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YouTube: A Case for Simplicity

This is the post excerpt.

This is an image many of us will probably be familiar with; the YouTube homepage (https://www.youtube.com/). A website that gets 900,000,000 unique views a month needs to be absolutely solid in all basic web design principals and YouTube is rock steady.

Proximity

YouTube has used proximity here to indicate which videos go together. The white space indicated by the square at the bottom shows the white space that separates groups of videos. The close proximity of the videos at the top shows that they must be related in some way.

Alignment

Their alignment choices are not challenging to the form in order to make the site easier to use. Have center aligned videos in neat rows makes them easy to browse and the left aligned menu stands out from the rest of the page.

Repetition

The main source of repetition on YouTube is in the video statistics placed below each video. Having a consistent video option layout makes it easier for users to know where to see video titles and video views while also being easy on the eye for being consistent.

Color and Contrast

YouTube uses a mainly white color palette in order to make the thumbnails on their videos pop more. This makes it easier for the user to browse videos without it being straining on the eyes. They’ve used the same concept in the menu on the side to draw attention.

Conclusion

Overall YouTube has a strong design that emphasizes the basic principals in order to create an easy to browse webpage.

Slip n’ Slide Designs

When I set out to create my own slide show I was excited. My whole life I’d only used previously made templates for my slide shows in Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Slides. It sounded like an exciting challenge.

Target Audience

Luckily the target audience for this was easy. We only had to think about Brother Lybbert so it allowed a lot more freedom to do what we wanted to do because he is more understanding of any design choice we go for.

Title Slide

I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out. Originally I didn’t have enough focus on the original ad so I revamped it and came up with this. I think it makes the viewer more aware of what’s important.

Transition Slides

These two slides are the slides I designed to transition between content in my slides. I wanted a bright color scheme as I knew the content of my ad was dark. I wanted to be able to contrast that so my ad wasn’t too bleak. I originally had the three categories in their own slides but wanted to cut back so the show wasn’t too bloated.

Content Slides

These are the slides I made analyzing the original ad. I tried to keep a very consistent layout across all slides so it’s easy to watch. Then I made another slide analyzing my own ad that turned out well.

Conclusion

This was a fun project that I’m very proud of! It gave me a chance to play around with colors and practice a skill that I’m excited to use again in the future.

Photo Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/girl-woman-fashion-elegant-emotion-2209147/

Creativity in Advertising

Creativity is something that I’ve used a lot in my life. I’ve always been involved in art and other creative ventures and I pride myself on my ability to create things. That’s why I wasn’t too worried about the concept for this ad as I was the execution.

Demographic

This was the demographic and product that I was assigned. When I thought of this person I thought of someone fairly stable. They’re in a relationship and have a decent income. Someone who is stable has time to focus on specific aspects of their life. That’s why instead of advertising this as something to make life easier I advertised it as something natural. I figured this demographic was more likely to be worried about all natural food and so I decided to play on that.

First Draft

This was my first very rough draft. I was proud of my blending of the spoon and tree but the background was bland and the words lacked any intriguing message. My teacher gave me some feedback that ended up leading to my final design.

Next Draft

I thought the spoon in my first draft wasn’t quite recognizable enough. That’s why I chose an image with an assortment of cookware in the image. I changed the tree to the leaves on top of a carrot. I also tried to focus on making the words a lot less obtrusive and keeping them simple. I think my message here is more clear and the ad is more visually appealing.

Resizing

Part of the project was to make two different sizes. I decided with less space to work in I wanted to focus on the spoon and my text. I couldn’t find a space for the other cookware anywhere in this image.

Conclusion

I’m proud of my final design. I ended up a little crunched for time so there are some things I would have liked to fix but overall I think it came together well.

 

 

Photos found at

Spoon and Cookware: https://pixabay.com/en/eat-cook-dine-kitchen-food-frisch-2096296/

Carrot: https://pixabay.com/en/carrot-root-vegetable-orange-33625/

My First Icon Set

Why Computers?

Sitting down to design four icons from scratch was a challenge that was incredibly foreign to me. I was worried that a lack of artistic ability would end up keeping me from performing as well as I wanted to. I decided to pick a theme for my icons that I was passionate about and familiar with. That’s why I decided on computers.

The Design

When I began to design I found it difficult to make the shapes of the items I wanted. I went to a friend of mine who does a lot of design and he gave me the advice to keep things simple and stick to basic geometric shapes. Soon after my mouse came together in a way I was really satisfied with. After that I got into a real groove and discovered that my next biggest hurdle was finding objects that I could design and have people know what they were. My monitor looked like a TV and my webcam looked like a target. I needed things that people would recognize. The final four icons I settled on all had a similar design and were the easiest to recognize.

The Details

The cool thing I discovered in this project is that less is more. While I designed my laptop my teacher suggested a slight modification. I originally had drawn out a frame around the laptop screen and he suggested just one block of color. I was amazed at how well it worked and how much stronger my design got. After that I removed a lot of colors and lines in my other icons.

Colors

Colors are always interesting to choose for me since I’m colorblind. I decided to pick something bright and fun for my accessories because the word accessory makes me think of options. I think of a million different ways that people can express their individuality. When I looked at pictures of mice and jump drives I saw a million different designs so I wanted a color to reflect that. On the other hand I wanted a stark contrast to the more essential hardware parts of a computer. I know there is a lot of ways to express through these as well but my designs made me think ‘business’ so I decided gray would reflect that nicely.

 

 

I am proud of my icons. I think that I proved something to myself. I showed that you don’t need artistic ability to keep things simple, even a colorblind person can still have meaning in their colors, and sometimes it’s best to change course instead of plow through a brick wall.

 

 

   

The journey of a magazine spread

So there it is. The finished spread. To be honest, I’m pretty proud of it. If anyone reading this is a harsh critic wondering why I would be proud of that it might help to see my first draft.

Ew right? Obviously a lot of changes were made so I’m gonna go through one at a time and explain exactly how this project evolved.

Audience

First lets talk about who this design is for. The article I picked was from The Scroll which is the school news paper for BYU Idaho. Therefore I thought of my audience in a very general sense as the whole BYUI student body. The only problem with that is the huge range of people that encompasses. I decided in order to appeal to all I needed a more neutral color palette. Earthy tones seemed appropriate to me since the article discussed construction taking place on campus. They also worked well with the grey storm clouds on my title page.

Typography

I’m a sucker for a sans serif font. They always have just looked cleaner and easier on the eye to me. That’s why on my revisions I decided to bring some unity by making the title and the article the same font. I saved my serif font for my pull quote and article headings.

Photography

The photograph on my title page was honestly mostly luck. I was in a building on campus one gloomy day and saw that view out a window. I decided to snap a photo and ended  up with a beautiful landscape of campus that I later realized would work perfectly with the article I’d chosen for this project. I tried to use the rule of thirds to make the photo more interesting by keeping both buildings off to the side. The sign was a picture I took specifically for this project. When I took it I thought I might use leading lines from the side of the sign to line up with my text but the project required a word wrap which made accomplishing that difficult.

Color

I briefly mentioned my color choices earlier but wanted to explain a little more in depth the changes from draft to final. In the draft I had simply made all three pages have their own background colors but I wanted a little more unity. I decided that the triangles of color I put in the final make the two pages work together a lot better. I also decided to use some color to make my title a little more contrasting.

 

So like everything in life there’s still more I could improve. I met the requirements in a way that really satisfies me and is a huge improvement over my draft, though. So at the end of the day I’m proud of what I made.

 

Original Photographs

All photographs were taken by Evan Peterson in the Spring 2017 semester at BYUI

3 Rules of Photography Composition

Introduction

There are many different rules that a photographer can follow to make sure the images they capture are as interesting as possible. There are even more ways to break those rules to make images interesting. Let’s temporarily disregard most of those and focus today on three of the most basic.

Rule of Thirds

(Photo by Zach Sutton https://zsuttonphoto.com/male-headshots/)

The rule of thirds says that if we were to put an imaginary grid over a photo the point of interest of that photo should fall on one of four main intersections.

For example when we put the grid over this head shot we can see that this man’s eye falls perfectly under the intersection. This photographer has employed the rule of thirds to make his subject more interesting rather than just putting the subject in the middle.

Here is a photo I took of one of my action figures in a similar style. I tried to line it up so that the eye of mine falls under that same grid line.

Leading Lines

(Photo taken from http://www.worldtravelingmilitaryfamily.com/photography-leading-lines/)

Leading lines is a concept that says that you should use naturally occurring lines in the world around you to guide a viewers eye in a photo. This is generally used to highlight a point of interest.

Like we see in this photo. The young girl on the tracks is brought into focus because the tracks themselves form two lines that seem to “point” directly at her.

Again I took my trusty action figure on an adventure to recreate this photo and this concept. The tracks form two lines leading straight to my action figures head. Two places my photo falls short is by making the side of the photo too busy by having a building there and by breaking our next rule…

Depth of Field

Depth of field is one of my personal favorite photographic tools. To simplify the concept depth of field uses the “focus” feature on most modern cameras. It’s the idea that one object in a photo is clearly visible while the other items in the photo are blurry.

In this example we see a young man standing in the road. He is in clear focus. So much so that we can see the wrinkles on his jeans. The lights and buildings on the street, however, form colorless blobs in the background.

My modest phone camera couldn’t achieve quite as extreme of a focus contrast but the action figure in the foreground is definitely much more clear than the blurry jeep in the background.

Conclusion

By using the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field one can easily create more visually interesting photos than before. Place your subject carefully, examine the world around you, and focus.

McDonald’s: Tasty Typography

This McDonald’s advertisement from 1969 was designed to try and spread excitement about their new sandwich. In order to draw attention they use a heavier font to get the memorable catch phrase at the top remembered. They then use a smaller, lighter font to explain the details.

Oldstyle

Let’s focus on just that catch phrase up top

McDonald’s has incorporated an Oldstyle font here. The weight of the letters and the whether the font is serif or not gives it away. In this case the letter ‘s’ is a perfect example of varying weights. The bottom of the letter is thinner while the middle has some thickness to it. The top of the letter ‘d’ is a good example of the serif. The fact that the serif is diagonal is a dead giveaway that this is Oldstyle because Oldstyle is made to mimic an old school pen writing the letters

Sans Serif

Now let’s move to the bottom of the image

This font is a Sans Serif font. The same letters from the last example are also what gives this away. The letter ‘s’ has even weight throughout the image. The letter ‘d’ is also completely without a serif. These are both dead giveaways that we’re working with a sans serif font.

Conclusion

McDonald’s has used an Oldstyle and a Sans Serif font in order to contrast one another and create a visually interesting advertisement. We can tell which fonts they are by their weight and serif.