Final Project Reflection

By: Isabel Freedman

Throughout the course of COM220, I gained knowledge in several useful areas. I felt that the most beneficial aspect to COM220 was the fact that the course was able to cover a variety of topics in such a short amount of time. I now feel comfortable enough to use Adobe workshops such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere. I also gained editing skills within video, audio and photography.

I think that introductory courses such as COM220 are vitally important, because they provide the necessary knowledge that will benefit students and open doors for opportunity. Even though I am not advanced in any of the subjects above, I feel that I have learned the appropriate amount of knowledge in each topic. One of the aspects I enjoyed the most about the course was the fact that we did not go into great depth on only one subject.

I also thought that the sustainability theme was a nice aspect of the course, because it encouraged students to focus on a topic that they main not have chosen otherwise. Of course, we used creativity in all of our projects, but it was nice to have a central theme incorporated throughout the course.

All of the skills that we learned throughout the semester can be applied to a variety of jobs, and it is important to have experience with them, even for non-design majors. The vast amount of vocabulary that we learned this semester will benefit our knowledge of design. By learning the basic skills of Photoshop, I am now able to manipulate photographs, create posters and web pages. I also feel confident in Illustrator, and I am now comfortable creating logos within this workshop. I am very satisfied with the projects that I created throughout the semester, and they will all benefit my portfolio.

Not only do I have solid additions to my portfolio, but I learned how to create an online website and portfolio through this course.

Overall, COM220 was an enjoyable course that did not have one defining useful aspect, but many. This course will benefit all Communication majors, regardless if they intend to go into the field of design or not.

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Hue, Chroma and Value: The Munsell Color System

By: Isabel Freedman

Munsell Color System 

                 In 1898, Albert Henry Munsell, an American artist, created an influential color-modeling system that included these three aspects. With the creation of his color sphere, Munsell created a rational way to describe color with a decimal notation.

We may categorize and simplify one color, but there is more depth and complexity to just “one color.” Many colors are created through the combination of these three elements. The properties of hue, value and chroma are able to express various color tones, and draw out certain emotional associations in people.

 Hue

                According to Munsell, a hue means the actual pigment or wavelength of a colored surface or projection, such as the colors red, blue, green, yellow and purple. A hue is a way to distinguish one color from another color. On Munsells color wheel, he had selected those five colors, and created intermediate colors that would be placed on a compass like wheel. Munsell’s created an organized system of color that has been a helpful guide for artists and designers for centuries.

Color, Munsell, Design

Hues: Red, yellow, green, blue and purple

 Value 

                     The lightness or darkness, or the grey level of the color can describe the value of a color. The lighter a color is, the more light it emits. On Munsells color sphere, the notion N was used to denote the value on any point of the axis. The higher the number, the lighter gray value would be, and the lower number would refer to a darker value of gray.

Value, Design, Color, Elements

This image is an example of a low and high value of color

 Chroma

                  A chroma refers to the saturation or intensity of the color, a highly saturated color will have more pigment to it. A less saturated color will be dull and washed out. A chroma can distinguish the derreence from a pure hue to a gray shade. Munsell did not see a uniform pattern for chroma, and saw that it could be achieved throughout the color sphere. The term “fullest chroma” would mean the highest saturation of the color, and the lowest chroma would be a less saturated version.

Chroma, Color, Saturation, Design, Elements

The red in the image above is an example of low and high chroma (saturation)

Over time, Munsell’s color system has been studied and revised, but the original color sphere has been internationally accepted and recognized for centuries. This methodical and organized color sphere recognizes three vital elements of color that may benefit all designers and artists.

Food Photography: The Basics

By: Isabel Freedman

Food Photography

                      Food photography is essential for cookbooks, magazines, advertisements and commercials. The photographs that are placed in the pages of a cookbook determine whether or not you will actually want to make this food. If the chicken in the photograph looks gray, greasy and unappetizing, you might as well throw out the book altogether. Here are some basic tips on photographing food that will assure some quality images.

First off, make sure that you are capturing all of the foods best traits. Just like a model, you want to enhance all of the best qualities of the food, and capture the right angles.

Natural Light

Natural light is essential for food photography. The best time to shoot is on a sunny day, in a shady spot. This will give your food a nice natural glow, without the tint of indoor lighting. Never place your food directly in the sunlight, this will only give it harsh glare and it will wash out all of the texture and shape. If you are shooting indoors, find a spot by the window where natural light floods in.

Natural light, Design, Food, Photography, Apple

The natural light in this image captures the smooth texture of the apple

Flash vs. No Flash

Do not use your in-camera flash, not matter how bad the lighting it. A flash will create a glare along with harsh reflections. The flash can also make the food look fake, or not as authentic as it should look on a page. Sometimes, a flash can make the food look like it is floating in mid-air, throwing off the entire composition of the photograph.

Photography, Flash, camera, design

Although this Pizza looks appetizing, the flash creates an odd glare, and it does not look professional

Composition

Composition in food photography is essential, and it includes elements such as angle, focus and rule of thirds. The focal point of the photography should always align along the sides or the intersections of the rule of thirds. If you are photographing multiple apples, you may want to just focus on one, by creating a shallow depth of field. This will create a sense of depth, and allow the viewer to see the texture and color of the apple.

Depth, Apples, Design, Elements, Food, Photography

This image of apples is a good example of composition, specifically by using a shallow depth of field

Angle

Angle is an element of composition in food photography, and it can either sell or destroy an image. Depending on what the subject is, the angle must be manipulated to make this dish look appealing. For example, a hamburger should be shot at eye-level, so that you are able to see the actual hamburger. If it was shot from a high angle, you would lose the content of the burger. If you shot a flat pizza at eye-level, you would not be able to see the pizza. Flat food should be taken at high angles. If the food has dimension, such as this tower of ice cream, it should be taken at an angle that compliments the round shapes.

Food, Photography, Ice cream, Angle

The angle of this image compliments the sphere shapes of the ice cream

Be Creative

Have fun with food photography. There is a lot of room for creativity and interaction. It is okay if the image does not come out the way you intended it to be, and you will probably have to take multiple shots with a variety of different elements.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

By: Isabel Freedman

An effective web page should have a killer design that conveys the intended message to the viewer. If you are designing a web page for your new company, here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind during the process.

DON’T: Overdo it with words

There is nothing worse than opening web page to see long paragraphs of text. The viewer will most likely not read the content of text, or they may leave the web page altogether. A whirlwind of text is overwhelming and can be confusing, two things that people do not have time for. If you want to put informative information on the webpage, do not overload it all to the homepage.

Text, Webpage, Design, Do, Don't

This webpage has too much text, and it is very difficult to read

DO: Keep it simple and break it up

If you are including a significant amount of information on the website, break the paragraph up so that it is easily readable. Include graphics or other design elements so that the viewer is not just reading plain text. Depending on the content, visuals may help explain in a fast and efficient way.

DON’T: Only use images

If your entire webpage only consists of images, it could be unclear of what the website is actually about, or it may send out a message that the designer was too lazy to actually write anything.

Text, Image, Web, Design, Page

This webpage has too many images, and not enough text

DO: Use images in moderation

It is important to have some visuals included in throughout the webpage. In order to have an effective webpage, there should probably be visual elements to assure the viewer of what they are looking at. Use images sparingly, and only when appropriate. If the text only briefly mentions something, do not provide a visual for this. Only provide visual images when they are important.

DON’T: Have 6 different fonts in 20 different sizes

It is important to play up your fonts and sizes, but not by too much. If the webpage has script, modern, sans, sans-serif and decorative fonts, this will not only visually confuse the viewer, but it will confuse them on the content as well. If a chic and modern website has five different fonts going on, this may send out the wrong message to the viewer.

DO: Use the right fonts and sizes

Play up your fonts and sizes, and make sure to use an appropriate variety of fonts and different sizes. If the whole page consists of one font, and one size, the page will be less legible and not as attention grabbing. Think of a webpage as a blank canvas, you want to great depth in your design. Be mindful to only switch it up when necessary, for example in headlines, titles or significant information that is intended to stand out from the rest.

DON’T: Have 20 different colors

Colors can be extremely overwhelming, and they can completely destroy a webpage if there are too many competing with one another. If there are too many color schemes going on, they will distract the viewer from actually reading the webpage. It is important to keep colors along the same color scheme, so that one color doesn’t look out of place.

DO: Choose the right color scheme

If you are designing a webpage for a wedding dress company, your color palette should be light neutral colors. If the color scheme consisted of bright reds, oranges and browns, the bride to be may rethink her designer.

These are just a few of the basic DO’s and DON’T of web design, and there are much more than can be learned about the design aspects of a web page. For more information on design, check out my other blog posts on WordPress!

International Student Documentary

By: Isabel Freedman

For our International student documentary, Leslie Gill, Lauren Cuddy and I interviewed Iria García. Although born and raised in Coruña, Spain, Iria has been an international student in the United States for 5 years now. During the documentary, Iria speaks about her freshman year and how welcomed she felt by the community. Before the interview, Iria seemed to be a bit nervous in front of the camera, but once the camera started rolling her bright and charming personality came out, and she felt more comfortable speaking.

We met Iria at our on campus sorority house, which ended up being a perfect place to shoot. The on campus house has a warm and friendly environment that would not make anyone feel uncomfortable or exposed. This was also an appropriate place to interview Iria, because she spoke about her organization and how it helped her through her Freshman year of college. She will also be living in the on campus sorority house next year, and her face lit up the minute she stepped into her future home.

Iria was nervous to come to school in the United States in the first place, and she was the only one out of her friends at home who decided to do it. At first, Iria was unsure if she wanted to even go to college, after finishing high school in the states. Many of her friends at home were not pursuing a college career, and when she was home with them over the summer, she had second thoughts. However, the minute that she visited Elons campus, she knew that she belonged here for the next four years of her life. Although it was a tough decision, Iria did not show any signs of regret.

Later on in the interview, we asked Iria more about the culture in Spain, and how it related to the culture here at Elon. Specifically, we asked about the sustainability efforts in comparison. Iria spoke highly of the sustainability efforts on Elons campus. Back in her hometown, Iria frequently visited fresh farmers markets that sold healthy and sustainably produce. When Iria discovered the Elon Community Garden this Spring, she was pleasantly surprised by the familiar vibes that she encountered while visiting the garden.

Overall, I enjoyed speaking with Iria, and getting to know her more. Although we have known one another for a couple months now, I never knew her experiences as an international student. It was interesting to hear about different cultures, and how the sustainability efforts were in comparison. I will be studying in Barcelona next fall, so I was extremely curious about the country.

3 Essential Documents for Freelance Work

By: Isabel Freedman

In order to become a successful freelancer, you should be informed of three essential documents, the job proposal, the proof approval form and the invoice of services. These three forms of documentation will protect the designer from possible lawsuits or future legal trouble.

  1. Job Proposal

In order to have successful freelance work, there has to be an initial job proposal to work from. A job proposal entails a meeting between the designer and client, design concepts, research, layout, sketching and at least one round of revision. The projects must be described in detail, and include important information regarding the creation and scope of the design. It is essential that the client and designer agree upon a budget for the design. This proposal protects both the client and the designer from future lawsuits because it provides specific terms and conditions that were agreed upon. For example, if the job proposal clearly states that there will be an additional fee for fine artwork, the client must pay for the additional charges if they are needed. Overall, the job proposal is the foundation for freelance work, and it is the initial form of agreement between the client and designer.

  1. Proof Approval Form

The proof approval form is a written form of approval between you and the client. This form is important because it verifies authorization and acceptance of a project, after an in depth review. The proof approval form proves that the client has looked over overall the project aspects: design, color, spelling, layout and the designers contact information. If the client wishes to change any of these aspects, they must request a new proof from the designer. If there are changes that need to be made before the final product is produced, the proof approval form acknowledges this. This form is an essential component of communication between the client and designer.

  1. Invoice of Services

The invoice of services is a documentation of transaction between the company and client. The invoice records the evidence of sales, and protects both the client and consumer from future lawsuits. This document is proof that business transaction occurred, and without this form, there is no evidence that the sale happened. This agreement protects property rights and payment. If a company does not provide a viable form of payment to the designer (within 30 days), the invoice of services would be a legitimate document to bring to a lawyer for a possible lawsuit.