paint the pavement

icons part 1 -31/8/16

We were tasked with creating an icon, something that symbolizes, in this case, a healthy community. The two that I selected more difficult than I thought. I selected service/ accessibility — for service I took the route of hospitality, specifically in the food realm, which is why many of my icons appear to be related to waiters.

This process was really exciting for me, I usually never sketch so it was challenging at first. These are the service icons.

For accessibility I focused mainly on the wheelchair, how simple could I make it, with it still being readable? As a designer our job is to help people understand what they are seeing and if it meant to be significant to them or not — every form carries meaning.

Accessibility icons

Creating these icons were somewhat of a challenge for me, maybe because I havent drawn in a while. One of my “design issues” that I want to challenge head on is the exploring what my style is, I think I thought I knew what it was last year, which boxed me in a lot and prohibited me from trying a lot of new things — time to loosen up.

icons part 2 -1/9/16

After our first critique I realized two things, first that my icons were still too complicated, even though I thought I had simplified them. I had to simplify my shapes and take into consideration negative space and balance. Because these are meant to be so simple and carry so much meaning I realized that even the simplest things may still be too complicated.


After discussing with my group, I also realized that my icons may not even contribute to a healthy community, which was the ultimate goal. I decided to switch to “shopping”, which I thought was an important part of a healthy community. To try and make it consistent I attempted different styles and played with negative space.


After our class critique, however, it was removed from the set as it was not a essential and I was given museum, which I was happy about as it was one I wanted originally. I was given a vase with a rope, which I thought was iconic for a museum, however I thought changing it to a human form or a painting would be easy for users to understand.


After our class critique I decided to focus more on the painting as it was more tangible and easier to understand.


I then removed the image in the picture, as well as any unnecessary lines, this was to make it as simple as possible.


I am still not sure what these will be utilized for, or how, but the act of creating in a huge group was more exciting and interesting than I thought it would be. It is interesting to see how my colleagues are able to create things that are cohesive but still their own.

watermark 1 -6/9/16

Today we were given the project brief — to create a system that would promote the “Paint the Pavement” organization, specific to Pittsburgh. The Paint the Pavement organization, in a brief description, is when the community (in a neighborhood/ prefecture) comes together and apply to get a intersection painted; this has proven to promote safe crossing as well as general safety in a neighborhood. One of the issues, however, is the application process — it is extremely long and requires a lot of energy from neighborhoods — our task, to try and convince users to apply.

The first step of this project was to create a wordmark, to brand our system. This wordmark is meant to symbolize our concept as a whole — basically the wordmark is our groundworks, it is meant to inspire our concept and be the concrete to our system.

Initial watermark exploration.

Because Kristin stressed the importance of trying to figure out a personal style, I knew I wanted to stick with something more graphic and type stressed. My favorite concept was pulling out the E and making it form almost a pavement.

Other ideas that I brought to illustrator.

After comparing this to other work in the class, however, and after critique I knew what I had jumped to the computer too quickly. My design was rigid and boring, it was too serious and did not fit the parameters of the project. The typeface I selected, and the all caps also did not flow nicely — there was no way I could utilize this in the state it was in to inspire my system. I, however, wanted to stick with my idea — I needed to take the idea of dragging the E and inject life into it, the computer literally killed me and my concept. This is a problem I knew I had, I always tried to speed up the exploration process, moving forward I need to let the ideation process flow, I cant just cut it off — I need to set time aside where I fully concentrate in what i’m doing and I need to put my passion back into it.

My first try at the watermark. The E kind of reminds me of the Microsoft logo and it draws too much attention to the middle, there is also no relevant hierarchy.

organization - 7/9/16

We wanted each section to lead to the next one in a way that would be easy to understand and easier to digest.

As a group we tackled the large application requirements/ information packet and tried to create a sort of hierarchy for it. What was the most important? How would we capture the audience? This made me start to think of a modular type of system, where one of my deliverables would lead to another, and another. This process gave me more insight into the project and allowed me to start throwing around concept ideas in my head. By creating different “modules”/ by grouping the information, our goal was to make the information more easily digestible. We also looked through the packets to find what our “buy in” could be, this was found in the Goals/ Purpose/ Objectives section.

exploration -10/9/16

After the in class crit, I decided to move back into the ideation phase over the weekend — this surprised me, it led my back to my High School art days, I didnt realize how much I missed them and how exciting this was for me. I began by going to the art store, I looked through the isles for anything I could use for mark making — I ended up with black ink, acrylic, a sponge brush, tape, a couple brushes and this aggressively fat paint marker. I also went outside to collect a couple of rocks — maybe these could be used to paint, as well as a couple of leaves.

These were with rocks, they either did not drag the paint or created a mark that was reminiscent of road kill.

After exploring the rock, I realized it wasnt working out — it looked more like roadkill which was not what I wanted my mark to be interpreted as. I then moved on to the large paint marker — I really liked the way the strokes were created and the overlapping. I initially thought I would just write out the E and digitize the rest of the words, but I wrote out “pavement” just to see what it looked like — creating it was something extremely organic for me, something that could not be created digitally, which is was I ultimately went with the fully written out “pavement”.

The fully written out pavement as well as a couple of my E itterations

I also played with making the middle of the E dashed to reference a road. My next challenge was how to incorporate the “paint the” and “pittsburgh”, I began by trying to place the PAVEMENT in some sort of a road sign, but I ddi not like how it was turning out — I walked around the studio and found these cut out, foam letters and in frustration I emptied the bag on the ground — wait, this could be used. What if the “paint the” and “pgh” were almost like paint splatters? I experimented with this and eventually printed out letters in a typeface and tried to mimmic the effect.

Initial brainstorming concepts of how I could incorporate the rest of the words.
The version with the letters as well as the cut out letters.

Moving forward, I will definitely not half-ass this part of the design process. By just focusing and by just playing I was able to create something that I would have never reached if I had just sat on my computer, this was a real break through for me — both as a designer and as an individual. This marked the start of something I think, I had been having doubts about this year, I was fearful that it was going to end up like last year, but I really left my ego and everything I thought I liked out of this process and I still do believe something in this will lead me in the future.

watermark 2 -11/9/16 and 12/9/16

After cutting out the letters and arranging them like paint splatters, I moved to digital — I played with spacing and the arrangement of the letters. I knew this was not final but I thought I was headed in the right direction.

My most recent watermark, I like the concept behind this, however, there isnt enough consistency and the other words are sort of making this shape that I dont like.

After a quick crit with Kristin I was able to see what was wrong with my word mark, the elements were too different from each other, they had to “connect” better. Kristin gave me the idea of trying to play with the dashes in the E, and challenged me to explore if it could influence how the “paint the” and “pgh” were going to be incorporated into the system. I also had typeface issues, I selected something to thin that it was not really focused on at all as the “pavement” was the focal point. After this crit I planned on playing more with the placement of the words as well as trying out different slab/ san serifs as well as more black and condensed typefaces. I really liked the idea of playing with the rhythm the E creates, I planned on utilizing this to influence the spacing in the rest of the words.

Different iterations of type/ spacing, I like the bottom 2 the best but I need to play more with spacing and rhythm.

After playing around with different typefaces, I kind of see the direction Kristin told me to go in, but working digitally is definitely not working, i’m going to go back to my sketchbook and play with rhythm — I think before I go back to illustrator I need to fully understand the rhythm and structure Kristin told me to explore.


starting concepts -11/9/16

Visual communication in a public space to promote a healthy neighborhood — this is the goal of our project. How do we get people to care about this this project? How to we spark the application process and keep the ball running? This has to be inviting, something that is not threatening or aggressive and needs to connect to a general audience. Our deliverables are meant to be directed at a particular audience and give the community its placed in a identity. Right away I thought of focusing on pedestrians as my main targeted audience, as an international student who doesnt know how to drive walking is my primary form of transport — and I can think of a couple “unsafe” crossings where the only method is to run as fast as you can when no cars are around.

Initial concept ideas.

What is something all pedestrians need, especially when its hot out — water. My initial concept is to create a system of modules, where one leads to the other. It would begin with the water bottle, which would have the watermark/ “buy in”, this would get the viewer interested — maybe people will be handing these out next to a larger poster with info and text about the actual application — maybe this poster will be on a background of pavement and look like splatters of paint or maybe the type would be arranged in format to create almost a road design with paint on it. I also want to create a website with everything on it, so everything is in one place in a consistent and concise format.

watermark 3 -14/9/16

icon play/ typefaces- 15/9/16

organization/concept -15/9/16

grid investigation- 15/9/16