Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The End.

This blog now has everything required for the course. Thank you!

Michael Turek

NussbaumOnDesign: Design Is Dead. Philippe Starck Says So. Again.

This post contemplated the idea of design being dead. While I can see where the argument comes from, I don't believe design is, or will be any time soon, dead. While anyone can design, it is a true skill that requires experience and vision. I think that companies will always seek a designer to make their business a lifestyle of sorts.

NussbaumOnDesign: Is Apple Innovative or Just Adaptive?

This is a question I've often pondered. Their history says yes. They created a personal computer that people could afford and use efficiently. However, IBM did the same. Truly, they did not invent the personal computer, they just designed their own take on it. The same goes for the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, and MacBooks. Both Nussbaum and I see this as innovation. No doubt, Apple has been innovative. However, what makes them different?

The truth is, what people pay extra for in an Apple product is the design.

A PC truly can do whatever a Mac can. However, it is very obvious that the controlled signature design is not there. The simplicity and elegance of a Mac's OS graphics or the computer's case really sells the product.

Some people may be fooled, some may prefer it. Either way, it says a lot for design.

Comments on Selected Design Blogs

John K's Blog:
"I never realized that such simple characters are so elegantly constructed.

It's really incredible to see a professional's view of classic characters. I've really become interested in character design ever since I began reading this blog."

-Bullwinkle character construction.

I Love Typography:
"It's very nice to have an inside perspective on the creation of a font. All the sketching and decisions that need to be made are incredible and inspiring. Thanks for this."

-An Interview With Jos Buivenga

Graphic Define:
"Great post. It's very true. Design really can sell a life style rather than a product. I can see that in Apple a lot. Many people discuss the community and life style that come with a Mac rather than the product itself. Whether this is a good thing, I am not sure. Either way, it makes design a bit more direct."

-What are you selling, really?

Core 77: "hood.e" puts mp3 speakers in your hoodie hood!

This post discusses a concept for another smart object which can be classified as wearable computing. The post describes a hoodie which embeds headphones into a hooded sweat shirt. While one may quickly dismiss the hoodie as a jack of all trades but master of none, the design is surprisingly stylish. The entire hoodie is two toned and bold, utilizing thick white lines creating an eye catching and progressive design.

Core 77: Touch Diamond Smart Phone

After the lecture given in class by Leonardo Bonanni, I felt like this was an interesting post.

A smart phone is essentially a phone that runs with its own Operating System. While not as unique and recent as some of the smart objects displayed by Bonanni, smart phones are a large step toward ubiquitous computing.

What makes the phone unique is its design. The back of the phone is divided into very angular and "iconic" segments. As well, there were supposedly many iterations of the phone using different finishes and materials. The phone appears to have achieved its unique exterior, separating it from many phones already on the market.

Seth's Blog: Four Words

In this post, Seth states four words that he believes sums up "great marketing":

Make big promises; overdeliver.

Truthfully, I see this as a little too ideal. Obviously everyone would like to make big promises and over deliver on them. This, however, does not necessarily yield the best results. Of course, if someone was able to follow through with this idea, the work would be impressive. However, if everyone was to make big promises and eventually not be able to over deliver, the results could be detrimental to a company. While Seth does acknowledge the difficulty of his idea, I find this post a little over the top. I believe that someone should push themselves, but promise to deliver what they know they can. If they can over deliver on these personal goals, they have succeeded.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

turek design

Some Sketches for My Logo

Final Project time.

Here are some ideas (including the final one)

the logo actually evolved from the picture of this turtle!

Here's a page from my sketchbook when I was trying some ideas out:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Design Vocabulary + Principles

Design is an indication of a confident society.

If there's resources to consider making something graphically appealing, obviously the community is confident.

Charles and Ray Eames designed slide 3 (the dome)

This exhibition was considered the crux of the Cold War.

vaneer - surface.

The greater the penetration of design, the stronger the company.

American Question: "What's next?"

  • Design = de-sign
    Design has functionality. It attempts to solve problems, while art in general can and cannot solve problems

Denotation = the facts, specificity

Connotation = suggestion, abstraction

The best design is:

"Design is desire disguised as function"

You probably can't understand this unless you're me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Logos are stylized. That is saying they are simple. They are a gateway to a company's personality.



Here's the "brandscape" for the final project.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Milton Glaser

At a young age, Glaser was already intent on becoming an artist. Early on, his desire was to be a cartoonist. In order to pursue this dream, he attended The New York High School of Act and Music. While there were courses on Graphic Design which he attended, Glaser's main focus during his time at the high school was on painting and cartooning. Eventually, Glaser states that he realized "there was another kind of world that went beyond my dream of being a cartoonist. I didn’t know exactly what it was yet, that there was such a thing called design." After high school, Glaser was promised a scholarship to Pratt which he intended to take. However, Glaser failed the entrance exam on two different occasions and did not receive his scholarship. Glaser moved on and began working as the art director for a packaging company. A few years later however, Glaser began attending Cooper Union and eventually became a Fullbright Scholar. This allowed him to pursue graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy.

After education, Glaser created a design studio called Pushpin Studios which he founded along with several of his fellow graduates from Cooper Union. In order to gain a client base, they produced and distributed a publication called the Pushpin Almanac, later the Pushpin Graphic. Eventually, the publication had gained subscribers. While Pushpin remains strong today, Glaser eventually moved on and formed his own studio aptly named Milton Glaser Inc. Later on, Glaser began teaching at the School Of Visual Arts and then Cooper Union, both in New York City. To date, Glaser designs and is an integral part of the design community. Glaser states that he has no plans to retire and that "There is nothing I fear more than the idea of having to retire. I fear retirement more than death." Obviously, the end of Glaser's career is nowhere in sight.Glaser’s style is unique in that each of his pieces seems equally different. Glaser acknowledges his variety of styles in an interview in his book Graphic Design. In this interview, he states "At one point in my life, I realized that anything I did long enough to master was no longer useful to me. I've always felt that I could explore many phenomena, that, in fact, the whole visual world developed." Throughout his work, this variety of styles is evident. While many of his pieces, such as his Dylan and Aretha posters, feature bold, vivid colors combined with life like recreations of people, many of his other pieces have a cartoonist like quality, such as his I Love New York campaign design or his Simon and Garfunkel poster. If one were to skim through a book of his collected works, they may wonder who else contributed to this book, however, it would just be Milton Glaser. In addition to having a broad range of styles, Glaser uses his work as a means of expressing his own political and moral ideas. Whether one looks at his redesign of his "I Love New York" into "I Love New York More Than Ever" campaign after September 11th or his "W stands for Wrong" piece about George W. Bush, one can't help but understand the mind of Glaser. He consistently creates profound observations with simple designs.


Milton Glaser, Graphic Design
Milton Glaser & Mirko Ilic, The Design of Dissent

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


textures from life:
the final step in the second project requires us to take a texture, crop it to an 8 x 8. then at the top left, select shape layers (far left). Then use it as a background. Make sure your resolution matches!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Seth's Blog: Getting Vs. Taking

On Seth Godin's blog, a short, yet insightful, post was made. Seth discusses the difference between getting and taking. For example, in class, you may get information but you don't "take" it. By "take", Seth means that a student does not usually request to know more than asked, they are content in being spoon-fed their education. Seth comments that the best students push their teachers and therefore "take" as much as they can from their education. This post made me wonder if I, myself, am taking as much as possible from a course, or am I just accepting whatever information I can understand. I hope to not be the latter, and always strive to learn more, whether I'm in my design class, or my calculus class.

A Visit From Leonardo Bonanni

On Thursday, our Graphic Design class had the privilege of watching a power point presentation created and presented by Leonardo Bonanni of MIT’s media lab. The central focus of this presentation was the concept of smart objects and smart spaces. Throughout the presentation, many examples of these smart spaces/objects were shown. As well, the idea of ubiquitous computing and the applications of the smart objects/spaces were discussed. Despite these main focuses of the presentation, one thing Bonanni obviously hoped his audience would take away from his presentation was the desire to think more creatively.

Truly, every example Bonanni presented was as imaginative as it was inspiring. He began by presenting a video demonstration by Pierre Wellner called “Digital Desk”. In this video, Wellner presents a concept for a smart space which is seemingly a desk with a projector above it. Wellner then describes his idea that instead of making the computer more like a desk, he is trying to make his desk more like a computer. The video then shows him tapping a projection of a calculator, treating it as though it were really a calculator. While, in reality, the demo did not work, it displayed concepts that required a fantastic amount of creativity to think of. Wellner continues to display the test taking tangible items, such as photos or books, and using them on the “computer”. For example, selecting text out of a book and dragging it into a text document. Bonanni explained to the audience that this was an example of a “tangible interface”.

In addition to this example, Bonanni showed a variety of smart objects. One that went very well with the audience was the “I/O Brush” which could take a color, texture, or even video from reality by placing the brush on the desired surface, and then “painting” a digital screen with it. One of Bonanni’s more elegant examples was the marble answering machine. Essentially, it was an ordinary answering machine that would record a message onto a marble and leave it in a tray. If the user decided they would like to keep the message, they kept the marble. If the user wanted to delete the message, they’d put the marble into a hole on the machine, erasing the message and putting the marble back into rotation. Additional examples were bottles that would play a song when opened, a computer that had a screen surrounding the user and would function based on gestures, an architecture work bench that would render shadows and other CAD features based on the placement of models, a doll that would move when a corresponding doll was moved, a toy that would stand up when a screen name became available on Instant Messenger, and a robotic rabbit that could play e-mails and allow the user to respond to them.

When someone first hears of these examples, they wonder to themselves “what is the purpose of this?” or “why would anyone ever want something like this?” The answer is simply to make something more accessible. To elaborate on this idea, Bonanni asked the audience questions such as “how do you make a child blog?” or “how do you get your grandmother to play an mp3?” To answer these questions, he stated that you might give a child a dry erase board that would post whatever the child drew. As well, he stated that you might use the music bottle example to get your grandmother to play an mp3 file. This truly summed up the purpose of smart objects and their purpose.

Bonanni also described the concept of wearable computers. The simplest example was a woman who would wear several standard input and output devices that altogether would act like a computer. For example, her glasses projected a screen. As well, Bonanni presented a video that featured a large pair of goggles and a backpack that, when worn, would emulate the game of pac-man onto normal streets. This also presented the concept of augmented reality which essentially were different applications of the pac-man game. Bonanni added that this would eventually lead to ubiquitous computing.

To conclude his presentation, Bonanni introduced applications of smart objects/spaces. These ranged from something as simple as having digital price tags in a grocery store, to something as unreal as having a virtual dressing room that projected clothes onto a mirror image of a potential buyer. As well, he described a museum that is going to use smart objects in order to help a museum-goer see what exhibits they have seen and not seen.

What really stuck with me after this presentation is the desire to think creatively. Bonanni stressed heavily that design will become the creation and improving of smart objects/spaces. As such, he gave his audience a taste of what smart objects are and how they will affect the future in hopes of the audience thinking of and possibly designing their own smart objects. While I do not desire to create my own smart objects or spaces, I am very interested in the progress being made in the area. I intend to research current developments and how I might begin to use these objects in my own everyday life one day.and how I might begin to use these objects in my own everyday life one day.

pierre wellner's digital desk

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two Weeks Later

For the second project, 15 filters must be tried on the background. Eventually 1 must be picked.

LIGHT SOURCES are ussually from one direction. Don't add an unnatural looking lightsource.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Little Over a Week Later.

Altering the background:

-The human brain needs to be guided to look at something of a design. This is why we want the focus of the photo for this project to be the person rather than the background.

STEP 1: Select the background with the polygonal lasso tool.
STEP 2: then a guasian blur, then image adust > curves.

-another way-

STEP 1: Use the pen tool to make a path to be made a selection. Make sure it's the middle one in the top left corner so there is no fill.
STEP 2: Window > Paths. Use this window to convert to a selection. Continue to blur and image adjust.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Notes About Today's Demo

Disadvantage of raster based programs:
Enlarging images causes it to become "funky" and lose data.

Dodging - lightening the image (set to 10% and according to what you're changing [ex: midtone or shadow])
Burn - darken the image

Adjusting the Brightness of the Entire Picture In Photoshop:
Image > Adjustments > Curves

Light parts of a photo.

Regularly lit parts of a photo.

Dark parts of a photo.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today's Notes

expanded text that is wider.
orphan - a single word on a whole line.
widow - a broken word.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Cohen, Jean-Louis. Mies van der Rohe. London: E & FN SPON, 1996.

Shulze, Franz. Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography.
Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1985

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Only use decorative fonts for logos NEVER FOR NORMAL TEXT. They don't read well at small sizes.

The scans below show the select few fonts that do most of the work in graphic design (text wise)

There are thousands of fonts, but they're needed in special cases.

sans-serif: assertive, used for headers. (Use these for the header, at least two)

Preferred Fonts

scan the handouts into the blog

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Photos and Such

I had been having trouble using blogger's image upload service. It took some time, but I finally was able to reduce the size of my scans and upload these pictures to the internet. Here they are (in no specific order)

Mies Van Der Rohe


The German Pavillion


The Villa

These Last two are of the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments.

Full View



All that's left is to put it all together in Quark!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pages For Pictures

In the Jean-Louis Cohen Book:

German Pavillion: 53-57
Villa Tugendhat: 58-61
860-880 Lake Shore Drive: 102-106
Mies: 6

I need to decide on one more picture as well.

Why Do We Sketch with Tangible Media?

1. Faster ideas.

2. More control (for some people).

3. You may not have a computer with you.

4. It looks too done on a computer. With a pencil, it's "fuzzy" and not as definite.

We are sketching out the brochure before we finally realize it onto the computer in Quark. It's useful because it's approximate. You need something to start with.


A picture is a box with an X going from corner to corner.

Text is a bunch of horizontal lines.

Dividing text into two collumns looks nice. The space between them is called the gutter.

Printing to the edge of the page is called bleeding.

Monday, February 4, 2008



Mies Van Der Rohe was born in 1886 in Aachen, Germany with the name Maria Ludwig Michael Mies. While his early years and youth were not well recorded, his life following and including his entry into the world of architecture was. In 1905, Mies left Aachen and moved to Berlin to begin a job that he was promised. He served as a studio apprentice to Peter Behrens from 1908 to 1912. In this time, he was discovered as a new talent and was commissioned for projects that he would take on alone. Uniquely, Mies had no formal education in architecture but was still well desired. Eventually, he opened his own office in 1914 which would bring him international recognition as one of the greatest modern minds in architecture. After a largely successful career, Mies became director in the Bauhaus school in Germany from 1930 until its closure in 1933. Due to the Nazi regime, Mies moved to the United States and continued his career in education, taking over the architecture program for the Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago. Mies continued to design very near his final years. In 1969, he died leaving his unique style to decay and eventually become unpracticed due to its difficulty to imitate.

Mies’ work includes a range of projects. In his early years, he designed and built houses in Berlin. However, these early works would become completely absent from his later, more praised designs. Two notable works that gained him international recognition were the German Pavillion from 1929 and the Villa Tugendhat from 1930. Both are considered to be masterworks of Mies and are very important to modern architecture. The German Pavilion was praised for its simplistic and elegant design and its use of marble and travertine. The Villa Tugendhat was praised for its functionalism and iron structure. By 1930, Mies had gained worldwide fame for visionary projects which he developed. From 1949 to 1951, Mies designed and built the 860 - 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, which are considered to be one of his most important designs. Their structure was from painted black steel and aluminum framed windows. The signifigance of the towers is credited with their placement in a "trapezoidal site". The placement of the buildings functioned as a way for each building to have a maximum view of the lake. As well, the buildings are connected by a "monolithic canopy".

To date, Mies is considered to be one of the major pioneers in modern architecture. In his work, he hoped to establish a new definitive style for the current era. As the gothic era had unique architecture, Mies hoped his style would be the same for his own era. While his style is rarely seen anymore due to its difficulty to recreate and high standards to maintain, there is no doubt that Mies work is vastly important to modern architechture. He was well known for using the phrases "less is more" and "god is in the details" when describing his style. As well, he achieved functionalism in his designs over his twenty years of work. Today, many of his projects are either being restored or rebuilt. As well, the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are a Chicago Landmark. Mies has certainly left his mark in the world of design.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Start


Mies Van Der Rohe was born in 1886 in Aachen, Germany. His early years and youth were not recorded well, and few records of his childhood are available. However, in 1905, Mies left Aachen and moved to Berlin to begin a job that he was promised. He served as a studio apprentice to Peter Behrens from 1908 to 1912. In this time, he was discovered as a new talent and was commissioned for

To date, he is considered to be one of the major pioneers in modern architecture. In his work, he hoped to establish a new definitive style for the current era.

Some Links About Mies Van Der Rohe

I'm doing a brochure for the work of Mies Van Der Rohe. In addition to some pictures of his work, I need to write some text (about 150-200 words) and have some credible sources. Here are some links I'm going to use.


This provides a nice and short biography on Mies Van Der Rohe and provides some names of his famous works.



A description of a specific design of his.



Some more biographical information which seems to have a simple and precise description of his unique and innovative style.



A nice picture of one of his buildings.



I also need a phrase to put under his name. I think I'll use either "God Is In The Details" or "Less Is More". I think less is more will be what I finally use, but I may change my mind.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

These are some definitions from the first class. As well, I went to the library and got two books on a designer for our first project.

Typography – text!

Connotation – suggestive aspect of communication

Denotation - direct aspect of communication.

Sans-serif – no hooks (corporate, assertive)

Serif – with hooks (decorative and generally more contemporary)


VECTOR - Essentially a mathematical formula which can be increased.

RASTER – Degrade as the size is increased.