Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For next Monday: An improved Envy Ad

By the beginning of Monday's class, please have your improved Envy Ad (brought up to looking professional, incorporating some of the feedback in the crit). You won't have to print it out again, but we will look at the revised product.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I meant double-spaced

Just a quick note -- I had a brain misfire, and when I originally posted the specs for the next assignment, I wrote "three single-spaced pages" when I meant "three double-spaced pages." I've fixed it in the original blog post below, but just wanted to underline the mistake, if you'd already read the original blog post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Selecting hair out of a BG tutorials

Cody asked about this -- here are some links to tutorials that show how to extract people from backgrounds, with difficult outlines around hair (or other fine details):

This is probably the best, though it's also the most complicated:

Here are two other techniques that are quicker, but less comprehensive:

Due Next Monday: Logo & Envy Ad -- plus, get started on the Poster Presentation

For next class -- Monday -- be prepared to print out both your finished logo page, and your "envy" ad. Bring $4 to class to pay for the prints (it costs $2 per sheet). We'll look at them and critique them in Monday's class.

Also -- this assignment won't be due until a week from today, but you should get a head start on it -- don't wait until tuesday and scramble to put it together at the last minute. As a prelude to our poster project, everyone is going to do an in-class presentation on a poster artist or a poster movement. Feel free to present images in powerpoint, or as an image slideshow. Everyone will have 10 minutes to present and take questions. In addition to the presentation, you'll need to email me a minimum three page paper (double-spaced), which will serve as an outline of your presentation. That's three written pages -- not one written page and two pages of pasted-in images. If you want to include images as supplements to the three page paper, feel free. Include a fourth page that lays out your bibliography (I want you to use at least four separate sources). If you can get your hands on some actual books to bring to class to show around, please do. There are a few poster art books in Prim Library

In your presentation and paper, give a description of the artist/movement, and what the social context for the work was. Who was the audience for the posters? What sorts of messages were they trying to convey? Who paid for the posters to be made (if relevant -- some posters, like the May '68 posters, were not commissioned)? What made the posters interesting or unique? What made them stand out? In addition to giving some biographical and social context, pick out several images that interest you, and critique them in some detail. What sorts of formal decisions make the posters "work" (or fail to work, if you think they're bad posters?) Talk about the use of images, the use of composition, the use of color. Talk about how text and fonts are used in the posters.

Here are the poster artist assignments, assigned to each student:

Théophile Steinlen -- Victoria
Alphonse Mucha (and Art Nouveau) -- Heather
May 1968 Posters (look up 1968 Paris Uprising, 1968 Street Posters) -- Logan
Polish movie posters (esp. Jan Lenica) -- Nick
Soviet Movie Posters (esp. The Stenberg Brothers) -- Thomas
Rene Mederos (and Cuban poster artists of the 1960s) -- Drew
Gary Grimshaw (psychedelic 60s posters) -- Jenn
Victor Moscoco (psychedelic) -- Chelsea
Rupert Garcia (chicano movement posters) -- Sam
The Beautiful Angle Poster Project -- Cody
Shigeo Fukuda -- Matt

The above image is by Bay Area Chicana artist Ester Hernandez

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's due in a week (next Wed., Feb. 18)

By the beginning of next class, please have:

1. Your finalized logo. On an 8.5"x11" Illustrator document, place one large version of the logo, and two small versions of the logo (no larger than 1" across). The large versions and one of the small versions should be in full color, and the second small version should be a black and white version (obviously, if your logo is only in Black and White, you only need the one small version). You can lay out the page in landscape format if that gives you more space to make the large version bigger.

2. A good start on your next project, the magazine ad selling something you envy. The Berger article made the argument that envy is a powerful engine for advertising; for this project, I want you to identify something you personally envy, and craft a magazine ad selling that thing. You can think of it as an ad with a very targeted demographic: yourself. It doesn't necessarily have to be an object that you envy -- it could be something less tangible, like a lifestyle, a talent, a social position. Just identify something you're envious of, and think of an ad that would make you envy it more.

The ad could have a photo (or photos), or it could use illustrations (or it could be a combination of illo and photo) -- and it MUST have some text to it as well. The text could be a sort of tagline, or something more developed. Go to a magazine stand and look over the ads if you need ideas for the sort of text and text layout you want to use. I want you to integrate text and images using illustrator as a tool. If you are shooting photos for this project, please have them shot before next class, so that you can being putting the ad together in class. Whatever your approach will be, I want a fairly worked-out sketch of your ad at the beginning of Wednesday's class.

The last element of this project: I want your presence to be felt in the ad. That doesn't mean that you need to have a picture of yourself directly in the ad (though you can do that, if you want) -- there could be a figure who is a symbolic stand-in for your feeling of envy. Or perhaps your presence is implied, but stands outside of the page itself. But I want this ad to be very personal to yourself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Assignment for Monday's class

So -- next class we'll be completing the logo presentations. We'll also discuss the article I handed out -- the chapter from "Ways of Seeing." And you need to bring a magazine ad to class, to discuss in conjunction with the article (see #6 below).

Before Monday, email me a response paper to the handout. I want you to answer the following questions:

1. On p.131, Berger writes: “Within publicity, choices are offered between this cream and that cream, that car and this car, but publicity as a system makes a single proposal. It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.” Do you think that’s accurate, or do you think publicity, as a system, offers other proposals as well? List two or three more proposals the system of publicity makes.

2. Berger talks of how images from Fine Art have been used to generate an air of “prestige” in advertising. Is this still the case, or is that approach now outmoded in advertising? What, if anything, has replaced Fine Art as a generator of “prestige” in publicity?

3. On p.140, Berger writes "Publicity makes all history mythical." What does he mean by that, and how does it apply the the Pepsi commercial, spanning the various youth movements, we watched a few classes ago?

4. Following Berger's definition of "glamour," what makes "glamour" different from qualities such as wealth, beauty, and talent?

5. On p.149, Berger writes: "Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy." What does he mean by this, and do you agree or disagree? Why?

6. Berger writes that the "absent, unfocused look of so many glamour images" is due to the fact that the models "look out over the looks of envy which sustain them." Find a magazine ad in which you can identify that look, and bring it to class. Be prepared to answer the question: what, exactly, is the viewer supposed to be envying in this ad? Is it an envy you share? And how would it be possible for you to possess, in practical terms, that thing which you envy?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Due next class (Wednesday)

So, your 15 logo designs are due at the beginning of next class. Give some thought on how you'll present them. Will you show all the font-based ones together, on one screen? Or will you build out a slideshow to show off each design individually? You will actually "pitch" these designs to the class -- we'll be your client, and you have to impress us with the reasoning behind your design choices. We should really have a feel that the values of our company are reflected in the logo.

WOW Thats An AWSOME Chip

While watching the superbowl I saw this add and this happens to be my favorite. It mad me laugh and I really wanted some Doritos so I found it effective.

Exaggerated graphic is what I would call this because eating a dorito is like having a magical chip which can do anything.
Plus is very funny


This is an ad campaign that we are all familiar with. Master Card has used a number of the 12 different ad tactics in there priceless campaign. Predominantly they are using an on going characters and celebrities approach. In essence Master Card has transcended there first ad in the priceless campaign and now little articulation is necessary for user product association. I enjoy the simple clean imagery and soft tone to the ads.

Fancy A Crisp?

One of the newer Geico Gecko ads is an "ongoing characters" type of ad. Multiple ads have been run over the years staring the witty little gecko and often there is some sort of dialogue going on that speaks to the quality of insurance that Geico provides. Geico seems to like these ads, with most of them either being the Gecko or the Caveman ads.

my first blog!

The ad that i decided to bring in, is the add that was aired during the Super-Bowl. I think that this add would fall under the "associated user imagery". i think this because of the uses of good imagery to show just how good the Doritos are, by throwing a "cristal ball" at the vending machine just to get free Doritos. it also show who is using the product and he is goofy and or geeky.

this advertisement from New Zealand is a PARODY/ BORROWED FORMAT. The use of colloquial syntax and words relates to the intended market.Bugger me.

MacGuber Pepsi Ad

I saw this Pepsi ad yesterday during Superbowl commercials.  

This ad parodies the show MacGyver, making it a "parody or borrowed format" type ad.  The intro to the ad, with its Red MacGuber text, close-up shots, and explosions, is Pepsi's over-exaggerated and humorous take on MacGyver.  Pepsi promotes there product by having "MacGuber" drink and show off their product, even in the worst of times!  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An AD I find interesting

I found this ad very interesting. It's a Japanese ad for Google Chrome. I think the design aesthetics are great. Wooden toys and alternative parenting is so "hip" these days and this ad plays on that trend. In the past few months I have seen countless magazines, blogs and websites dedicated to alternative parenting popping up. Google took the tech look out of their commercial to illustrate a point. 
They used the very basic POG game format to illustrate the simple nature of using Chrome. Its easy, fast and fun! Perhaps pepsi should have consulted with Google on how to "bring the humanity back", because I think google was fairly successful with this ad. I think they are trying to appeal to the bloggers and the younger web users. I personally like the ad, but hey, I am probably who they are marketing to. 

This ad brings me right back to childhood (as does the little ditty that starts it out).
I think this ad is a good example of Symbol Analogy (growing muscles and balloon head), however since it was always played on kid friendly stations it is also Associated User Imagery. 

I had to ad this one also. Brings me right back! ha