Intro to InDesign!

Hey everyone! So for this week’s assignment we had to create an Article Proof in InDesign. I’ve had some experience with InDesign before but nothing advanced so I’m glad to get back into the program. I chose to go with an article I found on the National Geographic website about the top places to vacation in the fall. I’ll have the link for that down below but I decide to use #12 Thailand as my inspiration for this assignment. I kind of wanted to keep that National Geographic feel to my proof and keep it more scholarly than something you would see in a tourist’s office. I added some color to spice up the article and make it more attractive as well.

Here’s the original article: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-weekly-2013/

My Website! FINALLY!

Hey everyone!

My website is finally all finished and uploaded to the Internet! Yay! The creation of this website has definitely been a long, and sometimes frustrating, journey. As you’ll be able to tell my website has really changed from my initial sketches. One of the major changes was the color scheme and layout of some of the pages. I had originally wanted a slide show on my homepage, but as I progressed in the creation of my site I realized it would probably take up more time than I had to devote to that one element so I decided against it. The color scheme wasn’t really working for me although I liked the combination of silver and purple. It seemed too washed out and didn’t really attract any attention so I re-did that aspect too. Although my website is far from perfect I think it’s pretty good for my first try and I spent a lot of time on it trying to make my vision for the site a reality. Don’t be fooled, it looks pretty now but it took a lot of time to get it that way.

I wanted my site to be really easy to use and navigate through I think I was able to achieve that for the most part. I also wanted this site to reflect my personal style so I included elements to represent that. I kind of touch on this in my artist statement but I like to incorporate nature into my work in someway, hence the rose and leaf-like elements in the site. Purple is my favorite color so I made sure to incorporate that as well. Since I am a writer besides my design work I wanted to give my website a more of a storybook feel. Overall I am very happy with how this website turned out and I’m amazed at how much I was able to get done. I’ve had some Dreamweaver experience in the past but not to this level. By going over what my instructor has been teaching us and taking a look at some tutorials I was able to give life to this site! You can check out my live site at the link below!

Visit my website at: http://artweb.stritch.edu/mmfranco/art450/Homepage/home.html

Website Update!

Hey everyone! I wanted to do a quick update of my website and how it’s looking so far. At this point I’ve been kind of getting everything set up code-wise. I’m still not too comfortable with coding so I want to get the basics down before I jump ahead on to the trickier stuff. I took some screenshots of what I have so far, but what I need to work on its getting everything laid out where I want. If you want to see what my plan for this site is you can check out my later post where I created my site in Illustrator. This is not how I’m going leave this , I just have my containers colored in because I want to work with them and see them. It was a lot easier for me to set things up in Illustrator because I can just click and drag what I want but I’m sure I’ll figure things out in Dreamweaver. Down below are some screenshots of how my site is developing so far. Until next time!

Website Coding

Website Coding

Style Sheet Coding

Style Sheet Coding


iDesign A Website?!?!

Hey everyone! For this week in my Digital Applications class (formerly known as Desktop Publishing) we had to create a mock-up of the website that we are going to create. Let me say that this was totally new experience for me. I had no idea how this would turn out or if it would turn out because frankly I had no idea what the heck I was doing. To say the least I think I did a pretty good job for my first time, it actually looks like a website! I went ahead with designing something that would function as a portfolio for myself.

What I have so far is layout of some of my pages and what I want to include on my website. I feel like these are really the bones and tissue of my website, in some strange, creepy way. I feel like I have quite a bit of white space that I need to work on but other than that I feel like I’m on track with what I want. Next up is maybe adding some kind of background/graphics so that my pages aren’t so plain and underdressed. Below are the Splash page (which I may or may not use, I’m not sure yet), my home page, my about page and my portfolio/gallery. Feedback is highly appreciated! I always appreciate when you guys like or comment my stuff so let me know what you think! Until next time!

Navigation Map: Group Feedback

For the next part of the midterm preparation we had to present the navigation map that I created for my last post to a group of classmates. The items we discussed were: organization of information, site content, flow and navigation of the site, potential strategies for visual organization, and setting challenging but realistic goals. My classmates thought that my map was well organized, straightforward, and would be easy to navigate. One of the things I thought about was if I needed any external links and after talking it over with my group we thought it wouldn’t be necessary.

I felt the feedback was helpful because it helped me to know that my intention for the site was understood. I wanted my site to be simple so visitors would be able to see everything easily. That was my main focus so I’m glad that came across. Talking about their websites also gave me some things to think about within my own site that I hadn’t thought about. I think that this feedback gave me some good ideas to use going forward with my sketches.

Midterm Preparation Exercise: Navigation Map

As part of our upcoming midterm project in my Desktop Publishing class we had to create a navigation map. This will help me so that I know how many pages I need, what page should connect to what, etc. I decided to focus on making a portfolio website for this project. As a graphic design student I think that this would be a really good chance for me to develop a site that I could potentially use as a gallery for my work. Below is the general setup that I have come up for my website so far! I made this navigation site with a website called Gliffy. I really liked this site and will definitely be using it in the future. I’m also a writing major so this would work great for that as well brainstorming for my artwork. Since this is a step by step kind of project look for more of these coming up soon!

Good website, Bad Website

So for an assignment for my Desktop Publishing class we were supposed to compare websites that we thought were well designed and worked well vs. designs that could use some improvement. I thought about what kind of websites that I frequent on a daily basis and I decided to look at news websites. There are certain website that I go to when I want to find out whats going on in the world and some I tend to avoid. Here are my two favorites and the two I picked that I thought could use a face lift.

The websites I chose that I thought were successful were USA Today and TIME. Not only were they very easy to navigate through I liked all of the visuals that were on the main pages. Instead of words there were a lot of images and photos which I thought was good for the site and the viewer. When I go to a website images are the first thing I see, unless there is a large title or some kind of message. Not only do the images capture my attention but they help me to find what I’m looking for or what is important. Another aspect I really liked is that the websites weren’t very wordy, which I’ll talk about later.

That being said this leads me to the websites I thought could use some help. I didn’t particularly like CNN or The Huffington Post. I really disliked the font used for the main article on The Huffington Post. It reminded me something you see on a scam site, it just didn’t look professional or from a credible news site. The main page also seemed really long for some reason and nothing really popped out at me and made me want to read the articles. There were images, but there were also a lot of words, I kind of didn’t know where to look. I found myself bouncing back and forth, left to right. As for CNN I found that they also had a lot of text. The reason I think that is a problem is because you are depending on your reader to stop and read. I hate to say it but a lot of people aren’t going to start reading an article unless something stands out to them to make them read it. There is also a lot of white space and I didn’t really like that compare to the USA Today which has a much smaller border.

Welcome to HTML!

Hey everyone! We started diving into html this week in my Desktop Publishing class and these are the results from my first attempt. I have worked with html in the past but to say the least, I needed a refresher. At first I felt a little overwhelmed with all of the coding but after awhile I started having fun with it and trying out different things. To say the least I think I found a new addiction. I’m not sure what it is but I really want to play with html more and see what I can do.

I took some screenshots (below) of what I have so far. So basically I have my Index (Home page), Page 1 and Page 2. I also customized my colors to what I wanted, which took my a long time since the possibilities seemed endless. I really liked this exercise and can’t wait to play around with this more! Until next time!

A Quite Cute webpage!

I recently visited the MAC cosmetics website and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Small graphics of cuteness starting popping up all over the place and I just had to write about this! I love the little graphics that pop all over the screen, not only are they really cute but I think it’s a great way to advertise for the new makeup collection MAC has just made. The collection is called Quite Cute and although the screen and the face charts ( showing the different makeup looks) are decorated with cute graphics the makeup itself isn’t very cute at all. Seeing all these cute graphics made me think that those same graphics would also appear on some of the make-up casing or packaging itself. If you look at some of the makeup products they have the regular black MAC packaging. This made me really disappointed because the only thing about these products that was cute were the names of the shades. I’m not sure but I think if MAC had made the packaging and casing of the products cuter their sales of this collection would have really done well. Not only would it attract more of a young audience but also people who are attracted to these kind of graphics. MAC has done a great job on some of the packaging for collections in the past so I felt kind of let down that this collection just didn’t live up to its name. I did like the how the website was modified for this collection but seeing the plain black packaging made me feel like the site and products didn’t match with each other. Overall I thought the website was good but held a false promise.

Check out the site here: http://www.maccosmetics.com/index.tmpl

See some of the graphics (that should have been on the products themselves) here: http://www.maccosmetics.com/images/looks/print/quitecutelooks.pdf

My First Website

Hey Everyone! I just wanted to make a quick post so that you could check out the website I made for class. I know it’s not that good but I tried my best! What I am really proud of is my typography 😀 For each of my backgrounds I made a design to resemble scrapbook paper and the designs are actually letters. On the page with the turtle I used the letter m to make the square designs in the background and along the sides of the pages. On the journal page I used the letter C to create the flowers petal by petal and then added a filter to change the coloring of the flowers. On the cupcake page the wrappers are made out of U’s and the icing is made out of  e’s including the cherry on top 😉 . On the last page, the one with the yarn the black bows are made out of f’s. Even though the website didn’t come out as great as I imagined I still like my designs for the scrapbook pages! They took a lot of time and work but I’m happy with how they came out! I’d also love some feedback on the backgrounds I did if anyone wants to add anything.

Here’s the link to my site : http://artweb.stritch.edu/mmfranco/#