Graphic Design Halloween Costumes 3

It’s that time of year again when leaves change, the sky gets a crisper blue, the evenings cool down, you pull out your big cozy sweaters and cuddle up with your favorite someone over hot apple cider. Well actually, here in San Francisco, not that many leaves change, and your sweaters are already in heavy rotation after our freezing cold summers… but it still somehow feels undeniably like Fall now.

And that means Halloween is almost here, and the challenge of coming up with a fun graphic-design-related Halloween costume is once again upon us. As I unfortunately will be missing Halloween this year, here are some costume suggestions for all the other designers out there, and I hope you guys do something incredible!

Villains and Horror Shows

X-acto, Chip Kidd’s Batman Nemesis in “Batman: Death by Design”

The famous book cover designer Chip Kidd, who I’ve written about before, has written several books including an issue of Batman titled “Death by Design.” The premise is pretty amazing, with architecture- and construction-related villains wreaking havoc on Gotham City, including the punny “X-acto” named after a designer’s best trimming & cutting friend (read more about the plot). Talk about the perfect design villain costume! This woman’s silver-gloved get-up and fabulous headpiece are great inspiration for a pretty epic DIY costume. (source)

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - X-Acto


The Death of Print

Whether you think claims of an inevitable “death of print” are baseless fear-mongering or an informed view of a technological revolution, this costume allows for fun, dramatic, nerdy, puny creativity—all my favorite costume characteristics! (source)

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Death of Print

Bad Kerning

I wasn’t able to find an example of this costume already done, but I feel like there is a lot of potential here. Whether you’re using bad kerning to make silly click/dick jokes, or just trying to horrify your designer friends, there’s plenty of room for fun. One idea is going with a group where each person is a different letter, and spend the evening playing with ways to be improperly spaced—lots of photo ops!

Internet Related

In previous costume post, I featured Internet-themed costumes such as the Firefox Logo and an 8-Bit Avatar. Recently I found a few great additions to this collection—meme, app and emoji inspired costumes. Check out these hilarious black-and-white greeting-card ladies (source), classy app icons, emoji group (source), and beer-drinking smiling pile of poo!

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - eCardsPixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - App IconsPixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - EmojisPixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Emojis

Follow Ups from Previous Posts (I and II)

Some great new ideas for a Pixelated costume:

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Pixelated 1 Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Pixelated 2 Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Pixelated 3

… and new ideas for Famous Artwork, especially the Roy Lichtenstein girl:

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes

Last Minute Costume

My favorite Easy Out costume this year is to get together with some buddies for a CMYK costume. With other group sizes, you could do a 3-person as RGB or a couple as BW. And if you’re the only costume-procrastinator, there’s always my favorite from the last post, Error 404: Costume Not Found.

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - CMYK

And finally, if you want to bring your design-related Halloween theming to an all time high, try your hand at carving a Pantone Pumpkin!

Pixel and Pilcrow - Graphic Design Halloween Costumes - Pantone PumpkinEnjoy your Halloween!


Tweeting the AIGA GAIN Conference

This past October 9th and 10th I was lucky enough to get to attend the AIGA GAIN National Conference. This year the two-day affair was held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a mere 2 blocks from my school, and I bought student tickets early enough in advance that they only cost an arm, not an arm and a leg.

The official GAIN iPhone App

The schedule kept me hopping—it was a Tuesday and Wednesday, which is when I have a total of 9 hours of classes, but I managed to go to all of the talks, two full classes and half an hour of the third class, and finish my homework! Not much sleep at all in those 48 hours, but I have to say it was definitely worth while. I thought AIGA did a phenomenal job of lining up speakers, and except for the very last session I thought everyone had something really interesting and inspiring to say. So often I’ve heard design speakers who are good, but end up repeating advice that I’ve heard over and over again, or has a story that isn’t particularly engaging or unusual.

This year the theme was social good, so all the presentations revolved in some way about the role that design can play in helping improve society. I noticed a lot of audience members taking notes in some way shape or form, often on ipads or laptops. Since this year I’m the Director of Communications for the AAU AIGA student group, I decided to take my notes by live-tweeting the event under the @AAUAIGA twitter handle. It was actually a lot of fun, especially the interaction with the other tweeters in the audience. It felt like we were having a conversation about the conference, getting opinions and feedback, while it was still taking place.

Below is my twitter stream for the two day conference. It’s a bit long, but there are lots of links to the various projects mentioned during the talks, retweets from other designers who attended GAIN, and some hopefully interesting and insightful quotes from the speakers. Enjoy!

Day 1: Tuesday, October 9th

Kicking off the #GainConference general session! Excited and lucky to have it in our backyard at the YBCA

Continue reading Tweeting the AIGA GAIN Conference

More Like Instaddiction

A picture I took of my homemade gingerbread cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting and candied ginger (love the way the morning light caught the ginger)

Last summer I downloaded the Instagram app for my iphone, futzed around with it for an afternoon, and decided it wasn’t really that interesting. Plus, I found a different photo app called Camera+, featured on the wonderful typography website for its use of the beautiful typeface Bree (read their Camera+ post). It seemed pretty cool.

But the other day my boyfriend was griping about how Camera+ and Facebook both make you log into their site to view any pictures, and he put up a fairly good argument for the Instagram app instead. So I decided to try it out again, give it a second chance to impress me.

Aaaand I might be minorly addicted, already. What I either hadn’t noticed, or hadn’t been developed well enough the first time I checked it out, was Instagram’s twitter-like interface for sharing photographs and viewing a group of selected friends’ images. I quickly discovered that quite a few of my art school classmates are on there, taking awesome photographs and sharing them with all. And their photographs were doing what good photographs do—making me look twice at the world around me, making me see the beauty in a basketball court that I wouldn’t have seen the first time I looked. They made me start to look at my world through the photographer’s mental lens again, make me really look at the visual appearance of everything.

Noticing the danger of my Instagram feed become all food, I took this picture of Andrew working one evening, and played around with the filters.

Even the filters, which are part of what people love about Instagram, seem to help me develop my aesthetic sense. How does the muted blue-tinged filter make a photo feel as opposed the exact same photograph with the high-contrast filter? How are my classmates manipulating their photographs to add visual impact? Can I get good at identifying the best filter for a photograph in Instagram, in an effort to have more mastery over visual manipulation in general?

Using Instagram again reminded me almost immediately of the feel of my first semester at AAU when one of our assignments was, in addition to regular homework, to bring in 7 new images every week. The point was to get us to start looking, to start identifying good images and learning how to obtain them and make them ourselves. At the time it felt like kind of a pain in the neck to have to do every week, but it really started me looking for good images. And a graphic designer is nothing without good images.

So, in a way I feel like using Instagram is really just an extension of art school. Can I take a picture, make an image, that is beautiful and more importantly, worth sharing? We’ll see.

(Follow me on Instagram! My account name is “rewright”)