Our Latest Work
Restoring Old Family Photos
Recently, I have taken an extreme curiosity to learn more about my family tree. And as a photographer, one of the first places I looked to learn more about my family tree was by looking at some old family photos. I have especially come to have a desire to more about my mother’s Italian grandfather that I did not get the opportunity to meet while he was alive. I decided to build a closer relationship with him by restoring and colorizing some old photos of him and another ancestor. A magician never reveals their secrets, and I’m not going to reveal my editing secrets here, but feel free to take a look at some images that I transformed!
Redesigning Balsamic Vinegar: Full Circle
For this project, I decided to redesign the brand Full Circle’s balsamic vinegar. Other than picking this product for its poor design, I have always loved balsamic vinegar on any salad, with vegetables or for dipping bread, and so this seemed like a perfect fit.
Reasons to Redesign:
The bottle of the original product is very beautiful and sleek, but the stickers listing the contents and the title is very sloppy and does not appear to go with the bottle. Before sketching or coming up with a redesign plan, I decided to do a reverse engineer to show why this was poorly designed.
(Click on the images to view commentary)
This bottle has six different types of fonts, one with a thick white stroke and another with extreme kerning. I definitely had many ways that I could improve the overall look and feel of this product.
My target group will continue to be the same as what Full Circle already aims at. I will target those who want organic healthy food without added chemicals. I will also be adding upper class into my target by giving it an expensive look without increasing the price. The reason why I feel like this new look will add the upper class into my target is because it will look like a bottle that you would want on your counter, much like a wine bottle. My big idea is that Full Circle Balsamic Vinegar is a low-calorie item that belongs on every table. Cooking with Full Circle Balsamic Vinegar is delicious, classy and shows that you are healthy. I will increase sales through celebrity endorsements in health magazines.
I used Pinterest as a huge inspiration for my package re-design. I decided from the start that I wanted to package the vinegar to look similar to wine. Check out my Pinterest board to view some of the inspiration that I drew from. Some of the inspiration that I drew from the beautiful wine bottle designs on Pinterest was classy and simple. I chose to keep with this trend in my personal design.
For my final color scheme, I used a deep purple and gold. I used Adobe Kuler to get the purple color as a complementary color. I created this gold color to match the tab on my vinegar bottle, tying everything together. I changed my colors a few times during this project, which made me grateful that I used global colors instead of having to manually change everything.
The logo on the left is the original logo that Full Circle created is very busy. The logo on the product that I am redesigning is different from the image listed below in that it has a script font for the tagline instead of text. In my logo redesign, I decided that a simple logo is better than a complex one. I kept to a very simple color scheme and rid the logo of text. I still incorporated the letters F and C into the new logo. If you look closely, the left shape resembles an F and the right shape in the circle resembles a C. I kept everything enclosed in a circle to keep the name of the logo in a “full circle”.
During the first draft process, I could not decide how I wanted my barcode to look. I created five different versions of the barcode and then I asked friends and peers to tell me which they liked best. When I finally decided on a barcode I had the idea to tip it on its side like it is pouring into the purple triangle under it. I completed the look by moving a single barcode so that it would be pouring out from the spout. I used the logo to create a top for my bottle.
My goal with my second drafts was to find a way to add more contrast to the front side of the vinegar so that it would match the back. I decided that I still liked the logo to be line based and I like Balsamic Vinegar with the light box behind it because it adds emphasis to the title.
Because I did not want to spend a ton of money or time on printing I decided to create a mockup of my design. After creating my mockup, I decided that I needed to increase the text size in a few areas, I needed to match the gold to the tab on my bottle and I needed to make the triangle at the bottom of my design less extreme.
Final Flat Design:
Here is my final flat design! I increased the size of some of my text, matched my gold to the tab on the bottle, decreased the intensity of my triangle, and widened my box around my nutrition facts so that my text could align with it.
Package Construction Process:
I placed multiple versions of my product design on a document that I gave to my printer. In these different versions I had different colors, shades and on a few of them, I added a texture to my design to see if I liked that. Before cutting out the stickers that I liked best I practiced for an hour cutting all of the other versions that I did not like out. Cutting something perfectly is harder than designing! Before I placed the final stickers to my bottle, I used water and tons of peanut butter to remove the stickers on my bottle, then I carefully placed them on my vinegar bottle. I constructed the top of my bottle twice, the first time I placed the circle sticker over the embellishment. After a few days and after receiving some critique, I felt that I needed to change the look of the top of the bottle. I used a paring knife and I cut some of the black sealed plastic off to reveal the gold foiling underneath, then I placed my sticker on top.
Final Package: Before and After:
Increasing Sales and Improving the Market:
This new design meets the needs of the redesign justification in that it is sleek, sexy, simple just like my target audience, upper-class individuals who want organic food. Because of the similarity of my product to my target audience, this product resonates with them. This will increase sales because it looks more expensive. The purple and the gold give the impression of fine, expensive and worth the price!
A suggestion that I received was that I needed to change the alignment of my text so that it felt like it was aligning to something.
Another suggestion I received was that I needed to soften and extend my gradient so that it made the text more legible and gave a smoother transition.
Another item that I adjusted was the alignment and spacing of my page numbers. I aligned my page numbers to my text adding more unity.
My dad taught me to love SCUBA diving. My parents were certified before they went on a trip to Hawaii. My mom didn’t love SCUBA, but my dad did. From that time on, I was excited for the day that I could become a certified diver and start going as my dad’s buddy.
Since becoming certified in 2012, I’ve only been diving a few times because of the high cost and the time required to keep it up. Because of my personal attachment and desire to dive again.
I decided to create an infographic about SCUBA and all of the fun facts about it. My main goal for this SCUBA diving infographic was to show that SCUBA is an exciting sport with an interesting set of facts.
Whenever I am starting a new project, I start by brainstorming and sketching. Brainstorming allows me to throw all of my thoughts and ideas down. This gives me a roadmap to know what I need to sketch.
Having a roadmap helps give me a creative roadmap as a sketch. I love sketching because it allows me to work out any design issues or problems that I need to solve. When I sketch, I don’t just doing it at the beginning of my design process. I sketch at the beginning when I am coming up with a simple idea, I sketch when I need help figuring out how I want small details to look, and I sketch to see if an idea is even possible.
For this project, I needed to have at least three vectors that I designed and created. The SCUBA infographic needed to be visually appealing, have at least one stylized graph, have sources, a personal logo on it, and an attractive non-white background. When I first started my SCUBA infographic I knew that I wanted it to be a semi-realistic scale of the ocean scaling down through the water. I wanted to use gradients to show the depth of the water. I applied the gradient to the rock formations, the water and with the clouds. The biggest challenge for me, in the beginning, was creating my boat to fit the rest of the style of my infographic. To resolve this issue, I looked at images of SCUBA boats, I sketched them, then I went into Illustrator to create my boat. The next part of my process was to figure out a color scheme that fit the theme of my topic and still looked realistic. Originally I went with a monochromatic color theme. However, after receiving critique from peers and professionals, I decided to add a complementary red-orange color to emphasize main points.
For this project, I illustrated the title using the wave option in Illustrator. I illustrated the clouds, the waves, the rock formation, the deep sea ground, the anchor and I created an illustrator brush for my chain. I also created the plants, bubbles, and fish. In the end, I changed my infographic name to Five SCUBA facts to fit the purpose of my design.
Using my Resources
For this project, I utilized different free vectors for some of my main point images. I used Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Vecteezy and The Noun Project. I used these recourses for my shark, goggles, stingray, hand signal, and scuba divers.
My Stylized Graph
A crucial part of an infographic is the information and facts that it yields. For my stylized graph, I illustrated an octopus and had each of its legs depict how deep you can see certain colors at what depths. The biggest challenge with my octopus was to have it still explain the different colors without actually being those colors because I really wanted to stick to my color scheme. I created my squid tentacles using the width tool in Illustrator.
I had a tough time getting my facts and my text to look like it belonged to my infographic. They were all very chunky and my font looked like a default font rather than something that would stand out. I also had different parts of my type too heavy in my third revision of the text.
The Solution that I came up with was to seek more critique from other designers and study the rules of typography a little more to see what would look best. (See final image for final type). I also incorporated another color into my color scheme added a nice complement and contrast to my crucial information.
I used Illustrator in all of my designs. I used photoshop on a few of my reference images by bringing down all shadows so that I could see what things under the ocean looked like as silhouettes.
The Final Product
Here is my final product! As you can see, I added red as my secondary color, I changed the title, added an ordered list and changed a few other things to help with the general flow. I also got rid of the trapped white space and brought my text away from the edges.I really like the way it turned out and I’m really glad that I got the feedback that I did to make it look better.
Check Out My Pinterest!
Love what you see? Share my image on Pinterest!
Finding a Purpose
Creating a logo for yourself is one of the hardest tasks that a designer can be asked to do. Good logos are not just created in Illustrator, they are created on the notepad or while the designer is thinking in the shower. The job of a designer while creating a logo is to incorporate everything that a person or business stands for into a simple icon. Picking a personal logo is like picking a good pair of shoes. When I buy shoes for myself I am pickier than I would be buying shoes for someone else. After all, I’m the one stuck with the shoes in the end.
For this project, my task was to design a personal logo/brand that represented me as a visual communicator. The brand had to be unique to this semester, refined and professional, all vector based (This meant that any type that I had, had to be original and unique text).
Who am I?
Because I was creating a logo that wouldn’t just represent me, but it would also represent my husband with our business Harker Media, I needed to create something that described both of us. Our business focuses on photography, web and graphic design and web development. Before I started sketching a logo I created a mind map to help me figure out how we should be represented. Some of the descriptive words that I came up with are; professional, friendly, business, everything digital, techy, the future, Intel blue, simple yet formal, more masculine. As I did this mind map I really liked the idea of techy and blue. I chose a cool blue monochromatic scheme because it is a color that is associated with businesses, it’s calming and resembles creativity and intelligence. With these ideas, I was able to begin sketching logo ideas for Harker Media.
Sketching and Challenges
Because I was creating a logo that wouldn’t just represent me, but it would also represent my husband with our business Harker Media, I needed to create something that described both of us. Early in my sketching, I settled on doing something with illustrative text to represent our business. I spent my sketching time playing with different ways that I could make an H and an M represent us.
While I was sketching I came up with three runners-up for the next logo. I decided to try them all out in Illustrator before marrying myself to a single idea. I liked the first logo but it was too symmetrical. I liked the second logo, but my five-year-old niece said that it looked like a funny N (never a good sign when a five-year-old notices something before you). And I loved my third logo but something was missing. I decided to take the first and third logo for another trial run and making them better after receiving, even more, critique from peers and designers.
The Process of Number One
The first logo needed to look less symmetrical and more pixel based. I copied many squares to create the letter H, then I added a white stroke around each of them to make them look more like pixels. I then made every three rows a different shade of blue to add a fading effect. This logo still felt really busy to me, so I decided to work more on logo three for a while.
The Process of Number Three
I spent the longest time on logo number three trying to figure out how each of the folds should work on this logo during the sketching process. I decided to put my origami skills to work to figure out where I needed logo number three to fold. I then re-sketched my logo using crayons so that I would know where I needed different dimensions of the design to show.
The Refiners Fire
After testing out different logos I finally decided that logo number three was the way to go. I made all of the rectangles thicker and I positioned my baselines in a square to make them feel less stretched and more symmetrical. Here is my logo next to my final sketch. Obviously, my vector is much stronger than my drawing skills. I also worked out that the first line needed to aim up to avoid looking like an N. This was not the end of designing my new logo. Even though I felt that my logo was done, I needed to seek critique and feedback from my peers and other designers.
I received some really great feedback from peers and other designers about my logo. I learned that I needed to make all of the lines even thicker, I needed to change my folds to points to help out with the general flow of the design, and I needed to broaden my logo design so that the colors are not so closely related. I did all of these things for my final design and I really like how it turned out! Let me know what you think.
As a Mock-Up
It’s always nice to add a little flair to a logo. I placed my new and improved logo in this mockup to show how it would look on a business card.
Case Study: Longhurst Custom Embroidery
Written by Janae Harker
Over the last decade, advertising and marketing have been dramatically changing to fit our social media world. Just about everyone has a social media account and will connect to it at least once a day. As a marketer, I understand that social media is one of the best ways to connect and influence a target audience. Recently, I did social media marketing for Longhurst Custom Embroidery, check out the slides below to learn more about my process!
Spring Internship with Monkey Bar Storage
Written By Janae Harker
Monkey Bars is a well-established business that gains most of its success from marketing and local dealer efforts. I interned with them for 150 hours beginning Spring 2017. As an intern, my job was to learn everything that I could about SEO, build meaningful links and write articles for guest posts.
What I Learned
I learned about domain authority. When a page has low domain authority and a link is built on that website, it could hurt the SEO of the linked website. I also learned that the best kind of links to build are with blogs that are near the local dealer. I built local links at my internship by reaching out to blogs to see if they would accept a guest post.
Every week I emailed around 50 individuals about posting to their blogs. I also wrote at least two guest posts a week. Often, articles that I sent took a minimum of two weeks before they were published. Twice a month I checked the ranking status on Google of a few of our dealers. The dealers who were struggling to rank with Google become my primary focus as I built citation and directory links. I also contributed by using templates to create sharable infographics and images to display in guest posts.
Applying My Knowledge
Because of the incredible experience that I gained while interning at Monkey Bar Storage, I feel confident that I can use the techniques that I learned while interning to help our clients build their SEO and local brand recognition.
5 Tips for a Better Selfie
Knowing how to take a great selfie is a must in the social media world. Whether you are going to Yellowstone National Park, or if you just woke up looking really good, we want to help you put your best face forward with our 5 tips for a better selfie.
1) Use Higher Angles
When we say use higher angles, we aren’t suggesting that you place your phone directly over you, making it look like you are a giant floating head with feet poking out. What we are saying is that when you have the camera on your phone angled at your eyes or slightly above it will automatically slim you out. If you want to take this a step further, try poking your chin forward to remove any extra chins that you may want to hide.
2) Show Off Your Figure
We all want to look hot, right? Pose in front of your camera in a way that flatters your body. Whether you are sitting or standing, try practicing good posture. Trying to look more feminine? Bend your joints to look more curvy and barely part your lips to give an innocent look. If you are trying to look more masculine, stand with your shoulders square to the camera and puff out your muscles. If you want to look more rugged, try clenching your jaw to look like you just saved Gotham City.
3) Relax your Forehead
By the end of our lives, we will have lived at least 70% of it with wrinkles. Something that we see all the time with selfies, is that people will wrinkle up their foreheads when they smile. This makes them look a few years older than they actually are. When you go to take a selfie, first do a very natural calm smile, then exhale a laugh or a chuckle to give you a real smile without a wrinkled forehead.
4) Use Your Best Camera
Most front facing cameras on cellphones have a smaller resolution than rear facing cameras. For this reason, we recommend turning your phone around and taking a picture with your case facing you for a higher quality selfie. Because you can’t see your screen with this technique, we recommend taking a few “practice” selfies before any selfie events.
5) Lighting is Everything
While taking a selfie, keep in mind that the darker the area, the more grainy your picture will be. The best way to avoid this is to take a selfie near a window or outside. Just because it is typically brighter during the middle of the day, does not mean that you will have a more flattering image because there is more light. The best times to take a selfie outside is right after the sun rises, and right before it sets, (golden hour).
Whether you are looking for a new profile picture, or even if you are just looking for a cute picture to send your crush, we hope our 5 tips for a better selfie help you out. Let us know in the comments below any selfie tricks that you’ve discovered!
Large Family Pictures in West Yellowstone
This last weekend we had the opportunity to take pictures of a family just outside of West Yellowstone. The family was celebrating their grandparent’s anniversary by getting together to take a large family picture. Large family pictures are interesting because it is extremely rare to have everyone looking and smiling perfectly at the camera. To compensate for this, we shot these pictures with a tripod and a continuous shutter. Once we were done taking the pictures we brought them into Photoshop where we combined the best pictures of different individuals to make a perfect shot.
Composite Large Family Picture
This image from the Yellowstone family pictures is a total of six different pictures all composited into one beautiful picture with everyone looking at the camera.
The lighting was beautiful the entire time while we were there. In Photoshop, we brought some of the natural light out more giving a nice natural look to this image during a cloudy day.
Smaller Family Pictures
For a little extra, we shot individual family pictures in Yellowstone of smaller family groups.
Dogs are Family
Janae is a total sucker for dogs, she especially loved editing this picture because she dodged and burnt the dog’s fur to make him stand out more with his family.
This was a really fun picture to take because everyone had such a great reaction to grandma and grandpa kissing.
BYU-Idaho College Senior Pictures
Unlike other colleges who are already on summer break, BYU-Idaho classes are still going strong because of our three track system. There is only about a month left until BYU-Idaho students say goodbye to classes and hello to summer. Some of us will be going back to school in September, some not until January, but many will be taking on the world of job hunting and careers.
Sherilynne is a college senior, for her pictures we took them in the BYU-Idaho Gardens. We used our rouge flash bender and an auxiliary flash in slave mode. College senior pictures are a great way to announce your great accomplishment to your family and friends. This was a mini-photoshoot, meaning that we only took pictures for 20 minutes at a discounted price. Book your individual pictures with Harker Media today!