Greetings to my dedicated followers,

Simply Gestalt is back with a fresh website design and plenty of new content! Sorry I haven’t posted for so long. It’s been a very busy four months, to say the least. Nevertheless, I did not stop designing during this time. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow my Instagram (@simplygestalt) to view content that hasn’t made it to my blog yet!

Since I last posted, I joined 99Designs, a website where designers provide content for businesses (shoutout to  West Side Story Design Editor Catherine Ju for telling me about this site~).  I have to admit, the website is a bit daunting. As a designer for 99Designs, I am able to sign up for various projects and design work for them (ex: book covers, business logos, infographics, etc.). However, I am competing among hundreds of other designers, many of whom are professionals. Although I have yet to win a competition and have my work used, the website is very beneficial. It forces me to think creatively and create content even when I’m not feeling particularly inspired. Furthermore, it’s nice to see other designers’ work.

My role as Editor-in-Chief of the paper paired with my busy schedule had not given me much time to design as of late. I found myself constantly organizing, creating Google Forms, and tracking people down to get their work done. Although I don’t mind this work and I love my job as Editor-in-Chief, I also missed being able to design spreads I was genuinely excited about. For the most part, I had been picking up pages no one else had wanted to design, but it was better than not designing at all! Now that my schedule has eased up quite a bit, I’m glad to say I’m getting back into designing more spreads.

This graphic is part of an infographic on halitosis that I made for the National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis. There was a write-off session on infographics at the convention, where people sign up and are provided with information to create an infographic with. A panel of judges critique your work and there is potential to receive an award. At the convention, the group of students participating meet and participate in a peer critique in which the works are anonymous. It was a fun experience, and I was quite flattered when some peers assumed that the mouth graphic I created was stolen off the internet (it was not 😉 ). Unfortunately, the directions for the competition were quite vague so I didn’t know that all the information included didn’t have to be a part of the infographic. Thus, a majority of the critiques I received for this infographic were related to the text heaviness if. Given my lack of information, however, I’d say I did a fairly good job trying to minimize how text heavy it felt. In fact, I won a rating of “Excellent” in the write-off for infographics!

Avoiding a text-heavy infographic was pretty difficult, but I tacked the problem by first placing all the text on the space I had to work with (also, the instructions for this write-off did not include that the dimensions could be longer than a page!! that would’ve helped a TON…). I played around with fonts for a while until I found something that was fairly compact, but also clean and legible in small sizes. To make the graphic more reader friendly, I added little graphics next to each blurb. I’ve been really obsessed with watercolors as of late, so I went with a style with that in mind. Although bad breath is a pretty gross subject, I went with pinks and prettier colors because I figured it would catch a reader’s attention more. Furthermore, the bright look of it would stand out in say, a doctors office, among other flyers that look fairly dull. One of my peers said the look was that of a page that would be found in a fashion magazine, which I can see now that they mentioned it.

I struggled a lot to think of an original dominant element for this infographic– a lot of halitosis infographics utilize a mouth graphic in the center with text coming off of that, but I wanted to do something fresh. However, there was very little room to work with considering how much content needed to be packed on the page. Thus, I decided to utilize this text and turn it into the dominant element. I played around with the typography a lot until I finally settled with a cursive look with the “o” being a mouth. The mouth graphic was pretty fun to make, but a TON of work. I had to play around with it a lot, first trying to draw it by hand, then on my iPad and trying various apps. Eventually, I found what worked best was a photo of my mouth being placed with very high transparency and adding color on top of that. This way, there was clear definition and some parts of a real mouth came through, but it had a softer and more artistic feel with the watercolor brushes on top of that. I utilized brushes on Adobe Sketch and used various colors, messing around with transparencies to achieve this soft look.

I really liked juxtaposing blurred watercolors with clean, strict lines in the design, and I think it all came together nicely to form a good infographic! If I were to use this for anything else, I would probably cut down a lot of the text and make the dimensions larger so everything could breathe a little more.

I’ll be posting far more frequently from now on so stay tuned!

Catch ya l8r  =^.^=


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