Friday, January 18, 2013

Spring 2013 Intermediate/Advanced Digital Darkroom: Welcome!

Welcome to the Blog for the Intermediate Digital darkroom class: Art & Advertising.

And first off – apologies for my impending absence next Thursday. You get to take Thursday "off," meaning you don't have to come to class that day – but there is some homework due a week from today, so we can hit the ground running.

For the next Tuesday's class (1/29), I want you to have ready, at the beginning of class, three things – a printed out reading response, a blog post, and sketches for a logo you will design. See below for details.

1. READING RESPONSE: After having read the three articles posted below, type out and print a page of answers to the following questions:

In response to the Obama 'O' logo article: Why were the designers so concerned about having standards and consistency around the reproductions of the logo? What would the dangers have been if the logo seemed too "branded" or "slick"? Make a list of the specific qualities or emotions you think the logo evokes (or intends to evoke), and pair each quality with a design element (for example, one emotion it intends to evoke is "patriotism," and it does this by incorporating the colors red, white, and blue).

In response to the Pepsi articles: Do you agree with the designer that the new logo "brings humanity back" to the Pepsi? What do you think he means by that? What design choices were made to make the logo seem more "adventurous" and "youthful"? Do you think the design succeeds in those categories? What are the emotional qualities of the new font choice? Why is changing a logo so costly?

Here are the articles:

That last post is on a site, logodesignlove, that has some terrific resources, for example:

2. BLOG POST:  Create a blog post, on this blog, about a logo design you think is particularly good. Include an image of the logo. In the blog post, answer the question: why do you think this logo is a good design? Be sure to touch on at least these three areas:

a) color
b) font
c) imagery (if imagery is used)

Explain the emotional or psychological qualities that are conveyed by the formal choices in these areas. For example, if the font uses a bright, vibrant color, is it being used to convey a sense of excitement? Energy? What are the company's qualities that are being cued by the formal choices?

3. LOGO DESIGN SKETCHES: Our first project in this class will be to design a logo – we'll use Adobe Illustrator to execute the design. I'm going to have you design multiple alternate designs for your logo, but to start off, for Tuesday's class, I just want you to hand in one sketch of your logo (it can be pencil, or a digital "sketch" – or anything in between). This can be a logo for yourself – if you were somehow promoting yourself. Or it can be a logo for an actual company you'd like to start – or a logo for an entirely fictional company (if it's a fictional company, you'll have to be able to explain what sort of fictional company it is – a tech company, a movie studio, a sports drink company – whatever it might be).

And here's a link to "Merchants of Cool," if you ever want to revisit it, or dig info some further research/supporting materials on it:

Lastly, you can download the syllabus here:

Intermediate Digital Darkroom:

Advanced Digital Darkroom:


  1. I chose the Northstar Resort logo for one specific clever reason... It can be seen as two different things. Most people will think the logo is simply a star because of the name Northstar. But, if you dig deeper you'll actually learn and realize that the Northstar logo is a saw blade and this dates back to when Tahoe was at one point a logging industry.
    From a self-titled "Timber Farm" to one of the finest mountain resorts in North America, the story of Northstar California began nearly 40 years ago in the historic lumber town of Truckee, California whose winter sport traditions date back to the 1890's.

    When they designed the font for the Northstar logo they seem to have added a orangish brown drop shadow and spaced in a way that makes it seem there is another white drop shadow behind the Northstar letters to bring the attention to Northstar logo in my opinion to make it more memorable/recognizable and to make it stand out from the "At Tahoe" part so everything doesn't poorly blend

    NorthStar Logo:


    Alec Flores

  2. I think one of the more iconic logos of our time is the Michael "Air" Jordan logo. The design is simple with just a silhouette of him jumping through the air. There are different verisons of it with different colors but they all stem from the original silhouette of him jumping through the air with the ball in his hand. It is a very easy to identify the logo and know what it represents.