Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cliffside Restaurant: Billboard Project

My role in our collaborative design project was to design/produce a billboard for the company in an attempt to bring new and existing clientele into Cliffside Restaurant. 

The idea behind making the billboard was to complement the billboard that already exists between St. George and Cedar City. Because a lot of traffic comes northbound on I-15 from Mesquite, Las Vegas, etc. we would "place" the billboard somewhere along that route. 

For our communication objectives, we as a group had decided that we wanted to focus on three main ideas: modernism, simplicity, and approachability. Because the physical restaurant itself is fairly modern, our goal was to have each area and task for our project be modern. As one looks at Cliffside's current collateral, advertising, website design, etc. it isn't as up to par with the restaurant's modernism as one might think. Our goal was to revamp and modernize everything. When one attends the restaurant, it becomes obvious that the simpler something is, the better it is and that is not meant as a bad thing. Many fancy, upper-class restaurants go above and beyond the decor all around the restaurant to enhance the experience. It almost seems as if one pays more for the setting than for the actual food. Cliffside is the opposite of these other restaurants. Simple equals classy. Lastly, we wanted the restaurant to be approachable by any and all who desire to eat the food there. By reaching out and creating the various artifacts that we did, the restaurant becomes more approachable. 

In designing the billboard, it was my attention to play to each of the three personas our group had decided on: the tourists, young family and elderly couple. Each of those three personas are exemplified in this rendition of a billboard. Allow me to explain each:

Having been a tourist myself, my first instinct while traveling to a new destination is to find out what the village, town or city has to offer. What tourist attractions do they have? What are some of their best restaurants? Are the hotel rates affordable? Once this information has been gathered, plans are made to visit as many of these places as possible. 

With the design of the billboard, I knew I needed to include some kind of award or "star rating" that would show the quality of restaurant. The rating/award that's included on the billboard is an attractive piece that's used to lure every tourist. Cliffside Restaurant is the "Winner of Best in State." You can't get much better than that.

Young Family-
The hardest persona to try and meet was the idea of appealing to a young family or couple. How does one present a high-grade restaurant to youngish families with an attempt to make them feel welcome? My attempt was to try and show a setting that displayed an area where a young family could sit down and eat. The picture on my billboard shows there are tables where at least four people can sit. It also shows how there is enough space around each table to give some sort of privacy and personal space.

I also like the main concept of the image. It overlooks the city of St. George with all its red rock that makes this place so pretty. I also like how Pine Valley Mountain looms in the background. To me, a beautiful view like this is enough to attract a young family/couple to the restaurant.

Elderly Couple-
People of the older generation typically are the one's that eat out at restaurants on a frequent basis. Many of them go to the same ones over and over again because of how much they like them. Well, I wanted to create enough excitement on my billboard to get elderly couples to come and tryout the Cliffside Restaurant. 

One, the award shows that it is as prestigious restaurant that has high quality food. Not just any restaurant can get that award. The view with the table on the deck displays a sense of awe as one can sit back and take in their surroundings while eating. Third, the image shows that the restaurant has a sense of classiness to it. The type of furniture used, what is used as a napkin, etc. are all examples of this. What could be a more romantic dinner for an elderly couple?

The design process for the billboard took place on Microsoft Word, seeing that most templates required a little dough and the free models wouldn't allow me to do what I needed to do. For my text, I decided to bold our chosen Arial Font. Because two thirds of the picture has darker colors, I needed a font color that would contrast the darkness and decided that the color white would work nicely. I decided to leave the font on the award alone since it is the actual award logo. Then, the font for our redesigned logo was already predetermined and is identified on our group's style guide. 

In the billboard, you can see each of the colors on our style guide manifested throughout the image. With the background of the billboard being the photograph that it is, there will be additional colors added that aren't necessarily apart of the style guide. The black and shade of black are manifested in the logo for the restaurant, the font of the logo and the predominant color for the patio furniture. Also, the our red is found on the red rocks, the restaurant logo and on the surface of each table. 

During the creation of the billboard, three major design concepts stood out to me. The first is the use of lines. To me, there are two primary/dominant lines in the image, the railing that seems to cut the image in half and the line produced by the red rock nearly two-thirds up on the image. To me, the line produced by the railing is a diagonal line, thus producing the idea of movement. It also has a little curvature towards the left side of the billboard, thus showing a sense of energy with a softening effect. The line produced by the red rocks in the background brings more authority with it. To me it divides the light and the dark. It separates the bright blue sky and the darker colors of the restaurant, thus bringing in a sense of contrast. 

The second major design concept I noticed was how the previous lines followed the Law of Continuity. When one sees those lines, especially the line produced by the rail, their eyes are taken along on a ride towards the edge of the picture. It leaves me with a sense of curiosity and wonderment as to what is beyond the ending of the image. For me, the line produced by the red rock instills a sense of infinity. Because southern Utah blossoms with red rock, I just get the feeling that the red rock just continues on forever. 

The third concept is the rule of thirds, even though the images don't exactly fit right on the "line-crossings." The middle point of the award logo has the right vertical line and the top horizontal line crossing through it. The red rocks in the background produce the top horizontal line while the top of the nearest table signifies the lower horizontal line. The logo of the restaurant has the left vertical line running through the middle of it. 

My ultimate goal was to make the billboard attractive but extremely simple at the same time. People only have a few seconds to look at a billboard before they pass it. The message or images displayed on the billboard need to send a message to those potential customers coming into the St. George area. I feel that I accomplished that feat quite well. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Style Guide Update

At this current point in time, my group and I are satisfied with the progress we have made in regards to our project and specifically with the style guide. Originally, we wanted to do a total makeover for Cliffside Restaurant and its branding. We thought by redesigning the logo and adding some spice to the company's public appearance, it would do a lot for the company.

After a few meetings with some detailed discussion and guidance from Professor Young, we decided to go back to original logo. The owners of the company have invested a lot of time and money in this area. What we want to do now is alter/tweek the logo in such a way that it makes it look like there isn't a trail of poo leaking out from its wording. 

In regards to the specific fonts chosen for our project, we seem to enjoy both versions of Arial, but struggle a little with the cursive. We originally liked how it had a formal appearance to it, but as time moved forward, we realized it was difficult to read. 

Below, is the second draft for the style guide. As you can see, we decided to get rid of our original logo creations and return to the restaurant's original logo but with a twist of our own. We also added an additional font to possibly choose from and use through our various artifacts. As one can see, progress is happening. 


Monday, November 21, 2016

Collaborative Design Presentation: Client, Personas, and Personal Contribution

Clients: Cliffside Restaurant located at 511 S Airport Rd, St George, UT 84770

Tom, 65, is one of the owners of Cliffside Restaurant and like any business man, he wants to increase his profit.  He wants Cliffside Restaurant to reach "legendary" status here in St. George. Tom wants the word about the restaurant to reach as many people as possible in order to get a wider variety of people up there to eat.  

Dorothy, 64, is Tom's wife.  While Tom handles the business side of things, Dorothy is mostly invested in the aesthetics of the restaurant and the hospitality.  She is the main decorator for the restaurant and always wants the restaurant to be spotless and beautiful.  As a mother and a grandmother, she is very family oriented. She goes out of her way to make young families and their children feel welcome at the restaurant.  Like Tom, she too wants to increase the volume of customers as well as the diversity.

Persona #1 (Young Family)-
Joshua, 27, is a hard working business man with 3 children who is looking for a change of scenery in his life. He is tired of eating at the same middle to low class restaurants every night due to the fact he doesn't have time to cook while being a single parent. He would love to experience a new upper class restaurant that is family-friendly that he and his children can enjoy. 

Persona #2 (Traveler)-
Leslie, 33, has been traveling to all 50 states with her husband and is looking for places to visit in southern Utah. She enjoys the outdoors and will go anywhere that stands out to her.

Persona #3 (Older Couple)-
Bob, 63, and Susanne, 62, own a second home here in St. George, Utah. Because Bob was able to retire early, the two of them visit on a frequent basis, especially during the winter months. They typically like to treat themselves to a restaurant cooked meal two to three times a week. With many of the restaurants growing old, they are looking for a unique upper class restaurant where they can enjoy a view and each other’s company.

Personal Contribution: I will be creating a billboard for the restaurant that will be located between Las Vegas, Nevada and St. George, Utah on the northbound side. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Interstellar: Director of Photography/Cinematographer

Define: the individual who takes responsibility for all operations concerning camera work and lighting during the production/creation of a film.

DOP for Interstellar: Hoyte van Hoytema (Oct. 4, 1971 in Switzerland)

-Finding the images that bring the story to life
      *Discusses the vision of the film with the director (whole movie & scene-by-scene)
      *Budget for what’s needed for each scene (buys film & supplies)
      *Hires a camera crew
      *Works with other departments to accomplish production of film
      * Decides the best combination of cameras, filters and lenses
      *Placement of cameras
      *Timing of shot
      ** On larger films, there may be several cinematographers, but there will be a head DOP
-Post Production:
      *Makes sure the film has the correct color and mood
      *Quality Control and looking at the film critically

Interstellar Tesseract Scene Analysis through the Lens of the DOP:

- Lighting:
*Found different sources that indicated there were 15-18 projectors used in various locations on the set to give perfect light situations
*Beginning of scene in space before entering the tesseract, the lighting is put together in various locations to act as the sun while the Cooper character spins downwards
*Used the art of flickering to portray movement by the subjects in the film (i.e. falling through
*Some materials in the set were reflecting the light given by the projectors, thus helping with the overall lighting and the intention to portray the tesseract as physical time that moves
*In portrayed bedrooms, a bigger light was used to shine in to make the appearance of the sun shining through the windows

-Camera Placements/Movements:
*Camera (main one) is mounted on the arm of a crane, which has the ability to swivel, move up and down or move left or right
*Camera placed in/on the space helmet of the actor which enables the audience to get a first person perspective
*Camera shot is typically on the left side of the actor
*Allowed for subtle movements in the camera to help make the scene more realistic and personable to the audience
*Concept of camera relativity to actor


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Compose Your Frame

By Beaux Yenchik

Though I quite enjoyed the original picture on this post, I found it fun in trying to create an image, as simple as it may be, that would match the requirements for the assignment. I also took it as an opportunity to allow my mind to stretch in various ways as I looked at normal everyday objects and sought to find artistic qualities in them. This is a skill that is not very well developed in my mind, but I feel I succeeded in identifying the various aspects needed for "Compose Your Frame."

In this image, I have taken the stairway that leads to my front door and placed a peculiar alarm clock in a spot that crosses the various vertical and horizontal intercepts that are formed by imagining a tic-tac-toe board on the image. I would have loved to have had my wife featured in the image, but the robot was my next best choice. 

When looking at this image, it presents several different characteristics of art in the image. To me, there is contrast between the bricks on the right and those on the left. Due to the way the light had entered the stairway, the bricks on the right were a little more illuminated than those on the left. I also enjoyed the contrast between the softer blue of the robot and the grayish steps. Though they are not complete opposites on the spectrum, it presented a nice "opposition" feel to the image. 

I placed the robot's head to be at the point where the right vertical line intersects with the highest horizontal line. I could have possibly adjusted the camera a couple centimeters to make it more evident, but just as it said in the video, rules are meant to be broken. When speaking about the rule of thirds, I find that concept in this image to be very interesting. In the lowest third, I only captured one stair, but as you progress up the picture, more stairs enter those thirds.

When talking about the concept of diagonal lines in this image, the two major diagonal lines are the ones formed on both sides of the stairs. It creates the illusion of a pathway that progresses out into the distance. The two lines start out wide at the bottom of the frame and work their way towards the top by becoming skinnier. The lines formed by the bricks on both sides of the stairs also have diagonal lines. They also seem to force the eyes along a certain path that almost contradicts the lines formed by the stairs. One set goes up, while the other goes down. I also identified the lines on the walls to produce an almost graphic vector, following the same general concept that Professor Young provided as his example. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Design Evaluation

What I look for in a good design is something that tends to match or go along with my personality. I am someone who likes structures, boundaries, simplicity, and order. When things get too chaotic or don't quite make sense to me, I immediately dislike the design.

For this assignment, I wanted to compare two movie posters that come from the same genre: action/superhero. The two posters above, represent the opposite sides of the totem pole in my opinion. The one on the right represents me and the one on the left makes my head want to explode. I have seen neither movie and don't necessarily have a bias towards either one, which helps make this evaluation a lot more fair.

Captain America:

One of the biggest aspects of this poster that I identified right away was the contrast in colors. To take that a step further, I believe the contrast is meant to be symbolic. As you look at the top of the poster, there are dark, storm clouds over head. It creates the feeling of darkness, anger, frustration, loss of hope, etc. When you move towards the bottom of the poster, the sky's color because lighter and almost more peaceful. Maybe the background it trying to symbolize hope and a brighter future in the distance. What is nice about the contrast is that it is a subtle change from dark to light. Another aspect of contrast I like in the picture is Captain America's face. It is particularly noticeable under his eye.

One of the biggest Gestalt Principles noticed in this poster is the Law of Continuity. The most obvious example is the way the characters have aligned themselves. As you look at the poster, at least in my mind. a path has been created. Two imaginary lines take the eyes of the viewer down the path, between the characters. To take that a step further, I believe it ties into the contrast concept mentioned in the previous paragraph. The path starts in the darker contrast and then moves towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Another Gestalt Principle that I noticed but is very obvious is the Law of Similarity. I naturally group the text on this poster according to their font size and style of font. For example, all the actors at the top of the page are bunched together in a skinny rectangle because they are all the same if you will.

The third Gestalt Principle is the Law of Closure. The way the characters are aligned forms an almost arrow in the blank space between the characters. My eyes automatically create that shape, even if that was not the intention of the individual who created the poster.

The final Gestalt Principle identified in the Captain America poster is the law of Pragnanz or the idea of having simplicity. The colors in the poster seems to be similar hues. The main objects are simply the characters themselves. There is nothing that occupies or draws attention to the viewer besides those two things.

Suicide Squad:

I don't necessarily know where to start on the movie poster for Suicide Squad. Like I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, the design concept of this poster does not work for me. It essentially has more chaos than what I am comfortable dealing with. My eyes get tired and strained because they are constantly trying to find starting point for which I can look at the picture and begin my evaluation of the image. For all I know, this was the intention the designer of the poster wanted to portray because it could be a representation of the movie itself and how unorthodox it may be.

From a design perspective, the colors in this poster aren't necessarily working for me. I know the overarching color scheme is this light and soft purple and green mixture. What throws me for a loop is the addition of brown, red, blue, etc. scattered throughout the image, offering up conflict among the colors.

When I seek to identify Gestalt Principles within the image of the poster, it takes some serious concentration to identify them. More concentration than I think should be required. For example, I can see the law of similarity with the airplanes at the top right of the mushroom cloud and there are eye balls on the top left but this doesn't mean that the attempt to display the principles was a job well done. I don't know if this image would be considered the Law of Pragnanz. I'm guessing that if you are hesitant about noticing the simplicity of an image, it more than likely doesn't fall within that category. The only simple thing about the image is the overall shape of the mushroom cloud.

I am having a hard time identifying the contrast in the image. There is no big distinction between opposites when it comes to color unlike the poster for Captain America.

In summation of the two posters, I enjoyed the design concept(s) for Captain America on this print medium. The designer wanted to send a distinct message by using the right colors and the alignment of the movie characters, unlike Suicide Squad.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Contrast, Balance, Harmony

Over the last little while, I am have been somewhat intrigued by the moon and the role it seems to place in the grand scheme of themes and how it affects our daily lives, whether we notice it or not. This intrigue was only heightened by the drive home from Salt Lake yesterday. My wife had pointed out shape of the moon and that led to a discussion about the shape, impacts it gives and it's ultimate purpose. With these various thoughts and conversation points, I have decided to decipher the contrast, balance, and harmony out of a simple picture taken of the moon by David Taylor of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Contrast is defined nicely by Professor Young when he stated that it is the "comparing [of] fundamental opposites." He gives examples such as dark/light and fast/slow. He then mentions further that the "values are merely relative" when it comes to comparing each opposite.

When you look at this picture of the moon, you immediately identify the opposites of dark/light. What is interesting with this picture is the two opposites are not sitting on the far ends of the totem pole. Yes, there is a complete blackness for one opposite, but the variance in colors for what is supposed to be the other half has a mixture of lighter colors. Those different colors could be coming from a number of sources (i.e. shadows cast along the moon's surface due to texture of the moon, which could be caused by craters, physical surface characteristics, etc.).

Another opposite that I can identify in this picture is the concept of soft and hard. As you look at the "two sides" that meet the blackness, each interacts differently. The left side has a sharpness that the right side does not. In my opinion, it seems that the right side is a little more blended in with the blackness. It gradually fades into the darkness, thus giving it the soft component. Yet, on the left side, the lightness in colors ends sharply and immediately changes into the blackness.


There are three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. Each balance allows the eye to see the image in different ways. When I look at image for this post, I immediately identify the symmetry in the image. The moon seems to be cut directly in half at an angle, thus splitting the image 50/50 per say. You can grow that thought by saying the difference between "white and black" appears to be the same ratio to the moon being split in half.

Yet, as I look more closely at this picture, I may even go as far as saying it could be an asymmetrical image. The moon does not necessarily take up 50% of the image because the blackness even surrounds the moon completely, thus giving it a higher percentage in the picture. Upon first glance, it doesn't necessarily give that appearance.


As a whole, the image of the moon could be considered very harmonious. The colors, shapes, orientation, etc. seem to have a perfect blend when thought of as a whole. There doesn't really seem to be anything in the image that tries to tug the picture out of harmony. As you look at the moon in closer detail, you can see the mini shapes along the surface. They seem to add to the overall image and don't seem to distract the eye even though they don't follow a particular pattern.

Gestalt Principle(s)

While looking at this picture of the moon, I identify three Gestalt Principles: figure/ground relationship, law of similarity, and law of proximity. The figure/ground relationship deals with the moon and space (the blackness) itself. To me, the moon is identified as the figure. It rests upon space itself, thus making space the background of the image.

The principle of law of similarity and law of proximity are closely intertwined if not interchangeable in the image. What allows me to see these two principles are the multiple craters found on the surface of the moon. There is a cluster of craters towards the bottom right of the visible part of the moon. These craters are all similar shapes, thus identifying the law of similarity, but I can also identify those craters to follow the law of proximity because they are all "physically" close together in the image.

Final Thoughts

The moon has always played a part in the life of man throughout history. It plays different roles depending on the generation and the need they have of it. In olden times, the moon was a key source of light when the sun would set for the day. Today, many humans rely on the ability it has to produce tides for a good surf. Whatever the need it provides, humans have taken advantage of it.

In my mind, when I look at this image, I can't help but identify some symbolism behind it and how it represents today's modern society. There is no longer this distinction in humanity when it comes to things being black/white, there is always room for grey and personal interpretation. Look at the movement of the LGBTQ +, it definitely is symbolic in the picture where there are different shades represented on the moon and how humans have their particular preferences. The list could go on and on, but I hope you can see the point I am making.

I have enjoyed taking this simple image and dissecting every facet from it that I could.