Sunday, 22 February 2009

What is a line, part 3

So my previous ideas have lead me absolutely no where, and since this is such a long brief I really wanted to get to grips with a subject that actually interested me.
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
A mark indicating position, connection or boundaries
  • Travel
  • scars/ marks on the body indicating a position in ones life?
A connected series of events, action or developments
  • Dominoes
  • life spans
I quite like the idea of shelves, and what people have on them, since the whole shelf format means that whatever people do have on them, they have to display in a line..

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

End of module Evaluation.

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.

Question time...

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

What is a line, part 2

Right, navigating away from phone lines for a while (to be fair I can't see that idea going very far) I've decided to just collect a load of ideas and images to see if they lead anywhere...

and they haven't yet, but let me show you the journey so far..

So I went from tangled phone lines
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.

From tangled string to that good old party favourite 'Silly String'.

To tangled cables, I think everyone can relate to these situations...

To those really cheesy looking string pictures, I used to have one and I've always thought it was
super tacky! This one's looking pretty cool though.

More string...

Wire man:
...To these next 3 images I took on my camera phone a good year ago.
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.

This bought me fairly obviously to spiders and the lines they weave to construct their homes...

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

Phone Lines.

I started thinking about phone lines as actual objects, not just how we are connected by them, and I came across these photos. The state of the phone lines in places like Asia and India are horrific, there seems to be no order what so ever, and when hundreds of people are all connected into the same mess, it's not surprising when things go wrong!

The image below shows a clever advertisement designed for a brand of conditioner,
not very relevant but cool none the less!

Monday, 2 February 2009

What is a line?

Well, this is what Google thinks...

  • 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...

Some of the older phones are really nice objects as they are.
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!