Monday, January 30, 2012

Challenge 4: One Line Logo

This challenge is to create a logo for the London 2012 Olympics with only one line - in other words, do not lift your pen or pencil off the paper. The timer is set for 30 minutes. I finished with 10 minutes left to spare.

This actually dovetailed nicely with a drawing exercise we did in life drawing class 2 weeks ago.(which was to draw the mannikin without lifting the pencil).  This time, the examples in the book stifled me a bit, because I didn't want to "copy" them, but I wound up riffing off the same theme anyway.  I think I might have come up with something better if I knew the iconic buildings in London more than I do. I think a mock skyline drawing that also hinted at letterforms would work for me here. In any case, here are my results, in chronological order.

on this page, I practiced making  the number 2 as part of a continuous line, but I started to focus on a particular idea.
The final version is a bit more literal than I would have liked, but it's a couple of years since the book has been published, the official London 2012 logo is out, and NBC has rejected that one for something else entirely in their TV ads that are starting to plaster the airwaves.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Challenge 3: Time Machine

This 90-minute challenge requires that you find a print ad from before 1980 and redesign it into a contemporary ad for a full-page color spread in one of these magazines: Wired, Better Homes & Gardens, O: the Oprah Magazine, Dwell, GQ, Vanity,or  US Weekly. In other words, none of the magazines I ever read.

I also recently (as in the last 2 years) purged the house of every magazine older than 1 year old. I did manage to dig up a National Lampoon from the mid-70's, but all the ads were for cigarettes, cars, booze, condoms, or stereo equipment. A big fat MEH.

So I did a little poking around online and found this lovely, whimsical ad from 1888:
Which I proceeded to "modernize" and by modernize, I mean crush its soul, and remove any hint of subtlety.  think I've made a statement on the state of how we market things to people 130 years into the future.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Challenge 2:Easy As ABC

Today's challenge was to design typography using only found object or environments around you. Time limit 120 minutes. I will meet the time limit including posting this blog entry. I read the instructions before I went to bed last night (and woke up with ideas for tweaking the logo design from yesterday's challenge). So when I was brushing my teeth this morning, I realized that the faucet with the water running plus the valve handle at just the right angle formed a letter A, and I decided to find the objects in my bedroom (which includes the Master Bathroom).

For those that are curious:
A: Bathroom faucet
B: 2 Dixie Cups
C: Philodendron
D: Toilet Paper holder
E: Rocking Chair
F: Jewlery box with 2 drawers removed
G: Headphones (needed the book between them to hold the earpieces apart)
H: Bed frame
I: Bed Frame (different angle)
J: Tub faucet (upside down)
K: Plumbing access panel with knob, and cord used to hang a quilt on the wall
L: Edge of the stairway partial wall
M: 3-prong plug
N: Books (I realized at this point that I could do an entire alphabet with just books, but... time limits)
O: Make-up Mirror
P: Handlebar for my treadmill
Q: Crystal bowl with handle
R: Bathroom sink cold water valve handle
S: Pair of boots and a slipper
T: Bed frame
U: Books
V: More Books
W: Even More Books
X: keyboard bench
Y: 2-prong plug
Z: Yoga mats and yoga blocks
Punctuation: a pair of dirty socks left on the floor

Photos taken with my iPhone 4, and cropped and collaged in Photoshop.

And... Time.

I will probably be doing these exercises on the weekends and not every day. I don't think I have the time in my schedule to do these every single day for the next 80 days. But doing 2 a week will take most of the year as it is.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Challenge 1: Hello, My Name Is

All the challenges in the Creative Workshop are time-constrained. This is because, as author David Sherwin aptly points out, all your paid design work will be under a tight deadline. As I come off of 2 weeks of "we need a cut sheet for this product in 2 hours" at work, I can completely testify to the accuracy of this statement. I know this applies to all sorts of work, every writing assignment, every programming job, every huge engineering project I've been a part of - we never seem to have quite enough time to do it the way we would have liked. There is always pressure to get it done faster. So I really appreciate where the author is coming from, and I appreciate having to practice being creative "on demand" without my job being in the balance, so when my job is on the line, I don't have to actually panic to perform when the office is in panic mode.

Creative Workshop

I purchased the book Creative Workshop, 80 Challenges to sharpen your design skills by David Sherwin, and it showed up at my door this morning. I'm already in love with it.

I will be showing off the results of my work as I progress through this book. I also invite any of my readers who are designers (or aspiring designers) to work along with me, because it's more fun to do things as a group than by yourself. I also find that having people to be accountable to helps keep me focused and on track.

My next post will be to show off the results of lesson 1... Stay tuned.

Not Another Blog!

This might "dilute" my "readership" (all dozen of so of you so far), but I decided to blog about design in a separate blog from my quilting and music pursuits. So from now on, when I discuss any graphic design or art that involves anything except fiber, I'll be posting about it here.

The blog address "" was chosen because I'm the wendyest wendy, and enough permutations of "wendydesigns" were already taken and I didn't want an even longer URL.