All posts relating to Graphic Design 1 Assignment 3 are below:
I was very excited at the prospect of doing this exercise because it feels like I’ve been doing it in some form for a few years now. I started collecting packaging, clothing labels, magazines, articles, cutting out bits of text I liked the look of in 2008/2009.
But I’d never put these objects into a scrap book or something collective so they’ve sat in boxes for years and I’ve just continued to accumulate more. So I’ve now started to compile a folder (a physical not digital one), where I can stick done objects on pages and insert the pages in.
Here’s a few
I’m finding this a little tricky, as I’ve become aware that I don’t really have much awareness of current graphic designers. A lot of the design I admire or keep from packaging etc comes from companies which don’t name their designers on their products/packaging.
So I looked at two illustrators I admire: Emma Block & Debbie Powell.
I mentioned in my first research post that I hadn’t investigated who designs some of the packaging I admire and really so no reason not to. So I searched ‘who designs Starbucks packaging’ and came across a very interesting post here:
It’s an interview with Mike Peck, Starbucks Creative Director of Packaging (what an incredible title!) It’s mostly an interview about a redesign of packaging for their coffee beans. I should probably explain at this point that I used to work for Starbucks (as a barista) so was fairly familiar with their packaging/design.
It’s a fascinating read because it reveals how important design can be for conveying information about what a product is really like, it ca convey a feeling or depth or provoke intrigue or it can look simplistic and not invite the viewer to engage.
The really great bit at the end of the interview is that he mentions a whole list of graphic designers who worked on the redesign. So I went through the list searching to find one that had some kind of blog or website so I could find out more about their process.
One designer I found of interest in the bunch is a guy named Victor Melendez:
I really like his work for Starbucks and some of his side projects but am unsure about his general style, I don’t really like the whole day of the dead themed work. I’ll do a proper analysis tomorrow but for now I think that’s enough!
Victor Melendez describes himself as a Graphic designer and Illustrator. He originates from Mexico City but currently lives and works in Seattle. He works within the Starbucks creative design team but also seems to keep himself busy with side projects.
Reading existing signs symbols and images create a new symbol for one of these concepts:
Danger, Movement, Love, Here.
Research how existing visual language represents these concepts, document this through drawings, examples, mind maps. Then create an alternative symbol to represent at least one of the above concepts.
I started working on the designs mainly on the computer heading into illustrator to try and create something using the squares of movement I’d cut out from magazines. In hindsight I think it would’ve been better for me to have taken longer/given more thought to sketching designs in pencil first.
I started by working on creating a clipping mask to insert the pictures into text saying ‘movement’:
I like the look of these as I think the colour and clipped effect of the images inside the letters adds to the sense of movement. But I think it feels too much like the easy or cheating option to use the word ‘movement’ to reference the concept of movement. It doesn’t really feel like an alternative sign.
I showed my husband the designs I’d created and he felt like I needed to go back to simpler images maybe a logo of sorts rather than using letters to show the concept. So I went back to my sketchbook and drew some simple little ideas to see if I could come up with a different avenue for the design:
I liked the idea of almost a cork screw/spiral shape as a symbol for movement as obviously this links to visual ideas like the hurricane or storms which have extreme amounts of movement. I tried to create a shape in Illustrator drawing over my sketch of the spiral shape.
But I wasn’t happy that I was creating a fluid/developed enough shape, it looked fairly childish and that wasn’t what I wanted. Using a spiral with curved lines also felt like creating a sign which linked to closely to existing images of movement. I wanted to create a shape that used lines that were an alternative so thought maybe something that was more geometric in nature might work.
I came across an online tutorial to create a logo which inspired me to create the final logo. You can see the tutorial here:
In the tutorial he creates a ribbon shaped logo out of rectangles arranged upright, almost in an concertina fashion. My thought was to use some curved rectangles on their sides to draw the eye downwards and create a sense of movement.
In the image below you can see the basic frame work (the second almost lollipop shaped spiral).
I wasn’t 100% happy with the basic framework but it was better than anything I’d thought of so I decided to think about adding colour to the basic shapes. I thought that a bright, rainbow like colour would be fitting as there’s often a lot of colour in images displaying movement. But I wanted to use blended colour rather than just flat colour so I took a bit of time learning how to use the gradient tool and the result is the image below. It’s not perfect but I think it does offer a different perhaps more restrained logo like take on the concept of movement:
The research point for this project involves going back to my own visual diary and considering how I look at images. I’m asked to consider three things:
1. How do your eyes travel around the items you have collected?
2. What do you look at first?
3. Where is the contrast in what you are looking at?
I want to consider these question by commenting on a few pages from my visual diary…
I started this exercise just before pausing the module so coming back to it felt quite odd. I’d started working on the project using illustrator, and so decided as a first step I’d begin by printing off thumbnails of that work:
I started this exercise by drawing the two grids of squares to colour in, one in colours I liked the other in bright colours that I disliked. The result was interesting:
I didn’t really know where to start with this, but seeing as I couldn’t afford a trip to Montreal and have not previously been there I knew primary research was out of the question. My next thought was to try and find out more about visiting Montreal and therefore find out about popular landmarks/attractions that might form the basis of my abstract design.
I did something sneaky – I went into a travel agents and said I was interested in holidays in Canada and could I have a brochure. They were kind and here’s the evidence:
I am very privileged to be able to say I have been in parts of Manhattan as I visited New York City. I found the rough guide to Manhattan helped me to clarify just what parts of New York City were Manhattan! See the link below:
Interestingly it considers Staten Island and the statue of liberty as parts of Manhattan’s Down town district, which is lucky for me as I took a few (poor quality) photo’s when I visited when I was 16.
Marrakesh is not a city that I’ve visited before so again I’ve looked at the rough travel guide to help me figure out where to begin my research. I then formed a mind map of places to find images of as a source for ideas. I also contacted a friend who had visited the city and found a photo of her’s to use as inspiration.
Madrid is another city I’ve not visited and know relatively little about so I went to the rough guide again for some info and ideas to start a mind map.
Again the rough guide was my starting point for research into the city of Managua.
Malmo is a city within Sweden, I looked to the rough guide to start my research into the city.
I also found the local website helpful in helping me get a feel for the city itself:
Melbourne proved to be a trickier City to depict in an abstract way than I had anticipated! As I researched I felt like the City had two sides one, the beach/sea loving contingent the other a food/cafe urban loving culture.
Having never visited Marseille I got stuck into reading up about it on the rough guide website:
Mumbai as a City was completely unknown to me before doing some research. I had only a few points to begin exploring but I began to search for images of these tourist spots or destinations.
I’m half embarrassed to admit I’ve never been to Manchester and didn’t really know much about it before starting the project. If I’m honest I actually found it one of the harder places to create a cover for, perhaps because it’s supposed to be closer to home but really doesn’t feel it!
I began this project with some artist’s research as I wasn’t overly familiar with the practice of Photomontage. I brainstormed a list of artists to look into in my sketchbook:
I was really appalled by the Rana Plaza factory collapse back in 2013. It was widely discussed in the media at the time as it was the biggest industrial disaster in Bangladesh’s history. But also because the factory that collapsed was a garment factory which made cheap clothing for many well known brands in the UK & USA. There’s lots of news articles about the legacy of the collapse but here’s one to make a point: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22476774 Continue reading
For this assignment I needed to produce an A3 sized (297x420mm) poster which celebrated a colour of my choice. There were a few limitations to the task:
1. Only allowed to use my chosen colour, its complementary colour and black/white.
2. Consider visual dynamics/contrast as well as meaning – my interpretation of the colour as well as other people’s.
3. Submit three variations of the poster as well as the finished design.
I began creating designs for the assignment in photoshop as I’d grown more comfortable using it throughout this part of the module. My starting place was around the image of the space hopper going for that ‘retro’ feel.
My tutor asked me to consider what I might do differently taking the course forward. So this post is me considering his feedback and what needs to be improved, changed for the next assignment.