‘The Swing’ Blog Header

I was recently asked to design a blog header/logo for a friend. The blog itself is called ‘The Swing’ and is themed all things art and art history (you can find it here theswingartportal.blogspot.com.au/).

In my design approach I had initially just thought to design something that reflected my friends personality and the stylistic meanings that come with the words ‘the swing’. This was done through over the top feminne curves and the slight sense of movement throughout  the letters.

In terms of colour we had played with a pastel pink to go with this style but landed on a black to match the blog itself.

First Iteration

Rococo Pattern

After creating this logo I did a bit more research (with the help from some awesome people on forrst) and found that the blog was named after a painting called ‘The Swing’ which comes from the Rococo era. Rococo is an 18th-century artistic movement and style.

While the first iteration of this design was over the top curvaceous (which followed this movement) it lacked that mechanical, floral, repetitive style that existed within this era.

So after doing all of this research and interpreting the brief in a different light I sought out to redesign/reinvent my original idea and attempt something that fit a this genre a bit better.

Second Iteration

I will note that before I had started this second attempt my friend had told me she really liked the first iteration as it was very clean, simple and reflected the look she was going for within the blog. This second iteration was more of an experiment to delve deeper into the genre for myself.

After creating this version of the header I decided to integrate some of the elements from the second iteration into the first which then keeps the simplicity she was after but adds in a bit of  the depth that lies within the Rococo style.



The re-design of Convoy

Convoy is an iPhone application that was designed by myself, and developed and created by Rod Howarth, it is an application that allows users who are travelling in a group in separate vehicles to stay in touch and follow one another with ease.

I recently decided to re-design the application as even though the initial design worked well to get onto the market I strongly felt as though there was room to improve.

The original design concept of the logo was meant to be an icon of a road with two cars beside the word Convoy.

Original Logo Design

While this icon showed relevance to the idea I didn’t quite feel as though it was clever enough or was adaptable enough to pull through the entire application or more importantly the home screen icon. I also found that unless the user actually knew what Convoy was, the icon wasn’t really recognisable as a road which strongly hindered the design.

In designing the new logo I explored the idea of maps and map icons and created an icon that was both relevant to the core concept and made it easier to identify as something that had to do with maps and travel, more importantly it could be pulled apart and resized and would still be recognisable to the viewer.

New Convoy Logo

Home Screen Icon

The final product was a combination of the concept of map indicator mixed with the C in Convoy and then the rest of the word following on outside of this. This allowed us to use the C icon by itself which gave us more flexibility in the design of the home screen icon. This idea of using map indicators was followed through into the UI on the map sceen which I have discussed below.

The other major change to the application was the UI in the map screen. In the orignal version the icons were too detailed and therefore appeared disjointed  to one another and the rest of the application. Another big problem was that there was a strong lack of contrast between each icon as well as there being no separation between them and the text displayed above them.

Original Maps Interface

New Maps Interface

The re-design of Convoy was done to streamline the application and make it easier to use , it is now easier to follow, more intuitive and the branding is more recognisable.

As they say a project is never really finished, so we will continue to tweak the UI and build on this application to benefit the users, especially as we expand the app onto other platforms.

On a side note I also plan on re-designing the website to follow the new logo design and concepts in the near future.

You can purchase an ad-free version of Convoy here
Otherwise there is the free version available for download here

Invertebrate Illustrations

This set of illustrations came about from another broad bio-science brief. We were asked to create a series of posters illustrating the Society of Invertebrate Pathology’s identity. For those of you unfamiliar with this society they are an group of scientists that specialise in the field of invertebrate (spineless) creatures. We found the main goal of this organisation was to bring a wide variety of scientists together to create a wider network within the field of invertebrate pathology.

Each poster displays an invertebrate as well as a piece of science equipment, the idea behind this was to put these creatures in unrealistic positions to make the viewer see that the focus of the image is not simply that of a traditional science experiment but of the subject in question. In this example, while you could put a snail under a microscope the ratio between microscope and snail in this image is not logistical.

The posters also used words to communicate the societies core values and beliefs, we found these to be Science, Community & Education. While the use of these words may not have been necessary due to the fact that they have been communicated through designs themselves we felt as though they needed to be added as a visual cue.

The colours used within these posters are also used to further communicate the core values and ideas behind the society; green is used to communicate nature, blue for unity and orange for education.

These posters looked to combine elements of science (shown in the equipment) as well as the creatures themselves to have them appeal to those in the bio-science field. The microscopic style patterns are used in the background to further enhance the connection between science and the society and the shapes of the posters themselves also build on this idea of bringing a community together as they all connect.

In the process of actually creating these posters, I experimented with ink dropping as well as water colours, while these worked I felt as though the graphics needed a cleaner and more modern look, given we were approaching a science style brief, this is how the final vector style came about.

Given more time I may have taken a slightly different approach, while I was happy with the final illustration style I would have liked to experiment further. But that always seems to be the case doesn’t it? a project is never finished until either you or someone else puts their foot down, at least thats how I sometimes feel.

Luzi Font

Luzi is a font I created for a group project a few months back. The design stemmed from a broad bio-science theme and we felt as though the final product strongly displayed remnants of the Art Nouveau style.

While this poster doesn’t quite do the font justice in an Art Nouveau setting I still felt as though It communicated the aesthetic and story of the font itself which was ‘perseverance and adaptation in nature’


Photo attribution goes to eliduke

Frock Paper Scissors iPad app Prototype

This semester one of my projects required me to create a concept proposal and prototype for a potential Frock Paper Scissors iPad application. Instead of taking the traditional approach by making an interactive PDF or PowerPoint file I decided to take the opportunity to further develop my skills and make something a little bit more ‘complete’.

I created this prototype using CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery.


It can be previewed on a browser here – http://www.vanessagrixti.com/uni/Frock/iframe.html

or on an iPad by following this link in safari – http://www.vanessagrixti.com/uni/Frock/index.html
Once it’s open add the web page to your home screen and open it from there.

A Beach in a Box

Portable Beach Scene

Using a live pachube feed for the current temperature in Palm Beach Resort, Thailand I created a portable beach in a box that uses an RGB LED light attached to an Arduino to control the atmosphere of the setting.

The Juggle-Tron

This was a Juggling based interactive project I created this semester using three LED juggling balls, a webcam and processing.

“The Juggle-Tron is a juggling driven visualisation that is projected behind the performer during a juggling act. The performer drives the visualisation through the movement of three LED juggling balls. The visualisation has been designed to build on the performance the entertainer is undertaking. It is intended to create an experience for the audience and can be described as a ‘light show’.”