Category Archives: Design

The Kitchen Sink Literary Journal

The Kitchen Sink

Say hello to the homepage for¬†The Kitchen Sink literary journal. I guess now would be the time for me to wax eloquent on my stellar and eccentric design philosophies, but I actually already did that here… If you just happen to be looking at this page and you just happen to like what you see and you just happen to be in the market for an exceptional graphic designer and you just happen to want to see more of my work, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

I’m not desperate or anything, though…

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Prettypolis

Prettypolis¬†is a small personal photography website I created in 2007. I used Adobe Dreamweaver for the web design and Photoshop to jazz out–that is, edit and enhance–some wild images I caught with my pet camera, Snaporaz the Sony Cybershot. Since the site featured a relatively small portfolio of images, I opted for this old-fashioned “tube television” format–complete with Round Corners–allowing the pictures to just speak for themselves, you might say. By clicking on any of the sixteen thumbnails, the user is presented with a high-resolution magnification of each image (as seen below) and can return again to the homepage simply by clicking on the logo.

One footnote: like all “HTML” files I will preview on W-O-R-D-D-R, the JPEGs below are not really real HTML files at all, but cropped screenshots of HTML files. And yes–for all you employers out there on the fence about hiring me for your next great design project–I know how to do that!

Prettypolis

Katie Shabi: Placebo, Sleeping with Ghosts (2005)

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The Kitchen Sink Header Design

Unfortunately, I last checked my email Friday morning around 8:00AM, so I had no idea our class had been relocated until approximately 12:28PM. Since I still have no clue where HPER is, I also don’t know what we discussed in class or if/how we are supposed to update our blogs this week. Partly to knock out some groundwork on our literary journal but mainly because I am just a straight-up control freak and have some weird obsession with designing banners in general, I am proud to present the mockup header for The Kitchen Sink that I slaved over this weekend. Props to my team members for coming up with a fabulous name for our journal that also includes an obvious wealth of design possibilities. As for this blog post, prepare yourself for one last geek-out because I am about to go wild!

Making the most out of Adobe Photoshop’s layer opacity setting, some industrial designs I robbed from Google images–if you crop and edit them significantly is that still considered plagiarism?–and also Hammer Keys, I must say I am pretty pleased with how the logo turned out. (pats self on back) As for the font, I downloaded it from this totally awesome free font website dafont.com a few years ago and rushed at the opportunity to use it again, mainly because it’s one of my all-time favorites. Don’t let the goofy faux-ghetto domain name fool you–this site actually has loads of really classy fonts, with which I have bogged down my computer and, now that I think of it, also maybe managed to crash my dad’s work PC with once… (I got chewed out for that even though I’m still pretty sure the crash had absolutely nothing to do with that, so watch yourself.)

I also want to congratulate myself specifically for the “a literary journal” text description that I painstakingly arranged to make look like water trickling out of the tap! (I used Beccaria for that part.) “How can the faucet be functional,” you might ask, “When the sink is clearly not even installed yet?” Such are the miracles of design, my friend. I’ll be honest, I actually thought of this particular touch later, after I had already gone to sleep. However, I actually got out of bed in the middle of the night to add that in, because apparently I couldn’t just wait until morning to do that, like a sane person… Still, I think the words-as-water metaphor is a good fit for The Kitchen Sink–but, then again, isn’t everything?–which we can possibly develop even more later, if we so choose.

IMHO, I think it will be a good idea for us to replicate the black-and-white color scheme used in the header above throughout our whole website, in hopes of mimicking the clean minimalism of industrial illustrations and layouts. However, I’ll make sure to OK this with my teammates first, because I don’t want to turn into a tyrannical group boss or anything… I hear from our email moderator that we actually are receiving submissions, so hopefully The Kitchen Sink runs smoothly–no pun intended!

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Chapbook NIGHTMARE

Well, I really liked designing my chapbook–not to mention working with Adobe InDesign for the first time–but I’ve got to say, trying to get this thing down on paper was a LIVING NIGHTMARE. So now I am just going to take this opportunity to indulge in what I think is a well-deserved rant/geek-out after a day full of paper-jamming (and not always the “cool” kind) and compatibility issues. Thus begins my tale of what will go down in my personal history as the Inaugural Spring Break Chapbook Nightmare. –Read at your own risk!

In tribute to my Futura fixation more fully elaborated upon in Helvetica Politics, I thought that using the font in my chapbook would be a fine gesture of continuity. I was like, “Hey, I have an Apple at home, so it shouldn’t be a problem.” And it wasn’t–at least not until Thursday morning, the time I alloted for what I envisioned to be a quick no-sweat print-off between classes. Intuitively sensing that it might turn out to be a problem, I even went directly to Lindley Hall so I could find the help of some CS major if things did go awry… which of course they did. What a fiasco! At first I was naive and loaded my really snazzy brown faux-papyrus paper in the printer right away, fully ready to pull the PRINT trigger, but luckily an attendant persuaded me to first indulge in what would amount to be about 40 test-runs. Even though I created and was printing my project through an Apple, the machine just refused to print more than 3/4 of each page, no matter the number of settings reconfigured and reprints tried. As the wastepaper continued to mount and nothing seemed to be working, I soon came to the bitter realization that the Apple print was just not going to happen. Admittedly, I was reluctant to switch platforms because I knew that meant I would have to give up the Futura ghost, so to speak, but with the clock ticking I wasn’t sure I still even had a choice. Sure enough, in the PC lab the test-run finally ran snag–and Futura–free, but of course the “trial” wasn’t really over yet.

At the printer I gleefully loaded my snazzy-but-in-retrospect-perhaps-too-rough-and-thick stock, intently watching as the machine started and then suddenly stopped rolling it through its quickly spun-out wheels. @%$PAPER JAM@#! Honestly, by this point I was probably hovering on the border of hysteria and just way too emotional about the whole thing, and not only because of the sentimental value of the “good paper” I was printing on–LONG STORY. Although I still feel kind of bad about doing this, I seriously was pressed for time and like a terrible person totally just left the printer jammed, shamefacedly resorting to yet another lab to print my chapbook on, regrettably, only the cheapest paper imaginable. Now I am utterly exhausted and don’t even want to go into describing my various travails trying to master the Ballantine staplers. Let’s just say IU took a hard blow that day thanks to me and my complete physical ineptitude…

Finally, to hopefully bring all of this back to the actual topic of literary publishing, just think of how easy this all might have been if when I was finished designing my chapbook I just pressed a couple of buttons to “publish” my work virtually instead of on hard copy. Or, on the other hand, how unimaginably HARD this project would have been if IU didn’t offer printers with the totally fabulous duplex printing option. Considering the enormous carbon footprint I was responsible for by the time all was said and done, I’m not sure how “eco-friendly” the print really turned out to be, but I imagine the waste would have been probably tantamount to this–plus I would have also absolutely lost my mind!–if I had had to swing this all “manual duplex.” When I think about me trying to print the whole 28 pages one at a time, with my brain outright melting every time I try to figure out which way to flip and reload the papers so they all eventually line up right… I come to the conclusion that, in that case, my cup is definitely half full. It could have been a lot worse!

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