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!

design12

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.

Dunkin’ Donuts Holiday Banner Ads

Happy Sunday, everyone! This past week in Digital Imagery, we discussed banner ads as a form of advertisement. Banner ads are pretty interesting way to market to consumers without them being able to just toss it aside (like the ads you find in your mailbox… does anyone look at those?). They are those sneaky little boxes you find as you browse random websites (CNN, Facebook, etc); they can be stagnate or animated, but most offer some kind of reward for clicking the ad and going to the advertiser’s page. They normally are pretty straightforward, too, containing the company logo, a simple promotion, and a button to link you to their page. They don’t always even need a picture! Most come in a standard size, such as “leaderboard,” “skyscraper,” or “button,” but there are others, as well.

This week I was assigned to make a banner ad series for a company in its fourth quarter (October, November, December). This is definitely my favorite quarter of the year, so it was hard for me to decide exactly which company to pick! 🙂 As an avid coffee drinker, I decided to go with a company that celebrates the seasons as much as me: Dunkin’ Donuts. We needed to make banner ads in the following sizes:

  1. Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  2. Rectangle: 300 x 250
  3. Skyscraper: 160 x 600
  4. Button: 320 x 75

So, the first thing I did was look for some photos I could easily edit. I found a nice large image with three differently flavored coffee bags and a nice large Dunkin’ Donuts logo. Using the magic wand tool, I deleted the white backgrounds around the coffee bags. Since Dunkin’ Donuts uses bright orange and pink as their colors, I decided to make the background of all of my banner ads a gradient of a bright orange to a slightly lighter orange. I started in the rectangle (it seemed like it would be easiest because of its nearly-square shape) and placed the Gingerbread coffee bag and the logo inside. I managed to find a similar-looking “Dunkin” font on dafont.com, so next I added the type “Introducing… All new HOLIDDAY flavors!” in white with the double “d” in “holiday.” As an avid consumer, I know that Dunkin’ Donuts likes to add the second letter, since it’s their alternate logo. I then created a pink button using the rounded rectangle tool, and added a 3pt stroke. Beneath the button I added a “Limited time only” caption because holiday flavors only last through the end of January (if I remember correctly). Finally, I added a drop shadow to all of the main promotional type and the coffee bag to give the image some depth, and a 1pt black stroke around the entire image.

For the other three banner ads, I did a variation of this advertisement. The size was quite constrictive of how many coffee bags I could use in each advertisement, how detailed I could get with the promotion, and of course placement for the logos, images, and type.

Here is my final ad series:

rectangle
Rectangle ad.
leaderboard
Leaderboard ad.
skyscraper
Skyscraper ad.
button
Button ad.

Last but not least, I was challenged to turn one of my banner ads into an animation. I chose to do the skyscraper because I thought it was the most interesting. I opened the timeline panel from Window tab, and set up five frames at 2 seconds with .2 second tweening between each. Finally, I set up a 3x loop. You can see my final product below.

ddanimation2
Skyscraper ad animation.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Dunkin Donuts, I’m simply a consumer who enjoys their products and this was an educational exercise. 🙂

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!

plainlogo
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.

logo-final
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.

logo-grayscale
Grayscale version of the logo.
logo-reverse
Inverted version of the logo.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next weekend.

Albert’s Grille Project

This week in class we dove into working with Photoshop by learning many of the basic tools and features of the program. Layers are one of the most fundamental features in both Adobe Photoshop and digital design, so I was eager to understand and begin.

For this design showcase, I was hired by a local company, Albert’s Grille, to create a BLT sandwich graphic for the company website.

Albert’s Classic BLT: Crispy bacon served on a bed of lettuce and tomato, sandwiched between toasted slices of white bread, mayonnaise and mustard. Mm-mm good. –Albert’s Grille menu

albertsgrill
Final image of my project for Albert’s Grille.

While the sandwich was meant to be the star of the image, I approached this project by first considering the look of the graphic as a whole. Albert’s Grille is a deli-styled restaurant whose staff prides themselves in serving timeless, traditional sandwiches for families of all ages to enjoy. Because of this, I knew I wanted to use a well-accostumed background, and went straight to the gingham tablecloth to contrast Albert’s classic white and blue plate. I used the Magic Wand tool to highlight the original white background in the plate document and delete it so the table cloth could be seen when I moved the plate over.

Next, after similarly deleting the background, I moved a transparent image of a slice of plain, white bread atop of the plate. Because Albert’s Grille describes their Classic BLT sandwich with toasted bread, I decided to “toast” my slice by using the Burn tool. Toasters usually toast bread unevenly, and there are normally a few lighter lines that run through the the toast from the mechanism within the toaster. I tried to achieve this look by first setting my exposure level to 50%. Then I used a larger-sized brush with 0% hardness to lightly “toast” the whole piece, followed by a smaller-sized brush with a 25% hardness to toast around where lines should be. When I was satisfied, I duplicated the layer (since there would be two slices) and hid the top slice by clicking on the eye to the right of the layer.

toast
A before and after image of my “toasting” process using the burn tool.

Using a combination of the magnetic lasso tool and the magic wand, I deleted the backgrounds from tomato, lettuce, and bacon images, then moved them to my new  graphic, between the bread slices. Next, I chose a subtle yellow/brown color that looks like classic French’s mustard and, using the Brush tool, I drew it in a swirl design, like I would add mustard as a kid. I also chose to double-click on the mustard layer and add a size 1 stroke in a slightly darker hue to eliminate a harsh edge. I repeated the process to add mayonnaise but instead of a stroke, added a bevel and emboss effect, and softened to 100%.

closeupview
Close-up of the effects on my mayonnaise and mustard layers.

Finally finished with the sandwich, I began to perfect the logo for the image. I used the eyedropper tool to pick up the color of the plate, but felt it was too dark and went with a slightly lighter version of blue. I chose to stretch the text as an arc to wrap around the bottom of the plate, then double-clicked and added a bevel and emboss effect as well as a drop shadow. Overall I am very satisfied with the look of this BLT image and hope Albert’s Grille will be, too!