Exploring Illustrator

Exploring Illustrator

For this, I wanted to learn something completely new that I haven’t attempted before as I had experience with using illustrator for the film poster project and the pictogram project as well as some other things. I chose the creating a letter logo task because I felt this would be a good opportunity to enhance my typography skills whilst also improving my knowledge and illustrator.

Design ideas and design process

Final Idea 01
Final Idea 02
Final Idea 03

I started by drawing out a lot of sketches and rough drawings to help me brainstorm. I also played around with different ways of arranging the letters, before settling on the main idea.

Initially I was really interested in a monogram inspired logo design and I tried this out in illustrator. I wanted a traditional logo and for that I used a serif typeface to achieve the look I wanted. I originally used the font Bressay Devanagari. I tried a solid version with this font, but it felt too cluttered. I changed the font to Superclarendon and recreated the design thought this was successful but when I showed this design to others, the ‘G’ wasn’t easily identifiable to them. Because of this I tried a completely different design.

I felt the hexagon was somewhat successful, but I kept working on it as I didn’t feel having the ‘A’ facing the wrong way was any good, but I couldn’t work out how to turn the ‘A’ around and have it still look legible, so I changed to a circle. I followed a tutorial on setting letters within a shape and also learnt how to use the shape builder tool in illustrator. I made some sketches as well to work out how my particular letters would look within the shape. I chose to do a hexagon shape to better follow the tutorial.

The circle was very successful but I felt the hexagon looked better so I experimented with the guidelines from the video so that the ‘A’ would fit in better.

Process Images

Software tutorials

I was somewhat new to using illustrator for text related designs, so I used tutorials to help me understand how to warp and edit letters, add multiple strokes to letters. for this task I learn how to shape letters into an actual shape and how to use the shape builder tool with guidelines. I followed a YouTube tutorial as well as many articles. The YouTube tutorial was very helpful as a visual guide helped me to understand exactly what I had to do to create the logo that I needed. Due to a visual guide, I was then able to adapt the skill I had learned to fit my own logo and create different shapes as well as different styles of letters which allowed me to have a variety of options that I could choose from as my final design.

Another tutorial that was very helpful for me was on how to reshape a path using the direct selection tool. This tutorial was very helpful for me the monogram letter logos I had to create smooth lines for the ‘S’ and ‘G’ and then fit the two letters together in a smooth manner.

Additional tutorial – https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/puppet-warp.html

Resources for research and inspiration

The additional resources that I found were the YouTube tutorial on creating Latin logo within a shape and the Adobe articles on using the direct selection tool as well as on puppet warp. these tutorials help me develop my design ideas as they allowed me to bring my design ideas to life as I originally wasn’t sure how to fit letters smoothly within a shape as well as how to fit letters within each other and not make them look like they’ve just been placed on but instead drawn as one.

I would still like to improve on my use of the shape builder tool because I’ve only used it in one way instead of experimenting with different ideas. Although, I was able to create a successful and legible design, I wish that I took the time to experiment and explore with the shape builder tool more as I feel it would have allowed me to create a more creative and unique design.

Additional tutorial

  • https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/puppet-warp.html
  • https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/tool-techniques/direct-selection-tool.html
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDNZURvGs9E

Learning across the module

The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Photoshop are how to transform images by using layers, the adjustment panel, removing backgrounds in Photoshop and moving them into new/separate layers as well as learning to use the magnetic lasso tool.

The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Illustrator are how to use the pathfinder tool and warping tools, in particular, how to use the puppet warp tool as well as the direct selection tool. Furthermore, I have also learnt how to use the shape builder tool.

The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Indesign are how to use the table function and table styles and use of paragraph rules and tabs.



A Reflection on photoshop

Design Ideas and Design Progress

As I had rarely worked in Photoshop before, my main aim was to understand the basics of the software and to create a design for my podcast cover. Firstly, I experimented with layering and adjusting and manipulating the photo editing tools to fit my theme for the podcast cover which was originally The Bauhaus. In my second design idea, I followed a tutorial on using the perspective warp tool. I applied this to the text and made it seem like there was text coming out of a microphone. For my final design, I brought everything that I had learnt so far and began create what turned out to be my final cover.

Three design ideas:

Design 1 – Perspective Warp
Design 2 – Perspective warp, layering, photo manipulation
Design 3 – Photo Manipulation

My most effective cover was Design 2 as it had the perspective warp tool being used which I learnt in Design 1 and has the most room for development.

I started by adding a textured background, to the background of the podcast cover as it was very flat meaning there was little depth. To do this, I watched a tutorial on how to overlay images in photoshop. (Adobe Asia Pacific, 2021). I then used my knowledge from Design 3, to make the background lose its brightness as it distracted from the main object of the cover. I also decided to change the color theme of the podcast mic. This was because the pink stood against the blue/sand background much more clearly. This design was very successful as it allowed me to utilise all the skills that I had wanted to improve on and learn more as I was able layer images effectively and be able to add type and have it be legible as well as being able to manipulating the photo editing tools to better the design.

Software Tutorials

Although, all the tutorials given in the brief were very useful, I found the adobe tutorial on adjusting the image quality (Adobe.com, 2021) and working with layers (Adobe.com, 2021) the most important for my particular design for my podcast cover. This is because the adobe page on understanding layers helped me to improve on my skills of layers, the use of them and how to view them the photoshop software. This article taught me about the ability to change the opacity of layers. This was useful for me in creating the podcast mic as I was able to lower the opacity of the background layers which enabled me to see what I was drawing even more clearly than it would have been at full opacity. The article on adjusting brightness and contrast was very useful for me as it allowed me to experiment with the brightness and contrast tool with my background layer and I ended up using this tool to make the background darker so it could push forward and help the main text and object stand out in the podcast cover. This turned out to be very successful and made the overall podcast cover look much more interesting and visually pleasing to the eye.

Another tutorial that I found useful, was the adobe tutorial on using the perspective warp tool in photoshop. I used this tool to have the title of the podcast curve around the podcast mic to give the illusion that the mic is 3D. I feel this was both successful and unsuccessful as although the text followed the curve of the microphone, it does not give the illusion of the mic being 3D. I would have continued to work on this, however, I felt it was more important to look the overall cover.

Adobe tutorial – https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/perspective-warp.html

Design Resources and Articles

For tutorials, I mostly used the Adobe website and a couple of youtube tutorials. In this task I wanted to be able to master basic layering (Adobe.com, 2021) and to be able to add text to my design (Adobe.com, 2019) in a way that did not crowd my podcast cover. However, the most important tutorial was on image overlay (Adobe.com, 2021) as this tutorial allowed me to experiment with my background and adding some interest to the overall podcast cover as it was looking flat and plain. From this tutorial, the most important thing I learnt, was how to blend images into the design or images I was working on. This was incredibly useful as I have previously struggled with merging images together smoothly and successfully. In my particular design, I was then able to go into color overlay and adjust the slider to make the textured layer sit in a way that gave the desired finish.

Another tutorial that was very helpful for my design, was an adobe tutorial on how to apply a gradient fill to a shape (Adobe.com, 2021). I decided to include a gradient fill to my podcast mic shape as I felt it give the cover some depth and help it stand out from the textured background. This tutorial helped me figure out how to change the appearance of my gradient as I felt having an angular gradient would add some visual interest.

I would still like to improve on my use of more photo editing tools and using them to adjust or manipulate images as feel I have not showcased them in this final podcast cover and am not too confident on how to use all the tools apart from the brightness/contrast tool, hue and colour saturation. Although, I was able to use the brightness/contrast to make the background darker so that it would not distract the eye from the main text and object of the podcast cover.


  • https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/gradients.html
  • https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/layer-basics.html#:~:text=The%20Layers%20panel%20in%20Photoshop,in%20the%20Layers%20panel%20menu.&text=Choose%20Window%20%3E%20Layers
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnSAnAolpmI
  • https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/add-text-photo.html#:~:text=Go%20to%20the%20tools%20panel,appeared%20in%20the%20Layers%20panel

Movie time!

Project Brief

Design the programme flyer for Reading Film Theatre, listing their Autumn programme of films. Design TWO variants, based on some kind of underlying different approach (eg different users)

For this project, we were asked to design the Autumn 2017 cinema listings. We were given a document with all the information with typos and we had to correct them and then order and design the information so that it would be easy to understand. We also had to choose two types of users to design our cinema listings.

I chose:

  • Parent with two children under 10
  • Retired doctor and her husband, both of them who have a passion for old Hollywood


I started off by sketching out ideas on how each listing might look, keeping in mind which features of the listings would be more important for each user.I began with the design for the parent with two children under 10. For this design I thought that the title, age rating and the running time would be the most important for the parent as it would be key for them to know the age rating of the movie to see if the movie would be appropriate for their children and the running time as a parent might not want to sit through a long childrens movie. Due to this, I chose the middle sketch to base my cinema listings on as it had the title and age rating at the top and the running time directly under it.


For the retired doctor and her husband who have a passion for old Hollywood, I thought the key features for them was year of films, country the movie was made in, as well as being able to know which movies had extras such as subtitles or audio description. This is because old Hollywood is specific genre and to be able to see the year and country of the movie would be useful for the couple to find the movies they like the most. Therefore, I chose the last sketch to base my design on as it has the country and year of the movie towards the top of the listing.


I began by reading through the document and edited the text so that all necessary information was there such as the running time for every movie and correcting any typos in the movie informations. I decided to use the RTF’s logo colors for my color theme. As the logo had multiple colors and we were only allowed two, I used red and black as my colors, red as the accent color and black for the main body. I had originally planned to put the synopsis of each movie into my listings but I did not have any space to do this as we only had little space and already quite a lot of information to organise into the space. The two typefaces I chose was Gill Sans and Rockwell for both designs as they looked appropriate and has quite a lot of styles within the font such as italics, bold etc, and this was very useful in differentiating and highlighting certain information even without a range of fonts or colors.

First Draft and Feedback

In the feedback session, it was suggested to check that our listing have the correct hyphens and to have a full name on one line or movie title on one line as well as having correct spacing between hyphens, check spaces between numbers e.g., 8, 4 etc. I also decided to change the position of the title and information to make it more prominent.


This project really helped me understand to know the importance of knowing how the finished project will be viewed as looking as the printed version of my listings helped me see some of the issues I could not see on screen such as the size of the body text. As well as this, this project showed me how important of using paragraph styles as with so much information, anytime I wanted to make a change to a section such as the running time, I didn’t have to individually go through every bit.

The Great Gatsby

For this, we followed James’ video on using Indesign, in which we recreated a penguin classic book cover. I found this very useful as I had never used Indesign before and it was very easy to follow. This task of recreating the cover was very helpful in getting to grips with the InDesign design program whilst also being able to understanding professional design.

I found recreating the text pretty straightforward. However the most confusing part was the recreation of Penguin Books logo as making the shape was very complicated and it took me the most time to do.

PDF :Penguin cover James tutorial

The Voyage of Argo

As a part of this project, we were also asked to create our own book cover using our template of ‘The Great Gatsby’ book cover and to interpret this into our own concept whether it be a book or movie as our inspiration. For this, I chose ‘The Voyage of Argo’ as my book.

I wanted to include the Greek flag into my book cover so initially I put two white rectangles in the blue boxes so that each stripe was equal in weight however this made the cover look too busy and very white heavy with the text. As well as this, the text at the bottom and top could not be easily read with the strips of white and blue. To improve on this, I made the white stripes thinner to frame the text and images on the top and bottom of the book cover. This was successful because it is more visually appealing.

I made the decision to remove the cartouche at the top as I felt it was did made the cover too white-heavy. However, I now feel as though this was not the best idea as it does not reflect the original poster.

For the text, I used Superclarendon as I felt it was the most similar to the original cover. I then put a boat at the bottom instead of the penguin to relate to the story and I put the penguin at the top with ‘Penguin Books’ beside it.

PDF: The voyage of argo 01

Gemini Designs

For this project, we were asked to brand ourselves. I had chosen 70s retro style as my theme for my brand and I started by creating a moodboard of images from this theme that inspired me. I decided to name my brand after my own horoscope, which is gemini and this led to me find images of horoscopes designed in the 70s art style as well as horoscope designs from the 70s. I was especially inspired by the circular logos and the horoscopes in the circular drawings.

My first version was inspired by the abstract images from the moodboard and I made an oval shape with two alternating colors with my logo in the middle. However, as much as I liked the shape and text of the logo, I did not like the colors as I felt they did not fit the theme even though they were from the moodboard so I went back to look for more 70s color schemes and decided that brighter colors would fit my logo better.

I changed the colors to blue and pink in the logo shape instead of the muted tan colors and this both looked better and fit the theme better. This was successful because the the logo was more vibrant and stood out more.

i also made another version of my logo but in a circle shape however, I felt this was not funky enough for the 70s retro theme.

For the text, I used Marker Felt as my font as it fit the theme. I added multiple outlines to my text as it was common in 70s text. For this,  I used the same colors from the logo shape.

Serifs and Texture


For Eric’s project we were tasked with finding Lettering in the environment with a theme in mind. At first I started taking pictures of all lettering that interested me and I started in the typography building. As I was taking pictures, I realised that most lettering were serifs so I decided to make serifs my theme. However, as I was taking the pictures, I realised there was a variety in the serifs as some letters had clear and traditional serifs and others were less clear but still had decorate ends.

As I continued taking pictures, both inside and out the department, I started to take pictures more focused on textured lettering, specifically, texture that had been a result of wear and age. This lead to taking pictures outside because I had found that text was more worn out there due to weather.

We then had to group our pictures into our themes and placed the smooth textured serifs at the top of my page as it was my first theme/idea and moved to textured serifs to textured lettering down the page to mimic the evolution of themes from just serif to textured lettering.


Our task

For this project, we were given the brief of designing a book in relation to the story. I chose labyrinth as my theme.

Labyrinth: a family moves into a house with unexpected spatial characteristics. The rooms keep shifting position every time a door is opened. The family members are trapped inside the house and start a journey to find the front door. While they keep moving from one room to the next, they discover that they are not the only ones lost in the impossibly infinite labyrinth of the house.

My initial idea was to cut each page into a different maze as a labyrinth is an elaborate, confusing structure designed to make a person lost as the character is in the brief. However, I realised that would be too time-consuming as we only had two hours and would also make the book loose its structure so I then simplified the maze, so that the maze is only on the front page but cut through multiple pages to make some parts of the pages very deep and others quite shallow to add depth and interest to the reader but also to relate to the trapped feeling the character would be feeling.

I also decided to cut the book into the shape of an arched door and painted the front cover as a front door as the character struggles to find the front door. The reason for the whole book being in the same arched door shape, is that the character keeps opening door and moving from one room to another so every-time the reader turns the page they will essentially be in a different room.

When I cut the maze, I attempted to cut it so that, the book would still be readable through the maze but would still confuse the reader. I wanted it like this because I wanted the content of the book to be confusing and lost to the reader as the character feels when the go through each room.

Finally, I added distress to the front page of the book with my nails to relate to traumatic experience the character would be going through.

Toy dog diving game

Our task

For our first project, we were tasked to give our partners three interesting facts about ourselves that can be used to create a perfect gift. My partner’s facts were that she likes animals (her pet dog), she used to dive and her family is from Australia. From this, I brainstormed and came up with two initial ideas.

My first idea was a wood statue of her dog but this was a little basic. However, this idea evolved into a little toy dog that could dive off a spring board, as my partner used to do spring board diving, into a mini pool. I added a pattern of whales around the pool as a link to the fact that her family is from Australia and whales are native to north Australia.

My random word was magnet which inspired me to add a magnet to the bottom of the springboard to allow for better stability so that the diving board will not fall when the toy dogs are placed on it to ‘jump’ into the pool as a diver would.