Identity Crisis! — Book Review by Tyler Lentz

IMG_20160126_173123A popular project that I’ve gotten in design classes has been to redesign an existing brand. This is not only a large task, but also a difficult one.  You must create a new brand while managing to keep clients and customer that know the original brand. Brand redesign has to be handled very carefully, as a bad re-branding campaign can cause a business to lose customers, or in some cases fail altogether.

Identity Crisis presents and explores 50 brands that underwent a redesign and saw an improvement in business. Not all of the companies featured are known worldwide (but there is a little information about big-name redesigns in the intro), but the re-branding and its effects are still apparent. Whether you are re-branding a company for class, or trying to re-brand yourself as a designer, you’re sure to find some helpful information and inspiration in this book.

Steal like an Artist: A Review

10801751_551350698335094_3437536682752532696_nOne of the things we are told as creatives is to be original in our work.  Problem is, there is no longer anything left that is original.  This is seen in our movies (The Lion King is basically Hamlet), our music (different lyrics but same messages), and our art (everything after 1970 is Postmodernism, and in some ways reflect past art styles).

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  It actually allows us to experiment and learn from past works as we move forward. Steal like an Artist is full of creative practices and exercises to get your creativity flowing.  These exercises can benefit anyone, not just creative types. I’ve read books like this in the past that had no visuals, and it was both mentally and physically draining. Not so with this book!  It contains lots of pictures and is very visual.  In addition, the reading is light and not overwhelming.


Steal Like an Artist only took me a day to read (and I’m a slow reader). So if you have time, check it out — you may find inspiration hiding in the pages.

Be nice, be creative, and steal like an artist!

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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Konichiwa fellow students! For this post, I’ll be reviewing the movie Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus.

If you don’t know who Diane Arbus is, then let’s start with that. Diane Arbus is a photographer who was known for her black and white portraits. The subject of those portraits? Dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, and circus performers. She was simply known as “the photographer of freaks”.  Despite being unconventional, Diane is one of America’s most famous photographers. However, she tragically committed suicide in 1971. But her legacy lives on in galleries around the world, and in the film Fur.

The movie itself is a fictional depiction of Diane’s life as a wife and as a photographer. In the film, she is joined by Robert Downey Jr., who plays one of her photographic subjects. Their relationship is strange, but also very fascinating. She also acts alongside Ty Burrell, who is famous for his starring role in the popular TV show Modern Family. Both men play a crucial part in Diane’s work, and conflict her emotions in both good and bad ways.

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus at times was incredibly confusing, but it kept my attention and made an impression on me. As a photographer, I found the movie to be visually captivating, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a curiosity for all things offbeat.

I give Fur 4 out of 5 stars.

The Hungry Scientist Handbook Book Review

It’s been said that science can be fun, but did you know it can be tasty too?  The Hungry Scientist Handbook is full of science experiments that are fun, and they are also edible.  Some of the experiments require some uncommon items, so it’s a good idea to choose a project first so you can gather the supplies needed.

One of the more simple projects in the book is from Chapter 12: Edible Origami, which brings traditional origami into the kitchen.  It shows you how to make origami cranes step-by-step.  This can be a trying task for a beginner, but once you figure it out and do it a few times, it becomes quite easy.  Once you have the technique of making the paper cranes down, the book will then ask you to make them using wonton wrappers, which are much more fragile.  After you have made the wonton wrapper cranes you will gently deep-fry each one in vegetable oil using a pair of tongs.  Once the cranes are golden brown around the edges, take them out and set them on a paper towel to cool.  Once the cranes are dry and have cooled, grab one and enjoy!

Theses oorigami cranes are great for a snack, but can also make any Asian-themed meal fun!

Paranorman Movie Review

A few weeks ago I checked out the movie Paranorman, a stop-motion horror/comedy film. The story follows Norman Babcock, an outcast kid who can speak to the dead. When Norman becomes wrapped up in a many-years-old curse, he must rely on his ability to speak with the dead to save his town from devastation.

Paranorman is a surprisingly dark film.  Though it is aimed at children ages 7 to 9, there are many themes and jokes aimed towards an older audience. The story is compelling and keeps the viewer interested until its climactic ending, a few scary jumps here and there, and lots of fun and humor (again sometimes aimed at adults) throughout the film. The film is also very fluid and clean — it’s hard to believe it is a stop-motion film, but as it is from the creators of Coraline this is not surprising.  Overall, Paranorman is a very well-crafted movie and a fun “horror” film to watch with friends or family.

I give Paranorman 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Yum-Yum Bento Box

Konichiwa, fellow students! I want to introduce you to the first book that I ever looked at when becoming a member of the library staff.

Now, I’m not a culinary student. I can’t even cook or bake very well. But this book caught my eye immediately. Not just because it’s adorable and colorful. And not just because it made me incredibly hungry, but because it made me feel nostalgic.

Yum-Yum Bento Box is a recipe book, to put it simply. These neatly made boxes are commonly found in Japan. In 2010 and then again in 2011, I was lucky enough to visit the country myself. It was a wonderful and eye opening experience, to say the least. But one of my fondest memories from my journey to the Land of the Rising Sun was the food, and more specifically, the bento boxes. They are truly a work of art.

If you’re someone, like myself, who is drawn to food shaped like penguins and teddy bears… then I would definitely recommend this book.

Hours for Friday, February 22

Our campus will be observing President’s Day on Friday, February 22.  The library will be closed on Friday.  We will be open Saturday, February 23 during our regular hours of 9am-3pm.

Library Hours — Thanksgiving Break

The library will be closed November 22-25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will re-open Monday, November 26.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Library Hours for Wednesday, October 31

Please note that the library will be closing at 6pm on Wednesday, October 31. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Have a creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky Halloween!