Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Escape

Ceramics, to me, is an escape from everything.  The spinning of the wheel, the malleability of the clay, the constant discoveries and surprises... they're all mesmeric; they're all aspects that feed my love of ceramics.  Its difficult to put into words how the pursuit makes me feel.  This past semester ceramics became my favorite class and pastime. It allowed me to reflect on everything going on in my life while creating forms that were guided by me, but determined by the clay.  My professor told me, "if you don't like surprises, ceramics is not for you." And I'll certainly agree: ceramics is full of wonders. Air bubbles in the clay turn large vases into small mugs. Glazes that are red when first applied turn green after they are fired.  There are just so many aspects that can produce unexpected, but often amazing results.

So, without further ado, I present to you my pride and joy of the semester... a few of my favorites:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Typeface Update

I'm pretty happy with the typeface I designed for my Semele wine, so I thought I'd share!

...and some ideas for label application... I plan to laser cut the type out of a patterned paper that I design and emboss it, then adhere it to the bottle.

I should be sleeping...

...but instead I'm designing a typeface. Woo!  I'm having a blast with it so far.  If only there were more hours in the day...or night. 
Semele and Zeus are the two that made the cut for my wine characters, and since we are limited to designing with only typography, not only do I have to coordinate the wine traits to the character traits, but the typefaces I use have to correspond as well. 
I'm aiming to blend contemporary design with some old greek patterns, art, and typefaces.
For Zeus, its a thick and beefy sans with some unique quirks to articulate a full-bodied red Cabernet Sauvignon with a sweet spice finish.
For Semele, we're looking for a combination of elegance and a powerful build; afterall, she overcame her mortal death and came back to life to reside on Mount Olympus.  The typeface I'm making will be thick and sophisticated to show her strength, yet suave to evoke the alluring side of her persona and the lemon zest of the White Pinot Grigio she is paired with.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sammy the Snail Sees the World

My progress on my children's book thus far!
Sammy the Snail Sees the World
By Staci Paul
There once was a wide-eyed little creature named Sammy Snail who loved all the wonderful things in nature. He always took time to notice the small beautiful details in the world, and only wished that others would do the same.

Sammy rose with a yawn and saw the sun a-shining.
“Oh, Blue Birdy dear, won’t you come near to savor the rising sun?”
“No, sir-ee,” said Blue Birdy, “ I must be going to catch my worms.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He savored the shining sunrise then slowly slid on.

Sammy saw a darling drop a-dripping.
“Oh,Tree Froggy dear, won’t you come near to delight in this drop of dew?”
“No, sir-ee,” said Tree Froggy,” I must be going to tend to my tadpoles.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He delighted in the dripping dewdrop then slowly slid on.

Sammy then saw a beautiful bud a-blooming.
“Oh, Bumble Bee dear, won’t you come near to bask in the beauty of this bud?”
“No, sir-ee,” said Bumble Bee, “I must be going to make my honey.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He basked in the beauty of the blooming bud then slowly slid on.

Sammy soon saw a fantastic leaf a-falling.
“Oh, Wood Pecky dear, won’t you come near to follow this leaf as it falls?”
“No sir-ee,” said Wood Pecky, “I must be going to peck my tree.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He followed the leaf as it fell to the ground then slowly slid on.

Sammy then saw a splendid spider a-spinning.
“Oh, Red Antsie dear, won’t you come near to watch this splendid web be spun?”
“No sir-ee,” said Red Antsie, “I must be going to collect my crumbs.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He watched the spider spin its splendid web then slowly slid on.

Sammy’s eyes were nearly bursting at the sight of charming colors a-changing.
The day had gone by quickly and he was glad to have taken the time to enjoy it. He tried one last time to get one of the animals to join him while he took pleasure in the moment.
“Oh, Brown Squirrelly dear, won’t you come near to see the sun’s charming colors change?”
“No sir-ee,” said Brown Squirrelly, “I must be going to gather my acorns.”
So Sammy Snail said, “Do as you wish.”
He watched the sun’s charming colors dim then slowly slid on.

Sammy looked up in awe and saw the stunning stars a-sparkling.
“Oh, please someone dear, won’t you come near and share this sparkling sight?”
But all the other creatures were sound asleep, exhausted from their busy days.
So Sammy Snail snuggled into his shell. Just as he began to fall asleep, he saw the most spectacular star soar across the sparkling night sky. And he made a wish.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dionysus Circle

The deadline for my third and final project in Product and Packaging design is approaching quickly: less than one week! Thankfully I was able to come up with a fairly strong concept in a short period of time.
We were assigned to create two wine bottle designs.  Originally I wanted to create one masculine and one feminine wine.  An idea for the masculine wine was the name "Zeus," and after searching for a feminine goddess to base the other design off of, I made some discoveries.  Zeus had many different lovers; he was rarely faithful to his wife Hera, and eventually became quite fond of a mortal by the name of Semele.  Sure enough, Semele became pregnant.  Hera tricked Semele into having Zeus come to her bearing all his strength.  Zeus was under oath to do so, and when he did, Semele died from his lightning bolts, but not before giving birth to their son.  Zeus rescued the son, who grew to be Dionysus, the god of wine.
Thus, I present to you a new wine brand: Dionysus Circle.
Each wine in the Dionysus will be paired with a god, goddess, or other relative or acquaintance of Dionysus based on their characteristics and the traits of the wine. For example, Zeus, the god of sky and thunder and king of the gods, is a strong and masculine figure known for being a lover at heart. He would be appropriately paired with a full bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which produces powerful, meaty notes with undertones of sweet spice.
My logo thus far incorporates a greek pattern representative of Dionysus' circle of acquaintances, as well as a greek cup which wine was typically consumed from.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thinkin' Ahead

I've run across quite a few really great resources for tips on freelancing and communicating correctly with clients, so I figured it would be a good time to start a collection that I (and whomever else wishes) can add to. Feel free to post your own in the comments!
[Tips for Effective Communication with Your Clients]
[Freelancing 101 for Graphic Designers]
[AIGA Salary Survey 2009]
[Why Design]
[Standards for Professional Practice]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunset love

Sunset love, originally uploaded by staci.paul.
I had an amazing time doing this photo shoot with Jeff over Thanksgiving break. I set up the shot, set the self-timer and ran into each photo. It was fun to see how they turned out. These are some of my faves.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beneath The Sheets:::Update

Updated cover design of my software project...the black is a sleeve with the title laser engraved into it with colored transparent vellum sleeve layers over it to signify two people coming together and the intimate feelings they share.  This style will be carried throughout the packaging, manual, and interface of the product.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Textures!!

Heeeeey designers!  I came across this awesome resource for tons of free textures.  CHECK IT OUT!
Texturize your life. :o)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Simply Amazing

Have you ever seen an awesome design and thought, "wow, this is so clever!"  Well, I saw an ad today in Communication Arts that I wish I would've thought of first.  Its clever, funny, striking, and definitely communicates a strong message.  Maybe I am just in love with photo compilation and manipulation right now, but this ad caught my eye...smart, huh?
One Life Awareness Print Ad with Bristol-Myers Squibb for HIV awareness:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Group Fitness Update...

I suppose its pretty similar to the last post, but I spent quite a bit of time fixing shadows and whatnot to make all the images appear as if they were in the same atmosphere with the same light source. Plus more text.  If you'd like to learn more about UW-Stout Health and Fitness Center's Group Fitness Classes, visit their website.
The classes are awesome!  My personal favorites are Turbo Kick and Sunrise Yoga, but they also offer Extreme Abs, Toning, Step 'n Sculpt, Butts n' Gutts, Hip Hop Hustle, and Pilates.  And guys, this is a great way to meet girls! :o)  Only $3 or FREE with an HFC membership.

Beneath the Sheets

My Product and Packaging class assigned us to conceptualize a new software program and create packaging and accompanying graphics.
My concept is a software for couples in serious relationships or in the midst of their marriage that enhances their sexual relationship by first building a solid foundation of self-knowledge and understanding of the partner's character. The software itself incorporates interactive activities that first focus on individual discovery, experimentation, and learning about your own physical, emotional and mental wants and needs.  After both partners develop a solid knowledge of themselves as individuals, they then can move on to learning about one another on a personal level, then, ultimately they'll reach the juicy stuff: sex tips, games, and exciting ideas.  The entire journey leads the couple to discovery of whats "Beneath the Sheets," both personally, mutually, and sexually.

An illustration style I'm playing with. "Digging beneath the layers to expose your sexual aspirations" (Its a work in progress...)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Type in Motion Inspiration

While the debate of taking a Type in Motion class is on my mind, its application has become more apparent to me and grasped my attention in several instances.
Here are a couple of inspiring videos:
Typofile Film Festival
Tom Waits: "Come on Up to the House"
I hope to find more...If you have any good ones, post them in the comments! And thank you in advance :o)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Loving Fall

Today I finally got to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery.  For photo club, we went on a fall outing along the St. Croix river where I took some awesome photos, enjoyed some delicious mochas, climbed rocks, and had a blast hanging out with old friends and making new ones.
Oh, and I fell in a stream.  I guess damp logs above the water are not the best makeshift tripods.  As I was steadying my camera (and the rest of my body) on a log at the edge of the stream to get a long exposure of a waterfall, the damp log suddenly snapped and I collapsed into the stream.  Luckily I caught myself with my free hand, saving my camera from damage and managing to only soak the sleeve of my coat and the right half of my pants.
All in all it was an extremely fun day and a much needed break from the busy-ness of life.

Group Fitness Poster!

So far, so good :o)
Its coming along!

Sammy the Snail

I'm currently writing and illustrating my own children's book that follows a small snail as it teaches children to appreciate the little things in life.
The first page reads:
There once was a wide-eyed little creature named Sammy the Snail who loved all the wonderful things in nature.  He always took the time to notice the beautiful things in the world, and only wished that others would do the same.
Here is the current illustration I am working on...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Viola! The New Airborne

I present to you the fresh new face of Airborne.  A bubbly logo reflective of the new brand personality and effervescent qualities of the product itself; a new solitary recyclable plastic bottle (as opposed to the previous bottle inside a box) with a cover that doubles as a fridge magnet; and a new tagline: "Happiness is Airborne," that promotes the spreading of happiness and the spreading of news about Airborne.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Despite This Flu, I'm Trying to Smile...

Just my luck, I got the flu. And all I can say is that THIS SUCKS!  I'm now classified as one of those people no one can come near.  Even if my symptoms subside soon, the virus still lingers for 5-7 days; Health Services has advised me not to go to class or come in contact with people for that length of time.  I hate not being able to go to class.  Normally I would just fight through the symptoms and try to go about my day as I usually would.  But for the sake of others and their health I'll quarantine myself in my room. Do unto others as you'd want done unto you, right?  I'm pretty sure I caught this from someone who didn't follow that rule...
To make matters worse, I have to miss my critique on my Airborne project.  Kind of ironic that I'm sick...great timing.  I guess sleep is a stronger immune system booster than Airborne, and I haven't had enough of either this week.
Well, I'll take this free time as an opportunity to catch up on sleep and prepare my project for my portfolio.
For now, I'm just trying to SMILE.
Here is the cap of the Airborne bottle I created.  It doubles as a fridge magnet. I took this pic a few days ago when I was feeling better.  More images of the final product to come soon! Stay tuned.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Group Fitness Poster Photo Shoot

I had an awesome time shooting photos in the studio for the Group Fitness poster last night with my lovely model Ashlea.  Just thought I'd share a few of the pics...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Airborne Design Update

I've come up with a new logo!  Its lighthearted bubbly-ness is representative of the brand's image, the way the product makes you feel, and the way the product reacts when it fizzes in water. I've aimed to make all those apparent through the additional texture within the logo on the package graphics. Here's what I've got for package graphics so far! Feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Airborne Re-vamp

Currently in my Product and Packaging Design class I am working on updating the identity system, graphics, point-of-purchase, and packaging of the immunity supplement Airborne.  
Here is the current packaging and logo.  As you can see it is in dire need of a face-lift and a refinement of marketing strategy.

Airborne's public image is in need of a renovation as well.  After recent lawsuits over inaccurate wording on their packaging, the brand has lost a lot of consumers' trust.
My goal is to not only create an image that will gain that trust back, but to reflect the true greatness of this product. My intent is to bring out the brand’s beliefs in the product’s graphics and identity and refine their point-of-purchase, while avoiding the popular and overused pharmaceutical look.
My marketing strategy focuses on and works to enhance the current viral marketing that Airborne already has working for them: word of mouth.  I plan to incorporate user experience and a "pass-it-on" point-of-purchase while utilizing the tagline, "Happiness is Airborne."
I'd also like to create a package that is more environmentally friendly by eliminating the box and using recyclable plastic. My designs thus far are focusing on a happy, bubbly attitude that not only reflects the brand, but the effervescent qualities of the product itself.
 Let me know what you think:

 A few logos I've created so far.  Colors will vary to reflect the flavor of the product. Below are some package ideas as well.  The cap is a magnet with a fun saying that can be hung on the fridge after the product is consumed.

Random Thought of the Day

You know how you wake up and have to pee really, really bad?  I've concluded that thats God's way of saying,
Get the F*^# out of bed!
Its great way to get a running start on the day...

Well hello there, world!

Wow.  My very first blog.  Exciting stuff.  Well I suppose I'll start off by telling you a bit about myself.  Thats me up there ^^^^^  :o)
I am a hard worker.  I often try to take on more than should be humanly possible, but somehow manage to finish everything on my to-do list at some point or another.  I don't get enough sleep, and am often most productive at night.  I like to think that thats when the rest of the world is asleep and all the ideas are floating out there for the taking.  Night time is just a good time to get stuff done, and still have fun.  There is just something rewarding about knowing that nearly everyone else is asleep and I'm being productive, getting a step ahead.  The nighttime can cause craziness sometimes.  And thats where the fun comes in.  Hence the name of my blog: Sunlight Nights.
I like art.  Actually, I love art.  Art and design and photography.  I love being creative.  I love the accomplished feeling of a successful project, and the impact I can make on others through art.  The whole process of design astonishes me: brainstorming, ideating, planning, sketching, computing, critiquing, producing, and enjoying the final product.  Its very rewarding.  It makes me crazy but keeps me sane.  That is the definition of love, isn't it?
I have a great appreciation for unaltered nature.  I've discovered this through photography.  When outdoors taking photographs, I often search for a frame of the world that shows the least human impact on nature.  But I also find beauty in the contrast of the two.  I admire the little things, like a flowered weed growing from a building's crumbling wall.  I'd like to think that nature will take back what is hers in the end; that all of mankind's destructive ways will someday be erased.