Ah, delicious minimalism, I love it too much. From a person who hates having a cluttered desktop, minimalism is a gift sent from above.

For my movie poster, I decided to satisfy the urge I had had all semester to do something with Resident Evil. After looking through all of the minimalism designs, the feature most salient was that each of the movie posters had pulled out an iconic image or two and made it the central feature of the poster. I think this is a bit of an odd practice as it almost requires you having seen the movie before you view the poster, but from a design point of view, it’s simply beautiful.

There were two possible iconic images to work with from Resident Evil to work from (in my mind) and they are the image of Milla Jovovich in the (not very suitable for ass-kicking) red dress and the umbrella corp logo. I used the pen tool a lot for this as well as some masking so it was nice to reinforce those photoshop skills. In the end, Just Jovovich silhouetted with the dress in color didn’t look to be enough and I wanted more depth so I added an umbrella corp logo as a gradient background. I chose to not display the whole title because it distracted so much from the image and instead abbreviated it. And though the only 3D Resident Evil to come out is the fourth installment, Afterlife, I chose to market this as a poster that would advertise for that event (even though she has quite a different, and vaguely more practical, get-up in the fourth film).

I enjoyed doing this because (though it’s not readily apparent) wanted to take a moment to pay homage to the “Fighting Fuck Toy” trope and use Jovovich’s silhouette to point out just how ridiculous the trope is by highlighting her dress.

The subtle “breaking” of the gradient background was originally a mistaken attempted edit to something but I enjoyed it and exaggerated it for the final poster.

For the desktop background, I used a little personal inspiration. I have trouble remembering to drink water. Since I was younger, I would simply forget to hydrate. Even still some days I’ll fall asleep realizing that I’ve only had one cup of coffee over the span of the whole day. It’s a little disturbing- I don’t quite know how my body functions.

I have a few desktop backgrounds that I put on every once in a while to remind me to drink water and I wanted to make my own!

Because it’s something that is basically personalized, I made some design choices I wouldn’t if I were giving this to someone else. The background gray is a little darker than I would use for other people but I enjoy darker pallets so I ran with it. I originally had the partial ‘O’ typed out and the water overlayed onto it. But in the end, I though it looked cleaner with the water just hinting at an ‘O’ and removing the text all together.

speaking of, I’m going to go fill up my water bottle now!

Overall, minimalist design was fun. I love trying to figure out what elements can be done without (Jovovich’s skirt, for example) and which ones will be effective at illuminating to a whole that isn’t there (the water forming the ‘O’). I also definitely liked being able to sharpen my photoshop skills with this badge.

For this badge I translated my initial hand drawn wireframes onto MockFlow that I had used for the site I created for the Domain Hosting badge. I made an online portfolio/resume of sorts and starting with the wireframes turned out the be very helpful, especially when I was so unsure of my ability to style everything that I wanted in CSS. In the WireframePitch that I prepared for this badge, I wrote out my original justification for creating the site as it was.

Having now known what it’s like to work from wireframes to make a site completely, I can tell you that I understand why they are stressed as a “First Step.” When I began working on the HTML and CSS for the portfolio that I finally created, I think, without the wireframe there reminding me of what I had wanted and planned for, I would have tried to “make do” with what I could get the CSS to perform and wouldn’t have stayed as true to my original idea, which I think turned out pretty nicely. I will say though that I prefer hand drawing wireframes to doing them on the computer as they allow for a more artistically rendered idea of what the site will look like even though I can see the helpfulness in large companies of being able to have a share-able, editable wireframe to work with.

The grid arrangement works to keep information organized so a potential employer can easily and quickly find what they're looking for

Goodness Gracious, this was indeed ridiculous but interesting. I wasn’t able to connect to the server at the time of completion so I only have 2 screenshots to offer, both showing me at the lonely desktop in the lab. I did get a chance to see it work using the links provided by Freeman & Robson so I know it’s functional I just don’t have many photos to prove it.

The reason I name this badge finicky is that there was a lot of figuring out how exactly to code all of it and where to put certain chunks of code in functions, etc. Also, sometimes it literally took me taking a coffee break and coming back for the site to work or repeatedly clearing the ‘watch’ and asking the site to watch me again for the coordinates to show. So for all of you out there who will try this and might run into these sorts of “ghost issues” (as I like to call them, because they don’t even really exist), just take a break, come back and see if it’s not working when you try again. It will save you lots of time and frustration going through your code when there’s nothing even wrong with it.

Also, I spent maybe an hour working in chrome trying to figure out why nothing was working until I realized the permissions for sharing location had not been set correctly. It seems with every badge that I have a moment where I would like to bang my head against the wall a little bit and this was that moment. So for the love of sanity, check your permissions before you think that you haven’t done anything correctly.

This chapter of Freeman & Robson was nicer than a lot of the others because they really did step you through the process holding your hand a bit. I think if I wanted to be able to do more with this API I would need to step it up a notch in terms of what material I’m using to instruct me, but there’s no way I would have been able to do this without the hand-holding so it was perfect!

Also, I changed the coordinated to point to The Foundry coffeeshop because all I ever dream about is caffeine. Apologies for the lack of a screenshot and the desktop bound location! I just couldn’t get it to the server to roam around anywhere!

The graphic would have looked prettier but I was trying hard with the javascript and figured I could skimp a little on photoshop perfection for the moment

Not as pretty as the first page but functional!

The pen tool is awesome. It’s everything I wished I had known about photoshop before I had started using it. And it’s not even that hard. I was prepared to be completely lost but it’s sort of just a more forgiving and helpful version of a pencil (and I would anticipate really helpful when you don’t own a tablet).

My only tip to those who will be learning is to thoroughly enjoy the Lynda tutorial because Deke McLelland is fairly hilarious when he gets frustrated with photoshop re-draw issues and to not get to freaked out about imperfection. (the last one was pretty difficult for me).

It took a lot of effort for me when making rough outlines with the pen tool before I went back in and perfected things by adding and deleting anchors to not add an anchor every five seconds. But believe me, it’s best if you go anchor light, even if it misses details or curves on your primary outline.

the video tutorials were especially helpful as I’m not all that comforable with my way around photoshop so being able to see McLelland pick a tool as he said its name was very helpful. And watching him use the pen tool himself made me the most prepared to do it myself.

Here’s my silhouette image before and after. For some reason I decided to use a photo of Katniss from the Hunger Games movie (even though I’ve yet to read the books! Ah!) and I decided to fill the silhouette with the image of leaf veins because it looked interesting.

Before

After!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I didn’t cut out a peice of the arm but I didn’t really know how to plus it made the silhouette look like a ninja more when i didn’t so I made my peace with the lack of perfection.

And here is an accomplishment I’m a little terrifyingly proud of. A photo of me and Hillz being BFFLs because that’s how we roll.

The best of friends.

I couldn’t get the lighting quite as perfect as I had wanted to to match but I did blur myself out a little to maintain photo consistency. Also, if you were doubting how legit and awesome Clinton is, she freaking contributed to the Texts From Hillary tumblr that’s been quite popular (and hilarious) recently. It just makes me too happy. As does this photo.

Making this site (as sad as this sounds) was a life coup. I do not understand JavaScript. And by that I mean I know that if I wanted to get more comfortable with it I would need to keep working with it. Semantically, it differs a lot form CSS and HTML and I don’t feel like I have a full grasp of the *language*, you know?

Once I finally figured out how it sort of worked (you store a variable then call a variable), it got a little easier to figure out what I should do and seemed a simpler task. It did however, still take a lot of time to get everything in the right place and call for everything in the right function, etc. This is the reason the pages look as sparse as they do. :\ I ran out of CSS steam!

Here’s the link to the site and below a screenshot of the faux registration page!

Image

Ms. Quadros,

I’ve attached the completed files that include your completed logo design. I hope you’ll find it to your liking and if you feel like it wasn’t what you were looking for we can of course schedule another meeting to go over the design.
When creating the logo for Chunk and Monk I tried to keep in mind your most important requests which were simplicity and a modern look. Knowing that you’re a new company and (for a while at least) money will be tight, I decided to stick with a black and white design to decrease your future printing costs.
In discussing the concept of your company as a bakery/bar/cafe that is metaphorically split down the middle in offering about 50% healthy dessert/drink options and about 50% options for those times when you really want to indulge (hence the name Chunk and Monk), I wanted to keep some of the playfulness reflected in your company concept and individual personality in the logo itself. To accomplish this and still maintain a modern feel, I reflected the ‘u’ in Chunk to create the ‘m’ of Monk, giving a slight differentiation to the text that keeps the simple logo intriguing. It also has the added bonus of making the ‘m’ of the monk connote religious interpretation that I think could go well with your sinner/saint concept.
Knowing that you were still undecided as to how you were going to brand the company (bar, cafe, bakery, etc.) I left off a descriptive subtitle even thought we had discussed the potential of adding one to distinguish what your company is exactly. That being said, as you’re well aware of, those who will frequent your company will glance at your logo for a very brief moment so it isn’t completely necessary. Of course, should you find you want to add it on later you can definitely contact me as it wouldn’t be any trouble at all to add it. I do think however after finishing the logo itself that you’ll find you enjoy it without a subtitle more as it makes it more versatile.
You had also expressed a desire to use the logo at a ninety degree angle on some of your product packaging to leave more space for nutritional facts or other information. This is why I went with a slightly thicker text option as it ended up being more readable at an angle.
We discussed in our meeting whether or not the ‘and’ was completely necessary in the logo. I sketched through several options that included a written ‘and’, ampersands, and addition signs but came to the conclusion that it detracted from the beauty in the simplicity of just having the words. Since you seemed in our meeting not to have a preference for its inclusion, I went with my design choice of leaving it out.
While color was an option I left it out not only for cost reasons. It will definitely be cheaper for you to print the logo in black and white but adding color detracted from a modern looking logo. I sketched out options with light and dark color options but with the editing of the ‘un’ and ‘m’ text (as well as the thick font choice), any color addition made the logo feel childish which we discussed that you wanted to specifically avoid.
Overall, I think the logo will do an excellent job of conveying the spirit of your company to the public and be appealing to your more bourgeois crowd of customers (as your location is an upscale downtown area). If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me!

Sincerely,
SBD

Looking through potential hosting services felt a little bit like looking at the engine of my car over the shoulder of the officially licensed inspector person. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for or at, but when the internet (and billboards) suggested that HostGator was the way to go (much like the inspector person tells me I should let them/pay them to change my car with a certain type of oil because of reasons I can never remember), I tend to trust it, probably sometimes to my detriment.

I did actually do more research this time than I ever tend to do on my car (which I’ll remedy someday, probably too late when something has already broken and I’m stranded somewhere). I have (unfortunately, regrettably, can’t believe I did this) used GoDaddy in the past so I had had some experience with the type of control panel I would be working with and how everything went. However, I had also used GoDaddy’s site builder which was oh-so-handy. Fending for myself is proving to be a little (lot) more time intensive but I’m definitely learning more. I’ve been using W3’s tutorials a lot to help me figure out how to do stuff however today, i took a few hours to try to learn how to use grid layouts and failed pretty completely (along with the word grid losing all meaning). But back the the domain hosting thing.

I chose HostGator because it seemed like the Walmart of domain hosts. I don’t really like walmart and they have some tragic employee practices but this analogy is pretty flawed. What I’m trying to say is that it seemed middle of the line safe. It wasn’t the 1 cent a month hosting service but wasn’t some crazy corporate bulk deal thing. So HostGator it was. Figuring out their FTP stuff was a little bit of searching and fenangling but worked in the end. As with GoDaddy, the control panel seems mostly useless (I just don’t know what I would even do with those buttons!), but it doesn’t seem like I really need them anyway… Maybe it’s some conspiracy that they have such a large control panel to make themselves look more legit. I don’t know, but I seem to be getting along fine uploading things and getting my site up without them.

What’s up on the domain sarahdropek.com (creative, I know) is the beginning stages of what will hopefully be a sort of online portfolio of work that I can link to on resumes and LinkedIn and other professional-like things I should be engaging in at this moment in my life. It may not utilize grid layout at the end of the day (who knew something so simple could be so convoluted?!), but it will be functional dangit!

It's nothing fancy but I"m not sure I know enough to do "fancy" yet. So I'm passing my beginners skills off as some sort of sad attempt at minimalist design these days!
(Also, in case you were curious, the background is indeed a heavily edited photo of Trinity's black box theatre floor. Made tile-able by yours truly in Ps! #Win)