Almost Famous

The Jenna Show has been on air for 19 years, 1 month, and 21 days. It all started when Jenna was born. She was to be the main character of the show, and grow up with everyone watching. She wouldn’t be acting, and the audience loved her for it. They all knew her like a best friend, a sister even, but she didn’t really know anyone.

She had always wanted to travel, but her parents “couldn’t afford” to send her anywhere. When she turned 18, she started fundraising so she could visit somewhere other than her small town. It seemed to her like no one else had ever left that town. Her fundraising efforts had to be dismantled. We had cast and crew steal the money, we had special effects wind blow it away, we even had her identity stolen once she started using the bank. That was the only thing I ever regretted about this show. I never felt that we were depriving her of anything until that day.

Anyways, I don’t have much to do with the show anymore. I just designed the logo. I designed it to be blue and pink because we originally didn’t know whether it would be a boy or girl on the show. My career has taken off as a graphic designer after The Jenna Show first aired. I will be forever grateful to her, though she will never know me.

I chose this 4 star assignment because I wanted to make a logo for the “show.” I wanted it to be simple and represent what the show is about (basically constant surveillance). I was happy to find a pre-made logo with these colors because they are two of my favorite colors. I wanted to make something that was unmistakable as The Jenna Show, and something that people would remember.


I used to create this logo. First, I added the text by clicking the T text button. I typed in The Jenna Show.

I then chose a font. I selected the Handwriting category then the Rock Salt font. I wanted something easy to read but that would also stand out.

I then navigated to the search bar at the top lefthand corner of the screen and searched “camera.”

I selected the logo I liked best. I then resized it by dragging the corners or the logo, just like in  Powerpoint.

I then moved the text by clicking and dragging the text box to the center of the video camera. Then I changed the color of the text by highlighting the text and using the color wheel on the bottom right hand corner to match the words to the pink of the camera.

You can then click the save button in the upper right hand corner, and choose the free option!



Harry Potter And…Jenna

Choose one of your favorite movie quotes and insert the quote over an image from the movie you chose.

Some of my favorite movies ever are the Harry Potter series. There isn’t one I don’t like. ABC family frequently runs Harry Potter marathons, especially during the summer. So when I chose this assignment for 3 stars, I knew exactly what movie I would choose a quote from. Also, if you are going through all of my posts, you might be sensing a theme here.

J.K. Rowling is not only a great author, but also a great person. She frequently tweets hilariously and that is another reason that I’ve had Harry Potter on my mind. The true reason, though, isn’t as shameless as a J.K. Rowling tweet or an ABC family movie marathon. No. My inspiration was something greater. It was my recent Harry Potter Back To Back Movie Marathon. No sleeping, minimal bathroom breaks, and absolutely NO pausing the movie.

I have wanted to do this marathon for a long time, but I never had the opportune moment. But at the beginning of this summer, with the support of my mom, I endeavored to watch all eight Harry Potter films straight. The hardest part wasn’t staying awake, it was actually trying to sit comfortably for so long (19 hours and 38 minutes, without credits). I had to stand up and jump around a little after the third movie, and did so every so often following that first episode of jumping jacks. I didn’t eat as much as I expected to, but I guess sitting on a couch for 19 hours doesn’t really work up an appetite. My biggest tip would be to be very conscious of your water intake. While you don’t want to be dehydrated, you also can’t pause the movie, so drink responsibly. This would be much more doable if it were split into two days, and I would do that in the future. I’m glad I completed this task, but never again.

I chose this quote because Dumbledore is the smartest man, real or fake, I’ve ever known (or not known) and his quotes always resonate with me. This one especially. Here’s how I created this simple quote.


First, find your movie and your quote. The quote I chose was “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which was spoken by Dumbledore. Then I opened a Powerpoint and typed in this quote.

Then, Google a picture of the character who said the quote, in this case Dumbledore, and find a high quality picture. Right click the image and save as to your desktop.

Then insert this picture into the Powerpoint by clicking insert > photo > picture from file and selecting your picture.

Move the photo to the background by selecting the photo, right click and choose arrange > send to back.

Now that the quote is back on top, highlight all the words to make them a good font and size. I chose the font Gabriola and set the quote to size 28 and the movie credit to size 18.

Then save the Powerpoint as a PNG or JPEG file.

When uploading to WordPress, select add media and then upload files. Click and drag the photo into the upload files folder and click insert into post. Once inserted into post, click the photo and a tool bar will appear. Click on the pencil. Then choose edit original.

Next, click and drag across the preview image. A border will appear and you can adjust the edges to crop out the white border. Click the crop icon in the upper lefthand corner to finish the crop. Then click save.

And there you have it, the finished product.

2 Hours to 4 Icons

Reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer!

I clicked on this week’s suggested assignments because it was late and I needed inspiration. When I saw the One Story/Four Icons assignment, for 3.5 stars, I was so excited to complete it. I had already had experience working with The Noun Project for a previous design assignment and I liked the simplicity and ease the logos afforded my designs. I also love movies, and I wanted to do the movie poster assignment, but was too intimidated. I figured this one would challenge me in the same way creatively, but be easier to execute. I chose my movie (it is one of my favorites) and this is how I created my movie reduction. I posted the finished design on Twitter so that I could see responses of what movie people thought it was. If you want to see the movie revealed, click here.

First think of a movie or story you know well and can reduce down to just four icons. Got it? Good. Now go to The Noun Project and search for and download the icons you want. Keep in mind that the logos should have the same style and line thickness so that they look like they belong together.

My first step was actually to think through my designs and sketch them out. I recommend doing this so there is a vision and you know exactly what to search for. At this step, I had not yet decided what movie to do but these drawings are for two different movies.


Once I finally decided my movie, I searched for lightning bolt.

Then click download > PNG > creative commons. If you don’t have an account it will ask you to create one. Making an account is free and allows you to download all these logos for free through creative commons as long as you give credit to the artist.

I then searched for and downloaded three more icons, and used the same downloading process as the first one.

I searched for a broom, an owl, and an envelope.

I’m sure by now most of you know what movie I’m describing. I know it’s obvious but it’s one of my favorite movies/stories of al time so just bear with me.

Then, open Powerpoint and insert all the logos. Do them each one at a time.

After inserting the logo, crop the name out by selecting format picture > crop. A border will appear around the photo. Click and drag the border until the name is outside of it, then select crop again.

Then insert and crop the remaining logos using the steps above.

Then click and drag logos around the screen and resize them until it looks the way you want.

I wanted the broom to angle the other way, so I selected format picture > rotate > flip horizontal.

Then I made sure it was in the order I wanted with correct spacing, and I grouped all the logos together. Click and drag over the whole slide so that all the logos are selected. Next, right click and select grouping > group.

The last step is to save as a PNG or JPEG. Now your four icon movie can be uploaded anywhere!

Design blitz

I wanted to first learn a bit more about design, so that’s why I opted to do my design blitz later in the week. After reading through and listening to some of the materials provided, I had a better understanding of design concepts and what makes a good design. I tried out some techniques in design assignments this week and I took pictures throughout the week for this blitz. I was at first unsure about where to find these design concepts, but then realized they are everywhere. A lot of artwork jumped out at me as having these design concepts, but I didn’t want to just include pictures of pictures. The following photos are my favorite from this week that I believe best represent four key design concepts.


The first concept I decided to tackle was color. I think this is the easiest concept to understand, but not necessarily to execute. Color theory is something I hadn’t taken much notice of before this week, but after watching videos and reading The Vignelli Canon I came to understand why certain colors look well together, whereas others look fine but there’s something slightly off that you can’t put your finger on, or why some things just look flat out bad. I liked Karen Kavett’s explanation of color theory best because it was easy to understand and she gave relatable examples that I could remember and apply to my work. The example of Youtube thumbnails and the vibrating effect certain colors have next to each other really opened my eyes to a new way of exploring color.

For this concept I took a photo of a piece of art in my house. I could have also  used this piece for balance, because of the even sections that create symmetry throughout the piece. I decided to use this for color because I really like the mostly monochromatic color scheme. These colors all work well together because of their cool temperature. Even the yellow sections have a coolness to them. The more neutral dark blue and white sections offset the bright blue and turquoise colors throughout the piece and ensure that even with a lot of patterns, it isn’t overwhelming to look at. The avoidance of complimentary colors here allows the eye to move smoothly across the canvas, instead of dragging around seemingly vibrating edges that complimentary colors create. To me, these colors symbolize the calming effect of blue, rather than the sadness it can sometimes elicit. This color scheme keeps the picture from looking too cluttered, even with all its different patterns. This is one of the best ways to use monochromatic schemes. The use of yellow also serves as a contrast to the blue, and is used sparingly so that it enhances and does not over power the painting.


The second concept I photographed in my blitz was balance. Having been inspired by the balanced aspects of my color piece, I looked for balance all around me. I found it at a craft fair. I found this piece of art at a boardwalk craft fair. I first noticed it because it was very unique; each scene was suspended inside pf a window pane. I first noticed the balance because of the line cutting the window into two halves. This lead me to compare the two halves, and find that however similar they are, they are nonetheless asymmetrical. When I first glanced at this I thought it was symmetrical, so what led me to believe that? Firstly, both sides have a background that is symmetrical. The twigs and flowers give a background that fools the eye into thinking the rest of it is symmetrical. The rest of the design uses the same things to decorate with. Both sides have starfish, shells, and a sand dollar. Because the same things are displayed on each side, it seems that symmetry would follow.

I presume the artist didn’t make the two sides symmetrical because it is more interesting for each side to be slightly different. Arranging the objects from each side differently is the asymmetry in this piece, but it seems symmetrical because of the like objects used. This is the genius in this piece, to me, because it is the illusion of symmetry that pleases the eye, but the absence of it that pleases the mind.


I stumbled across this one. I was sitting in a restaurant with my grandparents and I was seated facing this clock. I had just recently been reading over the different design concepts needed for this design blitz, and typography was fresh in my mind. I was also really intrigued by this old clock, and how the typography added to the antique effect.  So as soon as we finished eating I snapped a pic.

The fonts in this clock add to the design of it by being simple, bold, and retro. Even if the clock wasn’t rusty one would know that it was old because of the fonts used. The use of different fonts and font sizes allows the eye to focus on the most important parts, the ones with bold and large font. The words “cool roasted” and “coffee” stand out on purpose by the design, and they are the most important parts to be read. Less important messages are written in smaller and less contrasting fonts and colors. The clear, bold, contrasting words signify their importance and the font encapsulates the era of the clock. Without using different fonts this might be much less interesting to look at, and using different fonts might have made it less retro or harder to read. The typography in this case accomplishes many design goals.


I finished my design blitz by looking around the kitchen My eyes settled on the wine rack and stayed there, not because I wanted a drink, but because the curved metal rack had caught my eye for some reason. As I sat there trying to think of my last design element to use, it hit me. The wine rack is holding your attention because of the way it is designed. Not only does it serve its purpose well, but it looks good doing it. I looked at my notes to figure out which element it was and I decided on rhythm.

Rhythm stands out to me in this piece because of the repetition in each layer of the design. It is sort of a zig-zag pattern, but less with softer edges. The rhythm of this piece works well because the pattern is simple but interesting, and the regular intervals ensure that each opening is the same size. Repetition is necessary for the rack so that it can hold more than one bottle at a time. This is where form and function meet rhythm. Rhythm helps this object to achieve its form and function, while maintaining a pleasing design. This is the feat designers overcome daily: making usable objects that are nice to look at and follow basic design principles.

These pictures can also be found on my Flickr.

Making the World a Better Place, One Design at a Time

I chose the Minimalize Your Philosophy assignment, worth 2.5 stars, because I wanted to try my hand at designing something from scratch. I wanted to take into consideration Vignelli’s points as well. I focused mostly on choosing the right font and keeping the spacing of the design aesthetically pleasing. At first I wasn’t even sure what my philosophy is, so my first step was to figure that out. After some searching and reading articles on other people’s philosophies, I decided my philosophy would be “Make the world a better place.”

Pick your favorite quote OR make up your own phrase which describes a philosophy that you try to live by. Design a minimalist poster depicting the concept.

I was born on earth day, and every year when my birthday rolls around I try to focus more on the earth around me than myself. Of course I try to respect the earth every day, but on earth day there is so much attention brought onto the well-being of our planet, I want to respect that attention it deserves. I am also planning to major in environmental science. The funny thing is, I was never that interested in the sciences during high school. I had never considered environmental science as a major or a job, so I still don’t know what I want to do, other than to make the world a better place.

During my first year at UMW I took many different classes that interested me, including environmental science and digital studies. I think those two courses, and now this one, have culminated to give me all the insight I need to complete this assignment. I care about the earth, I have a good amount of knowledge on digital literacy, and through this class I have expanded on my design comprehension and visual literacy. So here I go, trying to save the earth, one design at a time.

This minimalist design represents what I stand for and reflects my personality. The blue flowing background is calm like I (usually) am, and the globe itself is something I feel connected to.


I wanted a simple image of a globe, so I went to The Noun Project, knowing that they had simple logos. I searched “earth” and picked out one I liked. Then click download and choose PNG and the creative commons option. You will then be prompted to make an account; just enter your email so that you can download items for free, just make sure to give the artists credit. This globe image is by Nikita Kozin.

Then I searched for a picture of rays of light, because I wanted to but the rays behind the earth in my design. The following design is by Goker Cebeci. If you want to pay for The Noun Project then you can download pictures in color ad under the royalty free option. I did not pay, so I downloaded this image the same as the previous one.

I then opened a blank Powerpoint slide and inserted the two images. I cropped the names out of the logos by going to format picture > crop and adjusting the borders so that it is just the logo.

I then dragged the rays into the center of the slide and inserted a circle by going to insert > shapes > oval and clicking and dragging until the circle was as big as I wanted the globe to be.

I then changed the color of the circle by clicking on the paint bucket and choosing white. Then click the pencil and choose no line so there is no outline.

Then move the globe on top of the white circle and fit it so that the edge of the globe lines up with the edge of the white circle.

Add text to the screen by going to insert > textbox and type in your philosophy. Then go through the fonts and choose one that fits. I chose Lucida Grande. Then choose a font size that fits, I chose 36 point font, and then centered the textbox. 

Next, merge all the layers together. Highlight all the images (2 logos and white circle), right click and select grouping > group to merge all three layers into one. Then move the image until it is centered on the screen.

Lastly, change the background. Click on themes then choose the theme breeze.


Then save the Powerpoint and save as a JPEG or PNG file.



Star Donuts

Your goal for this assignment is to take your favorite company’s trademark image or logo and reinterpret it in a way that reflects the design of its enemy. The important thing is to still have the original company’s message and essence within the new design, but masked by the competitor’s look.

This 4.5 star design assignment piqued my interest by the interesting logo that was designed; it combined McDonald’s and Burger King. I immediately wanted to do this assignment because of the cultural relevance of the project, and because creative thinking is required. I love Starbucks and sometimes go to Dunkin’ Donuts, but I am biased towards the more trendy (and expensive) Starbucks.

Once I decided to tackle this assignment I knew I wanted to do a really well known company and it’s slightly lesser counterpart (in my eyes), kind of like the McDonald’s and Burger King example. I chose Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts because in high school people chose either one or the other, so it was a fresh debate in my mind. I also love coffee. I wanted to try my hand at integrating designs, especially with logos. Vignelli’s booklet really connected to this assignment because it gave me tips about design and balance. It also gave specific logo suggestions, like not changing classic and engrained logos. I somewhat challenged this notion by altering the classic logo just a little. I chose to keep Starbucks as the overall logo because I figured it was more universally recognizable. Here’s how I did it!


I first Googled the Starbucks logo, and started with this image.

I then decided to use Powerpoint because I had tools in mind that I knew that application had. I started with a blank Powerpoint slide and imported the original Starbucks logo. The first editing step was to insert > basic shapes > donut onto the slide. When the donut is selected, alter the color to match the green logo. I did this by trial and error until I got to a color that was close to the original green.

Next, insert > textbox >wordart and type Dunkin’ into the box. While that box is selected go to effects > transform > arch up to make the text curve.

Then insert another textbox and write Donuts, but this time choose arch down. Next, insert > shapes > stars & banners > 5 point star to add the stars back to the logo. Color the star white, then copy and paste that star onto the other side of the circle.


Then, go to insert > shapes > basic shapes > oval and click and drag to make a circle around the mermaid.

While the circle is selected, click the paint bucket and choose no fill.

Keeping the circle selected, click the pencil and choose white as the color of the outline. Then select line weight and choose a thick option that fits best.

After this step the editing is done. Make sure to save as a JPEG or PNG file so that it will save as one image.



We’ll Get There Eventually

This week’s mandatory assignment was very daunting to me. I am not proficient at extensively editing pictures, so I needed some guidance. I found a tutorial using GIMP, which is what I use, on another blog. This made me feel much less overwhelmed by the project by giving simple, step by step instructions. I did do some things differently, but I never would have known where to start without the other blog post.

Take an existing image and change the concept in where you are at and what you are doing.

Two Original Photos:


Final Product:

I chose these two pictures to combine because they were two of my favorite memories of 2016. The background is a photo of UMW’s campus during our one (lame) snow day this past year, and the second picture is of my best friend Meredith and me in the Bahamas last summer. Meredith lives 5 hours away from me and I don’t see her a lot, but the summer before we both went to college we took a cruise with my family to the Bahamas. I made some of my favorite memories there, like swimming in bright blue waters with dolphins, watching Star Wars in the middle of the ocean, and 24/7 soft serve ice cream service.

I have also made amazing memories and new friends during my first year at UMW, especially on this snow day. My friends and I just hung out and enjoyed our short reprieve from classes in the cold. I also chose these pictures because they are from two opposing climates; the Caribbean beach and a Virginia campus in snow. I thought it would be a more interesting picture to have these two opposites joined together.


The first step is to import the photo you want to cut out into GIMP. Then, using the free select tool, that looks like a lasso, click and drag around the image you want to cut out. I cut out the two people.

Then, right click and select edit > cut

Next, open a new GIMP file and import the photo you want as your background.

Right click on the photo and select edit > paste as > new layer, which will add your previous cut image to the top layer of this image.

While the new layer is still selected, right click and select layer > scale layer which will allow you to increase or decrease the size of the new layer to fit the background.

You can then move the cut and scaled image by selecting the move tool, which looks like fours arrows pointing up, down, left, and right. Just click and drag the image to where you want it.

Then use the zoom tool, that looks like a magnifying glass, to zoom in to about 200%.

Now, using the eraser tool, click and drag over the pixelated edges of the cut image. Just go slow and do little by little. This part doesn’t have to be perfect!

Then use the blur tool, that looks like a water drop, to click and drag over the edges that were just erased so that they can be smoothed out.

At this point, zoom out and male sure the picture looks good. I then saved my image and exported it as a JPEG or PNG file. I then uploaded the image to to edit my picture and make the two layers blend together. I mainly made the overall color cooler and lowered the saturation. Then I downloaded the finished image, and it’s all done!

Happy editing!

Everybody Makes Mistakes. Everybody Has Those Days.

Take an actor’s mistake and turn it into an animated GIF.

I found this assignment , worth 2 stars, on someones else’s blog, and was inspired to create my own version because I love blooper reels. I frequently spend time on Youtube looking at my favorite show’s blooper reels. Making this project was the most fun I’ve had because of how much I enjoy watching bloopers in general. I watched a few funny videos in the name of research for this assignment.

It is important to choose a clip that is an obvious physical blooper, because mistakes in dialogue aren’t as noticeable in a GIF, especially if there aren’t captions. I think a physical goof is better able to be represented in GIF form.

I found this blooper from a season 6 blooper reel of The Office, and I had so much fun making it I decided to create another one. The next blooper I created was from a Parks and Rec ultimate blooper reel.

I used the same process as my previous blog posts about GIFs. I chose these two bloopers because The Office and Parks and Rec are two of my favorite funny shows. I wanted to choose a funny show instead of a dramatic one because I figured the bloopers in a funny show would be extra funny.

Get Incredibly Funky

Choose your favorite musician, and then head to Youtube and pick one of their videos to make an animated gif of.

This assignment seemed like an easy and fun way to make my first-ever GIF.

This is a GIF of my favorite artist, Marina and the Diamonds. I was originally not excited about making a GIF because I thought it would be too hard. In one of my previous classes one assignment we could have chosen was to make a GIF and I avoided it because I was under the illusion that making a GIF is hard. I suppose making  a stop motion GIF or a more complicated multi-layer GIF would be more difficult than using Youtube, but this was easy!! 

I selected this music video (“Hollywood”) because it was the most appropriate and least weird of all my favorite songs of her’s. The video I was originally going to choose didn’t have a lot of movement, so I figured the GIF of it wouldn’t look very good. I am pleased how this GIF turned out because it has a lot of color and movement to it, which makes it interesting to look at. I chose this section of the music video because I am completing this assignment on Memorial Day, and I thought it would be nice to celebrate the American-ness of this clip.

To create this GIF I researched a bit first (aka I Googled “youtube to gif”) and then started the process. It was very simple and something I will definitely be using in the future.

Step 1: Find a Youtube video you want to transform a part of into a GIF

Step 2: Alter the URL of the video by adding gif, as highlighted below


Step 3: Choose where you want the GIF to start. Click the time shown on the bottom bar to select an initial start time. Then a blue bar will appear that shows the duration of the GIF. You can slide the blue bar around and see which part of the video looks best as a GIF.

Step 4: Click the green check mark at the bottom left of the screen to confirm your selection of GIF start time. There are other adjustments to the GIF that can be made by using the tool bar on the left, but they weren’t needed for this assignment. Once you are happy with your GIF, click create GIF in the top right corner of the site.

Step 5: Download the GIF, or use the other links, depending on what you are doing to the GIF.

Step 6: While using a WordPress blog, click add media and upload the GIF. When embedding the GIF in a blog post it is important to select full size so that the GIF will play automatically.