Last week we were invited to attend the CSAD degree show for Graphic Communication and any other subject in the university. In the exhibition we had the chance to talk to the third years’ about their work and the process they went through creating their pieces. I really enjoyed being able to see the third years’ work to get a better idea of what I’ll be creating in two years time. I was really impressed by how professional the work looked and it made me really excited for my future within design.
The three pieces of work that really impressed me were the work by Zuzanna El Tanbouli: Silky Way, Exposing Deviance by Jessica Zschorn and Printed Words by Callum Richards.
Zuzanna’s work impressed me because you can tell she had a clear idea of what she wanted to create so therefore all of her pieces compliment each other really successfully. I thought her imagery was really strong and gave a sense of culture and location, an interesting take on a unique tour guide. I really liked how she used Japanese symbols within her work because it made it seem quite personal and unique.
The second piece of work that caught my attention was Exposing Deviance by Jessica Zschorn. I thought the piece was very unique and the bold colours and quirky imagery definitely caught my attention. I think that the layout works really well with the chosen subject and it creates a balance between all of the vibrant colours. Her imagery works really well to draw you in to the piece and this definitely made me consider how important it is to create a piece that’s unique and that stands out.
Zuzanna El Tanbouli: Silky Way
Jessica Zschorn: Exposing Deviance
In contrast to the projects above, Callum Richards took a different approach to his Printed Words piece. Using a smaller colour palate he has created a very clear and sophisticated looking piece of work. The quality of the images really stood out to me as they work well with the nature of the subject.
After our group tutorial on Tuesday, I left with an open mind and some new angles I could take in my project. We started by discussing the content of the article and how we could create images using the provided information. However I decided that I wanted to take a different approach and create some abstract and unusual images, to draw the reader’s attention and make them want to read the article to understand my images.
My first idea was to have black and white images of a person holding different objects covering her face. After some consideration I decided that this wasn’t experimental enough for what I wanted to create, because the images were plain and not very exciting!
In the discussion we talked about our opinions on the article and if we thought that the protagonist was telling the truth or not. This wasn’t something that had crossed my mind whilst reading the article, but after discussing how professionals were confused about the condition I was then inspired.
The next idea I had was to create a feminine and glamorous take for the designs and image. I could construct the article so that the reader has to decide if Anna Lyndsey is telling the truth or faking it for publicity. I had an idea to name the article, ‘True or False?’ so that instantly the reader is intrigued to read and develop their opinion. I would then use quirky and feminine images to support my ideas. To create the images I could experiment with collage and floral imagery.
To support this idea I decided to do some designer research that I could use as inspiration. One of the designers I found was Kenya Vyguzov, a collage artist based in Russia. He is known for expressing himself through mixed media collage and recording the reactions of his personality by the world surrounding him.
As I continued to research different ideas and artists I came across the work of Amy Friend, who explores the relationship between what is visible and non-visible. The artist employs the tools of photography to “re-use” light, allowing it to shine through the holes. Taking the content of the article into consideration I then had the idea of using natural light within my images, by cutting out shapes within my photography pieces. I could also place text behind the imagery so that it shows through the holes, creating a connection between all the pages. As well as this I could experiment with using different coloured paper so that the colour will show through the holes.
I decided to do some research into typographic posters, to see if I could incorporate image and type. The posters that caught my attention were the ones below by Jens Marklund, a Swedish Graphic Designer based in New York. To create the posters he has taken Helvetica Medium and stretched it by hand using a scanner. He said that this gives his work an “organic result”. I really like how he’s used type and image together, due to the fact he’s taken a different approach in increasing the space on each page.
This project inspired me to create my own pieces of “organic” type, and how I could possibly incorporate my own images. I could possibly create some dramatic, Black and White images of a person and experiment with using streaks of light over their faces. This will then link in to the idea of how Anna Lyndsey is hidden in the dark/ shadows, and her desire to get out into the light.
My last idea was to use patterns instead of images, they could be the same patterns throughout or patterns of objects relating to the article. The images below are from two unknown artists, however I really liked the different patterns and shapes created in the images. The first image below made me think of how I could create an image from using print, and decorating the image with text depending on which layout I decide to use. The second image reminded me of a light bulb or the effect fire/ heat has on metal pans. This could be an interesting idea for my imagery as the content of the article is based around her condition and how it can sometimes cause her skin to experience a burning sensation.
After gathering my editorial design research as inspiration, I created 15 layout designs to use in my project. I have done a variety of 3 double page spreads and 2 double page spreads with 2 single pages. With every layout I have made sure that there is enough negative space available, this keeps enough room for the text and images to be clear and effective. I have also experimented with different ways I could place the text, images, page sizes and columns.
The first layout is of a 2 double page spread and 2 single pages. Three of the pages will have an image covering the whole page, decorated by a quote which will be placed in the centre of each page. I have decided to use 3 columns for this layout and have all the text placed within the middle column to show consistency. However this article includes a lot of important information, so this type of layout will restrict the amount of text I can place on each page. If I was to use this layout I would have to consider changing the structure of the article.
The second layout is an example of a 3 double page spread, again using 3 columns. Different to the first layout it will include more space for information and leave enough room for my images. On each page there is a lot of negative space left to experiment with, including space around the images for added text or quotations. However this layout is really simple, for this project I want to be as experimental as possible. The third layout again is very simple.
Different to the previous designs, for the fourth layout, I have decided to experiment with having smaller pages within booklet. This design will include three pages of images, with text placed on top. It will also include three pages of information, placed within columns of 3. Similar to this the fifth layout will have four smaller pages, two of them will have a shared image, and the others will include information.
The next layout is very simple and very clear. The 3 double page spread will include four pages of image, some will have quotes or text overlapping and the last page will have 3 columns of text. However, similar to the first layout I might not be able to place all of the information on the page, so I would have to deconstruct the article even more. Taking his into consideration, I then created another layout ( layout 7). The 2 double page spread and two single pages will have 3 columns, however two of the pages will be filled with text, leaving the other pages for images and important quotations.
The eighth layout is very abstract in my opinion, it includes many different layers and quirky ideas. Similar to the others It has 3 columns, on the first page the text, heading and image will be placed within the middle column. The second page will have three columns full of text and then the third will only use the middle. I will then have one whole page of image followed two other images on the next page. Any negative space left in this layout will be used for placing quotations in interesting ways. Layout nine is similar to this.
Ten and Eleven are two of my favourite layouts. They both include smaller pages, which breaks up the booklet, making it more fun and abstract. I have decided to use 3 columns so that I am able to get more information on a smaller amount pages, so that I have more room for images and quotations.
The layouts on this page are all very similar, they will allow me to include a lot of text and images to each page. What I like most about the designs on this page is the use of using a line across the page, this will help me place all the information below it, to create negative space on the top of each page.
I will now go on to do some further research into the topic of my article and possibly consider deconstructing the text even more, so that I can then decide on which layout will work best for this project.
For our next project we will be developing a piece of editorial design surrounding our chosen article, using the skills learnt over the two previous terms. I have decided to use the ‘A Decade lived in the dark’ article, because straight away I could start to imagine different ways I could create my design/ layout and what type of images I could use within the project.
Editorial Design Research
Below are examples of five different editorial designs, which I have decided to discuss and use as inspiration for my next project.
The design above caught my eye straight way, I thought that this type of style would be interesting for my project. The simplicity of this layout and the contrast between the bold colours draw you in to this piece. What is especially of interest about this design is how they were able to place a large amount of text on each page, without making the design look busy. They have placed the text abstractly on each page using columns, in some places they have layered the writing. The design will work well for my piece due to the amount of information it will allow me to enter without jeopardising the aesthetics of my design. On the other hand, I would like to include more photographs within my design, as the design above tends to focus more on the text.
For this project I want to experiment with different sizes and see how I could make the layouts more interesting. This editorial design is a perfect example of a quirky design layout, photography, typography and text. The design stood out to me straight away especially the use of delicate colours and abstract images. The difference in page sizes definitely stands out and in my opinion it makes the magazine more fun and interactive, this is something I would like to use within my project.
The main element of my new project will be photography and the layout above will allow me to incorporate this in my work, as there is a number of negative space which makes the images more visible. However this design is restrictive and I will need to be creative when considering layout and adding text.
Out of all the designs, this layout caught my eye the most because of its strong photography, basic layout and unique type. For my article I think that using strong images is an important element, to be able to communicate its content through image. What I find most interesting about the images in this piece is that they’re not all visible, they have created different patterns using the images. They have left plenty of negative space on each page so that the images don’t take any attention away from the text itself, for this project I need to make sure that the text is as important as the images.
I chose this editorial design because it’s different to the others above. Instead of using colour, they have kept a minimal colour palate and keeping the design simple and fresh. What stands out most to me about this design is how they have used abstract images, all in black and white to match the text. Similar to the other layouts they have also decided to layer the text over the images, and I think that this works really well. The image have been faded slightly so that the text is more visible, as well as this they have left plenty of negative space on the other pages so that when the designs are put together the pages don’t look too busy.
In today’s afterlife session, we had a talk by Elbow Grease Magazine who informed us about their work, discussed how they started out as a company and how they plan to expand their business. We were introduced to Tom Sydenham- Art / Creative Director, Josh Gobbatiss – Editor/ Writer and Jon Sinfield – Business Manager. Tom began by discussing how he wanted to create a magazine that communicated a connection between business and art. He started working for a Science Magazine, however he found it difficult to relate to the content, so this inspired him to create something that he could relate to and show off his work to its full potential.
He created a new magazine and he told us that we should always take opportunities and to know when to take advantage of them. To make the magazine really effective he needed a good writer to help with the different articles, so he asked Josh to step in as his Editor/ Writer. He also told us that he asked different Illustrators to come up with their own designs on some of the pages. This lead him to advise us how important it is to work collaboratively because others have different qualities that they can bring to your work.
“Having a strong grid and two beautiful typefaces”
The main purpose of this magazine is that they didn’t want it to be a valuable item, they wanted it to look creative but also communicate how this is a magazine you can “roll up and stick in your back pocket”. The title needed to be playful but also fit the magazine’s image, so they came up with the name ‘Elbow Grease‘ because it was something that everyone could relate to.
Tom created a video to promote the magazine and got his friends to help. Even though he was on a low-budget and the video isn’t of the the best quality, he has been successful in communicating the magazine’s purpose.
“Make use of your resources”
They told us that it is important to always make use of your resources, especially if you’re working on a low-budget. Always ask your friends or people you know to help you with a project or give you advice, because everyone has a different viewpoint that they can share with you. Following this. their newest member Jon, who is their Business Manager gave us a brief talk on the business side of the project and how important it is to get noticed!
Whenever you are starting a project like this, he told us to ask ourselves; Can you make money? What’s your budget? Do you have knowledge of the market? who’s your target audience? and where do you fit in?
Jon discussed how important it is to organise different events to get your name out there or go to different stores/cafe’s and ask if they will sell your work. They told us how they asked different places if they could host events, to be able to get everyone in the room together, this way they were able to gain feedback from different people with creative backgrounds and even some without.
I really enjoyed listening to the discussion today and I feel like I have learnt a lot about the business side of a project, as this isn’t a topic I know much about. They have taught me how important it is to get involved whilst you’re starting out in the creative industry because this way you can show people what you’re capable of and you are able to get your work noticed. They have also opened my eyes to the possibility that you may fail doing a project and how I should learn how to prevent it if it were to happen.
I was privileged to have attended a talk on Typography by the company Dalton Maag. We were introduced to Bruno Maag and Tom Foley who talked about some important facts about their lives and their passion for Type. Bruno Maag is originally from Switzerland who had an apprenticeship as a typesetter for the Tages Anzeiger, Switzerland’s largest daily paper, before becoming chairman of his own company ‘Dalton Maag’. Tom Foley studied Graphic Design at Limerick University, Ireland, before going to complete a Masters in the subject at Central Saint Martins, London. Foley now works for Dalton Maag as a Creative Director.
Bruno began the talk by giving a brief history of where Type originated and how over time type has been changed and modified to different cultures. I found this to be very interesting and it was clear that Bruno was very passionate about this subject. However what I found to be most interesting was the core of their work, their Custom Fonts, their work on Logo Refinement, Library Fonts and Font Modification.
They started by discussing their work for the company ‘Lush’, and the process behind creating a handmade typeface. Lush hosted a writing workshop and tested out many different handwritings to see which one worked best for that company. Once they had the type they preferred, they asked Dalton Maag to digitalize and refine the typeface so that it would show on their websites and any other online use. Dalton Maag succeeded to create this unique typeface so that their brand identity is recognised globally.
They then went on to discuss their work with Intel, and how they went through a process of re-branding over four years. When Tom first got the project it was clear that the company’s identity was rather dated, so he knew straight away that it needed to be more consumer friendly. Using their research strategy, Ideation, Design Concept, Concept refinement and Execution they started on the project. After learning about the design strategy behind each typeface, I was completely mesmerised. For every typeface they have not only considered the style, but the file size, Kerning, Hinting, how it would look on different forms of technology and even how it would look in different languages. They must also consider that if they make one simple mistake it could cost them a lot of money to fix.
Bruno and Tom finished their talk with some important advice that you should always consider before starting a project or working with a consumer. Even though I learnt a lot from the points, the one that influenced me most was, to always be aware of your target audience. This is something that I was very much aware of throughout my most recent project whilst creating a campaign for young children. You also need to consider different cultures, especially within Typography, because some countries have different rules of practice for what they can or cannot use.
I have definitely been inspired by Bruno and Tom, their clear sense of passion for the subject made it even more worthwhile. I now have a better understanding of what it takes to create different typefaces and how much work, time and effort has been put into the creative process. I feel like I have a whole new perspective on how I see type being used for different brands, and how changing the font of a company can give it a whole new look!
As a part of our Design as Activism brief we were asked to have a piece of digital and printed ephemera. We decided to brainstorm a couple of ideas that would correspond well with our animation. We came up with the idea to create an app that would help children understand the effects of smoking and possibly a comic strip or pack of cards. We are going to create the plan for an app, show it’s possibilities and how it will help children understand the effects of smoking. We will also use the comic strip or cards to communicate different facts.
One of my group members decided to create a poster for our app to help us get an idea of what its cover would look like. However due to lack of communication between the group we are unclear as to how the idea behind the app will turn out, but the more we meet up as a group we will be able to discuss and develop our different ideas. On the other hand we have discussed via social media that our app would be called ‘Tarnish’, which we thought was quite quirky and went well with what we are trying to communicate. However the more we discussed the name it became clear that we weren’t really considering our target audience, as ‘Tarnish’ might be difficult for this particular age group to understand. I think that the poster is visually pleasing and definitely gives you the idea that this is an app made for children. However I do think that we need to discuss and sketch some more ideas as a group so that we aren’t rushing into using just one design.
Another name which we decided on was ‘ButtHeads’. We thought that it went well with our project and left us plenty of ways to play around with the logo, it’s entertaining, and will definitely be more appealing to children.
After meeting up on Friday we decided to do some research into children’s comic strips and how we could go about creating one that would communicate the dangers of smoking to children. We thought that this would be a fun and educational way to communicate our message. We also discussed the possibility of creating a comic that could be coloured in by children, so that they are able to gain a better understanding of why they shouldn’t smoke.
One of my group members found a humorous comic that we believed went really well with what we are hoping to create. The company have created a funny break up scenario using the figures from Ikea’s instructions. I really like the simplicity of this poster and believe that this type of style would work really well with our animated characters.
I was then inspired to create a set of cards, that could be given out to children. The cards would have the outline of each character from the animation and would each have a fact about how smoking affects the body. As a group we have decided that I will start creating the cards. I have decided to leave the characters without any colour so that children would be able to colour them in. I am also going to find facts about the organs and place them on the back of each card, for example if I have the ‘lung’ character on the front, there will be a fact about how smoking affects your lungs written on the back.
After taking our characters from the animation and re-creating them so only the outlines were visible, I then did some further research into the effects of smoking on the body. I have picked the facts that I thought children would find most interesting and simplified the language so that children have a better chance of understanding its content.
Throughout this project we have decided to use the Dalton Maag font, ‘Objeckiv Mk2’ in Bold. We have used this font at the start of our Animation and then throughout our printed ephemera. I think that this typeface works really well with this project because it’s simple and bold, which makes it easy to read. Keeping in mind that our target audience is children around the age of 9 and 10 we want to keep everything as simple as possible so we can successfully communicate our message.
Overall I am very happy with how the cards have been designed. I believe I have incorporated my group’s ideas and made sure that the cards are simple, and communicate our facts in a clear and fun way. I am also happy with the amount of negative space that is left on the cards, I think that this will help the children to focus on the facts and hopefully understand their content. However I do still have time to improve the cards, possibly correcting some type layout errors so that they all look the same and are typographically pleasing. We have also decided to include the download link for our app on each card, so that every part of our project links together in some way.
Instead of creating factual cards we have decided to turn them into an interactive card game, suitable for our target audience (children age 7-10). The point of the game is to match up all of the coloured cards to reveal the fact about that organ after being affected by smoking. On Photoshop I designed the shape and colour of the cards, and split each set into different colours. As well as changing the game we have decided to change the content. I have simplified the text even more so that all of the facts are communicated clearly and at the end of every fact I have included our project name, “Don’t be a butt head!”.
I have also created a set of orange cards that will represent the cigarette characters, these will be used in the game to show how the cigarettes can affect that particular organ. I started off by using a light orange colour so that it went with the rest of the set, however after discussing with the group we decided it would be best to use darker orange to make the cigarette stand out and show that it’s bad. On every card I have used a light gradient to make the different illustrations stand out. However on the darker set of cards I decided to use a dark gradient to make it obvious that the cigarette is bad!
After creating the cards and the second piece of ephemera, I decided it would be necessary to create a card that would be a front cover to the set. I decided to use the same layout that shows when you open our app so that there is a clear connection to each piece of our ephemera.