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Thread: SO YOU THINK YOU"RE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER...

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  1. #1
    I was raised an artist...
    So my aesthetics are better than the average bear. You have something to share? Well I do...
    I want the opinion's of those who feel they firmly represent the GRAPHIC DESIGN community with... original work... creative work... and have the experience to back it up. I would like a CRITIQUE of my first website ever(www.geocities.com/poopie_c) so that I might mold it AND myself into my potential. This site is a work in progress, soon to be moved to a REAL URL... rather than a free server. It will soon contain images of my sculptures, paintings, and drawings, however at this time it does not. Should you have any inspiring works that you believe others might be find inspirational... such as myself please post them here to create a thread of our EXQUISITE work. Inspiring all of us to push ourselves to the limit.

    again check out http://www.geocities.com/poopie_c

    ~~<~Winning favor burdens a man with the fear of losing it. When he no longer thinks of the personal body as self neither failure nor success can hail him~>~~

  2. #2
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    Fragile,

    it's about 2am, and I can't sleep so here I am.

    First, on the site: it seems kind of slow, takes a while for anything to happen, like the circle that turns into a square. (I'm on a cable modem, so it's not that)

    The star thing: it's kind of a cool navigation. In a way though, it seems there is too much interference with all the squares and rectangles changing shape with the words that come up. It sort of makes it hard to read.

    Is the circle turning into the square an intro of some kind? It's kind of choppy it seems.

    The other thing I notice is the set of squares in the top right area of the page. I don't know if you intended for it to be that way or not, but the top few match up in size, and the bottom ones don't.

    Your greyscale artwork is pretty nice, although I don't really like circles that much. the more triangular shapes look pretty cool. Introduce a few different colors to this, nothing too drastic, and it might have a really good change to it. It looks great now, but something other than greyscale would look nice.

    With the different sections that come up: I don't really like sites that hide or remove the navigation, I think it should be available 100% of the time.
    The "about us" window: why does it appear in a place different than the other windows and also bigger than the other windows?
    They are all related, and I thought they would all appear in the same place and be the same size. That creates a coherance and unity to the whole thing.

    I'm also counting 5 different fonts. How many fonts you choose to use is up to you. The majority of opinions by designers tends to be to only use 2-3. I do my best to only ever use 2 at the most. (Sans-serif font for titles and serif for copy) If a font is used as a logo and is not often repeated, I think that is OK.

    Well, hope that helps you out. I don't know how I have such a way of noticing those things after I've already gone to sleep. I guess it's becuase I live and breathe this stuff.

    Good Luck,
    mg33

  3. #3
    Former Employee of Satan Napalm's Avatar
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    I really like the grayscale you've used. If you are going to use grayscale though don't use that light baby blue.

    There are too many fonts. The way the information is presented doesn't really work for me. The shape of the draggable box is just wrong for me - it doesn't fit in with the overall site.

    A nice site however, with a little tweeking it can become a really good site.

  4. #4

    Rock on ...

    Ya know... these are some really good, constructive comments. How long have either yoo, mg33 or Napalm, been doing graphic design and art? I will most certainly have to see more of yoor work, be it that the greatest form of inspiration comes from our peers and our interactions with our peers. (oops look I'm gettin preachy... heehee... that's just my opinion) I'll have to keep yoo all informed when I make changes to my site... post yoor work up so we can all check it out. Thanks ma bruthaz
    peace
    fragile

  5. #5
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    Fragile, glad you appreciate the info.

    I've been doing art for around 8 years, I was in art in high school. I started college in the fall of 1996 as an Architecture major, which is not all computers and AutoCad as people may think it is these days. The basis of how I approach graphic design probably started in Architecture school. I've always been fascinated by architecture and the built world. In the first year we did tons of drawing, learning to draw 1,2 and 3 point perspective drawins, plan, elevation and section drawings. It was a bit more artistic then in that year. I was not too busy with school then, and managed to do quite a bit of art outside of school. Pastels, oil pastels, and PrismaColor and graphite are the mediums I like the best. I did nothing with computer art then.
    Then in my sophomore year, I had my first design studio, which involved working from a program (an explenation of the project) and developing more technical drawings as well as actual design of spaces and exteriors. Emphasis was also on facade (outer appearance of a building) design and specific elements. The fantastic part was building models: I'm talking spending hours and hours turning multiple drawings into a model of a building.
    In the next studio I had I took the hardest professor I could, becuase if you did well in his studio you kind of got a good reputation around there. The technicalites of the drawings got even greater. We had our own studio area in the building, and it's open 24 hours a day, we had keys to our room, and practically we lived there: refrigerator, coffe pot, stereos, tv's, all to ease our minds. There's many times I spent around 20 hours straight with no sleep in that building working on the same thing. Many of the drawings we did of existing buildings took 6-8 hours to complete-and they were all finished in ink using a set of pens called Rapidograph that come 6 in a set and cost around $80. All different tip widths, and you have to draw with them perfectly vertical to the paper. Just nuts.
    We designed much more on our own in that studio, the model for my final project was 3 feet long. There's a set of stairs on that model that are barely 3 inches tall that I spent around 12 hours building!

    I decided not to take a studio the next semester (it's easy to get burned out) and the following semester (spring 99) I changed majors to Advertising. I had not even considered web design then, and I had only gotten my first computer for christmas of 98.
    Among the courses I have taken in Advertising: Media Writing, Advertising Creative Strategy, Advertising Copywriting, Communication Graphics, Media Planning, and now I am in my last Ad. course which is Advertising Campaigns.
    The web courses I have had are Internet Communication (Fall 99) and an HTML class in spring 2000.

    I guess I've taught myself much of what I know, I stay very well read on current technologies and graphic design as well as anything that has to do with the Internet. It's become my passion, and as such I really enjoy sharing helpful information with people and suggesting ideas based on what I've learned in school.
    I find more and more every day how much of an impact the Architecture experience has on my approach to graphic design. All the little things I learned are paying off. Architecture taught me about object placement, alignments, proportion, all the things that make up a design's layout.
    Elements of architecture are a big influence to me as well, things such as surface treatment, alignment of shapes, attention to detail, perspectives, etc.

    Well, that's it in a nutshell. I've got quite a bit of artwork both computer and non-computer. I'm slowly getting it all arranged to put on my site, as well as scan in tons of print stuff. I'm a very busy person, and it gets hard to make time for everything. Here's what I am involved with these days:
    School
    Work 4-5 hours a day
    Working on Indipendant Study project using Flash with a professor at school (work on stuff in my own time and get graded for it, however, I had to create a plan for the semester and projects I will be doing)
    Drawing for a Conceptual Drawing Architecture course
    Campaigns class-involves creating full advertising and marketing campaigns-it's the final class of the major.
    Other things:
    Member in AD3, our student advertising organization. Will be creating a new website for the organization as well as developing ways of creating interest in students new to the program.
    Co-founder of Texas-Flashers, an organization we are starting in our state to bring flash users and designers together both to find employment and share ideas about Flash.
    Working on my own site, which goes along with the school project.
    Working towards putting together a CD based portfolio for submission to grad schools dealing with Interactive Multimedia.
    Creating graphics and business material for a friend who is starting a digital video production company.
    Possibly creating logos and a website for another friend who is hoping to start a clothing company.

    And..somehow find time to play guitar for an hour everday (been playing for 9 years), get some decent sleep, read some good books, see my family and not go nuts.
    A lot on the plate, huh?

    I look forward to getting my work together on-line for you to view.

    Take Care,

    mg33

  6. #6

    Most Impressive

    I had no idea what-so-ever that yoo had such an extensive background in architecture. It's interesting to listen to yoo attempt to fully educate me on it, even more interesting because my interest in design stemmed from architecture as well. I took a few courses at Catholic University here in DC, which enabled me to get a good idea of what a possible education and career would be like in architecture. It's been soooo long though, and to hear yoo talk about radiographs and the like, man, it brings back memories of some really good times. I myself remember my first project in which we were supposed to take a volume and intersect it with a plan and then portray the relationship. My concept was to intersect the volume at an angle and then TWIST the volume around the plane. Let me tell yoo... I don't think I have ever fought as much with a material before. Manipulating balsa wood... sucks. It just sucks. My final creation wasn't anywhere nearly as big as three feet... in fact I think it was more like 18", I have it at my parents house still, so I can't quite remember it's exact proportions. I then portrayed the negative space of the volume by creating a VERY delicate grid... which over time has fallen apart. Haha My craftsmanship really wasn't up to par and for the most part my project was done entirely without any involvement with autocad... be it that it required me to spend A LOT more time in the computer lab than I could afford, and in the end I think caused the presentation to be lacking. My reason for stating so was because another cat in my class... that happened to STEAL the proverbial show, did his entire presentation thru autocad and it was spectacular. Man I haven't thought about those days in a long time... yoo just brought up some really good memories. Might I add... yoo are 1 busy mofo! Haha I can't believe yoo find time to do all of that?! I hope that as soon as I get a scanner I'll be able to send yoo examples of my paintings(which are by far where my strong point lies "bigfanofOILpaintingmyself") I've painted this 6.5' x 4' painting entitled... Eve, Adam, and the Serpent. It's three seperate panels. Eve all the way on the left is 2'X4', Adam in the center @ 2.4'x4' and the serpent on the far left with the same proportions as Eve. The painting is in all grey... (haha I bet yoo're saying oh god not again) but believe me... it does what I want it to do... My style is similar to that of Synthetic Cubism... in which I falsify and destort portions of the body... and establish false highlights in my subjects features. It makes for a lovely texture, smooth and sinewous. There is however one piece of color out of the ENTIRE painting... the apple in Adams open hand(which is where the viewers eye is drawn). It is a brilliant Alizarin Crimson, painted with the same texture as the rest of the paintings. This work is one of my favorites and I need to get it up on line so I can show people what I'm talking about. Man... but i must say if yoo're producing it... I'm about seein it. The hard work and love that yoo put into... (I'm gonna close it out now by saying) I can't wait to see yoor stuff. Well... hope yoo have a chillin weekend.
    Peace

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by fragile
    I was raised an artist...
    you were huh hunny bear? So has every goddamned person who has ever thought to stick their nose in a flower... I'm not even going to look at your work because I'm already biased. why don't you get off of yourself mr. fancy pants artiste/designer?

  8. #8

    :)

    Originally posted by treerunner
    Originally posted by fragile
    I was raised an artist...
    you were huh hunny bear? So has every goddamned person who has ever thought to stick their nose in a flower... I'm not even going to look at your work because I'm already biased. why don't you get off of yourself mr. fancy pants artiste/designer?
    Ya know... this is why computers an' our generation don't mix at all. I apologize if I came across all holier-than-thou... that wasn't my intent. I was trying to give a bit of my background when i added all of that superflous information about myself. i posted this site in the site check forum as well and it raised quite a few similar responses leading me to explain that I made the post @ 2am on a work night and unfortunately didn't quite read what I had written, and how it could possibly be perceived as arrogant or insulting to my fellow members on flashkit. Heehee I guess we all make mistakes... here's the post I put up there "explaining" myself...

    This is in respect to my other post... so if yoo were apart of my last post please hear me out.
    Firstly my friends... I don't profess to be the best in a
    field which changes like the wind. NO ONE can EVER be the best... by definition. Art is based around perception, which varies from one person to the next. Heehee at no point would I be ridiculous enough to say that I am the best... at ANYTHING. Self-acceptance and the inner drive to improve ourselves is what will dictate our own successes and failures. I apologize if I came across as... I AM PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWER...(itty-bitty living space) Man I simply wanted to get the opinion of talented artists and designers like yoorself. Those of us out here who take pride and care in what we do. I know my site ain't da shiznit, but I dig on it, but more importantly I wanted other people to just take pleasure out of seeing something new and different. I had hoped that the responses to this page would have been inspiration for all of so that we could gain insight and creative juices from all of us around each other. Thus we would create a commune for all of us who truly luv what we do. I luv Tha Evil Mika-El... haha ma brutha unfortunately yoo took the wrong messages out of this post and my site. Yoo began to poke fun at me for my lack of geometrical knowledge, heehee... um... the site clearly says select one of the blue squares to change the music... and the blue SQUARES are still at the top of the screen permitting yoo to select one of four drum&bass tracks or one of four house tracks. So check out the sound samples and tell me what yoo think of the Usual Suspects, Jon B, Dimitri from Paris, and Kerri Chandler. I guess I gave yoo the idea as well that I thought I was tha Gran Puba... and yoo went looking for a flaw. Ya'll I do not think I'm tha Big ****... I'm just a little poop floatin in the bowl. HAHA But look... I want to improve my site... and I greatly appreciate the comments from all of yoo firmly established artists. But, puhleeze... can we turn this into a showcase for all our works? Cuz if we don't I'm afraid I might develope a stutter... puhpuhpuhpuhpuhpuhlllllleeeeeze
    Hahaha... if anything if yoo guys wouldn't mind visiting my awful site again and give me some insight into my intro movie and my desing elements. OH and don't forget about my friend Fish's ridiculously cynical stories(they're really funny if yoo like that kinda humor) Alright e'erybody...
    Peace
    Fragile
    ... sorry if I came across like a fool. I hope I didn't anger yoo too much. It's kinda hard to express tone through typing and unfortunately cuz I ain't da hippiest of cats at the coolest of times... I tend to not remember that people don't know me and aren't actually PICTURING me saying it.

  9. #9
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    fragile:

    I came off a little ruff there too. I didn't really have a great day and took it out on your thread. I only wish you the best in what you do!

    Keep it real bro!
    Have a great weekend!

  10. #10

    damn that sux

    Originally posted by treerunner
    fragile:

    I came off a little ruff there too. I didn't really have a great day and took it out on your thread. I only wish you the best in what you do!

    Keep it real bro!
    Have a great weekend!
    yoo alright? I hate days like that... actually today was kinda like that... I had so much work I had to take some home and complete it by tomorrow. Damn tha man. Anyways no harm done...

  11. #11
    The Phattest Bwoy at Flashkit
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    well fragile your sit looks hype but there are some minor suggestions:
    1. like everyone said too many fonts
    2. Animations are choppy
    3. I see the look your trying to get but i think the big circles with the gradients is stopping it. and also try to makke the font size small--it will fit in more. Overall take ou the gradients and overlapp the shapes and make the shapes alpha less than 100 so you can see through the shapes. I think that would make it look better.

  12. #12
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    Impressive

    For your first Flash site this is really impressive. I especially like the star nativgation and the use of greyscale. The preloader with the spinning ball is really cool as well, although in the physics of this universe the shadow of the ball on the crystals would be the reverse of what you have now. In other words, as the ball gets closer, the shadow would grow larger and climb up the crystals instead of growing smaller and sliding down.

    I also find your use of the space motif twisted to include the organic shapes very interesting. I have a basic idea for a site up at http://www.absolutezero.org . It's really just a work in progress an not very impressive compared to your own site. Perhaps you could give me some ideas of how to finish it off.

    Regards,
    Greybro

    ps

    If you're interested in hosting on something other than a free site like geocities, I may be able to hook you up. I host several clients and have lots of space to spare. I am actually hoping to launch a flash 5 fansite and have already got a killer domain purchased for the purpose.

  13. #13

    thanks a lot ma brutha!

    Dankaschene!
    Much appreciated on the input. I've gonna a lot of good criticism on my site and I think I'm looking to do a major overhaul! I've got the whole weekend to work on it so I think on monday I'm gonna put up another post and ask for your opinion. Hey, by the way, how's yoor site going? Last time I checked it out it was lookin' real fresh... cept ya didn't have much content! Heehee that's where I'm at... I'm trying to get my portfolio and my friends work up on line. Talk to ya later... and thanks for the advice!

  14. #14

    Hey thanks a lot My GREY BRUTHA!!! :)

    Originally posted by Greybro
    The preloader with the spinning ball is really cool as well, although in the physics of this universe the shadow of the ball on the crystals would be the reverse of what you have now. In other words, as the ball gets closer, the shadow would grow larger and climb up the crystals instead of growing smaller and sliding down.
    HAHA Yoo are sooo right! Man I was lunchin on that cuz I was rushing to put the site up because I needed some unbiased opinions before I took it to the next level. I plan on tweekin it quite a bit. Ahhhhhhh shnap! Got the hooks up on a server eh? Much appreciated but one of my good friend has an AMAZING server which hosts some of my other friends sites... the host is at flavorj.com and his unix and security programming are crucial. He's going to be hosting this site, but I do have some other works in progress perhaps we can collaborate on another one? I'm always open to ideas. I checked out absolute zero and I like the navigation... perhaps yoo might be able to give me some advice on more user friendly interfaces. Quite a few people didn't like what I was doing with the navigation because it was hard to find your way around. Lots of revisions to come though. Hey... yoo want some input? Ok... I like the designs, but from my standpoint the composition would benefit from some work. More contrast would enable you to direct your viewers eye through out your page, placing more emphasis on your content... which is what's MOST important out of your site. If you wanted I love playin with flash... check out my intro... tell me what ya think? Maybe I could make a intro for your site? Just a thought... It is your site an I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Only good karma ya know? Best of luck and look to hear back from ya...

  15. #15
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    Re: Hey thanks a lot My GREY BRUTHA!!! :)

    Originally posted by fragile
    Originally posted by Greybro
    The preloader with the spinning ball is really cool as well, although in the physics of this universe the shadow of the ball on the crystals would be the reverse of what you have now. In other words, as the ball gets closer, the shadow would grow larger and climb up the crystals instead of growing smaller and sliding down.
    HAHA Yoo are sooo right! Man I was lunchin on that cuz I was rushing to put the site up because I needed some unbiased opinions before I took it to the next level. I plan on tweekin it quite a bit. Ahhhhhhh shnap! Got the hooks up on a server eh? Much appreciated but one of my good friend has an AMAZING server which hosts some of my other friends sites... the host is at flavorj.com and his unix and security programming are crucial. He's going to be hosting this site, but I do have some other works in progress perhaps we can collaborate on another one? I'm always open to ideas. I checked out absolute zero and I like the navigation... perhaps yoo might be able to give me some advice on more user friendly interfaces. Quite a few people didn't like what I was doing with the navigation because it was hard to find your way around. Lots of revisions to come though. Hey... yoo want some input? Ok... I like the designs, but from my standpoint the composition would benefit from some work. More contrast would enable you to direct your viewers eye through out your page, placing more emphasis on your content... which is what's MOST important out of your site. If you wanted I love playin with flash... check out my intro... tell me what ya think? Maybe I could make a intro for your site? Just a thought... It is your site an I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Only good karma ya know? Best of luck and look to hear back from ya...
    Hey, I would welcome your help on it. Yes, it's mine. I feel the same, that it realy needs an intro. Unfortunely, this is where my design skills really fall off the mark as I'm not anywhere near to being an illustrator. I'm the senior web designer at First Union National Bank, and unfortunely, while it's a cool ass job, it has drilled a conservative design approach into me. I am trying to develope the design side a bit more and break out of that mold. I'm currently working on the banks first flash initiative. I actually went into a recording studio and recorded a custom music track for it, bought 10 grand worth of stock photos for it. I'ts gonna be huge, at least I hope it is. It's practically done now and I'd love to get your thoughts on that. I'll try to get it up on my server and get you a link.

    Again, I welcome your input and co-laboration on AbsoluteZero.org

    Thanks,
    Greybro


  16. #16

    Re: Re: Hey thanks a lot My GREY BRUTHA!!! :)

    Groovy ma brutha... I'm about it
    I got yoor portfolio work. I liked the first sample a lot! It really spook to me and I must say that use of the squares rippling was AWESOMWE! Go head... Woo woo It's yoor birfday... get busy... on tha dance floor... HAHA Yeah man I'm about putting together an intro for ya... when I finish it... I'll email yoo the fla so yoo can edit all ya want. Alright ma brutha... I'm off this infernal machine! I've been on all morning and i need sum breakfast to absorb the alcohol in ma tummy! woo I'm hurt... PEACE

  17. #17
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    Re: Re: Re: Hey thanks a lot My GREY BRUTHA!!! :)

    Originally posted by fragile
    Groovy ma brutha... I'm about it
    I got yoor portfolio work. I liked the first sample a lot! It really spook to me and I must say that use of the squares rippling was AWESOMWE! Go head... Woo woo It's yoor birfday... get busy... on tha dance floor... HAHA Yeah man I'm about putting together an intro for ya... when I finish it... I'll email yoo the fla so yoo can edit all ya want. Alright ma brutha... I'm off this infernal machine! I've been on all morning and i need sum breakfast to absorb the alcohol in ma tummy! woo I'm hurt... PEACE
    Hey, thanks man. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

    Regards,
    Greybro

  18. #18
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    No critique, but if you want a difficult exercise for design -- throw out anything that is not absolutely necessary to your site/flash movie. I mean everything, like odd shapes, music, funny menus, color, etc. Then taking the essential items, rebuild it to create the simplest, most basic site you could image -- no graphics or specified font faces, just pure unadulterated information. Make sure to add the links. Then look at the redesigned site.

    The purpose of the exercise is to drill in the notion of how the information is what drives the site and how the difficulty in good design is not as much a problem of branding the image, but rather providing clear means to acces the information.

    Good luck.
    -Patrick

  19. #19

    HAHA

    Yoo called me out! HAHA How did yoo know I had no information to put up there? It's a work in progress but slowly coming together. I'm much obliged for the inspiration and idea. I'll have to show yoo my next site... krzko.com a clothing company. It's going to be a lot more about information than animation. HAHA yoo are the first person to actually realize this site was made just for the purpose of making a site. Keep it real
    Peace

    Originally posted by Patrick
    No critique, but if you want a difficult exercise for design -- throw out anything that is not absolutely necessary to your site/flash movie. I mean everything, like odd shapes, music, funny menus, color, etc. Then taking the essential items, rebuild it to create the simplest, most basic site you could image -- no graphics or specified font faces, just pure unadulterated information. Make sure to add the links. Then look at the redesigned site.

    The purpose of the exercise is to drill in the notion of how the information is what drives the site and how the difficulty in good design is not as much a problem of branding the image, but rather providing clear means to acces the information.

    Good luck.
    -Patrick

  20. #20
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    My personal opinion

    Its too cluttered, and on my p2-400 tnt 2ultra pc with cable modem it loads fast but navigation and the feel for it all is not there.

    Its itneresting and had me think though

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