Monday, May 12, 2008

2008's First Place Winner and Winner of the Adobe Scholarship

DESIGNER Paul Johnson
SCHOOL Montana State University
YEAR Senior
MAJOR Graphic Design
INSTRUCTOR Jeffrey Conger
INTERNSHIP WON National Geographic Adventure

What was the biggest challenge in creating your entry?
From a design point of view, it was tough creating a comical “thrown together” travelog feel that still had enough structure to easily flow for a reader. From a content point of view, I was always walking a line between having the layout still be funny but doing so in a way that didn’t paint the state in an overly negative light.

What was your inspiration in creating your entry?
I grew up on a farm in North Dakota, so I’ve got a pretty deep connection to the area. From an outside perspective though, there really doesn’t seem to be much reason to consider it a travel destination. It’s actually true that North Dakota is the least visited state. I thought that was a unique distinction that needed to be capitalized on! So I tried to center the layout around turning that fact into a humorous selling point for recruiting college-aged visitors. So the message is: You want to come here because most people don’t. ***Winter Travel Note: It’s possible that your car will go off the road when a –30˚ ground blizzard kicks up, and you have to survive by curling up in a sleeping bag with your dog next to you for warmth, just a heads up.

Do you participate in any publication- or design-related campus activities?
Not at MSU. At Northwest College in Wyoming, the school I transfered from, a group of us designed and published a visual arts magazine featuring student photography, fine art, and design. They were sold on campus and sent out to alumni.

What are your favorite magazines?
The Atlantic and Newsweek — news fix; HOW and Print — design fix; Discover — science fix; Powder — snow fix

What do you want to do while in New York for your internship?
I want to experience as much as possible during the period of time I’m there. Hmm, that’s not very specific.


Fit By 2009 said...

So disappointing!

Alchemista said...

Fit by 2009 -- care to share some constructive feedback for everyone who checks-in here? I don't think they opened comments just for some random thumbs-up or -down'in.

I like the handwritten type here. I wish I could see the second spreads a little bigger. I hear the second spread is where the real winners show above the people who don't make the cut.

If you read this winner: did you enter anything other than this one, or was this your only entry?

Fit By 2009 said...

I like the title typeface/handlettering going on...but I feel like I've seen it everywhere lately (Juno comes to mind.) I get that the person was trying to be sort of quirky with it, but I think he/she definitely overused it on the second spread. Probably should have had a little more restraint.

Second spread: Why the shadow behind the text (center blue section)? White text on an image? I also think there are too many images. If this was in a magazine, I'd look at it for a second and keep on going...just way too confusing to read. Just overdone and cluttered, in my opinion.

cruzader said...

fit by 2009 -- I agree with most of what you said about the handwritten type. One thing that bothers me about handwritten typefaces is that they contradict themselves. If something needs a handwritten quality, then it should truly be handwritten. It could have helped here.

The second spread has inconsistencies regarding type treatment. Because of this, it looks some what messy. For example, sometimes white text in the subheaders are outlined, and sometimes they are not.
Another example would be the body copy. The alignment and justification changes too much- this doesn't help that the rag and/or the rivers.

Fit By 2009 said...

yes!! Great observations...that I obviously missed.

However, after all I said...I think it had a lot of potential.


Pj. said...

Hey I appreciate the feedback/commentary.

alchemista- I worked on two layouts for the assignment but decided to enter this one.

fit by 09- Yep, that shadow on the blue got pretty amplified when the files were converted for web. Indeed the white text on the photos gets a bit lost on the posted images; another result of the loss of contrast/saturation after the pdf's were converted.

cruzader- Agreed. Handwritten lettering could've resulted in a more original look and probably a stronger layout. The inconsistent justification/alignment is part of the travelog theme.

Alrighty, thanks again and kudos on extracting such a surprising amount of information from the posted images. Congrats to all the winners, Cheers.

cruzader said...

pj. -- the fact that we're critiquing on mainly minor aspects shows how much of it was great.


Fit By 2009 said...

Well said, cruzader.