AYSC – Reflection

I was apprehensive about starting the AYSC challenge over the 5 weeks as I had never done product design before, however I was excited to start. In the first week I was introduced to subjects such as ergonomics and anthropometrics, I found these to be quite difficult as I have never created work in 3D before. We were given partners, from different subject areas, with whom we would be creating the chair.. We were introduced to our client, the Ceramics lecturer,  Matt Thompson, who we interviewed to get a better idea of his interests. The main interests we discovered were that he enjoys cycling and other outdoor activities, his favourite colour is  blue and we found  that his children are very important to him. Using this information we started designing our chair.

I  have definitely learnt various new skills from this project. Within Graphic Design I am used to designing work in 2D so starting to think in 3D was a challenge. However after having help from some product design students I started to become more confident in the subject. I enjoyed putting the chair together however at some points I did feel slightly helpless when it came to creating the parts. However I was confident in my partner and he was very helpful explaining how everything worked.

Overall we were very happy with the chair when It was completed. We were able to test it to discover that it was more comfortable than it looked! I am very happy with how the tubes work to hold your weight, whilst also giving a slight element of surprise as you sit on it. I am happy with the chair’s unique appearance and it looks exactly like we had imagined. On the other hand if we were able to re-create the chair we would have made it slightly bigger, as it was cut slightly smaller than we had hoped. As well a this we could have experimented with pulling the inner tubes so that they were tighter and more consistent, so that it’s slightly more comfortable on your lower back.

Within my subject area I am used to working with others to create my work, so I was happy working collaboratively. It was interesting to see how others work in their subject, for example how their work is more hands-on whereas my work as a Graphic Designer is slightly more computerised.  Personally I thought that my partner and myself worked together really well as we had plenty of ideas to share and got things done fairly quickly. At first I found it difficult to incorporate my graphic design skills into the work, however I was able to come up with some ideas that would help the appearance of the chair. James, being the product designer definitely took on the role of making sure everything worked as it should.

I have learnt many new skills over the past five weeks, such as woodwork, using tools, developed my communication skills, working under pressure and time management. I will be able to use these skills in my future projects.




My constellation was ‘The Meshwork of Objects’ with Jacqui Knight. I was apprehensive but also curious to start. In the first session we briefly discussed what we were going to be learning over the following weeks. We had an induction to ‘The meshwork of objects’,  Transdisciplinarity perspective and our relationship with objects, subjects and ‘Thingness’.

In the second session we discussed, “What is Structural Materialist Film?”. In the session our main focus was ‘exploding the black box of cinema’ where we  looked at examples of structural materialist films that point to film as material and create handmade films to understand the ‘thinglyness’ of film, it’s ontology and also how the apparatus works together with the film material to provide an interpretation of the objects. As well as this we experimented with how the apparatus changes our perceptions of objects and what it means for scientific experiments or objective knowledge.

Before this session I had no understanding or knowledge of materialist/ structural film’s. I learnt that the films are usually short, experimental and Non- illusionist. They don’t usually document a narrative or follow a set of actions and usually show relations between segments, from what the camera is aimed at and the way that ‘image’ is presented. As well as this I learnt that you also get a sense of the camera person, where the camera becomes an extension of the body, as if you’re watching from the camera man’s perspective.

Similar to my ‘New Materialism’ constellation sessions with Dr Martin Woodward, it was interesting to see how objects within film also become extensions of your body. It reminded me of the extract from Pallasmaa’s ‘The Working Hand’ which explains that, a painter paints by the means of the mind rather than the brush as a physical object. Throughout the session, my knowledge and understanding of how the object becomes a part of our body, and shapes our creative practice.

I also learnt how you can identify a materialist film by looking at examples of work such as ‘Berlin Horse, by Malcolm Le Grice, 1970‘ where you see a film of horses becoming more and more distorted throughout the clip. I believe that the films make you feel rather confused, similar to ‘Fluxus’, short films with moving images with distorted and annoying sound effects. It was interesting to see how you can identify structural films by the imperfections, usually the creator’s aren’t interested in removing scratches because it shows the process of the film going through a projector. They’re also not interested in taking out grain, dust and hair that get stuck in the emulsion.

I enjoyed this session as I learnt about a topic I had never come across before. With Graphic Design I usually focus on topics surrounding my subject so it was interesting to learn something about a subject outside my course. I’m not usually drawn to film, as I have never had the chance to experiment with the equipment or materials so It was exciting to be able to try something new. I definitely felt as if I learnt a new set of skills from this session which I am excited to bring into my work as a graphic designer, such as experimenting with using handmade films in some of my future projects.

Another session that inspired me was based in Cardiff Museum, where we were put into groups and told to wander around the museum and find an object/ artwork that stood out to us and inspired us. We were told to discuss how the object had been presented and what inspired us to choose it. I enjoyed this session as I believe it related to graphic communication, understanding how to place objects so that they provide an experience for the viewer, similar to how as a graphic designer you must design your work so that it suits your client.

It was interesting to see how you as an individual can develop an emotional attachment to a particular object, where others might not have, for example, the background and previous experiences, leading the individual to develop their own personal interest. As we discovered the space I became aware that my fellow peers had different opinions on the objects/ artworks which reflected their practice.

The two sessions inspired me to think about how objects are presented within exhibition spaces and the relationship between the creator and the viewer, which I will discuss in my formative essay.  I will be discussing how objects are presented and curated so that they provide an experience for the viewers. As well as this I will be discussing examples of exhibition spaces and objects that have been presented in creative and interesting ways, the physiology behind exhibition spaces/ colour and commercial/ online spaces.

This constellation has not only been useful, but it’s inspired me to consider other subjects outside my course. It has helped me within my practice to think about the way I create and to widen my research topics. The sessions have definitely inspired me to think ‘outside the box’ when starting on projects and how my piece of work affects others. I will definitely be applying this to my work in the future. I will explore the many ways I could include film within my practice and consider how the objects we use become an extension of the body.  I am now considering how others go about presenting their work and how I could use inspiration from others so that my work can be presented in a better way.

Introduction to branding

Last Tuesday was our first day back at university so we were introduced to what we would be doing over the next couple of weeks. We started by discussing what makes a good brand and how it can be useful to evolve a brand so that its more appealing to the customer. Within this discussion I learnt how it’s important to consider what impression you want to make on the customer and how your brand appeals to your target audience. Another important point to consider was the practicalities of developing a brand, again finding a way to perceive the brand so  that it appeals to the target audience.

To get a better understanding of how branding for a particular target audience works, we were given a page full of different ‘lip balm’ packaging from existing brands. Our task was to explore their brand values. We had to find the unique selling points within the product which indicated who was the target audience, for example one packaging was designed with bright colours and a swirly typeface which showed that it’s target audience was most probably for younger people. However another example was a ‘dr organic’ Pomegranate lip barm. It was clear that the company had very different brand values to the previous balm, this brand wanted to show how it’s product was created with antioxidant properties of ‘Organic pomegranate’ and that their balm was moisturising and soothing. Looking at the brand values shows how the ‘dr organic’ balm appeals to a much older target audience, for people who want a more luxurious and reliable product.

We then moved on to looking at the company ‘easy’ and how their brand identity works to engage their customers. The use of the colour orange was defiantly a big part of how people recognise the company and they have used this by setting their logo on multiple platforms such as easy jet, easy hotels, easy boats, cars and buses, easy terminals and even easy pizza!

Our task was, in groups of 3, to choose an example brand and present its visuals on an A3 sheet. for this task I worked with Ellie and Maris and as a group we decided to base our research on the company Virgin media. Our general knowledge of ‘Virgin’ as a brand was that it has many different platforms and that it’s reliable and affordable. Similar to the company ‘easy’ Virgin uses the colour red as one of its main brand values. The company is also recognised by its large ‘V’ in the logo.

After collecting a handful of images showing the brands visual identity ( shown below), we learnt how the brand makes you consider its different qualities. As a group we decided that the values included being high quality, reliable and customer friendly because of the sponsoring of ‘V festival’.


From this I have learnt how important it is to consider the common themes behind each brand and their power over the customer. It’s important to consider what type of impression you want to make on your target audience so that it gives a sense of the brands personality.



Neil Hubbard – Heatherwick Studio

On Friday we had the privilege to listen to Neil Hubbard from Heatherwick Studio discuss the projects his company has completed or is currently undertaking. He also spoke about his background and how he got to where he is today. The Company is based in King’s Cross, London and is a made up from a team of 200 Architects, Designers and Makers. He definitely has a clear passion for what he does within the company, from designing outstanding architectural buildings to designing the Olympic Cauldron in 2012.

“Create the problems and then solve them”

throughout his talk he gave us many key points to consider whilst working for any company, as well as discussing his most popular projects. I found the talk to be very inspiring and made me consider the amount of work and research that is put into the different projects.

The project that stood out to me most was the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, based in Laverstoke. The Company was given the task of creating a new distillery in the South of England, they found it challenging as many of the local people were concerned about keeping the building’s heritage. The company wanted to use the project to show how the distillery process worked, so they came up with the idea of developing two glasshouses attached to the building, one of them would be tropical and the other Mediterranean. The heat from the distillery would be then used to create the hot conditions within the glasshouses. I found the design process to be very interesting, he showed us a variety of different styles of how they wanted the glasshouses to look before finding the one that suited it perfectly. The site also straddled  the River Test, so they made plans so that the new glasshouses would be placed in the river.

“The brief is all the inspiration you need”

After hearing about the design process for  this project it made me think about how much detail the company takes into consideration whilst designing different things and how they adapt the brief slightly to make it more interactive, exciting and unforgettable.

Another project that really stood out to me was the copper cauldron used in the 2012 Olympics. They had looked at all the cauldrons created in the previous years and none of them really stood out, it was more about how it was going to be lit up. So the Company wanted to create something bigger and better that people would remember for years to come. They  needed to create something that would represent all countries coming together in unity. They decided to create copper petals, each engraved with the name of the country it represented and the petals would all be lit up individually and  rise until all of the petals are brought to the centre.

Detail was definitely one of the main things used to create the cauldron, all the pieces were considered and used to represent, making this piece unforgettable and outstanding. Therefore I have learnt the importance of knowing what and who you’re creating for and how important it is to create something unforgettable so that you can guarantee that people will remember you!


  • Read the brief OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
  • Find new from the old
  • Set up the problem and find the solution
  • Know your context
  • Make it real
  • The importance of making is to find the idea!

I really enjoyed listening to Hubbard’s talk and really inspired me to think that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Heatherwick Studios have created so many incredible projects, some that you might think are impossible. I have learnt that if you share your ideas, no matter how big or small and work effectively with others then there is no limit to what you can create!


Ephemera Project

Task 1 – Text Block

This morning we had three different tasks to complete, but first we had a brief recap on the different terms to use in our work. For the first task we were given a piece of text which we then had to set into a paragraph taking into consideration the leading, kerning, tracking, justification and rag. This was a very simple but interesting task as it made you consider the different elements to make a perfectly structured paragraph. From the task I learnt that it is important to consider the line length, which is the maximum length of a single line of text before the next word in a sentence ‘wraps’ onto the next line underneath. I am happy with the spacing between each sentence, however the line length is slightly untidy as some of the sentences are longer than others. This causes the paragraph to look uneven, and whilst reading the text it is a fact that the eyes can only focus on a line of text for so long before the fatigue kicks in and destroys the reading process.

Examples of different layouts 

Task 2 – Layout/Editorial pt.1

The second task today was to create four different layouts using the magazines or newspapers. We had to create two portrait and landscape symmetrical layouts and two portrait and landscape asymmetrical layouts. However due to lack time we only got to do three of these layouts.

I started by cutting out a heading, sub heading, an image, and a block of text from the newspaper provided. I then decided to experiment with the different layouts, once I was happy with the layout I would then glue it to the A4 paper, taking into consideration that the elements can overlap.

The first image below is an example of an asymmetrical portrait layout. All of the elements are staggered on one side of the page. I decided to place the heading on its side, going up the left hand side of the paper so that it catches your eye. If I would have created this layout using columns, the large image would be slightly out of the grid system therefore it makes it an asymmetrical layout. For the second piece I wanted to create a symmetrical landscape layout, using a larger image. Instead of using one straight heading I wanted to experiment with cutting the letters and placing one lower than the other, and I think that this has worked really well. However the last layout is definitely my least favourite. For this I wanted to create the layout so that they were symmetrical, but this didn’t go to plan as I had another block of text which made the layout slightly more asymmetrical.

Task 3 – Layout/ Editorial pt.2

Following task 2, we then formed pairs to discuss and make notes on the qualities of each layout. We also had to re balance the elements and show how the layout could be improved. We then had to choose one of the three designs, photocopy it and then re build the layout on the basis of our discussion.

Considering the aesthetic and the power of white space I decided to play around with the elements on my partner’s work. I thought that the original image (The top first image below) was very interesting and left plenty of white space, however my only concern was that the image and the heading didn’t look as if they were meant to be together. So I decided to bring the image closer to the text and place the heading above. I thought that this worked really well at first, but after a while it started to look off-balance so I then decided to move the heading to the side of the image and I was really happy with the outcome.


Image- Movement/Time

David Hockney


Todays task was to design a multi panel composition that included either a collaboration or a journey. Before starting on the task I decided to do some research into the works of David Hockney, who has experimented with ‘photomontage’. As I went through his work I decided to pick out certain images that would be categorised as either a journey or collaboration.


Portrait/ Collaboration 

After forming into pairs, me and my partner decided to start sketching some ideas in our sketch books, of what the image would look like and what pictures we would take. Our first idea for ‘journey’ would be to create an image using the university ground, for example photographs of what we see as we walk into university. We then had the idea of capturing someone moving from one side of the road to the other, perhaps focusing only on their legs and what they were carrying, this to give a sense of character.

We started by taking pictures of people walking in and out of a lift, only photographing their legs and shoes. We found that this was quite hard to do as there weren’t many people  walking around, so then we moved outside and instead I asked my partner to walk across the crossing so I could take a series of pictures.

Instead of using solid pictures I wanted to experiment with using transparent blocks, so that from looking at the image you get the sense of movement. I also decided to  create the images in black and white so that the image wasn’t too clustered with colour. However to make the image more interesting I decided to include one colour, and I thought that Ben’s top worked really well to do this.

Over all I am very happy with the outcome, and believe that I have given an abstract and unusual take on photomontage. I also really enjoyed create this image allowed me to  experiment with different techniques that we have learnt over the past few weeks, and given me a better understanding of the tools on Photoshop.

However I did decide to carry on experimenting to see how else I could create an image in a similar way. Using a black and white effect I decided to create and image, showing two girls walking through the university. To give the sense that the girls are inside, I added pictures of the lights above them. In my opinion the image is very effective, it gives a sense of movement and the different shades of grey also gives the image depth and different shadows. However I think that the images should have been placed on a darker background so that they stand out more and I could have possibly used more of the opacity tool.



After today’s session I decided to experiment with photomontage and portraits. The first portrait I experimented with was a picture I took of my friend Ben. Using Photoshop I chose parts of the image, cut them and then re-created the image on a new page. To create a further effect I decided to create some of the blocks so that they were transparent, and I think that this worked really well!


The second image I created was of my friend Giulietta. Using the same techniques as before I created the images in blocks, but this time experimenting with her looking different ways. To make the image more interesting I then decided to turn some of the blocks to black and white and create some so that they were transparent. However after completing the image I am not so happy with how the blocks are placed, therefore it would have been better if I sketched the image before creating it.

Planning My Type Specimen Poster

First draft, playing around with fonts and sizes, before starting on the poster.
Just using the date the font was made

My fist idea was to split the page in half, one side would be white and the other black. Using inspiration from a poster I had studied I created the heading as if it was a part of the black background. Splitting my poster into 12 columns I placed the text above the heading in black writing, using the ‘Baskerville’ font. To show examples of the font and to make them stand out on the page I decided to create examples using, Capital, Bold and italic letters. The poster is to celebrate the ‘Baskerville’ font and show all its elements, on the black side of the poster I decided to create some larger examples of the letters in grey scale this makes them more interesting and visual. To  include the fonts history in the poster I placed the birth date in the top right corner of the black background.

one of my final poster ideas.

On my final draft I have also included an image of the font being used as the heading for the ‘American Gangster’ film poster. I have also included the quote “The king of fonts” that shows its one of the most used and recognised fonts. I really like this poster, it shows the font in a traditional and elegant way just like the font itself. However in my opinion the design is slightly too formal to be a poster, I should have used the size of the page slightly more and possibly created some letters so that they all weren’t just straight and simple.

This is the first draft of my second design, i have used all black for the background letters with white writing over the bold black square. However I wasn’t happy with how simple and plain this design was.
I then decided to change some of the letters to grey scale, which I thinks makes it look less clustered and gives the poster depth.
Th next idea I had was to find a quote that would complete the poster, at the same time showing an example of what the Baskerville font looks like in italics.
Lastly I decided to add the date of when the font was created to the bottom of the page in grey scale, filling the blank space.
Final type specimen poster idea

The final poster was pleasing, the layout celebrates the font in an elegant and traditional way.  I also like how the grey scale gives the poster depth and breaks the letters so they don’t look to clustered on the page. However I could have possibly experimented with what the letters look like in bold.

After reflection I decided to experiment further and see what the poster would look like if I inverted the colours.

Using illustrator to invert the colours
Experimented with the same design but different colours

I thought the lettering in the background was quite effective on the solid black but I think the middle part of the poster wasn’t as striking as it was with a black background.