Pepsi's Colorful New Bottles

I was at walmart and saw a display of colorful new pepsi bottles. Normally if I was going to buy a Cola beverage I would always pick Coca-Cola because of the taste and because their logo is much better, but I just couldn't resist buying one of these bottles. The bright color, the simple design and the fact that each bottle says something different just screams out to the design geek in me, "Buy me!"


Tightly Kerned Type Project

This is a project I did recently for Ed's type class. I had fun making it so I thought I would share it. Happy Friday!


A Kerning Lesson

I've been getting traffic recently from people looking for information on kerning. Seeing this made me remember when I had first started out and was trying to learn as much about design as quickly as possible. I searched for instructions on kerning and I found the results to be pretty disappointing. Even though now I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of the concept, I've never heard kerning explained as well as Ed Benguiat explains it. The following explanation is derived from his lesson on kerning.

A Basic Definition

Kerning is the process of adjusting the space between pairs of letters.

Practical Application

If we were to take three lines of text: AMERICAN, AIRLINES, AROUND and just type it out in Helvetica bold it might look passable but our goal is to fix the spacing so that it doesn't look there are holes of white space in the words.

First decide how tightly spaced you want the words to be and then determine the space between the first two letters

Once you have the space between the first two letters established you can kern the rest of the text. This isn't a purely mathematical thing, it's visual. Each letter is unique and the amount of positive and negative space it has is different so you can't rely on using Illustrator to make sure the space is numerically even. The way you do this is by looking at three letters at a time and moving the third letter left or right until it looks like the middle letter is centered between the first and third. 

Here are some examples of how the process might go:
This is a little too loose

This is too tight

This looks about right

Consistency Commandments:

Now that we've begun to space the letters there are some guidelines that will make it easier and faster so that you don't have to rethink each pair of letters

The space between two straights will always be the same.
For example if you have already established the space between "IB" you will know what to do later in a heading if encounter a "NM"

The space between two rounds will always be the same
If you have already established the space between "OC" you will know what to do when you see "OG"

The space between a straight and a round will always be the same.
If you have already established the space between "MO" you will know what to do when you see "HC"

Here is what you might get for a final product if you started off with the "AM" combination above

Here is what it looked like typed out without any modification, just for comparison


Kristen Caston

Kristen Caston's work is really great. I love the line work.
via Fleuron


Low expectations and the self-fulfilling prophecy

Recently I've been trying to make it a habit to carry a camera with me wherever I go. The other day E and I went out to take a walk and I hesitated for second as to whether I should grab the camera. I have an old Canon powershot so if I bring it anywhere it will either be in a backpack or in my hand because it's too big to go in a pocket. I thought about it for a few seconds and decided that I didn't really feel like holding the camera the whole way and besides we were only going to be walking around the block. We've walked around the block plenty of times and it was the middle of the day so the light was crappy so there wouldn't be anything new for me to photograph. We ended up walking around the block a few times and I didn't miss my camera too much until the last lap when I spotted a car with a really clever sign on it and of course I wished I had my camera so I could share it on the blog. This experience made me think a little bit. 

When I have my camera I look at things a lot more. As I mentioned earlier when I started to take pictures of American Flags; once I started paying attention I noticed flags everywhere. This made me wonder how many opportunities I had ignored in the previous two laps. I wonder how my expectations about what I'm going to see impacts what I actually do see. I think seeing things and getting inspired has a lot to do with attitude. If I expect not see anything interesting or beautiful, I'm likely to miss out.

I think a lot of things in life work this way; even conversations and relationships fall under this rule. I'm a christian so I like to have meaningful conversations about God and faith with people, christian and non-christian alike. Conversations like these are not necessarily cultural norms, but I find that the more I expect that people aren't interested in spiritual things the less I have those conversations.

Bringing the camera along for the ride says that expect to see something noteworthy during my day. I think I'll be bringing the camera.


Walmart's ad design

Normally I don't think of Walmart as company that does good design, I've always felt that, that's much more in Target's realm of expertise. When I got this ad in the mail yesterday I was pretty surprised. They're taking advantage of their re-branded look and I've got to say these bright colors, large pictures and fun layouts really made me want to flip through and buy stuff. I'm impressed.


Book cover design for Seconds

I did this book cover design for Ed Benguiat's class. It's based on the 1960s movie "Seconds"
Happy Fourth of July!


Richard Perez

I'm enjoying Richard Perez's student work, rebranding Jell-o
via Brand New