Salmon Creek Journal, 2018 issue: Washington State University Vancouver’s annual art and literary journal

Released April 24, 2018

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Mock-ups and journal layout by Vicki Tolmacheva, cover art adapted from photo by Dale T. Strouse

Publication available at Washington State University, Vancouver campus

Digital version available here

Student Media Advisor: Raul Benjamin Moreno

Editor-in-Chief: Alex Duffield
Web and Layout Manager: Vicki Tolmacheva
Marketing Director: Richard Boneski
Visual Arts Editor: Kaitlyn Slorey
Poetry Editor: Erin Carlie
Prose Editor: Cory Blystone

Salmon Creek Journal, Collective Inspiration

My experience in the graffiti and urban art scene in Denver has taught me two street rules that translate very practically to advertising and brand imaging:

1. Never cover a piece up unless it’s with something better.

2. Pay homage to yesterday and those who’ve influenced you.

When top companies, publications, and platforms change their brand’s image, they dial into the cultural aesthetic of the moment and compete with other brands for market share with dollars and consumers in mind. Even smaller brands tune in to this market frequency, as finely as overhead budget and attention allow.

I was recently offered the EiC position at Salmon Creek Journal, an annual art and literary journal published by Washington State University, Vancouver. While conducting preliminary orientation and on standby to fill the position I’ve been completely reassured of the professionalism on hand at WSU, on the Student Media Board, and on staff at the SCJ.

Carving the choppy waves of my creative flow, I set out to explore an SCJ project that was right around the corner, revamping the journal’s logo. It was clear that the two logos the journal had used most frequently needed to be modernized.

Keeping the two rules in mind, I set out to create something new. Let’s start from the top, down-

Mountain Paint

Mount Hood’s silhouette was chosen to crown the logo, as seen from central campus, 70 miles southeast in Oregon.

Salmon Creek Journal currently showcases work in five categories: poetry, prose, visual arts, graphic arts, and performance arts. I decided to keep the symbolic representations of these art and literature mediums. The shield and dark green primary color were also utilized to keep continuity of identity-


The second logo, although executed with clip-art precision, provided a very suitable foundation for Salmon Creek Journal’s design. I prepared a more detailed rendition-

Book Fish Paint

After eight hours of adaptation and creation, I was able to create a modern logo that was more appropriate for an art and literary publication like WSU Vancouver’s SCJ. The logo borrows from the journal’s historical motifs, Vancouver’s stunning campus, and of course openly sourced images and artwork.

I look very much forward to refining my skills as a curator of art and ideas as well as working to provide the students, staff, faculty, and alumni a modern platform to showcase their skills as we collectively channel our inspiration and effort towards Salmon Creek Journal’s 2018 edition.

Red Green Paint.JPG

The lot

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring this process. Feel free to check out my other Brand Development and Graphic Design projects.

Population Control: Populating Text Fields With Key Phrase Automation Coding

Scenario: You regularly use multiple websites or programs that have common text fields, e.g., first name, last name, address, email. You may be filling out online applications with your personal information or populating people search and social media sites with someone else’s.

Problem: Typing the same information is redundant and time-consuming. It can also be hard to remember someone else’s info between websites and programs.

Solution: Use Auto Hot Key (AHK) scripting and your numeric pad to automate multi-keystroke phrase insertion.

After hitting Google hard for a solution I found Auto Hot Key windows scripting.

The first step was to download AHK from Its official site has an excellent tutorial/ user manual and community forum that mitigates the learning curve and allows you to learn the basics of its coding structure in an hour or so.

Before coding, I decided on a key scheme. The numeric keypad (USB type if you’re a laptop user) was a great spot to plant these functions, as I normally use the number keys on the QWERTY keyboard for numeric input. Toggling the numlock key on the pad allows me to access twenty-seven single-key phrases using only seventeen physical keys.

Mock-up created using my PowerPoint skills-


Numpad key scheme applied with adhesive printer paper-


(The text in the green half of the label is input when “numlock” is active, text in the black half when it’s inactive; the keys with slanted text on both halves are single function and are consistent regardless of numlock status.)

Next, I applied the key-scheme to their respective AHK files. The “NumPad Target” file text was coded to insert a target’s info with numlocked keystrokes. The “NumPad General” file text was coded to insert my personal information with regular keystrokes.


(You need only edit the script with the target’s information once; after that, it’s only a keystroke away from insertion)

Having several AHK files, each designated to an individual target, means that you can switch between inputting any number of targets simply by exiting the current target’s script and running another’s.

Valuing visual representation, like I do, I crafted a desktop wallpaper to keep track of which of my script files are currently active.


A few hours of research and coding led to the creation of a system that allows for one-handed field population.

(This example shows 7 keystrokes creating 62 keystroke actions in 6 seconds)

Hope you enjoyed exploring this process as much as I did. Feel free to email me with any questions or suggestions.