Last Post for the Class!!

The one thing about InDesign, Photoshop and the website on Word Press is that they are not made for people to learn as they go. I think that is what I found the most frustrating. I’m spoiled with social media sites and programs that are easy to navigate and user friendly and I felt that these programs expected you to hit the ground running. I would most often ask the people next to me if they knew how to do something and would receive blank stares before I knew it was time to ask Croom. He’d just swoop in and tell me what to do and, for some reason, I’d panic under pressure and not be able to find any of the buttons he was talking about. So I hated asking questions.

With that being said, I have learned A LOT. Things I found challenging before are becoming easier and I find myself using this software in other classes as well. I had a very fun time designing and it gave me the best feeling to see something that I created come out looking the way I wanted it to. I never really had a problem designing for an audience, but I realize that may only be because we were able to choose our audience for every project. More often than not, I designed with an audience similar to myself in mind, but I liked that because it allowed me to be my own critic.

I liked the lab setting because even though we were all together, it felt private. Like no one could see my project until we were all finished (other than Croom, of course). Everyone in our class seemed comfortable with each other and I loved that everyone’s work was always available to use upon completion to get ideas or push our creativity further. I also liked that class time went by fast from having something to work on and keep us busy rather than being lectured. This is a big part of what we do in the field of public relations and I do think it’s very important to know. Colors and design are the first thing to catch the eye and, in my opinion, can make or break a company.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Scrapbook Blog?

Lately, I have been trying to think of something that my blog could be used for after this assignment is all said and done, and so far, It has been very hard to think of a topic interesting enough for me to write about that people will want to read. In addition, The only other people I know that have blogs are my 17-year old sister and all of her friends, but they only talk about make-up and style and all of the “in” brands. I like some of that stuff, but I would rather do almost anything else than sit sand talk about it to a camera–mostly because I think that’s super weird and annoying.  But then I remember I am the only one looking at this website and it can be about whatever I want it to be about even if it’s about a stupid hobby of mine that everyone makes fun of me for….scrapbooking!

I love it. I have a scrapbook every year since 2007 and I think each one gets better and better. I collect pictures and stickers and paper and letters and go practically broke every Christmas when I spend my free time catching up with it. Honestly, I don’t think sharing a few of my pages would be that much different than sharing photos on instagram or twitter.   My thought is that after an event, I can show the new scrapbook page and talk about what happened (like every other social media site). It’s perfect! Here are some examples:


Whitney’s Wedding 2013


Gamma Phi Beta Bid Day 2013


OU/TX 2013 (Sorry the image doesn’t have superb quality)

"Moonstrike" 2014

“Moonstrike” 2014

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Assignment Three – Newsletter

For this assignment I chose to do my sorority Gamma Phi Beta.

What began as a newsletter for the sorority nationally, kind of turned into a newsletter for solely the members of my chapter. So there may be a little disconnect between stories…

I found this assignment fun, yet very challenging and I hate to admit that it may not be my best work overall, but I am pleased with my designs. It was hard to find time to write 500 word stories and then work design into it as well, so I left some of the pages to address announcements more than stories. (I’m ok with any point deductions for that).

I tried to use colors that were fun and girly,  but some of them (the coal color for the last page, the title, and the text for page 3) had a very hard time showing up on the dropbox submission. It appeared white, which of course, is the opposite contrast color that I was going for. :/

Anyways, it might be helpful to let you know that the official colors for our sorority are brown and mode, our flower is the pink carnation and our symbol is the crescent moon. Thus, I chose to name my newsletter “The Carnation” and applied many of our symbols and themes throughout the project. I also tried to keep somewhat of a constant theme among all the color choices so I decided to apply dots to a number of the pages for alignment.

The first page was the easiest, because I chose to put a letter from the editor (me) about my experience with the sorority now that I am about to leave it. I chose to add a textured background and make it pink which I think turned out pretty well. The last page was pretty easy too. I went on the website to find ideas and found that they were calling members to register for the convention this summer. I took a screenshot of the Seattle design and then, after noticing the amount of twitter they were throwing at viewers, decided to screenshot some of those as well and add them to the margin.  The middle two pages were the most difficult–mostly because I couldn’t figure out what to write about. I decided to go with an inspirational story I found in the sorority’s magazine about a freshman G Phi who paced first in a triathlon. Then I left the third page for upcoming announcements.

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Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Assignment Two – Direct Mailer

Direct Mailer One: Potential Petroleum and Geological Engineering students

Direct Mailer edited2

Direct Mailer edited

Direct Mailer Two: Potential Legacies




For this assignment, students were asked to create two direct mailers aimed at different stakeholders. I decided to appeal to the high school legacies (children or siblings of past/present students) and incoming students who had taken the Petroleum and Geological Engineering tour here on campus.

The first one I made was for incoming students who plan to be engineers. I found out that the college has a specific tour on campus for incoming freshman where the Mewbourne school explains the program and tours the building. Because this was such a defined target, I had a hard time finding pictures that would work well with the mailer. I ended up going to the college and taking a couple pictures myself. I then picked one and made it the background for the front of the mailer. I also recreated the logo found on the website and added contrast by creating white boxes for text. I conducted research on the college’s website and found a million things that I would’ve liked to mention, but because space was limited, I stuck with the simple “ranked among the top five degrees in the country.” For the back, I used one of the textures given to add more of an engineering feel and left space for an address and stamp. I also put a return address and found an animation of a rig that I made red to match our colors. The main purpose of this mailer is to thank students for taking the tour and to remind them of what the college has to offer. While potential students are trying to choose their school or major, I think it’s important to always be on their mind.

The second mailer I made was for children or siblings of past or present students. I wanted to play along with the idea of Tradition so I mentioned it on the front and back of the card. OU has a large amount of traditions and by becoming a Sooner, the family member would not only be apart of campus traditions, but also extend family traditions. I also wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I kept the phrases short. (Again, I found so many wonderful graphs and phrases, but knew I wouldn’t have the space or time.) Basically, I wanted to call these possible students to action by scheduling a tour of the campus. The back of the card took the most time, but also ended up being the side I was most proud of. Initially, I wanted to do the same kind of design as the mailer before, but for some reason, was having trouble with the textures. I played around a little and ended up making the background of the back an image at a football game tinted it red to still be able to write stuff on it. I’m actually very proud with the end result. I then recreated the logo found on the Future Sooners page and placed three different requests. (Look at us, visit us, become one of us.) I also tried to add on to the color scheme by placing dashes in the top and bottom. For the front, I tried to keep the red color going by choosing a background image that had red in it. However, first I had to doctor the image by smudging out the light post  that stuck out in the middle of the blank space. I then added the OU logo and the emblem I found on the school website that Oklahoma is one of the top university in the nation according to U.S. News.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Forgiveness – Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Forgiveness

I thought it was interesting that this website talked about the benefits of having a website that can be forgiven if anything were to go wrong. To me, it sounds like having good PR for your PR. Go figure.
One thing I had never thought about was the idea to distract users from any temporary site problem by creating fun and enjoyable activities to do as an alternative–as shown in the Flickr example. “Flickr users remember the fun they had participating in the coloring contest, and for some, how great it was to win a free year of Pro service.”
Although I agree that “emotional engagement can help us look past the most serious infractions”, I’m not sure if that’s the case with every website. For instance, the University of Oklahoma website Ozone, is down almost all the time when several students are on at once. This usually happens around the last couple days before school starts which is when students need to get on the most. However, just because their website sucks, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop going to OU or even stop referring back to the website.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Assignment One – Self Reflection Blog Post

Assignment One- Business Card & Letterhead

Business Card:


Business Card2


Business Card22


Letterhead Letterhead2


    When choosing a company to use for Assignment One, I tried to think of a company that was in some way connected to me and that also may have needed the help. I decided to go with my boyfriend’s sister’s company Blissful–an online boutique that sells women’s clothing via Facebook. Not only do I have a real passion for clothes and shopping, but I was also immediately drawn to the company’s  unique way of business and affordable prices.
    I had a great time creating a business card and letterhead from the original design of the logo which used bright shades of green and blue, along with a very doily-type framing design. Boutiques, in general, are different from other retail stores in that they provide unique clothing at a higher quality and so I tried to recreate that element of uniqueness into the design.
    For both projects, I started by cropping the doily design from the logo–leaving just the name for the top of the card. I did this because I felt that the grand design of the doily took the eye away from what the card was really trying to accomplish, which was to get the name out there. I did, however, use the design for other parts of the card and letterhead by rotating the image and placing in on the side of the card (making it bleed off), which helped it look more like an element rather than the focus. Because this is a Facebook company, I also chose to list the necessary information to cater towards this including an image of the Facebook logo and the URL to the page, while not including a mailing address.
Although I know there are still some things that could look better (like the back of the business card), I am very proud of my work overall and hope that Blissful will feel the same.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Designing For Emotion – Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Emotional Engagement

One of the first things the author mentions is that there are some instances that create lasting impressions. Good or bad. I had never really thought about was the impact that surprise has on our emotions. I could relate to the author when he mentioned the hearing-a-song-on-the-radio example, because I always put my iPod on shuffle when I’m listening to it, but I never thought about the “surprise” impact. Nor did I consider using that same appeal when designing.

The next things the author brings up is that the anticipation is important as well. Although, I agree that this creates a sense of excitement, I’m not sure I understand how the author means to use it in design for websites…maybe Twitter could pull it off, but it’s also a one of the most popular website of the time. That’s the only thing I would disagree with.

I like that the author describes the natural reactions to these surprises and how to use them to the designers advantage without “deceiving” or “tricking” the viewer. Something I also liked was–later on–when the author suggests saying “you may” instead of “you must”. I know from experience that if people are forced to change, they will react negatively.

I also thought it was comforting to hear that you won’t always get it right the first couple times, but that it’s ok. “When you hit your mark, the benefits are big.”

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Designing for Emotion – Chapter Two

Chapter 2 – Designing for Emotion

This chapter talks about the emotions we have as human beings. It starts off by emphasizing the fact that humans are born with emotions, whereas other traits like language and courtesy are developed over time. The author also explains that human nature is reflected behind every aspect of design.Ch 2
One thing I had never thought about before reading this chapter are the physical traits that draw adults to young babies. “The proportions of a baby’s face–large eyes, small nose, pronounced forehead–are a pattern our brains recognize as very special.” As a designer, this is very helpful to know when creating characters. The author explains that by using the principle of “baby-face bias” when creating a mascot, the designer can create a better connection with the audience.
It was also interesting to learn that the human mind picks up on the golden ratio, even in web design. The only other time I have heard of this concept, was when I took Geometry at 15. I had no idea web designers took it so seriously.
Although the chapter has a lot of interesting information, one thing I disagree with is Donald Norman’s argument that beauty improves cognitive abilities such as creativity. I agree that beauty makes people feel good, but I feel that people think more creatively when presented with an empty canvas… For example, if I see ugly interior decor, I immediately start thinking of ways to make the place seem nicer that would appeal to my taste and personal creativity. If I were to think of ways to arrange an already pretty room, my creativeness would be “blocked” by the beauty and would probably not be able to think of a different arrangement.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Design Blitz


1) Color

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 12.10.08 PM

This is a good example of color with design because all the colors are bright and attention-grabbing while the image itself bleeds off the page.

2) Typography

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This is a good example of typography because all of the letters in “Indian” are new and unique. They also have small features that make each letter similar to each other.

3) Metaphors/Symbols

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This sign warning visitors to watch out for falling coconuts is an example of a metaphor or symbol because it has the image of a coconut falling above the writing. This is very useful for getting the message across to those who might not speak the language.

4) Minimalism/Use of Space

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I like this poster because the colors make it very eye-catching while it only uses simple shapes to represent the movie. The viewer knows it is Star Wars from the two moons shown from the desert planet.

5) Form/Function/Message

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This is a good example of form and function because the cool colors/texture and neat purpose draw buyers in even if they don’t necessarily need it. I don’t even drink beer but it still seems cool to have.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Designing for Emotions – Chapter One

While going through  this chapter, the author mentions that in today’s world there is a lack of human connection through industrial manufacturing. This sparked my interest as I had never thought of designing this way. He expanded his position by discussing how web designing in the form of art can build a human connection towards a target audience through creative thinking. These ideas helped me bridge the gap between the way I have always perceived designing and emotional designing.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs There was nothing I could find that I disagreed with in the chapter, however, I did not understand the need to discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in as much depth as the author did. The author could have touched on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs while going into more detail over the remap for the needs for the users. One website is not going to be expected to fulfill the basic human needs of the user other than the desires mentions in the remap.

It was nice to think of the big picture when it comes to web designing and how it has progressed through time and creativity. Ironically, we have found that more success comes with more personality and creativity than representing that of the modern machine. It seems like the so-called “better” way of doing things would be easier and more fun to execute than displaying their material in the same way as every other company.

Of course, the chapter mentions it is important to continue to think about the reliability and usability of the website in order for users to navigate quickly. But the main idea from this chapter is that websites should be useable and exciting in order to create positive memory and continued use.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke