Assignments, Design, Photography

Final Portfolio

Process: I was asked to create a slidedeck portfolio of my visual communication projects for potential employers.  I placed my creations in Microsoft Powerpoint to design my portfolio and then I saved the document as a .pdf to upload to  That is an easy and great way to showcase my work! I also added a beginning and ending slide to introduce and conclude my portfolio. I wanted my beginning slide to show action and movement, but also be a creative image to represent my theme of “fitness and design.”  I found that fun orange splash image online and flipped and edited it to fit my slide page.  I also added repeating color bars and titles to each slide to introduce each project and have more design and consistency throughout my portfolio.  I wanted to match my bottom design bars to colors within my images to pull it all together.

Critique: I received critiques from my instructor, Julie Peterson, and classmates, Cristy Crawford and Susan Ruske on Facebook and in a class web meeting on July 15th.  I was very focused on aligning each individual slide, but did not think about aligning all the slides together in the bottom design bar.  That was great feedback to do that and to make my background colors flow better from slide to slide.  I went through each slide and realigned all the bottom design bars and typography and also rearranged my slides to have better flow in background color.  Great feedback!  I’m happy with my final portfolio project and excited to share it.  🙂


Font: Abadi MT Condensed Light and Abadi MT Condensed Extra Bold (San Serif)

Assignments, Design

Magazine Spread Project

The Process:

In this assignment, our client situation was that we were hired for an internship with the LDS Church Magazines and our first project was to write and design a two-page magazine spread for the Ensign.  We used the program, InDesign, to create our magazine spread.  This was my first time using this program.  I learned a lot creating this project!  The past few weeks we have been working on this project by creating sketches, choosing a sketch, receiving critiques on our personally written articles, creating a shape map in InDesign, and then placing our final project together.  Here are images of my sketches and shape map again:


JessicaAshton12A-22 JessicaAshton12A-23

And here is my final project!  It was exciting learning how to create my original vision for this project.  I received great critiques to guide me along the way.  After creating my shape map, I placed my text and images into the document.  Then, I made sure to have a great contrasting title and made some edits to create “white space” for better visual flow.  I explain more in my video and critique summary below:


Critique:  On July 8th, I printed my draft and connected with my classmates, Susan Ruske and Cristy Crawford, to critique our projects over Google Hangouts.  Here is the link to that critique meeting:

Susan and Cristy had great feedback.  They suggested that I highlight and change the color of my subtitles, and that I watch for “widow” text.  They also suggested that I keep my text out of my drop shadows from my images.  I submitted my drafts to my instructor also.  She suggested that I repeat elements by making my highlighted quote text box an oval and that I had a third oval image for more design flow.  She also suggested that I delete my quote that I had at the top, left page to open that area up for more “white space” and better visual flow.  I also had some wording to close to the edges of elements so I had to resize and rearrange my text in order to not create tangents and tension.  Great feedback!


Title:  Cooper Black (heavily weighted, old style serif typeface) for contract and Lucida Calligraphy (Script) for subscript.  Body Copy: Arial and Arial Black (San Serif)

Image Sources:

Assignments, Design

Magazine Spread Draft Critique

We are now creating our magazine spread that we sketched a few weeks ago.  I included my sketches again in this post.  I created two sketches when brainstorming my magazine spread and decided to create the top sketch.  We are using the program InDesign to create our magazine spread.  This is the first time that I have used this program and I am learning a lot!  First, I drafted a shape map in the program.  I included images of my shape maps below.  That was helpful because then I just needed to embed my text and pictures for my final draft.

Here is my magazine spread so far, already for critiques..JessicaAshton12A-critique2



Title:  Cooper Black (heavily weighted, old style serif typeface) for contract and Lucida Calligraphy (Script) for subscript.  Body Copy: Arial and Arial Black (San Serif)

Images found at these links:

Assignments, Design

Web Page Layout



websketch1  websketch2

Process: First I sketched out my idea.  I had prepared the first sketch before visiting my instructors live demo session.  In her session she really emphasized designing asymmetrically, so I started the process over creating the second sketch with that in mind.  Throughout this semester, I have continued with the same theme and business – combining my personal fitness training with design projects.  My audience is to anyone interested in personal training, fitness information, fitness photography or fitness event graphic design.  Because fitness is a “strong” theme, I wanted to continue with a black and white monochromatic color scheme and add a little orange from my logo into the design to repeat color for visual flow.  I found good quality fitness images and made sure that the images also supported the flow of my page by their placement.  I wanted a strong repeated shape and I wanted it to look 3-D to support the overall feel of “strength” in the page.  After implementing the critiques that I received from below, I am very happy with my final web page layout.

Critiques: I posted my first draft on our class Facebook page on Monday, June 29th for critiques and received feedback from Travis Briggs.  He pointed out that my orange lines were not lining up (see original shape map) and it made the diamond of pictures look crooked. I had to use my ruler tools to line up the orange lines and then I had to reshape my diamond pictures.  That was a lot more difficult than it sounds.  It took some time, but made the final design not look skewed.  My instructor, Julie Peterson, also replied with critiques to make my navigation bar smaller to not crowd the logo. She also pointed out that the spacing in my footer bar between the words were a little uneven. I accidently had some extra spaces between the words.  I made those changes and submitted a second draft for a final critique to her.  The following Wednesday, she replied that she liked the changes but pointed out that my logo looked “pixelly.”  I had used a photo from another document to place in the logo.  It was small so I ended up recreating the logo in Photoshop to eliminate the pixel look.  My instructor also suggested the idea of adding texture for more interest.  I received other comments from classmates on Facebook to add more color to the page, so I found a rock texture with the repeating orange color to mask over my black rectangle.  I liked the added texture & subtle color change.

Color Scheme: Monochromatic color scheme; black, grey and white with repeating elements of orange contrast

Fonts: In the Logo – Abadi MT condensed (san serif) and Brush Script Medium (script).  In the Page – Bell Gothic Bold (san serif)

Links to image sources: 

Design, Photography

Fitness Inspiration

I’m a fitness instructor and love teaching!  My favorite part about teaching are the members.  Their real stories of overcoming insecurity, weight challenges, and other struggles are so inspirational to me!  I love pictures of real people.  Not brushed up fake, perfect models.  People embracing their individuality and working hard!  That’s perfect beauty to me.  I wanted to share some of those with you on here.  Let me know what you think.  🙂kick



Assignments, Design, Photography

Movie Poster Project


Message/ Audience: For this project we were asked to pretend that we just landed a new job and our manager asked us to create a creative and fun movie poster to introduce ourself to the employees at the next staff meeting.  Because it was for a job, I thought it would be fun to recreate the “Lucy” movie poster about the power we could have if we were able to use 100% of our brain instead of just 10% of our brain.  I would be a great employee with my super brain capabilities!  I wanted it to be edgy and captivating so I spent a lot of time getting my self image just right through blending, contrasting and making the eye stand out.

Critique Report: My instructor, Julie Peterson gave me a few suggestions to align my typography and change the bottom “June 2015” color to match my eye.  I received the same critique from my classmate, Susan Ruske.  I used the pin drop tool to capture the eye color for my bottom text and made minor adjustments in my alignment.

Fonts: Title – Lucida Grande Bold (san serif)   Body Copy – Athelas Bold (old style)   Movie Poster Condensed Font (sans serif)

Images: The image of me I took on my own with a white background to help with blending. The overlay on my image of math symbols is at this link:


Photoshop Learning Activity

Adjustment Layers Activity.  I darkened the sky and lightened the foreground.


Super Sharpening – I sharpened only the center area of the flower.


Photo Finishing Project


Blending Textures with a photo project – A4_4JessicaAshton

Non-destructive dodge and burn photography project –


Cutouts Project – I removed this man from the background of the photo.