Monthly Archives: May 2016
COMM100 – Weekly Blog 06

This week our presentation was given by Professor Jeff Hochstrasser who teaches within the Advertising emphasis. He began by telling us all to find what our passion is. We watched a mormon message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). In the video he talked about how all people, being children of God, have an intrinsic desire to create. Prof. Hochstrasser taught about the definition of advertising:

“Structured and composed non-personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods, services and ideas) by identified sponsors through various media.”

An interesting point that he made was the difference between entertainment and good advertising. We watched one of the recent super bowl ads and found that while it was in fact entertaining, it didn’t tell us anything important about the product being advertised.

Visual Media Project 04: Montage


Description: A montage project using two separate photos blended together

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills, Steps taken while designing): I created this project in Photoshop using two images from I discovered Unsplash because of a recommendation from my teacher, and I started the project by looking through some of their photos trying to find a few that inspired me. I knew I wanted to portray an uplifting message that could reach a wide audience, so I chose the phrase from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God” and looked for images I could use to portray that message. Once I found two I liked, I used Photoshop to blend them together using layer masking. I actually sandwiched the hand image between two copies of the background layer. That way, I was able to mask out parts of the hand to show the stars underneath, as well as show the hand by masking the top layer. After applying Hue, Saturation, Brightness and Contrast adjustments to different parts of the images, I used the Burn and Dodge Tools to both vignette the edges and brighten the focal point. Finally,  I added the text from the scripture and tried to keep it simple and elegant with a script font/sans font combo. I originally tried using a sans serif for the title but felt that it stood out too much by itself, whereas the script font flowed into the rest of the image better. I kept the body sans so that it could be small but legible.

Message: I want to convey a message of peace and faith in God in a hectic and busy world.

Audience: I tried to build an image that would apply to everyone. I am aiming to reach people who might be stressed out or might feel too busy in life.

Top Thing Learned: The top thing I learned in this project was how to use layer masks effectively for both images and adjustment layers. I had never done anything like that before, and learning how was really exciting. I feel like masking is a valuable skill I will be using a lot more of in the future.

Filter / Colorization used and where it was applied: I used two brightness & contrast adjustment layers: one for the background and one for the hand.  I used heavier contrast on the sky so that the stars would pop out a little more, while using less contrast on the hand photo so the lines wouldn’t be as hard. That made it easier to blend the two images.

Color scheme and color names: Split Complementary (Gold, Blue, Purple)

Title Font Name & Category: Freestyle Script Regular (Script)

Copy Font Name & Category: Source Sans Pro Regular (Sans)

Thumbnails of Images used:  

GreyHand_01 StarrySky_01

Sources (Links to images on original websites / with title of site):
Hand Photo (      Sky photo including person (

Visual Media Project 03: Photodesign



  1. Description: A design project I created using a photograph I took this week as well as a specific color scheme.
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills, FOCUS principles): I started this project in the great outdoors instead of on paper. After class on Tuesday of this week, I went around the BYU Idaho campus looking for examples of the photography principles we learned about to use in my assignments. I took six photos to use in the Photography Activity. The next day, I went to the Ricks Gardens and looked specifically for something in nature I could take a photo of that would convey the musical message I wanted to go for for the final project. I came across my friend who introduced me to the orchards as a photography location and after taking several pictures of dandelion puffs, trees, flowers, the sky etc… she offered to be a subject, herself. It wasn’t until after I took the above photo that I realized the musical message it contained: it looked like she could be conducting nature itself like an orchestra, and that was just too interesting of a concept for me not to use it as my project. I did the four basic edits in Photoshop: Levels, Vibrance/Saturation, Selective Color, and Sharpening. I went pretty crazy with the selective color editing; I had a pretty clear idea of the color scheme I wanted to use, and adjusted nearly all of the elements in the image to follow that color scheme. I added some simple design elements, such as  the quote and various musical symbols to help connect the audience with my message. I went through a few revisions based on the valuable critique I received from my professor and classmates, and I’m very happy with the end result.
  3. Message: There is music to be found everywhere, even the quiet places in nature.
  4. Audience: Younger people interested in all types of music
  5. Top Thing Learned: The top thing I learned from this project was how to simplify my design elements to convey my intended message just enough, while leaving some room for the audience to imagine and not feel crowded and overwhelmed by too many things.
  6. Color scheme and color names: Analogous – Blue, Indigo, Purple

  7. Primary Font Name & Category: Century Gothic Bold (Sans Serif)
  8. Secondary Font Name & Category: Source Sans Pro Regular (Sans Serif)
  9. Original Image:


10. Date/Time Photo Was Taken: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

COMM 100 – Weekly Blog 05


Today, Sister Caryn Esplin gave a thrilling presentation on the Visual Communication emphasis. This class further convinced me to do Visual Comm as my module. Sister Esplin stressed the importance of having a wide range of skills in our portfolio. An important thing I learned was having good “ESV value.” ESV stands for:


What that means is being able to accomplish things efficiently, with high quality, using many different skills. This makes you more likely to be hired because employers would rather have one person who can do multiple things than two or three people to do all of those jobs.

Visual Media Project 3 Activity: Photography


Outside Light


Inside Light


Foreground in Focus


Background in Focus




Lead Room


In this project, I was A. really excited to start working with Photoshop again, B. I was also really Excited to learn about photography. I’ve only mainly used Photoshop for drawing things and making graphics, so learning to use it for its intended purpose is really great. I’m surprised by how simple it is to get great results when I know what I’m doing (all the Levels stuff and whatnot).

For the project I took my little Doctor Who vinyl figure along with his trusty TARDIS (spaceship that looks like a police box) all over the BYU Idaho campus looking for good places to take pictures. The things I was looking for included good light, contrasting details, and open space, to name a few. My favorite photograph I was able to take has to be the last one “Lead Room.” I liked having the background really far away from the subject so that I was able to get good bokeh and contrast. I’m still learning this stuff, so none of them are excellent by a long shot; however, I’m really enjoying the things I’m learning and I can’t wait to continue this project.

COMM 130 – Visual Media Project 02: Event Ad


An event ad for a fundraiser concert to help local high schools purchase new audio equipment.

I started with a simple sketch of the piano key design. It was an idea I had from the get-go. I then went into Microsoft Word and tried to replicate it using a placeholder image. I felt like it worked well, so I started adding the other elements of the design around it. I Held two separate critique sessions and learned a few ways I could improve the design. I ended up making a few subtle design changes as well as completely changing the event title and target audience before the final draft.

I want students to want to be motivated to help their school, come to the event and have a good time.

High school students involved in school music and audio programs (band, broadcasting etc..) students who like electronic music in general.

Top Thing Learned:
The biggest thing I learned in this project was connecting the design to the audience.

Color Scheme and name:
Monochromatic; Purple

Title Font Name & Category:
Impact – Sans Serif

Copy Font Name & Category:
MS Reference Sans Serif  – Sans Serif

Links to images used in this project:
Image used was a picture taken for Fusion Magazine at a concert I performed in Boise in 2013 (used scanner in Spori computer lab)

COMM 100 – Weekly Blog 03 (really 04 because I missed the first week…)

This week I got to hear from professors Brian Howard and Christian Mawlam about broadcast journalism and video production, respectively. It was really great being able to hear about what my chosen emphasis will be like and the different courses and experience building tools I can have access to here at BYU Idaho. One of the things that keeps on popping up in these presentations every week is the word “experience.” Specifically how gaining experience in the industry we want to be in now will help us get jobs in it later. I really liked seeing the video about the BYUtv broadcasting truck and how they operate and cover live sporting events. I also enjoyed Brother Mawlam’s video projects, which gave an example of the kind of production skills I have the opportunity to learn in these courses. It was cool learning how technology is evolving to enable less people to do more in a production, but also scary because it means competition is higher. The biggest thing that stuck with me from the whole presentation was when Brother Howard talked about how we are all living in the “real world” right now, and the importance of establishing good relationships with our peers and with professionals. Our reputations we are building at college will affect our careers for a long time. Overall I can’t wait to start taking video production classes in the coming semesters.

COMM 130 – Visual Media Project 01: Flier


This is a flier promoting a leadership conference for business graduates.

I started by sketching four different designs, then choosing one out of those four that I felt conveyed the message the best. The photo I chose was one of many that our class was provided with to use in the project. I feel like it captures a theme of learning in a friendly atmosphere and working together. Next I placed the photo into an Adobe InDesign document and started arranging the text and other graphics around it. After making the original mock-up, I had a friend of mine who is an art major critique the design for me. I then used the information I gained from the critique process to improve the final design. I specifically payed attention to balancing the overall shape by using variations of the same elements and adding more white space.

I want to reach graduating business students looking for more skills in leadership that will help propel them into their careers.

College [2016-05-14 edit: graduates who want help] gaining valuable employment opportunities.

Top Thing Learned:
The top thing I learned in this project was using values to contrast and highlight important elements in the design.

Title Font Name & Category:
Arial – Sans Serif

Copy Font Name & Category:
Arial – Sans Serif

Links to images used in this project:
Main Photo, Vouant Logo

COMM 100 – Weekly Blog 02


Thursday, May 5, 2016


Today in class we got to hear from Brother Lane Williams who teaches journalism here at BYU Idaho. I learned five principles to help me have a better career in communications; one of which was to write in our blogs consistently about something we care about. This can improve writing skills and open up opportunities for professional experience. I learned that the more I write about something, the more knowledgeable I can become about that topic/career, which will help me make meaningful connections to other people in that field. I’m considering really applying this concept and making a music blog to supplement this one. We’ll see how it goes 🙂