Sloths as Icons

illustrations of sloths with various emotions

Why Sloths?

Well, why not sloths? As I searched for an idea for this icon project I realized that I wanted to do something fun and different. However, I had no idea at what that could be. I did lots of sketches, I sketched my family, Pirates of the Caribbean, chores, flowers, packing lists, musical notes, flowers, cats, writing instruments, times of the day, and finally some sloths. The sloths were chosen because they were cute and they are what my children picked as their favorite sketches. I’m lucky, that I have children who are willing to help mom pick out ideas for assignments.  I also chose the sloths because I was pretty sure that none of my classmates would do something like them and I wanted to be different.

Assignment Requirements

I really like using Adobe Illustrator, it’s my favorite program to work in because I’ve worked in it the most and I’m starting to feel like I understand what I’m doing when I use it. Using different shapes was a fun way to create a little character and it did take a while to figure out shapes that gave him some personality. I used pictures of sloths to come up with the colors for his face and body. I decided to go simple with his arms and legs. I love the sleeping sloth because you can see that his arms are longer than his legs, just like a real sloth. The proportions do look off, but they look off on a real sloth too. Each sloth has their own color and emotion: pink is happy, purple is so sad, green is surprised, yellow is super happy, blue is sleeping, and orange is a cheeky little fellow. I truthfully can’t pick a favorite and neither can my target audience (my kids).

As you can see in the rest of the post I’ve included the 60 x 60 pixel and 400 x 400 pixel renderings. I would change a few things on the original sloths to make their faces a little clearer when they are at the 60 x 60 size. The pink and purple’s mouths look more like silly mustaches instead of a smile and frown. Overall, I’m quiet pleased with how they turned out and I think this was a fun assignment to complete.

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Ty•pog•ra•phy

Black and white poster with the quote, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. ~Thomas Edison"
Created by Ben Fearnley

Orignal Poster

I chose this quote poster because I wanted to focus solely on typography. This caught my eye because of the way he uses the fonts to create interest and the lines that catch attention. It is also easy to read, he uses multiple types of fonts which adds contrast without creating issues with the fluency of reading.

Types of Fonts

 I loved that he used different font families because they do not clash or create reading issues.

The red dots are by words that are written in an Oldstyle font.  They are identified by their slanted serifs, thick to thin transitions, and curved bracketing. He also included an italicized “is” for us to examine, it is italicized because of the slant of the letters.

The blue highlights all those that are Sans Serifs. They are identified by the lack of serifs, no thick to thin transitions which creates no stress because there is no thick/thin within the letters.

The green signals the family of Decorative fonts that also seem to be related to the sans serifs. These fonts are easy to identify because it often feels like someone is playing with the letters and having a blast doing so. The ones used in this quote do keep qualities of sans serifs while making them playful.

And finally, the purple is the lone wolf Slab Serif. This font is identified by the horizontal thick slabs and vertical stress of the word, there is also very little thick to thin transitions.

All these fonts used together give this quote a playful feel while also feeling well designed.

Varying Sizes of Type

 Through this quote he uses the size to separate the phrases while creating a visual flow throughout the quote. He uses the contrasts of black and white to add emphasis to the smaller words. Even though the “is” is small it still has weight and matters because of the strong contrast that it has in the poster.

WEIGHT of Type

Throughout this quote he uses the principle of weight. We know that the whole quote is based about design because it is large and bold, this signifies its importance. The black shadowing on the word inspiration gains our attention because it is a different weight than what is around it. While the bold, thick lines around percent also grab attention and all these work together to pull our eyes down through the quote making us read it.

highlighting the direction of type

Direction of Type

The alignment of the lines and text create the illusion of a rectangular box around the quote. He mixes centered text with text that is justified to the edges of the lines. I liked that he kept all the words going in the same direction as the repetition of the lines and words flowing the same direction brings strength to his piece.

Conclusion

In conclusion this simple black and white quote has contrast through the use of color, font type, sizes, and use of lines. It has repetition in the fonts and lines, which creates the feeling of cohesiveness. The alignment has been set with purpose with the use of both centered and justified text. The lines in the quote help to solidify the proximity of the words gathered between each set of lines. This helps us to understand how these ideas interact with each other. Using these simple design principles helps to bring meaning to a quote in a quick and efficient way. As much as I like this poster, I think I would have created more emphasis on the second part of the quote because ninety-nine percent is much greater than one percent.

Why does this poster look good?

Original Poster

I found this poster on the behance website and it instantly caught my attention. Through this post I will explain why I feel like it is a good example of the design principles that we have been studying.

Poster displaying information comparing men's salaries to women's salaries in a variety of countries.
Poster designed by ~ Li Zhang

Alignment

The sharp line that goes down this poster helps to create a visual connection between the writing at the top of the page and throughout the graphs. This one element makes the poster look seamless and I know it took a conscious effort on the designers part.

Color

She picks two typical colors for boys (blue) and girls (pink). However, she switches things up by choosing non-typical shades of pink and blue that have good contrast towards each other. To create more interest she introduces tints throughout the pinks in the round graph and tints both the pink and blue on the smaller bar graph. These colors all work well on the grey background, which helps the colors pop and grab your attention.

Contrast

The contrast that caught my eye was the in the way that she displayed the graphs. Having a smaller graph connected to a larger graph that is exploding off the other one is unusual. This made me want to stop and study the poster in greater detail.

Proximity

She did a great job of keeping alike information together through grouping information together. She also uses fonts to help separate the different groups of information, for example, the title and the paragraphs of more detailed information.

Repetition

The repetition in this poster that caught my attention is the way that the white dots help to connect the data. Also all of the white text helps me to know that everything that is white is dealing with explaining, clarifying, or connecting data.

Conclusion

This poster caught my attention because it displayed potentially mundane information in a way that made it appealing. She took graphs that we are used to seeing, and turned them into art. She paid attention to details and worked hard to make sure the information that was displayed was understandable and beautiful. It proved to me that even basic information that has the potential to be mundane and boring, can be made into something intriguing and different.