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.

Bow-Wow’s Beans

This week I was tasked with creating a chalkboard-styled web image for a new coffee company: Bow-Wow’s Beans. This pooch-themed cafe wanted their chalkboard styled with everything dog-related: paw prints, bones, the works! So, let’s get right into the nitty-gritty of what I did.

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Final product of my image for Bow-Wow’s Beans.

After finding a suitable background chalkboard image, I set out to find a  font that was naturally somewhat transparent and evoked the image of hand-writing. I downloaded four fonts from Typekit: Almaq Rough, HWT Catchwords, Lust Script Regular, and Sail Type. I also downloaded two fonts called Puppybellies and Austie Bost Kitten Klub from 1001fonts.com.

From here I began to actually designed the chalkboard. We were given many ornaments to use for our chalkboard image. I pasted the border ornament and stretched it past the image so that only the dotted dashes appeared on the board. I knew that I wanted the arced ribbon ornament, so I pasted that in as well and moved it to the top. I typed “Welcome to…” and arced the text using the warp text tool and fit it within the arced ribbon.

From there I added the different coffee specials, syrups, and other texts. I had a lot of fun changing the fonts and adding the different chalk text styles and changing colors. I added a final ornament on the bottom to draw attention to the new “Pumpkin Spice” flavor. I purposely kept a bit of white space between my “headers” to draw the eye down to the specific points in my chalkboard.

Puppybellies had a few of glyphs in their text that I utilized throughout my design. For example, the + sign was a solid dog bone, the { symbol was an outline of a dogbone, and the * was a paw print. I had a lot of fun figuring out how I wanted to place them all along the chalkboard and am pleased with the way it came out.

Note: Please be aware that this was an assignment for class and not an actual project I was paid or tasked to do. This was entirely for educational purposes. Thank you!

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

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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.

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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%.

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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!