Thursday, May 28, 2009

When I first came across these ads, since I rarely see any vase advertisements,  I thought they were beautifully done. Using fireworks in place of actual flowers was a smart move, making the ad look elegant and enhances the vase rather than compete with it. The fireworks also go along with their copy that gives the impression that their celebrating their 300th year. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Repeated Concepts in Ads

"A memory which will never stop screaming." 2002
"Reporters without borders." 2006
"At work, little pains are hard to bear." 2008
"Relief for Sore Throats." 2008
After looking through several ads, I began to notice the same concepts for different issues and by different agencies. One of the difficulties I have in being in this class is coming up with new and creative ways to promote an issue or product. However, the problem I have with these ads (and I'm sure there's more, like the talking thumbs mentioned in class) is that I feel like its been done repeatedly and quite unsuccessfully. Out of the 4, the second one with a hand covering the man's mouth followed by the tagline "Reporters without borders" is working the best. What bothers me the most about these ads is that it's unappealing and outdated, yet it continues to be used. Although there might be a possibility of depicting the "mouth" in an aesthetically interesting way, it might be better to leave it alone for awhile since most of them are kind of creepy. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Japanese/Korean Creative Advertisements

Here's an advertisement my friend once showed me that I love. If you haven't watched it before watch it! It inspires and stays with you long after it's over, which I think is part of good advertising. It's also a way of thinking outside the box. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Porsche Ad Campaign

Here's a Porsche Campaign that I thought was conceptual interesting because it's a Porsche ad yet there's no picture of a car. Instead the company selling the speed of a Porsche by showing a cigarette, napkin, and leaf (soft items) going through a sign, pole, and tree trunk (solid) items. It's obviously over exaggerated, but that's what gets people attention. I don't think this is the most amazing ad I've seen, but it's an interesting one. If I hadn't seen the last one with the leaf or if it didn't have logo, it could've been a loitering ad. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guerilla Marketing

These ads are fun, eye-catching, and are part of Guerilla Marketing techniques. In Marketing Terms' ( these ads are "unconventional marketing methods intended to get maximum results for minimal resources." It's expected that the ads will spark so much interest that people won't be able to stop talking about it, which therefore spreads through word of mouth. I think this tactic is very effective and transforms advertising into something much more because of its interaction with the environment. It almost becomes like a novelty or memorabilia, something to keep record of.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

EC: Graduate Walk-Through

I went to the Graduate Walk-Through reception expecting a lot of great graduate work. Although I did see some interesting work, it was less than I expected. Courtney and Joe, two graduate students I've shared a class with, both displayed samples of their work. Whereas, Courtney chose something more abstract with her Imperfect Die-Cut Study #2, Joe showed his Personal Annual Report and several posters. I liked the different mediums including Silvia's series of Time Wasted: An Experiment Project as well as the video projection showing the same theme. My only complaint is that I wish there were more student work. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

2007 Salvation Army Ads in Canada

I came across this 2007 Christmas ad campaign for the Salvation Army and thought it was very well developed, from the images to the tag line. All three consistently use the same if not similar shades of blue, placement of the figures mixed into the building or furniture with a subtle spotlight, and open space on the bottom so that the tag line and description can be easily read. The color and image work together for an emotional response of being isolated, uncared for, and in need. The ad brings attention to what many people see, but often times shy away from by avoiding the situation. However, this ad forces us to look more closely and reflect on our decision to see or turn away.   

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Design that Empowers

Zara Arshad has written an article on titled, "Design to Empower the People," which focuses on creating/designing products that call attention to important issues such as 9/11, global warming, and free speech. 

The first image on the is called "NY Pocketbook (2002)" by Tobias Wong and is a political reference to the time when many Americans were fearful of "terrorism." The design is elegant, yet its message powerful. The use of matches used to represent the twin towers is symbolic considering what happens if one was to light it. 

The second image is from &made and is a table that can be taken apart to form a life-saving raft called, "Oar (2006)" in response to global warming. The clever functional design challenges the way we as designers can think beyond the immediate product and create multiple uses. 

The third and last image are produced by BlackBook Activists. The first transforms text-message protestations into Guerilla Codes (indecipherable graphics). The second is titled, "Lighten Up" and is a camera graffiti project. Both are used to make a political statement about being socially responsible by defending our rights.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Magazine Spreads

Magazine spreads depend on intended audience, content, and must grab the reader's attention in order to get them to continue reading. The examples show two different approaches in layout. The top left and right, as well as the bottom left shows a continuous image across two pages, while the bottom right seems to be divided in half. The images should visually enhance what the article will entail and the text should flow from the initial response to avoid interruptions. There is also a visual hierarchy in all four examples that keep it interesting.

EC: Emerge

At the Emerge exhibition, I tended to pay more attention to work that was similar to projects I’ve had in the past and their solution to it. One of the projects was creating an original set of alphabets. There were two that stood out in particular. The first was in front of the entrance and looked like folded cardboard. Instead of having it printed on paper, the artist/designer made it like a quilt, which made it more interesting to look at. The second alphabet set from afar looked like the letters were constructed with hair. When I took a closer look, I saw that it was stitched in cloth and that the synthetic hair was pulled out to create the uniqueness.

Overall, the show was good and I would recommend others to go. In a graphic design course focusing on type and design, it is just as important to pay attention to how the work is presented. For example, there were display cases featuring pieces that displayed their logo, a table with their design painted, and a skateboard with a neon word. If their work had been printed on paper rather than the object they chose, the impression and affect wouldn’t have been as strong. It’s important to see both the design and its application.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Responsibility of Designers

Since the responsibility of the designer is going to be a subjective point of view, I believe that the work I choose to do should not go against my conscience. I agree and support those who acknowledge their design's influence for positive change. Obama's campaign has definitely been successful in targeting their audience: the young and the minority.  Obama's character, unlike McCain, has the ability to relate better to a growing and changing demographic. Here are more photos to elucidate what I mentioned in my previous blog to show how Design+Obama sells:

After you've browsed through the images, picture McCain's face on the same would never work. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


There's a lot Obama comemorative t-shirts, pins, dolls, shoes, and etc. You name it, someone probably already did it. One that I recently saw is a pop-up card of the Inauguration featuring the Obama family taking their oath with Chief Justice John Roberts. Not only am I amazed at how something 2D becomes 3D, the card is also free and designed by book artist Carol Barton. All you have to do is download the image, read the instructions, and put in some work, which is not difficult at all. This reminded me of the class discussion of creating something with a purpose in mind. It would've been neat and fun to do the AIGA poster in a pop-up style card. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I came across a June 2008 article in the LA Times called, "Louise Sandhaus digs into California graphic design history at L.A.'s Municipal Art Gallery," which addresses how California can be portrayed. Louis Sanhaus, a CalArts faculty member, is currently working on her project "Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design." What interested me about her title is that California isn't only about the sunny oceanside, but also about the geography. I feel that many times, we portray California in our own image, creating an identity and culture rather than focusing on the land itself, which can be both beautiful and dangerous.  The movie poster  titled "The Endless Summer" (1964) by John Van Hamersveld is an example of a designer going against popular notions that orange was not to be used, at least "by serious designers on the East Coast." Another example of a design pioneer is April Greiman's fold-out poster where she included her self-portrait in the nude and caused many people to talk, so much so that it's still mentioned, 23 years later.

Here's the full article if you're interested:,0,358900.story

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Connection

As a learning and growing graphic designer, it's very easy to sit behind a computer, focus on my screen, and do my own thing without talking to others. However, if I want to succeed in it as a career, it's very important to also see what others are doing and get feedback on my own work, which requires talking.

A better word is communication. What I do and what we do as graphic designers is relay information in the best possible way that is aesthetically appealing and functional. A great place to test out our ideas is with one another. We can learn from one another what works or doesn't work, and may even be inspired, encouraged, or challenged in our soluction. The importance of connecting to a community of designers is to sharpen one another's talent, which benefits the individual as well as the field.

AIGA is an example of designers coming together to discuss, display, and learn. The beauty of having a community of talented designers are the various perspectives and approaches each person brings. It is in a community that connections, friendships, and progress are made.