Bat Conservation Homepage

Here is my final design for the Bat Conservation website. By tracing over the small logo at the bottom of the page and creating a vector image out of it, I was able to make a more attractive heading with a more remarkable logo. The bold colors and pictures hit the main points of the site and the navigation bar makes it easy for the rest to be found. The sidebar is composed of most of the same elements, but is a different color and a little less cluttered.
I really liked the sidebar at the time, but I think it has some room for improvement. It still looks updated compared to the old one, and would fit well within the $5,000 budget.

Th website of the Organization for Bat Conservation currently appeals to a fairly narrow audience. The nature of the information provided on their website would appeal mostly to people who already care about the conservation of bats. The dwindling of the bat population, especially due to white nose syndrome, is a major issue that will affect all of us. Not enough people are aware of that.

Changing the design and accessibility of information on their website could result in a broader audience and a higher level of public awareness. The question is, how can we change this design so that it becomes more appealing, but still retains the important and accurate information provided?

My first decision was to change two key things: the color scheme and the header. Neither stands on their own and they certainly don’t go with each other. There are a few different directions which I’m considering taking with the colors:
1. Make it clean, simple, and efficient- mostly white with a few bold color accents
2. Make it dark and in sort of a “Batman” color scheme- because people relate batman with awesome.
The question is, which will be more visually appealing to a wider variety of people?

My second decision was to create a hook. Many people, myself included, find Rob and the Organization’s work with bats to be quite interesting, but not as many know about the important role bats play in our ecosystem. One approach to this is to
Create a homepage or video on the issue and encourage it to go viral.
-Promote it on social networking sites, have it be really funny or sad, or have it talk about how the loss of bats effects                       us directly.

 

Yet again, my post has been sitting in my draft box despite the fact that I check and rechecked to see that it was posted. My computer hates wordpress.
These are the digital components of my work, the first is a poster/billboard idea and was a little experiment with typography for me. The second, the badge, is a design I’d like to make into a sticker or plastic badge to support the cause.

alexlandau

badge

On top of these, I have a handmade bracelet and t-shirt that serve as prototypes for merchandise which, hypothetically, would be sold to raise money for court fees and the ability to take action against police brutality.

Denver Area Police Brutality

The first image is my thought process on paper, making visual webs is something I do to help me organize my thinking.
The second is a series of sketches that are getting me going in the right direction. However, I’m trying to broaden my audience a bit,  I think I’ve left a little too much “teenage rebel angst” in the mix- haha.

For 10/11
I found the provided articles to be relevant, interesting, and thought provoking. The cooperation of four different professions in the final paper was especially inspiring; as our society advances, many of the lines between areas of thinking are becoming blurred. The results of this are seriously fascinating.
The articles got me thinking about local social, health, and environmental issues that I’m passionate about and that would translate well into design. I decided to direct my focus on police brutality in Denver. In the past decade, and especially in recent years, police brutality has been a real and embarrassing problem in this city. I became especially fired up about the issue when a former classmate of mine posted pictures of her injured brother, Alex Landau, after he was brutalized by Denver cops. Alex made an illegal left turn by mistake and was pulled over. He and his friends complied with the cops requests to frisk them and search the cab of the car, but refused their demand to search the trunk. He was beaten by three cops who bludgeoned him with their flashlights and radios. One of the cops who beat him had previously been involved in another case of police brutality. A quick search will pull up a rather shocking amount of information about incidents and settlements involving police brutality in our city.

For 10/18
The design question I came up with for this topic is:
How can I encourage the general public, especially young adults, to take responsibility and action towards bettering Denver’s police force?

Research Citations:

Westword: Alex Landau
Huffington Post: Denver Over $1million in Police Brutality Settlements
Westword: Cowboy Sub-Culture
9news: Denver Settles Another Police Brutality Case
Mountain Legal: Another Day of Police Brutality
Red, Green, & Blue: Police Brutality at Occupy Denver
Denver Post: A Blow Against Police Brutality

(accidentally clicked “save to drafts” instead of “publish” on this last night… sleepiness can do straaange things)

Creative Critical Thinking

Let me begin by saying that I was really excited to see Ken Robinson’s Ted video on the list of required viewings. My aunt Betsy is good friends with Sir Ken and I had to the pleasure of meeting him 2 years ago when we went to visit her. He is seriously awesome.

His video about how school kills creativity especially strikes a chord with me, and in many ways relates to the discussion we had in class last week about how education could be changed. I love the way he recognizes the potential in everybody and points out the way our industrial education system only hands favors to certain strengths. The fact that the education hierarchy  remains the same around the globe and delivers less funding and attention to art, music, dance, and the like raises an interesting question, why? As Mae Jemison points out, we separate subjects in school into very clear categories. Making connections between different areas of learning is important, and can lead not only to personal growth, but to incredible growth in education and important discovery. Scientific Media Design provides a great example of this- while science is regarded as an important (yet underfunded and often poorly taught) subject in public schools, the connection between science and art is seldom made. Again, why?

Providing a more fluid education system would not only benefit people with different strengths and styles of learning, but could also help students build what David Kelly would call their creative confidence. Our education system should strengthen creative confidence and critical thinking, instead we have a system that rewards obedience and timeliness. These things may be desirable in a workplace, but do they create great minds? Does a system this restrictive allow students to reach their full potential? I think the answer is no, and that all of these talks provide wonderful insight into our own potential and the potential of society if only we change the way we think about education and, ultimately, change the way things are done.