Author: JannahHolder

Exploring The Creation of Surrealism Through Photoshop

Design Ideas and Design Process

For the photoshop creative images task, we had the option to pick our own theme, whereby I chose the topic of surrealism. In my first design, I focused on demonstrating the ability to create a design that appears to be altered from reality. The design is focused on the illusion of being able to see into the subject’s head, which is accentuated with flowers and leaves sprouting from the cut outs. The design process heavily explored layering, depth and shadow. For my second design, I followed the objective to create an image where the background has been altered from the original. I used a photograph of a tent and replaced the opening with an image of the galaxy to reinforce the surrealist theme. I explored using the lasso tool in this design to remove the preferred area and challenged myself with the concept of the subject being outdoors.

Design outcome 1
Design outcome 2

In my favourite and final design, in response to the objective to create an image that combines black, white and colour, I created a design where I was able to experiment with depth and perspective. I used a stock image of a rendered statue and used the lasso tool to copy and paste each section onto separate layers to allow me to move them with full control. I then used the same tool on new layers to create the inside broken area to the statue. This was a challenging process as I had to experiment with creating the right depth and perspective however I was able to create the desired effect. With the new layers, I used the gradient tool to create colour for the image. Once I was happy with the composition, I wanted to challenge myself further to incorporate more colour in order to compliment the overall outcome. On a separate layer, I created a range of circles and lines with the shape tool and again the gradient tool in reversed colours, I then proceeded to use the smart filter tool and blurred the edges to create a blended effect.

Design Process and Outcome 3

 

Design Process and Outcome 3
Design Process and Outcome 3

Software tutorials

Across the planning and design process of the task, I utilised a range of software tutorials to support the development of my ideas. Based on my plan, I had a sense of which tools I would require in order to complete the design. I made use of a wide variety of materials such as articles, videos and tutorials. A range of provided resources were used across the designs, beginning with a YouTube tutorial entailing ‘editing in a non-destructive way’. Watching this video helped me construct my designs in a manner that made the surrealism theme not appear obviously edited but interesting to look at. In addition to this, I used another provided resource, in which being a video tutorial explaining how to use the lasso tool to accurately select image areas which was helpful in retaining control of my cut outs in all three designs.

I further gained knowledge from other resources I found which focused more specifically on my designs including a YouTube video detailing the recreation of Magdiel Lopez designs. I was able to learn which tools were best to use for my designs and how to appropriately apply them. After watching the video, I was able to splice content and create realistic 3D effects without relying on a 3D tool which allowed more flexibility. The tutorial further helped me with the usage of colour and gradation. I also used a website called Digital Arts Online which offered a range of article tutorials which helped with all of my final designs in terms of layering, colour and composition. From this photoshop task, I have been able to learn new skills and identify areas where I would like to advance them and obtain new ones. Across my research, I have identified my interest in surrealism, and I would like to explore complex designs which require more layers and closer inspection to detail.

  • There Is One Statue – Photoshop CC 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fau0NEatvOc&t=445s
  • https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/illustration/best-photoshop-tutorials/#2

Resources for research and inspiration

Before beginning the task, I devised a plan for all three designs to enable me to pre-identify research and inspiration I would need in order to for fill the design process. Upon researching different artwork on surrealism, I came across digital artist Magdiel Lopez, who I am already familiar with due to previously being inspired by him in another project. I found this task would be a great opportunity to use the newly found skills I have obtained to challenge myself to create outcomes emulating his collections. I was inspired by his portfolio due to the inclusion of colour, layering, composition and of course surrealism. I found all three of my final designs inspired by his work, most particularly my statue design. It was a good opportunity to challenge myself with experimental layouts and backgrounds.

In addition to my artist research, I also referred to Pinterest as a general ground of inspiration due to the wide array of posts available. The most influential search was “surrealism digital art photoshop” where I was able to note down the common attributes of different artists work and what makes their work surreal. I found the commonalities included the use of bright colours, therefore I made sure for this to be a strong element in my final designs. Another commonality was the general aura of the designs being unnatural but engaging. Observing these characteristics was beneficial in helping me develop my design ideas as it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try pushing my designs further at times where I would usually finish them. I had not really explored backgrounds and how they can influence the main object/attribute of the design so this experimental process was an insight into how they can transform the final piece so this has become a topic I would like to explore in the future.

Magdiel Lopez
  • https://www.magdiellopez.com/
  • Pinterest.co.uk

 

 

Exploring Sticker Design in Adobe Illustrator

Design ideas and design process 

Sticker 1
Sticker 2
Sticker 3

My  design ideas consisted of producing three stickers that represent the various areas of typography and graphic communication. The idea for my first sticker was to take a typographic approach and focus on composition and colour which allowed me to study what attributes make design successful. I sourced a font from Dafont.com and utilised a combination of colour and size to create a composition that I found complimented the sticker. My second sticker design is focused on vector art as it allowed me to compare the programme, which is more appropriate for vector art, to the photoshop programme which I usually use for vector art. I created a vector of an iMac as I felt this was a great representation tools used for graphic communication. Finally, my last design, specifically my favourite, is a sticker which focus’ on many elements of typography and graphic communication. I incorporated a range of elements into my design by creating vectors of a pencil, type keys and a pen. I was able to produce these shapes through a variety of tools, in which being the pen tool, the shape tool as well as the rectangle tool. The most challenging to design was the keyboard vector. With a rounded edge rectangle, I used the line tool to create lines protruding off of the edges diagonally which allowed me to add contrasting colours, creating a 3D effect. Once I had designed the vectors, I created a circle and arranged the art, I found myself revising this part multiple times to create the best outcome. To make the design more engaging, I added the word ‘Type!’ to the keys. Finally, I added centred text in the middle, in the font ‘Jungle Adventure’. Through the composition of the vectors and text, I found I was successfully able to produce really interesting die-cut shape which I think really contributed to the design.

Keyboard vector
Pencil Vector

 

 

 

 

 

Pen Vector
Vector arrangement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text and Font
Arrangment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software tutorials      

Across the progression of my sticker designs, I utilised various software tutorials to generate a range of ideas. I found the Adobe tutorials provided informative explanations in the ‘essentials of the pen and pencil tool’ video. Utilising this video enabled me to confidently use the correct tools to create the vector art. I further gained knowledge as the video provided a follow along aspect which provided the chance to use the pen tool to create clouds and the pencil tool to create hills. In addition to this tutorial, I also made use of the ‘TY1SK: working with your sticker file’ to understand how to use the correct colours/files in order to create the cutcounterperf and cutcounterkiss layers. I have never created a sticker or a design that required specific printer instructions rooted from the design, so I was able to develop and expand upon these skills. Furthermore, the use of die-cuts allowed me to explore the curvature tool in order to be able to shape the lines. Along with the provided videos, I further used a YouTube video on ‘How to Round Corners in CS6 | Illustrator Tutorial’. I struggled with reshaping objects due to not knowing where the tools in the programme belonged. For the majority of the vector arts, I wanted to use rounded corners. I found through the software tutorial I was able to develop my skills in shaping objects in the programme. Along with obtaining these skills, I would like to develop my skills in illustrator as I am yet to discover other aspects in which I did not come across in this task. I plan to expand them through taking the time to watch Adobe tutorials and I specifically would like to learn how to use the programme to create digital paintings through exploring tools such as brushes, strokes and gradients.

  • https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/atv/cs6-tutorials/essentials-of-the-pen-and-pencil-tools.html
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI1aMkb6dFk ‘How to Round Corners in CS6 | Illustrator Tutorial’
  • TY1SK: Working with your illustrator sticker file

Resources for research and inspiration

Throughout this task, I researched and sourced inspiration from various different sites and platforms. Before starting my designs, I generated a few ideas from stickers I found online. My main source was Pinterest as it provides a wide range of designers’ work. I searched for the term ‘stickers’ and I found a majority of the engaging designs consisted of a bright colour palette and a hand-drawn finish. I found this technique engaging as it provides a quirky ambience and feels more inviting. Furthermore, I noticed that the majority of these stickers had interesting die-cuts, separating them from ordinary stickers. This allowed me to experiment with the pen tool, along with the transformation tool in a range of different ways, allowing me to develop my skills throughout. Another attribute repeated throughout many of these sticker designs, were the white borders outlining the sticker, in which I implemented into two of my sticker designs, I found that this allowed the  text and vector art to be highlighted. In addition to using Pinterest, I also used Dafont.com to select fonts as I found they were more vibrant than the ones in the programme and offered more creativity. Finally, I utilised Instagram branding pages to research how they use vectors and typography within their designs. Sourcing from these designs allowed me to take different areas such as fonts, arrangement and vectors and implement them into my work with my own personal touch. The combination of the sources allows for the stickers to represent typography and graphic communication but on a universal scale as I sourced designs with different audiences in mind. Moreover, I noticed a continuous theme of colour and how they were used successfully. When designing my stickers, I was able to experiment with colour and confidently implement them. Whilst researching and sourcing inspiration, I have identified that I would like to explore the topics of colour within branding due to finding myself drawn to those designs and how a designer can successfully use colour to produce engaging outcomes.

  • https://www.pinterest.co.uk/
  • https://www.instagram.com/lucys.logos/?hl=en
  • https://www.cocoshouseofdesign.com/ – home page access to Instagram page
  • https://www.dafont.com/search.php?q=alstoria

 

Minding the gap is a tricky task

This session for design practice was taught by Gerry and was a very technical session where he explored different typefaces and analysed their individual properties. I thoroughly enjoyed being taught the effectiveness of how we should hold our pencil and the techniques that to use which can improve our sketching. For the morning exercise we had a look at the word ‘hesion’ which had been presented in three fonts and try guess what the letters would look like in the word ‘Cadbury’. I chose one font and tried analysing the way it goes thin in some areas as well as where it is thick or bold. My attempt was a little bit off from the correct version but from Gerry’s feedback I could see where I had gone wrong. I also learnt how to be a bit more precise when using fine liner pens. For the afternoon exercise we did a similar task however we were given some bits of the word ‘aden’ and we had to fill in the rest of the areas in the way we thought was correct. I found this time I had completed the take well but messed up some of the thin and thickness.

Reading Film Theatre Flyer

The Reading Film Theatre flyer task was a challenging but enjoyable one. As I’m quite new to Indesign compared to other Adobe softwares, I struggled a little bit in being able to make things the way I wanted them to be. However it was a perfect opportunity to implement what James taught us in one of recent sessions, which was using paragraph styles which made the process quicker than it would’ve been without the use of them. For this task I had various ideas on how I wanted to format it however along the way and across different drafts I found myself tweaking and changing things. I found that alignment was one of the things that I was concerned about the most as I found the flyer was more visually appealing and the information was articulated better when it was organised in that form.

During the feedback session, I was told to improve on trying to see if I could make it easier to read as they said there was too much typographic difference because the colour was hard to read. So for my improvement I decided to select a darker colour which was still engaging but softer on the eyes. I decided to pick a dark red as I liked how in class it was mentioned that it gave of the cinema feeling that you’d want to promote. Another point of feedback was that I could’ve chosen black for the dates to make them stand out more. However for the brief we could only have two colours so I decided to create that visual flare I would alternate between the red and grey colour.

For someone who loves to travel

For Kim’s Project on Thursday we got into groups and learnt some interesting/unusual facts about each other. I learnt that my partner loved to travel. I decided to brainstorm and research ideal gifts that would be perfect for a frequent traveller to have and utilise. As seen in my sketches, I played around with mostly items you can take with you as you travel such as a backpack, a scrapbook, a sleep mask and more. I then looked at incorporating the second task into my designs which was to find a word from the random word list and see how I can add it into my designs. My first word was aeroplane and I experimented with how it would look and how I could make it fit in. I decided that the best design was the passport holder as I felt I could incorporate a lot into it and it was the best ideal gift out of the ones I had thought about.

Sketching out my passport holder, I decided to draw a simple icon of an airplane which is of course fitting the theme. I decided to look at the second and third random words in which being compass and money. I included the navigations of the compass; north, east, south and west around the airplane in an order to visually mimic the layout of a compass. I then decided I could include the random word money by also illustrating things that can go in the holder along with the passport, which was bank cards and loyalty cards. I also added pound signs to further accentuate the use of the word money.

UK Government vs Australian Government

These two Covid-19 awareness posters communicate similar messages but use graphic language in different ways in order to present the information. The HM Government/NHS and Australian Government use graphic language to highlight that washing hands is a huge part of protecting ourselves and others from Coronavirus.

Both posters obtain similar audiences in which being the citizens of their Country. Whilst one being for the United Kingdom and the other Australia, they use similar approaches to convey the same message. Whilst the UK poster initially comes off as simplistic in comparison to the Australian one due to the lack of colour background, it makes up for it in a detailed set of pictograms which provide a thorough step by step process of correct hand-washing. This has been made easily identifiable with the use of numbering and green enclosing circles, allowing the pivotal message can be sent across to the audience effectively.

In comparison to the HM Government posters, the Australian awareness poster convey the message with less imagery and more text. The one simplistic image depicts hand-washing and although they just use one in comparison to the NHS six step process, the topic is still conveyed quickly. The audience know it’s about hand-washing due to the pictogram as well as by the accompanying title “GOOD HYGIENE IS IN YOUR HANDS’ in bold san-serif text allowing it to be easily legible.

However, to know the process of hand-washing the audience would have to actually read the writing which is seen comparatively small to the title. The informative text also isn’t detailed either which doesn’t exactly explain what good hand-washing is, only that it needs to be done and you should use soap and water for 20 seconds.

Due to this different approach the UK government/NHS’ poster convey their message better. Along with the step by step process, highlighting how to wash your hands thoroughly, they use text to further explain some key information. They include the 20 second rule along with extra precautionary steps on how to turn the tap off safely. This ultimately allows them to take the audience from A-Z without too much reading. Both posters do successfully present an eye-catching appeal with san-serif, allowing an easy read, with bold text where appropriate. They both nicely include a general message in their own box and bubble that we’re protecting ourselves and others and we can stop the spread through a collective effort.

 

 

 

Coraline Penguin cover transformation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Fridays integrated design technical session, we focused on the Adobe software ‘InDesign’ and practised recreating a conventional penguin book cover. We looked at the The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. I learnt some very important skills which I hadn’t discovered before, for example using only one text box and creating complex shapes with tools I didn’t realise were available in InDesign. For the follow up task of creating a distorted cover with an ironic twist to it, I decided to base mine on the novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The novel follows the narrative of a young girl who finds a portal to a world similar to that of our own but the people in the other dimension have button eyes. The buttons are a heavy theme throughout the book as well as in the movie. So I decided to swap the penguin for the button. I decided to set the main colour as blue to represent the main characters hair colour and general aura of the novel.

 

Education system

In this session presented by Sara Chapman, we explored designs and art that convey a deeper meaning. Looking at artists such as Banksy, we discussed how his work has dual meaning and presents emotion and thought provoking imagery. We were all assigned a word to focus on conveying our own message for and my word was ‘education’. I had several ideas and took time to create a spider diagram to get all of them on paper and consider which ones were the best. I decided to convey how in school we are taught a lot of information that many of us don’t and wont ever use but are made to learn as they are obligatory topics. I used topics such as algebra and physics equations which can be handy but not for all and show how once we grow up, we realise we haven’t been taught some of the most important and vital pieces of information that we need as adults.

To represent the decline in understanding life and topics, I used only primary colours in the first image. Not only does it have that stereotypical school life feel but when it changes to the the second image, it accentuates the hopelessness we begin to feel as  we grow up. The  colours change to grey and dismal tones. I also only used my own handwriting in the first image to convey that sense of innocence and typical school taught handwriting. I then contrast it in the second image by using bold and capitalised font to show the harsh reality of our life changes and us not being given the education to keep up with it. To complete this concept, I decided to do it digitally as I felt it would convey my ideas better due to the solid colouring.  I used Adobe Draw for the entire process.

The maze beyond the gaze

In todays project presented by Berta Ferrer and Kim Marshall, we explored concepts of what a book is and what makes a book? Whether it be how it looks, the content it withholds or another aspect. We discussed how it doesn’t have to abide by the traditional format that we are used to seeing in our everyday lives. Through exploring various artists such as  Tom Philips and Alberto Hanadez, we were given an insight, which provided us with some inspiration, on how to transform our books narrative from ordinary words on paper, into a visual  narrative.  Alberto Hanadez for example, displayed the novella, Jekyll and Hyde’s narrative by dividing the core pages in to two, visually representing the split identity of the main character.

I decided to explore the theme of ‘Labyrinth’ by sketching ideas on how to represent the narrative of a family moving into an ordinary house and how they uncover it isn’t what it seems. I played with the idea of making the cover into an actual house, which I did through using a craft knife to shape a roof and windows, along with a physically operating door. I decided to incorporate the physically operated door and gaps in the cover to allow the audience to take a peak into the house and see it isn’t that of a normal one. When the door is opened, you are met with a pop up speech bubble which comes from the back of the book, displaying that the family is right at the back, beginning their journey through this maze and calling out for help. To display the idea that through every door they enter, the rooms change, I created layers of pages which get deeper and smaller, displaying a never-ending affect.