Category Archives: MSU GDSN

elbow apple carpet saddle bubble

deployment journalIraq BookThis is the my explanation of time in Iraq

buy the hardcopy of this book at

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T-shirt project

The clock is a 1960’s style Mickey Mouse clock. The hands on the clock are Mickey’s arms. I used the arms to point at my words, making a connection between my image and my words. The words I associate most with this clock are related to Americana. In the process of thinking of American icons I thought of the reason why I was associating this clock with that theme. I had to step back from the object itself and examine the idea behind it. This clock is literally one of hundreds of different Disney clocks. Each clock uses the characters arms as the hands. The Disney clock is a cultural staple. Most people can remember a Disney clock from their past. These clocks are designed in a whimsical manner, which lends themselves to its target audience. Children are the predominate consumer of all Disney merchandise. I personally have always had some reservations about the idea of marketing a product to children. To me the concept of marketing to kids reminds me of Nazi Germany. I know the reference is a bit extreme, but the Nazis indoctrinated their kids to hate the Jews, and all Disney is doing is telling kids to love their anthropomorphized mice and ducks. I played with this concept for my words, whether Disney was doing effective branding or if they were indoctrinating our youth with the love of their products. Brand  and Brainwash  flow very nicely and I think those two words sum up my stance on my object.

My T-shirt is a navy blue V-neck with red-orange lettering and illustration. I choose the quality blue V-neck because I wanted my T-shirt to look like a quality retro shirt. The shirt should convey the same feeling as the object. The lettering I picked is red-orange, because I wanted a color that would stand out. The font I chose for my letters is a condensed sans serif. Since brainwash is such a long word and brand is a relatively short word I chose this font to balance the piece. This project was difficult for me. Once I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to look it became one of my favorite projects.

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Typography Anatomy Flash Cards

 I was more interested in making functional cards with easily understood definitions than a highly designed piece of art. Using the cards for a quiz changed my outlook, my flashcards have a utilitarian function. My design for the definition side of the card was to have a large headline, and the definition in a smaller font.

This layout has the name of the word, and the definition, right justified, lined as far to the top right, and bottom right as possible. This creates a large white space, and I placed a 7% shadow of my letter in that space. I justified it to the left margin and centered the letter vertically between the headline and the definition. My copy on each card is roughly the same and my definitions all have the same structure. I start each definition with either A, The, or another two to three letter word. I cut the definition length by eliminating phrases like in typography  or repeating the name of the character like the aperture is  and so on. This gave my definitions a stable format that was easy to read from card to card, and therefore easy to memorize. I have some cognitive disabilities, and due to these limitations, it is difficult for me to memorize long strings of words. The more simple and concise the definitions are the easier it is for me to use them. The formatting was as much about function as it was about style.

The letters I use to group my cards are Q, J, K, A, D, fl, and G. I categorized my flashcards so I could break the studying down to smaller 4 or 6 card groups. Since I had this idea of having these seven letters I put all seven letters on each card as an additional style element. On the illustration, I made my letter simple. I used a basic serif font, and pointed at the desired area of the letter with a 30% grey carrot. Both the front and back of my flashcards are utilitarian in design. I made sure that my cards were as functional as possible. I got an A on the test the cards were used for. That shows the effectiveness of the flashcards.


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Album Cover Project

I interjected an American feel. I did this by the use of patriotic colors and a western woodcut motif.

The restrictions alowed for the use of a pattern, I used the pattern less as a design element but rather more of a texture. I allowed the copy be the major design element on the page.

The album itself instead of lableing each side one andside two, I use the title of the record To America with Love.


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Expressive Type

Expressive TypographyT
he definition of my word Narcissistic is “undue fascination with oneself”. I chose the word because I liked the multiple s’s, c’s, and i’s. I looked for the individual letters to see what manipulation was possible. I got very lucky with the fact that narcissistic has a double s in the middle of the word. I focused on this aspect. The two s’s in the word give me a chance to manipulate the word by flipping one of the two to create a perfect heart. I used several different fonts. I decided on a serif. When I mocked up my word with a sans serif the heart looked to much like the heart, you could no longer see the word. The word lost its subtlety. By using a serif it made the heart fade into the word. I also used a serif because I felt that a narcissistic word would choose to have serifs.

I approached this assignment with the idea that the word was able to choose how it was formatted. Since narcissistic is sort of an obnoxious word, it would choose be formatted overly large. I put my word in the middle of the page and made it as large as possible. I made my word go all the way across the page. I also made my word a bit higher than center, to emphasize the self importance of the word. This aspect of the word was the easiest aspect of creating the feel of the word. The word narcissistic was a perfect word for me; it gave me a chance to do something as outrageous and obnoxious as possible.

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Pop Icon

Kim Jong-IlMy pop icon is Kim Jong-Il. I chose Kim Jong-Il  because he is such a freak, he is such a complicated guy and yet so easy to make into cartoon. I know quite a bit about him because I was stationed in South Korea near the DMZ in 2006, and just by proximity I learned quite a bit about him. I also am fascinated by Narcissism; it is sort of a theme that runs through all of my works. It interests me about how people could have such fanatical views of themselves. The ideas mostly associated with Kim Jong-il are about his ridicules propaganda. His official biography reads like a satirical column about a narcissistic, absolute dictator. His biography states his first round of golf he shot a 38 with 11 hole in ones, it also says that he was born on top of a scared mountain signified by a double rainbow. He was obviously a cartoon of a human. The image I created of “the great leader” is one of him with sunglasses looking off into the distance, where he is portrayed as a rockstar. Because of his persona and the way he acts like the 5th member of Poison he could not be portrayed in any other way.

The project consisted of my “rockstar” Kim Jong-Il image, an image of Hitler’s hair, and an image of Marie Antoinette’s hair. Hitler and Antoinette’s hair are both very abstracted. Because their hair are both very iconic I could abstract quite a bit for effect. I made both of those images as cutouts so it makes the viewer imagine Kim Jong-Il as either of those two. Hitler was a dictator who interested in military power and eugenics, same as Kim Jong-Il. Marie Antoinette was the image of opulence, she spent her people’s money like it was her own, and later was killed because of it. Kim Jong-Il’s eccentricity like his $700,000 cognac would fit in well in pre-revolution France. Kim Jong-Il was a very interesting man, and he was tailor-made for this assignment.

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