign. They're only sold at Target in packs of 6 and in those blasted plastic bags. The Hanes Premium brand is said to promote comfort and durability so well, "your feet will forget that they live such a rugged lifestyle." I kid you not. Does the plastic bag promote a rugged lifestyle? or a Premium sock? I don't think so, and that is the challenge that lies ahead. The photo depicts a few physical packaging experiments I developed this past weekend. Obviously, some are NOT to scale. One of them though, with further development, may be in the right direction. We shall see.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Wheel of the Woodlands.

Just a quick note really fast. Lyndsey and I were watching Wheel of Fortune when they introduced a woman, Amy something, from The Woodlands, Texas. Of course, you all know The Woodlands is where I used to live and work near Houston. Fancy that! Well, come to find out, she blows all the contestants away by solving every puzzle in the game, including the final one. Amy walked away with $55,000 in cash and prizes including a trip to Turkey. Lucky her. Oh, and she collects worms.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bookmaking: Week One.

Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

Wednesday night I have a Bookmaking class where we do as the name says. Make Books, different types, with unique binding ways and styles; and we'll do a new set each week. A viable topic in the curriculum of graphic design, bookmaking is one of the most important aspects of any multi-page document. How will it be bound? Why did you choose that particular way? These are questions that will come up in our critiques, and it has to work right, have the correct meaning.

This is a collection of Single Section Pamphlet books that could used for a number of things. Small promotionals, note taking, journals. They were stitched together and I have the scar to prove. After this class, I'll never look at a book the same way again. Instead of opening it up to read the content, I'll be checking out the binding. Maybe you will too.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

100 Ideas of Peace.

Last night we had our first Seminar for the quarter. Our guest was Josh Chen, principal of Chen Design Associates (CDA) in San Francisco. He told us a great story of his upbringing from Singapore to Belgium, Paris, and eventually to Springfield, Missouri. His interest in art began from painting ceramics in kindergarten to his week long field trip to a castle in Belgium sometime in the 3rd or 4th grade. Yes, we gasped too. Elementary in Europe seems much different than the states. Chen covered some of his firm's projects including a recent book they designed and printed called "Peace 100 Ideas." A brilliant collection of ways to practice or preserve peace interpreted through words and image by the firm. Inspired by a project from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, CDA has created a welcoming piece with thought-smiling illustrations and mind stretching exercises. For more info on the book and to send your own e-peace card, check out My personal challenge is #58. Clear Your Mind. What's yours?

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Type is Mass.

That is the subject of my second class, learning to give character and meaning to large amounts of body copy. Taught by a great instructor, whom I had my first quarter. She's very talented, organized, demands a lot from us, and pushes us in new and creative directions. Perfect. The project this time around is to use a movie, play, musical, or opera as a subject. Find the text of our favorite scene, we'll be using this as visual fuel in our designs. One poster, a playbill (minus ads), a direct mail piece, and 3-dimensional version of the poster in the form of a mobile that would potentially hang inside the theatre. Very exciting, very emotional, and lots of sketching to do. Just the motivation I need.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Lyndsey and Ranger

Lyndsey and Ranger
Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

So I'm trying to work out the kinks in posting photos to the blog here. Thought I'd try it out with this image of Lyndsey and our dog, Ranger. Just after a freeze this January they sat by the window looking at the ice outside. Don't worry, those aren't jail bars outside the window, just the railing across the door.

3rd Quarter. Day One.

All right. It's time to get back into the swing of things at Portfolio Center. Picked up my schedule for the quarter, even added a 5th class to bulk up my time, four just seemed to little. Tonight was a Packaging class. From the sound of it, it's going to be a winner. Choose an existing product, research the hell out it, become the product, become the target market, concept a re-design and do it. 5 pieces for the final deliverable. Tons and tons of conceptual work will be done on this one. I'm going to try something new, something I haven't done before, something I'm...dare I say it...afraid of. God help me.

Free Film Finales.

Knowing quite well I'd miss most of the big summer season of films this quarter, I tried to catch a few this weekend. Thursday, I had tickets to a sneak preview of "The Ballad of Jack and Rose", a coming-of-age drama with Daniel Day-Lewis written and directed by his wife, Rebecca Miller. It was the first time Lyndsey and I could make it to a sneak preview, since I didn't have class. The film was great! A rough and sensually shot story about a dying father, his innocent daughter, and how their lives change when he invites his girlfriend and 2 sons out to their commune to live with them. With a great performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, "Jack and Rose" will make you uncomfortable and sympathetic for the characters. That's what drama should do.

Friday, I headed out to see Frank Miller's "Sin City", a comic book translated almost frame by frame to the big screen by Robert Rodriguez and an amazing cast. Compiling three of the comics, pulp fiction style, Rodriguez brings the high contrast black and white stories to life with visual gusto not scene in a very long time. Sin City is violent, hilarious, and sensual with powerful characters who believe revenge is a dish best served right away, their way. Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, and Brittany Murphy give the best performances with short shining moments by Alexis Bledel of The Gilmore Girls and Josh Hartnett. I loved the film's style, humor, structure, and the short bit with Josh Hartnett that bookends the film is classic film noir and the perfect way to set the film. I read the graphic novels before I saw the film, and was still excited how it worked on screen.

Now, if all goes well, we have a pass to a sneak preview for "Sahara" with Matthew McConaughey tomorrow night. This will probably be the last flick I see till Star Wars, May 19th. Hope it's fun.