Final Audio Story

https://soundcloud.com/valerie-eliason/finalaudiostory

I’ve always been a huge fan of audio creations. There’s such a subtle, but obvious, art to them. So in order to prepare for the audio story assignment, I began by reflecting back on some of my favorite podcasts for inspiration; Radio Lab, The Joe Rogan Experience, This American Life and The Ricky Gervais Show. While listening, I tried to pin-point the characteristics and traits that I had enjoyed the most, and assessed which aspects I could potentially utilize in my own audio project.

Since the objective of my course topic is to connect art and non-profit, I wanted to make sure that the direction I took, and interviewee I selected, would closely align with those interests or at least be in a similar field.
A good friend of mine, Kyle Rinta, had recently told me about a podcast that he was in the process of creating. The idea for the podcast had come from the current political climate in our country, and the growing divide between political parties. Kyle wanted to create a platform where people could respectfully discuss, face to face, their views and opinions. A safe environment to hear each other out, and possibly bridge the divide we seem to be facing in society.
Aside from it being a wonderfully optimistic idea for a podcast, it also perfectly joined together the fields of art and non-profit, in a creative way, to help people. It would be an audio story about the creation of an audio platform.

Prior to our informal interview I wrote up a brief, but thoughtful, list of questions and topics that I wanted to cover in the audio recording. I didn’t want the interview to sound scripted or stiff, but I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t accidentally leave out any key aspects.
To record the interview, I used the “Voice Memos” program on my laptop, and placed the computer in between the two of us to get an even audio recording.
I utilized the editing tip in last weeks readings and organized the content I recorded by “logging tape.” I created six individual audio clips ranging from 00:40 seconds to 03:06 minutes. For the first and last clip I recorded an interview introduction and story conclusion. The four middle audio segments referenced the general questions and ideas that I had previous established, as well as the short story, “I,Pencil“, written by Leonard E. Reed, that had inspired Kyle to create his podcast.

Once I had completed the interview and logged the tapes in chronological order, I sat down to listen through the recordings and transcribe them on to paper. Adding this step allowed me to visually organize and archive the audio content. For each tape I wrote down a brief summary of the conversation with approximate time-stamps referencing the key highlights and best parts to potentially include in my story.

After establishing a visual reference for the interview with Kyle, I began the editing process.
To edit the audio clips, I launched Adobe Audition and imported each of the six clips to work on, individually, as new Multi-Track Sessions.
By utilizing the razor tool, I was able to select and delete specific time frames of each clip that contained unideal audio, such as long pauses, redundancies, or awkward “ummms” in the conversation. In order to make sure the edited clips merged together seamlessly, I used the fade-in/ fade-out tool, as well as overlapping the adjacent ends of certain segments for audio continuity.
Once all six files were edited and finished, I exported each session as a Multi-track Mixdown, saved them as MP3s and then imported all of them into a new Multi-Track Session.
Next, I cut, moved and placed the clips into the appropriate order, and listened to the final audio compilation to ensure everything was accurately placed.

After having a few days to evaluate and think-over aspects of my draft story, I was eager to listen to the audio stories of other group members and read their feedback and suggestions. Two specific areas of improvement that were mentioned were the background noise and audio length. There was a subtle, but noticeable “humm” sound throughout the background of the interview audio. To remove the sound, I referenced the “Advanced Audio Techniques” link in the Week-10 readings, and followed the steps laid out for “Noise Reduction” in the Adobe video. Using this effect, I was able to select an audio sample of the “humm” noise, capture the noise print, and drastically reduce the decibel volume.
In addition to the background noise and audio length, one group member suggested I incorporate a more informative introduction to my audio story. I decided to give it a shot, and set about writing a brief script for an attention-grabbing, but informative intro.
Given the current quarantine situation in Washington, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go back downtown to the original interview location, so I set up a very rudimentary recording room in my bedroom closet. It’s a more centrally located (small) room, so there would be no street traffic sounds coming in from the windows. It’s too small to allow for any sort of echo effect, and the abundance of clothes hanging on racks and shelves would work as a soft surface to absorb the sound waves and prevent any interference.

After successfully recording the intro, I was inspired to add a few additional layers and effects to my story. First, I downloaded an ambient-background sound from a copyright free music station on YouTube called “AShamaluevMusic.” I used this subtle background music to layer behind my introduction.
Next, I wanted to add a couple details to the story using Foley Sounds. I referenced the Creative Commons Audio readings and created an account with the FreeSound site. With a simple search I was able to find a sound bite of a door being opened, and a three minute audio clip of busy restaurant sounds to play throughout the duration of my story.

The next step I had to complete was by far the most tedious. Once all the sound bites and audio files were imported into Audition and arranged over five different levels, I had the daunting task of trimming slices and seconds off each layer until my story was edited down to three minutes. I razored out every awkward “umm” or unnecessary pause, until I reached that goal. By the time I was finished, I had edited down the interview audio to 19 separate sections, and it sounded great.
The final touch I made to my audio story was to listen through while adding “key frames” to adjust the volume levels in specific sections. For the restaurant-ambience, I used the key frames to fade in as the door opened and fade out as the interview began. For the interview audio, I used the key frames to emphasize certain words, or tone down louder areas. The subtle changes and details I was able to create with this technique gave the story a more polished and professional feel.

I was delightfully surprised with how much fun I had with this project. The audio stories from my group members were inspiring, and their feedback was thoughtful and essential in making my own story. I found the program to be fairly easy to use, and the level of professional quality audio content you’re able to produce is thrilling. I’m looking forward to using Adobe Audition again.

Draft Audio Story

https://soundcloud.com/valerie-eliason/audiodraftcomplete-mixdown

I began the audio assignment for unit three by reflecting back on some of my favorite podcasts for inspiration; Radio Lab, The Joe Rogan Experience, This American Life and The Ricky Gervais Show. I tried to pin-point the characteristics and traits that I had enjoyed the most while listening to them, and assessed which aspects I could potentially utilize in my own audio project.
Since the objective of my course topic is to connect art and non-profit, I wanted to make sure that the interviewee I selected would have similar interests or at least be in a related field. But most importantly, someone who would want to be interviewed.
A good friend of mine, Kyle Rinta, had recently told me about a podcast that they were in the process of creating. The idea for the podcast had come from the current political climate in our county, and the growing divide between political parties. Kyle wanted to create a platform where people could respectfully discuss, face to face, their views and opinions. A safe environment to hear each other out, and possibly bridge the divide we seem to be facing in society.
Aside from it being a wonderfully optimistic idea for a podcast, it perfectly joined together the fields of art and non-profit in a way that could help people.
Prior to our informal interview, I wrote up a brief, but thoughtful list of questions and ideas that I wanted to cover in the audio recording. I didn’t want the interview to be scripted or stiff, but I didn’t want to accidentally leave out any key aspects.
To record the interview, I used the “Voice Memos” program on my laptop, and placed the computer in between the two of us to get an even audio recording.
I used the audio editing tip in this weeks readings and organized my content by “logging tape”. I created six individual audio clips ranging from 00:40 seconds to 03:06 minutes. For the first and last clip I recorded an interview introduction and story conclusion. The four middle audio segments referenced the general questions and ideas that I had previously established as well as the short story, “I, Pencil“, written by Leonard E. Reed that had inspired Kyle to create the podcast.
Once I had completed the interview and logged the tapes in chronological order, I sat down to listen through the recordings and transcribe them on to paper to visually organize their content. For each tape I wrote down a brief summary of the conversation with time-stamps referencing the key highlights, and best parts to potentially include in the draft story.

After establishing a visual reference for the interview with Kyle, I began the editing process.
To edit the audio clips, I launched Adobe Audition and imported each of the six clips to work on individually as new Multi-Track Sessions.
By utilizing the razor tool, I was able to select and delete specific time frames of each clip that contained un-wanted audio, such as, long pauses, redundancies, or awkward “ummms” in the conversation. In order to make sure the edited clips merged together seamlessly, I used the fade-in/ fade-out tool, as well as overlapping the ends of certain segments.
Once all six files were finished, I exported each session as a Multi-track Mixdown, saved them as MP3s, and then imported all of them into a new multi-track session.
Next, I cut, moved and placed the clips into the correct order, and listened to the final audio compilation to ensure everything was accurately placed.


The Final Logo Design…

Going into Unit Two, I knew that our primary focus would be Adobe Illustrator. Personally, I had mixed emotions about this program. I was fortunate enough to learn how to use the Illustrator in my undergrad studies, however, it has been over ten years since then, and it genuinely felt like I was learning the entire program from scratch, all over again. Additionally, the version of Illustrator that I own is rather dated, and I found myself having to create unique and obscure means of accomplishing certain effects that the current version of Illustrator easily utilizes with a preset tool. BUT, I refuse to whine or use that reason as some sort of excuse for defeat, so I proudly accepted the challenge and jumped into the assignment head first.
I began the draft logo assignment by thinking about what, exactly, I wanted my logo to represent. I decided on creating a logo to showcase my overall topic for the semester; “A Cause to Create.” It’s an idea that I feel extremely passionate about and I hope to, someday, make this project a reality.
After deciding on a concept for my logo to represent, my next step was to start sketching…

I find sketching to be a great tool for brainstorming, and I thoroughly enjoy the process. To begin, I started creating rough sketches of what I considered to be universal symbols of my logos’ themes. I wrote down a few “base” words and terms that I felt accurately portrayed or described my topic. Since the objective of “A Cause to Create” is to utilize art as a tool to help people, I wrote down words like; community, charity and art. Next, I listed the objects that I felt most clearly portrayed and visually symbolized those concepts. The visual symbols I came up with included things like; open-palm hands, heart shapes, colors, people in groups and art-tools like paint brush and palettes.
I also did a Google search of existing logo designs and stock images like charity, artists, community and helping, in order to cross reference the image ideas and symbolism that I came up with whilst brainstorming. During my Google image search, I noticed a few repeating similarities in the design elements of related logos. When it came to logos that represented Charities and Non-profits, they seemed to primarily utilize simple shapes and smooth, clean lines. Additionally, when it came to the font that was incorporated, a Sans-Serif style like Helvetica was almost always selected. Taking into consideration that design is never random, I suspect that those particular traits and characteristics were chosen to portray a welcoming sense of approachability. The clean lines of both the design and font are un-intimidating and less complex. Traits that would be ideal for a non-profit organization or charity logo. I made sure to try and incorporate similar characteristics in my design.

After using a Sharpie and some highlighters to sketch out some rough ideas, I decided on a basic design concept. A classic paint brush with the bristles portrayed as long, multicolored hands. I chose the paint brush to symbolize art and the various colored hands to symbolize the idea of community, diversity and helping.

*Credit: Images acquired by Google image search for “Clip Art of Hands“.
(Watermark intentionally left visible for copyright purposes)

To begin my logo, I started by creating the “metal” part of the paint brush. To do this, I selected the rectangle tool, drew a long horizontal shape, set the fill to a medium grey and the stroke to a 0.75 with a slightly darker grey. Next, to make the handle, I chose the ellipse tool and drew a tall narrow oval to intersect perpendicularly with the bottom center of the grey rectangle, and set the color to a medium tan with zero stroke. To create the triangle, that would serve as the wider wood part of the handle, I used the polygon tool, drew the shape, and deleted two of the five anchors by selecting them with the direct select arrow and hitting delete. I moved the triangle into the left corner of the ellipse/rectangle intersection, and applied the add anchors tool to position several additional anchors along the diagonal edge of the triangle. To transform the diagonal edge of the triangle into a smooth concave curve, I direct selected each anchor and shifted it into the desired shape. To achieve an exact symmetrical duplicate of the triangle shape on the other side of the ellipse, I selected the triangle and applied object-arrange-reflect. I then selected the ellipse and two triangles and grouped them together to make it easier to move them around on the page.
To make the metal part of the paint brush look more realistic, I used the rounded rectangle tool, changed the corner radius to “3pxls” and drew two small rectangles to place inside the larger original shape. To create a more metallic look, I gave them each a radial gradient and selected a medium grey for the center and a dark grey for the outside, then lowered the opacity for a smoother blend.
For the text, I wanted something interesting, but also simple and un-intimidating, so I decided on “PT Sans.” I changed the font to Bold, and placed it along the “metal” part of the paint brush where the actual brush brand name would typically be located.
To create the many colorful hands, I used a few variations of the shape tool. For the arms I used the rounded rectangle tool, and for the hands I used six ellipse shapes; A large round ellipse for the palm, and five small narrow ellipses for the fingers. I then added additional anchors to the fingers to adjust and customize each of their shapes. This allowed me to easily transform the small narrow ellipses into five fingers, as well as create a more realistic palm for the hand shape. After creating one hand that I felt satisfied with, I used the copy-paste commands to clone them. I also added even more anchors to the cloned hands so that I could make subtle adjustments to differentiate the hands from one another so they would appear slightly different.
After positioning the arms and hands by selecting a variation of “move forward” and “move backwards” commands, I changed each to a bright color and followed a rainbow color palette from left to right. I selected each individual arm and applied a linear-gradient using the original hand color and a slightly darker version of the hand color for the gradient spectrum. I then adjusted the angle position of the gradient to -105 so the bottom of the arm coming out of the paint brush would be the darker shade. The gradient effect is subtle, but it creates a lovely extra dimension to the overall design.

Now For Some Feedback….


Throughout the development and creation of my logo draft, I had a few moments where I second guessed certain aspects of my design and wanted a second opinion. I was eager to see the thoughts and feedback from my group, and was looking forward to the helpful insight, I knew, they would provide.
One crucial element of my logo that was mentioned was the font that was used for “A Cause to Create.” It was suggested that it may be too simple of a font, and that I should try experimenting with different lettering. This was a great suggestion from my group, and it resulted in the selection of a much more cohesive font; “Noteworthy BOLD” with an applied 0.25pt stroke. The new font was the perfect combination of an artistic & minimalistic lettering styles.
I also received feedback regarding the length of the various hands. It was suggested that they may work better if they are slightly closer together in length, instead of the green hand sticking out so prominently. This was easily fixed, and I completely agree that the logo works better with the hands at slightly closer lengths.

In addition to the helpful feedback and insight from my group, I was also able to evaluate and pin-point a few aspects of my logo that I felt could be improve on. One aspect that I felt was lacking in my logo was stronger visual dimension, particularly with the paint brush handle. To fix this, I Googled several images of basic paint brushes and referenced them throughout the revision of the brush handle. I selected subtle characteristics from each image that I felt could be applied successfully to my design, and incorporated them into my final logo.

In order to obtain a similar 3D effect that you can see in the reference photos, I decided that my paint brush handle needed to appear to be beveled along the edges. However, prior to creating the pseudo-bevel, I would have to merge the three shapes that made up the handle into one single shape. Without this step, I wouldn’t be able to apply a gradient to the handle as a “whole”, the gradient would, instead, apply itself to the three separate shapes that make up the handle, and trust me, it looks really strange.
To merge the three shapes, I made sure they were all selected, clicked the shape builder tool, then dragged the selection-line through all three to unify them together. Once I had the handle transformed into a single shape, I started on the bevel. To create this effect, I made an exact clone of the wooden handle by utilizing the copy-paste command. Next, I scaled down the “clone” by selecting the object and dragging the corner anchor inwards. I then placed the smaller handle on top of the original handle and made small adjustments with the anchors until it sat flush with the top metal part, but the sides still remained clearly visible as the bevel. To create the illusion of dimension, I applied a radial gradient to the bottom handle. I selected slightly lighter and darker shades of the original color to use as the gradient spectrum, and then positioned the gradient-slider to 70% to give the new bevel realistic highlights and depth.
Additionally, I created a small bevel to give dimension to the hole of the handle. Using the ellipse shape tool, I drew a small oval, applied a linear gradient using the same colors for the gradient spectrum, and positioned the angle of the gradient so the darkest area would appear at the bottom. I finished it off by creating and placing a flat white ellipse on top to complete the hole.

My favorite improvement to the final logo, is most certainly, the adjustments made to the metal part of the paint brush. I removed the radial gradient because the effect of a circular gradient on a rectangular object just didn’t make sense. Instead, I experimented with a gradient preset that I stumbled across called “Green, Yellow, Orange.” It consisted of a linear gradient with seven different “gradient sliders” that repeated the colors; green, yellow and orange in a pattern. I decided to keep the number of sliders, but replaced the colors with a variety of light grays, medium grays and dark grays. This allowed me to create bright shiny highlights that mimicked the reflective surface of metal, and brought the perfect layer of dimension to my logo.
For the final touch, I added three small metal rivets to the brush. It’s a minor detail that I noticed in actual photographs of paint brushes, and I had been hoping to incorporate it somehow into the logo. To create them I drew a simple circle-ellipse by holding down shift, and finished them off with the tiniest radial gradient to make them pop.

Developing this logo and re-learning Illustrator has been a challenging experience. I felt that I really pushed myself, technically and aesthetically, with Adobe Illustrator, and came away from the whole process feeling proud and happy with my final logo creation. It’s truly been one of the highlights of this semester, so far.

Illustrator Draft Logo

I began this week’s draft logo project by thinking about what, exactly, I wanted my logo to represent. I decided on creating a logo to showcase my overall topic; “A Cause to Create”. It’s an idea that I feel very passionate about and I hope to, one day, make this project a reality.
My first step was to brainstorm imagery and to try and break down the symbolism of what I wanted my logo to express. I started by writing down some general words that I felt accurately portrayed or described my topic. Since the objective of “A Cause to Create” is to utilize art as a tool to help people, I wrote down themes like; “community”, “charity” and “art”. Next, I listed the objects that I felt most clearly portrayed and symbolized those concepts. The visual symbols I came up with included things like, open-palmed hands, heart shapes, colors, people in groups, and art tools like paint brushes and palettes. I also did a google search of existing logo designs and stock images like “charity”, “artists”, “community” and “helping”, in order to cross reference the image ideas and symbolism that I came up with.
While gathering reference points and searching for images that related to my theme, I noticed a few consistent similarities in the design elements of the logos. When it came to logos that represented charities and non-profits, they seemed to primarily utilize simple shapes and smooth, clean lines. Additionally, when it came to the font that was used, a sans-serif style, like Helvetica, was almost always chosen. Considering that design is never random, I suspect that those particular traits and characteristics were chosen to portray a welcoming sense of approachability. The clean lines of both the design and font are un-intimidating and less complex. Traits that would be ideal for a non-profit organization or charity logo. I made sure to try and incorporate similar characteristics in my logo design.
After sketching out a few rough ideas with a sharpie and some highlighters, I decided on a basic design concept. A classic paint brush with the bristles being portrayed as long multicolored hands. I chose the paint brush to symbolize art and the various colored hands to symbolize the idea of community, diversity and helping.
To begin my design in Illustrator, I chose the rectangle tool and created a long horizontal shape. I set the fill to a medium grey color, and set the stroke at 0.75 with a dark grey color. Next I chose the ellipse tool and drew a tall narrow oval to intersect perpendicularly with the bottom middle of the rectangle and set the color to a medium tan with a zero stroke. To create a triangle, I used the polygon tool, and deleted two of the anchors by selecting them with the direct select arrow and hitting delete. I moved the triangle into the left corner of the ellipse/rectangle and used the “add anchors” tool to place several additional anchors along the diagonal edge of the triangle. To transform the diagonal edge of the triangle into a smooth concave curve, I direct selected each anchor and shifted it into the desired shape. To achieve an exact symmetrical duplicate of the triangle on the other side of the ellipse, I selected the triangle and applied object-arrange-reflect. I then selected the ellipse and two triangles and grouped them together to make it easier to move them on the page.
To make the “metal” part of the paint brush look more realistic, I used the rounded rectangle tool, changed the corner radius to “3” and drew two small rectangles to place inside of the original one. To create a metallic look, I gave them each a “radial” gradient and selected a medium grey for the center and a dark grey for the outside, then lowered the opacity for a smoother blend. For the text, I wanted something interesting, but also simple and un-intimidating, so I chose “PT Sans.” I changed the font to Bold, and placed it along the “metal” part of the paint brush where the actual brush brand name would normally go.
To create the many colorful hands, I used a series of the shape tools. For the arms I used the rounded rectangle tool, and for the hands I used six ellipse shapes. One large round one for the palm, and five small narrow ones for the fingers. I used the direct select tool and added additional anchors to adjust and customize the fingers. After I created one hand, I used the “copy/paste” commands to clone them, and additional anchors and direct selection adjustments to make each look slightly different.
After positioning the arms and hands where I wanted them, I changed each to a bright color and followed a rainbow color palette from left to right. I selected each “arm” and applied a “linear” gradient to it using the primary hand color and a slightly darker version of the hand color for the spectrum. I then adjusted the angle position of the gradient to -105 so the bottom of the arms coming out of the paint brush would be darkest. The effect is subtle, but creates a nice extra dimension to the overall design.

The Final Graphic Design Project.


When starting this project I wanted to make sure that I was selecting a topic that would strongly support and accurately represent the primary theme of my blog. Something that could successfully combine the non profit sector with art, and showcase how art can be used as a tool to help people and communities. I decided to focus on the issue of Honeybee Conservancy because it is an issue that is near and dear to me. I have several friends who are beekeepers, and I think that their roll in the environment is as critical as it is fascinating.
After selecting my topic, I began to establish what the basic aesthetic aspects of my design would be. I chose to use a warm pallet of “honey colors” as the foundation and initial inspiration. Aside from the obvious reasons for picking these colors (honey bees = honey colors), I also chose them because of how well the colors lent themselves to the hexagon pattern of honeycomb. I’ve always loved strong geometric patterns and I wanted to utilize the hexagon shapes within my design. When I began to combine the two design choices I noticed they created a subtle retro-geometric 70s pattern, so naturally, I decided on a 70s retro font style for my headline. I experimented with dozens of fonts available in Photoshop, but was unable to find the right one for this project. I decided to use a website called “Dafont“, that I had used in the past, as a resource for obtaining a headline font. The site has hundreds of unique fonts that are free to download, and free to use for non-commercial purposes.
To create the background hexagon pattern in my design, I used the paintbrush tool to draw a simple yellow hexagon and then “cloned” the shape by holding down option + command on the keyboard, then clicking and dragging the hexagon. I repeated this process until I had several of them, and then selected all of them by using the wand and holding down shift, and then repeated the “clone” command. This way I was able to able to ensure uniformity amongst the hexagon shapes in the pattern and arrange them however I wanted. Since each time a “clone” is made, a new layer is automatically created, I made sure to merge all of the hexagon layers into one layer after I was finished placing them into the pattern that I was trying to accomplish. In order to give the honeycomb pattern some character, I selected a few of the individual shapes with the wand selector tool, chose a lighter shade of the honey-yellow color, and then used the paint bucket tool to fill in the shapes that I had selected.
In addition to the honeycomb, I was inspired to add some honey to my background design after submitting the draft. I decided it would look best as a detail at the bottom of the poster, I wanted it to appear to be dripping off the bottom of the pseudo-honeycomb pattern. To do this, I created a new layer, used the eye dropper to match the color, and then selected the paintbrush tool to draw the drippy honey. In order to make it look a little more realistic, I chose to add a subtle gradient effect. To do this I created a vector mask and utilized the gradient tool to draw a gradient that went from the top of the honey to the bottom. The final details I added were the white highlight lines along each curve of the honey drips. To do this I used the paintbrush tool, selected the color white, changed the size of the paintbrush to approximately three pixels, and drew a highlight line along each curve. To complete the highlights and taper off the ends of each line for a more finished look, I selected the smudge tool, changed the size to one pixel, and carefully smudged the ends of each line out to form a streamlined taper.
One of the final effects I chose to apply to the background at the end of completing the project was a texture over the honeycomb. I felt that the background pattern looked a little “flat” and I wanted to jazz it up a bit. To create the subtle texture effect, I selected filtertexture and chose texturizer. The result is a great subtle grainy waxy effect that goes perfectly with the honeycomb.

I found the Project Feedback for this assignment to be very helpful. Several of the changes and revisions I made to my final design were inspired by the constructive feedback I received from the students in my group. One of the suggestions I received was in regards to the color I had chosen for the headline. It was suggested that the bold black text might be a little too dark and heavy for the design, and that I may want to try a lighter color, or layer effect. As a result, I changed the color from black to dark brown and added a few custom layer styles to the text as well. I did this by selecting; layer, layer-style, then added a drop shadow, outer glow and also a bevel & emboss effect.
In regards to feedback concerning the photos I used, I was given a particularly helpful suggestion. In my draft design I had used a photograph that was taken at an elementary school with children. Unbeknownst to me, one of the kids was wearing a Girl Scouts vest. Luckily, the group member immediately recognized it, and rightfully pointed out that having it in the photo could raise a potential issue regarding their trademarked organization and the fact that they are not affiliated with this project. (Thank you, Jess!) However, I still wanted to utilize the photo for my poster so I used the magnetic lasso tool to draw around the other three individuals in the photo, then selected inverse in order to invert the selection, then hit delete to erase the background. After that I adjusted the brightness & contrast of specific areas of the photo by utilizing the burn tool (to darken) and the dodge tool (to lighten). I then created a custom background to replace what I deleted by filling in the empty background with a pale yellow color, then using the burn tool to subtly darken the background around the students in the photo to add some depth to the image. Finally, I used the blur tool on the toolbar to blend the areas that I darkened seamlessly into the background.
Another revision that was suggested to me was to add bullet points to the list of activities on the poster. I did this by making a single dot with the paintbrush tool at size 30 pixels. I also made sure to match the color of the bullet points to the text by using the eye dropper tool.

For the photograph of the honey bees and honeycomb I used several effects to improve the picture. To start, I wanted to repair the top part of the broken honeycomb in the photo to make it more aesthetically pleasing. To do this I used the clone stamp tool and set the size to approximately 12 pixels and selected a comparable area to clone. To clone the area I held down the option key on my keyboard and clicked. I then moved the curser over the area that needed to be repaired and stamped that area.
For the photo of the beekeeper, I decided to improve the background. The original photo had a very plain brown dirt background, and I wanted to change it to one with a garden or flowers. To accomplish this I imported one of my own photos of a tulip field that I had taken a few years ago, and created a new layer for it. Then I selected the layer with the original beekeeper photo and used the magnetic lasso tool to select the outline of the beekeeper and her pink beehive box. I then inverted the selection by clicking inverse, and hit delete to erase it. After I carefully arranged the image of the beekeeper over the new tulip background, I merged the two layers so I would have one singe layer for the new image.

When deciding on a technique to display the photos, I chose to continue with the hexagon pattern and incorporate the photographs as large hexagons into the implied structure of the hive. I did this because of the bold nature of the hexagon shape. I felt that trying to arrange a traditionally square or rectangular photo would clash too awkwardly with the established honeycomb pattern, and would likely result in a messy and confusing layout.
To create the black hexagon frame I have around the photos, I selected one of the yellow hexagons in the background, used the free-transform tool and held down shift to scale up the size to create a single large hexagon. I then made a clone of the new hexagon by using optioncommand then clicking and dragging to create the new identical hexagon. I made one of them black and one white and applied the free-transform tool again to scale down the size of the white hexagon just slightly, and positioned it over the larger black hexagon. I then selected the two individual layers and merged them into one single layer. Finally, I used the wand tool to select the white hexagon and hit delete. After I had my frame, I was able to clone it as needed and change the size as needed to accommodate the photographs.
When selecting photos I wanted to take a more personal approach. I decided on utilizing a few photos that I had taken, as well as a few photos from a friend of mine, who is an expert beekeeper AND professional photographer. In order to follow all copyright protocols and to obtain written permission for the photographs, I reached out to her via Facebook Messenger, described the reasons and mediums in which her photos would be used, and obtained her written permission to use them.
The final personal touch I chose to incorporate into the Graphic Design Project was a photograph of one of my own art pieces. The three blue honey bee hexagons are art works that I created about a year ago. The original piece is on a wood canvas and is approximately 9in x 9in. After completing the art work, I worked with “Split Arrow” printing to create professional 8 x 10 prints using cold press water color paper. I then partnered with the “Honeybee Conservancy” in New York, a non-profit organization, and donated half the proceeds of the honeybee print sales to their organization. I titled the prints “The Disappearing Bee” to draw attention to the environmental crisis, and I continue to partner with them to this day.


*Photo Credits & Citations:
–The “beekeeper” photo on the right is a layered combination of two photographs. The actual beekeeper with the pink hive is from the Facebook album of Renée Kristine Ricciardi called “A Summer of Beekeeping.” The background photograph of a tulip field was taken by me two years ago in Woodburn, OR at the “Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.”
–The “children’s classroom” photo on the left was also taken from Renée’s “A Summer of Beekeeping” Album from her Facebook page.
–The photo on the top right is from the professional photography website of Renée Ricciardi and is part of a photo series titled “Non Nobis: Honeybees.
Here is a link to her photography website: http://reneericciardi.com/non-nobis-honeybees
And here is a link to her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/renee.k.ricciardi/media_set?set=a.1789145968624&type=3
*Previously listed photos are protected under Copyright Law and are the property of Renée Kristine Ricciardi. They are used solely for this project with her knowledge and written permission.

–“Childish” font used for the headline; “Home is Where the Hive is“, was downloaded from the “Dafont” website. Designed and created by Agung Rohmat and listed as “Free for Personal or Non-Commercial Use” on the site. You can view the font and usage guidelines here: https://www.dafont.com/childish.font?text=%22Home+is+Where+the+Hive+is%22