20 Years: Final Fantasy VII Icon Set

by Trevor Albrethsen

For this project, we were required to create an icon set using Adobe Illustrator. My icon set is based off of characters from the Final Fantasy series—Final Fantasy VII for the original PlayStation. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll recognize that I did my best to create an icon set featuring Barrett Wallace, Aeris Gainsborough, Cloud Strife, and Tifa Lockhart.

My target audience for this icon set are men and women between the ages of 20 and 34 who played Final Fantasy VII. The message is simple. As mentioned previously, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII. I thought it would be cool to make icons as a way of paying tribute to Final Fantasy VII. My message is a message of celebration.

Above are my icons in a 60 x 60 pixel format. I’m not entirely sure why the third icon is slightly bigger than the other three in this post, so I apologize in advance for the distraction it may cause.

These images are much bigger so you can see them in greater detail. They are measured at 400 x 400 pixels. One thing I noticed while adjusting the pixel count for these icons is that they don’t do a good job of formatting to the new pixel count. I had to decrease the stroke count for some of the borders so it wasn’t overpowering everything else about the icon.

For the design of these icons, I chose to place the characters heads inside a rounded box. I thought it looked pleasing to the eye and looks better than placing them in a standard square box. I chose the colors purple, greenish blue (I seem to use these color a lot in my other designs), light blue, and crimson red because these are the colors of the face buttons on a PlayStation controller. I also added repetition of these colors by having their eye color match the box they were in.

While challenging, this was a fun little project. I never thought I would ever create a set of icons. It was great to be able to gain some experience in this aspect of design.

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Using InDesign to Create a Magazine Spread

This is the first time I have used InDesign this extensively. Although new and challenging at times, it was fun being able to create a magazine spread using the new skills I learned.

Some of the requirements for this project were to use InDesign, have 3 pages in total and 1 spread, use a 2+ column layout, break up the article with headings, have a pull quote, use 2 relevant images, have a word wrap, have consistent headings and body copy, and have contrasting typography.

With this project, I also had to determine who my target audience was and what message I would deliver that audience. The audience for this particular project were men and women between the ages of 18 to 24 attending Brigham Young University-Idaho. I determined that the message I wanted to communicate with them was the importance of temple attendance while you are in your youth. It is a great habit to develop while in our youth, especially during our college years while we are living on our own.

The next thing I had to do was sketch my design. Having the sketches at hand made it easier for me to know how I wanted my final design to turn out.

Photo by Trevor Albrethsen (Personally Taken Photograph)

For typography, I chose two two contrasting typefaces. Having contrast between fonts makes it easier to read what is on a page. It also leads the eyes of the audience. They will know where to go without really needing to think about it. For the title of the article, I chose a Serif font named Adobe Garamond Pro Bold. For the body of the article, I used a Sans-Serif font named Avenir Light. Because the two fonts are from different typeface categories, the fonts provide a contrast that is pleasing to the eye, but distinguishable enough to not conflict with one another.

Each section is dividing by font that is bigger to help the audience know what will be talked about in the ensuing paragraphs. I also used a pull quote that reminds the audience what the article is about. I feel it does a good job of providing hope.

Photo by Trevor Albrethsen (Personally Taken Photograph)

Lastly, I chose a greenish-blue color and a darker gold color because the colors contrast one another quite well. I wanted colors that more or less matched the colors found in the photographs of the article. I feel they compliment the photographs. On the second page (shown above), the pull quote is inside the dark gold box.

The photographs are relevant to the article. They were taken at an LDS temple and display the beauty and peace that can be found at an LDS temple.

Typography and photography go hand-in-hand in design. They can be used to create beautiful designs that are informative and pleasing to the eye. It was a little hard making sure I implemented each element of designed I aforementioned, but I think it turned out quite well.

Original article can be found here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/see-yourself-in-the-temple?lang=eng

The Power of Rule of Thirds, Leaning Lines, and Depth of Field in Photography

by Trevor Albrethsen

For today’s post, I will be discussing three very important fundamentals regarding photography. Those fundamentals are Rule of Thirds, Leaning Lines, and Depth of Field. I will explain each fundamental using photographs taken by other photographers and photographs I took personally.

Rule of Thirds

Photo by Keith Johnston — https://pixabay.com/en/football-game-ball-competition-2163704/

In this photograph by Keith Johnston, he uses rule of thirds by not having either football player centered. On the right, the football player in the red uniform is where a person’s eyes are immediately drawn to. He is placed in the upper-righthand intersection of the rule of thirds.

Photo by Trevor Albrethsen (Personally Taken Photograph)

In this photo that was personally taken by me, the Toyota in the photo is the focal point of the image as it is in two intersecting points in the rule of thirds. In the back is the Rexburg Temple, which is also inside an intersecting point of the rule of thirds.

Leaning Lines

Photo by Victor Clark — https://pixabay.com/en/leading-lines-2116264/

This photograph is a great example of leading lines. The train itself leads our eyes down the station. The walls also lead our eyes down the same path.

Photo by Trevor Albrethsen (Personally Taken Photograph)

In this picture, I utilized leading lines with the ends of the boat walkway and the fenced portion of the boat. The lines naturally lead our eyes to the end of the boat were a group of people looking around this part of Pearl Harbor.

Depth of Field

Photo by user Pexels — https://pixabay.com/en/beach-boots-depth-of-field-footwear-1868332/

This picture is very cool and is one of the examples I found online for depth of field. The person’s left foot (from their perspective, not ours) is in focus, as well as part of the rock they’re standing on. The beach in the background and the person’s other foot are out of focused. I’m really impressed by how they took the picture. You can see that the beach itself is more out of focused, but the fact that they were able to get part of the person’s body out of focused as well looks pretty cool to me. I suppose I’m easily impressed.

Photo by Trevor Albrethsen (Personally Taken Photograph)

My last example of depth of field is a photograph I personally took while at the Oregon Coast. In this photograph, the focus point is the rock that is immediately in front of us. The rest of the photo above the red lines are out of focus because they are the furthest objects from us.

Conclusion

Rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field add a lot to a photograph. They help us see what the photographer wants us to focus on. Sometimes these rules are unintentionally used, but even then they can produce awesome looking pictures.

Coca Cola ad: Typography Reverse Engineering

The Coca-Cola slogan from 2009 to 2016

I will be reverse engineering the typography from this Coca-Cola ad. This ad campaign ran from 2009 to 2016. Out of all the ads I found via the Internet, this one stood out to me the most. Much like last week’s post, this Coca-Cola ad has a very simplistic design, but still contains a powerful message due to its imagery.

I found this image on another blog. This is the link to that blog image talking about ads: https://currentconflicts.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/advertising/

Typeface #1: Spencerian Script

Script Typeface

The Coca-Cola logo was invented by Frank Mason Robinson in 1885. The font he used was a script font known as Spencerian script. It font style was very popular in the United States from 1850 to 1925. To this day, Coca-Cola continues to use the Spencerian script for their logo considering how recognizable it is. A script font is a font that appears to have been handwritten with the use of a calligraphy pen or brush.

Typeface #2: Sans serif

Sans serif Typeface

The second typeface on this image is called Sans serif. The Sans serif font used in this ad is thought to be the Gotham Book font which was designed by Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000. It is a Sans serif due to the lack of serifs in the font. It also lacks thick/thin transitions. They are called “monoweight” fonts because the font has the same thickness from beginning to end.

Contrast

There are many elements of contrast in this advertisement. There is a noticeable difference in size between the two fonts. My eyes are immediately driven towards the Coca-Cola logo, due to its typeface and size. It really sticks out in the image also in part to its placement within the ad. There appears to be some weight in both fonts, but the Spencerian font has a heavier weight to it thanks to its boldness.

Because the two fonts are different typefaces, they vastly differ in structure. As mentioned earlier, the Coca-Cola logo is a script typeface, and due to its structure, it contains a noticeable shift weight. The monoweight-like nature of the words “open happiness” don’t have the same transitions as the script font does in the ad. They both standout from each other and it helps you know what you’re looking at.

Conclusion

I think that the principles mentioned above do a great job with the overall design of the ad. The Coca-Cola logo stands because of the typeface that is used. Your eyes rest on the logo and then the rest of the bottle. The words “open happiness” don’t conflict with the imagery of the ad due to its contrast. It is very different from the rest of the ad, but not in a way that takes away from the ad itself because of the contrast.

iPhone 6 ad: Reverse Engineering

iphone6_ad

Intro

The ad above was created by Apple after the unveiling of the iPhone 6. Apple was rather late to the “bigger phone” game. The first five iterations of the iPhone screen were measured 3.5-inches diagonally. The iPhone 5 and 5s measured at 4-inches diagonally, but compared to the competition those iterations of the iPhone were significantly smaller. It wasn’t until the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that Apple finally chose to make bigger iPhones. The iPhone 6 had a 4.7-inch screen while the “phablet sized” iPhone 6 Plus had a 5.5-inch screen. Rather than focus solely on the bigger form factors, Apple’s ad attempted to make the consumer think that the iPhone 6 was more than just a bigger iPhone.

Image from Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/209980401354399238/

Proximity

iphone6_ad_2

You can tell that it was intentional to have the iPhone 6 and the words separated. The text are closely together because they convey a message. The viewers eyes first turn to the bigger text that reads “iPhone 6” followed by the smaller text below it.

Repetition

iphone6_ad_3.png

Although a simple design, there is repetition with the use of white space. It isn’t used poorly.

Alignment

iphone6_ad_1

This ad does a good job of aligning the iPhone 6 with the name of the iPhone and the slogan they have chosen to use with this ad. The first thing that catches your eye is the iPhone 6. The ad wants you to see the iPhone first and then the words “iPhone 6” and the slogan “Bigger than bigger.”

Contrast

iphone6_ad_4.png

The contrast in this ad is the phone on the bottom of the ad. It really sets it apart from the text above it.

Color

iphone6_ad_5.png

The white really sticks out in this ad, but because of the white, it makes the phone stick out a lot more. If they had used a different color, it probably wouldn’t stick out as much.

Conclusion

The ad uses the principles of proximity, repetition, alignment, contrast, and color. Because the use of these principles are present, the ad is easy to understand. Although the form factor may have changed, the audience knows it is an iPhone due to its somewhat familiar design and the simplicity of the ad.