Photoshop Editing Sunset

Photoshop Editing

To start my exploration with Photoshop I decided to visit the website which possesses many royalty free images that are allowed to be used. I knew I wanted to edit an image of a landscape or majestic setting as these type of images usually have a lot to edit, and depending on the surroundings, may make the effects that would be edited look more effective.

I decided to use the effects panel on Photoshop to play around with what I could manipulate, I discovered some great effects such as colour balance, hue/saturation, linear dodge, photo filter, and dissolve in which I incorporated into my design to display the effects that they would have on the image. As evident in the images I have inserted, the overall hue of the images are of a purple tint, in comparison to the rather naturally orange hue of the regular image. The overall image has been effected by the colour balance, turning almost every element in the image darker and of a slightly more abnormal colour to emphasise the effect and that it has actually changed the image’s properties. The dissolve feature had made the clouds especially pixelated, which could be seen as  a negative approach to showing the effects, but in this instance it works well to show the limitation to combining multiple effects.

Overall, I really enjoyed performing this task as it was a nicely comfortable session where not too much concentration was needed to create an image that shows off the capabilities of Photoshop and to see how “messed up” you could portray an image.


Exploring Clipping Masks in Photoshop


My previous knowledge and approach surrounding  the development of my Photoshop designs were mostly comprised of following an entire tutorial online of how to create a certain style/design. Additionally, I would normally only use images from the internet to create my concepts as they were easier to access and would require less time than taking my own photographs. However, this task of creating and developing my Podcast design, encouraged me to have a more open and less restrictive way of thinking, when it comes to designing. The outcome of my design helped me to discover that I could effectively create a design of a good standard that included my own images and a mix of skills.

Design Ideas and Design Process

  • I started my design process by taking a picture of myself to edit in Photoshop.
  • Using the selection tool, I selected everything apart from the background, to then make the background a solid colour of light blue.
  • Using an image that I obtained from the website Pexels ( I pasted the image in front of my photograph and created the clipping mask.
  • At this stage I decided to include a duplicate of the image from Pexels as it did not fit the entirety of my photograph, thus adding it to the bottom of my design.
  • Using the brush tool and adding a new mask, I reduced the flow to 50% to then gradually erased the image away from my photograph to show my face to specify that the clipping mask is of a person.
  • Using another mask layer added onto my photograph, I changed the tone of the original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic/rustic effect that would blend well with my selected image.
  • For the inclusion of my text, I decided to display the main topic of “Typography” at the top of my podcast cover, but I wanted to display “and Graphic Communication” in another method/format. Thus, I created a speech bubble using the shape tools to emphasise the word “communication” and had the bubble reside next to the mouth in the photograph to further connotate communication. After, creating my podcast cover I decided to make alternative designs to show different perspectives of my design as a whole, for example I did this by removing text and changing the colour of the background to show the outlines of my photograph.
    For this example I included a speech bubble to illustrate the “communication” in Graphic Communication.
    Here, I decided to shift the bottom image upward and centre my photograph, as well as add a different font for my text (Bauhaus 93).

    For this design, I decided to reveal the face of the photograph to further emphasise the reality of the shape that is being presented.

Software Tutorials

To make my design I used Youtube to find a tutorial that would help me decide on what style of design I could produce. Through research I found a tutorial that would develop a certain style that I liked and decided to base my podcast design off of it. The video ( helped me to understand how to create my design, as well as refresh my memory on the tools that can be used while in Adobe Photoshop. I believed following this tutorial helped me as it encouraged me to use more advanced techniques in the software and produce a more detailed design. I followed this tutorial to prove that I could properly and confidently work with the software and develop a design for the podcast that was unique to the type of style I had chosen. I would like to improve my skills related to photo editing, as the possibilities in Photoshop are endless, constantly acquiring new knowledge about the system software will help me to build my confidence in this area.

Design Resources and Articles

One additional source that I used to develop my design ideas for my podcast idea for my project was from the official Adobe website, that helped to remind me of some general skills that I could apply to my designs ( Skills such as using the adjustment panel to change my original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic effect helped me to move on with my design processes. Furthermore, the addition of being able to edit photo’s brightness and colour contrast aided me to change how my alternative designs appeared and allowed me to develop my ideas further using these basic Photoshop techniques.


To conclude, I believe my final designs, as well as my design process helped me to further understand the intricacies of photoshop to help me develop my knowledge for future projects. Upon reflection, I would go back and research more tutorials and sources that would help me enhance my design ideas further to potentially improve my final design proposals.


Typeface drawing

Following the Thursday interactive session from Gerry Leonidas, I have come to recognise and acknowledge the details in typography as well as overall design.

The session had us draw letters of a particular typeface that was only in small parts that were pre-drawn; and from that reference we had to draw the rest of what remained of the text. I believed this exercise was to test our knowledge of not just typefaces, but to see if we could guess the following style through little information.

The picture on the right of the page illustrates an example of my drawn work that shows how I continued with the pre-drawn typeface. Compared to the original, it was fairly accurate, however the “a” and “e” required more curvature, after being given 4 words, the task moved onto doing more without a starting reference on what we had to draw. Very similar to the first example I had drawn, they were mostly accurate other than the curvature of the lines on certain letters. In future projects, I will need to improve my skills of refining and recognising fine details, especially when it is related to text or fonts. These drawing skills will help reintroduce me into sketching for future assignments as well as improving my confidence in refinement.

To conclude, the session helped me understand the foundations of what future analysis of designs/typefaces will require. Additionally, as I have not drawn for a while, it was always helpful to regain my confidence into drawing more again.

Cinema Listings Development

The Reading Film Theatre brief involved having to produce a pamphlet for the Reading Film Theatre Autumn 2017 Programme, presenting 10 films along with information about them on the page. It had to only include 2 colours (white does not count as a colour in this circumstance), 2 fonts, and possess 2 columns to present the information. Additionally, our design had to cater to a particular audience, such as a parent with 2 children and an elderly couple.

For my first draft, I included a gold gradient background along with black text to present the information. My initial ideas were to reference the “golden age” of Hollywood cinema, like the 1950s an 1960s; leading to me adding the gold background. My design was supposed to appeal to the older audiences, or connotate that it was of a classic cinema style, but I had not realised that I had already failed one of the briefs of having only 2 colours. Also, due to the text being the same colour and similar point size, it was fairly complicated to read upon first glance.  Furthermore, my inclusion of paragraph rules were not very helpful as they were the same colour as the text. Cinema Listing 1

With my second design I decided to only include a light blue colour and black text as I did not want my design to be as needlessly complicated to look at. However, in light of focusing on minimising my design I had forgotten about my chosen audience, which resulted with me becoming confused on what to do next. This, along with my lack of current Adobe InDesign knowledge, made me want to learn about how I could improve my design by seeking feedback from the Friday lesson. Cinema Listing 2

After, the feedback lesson I decided to simplify my design as well as not overcomplicate the visuals, along with editing general mistakes such as errors within the text. I decided to focus on the colours of the University logo that is usually depicted as red and white, to fit the colour scheme. The pdf file does not allow the font that I had chosen for the title, but for reference I had initially used a font called “Showtime”. This font had a Hollywood inspired text along with old film tape acting as borders above and below the title. I wanted my design to focus on being intended for the use of the elderly, as it was a simple design that became easier to read compared to my last concepts. The minimal use of red for the title as well as the titles for the films enhances the importance of the films and associates with the hierarchy of information, conveyed in Lonsdale and Twyman’s journals of typography. RFT Actual Design

Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd Collection

Following the Thursday interactive session from Emma about the introductions to the collections that the Typography department have relating to Typography and how it was created/used over time; I took an interest in evaluating and researching the music sheets and covers of Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd.

The origin of these particular music sheets originate from 1938 (Any broken hearts to mend?) and 1928 (I’m sorry Sally) and were published by Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd. From first glance the covers conveyed a sense of nostalgia, as the old minimalistic style as well as colours fit the interwar era of design as it was a rather depressing/lonesome era (as the vast majority of men were fighting at war). The purpose of these music sheets were for families to purchase to be able to play the most recent songs at home on the piano, as most households owned a piano for entertainment. Additionally, Orchestras and bands that would play at venues, would also purchase these music sheets as playing the most recent music of the time was there occupation.

The front covers of the designs connotate a sense of melancholy and intense sadness relating to love, which clearly relate to the historical context of lost love/missing a lover due to the war. The cover for “Any broken hearts to mend?” has the female character possess the same colour scheme as the background itself, to possibly minimise the printing cost as well as having the correct blend of colours for the tone of music. The layout of the title suggests a sense of optimism as the flowing/rhythmic text suits the curiosity of the question if there are “any broken hearts to mend”. Whereas “I’m Sorry Sally” has only used black and white to present the cover, possibly due to the fact that this cover was 10 years older than the other cover, showing the development of the publishing company. But more interestingly, the typeface included possesses serifs compared to the other cover, to potentially emphasise that the music included is of a more serious or somewhat “classier” fashion as the typeface has more visual flair. The age of the music sheets clearly show, due to the fact that the price that is present on both covers is “6d”, or is more commonly referred to as a sixpence; thus the historical context suggests that these are older published music sheets.

To conclude, observing the vast examples of the collections within the typography department has aided me in recognising how old style of print was developed/conceived for particular genres or styles; as well as understanding the potential ideas that were intended when publishing designs and other forms of media.



The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Following the tutorial of copying The Great Gatsby book cover on Adobe InDesign, I decided to develop my own version of this with my personal choice of book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This book is important to me because, I read this when I was younger and it really helped me to put into perspective the true horrors that prisoners during World War two had to endure. Because the main setting of the book is set around the border between the Jewish Camp and the countryside; I decided to create my own barbed wire fence using the line tool. I made irregularities with the coiling of the fence as it allowed the title as well as the rest of the text to be read easier than having objects that would obstruct the view. Fitting the theme, the blue and faded white stripes symbolize the uniforms that prisoners had to wear, adding to the meaning behind the book. Here I had to add further leading to my design as I wanted all of my information clearly conveyed within each stripe of colour from the background. The cover is supposed to communicate a simple message through the simplicity of what is being conveyed (the barbed wire fence and background).

Brown Design

After selecting the theme “90s Urban Style” prior to the session on Thursday, I decided to create a brief mood board to quickly illustrate the instant ideas I had about my theme. 90s Urban

The 90s style made me instantly think of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (the famous TV series from the 90s), as the main character and the introduction to the show presents a typical “street themed” aesthetic. I noticed throughout the images I observed that there was a consistent theme of graffiti and vibrant (but minimalist) colour schemes. Taking inspiration from this, I pursued the graffiti style, as it perfectly fit the theme of noticeable and eye-catching logos.

Graffiti Design Experimentation Through using Adobe Illustrator, I wrote my name in many different fonts until I found the font “The Blacklist”, this font had joined letters and had varying thickness to the lines, which was a common graffiti style back in the 90s. Additionally, I made my own gradient to use for my lettering, as I wanted to adopt the vibrant hues that were present in the 90s street art. After adding the lines underneath the main text to accentuate the words as well as the overall theme I included a black drop shadow as this was commonly used to add to the 3D element of street art. I believe I have done well in producing a 90s inspired logo for myself with the software that I was provided, but if I was to improve my work I maybe would have experimented further with different gradients or extra layers on top of my text for a better effect.


After choosing labyrinth as my selected word for the task, the start of the brief stated that the story started with a family entering a house. This encouraged me to use a scalpel to cut out the shape of windows, a door and a roof to connotate this. As the book progresses the pages start to slowly change and include different textures to link with how each room within the brief all look different, adding to the illusion that the characters are completely lost within the labyrinth.

Textures of lettering

Textures of Lettering Presentation

After wandering around the campus and taking photographs of typography within the department building as well as outside; I found that all of the examples I had taken had a very similar pattern. All of my photos displayed different styles of typography using different textures and techniques, for example the many carvings/engravings on stone and metal grates. Looking at the various font styles and techniques of how information had been conveyed, gave me a further understanding of how information that is conveyed for a purpose has to suit a particular style for what is being displayed.