French from Meaghan Gallagher on Vimeo.

For my project, I wanted to talk about my passion for the French language. For the narrative portion, I am choosing to read a French poem by Charles Baudelaire entitled “Le Chat,” or “The Cat.” I am a French major here at Roger Williams University and I absolutely love studying French. Although I may not always have the time to truly dedicate my life to it, I do love the language. Charles Baudelaire wrote amazing poetry during the Romantic Era and I wanted to share it with you so that you too can hear it. Instead of just simply stating how much I love French, I have decided to show you the language. My accent is pretty bad now, but hopefully by the end of my years at this school, I will be somewhat fluent in the language.

The images are mostly of cats. Although it may look like my passion is “cats,” this is because the poem is entitled “Le Chat,” or “The Cat.” I found most of my images on Flickr and Tumblr. I searched “black cat,” because that is of what the poem reminded me. We read this poem in one of my French classes this semester and I placed the images in order of what each line means in the poem. For example, for one line I would say, “Retiens les griffes de tes pattes,” which means “Take back the claws from your feet,” and there would be a picture of a cat’s claws. “Laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux” has a picture of cat’s eyes (yeux = eyes). I really enjoyed making the narration line up with what the pictures displayed. The beginning images just show French things, such as the Eiffel Tower, French toast, or the stereotypical French man (in finger form). These images just put the viewer into a “French mood.”

Other than my narration of the poem, I have underlying classical music (Camille Saint-Saens “Aquarium” from the Carnival of Animals). At the end of the music and narration, I also have several cat meow sounds. All of these sounds I got from I used the program Audacity to insert, record, and edit all of my sound. I find that this program is easiest to use when it comes to editing audio.

I found iMovie typically easy to drag media into the program and fit in with the appropriate image. I did not really get stuck many times throughout the project. At first when I dragged a sound file into the movie, it would override the background music that I wanted to play. I was getting frustrated as this kept happening each time I tried. Eventually I figured out that the sound file had to touch the picture for it to work properly.

Although I truly hate the sound of my voice, I really like how this project turned out. If I had to pick of what I am most proud, I guess I would have to say how the music and narration follow almost exactly as the pictures move. The overall project came out better than I anticipated and I am quite pleased with it.

Bind-in Blow-in Card

For the bind-in blow-in card, I actually used the program Illustrator. I found it was much easier to use than InDesign or Quark. I also incorporated the use of Photoshop to help with the images. the pink side of the card, I actually used an image from online, since it was very difficult to find the exact font for the “People” logo. For the information fill in part of the card, I used the generic Arial font. The colored fonts were Garamond, including the “Your Ultimate Celebrity Style Shopping Guide” slogan. The “BEST DEAL” with the arrow is in Bradley Hand ITC. This best matched the font on the card. I could not, however, get the font to be in the same exact position as it is on the card. The stylist of the card has it strangely angled and I could not figure out how to do it. I used most kerning on the front, mailing side of the card. I had to space out the random lines all over the front so they were not too far away from each other or too close.

The most challenging was trying to figure out how to make the tick marks on the bottom. It was very tedious going back and forth and getting the spacing right. I tried using vertical text boxes at first and making dash marks, but that did not work out so well. It took a while to figure this out and get the spacing just right, but it looks good to me.

I could not figure out how to make the “only $1.79 per issue” circle with Illustrator or Photoshop. I could not seem to find a circle shape to make this part of the card. After much frustration on that, I ended up using a simple Paint program to make a circle and the outline. I don’t know why I could not figure this out, but eventually it got done. If I had more time, I probably could have figured it out with a better program than this one.

Of the whole card, I really love the pink bordered side. It looks so much like the actual card. I don’t necessarily have a particular part that I like better than the rest. I just like that I could make it look like the actual thing.

Brochure: Le Paradis Perdu

For my portion of the project, I created the inside panels of the brochure for “Le Paradis Perdu.” For the project, Jen and I created a new traveling agency type business where customers would be taken on a guided tour through the hidden parts of different cities in France. We wanted to create this “lost paradise” (paradis perdu) feeling of escaping to a relaxing, yet adventurous getaway to southern France.

In our design, Jen and I made most of the decisions together on both sets of panels for the brochure. Since we created a new business rather than just using a pre-existing one, we kind of had to create everything together. First came deciding on the various places that the travelers would like to see on their vacations. After a long dispute, we finally settled on five places in southern France. The pictures we chose for the brochure, I think, create a sense of mystery and intrigue on the front panels. On the inside panels, the photos show more of the vacation and getaway aspects of the voyage. I also decided to put the headlines in French to give it that foreign and exotic atmosphere without losing the American tourist aspect of vacation.

With InDesign, I found it challenging at first, obviously to learn the program. I found it was much easier and more useful than Quark. This program can do so much more. I had some issues with the background gradient for some time. I was trying to create a background in InDesign, but that did not turn out so well. So I then decided to create a gradient on the background of a PowerPoint slide, since I know that program very well. I then took a screen shot of the slide and put the background into InDesign as an image.

For the entire brochure, I really like the custom bullets that Jen and I made as the Fleur de Lys. I also really like the contrast between the background color and the photos. The color is nice and bright, which compliments nicely with the dark colors of the photos. I really like the photos that we chose for the brochure as well. The cover picture displays a street alleyway that makes people want to explore further into the “lost paradise.” I feel like it perfectly exemplifies our business.