Today I went to have a look at the Graphic Communication degree show. There were so many thoughts provoking topics and beautifully designed outcome to see. I was really impressed and look forward to being at that level. Every piece of work was so refined and professional looking which makes me want to work harder and improve myself.

This piece by Jess king is her ‘manifesto on Consumerism using type, space and pattern’. I initially found it stood out to me for the choice of this almost neon pink. Mixed with the white background its a striking piece of work. I enjoy the digital collaging she did in the posters they add this sinister feel which looms in this consumerist society. What I take from Jess’ work is that she thinks consumerism is all about ascetics and portraying the bad as good as to sell more. In this society beauty sells and I feel her work show this aspect while discretely adding in the lies that big companies tell us. I think her outcome is really succesful and I can defiantly take influence in her style of working.

Patrick McKenna’s outcome was another that stood out to me. The black, white and purple colour scheme worked really well together. His project goal ‘was to create a campaign that shows the effects that current masculinity standards have on males throughout their lives’. I feel this is a really important issue to talk about, depression is one of the leading factor of death in the uk. Before now it hasn’t been brought up in media so much, this project idea is actually helpful for some. When I first saw the posters I thought they were about sexual assault concerning men, another small topic which isn’t talked about. Overall it a really strong project and once looked further into does show this message that you’re not alone.

This last project I’m looking at is Abbi-Louise Small’ project about up skirt photography. As soon as I saw the picture of the girls I instantly could relate to the issue. The way she took this project is quite uplifting and fact that others could write on the posters makes the audience feel not alone in the issue. I like the way she used blue and pink iconic gender colours, I feel she did this to try unite both gender. The flyers had these quotes which enlarged at important words to hone in on the topic which I thought was clever. It was a nice use of hierarchy and I know I need to take some influence from this.

Overall all the project I saw looked as if they had so much passion and thought behind them, it gets me excited for our final degree show.

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Finalised Portfolio

It has taken me a while to get here but Im finally at a place where I’m pleased with my portfolio. I spent a lot of time figuring out layouts and refining my work. Some projects I went back into if I wasn’t happy with the outcome. I feel now my portfolio represents me and my work.

The changes from my previous blog have been quite big, the last one I felt didn’t reflect me the way I wanted. The previous typeface had a classic connotation and I feel my work is more modern. The typeface I’m using now is Seravek which is a quite happy and playful yet simple. It allows my work to take centre stage but still compliments the layout. The colour scheme I went with was all based of a photograph I found online. The lady in the picture is called Maude Frealy an American actress, I found her innocence and beauty mesmerizing. As someone who collects and experiments with vintage photography I found it important to add this to my cover page. The juxtaposition from innocent to creepy captures what I love to produce as a Graphic Designer. This quirky style I use might also help in standing out against others in interview situations. The colours I used are very subdued as to set a backdrop for my work. I think its important to let your work have its space to shine. On the other hand, from my critique with Theo, I tried to add in more work. I’ve added more contextual pictures and deconstructed some designs to allow different view points.

There is always room for improvement though, perhaps when I update it next I can have more space for my work and really open up the pages. Also once I have more work I can refine even more to only show things Id like to create in the future. Overall I’m happy with how my portfolios turned out. It reflects me and my work which is so important to me and future employers.

OpenClose – Updated Outcome

I’ve finally come to the end of this project. It was a long one and while I enjoyed experimenting I’m glad it’s over. I found this brief really hard compared to our previous tasks. I struggled with formatting large blocks of text and this was even more than the editorial brief. It’s safe to say I defiantly found this project challenging.

For the outcome I attempted to show the progression of evil through colour and text, while all carrying this modern Japanese flow. I used Japanese characters to signify the dates in the journal entries and the name of whose entry it was down the side. To carry the theme I had going I edited the numbers to look as if they were glitching in anticipation for the climatic finish. The final chapter turns white, a hint that evil might die in the last chapter. I tried hard to make this project one I’m proud of but I feel I could have done so much better. To get a better outcome I should have deconstructed everything more so it wasn’t so confusing for me. The size of the project was very overwhelming but it has taught me to focus on individual aspects first in order to move forward.

Changing Faces – Updated Outcome

Example Page NumberI didn’t change much to my editorial piece, the first thing I wanted to do was changing the page numbers. I really wasn’t happy with how they came out last time, they felt childish and unprofessional. What I wanted to do was have the page numbers coordinate better with the pull out quotes. So for this I kept the same typeface and opacity. Placing them off the side of the page makes them seem hidden, it reflects how I made the quotes. I think I was trying too hard and did too much before, now they look simplistic which complements the layouts.

The other changes I made were very small things to the layout. For instance lining up everything  perfectly. Theses were subtle changes but make the whole end result look so much better. I feel like now I have a realised, completed outcome.

Now that I have finished this project I feel very proud of what I have created. Things I might have changed since printing would be the quotes within the text, I think some might find it hard to read which could be an issue. I originally found it hard to organise this amount of text, it was much more than I have ever had to play with before. This was an unexpected problem I had to deal with but now I feel much Pull Out Quotesmore confident working with large amounts of text. Another thing I am proud of is the images I made. I found it interesting going through all the old Women magazines and feel it defiantly furthered my thinking when it comes to past design. Comparing my editorial piece to ones from the 50’s you can see so much difference. For instance I like to use a lot of negative space in my design where the vintage one were very compact. I’m guessing to save paper as at that time rationing was till happening. Also bringing the once old photographs to a new life was so enjoyable and I feel they really represent the issue talked about in the article.


My Portfolio – Ideas and Critique

A portfolio is a representation of your work for employers to see. It needs to represent me and how I like to work. I love negative space and I think it’s so important to let your work have space to breath. Each page will start of white and then have coordinating colours to match each project. Something I consider a lot in my work is colour, each has their own meaning and connotations. I feel it’s really important to consider colour when designing so for my portfolio the colours will be thought out and coordinate perfectly with the project. I also feel I have a sometimes minimalistic approach to my design so my portfolio will reflect this.

In the critique I knew going in I still had lots of do. Previously in the John&Jane workshop I realised that I should be expressing how I like to work but still presenting my work in a way for employers. So for this critique I expected to have lots of things left to do. One of the first things my lecturer said was to include more. For instance using samples of sketches or mockups to fill blank space and add something more to look at. Another way would be to include more contextual pictures which give the design a new dimension. This will really help to bulk out my pages as at the moment it looks as if I have little work. The second critique I had was to play more, each page looks similar and plain. To do this I’m going to try to add my own flare with doodles and my own typeface. This will hopefully give a better sense of continuity without looking like a carbon copy.

Somethings I wanted to change about my portfolio so far are for instance changing the typeface. I have been through a couple and can’t seem to find one that represents me. At the moment I’m using Didot but I feel it’s too conservative for me. The thick stems mixed with the serifs gives it a classical feel which isn’t really me. I feel like a sans-serif font my fit better with me, this is something that needs to be done. Also I want to shrink the titles so they’re less stand out, instead I want my work to be the centre piece. Another thing to help with hierachy may be to discard the colour blocks I have behind the images. This might bring my work forward more, I plan to play with this and other things to get my work to a standard I’m happier with.

John & Jane Identity Workshop

Yesterday we had a really interesting workshop about identity, held by an independent graphic design company called John & Jane. They have a big belief in being your authentic self. On their website they said that ‘You can have the best idea but if your brand doesn’t represent you in an authentic and captivating way then your business may never meet it’s full potential.’ I think its a really uplifting message and one I believe in also. With each work I do I try to keep my own style part of the outcome as if I’m leaving my mark.

In the workshop they spoke a lot about this topic of identity and keeping true to yourself after we were asked to fill a questionnaire about us as a brand. One of the questions that was asked was which 3 already established brands would you say reflects us. I chose two clothing shop Killstar and Disturbia and another illustrative company, Pusheen. Firstly chose the clothing shops because they both stand for similar things I do being unusual with ‘twists of darkness’. Disturbias website mention they cater to the outcasts and weirdos, I love this way of using maybe hurtful words to bring others together. Their brands would pretty much encapsulate my life and what I find beautiful. The other brand being Pusheen which is quite the opposite.  Their work is much more innocent and light, I love these type of aesthetics too and I try to use them in my own work. Seeing the juxtaposition from dark to light is sometimes shocking or unusual for the audience, this can make a certain design memorable which is always important in good design work.

After this discussion, we were asked to look at our portfolios so far and see if we had a message we wanted to put out. I felt at this point my portfolio wasn’t visually me and that I had watered everything down to seem more ‘appealing’ to my tutors. I was a little mad at myself but now I have this drive to make my portfolio about me and my style. I started by thinking of some quick branding ideas which I sketched out. Each was using the k’s in my names while still having this horror films feel to them. I then trialed a front page for my portfolio, I mixed this sinister yet innocent photograph with my modern style font. I love the juxtaposition it gives and hopefully will help me to stand out against other designers. Overall the workshop was really insightful and gave me the confidence to design for not just my audience.

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My Portfolio – Self Discovery

Today we had a really thought-provoking workshop on self Discovery in the graphic design field. It opened my eyes into thinking that graphic design isn’t needed in the same way it was years ago. Graphic design has changed through times and so we must change with it.

Our first task was to think about things that we care about within the industry. Our group came up with things such as equality, happiness, sustainability and honesty. Ultimately thinking about design ethics and how we might respond to clients in the future. We each have our own morals for instance someone in our group was against gambling so wouldn’t want to design for a company who promotes it. Although we have our personal disagreements we ultimately need to look out for ourselves in the future. Being financially stable to important for obvious reasons and we as designers have to decide where we draw the line when it comes to morals. This really made my think about my future and what I want to communicate through my design. For instance I’m vegan, do I want to be designing for companies that exploits animal? Of course not, I hadn’t thought about this much before now. I want to be able to design for companies that I stand behind. This links into the overarching project, so when creating my portfolio/cv I’m going to have to be clear in the way I represent myself. Do I want to attract business’ that I feel are morally wrong.

The second task we were given was to identify what makes a good design. Immediately things like contemporary, longevity and originality came up. A design needs to be current and ‘fresh’ for the audience to be inspired, seeing something new has this connotation of being ahead of the rest. It’s good to be current and forward thinking in the industry. Originality helps also, having something unique that has never been done before is more likely to stick in a consumer head than something that’s been done a thousand times before. As a consumer we are always wanting more or something new to change our lives. Another aspect we thought was important was authenticity. Being true to the brand you’re selling is so important otherwise what is the point. By designing for a brand you are taking their aspects and visualising them, if a design doesn’t stand for what you want then the design is obsolete. The design should make the audience think and create an internal dialog about what they are seeing, doing this would hopefully create a meaningful stand out design.

Our last task of the day was to look for examples of good and bad online portfolios. Many looked professional on the outside but when navigating began difficult and confusing to use. One in particular had too many jumps and links which when mixed with bad internet became very tiresome to look around and we soon became bored. Another had this heading which overlapped the page whenever we scrolled down, this made reading the page quite difficult. The good portfolios we found were simple and showed off the artists work in a modern yet understated way. They were careful not to make the site overly complex which made looking at their art more enjoyable.

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OpenClose – Final Critique

I had my final critique for this project not long ago so I need to break down my criticism and find out whats next. I wasn’t feeling very happy after my critique as I didn’t get the feedback I was expecting. It was my fault though, I wanted to take it in a different direction and take a risk but it didn’t work out. This just means I have more work to do to catch up.

My main critique was that my pages felt quite two-dimensional and needs some hierarchy. I was planning on doing most of this on the pull-out pieces but I think I’ll change the plan and have the base pages more interesting to look at. This will need a lot more time for formatting. My teacher suggested that I looked at using weight and other devices such as strikethroughs to give more of a narrative. An interesting point he mentioned was to pick out quotations and highlight these to draw attention to them first. By doing this it will give more depth to the books appearance and can set my own narrative. Something I need to do is really pick up the important parts of each chapter and visually express these in an experimental way. I have a lot to do so we’ll keep up to date on how the book is coming out.

OpenClose – Catch up and Critique

We are nearing the end of the project and I’m trying to pick up the pace. To help with this I wanted to collect my thoughts while also reflecting on my last critique. At the moment I am thumbnailing the basis of what I want the outcome to look like. I have gone for very simplistic approach with an oriental feel. This will give the book a more modern feel but still playing to the story with the iconic colour scheme. As I have mentioned before chapter one will be white pages and chapter 27 black to represent the growing evil throughout the book. The text will be opposing colours in a modern yet vampy typeface. The chosen typeface, Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro, looks modern from afar but up close has this subtle spiked serifs which link back into the horror theme. The font also works with Japanese characters which I needed because I could only have 1 typeface in my outcome.

In my critic my tutor told me that I need to keep up the pace and get it finished in time. He also told me to think about the overall essence and what I want the audience to take away from my outcome. I want the audience to see that you can take an iconic novel and update it without loosing all the things that make Dracula iconic. Also I want my outcome to leave the audience wanting more and to feel more involved in the story. Hopefully with my use of folding this will allow the audience to feel more involved and can play with the book bringing them closer to the story.

I am now going to start my final piece, I know it will be a feat and will probably take a while to format everything the way I want it. Going forward I really need to consider hierarchy and pace, this is very important as there are so many details to this novel and I don’t want to make it confusing to read. I also need to add in colour, but I don’t want to cover the book unnecessary in colour. Everything is going to be meticulously though out which I feel is so important for a large text formatting brief.

OpenClose – Experimental Formats

Flatlands by Leanne SwiftTo start of this research I’m looking at a designer is called Leanne Swift who mainly works in graphic design. For this project she made a ‘Typographic based design proposal for the novella ‘Flatland – A romance of many dimensions’.’ Its elegant and sophisticated with a modern feel. The use of black and white makes it feel stark and clinical almost. I love how she uses the text to help create flow through the reading. The different text boxes interacts more with the reader and allows them move through the text in a different way. This is something I’d love to use in my own work, as Dracula is written as journal entries and I want to find a way to distinguish between them. Swift has gone for a more classic script font which reflects another era. The book is cleverly done and is beautiful to look at.

S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst

Another piece I was interested in was this book written by Doug Dorst and conceived by J. J. Abrams. The 2013 novel named S. ‘is unusual in its format, presented as a story within a story.’ The piece looks as if it could have been someones actual journal, with the personal notes on the side to add extra detail. I love this personal touch to the novel it helps so much with the story telling. By using a similar technique I could highlight aspects to the audience that I think are important to the story telling. I could change how things are perceived just by using these techniques. Another interesting thing in this novel is the loose accompanying papers, from maps to letters they all push this narrative to another level that you might not find in a regular book. This is such a clever way of interacting with the audience and getting them physically involved in the story. This is always something I strive for in my work as I think if you can interact with the audience it allows them to become personally invested to your design. Hopefully I can have this same effect in the foldout I’m going to be making.

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