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]