Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing at Being a Graphic Designer

Going off of yesterday's post, I often wonder what my life would be like if, instead of choosing the approved-by-Chinese-parents path of being a science major, I opted instead for something like, say, graphic design. Or costume design. Not that I knew, ten years ago, that I loved these things. Actually, I still don't know if I love these things. After all, I have no idea what a real designer's life is like. I just pretend to be one when the opportunity arises, like last year, when I made my own wedding invitations.

Making maps was so easy with this strategy.
I found this graphic of a couple doing chemistry, which I changed to look like us, in our colors, for our thank you cards.
I really enjoy coming up with a theme and then designing paper goods to match. Even when I was teaching at my first school, some of the projects I was most proud of were the AP Chem, Chemistry, and Biology lab manuals that I wrote. There's a weird pleasure that comes from compiling the best labs for student learning, designing the appropriate diagrams, and putting in thorough appendices.

Anyway, for the last couple of days I've been prepping like mad for my husband's combination birthday and farewell to San Diego party. If you've ever played the Days of Wonder's amazing board game, Ticket to Ride, you know that it is a fantastically fun game -- accessible to all ages, different every time, educational -- that has beautiful graphics. Set at the turn of the 20th century, with a theme of railway travel, it definitely has some steampunk elements. The characters all have an old-timey look, and the borders actually have little gears! This board game is definitely a staple in our marriage (enough so that we named a table at our reception after it); we've had nights where we play five games in a row (it's only about 20 minutes a game with only two players)! So when my husband announced that he wanted a Ticket to Ride-themed event, with a car rally/scavenger hunt to mimic building trains to connect locations, I got super excited about designing the program/booklet that gives people their tasks.  I've been working on it for the last couple of days, and it's coming along swimmingly. It's not quite period-accurate, but it all has that historical feel. I can't wait to have these printed up and handed out to everyone on Sunday! I'm pretty sure most people won't be as excited about or even notice the details that I put in, or how everything coordinates, but it makes me happy inside to know they're there.


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