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I Scream for Ice Cream

I did a simple and quick version of the imaginary cities assignment, but I like the way it turned out. It was fun to play around with the brightly-colored paper and figure out the best way to fit pre-cut shapes.

After doing that assignment, I moved on to doodling a map of memorable places from my childhood. I grew up in Sacramento, which is a small (ish) city, so my childhood was filled with a lot of soccer practices at the local middle school, bike rides to nearby friends' houses, and trips to the ice cream spot down the street. It was fun to piece all this together into a coherent visual image (although I quickly found that my awful sense of direction made for a composition that is not entirely spacially accurate).

I also did a little sketch of the neighborhood that I currently live in in San Francisco, and the various restaurants, bars, coffee shops, markets, and music venues in the few blocks around my house.

I then started sketching concepts for my main project idea, which is to map the top ice cream spots in San Francisco. I went into Google Maps and dropped pins on all the locations, and then used that to create the sketch below. I wrote in a few notes and points to think about after doing the sketch.

After giving it some thought, I decided that, while maybe more useful, the classic map wasn't all that creative. I wanted to find a unique way to communicate these places and what they have to offer. So I sketched out the idea below, which is the one that I think I'm going to go with (currently using Photoshop to create it). It doesn't communicate where these places are in relation to one another as effectively as the map above does, but I think this is a more interesting way to show what these places are.

The idea is to create the feel of an ice cream shop, where you see all these giant canisters behind a glass counter. The canisters are labeled with the store's name or the neighborhood it's in, and info about the place along with pictures are in a box above. I'm currently debating on whether I should create mini maps of the neighborhoods to put in each box, or if I should do one large map in the corner that shows where everything is in relation to each other.

I haven't posted in a while because this project hit several roadblocks along the way. First, my beginner Illustrator and artistic skills limited me from creating the concept I wanted. I played around with things a bunch and still couldn't get the image to look the way I wanted it to. I ultimately settled (temporarily) on the two images below, which I created separately with the intent to put them side by side.

Once I saw how these looked together, I really didn't like it. And the more time I spent away from the design and then came back to revisit it, the more disjointed I realized it was. I was in the middle of inputting a picture from one of the ice cream places I went to when the idea for the version below struck me. I'm still not 100% pleased with it, and it doesn't necessarily convey all the information I'd like it to, but I think it's a huge improvement!

I would LOVE any suggestions, critiques, feedback, etc. I'm just getting into learning all the Adobe products, so any design feedback would be especially appreciated, but even just thoughts on the general concept or idea would be great as well.

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