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This is a photogarph of nine objects: a roll of colored pencils, a t-shirt that says "trend setter" with a bar graph, a quilting ruler, a planner, a mouse and mousepad, an "I heart PSU" sticker, a calculator, graph paper and markers, and a letter board that reads "The brain doesn't pay attention to boring things. J. Medina." "Lori Palen" is written at the top of the photo. "Science meets Design" is written at the bottom of the photo.

School’s Out for Summer (Forever?)

When I finished by PhD in 2008, I’m pretty sure that I swore off being a student for the rest of my life.

Flash forward to a couple of years ago, when I was starting to conceptualize Data Soapbox. I thought about the types of skills I might need to build, and I landed on graphic design. Consequently…

I’ve been a student in Wake Technical Community College‘s graphic design program since spring 2020. Yesterday, I turned in the LAST ASSIGNMENT for my Certificate in Graphic Design. Woo hoo!

There have been some definite themes in my graphic design work. One of those themes is data visualization. In honor of being done (for now) with school, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of my graphic design projects.

My very first project was to create a magazine collage self portrait. My self-portrait represents the merging of my interests in art/crafts and science. The face in the middle is a Gestalt of data visualizations.

This is a magazine collage. On the left are craft-related images, like yarn, quilts, and a garment on a dress form. On the right, are science-related words like "understanding," "data." and "discover." In the middle are data visualizations that, together, comprize a face shape.

Later in my first semester, we had to create a composition that manipulated scale. Although most of my classmates used more traditional illustration techniques, I went with one of my typical media: report layout!

This is a page from a report. There are two columns of text and three images. The images are graphs with a miniature person layered on top.

This past semester, we created sci-fi movie posters. Sci-fi is *not* my favorite genre, so I decided to do a completely geeky parody.

This is a sci-fi movie poster. The top has the tagline, "Sometimes assumptions get violated." There is a line graph with images of five screaming people. The title of the movie is "Abnormal Distribution."

And then my very last project was to create a self-promotion postcard using a photo of self-representative objects. (Shout out to the awesome t-shirt by Ann K. Emery, as well as Penn State’s Berkey Creamery.)

This is a photogarph of nine objects: a roll of colored pencils, a t-shirt that says "trend setter" with a bar graph, a quilting ruler, a planner, a mouse and mousepad, an "I heart PSU" sticker, a calculator, graph paper and markers, and a letter board that reads "The brain doesn't pay attention to boring things. J. Medina." "Lori Palen" is written at the top of the photo. "Science meets Design" is written at the bottom of the photo.

Happy summer, students everywhere!

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