Creative Angst

Yet another great reading! I found so many similarities between this and my real-life experience, especially at my job currently at Model Farm. Through my internship, I have sat in on many client meetings and project kick-offs discussing the details of the company and the project. In these meetings, I get to learn about the client and their company, their target audience, and what their goals for this project is. It is interesting because I have always thought this was my approach to designing: get to know the client and the audience and begin researching. And many of the times, I find myself stumped and having I guess what the article calls a “creative block”. I did not realize that this is what most everyone in the industry all the time.

It’s crazy how accurate this article is. In my two years at Model Farm, I have witnessed many clients come back after an initial proof wanting to go elsewhere with their designs. It’s hard because you get discouraged, and you personally do not want to lose the client or potential new projects. Personally, this is when I get the most stuck. It is partially being blocked creatively and being discouraged. My supervisor, Tony, has explained what he usually does in these situations when a client is not pleased with the work. He typically begins by speaking with them again to get a better understanding of the direction they would like to go. If a project comes out and a client is not pleased with it, it could be perhaps due to miscommunication. I learned it is critical to send multiple proofs before running too far with one design. By communicating with the client, I learned how I could be inspired as well.

Overall, this article was informative and easy to read. I learned many things like I am not the only person in the world that gets lost when it comes to designing. I learned how it is good to keep your clients close but your enemies closer. No, just kidding, keep you clients close because you never know where your next project could come from.


10 Big ?s / 5 Small Bets

  1. How might I change the way a person looks at fine art?
  2. How might I change the way a person looks at a blank wall?
  3. How might I change the way a person looks at a space?
  4. How can design help bridge the gap between being a part of the piece and seeing the piece?
  5. How can design make people think about why they have to take pictures of themselves in the art piece?
  6. How can design persuade people to put their phones “away”?
  7. How might I show people the evolution of art?
  8. How can design change the way a person looks at the product and packaging?
  9. How might I change the way people think about everyday objects?
  10. How can design shape the way people see?


  1. Plain posters
  2. Very different packaging for the actual product
  3. Morph old paintings
  4. Make an AR work without having someone use their phone

First Things First

“Written in 1963 and published in 1964 by Ken Garland along with 20 other designers, photographers and students, the manifesto was a reaction to the staunch society of 1960s Britain and called for a return to a humanist aspect of design. It lashed out against the fast-paced and often trivial productions of mainstream advertising, calling them trivial and time-consuming. It’s solution was to focus efforts of design on education and public service tasks that promoted the betterment of society.

The influence of the manifesto was quick to reach a wide audience and was picked up by The Guardian, which led to a TV appearance by Garland on a BBC news program and its subsequent publication in a variety of journals, magazines and newspapers. It was revisited and republished by a group of new authors in the year 2000 and labeled as the First Things First Manifesto 2000.

Ken Garland’s challenge to designers shifted the way that the design community approached many aspects of their profession.

This reading was really eye opening. In all four years I have been in graphic design, I never really thought much about what my role as a graphic designer is. I always thought being a graphic designer is very fluid and not really set in one job. Graphic design can be making advertisements. Graphic design can be designing motion graphics. Graphic design can be creating animations and cartoons. Graphic design can be creating and writing comic books. There is no set role or form that graphic design can take. In a way, that is why I have always enjoyed my major in graphic design. In all, I love that I can do so much with it. I love that the future is endless for me.

When I read First Things First, I found myself kind of disagreeing but also agreeing with the reading. Sure, I think that to everyone else, graphic design is just making things look pretty and going into advertising. But to me, I believe graphic design is more than just how something looks and the form it takes. It is taking a look at the form it is in, form vs. content.

I thought this reading was very interesting and very relatable to my life. The article made me think about important topics that pertain to a soon-to-be-graduated graphic designer like myself. Mostly, it made me dive into the deep detail and planning that goes into working in advertisement. In the future, I do not see myself starting my own design firm or working in a corporate setting any time soon.

To be frank, it makes me wonder if I to work for a larger company, whether that is in marketing, advertising, or a small design firm. However after reading this article, I feel that pursuing something more artistic after graduation is within my grasp or at least something I should consider doing. Sometimes I think people want to create their own design firm because they are tired of taking orders from others: they want to design what they want, how they want, when they want.

5 Design Essays

  1. Paula Scher – Great design is serious, not solemn

Paula Scher dives into the importance of having fun while you’re designing or “playing” as she calls it. She talks about throughout her life all her best and successful work was created when she was trying not to be conventional and be goofy about designing. She makes a really interesting point by saying once you find yourself kind of “dreading” doing something, you are no longer enjoying it or you are no longer “at play”. I feel like I do this a lot especially when it comes to school assignments or work projects, I have so much more fun goofing off on my own and making something fun.

2. John Maeda – How art, technology, and design inform creative leaders

John Maeda gives great advice from a design and technology background. He talks about how form affects content, and how content affects form. He touches on the idea that design solves solutions. Art is there to evoke questions and feelings. You aren’t supposed to understand art. If someone looks at a piece you made and says, “I don’t get it”, that is good because if they get it then it is simple and us humans love complexity. He closes out the talk discussing how leaders make connections that others wouldn’t think would work and that is why people follow them. They are innovative.

3. Stefan Sagmeister – Happiness by design

Stefan Sagmeister talks about his journey through design and how design has affect him in every step of his life, especially his happiest moments. He discusses how he feels that he wants to always enjoy what he’s doing. When becoming a designer you want to enjoy what you are doing, so you can create the best possible work. When it becomes a chore, you have to take time and make sure you actually enjoy what you are doing. He makes many lists that are inspirational. He made a list of the things that have made him happy in the past year. I feel like we all focus on the negative in our lives, and it would be good for us to all write down a couple of things that have made us happy, truly happy.

4. Matthew Carter – My life in typefaces

Matthew Carter illustrates and depicts how typefaces have become modernized and transferred from print to screen. He shows us the evolution of newspaper printed typography and even the white pages. Letters on the screen look different than on paper. With newspaper, you did not have to include much detail to show the form. With screen, we can see everything, which requires us to add more detail in the font.

5. Chip Kidd – Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

Chip Kidd is a very charismatic man who walks us through his life as a graphic designer who designs book covers. He illustrates his design and thought process when creating popular book covers such as: Jurassic Park, Naked, and etc. He talks about how a book designer must read the book and decide how to show the information in the best way, but not be too transparent with it as to treat the reader as a moron. He talks about how designers have to hint at what’s inside the book in a more 2D illustrative way. There’s more to designing books than one would think.

10 x 10 x 25

10 Schools and Thesis Projects

Rhode Island School of Design

  1. Elizabeth Leeper UG –

This thesis focuses on how graphic design is primarily just the arranging of graphics in a pleasing way through space. The project was shown in a book with interesting content on every page that experiments with different uses of space.  I like how clean and well designed this project is. Thesis question: What are the different ways graphic design uses space?

Savannah College of Art and Design

2. Jessica Yang UG –

This thesis focuses on how the packaging of a product often times plays a large role in the audience and consumer of the product no matter what the product is. Introducing paper engineering into packaging design, it allows the consumer to see what they are purchasing and allows the product to speak for itself. The project was shown by using installments of the paper packaging. I like how well thought out and experiential this project is. Thesis questions: How does packaging affect a product?

Parsons School of Design

3. Katherine Cheng UG –

This thesis focuses on bridging the gap between Asian and American culture by showing the similarities between the two. The project itself is in the form of a board game. I like how well thought out and experiential this project is. Thesis question: How can I bridge the gap between Asian and American culture?

School of Visual Arts

4. Kristina Walter UG –

This thesis focuses on sleep and dream research. I enjoyed this project because it experiments with UV ink, something I have never had a chance to play with. The extra step of shining a light on the book to see the hidden images is experiential and interesting to me. I’m very interested in doing something similar in the way that it is procedural. Thesis question: How can I show sleep research in a publication?

Brigham Young University

5. Kevin Dench G  –

This thesis focuses on being safe around trains. I enjoyed this project because it’s interactive design that is created with just a couple of posters mounted on foam board. It makes me feel like creating an exhibit or a great project isn’t as hard or unsurmountable as I believe it is. Thesis question: How can I show people ways to be safe around trains?

China Academy of Art

6. Rodrigo Bernardes G –

This thesis focuses on creating an modern infographic series on maps. Bernardes focuses on creating maps using just the map marker form, taking away from the borders and states that we are so familiar with, leaving us with colors and blobs–similar to when we were children. I liked this project because of its depth and detail. I like how well thought out it was and how wonderfully crafted it is. Thesis question: How can I recreate a map to change the way people look at the world?

OCAD University

7. Marta Ryczko –

This thesis focuses on questioning the designer’s dependency on the computer and the benefits of taking a more involved hands-on approach to design. I like this project because it shows how you can create the same results using more time and effort in a project. Thesis question: How can I graphic design without using a computer?

Southern Polytechnic State University

8. Madiha Sarwar –

This thesis focuses to revive folk tales through the medium of graphic design and to craft visual narrative experiences that share the idea behind these stories. I really enjoyed this project because it is so well designed and detailed. I love how playful it is and yet still so well designed. Thesis question: How can I add visual a narrative to a nontraditional love story?

University of Applied Sciences Dusseldorf

9. Thomas Wirtz –

This thesis describes a free design experiment that has evolved over time into a modular system consisting of two components: The self-made font, produced by 3D printing, which is thereby associated with a variety of physical processes. I really enjoyed this project because it was so well done. Basically, he just created a font and then 3D printed it and made amazing effects with it. It’s such an untraditional way of showing your work! Thesis question: How can I show what I made in a nontraditional way?

Univeristy of Brazil?

10. Pedro Veneziano –

The whole project is based upon the invention of a Brazilian Dj duo through different materials, in which Veneziano tries  to simulate their evolution and transmit their personalities, realities and passion for music through Graphic Design only — no use of sound. This project stood out to me because he uses 3D modeling to graphic design. I really hope with my thesis I can create something that is interdisciplinary. Thesis question: How can I show personality of music using only graphic design?

10 Inspiring Sites


25 Possible Theses

  1. How can I make the ordinary extraordinary?
  2. How can I make something go viral?
  3. Egg education
  4. Graphic design for dummies
  5. Pornhub project
  6. Deep Bucket list
  7. Beyond money, what is there?
  8. How to become beyonce
  9. Body comparison: Instagram
  10. Travel the world for less
  11. Imagine greater: Design bigger
  12. Logos reimagined
  13. Redesigning politics
  14. Graphic design is not designing tshirts
  15. Food related board games
  16. Redesigning fast food restaurants to be healthy
  17. Dephotoshopping photoshopped photos
  18. Camera obscura
  19. Contour line drawings: perceptions
  20. Snapchat based project
  21. See the world differently (augmented reality) THIS ONE
  22. Scared to find a job? JOB EMPLOYMENT
  23. Be more creative
  24. Cheese education
  25. Give a look to a song


100. The Pod Hotel:

99. SSG Food Market:

98. The Unrefined Olive:

97. Details:

96. Too impulsive?:

95. Hemingway:

94. TENacious:

93. The Big Issue:

92. The Cube Calendar:

91. Feeling Lucky:

90. Coke Bottle Calendar:

89. WC Gift Vodka:

88. Dripp Coffee Shop:

87. Target Canada Social Media Travel Posters:

86. FS Emeric Launch Campaign: Type Specimen Booklet and Poster:

85. Union Branding and Stationery:

84. Museum of Contemporary Art:

83. Fiji Airways:

82. CHARM Brand Identity Design:

81. Inscite:

80. A Wedding Walk:

79. Triptea:


77.  National Magazine Awards Poster:

76. Starbucks Typographic Murals:

75. Familiar Logos, remixed:

This project was amazing to me! I would have never thought to redesign brands that already exist for fun. There are so many logos out there that I wish I could just tear apart and recreate it. I would love to try my hand at a similar project to this with less of a handscripted approach.

74. A Creative Coloring book:

73. Postcards with a message:

72. The Year of Five Dogs:

71. Tenki Patagonia:

70. The Zero Won – Sour:

69. Various Typography: 

This project was one of my favorites because it plays around with 3D typography which is something I really want to try my hand out soon. This is a project I will definitely look to for inspiration.

68. Mei-Ling Font:

67. Magnolia:

66. Comodo Package:

65. aleFanty:

64. Packaging NECTAR:

63. In a Heartbeat – Short Film:

This is one of my favorites because I look animated films. Initially, I went into graphic design to get into 3D animation. This short film told such a unconventional cute story in a such a clear simple way.


62. Spellbound Short Film: 

61. The Present Short Film: 

60. David Biskup Illustration:

59. Erich Breckbuhl’s Posters:

58. Mattieu Lavanchy Food Emoji:

57. Unlucky Events:

56. The Egg Series:

I love this project because I like the idea of taking something so ordinary (LIKE THE EGG) and making it extraordinary. I hope I can make a project in such a clever way like this.

55. Pornhub Shorts:

I love animated shorts, and I love porn. What more is there to say?

54. A Aldeia Adormece:

53. Archer Farms Coffee:

52. Fergie – Hungry: 

51. 2018 Mr Cup Letterpress Calendar:

One time I tried to add gold foil to a project to make it amazing like this. I ended up buying essentially gold wrapping paper and not foil. Needless to say, it did not work.

50. Girl Pool:







I liked this project because the creators only used photoshop and illustrator to create it. However, it looks like the whole thing was created with marker and paper. That is amazing to me how someone altered a photo to look so homemade.















I found this project amazing in the way that the artwork is so simplified but you can still tell who the subject is. When I first saw it, it inspired me to create illustrations similarly except using my own style showing people in my life.



This is amazing to me. It is kind of a fast food chain and their colors are primarily black and white. How cool is that? The morphing of the letters adds a nice classy touch to it. It makes me feel that even though it’s fast food, it’s classy.