Author: Megan Hancox

How to create the perfect present

Ideal gift

Kim’s project 2

Our task was to come to the session with 3 facts about ourselves and share these with a classmate. Using these facts, we then had to brainstorm and sketch out ideas of what could be considered the perfect gift for this person. The facts that my partner gave me were that her family name is ‘The Angels’ in Spanish, her family works with fire arms for their job, and that she once met Bruce Forsyth. We were then given some random words that we had to try to incorporate into our design. One of my random words was banana. My finished design was a trophy of an angel holding a banana gun.  The thought behind this is quite self explanatory, but I chose for it to be a trophy ornament because when she said Bruce Forsyth I thought of Strictly Come Dancing and the trophy.

A Penguin Book cover with a twist

During our Integrated design methods technical session, we were practising using adobe InDesign and started out by replicating a classic Penguin Book cover. This really helped me get to know my way around the software as it was not something I was previously familiar with. It took a little time and patience for me to get thew hang of it, but I feel like I made significant progress in familiarising myself with adobe programmes. We were then asked to use what we had learnt from this session and apply it to our own version of a Penguin Book cover. This could be whatever we chose, but we had to make it ‘clever’. I chose to design a penguin themed book cover for ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ as I thought this would be an interesting theme. I achieved this by using the base of the classic penguin book cover that we created in this session and then began to change each section, take away parts and add new elements. I replaced the penguin books cloud logo at the top of the page with an image of lips, to echo the erotic and romantic nature of the book. In addition, I replaced the typical penguin icon at the bottom with a couple of romantic penguins as I thought this was a fun play on the original logo.

I found this task to be incredibly useful on developing my digital design skills and it gave me the freedom to create a playful design and have a bit of fun while experimenting and learning. There’s still a lot I need to learn when it comes to the technicalities of using InDesign but I already feel a lot more confident in working with adobe softwares as I had to use photoshop as well in order to create and cut out some of the images.

Please mind the gap between your letters

Mind the gap

Gerry’s task 

Gerry gave us two tasks for the day. The first was to look at the typeface that the word ‘hesion’ was written in for us, and to then imitate this and write ‘cadbury’ in the same font below. This was trickier than I thought as we had to imagine what the letters in ‘cadbury’ would look like, by using parts of the other letters in ‘hesion’ and analysing their shape, size and features. For example, one of the fonts had serifs and the other one didn’t, so I tried this task in both ways. I learnt that the most effective way for me to achieve the best outcome with my letters was to start by sketching out each letterform until it looked right. Then I would draw the outlines of each letter using a fine-liner and a ruler to sharpen the edges, and finally to fill in each shape using a thick marker pen. This way, I could achieve good, solid letterforms.

The afternoon task Gerry gave us was to fill in the gaps of letters which were only half printed and had missing parts. So we had to take what we could see from a section of each letter and use this to design the rest. There was some room to be creative, but we also had to make sure that the letters looked natural and each part blended in well to the other.

I liked this mini project, as it involved more hands-on sketching and enabled me to practice drawing different typefaces while encouraging me to look more closely at individual letters, rather than the font as a whole.

Transmogrification of my initials

Creating a monogram

Kim’s project

In today’s brief, our task was simple: to create a graphic representation of our initials. I began by sketching out some initial ideas using the Garamond font, as I liked the serifs that this typeface contained. I brainstormed some ways of how I could combine my initials ‘M’ and ‘H’. These two letters have similar forms, so I tested out different ways of intertwining them in an interesting way. I found that drawing the ‘M’ and ‘H’ separately and then photocopying them in different sizes allowed me to quickly experiment by cutting them out and rotating and shifting the letters to find a monogram that worked, before sticking them onto my page as a series of experiments. This was an efficient and effective way to work for me and produced quick results, rather than sketching out the letters each time to come up with a different design.

After having chosen the compositions that I liked best, I decided to develop my ideas further with use of colour. One idea I tried was inverting the white background and black letterform to create black negative space and a white monogram. I liked the finished look of this, and then proceeded to try a combination of  black and white negative space, switching between the two in different sections of the letterform. I tried this with coloured pens as well, which i liked, but not as much as the black and white one. So, to finish, I drew out the black and white version in a slightly bigger size to produce a final, neat piece.

I really enjoyed this task and the way it encouraged me to think about design in simple letterforms, I effectively developed and created my own glyph based on my two initials which I thought was really fun and creative!

Opening my eyes to the words around me

Lettering in the environment 

Eric’s task

For today’s mini project, we were asked to go out into the environment, around the university campus or out into town, and photograph lettering that we come across. We were not restricted in any way with what lettering we could take photos of, it could be anything from road markings, to building names and sign posts. Anything that we came across that interested us, we were told to photograph using different angles, lighting and compositions. This task really made me aware of my surroundings and I started to notice little things that I never did before. For example, the fonts and colours, the materials used, the shapes and techniques of the words displayed all around me. Actively seeking different forms of lettering around me enabled me to analyse the typography used to convey a message, instruction or display information and the effect it may have on the reader.

I came back with a series of photographs taken of all different words, phrases and names that I had found. We were then asked to sort these photos into groups of our choice. I chose 4 different themes which linked certain photos together and compared and contrasted them with my group. I found this project to be a fun way to learn about lettering in the environment and I came away feeling like my eyes had been opened to noticing new things.

 

 

 

What makes a book ‘a book’?

Broken Narratives

Berta’s mini book project

My first mini project since studying Graphic Communication started with Berta’s book project: Broken Narratives. We were given a brief asking us to work on the design of a book using a selected theme. Mine was ‘staircase’, and my task was to use this as a starting point to redesign the book in front of me through means of cutting, sticking, and experimenting, and relate the design in some way to the plot of my theme. The idea was to use destruction to enhance our creativity, and to try to break the rules of what we might usually perceive a normal book to look like.

Staircase‘ is about a man who arrives at a Sanatorium with a mild case of a disease. The 7 floors of the hospital represent the extent of the disease, and the lower the floor, the closer the patient is to death. The man in the story is gradually moved down each floor, so i wanted to use the image of a descending staircase in my book design to echo the storyline.

After ripping out pages and experimenting with the ways in which I could incorporate a staircase into the book, i begun by cutting out some 3D steps of the front cover and sticking some relevant words beneath each step, eg ‘down’, ‘condition’. I used cut outs of short paragraphs to create a pattern in the shape of a staircase on the front cover around the 3D steps but wanted to extend this idea further in a more engaging way for the reader. This led me to question the form of the pages within the book, thus I began trimming each page from start to finish of the book so that each page got smaller and smaller, creating a downwards slope to represent the descent of the patient down each floor. Other elements I incorporated were a cutout of some stairs using negative space on the back cover of the book, and a set of stairs emerging from the title page.

This project allowed me to have fun with experimentation in book design, create a new visual dimension to my book and encouraged me to gain a new perspective to explore what defines a book.