Author: Esha Rajesh

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.

What letter is it?

This session has allowed me to concentrate on finer details like using precision whilst sketching the letters. In the first task, we were given a typeface which we then had to replicate using a different word with different letters. The typeface was not specified so the challenge was to think about what the letter could look like with some help from the letters already given. The letters in the alphabet follow into specific groups. For example, characters with descenders fall into a group of their own; characters with ascenders fall into another. I drew in the x-height line as I knew it would help me know how tall/short the letter should be. In the second task, our objective was to use clues from the visible parts of the letters and then try to imagine what the rest of the letters may look like. We then had to draw this. From the feedback I got from the previous task, I concentrated on how much weight I put on the different parts of the characters.

Harry Potter

 

Having never used Indesign before, after completing this task, I have learned a range of fundamental skills needed to work the software effectively. As well as following the tutorial, when I was not able to do something, I researched alternative ways in doing the same thing. Photoshop is a program I have used before which has been an advantage as I was able to transfer some of the skills I’d known from there onto this task. One of the main skills I learned was how leading and tracking makes a big difference in organising and keeping your titles and headings separated proportionally. Although I did find it difficult at times, I managed to distort the typical Penguin cover into a book from a series I LOVE!

Social media in a PANDEMIC!

During the outbreak of COVID-19, social media has been quite literally an essential part in people’s lives. Social media has not only been used to find out new information or regulations put into place, but it has become a coping mechanism. It has somewhat distracted us from the real problem. This has been done by the use of memes. Instagram pages like ‘World Health Organisation’ use a different style within their posts compared to a page like ‘coronavirus_memes’. Although their posts are relating to the same topic, they both contribute differently to the social media bubble. Memes take out the seriousness the subject holds and adds a sense of humour and excitement to the post. Like in the example shown above, back when the lockdown was introduced, the public had gone through a mental craze. Shops were left empty and houses were full of bulk-bought items. Economically, this was a complete disaster, however nearly every meme showed a comical aspect. On the other hand, when we look at the ‘WHO’ Instagram page, we see instructive, clean and well-presented posts. Each new update is a thought out piece of artwork, compared to a meme which usually never has an organised finish. They intend for their message to reach an older and responsible target audience, whilst the meme pages target the younger demographic.

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Additional collages made in the task:

 

 

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Finstagram.com%2Fcoronavirus_memes%3Figshid%3D130b3th5ncyig%26fbclid%3DIwAR06bGQ0lh8daQA0WIiTfzLSbabeZGzkidgk-gOj-l9ivuVWnb5l6SQfZJw&h=AT2TRevOTeH7FOBRERXmJvUvgYx3sgrPZ1Wj0ugVFE9NMMH41M_fcahUu56Y6xPQKnav4BSarMRedGkLNi_HkhrDwzz2dDYIEoMIQqPQI8DPfvLhr1XQqCtTZWjcDIxdHUBPaQbBxBs

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Finstagram.com%2Fwho%3Figshid%3Dn7s7kndnsf28%26fbclid%3DIwAR0Tq8gmj_rdBHIq_lzT1vBguU7cd7-kQ-_yxeK2iz-CcB6voSHbvcBb7yA&h=AT2TRevOTeH7FOBRERXmJvUvgYx3sgrPZ1Wj0ugVFE9NMMH41M_fcahUu56Y6xPQKnav4BSarMRedGkLNi_HkhrDwzz2dDYIEoMIQqPQI8DPfvLhr1XQqCtTZWjcDIxdHUBPaQbBxBs

 

 

E R

Todays task was to create a monogram using our own initials. I experimented with both Garamond and Futura. I drew them separately, as well as combining both fonts together. After joining both letters up, I began to experiment how they would appear on top of each other. I liked the idea of this as when you squint your eyes you can see both letters (the lower case ‘e’ and the upper case ‘R’) It almost looks like a symbol.

My final idea consists of the capitalised print using the Garamond font. Out of everything I done on the paper, I specifically liked how the Garamond font looks like a brand logo. I intended to join both letters up originally, however afterwards, I tried a different style. In the final idea, the ‘R’ is not fully shown, nevertheless you can still distinguish that it is the letter ‘R’.

Variety in our everyday life

Whilst doing this project, I realised how much of lettering is present in our day to day lives. The different signs, logos and numerals we see around us inform, educate or inspire us in one way or another whether it be through an instructing sign, a warning, or a form of merchandising. Although most of the time it is clear what a sign means, sometimes we need to see the scene around it (the context) in order for us to understand the true meaning. After photographing the pictures, I categorised all the images into 4 sets of groups through collages. Each group follows a set of rules to communicate the intended meaning effectively to the public.

I noticed that especially during this unprecedented time due to the virus, we have a large variety of signs and lettering instructing  us to behave in a certain way. To show this in my collage, if you see below, I have accentuated these specific images by editing the ordinary instructive signs we see in our day to day lives black and white. Nearly all these signs use imperative verbs to not only convey the message across, but to highlight the significance and importance. This is also done through the use of the vibrant, pigmented colours. The font used is predominantly sans serif which makes it easier for the public to read. This conveniency is vital as these signs would usually be placed in any fast-paced environment (e.g. shopping centre, restaurant) where people should be able to understand the message without any hesitation or confusion.

Below are some more of the collages I created with the category labelled.

“Instructing”

 

“Temporary”

 

“Branding”

 

“Advertising/Merchandising”

 

 

‘City’

This project was firstly about creating an image which explained a noun. I was given the term ‘City’. In the first image I have drawn an outline of Earth which is surrounded by a few of some famous landmarks we have in our awesome cities. After sketching them in, I have painted over a wash of mixed watercolour over each of them. The 2 colours on every attraction symbolises the flags of their respective countries. After that, we had to take the image we had created and add a second element to change the original nature and meaning. The second image I have created has an educational aspect to it. I decided to incorporate the idea of LEDC’s and MEDC’s. I realised that a simple outline of any building skyline represents ‘Cities’ well, therefore I decided to circulate that outside the drawing of the Earth. I have included a collage of text (names of cities) which are written in an ordered way. Where the buildings are taller, the cities are more economically developed and where the buildings are shorter, the cities are less economically developed.

The first interpretation of the term ‘Cities’, gives us a flawless and perfect view of our Earth, however the second image changes this idea of perfection and encourages us to look deeper into the problems in our cities.

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Burning Pages

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Our first project required us to break the conventions of a typical book (the pages, cover and the binding) Rather than the ordinary text telling the narrative/theme, our task was to narrate the story through deconstructing the book physically. This allowed us to represent the visual dimension of the novel.

I chose the theme ‘Noise’. I discovered after reading the blub and researching about the book, that the narrative was very similar to the idea of the theme. In the theme, the brother and sister inherit family wealth and live a quiet life. They don’t understand the importance of this relationship until the very end where all they have is each other. Similarly, the novel explains how the different characters in the book have to compromise and see that even though there is a war present (set in WW2), that they have to stick together because in the end, your family is always there.

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I have portrayed this link between the novel and theme through the deconstruction of the binding, pages and cover of the book. Firstly, the pages are tea-stained and burnt around the edges to represent the dangers and result the war leaves behind. As the pages continue, they get smaller and smaller. This signifies in the theme how the two siblings went into spaces which became smaller and smaller. At the end of the book, I have stuck a large amount of pages together as a whole to show the solidity and togetherness of family. I have also requoted what has been said at the back of the novel by the author on the edge of the pages I stuck together. At the very back, I have written down key words to summarise the book and the theme in a couple words which covers the blub of the book.

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