Monday, 21 November 2011

Design Skills End of Module Self-Evaluation

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

Computer skills; Adobe Illustrator -> since the Illustrator workshops, I've used the software to develop initial ideas and produces the final outcome for some of the briefs. blogging has also been a key skill that I've developed and used to document my design processes, research and ideas.

2. What approaches to/methods of idea generation have you devloped and how have they informed your design development process?

Using a2/a1 sized sheets of paper to produce large scale brainstorms, lists and spider diagrams has been a useful way for me to generate ideas. Also, folding up a sheet of paper into smaller rectangles and drawing up as many ideas, as quickly as possible.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how/will you capitalize on these?

During the course of this brief, I've been good a keeping my blog updated and working steadily instead of leaving everything to the last minute.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I was too quick to jump straight to the final outcome with some of the briefs, and so my development work and initial ideas could be more thorough. My research in my design context blog needs to be more analytical and more detailed. In the future, I'll use the library more to help find more varied and relevant research.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

  1. Use the library more for research so that overall, my research is more varied and meticulous
  2. Book further in advance for printing times so that my final design is not limited to single sided etc.
  3. Keep a camera on me at all times to that work can be documented instantly and blogged
  4. Do more development work and initial ideas using design sheets for higher quality of investigation
  5. Experiment with different/more varied techniques to produce work

Friday, 18 November 2011

Alphabet Soup//Illustrator Typeface: Development

Being new to Adobe Illustrator, I began with tracing over a few different letterforms using the pen tool to see what would look the best digitally, to start getting used to understanding how the software worked and also what would be the most interesting to produce a typeface from.

I also played around with colour when testing out some of the letterforms to vary the designs and see how they altered the image. The black G (above) looked good with a turquoise outline but the style of the letter would be fairly easy to recreate into a typeface on Illustrator and wouldn't be that interesting overall so I decided to try something more challenging.

The lowercase 'g' shown below is the letter I'm going to base my typeface, creating the remaining letters using the same style and technique. To begin with, I drew up the 'g' on Illustrator using the pen tool to create curves that traced perfectly around the image. The letterform was originally based upon lowercase Georgia Bold and is intended to communicate the word 'extract'. 

In order to maintain the same style for the rest of the letterforms, I printed off the lowercase Georgia Bold alphabet and drew over them, designing each letter by hand first, in rough, so that when it came to tracing over them on Illustrator, I could just neaten up and adjust the images. The original 'g' was hand rendered and so by doing the typeface by hand first, the typeface would be a more accurate depiction of the original letter.

I photographed the quick sketches of the letterforms and placed the file into Illustrator to trace over the shapes and curves using the pen tool. I used guides and a grid to help layout the letterforms:

On a separate Illustrator file, I created a grid to fill the page (4x8) using the shape tool to create a square (holding the shift key down) and copy and pasting it, which would help me fit each letterform neatly and precisely onto the page.

All the traced letterforms were all different sizes and so, to make sure that they were all even and completely precise, I re-typed up each letter (in Georgia bold) and gave it a red outline which was at 50% opacity so that I could line up my drawn up letterforms underneath and size and adjust them appropriately. This meant that I could feel confident that my typeface would look neat and work well as a completely set.

To test out my typeface, once all the boxes and letter guides had been deleted, I spelt out my name to see how the font would work in context and to see how each letterform flowed, whether it was legible or not. The typeface is readable and the style of each of the letterforms are all matching after some tweaking to a few of the letters.

The brief specifies using colour, so my next step was to experiment with colour and also how it can enhance the idea of 'extract' throughout the typeface. I used the original Georgia Bold font as a white shape behind each of the letters to make it look like the curved shapes of each letterform had literally been extracted from the white space. I reduced the black letters down to a charcoal grey using the colour guide on Illustrator to soften the overall appearance of the typeface against a pastel background (all colours created in CMYK).

Final Typeface Design:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Proverbially Yours//Message & Delivery: final crit & response

Final Crit Notes:


Main Criticisms from Feedback: 
  • message could be interpreted differently through images, could appear that the mail shot communicates 'if you see a load of fish, catch them in case the opportunity doesn't come again'
  • more information to be given about the problem
  • not much of a link/connection between posters and mail shot
Actions to be for Improvement:
  • include text on reverse of mail shot to inform reader/user of the scale of the problem. statistics, facts etc.
  • re-print proverbially yours posters on same textured stock (off white sugar paper) to create more of a connection between the two briefs

To begin with, I personally wasn't completely happy with the text layout on the front of the mail shot, it didn't seem to stand out enough or fit in with the images. I changed to font to Helvetica and increased the point size on the key words that suggest the importance of the message communicated here.

Using the same style, I began to lay out the text to go on the reverse side of the mail shot, taking information I'd found from my research, consisting of facts and statistics intended to shock and surprise the reader. I also added the blue wave pattern onto the edge of the mail shot to keep the style consistent.

 Final Resolution:
(couldn't be re-printed due to digital print room being fully booked)

I also re-printed the proverbially yours posters onto the same off-white sugar paper stock so that the two briefs had a stronger connection: