I am still not sure how beneficial the two projects have been for my practice as in terms of pieces of work for my portfolio. Both projects focused more on the making stuff and exploring different techniques of working. But this does not mean I did not take anything from them. I became a lot more aware of how I work and was more relaxed in making something that was not perfect. I think that I have improved my process by not spending so much time upon making the in between stages from idea to final outcome.
I think one of the things that I found most helpful to me was the focus on to research both of the two projects had (in fact this was the main focus of the project content). This is something I have became lax about in subject and have wanted to improve upon so I have more informed work in future. I have already seen this within the constellation module when writing the dissertation proposal I found that I actually enjoyed the research process. Another way that field has inspired my dissertation proposal was the trip to Berlin in the second term as being in a city with so much history in recent (in the greater scheme of the massive amount of years humans have been on earth) this made me want to see what role my subject had played in parts of this politically fueled discontent and revolution.
In both projects, I have improved my photography skills massively (touristy in Berlin and learning how to use a much more advanced camera than I was used to in Pembrokeshire). I have become much more aware of how a camera catches the light and how this can add or ruin the image, leading me to not have to take as many photos before I get the good shot. Obviously, I still have to take many images to get the image I want but I am much more aware of what I am shooting and how I am shooting it than I have been in the past. Getting more experience of this will only befit my practice. I am excited to experiment more with photography over the summer break and become more knowledgeable in digital photography and maybe even explore other techniques of capturing photographic imagery.
Overall, even if I did not manage to create much traditionally graphic design work, the field module has been a positive and enjoyable experience this year. I hope to return to Berlin in the near future and taking much more of the city and the museums, galleries and culture that the city has to offer. I also plan on learning how to speak some basic German as well. I have learnt that I should just go somewhere to draw and take photos even if I do nothing with them because I do enjoy the process.
I’m not sure if there’s much I can add on to the post I did in December on what I actually think of the actual content (found here). It did improve my conference in my drawing ability and that I can draw in a number of different styles. One thing I do think this project helped with is the development of my own sense of style with my work in a subject (this can be seen within projects like the Penguin Book Cover for In Cold Blood) and I did manage to start to work with white space within the illustrations (just not the last one I did as I overworked that). This is something I have started to get better at in the second year in general as I am becoming more aware that the space around an element can be more beneficial to a design as it brings in the attention to what is important when communicating the message and does not overwhelm the viewer.
I did create the postcards at a later date as to when I initially finished the project I was sick to death of images of the sea and landscape (but mainly the sea). But then I ordered a batch of prints (in February/March) and then I had more ideas of what I could do with the images then them just being nice pictures I put online or in a photo album. I wanted there to be some sort of use for them and that’s how I came up with postcards. I always like to buy a postcard (or a few) when I visit somewhere (I have several from the Berlin trip in the second project for the field module) these span from amusing, just photos, to artwork. I wanted to create something current as the subject of the images could quite easily become stuffy and dull. I tried to do this with type and colour.
If I was to do this project again I would start off with more of a direction of what the final outcome would be rather than just doing. Do not get me wrong, as I discussed in the first overview blog post, I did enjoy creating, developing my drawing and photography skills. I needed a reason to be doing it. I always have needed a reason to learn how to use certain things for example in college I had no clue how to use photoshop but then in a self-directed project, I deiced I wanted to learn so I made it so my outcome would need to be compleated using Photoshop. This working towards a final thing has always been my motivation and especially one that is useful or serves a purpose.
After reviewing the last version of the logo for Roots I noticed a few things that I was not exactly happy with that made it seem a bit all over the place. These parts where the aligning of the different elements (Image, Tagline and the angle of the R).
Giving the three stems of grass a flat base gives the logo a more put together feel and that the parts are in an order that makes sense. The ‘R’ was at an angle in the previous version for no real reason which made no sense, so changing this has made the letter seem more part the rest of the word. Then I wanted to keep the whole logo constrained with a single rectangular area, to stop it becoming awkward to use in designs. So I moved the tagline of the company up into the empty space by the R and the rest of the word.
The redesign of the logo meant I to rethink the designs for the touch points. I stripped back the design to a cleaner and easier on the eye design. Which I think works much better than the tacky pattern I had added on to everything.
In this workshop, we looked at how the quality of prints can change between types of CYMK prints. This is because there are a number of different variants of CYMK prints. One of the things that we talked about changing the quality of the colours printed is what type of paper that is used. Coated paper is brighter because the ink sits on the surface of the page and uncoated produces duller colours as it absorbs the ink more). I had never heard of ICC (international colour Consortium) helps designers start to get things right when printing, But it makes that there are some guidelines. Colour profiles help us predict what the colours look like when printed. The guidelines are predicted to be seen at midday in London.
Using Adobe Bridge I set my Creative Cloud to work to the colour profiles that are of a most of the standard to printers in the EU (Europe pre-press 3).
Every image has a colour cast (like a filter, Muddy, green, blue) To work on white as white and black is black, Trust the numbers. A serface white White has a minim of 5% of Cyan, Magenta and Blue in it. 5% is the smallest percent that can be printed whereas blacks are a combination of colours. Combined 320% in on coated paper before it gets messy whereas uncoated is less at 310%. Another type of white is specular white no ink colour of paper or screen.
I then had a go at optimising one of my own photos for print. I choose to do this with a photo I took in June of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona as I took it in black and white and there’s a high contrast and I thought that this might show the change easier when comparing.
The right being the optimised image definitely has more detail in it that I never realised I had captured as before they were very much darkened. I am really impressed that this can add more to photos than I thought was there.
In constellation, we are to start thinking in more of a critical manner to our work and what we learn in the study groups. I think I added more depth to what I learnt in constellation last year in level 4 when we were I looking more at the meaning and a number of different ideas. It was great to expand upon this and look at an idea then to take my own meaning from the theory rather than just being that’s an idea and here’s another. In the study group, we would look at a theory then read on what others had to say about this and what they took from it. I found this helpful as if I didn’t quite understand what the original piece say someone else could say it in a way I can understand more than before and taking ideas from a number of different places to create a well-rounded opinion.
I found the study group, for the most part, a positive experience when it comes to the content. I partook in “Transdisciplinarity and the Experimenters: explorations on methodological practices in Art and Design” we covered subjects from the multiverse to wunderkammers to how one person’s reality is not the same as another’s even if they were experiencing the same thing at the same place. This is something that I have tried to take into account when doing work in both the field and the subject module.
I wrote the essay for this study group on “How Does Doctor Strange Explore and Represent The Multiverse?”. I did not really know what I was going on about when I compleated, there was no plan that I followed or structure. This is something I tried to improve upon when I was writing my dissertation a few months later. Another problem I faced was that the film I was referring to had only just been realised into the cinema so it was difficult to refer back to scenes as I was limited to what was realised in the promotion of the film.
For my dissertation, I am going to write a critical essay looking at political posters. Looking a theory on visual language, historical examples and those from the two Brexit campaigns. I knew in what sort of direction I loosely wanted to take my dissertation in from the get go. I found that limiting the subject down to find examples from Soviet/Communist and Brexit helped my when I started to complete the reading. Whereas before I was swimming in a sea of examples and this was completely overwhelming. I then search for books in the library that focused on visual language theory and the posters as separate beings so that I will be able to apply the theory to my own analysis of the posters (while trying to look at a number of different views points of the posters). I found it quite difficult to find anything that was truly academic on graphic design in the Brexit campaigns, as it was an extremely recent event.
Writing about Brexit came across from a group research project I compleated in the subject module where we were given a word and we had to find several examples of design for persuasion and our word was “Politics”. We focused on Brexit and Donald Trump. I found that having something that I had lived through helpful as I was able to find a persional connection to it and is more relvent to my practice today.
I started the working process in this project by taking the online Dementia Friend course so that I was aware what I was designing for. They then sent me a small booklet that is designed in a friendly and cheerful way. I wanted to keep this tone in the work I created later. There are some parts that look like they’ve mocked up a style of paper cut out which I really like.
I came up with two main ideas for animations or GIFs.
One idea focuses on that the course only takes an hour to complete and saying what waste of time/dull things you can do then change. The other is looking at a number of people who live with dementia in Wales and try to be emotive to people. I wanted them to be short and snappy to be shared on their Facebook page as people only have a short attention span when it comes to Facebook photos.
I had decided to go along with the idea I had of having a hand drawn video of someone drawing as it’s filmed. I tested different pens to see which showed up better and it was a sharpie as it shows up clearly but it is not too big.
I am really unhappy with how the video turned out I feel like it is like someone’s GCSE project. It is just poor quality and jumpy. The music is annoying and repetitive. Harriet the client seemed to like it but I think she was most likely just being polite. The whole video just greats on me and I hate it so much. She suggested it to be in colour.
I designed a poster to go along with the video so that we would be able to communicate to the residents that would not use the internet and would miss the video and it’s message. I played upon the second idea of the emotive message saying it could be someone they know. I don’t feel like theses two pieces fit together and are two totally different things instead as part of a set. Then looking back at the booklet from Dementia Friends I wanted to create something that is more in that tone than what I created. So I didn’t totally rethink the idea I just changed the way that I approached it. Using the illustrations from the original I created a GIF that is much more professionally produced and I edited the poster to be in the same style as the GIF.
My starting point for this project was to do research into the book and the case the book is based upon.The victims (the Clutter family) were murdered in their home by two men (Dick and Perry). Capote focuses on the murderer’s and he seams to humanise them.I looked at the covers to see what had actually been done before. There is a number of different covers and they have all got a number of different ways of looking at showing what the book is about. They all try to create a different feel the 1st gives a feeling of facts and truth, the 2nd is dark and dangerous and the 3rd shows isolation.
My starting point for this project was to do research into the book and the case the book is based upon.The victims (the Clutter family) were murdered in their home by two men (Dick and Perry). Capote focuses on the murderer’s and he seams to humanise them.I collected some of the images from the case so I was able to gain inspiration from them and images of feathers because of the yellow bird that is mentioned in the book in Perry’s dreams that show his guilt or his childishness.
Then looking at the images I had collected I drew up quick sketches of a few ideas. These included concepts and basic layout ideas. I was drawn to the bloody footprints and the gore. But I didn’t want it to be too graphic so keeping it minimal. I ended taking elements from a few of the ideas to make a new one. I was finding it difficult to come up with ideas as I didn’t really enjoy the book or the film but I also think that this helped as I was able to narrow down the ideas.
I had decided to focus on the house and one of the crime scene photos. I drew each image by hand then digitised them. I tried to use pattern and line work to keep them more in a pop art style. I had done a number of different styles of the house before deciding on the blue one as it wasn’t overly complicated. Thinking back the black one would have given more depth to the cover. I wish I didn’t include the hand drawing as it is not the best image I have created before, I could have zoomed into the hand more when it is put into context.
I thought that this design was quite tacky and childlike and I did not think that it was a successful design. I am not sure whether it is because of the use of the primary colours or the poor hierarchy in the text on the back that lets it down. Or it could be way too literal. I think it is way too in your face and suggests a bright and cheery book.
I experimented with different possible styles of type that could fit in with the design. For the design I completed initially I just used Helvetica because it fitted in with the style more, but for the final design, I used the vectors on the right. The final type has elements removed to create the type a more sporadic effect.
Looking back on my initial sketches I was drawn towards one that had two nooses one each for Dick and one for Perry and four feathers one each for the members of the Clutter family that were killed that night. The feathers also are from the dreams that Perry was having in the book, from the yellow bird.
I wanted to have a feel to the design of stillness like it is a freeze frame that’s why the feathers are still floating and why I removed the colour apart from the yellow on the feathers. I was very happy with how the front and the spine turned out but I didn’t really plan the back and was not very well thought out and it is quite hard to read.