February 26, 2009

Associate Design Editor, Here I Come

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Fact. Giraffes don’t have voice boxes. Nastia Luikin is super nice. Bulletproof vests are made out of a material called Kevlar. There are three basic types of life insurance; term, whole-life, and universal. Light color primaries are subtractive. Arnold Schwarzenegger is my governor. This year is the year of the ox. The Elaboration Likelihood Model is a communications theory invented by Richard Petty and John Cacioppo. Diane Von Furstenburg invented the wrap dress.

Fact. CMYK is cyan, magenta, yellow, and… black?

That last one I’m not one hundred percent sure about, but it’s more than what I knew a year ago. The outgoing design editors are constantly quizzing me on design facts like the real meaning of CMYK, the metric equivalent to a pica, and what tombstoning is. Ha. A year and a half working at The Sun and one last night of desking away from becoming Associate Design Editor, I don’t even know how to use Quark.

Completely joking! Come Sun elections on Saturday, please don’t hold that last statement against me. Besides the fact that I’m running uncontested for Associate Design Editor, I am actually pseudo qualified for the position; I wear frumpy boyfriend sweaters, v-necks, have huge hair (like ridiculous I-got-a-perm hair), and I’m Asian (which isn’t a deciding factor, but I’m convinced that it helps).

I’m no art student if that’s what you were thinking. In high school I was the token spunky Asian; the girl who slept through all her AP and honors classes but still managed to get into Cornell. I was the girl who took every single AP exam except AP Art. In retrospect, I definitely should have. Here’s an example of what my portfolio would have looked like.
[img_assist|nid=35566|title=Irene’s stick figures|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0]

I’m not very religious, but thank God for computers and technology. I know my family of stick figures is innovative and edgy, but you’d never see a picture like that on the front page of the Cornell Daily Sun. Whoever came up with Photoshop, AutoCAD, Quark, Illustrator, and even Paint, are all saints in my book. I can credit this next drawing to the fabulous AutoCAD (computer aided design). [img_assist|nid=35567|title=Irene signet|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0] My love for using shapes to represent the human form is still intact, but the “computer” in CAD definitely makes a difference. My peacock lady wasn’t as quick and easy as my wonderful black Sharpie drawing, but it does show precision and artistry worthy of gracing the upper left corner of my resume. Photoshop has been a godsend this year. [img_assist|nid=35568|title=Irene scarf|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0] This graffiti-inspired scarf was drawn in AutoCAD and then painted and altered in Photoshop.

Now just because I’m officially designing for The Sun doesn’t mean I’ve lost sight of my own design style. Just last night I created a promo for an Economy panel using Photoshop and Quark. [img_assist|nid=35570|title=Economy Promo|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0] Designing for The Sun has forced me to channel a different side of my creativity. Coming from a Fiber Science and Apparel Design major, I’d like to think of it as dressing up content. If each issue were a model, I’d be the designer styling them (and telling them to lose 20 pounds). Pretty much, other departments of the Sun are asking the Design department to make their content the most popular content of all. And what better way to do that than dressing them in fabulous, fabulous clothing!

But all cliché fashion metaphors aside, this economy promo is essentially a black and white (or monochromatic, as they’d say in the art world) box with a lot of text. It’s the silhouette of a crowd of people that make this promo worthy to walk the runway (last one, I promise!). The use of black and white, negative space, and reverse type create visual interest and direction for readers. Even the most anal things like font are taken into consideration; should I use a font with or without feet (or serif or sans serif, as they’d say in the typography world)? I chose to use a combination of both, ultimately creating a clear difference between subject headings, that act more as a visual component, and text, that should be read and processed. And, keeping with one of my favorite motifs, I still got to incorporate a representation of people. It may not be as abstract as my previous work, but hey, at the end of the day (or 1:30 a.m.), it’s still a newspaper. And as designers, we can’t depend on one artsy graphic for the entire paper; we have to manipulate font, color, space, text, and a ton of other things to create the pages of The Sun all before the 1:30 a.m. deadline. And that, my friends, is fact.

[img_assist|nid=35572|title=Feb11 Front Page|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0]