Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mid-semester degree project summation

As we've crossed the half way marker for this semester, I find that I have not gotten past the half way marker on my project yet. But I have gone down a couple different paths so far.

First, I was fairly certain that I'd be making some kind of label that would go on to packages to allow the consumer to compare and contrast different products and their sustainability ratings. I have been developing icons to describe different sustainability issues that could span a variety of products and materials. I am still wrestling with the form of the label, though.

Secondly, I organized my research and began developing a form that designers could use as a sustainability scorecard to refer to while choosing materials and suppliers for their solutions. This information could be used to determine a products sustainability rating label.

I've also been sketching out ideas for alternative ways to package existing products that would turn the packaging itself into a useful product. I've also been examining ways to reduce the use of plastics in packaging.

I think where I need to go from here is dig into something and really go for it. I need to stop hesitating and not be afraid to fail while making things. I think that's what's stopped me from getting further already is that chance of failure. I should begin translating these package ideas into 3d models and narrow down the focus on how to curate my case study.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spatial Design: KC Auto Show Experience

At the KC Auto Show, there were some outstanding examples of practical, persuasive, and poetic modes of appeal in some of the displays.

This one is using environmental information as a persuasive means:

This one is using a poetic approach to navigation using the visual pun of street signs:

This example employs water and the idea of fluidity in a poetic manner:

Lincoln's sign is strictly practical:

While this porsche display offers both a practical and a poetic experience through infographics and 3d installation:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


here's my icon system I've worked up over the last day. see if you can guess what sustainability issues each one represents, then check the comments section to see my intent.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

degree project: research experiment prompts

I approached brainstorming for my research experiments for my degree project as hypothetical statements starting with the phrase "what if..."

What if:

...the government made designers put a sustainability "nutrition facts" label on all their packaging solutions?

...designers could no longer use petroleum based plastics in their design solutions?*

...every package had a life beyond the shelf?*

...There was a free resource to help designers grade their packaging against and obtain a green score/standard?

...people knew the truth about the "recycle" symbol and plastics? (dispel common misconception that plastics w/ "triangular" recycle symbol are made from recycled materials)

*denotes prompts requiring more information (ex. mindmaps, lists, etc.) to be posted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

degree project: dream job

As unbelievable as it may seem, I’m finally at the age where I actually have to put my dreams, goals, and aspirations into practice. In order to do so, I have been asked to designate what my “dream job” would be. Because I love print design, especially branding and packaging, I would really love the opportunity to work for VSA Partners, Inc., in their Chicago offices. I have admired work being produced by this company for a while now (even before I realized it was VSA doing it) and after a presentation one of their partners, James Koval, gave during my design systems class last semester about their process and work, I can’t help but set my sights on working there someday.

From what I’ve seen, I think that they produce many different “styles” of work. I think I would benefit from and enjoy this variety of tasks and styles. They seem to approach every project with a fresh, clean slate which results in every identity being unique. They aren’t a one note design firm.

I am also attracted to this particular job’s location, the city of Chicago, for a number of reasons. I’ve always thought that it is a big city that still has the midwestern charm I’ve grown up with. I feel like moving there wouldn’t be as big of a transition as New York or LA would be, but would still be a big enough change of scenery to be an exciting experience.

Laugh at me if you want to, but this is what I want. I think the craziest thing about my dream job is that I feel like it is within my reach. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am, and soon I’ll be out in the world trying to make it happen.

degree project: identifying my researchable question

Corie Chambers helped me come up with a researchable question for my degree project:

How can graphic design educate the consumer culture on sustainable packaging?

We then began to tweak it in order to fit my project a little better. So my researchable question for the semester is:

How can graphic design educate consumers on sustainable packaging?


How can interactive print design educate and engage consumers with sustainable packaging.

Then I revised it:

How can sustainable practices in package design engage designers and persuade consumers?

Then I revised it again:

How can information design, branding, and packaging design merge to educate designers and consumers about sustainable practices.

Friday, December 11, 2009

MX: all process for project 2

Just to be sure it's all here, I'm going to post/repost everything right now.

initial brainstorming

brainstorming pt deux

rapid prototype screen grabs

idea 1-sort categories

intro-page with swapping portfolio image in bk/g

one sorted view of my portfolio

individual portfolio piece slide show

refinements toward final direction

screen grabs from final (semi)functioning website