10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pizza – An Infographic

Happy Sunday, all!

This week I designed an infographic for an article called “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pizza.” Pizza is hands-down my favorite food (Burrito, if you’re reading this, you hold a special place in my heart, too), so this was a pretty fun assignment for me!

If you’re unaware, infographics are the images you may have come across as you surf Pinterest or other “hip” websites. They display information in a quick, concise, visual manner. I love them, and have always wanted to make my own, so this was an exciting moment for me! I had a lot of fun doing “research” online to get ideas for designs. I noticed that the ones I loved most were very simple, often using just a few different colors, and didn’t have much text besides bare facts. I tried to echo that in my design.

The first thing I did was come up with a color scheme. I went on Adobe Color CC and picked a red color out of the color picker, and clicked “Monochromatic” to see similar shades of the red I picked. Side note: This was my first time utilizing Adobe Color CC, and I have to say that it was a very smooth and easy process to find different colors. If you’ve never used it before, I highly recommend taking the time to check it out. Anyway, selecting “monochromatic” ended up being a crucial step for me, because–as you’ll see at the end of my post–I ended up sticking with different shades of red for my entire infographic. I love red, and I picked it because when I think of pizza I recall that deep, red sauce color.

After selecting the color, the next thing I did was try to pick fonts. This was also an important step for me, because there is so little text on the graphic, it had to make sense with the overall theme of the project. In the end I chose fonts called Myriad Pro for 95% of the main copy and Iowan Old Style for random words I wanted to stress and the numbers. I went with Iowan Old Style specifically because I liked the serif/feet on the numbers; they felt very Roman.

From there I surfed Pinterest for free icons. I expected to find just simple kitchen/restaurant themed icons, but I found what I feel are the perfect icons: a freebie pizza icon set from Freepik.com, which I downloaded and separated using the magic wand tool. I was so excited when I found these because they were already the perfect shade of red! After finding the icons, I tried to imagine how I wanted the overall picture to look. I decided to just wing it, which in hindsight I would never do again (will I ever learn?). Creating a wireframe would have been much easier, especially because I dealt with spacing and sizes issues almost immediately. Note to safe: planning is your friend!

I was required to use the pen tool on this project, so I decided to create a small banner for Facts #7-9, “In Italy.” To make the banner, I created one long rectangle shape, and another much smaller rectangle on its right side. The two shapes were connected. Working with the smaller rectangle, I simply added a point in the middle of the shape’s outside edge using the pen tool, then clicked on the same point with the “convert point tool” to rid the point of bezier curves. Finally, I moved the point I created into the shape, creating a backwards “K” look to resemble the edges of a banner. Then, I simply copy and pasted the shape and rotated it 180 degrees to align it with the other side of the banner. And, voila: a simple banner shape.

Below is my final design! I was especially excited to find out that the nation’s oldest pizzeria is located in Trenton, NJ, since I live so close. Someday I will have to track it down!

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DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with the author of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pizza article I reference throughout this post. This was entirely for educational purposes.

Winter Campaign for EF College Break

Hi everyone! This week in class we talked about all the options for utilizing social media. There’s  so much to take in with all the various networks, and from what I have learned it is a simple, effective way to draw attention to your brand without much cost.

My showcase this week was to design winter-inspired social media campaign for a brand in the travel industry. I immediately chose EF College Break, a company that offers overseas trips at discounted prices for people between the ages of 18-28. As the name suggests, EF College Break is a company geared toward adventurous college students. I have been following them for a little over two years now, and although I’ve never participated in a trip personally, I think it would be a great opportunity for students to travel the world without committing to an expensive travel abroad program. They offer all different kinds of trips for a variety of lengths (7 days to 30–what an opportunity) and  excursions. They even give you a specific travel itinerary so you can be sure to see it all.

Since it was a winter-inspired campaign, I wanted to do the opposite and play up the idea of being warm over New Year’s. I came up with a variety of slogans, which I featured in all three cover photos you can see below. “Get a tan this winter break,” “Have a warmer New Year,” and “Take your break in paradise.” You guessed it, I went for a tropical, anti-winter-blues campaign. 🙂 I used the font Tornac Regular from TypeKit and added an outer glow and a drop shadow on the text for all three designs, since the the various colors in the backgrounds made it difficult to see. For the top version I created a rectangle in black, changed the layer style to Overlay, and changed the opacity to about 50% to make the type stand out more on the various sky colors.

We also learned about Layer Comps this week, which are really amazing if you’ve never experienced them. I did not know that something like this existed before, but I can already see its value. The easiest way to understand Layer Comps is to think of them as a snapshot of a current layer panel. It allows you to change different aspects of a document, like toggling on and off specific layers and changing the text, and create a new Layer Comp or “snapshotting” a way the layers panel looks. You can then change things in the image, but you’re still able to go back to that original Layer Comp if necessary. This technique made displaying my different cover photo options SO much easier than creating different documents for all the options! I can see how useful this will be for future clients.

Below you can see my Facebook cover options (all backgrounds were pulled from EFCollegebreak.com):

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Facebook Cover, Example #1

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Facebook Cover, Example #2

 

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Facebook Cover, Example #3

 

Next I created a Twitter cover photo option. I kept the text exactly the same, but used a larger, more high-resolution photograph I found. Even though it does not use any of the cover photos from my Facebook options, I think you can easily tell it’s from the same campaign because of the font styling and paradise feel.

 

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Twitter Cover Option

 

Finally, I had to create an Instagram overlay for my winter campaign. Since the name of the company is EF College Break, I decided to create an overlay called “EF Winter Break,” in the same font, Tornac, and put a small airplane shape in front of it. Again, I applied the Layer Style from the other images. Here is an actual Instagram photo with the overlay used:

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Instagram Photo with Overlay

For this campaign so far, to further integrate the theme of a “warm winter break,” I would suggest promoting tropical-themed vacations in EF College Break’s Facebook timeline posts through November, December, and January. Perhaps suggesting that it’s not too late to book a vacation, or posting fun traditions that other countries do for New Year’s in banner ads would further attract attention from potential consumers. Honestly, I think this a very easy campaign to run away with! Everyone wants to escape for those few weeks they’re not in school… I speak from experience! 😉

As far as other social channels, Snapchat/Youtube would be obvious choices. While I am a personal fan of Snapchat and the different SnapStories, I know that not everyone carries around their phones when they go to the beach or are around water, so that might not be the best platform for this reason… However, GoPros are very “in” right now, so I think those personal videos of students zip-lining or snorkeling in the excursions would be a great way to promote all the fun people are having on these vacations. Using personal videos would also inspire students to post and tag EF College Break, so I think it’s a win-win all around. I also think that Pinterest could easily showcase the beautiful locations of these trips. EF College Break could easily create all different boards for their locations and make suggestions for the destinations by using pins (like packing lists, places to eat, must-sees, etc) within each board.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with EF College Break. I have never participated in one of their programs, either, though I think it looks like a ton of fun!

Green Initiative Logo Design: Water Warriors

Above: Hershey Kiss logo.

Happy Sunday, everyone! In this week’s classes we discussed logos. I’m currently enrolled in another class that is very design and logo-heavy, so it was nice to refresh the basics in this class. We reviewed many company logos and learned why some are better than others, and that many companies utilize their negative space to hide imagery.  You probably have heard about the forward arrow hidden in the FedEx logo, but did you know that Hershey’s Kisses’ has a hidden “kiss” between the K and the I? Neither did I, until this class! (Can we say mind-blowing?) Logos are a lot more than just a symbol; through research, time, and effort, what appears to be as simple image actually takes on the responsibility of defining the entire company. It’s a big job, and it’s harder than you realize to try and convey a message in one image.

For this design showcase, we were given two company scenarios to choose between and needed to design a logo for our chosen company. I picked the one described as “dealing with green initiatives in Los Angeles; non-profit; target audience: acquiring local business partners and overall awareness of green initiatives.”

There were 50 designs for us to manipulate to our heart’s desire. At first I was checking them out, trying to narrow the image down right away, but I quickly realized that I felt a little out-of-touch with my company. I was born and raised in New Jersey, so you can probably understand why. 😉 I took to Google and searched for Los Angeles, Los Angeles stereotypes, and things to do in Los Angeles to give myself a better idea of the overall mood in L.A. After reading a few articles (some written in jest, others not so much) I began to jot down some common themes people have with Los Angeles, like a sense of community, New-Age hippies, a love for sun and sea, sustainability, being healthy, etc. I realize that these are stereotypes, but you have to admit that it sounds like the perfect place for a start-up green company.

A short GIF of California’s drought progression in 2014. Source: MotherJones.com

As I sat there, reading and brainstorming, it hit me: what’s something that we are constantly hearing on the news about California? That’s right: they are currently experiencing their worst drought in over a century. Bingo, I thought, perhaps if the drought was a state-wide problem, it would be an easy way to attract local attention of my company!

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The logo I chose from about 50.

So, I went back to the list of 50 logos and scrutinized them. I finally settled on a logo that, to me, looked like a sun’s rays, changing color. I brought it over to my new document, which I had created quite large for flexibility, and saved it at 300 ppi since it will most definitely be printed. I really enjoyed this picture, because it reminded me of sunbeams fanning out on water. Since I had decided that water would be a major theme in my company, I wanted to incorporate water into my logo. To accomplish this I created a new, blue circle using the ellipse tool, nestled it into the negative circular space already in this image, and added about eight anchor points to the bottom of the ellipse. I then pulled all of them a little less than halfway up the circle to create a new shape, and pulled three anchor points using the direct selection tool even higher than halfway to mimic waves. I then played with the anchor points and their bezier curves until I had a shape whose negative space somewhat resembled waves of the ocean. I really loved the original image’s colors and felt that the blues and greens were a good marriage of earth and water, and didn’t feel the need to change it. I made my wave shape a brighter shade of blue, just to make it a little more distinguished and to separate it from the overall shape.

I settled on the name of “Water Warriors” with a tagline of “Dawn On A Greener L.A.” I chose a sans-serif font called Kannada MN Regular with no weight. I wanted to stick with a sans-serif font because to me they appear simple and raw–just like Earth. Since the name of the company was “Water Warriors,” I wanted each letter to stand strong, capable of standing on its own without leaning too closely to neighboring letters. After opening the characters panel, I set the name in small caps, and set the tracking to 25pts. I made the tagline’s colors a slightly lighter shade of grey so that the name stood out more clearly, and set the tracking a tad larger at 75.

Overall, I’m pleased with the final design of this logo for Water Warriors. Keeping the seven principles of logo design in mind, I wanted to make sure the logo was versatile yet simple enough to be used in a variety of mediums. Should Water Warriors take off and become a force for good in Los Angeles, I wanted their logo to be flexible enough to be used a variety of media for volunteers and promotions: pens, pins, T-shirts, embroidered on hats, stamped on mugs, and so on. I definitely believe this design could be easily manipulated for future rebranding, if necessary, as the type can easily be changed and altered as necessary.

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Final image of my logo for the fictitious Water Warriors.

Below you’ll see a few options I created for Water Warriors, their design in Grayscale and inverted in black and white.

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Grayscale version of the logo.
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Inverted version of the logo.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next weekend.