April 10, 2005

Lost Time

I've been traveling so much lately I feel like I've lost two weeks of school--and I suppose I have. This leaves me with only about a month to finish:

And that's just schoolwork. This isn't even mentioning the ongoing job interviews and negotiations, house hunting from 2000 miles away, teaching my class, and various extracurricular things coming up like CMU's Carnival coming up next weekend.


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March 03, 2005

My Own Private Conceptual Model

I finished my last project for my Conceptual Models class: a model of CMU's BlackBoard system (15k pdf). I'm pleased with its clarity and ease of use.

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February 26, 2005

Group Conceptual Model

Our group for conceptual models (me, Phi-Hong Ha, Harlan Weber, and Purin Phanichphant) came up with this model of CMU's Blackboard System (404k pdf).

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February 17, 2005

Communication Conceptual Model

In conceptual modeling, our first project was to listen to one of our classmates tell a story about an important communication, then build a conceptual model based off the data that we gathered during the session. My group's storyteller was fighting with her identical twin, and her story involved lots of twists and turns and was very complicated. I tried to strip out most of the "details" and get down to essence of what the story was about. Thus, this conceptual model (13k pdf).

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December 19, 2004

Final Typography Project

Above is an image from my final typography project: two spreads and the front and back cover of a fake literary/arts journal called Cadence. I chose the 20th anniversary of White Noise, Don DeLillo's National Book Award-winning novel, as my subject matter.

Unfortunately, because of how I made this project (more on that in a second), I can't really post something that's going to do the final piece justice; even a pdf isn't going to look right.

In order to get an arty, grainy, 'zine-like feel, I used a technique that my professor Kristin Hughes taught me. First, you print out your pages backwards and then xerox them. Then you take lacquer thinner and paint it onto a sheet of newsprint (and thus stink up half of the second floor of the design building), then press the xerox onto the newsprint, smoothing it down. When you peel the xerox off the newsprint, the ink from the copy sticks onto the newsprint, giving it the texture you can sort of see above. It's a neat effect.

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November 24, 2004

Fall '04 Final Projects

The last three weeks of the semester bring with them the final projects of the fall. Here's everything I have to do between now and winter break:

Obviously, a busy time.

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Drawing with Fungus

It's been a while since I've posted any projects from my interactive graphics class. I just finished this small drawing program (page with 108k java applet). I was trying for an organic feel with the spreading ink and it ended up looking like growing mold. Some of my classmates solutions

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November 23, 2004

Hi M.O.M.

Another week, another poster. This time, an event in a familiar place (ie. Pittsburgh). My event was a local tattoo convention.

Apologies for the large image, but since I'm underwhelmed with how this turned out (despite the best efforts of my model) there's no sense in providing a pdf. But I did want to show it, if only for the hours of effort that was poured into it. And maybe it's not as flawed as I think, who knows.

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November 16, 2004

Onomatopoeia Poster

We're running out of time in typography class, so we've collectively decided to pull the plug on the poster project that got put on hold to do posters on a place we've never visited and an event in a familiar place. Which is a shame, because I'm basically done with this poster.

To recap, this poster involved combining an onomatopoetic word (pop, wow, zap) with another word and an image. The three things together were supposed to make some sort of statement. Mine (36k pdf) is, not surprisingly, political.

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November 08, 2004

A Long Road

HEMINGWAY: I rewrote the end to A Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.
GEORGE PLIMPTON: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
HEMINGWAY: Getting the words right.

I'm no Hemingway, but I think I know a little about what Papa is talking about. I've spent the last two days finishing and printing my Unfamiliar Place poster for graduate typography class. This involved hours of kerning and pixel pushing to get the words (and images) right. I'm pretty proud of it; it's probably the most beautiful poster I've ever done. It's about a place I've only visited through music, pictures, and my dreams: Iceland. Take a look (5.1mb pdf)

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October 19, 2004

MOM Poster

The sister project of the Unfamiliar Place poster (which I'm still working on) is, naturally, the Familiar Place poster. This time around, we're picking an area of Pittsburgh (where CMU is), then find or imagine an event that would take place in this area. The area I've chosen is South Oakland, where this year's Meeting of the Marked (MOM) is taking place. I figure a tattoo convention should provide me with some interesting visuals and typography.

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October 14, 2004

Intermorphable Alphabet

I finally finished my intermorphable alphabet (120k java applet) for my interactive graphics class. The project was to come up with a "font" in which any letter can morph into any other letter. Mine is a "block and bubbles" alphabet, composed of bubbles inside blocks that move around. I tried (unsuccessfully) to get the bubbles to break out of the blocks while moving, but I never got it to work right.

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October 03, 2004

A Place You've Never Visited

Ben Day, co-author of Typographic Design: Form and Communication and communication design professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, is visiting CMU all next week and will be working my graduate typography course. We'll be creating a poster about a place we've never visited. It can be a real or imaginary place.

The poster is supposed to be very impressionistic. That is, we're not to get images of the actual place, but instead gather images and words about the texture, smell, architecture, and culture of the place. How we imagine it to be.

I've chosen a place I've always wanted to visit but have never gotten around to it: Iceland.

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September 24, 2004

Personals Typography Project

After an exhaustive amount of work, I finished up the personal ad project for typography class. The final piece (60k pdf) is a series of six 10"x10" panels meant to be read horizontally, flush up against each other.

My takeaways from this: typography is demanding, tedious, and requires a ridiculously sharp eye. It requires patience, but the results can be very beautiful. Who knew that simply moving letters around could eat up so much time?

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