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Design Summary

I really liked the critical thinking that design brought this week. Design is such an important detail in our lives that we do not pay attention to enough. The design blitz that we did actually made me look in depth at items that I use almost everyday, and was equally the most challenging and easiest part of the design lesson. Luckily, I am someone that buys things based on their appearance so I was aware of most of the items that I wanted to use. Reading Vignelli’s booklet and using all of the different sources to help me put together my own designs and help me during the blitz made me think of design in a new light. I think my biggest takeaway is that design does not always have to be some jam packed, colorful, crazy font design, it just has to be functional and informational. I think that in the world of design sometimes this can be forgotten, and it is something that can make or break the design as a whole, and is something I worked on specifically when doing my design assignments. Overall, the thing I enjoyed most was learning all of the planning that goes into designs and getting an idea about the planning and time it takes to make designs on something so small like a bottle of hand soap or a can of soda.


Sports Poster

Horseback riding is something that has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old. I cannot imagine my life without it and I am so lucky to be able to do what I love at a college level. During my college search, I specifically looked at schools that offered a riding team that was competitive where I could learn and grow. That is exactly how I picked UMW.

The equestrian team has offered me so many amazing friends and an escape from the busy life of a biomedical sciences student. I think that had I not been a part of the team, for my years at Mary Washington I would have an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety surrounding me during my studies. From the weekly study halls, to the early morning 6 a.m. wake up calls, the barn allows me to escape reality for a bit and relax amidst the craziness of being a student.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way, a few of the girls that I have become close with on the team had mentioned transferring at one point. However, the team gave them an incentive to stay. Yes, being a student-athlete and equestrian for the school has become my entire personally trait, but it has also allowed me to be the best version of my self.


Vogue Cover

Ever since we were just toddlers at preschool, my best friend Elizabeth and I had the dream to travel to France together to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and all of the iconic spots. We had planned to wake up every morning, get a latte, and people watch before we started our activity packed days. We also promised that we would end every single night by sitting and watching the Eiffel tower glow.

Two years ago we had the opportunity to make our dreams a reality. We could not have been more stoked to go overseas by ourselves and finally have the vacation that we’ve been wanting for years. We arrived and immediately jumped into the taxi and headed for the Eiffel tower. By the time we got there the sun had set and it was GLOWING! We were so excited to finally be in Paris living the dream.

After our first full day of waking up to get a coffee, pastries, and roaming around the Louvre, we packed our bags with snacks and sweets and headed down to the Eiffel tower.

I had Elizabeth take a few pictures of me to put on my Instagram when the craziest thing happened. A photographer named Lara Denova, who is known for his work in France, approached us during our photoshoot to ask if we could pose for a few pictures. Obviously we said yes, and he explained to us that they were doing a cover that featured the Eiffel tower that shows just how beautiful it looks when it glows at night. So that is exactly what we did!

…and that is how I ended up on the cover of Vogue!


(Not so) Motivational Poster

The start of sophomore year presented a lot of problems for me, not only as a student, but as an athlete. Freshman year in my opinion was a joke… everything was online and just did not require much effort in the slightest. As soon as I moved into my apartment in Eagle Landing and started classes I realized just how different the college experience was from what I had initially thought. So much more homework, and the idea of in-person classes was pretty foreign to me. I realized I didn’t know how to study and it was hard for me to adjust to the social scene as well. I was working hard… but it felt like I was hardly working.

Sure school was hard, but problems really presented themselves in my riding career. I had been on the riding team freshman year and dare to say it was the best I had ridden in my entire life. Through changing barns for the team, and riding all new horses I was at a loss. My riding had severely taken a turn for the worst and I was starting to lose hope that I would improve before the start of our season.

Sure enough, on October 14th, 2021 I fell off and was kicked in the head by the horse I was on resulting in a severe concussion. As soon as I got home I sobbed for hours. How did something I had loved turn into something that I couldn’t see myself doing anymore? I was defeated. The diagnosis of my concussion resulted in me not being able to look at my computer screen, any sort of light, and not being able to pay attention during class for over a week. My grades reflected it too. The support from my friends and family is the only thing that really proved the grass is greener on the other side. After my fall I was extremely timid to sit in the saddle again and even just walk around, let alone jump around.

My recovery went smoothly, and I continued to improve, but my mental block was still present every time I got on. I tried convincing myself that I was fine, but that was not enough.

I participated in a few shows towards the end of the year, and ended up placing in the top 3 each time. Unfortunately, during our off season towards the end of the year I fell again, injuring my lower back very badly.

Fortunately, summer break allowed for healing mentally and physically.

Junior year I was healthier and felt better than I ever had here at UMW since freshman year. I felt it in my bones that this year was going to get better. Spoiler alert: I was right. Practices were going amazing and my excitement and love for the sport was regained. The first show of the year approached and i won my class! I could have cried happy tears, finally all of my hard work had paid off.

Flash forward to the end of our regular season, I had placed myself into Regionals! I was ecstatic. Sadly, that was the end of my road for this season but I was honored to even be able to tell people that I had qualified.

The end of the year went amazing and I have never felt more comfortable in the saddle, and my confidence is beaming! Although I feel good at where I am at in my riding, I will continue to try my hardest and improve as much as I can during my last year at Mary Washington.


Design Blitz

For this assignment I stayed inside of my house, mostly because I had all of the products I wanted to use in the back of my mind but also because household items we use everyday are GREAT representations of the different types of designs we see. My designs I pick range from a bottle of shaving cream to a can of Coca-Cola. After reading all of the tips, it is hard to believe the amount of work that goes into such small items just to appeal to the consumer.


This is the packaging that my deodorant comes in. Recently I switched over to natural deodorant and had to find a new brand to pick. Obviously, I picked this one because of the design and color… pink! I think that the use of pink is very appealing and fun to look at. Deodorant is something that we use everyday and it is important that companies are putting out a design that people are willing to look at every morning. Having an aesthetic font and label in addition to the monochrome color design is important for making it appealing to the consumers. The tip I used was taken from “How to Use Color to Enhance Your Design”, and specifically under the category of color meaning. I would say that this packaging incorporates both red tones and warm colors, with a little bit of cool color mixed in. The warm colors/red radiate warmth, energy, happiness, confidence and determination which is all important feelings and emotions that you want to be promoting in a deodorant bottle.

Tip: How To Use Color To Enhance Your Designs


This bottle is my shaving cream, and it is one of the most minimally designed products that I own. By simply putting the title of the product and putting what it is up top allows the consumer to know exactly what they are buying without the hassle of trying to figure out what’s going on. The “white space” as it is called makes it more pleasing to look at because it is less busy. I think one of the hardest parts about design is the feeling that every ounce of space should be filled with something. In this specific scenario the design is flawless with minimal words and information shoved on the sides.

Tip: Creating Minimalist Designs Makes You A Better Designer


I chose to do this Celsius can. Between the flavor name, typography, and the movement shown by the images on the can, it is very aesthetically pleasing. The name fantasy vibe is also reinforced by the palm trees, clouds, and sun that make the can have a warm feel. The patterns repeat throughout the can and adds to the rhythm of the drink as a whole. Another important aspect to notice is the smaller size of the shapes that surround the can and they are smaller than the title of the drink, to not distract.

Tip: Write Design Online: Rhythm


Of course I chose the Coca-Cola can we had in the fridge. To me, this is the most iconic example of typography used to benefit the company. I am sure that most people in the world can identify the logo and font as Coca-Cola. The font matches the purpose and aesthetic that is desired for a can of soda and is not too overbearing or hard to read. While this font is still “pretty” it is still easy for anyone to recognize and read.

Tip: What is good typography?


Vignelli Canon Summary

Vignelli was an Italian designer that worked with interior, environmental, package, graphic, furniture, and product design. In his booklet he emphasizes the importance of creating design as a whole rather than in tiny pieces. One of the biggest take-aways is that you have to look at the big picture. No design can be successful if it doesn’t put the message across when you look at the design as a whole.

In the booklet Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli talks adbout three major aspects of design; semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic.

Vignelli defines semantics as understanding a subject in all of its aspects. This means that the design is functional in that it makes sense to the designer and the audience that it is intended for, and the message is clear. Additionally, he says that every part of the design should have a precise purpose, an example that he gave is random stripes across a page that do not serve any meaning are not a good example of effective design. If design is not done correctly, Vignelli considers it visual pollution. Personally, after him use that term I can pick out the exact ads and examples of design that he would call visual pollution.

Syntactics are defined by Vignelli as “the discipline that controls the proper use of grammar in the construction of phrases and the articulation of a language, design”. The image that is shown to the right of this definition is a map of the New York subway system. I think the image does a great job of giving a visual of what he is describing as a syntax. Vignelli also explains that the consistency of design is provided by the appropriate relationship of the various syntactical elements of the project. In the subway diagram it is easy to follow, the intention of the design was to show where, when, and how people can find what train they are going on. I think aesthetically, the colors and lines are clean and are important to the functionality of the design, and the key up top is very helpful as well. One thing that I thought was interesting was that he mentions grids are an important tool to help with consistency in graphic design.

Lastly, pragmatics is the third major aspect Vignelli talks about. Pragmatics is more difficult to monitor because as Vignelli says we want to be able to have complex design, but we do not want to make it complicated. Something I have noticed about myself is that I love the look of a simple design, but I wonder if I am more inclined to like the simple because I often make things more complicated.  

In addition to those major aspects he defines, he talks about smaller more in-depth details that can elevate the overall look and feel of the design. My biggest takeaway from this booklet is that a good design needs to show intention and purpose while still keeping the design aesthetic and pleasing to the audience. There are so many components like font, images, size, and even the positioning of items that will make the difference between good and great design.