Author: MollyPhillips

Creating Letter Logos

Design Ideas and Design Process

For my Illustrator task, I decided to create three completely different logo concepts. I wanted to showcase one simple design and two more complex ones, this was so I could display a range of existing skills and some newly learnt ones. I went a bit overboard with the number of designs as I wanted to showcase a huge range of skills – they ranged from simplistic to more technical designs.

My first logo design – featuring the font Toonish.

For my first design, I simply used the font Toonish and layered two copies on top of one another. By outlining the font, it meant I was able to position the top layer slightly more to the left and upwards. I then changed the bottom layer to black so it then resembled a drop shadow effect.

For my second design, I used the pen tool to create an m type shape. I then copied this and inverted it to create the fill version – I used the gradient tool to create the rainbow effect.

Creating the outline of my M shape.
Creating the different layers.

For my third design, I started by using a long rectangle with curved corners to create an upside-down V. From here I altered and connected the edges by using the pen tool and repeated the shape to create the overall M outline. For the navy shadow, I used the same outline but altered the edges to give it more depth. I liked the look it of with the white M and blue shadow but felt like it was missing something. I added the pink detailing by laying a pink m on top of the white one and using the shape mode, intersect to cut away the sections that overlapped off the bottom layer m.

For my next design, I had a play with a calligraphy style – I created this by using the Pen tool and changing the brush definition to 5pt flat. This meant the line wasn’t a consistent thickness and therefore looked like it had been drawn with a nib pen.

All of my designs.

For the rest of my designs, I created them by experimenting with lines, fonts and shapes. These designs better represent my style – I enjoy minimal designs and using an earthy palette. The serif font I used across these designs was Neuton, I just used it in various forms (extra light and regular).

My final three designs.

 

Software Tutorials

The biggest challenge for the Illustrator project was trying to think outside the box on what skills I could learn and use. 

The gradient before creating the compound path.
After creating the compound path.

For my ‘Rainbow M’ logo, a lot of the skills and shortcuts I used, I already had an understanding of. I’d previously experimented with creating my own shapes, using the pen tool but when it came to adding the rainbow gradient I had a little trouble. Every time I tried to add the gradient, it essentially restarted at each of the joints of the shape, rather than covering the whole group of shapes. By watching the tutorial ‘Creating a Gradient Across Multiple Objects Illustrator’, I was able to learn that by selecting all of the shapes and clicking ‘Make Compound Path’, illustrator makes them a group and therefore sees them as one path or shape. This’ll come in handy when adding gradients to outlined text, as they’re also treated as separate shapes.

In the future, I’d like to learn a faster way of doing everything, whether this is learning shortcuts or different tools that do the same thing, just in a faster manner. The ‘Creative Blog’ offers a list of Illustrator shortcuts so I’m going to start trying to learn these to minimise the number of times I need to use my mouse. Also on reflection, maybe I should have created a logo for each of the recommended tutorials – that way I could have shown all of the suggested skills.

Examples of Isometric Illustration.

One specific skill I’d like to develop is how to create an isometric illustration. This is a style of drawing that uses a technique called isometric projection. By using this, any three-dimensional object can be drawn on a flat two-dimensional surface. It’s not an easy skill to learn but the end result is impressive. I really like the idea of being able to improve my work by adding illustrations that offer something different to your standard flat two-dimensional designs.

Links: 

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbQdji1NBrU
  • https://www.creativebloq.com/illustrator/shortcuts-5132938
  • https://www.freepik.com/blog/understanding-isometric-illustration/#:~:text=An%20isometric%20illustration%20is%20a,block%20for%20all%20isometric%20compositions.

 

Resources for Research and Inspiration

I started this task by looking on Pinterest at different letter logos – by creating a board on Pinterest, I was able to highlight my favourite ideas. Being able to refer back to the Pinterest board meant I was able to chop and change features of other logos and incorporate them into my own designs. It helped me to develop my ideas and progress them into something I initially hadn’t thought about. 

My Pinterest Board

On the other hand, you can see from my pins, I tend to gravitate towards minimal, monochrome designs. On reflection, this is and was one of my downfalls when it came to this task. I need to push myself to look at designs that I might not necessarily like but were made by using skills that I don’t possess. Or even, if they look complex and like something I can’t do, then break down what I think they’re made up of and watch tutorials on the skills I don’t occupy. I also need to not limit myself to Black & White – it’s not like any of the logos were going to be used so I should have played around with more colour variations.

I also think it would have been beneficial to look at designs that consisted of two letterforms. This would have given me an insight into how other designers integrate multiple aspects. 

The article ‘What Makes a Good Logo: The Dos and Don’ts’

Since designing my logos, I’ve read the article ‘What Makes a Good Logo: The Dos and Don’ts’ by Wix Blog – this is something I’d have benefit hugely from in my initial planning stages. I was surprised that the article didn’t focus on having an image-led logo but instead spoke about the aspects that often get overlooked. These include; space, readability, background contrast and aligning all your elements. 

In the future, I’d like to explore text effects more. The article ‘The Top 80 Adobe Illustrator Text Effects Tutorials’ offers a huge variety of text effect tutorials. With the selection they offer, I have the ability you can learn how to create blurry, bubbly, retro, or futuristic effects.

Links:

  • https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mollyp0424/logo-design/
  • https://www.wix.com/blog/2018/07/good-logo-design-tips?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=9823943661^102253749073&experiment_id=^b^433896974317^^_DSA&cq_src=google_ads&cq_cmp=9823943661&cq_con=102253749073&cq_term=&cq_med=&cq_plac=&cq_net=g&cq_pos=&cq_plt=gp&gclid=Cj0KCQiA4feBBhC9ARIsABp_nbUwDqlakdGulOW7qE3wJvfi8j_Wy5lLtzpboHLu2X_eHadlXSRtrUAaArZaEALw_wcB
  • https://1stwebdesigner.com/illustrator-text-effects/

Photoshop Task – Podcast Covers

Design ideas and design process

Podcast cover research

For my Photoshop task, I decided to create three completely different podcast covers. My first idea focused on my office life and ‘The Everyday’ life of a designer. I wanted to the text to be bold against the background image so opted for a black and white photograph of a work colleague. From here I decided that yellow would pair nicely and stand out well against the photo so chose this for my font colour. After researching podcast covers, it became apparent that graphic illustrations are often used to accompany titles. This gave me the idea to add diagonal lines to create a platform for the text to protrude – I’d previously tried drop shadows and outer glow effects but didn’t feel as though they made enough of an impact. To the left, you’ll also see what it looked like without any kind of effects or extra graphics. I also thought that if for whatever reason, I decided to make a series of podcast covers, the lines could be a reoccurring theme throughout the covers.

Design before adding any graphic illustrations.
Original Base Image

For my second idea, I decided I wanted to go really out there and push myself to polish up skills and learn new ones. I’d previously played around with the double exposure technique but decided to step it up by using multiple images.

Firstly, I decided the topic of my podcast would be ‘Design in Gaming.’ I chose this as I’d previously attended a Gaming Festival so thought I’d use imagery I’d taken at the event. I chose the saluting figuring as my base image – this would be the outline for my multiple exposures. I started by using the polygonal lasso tool to cut around the edges of the figure – alternatively, I could have used the magnetic lasso tool. I then inverted my selection by using the shortcut command+shift+i and from here deleted the background. The exposure effect was then created by dragging a new image into the document; I then altered the opacity so I could position where I wanted it and once happy with the position selected command and clicked the saluting figures layer. By then selecting the other images layer and adding a vector mask it created a silhouette of the saluting figure.

Close up of all the different images within the base image.

From here, I was able to use the brush tool in the colour black to fade out sections of the top layer image – this allowed for detail from the original image to be seen. I chose the brush tool to remove sections out, rather than than the eraser because by using the brush in the colour white I’m able to add the faded sections back in. I then repeated this process with a variety of images and added a gradient fill across all layers to add the blue and green effect. I finished by altering the exposure, contrast, whites and blacks to make colours darker and more defined.

Gaming Podcast research

I opted for a simple grey background with paint splatters in the same colours as the gradient. I’d done some research into gaming podcasts and they often used dark backgrounds with pop colours so I thought this would relate nicely (see image on the right). I also wanted a simple font so it stood out against the complex imagery. Looking back, this is probably the thing I would experiment with more. I don’t think it relates well to the rest of the design and almost looks out of place. From my research, gaming podcasts often rely on bold text with minimal imagery – my design is quite the opposite and therefore if published could go one of two ways.

Photoshop Layers

For my final podcast design, since I’d previously focused on bold imagery, I thought I’d focus more on the text. I found this image on Unsplash and liked the idea of making use of the green space. I started by cutting around the girl and blanket and duplicated the layer (command+j). This was so I could layer the text in between the two image layers to create a tucked behind effect. The image on the left shows my layers and how I positioned them. On reflection, I think I should have used the stamp tool to remove the text from all over the book. This would have made the overall design look a little cleaner.

My final designs:

Final podcast cover 1
Final podcast cover 2
Final podcast cover 3

Software tutorials

The biggest challenge for the Photoshop project was brushing up on skills I haven’t used in a while, such as; double exposure and outlining text.

For my ‘Design in Gaming’ podcast cover, a lot of the skills and shortcuts I used I already had an understanding of. I’d also previously experimented with double exposures but not to the extent of using 8+ images. To recap and learn how to do this, I read the Adobe article ‘Use Adobe Photoshop to create a double exposure effect.’ It was really helpful and allowed me to refresh my memory – it also gave me the idea of adding a gradient map to my final image. I decided I wanted to also watch a more in-depth tutorial and came across ‘Double Exposures Effect – Photoshop Tutorial’ by Letsgettoit on Youtube. It was incredibly helpful to be able to see what layers were being selected and the shortcuts being used.

Even though it wasn’t a skill I used in my designs, I really enjoyed learning about how to expose photos beyond the base image on double exposures. This was demonstrated in the Youtube Photoshop tutorial I watched.

I’d really like to learn a faster way of doing everything, whether this is learning shortcuts or different tools that do the same thing, just in a faster fashion. I’d also be interested to learn more about photo blending and the ability to combine photos and blend them together seamlessly while matching the colour and tone.

I’m also curious about how to dodge and burn images – this is something I have absolutely no experience in. I know that the dodge and burn tool are used to lighten or darken areas of an image but apart from this, I have no idea when it would be appropriate to use them and how you would use them.

Additional Resources –
https://www.adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/photography/discover/double-exposure-effect.html

 

Resources for research and inspiration

When we were first given this task, my initial reaction was to look at inspiration on Google and Pinterest. I created a board on Pinterest to highlight my favourite ideas, this mainly consisted of illustration based podcast covers as I struggled to find a variety of photography based covers. The reoccurring themes were bold fonts and graphics illustrations, with images of individual people cut out from their background and instead placed on a colour or pattern background.

On reflection, I definitely should have read articles on how to create a successful podcast cover and then matched my covers to represent my findings. Rather than looking at designs I liked and developing them into my own style and topic.

Since designing my covers, I’ve read the article ‘How to Make Great Podcast Cover Art (aka. Your Podcast Logo)’ by the Podcast Host – this is something I’d have benefit hugely from in my initial planning stages. They talk about how you should keep your artwork simple and as clean as possible as you want your podcast logo to be memorable. My ‘Design in Gaming’ cover definitely reflects the opposite of this, whilst it might have been a good idea for a postcard cover, I suspect viewers would struggle to make out with images within the saluting figure on their phone screens. I also sacrificed a larger title font size for the sake of my image – this again would have probably worked against me as some viewers may struggle with eligibility.

One thing I continually noticed in podcast covers was that san serifs were mainly used as titles – this could be due to san serifs being easier to read than serifs and that they also look better on screen. I made sure I only used san serifs, though I could have experimented more with colour and layout.

My Pinterest Board

Additional Resources –
https://www.thepodcasthost.com/promotion/how-to-create-your-podcast-cover-art/
https://blog.spreaker.com/9-steps-making-great-podcast-cover-art/
https://www.google.com/search?q=podcast+covers&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj72IP9463tAhXAUxUIHeeiCBQQ_AUoAXoECBEQAw&biw=1920&bih=866

Labyrinth

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.

In Berta’s project, our task was ‘to experiment with the form of an existing book to provide a concept that represents the content of an imaginary novel through the materiality of the object.’

I chose the story ‘Labrinth’ and tried to show the continuous journey through doors in the house by cutting out pages and gradually decreasing the size – this created a tunnel-like effect. In addition, I started to add characters trying to run down the corridor.

If I were to do this project again, I wouldn’t be afraid to be more adventurous with my design.

Work

In Sara’s project, I created and shot a set of images that represented the noun ‘work.’ On my first slide, I show a work colleague sat at his desk designing, this is then accompanied by an illustration of his desk.

For the contrasting image, I decided to play with the idea of bullying in the workplace. This is shown by the fingers pointing at him. On reflection, if I’d had more time, I definitely would have liked to convey the ‘bullying’ scenario better. This could have been by adding a phone onto the desk illustration which showed threatening or degrading text messages.

If I were to do this project again, I would spend more time on the contrasting image and create a stronger link between the two juxtaposed images.