Thursday, 1 October 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
- to have a scrap book of the things I did, the places I went, and the people I met during the summer. This would be completely useless to me, I don't care if that's what's expected of us, I will not have this project turn out like last years summer project.
- to have a polished set of books, that are functional in some way, even if it just means they're nice to flick through.
- a separate diary for my thoughts and sketches, to back up a 'final resolution' as it were.
- to link this back to some of the things picked up in my recycling and sustainability elective of last year.
Monday, 3 August 2009
This is where things start to get marginally interesting! My 'rents planned a trip to Chester, around the town and to the zoo, and when we got there I automatically found my brain switched back on again, and I was noticing interesting bits of type, colours, patterns and whatever else caught my attention. After about 2 months of vegetating, I felt flicker of inspiration once again. Hurrah.
Anyway, I went round the town, and round the zoo, photographing all the bits and pieces that I found interesting! Some things I collected, some things I photographed as a reference to draw from later and some things were just for fun.. But each photograph lead to another idea, or starting point that would hopefully inspire the summer project, and actually get it moving.
The ideas I've had for the summer project are a little confused still... I have decided that I want the 'set' aspect of the books to drive the project, so when I get back to college in September I have a professional looking series of books, and not a couple of sketch books that have no relevance to each other, filled with a lot of useless shite... Remember last years summer project? Hah. I won't make that mistake again.
Well, have a look at the photos anyway, hopefully you'll be able to see where I'm coming from!
These were the things that first caught my attention, and got me thinking..
I'm not entirely sure as to their purpose, but they were embedded in the pavement
all around Chester town centre, some kind of tour route I imagine. They looked pretty cool though, especially when they were in little clusters..
unfortunately I started to record them a little too late in the day, and I only managed to
get a few before we didn't find any more.
I arranged the ones I did record though in grids above, categorising the colour, direction and other aspects of each photo. A good exercise to get me back into the swing of things,
I might do more to it later.
The skin on this thing is amazing, looks like something from space invaders.
Pixel skin... cool.
The most bizarre animal I've seen in a long time,
only discovered in recent years, it has the arse end of a zebra, and the front end of a horse/donkey crossbreed. And it's this that I was interested in, it looks like a bizarre Photoshop cut and paste job,
not to mention a professional airbrushing afterwards. Hah, I love it.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
The T-shirt itself was a huge disappointment, and I managed to make some huge mistakes, which is usually the case when I decide I want to screen print something.
I didn't mask the edges off, so the ink bled through the sides of the screen, and I over did the ink towards the top of the design so it bled out and looks messy. As my patience wore thin I began making stupid mistakes, like spilling ink on the shirt, on the table, and on myself. I hope to rectify the mess I made of the T-shirt with a few hand done elements, I might stitch it, but I'll definately add some more drip paint effects by hand afterwards... should make the mistakes look more purposeful, hah. Anyway I'll get on with the pictures.
Oh, I also took this opportunity to experiment with image presentation and layout, in preparation for the end of the PPD module. Yeah.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Who did I used to be?
Since I was very young I loved painting and drawing, I've always been drawn towards things that look interesting, or things that are cleverly put together.
As I got older I got into character design, and looked up to things like the Final Fantasy series and Zelda for inspiration (you wouldn't believe how much illustration is involved in making games like those).
Throughout college, I never felt like I had any kind of direction as far as actual design was concerned. I just liked making things look good. By the end of my further education I thought I had a real direction, I loved to work with traditional media, and then rework what I'd made in Photoshop. I designed mainly posters and illustrations for my own enjoyment, It was how I relaxed. After the first few months on this course my idea of what design should be was totally destroyed, and as I slowly began to piece it all back together, I lost interest in my old style of working.
Who am I now?
Well I never did piece back together my idea of what design should be. I doubt I ever will now either, I've found things change far to quickly to ever have that set in concrete. I feel that the past year has been a huge learning curve, I have come such a long way since September. I'm becoming more confident in my own work, and I'm slowly beginning to discover what I'm good at, and I'm getting an idea of where I want to be in the future. Right now I'd say I was an illustrator first and foremost. Secondly I am a handcrafter, and I prefer to create one off, unique pieces than designs for mass production, though I would say I am reasonably competent when it comes to flyer/poster design.
Where to now? - 3 things I want to be doing in the future.
- I want to hone my illustrations, develop a style, but not be constricted by that style (eg Si Scotts designs are amazing but that style has already become alot less poplular than it was, and where does that leave him if he can't draw in any other style?)
- I want to become a bookmaking wizard.
- I want to be able to make my own website, this is something I have never touched on before, so hopefully over the next 2 years I'll be able to get a grasp of it, enough at least to put up my own site. Fingers crossed.
Monday, 4 May 2009
I found this method of critique extremely useful, and I came away with a much better idea of where the latest project was heading. Crits like this in the future would not only help me to focus my ideas quicker than before, but also being exposed to everyone else's images gave me a broader knowledge of what was happening within contemporary design. Something I often neglect to keep up with, especially with deadlines looming and so many other things to think about. So this could be a really good way of getting us all to look at more of what was going on in the design world right now!
Anyway I'll show you what I brought to the session, and I'll tell you why.
These three I presume are supposed to work as a set, though I found them all separately.
If you haven't visited Debutart.com yet I suggest you give it a go, it's a great place to get a good look at the up and coming illustrators. This is where I found Kelly Roper anyway, though I've definitely came across her work before.
These three images I picked out purely for their aesthetic value. The collage and especially the handmade typeface, I just love how well all the elements fit together, and how well thought out they are, though on the surface it just looks like a mish-mash of type and image. They've got an American Diner feel to them too, which fits great with the anti fast-food message I'm getting from them.
Another two from Kerry Roper..
I chose purely for the quality of the illustration. I think it's fairly similar to my personal style, and is a good source of inspiration when considering how to add colour and shade an image.
Again by Kerry Roper, how broad are this woman's skills!? I was intrigued by the simple 'etch-a-sketch' style of illustration shes used here, it's so simple. I chose this to highlight the fact that less is more, as I know I have a habit of over complicating my work... Something I'm always working to correct.
I chose these two again for their aesthetic appeal, but specifically the combination of vector illustration and photography. Two completely opposite styles working together so beautifully is a rare sight, this guy has definitely pulled it off. I want to try and be more experimental in my own work with regard to this new brief. It's the last real chance I'll have to play around on this course and mess up without too much backlash, so I want to make the most of it!
Last but not least a piece by
I have included this purely to signify that I am going to try my best to make this new project with my elective in mind. Though I'm reletively sure I failed my elective miserably, that doesnt mean that what I learnt didn't have a big impact on me, and as a personal experiment I'm going to try and see just how easy/hard it is to be a sustainable designer. However, I may well regret this decision massively in the very near future, hah.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
I went to borders the other day and totally on a whim, which I am thoroughly regretting now, bought a book for £20 about sustainable design. Really useful though as far as expanding my knowledge of the various materials and designers there are out there...
Anyway, Jo lent me another book a week or so ago, which I decided to pick up and have a go at tonight, it's called Good. Unlike every other graphic design related book out there that I have ever picked up, I actually started to read this one and I will read it till the last page if I can borrow it for long enough.
The book focuses mainly around ethics and morality within everyday life but specifically aimed at graphic designers. I mean, they may as well have written the book, and wrote "To Lauren" in it, because I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time...
Anyway! Moving on, there's a purpose to this post.
here's my manifesto from last week.. I feel its something that will be ever growing and changing, but here's what I have so far.
- I want to design reflecting on my own opinion, not the opinion of others.
- Paper will always be my biggest use of a natural resource. The fact that I am aware of this means I can take steps to reduce how much I use, recycle as much as I can, and consider where and who I buy paper from in the future.
- Stay away from areas that I feel are morally wrong, this is mainly aimed at the advertising industry...
- Stay informed! about everything, as much as I possibly can. How can I possibly communicate a message if I am uninformed in the first place?
- When I can put it into words, there will be a 5th point.. and possibly many more where these came from.
Secondly, a brief overview of my intentions for a project within this elective...
What - What is the concept behind the project? What will it do?
The concept is to produce a booklet as an aid to eco-conscious graphic designers.
Why - the types of ecological issues inspiring the project. What problem are you trying to solve?
This particular project will require a huge amount of research, I'll need to get my facts right if i want to achieve something that is actually useful. The main reason I am doing this is for myself. I want to know how I can become a more ecologically sound designer, and then I want to pass the message on. I guess my focus will be on paper stock, and printing. Though once I get going who knows where it will go.
How - How will the project work? How will you go about it? What processes, techniques, research etc will you employ?
I will research into all areas that I feel concern graphic designers, paper, card, plastics and metals or any other print stock. The effect printing has on the environment, chemicals from traditional printing methods, recycled cartridges etc...
I will gather and process what I find out, and produce a book or booklet, carefully considering what materials I use in the process.
Where - Where will the resulting work exist?
In the hands of every eco-friendly graphic designer in the world!
Or in libraries... or anywhere else books are found. You get digital books, and audio books as well...
Who - Who is the intended audience? What sector of society?
Graphic designers who want to find out more, or who need a set of guide lines to follow.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Or that's what I think anyway.
See what I think happened here, is I chose to answer the Don't Panic brief, and then people started to send out questionnaires regarding the recognition brief, based on acts of kindness... So then I started to think about how important these little acts are to me.. and I decided I wanted to address a similar issue in my resolution. Maybe I answered the wrong brief, maybe I didn't, who knows.
But I do know that even if you think this resolution is unsuccessful, I am satisfied in the knowledge that I managed to send out a message that I actually want people to hear.. or read. Whatever :)
Oh, and, I make better pancakes than you :)
Sunday, 22 February 2009
I decided to sit down for a few hours and brain storm a bit, and this is what I came up with..
The notes in yellow highlight ares of particular interest, so far I have...
A formation of people, objects or things on beside or behind each other
- people - busy streets
- things on a shelf
- shop windows - displays, mannequins
- scars/ marks on the body indicating a position in ones life?
- life spans
This is my shelf, since all the shelves in liberty park are the same, I might go round and take photos of some other folks shelves, and see where that leads me.
until then, any comments or feedback would be helpful.
I quickly knocked up this vector on Illustrator, purely out of curiosity, of the shelf photo above. I quite like the obvious links there are here with city scapes/horizon lines..
Friday, 13 February 2009
This module, especially the book of 100, has been by far the most stressful of the year and yet the most rewarding in the sense of what I’ve learnt. The 100 book on its own seemed to throw up problem after problem, and I feel I have come far, even in the past few months, in dealing with these kinds of issues. I think I have learnt to appreciate when I need to let an idea go, and how to work things to my advantage when a project doesn’t go the way I wanted or expected. My plan to use the laser cutter to produce the 100 pages of my book backfired in the last week, mainly due to my poor time management, but also because the facility became unavailable to me. Instead of realising that the idea was dead, I clung onto it for a good 3 or 4 days trying to figure out a way to bring it back to life, wasting precious time where I should have been developing a new concept. I think that has been the biggest lesson learnt in the past weeks, - learn to accept when it’s time to move on, it’s harder than it sounds when you have your heart set on something.
So, I moved on to tracing paper within the last few days, and though it’s not nearly as spectacular as my original idea, I feel I managed to get it up to an at least ‘markable’ standard before submission. Another pointer regarding this particular project was the amount of time I spent worrying over the cover. I spent countless hours down in woodwork trying to perfect this beautiful piece of wood into my dream book cover. Another example of me wanting to do something so much that it beings to cloud my vision, and I lose sight of the original objective, which in this case was research. Speaking of research, I felt it was particularly difficult to get my head round everything we had learnt before Christmas about researching and categorising. At the time it was easy to take in, but to actually put it into practise became such an issue for me. My organisational skills leave a lot to be desired anyway, but when faced with facts, figures and spreadsheets they actually cease to exist. Anyway, I tried to tailor the research I gathered to suit the way a prefer to work, which was nerve racking as I saw everyone around me making graphs and pie charts out of statistics they’d gathered. I figured I’d get nothing out of a process like that, so I left it well alone.
That’s the summary of how I feel having handed everything in, I just needed to get that out, and I think that’s probably the most important aspect of an evaluation, self reflection.
What practical skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I’ve developed many practical skills over this module, the most beneficial of which have been within Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
InDesign I hadn’t ever used before, so I’ve gone from being a total novice to being able to design and print a booklet on my own. That’s probably the most useful thing I’ve learnt. The Photoshop brief forced me to use the software again, which I haven’t touched in about 6 months, and I was incredibly rusty. It’s been really good to get back on it though after all this time, and I’ve gained back some of my lost confidence, as well as discovering some new techniques.
Another interesting practical skill was the book binding workshop, what a fantastic skill to have? I’ve always been interested in book binding, and to create a professional looking book like that was something special.
What approaches to / methods of problem solving have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
The best way to solve any problem as far as I’m concerned is to talk about it. The group crits and the informal crits that occur within our group are the single biggest problem solver we have as designers. It’s so hard to overcome any issue on your own, without having someone to bounce off, and this is especially so within graphic design. So you can imagine how much talking I’ve been doing the last few weeks. Every step of the way, every problem I’ve encountered has been talked over and over with as many different people as I could find until I have a more rounded picture, only after this process will I make a decision.
The next step is work sheets. I’ve been working mainly on an A3 scale since we came back after Christmas, as I’m trying to wean myself off purely sketchbook work. So far so good, it’s nice to work on a bigger scale, as ideas flow better from one to the other when you aren’t flicking through pages!
Lastly, dare I say it, the good old reliable brainstorming session. Things I didn’t even realise I had in my head come out when I just start writing words on a piece of paper, sometimes that’s all you need to get you started.
What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/ will you capitalise on these?
Strengths. I think my biggest strength was my perfectionist attitude towards the things that I really wanted to look good, i.e. the book cover. This has to be something that I keep under control though, or it could run away with me again.
I think the part of the process that involved designing and creating a final resolution was also quite strong, some of my book design sheets were really quite strong, clear and concise.
What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these more fully?
Research is by far my biggest let down, which is ridiculous because this was a research brief. Quite honestly, I have really struggled to apply what I’ve learnt about research to the projects that followed. That’s not to say I don’t think I’ve learnt anything, I’ve just found it so hard to be strict with myself and use research I’ve gathered to inform my decisions. Instead I tend to let my ideas form in my head and over conversation, forgetting to make note of them. This is obviously something I will work on, and like my time management skills, something that will take a lot long than a few weeks to resolve.
Identify five things we could have done differently that would have benefited your progress
More varied crit sessions. I had Jo for all my crits, and not to say that they weren’t useful and informative, I just found myself wanting more than one person’s perspective. Maybe one crit with each tutor?
Also more varied critting formats would’ve been beneficial. The same format of sitting in a large group going round one by one got a bit sterile for me after the first few sessions. Big groups also means people have switched off towards the end, so the last few people, invariably me, get less out of a session.
Lastly, another issue with the crits, the length of them meant that often I came away feeling mentally drained, and it becomes hard to pick up work again afterwards. For me, a shorter, smaller grouped crit would be of much more use, and if need be, maybe have them more often. Instead of a really long, intense session one a week that leaves everyone feeling a bit dazed.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
and they haven't yet, but let me show you the journey so far..
to tangled string.
I know I've seen a lot of work by various artists where string is a
big factor or the design, but it seems my researching skills have failed me once again, as I cannot find them.
super tacky! This one's looking pretty cool though.
This was 3d piece by an artist who held a short exhibition at my old college, I have no hope of
remembering his name though.
I quite like the idea of using string or wire to create a 3d object that is essentially just lines.
I quickly moved on to look at other possible materials, and came across this cut out, which at first looks like some kind of string, but it is infact paper.
Well that's where I am now, after literally hours of unsuccessful browsing. Time to give this a break I think, I'll try and come at this from a new perspective tomorrow...
Any feedback on this will be mucho appreciated x
Monday, 2 February 2009
- a formation of people or things one beside another; "the line of soldiers advanced with their bayonets fixed"; "they were arrayed in line of ...
- a mark that is long relative to its width; "He drew a line on the chart"
- a length (straight or curved) without breadth or thickness; the trace of a moving point
- text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen; "the letter consisted of three short lines"; "there are six lines in every stanza"
- a single frequency (or very narrow band) of radiation in a spectrum
- a fortified position (especially one marking the most forward position of troops); "they attacked the enemy's line"
- argumentation: a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning; "I can't follow your line of reasoning"
- cable: a conductor for transmitting electrical or optical signals or electric power
- course: a connected series of events or actions or developments; "the government took a firm course"; "historians can only point out those lines for which evidence is available"
- a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent
- wrinkle: a slight depression in the smoothness of a surface; "his face has many lines"; "ironing gets rid of most wrinkles"
- pipeline: a pipe used to transport liquids or gases; "a pipeline runs from the wells to the seaport"
- the road consisting of railroad track and roadbed
- telephone line: a telephone connection
- acting in conformity; "in line with"; "he got out of line"; "toe the line"
- lineage: the descendants of one individual; "his entire lineage has been warriors"
- something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible; "a washing line"
- occupation: the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money; "he's not in my line of business"
- in games or sports; a mark indicating positions or bounds of the playing area
- channel: (often plural) a means of communication or access; "it must go through official channels"; "lines of communication were set up between the two firms"
- a particular kind of product or merchandise; "a nice line of shoes"
- a commercial organization serving as a common carrier
- agate line: space for one line of print (one column wide and 1/14 inch deep) used to measure advertising
- credit line: the maximum credit that a customer is allowed
- cover the interior of; "line the gloves"; "line a chimney"
- tune: a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; "she was humming an air from Beethoven"
- trace: make a mark or lines on a surface; "draw a line"; "trace the outline of a figure in the sand"
- persuasive but insincere talk that is usually intended to deceive or impress; "`let me show you my etchings' is a rather worn line"; "he has a smooth line but I didn't fall for it"; "that salesman must have practiced his fast line of talk"
- mark with lines; "sorrow had lined his face"
- note: a short personal letter; "drop me a line when you get there"
- fill plentifully; "line one's pockets"
- a conceptual separation or distinction; "there is a narrow line between sanity and insanity"
- reinforce with fabric; "lined books are more enduring"
- production line: mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it
From the brief I have chosen the starting point "A connected series of events, actions or developments" as asked. I thought about how people are connected via the internet and telephones, but I have to admit, any inspiration I had for this project disappeared along with my will to go back to college over Christmas. So I had a quick search on Google to find it again, and straight away I'm drawn back to this telephone idea...
This simple line drawing I think is visually quite striking on its own,
though it obvously has some purpose other than that.
I'll post more stuff as and when I find it, I'll get some of my own work up aswell soon.
Any sugesstions on how I can take this further would be helpful at this point!
Friday, 30 January 2009
Basically, here we have photos of mock ups, the final resolution and a general and pretty brief explanation as to how i arrived at it.
Mock up 1:
This was my first attempt at Japanese stab binding, which was reasonably straight forward, the main aim was to test out the woodwork facilities down stairs, which I have to say are really well equipped, thanks Rodger for helping me make this one!
The cover is made from a 3 ply oak veneer that I glued and pressed over night. I cut it to shape, including a simple fabric hinge on the front cover, and clamped the whole lot together ready for binding.
I then took the whole thing back down to woodwork, measured and drilled the holes, and then... I stuck the whole thing on the industrial sander to get a really clean finish on the edges ( since the pages were all hand cut it was really uneven!)
I kept it all clamped up, so the binding was really secure and accurate.
Take a look...
Mock up 2:
This mock up was an experimentation into the possibilities of the content...
100 trees was never going to be interesting unless I did something really stunning, this was going to come in the form of 100 cut out trees, getting smaller and smaller untill the shape became an acorn! over 100 pages the effect would be a really thick, hollow inprint of a trees lifespan. Anyway I was concerned about how long this would take to hand cut, so i saught other way in which to cut the pages.
I found the laser cutter.
(apologies for the orintation of theses photos, It's not that I can't get the to rotate, I just cant be bothered to find out why they won't)
Went horribly wrong.
Bad time management along with the laser cutter being unavalible when I needed it, meant I couldn't go ahead with the cut out pages idea, and with less than a week to go I was starting to doubt whether or not i'd be able to get the book completed!
After alot of confusion and upset over my first plan going wrong, i finally got it together and went ahead with an idea based on layering tracing paper. The tracing paper was printed greyscale with my orginal photos, most of them had been digitally manipulated though.
The idea would have worked okay if I had managed to get the book bound to a reasonable quality, which I feel I did not. The binding is awful, really loose, which is a huge shame consdiering the amount of time I spend on the cover. Anyway take a look for yourself. I'd give it a 6/10 at the most.
Anyway thats about it for the 100 book, see my evaulation for a more in depth look at how I felt this project went..
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Some of the content is very questionable, this is more of a Fine Art project I suppose, but look at the books! How beautiful are they? It's all very helpful to me anyway since the plan is to have a wooden cover for my book, which obviously raises plenty of issues as far as binding is concerned. I'll maybe take some of the most relevant images down to Vernon Street this week, and have a word with the guys down there.
It's nice to see the artist has made a good effort to reflect the content in the design of the book.
Something I have thought long and hard about already...