Tag Archives: homework

Oh, Oh, Dreeeeeeamweaver….

That line is — of course! — a reference to Gary Wright’s super-groovy 1975 song of the same name. However, it also represents the fact that I am currently trying to make up a week and a half of homework in one night on using Adobe’s Dreamweaver for my Web Design class. You’d think that a professor would be better able to stay on top of things. Ay yi yi… But it IS amazing stuff and I’m very glad to be working with it. I just wish I could spread out all that educational goodness over more than one night.

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Personal Logo, Take 1

Okay, for my Computers and the Arts class (FA2000) we needed to design a personal logo. My first thought was to model something after a Chinese chop or seal, like one of these:

So, here’s my not-very-impressive attemp at a first draft in my favorite color:

So, hand drawn with Sharpies and, given that I couldn’t even draw it straight, a fair amount of freestyle warping in Photoshop. I kind of the the inverted symmetry between the lowercase “b” and the uppercase “P.” Also, the whole ends up rather looking for like a child’s alphabet blocks:

Anyhow, that’s the first take. We’ll see what happens next.

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Mike Lee Smiles on Me

Okay, so it’s not exactly a masterpiece, but it’s a good first step. The first project for FA2000, Computers and the Arts, was to create a Surrealist collage in Photoshop. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to create an image of my family and I escaping Utah as a smiling Senator Mike Lee (one of our fine, fine Congressional Tea Party demagogues) looms overhead in the manner of, say, Lord  Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Unfortunately, we’re driving in a 1960 Citroën DS wagon and getting passed by a Galapagos tortoise (although we have made it to the Bonneville Salt Flats and are therefore just a few miles from Nevada, where a Democrat is in the Senate).

Here’s the end result:

The whole thing, though, reminds me of a 2008 article I read about the Photoshop spoofs of Sarah Palin entitled “Photoshop for Democracy Revisited: The Sarah Palin File.” In it, the author, Henry Jenkins, argues that such creations are actually a useful way of investigating the collective beliefs and prejudices of the nation. As a researcher, therefore, it may be premature to throw such dross in the junk mail folder but, rather, to use them as social indicators. Fascinating.

I must say, however, my all time favorite is the one of Obama and Palin as contestants in Dancing with the Stars:

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Edward Tufte, My Guinea Pig

Well, we had to try making an actual, working web site for my Web Design (FA3000) class. The assigned topic was a favorite artist. Because I do statistics and data visualization, and because he actually is an artist, I chose statistician/author/artist Edward Tufte. Here’s a still shot of the home page:

Not much, but not too bad for a first try. (And I’ve definitely seen worse!) For the time being, this site is on the school’s server and you can see it by clicking here. (By the way, as a partial excuse for the elementary nature of the site, it was all hand-coded in TextMate; we don’t get to use Dreamweaver until later in the semester.)

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Adobe and Me

We’re getting started with Photoshop (and the Adobe Creative Suite in general) in FA2000: Computers and the Arts. Very exciting! It’s an overwhelming program; so many choices, so many buttons. Ay yi yi . . . But I’m thrilled to have put the lettuce and beans on their own layers in the salad photo! Very cool to move things around so easily.

To quote the theme from The Love Boat: “So exciting and new!” (Well, new to me, anyhow.)

Also, in FA3000: Design for the Net I, we’re doing some manual HTML coding to create very, VERY simple websites (at least, local pages that open in browsers). Kind of tedious to do it manually, but I think it makes things much clearer. And I’m finally learned about putting the pages in a folder with relative references . . . if only this simple fact had been made clearer to me a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to working on our next assignment, which is to create a web page for a favorite artist. I may cheat and do mine on Edward Tufte, who IS an artist but is known much, much better for his work on data visualization. Here’s the man himself:

For reference, here are his major publications, all of which are gorgeous and should be required reading for all designers and data people:

Anyhow, it should be fun.

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