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Sunday, December 6, 2009


Color, Drawing and Form Update

This week in class we put together our calendar. My month was January and color scheme was monochromatic. I wanted to show A delineation with different chroma's of a blue. Since January is a winter month I thought it would be appropriate to show a color that seemed to remind us of the cold season. By showing the gradation of the blue it shows what monochromatic is. By displaying the different chroma's, I also wanted to show how that effect can give the illusion of space and a light source. To me this is a fundamental building block to color and how it can be applied even when just using one hue.

Final Statement- Taxonomy

Taxonomy of the sea was composed from many different marks that were made for my haiku. Out of all the projects this one I collected all the learned skills and applied them.
"Perfect craft is essential, if it is not perfect it is not worth doing." Terri Nemer
Out of all the projects I suffered most with craft. My craft improved in this project but still needs to be worked on. For example with this project I learned how important craft was with my images. It was once suggested that an employer will not want to pay a designer for something that is not perfect, or that does not have perfect craft, and I agree with this
statement. Once I scanned them in with a higher resolution, my marks were easier to work with. It was easier for them to work with in photoshop as well.

I wanted the front cover to help give a peek into what the viewer will see. By showing the waves and the text in the lower part of the composition it gives the illusion of the sea as well.

Sea Creatures

The ocean is filled with different animals, plants, and groups. Sea creatures are put into harmonious groups that humans are attracted to. The Denotation is the creatures as themselves. The Connotation is the symbolic or metaphor that they represent in the oceans society. These creatures hold our attention because of there parallel similar characteristics to our society. They form different marks of physical appearance as well as a deeper meaning to the ocean. In the end, these creatures form a harmonious nature that humans can only understand from above water.

This is my introduction to my book. I wanted to give my reasons why I choose Sea Creatures. I think that this theme has great Denotations and Connotations. I also wanted my introduction to help the viewer to be able to read th
e book. This part of the project was very important. As designer's it is our job to help navigate and communicate clearly. For example making one the typeface of Denotation in regular and Connotation in italic. This helps the reader to be able to tell the difference between the two. To also carry on the same layout of the text through the whole book helps the viewer concentrate on the text as well as the images.

One of the main requirements for project one was to take a word and communicate it through dot compositions. In this project, it was even tested further. To really interpret the Denotation and Connotation it was important for me to be able to communicate both clearly. In the dot composition this was something that I had the most troub
le with. By taking one word and communicating a deeper meaning through an image is a difficult task, however once it is a success it is rewarding. One of my main objectives is for the viewer to make the connection between the Denotation, Connotation and the mark/ image. Through the Dot Project, I learned how important it was for the viewer not to be confused by the composition and typography.

Sea Weed Nutrition
Since many sea creatures use this resource as nutrition I thought that it would be appropriate. I wanted this pair to be the first because I felt that it wa
s the most versatile to all of the other pairings. The idea was to show the organic flow of the Sea Weed. I think that this composition is successful because it gives off great contrast between negative and position space. However, the more I look at the composition as a whole I think that it is believable but more Sea Weed should be added. An idea that I have is to look back through my marks and see if something can reference a sea bottom. The figures seem to be grounded but nothing is grounding them, this might confuse the viewer. Even to play with scale more, perhaps making some grouping of the sea weed plants.

Clams Sacred
These small creatures create something that humans hold as sacred values. The A-Symetry between the empty clams on the left helps to imply the greatness of the big right side that holds a pearl. In this composition the implication is to think of something precious that only one in however many can make. By using contrast between both sides and scale this composition is successful in its connotation.

Sea Horse and Maternal.
One interesting facts of Sea Horses is that the male sea horses carry the babies. With that fact I wanted to make this pair for Maternal. With this composition I wanted to concentrate on the proximity of the the two marks. For them to be interacting in space is what helps to communicate the Connotation. Even the left page gives off the sense of distance as the right gives the illusion of closeness. However, this pair is lacking more information. If there was baby sea horses, it would help the Connotation of what maternal really means. By using scale with the baby Sea Horses, and placing them in the composition, this pairing will be more believable.

Shark, Strong.
The shark is usually the feared creature of the sea. In this pairing I referred back to project two with juxtaposition. As I tried to apply to all of the pairings, it was especially important in this pairing. The texture of the impact of the right page helps to bring out the left part of the shark. By moving past two separate pages, I started to look into two page spreads. Looking at both as a whole composition only makes the impact of the shark stronger.

Fish and School
The fish work in a team together to travel. I thought that this was a good idea to show. The connotation of school of fish the viewer will be able to understand as well as relate to. The proximity and scale between the right page and left page divides the two sections. Even though they are not only divided by visual they are also divided by the seam of the page. By using the seam of the pages to divide the two groups of fish only further feeds to the deeper meaning of moving together in a team.

Eel Mysterious
Using the mark to guide the viewers eye across the page is useful in this composition. The Eel is a creature that people are uncertain about, as well as sneaky. I wanted the illusion of the Eel moving across the page seamlessly. I also wanted the eyes to seem if they are glowing and lurking. The marks smooth texture is also implied for the mysterious quality. However, I would like some suggestions to further improve this pair. I believe that the image is believable but should be pushed further into the connotation.

Dolphin Friendship
People tend to use Dolphin's as metaphor for friendship. In this composition they appear to be joining as one group. When I think of friendship, a group is something that I think of. However, I wanted this composition to seem to be different than school. They are jumping together and across the page, once again using juxtaposition. I wanted the viewer to look close into the marks as hands as well. The slightly mimic hands being pressed together. This helps to bring out another aspect of the dot compositions, how to imply feelings or emotions into these marks.

Jellyfish Mindless
Born without a brain, the Jellyfish floats around mindless. I wanted to refer to an ink blot, the idea of not thinking. This is one of my favorite ideas, however I do not believe it is executed that well yet. The idea that I have is to have the Jellyfish floating around with no purpose. It seems that this composition does not have enough use of scale yet. I think making more of the Jellyfish and making them difference sizes I will be able to give the illusion of depth into space, as well as floating around mindlessly.

Waves Harmony
To end the book I wanted to pull all of the compositions together. Waves can act like a calming effect to people. Below the calming waves are all these different groups that these creatures can fall under. This helps to conclude the book because it is where the creatures live. The pairing that I conducted was to imply this flawed group into something that interacts in a balanced way.

I decided to make an accordion booklet so the viewer is able to stretch the spreads out and see all the groups together.

Final Statement For animation


There were many principles that I learned from project 1&2 that are parallel to project 3. We started off picking out a three line Japanese haiku.

When first reading my haiku I wanted to focus on the Whippoorwill (which is a Japanese bird). However, the more I read the haiku and started to make the analogy shapes about the haiku my personal connotation of the bird was the symbol of someone or something being lonely all together. This was important for me to really understand my haiku, have my own personal interpretation of it, because eventually that is what I will want the viewer to see.This is something that I had learned in project one, and something that then I did not execute very well. It doesn’t matter if it is a line, shape, word, or piece of text, it is crucial as a designer to be able to execute that “denotation” well, so the viewer is able to understand. Another aspect that I took from project one was the importance of variety. In the first project we started with mind maps, and to be honest mine was not expanded. It seemed like in the most creative step of the project, I did not experiment into different approaches. In project 3 I did not want to make the same mistake. By the end of the class I no longer looked at the “ minimal requirements” for the next class but the “maximum possibilities”. For example turning my animation into black with white shapes and texts instead of the reverse.

When I thought of this it was suggested that I take that idea and show both ways of executing it. Going further into the process of my haiku we experimented with marks that would make the analog shape. This is a aspect that project 2 came back into mind, experimenting with media, and letting the “tool” be the focus. So much of what I do sometimes I think would be easier to just take it into Illustrator/ Photoshop and manipulate it. While making the image a vector is an important step into craft, sometimes the designer looses some of the more interesting qualities or possibilities in that image. In project 2 we made line studies and let the projector, scanner, and photocopier make a new line study. As a designer I hope to carry the building up of hand skills and not wanting always to depend on the computer. Who knows, in the future it might be my assignment to create something without the computer, and using these tools and tricks is important. In project 3 it was important to let the tool whether it maybe a whistle, feather, or string to do most of the work. By letting this happen the out come was usually better texture, shape, or contrast in the image, which probably could have not been made on the computer.

In the final animation I learned many new skills too. A storyline, after looking at my animation it seemed that having a narrative made the whole project in itself stronger. I think going further into the up coming semester’s this is something that I take into consideration. In my personal belief people are able to respond better to any type of artwork when a narrative is given.

Untitled from Janna Johnsrud on Vimeo.

The song I choose was "Old Piano" by Frou Frou

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Artists role in society class

For my art history class our mid term assignment was to write about how we want to contribute to society. We were working in teams so I got the idea to make a blog about our group. My teacher absolutely loved the idea and I told him about how it is an easy way to communicate with my teachers. I wanted to share what my response was, and the additional comments by the other members' of my group. I thought it connected into what I have learned in all three of my design classes this semester.Of course by the time I am a senior and completing my thesis, my answer will probably have changed, so I hope you enjoy this little something extra.

Many people ask me what exactly Graphic Design is, or what I will be doing with the degree after I am done with school. I usually respond with designing logos, websites, signs, etc. One of the most interesting aspects of Graphic Design is that it has its way of making itself into any area. I believe that Graphic Designer's have a big role in society. They are able to make environmental signs, or anatomy books for doctors. I want my role in society to help people and educate them. It is extremely important to me to reach out to other people and help them. My role in society is to help give guidance in little aspects of society, and to entertain. I would like to be a environmental graphic designer, making billboards and signs to help direct people. I would also find it interesting to be involved with motion graphics. Depending on what companies I will be working with, I want to help give notice to important activities going on in the Kansas City area. I believe all Graphic Designer’s have a certain role in society. I do not believe what I will be doing is high/ fine art like I have learned in my Art History classes. I do think they have a modern way of becoming the new fine art. Making signs, logos, layouts all are things that we as a society read. One of the things that I plan to do with my work is help people communicate with each other. I think despite what exact graphic’s I want to focus on; this will be my main objective in my career. One of the problems with society is the amount of information that is tossed around. As a designer my objective will be to simplify the functional art forms. This can be delivered in many ways; I’ve seen some designer’s make basic educational programs for elementary kids. Some designer’s make sites combining different culture groups to interact with each other. In the end I wish for people to find themselves interacting with other people in a less complex way. I believe as a artist and a designer this makes the perfect blend to help society.

Interviewed by SS:
You said that your role in society is a desire to help people and educate them. What type of approach do you think you are going to take in order to achieve that? 
I think it is wonderful that you want to be an environmental graphic designer that makes billboards and signs. Could you explain more about what type of work you do as an environmental designer. Is it the content...perhaps the information that is environmental and/or the process of the work and materials used?
I think that work like yours also could be considered collaborative work, besides social and educational.
What types of groups or organizations are you considering for future work and why? have you considered working for yourself and starting your own local design group?

Me: The truth is I know I want to contribute to society by educating them. I would love to do this through motion graphics, but the specific area of what exactly my project will be I am still unsure about. Of course I get ideas at 2 am, but usually forget them by the next day, haha. What I would really like to do once out of school is join community groups that they will direct my skills in however it can be useful for the organization. I have been thinking about what specific projects I would like to work on, and I would like to possibly help elderly people. A few years ago, I volunteered at a nursing home and practiced a little bit of art therapy with them., and really discovered a sensitive side to myself. I would like to take that passion and some how geared it towards helping them. If I could make a wish, it would be to make a specialized program that elderly people could relate with. However, i just might be stepping into boundaries that is not in the graphic design field. Although, I am unsure on exactly what specific projects I will be doing, I know that I want to contribute to the communication of people through graphic design.

SS: Sounds like we have such similar interest! Perhaps we could work together on a project.
I love that you want to expand out more than just a labeled field you chose for a degree. That is the creative person that you are seeking heeling through art to share with others. I know i great place to start if you don't mind a suggestion is Homecare. I worked for them in the past, and you can work with all ages. I think i have even seen a poster in the library about it. It could be something to consider.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Oh helvetica

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Web Layouts Revised

After we posted our web updates on Monday. I got some criticism back from my peers and most of them did not like my new web layouts. So I tried to look at other peoples post, and informational websites for examples to see how they arrange their layouts. I looked closely into where logo's go,successful positive and negative space, and how the eye moves up and down. I hope that these new revision are in the right path and getting away from the awkward spaces.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Final Layout

Here are my shapes paired up with text. The animation will stop in the middle of moving so the new line of the haiku appears. I wanted my animation to be black on white, because of the symbolic meaning of twilight. However, now looking at them in white on the black background I am having second thoughts. Although they are still readable, I think the shapes texture is lost. So to put in white on black or not? Also I have picked a song to go along with my animation. Inu(howling) by Anathallo. I think it has the perfect rhythm to go along with my haiku

Web Layouts

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vis. Com Update

These are my final haiku symbols. The first symbol deals with twilight hours, and a bird. The texture in the wings gives a sense of also stars you would see in a a night sky. The second symbol represents whistling. This shape also gives a sense of rhythm and movement. It will be important to think what tone I should set for the final animation. Like how fast they move, what song would be appropriate for the final result. The third symbol represents being alone. This shape is important with the head drooping because I want the head to play the position of a moon in the final artifact. Overall I think these symbols give a great feeling of the haiku. I personally interpreted the haiku as the bird representing loneliness to people as well. I want the feeling of the poem to have the tone of a bittersweet of being alone, that is has a quaint feeling ,almost a comfort feeling.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Color and Toys

This week in color and drawing, we continued on Munsell's color theory. Only we put his color theories against different situations/ themes. This process was very exciting to put together the colors. We also continued on with our color books, I have decided to make my theme based on toys. Since toys have many artificial color's and have interesting color combinations.

Developing the ideas for my animation, I know what the examples of transitions are, but I wanted to look at the examples in actual motion. I thought I would share this video. The different transitions used are pan and one small zoom.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vector vs Bitmap

Reading the article vector vs bitmap it discusses how they are both images but are shown in different ways. Bitmap's are more for photography based, when we say 300 dpi, or high resolution, we are usually referring to the pixels on the display. If you have a high resolution photograph, it means their is many details that must be included. So it is not a good idea to stretch or compress the photograph because the changes of loosing that clear image quality is very high, and therefore makes it uncomfortable to look at. So in the end a bitmap is good for high quality images, and its downfall is not to resize the image. Compared to the vector which can be resized. A Vectored image uses a mathematical approach instead of pixels, making it easy to stretch or compress without making the image look distorted. The downfall to using the vector images is not being able to use images or icons with a lot of detail. These are important questions as a designer to ask themselves when making any type of design. it is important to consider what types of images they should use. For example, using many high quality photographs for a website might not be the best idea, instead using smaller icon vectored shapes might be better, for people to upload, making the website more functional. However, making a layout design where the designer can use many high quality pixel photographs could be a good idea, with just having one or two vectored shapes. These are important decisions for a designer to make because have to choose between vector and bitmap all the time, and to be able to understand the difference and where to use them appropriately will make us better designers.


For my taxonomy I would like to another accordion 7x7' booklet. In this book I would collect my best marks and display them in a organized manor. I would first start with my denotative marks that I would usually use for the more lighter marks, as with my feathers, and twigs. I would want to start my book out with letting the viewer get used to the marks and base the beginning of the book on just visually looking at them. For the second half of my book I would like to make based on connotative. In these marks they will be more visually dense, but less abstracted than the denotative ones. I want this portion of the booklet to be involved in what the marks say to the viewer, I want a crisp understanding that these shapes are taking on deeper meanings such as loneliness, agony, and rhythm. I want the whole book to flow together in a harmonious way. It is important to me for the viewer to be able to understand the value of analog shapes and how they can hold importance to the visual world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This week we discussed Munssel's color theory, and it was a lot harder than I imagined. Color is much more complex than I thought. I think one of the main reasons why is because it is truly a mind puzzle that for me is hard to organize. It seems like when I was putting my color aid together I would have all my colors picked out but one, then I would find one that would work and end up changing the rest. However to end a frustrated week with the color aid was the Warhol show. Going to this show he had plenty of color studies to go around. It really came to me then, why color studies can be so picky, because the end result is fascinating. My favorite of all his pieces was his "grapes". I liked these color studies based on true chroma of purples, blues, and greens. The way that the colors mixed together in a way that was easy for the eye to understand (not plain, or too saturated) made the prints successful, and a little because it was glittery.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Color and Drawing Update

This past week we looked closely into Johannes Itten's color theory. He believed in varies types of saturation. This was important because it makes the viewer decide which color pairings look better with other hues, chromo, and value. We also used the color aid to make a perfect color wheel using the 5 top colors (red, yellow,green, blue, violet) between each color we put three colors in between. This step was a little more difficult to figure out the equal amount of hue change between each color.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

find and share

I've always really liked this documentary about Marc Jacobs. Since we have been entering color I thought I would share my favorite part, because I believe it deal with different hues, and values of those hues. Its a small part around 5:20 discussing the dots and the way they best made sense compositionally. However, I do suggest watching the whole documentary for inspiration, his thought process and ways of executing ideas is quite fascinating, even though it deals with non- graphic design

Krrrrrrpyton- Update

This week in typography we made more iterations of the element logo. The most popular ones was the kr with the r growing out of the arm of the "K". I wanted to try different type faces for the k and the r as well. I wish I could get more contrast between the K and R so the viewer is able to make the connection right away. We also have started into leading, word spacing and alignment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Twilight whippoor will
whistle on sweet deepener
of dark loneliness
1.) black, stars, stormy, bird, flying, nocturnal, night, sky, universe, wide,
2.) rhythm, moving, continuing, simple, sugar, long, path, song, beat, simple,bliss
3.) black, soundless, alone, single, isolated, agony, obscure, solitary, awareness, seclusion, dim, dusky

3 visual words
1.) stars, birds, stormy
2.) rhythm, bliss, continuing
3.) isolate, dim,

Color and Drawing Update

The past week we have covered a lot in color and drawing. We finalized and made our books from our 12 in letters. We also started into color. Putting all of the colors together for the color wheel made me wonder what my color book should be about. I am still brain storming on some ideas for the color booklet, but I still would like to photograph food.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Final Statement

This is my juxtaposition book. We started with simple line drawings in illustrator and turned them into connections around a certain environment. I decided to take my photographs down town Kansas City. I believed Kansas City to have many different urban sites. It was important to show the diversity that happens in the down town area, the big brick buildings, modern sculpture, signs and more. While composing the photographs it was important to be thinking about the lines study we have made previous. The goal was to make connections between the line studies and the urban environment. After a couple different shoots, I began to see exactly what those connections were. For me, it was important to go out during sunset, because I would receive more dramatic shadows for my diagonals, or curved line studies. Once the photographs were taken it was time for the revising. Every photo littlest detail needed to be an element in the line study. Making those comparison's helped my eyes to adjust to really looking at things both as a whole and in small detailed pieces. Being able to vector it was helpful to make the lines match up, because of revising. (but that process is in another blog) By the end of revising, cropping, vectoring I had 12 pairings, with also variations between a couple of them. Another important tool I learned through this book was the value of variations. Not just taking the first composition that comes to mind. When looking at some of the elements of the line studies and the key points in the photos, if it was a good match most likely it could be a juxtaposition in more than one way. Once all was finalized it was time to narrow down. I then looked at the book as a whole, not the individual compositions. I wanted the pages to be linked together, almost like a harmonious path. Walking through the down town area there is diversity in the environment but it does flow, the architecture, signs, molding on buildings seem to fit together and I wanted to carry that into my book. I wanted the pages to seem like they are linked together but one composition moving into the next, while keeping an even balance in the compositions. For example I tried to put pairings of right page photo left page line studies at different points. To have the pages seem like the viewer isn't confused by why the page and pairings are in that order. Through the whole process I think I gained more organized thoughts through this project.