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Graphic Design Coursework

Role
Duration
Tools
Skills

Student
January 2017  -  Present
InDesign, Photoshop, Sketch, Sublime Text, Processing.org
Graphic design, informational hierarchy, typography, bookmaking

Background

At Yale, I major in Computing and the Arts, an interdisciplinary major which combines intensive coursework in Computer Science and Visual Art . Thus far I've taken the following classes for my major:

- Intro to Graphic Design
- Intro to Computer Science
- Typography
- Data Structures and Programming Techniques
- Advanced Graphic Design
- Critical Theory in the Studio
- Figure Drawing
- Computational Graphics
- Computational Mathematics
- Senior Project
- Intro to Programming
- Medical Software Design
- Sensitive Information in a Connected World

Privacy Posters

For an Advanced Graphic Design course, we were tasked with creating a poster series based off of an issue-oriented article. I chose an article called "The Known Unknown" which covered the history of privacy and governmental surveillance in America.

I decided to create custom typography by photographing the shadows of letterforms that I cut out from paper. I wanted the typography itself to be photographed as a reference to pervasive surveillance.

I decided to create custom typography by photographing the shadows of letterforms that I cut out from paper. I wanted the typography itself to be photographed as a reference to pervasive surveillance. I then used these letterforms to create a triptych of sorts: 

I then used these letterforms to create a triptych of sorts, connected by their shared typography. The imagery is taken from an aerial shot of children playing on a playground, which I cropped, magnified, reversed, and distorted to create the images below.

I wanted to focus on the dichotomy between the individual and the crowd, thinking about how human forms can become abstracted and anonymized in the context of surveillance. In my first poster, I sought to monumentalize the individual body into an abstract, monumental form. In my second poster I wanted to render multiple individuals into a texture to communicate the dehumanization of the crowd.

Winnie-the-Pooh

My semester-long project for Typography 1 was to create a physical chapbook for a text of our choosing. I selected A.A. Milne's original 1929 version of Winnie-the-Pooh. I was drawn to selecting this text because I had studied vintage copies of Winnie-the-Pooh and was struck by the serious, relatively straightforward type treatment in its original releases. I wanted to revive Milne's classic work in a way that paid tribute to the text's playful celebration of childhood.

The physical reading experience was an important consideration that I mulled over throughout the book design process. I chose to accordion-bind the book, printing the text on one side and the original 1929 illustrations on the other side, so that the reader could choose to read the story literally or visually.

Hiccups

I originally chose Arches watercolor paper-- a big mistake and a huge lesson learned in bookbinding! The paper was ultimately too heavy for the binding tape, causing my original copy to fall apart.

Thankfully, I re-printed on paper that held together much more robustly. The end product was over 25 feet long when folded out completely. This project pushed me to learn the basics of book design, bookbinding, and typographic exploration.

Cover Design

For the cover, I wanted to design something playful and minimalistic. I chose to list various humorous anagrams of "Winnie-the-Pooh," which grow phonetically closer to the title as the list progresses. The list culminates in "Winnie-the-Pooh." I also use each anagram as a playful page marker on the boundaries of each accordion fold. In this way, the ten anagrams can function as a table of contents, which indexes each page in the book.

When collapsed together, the accordion fold can be experienced as a book. I wanted the text to move organically after every turn of the page, so I experimented with moving each spread clockwise on an oversized page. In this way, I've tried to avoid traditional book formats, where blocks of text remain static on either side of the fold. I also manipulated the text to reflect the speed, motion, and lyricism of the content. The book also folds out, so that the reading becomes an immersive experience.

For now, feel free to flip through the spreads below! The beige background is intended to emulate the cream watercolor paper on which I printed the work.

The accordion fold can also be flipped over. I printed out images from the original 1929 publication on the back so that the book can be read both textually and visually.

For now, feel free to flip through the digital spreads below! The beige background is intended to emulate the cream watercolor paper on which I printed the work.

Get Out

My final assignment for Typography 1 was to visually transcribe a movie scene, capturing dialogue, action, and ambience through typography.

I chose one minute from the movie Get Out, a racial horror satire about a white community which kidnaps young black people for nefarious purposes. In the scene that I selected for transcription, a woman named Mrs. Armitage lures the protagonist into hypnosis by stirring a cup of tea. I chose this scene because I was intrigued about how I could simultaneously illustrate the protagonist's physical paralysis and his dizzying mental plunge into hypnosis.

I use these abstract textures as the backdrop for Mrs. Armitage's text, which is completely white and left-aligned against the black background. Chris's dialogue, meanwhile, is set in right-aligned black text against a white backdrop.

I wanted my flipbook to illustrate Mrs. Armitage's growing command over Chris, so the black "teacup stirring" texture gradually shifts further and further to the right, intruding on Chris's dialogue until finally he is absorbed into the darkness itself. The textures become increasingly more compressed as Chris falls deeper into hypnosis. Each spread represents five seconds of the scene.

In the final moments of the hypnosis scene, Chris floats in darkness, suspended in a space-like void as a thunderous orchestra plays ominous notes. Similarly, in the final pages of my chapbook, the abstract textures have completely blacked out the pages, producing a pattern reminiscent of a starry sky. I intended this final design to function both as an allegorical representation of hypnosis and a more literal illustration of floating in a vast and empty darkness.

I was satisfied with the final product, though I'd like to continue reprinting on different paper stocks to experiment with how the physical texture of the book attributes to or detracts from the visual textures I am attempting to create.

You can flip through the book below. The printout is a simple glossy flipbook, small enough to slip in your pocket.

Cause Posters

For my Typography I course, I was tasked with creating a series of environmental posters in response to an environmental cause. I chose noise pollution because I was curious about the ways in which I could manipulate text in order to convey auditory range. During my environmental research, I was particularly interested in the scientific discrepancy between "sound" and "noise." Sound is a natural byproduct of life, while noise acts as an intrusion and disturbance of sound. I wanted to center my poster and my typographic treatments around this conflict.

Ultimately this assignment became an exercise in reduction. While I experimented with a wide range of ways to convey noise typographically I ended up selecting one of my simplest designs. I felt that simultaneously extracting slices of "Sound" while multiplying "Noise" created the visual opposition that I needed with a minimal amount of clutter. While my previous iterations had prioritized graphic elements over legibility, I felt that my last iteration managed to find a balance between its illustrative impact and its textual message.

I focused the above compositions on noisiness and the intrusion of noise into sound. I was concerned, however, about how my illustrative efforts were impeding on legibility. I continued to seek out a simpler method of illustrating noise.


I began to experiment with multiple layers of noisiness. In the above compositions, I not only experimented with sound bars and gradations of saturation, but I began superimposing "NOT NOISE" onto itself.

As a designer who loves working in detail, minimalism is something I must actively work towards. In my final iteration I realized that I could achieve the same effect through a far more nuanced approach. I decided to highlight the headers, allowing their respective type treatments to speak for themselves. "MAKE SOUND" is layered by black silhouettes of letters to signify the intrusion of natural sound. Noise is superimposed onto itself to achieve a noisy, clamoring effect. Each word of the primary header is also the beginning of a sub-heading, which partitions the text by subject matter. In this iteration I really tried to emphasize legibility.

Tumor Board

For my Biomedical Software Design course, I worked with a team of three other students to tackle a major pain point in hospitals. The problem we were addressing was the inefficiency of liver cancer tumor boards. Currently, doctors use meetings called "tumor boards" to diagnose patients with liver cancer. Liver Cancer is a complex process with many moving parts and players involved, so a tumor board is necessary to bring together a variety of clinical experts and reach an informed decision regarding a patient's plan of care.

Prior to these meetings, a summary specialists spends upwards of four hours consolidating patient information from the EHR into a readable template. According to one physician who was advising us, she would personally wake up at 5am before tumor board meetings to prepare these patient summaries: a menial, detail-oriented task that could easily be automated.

During these meetings, these physical handouts with dense blocks of patient information are given to each doctor, while relevant images are projected onto a wall. This is what a tumor board meeting typically looks like -- the paper used to reference  patient info is circled in red in the photograph below. This process clearly has substantial potential for improved efficiency!

We felt that there was a major need for a consolidated platform for storing patient data, sharing information with fellow clinicians, and consolidating decisions made at one or more tumor boards.

Our goals:

- Reduce physician’s time spent preparing for tumor boards and thereby increasing their time spent with patients
-
Help save lives through providing more visual and descriptive information at the time of tumor board for  physicians to make informed decisions

Our goal was to develop a software application for liver cancer tumor boards that would communicate patient data to board experts through an intelligent, easily accessible interface. The application would display and contextualize patient demographics, tumor details, treatment history and other relevant data points in order to facilitate the development of an informed plan of care. We hoped to streamline the tumor board process and make patient data easier for all parties to understand and present to colleagues.

Our application was targeted towards three main individuals: radiologists, summary specialists, and personal physicians. We wanted an accessible platform for radiologists to upload their visual data rather than exclusively projecting images onto a wall. We also wanted to simplify and reduce the labor demanded of summary specialists by automating most of the summary preparation work.

The workflow of our application would be as follows:

I worked as the designer and front-end developer for the project, working in HTML, CSS, and Javascript to bring my mocks to life. I created the following mockups to represent the three major pages for the project, a searchable database of patients, an auto-filled patient profile with discrete blocks of text inputs, and a patient profile display page.

The patient view allows users to easily scan patient demographic and treatment info. We also included an annotatable liver, where users could directly add comments to describe the patient's liver condition. Because a patient might undergo multiple tumor boards, it was important to us that we include a timeline for users to toggle between patient profile information on multiple dates.

In order to bring this to life, we created JSON files to mock data from the EHR (Electronic Health Record).

We created a prototype of this project and presented to a physician and tumor board director at the New Haven VA Hospital. The prototype was quite rough and the front end was certainly not as polished as I would have liked it to be, but our project was met with overwhelmingly positive reception. Though our project was not formally adopted by the hospital due to developmental limitations, we were told that we addressed the challenge with a versatile and functional solution.

This was an incredible learning experience.

Graphic Design Coursework

Role
Duration
Tools
Skills

Student
January 2017  -  Present
InDesign, Photoshop, Sketch, Sublime Text, Processing.org
Graphic design, informational hierarchy, typography, bookmaking

Privacy Posters

Winnie-the-Pooh

Get Out

Cause Posters

Tumor Board