Category Archives: COMM130 – Visual Media
Visual Media Project 09: PORTFOLIO

Gunnar Tolman: Visual Media Portfolio by Gunnar Tolman on Scribd

*In case above slideshow is not working, click HERE for direct .pdf*



A portfolio showcasing all of my COMM130: Visual Media projects this semester



I knew from the beginning that I wanted the brochure project to be first in the portfolio, so I wanted to emulate its design/color scheme for the whole portfolio. This way, if someone only views the first few pages, everything will flow smoothly visually speaking. I included gradients in the design instead of solid colors; specifically purple to blue to teal, because I use at least one variation of those colors in all of the projects I showcased. This way, no matter which project page the viewer sees, the portfolio design will have something in common, which I think helps the gestalt factor a lot. Originally, each description page had the same gradient line going down the left side; I received some really valuable feedback with an idea to vary the design between pages, so I recreated one of the “O”s from the title font in Illustrator and used it as a clipping mask for a gradient layer in Photoshop to get the final effect. I used the same method on my name on both the cover and spine of the portfolio. Because we needed to spend a designated two hours updating past projects or creating a new one, I created a T-shirt design that, had I made sooner in the semester, I would have made real shirts my classmates and I could wear. I still ordered a few for myself 😉 I created three different designs in Illustrator, each embodying a different design principle we learned over the semester. The number of hours I spent in the conceptual stage far surpassed two hours, let alone the time it took to make the designs themselves. I found a really cool T-shirt template on, which used some pretty advanced aspects of Photoshop I had no idea how to use. One in particular I really found interesting was displacements maps, which are .psd files that can store a 3D “map” of the texture of a surface. In this application, they were used to map the wrinkles in the T-shirt photos, so that when I correctly imported my designs from Illustrator, they would “wrinkle” the same way as the shirt itself. This makes the designs look as though they are actually printed on the shirt.



High-quality, professional design



My instructors for this class as well as potential employers in the future


Top Thing Learned:

Learning how to use and create displacement maps in Photoshop, as well as using Master Pages in InDesign


Future Application of Visual Media:

I chose Visual Media as my module next to my emphasis in Video Production for my Communication major, so I will be taking more classes and looking for real-world applications throughout the next three and a half years as well as my future career.


Color Scheme and Color Names:

Analogous; Purple, Indigo/Blue, Teal

Title Font Name & Categories:

Elektora – Sans serif


Body Copy Font Name & Categories:

Century Gothic – Sans serif


Thumbnail of Template Used:

Link to T-Shirt Template (No Other External Images Used):

Visual Media Project 08: Brochure (Tolman Sound Labs)







Video Overview:


A duplex brochure for a hypothetical sound studio business.

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills):

My first priority was to create a new logo. To do that I had to envision a whole new business that the logo would be for. This was by far the most challenging part of the project, because of the initial deadline for the first critique draft. I’m grateful for the challenge though, because it pushed me to come up with the rest of the brochure’s design quickly, so I could have more time to gradually improve the design overall.

I looked through literally hundreds of fonts until I found “the one” (Elektora Regular). I used that for “TOLMAN” and used my title and body font, “Century Gothic” for “SOUND LABS.” I also included some subtle audio bars to emulate the logo of it’s fictional parent company, SONNIK Audio.

Overall I wanted to use big, full-bleed photos in the brochure to really draw in the eye, so in order to put text on top of those photos and have it be legible I added semi-transparent black boxes behind each text box to give the words more contrast.

I took a part of the top photo (the studio guy) and cut him out in Photoshop and saved him as a separate .PNG file, which I then placed over the full image in InDesign so that I could wrap the text arund just him. This was one of the coolest learning experiences of the project for me.

Finally, I added a duplicate of the sound mixer image on the front (per the request of another student who was kind enough to critique my second draft) which would flow into it’s twin image on the inside to create more motivation on the part of the viewr to actually open the brochure. Originally I only had a flat gray background so I feel like this was a great improvement.


Message: Show off the high-tech yet simple and professional yet fun and creative atmosphere of a Tolman Sound Labs studio 🙂

Audience: Musicians, Producers, Audio Engineers, Sound Designers, as well as anyone who needs live sound/lights for an event.

Top Thing Learned: How to adjust the opacity of an object in InDesign

Color scheme and color names: Analogous – Purple, Violet, (with touches of other analogous colors in the “blue half” of the color wheel like teal and blue.)

Title Font Name & Category: Century Gothic / Sans serif

Copy Font Name & Category: Century Gothic / Sans Serif

Word count: 279

Thumbnails of Images used:

photo-1463421585849-6b0acf2c9257 download4 photo-1467196271131-42c8c8499d72-2 download

Visual Media – Project 07: Webpage (HTML & CSS)


Description: A web page created using HTML and CSS in a text editor to showcase an improved version of my Project 05 logo.

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): This was the first time that I’ve ever began a visual media project by typing words. I had never made anything using html before so I was very nervous going into this project. I was worried it was going to turn out as bad as my Microsoft Word event ad… But it didn’t! I hope…

Our last two class periods were invaluable and I have to give a huge amount of credit to my instructor, Joel Judkins, for somehow getting me to understand how to do this and actually enjoy it. I started by revising points from the Project 05 blog post and typing them into my html document. <> I then tagged them </> properly so that everything was labled and ready for the stylesheet. This week I wrote the style sheet. I decided early on that I wanted a fixed, black-and-white photo background, with a scrolling body to give the page visual depth.

Message: As before, Professional Audio Made Simple

Audience: Anyone mildly interested in Audio Production, or experienced producers and engineers.

Top Thing Learned: How to make web pages that look awesome in a text editor

Color scheme and color hex(s): monochromatic, blue #34c6f4

Title Font Families & Category: Myriad Pro (sans serif)

Copy Font Families & Category: Arial (sans serif)

Changes made to the CSS: Creating a fixed background

Word Count: 231

Visual Media Project 06: Stationery (Letterhead & Business Card)


Business Card (8×11″ Layout)

Business Card (Large Layout)

Description: Letterhead and Business Card designs using an improved version of the logo I created in my last project

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): My first step in this design project was taking the feedback I received on my logo and using that to improve it. I was told that spacing the letters out might make it more legible, so I did that and I’m happy with how it turned out. I completely re-created the audio bars; this time I used the duplicate action command to improve/equalize the spacing. On the business card, I originally had all of the bars present on the “info side” but decided to replace some of them with the info itself to simplify and de-clutter. I found three social media icons (in vector format) on and included those on the card as well.

Message: Since I’m using the same logo/company from before the message remains the same – “I want to portray the message of professional audio production made simple. Sonnik Audio creates audio and midi equipment/interfaces, as well as cross-platform software plugins that focus on giving the user expansive creative and professional tools in a simple, intuitive package.”

Audience: As with the last project, I want this to reach people who are either in an audio production field, or are interested in sound in general.

Top Thing Learned: Learning to use the duplicate action command in Illustrator to make the audio bars evenly spaced.

Color Scheme and Color Names: Monochromatic; Blue

Body Copy Font Name & Categories: Myriad Pro – Sans serif

Visual Media Project 05: Logo Design


Description: vector logo for a hypothetical audio production hardware/software company

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I started and finished this project in Adobe illustrator. I began by typing the word “SONNIK” (which means “book of interpreted dreams” in Russian) in several different fonts looking for one that I could use as a basis for the design. I originally created three different logos: a text-based logo, shape-based logo, and an illustration-based logo. I ultimately chose my text-based logo as a starting point for the final design, due to some great feedback I received from fellow students. I also obtained a great deal of feedback and advice from my instructor, and he generously spent some time teaching me how to use the different tools in Illustrator. My most valuable takeaway from that meeting was a basic knowledge of the pathfinder window, which helped me a lot in this project. After I had chosen the logo I wanted to include in the final draft, I spent a lot of time editing the main font with the pen, direct selection and other tools to make it more simple and legible. I worked on improving the spacing and contrast as well, then created the final project above using three different color variations of the same logo.

Message: I wanted to portray the message of professional audio production made simple. Sonnik Audio (if made a reality) would be a company that creates audio and midi equipment/interfaces, as well as cross-platform software plugins that focus on giving the user expansive creative and professional tools in a simple, intuitive package.

Audience: I want this logo to reach a wide audience of people: Musicians, Audio Engineers, Video Producers and others who work with professional audio that could be either just getting started in the industry, or looking to upgrade their current setup. 

Top Thing Learned: Learning to use the pathfinder window in Illustrator.

Color Scheme and Color Names: Monochromatic; Blue

Title / Body Font Names & Categories: N Gage – Sans serif (I modified this font using various tools.), Myriad Pro – Sans serif

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

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 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