Our first task for this module was a Photoshop task, with the aim being to create a Podcast cover for a new podcast about typography and graphic communication. I decided to call mine ‘Let’s Talk About Typography’ to create an inviting feel that encourages the idea of discussion and represents the content of the podcast.
Design Ideas and Design Process
I began my design process by researching existing podcast covers, including podcasts that focused on the topic of graphic design. Looking at these existing covers helped me to grasp that the ones that stood out the most to me were the ones with brightly coloured backgrounds, a relatively simple design and typography that stood out. Personally, I begin the design process by mind mapping my own ideas so I created a mind map of words relating to typography and graphics. I then went on to use these as a guide to search for images on free stock image sites. For this task, I mainly used Pixabey as recommended in the provided guidance, but I also looked at images on unsplash.com. The keywords I was searching for were mainly: metal type, woodblocks, warped grid, laptops, and desk.
After downloading my chosen images, I began working on them in photoshop.
FINAL IDEA 1 – LETTERING BACKGROUND
I began by cropping the original image and used the camera raw filter to adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows etc. My aim was to go for a brighter, higher-contrast image to make it ‘pop’. I feel I did this successfully and found the camera raw filter a very easy tool to use as you can see the adjustments you are making as you are changing the values. I also wanted to add a ‘grainy’ sort of effect to the image, almost making it appear faded and older to represent how metal type and woodblocks were used for bookmaking back in the 15th century. I played around with various different filters to give this effect such as: adding noise, grain and despeckling. I finally settled on adding noise as I felt it gave my most desired effect. I thought that the image still looked a bit dull therefore I went to image > selective colour and chose red to give the image warmth and make the red colours pop.
I used the image of woodblock type as I was inspired by our print and printmaking module where we have learned about the history of printing and how books were printed from the before and after the 15th century. I thought it would be interesting to use an image that had a historical context in the topic of the podcast cover, which my audience could connect with
FINAL IDEA 2 – OFFICE BACKGROUND
I used two images to create this podcast cover. After importing the first image of the laptop and coffee and phone into photoshop, I used the direct selection tool to cut out the objects I wanted to use from the image and copied them into separate layers. I deleted the background from the image and imported an image of pieces of paper to create the background. Underneath this layer, I created a pink square and used the layer blend options to merge them together to create a textured background that made the design pop. After then watching a tutorial about how to blend out the edges of the cutout objects to make the concept look more well put together, I used layer masks and adjusted the feather, contrast, and shift edge in Global Refinements to give a blurred effect around the layers. For the text, I used two different fonts. Although in our integrated design module, we have learned to rarely use more than two typefaces at once, I felt it was appropriate to create emphasis on the topic of discussion. We have also been taught in integrated design to always track all caps, which I did for my capital letters. I changed by type to white and then placed it in the top left corner of the design.
FINAL IDEA 3
For this design, I used an image from Pixabey and created a gradient map, and experimented with different gradients to change the color to give a duotone color effect. I tried to do this by creating an 8 bit grayscale of the image and then using photoshops duotone effect but I found that the results didn’t look how I wanted them to so looked at a tutorial online and learned how to achieve the effect using a gradient map.
We were provided with a list of Photoshop tutorials that I found helpful to refresh my memory on how to use the basics such as importing photos and using layers and effects, as I hadn’t really used the software since GCSE/ AS level. I had rarely used layer masks before, so it was interesting to learn how to use them.
From this online tutorial, I learned how to soften edges of cut out objects which I found helpful in my first concept where I cut objects out of one image and placed them on top of another.
This tutorial was on how to create a duotone image in photoshop – I found this helpful in my last design and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to do this as i find duotone images really interesting and have seen them gain popularity recently.
I also watched this tutorial on using the selective colour tool as I planned on making the red colours in my first design pop out.
All of these tutorials helped me with the technical side of creating my podcast covers, and aided me in my making. It was useful to watch the full videos even if I had already picked up what I felt I needed to learn, to explore the tools more.
I also watched this video on shortcuts in photoshop as I think it will help me in the future to make my workflow quicker and easier.
Resources for Research and Information
Looking at existing podcast covers helped me to grasp which stood out to me more, such as covers with an effective, bright but simple colour schemes. I was particularly inspired by looking at graphic design podcasts for inspiration as to which typography to use. I thought that the covers that used a script typeface for emphasis were effective, and appealing to my eye. Hence why I used this typography throughout my designs. Although most of the podcast covers that I looked at were vector or illustration based, I still wanted to focus my covers on the use of the image to improve my skills in photoshop, as I knew that we would have time to develop other skills later on in the upcoming weeks in the module.
We were also provided with sources of inspiration which encouraged me to think about the audience of my podcast cover and the style that I wanted my designs to fit into. When thinking of my audience, I wanted the covers to appeal to people interested in design and typography therefore i feel like my image choices were appropriate. I think I could have made the style of my designs more consistent but I used the same typography in all of them to tie them all together, which got me thinking about the identity of the podcast which I have also been thinking about throughout the other tasks from this module.