Blog Task 8 – Final Reflection

For this post, I am going to reflect on my experience with working with and learning how to use Photoshop over the past few weeks. Prior to this, I did have some experience with Photoshop. I only used it briefly, mainly because prior to Photoshop I used a free program called gimp, and I was not willing to put in the time to learn another photo editing software, even if it was superior. However, over these past few weeks, I enjoyed learning how to use Photoshop. I learned how to use many new and useful tools such as the fill tool and clone stamp tool, that I did not understand before. Using Photoshop over these last few weeks has been a really fun, and surprisingly relaxing experience.

The lectures and exercises we did, contributed significantly to aiding my visual design. I think writing about the exercises after helped me see flaws in my work and aspects of my visual design that I could improve on, that I probably would not have realised otherwise. Also showing examples of past students work, or showing one artist a week, gave me inspiration for and clarity on what we had to do for the exercises; they illustrated aspects of design I could develop and add my own spin on. The suggestion to actually draw out the design I was thinking of was helpful too. Having that plan helped me visualise how my designs could be executed.

My favourite task would probably be the remix packaging exercise. Altering a logo like this was something I was always interested in doing but was not sure how to. This task allowed me to that and as a result, I had many ideas. This task was a challenge, but a fun one. I enjoyed using all the tools and techniques I had learned prior to this in this exercise. It allowed me to showcase all that I had learned from previous tutorials, and see how I can combine them to make something.

Overall, I am really happy with how learning how to use Photoshop over these past few weeks went. We learned all the essential tools in Photoshop in a lot of detail, and as a result, I am confident in my photo editing abilities. I do not think there was much more we could have gone over in the tutorials. The only thing that comes to mind is customising the text, like stroke, drop shadow, etc. however, they are pretty easy to use and get the hang of. Nevertheless, the tutorials, lectures and exercises were very helpful and I am satisfied with how much my designs have developed as result.

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Blog Task 7 – Remix packaging Exercise

prongles

For this exercise, I decided to alter the text of a Pringles can because I thought it would be a challenge, and I think it turned out well. Unfortunately, I could not use the exact fonts used on Pringles cans, since I would have to pay for them, so I used to the match font tool to find similar fonts, which did the job.

Removing the original yellow text was a bit difficult since I had to use the clone stamp tool for the majority of it because the logo was directly touching the text. I think this made the background look a little messy, especially around the bottom of the logo. I used the spot healing brush to tidy up a little and make it look better. The white text was a lot easier as I just had to simply use the fill tool.

Creating the new white text was easy too; all I had to do was choose the colour and drop a shadow. However, I do not believe it looks as nice as the yellow text. For the yellow text, I chose a colour, added a black outline, added an inner shadow that is slightly darker yellow, used the warp tool to warp the text and dropped an outer shadow. There was a lot more detail in the yellow text, which is why I think it looked better.

Overall I am happy with how the image turned out. There are some things I would change looking at the image now, like the font used for the white text, or making the inner shadow in the yellow text a lot stronger, however, I still believe I did a decent job.

Blog Task 6 – WordPress Banner

It took me quite a while to decide on what to use as my banner for this site. I couldn’t decide to use images from my trip to my trip to Italy from transition year or the picture from my trip to Dublin just before I started 5th year, since both trips were important moments in my life. Fortunately, I lost my old phone with the Italy pictures on it, so I had that decision made for me.I took this picture around the time I started to develop an interest in media, and it was also taken after many issues in my life were resolved.

I’m happy with how it turned out. One of the main reasons I wanted to use this background image was because it represents my personality quite well. The blue of the ocean and sky represents how calm and quiet I am. I did not alter the image that much in Photoshop, apart from lowering the levels and increasing the exposure slightly.

For the text I choose to placed it on the railing because I thought it would look nicer than just slapping it in the middle of the image, and ruining the background. I was originally going to use pure white text however it was hard to read because of the bright colours in the background, so I added the black outline, which I’m really happy with.

Overall, I am delighted with the banner and I think it turned out better than expected.

Blog Task 5 – Critical Analysis of Web Interface

Having a good web interface is critical to having a successful website. I believe Wired is an example of a website with a great web interface, and in this post I will illustrate why.

Wired

Wired is the website of an American monthly magazine, which focuses on multiple topics which can be seen at the top of the screenshot of their website above. It utilises a simple flat design, using mostly typography to attract the readers attention. The site’s use of typography, combined with the black and white colouring and the use of hierarchy in the placement of the articles, makes the site easily readable. I also find the site’s typography, the placement of images and the general simplicity of the website visually pleasing, despite the lack of vibrant colour.

The interface of the website is easily accessible, making it convenient for readers to find the stories they’re interested in. The site manages to illustrate multiple stories, for example in the image above there are stories on star wars, North Korea and ships. The site places the most important and most popular stories further up the page, while using typography to make the titles of these stories stand out while displaying the topic and writer on each article. This use of typography makes sure the readers know what the article is about so they are not mislead. The insertion of images next to each article also helps convey what each article is about. Even if readers cannot find anything that appeals to them on the home page of the website, they can use the sections displayed at the top of the website, or the search bar in the top right corner. This provides readers with multiple options to discover articles that may interest them and makes the website easy to navigate.

There are not many negative things I have to say about Wired’s web interface. I think the site could make more use of the space it has. There is a lot of space on the left and right sides of the page that could allow more articles to be displayed on the home page. I do not think there should be two ads on the homepage either. Obviously I understand the website makes it’s income through the ads but they should not push the “Most Popular” section half way down the page. I think they should move one further down the page to allow the “Most Popular” section to be visible at the top of the page. Other than that I think the websites interface is great. I think the website’s simplistic design and black and white colouring suites the website’s older target audience.

Blog Task 4 – Social Media Privacy

When I was about 12 or 13, and I was creating my first Facebook account, my parents biggest worry was privacy. At the time I didn’t understand why they worried so much, I just thought they were overreacting. However now that I’m older I understand that there are many people on these websites, that want our information, with malicious intent.I decided to look through my social media accounts to see what information I had on display publicly, and what privacy settings I should change.

The only social media accounts I have are Twitter and Facebook and fortunately, I did not accidentally display any important information on either like phone numbers or email addresses. However, I did have the town I live in on my Facebook account. This isn’t really an issue since there was no home address, and I don’t really mind if this information is public.

There were no massive issues with privacy settings on either accounts. There was one setting that allowed people to discover my account by typing my phone number or email address into the search bar, which is stupid in my opinion, especially when phone numbers are used for two step verification. Other than that I didn’t have to make any changes. I don’t feel a need to make my accounts private since I’m not extremely active on Facebook or Twitter, and my posts typically do not contain private information.

From browsing through the privacy settings, it is apparent that they have made many improvements to their privacy system and users can make sure the information on their accounts is secure. Obviously this does not mean information on social media accounts are secure because their are always ways for around social media security, however the control the user has on their account is reassuring for users and makes it extremely difficult for people to access their private information.