Author: Amy Babington

Vector! That’s me, because I commit crimes with both direction and magnitude.

Design Ideas and Process

For the Illustrator task of drawing vector objects, we had to create a social media banner for the podcast by Yaa Gyasi: Homecoming. The first thing I did in the design process was research more into what the podcast was about. After seeing that this novel turned podcast spanned over 300 years following the lives of two sisters and the generations below them and their struggle with slavery, it was important to me to portray these themes in the advert of the banner. I also had listened to the start of the podcast to help me better understand the project I was designing.

My next step was to look at other examples of the cover of both the novel and the podcast. Although there where a couple of different variations of them, one commonality throughout was the use of the warm red, yellow and orange colours, particularly in the herringbone pattern. I decided this was something I was going to implement in my own design as to keep it recognisable to the podcast and to follow the brief whereby it should complement but not directly copy the cover design.

Creating a Silhouette Using the Pen Tool

My first idea was to use the cover on a different layer to use the pen tool to create a silhouette of the character on the cover.  At first I had just outlined the head, however  with the key theme of the podcast being slavery and oppression, I wanted to add in the shackle around her neck as I felt this was an important feature that creates necessary tension within someone seeing the design.

Software Tutorials

Editing the Anchor Points

One problem I encountered when using the pen tool was that I was struggling to get a perfect circle. To fix this instead fo using the pen tool I watch this video which details how to use the pathfinder tool to combine objects. To achieve the final look I created an ellipse which I then combined with the illustration of the silhouette.

Although I found this effective, I still wanted to learn how to create a smooth ellipse using the pen tool as knowing how to do a task multiple different ways would come handy in the future.  I read this article and attempted to draw the ellipse and then covert and edit the points to create the same smooth effect which also worked however I find was a longer way of doing this.

Design Resources and Articles

Creating a Grid for the Pattern

Including the one mentioned above, I read different articles throughout this task to help not only refresh my knowledge on illustrator but to also learn new skills. One of the first ones I read was from the brief: which really helped me form a basis of where to being on illustrator and what tools to use such as the pen tool which was the first tool I chose when creating this design.

As mentioned on my Trello board, I struggled with how to achieve my desired output for the pattern of the design. First I wanted to do this by drawing vector objects however realised this would be time consuming and ultimately lead to disproportioned blocks. This article helped me create a grid that I could use to make it look as though the thoughts and feelings of the story are represented in this feature of the design as they are then coming from behind the silhouette of the head, or ‘her mind.’ Alongside this I used this video to help me understand how to fill in certain portions of the grid with the different colours from the original cover.

Learning Across the Module

The skills I have learnt from this module can been seen throughout all of the different softwares. I feel more confident in Photoshop and Illustrator, particularly in Photoshop when it comes to editing and removing objects from pictures. This was the focus in my week 3 plan and I am happy with the outcome I produced whereby the feedback I received from peers was that the removal of the arms from the photos was very successful.

When comparing the quiz results I can see that my understanding of what software to use for each project has improved as this was something I identified as a weakness at the start of the Autumn and Spring term however now I feel I can confidently decide what software to use for when.  One thing that the last two quizzes picked up on is that I need to work on are the specific features of the software such as what colour settings are best to use e.g. RGB and CYMK, along with how different resolutions affect the work. I feel as though this knowledge is something that can be easily learnt compared to learning all the different tools and what can be achieved in each of the softwares which will take practise to learn. In the future I am going to read more articles and watch videos on understanding colour schemes and basic document setups for adobe software as I think this will help me.



Skill For Design Blog Post

Design Ideas and Process

When previously using Photoshop/Indesign/Illustrator I tended to stick to what I knew producing simple and sometimes boring outcomes. I found these tasks challenging as I knew I wanted to push myself to learn new tools in the software however it was sometimes hard to not give up when something was going wrong.

Postcard 1
Screenshot 2

My first design I wanted to try using the clipping mask to create this see through text effect. I layered this onto of lots of images of newspapers as I thought this would show the themes of printing and typography talked about on the podcast (see screenshot 2). It took bit of playing around with to get the perfect balance between the background and the text so that it would still be eligible to read and meant I had to transform and crop the original photoshopped background to make this work.


Postcard 2

Before starting my second design I knew I wanted to try cutting out from different photos on photoshop.

Screenshot 1

By composing this idea with different typography and graphic design elements coming out of a head (as if this is what he is thinking about) would allow me to practice this skill multiple times. I found the smoke in this podcast cover the most challenging. I originally
started by trying to draw the smoke with different colours and blurring this together however after watching some tutorials, I found the most realistic way was to use images of clouds placed into the file (shown in screenshot 1).


postcard 3

My final design started on the inspiration of using an old computer. Originally I wanted things to be coming out of the computer almost as new tabs opening before I chose to incorporate the speech bubbles. I believe this was my least affective design as they are only basic components and mainly used skills that I had developed on my last two covers



Software Tutorials

A helpful tutorial I watched on YouTube explained how to create smoke on photoshop. I found this particular video useful as it talked through three different ways to do this, all of which I tried before deciding which one worked best for me. I chose to import an image of a cloud and use the lasso tool to clip this. I didn’t think about this way before as I wouldn’t have thought to change the levels of the image to create white smoke on a black back compared to a cloud on a blue sky. The tutorial can be found here

I knew before starting the sticker tasks that illustrator was the one software that I felt the least confident in so before I began I watched different videos on the basics of illustrator, this also helped me understand the terminology such as anchor points for when I watched more specific tutorials. When I first started drawing the microphone on the postcard cover 1, I was struggling with getting the curve of the line smooth so I watched this tutorial ( which allowed me to realise I was using the wrong anchor points for what I wanted to achieve and I could easily fix this by using the covert tool.

Design Resources and Articles

Before all of my tasks, I would start by looking on Pinterest at other podcast covers or stickers etc to give me a general starting point. This is where I first saw the concept of objects flying out of someones head like in my second podcast cover.

The website was also interesting to me as I could see how the use of colour affected the design. Most of the covers on here were very colourful and eye-catching which inspired me to use more varied colours when design my own such as the use of purple and yellow in my third sticker.

For my first podcast cover, the idea included a lot of emphasis on the typography of the design. I used skills I had already developed from other modules on the course as to how to efficiently alter a type face to produce the best outcome. However designing this cover showed me that there were gaps in my knowledge such as the kerning of the writing which is why I found this article useful to read.



What’s on in Autumn 2017? – RFT flyer

Initial Process

My first quick mock-ups of the cinema listing were all different however we can see that the first for examples very much focused on the title of the the movie (shown with the pink block). This was because my initial thought was that this is what was most important when designing the cinema listings and therefore was at the top of the hierarchy.

As my ideas developed we notice that this becomes the less prominent feature as I wanted to play around with putting the film title in different type fonts and sizes.

Cinema Listings design 1

I carried this forward when designing my final two listings as I focused on the type of user which would therefor change the hierarchy in the text. I based my designs on the premise that the user would be university students visiting the Reading Film Theatre. Because of this, I believed the date would be the most important aspect following the film title as they would plan going to see a film around their schedule. Furthermore, with there being only 1 film showing a day, I did not want to follow the usual conventions, for example a popular cinema website, whereby they would first list the film title and then the dates and times of the showings and this would not have been practical with only one showing.

Cinema listing design 2

My second design shown above, I wanted to play around with the typeface sizing of the dates to make it more eye-catching. At first I just included the large numbers however after receiving feedback from my peers that this was hard to understand, I chose to do this alongside the large months shown above to indicate that these were in fact dates. The use of putting these in the same colour also helped me achieve this idea.



Logotype trends 2022

My logotype originally stemmed from the 70s retro design. I was inspired by the colour palette of earthy and dull tones so tried to imitate this into my logotype with the green and beige colours. Whilst curating my moodpboard, I liked the idea to incorporating an old record into the design and I came up with focusing the ‘brand name’ around a circle alongside using fonts that still fit into the 70s aesthetic  whilst also contrasting each other. The idea to add the leaves at the bottom was to give the logotype an eco feel along with the green colours as I also feel this represents my personal beliefs and style in the image.