Monica Acosta

Design Diary

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Frank Stella

This week I got to see the Frank Stella exhibit at the Ft. Worth Modern. The show was incredible and I was so inspired by everything. Getting to see the paintings up close was great. Not to mention seeing the process and sketches behind some of his work.

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Quick Update

Here are some patterns I made recently. I wanted to use simple shapes in an interesting pattern with soft feminine colors.

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Zine

Recently, I made a Zine for my boyfriends birthday quoting some of his Facebook status/a little series he has quoting things he over hears. It's the first zine I have ever made and actually COMPLETED. Hope to make volume II soon.

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DMA Italics Field Trip

This weekend I went with the Italics gang to the DMA. The 'Hanging Neon' piece by Stephen Antonakos was one of my favorite pieces. I loved the simplicity and especially how each way you looked/each different angel changed the way it looked. 

I also loved getting to see his thought process and planning of the works shown at the museum. Two of my other favorites are below. <3

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Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all the awesome mama's out there. I hand made my mom a card because she's still my number one fan. :) 

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Quick Update

Recently, I've been working on some freelance work for Best Buddies Texas. They have a Keith Haring logo and I was super inspired by his patterns and artwork that I took a go at it and made a pattern. I think this patter would go well anywhere and on anything (i.e. clothing) and hope to print it on something soon. :) 

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Bar Luce

During my trip to Milan I got to visit the Prada Foundation, and most importantly Bar Luce (aka the coffee shop Wes Anderson designed). It was a dream of mine to visit ever since I heard about it and I am so happy I got to go. 

I got tons of color inspiration that I can hopefully implement into my work soon!

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Beats, Rhymes + Life

I love hip hop. And I LOVE a Tribe Called Quest. So, I was very excited that I finally got around to watching the documentary about Tribe called "Beats, Rhymes + Life". 

As soon as the movie started, I knew it was going to be great and that's thanks to the title sequence made by Phillip Niemeyer and James Blagden. It really brought to life one of their most well know songs, with the color choices and the movement of the animation. Below is the video so you can see for yourself.

 

Upon further investigation, I found out that this style was extended to the website design for the movie (designed by '76 Beats') which I think translated really well! 

If you are a lover of hip hop, interesting animation, or just a really great documentary definitely add this to your 'watch' list.

Ai Weiwei + Andy Warhol

During my trip to Melbroune I was lucky enough to see the Ai Wei Wei and Andy Warhol exhibition. Even though I wasn't really a huge fan of their work, the branding really peaked my interested so I decided to go and I am super happy I did. 

I never realized all of the similarities between both artist. And the way the museum decided to display the artwork clearly showed that. Each room touched on a different medium and how both artist approached it. I spent the entire day there because of how much work was displayed and probably could've done a second round. 

Presenting the work of both artists, the exhibition explores modern and contemporary art, life and cultural politics through the activities of two exemplary figures – one of whom represents twentieth century modernity and the ‘American century’; and the other contemporary life in the twenty-first century and what has been heralded as the ‘Chinese century’ to come.
— NGV

 

I was also inspired by the activism behind both their artwork, and how they created art with a strong meaning behind it and to improve the world to some extent. One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was this room that used the list of names of children killed during an earth quake in China which was used as a wallpaper in the room. 

And lastly, the children's part of the exhibit might have been one of my favorites because...cats...and a photo booth.

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GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS

We've all seen it. The horrid graduation announcements that are old and stale and actually really expensive. I encountered this recently as I gear up for my undergrad commencement (yay!) and would not let myself go through that as a designer. So, I decided to take it upon myself to just make my own. I wanted to make something that my friends and family would receive and the mail and really want to keep around (and hopefully I have accomplished that!)

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FUTURA BOOK

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am working on a type spec book for my typography class. I picked Futura as my typeface and Wes Anderson films as my theme for the book. I used quotes from the films, color schemes, and film themes to show off Futura. Here are some layout designs before I go print! 

MENU DESIGN

In my Typography class, our latest assignment was to layout a menu design. We couldn't use any color, had to fit it all onto a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, and we had to use all of the text my professor gave the class (no editing allowed). We needed to produce two different designs of the same menu. One was meant to look more traditional while the other more on the abstract spectrum. The goal was to focus on creating hierarchy and contrast among the information we were given with the type. 

While this was challenging, I really enjoyed this assignment. I personally was more fond of the abstract menu, but it was hard creating something abstract while be so restricted to what we could and couldn't use. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with what I ended up with. 

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Type Spec Book : Initial Ideas

For our final project in my Typography class, we are making a type spec book! We need to pick a typeface and a theme to showcase that typeface. Then, we will layout and design spreads and finally make a booklet out of it. 

I went ahead with Futura, and I decided to choose Wes Anderson films as my theme. As a fan of Wes Anderson, I knew that Futura was one of his favorite typefaces and widely used in his films. My goal is to show that in my book and also show the various style of the typeface. 

Here are my initial ideas! I am so excited to see this all come together. 

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CITY LETTERS

Hello world- 

Here's something I've been working on

For my class, we were asked to find examples of type in a given area of Dallas. I chose my neighborhood: Fair Park/Deep Ellum. I run almost every morning, so these picture were taken during that time. I wanted to keep it abstract to mirror the graffiti style in my design. During my research for this project, I learned that while graffiti isn't a formal form of typography, graffiti artist still use the same methods and even have their own classifications. 

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FEAR : ALEX BUNCH

"I am scared and nervous about this assignment because I am not very good at draw,"

- Me (unfortunately) to my Design Professor. 

Little did I know that the talk I was about to hear was all about fear and fear in creativity. Maybe it was just what I needed. 

This past week I went to my first DSVC talk and it was a great experience. It was great being surronded by so many people in different creative fields, both new and old. 
The speaker at the event was Alex Bunch and like I said, the talk fit prefectly into my currently struggles as a designer. Alex was a designer in the Dallas area a while back and now he works world-wide as a chief creative director.

 

Little did I know that I was actually familiar with his work. Getting to put a name and face on some of the work samples he showed was pretty cool. Below is a sample of some videos and stills that he's made for a campaign called 'Live the Language'.  I was familiar and had seen a while back while trying to find a study abroad program. If you haven't see these I highly recommend watching. 

Live the Language : Paris&nbsp;

Live the Language : Paris 

I love the simplicity of the campaign. While simple, it is still so effective. And that's really the way a good idea should be.

Live the Language: Paris&nbsp;

Live the Language: Paris 

The type used fits so well, and really makes the videos beautiful (and now I really really want to go to Paris). 

Live the Language: Barcelona&nbsp;

Live the Language: Barcelona 

Like I said, his talk was about fear and how it gets in the way of creativity. Hearing an established creative, like Alex, speak about his fear was a great experience. I was glad to hear his story, and hopefully apply it to my life and work. I realized how much fear has gotten in the way of things I make. For example, drawing. This is perfect timing for my current project in my Typography class (making a daily drop cap), which I foresee needing a lot of hand drawn elements. 

Live the Language: Barcelona

Live the Language: Barcelona

Fear is to blame for a lot of things. He said writers block/any block in creativty is really just fear keeping you from creating. It also makes it easy to create excuses for why your work is not as good as it should be (which I have experienced SEVERAL times). People often make excuses, such as 'Well my team was not good enough' or blaming professors for crappy work. But at the end these are just excuses and a waste of time and energy. 

Live the Langue: Beijing&nbsp;

Live the Langue: Beijing 

I am so happy that I got to finally see what these events are all about, and I think Alex was a perfect first time speaker! 

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MEANWHILE IN SAN FRANCISCO

Yesterday I got around to reading this book that was gifted to me on my birthday. I loved it so much. The illustrations were great, and the story itself was so unique. San Francisco is also one of my favorite places in the whole world, so it was hard not to like this book.

 

The book was written and illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton. Wendy is an illustrator and graphic journalist in San Francisco.

She has other works, such as 'Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology' which is next on my list. 

She has a truly unique and beautiful style. And now I cannot WAIT for my next trip to SF. I highly recommend checking her out!

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OBVIOUS: JACK SUMMERFORD

On Friday, I was given this book during a visit to Clampitt Paper. Besides the awesome paper, this was a great read, especially to a young designer as myself. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book. 

Invitations

I feel so lucky to have such creative freedom at my work. One of my favorite tasks is making invitations for various events held by the company. Yes they are usually quick deadlines, and yes I might obsess over them but I feel like thats why they're so great and such great practice. Here are some posters I have made over the summer. 

 

Freelance Client: Euclid Garden

Earlier this month, a non-profit named Euclid Gardens reached out to me seeing if I could do some work for them and their new organization. After learning more about their mission, I was all in. A little bit about the client: 

'Euclid' is a group home for girls ages 13-17 being released from YGC (juvenile incarceration) in San Francisco. While working as a live-in counselor at the 'Euclid' group home, I shared my love of gardening with the girls by bringing plants and seeds from home to grow in the backyard. The girls reacted well to the addition —caring for the plants became an escape from their intensely stressful lives and continues to teach them independence, nutrition, patience, and respect for the environment and each other. Seeing the positive effect the small garden already had, I was inspired to bring more supplies and seedlings to the home to expand the garden.

I got started right away, especially because they were about to begin a new gardening project and were trying to recieve donations. Our goal was to create awareness through Instagram posts, set up a simple informational website, and create a simple logo. 
 

I wanted the icons to be simple, and communicate with the overall goal of the organization as well as the actual act of gardening. I feel like both go hand in hand: growth, planting/seeding, and nutrition. They are also easy to apply to things on their website and Instagram posts. I tried isolating some of the icons in 7, 8, and 9 just incase they felt like focusing on only one of those elements.  Euclid Garden decided on option 6 for their logo.

Below are some examples of the logo applied to both their Instagram page and website. I felt as if Instagram would be a great platform to gain awareness for them. I used images that related to the standard content found on instagram posts so that it blended into followers feeds. The images are also easy for other users or followers to post onto their own Instagram page or share. We are hoping to get some better images soon as well!  

These are some more options I created for future posts.

Since they have a tight budget, we needed to find a free platform for their website so we went with wix for a temporary website. The main goal is to communicate their mission and hopefully get people over to their donation page. You can visit the page live here.

This is still very much a work in progres, but so far me and the client are both very happy with the results. I will keep updated this to keep you informed. :) 

Freelance Client: Hattie Lane

Recently, I was contacted to do some self-branding for Hattie Lane, a realtor based in Houston. Working together was a blast, and I am so lucky to have such great clients. Hattie wanted the design to be minimal and sophisticated, with hints of gold on the cards as well. Below are some cards she had picked out for inspiration. 

After looking over these images, and getting to know more about her vision I dove in and started creating mood boards and roughs. 

Below are the completed business cards and letterhead I designed!