Wednesday, February 27, 2008

got soy?

For nonmilk lovers...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

got milk?

I have always loved these ads. The got milk? campaign can't lose. Milk is a beverage for people aged one year and up. It is a healthy drink. Milk is appealing to everyone, except of course the lactose intolerant.
The ads feature well-known actors and athletes sporting the famous milk moustache. The stark white background complements the milk moustache and glass of milk. The celebrities chosen tend to lead wholesome and noncontroversial lives.
The ad above does not feature someone who is a household name. The man in this ad was the winner of NBC's The Biggest Loser. This cross marketed ad looks like an ad for a diet supplement with the before photo in the left-hand corner. The wording next to the man touts the healthful qualities of milk. The ad serves a dual purpose of promoting milk and a TV show. I examined the show's website and was not surprised to find that got milk? was a show sponsor.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Something New

During the first class Amy presented a call to action--do something different each day to change the way you think about design and life in general. Well, for me graphic design, and especially Indesign, is so new that I had no problem following through with this call. Each day I pore over my reference books and figure out a new graphic design trick. Monday--writing on a circle, Tuesday--creating a pie chart... But, this change seemed small in the grand scheme of things. I started looking beyond my computer/dining room and realized that for the last couple of years my reading materials have primarily consisted of children's books, parenting magazines, and books chosen by members of the book club I belong to. Clearly my reading habits need to change. I won't stop reading to my children, so the children's books can stay. The book club books are a fun distraction. Which leaves...the parenting magazines. I have always looked at parenting magazines as kind of a "read it in one sitting/tear out coupons/clip information about activities/recycle" kind of publication. This throwaway type of publication is a far cry from the magazines recommended in Project 1. I found many interesting articles on new and familiar subjects, not to mention thought-provoking ads. One thing is for certain...I won't be recycling any of these magazines any time soon.

I find the ads to be powerful. I found this ad "You don't always die from tobacco" on YouTube. The image of the cowboy riding through a crowded city street towards a campfire is oddly humorous since we don't expect to see a cowboy in this setting. The humor stops as we hear the cowboy sing through a device placed against his neck, which amplifies his voice. The reality of throat cancer is in contrast to the "mock" cheerfulness of the song. The ad focuses on the premise that not everyone dies from tobacco--this rationale is cruel and unrealistic.'s ads make me wonder how anyone would still smoke in 2008.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Project 2, New Item

I struggled with what to write about for this project.

Late Monday afternoon at the pediatrician's office, I saw a brief news item in Wonder magazine for shoes specifically designed for a treadmill and an elliptical training machine. I loved the idea of these shoes. I recently joined a health club and the treadmill and elliptical are my favorite machines...O.K., I should clarify that I hate all forms of exercise and by extension all exercise machines. But, I liked the concept of a product-specific shoe, at least. There are volleyball shoes, football shoes, soccer shoes, so why not an exercise machine-specific shoe

The shoes are by asics and adidas. I checked the websites for both companies and found brief writeups about each. Hmmm... what I saw did not seem like much to go on. I checked out local sports shops for the shoes...Dick's Sporting Goods, Modell's. I wanted to see the shoe in person. No go on that front as well. The shoes were only available in downtown D.C. and Baltimore. No, not going to drive all the way to the city to check out a pair of shoes.

It may sound strange that I needed to see the shoe before writing about it, but I did not want to rely on website descriptions and other people's experiences of the shoe, especially since the information on the web was fairly brief. I wanted to write my own description of the product...experience it for myself if you will.

So, I moved from the shoe to Rockband. I love, love, love the idea of this software. We do not have it. I know my kids would love it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Puzzle as Story

Another example of description is a puzzle I recently completed--all 1500 pieces. I have a tradition of starting a puzzle the day after Christmas. I get mildly obsessed about finishing it almost as soon as I start. My family does not share/understand my hobby.

The puzzle I completed reminds me of small town America in the 50s. I thought about the slower pace of life in a small town. No computers, wifi, cell phones, GPS in this town.

I had a hard time completing the road as the colors on the box did not match the colors on the actual puzzle pieces. Look at the reflection of the gas station sign and the blue car on the newly rained on street--you can see the water on the road from a recent rainstorm.

The author of the puzzle--I'm using the word author rather than artist as I believe he is telling a story about this town--uses various products to set the puzzle in time...Pepsi, John Deere, Budweiser, Good Year, to name just a few.


One example of visual description is my voting sticker. I chose this image as it describes the act of voting. I saw people at Best Buy, Plaza Art Supplies, and my polling place with this sticker--we all had one thing in common...we voted. As a naturalized American citizen I take pride in being able to vote in any and all elections. I won't tell you who I voted for, but I will let you know I voted. The sticker is a simplistic, yet effective description of the voting process. The American flag symbolizes pride in our nation and what it stands for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Inspires Me

Well, it is hard for me to find just one thing that inspires me...

One source of inspiration... I was introduced to this poem by my mother. She found great comfort in this poem as she dealt with her grief over the death of my uncle. She gave my sister and me a copy of this book. What I like about this poem is the wide range of ideas covered, from how to live your life to your career.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantmentit is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Another... I am inspired by a good idea or concept. It could be something as mundane as an organizational device for my home office or as complex as the heroism of the 9/11 rescue workers. When I find an idea or concept that I am passionate about, I will do my best to apply it to my life and make it work for me.

Finally... I find my family a source of inspiration. Any decision I make is governed by how it will affect my husband and children. I find myself inspired to work harder on a project because of them.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Inspirational item

I am not sure about this one. I need to give this one a little more thought. Interestingly my son has Show and Tell this morning at preschool. He is bringing an orange book for O day. I am having a harder time finding my item.