The Many Shades of Hannibal Lecter: A Venn Diagram

For my final assignment for design week, I chose this one worth 4 stars, which was a task to create a 3 circle Venn Diagram of Popular Culture figures.

This was the hardest of all my assignments this week, mainly to think of what I was going to do for each circle, as I had to think about it for a while. I knew I wanted to do it, though, because I loved the Yoda example that’s shown on the assignment page, and I wanted to make one of my own. First, I thought of Hannibal Lecter, since he’s a well-known popular culture figure, and I one of my favorite TV shows is NBC’s Hannibal, which has sadly been canceled (though you should really check it out). He is a character who is a good cook, rich, and evil, which I thought were good general categories. Then, I easily chose Cruella de Vil when thinking of someone who is both rich and evil, but not necessarily a good cook. For good cook and rich, but not evil, I thought to chose Gordon Ramsay, which was another easy choice. The last option, though, finding an evil chef, was somehow challenging, though with a little googling I recalled the evil chef from Ratatouille, Chef Skinner, for that category! Note that this final form of the Venn Diagram is one of so many previous combinations I’d considered, though this is the only one I found I could fill in every circle. That wasn’t easy to come up with! However, I do enjoy Venn Diagrams and I think it’s fun to group together pop culture figures in these categories that you wouldn’t normally imagine belonging together, like Hannibal Lecter and Gordon Ramsay.

To complete this project, I used the online design tool canva. Once I made an account there I was easily able to go through their list of possible templates and found a Venn Diagram template I liked. From there I was able to add and edit the text as you see there! It was a pretty easy site to use and I’d recommend it to anyone for design, especially if you’re looking for many different templates to chose from.

A Story in Four Icons: Can you guess the movie?

My third assignment this week, worth 3 stars, is this one, which was recommended for the design category. The assignment is described best as quoted from the assignment page:

The assignment is to reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer, let people guess! The challenge is to find the icons that suggest the story, but do not make it so easy.

This assignment was the most fun of all I’ve done so far this week. After thinking of a movie I enjoyed that was popular enough to be guessed by most people, the challenge of this assignment was to think of only four possible icons to use to describe the events of the whole movie. Often, I wished it were 5 or 6 icons, but I managed to reduce it down to 4, after deciding between several different options. When I was choosing these, I wanted to capture important scenes and defining moments of the movie, but at the same time I didn’t want to chose obvious ones, since I wanted it to take at least more than a quick glance for someone to guess the movie! I really enjoyed this assignment, because it shows the power of simplistic storytelling and simplistic design, that only four pictures can represent a story that can be recognized by someone else! It was appropriate for this simple design to use only black and white icons and blank space in my design. This guessing game is something that really captures the power of digital storytelling.

To complete this assignment, I downloaded all of my icons from the noun project, which was a really fun website to explore. You can easily create an account there and download lots of awesome icons, and I think I’d definitely use this site in future projects. To put them together, I used Microsoft Publisher, and with that, it was easy to import the icon pictures and display them on the page as I wanted. I chose to stagger the icons so they could be read from left to right on a square template (since squares are best for Instagram). Then, I easily uploaded that picture to Instagram and embedded it here!

So, can you guess which movie I’m representing here? Was it easy to guess or did it take you a moment? Leave a comment below!

The Shape of Words

The second assignment I chose to do this week, and the second one related to my character, is this one, where I was tasked to create a word cloud for my character. This assignment is worth 2 stars.

This assignment was really fun to do, and to accomplish it, I used¬†www.wordclouds.com, a website which easily allowed me to create the collage from the list of words. To use the site I clicked on the ‘Wizard’ tab, which was suggested, and entered my list of words as I thought of them. Then, I messed around with the shape and color of the words with the easy editing options, to get the word cloud looking as I wanted it to. Here is the final list of words I used for it:

4 human
3 surgery
3 patient
3 blood
2 control
2 vampire
2 better
2 doctor
2 heart
2 life
1 reputation
1 handshake
1 composure
1 hospital
1 research
1 helping
1 scalpel
1 repress
1 cardiac
1 careful
1 fishing
1 biology
1 nurture
1 friends
1 hungry
1 nature
1 steady
1 victim
1 family
1 books
1 sleep
1 light
1 night
1 alone
1 latex
1 trust
1 coats
1 death
1 fangs
1 study
1 calm
1 duty
1 work
1 care
1 good
1 dark

Most of the words in this list are related to being a surgeon or a vampire, as is my character, Cal. Additionally, many of them are related to how he feels in his contradictory life which includes being both of those. I wanted ‘human’ to be the largest word in the cloud, since this is what he’d most like to think of himself as, despite still being a ‘vampire’, which is another larger word in the list. The next largest words I chose were ‘surgery’ and ‘patient’, the two elements of his work Cal deems most important (helping the patient and spending his time in surgery); another larger one is ‘blood’, which has a dual meaning, in that it’s both what he needs to survive in stealing it from the hospital blood bags and something he sees everyday when performing surgery and saving people’s lives.

Overall, I chose the shape of the cloud to be that of a heart (which is also one of the words in the cloud), because this represents many things to Cal as well. He is a heart surgeon, working on the organ which keeps the human body alive, and as a vampire who is technically no longer among the living, his heart no longer works; however, in a figurative sense, even if he doubts himself, he is full of heart in a human way. As a vampire, his senses are acute, so he can hear and sense the beating of someone’s heart from a long distance, a biological instinct of his kind; this could help him hunt, or, it’s now ‘helping’ him help others, as it does in this ‘better’ life he’s created for himself.

What’s in a Name?

As my first assignment, and one of two related to my character this week, I chose this one for 3 stars. The assignment was to write your name in a unique way, and I transformed it into creating a logo for my character’s name.

When playing with the following website,¬†www.coolletters.net for making logos, I ended up making two of these for my character’s name, one for his full name Callen and one for his nickname often referred to by his close friends, Cal, since these represent the two sides of the character, plus it was fun to mess with the fonts and backgrounds and if I put this all in one, I thought it would become cluttered, so I chose separate ideas for each logo.

The first one has a darker tone, which I used to represent the vampiric nature of the character, a side of himself he doesn’t like to embody anymore, yet still always exists within him. I used the red shadow in the tilted words to represent the hunger and darkness that hides beneath himself, or his name, with a classy, more simple font. I imagine, in either logo, Cal would be fond of simpler fonts, rather than cluttered ones. I was also sure to tilt the logo here, to show that this side of himself is always off balance. The drop of red blood was added after I downloaded the logo I made from the website in paint, because I wanted to add some kind of further personal touch, and really wanted it to be there. I wanted the viewer to immediately think ‘vampire’ when they see the first logo.

The second logo represents the more human aspect of Cal’s personality, which he likes to think himself as. I imagine him as reserved, though kind in his personal life, and a simple logo with a simple design like the second one would be one he loved. Despite his profession as a doctor, Cal isn’t one for extravagance, because of his personality, and because he’s lived so long for periods of time with little material possessions.

I hoped you enjoyed looking at these as much as Cal and I did designing them! I’d recommend this assignment to anyone, especially as related to their character. The website mentioned above is fun to explore and easy to use, and you can simply tweak all of the font and background options, as well as the shadows, opacity, blurred edges, orientation, etc. It is a surprisingly in-depth editor for a web-based one. It’s as simple as messing with the options and finding what you or your character likes!