Design, Illustrator, Indesign, Photography, Photoshop, Reverse Engineer

Slide Design/ Advertisement

The Slide Design Project

For this project we were instructed to chose an ad from an existing ad campaign, analyze and reverse engineer the original ad, then create a new ad that fit with the theme of the original ad. All of this information was to me presented on slides created in In Design.


  • Pick an ad with at least one line of text
  • company logo should be included
  • Create a new ad
  • Must look like it is from the same campaign
  • Use logo of company
  • 6+ consistently designed slides
  • Reverse Engineer original ad
  • Explain how the new ad fits the campaign

Final Product

My New Ad


Original Ad by Coca-Cola


The Process

Finding an ad that was well designed, had a line of text, with a theme I felt I could replicate was trickier than I thought. I picked the Coke ad because the images are simple but powerful and I thought I could create something similar with my mediocre Photoshop skills. I picked an image with a similar feel, with a “filtered” look and wouldn’t distract from the product that was being sold. I then added in images of the product. I’ll be the first to admit it is pretty rudimentary, I haven’t learn how to make someone’s hand appear to wrap around an image yet. But I’m pleased with the idea I came up with.

Blog, Design, Photography, Photoshop

Creative Ads

The Creative Ad Project

Over several weeks my class (Comm 130) has had the chance to flex our creative muscles and learn how to navigate Photoshop. This project didn’t come as easily to me as I hoped, but I’m glad I was given a chance to learn. The goal of this project was to create an advertisement for a mundane household product that would attract a specific audience.


  • Use the generator to determine a specific household or office product and a target audience
  • Determine a specific brand for the chosen product
  • Include company logo in the designs
  • 2+ images blended
  • Symbolic visual communication
  • Written content
    • Original and creative headline
    • Body copy (1-2 sentences)
    • Call to action
  • Create the same design in two different sizes for different mediums

Final Product

Intended Medium: Social Media (probably Facebook)


Intended Medium: Half Page Magazine Ad

The Process:

The generator picked bar soap as my product. My target audience was men 35-44 years old who are in a relationship, make $65-89,000 a year, and consume most of their media through magazines and social media. I had a lot of fun picking out the perfect brand of soap for my audience. After researching best bar soap for men I decided to chose an exfoliating soap by a company called Baxter of California. Its a pricier soap but I figured it would be the type of luxury item someone in the upper middle class would buy. Most of the reviewers said their wives/girlfriends loved the smell so I knew it would work for my audience.

I wanted the feeling of my ad to be masculine with clean cut urban feel. I chose darker colors that contrasted with a lighter colored typeface which matched the light blue gray color of the soap bar. I felt that those colors would tie everything together. For the body copy I used one typeface, Bebas (which I found on, because it matched the lettering in the image of the bar of soap. The Baxter logo, on the soap, is in a flourishing script typeface so I didn’t feel the need to use more than one typeface in my body copy.

I used two images. The first, of the man in the suit, was chosen because it had that clean cut, urban look to it. I wanted my audience to feel like if they used this product they would be like the stylish man in the picture. The second image is the soap bar itself which I included so the audience would know what the product was they were buying. Also the bar itself is nicely designed and I think also contributes to the upper class look.

Final Thoughts

I’m pretty happy with my final product, although it’s not as technically challenging or intricate as I was imagining in the beginning. I was surprised by how difficult it was for me to work Photoshop. I had to make a lot of changes from my original sketches because I wasn’t able to create what I saw in my head. That was hard to deal with but with practice I know I can become better.


Photo Attribution:

Image taken from Baxter of California website


Original Image from (Image linked to site)


Blog, Design, Icons, Illustrator

Icon Set Design

The Icon Set Project

Over the past two weeks in Comm130 our class has learned the ins and outs of the Adobe program Illustrator. As with the magazine project, this project gave us the opportunity to critique the work of our classmates and receive feedback in return. The goal of the project was to create a set of icons that simplified complex concepts or images.


  • Use illustrator
  • 4-6 original icons (no symbols)
  • All original work
  • Each icon communicates a single message
  • Set of icons are consistently designed
  • No text, gradients, drop shadows, pixels, raster effects

Final Product:

Summer in Iowa- Icon Series

Individual Icons- 400px by 400px


Individual Icons- 60px by 60px

The Process

I knew from the beginning I wanted my icons to be rounded and simple. I wanted my designs to have the friendly, minimalist feel. I chose the theme Iowa summer because I live in Iowa and I feel like the state is under appreciated- there are so many great things about Iowa! My icons were designed to reflect the fun of summer and the recognizable symbols of Iowa (hence the pig and ear of corn). The intended audience was teens and young adults in the 12-26 age group- although I suppose they could attract anyone who loves Iowa. The colors are meant to be vibrant to reflect the brightness and fun of an Iowa summer. But I wanted to avoid neon bright colors because that’s not my style, so my colors are leaning towards pastel.


Final Thoughts

I really liked this project. I’ve always wondered how people create fun handouts, or the graphics that get passed around online and now I know where they come from- Illustrator. There is so much I have yet to learn about using this program, I think I’ve just scratched the surface. It seems like the possibilities are really endless.


Blog, Indesign, Magazine Spread

Magazine Spread

The Magazine Project

Over the past two weeks in Comm130 I have been able to try my hand at magazine layout and design using Adobe Indesign. Our course gave me and my classmates the opportunity to not only create a spread on our own, but to view and critique each other’s work. This was helpful for me, not only because I received feedback on my work, but because I was able to practice identifying mistakes and good design practices. Looking at someone else’s work with a critical eye helped me look at my own work critically.


  • 3 pages; 1 spread
  • 2+ column layout
  • 600 + word article from or
  • Break up the article with 3+ headings/subtitles
  • 1+ Pull quotes
  • 2+ relevant images shot by student
  • 1+ word wrap
  • Consistent headings and body copy
  • Contrasting typography

Final Product


Spread p 2
Original Text by: Bonnie H Cordon, Second Counselor In the Primary General Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Process

Color, Design, and Photography

My rough draft, completed last week, included several of the elements seen here in the final draft. I started with the honeycomb pattern in the beginning as well has the pink/magenta color scheme. I chose these particular colors because I like playing around with colors that come from the same side of the color wheel.

Here’s a closer view of my color scheme and honeycomb pattern- from my rough draft.

I loved this geometric pattern but it took some time and counsel from my professor to figure out how to keep it simple. I started with a mix of honeycomb and triangles and it wasn’t flowing well.



Typography has been one of my favorite sub-subjects in this class so far, so I took time to carefully choose typefaces that would fit the vibe of my spread and give that soft, feminine look I was going for. The body of text is Avenir type, Book font; the headings and quotation is in Snell Roundhand type, Bold font. I liked the way these looked together- the sleek, sans serif Avenir type contrasted well with the flourished script type of Snell Roundhand.

Photo by me- Taylor Fagersten
Taken on the grounds at Carthage Jail in Carthage, IL
Photo by me- Taylor Fagersten
Nauvoo temple (and my daughter) Nauvoo, IL

In my spread, I cropped the photos to fit better. Also, in the temple picture I cropped the left side to makes each side more even, using the lines of the side walk as leading lines. The flower picture was cheery and went the the hopeful message of the text. I also liked that the pink flowers went well with my color scheme.

Target Audience

My spread is intended to be attractive to women aged 18+. I chose pink, associated with femininity, and created a color scheme around that that was soft and appealing. Geometric patterns are very modern and also very popular right now, especially the honeycomb design, so I thought that would be appealing the younger women who may be less likely to pick up a magazine.

Final Thoughts

This project was equal parts fun and stressful. I enjoy designing things, studying good design, and creating things that will be visual pleasing. This project allowed me to test out my skills and use programs that I never had access to before. It’s opened my eyes to something new that I’ve found I enjoy. The stress came in my desire to create a perfect product without having perfect skills. I’ve been using Indesign for a total of two weeks and there is so much I don’t understand about it. This has been a basic introduction and I struggled to navigate the program. This won’t be my last time using Indesign; I want to enhance my knowledge and skills.

Blog, Design, Photography, Reverse Engineer

Photography Re-engineer Post

This week in Comm130 we’ve studied guidelines and elements of photography composition. This post will give a few example of how some of  these elements work in professional photography and my own photography.

Leading Lines

Photo by: Courtney Slazinik

Courtney Slazinik shared this photo on her blog, Click it Up a Notch ( a blog designed to help amateur photographers). This is an excellent example of the power of leading lines. The lines created by the mail slots direct the eye right to the little girl who is the focus of the photo. This photo also appears to adhere to the Rule of Thirds, making it even more impactful.



Framing is a neat tool that adds interest to a photograph. Natural “frames” occur all around us and capturing them on film can be really exciting. In this picture the subject of the photo, the dog, is framed by the doorway, drawing the attention to the subject.

Rule of Thirds

My lines aren’t 100% accurate, but this is an example of how the rule of thirds works. Images in the photo should occur on the lines or at the points where the lines meet to create an appealing and interesting photo. In this example the sailboat occurs at a point and the horizon lies along the top third of the photo.

My Photos


Arne J. Fagersten

I took this picture of my son on my Nexus 5 while he was crawling around under grandma’s table being cute. I thought this was another good example of how framing works to help the eye focus on the subject. The two table legs and the bar underneath him frame his body in the picture.


Purple Flowers

This picture was taken in my parent’s backyard with a Nikon d80 that I borrowed from my sister. The woods were shady so it was hard to get more background in the picture but I felt that the out-of-focus forest floor behind the flowers added depth to the photograph. Also the brightly colored petals contrast with the dark background.



This photo was also taken with my sister’s d80. This time I experimented with cropping to bring the focus closer to a fuzzy bumblebee we found crawling along the grass.



Our reading this week said that there are no rules to photography…but there are guidelines. Learning and following these guidelines helped me as I looked for good photo opportunities this week. Following tips such as the rule of thirds, framing, leading lines, etc. brings interesting and a more polished look to your photos.