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