Sunday, 28 February 2016

OUGD603 Extended Practice FAFF Postcards

As a small piece of work  to expand on the branding that Izzy and myself did for FAFF we were asked to create three postcards that help concisely communicate what FAFF is all about a kind of organisation business card.

It was a great reason to use the small version of the logo that we had created.

We had a few issues with the images that we were sent because they were so low rez. However, we were given full editing rain to make them look as decent as we possibly could. so, we played around with editing the highlights and low lights to different colours but actually found that black and white worked best and helped communicate the central theme of history and archiving. It also provide a solid back drop for the coloured logo.

The small logo sat in front of the image in the corner and then had the main logo much bigger on the back to make sure that the branding is recognised at what will be the first point of contact with the organisation for many people.

We then looked at creating an information hierarchy from the DIN font family which works beautifully in conjunction withe the DIN medium we used on the logo.

This arrangement means that we will also be able to possibly re-use the grid for other promotional material.

These were printed the next day and came out really well.
However, we did mention that once they had some higher res images it might be wise to make some up with those even though the black and white images work really well.

Monday, 22 February 2016

OUGD603 Extended Practice Tryptic Research Alternative Movie Posters and Visual Condesing

As visual research only I brought together a pinterest board of alternative movie posters. I have chosen alternative movie posters in particular because of their ability to condense visual information in an inventive and concise manner.
I chose a few of my favourites to analyse for inspiration and guidance. The over arching theme that I found was colour limitations and simplicity in conjunction worked beautifully.
This poster for the Grand Budapest Hotel has a very cohesive colour approach with a tinted grey scale image at the centre to cease incremental colour change. This pink colour choice comes from the film its self, in which many pastel colours define the atmosphere. One problem with the functionality of this poster is that the character shown is not really major at all and for those that have not seen the film it is a bit miss leading. However, there is very good use of shape to dictate the draw of the eye to the title. The tower of passels draws the eye first because they are tonally the darkest and sharpest part of the image. The eye then moves across to her face and down her arm to the title of the film. This is something particularly relevant to typographic design when the order of reading is so important to communication
The limited colour pallet of this design give it such a strong and eye catching visual. This is something that I want to implement within my own design. The colour usage also allows a clever negative space illustration of the reaching zombie hands. This cohesive image in the centre of the poster has a concise confidence to it that is very pleasant to look at. Another consideration for my own design.
The emotional role that the colour choices play here is easy to see and are instantly read by the eye before anything else is recognised. The colours are also in a vertical slightly striped gradient that has faded areas that mimic a light glare. Again this associates the colours with sunlight and sun sets, our own emotional connections come with this associations. 
Again colour limitation aids this design in its strength. The designer has clearly thought about the fact that the dominant theme of this film is the contrast between the familiar American rural locations and the high tech sci-fi locations of outer space. The connection between the two is clearly communicated by this visual in a clever and concise way. THe condensing of the core visuals is something that I need to think about in terms of my own designs.

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 06 Tryptic Past Designs Research

Because other people have gone first in this project it creates a great reference point for my own work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

This design by Joe Lindley is one of the most recent posters to go up. It is actually a poster for an even/ exhibition in New York. It is left unexplained as to whether this is real or not, but i think we can assume so. Because there is very little need to promote an exhibition in New York here, this design is either there for its pure aesthetic value, or the lack of context is part of the commentary. This strange decision does pull the audience in because of its incongruous placement, perhaps this was the intension. It could also be that it works with the theme of a date match through history of the week the posters are being exhibited.  From a distance this poster looks very much like a pattern or photographic blur and as you approach it the different aspects come into focus. This is a great way to use the long corridor approaching the posters, something I should consider for my own designs.
The subsequent two designs are what were sitting next to the first one. there is a definite visual connection between them in that they use gridded lines in some way and are digitally finished in some way. Although the grid is more subtle on the first poster the lines of distortion do in fact form a grid. The poster above is by Alec Mezzeti. To get around the problem of the content of the poster Alec has used the date that the poster will be up, illustrating the meteor strike that occurred on the same week as the poster was up. I really like the use of space on this poster. The way that the poster sits against a white wall with a white frame having a central dark design on the sheet makes the content really stand out in context. Another consideration for my design.
This design was by Rory Blakemore and he has clearly talked to the others about the date concept, choosing the first release of the Dracula films as his inspiration. This collaboration or at least conversation between those creating the different posters makes the cohesive feel of the whole exhibition really strong. Roz, Jess and myself have agreed to keep to a hand rendered theme that creates a linking aesthetic.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 06 Tryptic Poster Design Brief and First Thoughts

It soon will be my turn to create a poster for the LCA Tryptic project. This means creating an A2 poster to sit alongside two others designed by two of my peers. My two peers are Jess and Roz, both people I have collaborated with before. I have just taken the time to write out the brief properly so that this brief can be a small addition to my extended practice module, although it should take no longer than perhaps a couple of days, although spread out over a week or so while I simultaneously work on other projects.

Brief: Create an A2 poster to sit alongside two others in the entrance to the Graphic Design department at Leeds College of Art.

Background Considerations: 
- The distance and angle that the poster will be view at should be thought about, especially in terms of legibility of any type.
- Consider the holistic effect of the posters viewed together as they will be.
- Think about the audience of the posters and when they will be looking at them.
- Think about what you want to say with the design and how it represents you as a creative.

Mandatory Requirements:
- have and record conversations with Roz and Jess about this project.
- record the development of the project on you design practice blog.

- A2 poster for display.
- design boards of process.
- record of process on blog.

First Thoughts and Conversations:

To start with Roz, Jess and myself started talking about a theme that could visually connect the different posters that we came up with. Eventually it was agreed that just saying that we each would stick to the hand rendered aesthetic to connect them, leaving the content to each of us indevidually.

Myself I first thought about the audience of these posters, which would mostly be Graphic Design tutors, students and the odd visiting professional. Also, most people would be seeing this poster at the start of their day, or just after lunch, so some kind of uplifting or jocular message would be a really positive thing to have in the space. There are a number of course specific or college specific jokes that I could call on for this.

Research Areas:
- alternative poster design.
- previous students designs.

Friday, 19 February 2016

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 2 Elections Stickers,Stamps and Vinyl

As previously mentioned the SU are making packs out of the different print outcomes for this campaign. As part of this they wanted a way to brand the outside of the envelopes as part of the elections promotion. Creating a stamp was the most cost effective way to do this as well as fitting really well with the risograph texture which is such a corner stone of the identity. I tried several times to use the laser cut facilities to create the stamp I wanted but there were multiple very time consuming problems that kept getting in the way. First there was no technician anywhere to be found and then I couldn't buy Lino off them (they sent me to an art technician who seemed non pulsed at my asking). Once I had got the vinyl (from the library) the issue was there were no speed and intensity presets for the easy cut Lino or regular Lino so we were uncertain which would actually cut. In the end deciding that my time was more valuable than my money at this point  I ordered a custom stamp online from the English stamp company, who seemed the most reputable from their online presence, and received it the next day with a laughably small amount of fuss. The SU are really happy with the stamp and love the way it looks of the envelopes.

The pack were then distributed around the college to be found and opened by possible apcandidates.

From the start we also knew that we needed to create vinyls to be used on the walls and floors around voting stations and all over and elections events. This at least was fairly straight forward. Having talked to Emma about what theses would be best suited for, I knew I wanted the vinyls to interact with the spaces the big A1 posters were. So, Billie and myself came up with the idea of making small info hot spots of a kind around the posters and the info they provided. To do this we would use half the circular logo and sit it against the wall under the poster or on the wall under the poster. This would draw extra attention to the posters and show that it is important information.

There were many parts of these designs that were particularly difficult in vinyl form becaus of its delicacy. However, Billie did a great job of getting them up on the walls without a hitch and I think they look great and do draw the eye more.

Friday, 12 February 2016

OUGD601 Brief 01 SU Part 1 Freshers The Week (Chalkboard and a Measure of Success)

On the day of the freshers fair I got a good chance to see the different applications that the SU had put my branding to and measure the success of my designs. Although the intake of the first year students was higher this year, there was a much higher percentage uptake of the freshers fair event. If that is not a measure of the success of my designs then I don't know what is.
I was also asked to do a chalk board design for the freshers fair, which turned into a sort of live illustration. This was a great chance to try out my chalk boarding skills. They wanted something separate to the branding lettering that was the first thing people saw upon entering the fair. I got to talk to a number of people about the guide and got an over-whelmingly positive response

The SU used the Guidelines I sent them to create a selection of banners for the freshers week decorations.

I also updated the chalkboard for the terrace party event as well which offered a nice continuity to the events.

Another way to measure the success of these designs was the proliferation of the branded tote bags. I have seen them all over leeds and that seems to suggest that people like them and have interacted with the designs on an active level.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 04 FAFF Ideas Development and Digitsing

Izzy and myself got together to talk about the ideas we had had separately and start developing them digitally. There were three ideas that we felt were worthy of development. One of these was the turning pages imagery that I cam up with. We decided the concepts and started developing them.
I was surprised by how effectively the symbol translated the the sharp finish of vectors. From the start we were concerned that this idea, because of its minimal structure, might look a little corporate. To help avoid this I collected together some of the more earthy and natural colours from the backlog of colour swatches from last years summer project, during which I collected hundreds of plant colour schemes. The naturalness of these colours helped bring downs the harsh edges that could seem quite corporate.

I was struggling with the type for this logo because it was very difficult to make legible at small scale because of the dominance of the image aspect.

Meanwhile Izzy was working on the type only idea I had sketched out (detailed in the last post), a concept focusing on the repetition of the word feminist in the logo by reflecting it, showing the effect of past feminism on the future (the whole point of the organisation). We both really liked the lowercase shape of the word feminist in a strong sans serif font ( Dim medium).

Taking this idea and seeing if it could work in the logo I had been working on was the natural next step but it seemed too complex and over worked. So, instead I took the font that she was working with and the idea of mixing upper and lower case and came up with the design below.

After talking to Izzy we agreed that there wasn't enough contrast between the words to achieve a strong sense of hierarchy and therefore brand. So, next I reversed the cases and used a littler form of the font in the same typeface and created something that we really liked.

Once again in an attempt to soften the aesthetic I played around with introducing 80% opacity on the vectors and 100% on the type, so that the words are at the top of the information hierarchy (the dominant aspect of the design). One of the things that we know this logo will need to do is overlay on top of images at the beginning of films. I layer this logo on top of a soft focus image and found that the colour was in fact unnecessary. So, I swapped to the simple out line of the design rather than the reversed out, negative space design. 

To create something that is fairly self explanatory for the pitch I put together the main visuals of the designs. I also added a grey scale version of the logo (maintaining the changes in opacity so it is a mix of grey and black, keeping the hierarchy. I also added some colour options for the one main colour of the logo when on a white background. Tomorrow we will be bringing together two other ideas that we will pitch to Sharon.

Today we started from the sketches we had both done and talked about what else might be worth developing. We decided that we wanted to look at one of the purely typographical concepts in which the former letters dictate the latter. Again we used the font Dim because it worked so well in the lower case form, creating a really strong silhouette for the word feminist. We each took this idea and developed it separately to see if each of us could come up with some good solutions.

However, after a little experimentation and the removal of the inter-punct  of  the 'i's I found that it was the top of the 'i's that were the most problematic. Finding a way to creat a curve that didn't dominate the design but rather act subtly and fall into the background was difficult. We decided to use the combination of medium dim lower case for 'feminist' and light dim upper case with 1/3 put size difference between the two. We found that this emphasised the word feminist from very small sizes but also the importance of the archiving and futures, with their uppercase form.

I tried adding could to see if this would soften the intrusiveness of the 'I' but they still didn't Sen right.

Although I did find an interesting light and dark colour combination that follows the same 1/3 rules of the pot size with a decreased colour saturation in the two 'feminist's. Izzy really liked this because of the way it suggested that begins feminist was a given, a statement of strong fact without being aggressive. 

After much tweaking I found a way to curve the tops of the 'i's that was less intrusive, although it still could be better. However, we decided if we were to expend any more energy we would have to know that this was the concept that Sharon would go for. So, we left it for the moment with a note on the email to Sharon noting such. We a,so made a point to mock up the logos over images so that they could see the opportunities for applying over film, which is a big part of what they do. I mocked up some colour and size samples and Izzy added her developed idea (detailed below) and we sent them off to Sharon.

Simultaneously Izzy was developing a concept from the idea of books and how that can represent archiving. She took the shape of the spine of a book and looked at staking them.
What is really nice about this is the way it looks slightly punk and disruptive. the condensed small logo also looks great and really looks like stacked books. THe way that they are falling into place communicates an activeness and a use of the recorded information rather than simply recorded and put away that archives have in the public consciousness in many ways. 

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 04 FAFF Research, Understanding Feminist History

As part of the project for FAFF I wanted to sound some time looking in more depth into feminist history. I have done this by reading the works of two seminal feminist authors.

This autobiography is on of the oldest texts I have read on the topic. It had a completely different tone of voice compared to the brash and humorous one that i am used to in modern feminist texts. It is so carefully considered and tracks the development of feminist thoughts in one of the movements foremost thinkers. The stand out point is the way that her childish logic so blatantly reveals the ridiculous assumptions of the patriarchy and the oppressions of such. The perspective of a child, early in the novel , puts the sadness of sexism. for example, she asks why she cannot go to war like the boys and defend her country. The answer she gets is that she is a girl, no explanation, just laughter at such a suggestion.  

This idea of the removal of the activeness of women in society is at the centre of the Female Eunuch. This passiveness is explained to centre around the social removal of the active sexuality of women. We are encouraged to be modest to never admit to sexual desires or even pleasure, we are objects to evoke rather than people to feel. Although I feel that Greer expresses some opinions I fully disagree with, mostly concerning transgender issues, it is an interesting and academic examination of the issue which is enlightening in its effect on subsequent feminist ideas.

OUGD601 Brief 01 SU Part 1 Freshers Final Designs and Evaluation


A great measure of the success of the design is the number of applications it has easily been put to. The logo looks great on the freshers guide, tote bags and badges, not to mention the banners and events list. However, something that could have been done better for this project would be colour management. To a certain extent this was because we couldn't afford the luxury of a spot colour or pantone match but the difference in orange between the print and the totes bags is possibly the most offensive part. This is mostly because no control could be had over the buying of the tote bags. So I think the best way to maintain continuity would have been to create more comprehensive brand guidelines in respect to colour management.
Working with pressision was a real learning curve but an incredibly useful one. The main thing  learned is never to assume they know what they are doing. Always check they understand what you mean and never deal only through emails. Despite the trials of this project in terms of the complexity of print, I now feel confident organising such a complex and demanding order. A useful skill.
Something that in retrospect  possibly could have been improved would be the interior folding of the guide. This is because I feel it was too complex to fold back up. I still have no idea how I could have made it more simple without loosing content, but that is what I would change.
Overall, the guides and the campaign have been very positively received. Nothing but good reports have come back from the SU and the Freshers Fair was the most highly attended yet!