Reading "anotomy of a visual message"

After reading, A Primer of Visual Literacy by Dondis and Design Writing Research by Lupton, I had a revelation. Imagery in general usually falls under one of these three categories, representational, abstract, or symbolic. Though the three of these may be considered as separate Dondis, and Lupton's reading have shown me other wise.The basic level these three have in common is "interpretation," obvious I know. Interpretation of these three categories, as said from Lupton's point of view, is solely dependent on social context. I prefer to interpret this as a persons "experience." The more a person experiences the easier it is for them to understand and interpret what is being seen weather it is representational, abstract, or symbolic. From a designers point of view, understanding this concept is vital. When creating imagery designers must know what will reach an adult and what will reach a child. Knowing this will make for a better design and lead at a better meaning, weather it be representational, abstract, or symbolic!

Project 3: Haiku Word List



1. admiration
2. approval
3. descend
4. flower
5. graceful
6. praise
7. respect
8. single
9. sorrow
10. tragic

11. branch
12. combine
13. link
14. rejoin
15. renewal
16. replacement
17. return
18. reunion
19. revival
20. together

21. beautiful
22. butterfly
23. delicate
24. elegant
25. exquisite
26. fragile
27. lovely
28. precious
29. small
30. vulnerable


Element Image

Mercury Hg

As far as titles go I am drawing a blank..... but i like my image!


Color, Drawing, and Form

This week was the final week for working on our Letter form books. For the most part I am pretty happy about how my book turned out. Though there are slight problems, do to printer issues, as a whole the book is a most satisfying artifact. This project as a whole has really developed my understanding of what it takes, to create a letter form, and the process that goes into creating an accordion book. Here are a few Snapshots.




Paula Scher’s video for me really highlighted what was already known. The area in which something is cultivated will have an impact on its development, this holds true for Designers. As designers there is a certain level of flexibility and adaptivity that is required in order to become something. This world in which we live in is continuously changing and going through shifts, fads or trends. The designers job is to keep up with these shifts and adapt to their changes, this includes environments. Cities are constanly growing, building, demolishing, and recreating. This constant change has an effect on the designs in which designers create. In most cases we can make the environment fit the design, its the design that has to fit the environment.  Understanding the environment where one lives leds to the development of work that is better suited of that world, as well as an adaptation of the designer to this different style needed in order to function effectively in this environment. Where you live affects who you are, its only natural it would affect a designers work as well.


The title of my accordion book is "Westport," simple and sweet. When it came time to create my juxtapositions, combining our photography and line studies, I always knew I was destined for westprot. Its historic feeling represents the past and present, and was deserving of a book.

When arranging photos to lines, it was apparent that there were key factors that needed to be considered. The most important of these factors being spacial relationships between the line studies themselves and the accompanying photo. Without a spacial relationship to create a rhythmic feeling linking the two images there would be no relation between the two. The pair would die and become a static mess. This was a problem at times, and became very troublesome. Even know as a finished pice there is still room for improvement.

When deciding the layout of my book, a narrative started to pop out at me. The first page of the book begins with a more simple straight forward juxtaposition, and then progresses to a slightly more complex juxtaposition, and finally ending with a truly intriguing juxtaposition. This pattern is repeated 3 times to create a wave pattern, less intense to most intense. Kind of like an "ooh aww" feeling.

The book as a whole portrays the small unnoticed rhythms in westport and enhances them through juxtaposition. Mixing organic elements like that of a tree trunk, with that of a similar line manipulation. Or the geometric corners of a robust building with its doppelganger. While at the same time maintaining a sense of westport, and showing its movement through these rhythmic juxtapositions.

There is something more to this project, it has elevated my development processes to a complete other level. There are so many doors that can be opened, and so many problems that can be solved using this same development process that has been employed in these accordion books.


There is a lot that goes into creating great graphic pieces. The key is development through iterations, and practice. Through the process of line development, there is a lot that has been absorbed and obtained. Each step in the ladder is an important part of the whole, from the initial line studies to the end juxtaposition. Over all, craft and process are the main ingredients that go into creating viable design.

Basic Line

Horizontal + Vertical

Raw Manipulation

Hand Edited

Final Vector

Juxtaposition with Photo



In relation to our line studies the reading from Lupton's Graphic Design The New Basics, regarding figure ground and framing were insightful. These techniques are part of a number of tools, and methods that are implemented on a daily bases whether we realize it or not. Figure ground relationship implies a number of thing to the viewer, for instance rhythm. When working on our line studies depth plays a key roll in creating an interesting juxtaposition. Without rhythm in the mix the compositions would die for the lack of cohesiveness between the two elemnts. Creating a flat emotionless composition that doesn't speak or radiate.

Framing is also a key tool given to graphic designers. A designers main job is to guide their audience in a certain direction of their choosing through visual communication, typography, color, drawing, or form. In regards to our juxtapositions, framing was a vital organ in the body of process. More often than not, manipulated line studies needed to be framed in order to match the chosen or desired photo. By framing one can direct the viewer to a certain spot or imply something more like depth, or figure ground. Framing can also imply that there is more to be seen, or more to come.


C.D.F Found Color Narratives

This theme would consist of structures and the colors they consist of and are built from. Ranging from the tallest building in KC to the smallest house down the street.

This flower theme would be built of many colorful flowers, plants, weeds, any organic plant for the most part.

"Fall" the Season
This theme speaks for itself. The fall season alters the earth in such a beautiful way, it only seems natural to create an accordion book based on this precious season.

Up in Lights
Up in Light would be a them based on lights and the many variations and uses for them. Our would lives on light, without them we would be using candles...

Name Brand
Grocery Stores by nature are very colorful. All those name brands are covered with bright and brilliant color schemes, thought it may be hard to get picture in a grocery store.

Type 1 Element logos

To follow up what has gone on last week in typography 1, we were required to produce 30+ logos for our element. Part 2 required us to take our 3 top logotypes and produce 5 variations for each, here are my 15 variations plus 3.


Hg Logo Concepts

For Typography we were required to create 30+ logotypes for the elements symbol we were assigned. My element was Mercury, element symbol Hg. For my 30+ designs I wanted to play with arraignment and try to create original and "fresh" designs that break away from the rest. Unfortunately I still have a ways to go before I achieve my goal. My designs still have room to expand, and can be pushed farther.




Westport Window
Kansas City, Westport
Plaza Place
Ray’s World
Kansas City

This Book is an exploration of lines studies in west. Through the visual pairing of line investigations and photography, a story is being created. Flowing from beginning, middle, to end. Allow these juxtapositions to guide you to another plane were lines create movement, and begin to come alive. Let go of all 3 dimensional boundaries and enter a world that flows.

For now there is only one text option but these are a work in progress. Ive never been much of a writer, its always been kind of like pulling teeth for me.

Hard and Extremely Painful.



1. an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
2. the state of being close together or side by side.

This poster for the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London was designed by Why Not Associates and is a simple juxtaposition that perfectly depicts "sensation." the tongue and iron mimic each other, while at the same time appear to touch. Assuming the iron was hot, if this event ever were to come to flourishion, the "sensation" one would experience would be one of extreme pain. Perhaps the Designer is inferring the exhibition will be painful?...probably not.


CDF: Oppositional Pairs

Here is a little update on whats been going on in Color, Drawing, Form. Below are a few oppositional pairs of our letter forms, eventually they will make there way into our accordion books. These are a rough first round of photos, cropping is needed, but the general composition is there.

Stability / Instability

Contrast / Minimal Detection

Dominant / Reversible

Focal Point / Neutrality


Project Three: Narrative Letterform

Cropping Composition:

Cropping Composition With Image Integration:


Final Animation:

River Rock. from Raynaldo Alvarez on Vimeo.



So far so good i suppose? My number of compositions is increasing and looking pretty good, though there are still areas of my work that are lacking and could use a revamp. Think i need more curved studies.....For now here are a couple of screen shots of what I have been working on:



For my critique, there were a number of suggestions and areas of improvement. (Brandon, Joseph, Brit, Sarah)

For a few of my juxtapositions there was a consensus that different alignment could enhance or better compliment these compositions, and help bring me to a better level.

There were a few photos that could use a level boost or possibly a curves improvement. I plan to touch up these photos and take more, just to have a wider variety.  

Trace editing:
For my tracings there were a few straight forward lines or areas that could be omitted from the composition all together to better create a cohesive juxtaposition.

Picture focus:
There were a few juxtapositions that could possible use an out of focus photo that would go better with a scan composition and or a photocopy.

Different photo or line study:
There was also one that just was not working, and a new photo and or line investigation is necessary.

Over all i feel that a new batch of pictures are extremely necessary, now that i have a better handle on the types of line compositions i have in mind. Taking pictures will be easier to accumulate. Also the two images don't always have to align perfectly, i need to play with composition a little more. This could help intensify my compositions, and make for a more interesting overall look.


The article SpeakUp, only added to my ambitions of one day entering the advertisement industry. Advertisement and graphic design co-inside with one another, and in some ways cant exist without each other. Reading and understand that a juxtaposition can strengthen a message when paired properly, really put things into perspective. Understanding and absorbing how to create extraordinary juxtapositions is vital to any graphic designer. This technique can be seen everywhere, and in most every successful advertisement. Much like in project two, in order to unfold the maximum potential out of our photos it is important to pair them with an equally powerful lines study. If a cohesive connection is not made, then both the line investigation and the photo would both suffer and loose their intensity. This article showed me the reality and importance of our line juxtapositions, because of their important roll they play in our graphic design development.


In the reading Graphic Design The New Basics by Ellen Lupton, chapters Lines and Rhythm, Lupton explains the nature of lines and how they can be used to create rhythm. Lines can live in many styles, weights, lengths and directions. In the current project involving juxtapossitions, new forms of lines are becoming more apparent, such as straight, curved, broken, or continuous. As we progress through each juxtapossition and find new ways to partner our line investigations with a successful photos, a connection between line and rhythm is created. While working through project two its become apparent that lines themselves have a great amount of power and rhythm depending on how they are placed, manipulated, or paired. Project two is about teaching us how to use lines in order to direct and carry the viewer through our books, and create rhythm in the process.

C.D.F Update

Heres a little update of whats been going down in Color Drawing & Form. So far we have been building letter forms, my letter happens to be "G.". First it started with a 6" inch x-height, and then it was elevated to a 12" inch x-height (depicted below). Here are a few snapshots. Enjoy.