Essay 2: What Kind of Graphic Designer am I?

Joshua Steele


Topics in Graphic Design

Assignment #2: What Kind of Graphic Designer am I?

Design is a wide field, some focus on logo design, some on interior design, others on book design and so on, the decisions one makes on what to study influences what that person ends up as in their own career. In my own life, I’ve studied logo design, multimedia design, book design, and so on, but my main focus I’ve found has ended up in publication and type design. In the three projects showcased on my portfolio website I have one magazine, one webcomic, and one of word art. The different projects showcase different scenarios where type has to fill a different role and must first fit that function before looking nice or being impressive. But design involves the eyes, and this must still be accomplished.

In the word art section of my portfolio there’s a few images each put into an Adobe program and messed around with for several hours to get the desired effect.  One was a classic New York, Broadway style art, the second was styled like water, the third was styled in some old neon style type. It was pretty fun although it was challenging,  and the feeling of accomplishment was very enjoyable. I’ve done other work on websites and I didn’t end up feeling that kind of satisfaction by the end.

Secondly there is the showcase of Ronin Odyssey Issue One, which is a webcomic I lettered a while back. In this I had to work with a partner where we had to go back and forth debating the look of the speech bubbles or debating what the type’s font should be. It got frustrating at some points, especially where there was the art to work with and around which often trying to figure out where to put the text that didn’t obscure anything. Still, it didn’t discourage me from the task, and I got it done pretty readily.

Lastly and most proudly there was the magazine I did, Flip, for my Publication class last semester, where I had to work out everything from the logo to the overall look and technical aspects such as pixel density for images. In it I got very interested in finding good body text, visually distinct display fonts for the logo, and working out the different paragraph styles to differentiate between different kinds of text, and even in all of this, I didn’t start to consider different fields, like the other two, I enjoyed it.

Taking it all into account I think I’m very much a book or magazine designer something along those lines, especially since I’ve worked on old public domain books in my free time for fun. With the word art there could be a small skill-set in display type or something like advertisement, but as a designer, looking at what I always push my skills towards, definitely book and magazine design. Learning about this now, it makes me want to further consider where I’m pushing my career so that I can have a more conscious path.


Essay 5: Trends

Joshua Steele,

Topics in Graphic Design,


Essay 5

Trendsetters are all around us and are constantly shaping the world. I can’t help but think about all the people that work in fashion spending months coming up with the best new dress for shirt for the runway before a dozen other people try to make their own version. It’s an organic way for any industry to change, ideas inspiring others for it to grow ns change for however long it lasts.

Speaking of the designers that had become Trendsetters in class reminded me of the writer of Frankenstein Mary Shelley, it’s said she really kick started Science-Fiction as a genre, her book being a warning many would say, to the limits of science, and it is true that until recently much of Science-Fiction ends up boiling down to a warning, like 2001 A Space Odyssey or maybe even Passengers. I’m a fan of Science Fiction so it’s the first thing that came to mind for me.

Design wise, there’s a trend that few people talk about,and those are the designs and trends that go on in the world of lettering, before there was the mountain of sans-serif typefaces we have today, we had serif, but that changed when Helvetica came into the picture in 1957  created by the Haas type foundry, when it came out it was the first time people had seen a typeface so clean and simple, most type was geared towards evoking emotion but Helvetica was simple and professional, advertising changed with a now infamous that showcased a photograph featuring a glass of coke with works to the side, a simple ad in today’s standards that in those days shook the  landscape since it was mostly a lot of type and colorful paintings that were done.

Learning about everything we did in class, like the body harm done in order to make striking ads, and how the featured designer kept himself from following trends or having a style in order to be more inventive, taught me that there’s always value in spreading one’s skills and  trying styles, rather then becoming complacent.


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