Creative Ad–”Limelight”

Hello my friends! This week I was asked to construct a product for my Communications 130 “Visual Media” class. For this project I was given the following demographics to work with:
Product: Toilet Paper
Gender: Males and Females
Salary/Income: +$90,000 a year
Education: Masters or Doctorate
Martial Status: In a relationship
Media Advertisement: Facebook (400px by 209px, resolution of 72dpi) and Web/Blog (300px by 250px, resolution of 72dpi)

I chose Charmin has my brand





Due to the somewhat comical demographics I was given, I wanted something simple; not quite “plain,” but simple. I was impressed with the idea of the “Limelight.” These consumers are the best in both salary and education; why wouldn’t they “deserve the best?”

I wanted to capitalize on the ideas of “feeling good” and a “more successful you.” Successful corporations are driven by the idea of the best products and the best employees; while it isn’t implied in the demographics the jobs of these individuals, but the idea of success is universal in their minds.

I found two images that I was able to blend and alter the coloration to give it a clean, film-noir look, (proper attribution is given at the end of this post.) Originally I wanted to match the toilet paper to the color of the spotlight; but for obvious reasons that was changed so the spotlight could be white like unto the toilet paper.

However, I do I love the idea of a spotlight. Though my original idea involved having a fancy car and a fancy boat faded in the background (perhaps under individual, yet dimmer spotlights), I felt like that would make the ad too cluttered and would draw away from the main object: the toilet paper. The leading lines created by the spotlight are the first thing that should catch the viewer’s attention; they lead the viewer straight to the toilet paper, then it’s up to the viewer to read what comes next, (more likely than not they’ll be drawn to the boldest text, the text below it, and finally to the text in the corner beneath the logo.)

I chose Minion Pro Bold Italic for the header because I wanted something that looked crisp, sharp, yet elegant. Malayalam MN Regular was simple and clear, which falls in tandem with the idea of “simple yet elegant” of the Limelight toiler paper.

If I’ve noticed anything from fancy magazines like Esquire it’s that the fancier the product and audience, the less they have to truly include; if it looks the best, it’s implied to simply be the best.

And really, “don’t you deserve the best?”


Spotlight: Creative Commons, taken by Blondinrikard Fröberg


Toilet Paper: Public Domain, taken by D Coetzee

Roll of toilet paper




Icon Set–Heavenly Bodies


We’re making history here folks–I made my own icon set on a computer program I never ever thought I’d touch. I actually had a lot of fun watching this grow from an idea to a sketch to actual “ink” on the computer screen.

All of the following icons are of original design and were created by me Spencer Holdaway. No gradients, drop shadows, pixels, raster effects, or text were used.


Icon SetFINALx-01



I always loved learning about the stars and planets as I was growing up, it was always very fascinating to me. My audience is intended to be for older elementary school kids, perhaps in 6th Grade, that would be learning about astronomy.



Icon-SetFINAL_SunIcon SetPROTO-03


I wanted the design of this to be engaging and colorful for the kids. I wanted it to be somewhat abstract in design, yet holding true to the over all shapes that children typically see these bodies portrayed as.

For some reason I loved the idea of the swirl within the circle. There’s something mesmerizing with having the swirl direct your attention to the center (or tip in the comet’s case), it then directs your eyes outwards to the rest of the object.



Icon-SetMOON_FinalIcon SetPROTO-05



The colors were what I had the most fun with. Originally, I only had three shapes in mind and I wanted to use the main metal trio (gold, silver, and bronze) makeup the borders of each object–with each color being designated to the celestial body that typically shows the most light in our sky, (a gold “medal” for the sun, silver for the moon, and bronze for the stars). Their individual trim colors I based off of the primary colors–these are traditional colors used in the schooling younger school systems and I wanted to convey that thought with these.

For the individual placement of what trim to which main color, it was a simple matter of contrast. Silver usually is with blue, so I put it with a sharp red; while gold is usually with red, I chose a dark cobalt instead.

The comet was the last addition. I decided to pick green because it’s another common color despite it being a secondary color. However, once I realized that comets do burn green I absolutely had to keep it. Comets burn green due to the copper content; indeed, it is little wonder I decided to chose copper to complement the other metallic colors.





Through trial and error, I believe these more simple designs (as oppose to my rather complex sketches) are more catching to the eye and far more memorable due to their simplicity.


Blossoms and Mirrors

It’s another beautiful week in Rexburg, Idaho and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share this project I’ve been working on! My instructor, Professor Lybbert, challenged us to make a magazine spread based on an article either taken from or For this spread, I chose a personal favorite article of mine taken from the November 2014 Ensign found at, (

I heard this speech in a moment I needed it most–it struck me to the center and has molded my life for the last two years. Because of how it changed me, I wanted to create something that can change others–specifically my fellow students here at BYU-Idaho.




Design and Shapes

To be honest, this article cut at my heart when I first heard it. It really made me reflect and “look in the mirror”, so to speak. As such, I really wanted to focus on the hard, sharp edges of the frames to give it the look of mirrors; indeed, the decision to use mirrors as a theme came early on in the creation process. You’ll see those ideas throughout this blog.




The maroon and gray was an interesting choice. Originally, the model for pages 2 and 3 was wearing a maroon shirt with dark gray decals. I decided I liked this color combination and wanted to tie in that color scheme with the rest of my article instead of just red and black like I originally envisioned. However, I found that as I got the faces to the right size within the triangular frames, it entirely cropped out her shirt.

Though, perhaps by happy accident, I still enjoyed used maroon and gray. Maroon because its a warm color (so it pops off the page), however, at the same time it has a mix of cool blue that makes the otherwise demanding red a more mellow maroon.

I chose the gray because I didn’t want to do a hard black, but rather a softer hue.

For the intended audience, this colors both demand attention yet are calm and relaxing in a very paradoxical way.




While I wanted to focus on the idea of the mirrors, I knew I needed something for the title page. I chose a beautiful blossoming tree in front of the communication and arts building because on the first page Robbins restates a scriptural story regarding a beautiful tree of life ladened with the sweetest, whitest fruit the prophet had ever seen. Though certainly not a fruit tree, the tree I used for my title page “[exceeded] all the whiteness” (1 Nephi 8:11) of all the trees on campus.

As for the model (who I shall call Sally) was to pose with two faces as a profile. One, I wanted a more withdrawn, depressed expression (as seen above), and the second one (seen below) I wanted her to laugh and to smile. In this way, the two pictures symbolize the message of each page: that of fear and of courage. Them face each other, towards the cropped, triangular tips, indicates direction (by the hard lines) and the idea of a mirror as they face each other.



My typography choices were fairly simple. I chose Avenir Next (Heavy) for my headers and Charter (Roman) for my body text for the simple contrast of the two, with the easy readability of the headers with the clean, crisp look of the body.

For the pull quote I chose Apple Chancery. It’s clean, yet elegant–I wanted something that would stick out, yet also match the softness of the tree and the color choices.


Allow me to apologize if any of this has felt disconnected or jarring…despite my love for the spring and colors and blossoms, I can promise you that spring does NOT like me–my sinuses can attest to that.

Nevertheless, I have enjoyed working on this project. I believe that the crisp simplicity of this design is pleasing to the eye, and once reading the message it pleases the heart and soul as well.

Until next time, my friends. Take care, be happy, and stay blessed!


All Pictures were taken by me, Spencer C. Holdaway


Artists of Light (Photography)

Once again, hello my friends! Today, we’ll be discussing three basic principles of photography that can help enhance any picture to look more than a selfie or something you’d post on Instagram. These principles are: the Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, and finally, Depth of Field. I will show you professional pictures that demonstrate these principles, while also taking pictures of my own in an attempt to replicate the same principles with my iPhone. That being said, please, don’t expect much out of mine. The pictures used at first were taken by various photographers from the National Geographic magazine company.


Rule of Thirds

This picture, taken by Jimmy Chin for the National Geographic (seen here:, demonstrates the Rule of Thirds. Now, the Rule of Thirds can be done in two ways yet both require one to visualize lines that segment a picture into thirds, as show below.

Simply put, the Rule of Thirds is where the focus is on the intersecting points of the “thirds lines”, or it is running parallel with either horizontal line. In this particular picture, while the climber is not directly over any of the intersecting points, I believe this still an example of the Rule of Thirds because his foot is nearly touching one and his hands are over a second—seeing this, I can’t help but feel drawn into this image of the solitary climber because of where his hands and feet are in proportion to him and the rest of the photo.

Now, for my attempt.

Again, I don’t pretend to be a photographer; however, I did want to emphasize the words “Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord”. Though simple, I think this still captures the idea because of the placement of the top row of the inscription right where the horizontal top row runs.



Leading Lines

(Link to original:, taken from National Geographic through Google Images)

Leading Lines are a fun phenomena that photographs can create—essentially, it’s as the name suggests, lines in the photo that point towards a particular location or item. This guides the eye of the viewer to something or someone.

In the case below, a picture of the Eiffel Tower taken from the National Geographic website, the leading lines can be found in the overall shape of the structure: that of an arrow going heavenward. Indeed, and especially at this angle, is this true for photos depicting tall buildings of any kind and particularly those with hard lines like the Eiffel Tower.



Now for my attempt:

I tried to create this same idea, using an elegant building with hard edges and plenty of vertical lines that suggest upward ascent. For some, this may show religious significance (like that of the temple) or it merely is a symbol for progression and achieve (like that of the Eiffel Tower). No matter the reason, however, the Leading Lines are always meant to direct our eyes and thoughts towards a particular subject that the photographer wishes for us to mull over.


Depth of Field

I didn’t want to enlarge Shahnewaz Karim’s photo any more than I had to, because the larger I attempted to make it the blurrier it became. With Depth of Field, you have the foreground and background—objects that are clear and are emphasized and naturally the more important in the photos, and others that are blurry and are signified as less important. In this particular picture, it shows the principle of Depth of Field because of how stark the contrast is between the subject (the woman in the saffron robes is compared to the rest of the photo.

This is particularly noticeable between the woman in saffron and the woman on her left.



Now, this I felt was the hardest of the three principles to replicate. But I did give it a whirl.

As you can see, I somewhat reversed the idea of the foreground being in focus while the background being out of focus. It’s a bit hard to tell simply based on resolution, but in the original picture, the front four blades of grass are out of focus despite being in front of the vivid, popping, clear purple flowers.



This was an interesting project to embark on because it allowed me to be more conscientious of all the minute things that goes into making a good, quality picture. And, in reality, there are just a few simple principles that if followed can not only change your perspective of your pictures or that of others, but really the natural beauty of the world around us.

Guardians of the [Typography]—Vol. 2

Welcome to another Communications 130 Visual Media post! Tonight, we’ll be focusing on typography and for this post I decided to analyze the typefaces of this simple, yet capturing poster of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”–we will discuss what makes it appealing as we focus on the text itself. This poster was made by Marvel Studios and was released (if I’m not mistaken) late last year.



Let’s Get Started





First Typeface


What works really well with this poster is the repetition of the sans serif font brought over from the first movie’s material. This is normal for most, if not all, movies that are part of a series. One can identify this typeface because of the lack of serifs on the edges of characters (though one could argue the “G”s have serifs–if this is true, the font still lacks serifs as a whole) and the same, uniform width across all characters of the four words.



Second Typeface


The new addition to the second installment of the series’ poster is the addition of the brilliant red decorative font. It breaks conventional typeface by its issue of paint-like brushstrokes at the end of V, L, and 2, as it was an added addition on top of the finished, “printed” product.



The Contrast


There’s a couple of interesting things to be able to analyze with these two typefaces; however, to do so I would like to draw attention to two thematic elements of the Guardians of the Galaxy series that is reflected in the text.

The first typeface shows the first theme—that of order, structure, and uniformity presented presented by the ruling orders within the Guardians of the Galaxy’s universe’s police structure. The second typeface shows the second theme, the theme that the characters presented in the poster represent—that of rebelliousness, uniqueness, and roughness.

With an understanding of the fun themes behind the two typefaces, their selection makes sense. The first typeface is sans serif—formal and quite boring—along with being heavy, white, straight in alignment, and right in the center of the poster. Even the text on the left that is at a different alignment then the rest of that typeface, it still shows hard alignment on its right side.

However, the second typeface is quite fun; it’s red (a brilliant contrast from the white), certainly not uniform nor formal, and the direction of the second typeface is at angle that suggests disorder and roughness (presumably from the titular Guardians who serve as the film’s anti-hero protagonists).



By better understanding the elements that make up the universe of Guardians of the Galaxy, one can better understand the choices of the two typefaces and their contrasting weight, color, and direction. Though it may not be apparent at first, once you can identify and see the individual components of the poster and its typeface, it really stands out and makes the experience of even seeing a simple advertisement enjoyable and enriching.

P.A.R.C.C. as demonstrated by Arby’s

Out of all fast-food restaurants, the ones that have provided ads that have caught my eye is Arby’s. Always quirky and fun, they present images that capture the attention and are memorable to the mind. Tonight, I want to discuss the principles of alignment, contrast, color, repetition, and proximity as it pertains to the #Saucepocalypse campaign of 2014. The image below is what we will focus on in this post:



First, we will discuss alignment.

The thing that caught my attention about this particular ad was not the center alignment of the text at the bottom, but rather the alignment of the lines of the upper text along with the barbecue and and prongs–all of which point the same way. Because its at an angle, it gives it a very distorted, alien, yet unified look. And though the text is also not a traditional “left-flush”, “right-flush”, etc., it still is consistent in its unique fragmentation.


Next, we shall discuss contrast, repetition, and color.

I decided to discuss these three at once because I believe, in this particular image they are all connected fairly closely and it would perhaps come off as redundant. The colors of red (including tints and shades of it), white, and black are seen throughout the entire ad; these colors add a wonderful theme of war and panic–colors very appropriate for an ad paying homage to “War of the Worlds”.

The contrasting colors of white vs. red is quite striking, especially since the two sauces being advertised in the lower right-hand corner are those same colors. This contrast pops and draws attention to itself. Even without knowing anything about the ad, one can draw their own conclusions about what this campaign is about because of the hashtag and the colors that are repeated. Indeed, the warmer reds and oranges pop while the whites subtly highlight those more passionate colors, thus drawing attention to the hashtag and the campaign name of “saucepocalypse”.


Finally, proximity.

Since we discussed so much about the bottom fourth of the ad for the last four points, let’s focus on the proximity of the upper-most text. Now note, I picked this ad with no knowledge of this ad campaign nor its purpose; however, because of the size and the proximity of the three largest words (Invasion, sauceless, and BBQ) on the ad, one can easily infer that this campaign has something to do with sauce (or lack thereof) and barbecue.


These principles all work together subtly to create a quirky homage to a very popular ’50’s movie. The contrasting colors and repetition draw the viewer’s attention to the key items of the campaign (the saucepocalypse), while the proximity, size, and queer angle of the upper text draw attention to the words that are linked to those key items. Out of the ads I viewed, the uniqueness of this one and the principles of proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast, and color are what drew my attention.