Monday, December 5, 2016

KW Communication Artifact

In my group, I am responsible for the website. Our objective is to cater to Keller William's (KW) high-end clientele. Their current website doesn't do this. It looks boring and outdated, which isn't a good representation of our group objective. In order to remedy this situation, I took to and gave their website a face-lift.

The current website doesn't give us what we need in terms of the modern, "high-end" look.

The top of our home page.
What you see above is a clean layout with a lovely St. George property featured in the middle. The picture not only makes the screen look larger, but it also shows the Law of Continuity with the illusion it continues outside the frame. In terms of color scheme, I used similar colors that the real KW site uses, but I added a bold blue (Cloud Burst #1E3054) to cool the warm red (Red Berry #8B0000). The earthy tan color (Sorrell Brown #CBB492) balances both colors, which gives the site a sense of balance and professionalism. With the font, we wanted something modern yet readable. There's a lot of messy fonts out there, but, for a realty company, we wanted to keep them clean.

On the actual KW website, their business information is tucked away at the bottom of the page. I don't know about you, but I like making sure I know what the business is before I visit anywhere else on the website. That's why I provided the warm little "Welcome to Keller Williams St. George!" blurb with a brief business background. My plan is to attract the higher-end clientele with the impressive information and make them feel welcome during their stay on the site.

Another way I plan to attract the clientele is through the pictures. Yes, they are obviously stock photos (albeit nice stock photos) Wix had in their database, but if the website showcased their larger, more luxurious properties, who wouldn't start searching for their St. George dream home? I used Wix's helpful x- and y-axis feature to make the horizontal and vertical spaces even. The axis also let me know if the text boxes and pictures matched up to others on the page.

The actual KW website has a "Featured Properties" section, but it's drab and barely readable. They believe their clientele should have quick access to the latest for sale/rental properties, and I agree. However, our large, glamorous pictures are sure to capture and delight the eye of our rich customers. Also, they unconsciously follow the Law of Similarity because, naturally, our minds group each of those similar elements together.

A third thing I used to sweeten the clientele pot is located at the bottom of the page. This banner was part of the original template, and I decided to keep it. These three offers are the things that set us apart from the other realty companies. Also, I placed the business location and contact information in the footer, as well as the links to our social media profiles. This provides better availability for those avid social media users out there.

Throughout this tedious revamping process, I kept our group objective in mind. The simple, modern fonts, colors, pictures, and layout all come together to make our company more appealing to potential customers.

KW Style Guide UPDATED

This updated version includes our logo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Keller Williams St. George Realty Personas and Artifact

Our group objective is to make this company more attractive to potential customers by reflecting its high-end clientele.

1) Childless couple with successful careers
Mary and Kent are a lawyer-dentist couple in their 30s. They would like to start a family in the near future, and their small, drab apartment just won't do. As a result, they are on the hunt for a comfortable yet luxurious family home.

2) Rich, retired couple with way too much money
Richard and Bonnie have been happily for over 30 years. Richard works as a respectable neurosurgeon in St. George, which created a financially stable life for him and his family. Although this couple is old enough to live in Sun River, they hate those poorly made commercials, so they would like to live somewhere else if possible.

3) Contractors
Patrick makes his living when he buys properties to build townhouses and apartment complexes that will be available on the housing market. He is in his late 40s with a wife and daughter to support.

Artifact: My responsibility for this project lies in the website. The Keller Williams St. George website could use a fresh, modern update, so I am revamping it in order to meet our group objective.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


For this project, I analyzed the director of photography's role in the movie Inception. The director of photography is just a less fancy way of saying, "cinematographer." This person overlooks the camera crews and makes the technical/artistic decisions regarding the image.

Cinematographer Wally Pfister on the set of Inception. Photo by Stephen Vaughn.
The cinematographer who worked on Inception is a man by the name of Walter "Wally" Pfister. He even won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for this film. I think this is due to the fact that Pfister has a tendency to break the conventional 180-degree rule. Apart from Inception, Pfister worked on several films with director Christopher Nolan, including the current Batman movies (2005-2012). Nolan and Pfister share a taste for the dark action/adventure genre, as evident by the distinct style of their films.

During Inception's hotel fight scene, Pfister locked a single camera down into the set. This gave the illusion that the actors fought on the walls and ceiling. Pfister also used a rotating camera positioned on a crane to capture the many angles.

*6:27-7:48 shows how the cinematography came together in this scene.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Still Composition Assignment

I got by with a little help from my friends in my quest for a nice composition picture. When our class ended, we stood around on the main sidewalk outside of the Eccles and Performing Arts Building. One of my friends suggested I take the picture you see below, which I found contains the still composition elements.

I snapped this picture with my iPhone using the camera grids. With the Rule of Thirds in mind, I made sure the line of cars rested along the top two grid points. The concrete fills the bottom space of the frame. Despite some overlapping, the concrete touched the bottom two grid points. 

The horizontal and vertical lines in the background create a still, relaxed atmosphere, while the diagonal lines in the foreground provide energy. The diagonal lines move with the flow of traffic, as demonstrated by the passing car. I allowed more open space in front of the car, as opposed to behind, in order to show that the car is, in fact, traveling toward a destination that likely continues outside of the frame. With the motion vector, my eye follows the car's route. The graphic line vectors contained within the concrete and asphalt guide the car along that route. A possible index vector comes into play with the tree shadows. The one on the left guides my eye into the frame. Although their shapes aren't smooth and defined, it looks like both shadows point at the car, which provides further direction, as well as emphasis on the car as the subject.

I enjoy the combination of the relaxed lines with the energetic lines. I find it gives the picture a good balance. The scene isn't overwhelming, but it's not underwhelming, either. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Design Evaluation

I took a stroll back into the '90s with this assignment. Over a year ago, I randomly perused the discarded magazine cart in the library. That's when I found it: A December 1995 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. "How cool!" I thought. Although I haven't read this magazine before, I have a fascination with what happened long before and shortly after my existence (I was a baby in '95), so I took it with me. And I'm glad I did.

As I flipped through the magazine, it didn't take me long to establish the target audience: Women, particularly moms. Each advertisement has something to do with beauty products, food, children's medicine, or cars -- but not just any cars. We're talkin' the bulky family cars of the '90s, folks. And, since this is a magazine for moms, the advertisers made sure to stress the word "family" in each ad.

My first reaction upon seeing these car ads was distaste. Personally, I find most '90s cars unattractive, so I wrinkled my nose at each picture. But, I'm not here to discuss the prettiest car. In terms of design, some of the advertisements looked more appealing to the eye, while the others did not.

Firstly, let's start off with the more appealing ad. Now, I'm not a big fan of Ford, but the advertisers made the picture looks nice. I especially like how big the picture is. This helps the audience get a better feel for the design of the car. The white text at the bottom tells me exactly what the car is, which is appreciated. The side column highlights a few of the car's features in a clear, concise manner. Adding a picture of each feature makes the ad more engaging.

I enjoy how dark/light contrast works in this image. As a result, the car's body looks sleek and shiny. The shadow beneath the car distinguishes it from its surroundings. Sharp contrast exists between the earth and the sky. The car stands out in the middle with its curvy lines and reflective body. I see a small amount of contrast in the headlights and rims as well. This car has that brand-new shine all over!

There's also a few Gestalt things going on in this ad. I automatically grouped the symmetrical ovals in the column together following the Law of Similarity. All four tires touch the ground, so I see a clear figure/ground relationship. The car's position leads into the Law of Continuity in that it stands at a particular angle with the horizon line. That strong line leads me into the frame, through it, then back out.

Along with the clean layout, I think the certain design elements help make this advertisement more successful. It almost, just almost, makes me want to go out and buy a new car.

Oh,, that is one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen. Er, no offense if you or someone you know drive one of these, but you won't catch me behind the wheel of that thing!

As you can probably tell, I don't like this ad. It's not just the car, but the layout is awkward, bulky, and boring. I mean, really, how many people are going to read all of that text? Not I, for one! This whole design just makes me uncomfortable. The disembodied hand jutting into the text doesn't help anything, either. I kind of understand that the advertisers had a space theme in mind, but that's it? That's as "outer-spacey" as they could get?

The lighter color contrast of the car works against the black backdrop. The car doesn't get washed out, and the color isn't so light that it distracts me or ruins the attempted theme. Although an obvious shine shows on the car, the car's position makes it look dull compared to the other one. The text looks fairly symmetrical, but the straight-across block looks rather bland. It does not get me any more excited about this car than I already am.

The only Gestalt principle I see here is the Law of Continuity. Like with the first car, a strong horizontal line guides me through the image.

Thanks to strong design principles, the first advertisement is a cleaner and more effective car advertisement.