Graphic organizer for the Internet predators lesson on Wonderland Cafe.
This week's installment of Wonderland Cafe was both easier and harder to create than than the designs of previous weeks. As always, I was excited to create more for this project. Design and illustration are truly in my blood. I can think of few things I like to do more than design except for maybe write or make films. As such, when I'm working on a project like this one, visual ideas always seem to pop into my head.
That's the easy part. Well, that and the fact that I had actually been thinking about Wonderland Cafe long before I ever started it for this class. As I explained in this blog post, visually Wonderland Cafe is a bit of a mash-up between the chessboard in "Through the Looking Glass" and the tile floors you see in diners.
Therefore, I always had a color scheme in mind. I bring this up because this week's assignment in EdTech 506 deals with color, texture, and depth in design. This is where the hard part comes in. Because I already had a color scheme in mind for this project - black, white, and pink - I needed to figure out how to do something new if I could with this week's design.
That said, whatever I did do still needed to match the designs that I have already created in past assignments. I additionally needed to try to add texture and depth, something I also work with quite a bit. However, I think I succeeded. The solution turned out to be fairly simple.
I actually started with this design as the template for the color assignment.
Some of the elements carried over.
1. The wavy banner
2. Alice, though a different picture of her
3. The gray and white background, though the size of the squares is different
4. A somewhat asymmetrical design in keeping with the sometimes crazy world of Alice in Wonderland.
I also used elements from this design.
The Dark Knight to the Rescue
You see that I repeated the cards. Here's also a cool Alice deck that was a source of inspiration for this project. I really love the card elements. Playing cards in general kind appeal to me, partially because I was born in Reno, and my parents spent a lot of time in Nevada when I was a kid. My dad worked at the Harrah's Automobile Collection when I was a baby, so we always had decks from Harrah's in the house.
I have to additionally say that there's something about this week's design that also reminds me of Batman a bit. I think it's the cards. Joker carries a card in the film "The Dark Knight."
And truthfully, the card on the header of my website were partially inspired by that. Alice and the White Rabbit become the Joker in this case.
I do this partially because I love the color scheme and partially because I want to tap into the modern aesthetic of this story. As many of you know, I write Young Adult novels. Part of my marketing scheme relies on me retelling fairy tales. I do this one) because I love the stories and two) because it gives me a built-in audience for my books. Wonderland Cafe is just an extension of this.
In addition to the website and the graphic organizers that I'm creating for this class, I will be creating a line of T-Shirts and other memorabilia like Alice-in-wonderland journals. Amazon has a T-Shirt program, and I was accepted into it.
And I found out this week after I took a look at the analytics for my website that my site ranks #20 for "Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Ideas." This will help not only garner more interest in my work, but will mean additional sales in the form of blank recipe books and other cooking-related items. As I discovered for a project for EdTech 543, MakerSpaces - even low-tech ones - are popular things. My kitchen is part of my low-tech makerspace. I'm glad to finally be able to bring all of this together.
And all of this goes into my branding. I think I'm finally coming into my own where that's concerned, thankfully.
Building Wonderland Cafe...
Now a bit about the things that I did to fulfill the assignment.
Added a splash of hot pink. I chose this because the market for this project is moms and their daughters. Hopefully, they read my books together and work on these Alice-themed projects. Therefore, pink because of its feminine association seemed like a good color to go with.
To bring some texture to the design, I added the banner again. I also used the Alice illustration. It not only brought visual texture, but thematically, she looks afraid, which fits the theme of this graphic organizer.
As for depth, I experimented with a drop-shadow. I added on to both the pink banner and to the two "predator" playing cards. I liked the effect of this so much that I think I'll go back to some of my previous images and add a drop-shadow where appropriate.
Get Ready to Go Down the Rabbit Hole...
It has been a luxury to be able to think about this project over the last several weeks. Aside from getting some really valuable input from my classmates - thank you! - I also had a chance to think about how I wanted to organize the website and the assignments that I need to do for this final project. I decided that most of the information that people have to read will be on the actually webpages. The participants for this can then print off the graphic organizers and answers questions pertaining to the lesson at hand.
Once they're completely done with the lessons, they should be able to bind them in an 8 1/2 by 11 binder. I purposely made the pages that size so that my readers could collect them together.
I should add one thing before closing this blog post. I did find the reading from the book "Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance: Lessons in Visual Literacy" helpful (Lohr). Mostly with the help of this week's reading on color and texture, I determined that I should use color to direct the eye to what's important. Much of what I read was a review, given that I'm a designer already. That said, having the perspective on specifically choosing colors to help with instructional purposes was good to read. I don't usually think about color from that perspective.
One of the weaknesses that I bring to the table is actually a long history of being a graphic designer. I know that sounds funny, but as I have often said, part of my challenge will be to make my designs both pretty to appeal to the eye, but also engaging for the purposes of learning. I hope I've succeeded a little bit with this.
Here are the links to my previous work on this project: