Category: TY1SK

Work by Part 1 students as part of their ‘Skills for Design Practice’ module.

Photoshop task-Creative images

Photoshop task-Creative images


Design ideas and design process

For the Photoshop task, I focus on creative images. The idea behind the images is to try to merge two pictures or multiple pictures. Make photos more interesting. But at the same time, it is eye-catching and stands out. I looked for many different tutorials to watch how to make different styles of photos. I am most interested in the double exposure effect. At the same time, I also hope to merge two images with completely different colours. I try to use this method to complete my picture task.

I downloaded two different images into Photoshop, and then put each image into its own layer. Because it will simplify the layers that help me. In the first step, I chose a portrait photo that I took of myself.

In the second step, I first use the quick selection tool to quickly select portraits from the first layer. After selecting, I found feather by right-clicking. Feather the portrait. The third step is to select the layer and copy a new layer. The fourth step is to delete the background layer. The fifth step is to adjust the size of the picture you want, because you need enough space to create a double exposure effect. Then select Crop Tool to expand the layer. The sixth step needs to create a new adjustment layer. Then select solid colour and choose white as the colour. Put the portrait on the top layer.

The seventh step is to remove the portrait colour. Reduce the transparency of the landscape image. Adjust to a suitable position. The eighth step is to add a layer mask to the landscape picture. Finally, use the brush tool to erase the surroundings to get the effect of double exposure. At the same time, the colour contrast is also very important, because it can make the image look more harmonious; it also makes the image more prominent. In the background of this picture, I chose pink that is like the sky and clouds as the main background. This way the picture looks not more abrupt.

The seventh step is to remove the portrait colour. Reduce the transparency of the landscape image. Adjust to a suitable position. The eighth step is to add a layer mask to the landscape picture.

Finally, use the brush tool to erase the surroundings to get the effect of double exposure. At the same time, the colour contrast is also very important, because it can make the image look more harmonious; it also makes the image more prominent. In the background of this picture, I chose pink that is like the sky and clouds as the main background. This way the picture looks not more abrupt.


Software tutorials


I started watching from the tutorial provided, and I think I learned a lot of new things from the video. Before making this photo, I am good at will liquefy the portrait image and correct the skin colour. I use tutorial to be learned how to add adjustment layers and composite images for the first time. Before starting this project, I was only able to use one part of the photoshop skills proficiently. After watching the video, I watched some content that I was interested in through YouTube. In the end I chose the double exposure effect to do my task.


This tutorial made me no doubt about Layers & Layer Masks in photoshop. The concepts of Layers & Layer Masks are introduced. Through the tutorial, I learned how to use add layer mask to add a background to the picture in double exposure. I think I learned a very important skill in Photoshop.


After watching different picture making tutorials, I finally chose the double exposure effect image making tutorial. These tutorials all helped me make my final image. Greatly improved my ability to use Photoshop. Every video I watched is very useful, even if I have learned what I think I need to learn. I will continue to explore these tools.


Resources for research and inspiration

Before making this image, I browsed a lot of pictures on the Internet. Because at the beginning I didn’t have any ideas, or even what topic to do. I use Pinterest the most. They provided many relevant pictures on Pinterest, allowing me to quickly determine the theme of the pictures I will make-double exposure. It not only helped me think of specific topics but also gave me an accurate direction. I made a board about double exposure.


I also browsed a web page called designbolts. The page I visited was about 30 Most Amazing Double Exposure Photography by French Artist Nevess. I saw that he has a different idea about each picture. On the surface, I think it’s just a combination of two different photos. But in fact, I feel that he wants to express some people’s thoughts from the two combined double exposure photos.


Through this Photoshop task practice, I feel a little better about my technique. I will continue to explore different techniques in Photoshop. I believe this will extend my photo editing skills and increase my proficiency in the use of software. Finally, I think Photoshop still has many functions that I haven’t explored yet. I will learn as much knowledge in different fields as possible and use it proficiently in editing photos and designs. In my opinion, learning Adobe software is to lay the foundation for my future design work. If I continue to study, I can learn more different skills.

Getting creative with Photoshop

Design ideas and design process

The task I chose for week one was the Creative Images Photoshop task where we were free to create any sort of image which distorted reality in some kind of way and demonstrated progression in our photoshop skills. I liked the idea of this because we had complete freedom with our designs to make anything we wanted rather than a set goal to complete. For the first design, I wanted to create something interesting with an eye. I had the idea to only have the iris in colour so made an adjustment layer to convert the image to black and white, then used the brush tool to add colour back to the eye. I added images of a forest, moon and starry sky using layers and clipping masks with the quick selection tool. I discovered that the refine edge brush tool was really useful to capture the small details of the trees. After this I used the brush tool to get rid of the the areas of the images that I didn’t want to be visible, so that they were positioned how I wanted them inside the shape of the eye. I also used the gradient tool to blend them in, as well as changing the opacity on my brush and using this around the edges.

With my second design I used the same process of clipping masks, while adding some more adjustment layers to alter the effects of the image in the sky, and to make the girl look more blue so that she fitted into the sky better.

For my final design I used two images together and experimented with how I could combine them. I used an image of a girl and the umbrella as the base layer and then imported the lightning as a layer on top of this. A challenge I overcame here was that I wanted to integrate the entire image with the girl and the rain drops with the lightning, so i reduced the opacity, however this faded away the girl too. So again, I used the brush tool to make the parts I wanted 100% opacity by removing the foreground photo from these sections, while the rain drops and the background of the photo were faded in order to blend with the lightning photo. Lastly, I used the eraser tool over the shape of the umbrella to make it appear in full colour and solidity.

Design 1 – Creative Images







Design 1 process layering process







Design 1 process showing layers and masks
Design 2 – Creative Images







Design 2 process layer adjustments







Design 2 process showing adjustments and layers










Design 3 – Creative Images









Design 3 process showing original image



Software tutorials

I watched some tutorials in order to learn some more complex tools and techniques in Photoshop. I started off by watching the photoshop tutorial on layers and layer masks on youtube which really helped me get to grips with how layers can be used in different ways to your advantage. I hadn’t understood how layers worked before this, and now I can easily integrate images using layers. I then looked at the adobe tutorial ‘combine black and white with colour in a photo’ which gave me more of an understanding about how the layers work and the use of adjustment layers. The next tutorial I watched was the adobe youtube video: How to use layer masking, which gave me some more complex information on how to integrate different images by removing parts of one image and showing parts of another. In addition, I used the adobe tutorial: How to make a photo composite in photoshop, which demonstrated the steps of using layers masks to get the final piece. All my tutorials were based on what layers are and how they work, which gave me lots of really useful knowledge for improving my photoshop skills. After using these tutorials I was able to create new layers, use the quick selection tool to cut out images, use the brush tools to control areas of clipping masks, and add adjustments to the colour settings.


Resources for research and inspiration

For sources of inspiration, I browsed through examples of photoshop creative images on the web which helped me brainstorm ideas of my own. I especially found that Pinterest was full of creative images and I saw many examples of photoshopped eyes which stemmed by idea for my first design. It was really fascinating to see other people’s ideas of how they can distort reality by using ordinary subjects and placing then in unusual contexts as well as editing the colours and shapes. Also, browsing through creative instagram accounts gave me lots of inspiration as I admired other’s work, and even just searching #photoshop resulted in lots of amazing photoshopped art. Additionally, I used Pixabay to search for all the images that I used in this design task, and some of the photos gave me inspiration and ideas for how I could use them. Finally, having looked on our spring term Padlet wall, I could see what creative images some of my fellow students had come up with which inspired my own designs and gave me some direction in what sort of image to design and create. I really enjoyed looking at other’s work, especially students who were at my level of photoshop skill because it gave me a rough idea of what I might be able to achieve myself.[]=photoshop%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=art%7Ctyped


‘Blenny’ revised

Resources for research and inspiration

I started researching different monogram logos that can typically be seen in fashion design brands. I found that a common way to join the forms are through overlapping them, often creating something not initially legible, thus becoming an odd form for a logo. The monograms also utilise common characteristics found in the typeface. For example, the DC logo can utilise the ‘C’ by vertically flipping it to suggest it’s also a ‘D’. Having this in mind I decided to sketch out some initial ideas in Futura. I printed out my initials in the same size but in ‘Medium’, ‘Bold’ and ‘Condensed medium’ and cut them out. This was to give me a range of weights to experiment with as well as allow me to stencil them for accuracy. I found this was a good way to generate ideas as I could physically manipulate the type, often causing accidents leading to new ideas to try. It also helped me get a fairly close resemblance to the typeface which was helpful for alignment in my sketches. After several sketches I redrew some of my favourites to get a sense of which ones looked legible and suitable when filled in, as sketch outlines give a fall sense of space.

I chose the second Test sketch (see second image above) to develop into a monogram. this was because the ‘S’ and ‘G’ fit together so that they share a satisfying elongated curve. The distance between the two forms also generates a lot of negative space above the ‘G’ in addition to its open style counter, making it look spacious. I also liked how the bar of the ‘G’ looks like an arrow hen rotated. In my next steps I intended to experiment more with fonts in this chosen design layout.

Links for Research



Design ideas and design process

After sketching some designs, I started to recreate them in illustrator. I started by creating a grid of 5X5 but found I couldn’t maintain this for the taller Futura medium. Regardless I continued and began scaling the type and playing around with positioning of the elements. Once I settled on this I ‘created outlines’ of both of them and then used the ‘Combine’ setting in pathfinder to join them. I experimented with trying make the curve more satisfying through using the new anchor points handlebars to adjust the curvature to be more smooth I also experimented with removing and adjusting elements to create a more abstract monogram, similar to those I found in my research. Due to the ‘Pragmatica Bold’ variant having more variation in weight, they didn’t intercept with the same width. Instead, I tried to accentuate the sharpness of its joint and felt like this was a nice twist, leading me to do the same with the bar of the ‘G’, making it look more like an arrow.

I found That these first two designs were too similar in construction so I decided to experiment with using a heavier typeface that could offer a more condensed feel. As a result, I chose ‘Blenny’. I constructed the monogram in a similar layout but found that I could manipulate where the negative space fills the design to create more personality in the design. I started manipulating the spin and strokes in the type where they break off into terminals to be sharper. I also created a new stroke to follow the outline of the ‘S’ to make the design more legible. I think the new stroke styles make the type look slicker and create a nice contrast between stroke and terminal.

After finalising my designs, I attempted to animate them as rotating 3D logos in After Affects. Unfortunately, the tutorial I used required a lot of RAM to process the file. As a result, I had to resort to using the ‘extrude and bevel’ tool in illustrator instead as a mock up style. I think this doesn’t work but felt it necessary to try anyway. This also led me to find another way to create some physical aspect in the design, so I tried adding different textures as overlays. I think these don’t work either and find that my original intention of the animation would have worked best


Software Tutorials

After finalising my designs, I attempted to animate them as rotating 3D logos in After Affects. Unfortunately, the tutorial I used required a lot of RAM to process the file. As a result, I had to resort to using the ‘extrude and bevel’ tool in illustrator instead as a mock up style. I used the box tool to position the front face of my design and experimented with the extrude depth to try and maintain some depth without the detail being filled of colour. I found for the slender designs this worked, due to more negative space to define the extrude element, whereas for the ‘Blenny’ design this didn’t work well due to the lack of negative space in the middle. Regardless I explored using ‘Diffuse shading’ and picking a darker tone of front surface colour as well as directing the lighting to suggest a 3D design. This also led me to find another way to create some physical aspect in the design, so I tried adding different textures as overlays. I carried this process out by finding a royalty free texture of a crusted wall and overlayed it on the design, selected them both and created a mask. This showed the image inside the design, allowing me to then experiment with opacity and blend settings. I found that this texture looked too extreme and would have benefited to being a 3D render. Below are the links that showed me how to use these features


Links for tutorials




Photoshop Task- Cutting out images. Spring Term

Design Ideas and Design Processes

The brief for this task was to experiment on Photoshop, cutting out images from their original background. There were multiple ways to do this and I wanted to practice with a few of them to grow my skills and gain confidence.

For my first idea, I chose to do a simple cut out in order to get familiar with the software. My job involves selling second-hand clothes, so I decided to edit some of the clothes that I photograph. For this picture, I used the Quick Selection Tool to select the top from the background. As the background was fairly plain, it was easy to select the top from the background. I then used the mask tool on the layers panel to remove the background. This successfully cut out the top. I then decided to add a background of blossom to make the image more creative. I did this by creating a new layer and placing it under the cut-out image.

Original T-shirt Photo
Background removed via Quick Selection Tool
Final cut-out image with replaced background








For the second idea, I chose to do a more complex image of a hand and some rings. This was more complex as there was space inside of the rings that I needed to remove. To do this, I instead used the ‘Select and Mask’ option from the ‘Select’ panel. This was fairly accurate in cutting out the image however it did need some refinement, so I used the quick selection tool at a zoomed in point to add or subtract an area to keep or remove. This then created a layer mask, and the background was removed. I used the eraser tool to smooth up any edges that hadn’t already been cut out accurately. I then put it on an exciting background that I felt worked well with the image.

Original Rings Photo
Rings cut-out from background
Final edit of rings on new background









For the third idea, I did another fairly simple image of shoes as I wanted to try a new method of cutting out. This was by the pen tool and I made points along the shoe and then using the convert point tool, curved the points to get an accurate outline of the shoe. After making the path, I right clicked and selected ‘make selection’ and then used a layer mask. This then cut out the shoes from the background which I later replaced with a crinkled gold effect. I also used the eraser to correct any small imperfections.

Shoes marked with pen tool on Original Background
Shoes cut-out from original background
Final image of cut-out shoes on new background








For the 4th idea, I wanted to push myself and use a more complex image with hair. Although it slightly differed from my fashion theme, I felt that the image was still relevant and visually exciting. For this, I used the background eraser tool and the colour picker tool to carefully go around the hair and select the colour that would not be erased. I still think that I need more practice using the method as the picture wasn’t perfect and some hair did get erased as it was similar to the background but felt that I had made a strong starting point.

Original Cat Photo
Cut-out using background eraser and colour picker tool
Cat cut-out from background
Finished cat cut-out on new background


Software tutorials

Having only ever used the quick selection tool before, I did not know how to cut out complex images or any other methods of cutting out a background. I firstly watched all of the videos provided to us to get a general oversight of how to use different tools to cut out an image. This gave me a good idea of how to use the basics of all methods, especially the quick selection tool.

For the other methods, I used some YouTube videos to help me. For the third idea of the shoes, I decided to use the pen tool and found a very useful video – to show how to cut out the image using the pen tool.

For my most complex image of the cat, I used a YouTube video- explaining how to cut out fine hair. I do think that my image was slightly more difficult as the background colour was similar to the hair so in future, I will explore other methods alongside using this.

The tool that I did not use that we were given tutorial videos for was the lasso tool so this is something I would like to use and explore in the future. I would also like to explore other areas in Photoshop to edit the actual image such as how to adjust the quality of the image.


Resources for research and inspiration:


As I was only cutting the images out, it was difficult to get inspiration from anywhere other than the YouTube videos I was watching. There were many different methods to choose from but I decided to use the ones that were most popular as they worked the best. I chose the theme that I did because creative image editing is becoming increasingly popular in the media with people using Photoshop themselves to create cut-out images of fashion and psychedelic colours. The model Mimi Moocher has become an icon for creating these large cut-out collage images depicting her dressed in cool outfits and it is becoming a rapid paced trend on social media. As I have a keen interest in art and fashion, being able to cut out images on Photoshop and create these sorts of images is very beneficial. Photoshop is allowing people to present their pictures in a different way to everyone else and its very interesting to see what individuals create. I would like to also work on editing the actual image on Photoshop in order to produce high quality edits.

Images of Mimi Moocher found on

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Human, Person, Furniture, and Peyton List
Mimi Moocher fashion cut-out edits
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Human, and Person
Mimi Moocher fashion cut-out edits

Creative Images in Photoshop

Our task was to use photoshop to make some creative images that would develop our skills with the software.

Design Ideas

When looking at existing creative images they often reminded me of dramatic scenes from books or movies, I thought I would draw on this for my inspiration. For this piece I wanted to create something that would remind me of my book collection, I looked at other creative images with a story and found those with a fantasy atmosphere were the most interesting. The idea of castles, magic and battles was a highly enticing one.

I wanted to create an image of a woman running through a castle and then having some kind of suggestion of magic in the image. I had to find some photos that fitted with this idea. I found some images in and around castles and settled on a shot of a dramatic staircase with some detailed architecture, it has some intense warm lighting that I could emphasise even further by altering the colours of the piece. My next task was to find a subject, I wanted a powerful image that had some form of symbolic suggestion to it. I also wanted the colours to match nicely with the image, I had tried previously and found that when a subject has massively contrasting clothing to the room they in no matter how many alterations you make it still won’t look right. Even if the image was authentic it still would lack a certain pleasing visual nature I therefore went for someone with a red dress and a lantern whose light I could change to be more warming and fit with the rest of the scene. I wasn’t trying to simply cut out a person and put them in another setting I wanted to create an entire piece and for this there had to be a story.

For the narrative of this image I wanted to go with magic and power of some kind, my initial idea was to have a large sword and to make it appear as though flames or magic was erupting from it, however when I found my image the sword wasn’t the centre piece of the subject so instead I grew this power from the lantern she is holding.


Tutorials and how I used them
In order to create the image that I wanted I had to find some tutorials that would help me produce flames or magic artificially in my work. When doing this research I found a designer named Max Asabin, he is a Russian artist that is known for his own unique way of creating flames of magic in his work. He does this by using a gradient map and then drawing over this gradient map by hand to create the texture of whatever you want, in this case for my image I was able to create the texture of flames and because they were drawn by hand they had an organic nature to them. I had some issues with these tutorials because a lot of his work is fully in Russian and a lot of his videos don’t have translations, I did however find some other Russian artist that also speak English that have conveniently translated his personal tutorials or created their own using methods similar to his or what they learnt from him.

My first step in creating this image was to find my subject and cut her out from her original scene and then place her into the stairwell, this was quite simple as I’ve practised this before on other images I did however then have to alter the lighting in her image so that it appeared that she was actually stood on that staircase rather than somewhere else. I learnt this in another tutorial that showed me how to change the lighting and the colours in order to make something look like it could belong anywhere that it was put. I did this by overlaying black and white layers and increasing the saturation to bring out the true colours.

After I had made it look as though she was in the scene I drew some shadows around her to increase this realistic affect and then it was time to create the flames. I created a gradient map and then a layer mask; the gradient map that I used had all of the colours of flames. I’d use it in other images where I’d used un-natural colours that made it appear more as magic rather than fire. Using the layer mask I drew on top of this gradient map so that only the colours of the gradient matter available could determine what colour the flame would be in linking to the amount of pressure that I used with my pen. This helped to create a nice natural look for the fire and I could have it spread from the sword in the lantern anyway that I desired. The finishing touches for this piece were alterations to the saturation and lighting of the peace as a whole to give it a kind of warm and orange glow and add some clothes and dust effects to create some more depth and texture to make it look as though you are in that scene rather than viewing a picture of it.

Here are the links to the tutorials that I used in order to create this image.

Inspirational resources

My inspiration for this piece came from the things around me in the form of fantasy books films and posters, it’s quite a common thing for fans of books or films to create their own artwork around it and it’s quite common for me to see Photoshop manipulations that involve magic or some kind of mystical world. I’ve looked at a few images that included this and I really liked how they looked and I wanted to be able to replicate it myself.


This first image accurately displays what I was talking about, this fan made magical image using photoshop to make it look as though someone is appearing in a fictional world. I really love this and as someone who is a fan of fiction I felt that this topic was close to my heart. This particular image is brilliant and really stands out because there is such a detail to the drawing of the Petronas, it’s difficult for you to see that that would be something made by a fan rather than a professional I wanted to replicate this kind of magical lightning atmosphere within my work and the piece that I created.


This next images are quite clear separation between what is real and what isn’t. The man creating the magic symbols is an ordinary one and dressed in everyday clothes. However the effects around him help to enhance the narrative of the scene here, I really like the high intensity of the colours the oranges and yellows help draw your eye strongly to the piece and really help to add that sense of fantasy and magic.


For this third image I really liked how clearly all of the objects are put into this scene there obviously all taken from different angles on different objects maybe with green screens behind them but I really like how realistic the falling looks. I want to be able to adopt skills like this in my work and to be able to take someone from a fantasy setting into a real building or room whilst maintaining that sense of realism so it looks as though someone is actually performing those acts of magic.

Warping reality with photoshop

Design ideas and design process


Idea 1

idea 1idea 1idea 1

For my first idea I wanted to keep things relatively simple, the brief needed me to create an image that combines black, white and colour. I started by using pixabay to download a picture that included a lot of bright colour that would stick out from a black and white background. I opened it in photoshop and duplicated the image, setting the layer underneath to greyscale by converting all the colours to black and white. Then I focussed on the image overtop, erasing all of the colours except the red and orange shades, I did this using the eraser tool however I realise I could have done this with the quick selection tool to make the process a lot quicker.


Idea 2

idea 2idea 2

idea 2

Idea 2 was based around the changing an image’s background task. Again, I chose some images and pasted them in from pixabay, one of space and one of someone sitting on a bed.. I wanted it to look like the person was floating in space so I added a layer mask to the photo and used the black paint tool to hide the background of the original image, again I could have used a different method to hide the background to make it slightly quicker. To blend the two images together I created an adjustment layer with a star texture using the lighten effect. I don’t think I was able to make the image fully believable, also overall I think the result is a bit boring.


Idea 3

idea 3

idea 3

idea 3

I had to alter reality in idea 3, so I decided to create an image using a laptop and jellyfish. Again I got these images off pixabay. I used the same methods as before, using layer masks and adjustment layers. Although in this one I used the paintbrush tool at a low opacity to draw in the reflection of the jellyfish onto the laptop screen. I had some fun experimenting with adjustment layers although eventually ended settling with a simple one using the soft light setting. I probably could have rotated the image of the laptop to make it more realistic as it still looks like it’s sitting on a table despite being in the middle of the ocean.



Software tutorials


Resources for research and inspiration, I used a lot of the provided tutorials. The first one I looked at was the combine black and white with colour in a photo made by adobe. It helped with a lot of the basics for my first design, I had a slight idea of how to do this already however this tutorial put it into a much easier format that helped decrease the time it took to make my image. The second tutorial I used was a youtube video on how to use layer masking on photoshop, I hadn’t really understood what layer masking was before this, but it turns out that it is a key skill for photoshop if you want to do any editing that includes putting to images together, or even adding effects to one image. The third one was another adobe tutorial about accurately selecting image areas, it introduced me to the decontaminate colours option which was particularly helpful for when changing the background dramatically on tiny, difficult shapes such as hair.


I found the last one myself, they are both youtube videos. The first one was about simplifying and understanding blend modes, it helped me to add a watery effect to the jellyfish image.


Breakdown of blend modes:



Resources for research and inspiration


The first place I usually go for inspiration is Pinterest, just searching for interesting things people have made in photoshop. I quite like the darker, spacey images I found and I thought it would be fun to try and create something like this. The only exception to this was the first design, where it was required to combine black and white, and I was still learning how to use the tools correctly. I saw this image with jellyfish in space that I quite liked, however I was worried about copying the idea too closely so instead I turned my third idea into deep water, still including the jellyfish. When looking at images on pixabay to add to my design I found I also really liked the watery marble texture that appears on the surface of waves, I tried implementing this into my third design, although did not end up going with it as I felt it obscured the actual focus of the image, those being the laptop and jellyfishes.


Homegoing, and not by choice

Design ideas and design process:

To create the wreath, I started with composing the cotton vector.  I drew a symmetrical cream circle and drew a leaf using the pen tool. I adjusted the leaf to be more symmetrical with the anchors.

Using snapguides I placed the leaf onto the intersection of the circle, but later adjusted it so that it was larger than the cotton bud, so it looked like the cotton was really encapsulated. I duplicated and reflected the leaf vertically and placed it behind the first leaf and added a stroke to the shape so that it was visible, but only just darker than the fill green so it wasn’t harsh. To make the cotton appear fluffy and less flat i made semicircles by removing paths from a circle and gave them a slightly darker stroke in a similar style to the leaves for additional detail. I arranged the additional cream circles behind the leaves and grouped the entire shape after selecting it to complete the cotton plant. I drew a curved line for the stalk and duplicated and arranged the plants into a wreath but found that I would have to edit some of the stalks to prevent awkward gaps. I also resized some of the duplicated plants to give the wreath some variety.

For the background I followed the original book’s artwork and used a similar colour scheme. I used the rectangle tool to create blocks to represent the land and sky. For the red path, I built a trapezium by adjusting the paths of a square and drew two rectangles that crossed at the centre of the trapezium as the fork in the road. I removed one of the paths by accident and found that a triangle created a better perspective effect than a long rectangle. I resized the wreath and adjusted the font colour (white on bright colours for better legibility) once the background was complete and used snapguides to centre it.


Software tutorials:

Most of the tutorials covered similar ground, primarily how to create complex shapes by combining simple ones, which helped me visualise how to break down images, so I don’t need to draw them. Other tutorials assisted me with my path and anchor tweaking skills as I have had difficulty with adjusting drawings to be less harsh. I do need more practice as the merge options are still confusing and I opted to multi-select my shapes and group them instead of combining them as there were difficulties.

Drawing the leaf and adjusting it for symmetry
combining the leaf shapes and giving them an outline for detail
Making the bud more complex by adding detail
Finished cotton plant
simple background made of geometric shapes
Initial attempt at drawing the paths with the pen tool
More accurate perspective shown with the triangular path shape
Adjusted centrepiece with additional information






















Resources for research and inspiration:

I used the original book cover as inspiration for the colour scheme and the images I made. As the design was for a Facebook banner, I wanted it to be simple whilst still displaying the core themes of the podcast. I chose the paths to represent how despite being sisters the main characters were given very different lives- the destination of each path isn’t visible as the sisters didn’t have that foresight. It does kind of spoil it on the blurb, though.

Creating letter logos

Design ideas and design process:

My final design ideas:

Letter logo with envelop distort

Letter logo with envelop distort

My first design idea started with me using a typeface to create my initials. Then I created a rectangle using the square tool but then using the direct selection tool to select one of the points of the rectangle created and moving that selected point to create an elongated shape. I then selected the transformed shape as well as the initials and clicking on the envelope distort tool in the objects tool and then selecting the ‘make with top object’ tool which transformed the initials into the shape I created. This skill was helpful to learn and use as I can use this tool in the future not with initials but also paragraphs of text to create a artistic look.


For my second letter logo design I used the same tool with a different shape and adapted the design at the end. I created my initials then created outlines of them using the keyboard shortcut of “cmd o”, by doing this I was able to separate the letter then change the colour of one of the letters. I then used the pen tool to create the shape in the picture above, I then created an envelope distort using the tool in the objects above. Again I used the ‘make with top object’ tool which created the aesthetic of the letter logo. I adapted the letter logo further by duplicating the letter logo and reflecting it and placing it above the original which made the logo look enhanced.

For my third letter logo which was the most challenging but fun to create I used the letter from my first name and using the ellipse tool to create two ellipses on top of each other but making the ellipse on top smaller in size. I changed the colour of one of the ellipses so that I could distinguish between the two ellipses when I was editing them. Selecting both the ellipses and then using the pathfinder tool and selecting the minus front tool which removed half the ellipse. I then positioned them over the letter and adjusted them so that they look as if they are wrapping around the letter, I then changed the colour of the first ellipse and the top half of the letter to red and the bottom half to black so that it stood out more and looked more creative.

Software tutorials:

This tutorial helped me to understand how to use Illustrator more as well as what skills there are in order to create letter logos. It also helped to learn more skills in illustrator which helped me to create letter logo, but I can also use the skills I have learnt in future projects and develop these skills further by using them in more complex projects and ways.

This tutorial helped me to understand how to use some of the tool in Illustrator such as pathfinders and ellipses. By learning how to use the pathfinder tool and layering ellipses on top of each other, I was able to use the ‘minus front’ tool in the pathfinders to removed elements of the ellipses in order to create an interesting shape. This tool will be useful in future projects as it allows you to remove elements of shapes in order to create the shape you are looking to create. I want to develop all my skills further in future projects as I feel that there’s no limit to developing and learning skills in Illustrator, and by developing my skills it will allow me to become confident in using Illustrator.

This software tutorial helped me to understand the tools and fundamentals of Illustrator. Although I have used it previously my skills were simple, and I wanted to learn new skills and get used to using Illustrator more therefore in my future tasks I would be able to complete the task to my best ability and challenge myself further by using these skills and developing them. This tutorial helped me to develop my skills and learn new ones which I can use in the future. Additional to this tutorial the tutorials given to us on the brief also helped me develop my skills, as it informed you on how to use the skills in illustrator as well as giving you a step by step guide on how to use the skills in illustrator. I want to develop all my skills in illustrator but in particular creating and using clipping masks on text and objects, I have used masks briefly but I want to develop my skills with using it further and in more detail.

Resources for research and inspiration:

The sources which I used for research and inspiration were using websites such as the ones above which offer examples of letter logos for various companies and brands. This helped to give me an understanding of what letter logos look like and what elements companies and brands tend to include in order to make their letter logos also making them look professional. These sources also helped me gain inspiration as to what I wanted my letter logo to look like, by having an understanding and inspiration as to what I wanted my letter logo to appear I was then able develop my design ideas in order to look professional and be of a higher level. I don’t have any specific topics I would like to explore further but I would just like to become more confident in using illustrator in general and I will achieve this by practising using my skills in other projects and develop my skills as well. Last term I wanted to improve my photoshop, illustrator and InDesign skills, this term I achieved that with my chosen tasks, as well as developing current and learning new skills.

Photoshop Collage

Design ideas and design process

I have chosen the Creative Images Photoshop task; this brief states we need to create an image that has been manipulated to alter ‘reality’.


I started my idea generation by finding some images I thought would be interesting to manipulate. By searching for “vintage fashion photography” I got loads of high-quality images that were very dynamic and interesting. I then tried to imagine additional objects within the images, for example in one picture I found that a woman’s hat heavily resembled a thumb. In another I thought the woman’s dress looked as though it might blossom like a flower. I started to sketch some ideas and when I was happy I began to seek out pictures of thumbs, flowers, and other objects that I could superimpose into my collage.



For my first idea found a picture of a thumb that was good quality and imported into my Photoshop document. I used an adjustment layer to make the thumb black and white (like the image I wanted to superimpose it onto).  Next I used the Magnetic Lasso Tool to select the outline of the thumb and to discard of the background. I then reduced the thumbs opacity and placed it on top of the woman’s head, distorting it so that it remained the same shape as her hat. Finally I used the rubber tool to remove parts of the thumb that overlapped the woman’s hat and I also used several curves adjustment layers to give the thumb the shadows and highlights that the hat had.


image.pngthumb lady low.jpg

For my next Idea I wanted to extend the subjects dress to resemble a flower. I found a suitable picture of a rose online, making sure It was Black as for it to blend well with the black dress. I imported the image into my Photoshop file and once again used the Magnetic lasso tool to discard of the background. I placed the rose upside down where the woman’s dress ended and used the Rubber tool to seamlessly blend the dress’s outline to the rose. The layers blended together really well but the work looked a little odd as the woman had no legs.

Secret Stars: Daft Punk and Karlie Kloss in Inspired New Eveningwear | Vogueimage.pngwoamnflower-Recovered 2.jpg

I cropped out a leg from a poster of daft punk,  reflected it, duplicated it and arranged them in a way to look like they belonged to the woman. I then added some colour and text to get the final image above on the right.


For my final idea I wanted to place the moon on top of the subject’s head. I found a high quality image of the moon and imported it into Photoshop. Using the magic wand tool to discard of the background I then cut the moon in half and placed it on-top of the woman’s head. I neatened up the composite using the rubber tool on a low hardness.  I wanted to develop this idea further and I thought It would be interesting to stick with the vintage space theme. Using an image of a toy rocket, I made use of the magnetic selection tool and adjustment layers like Black and white, Curves, brightness, contrast and also hue and saturation In order to create a seamless collage. To finish I added some final details like text and noise (to give it a vintage feel) and am really happy with the results.

image.pngROCKET WOMAN 3.jpgimage.pngROCKET WOMAN 2.jpg


Software tutorials

A big part of creating a collage digitally is knowing how to blend images seamlessly. A resource that was provided in which I found invaluable was a video that broke down blending modes. I’d never really experimented with them before and this skill came in very useful throughout this task.

I also found some additional videos that were really useful.

These two videos were extremely helpful. One of the videos taught me how to invert adjustment layers and then use the black and white brush tool to apply the adjustment onto selective areas. This was a very useful tool as it allowed me to create shadows and give my images depth and realism that they wouldn’t otherwise have. The color matching video taught me how to manipulate individual colour channels in order to match it with another object. The video also had some great tips and tricks on how to use the curves tool.  PiXimperfect does some fantastic tutorial videos and is my go to channel for any problems Photoshop related.

In the future I’d like to improve my understanding of clipping masks and working non-destructively. I found myself merging layers and flattening the images multiple times throughout my Photoshop process which meant I couldn’t undo things later on, this is definitely a bad habit and something that would be worth learning about.
To learn how to work clipping masks I intend to watch some more YouTube videos, specifically ‘PiXimperfect’ as his videos are very enjoyable and easy to follow.


Resources for research and inspiration


I was inspired to take a collage approach to this task mainly due to an artist called Richard Vergez. ‘Richard Vergez is a Cuban-American visual and sound artist’ whose artwork uses a range of different images overlayed in a really creative way. I was inspired by how practical and hands on his work is;  Vergez will often take real magazine cutouts allowing his work to feature paper tears and texture  which gives it a really brutal and raw effect. I tried to replicate paper tears digitally but failed, however this is a skill I am really set on learning and can’t wait to give another shot. Vergez also used vintage magazines as a source material, this was something that I incorporated into my own work.

Organization Collage by Richard Vergez | Saatchi ArtRichard VergezRichard Vergez - Coeval Magazine


Taxer is another artist that deeply inspired me to take the approach to this project that I did. ‘Taxer is a self taught Austrian based graphic designer specialized in dark-surreal artworks.’ His work is very similar to that of Vergez’s however, unlike Vergez, his work doesn’t draw attention to the process with rough cut overlays but rather seamlessly blends elements together in a hyper-realistic render. In my own work for this task I tried to implement Taxer’s approach and focused on trying to make it ambitious where one image in the collage ends and where the other begins.

Meindl Taxer's Instagram post: “089 . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #d… | Instagram posts, Graphic prints, GraphicMeindl Taxer on Instagram: “073 . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #designfeed #v… | Instagram, Poster, Its nice thatMeindl Taxer on Instagram: “097 . . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #v… | Graphic prints, Instagram, Graphic design

In the future I want to explore digital collage’s further and really dive into all the different approaches you can take.

Vector Graphics for ‘Homegoing’

This term, I undertook a range of design tasks for the TY1SK module with the aim of improving and building a better understanding of skills and techniques with Adobe software. In this blog post, I will discuss the ‘Drawing Vector Objects’ task, where I designed a social media banner for the book ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi. I took screenshots throughout my design process to aid my explainations.

This task was based in Adobe Illustrator. Last term, I had never used Illustrator before and so focused on basic skills. Over the winter break, I practiced more with this software and picked up some important shortcuts using the keypad and I became much more confident with Illustrator. This allowed me to be more efficient while designing the social media banner for this task.

My Design Ideas and Process

Before I began designing, I created a colour palette based on colours featured in the example book covers that I found as inspiration (more on this later), as well as from the Ghana flag. To select these colours, I used the eye-dropper tool in Illustrator and made a selection of swatches to be used for my designs.

Final Outcome 1

Below is my first banner design. Overall, I think this was also the most successful outcome.

To create this design, I began by using a combination of the pen tool and the circle shape tool,  to outline the shape of the silhouetted woman. I then used the shape builder tool to merge these shapes into one element.

I then wanted to incorporate a traditional Ghanaian pattern. I utilised the rectangle tool and used the white arrow tool to manipulate them to make them rhombus-like shapes. I used the pattern builder to create a repeating pattern of this design.

I then added colour into my pattern, using the colour palette I had previously created.

Next, I layered my silhouette on top of my repeating pattern, as well as an orange background colour. To make these layers fit perfectly to my artboard, I created a clipping mask.  I then used the offset path tool to add multiple coloured areas around the edge of the silhouette, creating border-like outlines. This idea was inspired by flames and fire.


Finally, I added the title ‘Homegoing’ in all caps text using the typeface Menco, a san-serif, which is similar to the type used on the book covers. I added this type to a path, which matched the edge of the silhouette. I also offset this, so it stood out better from the background pattern.


Final Outcome 2

Below is my second banner design. For this design, I used the same colour palette as previously mentioned.

For this design, I wanted the title of the book to be the most prominent element. I used the Menco typeface in both all caps and normal for the text to create typographic hierarchy. I wanted to try a different approach to incorporate the idea of flames and fire. I made a straight line stroke using the pen tool, before outlining the stroke and using the ‘distort & transform’ ‘zig-zag’ effect, to give a smooth wave affect inspired by the flames.

Next, I added the text on top of this pattern. To incorporate the silhouetted shape, I removed the ‘O’ of the ‘Homegoing’ and replaced it with the figure. I also made the outline stroke of the text and the figure white to make it stand out more from the background. To help make sure each element of the type was aligned, I used the ruler tool. I also used the clipping mask tool once again, to neaten my art-board.


Final Outcome 3

For this final design, I wanted to find a way to incorporate the cotton plant element that featured on several book covers that I had found during my research.


To illustrate these cotton plants, I drew circles and used the shape-builder tool to combine these shapes into one element. I also used the pen tool to create the stems of these plants. I used the same silhouette shape for this design too.

I wanted to play around with another way to add the title of the book and so I used the ‘text in shape’ tool to fill the silhouette with ‘Homegoing’.

Finally, as another way to add the idea of flames and fire, I played with the gradient tool to create the blur between orange and red to act as the background. To finish my design, I offset the silhouetted shape once more.


Software tutorials

Before I began my design process, I watched several video tutorial to help me use Adobe Illustrator and the tools and effects available in this software.

Firstly, I looked on the Adobe website and found the videos: ‘Create with drawing tools’, ‘Create and edit shapes’ and ‘Start making artwork’ all extremely useful. These videos helped strengthen my knowledge of the basic tools and techniques within Illustrator, before I could then explore some of the more complex and detailed skills.

I next searched on Youtube to find some further tutorials and demonstrations.The video: ‘How to use Shadow and Highlights in Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 , Fast Hot dog vector tutorial’ by Niko Dola was really fun to watch, as he showed how to create a hotdog using the different effects available on Illustrator, such as the warping tools and the distorting tools. I decided that I definitely wanted to play around with these effects when I created my designs.

The tutorial ‘Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Vector Pizza from Sketch’ by Dom Designs was also really useful, as it explains the process of turning a pencil sketch into a vector illustration. Finally the video: ‘Using Adobe Illustrator: 10 Tips for Beginners’ by Alice Thorpe, was valuable, as it outlined the basic tools and techniques I will need as a basis to develop my Illustrator skills further.

Youtube Tutorial Links:


Resources for research and inspiration

Before I started designing, I undertook some research into the book ‘Homegoing’. I read summaries, blog posts, reviews and watched introductory videos. These all gave me a better insight into the novel and its plot, which I thought was vital, as I wanted my designs to accurately capture and represent ‘Homegoing’. I also had a look at the different cover images used for this book. I noticed that all of the book cover variations that I saw featured bright orange, red and yellow colours. A lot of them also incorporated the silhouetted figure of a woman.

After reading reviews and descriptions of this novel, I discovered that fire appears throughout story as a symbol of the curse that haunts the family for generations. Finally, I found that this story is set in Ghana and features a cotton-picking plantation. Doing further research into the country Ghana (Republic of Ghana), I found that the flag features the colours red, yellow and green. At the centre of this flag is a black star. I also did some research into traditional patterns found in Ghana.  I decided I wanted to incorporate these ideas into my final designs in some way or another. Taking this all on board, I decided that the main elements I wanted to incorporate were the silhouetted woman, the idea of fire and traditional patterns from Ghana .

Below are a few covers that stood out to me during my research.

Below is the Link to the Youtube video that I found extremely valuable when conducting my research into the book ‘Homegoing’:


Overall, I really enjoyed this task. I feel that I was able to gain a better understand of the tools and techniques available in Adobe Illustrator and as a result, I feel much more confident using this software. I was able to explore different tools, techniques and effects, and I am really pleased with my final results. My favourite design was my first outcome with the pattern background and the offset colours around the silhouette. I think this might be due to the addition of contrast between the brighter off-white shade and darker navy-grey shade. On top of this, I think the repeating pattern element makes this design eye-catching and will allow it to standout when used as a social media banner.

Currently, Illustrator is my favourite software, but I definitely have room to grow and gain more knowledge and skills using it. I hope I become even more confident with design tasks to come.