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Photoshop Typography Podcast Cover

Design ideas and design process

I started my design process by looking at some existing examples of podcast covers. The covers I looked at had some noticeable themes that I intended to replicate. A fair few (The Joe Rogan Experience) featured a microphone in the cover so that was something interesting I wanted to explore. A lot also made use of an image of the podcast host (like the dropout and Joe Rogan examples) while others just had the podcast name displayed in a creative way (Like the buzz cast).

As I’d seen in my research, many podcasts covers incorporated the microphone so that’s where I started. I had this idea of someone talking into the microphone one end and out the other end there would spew subject specific vocabulary so from looking at the cover you could immediately tell what kind of topics would be discussed on the podcast. I also chose a catchy name for the podcast, ‘typography time.’ I enjoyed creating this idea and like the outcome, I think the cover incorporates typography well which reflects what the podcast is about.

For my second design I wanted to explore creative ways I could display the podcast name (like the buzz cast example). I started by choosing a tasteful colour scheme and a simple name. I then stretched the letters stems to create a striking linear pattern.  I then filled the gaps with the typical imagery you would see on a podcast cover (microphone and information). I experimented with this design by warping the lines to try and replicate sound waves emitting from the microphone but I decided to stick with the more simple idea.

For my final design I wanted to create something that incorporated as many of the archetypal qualities I had seen in my research. I thought an image of the host on the cover would make quite a convincing design however a problem I faced was that it was a made-up podcast with no actual host. I decided to just use stock images, one featured a man, the other featured a microphone, I then applied a black and white filter to both to keep the image consistent. Similar to my first idea I wanted to communicate what the podcast was about so I had this idea of a thought bubble coming from the hosts head which would have all the topics he would talk about in it. In the end I went with the idea of having books about graphic design and typography (that he might discuss on the podcast) flowing out of his head, as if all his knowledge is on display.

I started by removing the top half of his head and applied it at an angle to appear as if it was being opened. After that I found some of the best graphic design books and arranged them flowing out of his skull. I added shadow to the hosts head and to the books to give the image some depth. I did this by using tools like the drop shadow, curves adjustment layers and also just blending with the black paintbrush. I like this idea because It combines what I learnt from looking at existing podcast covers and overall looks quite convincing.

 

Software tutorials

I started by watching some of the official Photoshop tutorials. I watched a lot of the videos from the ‘working with layers’ link. This was very helpful as often my Photoshop layers get a little bit messy and this told me the importance of creating a Photoshop file that looks professional with correctly named layers. I did some further research into layers with just some basic google searches and discovered you can group layers when necessary which made a lot of this project more organised and effective. I also viewed the website ‘how to design a podcast cover’. This was really helpful as before I had a look through the website I had no idea how I was going to start with my designs but the website gave me some direction and discussed some good starting points and also some questions to ask yourself as you go through the design process. As I was working on Photoshop I had an issue where my images looked very flat on the background and I was not sure how to make layers look more natural and blend into the surroundings when on a page. A YouTube video called ‘Master Curves from Start to Finish in Photoshop’ really helped me out. I discovered you could use the curves adjustment layers to give an image darker tones and lighter tones in the appropriate places. This includes giving object shadows and highlights to make it look more natural. The curves adjustment layer also has a function where you can colour match two objects which will come in extremely useful. Skills I would like to develop in the future include mastering the pen tool as currently I am hopeless at using it. I would also like to improve at simple jobs like creating clean and crisp layer masks because currently when I cut out an image it takes ages and looks a bit dodgy.

 

Resources for research and inspiration 

Like i mentioned at the beginning, I started this project by looking for some inspiration and a great way to do this is by looking at existing designs. I started by googling ‘podcast covers’ which showed hundreds of results however each one incorporated some of the basic archetypes. To list a few: Vibrant colours, use of illustration, interesting typeface, experimental use of type, most of them reflect what they are about visually, use of a microphone, visuals that reflect radio or sound in some ways, most feature the hosts face. It would be difficult to include all of these stereotypes into one cover so I cherry picked 3 features that I wanted to include in my ideas.  1. have a microphone, 2. be experimental with the type, and 3. feature the podcast host. I also had a scroll through spotifiy to look at what the most successful podcasts had done on their covers (https://open.spotify.com/genre/podcast-charts-body). Like I also said earlier I found the ‘how to design a podcast cover’ website extremely useful (https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/) which addressed how to start a design and also went into detail about picking a theme and running with it. As I was designing I had this website up in  another tab just to refer back to and I feel like I was successful in following a lot of the instructions. For example it spoke a lot about picking a theme and colour and being consistent with those choices throughout, I’d like to think my covers have a solid style and a tasteful colour pallet. Topics I would like to explore further include colour theory, I’d love to learn about what colours work best together, combinations to avoid and also how colour can have an effect on the viewer. I’d also like to learn more

A source that was essential for this project was Unsplash, (https://unsplash.com/images/stock). It provided me with a lot of the images I used throughout which were all very high quality and just made everything so much easier.

 

Designing a podcast cover using illustration in photoshop

   

(left to right) Design 1, Design 2, Design 3.

Design ideas and Process

My design ideas stemmed from the idea of using illustration. I really enjoy simple illustration, and thought that it could be used  well to create a neat, clean podcast cover. I knew I wanted to use the idea of interviewing designers from looking at some design podcasts on Spotify, which provided commentary on design, or interviews with designers about their work. From there I developed the phrase ‘type talk’, as well as the idea of having a simple design to show that concept. I think illustrations work best when kept to a limited colour palette, so I decided to work with a mix of both cool and warm tones that complemented well. This way I could keep the design simple and aesthetically pleasing, while communicating the theme of the podcast. In the actual drawing process I used my Wacom drawing tablet, and the photoshop basic brush presets, the hard round brush, on full hardness and 10% softness. This gave me clear lines, while keeping a rounded edge. I drew some little character busts in my own illustration style, with simple features and colours. The idea was to have one speaking into a microphone, as if recording the podcast, and another listening. My three ideas for this project were playing with the layout, text colour and form. I wanted to keep the idea of the two figures being linked by a wire, so in my first one I placed the figures back to back, with their wires plugged into the text. In my second I did a similar effect, with the figures at both ends of the screen. In the third I used a circle, with the text in the middle, and the wires jutting out with the characters on the circumference. In the end I used the second one, as it was my favourite of the three visually, and I felt was the most eye catching and original.

the colour scheme i used for the work
plain digital sketches
characters with the microphone and headphones
first sketches
final character sketches!

Software tutorials

As I am relatively competent with photoshop as a design and illustration medium, I mostly knew how to go about creating me design, but the tutorials provided by Rachel were still very helpful, especially the video by Terry White on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NrP690oqKA) . Although my initial plan was to work with illustration on photoshop, I still found videos explaining the uses of photoshop useful and helpful, such as the tutorial on embedding files in photoshop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfC9pZMJKs . I watched a few videos with tips on illustrating on photoshop, for example, Sophie Melissa on youtube has a video on her illustration process that I found helpful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYoO_u8JNCQ.), that allowed me to reflect on making a simpler design. These provided me with more knowledge about how to navigate photoshop and how to make my design cleaner and neater. Software skills wise, id like to try a more complex design perhaps, or the use of actual photos and editing them in photoshop, as this is something i’d like to become more competent in. This project provided great insight on what i would like to work on in the future regarding photoshop and developing my current skills further, and also provided me with an idea of my current competency level with illustration in photoshop, and taught me how to simplify my designs, as I often have the desire to make them complex, so it has definitely helped me with the ‘less is more’ side of design in being able to create a clean, simple design.

Resources for research and inspiration

Most of my research was based around sketching ideas in different styles and then transferring them over to digital, however I did look at a few minimalistic illustrative images for inspiration, on pinterest and instagram. The first was Benji Nate https://www.instagram.com/benjinate/?hl=en, a favourite artist of mine who uses a style similar to my own, with pretty simplistic features that I thought might work nicely, but eventually decided didn’t quite fit the aesthetic i was attempting to achieve. Another source of inspiration was the art magazine ‘fan club’ chttps://issuu.com/fanclubnotts which uses a simple style that I really enjoy, and inspired me a little more to look at making a more simple style of my own. From this I took away some features that made the image much more clear and simple, while retaining the message of what it was supposed to represent and advertise. Looking at different artists and images really helped me develop the imagery I wanted from something i was used to and comfortable with, into a more user/audience oriented design that could be used for advertising. It also helped me develop skills I had previously struggled with through research and trial. Topics in design I might like to explore further within this project might be looking at a more photographic approach, taking my own photographs and editing them, whether they would be of typography I find, or images I take from pre made environments, or images constructed in a set to achieve a specific look. Id like to work on my photo editing and manipulation skills in the future, as that is something I am less comfortable with than illustration, and I think it would be useful to explore in my own time using some of the skills I learned in this project, and this module as a whole.

Dear, Typography

Design Ideas & Design Process

Firstly, how did I come up with the title, “Dear, Typography” you may ask. A letter is a type of typographic piece of work; specifically the most dearest one to me. Another reason why I thought this choice in title was the best fit for this post is because of the play on words – we see a ‘deer’ visually on the final design, right?

DESIGN 1

Design 1 (final design)

My first design (Design 1), which ended up being my final design, consists of the combination of 2 separate images. my goal was to make it look like as though the image originally had come like that. This required me to research how to blend 2 images together in Photoshop as well as experimenting myself using the different tools available on the software. I used the eraser tool (shown in screenshot 1) to remove the background of the deer in the original image so that I had something feasible to work with in order to blend the crop of the deer in my desired background of the forest. I chose the luminosity filter (shown in screenshot 2) – this made the colours of the background come through into the deer making the 2 images blend together effortlessly. I then played around with the levels of the opacity for the typography and the images making sure both were balanced and legible.

Screenshot 1: removal of background using eraser  tool
Screenshot 2: applying the luminosity filter

DESIGN 2

Design 2

Whilst working on my second podcast cover, I developed a new skill. I had a vision of seeing a collage of images through the outline/fill of ordinary text so I hopped onto Youtube and found some content which helped me achieve what I wanted. I was introduced to a new feature I previously was not aware of before – a layer mask. This enables you to reversibly hide parts of a layer. In this case it was the fill inside the text which made the imagery behind seep through. The fill colour of the layer mask was a sold white, but I wanted to show more of the imagery so I decreased the opacity to show it through the mask (shown in Figure 3) The collage of the images behind (shown in Screenshot 3) relate to the Printing Press and the arrangement of the type on top reflect the topic of the podcast. I experimented with the size, leading and tracking of the text to make sure each letter looked equally spaced out. The knowledge I have gained from the TY1INT module has helped me massively here as I now know how to experiment with the different typographical variants effectively (size, leading and tracking)

Screenshot 3: soft light filter applied on text and inverse/outside area selected with a translucent, white fill
Screenshot 4: collage of background images

DESIGN 3

Design 3

My third idea also taught me a new technique. In my previous experience with Photoshop, I have always used the quick selection tool to remove the background of images, however I discovered through my research that with more simpler images, you can do this easily by just clicking a button. I used the object selection tool along with selecting ‘select subject’ (shown in screenshot 5) Photoshop selected the area which it thought I wanted – the simpler outline. Afterwards, I used the select and mask option to soften any rough edges and to double check that the software had removed and kept what I wanted. I used the vivid light filter on this which gave an abstract look and then placed the hand on a ‘nearly’ black background. I used the image and action of the hand writing as I think it reflects the subject well and to go with it I added repeated text onto the background. I was inspired by this repeated text from my previous design but I wanted to show it in a different place: the background. The repeated words replicate the appearance of a word search, which was my intention. I noticed that due to the filter applied to the hand, it made the text show through on top of it even though the layer was beneath the layer of the hand. To correct this, I used the eraser tool to remove the additional text which was present on the hand. Screenshot 6 shows how the text ended up after I erased the text on top of the hand – you can see that it has made an outline where the hand was. After arranging the layers, I put the hand at the front as I think this is the most vital aspect of the podcast as it displays the theme.

Screenshot 5: removal of the background with the object selection tool
Screenshot 6: shows the text after using the eraser tool without the hand layer

Software Tutorials

From previous experience with PhotoShop, I was able to perform the basic techniques such as: adjusting image quality, combining and layering images. However, with each design I made, I learnt a new skill. Not only this, I practiced, reviewed and consolidated the previous skills I already knew. This has developed my understanding in PhotoShop further. In my first design, when I removed the background on the picture of the deer, I learnt how before you convert an image to a layer, when you upload an image into PhotoShop, it comes as a smart object – with this you are unable to edit it. I discovered shortcut keys to make the brush of the eraser tool bigger and smaller which made it extremely easier as the job was done faster. To make the two images blend together, I used a mixture of varying the opacity and made the use of a filter from the effects option. The next thing I want to work on is blending 2 images in a linear manner. For example, combining 2 faces together, using one side from each individual. I want to use this technique in the TY1DP1 module for our film poster production. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3NZc_pmSI&ab_channel=VerticDesigns

The tutorial I used to help me with my second design enabled me to experiment with text, which I found to be necessary as previously I worked with images. During my A – Levels, I never really understood the concept of a layer mask, however after working on this design, I secured my understanding. The two most important pieces of information I took away from the tutorial I used was choosing the correct blending option (soft light) and selecting the inverse of the text; in other words the outside area of the text. Now, I was able to make the adjustment layer, before choosing the white solid fill and decreasing the opacity, which gave me my desired finish. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG5r5TM5e2o&ab_channel=PhotoshopTutorials%7CPhotoeffects

My third design was where I sort of combined all the techniques I had learned through this task together. It also taught me a new, and an alternative technique to remove the background of an image. As mentioned previously, the object selection tool is an extremely clever way of PhotoShop helping you to perform the action you want to do. The tutorial taught me how to refine and neaten the edges after the crop was made. This is essential as the last thing you want is to have rough edges surrounding your image. To further develop my skill set in this area, I want to practice using the different background removal tools such as: the eraser tool, quick selection tool and the object selection tool with different images varying in complexity. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWSa5SYzZu8&ab_channel=VerticDesigns

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Inspiration for Design 1; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/560768591086535921/
Inspiration for Design 2; https://www.educba.com/transparent-text-in-photoshop/
Inspiration for Design 3; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/267190190374863377/

These three images inspired me to make my designs. I came across the first two images when I was searching through PhotoShop edits. The reason why these images stood out to me was how both of them have manipulated the subject of the work. The designer’s have chosen a specific perspective to show the main picture through whether it be through a completely different image or through text. I wanted to learn and understand how to do this in my own work and use it in other areas in this module, as well as the other modules in this course. The third image is part of a big ‘umbrella’ of magazine covers. Many magazines place their mastheads behind their model. They do this because they know that their target audience are aware of about their publication. I was inspired by this idea, therefore incorporated it into my design but in a different style. In the future, I would like to explore this topic; constructing magazine covers and magazines in general. However, I know that a text like a magazine should be ideally made in Indesign.

Reflection

I improved my skills in using the different layers efficiently; photograph editing; using tools such as the eraser and selection tool and experimenting with opacities. I have realised that there are multiple ways to do one thing in Photoshop – some are easier than others. However, each skill/tool results in a different finish.

I feel like I need to improve more on image manipulation and how I can combine images in different ways other than collages and blending. The next thing I want to work on is blending 2 images in a linear manner. For example, combining 2 faces together, using one side from each individual. To further develop my skill set, I want to practice using the different background removal tools such as: the eraser tool, quick selection tool and the object selection tool with different images varying in complexity.

Designing Stickers in Illustrator

Design ideas and design process

 Idea 1: For my first design I decided to use a lightbulb to show the generation of ideas by graphic designers, as that is most likely the podcast’s target audience. I knew that I wanted to include letters or type of some sort as the podcast talks about type. I began by typing out letters, converting them to outlines and then trying to warp the letters into a lightbulb shape. I didn’t think this was very successful as the letters looked awkwardly squashed and the amount of white space was too much for the lightbulb shape to be clear enough.

I then tried drawing the shape of the lightbulb with the pen tool and using it creating a layer mask with it. This worked but I still didn’t think the shape was clear enough, so I image traced and then expanded a photo of a light bulb so that I could place this over the top. I then went in with the white arrow tool to clean some stray points up.
This is my favourite design as I think it represents the content of the podcast well without spelling it out, and when seen from far away still works.

Initial idea
Arranging letters
Experimenting with gradient fill on idea 1
Layer masking
Design 1

 

Idea 2: For idea 2 I wanted to try a simpler design based on type. I typed out ‘Typography and Graphic Communication’ and then experimented with typefaces, leading and tracking. I reduced the leading quite significantly to make the text appear as one unit and because it allows the text to be bigger within the same dimensions. I changed the colour of ‘typography’ so that the words could be differentiated. I then experimented with different compositions of the pen using the transform tool, but I settled with just one pen drawing a line as it was the clearest and allowed for a fair amount of white space, stopping the sticker looking crowded.

Experimenting with idea 2
Experimenting for idea 2
Design 2

 

Idea 3: I decided to go for the classic circle shape for this sticker. Using the pen tool I created some organic shapes and filled them with the freeform gradient for a bright and almost 3D effect. I used the layer mask to cut a circle out of it and then experimented with various typefaces for the ‘T&GC’. I went with a simple serif typeface in the end, so that it is easy to read and brings a touch of classiness to the sticker – sans serif looked more basic and since the other designs are sans serif I thought it would add some variation to my designs.

Creating freeform gradients in organic shapes
initial idea for text on idea 3
Experimenting for idea 3
Design 3
Final Ideas with cutcontourkiss and cutcontourperf layers.

 

Software Tutorials

I had used Illustrator a fair bit before so I knew the basics but I wanted to explore the dropdown menus further. I read a tutorial on how to create icons, from which I learnt how to use the ‘Effect > Distort and transform > Transform’ function. I tried this out on Design Two, and although it didn’t make the final design I think I will find this tool very useful in the future, particularly for creating circles made up of icons. I also used the dropdown menus to outline strokes and to lock and unlock objects, for which I have now learnt the keyboard shortcuts.

I then watched a tutorial about making stickers in Illustrator (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gh69t8mg8I) which reminded me about using swatches to get consistent colour schemes, and using linear gradients for tonal effect.

The next tutorial I watched was about freeform gradients ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhB5tTTLqDU ). I learnt about how you can use either points or lines to create 3D effects and multicoloured, organic gradients. I also watched several tutorials on using the pen tool (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kAQUNFZJXY), which led me to ‘The Bezier Game’ ( https://bezier.method.ac ). This encourages you to practice making various shapes using the pen tool in as few clicks as possible – I found this very helpful and I have become a lot more confident with this tool now. I then combined my knowledge of freeform gradients and the pen tool to create organic shapes filled with gradients, before layering them up and layer masking them over a circle.

In the future I would like to learn more about the pathfinder tool and work out which icon does what, as I usually just use trial and error to achieve the effect I want, which is more time consuming than it needs to be.

 

Resources for research and inspiration

Firstly, I looked at some sticker designs on Google to get a feel for proportions and the sort of images used. A common factor was that they used colour and large text where it needed to be readable; circles also seemed to be a popular choice when it came to shape.

I had a flick through Behance to gather some inspiration on typefaces, colour schemes and how to layout different elements, for example after looking at one of the articles I knew I wanted to make use of white space, which I did in Design 2. I was then looking at my boards and decided to have another look at  Vasjen Katro’s work, a designer I really like (http://shop.baugasm.com). This is where I got the idea for the freeform gradients as he uses a lot of fresh 3D effects which look similar, with bright/pastel colour schemes.

A  topic I would like to explore further is effects on type – for example text looking worn or ripped or textured. I think this is probably a job for Photoshop, after the text has been made in Illustrator. Typography is my main interest and this  would add another element to my stickers and would allow me to create stickers that are purely typography with effect over it – I felt that my other stickers were too boring without some sort of illustration as well.  On my Google search I saw some that used just type with an effect on it and I thought they were very effective designs, so I will look into how this is done.

 

 

 

 

 

TY1SK Photoshop task

   Design ideas and process

With my first design, I wanted to keep it pretty simple. Considering my lack of experience with photoshop I was still navigating around the software. In the image you can see a girl sat on a laptop and I’ve created a more abstract feel by not including any texts. I actually attempted to edit a few things out of the image to make it more relevant to the message I was trying to convey. I’ve done this by matching the background and overlaying a white box one top and locking this over the image. I’ve also repeated an oval shape, changing the colours of each one to create a ‘Creative Thinking’ concept which is obviously crucial in the Graphic Design world.

Next, I wanted to create something a bit more controversial. Using the basic representatives of Graphic design – A laptop and a phone. I was also really attracted to the pastel blue colours. I’ve laid some white boxes on the top of the devices because there were some graphs I didn’t want to be shown as they were not relevant to the task. I’ve used the text tool to put ‘Typography&Graphic Design Communication’ making sure the space of the words looked correct. I used the eyedropper tool to match the colours of the text with the colours of the background that I liked so much.

Along my research of inspiration, I came across this calligram image of Martin luther king. I was drawn to the bright contrast of colours against the black and this is something I have tried to reflect in my own design with the bold, bright white writing that definitely contrasts with the background. I experimented again with the type tool and moving around the text to make it seem appropriate on the page. I’ve used a bold, san-serif type in white to create a clear contrast of colours similar to the main image.

My original image.
My original image.
My original image.
Experimenting with different typefaces, sizes and colours.
creating a box and filling with a colour to alter the image to make it more relevant to my own work. Experimenting with colours.
Creating a selection and filling this is to match the background and getting rid of any relevant information – making it my own for a more personal message.

Software tutorial

I have decided to log about my photoshop task because photoshop is where I least excel in, so I wanted to challenge myself more in this area. I have been briefly introduced to photoshop but other than a few short tasks I am pretty clueless as to the uses of the software. I was eager to learn how to use photoshop, as I am very aware it is a huge aspect of the creative industries I want to strive in. 

Software tutorials were an extremely important part of my process with my lack of experience with the software – I know from experience with other Adobe softwares that the never-ending tutorials on the internet are very important and actually a way of key learning for most creatives. I needed to start from the very beginning and decided to watch a video just showing some navigation of the interface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN37eDqYvfQ. There’s also some little videos as you hover over the interface which I found very helpful along the way. Some of the skills I learned on my journey include placing the images in the interface, experimenting with the type tool and similarly experimenting with the different typefaces. I also used the eye dropper tool to do some colour matching. I feel like I’m pretty familiar with photoshop now and will feel more comfortable in future photoshop tasks.

When considering some of the skills I wanted to develop further, I’d like to experiment with overlaying and merging images – maybe through the use of cutting out and placing on top or even experimenting with different transparencies et cetera. I’m very interested in this photo editing side of photoshop and it’s something i’ve been meaning to experiment with for a while and will definitely be taking this with me after this project.

 

Resources for inspiration 

I started my research of inspiration by looking at a website called Picabay mainly for inspiration but also this is where I was going to source my main images. I started by researching some key words like ‘Typography’ and ‘Design’. I was finding myself drawn to calligram-like images. I’ve always been inspired by David Carlson and his grunge typography style. I definitely wanted to include something like this. I was drawn to one Calligram in particular of Martin Luther King. I loved the true contrast of bright colours on the black, but also the message that we resonate with Martin Luther King is ever important. Although some might feel he is irrelevant to the topic of Graphic Design, if I was to have a podcast I would be including content that resonates with the morals of Martin Luther King and likewise the celebration of other black artists.Similarly, I seemed to gravitate to more colourful images which is evident in the final images I picked with paste blues and elements of pink but I also managed to keep it quite simple. I did some similar inspiration research looking up keywords on the internet (similarly websites like etsy and pinterest) and found this pretty helpful when i was in times of a creative block.

 

Getting to know Photoshop & designing podcast covers

Design ideas & design process

Our task for this project was to design and create three different podcast covers for a Typography and Graphic Communication podcast using Adobe Photoshop. Having never used photoshop before, this was a great opportunity for me to familiarise myself with the software and get to know the basic tools. Our podcast covers were to be a combination of image and text, but we were free to be completely creative with our ideas. My initial idea was to a create a tree from individual letters, to represent the importance of typography in everyday life and to give an indication to the general topics of the podcast. I found an image of a tree that i liked and placed it into photoshop before adding lots of individual letters to the shape of the tree. This took time but i then learnt how to duplicate things which made it a lot easier. I also cut out an image of a sun and added this in to the image, because i wanted to experiment cutting up and adding images. During the process of the second design, I learnt about cutting images and using layers to show different parts which allowed me to replace the tea with coloured liquid by initially cutting out the shape of the normal tea splash. I wanted to use a fairly normal image and to add a creative spark to it with the watercolour splash, and had seen similar designs like this previously which is where my inspiration came from. For the third design, my idea was to have the text merging into the image as if it were a reflection. I changed the format of the text so it appeared as if it was on the floor by adjusting the angle, following the reflection of the yellow door. I also used the dodge tool to lighten the colours of the door. My first design idea was my favourite, so I developed this more by warping the podcast title text so that it appeared as part of the sky.

My first podcast cover design idea – tree
My second podcast cover design idea – tea
My third podcast cover design idea – yellow door
Demonstration of how I learnt to work with different layers in order to manipulate an image
Using tools to warp and distort the text
using the dodge tool to lighten areas
Showing how i used an image and built on it using layers
Distorting the text to make it fit into the sky
using the blur tool to soften the edges

 


Software tutorials

To begin with, I watched Rachel’s video first which showed me how to set up and create a new file in photoshop, place images into the file and combine them, as well as demonstrating how layers work. This was useful in understanding the basics of photoshop and how it works. There were certain keyboard shortcuts that I took in from the video such as “Command T” to transform images which was really helpful as it simplified the learning process. When I had further queries about what tool to use i would search up what I needed on google or watch some different tutorials which really helped. I watched the video thread titled ‘Get to know photoshop’ which contained clips about opening images, saving work, and generally getting to know the work space area. I then watched the adobe tutorial on working with layers, which was really helpful in understanding how they work and why they should be used. I found the youtube channel Adobe Creative cloud useful for general tutorials on getting started and using photoshop. I also used Terry White’s youtube video tutorials on photoshop. This was helpful as i didn’t know what each of the photoshop tools did before so I learnt the uses of some of the important ones such as the cropping tool. Another adobe tutorial i found useful was the one about working with and combining images.

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/combining-images-basics.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:get-started/set-header:ccx-designer/playlist:ccl-get-started-2/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com


Resources for research and inspiration

I wanted to get some general podcast cover inspiration, so I went to Spotify and had a browse through different podcasts, paying close attention to the details of the image provided to get a feel for what i should include in my image. I asked myself what each image was trying to say and if it interested me, then why? I found that most of the covers incorporated bright colours to catch the eye of the viewer, and the name of the podcast was usually embedded into the image. I then used the free image site pixabey, in order to search for free, high quality images that I could use in my designs. For my first design I started searching for photos of trees made out of letters, but there were none that I particularly liked or were what i was imagining in my head, so I changed my mind and browsed images of just trees, thinking that I could create the lettering effect myself. For inspiration, I looked at Matthew Price’s article ‘How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide’ which gave me lots of helpful information and tips on the design process, and here i got to see lots of examples to learn from. For a further introduction into Photoshop and for future inspiration, I looked at the step by step tutorial on How Amr Elshamy created “Round things”. This was really fascinating as you get to see the amazing finished product and are walked through the different stages of the process as well as the tools used.

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/use-polar-coordinates-filter.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:key-techniques/playlist:topic/set-header:get-inspired/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

The Type Manifesto

Resources For research and Inspiration

Before responding to the task, I decided that I would extend my theme of modern pictograms in my work. Previously, I used images taken from health and safety signage but wanted to vectorise them for manipulation with type, whilst maintaining its aesthetic. I returned to the original sign I found the graphics on, as well as the deisgns I had created from previous tasks, for a reference of how they should look. I uploaded the images to the document and lowered their opacity, allowing me to trace them but still view them for a reference

I researched sticker designs to see how the boarders fit around their subject. Considering I will use pictograms and type, I decided to research how sticker boarders fit around both these.When intricate or sharp corners are used, they generally have simplified boarders, creating a breathable and softer background. I thought rounder boarders, used with geometric subjects, would contradict ideals that modernist designs stood for, as it looked lazy and sluggish. However, I thought it important to have a generous boarder to reinforce the corners when pealed. I decided that I would strive for straight edges for uniformity in the designs original structure but combine rounded elements when necessary. In addition I wanted to avoid basic forms for the stickers boarder, aiming for a combination of straight and curved edges, rather than conforming to generic shapes as the overall sticker shape.

I noticed my research examples used a lot of colours, primarily soft pastel like colours. Rather than overwhelm the viewer with bright colours, the forms serve this, leaving the colour to convey tone. I think I’ll experiment with Black and red, two typical modernist colours which will be in line with my pictogram designs. I think I would have liked to explore colours more, using them more as elements of shade and tone for depth in the design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Ideas

For my first idea, I experimented with taking the pictogram and making them look like they were talking around a microphone. I felt it looked week so decided to explore more with the microphone I created using the pen tool. I wanted to include my podcast name’s initals within the microphone, leading to become a monogram which I felt was quite bold. I felt the stand looked week so I removed it, making the mic the main body. I thought I could include the title as a subtitle to the podcast. Since the microphone was full with the monogram, I decided to include it in the exterior, resembling sound waves like the layers of colour I added in the mic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my third Idea I experimented with people talking around the microphone more. Instead I used different pictograms. I experimented with how they sat together, I made their bodies resemble text boxes by making the armpit and shoulders more angular. I also experimented with their positioning, finding that ordering them in descending size helped lead the eye towards the microphone. The sticker formed a triangle, inspiring me to add a play button for the background, as it had connotations with the podcast. I needed the background to contrast so I used red colours (in line with modernist ideals). I found it still looked flat, so I added a smaller dark red triangle to give it depth. In addition I distorted it to look a bit more playful and 3D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My second Idea was my favourite idea. I explored the pictograms through only using two, making it feel sleek. I experimented again with using the intials of the podcast within the graphics, finding out that I could actually use the type to form the body parts. I found that the T could form the armpit and the M could form the armpit and waste, whilst creating a more feminine design. I went with this and experimented with making the type sit in different locations, trying to maintain consistancing in form with both of them, leading me to go back with the pen tool and select several anchors, dragging them in to make them skinnier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Tutorials

I decided to research how to use the pen tool on Illustrator. With this research under my belt, I wanted to use it efficiently and decided to learn the shortcuts for the following tools: Add anchor point (+); Minus anchor point (-); Anchor point (shift, C); Pen tool (P); selection (V) and direct selection (A). These shortcuts allowed me to manipulate the paths and shapes more efficiently. I found it helpful as I learnt how to creat curves within a line, rather than having to use the shape tool. Initially I would use too many anchor points, but gradually became more confident. I learned that you could use guides to draw the handlebars out and create symmetric curves. I found using the shortcuts easier for moving anchor points around, as before I would accidently move handlebars. In addition I also learnt that I could draw the paths with no fill and a contrasting colour stroke to help trace my images. I also found it useful to lower the opacity of the image I wanted to trace to still have a reference.

The video I watched can be found below:

 

In addition, the shape tool and pathfinder helped me. Initially I experimented with overlapping shapes and combining them with the pathfinder tool. This was helpful to an extent, I later returned to my designs and recreated them to be one path, via the pen tool. Regardless I still used the shape tool. I found Holding down shift and scaling spheres helped me create heads more efficiently than the pen tool.I think I also would like to improve my skills with the pathfinder tool, making my shapes also include more variation in form.

The videos I watched can be found below:

 

 

I experimented with creating outlines to represent sound from the podcast in my first design. I didn’t want to over crowd the design, so I experimented with adding a subtitle along the exterior of the microphone. I had to learn how to set type to a path to do so, and used the outer line of the design to do so. I think this is one of the techniques I want to develop. Instead of using it almost as ornamentation, I would like to experiment with making an intricate design just using this tool.

The video I watched can be found below:

 

Podcast Photoshop Task- Hannah Ferguson

Design Ideas and Design Process

For the podcast Photoshop task, I began by choosing a title. I wanted a catchy phrase that was related to typography and decided on ‘Talking Type Tuesday’. The alliteration worked well and it meant that it was clear which day the podcast was on.

For idea 1, I had not used Photoshop before so I began with a simple design to experiment with. I used different typefaces to reflect on the typography theme and experimented with the ellipse tool and layers to make the design more interesting. Although this design was not my favourite, I felt that it was a good base to start from and allowed me to get to grips with Photoshop.

Podcast Idea 1

For Idea 2, I wanted to include an image so I decided on a typewriter as it played on the word ‘type’. I imported it from Google and then experimented with the quick selection tool. This allowed me to remove the background and isolate the image. I then chose a muted background colour and added some type onto the typewriter to show the title.

Podcast Idea 2

For Idea 3, I felt much more confident using Photoshop so combined the techniques I had learnt to make this. I found an image of a graphic mouth on Google and styled it using the quick selection tool. I was going to leave it just with the image but then felt that different letters coming out of the moth in varying typefaces would work effectively. I then positioned the title as if it looked like sound waves being spoken. I particularly liked how the letters coming out of the mouth turned out as it linked clearly with the theme as well as being very visually exciting. This was my favourite idea as I felt it worked very effectively and liked the boldness of the colours.

Podcast Idea 3

To experiment with my covers, I had originally not put a circle in idea 1 as I had decided to just use text. However, I felt that I could advance this and experiment with more tools in photoshop, such as a shape tool.

Experimentation of Idea 1

For design 2, I experimented putting the text at the bottom, top, and on the typewriter paper. However, I found that it looked much effective on the paper itself.

Experimentation of Idea 2

For design 3, I experimented with the background colour to see what one which worked the best. After testing with light blue, pink and purple, I decided that purple worked the most effective in providing a strong contrast with the image.

Experimentation of Idea 3- Blue
Experimentation of Idea 3- Pink

Software Tutorials

Having never used Photoshop before, I found tutorial videos to be most important. I watched the video provided to us which gave an outline of how to make the podcast cover. This showed me how to easily add an image into Photoshop and then how to export it to save it as a web file for my trello board. Alongside this, I watched the Adobe tutorials on getting to know Photoshop and how to use layers. This was especially helpful in my first idea as the layering allowed the ellipse tool to cover some of writing by the use of layers. As I needed to use the quick selection tool often, there was a tutorial in the Photoshop programme that I used, however I would like to advance my skills on this as I found it difficult to isolate the exact image. Although I have not yet mastered it, I found that this tool helped me the most when creating idea 2 and 3.

To aid me in my designing, I watched many YouTube videos on Photoshop tutorials and how to replicate text, such as I did in my third idea. I also looked at websites for an overview of how to make a podcast cover – https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-podcast-cover-photoshop/ which provided a step by step thinking process to follow and reminded me to choose a theme and direction before I started. It also provided an introduction into filling shapes with colour which proved useful in my first design of the circle in the background.

In the future, I would like to explore with the other tools in Photoshop that relate to editing an image such as how to adjust the image quality and using other tools such as the blur and dodge tool.

Resources for Research and Inspiration

As I often listen to podcasts, I went onto my Spotify to have a look at the general layout of other working podcast covers. I discovered that typography and typefaces were a prominent feature and decorative, colourful fonts were often present. An image was also almost always present whether this was in the form of a photograph or as an illustration. I also looked at Typography podcasts that were available on Spotify to take some inspiration from. I found that these largely had a theme of an exciting title via the fonts. This gave me a good starting point and I used similar typefaces to create my first idea, looking at the typography podcast covers and taking inspiration from their simplicity.

Screenshot of Spotfiy podcasts
Screenshot of Spotify typographic podcasts

I wanted to include an image in at least one of my covers so I researched objects and themes related to typography on Google. The typewriter came up quite often as a symbol of modern advances in type and felt this would be fitting for a cover. Looking at a modern pop art style perspective for my third and favourite idea, I took inspiration from a website that was provided to us-

https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/. It made me think to portray my personality within my design as I prefer bold, loud, captivating designs which is why I was especially drawn to this one. It also inspired me to next time create my own illustration for the cover. This is a topic I would like to develop further in order to create my own podcast cover with an illustration that I had drawn, possibly using another programme such as Illustrator then developing it in Photoshop.

 

 

Creating Dymanic Images in Photoshop

The task we were given was to create a podcast cover in photoshop so here is how I created mine.

 

 

Design Process

 

Designing a podcast cover, the first thing to do when designing a product is to examine existing products of a similar nature and look at what works and what doesn’t. I had a look at other podcast covers and found that those with emphasis on imagery were the most effective, this is because the covers themselves are seen at a very small size when displayed for mobile and text isn’t generally visible unless at a large scale. A common thing is the use of a simple image containing the person holding the podcast, this however only works when the person is famous or at least well known in their particular field of work. I really like this technique and wanted to employ it in my own work. Seen as this was a task for a fictional podcast I used some portraits taken by British Vogue to represent the people hosting the podcast.

For the first idea I used the magic erase toll to remove the background of my portrait. Then creating a path using the pen tool I was able to separate different parts of the subject and appear as though you could see inside her skull, my original idea was to have some roses growing out but when I did this I found that it didn’t relate enough to the brief and the idea of typography wasn’t clear enough. Therefore I went with something simple and uses the word type repeatedly in the shape. For the second design I used a similar concept as my first design but wanted to explore textures, I therefore used layers and overlays to get these effects. The third design took a more minimalistic approach, I used the pen tool here and then erase the background from the image of the pen, I really liked how clean this design looked however seen as this task was to explore photoshop skills I felt that my first design used the most interesting techniques.

 

Software Tutorials

The task stated that we had to create these covers using photoshop. I have used it before but not for a long time so I decided to look into some visual artists and seek inspiration from their work. One of my favourite poster designers is Magdiel Lopez, he has done collaborations in the past with adobe and I followed his tutorials in order to create the effects seen in my covers. I watched a series of videos of him creating some posters and looked at not only how he creates his effects but also why he uses them and how to create more appealing visual pieces. The cut seen on my portrait in design 1 is something he uses a lot to add depth to an image, it also helps to convey meaning. He also loves to use a gradient and using his tutorials I was able to add these to individual shapes in an effective manner.

I was going to include flowers in the cut of her face as mentioned earlier but I struggled to make it look realistic, in the future I feel that improving my understanding of shadows will help me to create this effect and produce seamless professional looking work. These tutorials helped to develop my skills with the pen tool and layering options also adding gradients and the use of colour palettes. The skills that I want to progress are my ability to tie to two images together to create unnatural effects without it looking pasted together, I can achieve this by adding shading to an image and getting more practice with light sources. Another thing I would like to improve is my backgrounds, at the moment they are relatively simply however I would like to create more complex images allowing my work to have a greater impact.

This was my attempt at having flowers grow from the cross section

This is the link to the tutorials I used-

 

Resources for Research

I myself don’t listen to podcasts so for this task I had to do some research into existing podcast covers and their design trends. As I mentioned earlier I found that a large proportion of them had portraits as the central focus generally containing the host of the podcast and I created my pieces to fit this trend. However in terms of the actual designs took inspiration from a lot of other sources.

I really liked covers which uses simple portraits or had a person as the focal point of the design. I think its very personal and has a human side to it, also its nice to put a face to a voice. Having an influential person hosting your podcast would generally be the main selling point and it should therefore be appropriately advertised.
I absolutely love these covers and think they have an incredible sense of impact. The bold colour choices really draws your eye and the use of gradients adds a certain level of professionalism to the work, it gives the piece another layer of depth. What really like here is the 3D effect these images have I think its more dynamic than a normal image and helps to keep attention, this is what inspired me to look at texture within my work by giving it more features you can create a more interesting piece. One issue with this is that you do run the risk of having an over complicated design and it looking like an eyesore, this is something I had to balance when creating my covers.
Magdiel Lopez is where I drew the inspiration for my first design, he creates incredibly dynamic work that uses bold colours to capture attention, he also has a love of gradients. I used the cut head technique and some gradients in my work in order to show his influence on my images. In the future I want to look at add images or objects in the cross section instead of just text.

Design Discussed: My Adobe debut

Design ideas and design process:

Podcast cover 1

For my Photoshop debut, I wanted to start with a simple but eye-catching design that would attract my self-appointed target demographic of people under 25. I experimented with the effect that overlapping colours and opacity and it resulted in a blended watercolour effect. For the text I used opposing featured colours to add harmony to the division.

Podcast cover 2

I created a more experimental background for my second design with the use of a textured paper background with a more colourful layer overlapping it. The layer on top has been blended so that the images seem merged. I used a pen graphic and created a silhouette with colour overlay- to emphasise the title I added the bevel and emboss effect.

Podcast cover 3

For my favourite design, I aimed for an image without text that still clearly showed the brief. I created the platform for the centrepiece by collaging paper graphics. The centrepiece began as a radio microphone that I manipulated with layer masking to replace with a pencil head and emphasise that design is being discussed. Finer details involved more layer masking to give the effect that the microphone soundwaves were bursting out of the cover despite the layer being placed behind the collage (the stand isn’t fully visible). The background is red as that is often related to news, with a gradient to make it less harsh.

Software tutorials:

The tutorials that were suggested/found primarily aided me with layer masking and text effects. My inexperience meant I did not seek particularly experimental techniques as my primary goals were to learn and refine the basics. The Adobe site contains more concise tutorials than what I could find on LinkedIn Learning, which contained more detailed introductions.