Highlighted Project – Creative Ad

This is a little video I posted on YouTube that highlights my favorite project of the semester in my Visual Design class along with the biggest thing I’ve learned in making these projects from the past several months. Enjoy!


Goats Don’t Let Goats Become Roadkill


I think I’m starting to like goats. I recently did a DNA presentation on them and now I’ve created a slide design about them. Go figure? Anyways, this slide design represents two different ads. One is an original ad that uses the car manufacture Mercedes-Benz. It’s meant to promote their new braking system in their new line of cars that are available. The ad portrays a goat applying the brakes on the car because if goats were like us, they would immediately stop for other goats. Just as humans would stop for other humans. Even though humans generally don’t stop for animals crossing the road, in this case goats, Mercedes is promoting their new braking system to brake for anyone and anything that is blocking the car from moving forward on the road. Brilliant!



Honestly, the demographics for this slide design could be for anyone who is able to drive a car. Though what would be the fun in that? Instead, I’ve made them more or less specific. This design targets males between the ages of 30-40 who have a five-digit income in the state of Washington. With that income they probably have a nice car like a Mercedes. In this case, their interest is in luxury cars and speed.


Photo by: BBDO
Photo by: makieni
Photo by: Vitaly Krivosheev
Photo by: Stanisic Vladimir
Logo by: Mercedes-Benz
Image by: Colton McEwen


Again, like before, these photos are licensed by the Adobe Stock website from my registered account. The images above are the ones I’ve used to put together my new ad that attempts to incorporate the same design elements as the original Mercedes ad along with a similar message it’s trying to get across. For the goat image, I decided to completely take it out of its background picture and put it into more of a night driving-type background. Then, with the person driving with a visible steering-wheel, I cut out the white background where the window of the car is supposed to be and put both the goat and the night driving background so that it looks like the driver pulls to a stop right in front of the little goat.



When it comes to text, I didn’t want the text on the slides to be exactly or close to the font used on the original Mercedes Ad. I attempted to at first, but it didn’t look right. Even then, I don’t have the rights or the money to buy the Mercedes font. Instead, I went for more of a san-serif font approach with a light touch to it for all the slides. Though when I created my new ad, I tried to get as close as I could to match the original ad. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do.



Choosing colors was a little more experimental this time for both the slide design and the new ad. It was one of those days where you play around with the color wheel. I ended up choosing a dark blue with a relatively light purple/violet color to create some contrast. As for the shapes I’m going to call them triangle-rectangles. Again, this was experimental and I personally think the end result is pretty cool.



With all that’s been said and done, I really liked the challenge of taking an existing ad and turning it around into something that’s different and unique but with virtually telling the same message. From these past several months of creating visual media projects, I realize that the possibilities are endless. Hope you enjoy!!

Powder Redefined.


I decided to be a little more “clean” with my post this time. This image depicts a creative ad designed in Photoshop. As you can see, I used a bowl of Arm & Hammer baking soda and turned it into a compact makeup mirror with a brush to go along side it. Now you may be wondering why I’m using makeup to advertise baking soda. It makes no sense, right? Well for this project I used a project specification generator that my professor had us use to generate random demographics for our projects.


Facebook Advertisement
TV advertisement


Specifically, my demographics were for females, ages 18-24 who had a high school education with the relationship status titled: single. High levels of their media consumption came from TV and social media. Most importantly however, I had to come up with an ad that fit these demographics with one common household item that had also been generated into the mix. That is, baking soda.


Photo by: Sea Wave
Photo by: Yuriy_K
Photo by: markobe
Logo by: Arm & Hammer


First and foremost, I’d like to mention that these photos are licensed by the Adobe Stock website from my registered account. As you can see above, I am showing the images I used for my creative ad. The first one shown is an image of the baking soda with a spoon full of baking soda. This is the main image used in my project except that I omitted the spoon and replaced it with one of the makeup brushes as you can see from the second image shown. In my attempt to make this into a compact makeup mirror, I copied the outline of the bowl of baking soda and moved it on top of the bowl. Then I cut out one of the mirrors in the last image shown above and pasted it above the bowl to give it more of a life-like feel of a compact makeup mirror. The last photo of course is the Arm & Hammer logo from the Arm & Hammer company. I decided to make this nice and big so that the reader may quickly understand what the ad is trying to portray.



As for the message, I needed similar creativity to go along with the overall ad. I thought about baking soda and how it is used to clean things. Then I thought about how females spend a good amount of time trying to make themselves look good. Especially when they’re single. As a result, we get the main headline, “CLEAN UP YOUR LOOK.” and a simple call to action message underneath it, “impress the man of your dreams.” As for the last bit of text I put more of an action statement to prompt the reader to go buy some Arm & Hammer baking soda at the store or on their website. The style of the text is simple too, I purposefully chose to have a sans-serif font for the main headline and a serif font for the message underneath so that it could show a distinct contrast between the two.



No grand color scheme hear, mostly black, dark gray, white, red (for the logo) and a hint of blue in the mirror. I feel that these colors are complementary and work very well together. It might be just me, but I feel that these colors give the image a certain amount of depth to make it come to life.


Ultimately, I walked away feeling good about this creative ad project. Honestly, I’ve never been creative at anything so this was a stretch for me as it was probably the most creative thing I’ve ever attempted to create. I hope you like it!

Vector Bugs


Vector images are great. They can be virtually anything you want it to be, size, shape, color, design, etc. This project was based on creating an icon set. With no specific subject as a requirement, the idea I came up with was different kinds of bugs.



My targeted audience in mind were elementary kids ages 8-12 taking a science class learning about wildlife. I thought it would be an effective use a more friendly looking approach so that it wouldn’t scare any kids.



sports balls rough sketchtrees rough sketchbugs rough sketch


These are rough sketches of icon sets as I was brainstorming. I ended up choosing the bug icon set I drew because it presented more of a challenge by including a little more detail but still keeping it simple at the same time.






It took longer than expected to create these bugs. Though I did have a little help from real-life images from the internet. Obviously I didn’t trace any of them exactly, that would defeat the purpose of simplicity, especially when designing icon sets. It would also be plagiarizing. As a repetitive element for each of these guys, I added a yellow circle to emphasize that it’s an icon and I also added two or more wavy lines on each of them. I guess it’s like saying that I’m leaving my mark to show that’s it’s my work. I’ve made each individual icon in both full-size and thumbnail-size because I’ve learned that it’s good etiquette to do so when developing icons for a certain company or something similar.



I must say, primary colors were very well suited for these bugs. It made for an easy color scheme. Though I guess gray and black could count if you want to be technical about it. The yellow circle as a background for each of them really gives it pop.



Overall, I enjoyed doing this project. I learned a lot of new things and I think the use of repetition, color, design, and simplicity with a targeted audience will greatly enhance any icon set.

Be an Example and a Light


Read more on LDS.org


I’m excited to show the final version of my magazine spread. My knowledge in the Adobe program InDesign is improving bit by bit. This is a three page, one spread style being used with a two column layout. I chose this article from LDS.org titled “Being an Example and a Light” written by President Thomas S. Monson. This article made an impact on me on what it means to have a belief in Christ. It has increased my faith with the realization that God has given me a body and that I need to take care of it and be my best self.


Photo by: Colton McEwen
IMG_1887 2-2
Photo by: Colton McEwen
IMG_1893-2 2
Photo by: Colton McEwen


The photos use in this magazine spread were taken by my smartphone. I thought these photos would enhance the message given. There is light in the believers of Christ, our goal is to have high standards and to not be of the world, and that the path to salvation is lighted by our Savior Jesus Christ.


I attempted to use two different types of fonts, Helvetica Neue and Athelas. One is serif and the other is san-serif. I chose these two because I believe it shows a pretty good contrast and hopefully pleasing to the eyes of the readers who may be reading this.


I used a color scheme of green, orange, and purple. As you may have guessed, it reflects the first image on the first page of the flowers. I thought that it would be effective if I used it throughout the magazine spread.


My goal for this project was to target LDS youth between the ages of 14-18 in areas of the world where Mormonism isn’t as prominent. I thought it might give them confidence as they live in a place where they have to stick with what they know to be true and hopefully become a good example and a light to others.


As you can see, the shape I used are circles with an ellipse for a pull quote. I apply this to all the pages to give it a nice repetition and balance. This helps it show that all pages are relatable and that they belong with each other.


Overall, the relationship with these principles of design make things a lot more attractive and pleasing to the eye so that readers may want to actually read it. I hope you enjoy this project and I’d love it if you could leave comments in the comment box below for any feedback.

Essential Photography Skills


In this post I am going to demonstrate what I believe are extremely useful skills to use as a photographer. I will show three today which are known as the rule of thirds, depth of field, and leading lines. I will be showing professional pictures as well as pictures that I took on my smartphone to show how well pictures are able to turn out while shooting away to your hearts content.


Photo by: Ken Cheung


Photo by: Colton McEwen

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a classic skill that many photographers use. There’s no doubt this artist knew what he was doing. The lonesome tree in the water towards the bottom left catches the eye successfully. Otherwise, if it was center, it wouldn’t be that interesting.

I guess you could say I was lucky enough to take a trip to Yellowstone National Park. I don’t have a fancy DLSR camera so I used my iPhone 7 instead. Not too bad I must say. I attempted to apply the rule of thirds here like the image above. I used to have a picture which had the little geyser in the center of the photo and it honestly looked unappealing. Again, I think the rule of thirds make this photo much more interesting.


Photo by: Alex Iby



Photo by: Colton McEwen

fullsizeoutput_dd8Depth of Field

I love depth of field. I can’t think of any better way to clearly demonstrate this skill than this photo above of a light bulb in focus with the blurred lights and buildings in the background. This is a great way to point the viewer to the object you want to show.

Even though depth of field is awesome, it’s a little tricky to get just the right shot. After several attempts with different objects and backgrounds, I thought this one of the pine tree would do justice. Again, this was taken on my smartphone. One thing I’ve noticed about depth of field is how the camera is able to capture great detail on the subject you are trying to focus on. Then the blurry background just gives it a nice touch.


Photo by: Matthew Henry



Photo by: Colton McEwen

fullsizeoutput_dceLeading Lines

Leading lines are unique and I think I have grown to like them but I don’t think they should be applied to every photo. This picture is a prime example in the leading lines category as the edges of the buildings seem to all point to the same location. It sure gives a towering perspective!

I’m so glad I grabbed the moment of opportunity to capture this image on the road, again it was from my iPhone with a little bit of editing in regards to color and lighting. The road gives a great example of leading lines as well as the snow banks. It kind of gives a feel for how far I am away from the mountains and trees.


Overall I’m really pleased with how the pictures turned out. The rule of thirds, depth of field, and leading lines are very useful skills in the photography world. Pictures, even on a smartphone, can look a million times better if you know a little bit about what you are doing. Not to mention a lot more fun!

It’s TIME to Identify Modern Typography

Image by: Mike Flacy

Captain of Typography

This image was found via the website bensbargains.com with the article titled “If the Avengers Were Real, This is What Magazines Would Look Like.” Mike Flacy is the man behind this article as well as the images he’s created. He gives a list of what magazines would look like if the Avengers were real. I chose this image of Captain America because it provides a great example of typography and the different typefaces that I will personally point out in this post.

Typeface #1

The image above shows a specific typeface in the word “TIME.” This typeface is a serif style in the modern category. I circled part of the “T” and “E” showing the serif marks which are clearly shown throughout the word. I also put a line mark on the “T” “M” and “E” showing the thin and thickness that each character has to outline the letter.

Typeface #2

This one shows the second typeface further below the image. This typeface is a sans serif style with some boldness added to it. As you can see by the circles I put near the “Y” and “R,” you can identify that there are no visual serifs. Also, the font shows no thin lines either like the typeface before. They’re all the same thickness.


I like the contrast between the two typefaces in this image because the fonts have different styles in separate categories. One has serifs and the other doesn’t, one is red and the other is white. Lots of contrast if you ask me!


Based on the types of fonts used in this image. It makes the image visually appealing and draws the eyes from top to bottom. As a rule when one typeface has serif qualities to it, there needs to be an opposite, like a typeface without serifs. This image successfully demonstrates those two typefaces with visible contrast.