Unit 2 Final Draft – The Thompson Scholarship

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Similarly to the Photoshop unit, when I designed my assignment I wanted to create something that could help a potential language student at WSU. When I thought of important aspects of language study at this school, I thought about studying abroad and the many excellent programs that it has to assist students in being able to immerse themselves in other countries and cultures. With that in mind, I chose the Thompson scholarship for study abroad. This scholarship is something almost every foreign language student will be told to at least consider if they are interested in studying abroad, and it makes the option much more viable to many students.
Starting from my design, I researched logos for various scholarships. Many of them simply used crest-like designs similar to their schools, but I knew that would not fit my topic, so I kept looking until I found scholarships which had logos more related to their purpose. Keeping what I had seen in mind, I thought of ways to would isolate the concepts I wanted to express, and decided to focus on travel as a focal point. I decided, in the end, to use a planet with a plane flying around it, as I felt that would directly communicate my purpose for the logo. While I could have tried and based the planet on the real world, I decided I would rather do it entirely from scratch without the need for a reference image. Finally, I decided I want Thompson to be overlapping on the planet a little bit, with the remaining text below. With all those points decided, I knew I was going to make most of the elements circular to keep a sense of harmony throughout the design. Most other design choices I made came from through trial and error, such as adding a path for the plane.
All the assets in the logo were made by me, excluding the default fonts. The planet was made by creating a circle, penciling in some shapes for land masses, and then using the pathfinder’s divide function. The plane was hand made using the pen tool, and the path of the plane was made by using the scissor tool on a circle. The Thompson typography used a similar technique to the tutorials. However, I never divided the white shape with the image it overlapped. The outline alone looked somewhat dull, so I decided to make it look more like a physical object on top of the picture of the world. To do this, I created a drop shadow with no blur just a pixel below This revealed an awkward problem about the white outlines, underneath letters with gaps like “h” or “n” were small bumps which made the drop shadow look awkward. In the end, I wound up smoothing them out by deleting the anchor points using the remove anchor tool. Another awkward problem was the gradient tool not cooperating as I added it from the transition from rough to the final draft. Using feedback I had received, I changed the font of the bottom text and tried to add more color. In the end, I wound up copying the gradient and slightly altering it for each of the green land masses. In addition to the gradual change in color, an inner glow was added to make it look more like a sphere.

Rough Draft: The Thompson Scholarship

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I realized after submitting my sketch design to the class that I don’t think I can make a logo based on my original concept because it may or may not go against Copyright. As such, I took the general shape of the design and reworked it into something that in the end came out more relevant than my original topic anyways. The subject for my assignment is the Thompson Education Abroad scholarship available here at WSU. This scholarship is available to students studying abroad, which is important because many people find study abroad appealing but feel it’d be too expensive, and immersing yourself in the culture is easily one of the best ways to pick up a language.
The scholarship is all about foreign travel, which is why I decided to focus on travel for my design. Using a plane flying across the world, I was able to keep the design’s geometry down to mostly circles, while invoking the message of global travel. Additionally, since I was using such a familiar image of a planet, the graphic can be scaled down, and even with the little room, the idea of the earth is recognizable.
While I wound up using globe imagery for two projects now, I feel like it was an appropriate image for what this scholarship is. I did all the elements of the design, so I didn’t have to invest any time into looking for materials. I wanted the design to remain focused on a few major circles, so I started my design process by making a few circles of varying sizes. For the earth’s landmasses, I used the pencil tools to make some general shapes and used the divide function to make them line up with the smallest circle. For the plane, I hand designed it via the pen tool, but I’m unhappy with that result and may go and create another one geometrically later. Finally, I used the Text along a Path tool to get the circular Thompson text. The text was then copied and turned into an outline, which I used the Offset Path effect to turn into a white outline to prevent the planet from making the text hard to read. Finally, using one more circle I creating the ring around which shows the plane’s path, and used the scissor tool to cut off the bottom near the beginning of the text.
Easily the most convoluted issue encountered was involving the curved text. Because the path was along a circle, the text kept coming upside down due to its position on the path. For anyone else encountering this problem, use the select tool and pay attention to the three lines coming from your circle’s path. Dragging those to the inside of the circle and altering it’s position slightly should fix the issue.