Join the Revolution of Gamers

My Design

Have you ever seen an Ad thought, “Wow that is really cool,” and then attempt to create something just like it? Well I certainly never did until now. This project was designed to find a unique ad, dissect what makes it great and then create your own ad that would feel like it was apart of the original.

I am an avid video game player and sought and ad that would appeal to my own demographic: Adults both men and women, ages 18-35, who enjoy playing video games.

I found an ad from Sony marketing their Playstation 4. The ad is simple, showing a picture of the earth with the sun shining on the horizon. A simple tagline reads: “GREATNESS AWAITS.”

Here is the original Ad.

I created a slide presentation showing details about the original ad and then about my own.

I personally like my ad better than the original. I feel like the visual is more appealing and I like the idea of gamers coming together and joining in a revolution. My ad follows the same grid as the original so it feels like it belongs. This Earth picture is great because the shinning lights are like gamers across the world connecting so it sends an even deeper message without using words.


“Creativity is Intelligence having fun.”

Creative Ad Assignment

The purpose of this assignment was to take an otherwise boring household or office object and turn it into something creative and awesome. I drew inspiration from a quote by Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” I  wanted to to have fun with this project and test my skills using photoshop.

Using a random generator I was able to focus on a target audience. My target audience is women, in a relationship, ages 55-65 with a masters or doctorate degree. Their average income is $15,000 – $39,000. This proves my information was compiled randomly as I highly doubt intelligent women with a PhD are only making $15,000 a year.

I was also tasked to format my design for a magazine ad and for a web blog.

Magazine Ad: 8.5” x 11”

Web Blog: 300px by 250px

Reference Photos

Below are the three photos I used to create my final design. All of these images were taken from a place were gifted photographers upload high resolution photos for anyone to use free.

Ben White
Photographer: Ben White
David Law
Photographer: David Law
Scott Webb
Photographer: Scott Webb

I Think I can – I Think I can – I Think icon

6 Icons

Designing Simple Icons

I was tasked to create 4 – 6 icons of my own design that each communicated a single message. This assignment required me to use Adobe Illustrator and follow a set of guidelines. I decided to create a set of 6 icons that would follow the theme for a children’s story or video game featuring pirates. I learned a lot about design while working through this. I wanted to use simple shapes and bright colors in order to attract my target audience. The whole idea was to create icons that children could identify the second they looked at it.

One of the requirements of the assignment was to display the icons at different scales.

Icons at 400 X 400 Pixels

Icons at 60 X 60 Pixels

All icons on a 9 X 6 Inch Board

6 Icons

I think one of the most important things about designing multiple icons is to make sure they all feel like they belong. I think I have accomplished this by using a bright color pallet, using objects that go together, and using similar shapes to unite everything. Overall this was a fun project and helped me to exercise my skills in Illustrator.

Can anyone design a Magazine?

Magazine Cover Page


We rarely see, if ever, a magazine that looks like a five year old designed and put it together. That is because before a magazine is ever printed dozens of people and hundreds of hours are spent perfecting it. A lot goes in to the final production including designing layouts, writing meaningful content, taking pictures, and editing. If you were asked to create a magazine spread would you be able to? Would you even know where to start? What programs to use?

Luckily for me, when I was asked to complete such a task it was in the context of a University assignment. Instead of a writing a How To editorial I thought I would simply share my experience on what it was like to design a 3 page magazine spread. The overview of this project was to take an already existing article and create a 3 page layout. The design was to be original, and all photographs were to be taken by the student. One of the first tasks was to determine the target audience. Since out article was to be taken from or I had an easy time narrowing down who I would focus on. My target audience was Adults over the age of 18 who are member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I knew my article would appeal to this demographic because generally speaking, active members would be interested in a talk given by an apostle on the subject of Temples.

So without further ado here is my final design. Below these images I will explain some of the decisions I made during the design process.

Magazine Cover Page

Second Page
Photo of Elder Quentin L. Cook is owned by the LDS Church

Third Page

The Design Process

My first step was to review the requirements of the project. Next I selected an article from the given sources. With those two things in mind I was able to make some design decisions. First of which was to choose a color palette and the fonts I would use. I chose a soft pink color palette to give a warm, peaceful, and comforting feeling to my readers. I used two fonts, Baskerville and Avenir Next LT Pro. These are elegant contrasting typefaces I felt worked well together.

On the cover page I chose to use a picture of the Rexburg Temple as the focal point. This would draw readers in and clearly define what was to be expected. Originally I started the main text of the article on this page. But after receiving some feedback from my fellow students I felt it might be better to put a block quote in its place.

For anyone that is familiar with the LDS church magazine The Ensign they might notice some similarities in the format of my pages. This was intentional. I felt it beneficial to use a format that my readers would be familiar with but with enough variation to set it apart.

The pictures I used were taken by me. I live a down the hill from the Rexburg Temple so I wanted to use pictures showcasing the beauty around where I live. The picture of the grass field is not just a random piece of land. It is large farm field right across the street from the Rexburg Temple so I felt it appropriate to include in the article.


This project helped me practice my skills with Adobe Indesign and Photoshop. Since this layout was of my design I learned a lot about typefaces, columns, spacing, and overall good design. A very helpful aspect of this project was giving and receiving feedback from other students’ magazine spreads. I was able to change a few things about my own spread that really made a difference in the final product. Also by giving feedback I could make notes in my mind of things to avoid and things to watch out for in my own designs.

I am proud of the work I did on this project and hope that it shows in my final design.

Where there is light, there is photography

Shannon Carr


Have you ever seen a photograph that stopped you in your tracks? One that made you feel something? Chances are this has happened to you and I believe it’s because good photography can speak through silence. Photographers spend years perfecting their skill in taking great photos. Have you ever wondered why your own pictures don’t turn out any where close to the professionals? Sure software like photoshop can be a factor in enhancing photos. But so much more happens before a picture ever makes it to the computer. Photographers follow certain principles when taking pictures. In this post I will be talking about 3 principles and showing both professional and my own amateur examples. The 3 principles are the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field.

Rule of Thirds

Shannon Carr Photo
By Shannon Carr

Rule of Thirds Edit

In this example there is a clear focal point (the mountain) to the right of the photo. When following the rule of thirds it’s important that the subject matter is positioned in one of the intersecting quadrants. The whole photo is divided into thirds and when the subject is placed in one of these locations it is pleasing to the eye. This doesn’t mean every photo has to align their subjects like this, it is just a good rule to follow. In this example we see the entire hilltop is positioned right on the line. Your eye is drawn to the top which is right where the interesting lines are.

My Example:


Leading Lines

Shannon Carr
By Shannon Carr

Shannon Carr

Roads are a natural pathway that our eyes tend to follow. In this example the road creates leading lines to the horizon. Leading lines are extremely effective at navigating the eye to a specific point. In this example there is a clear vanishing point where the two leading lines meet. A photo or painting should always have movement. This means that your eye can move through out the image, rest in areas, and keep moving. Leading lines help this process along.

My Example:



Depth of Field

Shannon Carr
By Shannon Carr

Shannon Carr

Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects. Between these near and far objects one of them will be in focus while the other is blurred out. In this simple yet effective example the stacked rocks are closer to the viewer. We know this because the rocks are in focus. Whatever is in the background is more distorted or blurred. This gives the effect that they are farther away.

My Example:

Pine Cones


These 3 principles of design can be applied to photography as well as any other art form. The next time you are stopped by a beautiful photo take some time to look and see if any of the principles are applied to the work in front of you. Chances are one or more are being used. They create interest, direction, and focus. The composition of any great photo was probably thought out before the shutter button was even pressed and certainly thought of after in editing.

“Typography is an art. Good typography is Art”

Typography Poster
Typography Poster
Paul Rand Poster

“Typography is an art. Good typography is Art.”
-Paul Rand

Paul Rand was an American graphic designer best known for his corporate logos. You probably have seen his work everywhere but never knew who to give credit. Some of his most famous logos are for companies like IBM, UPS, and ABC.

Typeface #1

San Serif Font
San Serif Font

This simple design utilizes a few typefaces but we will be looking at just two. The first typeface we will look at is in the sans serif category. The floating letters spell out the word “COMPLICATED.” The letters have no visible thick/thin transition in the strokes. The floating letters seem random and not important until they are paired with the small captions explaining how design is so simple, it’s complicated.


Serif Font
Serif Font

Typeface #2

The second typeface that is used is a serif font using italics. This fits in the Oldstyle category of type faces. This type style mimics handwritten type and uses small serifs to give a more natural and organic personality. The small captions read, “Design is the method of putting form and content together…” and “Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.”


Typeface Contrast
Typeface Contrast


The contrast between these two typefaces are that one uses serifs and the other does not. The circled example or the larger, bolder font has a monoweight, meaning there is no thick/thin transition. The type is clear, bold, and simple.  The second type face, represented in the rectangle, uses a serif font and is italicized. The most visible contrast between these two is the scale or size variation.


Right away your eye is drawn to the big letters. You follow the invisible line that leads your eyes to read out the word “COMPLICATED.” You then scan over the poster again to read the small block quotes that give meaning to the scattered letters. This is an excellent example of how contrast can work to make a design interesting and communicate a message. This beautiful design visually represents the very message it is giving.

What is Good Design?

iPhone 7 (PRODUCT) Red
iPhone 7 (PRODUCT) Red
Designed by Apple


For years Apple has shown the world that great product design comes above all else. Steve Jobs used to say: “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” This attention to detail is reflected in anything associated with the company. This includes the beautiful examples of graphic design shown on their website: This advertisement for Apple’s new PRODUCT RED iPhone 7 is an example of good, simple, design. While the specific designer of this image is not mentioned it is fair to say a professional designer produced it.


Example of Contrast

Contrast, as a principle of design, differentiates line, value, shape, texture, and color. It helps to create dominant areas within a composition, emphasizing what is most important (i.e. focal points). Contrast makes shapes more clear.” There are only 3 colors in this example, red, white, and black. There is a stark contrast between the red background and image, and the white text. The red appropriately dominates this composition as it is supporting the organization RED. The white text is easy to see and balances out the overwhelming amount of red.


Repetition Example

Repetition means to repeat one or more of the five elements of design. Repetition within a composition helps creates unity, and therefore, order.” The two iPhones are aligned and stacked creating repetition. Repetition helps a design to feel more unified. Not only are the physical elements of this ad repeated the color red is repeated through out the composition to send a message.


Alignment Example

Alignment, as a principle of design, is used to help place or organize the shapes within the format and give it a unified structure (i.e. shapes are placed horizontally and vertically, above and below each other). The opposite of aligning shapes would be placing them randomly resulting in chaos.” Since this design is simple and does not have a lot of text or objects it is very important that they are aligned. The two iPhones are diagonally aligned creating organization and movement. The text to the right is also center aligned which can be a bold move. In this case the center alignment of the text is deliberate pleasing to look at.


Proximity Example

Proximity is the arrangement of shapes that are placed near each other in a format used to create a sense of balance, dominance, focal point, etc.” The text to me is the focal point of this composition. The information is close in proximity because it all pertains to each other. It wouldn’t make sense to have what the product is in the top left corner and all other text spread around the page. Having everything close together creates a focal point and organizes the information.


Color Example

I don’t feel color needs to be defined in the way the other principles have been. Color has a personality, temperature, and can be one of the most effective tools in sending a message. This graphic uses only 3 colors. Red is the dominating color while black and white act as a contrast to it. Red is a very dominant and powerful color that draws attention to itself. The company RED was organized to draw awareness to the growing threat of HIV/AIDS. This ad would not make as much sense not would it send the same message with a cool tone like blue.


This ad for the the iPhone 7 PRODUCT RED is great example of design. It is simple, elegant, and effectively uses the principles of design. Some of the most obvious principles that are used are contrast, unity, alignment, scale, and proximity. A good design is usually a simple one, and this is a good design.