Posts tagged "graphics"

It’s all about staying positive

I was standing in Victoria Park watching the Opening Ceremony with a mass of people from all over the world, watching the fireworks in the distant sky and singing “Hey Jude,” when it hit me: I am in England—at the Olympics.

This is real life.

And just like anything in life, it isn’t all fun and games.

With the exception of trying to beat jet lag, I have yet to have a full night’s sleep. Between fruit and cider runs to Tesco Express and a morning coffee from Costa or Starbucks, my money seems to just disappear before my eyes. My feet always seem to be dirty, and the rain just doesn’t agree with my canvas shoes.

It doesn’t matter.

We have been in England for just about a week and already this has been a huge and rewarding learning experience in so many ways. Our graphics group has been working so hard, and we are seeing our dedication pay off with published pieces in the Chicago Tribune. As a student journalist, that makes your heart skip a beat.

We began to realize just how big this is and the potential it holds.

Working in the graphics group we have a policy for this whole experience — positivity. It started in the late hours of working in a hot flat for about 14 hours our first day in England. It was one rule, from one member. But now, it has become our group’s policy.

Keep it positive.

One of the first things we learn as designers is Gestalt theory: the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. I say we should apply that to our experience in London. Because no matter how hard it is to find WiFi, and no matter how much your eyes hurt from staring at the screen for too long, it doesn’t matter.

The overall experience is greater than all the little ups and downs.

Just like when I think back on watching the Opening Ceremony at Victoria Park, I won’t dwell on how badly my feet hurt or how I hadn’t had food or water in 14 hours. I will remember connecting with people on a level that transcends language and cultural barriers.

The Olympic Games brings people together, plain and simple. And if that isn’t something to be positive about, I don’t know what is.

Stephanie Meredith |  Designer


Opportunities of a lifetime can be a little intimidating

I’m so excited to have been given the opportunity to partner with The Chicago Tribune. Although I am a senior in college and well into my major, it amazes me how much I’ve already learned from my editor, Alex Bordens, in less than a week!

Currently working in Worcester has allowed me to get my hands on some great graphics work. The projects have tight deadlines, and with the rest of my team working in London, I was able to help Alex out with a few graphics that were due back in Chicago on Saturday. I was a bit nervous, but obviously I took him up on the offer and got right to work.

Slowly but surely I’m going to get faster and better with these programs. I picked up a venue graphic about ExCeL, London’s largest venue, as well as a small locator map and a swimsuit graphic that Emily, Sarah, Jen and I were given a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, because of the results of one of the races, it seems as though our swimsuit graphic won’t be running any time soon.  Looks like the athletes are actually talented enough to win medals without that fancy swimsuit worn in the Beijing Games.

Anyway, working with The Chicago Tribune also means I have to follow its style guide and overall flow of design, work, research, etc. This is a big jump from my usual work, which has always allowed me design freedom and never had a strong student-media focus.

This is a huge step for me, but one that I am happy to take. This fast pace and strict way of working is keeping me on my toes as well as allowing me to explore newspaper design. In the long run, I am confident that this work will improve my overall skills as a designer, and that is something I am excited for.

During the summer weeks when a few other designers and I worked with Alex, we found it difficult to send our files back and forth for editing. Having him here now brings us such relief. I know what to change right then and there, what works and what doesn’t, and what needs more attention—all bettering my understanding of the Tribune’s design style.

I’m still finding myself struggling to really go out and show what I can do. Maybe it’s some sort of stage fright or maybe it’s not—either way I am hopeful that I will be able just to relax and realize that this what I love to do. I shouldn’t hold myself back for fear of failure. Besides, producing multiple drafts doesn’t mean that I’m failing. It means that I am moving one step closer to the final product.

Lastly, can I just freak out about the fact that my name, alongside my peers’, will appear in bylines in multiple issues of The Chicago Tribune? OH MY GOSH.  I am so lucky and could not be happier to be in this position. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and one that is stationed in the city of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Best. Summer. Ever.

Annie Gonzalez |  Designer


Interactive map of Olympic village

By Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler  |  BSU at the Games

Click here to explore an interactive map of the London Olympic Village.


Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler are senior journalism graphics majors at Ball State University. Follow Annie, Liz and the BSU team at @annie_gonz, @elspangler, @bsuatthegames and

Interactive map of London Olympic venues

By Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler  |  BSU at the Games

Click here to explore an interactive map of London venues for Olympic events.

Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler are senior journalism graphics majors at Ball State University. Follow Annie, Liz and the BSU team at @annie_gonz, @elspangler, @bsuatthegames and

Wish you were here–greetings from England!

Hello from England! I’m part of the University of Worcester group, so I’m already over here and have a full week of classes under my belt. It’s weird that I’ve only been in this country for three weeks because honestly, it feels like a LOT longer! It’s cool how quickly you can settle into your surroundings. My surroundings right now are beautiful–old brick buildings and winding cobblestone streets, some dating back to the Tudor times! The town of Worcester sits in the shadow of the massive Worcester Cathedral, which began construction in 1080. SO OLD.

It finally feels real that I’m in England, but it still doesn’t quite feel real that I’m covering the Olympics. THE OLYMPICS! I thought it would sink in once I got here, but nope! Maybe it’s because I’m not in London where all the action is going to be, or because I’ve been so busy getting acquainted with Worcester and starting classes, but it’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, the rest of the Olympic crew will be here and the whirlwind of interviews, planning graphics and shooting photos is going to begin.

That being said, the excitement of the Olympics being held here in just over a month is palpable. There is bunting everywhere. Bunting, in case you were wondering, are those little flag pennants you see all over Pinterest that have suddenly become very trendy for DIY weddings. And yes, I’ll be using it all over the reception at my own wedding because it’s so cute! And cheap and awesome and cheery. But literally, every store window is draped with it. The streets of Worcester have red, white and blue bunting criss-crossing overhead, and Colleen picked up several strands of it for her and Ryan’s flat. It’s addictive! As if the bunting overload isn’t enough, there are union flags hanging everywhere from house windows to giant ones all along Oxford and Regent streets in London and from every official-looking building.

One of my professors here at the university told our class that this display of patriotism and national pride definitely isn’t the norm, but due to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, everyone is trying to “beef up the Britishness” and really reclaim what it means to be British and proud. Which is why, even aside from all the amazing things we’re doing with BSU at the Games and all the incredible content we’re going to produce, this trip is so worth it. It’s so fun to be part of the atmosphere and soak up the energy of the country as it prepares to host international athletics’ biggest stage.

My professor says that it’s a very exciting time to be British. I would one-up that and say that regardless of being British or not, it’s a very exciting time to be in Britain period. It’s already been one of the best experiences of my life, and I can’t wait to see and experience everything as the Games draw closer.


Valerie Carnevale | Graphic Designer, Photographer


Interactive map of U.K. Olympic venues

By Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler  |  BSU at the Games

Click here to explore an interactive map of U.K. venues of Olympic events.

Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler are senior journalism graphics majors at Ball State University. Follow Annie, Liz and the BSU team at @annie_gonz, @elspangler, @bsuatthegames and

How we made our BSU at the Games logo

Our team of journalism, telecommunications and public-relations students have been working hard since the start of the semester to get the ball rolling for our trip this summer. Along with getting our Olympic projects together, we have to build our brand—BSU at the Games—to become a reliable source. If we don’t look like a legitimate team, we won’t be taken seriously once we’ve gone overseas.

With building our brand, a logo is very important. When talking about how we wanted our logo to look, we wanted to incorporate our name and the Olympics. One thing that jumped out at me is the torch. The torch is very symbolic of the Olympics, and I think it is very recognizable.

After hearing what our professors wanted and getting critiques from the entire group, I managed to make a logo that I believe captures the essence our team was looking for. My design was simple and to the point yet gave us a professional look. With help from the critiques and a fellow teammate, I adjusted transparencies to have more depth in the torch and flames. I loved a lot of the other designs my teammates created, but I’m very proud mine was chosen.

Creating a logo was just the first step in really branding ourselves. If we are going to be paired with large household news-media names, it is key that we demonstrate that we are doing exactly what they are doing for this opportunity.

Annie Gonzalez  |  Graphic Designer



Spending an hour with New York Times’ Joe Ward

Being on the graphics team for BSU at the Games is an incredible experience.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go to London and strengthen my skills as a journalist as well as broaden my horizons as a person.

One of the ways that we’ve been preparing ourselves before we go to London is figuring out what type of graphics to make.  Last week, we had the opportunity to Skype with the graphics editor of The New York Times, Joe Ward.

Joe was very helpful when he spoke with the class.  He and his graphics team have created incredible graphics for coverage of past Olympic Games. Their projects range from interactive maps of medalists to video features of specific winners and sports.  Their concepts and creativity within the end product is simply amazing. We wanted to know how to pull off the same type of professional work and how to get our audience interested.

Joe’s advice was to search for interesting stories that are unique. When the Olympic GUames start, everyone will be covering who won each event and what times they scored.What Joe told us to focus on are stories that revolve around individuals–stories that people will remember. It’s not about the number of medals or certain times that athletes make; it’s about the emotions and the way they reached where they are  now.

I’m very excited for all the opportunities that this trip will give us, and I know that our team will create outstanding graphics that will be remembered. Joe was so helpful, and I’m glad we had the chance to get his opinion.

Jennifer Prandato  |  Graphic Designer