An exhibition in the Department charting the development of Chinese type and type-making technologies.
Chinese typeforms are the visual form or shape of Chinese characters in a typeface. They reflect the function of reading Chinese and the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy. Compared with Latin typefaces, the larger Chinese character set and the complexity and diversity of its typeforms have always presented a challenge to type makers, typeface designers, and typographers.
This exhibition charts the development of type and type-making technologies in China, from the invention of movable type in the eleventh century to the design of digital typefaces of today. It documents the rich variety of Chinese typefaces created in different eras using varied techniques and technologies, presented in high quality digital reproductions.
The exhibition is an abridged version of ‘Way of Type – Modernisation of Chinese typography’, originally curated by Jieqiong Yue and Zhao Liu, and is a collaboration between the University of Reading and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. It represents the first exhibition in the UK featuring Chinese typeforms and type design.
Open weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed bank holidays.
China team Academic chair: Di’an Fan
Curators: Jieqiong Yue, Zhao Liu
Coordinators: Xi Yang, Ping Ju, Liping Du, Yanan Zhang
Assistant designers: Kui Zhu, Yue Chen, Peilin Song, Congyu Zhang, Kushim Jiang, Yangzhi Duan, Tengqi Zhaoxu
UK team Academic chair: Eric Kindel
Curator: Xunchang Cheng
Visual designers: Xicheng Yang, Huati Wulan, Ahmet Berke Demir
Production: Geoff Wyeth
Special thanks Thomas Mullaney, Yiyuan Ma, Li Xing
Texts by Min Wang, Mingyuan Sun, Zhongxiao Cong,
Xunchang Cheng, Guoyan Ji
Guided by China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration
Organisers University of Reading,
Central Academy of Fine Arts,
China Center for International Communication Development
Co-organisers Department of Typography & Graphic Communication
Co-Innovation Center for Art Creation and Research on Silk Road of CAFA
Special thanks Hanyi Fonts,
Arts Committee (University of Reading),
Shenzhen Graphic Design Association,
TypeTogether, LiuZhao Studio
For this chosen task ‘Editing Images’, I created three images that presented a change from the original. My first design focused on editing colours within an image to change them from their original or natural state. This would make them stand out and could be used for a number of reasons. However, the two designs that were more confident and ambitious focused on removing parts of an image to improve the attention on the desired focal points and, therefore, the overall compositions. But my most confident image also focused on changing colours to draw and remove a viewer’s attention. Editing images is the primary function of the Photoshop software, so choosing this task was inevitable as it allowed me to enhance my skills with the software overall as well as learning new functions within it. I began the task aiming to create three images that successfully demonstrated a change from the original; either to create a sense of surrealism, draw attention to a specific part of the image, or to simply improve the composition of a photograph.
For my first image in this task, my approach was to change the colours within an existing image to draw attention to a specific section of it. I began by finding a suitable image that could be edited for a specific purpose. I aimed to edit the colours in a specific area of an image to give it significance and possibly have an educational purpose. This would stand out against the rest of the image by making it black and white elsewhere. Therefore, I chose an anatomical image as often these types of images are labelled or used for demonstrations in an educational setting. For me to create this image (shown in Figure 1) successfully, I investigated different techniques in changing colours within an image. The most effective for a simple image was by using the Hue and Saturation adjustment layer within Photoshop. To begin my design process, I first opened the raw image in Photoshop (Figure 1.2). I decided the area I was going to highlight was the pectoral muscles as they were in view on both figures shown in the image. I then utilised the Hue and Saturation adjustment layer to change the colour of the image to an unrealistic blue tone (Figure 1.3). This stood out from the original red tones. Next I edited the layer mask which was a new skill for me as I had never explored the function before. I used the brush tool to paint in black on the layer mask so that only the areas of the muscles I wanted were affected by the Hue and Saturation adjustments (Figure 1.4). I tested different hues further and eventually changed it back to a red colour so that it followed the themes of anatomy which were present in the original image. However I shifted towards a brighter red hue and increased the saturation to make it pop from the rest of the image (Figure 1.5). I found that the selected muscles could have stood out more so I developed the image further by changing the rest of the body to black and white. This encouraged me to use a similar technique to before which meant adding a black and white adjustment layer and masking out the areas I didn’t want to include by using the brush tool on the layer mask (Figure 1.6). To complete the image, I adjusted the contrast so it wasn’t too bright and affecting the image quality. I finalised it by adding labels using the text and line tools to point out the highlighted areas and put a name to them (Figure 1.7).
For my second design during this task, I wanted to remove a subject from an image to move the focal point or attention away from it. In this case, I wanted to use a primary image because I had a number that were suitable for these techniques. I chose an image of a street which originally had a person on the left hand hand side. I aimed to remove this figure to draw attention to the landscape and centre the attention onto the mountain in the background with the leading lines which already existed. In order to create the image shown in Figure 2, I had to investigate techniques in removing parts of an image. I therefore investigated the clone stamp tool and the healing brush tools. To begin my design process, I began by opening my selected image in Photoshop (Figure 2.1). I decided I was going to remove the person on the left hand side because it was a large figure and obstructed lot of the image. It mainly drew attention away from the background and the mountain in the distance which was the most interesting part of the image. I began using the clone stamp tool to remove the person from the shot. I did this by alt-clicking to select an area I wanted to copy and then dragging my cursor over areas I wanted to replace to cover it up using existing parts of the image (Figure 2.2). Eventually, I fully removed the figure by using the clone stamp tool but it left an area that could’ve looked much smoother and more seamless (Figure 2.3). To develop the image further and improve my use of the software I cleaned up the area where the person had been previously by using both the clone stamp and healing brush tools in similar ways to each other. This made the image look more realistic as if there was never a figure in the foreground (Figure 2.4). Next, in order to make the image feel more complete, I experimented with things like saturation and levels to create a more accomplished composition. I also increased the vibrance and decreased the contrast to make the sky stand out more. This creates almost a set of leading lines which moves the viewers attention to the mountain in the distance (Figure 2.5). To finalise the image editing process, I added shadows and lighting to the pavement using the brush tool. I lowered the hardness of the brush and the opacity of the layers so it looked softer and more natural. This completed my image and made it feel more natural overall (Figure 2.6).
For my third design, which I used as my final, most successful design, I wanted to remove parts of the image that took attention away from the focus of the mirror and the scenery. I also wanted to lighten and darken parts of the image to transfer a viewer’s attention towards a specific part of an image. I again chose a primary photograph to edit because it had an appropriate layout. Throughout this design process I wanted to experiment with the dodge and burn tools to create a change from the original. I began the design process by placing the appropriate image in Photoshop (Figure 3.1). Next I cropped it slightly and edited the rotation to make it straighter and so it followed the rule of thirds more effectively (Figure 3.2). To develop the image, I used the clone stamp tool again to remove parts of the image within the mirror. I think it makes the image look more pleasing because it removes distractions (Figure 3.3). When I began editing the image colours, I started by using the burn tool on the mid-tones of the image. I applied it over the hill background to make it darker and draw attention away from it (Figure 3.4). Next I used the dodge tool on the highlights of the image. I was able to experiment with a higher exposure to make the mirror area of the brighter and therefore make it more of a focal point (Figure 3.5). To complete the composition, I edited the contrast of the image to make the mirror stand out further. Adding the contrast adjustment layer also improved the colours in the overall image, making it feel more dynamic (Figure 3.6).
The software tutorials I used helped me with various editing techniques within the Photoshop software. I already had some previous experience with Photoshop, however it covered only basic techniques and common processes. I used a tutorial I had found to secure my knowledge with layer masks because I had previously never used masks to make selections. After following this tutorial I was able to apply adjustments to selected areas rather than whole layers. Consequently, I was able to create my first design from this knowledge. It made the design process much faster and more accurate than my previous techniques which would have involved using direct selection tools to select a certain area and then duplicating them to edit in a new layer.
I used this tutorial to learn how to remove unwanted objects from an image. It simply stated how to use the clone stamp tool and spot healing brushes to retouch an image. This was a crucial skill for my second and third designs which required me to erase parts of images and replace them to make it look more natural. I was then able to create seamless removals of details or people in my second and third images. I was able to reassure my knowledge in using the clone stamp tool by following this tutorial too.
Another tutorial I used was able to teach me the crop tool effectively. Although I previously knew how to use the crop tool, I was unable to optimise its use. This tutorial allowed me to improve my third image and make it different from the original by cropping it and then rotating it using the given grid when in the tool interface. I then was able to use the rule of thirds and created a more accomplished image.
I was able to use this tutorial to find ways of changing the colours in an image. I vaguely knew about the hue and saturation adjustment layers previous to seeing this article but this showed me how they could be used to brighten and even change colours completely. This was very useful for my first image in this task which required a drastic change in image colours to highlight something specific.
By using a tutorial on the dodge and burn tools, I was able to see how the tools could be used to edit an image’s colours. I had never used these tools in previous design work so this tutorial was extremely helpful in enhancing colours in areas I wanted to highlight whilst also darkening areas I wanted to set back. This became extremely useful in my final, most confident design which used both of these tools effectively to make the mirror stand out from the scenery without removing detail.
Design Resources and Articles:
I found the design article below on enhancing colours in Photoshop. Although I didn’t follow the steps provided, I was able to take inspiration from the given example within the article which showed enhanced and more vibrant colours after editing an image. This helped develop my ideas for my second and third compositions which went on to use various techniques to brighten areas of an image and increase things like saturation and vibrancy. This source also displayed successful edits which improved the look of the sky in an image. I was able to take direct inspiration from their example to improve my second image which had a vibrant sky in the distance.
Throughout this module, I was able to develop various design skills in Photoshop. On top of this I was also able to work with InDesign, Illustrator and After Effects. I improved my knowledge of the software overall and became more efficient when getting the effect I desired. Some skills I developed include:
Enhancing colours using dodge and burn tools
Cropping an image to make a more effective composition
Using adjustment layers effectively for various purposes
Making use of layer masks to make adjustments to selected areas rather than complete layers
Creating projects in After Effects
Animating text with combinations of animations
Combining letterforms in Illustrator
Creating coherent designs from initials
Building tables from scratch in InDesign
Editing table design elements to make more visually aesthetic tabular content
For my magazine spread, I wanted to create a design that is linear and structural yet still fun and playful to the eye. I loved the idea of using primary colours and hard-edged shapes to create a retro style for the magazine.
I started off by creating the title. I chose to use the font futura because I wanted that blocky sans serif appearance for the magazine. I wanted to have a swiss design approach to my work. I used a 12-column gridline to help establish that linear layout. I organised each A4 page by the rule of thirds horizontally so I could be able to insert all 10 novels whilst including a title. Having this simple structure laid out for me, I was able to have creative freedom with the title and placement of text within each novel/sectioned area. I played a lot around with the use of complementary colours, font size, and placement of the title with how it complimented the space and image of the novel itself. For slides 2-3 specifically, I formed the rule of thirds grid and duplicated it to save time. I then rearranged the titles and sections around so then it would not appear too repetitive to the eye for viewers, yet it was still structurally similar enough to follow along with. Using the rectangular tool, creating many rectangles and box shapes helped me section off areas of text in order to make it easier for viewers to recognise which text pairs with which novel. An example of this would be my last novel in place, “Nineteen-eighty-four by George Orwell. It is clear that that text is sectioned off with that novel due to how I formatted the rectangle.
I also thought creating a separate character style of the year the book was published was a logical move, by minimizing the year of when the novels were released, I not only saved and utilised space in the magazine, but I also placed more focus on the novel and the summary text aside the novel.
Although it was not essential, I thought inputting the book club questions, or the listen recommendations in the magazine would be a good idea to create more of a magazine feel to the design, having smaller subsections enabled me to use left-justified alignments.
Prior to this, I did not know how to use or even turn on the grid lines. I used the Adobe Use Grids Indesign website to help me find out how to adjust the grid lines. This was really useful to me, especially when trying to align all my text and images together. I used a 12-column grid with a 5 margin and I believe this truly allowed me to have more creative freedom when designing this magazine layout because the grids allowed me to spend less time aligning and lining up all the text and images together.
Using the inspo image I found off Pinterest, I thought it would be cool to highlight the titles of books in the caption of the title. Because I did not know how to highlight a certain part of the text and I did not want to create a rectangle for each individual text to highlight, I used a tutorial from creative pro titled “Making a text highlighter”. It demonstrated to me that although there is not an actual tool on indesign that highlights text for you, using paragraph shading and adjusting the offsets and size and shapes can replicate the allusion of highlighting text. Furthermore, because you can adjust the size and shape of it, you can adjust how wide or narrow the highlight can be which I found really useful when creating that box image around certain textboxes I used in my layout.
Something I would love to work on next time is using the baseline shift. In my attempts of using it here, I really struggled given the fact that all my titles were different sizes and were arranged differently, however, if I ever do a project similar to this again, I will be sure to prioritise learning how to familiarise myself with using the baseline shift.
Resources for Research and Inspiration
As stated previously, I did some research using Pinterest to search for design ideas and styles that I was fond of, I came across this image of a fun magazine layout that I was heavily influenced by. Not only did I use the colours in my magazine, I also was heavily influenced in some of the formatting techniques or styles established in this layout as well. I loved the blockage of the yellow and the bold titles designed in this. My magazine was very much influenced by this image itself.
Like I said before, I had to do some research on learning how to highlight text on InDesign as I was unfamiliar on how to do so myself, I found this website more helpful than others online because it gave a step-by-step tutorial whilst seeming very updated to how InDesign is structured now. As the majority of my text within the magazine is highlighted, my design would not look how it is now without this crucial skill I learned.
Some skills I’ve learnt throughout the module would be certainly learning and understanding the basic uses of all three softwares: Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator. However, I also managed to learn more in-depth skills and techniques such as cutting out images using paths and lines, using grid lines and paragraph styles on InDesign, as well as familiarising myself with paths and vectors in illustrator. Although I am still very new to using these softwares, I am feeling more comfortable using it after each time or task I have achieved.
The best software for editing images is no doubt Photoshop, there isn’t really any other software that provides tools for editing images like Photoshop and is the industry standard for editing images.
Fundamentals of Image editing:
Removal of objects from the background
Lighten/darken parts of an image
Changing the colour of parts of a photo
Design ideas and design process
For this design, my idea was to develop my image editing skills. I used two images to create this design, both of of Pixabay (a copyright free image library). I decided to not touch the background, to try and blend the horse and the cowboy in to the background rather than blending them both in together as it’s more of a challenge. The two pictures below is what I used to create the design.
To mask the horse, I used Photoshop’s AI tool, the object selection tool. However I was just trying it out and wouldn’t recommend using it because it didn’t do a great job of masking and I had to go over it with the eraser and lasso tool.
Create a perspective, to do this, find a light source and use your imagination to fit the subject into the background to make it look as realistic as possible. You also want to make sure that your subject looks like its well balanced and standing up well to create the illusion that you haven’t just stuck an image on a background.
Add a temporary desaturate layer (lets you see better), then play with the curves until the subject blends in with the background.
I used a Selective layer and turned down the black to -100% in every colourful colour (e.g. red, blue, yellow) and turned it up in white, neutral, and black to +100%. The reason to do this is to get information on the saturation levels in the image. Then as I did with the curves, play around with the saturation until it’s as dark as the background.
I then deleted the desaturate layer, added a shadow to help with the perspective and the design was finished.
The tutorial that helped me the most to help develop the design above was this one: 10-Step GUIDE: Blend Images and Create Composites with Photoshop. A one hour in depth tutorial that really helped, and taught me a good range of tips to help improve my designs. For example, I found that desaturating the layer tip very useful. It not only saves a lot of time eyeing it up to blend it in, it also blends in the design really well for you.
I want to develop my colour matching skills further in Photoshop as I feel like you cant stop getting better at it and it can really make your designs stand out from other people as it is quite an advanced skill to learn.
I find it fascinating that there are many ways to edit images in photoshop. The two articles above are about light matching for composites and how to merge images together. As much as I found them interesting and helpful, I don’t think I learn as much from them as I do with tutorials. I feel like I can pick up on skills much faster when someone is basically talking to me step by step and I can always replay it if I missed a bit. However with articles I feel like I need to fill in the blanks sometimes and the images aren’t as helpful as a video because they are always missing something important like where a tool is for instance.
These articles did help me with my design ideas though. The first article gave me the idea to not touch the background so I can focus on developing my skills with modifying the subject to match the background. I’m glad I did it that way instead of just playing with the brightness and contrast on both layers until they looked the same, because this outcome will always look better if you take your time with it and go into detail.
Learning throughout the module
Skills I have learnt and developed throughout the module:
Developed idea generation
Learnt basics of digital illustration and vector shapes
Developed skills with image editing
Developed typography and layout skills
Developed time management skills
I am most confident with this software, and feel happy with where I am at with it. I want to keep developing my colour matching skills, because after learning more about it I think that they are a very important skill to master to become a good designer. I am happy that I developed my image editing skills as well especially with lighting and colour.
I am happy with my progress in Illustrator, I got a lot more familiar with the software and feel more confident with creating vector shapes to form a design. Overall, I think that I improved a lot with this software.
InDesign was the software that I was least confident with at the start of the module. I’m glad that I got an extra week to work on the skills for it. I improved my skills in formatting text and layout, and formatting tabular content. I feel a lot more confident using the software than I did at the start of the module, I am also happy that I can use the tools it provides effectively.
For the simple silhouette I chose a plane, I selected and masked the plane zooming in further editing the tricky portions changing the opacity of the red filter to contrast better. I then made it a layer mask and created a new layer, filling the mask with black.
For my second design I made a complex silhouette of a dog. I used a Gaussian blur adjusting it to a point the fur and background were distinguishable. After, I make a curves adjustment layer to make the light greys absolutely white and make the darker greys black. Leaving me with a slightly blurry silhouette but was successful in making the outline of the fur clearer. I then made a contrast adjustment layer changing it to 100 so only darkest colours were visible.
For the complex image cut out i cutout a person as it was more complicated than still objects. I used the quick selection tool to outline the body, as the clothes and hair blended into the background in areas, I had to find a create way to overcome it. I therefore zoomed in holding option to quick selection and take away areas of the image background, i found a particularly useful tool throughout this process was the viewing mode, i chose an overlay with a 50% opacity, creating a red mask around the cut-out. I selected sections Changing the size of the tool for accurate edits.
Once I had the selection I select and masked. I then worked through the list of properties changing attributes about the cut-out, like the radius and smoothness. However, there was some particularly difficult areas to edit therefore I opted for a blend between the quick selection tool and brush tool. both sizes with the lowest possible and zoomed in as far as i could selecting the individual pixels to remove them. I outputted the outline to a new layer and chose a black background to bring out the brighter hues in the face and dress, by ridding the picture of the original textured background i found it became much bolder and professional.
when preparing to make my works i watched a variety of tutorials beforehand. firstly, i thought it was most appropriate to learn how to use the necessary tools. to begin i watched ‘how to use the pen tool’, this was especially relevant when trying to make outlines by hand, although I didn’t use it much in my final designs as the process was a lot more intricate and less geometric. I found it would’ve perhaps worked with objects like the plane and in some of the body but especially not with the hair, eyelashes, and fur. next I learnt the difference between clipping paths and layer masks, ultimately i decided layer masks were better, more accurate and easier to use so opted to utilise it in my design process. using a lasso during this process also proved especially useful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymEcuYfMQWo , previously I had experimented with the tool but never knew how to use it, for example I didn’t know the lines I drew had to connect in either an oval or circular shape in order for the tool to take effect. another key tutorial was making selections, as throughout this process of selecting areas of an image I found I did not always select it all, through this tutorial I leaned how to use the rectangular marquee tool and that I could add and take away from the selection through the top left above the tool bar this in turn made the design process a lot easier.
Design resources and articles
One resource that particularly informed my design was https://photoshopcafe.com/cut-anything-photoshop-3-best-ways-remove-backgrounds-photos/ taught me the three most effective methods for removing backgrounds in Photoshop are using the Magic Wand Tool, the Quick Selection Tool, and the Pen Tool. That I should use the magic tool with simple backgrounds and uniform colours, while the Quick Selection Tool is more effective on images with more complex backgrounds. The Pen Tool is the most precise and versatile method, but it requires more time and skill to use effectively and to achieve the best results, it’s important to refine the selection using tools such as the Refine Edge Tool or Layer Masks. Overall, it informed my design and ensured I was using the right tool for different images, additionally the article also talks about improving the accuracy of your selections, such as adjusting the tolerance level of the Magic Wand Tool or using the Select and Mask feature.
Learning throughout the module
Throughout this module I have learnt a variety of useful design skills and familiarised myself with different applications, tools and features. Through working on illustrator tasks, I learnt how to create vector graphics using the shapes and pen tools to illustrations, logos, icons and typography. InDesign helped me understand creating layouts and tables better, working with text frames and graphic frames to arrange content and Using grids and guides to align and organize content which in turn helped me to design and print digital materials that are visually appealing and easy to read. Photoshop allowed me to edit and manipulating photography, working with layers and masks to edit and manipulate images allowed me to enhance and retouch photographs for visual impact and After Effects let me create digital motion graphics, working with keyframes and Using effects and filters to create unique visual effects.
The creative images task brief called for 3 images which used Photoshop to “alter reality”. I was inspired by a recent concert photoshoot I did to produce a series of cohesive images which embodied the atmosphere of concerts.
This image uses the clone stamp tool to create a kaleidoscope effect/double vision effect.
The second design employs the motion blur filter to generate a feeling of speed and movement.
The last image utilizes masks to form a double exposure effect, this allowed me to merge to elements. A close up of a person throwing their head back, eyes closed, enjoying the music whilst contrasted with the raging crowd.
After asking friends and family for feedback, people felt most drawn to the kaleidoscope image. I also felt it was my most effective design idea. To create this design I used the clone stamp tool to reproduce the subjects face again and again in a circle formation. This took inspiration from the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody music video scene.
I used a soft edge to make the clones blend into the background and adjusted their transparency. I then set the blend mode of the clones to screen. Once I had my clones in place, I adjusted the colour balance in adjustment modes to make the original subject stand out more than the clones.
To add a grunge 90’s punk effect I overlayed a photoscan copy texture and applied the screen blend mode again. This added some film-like grain and texture.
YouTube is plethora of priceless information when it comes to Photoshop tutorials. I utilized many videos, facilitating my visions for the 3 designs. A key concept which cam up again and again in my design process was blending modes and how to apply them. I used these in all three images, gaining most of my knowledge from the YouTube video below. The video creator explained how to intuitively apply blending modes in different circumstances and how to recognize which mode works best, which I found invaluable since I had never worked with them before. I’ve used Phlearn’s videos before for other tasks in this module and always find them intuitive and easy to follow.
These two videos were also really constructive. One taught me how to use motion blur to create a sense of motion. Another taught me how to utilize the clone stamp tool. I had never used the clone stamp tool before, yet this tutorial (kaleidoscope effect) made me realize its potential and how quick and easy it makes copying certain parts of an image. This was crucial in my design because it allowed me seamlessly blend copies of my subjects face into the background with the exact same selection.
This last tutorial I used to create a double exposure effect, which is a commonly seen design concept however it was my first time producing one so I found following a YouTube video extremely beneficial. This video explained how to use masks as well as applying blend modes to specific parts of an image. In the future I would like to develop my skills in photoshop to be able to manipulate images in non-destructive manners and also how to incorporate the healing brush as it’s a great tool for performing retouching and object removal such as removing unwanted people from the background.
Design resources and articles
I started off by scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, searching for inspiration and anything which would spark an idea. After a lot of investigating, I came across one creator who’s work really related to the brief of ‘altering reality’. Nick Fancher is a photographer and designer from Los Angeles, known for his editorial portraitures and work in the music industry. His work has a kind of alien, abstract surrealist feel to it, which was exactly the type of effect I was looking to achieve in my designs. I was able to relate to his work through his commercial work for music artists and band posters, as they have similar conventions to concert photography and posters.
I looked at his portfolio and blog, where he posted videos and posts showing his process – how he edited his photos and how he navigated his ideas and final choices. I found these blog posts fascinating. They inspired me to push myself to see if I could produce something as surrealist and visually interesting as him. Another resource I found very helpful was a more technical website. 46 Best Photoshop Actions With Creative Photo Effects (tutsplus.com) was a website I found myself revisiting often to browse the extensive list of creative ways to edit photographic images.
Learning throughout the module
After reviewing my quiz results and comparing my work in the autumn module to the spring module, it was clear that I have grown in confidence using the Adobe Software. I feel able to fully bring my ideas to life, rather than feeling my creativity was being restricted by the software. I have definitely improved my skills in Illustrator as it was something I hadn’t ever come in contact with, and my quiz at the start of the module noted that I was still a little behind in that application. Design Skills has allowed me to delight in self-led research and prove to myself that there are enough resources out there to be able to fix problems myself and independently navigate my learning journey.
In this task, I was asked to create 2 ideas for a one-page A4 timetable, which belongs to the podcast ‘Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams’. During this task, I learned a lot about using tables in InDesign, since this is my first time using this feature.
1. Design ideas and design process
These timetable ideas carry a strong contrast of colour ( Dark grey & light blue), creating a strong charity in terms of objects and background. The text is clear, with a strong hierarchy system that tells the user which part should they read first, for example, the date and the title of the podcast.
This idea is similar to idea 1, which used a similar typeface, but a different style of table and colour. The contrast is even higher with black and white while using a more structured and clear table system.
Progress of idea 2:
For the first step, I created a black background for the timetable, The reason why I used black as the background colour is because the official website of this podcast also uses this colour.
A table was added, with 2 columns and 6 rows. This table is added through ‘Table’ > ‘Insert table’ (Keung. L 2023)
. For the style of this table, I changed the colour to white, in order to create contrast between the black background, making it looks more clear.
A new paragraph style is added for the title of the podcast, the producer, and the radio station. Spaces are added between the title of the podcast with the ratio station, though adding 3mm of space in ‘space before’ in the paragraph style of the radio station (BBC Radio4)
Various titles are added for the cells of the table. Including the title of the episode, information of the episode, time length, and date. The date was larger and bolder than other styles since clarity could only be achieved by a logical organization, with the adoption of different type sizes, weights, and space. (Tschihold, 1928, p.70). The bigger typeface for the date can let the user know when will the podcast they want to listen to is live.
Space between the information of the podcast with the time length is also added though adding space in ‘space before
Finally, I filled every cell with the text provided.
2. Software tutorials
The first tutorial I used is tutorial that taught me some of the major things in creating a table with table style. It showed how to set up a table with ‘table’ while showing how to change the colour, thickness, and structure of the tables. After I watched this tutorial, I learned how to set up a table with any style I want, for example hanging the table to blue, or changing the thickness of the lines of the rows. Also, using tales to structure the different texts is very useful and it makes the text to be more structured and clear.
This tutorial taught me different skills compared to the last one. It mainly taught me how to use paragraph style and rules in InDesign. With the features taught in this video, I am able to structure my text with a paragraph style, which saved me a lot of time from changing the spaces of the text word by word. Also, I learned how to give space to the text with paragraph rules, which can avoid using the tab button or space button multiple times.
This is an article that I found really useful for a beginner to learn how to use tables in the most simple way. Compare to the youtube tutorials in the previous paragraph, this article let me know what are the benefits of using a table in InDesign, instead of grouping them with grids. It also let me know how to set up a table in the most simple and basic way.
Tschichold,J. 1928, The new typography : a handbook for modern designers / Jan Tschichold ; translated by Ruari McLean, with an introduction by Robin Kinross, Berkeley : University of California Press, 1995
This is actually a book I found in the library, instead of an online article. The reason why I put this book here is that this book taught me how to group text in a way, that allows the user to know the important things in the fastest way. For example, it taught me to increase the contrast in text, in order to make those texts more eye-catching to the users.
4. Learning throughout the module
I have improved different skills throughout this module, which helped me a lot in other projects in other modules. For example, I improved my skills in formatting text in InDesign and using ‘table’ in InDesign in order to put different text and information in order. This allow me to know more about typography, and allow me to get used to using InDesign. I have also improved my skills in creating logos/monograms and stickers in illustrator. Before this module, I barely used illustrator and I always struggle to create shapes there. After various tasks in this module, I successfully created some logos and monograms which are vector based. I also learned a lot more about photoshop. Before this module, I found it hard to cut out complex images like human hair. But after this module, I am confident that I can cut out any images, with no white edges around them. I also learned the basic of using After Effects to create animations
This project was to create an A4 timetable for the podcast ‘Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams’. The design was intended to put function before form, to achieve a logical layout of episode order, in which each episode can be clearly distinguished.
I first made a quick sketch of my general layout, most notably, I decided each episode should be assigned to a singular cell, achieving a clear distinction between each episode. I also wanted to separate the Introductory Episode from Episodes 1-10, as I interpreted this as a separate category of information.
I immediately decided I wanted the bright orange found on the original book cover, creating a clear link in content from podcast to book. I initially used this colour to fill the whole document, however made the contrasting white title the focal point of the design – the podcast title is an important piece of information; however, I wanted the episodes to be at the peak of the design’s hierarchy.
To achieve this shift in design hierarchy, I changed the document colour to white, and each cell to orange, which really emphasized their importance, diverting the viewers eye. I also applied a thick white stroke around each cell, which hid this underlying table, making each episode cell separate from the next.
I next removed the additional orange blocks from the design, which reduced the number of distractions from the design. I also adjusted the cell insets to ensure the type did not run into the extreme strokes.
Upon reviewing my design hierarchy, I realised that there were further issues which needed addressing; the authors name was too hidden, placed below the content publisher (BBC 4), the title still held too much prominence, and there was also the missing element of the podcast description.
To reduce the titles prominence an add prominence to the authors name, I made the title and author on the same line at the same scale. I also inserted the podcast description.
I next applied graphics to areas of the design, which I achieved by merging cells, before converting these now singular cells to graphic cells, and pasted my graphics in. One of these graphics was the taken from the cover design of the Queenie book, helping to connect this podcast back to the original book. I also inserted the BBC Sounds logo to the design, as this is the platform the podcast could be accessed from, however upon reflecting this element holds too much prominence in the design due to its large scale.
Finally, I adjusted the type spacing using paragraph styles, and ensured all the corresponding cell heights matched.
Having never used tables in InDesign before, the only pre-existing software skills I could apply to this task were paragraph styles and the basic InDesign skills such as resizing an element. To learn the great majority of the required table skills, I simply experimented with the Table tools, learning how to create a table, add/remove columns, and rows, add strokes, and how to input data. I then used tutorials to gain the additional skills required which I could not figure out from my own experimentation, including inserting images into cells, and accurately resizing the height of a cell.
I researched different ways of laying out a table, and also specifically podcasts. I first explored the Swiss Stendig Calender designed by Massimo Vignelli, Figure 7, where I attempted to implement the same large numbers into my design, Figure 8, however this design approach resulted in a listing which wasn’t particularly functional –it required the viewer to navigate to the episode descriptions, as appose to design elements instantly attracting the eye. After the failure of my first design, I referred back to my early podcast listing research (Figures 9 & 10), before drawing my initial sketch for my used concept, (Figure 2).
I was interested in creating letter logos on Illustrator as I believe logos are an effective tool which should be clear and eye-catching. I was interested in learning more about the different tools within Illustrator in order to create three logos which all have a different style.
For my first letter logo I wanted to create a 3D warped effect. To achieve this effect a followed a Adobe Illustrator 3D Text Effect Tutorial. In order to create this effect I first wrote my text in two separate text boxes. I duplicated the line I created using the pen tool and the dragged it down directly below the first line. I grouped them both in object settings. I selected the group and the circle and pressed divide on pathfinder. I then removed the middle part to create to separate halves of the circle. I then selected my first letter, ‘h’, and also selected the top section of the circle and clicked on make with top object which I found under object, envelope distort. I then repeated this using my second letter ‘k’ and the lower half of the circle. I then clicked unexpand under object and ungroup. I then copied the design and changed the colour of the middle group and changed the colour to orange and then scaled it down. I then used the blend settings under object and then clicked make. This created the 3d letter effect with a black and orange colour scheme.
I decided to create the logo in this style as I was interested in how to use 3d effects on Illustrator. I liked the contrast between the black and orange 3d effect and I liked the look of the lines across the orange areas of the letters.
For my second letter logo I used a tutorial to create this line style letter design. To create this effect I first had to create multiple lines and grouped them together, I rotated them so they were at an angle. I then used a heavy weight font for my letters. I then created outlines for the letters and aligned them to the lines I created. I then ungrouped the lines and then clicked on outline strikes within the path button. I then used the ‘make’ tool join my lines and letters and to convert my letters into lines using the pathfinder tool and the intersect option. I then ungrouped the lines and then made the left side of the lines have a pointed tip by using the direct selection tool to choose the anchor points and right clicked and press ‘average’ which created the pointed effect. I then added a black background to create more contrast between the lines and to fully showcase the effect created.
I decided to create this letter logo in a line design as I felt the line letter effect was an effective use of the line tool, something which I didn’t previously know you could used to create an effect on letters. I also like the effect of the sharpened edges on the letters and felt they really contrasted the black background in my final design.
For my third logo I created a logo in which I manipulated to text into the shape of a circle. I first had to create numerous lines and created a circle over the lines. I then selected all lines and reflected the lines at a 135 degree angle and copied. I then copied the circle and made a smaller circle within the original. I then selected all objects and used the shape builder tool to select specific squares from the grid I created in order to draw the letters. Finally, I changed the fill and stroke colour to blue and use the selection tool to take my logo out of the grid I had to used to create it.
I decided to this logo in this chosen design as I liked the effect of using the shape builder tool to create the logo. The use of creating a grid meant I had freedom over the amount of squares I wanted to create in order to draw my letters. I felt that the oval shape of the logo created a clean and professional final logo.
Adobe Illustrator 3D Text Effect Tutorial – This 3d text tutorial helped me create my logo. Prior to making the logo I was interested in creating 3d effects on illustrator so I decided to try and use the effect on my letter logo. It also helped me understand how to combine different colours in the 3d effect.
Create Simple Line Letter Logos with Illustrator – This tutorial helped me as i followed the simple line letter tutorial to create my line letters logo. I adapted the tutorial and used two letters instead of one one letter used in the tutorial. I also learned how to manipulate individual lines which helped me create the sharp edges on my logo design.
https://liamfoster.design/graphic-design-blog-inside/5-characteristics-of-great-logo-design – I also learnt more about logo design by reading the article. It stated a logo should be 5 things: Simple, timeless, relevant, distinctive and memorable. A logo should be simple as a simple logo is easy to remember and easy to recognise. In addition, a good logo will pass the test of time and the designer will not have tried to keep up with trends but instead have designed a logo which remains effective long after it’s been created. I also learnt that a logo should be relevant, in my case I wasn’t creating for logos for any specific business or purpose, however If I was to do so I would have to make sure that the design is relevant to the business and not just aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, a logo needs to be distinctive and memorable. It should be a logo that is not easily forgotten and when someone see’s it, it will be easily recognisable because it was made to be distinctive.
Whilst creating my letter logos I learnt how to use many different tools on Illustrator which I now know can be used to create effective designs. However my knowledge is still limited, and I want to learn more about the use of all the different tools provided in Illustrator. I aim to do this by reading design articles and also watching tutorials. I find watching tutorials extremly helpful as I am able to easily follow along and can visually see the steps needed to create a specific design.
This project only consisted of creating one design, this design is my final piece. I began by researching leaflet layouts so I could understand the concept and layout of them to be able to create my own. I used a step by step tutorial on how to create a flyer linked here (https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/how-to/make-flyer.html) this gave me modern ideas and a good base layout to follow. My goals for this flyer was to create something people would be interested in reading, that wasn’t too much information that people would get bored. I feel like I did well by having a large image whilst having enough text for people to understand what the flyer was about and then when and where you can listen to this radio show. All of the information was placed into indesign using paragraph styles for headings and paragraph layouts and then character styles for bullet points and hyperlinks. I used shape tools to add an image into the flyer, the image I chose is of a man, however, I see it from a creative perspective, he looks as though he is thinking about something and that ties into the theme of rethinking. The radio topics are about rethinking fairness in education, religion and health, personally I believe this picture depicts that so simply. I used the type on path feature to curve the title to the image, I did this because it fit well with the shape of the image. By using bullet points and changing the colour of the dates I could make them stand out without having to make them a large type size that would not fit with the flyer. Finally, I took a screen grab from the bbc website so I could use the same colours for my flyer.
Modern flair element to remove negative space.
To help me with my design I used paragraph and character styles, at first I had to understand what the difference was between the two, character styles are best for lists or bullet points whereas paragraph styles works for paragraphs and headings. By watching this youtube tutorial it made me feel ,ore comfortable on my understanding of these styles and their purposes. I have very minimal indesign knowledge but our book project at the beginning of University helped give me a good level of understanding. This helped me to create order through my Title, headings and paragraphs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gW25FEVJlA
I also watched a tutorial on how to curve text in indesign using this tutorial (https://www.google.com/search?client=avast-a-2&q=how+to+curve+text+in+indesign&oq=how+to+curve+text+in+indesign&aqs=avast..69i57j0l7.4608j0j1&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_S54XZO_JA8vXgQaprZboDA_30). This helped me find a new tool, the type on path tool which allowed me to write along the image I had previously imported, this is much easier than having to envelope or warp.
I also used a tutorial offered on the brief (https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/how-to/make-flyer.html). This tutorial allowed me to follow along each section and feel comfortable when following along. Being able to see how to input an image so easily and be given modern examples of designs. This is why I placed a blue rectangle along the introduction to give a contrasting colour and fill some negative space.
In the future I want to learn how to use parent pages in more depth for larger documents to allow for a faster and easier solution to creating documents. I would also like to improve my character style knowledge and further develop its purpose. My next idea will be to try and make a magazine to improve my indesign knowledge.
This source that I found helped me from beginning to end starting with the settings to get my A5 flyer and the circle for my image. Learning how to place text and get the right size and leading to ensure that my text is legible. I used the step by step guide from adobe and the youtube video to influence my flyer.
This tutorial helped me discover how you place bullet points into the flyer, I was very confused until I learned that you have to create a character style and then add a bullet point in and place your distance measurement.
This is the link to the BBC website that I created the flyer for, by researching the business I was able to understand what the company does and what they expect from the leaflet. I saw that the three main colours featured on their website are blue, orange and fushia, I swatched these and tried to incorporate these colours into my flyer, however, I couldn’t seem to get a perfect match.
Learning throughout the Module
TY1SK had a quiz module and I struggled with a few questions, however, I have improved since the first time I took the quiz back in October which shows that I am learning from this module. Teaching ourselves this module can be difficult at times but it means that you learn a lot because it is the only way you will find out. In the beginning of the year I had no graphics knowledge but after 6 months of learning I feel like I am really starting to understand Adobe software. I have excelled most in illustrator because I have used it the most, doing the movie poster and the pictograms and now the leaflet as part of TY1DP1. I need to work a lot more on my photoshop skills because the only learning experience I have is from skills and it is very minimal, I believe learning to edit photos will improve my images for my essays. Finally, Indesign was extremely hard to learn, I learned how to create a penguin book in indesign which gave me the ability to understand how to use parent pages and paragraph styles, character styles, folios and much more, however, because I didn’t keep using it this knowledge had to be learned again. This module has really helped me understand different kinds of adobe software and improves my ability in class and assignments throughout other modules.