Category: TY1SK

Work by Part 1 students as part of their ‘Skills for Design Practice’ module.

Photoshop experimentations

Design Ideas and Design process

I had a couple of ideas to produce for the podcast poster but u lacked the skills to actually produce these, as they were very complex composition whiles I hadn’t used photoshop before. When doing the photoshop task I found it enjoyable as well as very challenging as It was the pretty much the first time working with photoshop to create something. The task was to create a podcast poster relating to graphic design, my first cover is a red podcast poster titled “Talking with Type”. As it was my first attempt, I tried using simple images to try and get accustomed to using photoshop, so just using shapes and blurring out the edges of the circles to fade and smoothen out with the background. I then added my microphone which I struggled with, trying to crop and adjust the background so that it doesn’t override the actual colour of the background I had added.

For my second poster I kept it simple again using an image of a character by their phone waiting for the podcast to come on. For this I had to change the colours on the figure by cropping out the background and highlighting the areas which I wanted to amend and changed the colours.

For my third poster which is my favourite I used another microphone as the focal point of the postcard and amended the colours again. I also used simple circles to add some decorative effects to keep it simple. I then flipped the colours so that I would be predominantly white on black rather than black on white. I think this was my best attempt on the podcast as I got really comfortable with the composition and how to change the colours and tones of the shapes.

Software Tutorials­­

­­­­­­https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAmSB5MQxOo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXPRZTxNm0M&t=76s\

Watching these tutorials helped me to get an overview of how photoshop is set up and how to access certain tools which may not be so visible to me. It also helped me get more accustomed to certain shortcuts to do different kinds of things. The first software video basically explained what photoshop is and the main benefits of it, which helps you to understand and grasp the type of things you need to be focusing on working on in that space when you go into tasks. It gave me the first steps into actually creating a file and why to use certain measurements for different projects. Compared to InDesign its mainly using images and playing with the aesthetic of an image whereas with InDesign you are able to do that as well as have a large amount t of text in one file. Photoshop mainly works with images rather than words.

 

 

Resources for research and Inspiration

For my research I mainly looked through Pinterest to find some interesting podcast covers which I could take some ideas from. Most of the covers that I first saw seemed quite difficult in my point of view as I was only beginning to get used to using photoshop, so I searched for simple podcast covers which are just simple words and shapes, but is still very captivating and aesthetic to use for inspiration. Finding these I was still somewhat challenging for me to kind of recreate them using my own images and basing it on a typographic podcast. So I watched more videos and tutorials on how to edit certain things to help me expand on my ability to make the podcast cover better. These are some of the things that I used as inspiration to help me come up the covers.

 

 

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Photoshop Typography Podcast Cover

Design ideas and design process

I started my design process by looking at some existing examples of podcast covers. The covers I looked at had some noticeable themes that I intended to replicate. A fair few (The Joe Rogan Experience) featured a microphone in the cover so that was something interesting I wanted to explore. A lot also made use of an image of the podcast host (like the dropout and Joe Rogan examples) while others just had the podcast name displayed in a creative way (Like the buzz cast).

As I’d seen in my research, many podcasts covers incorporated the microphone so that’s where I started. I had this idea of someone talking into the microphone one end and out the other end there would spew subject specific vocabulary so from looking at the cover you could immediately tell what kind of topics would be discussed on the podcast. I also chose a catchy name for the podcast, ‘typography time.’ I enjoyed creating this idea and like the outcome, I think the cover incorporates typography well which reflects what the podcast is about.

For my second design I wanted to explore creative ways I could display the podcast name (like the buzz cast example). I started by choosing a tasteful colour scheme and a simple name. I then stretched the letters stems to create a striking linear pattern.  I then filled the gaps with the typical imagery you would see on a podcast cover (microphone and information). I experimented with this design by warping the lines to try and replicate sound waves emitting from the microphone but I decided to stick with the more simple idea.

For my final design I wanted to create something that incorporated as many of the archetypal qualities I had seen in my research. I thought an image of the host on the cover would make quite a convincing design however a problem I faced was that it was a made-up podcast with no actual host. I decided to just use stock images, one featured a man, the other featured a microphone, I then applied a black and white filter to both to keep the image consistent. Similar to my first idea I wanted to communicate what the podcast was about so I had this idea of a thought bubble coming from the hosts head which would have all the topics he would talk about in it. In the end I went with the idea of having books about graphic design and typography (that he might discuss on the podcast) flowing out of his head, as if all his knowledge is on display.

I started by removing the top half of his head and applied it at an angle to appear as if it was being opened. After that I found some of the best graphic design books and arranged them flowing out of his skull. I added shadow to the hosts head and to the books to give the image some depth. I did this by using tools like the drop shadow, curves adjustment layers and also just blending with the black paintbrush. I like this idea because It combines what I learnt from looking at existing podcast covers and overall looks quite convincing.

 

Software tutorials

I started by watching some of the official Photoshop tutorials. I watched a lot of the videos from the ‘working with layers’ link. This was very helpful as often my Photoshop layers get a little bit messy and this told me the importance of creating a Photoshop file that looks professional with correctly named layers. I did some further research into layers with just some basic google searches and discovered you can group layers when necessary which made a lot of this project more organised and effective. I also viewed the website ‘how to design a podcast cover’. This was really helpful as before I had a look through the website I had no idea how I was going to start with my designs but the website gave me some direction and discussed some good starting points and also some questions to ask yourself as you go through the design process. As I was working on Photoshop I had an issue where my images looked very flat on the background and I was not sure how to make layers look more natural and blend into the surroundings when on a page. A YouTube video called ‘Master Curves from Start to Finish in Photoshop’ really helped me out. I discovered you could use the curves adjustment layers to give an image darker tones and lighter tones in the appropriate places. This includes giving object shadows and highlights to make it look more natural. The curves adjustment layer also has a function where you can colour match two objects which will come in extremely useful. Skills I would like to develop in the future include mastering the pen tool as currently I am hopeless at using it. I would also like to improve at simple jobs like creating clean and crisp layer masks because currently when I cut out an image it takes ages and looks a bit dodgy.

 

Resources for research and inspiration 

Like i mentioned at the beginning, I started this project by looking for some inspiration and a great way to do this is by looking at existing designs. I started by googling ‘podcast covers’ which showed hundreds of results however each one incorporated some of the basic archetypes. To list a few: Vibrant colours, use of illustration, interesting typeface, experimental use of type, most of them reflect what they are about visually, use of a microphone, visuals that reflect radio or sound in some ways, most feature the hosts face. It would be difficult to include all of these stereotypes into one cover so I cherry picked 3 features that I wanted to include in my ideas.  1. have a microphone, 2. be experimental with the type, and 3. feature the podcast host. I also had a scroll through spotifiy to look at what the most successful podcasts had done on their covers (https://open.spotify.com/genre/podcast-charts-body). Like I also said earlier I found the ‘how to design a podcast cover’ website extremely useful (https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/) which addressed how to start a design and also went into detail about picking a theme and running with it. As I was designing I had this website up in  another tab just to refer back to and I feel like I was successful in following a lot of the instructions. For example it spoke a lot about picking a theme and colour and being consistent with those choices throughout, I’d like to think my covers have a solid style and a tasteful colour pallet. Topics I would like to explore further include colour theory, I’d love to learn about what colours work best together, combinations to avoid and also how colour can have an effect on the viewer. I’d also like to learn more

A source that was essential for this project was Unsplash, (https://unsplash.com/images/stock). It provided me with a lot of the images I used throughout which were all very high quality and just made everything so much easier.

 

Illustrator podcast stickers

Design Ideas and Design Process

Sticker 1: For my first sticker, I decided to incorporate a modernist style using geometric shapes, lines, and bold writing. One of my postcards was what inspired me to create this sticker as I felt the modern traits helped draw attention to the text and I thought they made the overall design generally more eye-catching and interesting. Whilst I knew I wanted to create a modern sticker; I wasn’t entirely sure how to create it. To help gain ideas, I sketched out specific letters that I would include, and I illustrated around them until I found a look which I liked, and thought worked well for the overall style. I also experimented around on illustrator with font sizes and colours before finally settling on black, white, and grey tones. This design helped me a lot with regards to getting my bearings in illustrator, and learning about how it works generally speaking.

Sticker 2: For my second sticker, I chose to create it with a softer, more artistic and creative feeling. To achieve this, I planned on writing out the text and then adding illustrations such as soft shapes and patters which would flow from it. Whilst I wanted to stick with this plan fully, I ended up changing a few things along the way. Instead of leaving the inside of the sticker plain white to help draw attention to the illustrations merged with the text, I chose to fill in the sticker with a grey tone that gets darker the further away it gets from the centre. This made the sticker feel almost like a metal plaque. Whilst it didn’t go entirely to plan, I feel like this design was successful at helping me develop my skills and knowledge of illustrator. I also managed to add a boarder to it which helped make it look more like a sticker.

Sticker 3: My third sticker was easily my least favourite and successful. This was because my design didn’t go to plan at all and so much changed along the way. In the beginning I was planning on manually adding the text to the sticker using the brush tool as I wanted to make another artistic looking sticker, as well as wanting to explore the brush tool and what it has to offer to help me develop my skills. This proved unsuccessful as it was very hard to manually add the text without it looking messy and poorly made. To make up for this, I used a font called ‘sign painter- house script’. This looked like it had been painted as the letters seemed to flow more smoothly. I then used the paintbrush tool to add splashes of paint to the ends of letters, making them look like they had been messily painted on, without making the whole sticker look messy. The one issue I encountered however was that the whole sticker looked rather boring. To solve this issue, I added ink splatters in some of the empty areas. Whilst the design wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be, I think it definitely helped me develop my skills as I managed to explore the die cutting feature more, and I also got the chance to explore the brush options. Not only that but I also figured out how the edit the control panels, giving me the chance to add and subtract the more important tools which I needed.

Sticker 1: This screenshot shows me merging some of my shapes together so that I could add a boarder around the sticker.
Sticker 1: This screenshot shows me exploring the tools in the properties panel. I used this panel to edit the font, font size, and leading of the text.
Sticker 2: To make sure the brushstrokes I used to illustrate the text of my sticker, I used the properties panel to edit the stroke size.
Sticker 2: To make sure my illustrations looked neat and smooth, I used the paintbrush tool option panel to make the strokes as smooth as possible.
Sticker 2: In this screenshot, you can see me using the gradient tool to edit the way the grey tones fade from the outside into the centre of my sticker.
Sticker 3: Before making my third sticker, I decided to write out a few letters using the brush tool to see if my writing was neat enough to create an aesthetically pleasing text. This showed me that it looked quite messy and unprofessional.

Paint experiments

Sticker 3: This screenshot shows how I used the offset path tool to create a border around my sticker which matched the shape of it exactly.

Software Tutorials

Sticker 1: When creating my first sticker, I used a few software tutorials to help me figure out how to die cut my sticker. I also watched two YouTube tutorials to help me merge layers and shapes so that I could die-cut them. Whilst I was able to merge the layers together, the die-cutting was not as successful as the sticker was made of multiple shapes and even though I merged them, they were still seen as individual shapes when I tried creating a 0.5pt boarder.

The video I watched to help me merge shapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwEGB4YVe-c

The video I watched to learn how to die cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqQqEJ-HtC8

Sticker 2: In order to successfully die-cut my second sticker, I used the same tutorial as I did for my last sticker. The die-cutting process was much more successful in this sticker than it was in the last one as the whole sticker was based on a single shape. I also watched a YouTube tutorial and looked at the adobe website when making this so that I could work out how to make my brush strokes smoother so that my illustrations appear more professionally done. Not only this but I also looked at the adobe website for help on how to create a gradient colour blur within my sticker.

Link to adobe website: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/gradients.html

Sticker 3: Whilst my third sticker was definitely my least favourite and most unsuccessful, I gained quite a few new skills from it including how to find and change different brush settings, how to alter the control panels, and how to make a more effective looking die-cut border. To do this, I watched a YouTube tutorial explaining how to find the different brush settings and how to use them. I learned how to manipulate the control panels simply through experimenting and exploring illustrator. Finally, when it came to die-cutting, I simply watched the same video from before, and then experimented further.

Brush tool video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P4-QIj0B2o

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Sticker 1: Two large inspirations for my first sticker were the modernist movement and Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, specifically, his painting ‘Composition with Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, and Gray’. I loved the painting because of the bold colours and blocky modernist layout. Whilst I wanted to make a sticker like this, I also didn’t want colour to distract from the text as that is the most important part of it. Because of this, I chose to make all of the shapes black and white and grey. My second source of inspiration is hard to explain, however it was essentially the faded lines you see in architectural sketches that are used for accuracy. I liked how the lines made architectural sketches look technical and industrial, yet still creative. I chose to incorporate this into my text, as if the text is something which was designed and planned before being manufactured.

This image was taken from google images and is a simple example of the kind of architectural lines I was describing.

Sticker 2: When coming up with the design for my second sticker, I knew I wanted to create one which looked more artistic and creative, and I also knew I wanted to merge my text with illustrations. In order to gain inspiration on how to illustrate my text, I created a mood board featuring a variety of images of text and letters with patters and shapes and visuals flowing from them. Some images were of old or old styled letters and some were clearly contemporary. Whilst I originally liked the idea of my text being heavily mixed with lots of visuals, I ended up simply decorating it with shapes and patters which flower from it as I found it was quite difficult to create my idea on illustrator. It also ended up looking quite messy. After creating my text, I decided to fill in the whole sticker with grey and I chose to make the grey fade as you look towards the centre. This made my sticker look like a metallic plaque which I actually quite liked. In order to then expand on this idea, I smoothened out the edge of the sticker.

Illustrated letters mood board

Sticker 3: My third and final sticker was heavily inspired by what I wanted my second sticker to be like. I intended on it looking messy but in a controlled and intentional way to make it appear more creative and artistic. I wanted the text to look like it had been painted onto the sticker using oil paint. I was somewhat inspired by the logo for the show ‘art attack’ as it looks like the text has been splattered onto the logo. After this idea fell through, I decided to use ink platters instead in an attempt to bring back the artistic theme. This worked somewhat however the whole sticker looks messy.

This was the logo which I was partially inspired by. I wanted to make a sticker similar to this, except a bit more professional looking.

 

 

 

TYPE IT OUT – podcast

For my photoshop task we were asked to make a podcast cover for graphic communications. This was my first time using photoshop, so it was a challenge to begin with, and I had a few designs to start off with, that in all honestly looked very childish, simple, and I was not a fan of them. So I decided to go for a design that was a bit more simplistic in hopes, that while I’m still learning, simple would look more professional. I went online to look at other podcast designs for a better idea, and looked at graphic design posters as well to try and help with some inspiration. I came across a photo of a small podcast mic, and thought I would incorporate that into my design, and decided on a simple pattern behind it using just the shapes tools. I went for the circular pattern behind, as the circles could look slightly like sound radiating off the mike, and I think with the colours it looks slightly vintage, with a 60s, 70s kind of vibe to the cover.

Above you can see my two trails designs, it was my first time using the software so they are quite simple, especially the one with the circles, where i was just testing out what I could do with the software and how it worked. While I was not keen on this design it did defiantly help to inspire my final product, taking from it the colour scheme, and the circle kind of pattern. My second design was to look almost like a book cover with various fonts to the side, while I liked the idea of this design, I was not happy with the final product, and thought it looked a bit childish, I also don’t think the colour complimented each other in the end, maybe with the right colours this design could have worked, but I also struggled to find some more elegant fonts in photoshop as well. Despite the fact I feel this design was not particularly good, I did end up using the type face that I used for the heading.

When it came to colour scheme, I wanted to use colours that complimented another, and with it being autumn, ended up choosing some warm tones, of yellows, orange, purple. When I cut out the mic, I actually ended up using the outside part that I had cut out, layered it on top of my coloured pattern, so that the colours only shone through the mic, and the rest would be muted, allowing my text and title to stand out. I’m a big fan of record design and covers, and in fact have a large collection at home, so did look to them for some inspiration, with my Photoshop skills still being quite limited, I couldn’t yet create something like my favourite designs and covers but thought it was a reasonable start. I also liked working with a square base for design, as it is slightly unusual, but very common in podcast and music, I really hope we get a few more projects like these, to experiment with advertising something as well, as a cover is a form of advertisement that contributes to the consumer picking your product, or in this case, podcast.

Choosing a title and a font, I chose the name ‘Type It Out’, as a play on for the common saying ‘talk it out’, its simple and easy to recognise for people, and clarifies that the show will be about type and font. Below the bottom of the mic I wrote ‘graphic communications’ just for added clarity, as my design is very simplistic. I also changed the font, the title font, is bold and eye-catching, and has a slightly old fashioned look to it, with the added details, so went for something minimum for under the mic, and to give the title the forefront in the design. Chose for both pieces of text to also be in white to add contrast to the design, and again help them to stand out. I think I could of added something more about typography to my design, as perhaps an image would have made it slightly clearer what the podcasts subject was, however the title, and sub heading below the mic I think explains it well enough, and both are quite bold to create a hierarchy in the design. I also layered the text so it ever so slightly went on top of the mic, making sure it was in the foreground, and liked how the cross over looked.

I was quite happy with the end result of my podcast cover, however I hope with time to become more familiar with photoshop, and would have liked to have used my own photography, then edited a cover out of that for an extra challenge, to find and compose the right photo for a cover. I think the simplistic design did managed to work in my favour of looking more professional, rather than setting myself too challenging a design as I tried previously with my first couple attempts, and it looking quite cheap.

In conclusion I enjoyed learning the different software’s, and enjoyed the task using illustrator as well, to explore my designs further it would’ve been nice to see them in a few different colour swatches, perhaps this time in some cool tones, although I liked the fact that I had an autumnal theme, and the warm colours also gave it that 60’s look. I will definitely try improving my skills with a bit more time, and try to source some more videos and tutorials on YouTube, perhaps editing more photos, and learning how to manipulate and photos and colour swatches a bit better.

Let’s Talk About Typography

Our first task for this module was a Photoshop task, with the aim being to create a Podcast cover for a new podcast about typography and graphic communication. I decided to call mine  ‘Let’s Talk About Typography’ to create an inviting feel that encourages the idea of discussion and represents the content of the podcast.

Design Ideas and Design Process

I began my design process by researching existing podcast covers, including podcasts that focused on the topic of graphic design. Looking at these existing covers helped me to grasp that the ones that stood out the most to me were the ones with brightly coloured backgrounds, a relatively simple design and typography that stood out. Personally, I begin the design process by mind mapping my own ideas so I created a mind map of words relating to typography and graphics. I then went on to use these as a guide to search for images on free stock image sites. For this task, I mainly used Pixabey as recommended in the provided guidance, but I also looked at images on unsplash.com. The keywords I was searching for were mainly: metal type, woodblocks, warped grid, laptops, and desk.

After downloading my chosen images, I began working on them in photoshop.

FINAL IDEA 1 – LETTERING BACKGROUND
I began by cropping the original image and used the camera raw filter to adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows etc. My aim was to go for a brighter, higher-contrast image to make it ‘pop’. I feel I did this successfully and found the camera raw filter a very easy tool to use as you can see the adjustments you are making as you are changing the values. I also wanted to add a ‘grainy’ sort of effect to the image, almost making it appear faded and older to represent how metal type and woodblocks were used for bookmaking back in the 15th century. I played around with various different filters to give this effect such as: adding noise, grain and despeckling. I finally settled on adding noise as I felt it gave my most desired effect. I thought that the image still looked a bit dull therefore I went to image > selective colour and chose red to give the image warmth and make the red colours pop.

I used the image of woodblock type as I was inspired by our print and printmaking module where we have learned about the history of printing and how books were printed from the before and after the 15th century. I thought it would be interesting to use an image that had a historical context in the topic of the podcast cover, which my audience could connect with

FINAL IDEA 2 – OFFICE BACKGROUND

I used two images to create this podcast cover. After importing the first image of the laptop and coffee and phone into photoshop, I used the direct selection tool to cut out the objects I wanted to use from the image and copied them into separate layers. I deleted the background from the image and imported an image of pieces of paper to create the background. Underneath this layer, I created a pink square and used the layer blend options to merge them together to create a textured background that made the design pop. After then watching a tutorial about how to blend out the edges of the cutout objects to make the concept look more well put together, I used layer masks and adjusted the feather, contrast, and shift edge in Global Refinements to give a blurred effect around the layers. For the text, I used two different fonts. Although in our integrated design module, we have learned to rarely use more than two typefaces at once, I felt it was appropriate to create emphasis on the topic of discussion. We have also been taught in integrated design to always track all caps, which I did for my capital letters. I changed by type to white and then placed it in the top left corner of the design.

FINAL IDEA 3

For this design, I used an image from Pixabey and created a gradient map, and experimented with different gradients to change the color to give a duotone color effect. I tried to do this by creating an 8 bit grayscale of the image and then using photoshops duotone effect but I found that the results didn’t look how I wanted them to so looked at a tutorial online and learned how to achieve the effect using a gradient map.

Software Tutorials 

We were provided with a list of Photoshop tutorials that I found helpful to refresh my memory on how to use the basics such as importing photos and using layers and effects, as I hadn’t really used the software since GCSE/ AS level. I had rarely used layer masks before, so it was interesting to learn how to use them.

From this online tutorial, I learned how to soften edges of cut out objects which I found helpful in my first concept where I cut objects out of one image and placed them on top of another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lDtw99bM3w&ab_channel=Dansky

This tutorial was on how to create a duotone image in photoshop – I found this helpful in my last design and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to do this as i find duotone images really interesting and have seen them gain popularity recently.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyuXdD_v4f8&ab_channel=PhotoshopTrainingChannel

I also watched this tutorial on using the selective colour tool as I planned on making the red colours in my first design pop out.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=crslYuiU1V0&ab_channel=PhotosInColor

All of these tutorials helped me with the technical side of creating my podcast covers, and aided me in my making. It was useful to watch the full videos even if I had already picked up what I felt I needed to learn, to explore the tools more.

I also watched this video on shortcuts in photoshop as I think it will help me in the future to make my workflow quicker and easier.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1732S1rlHOM&ab_channel=PhotoshopTrainingChannel

 

Resources for Research and Information 

https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/26-best-podcast-cover-art-designs-using-a-podcast-cover-art-maker–cms-34411

https://dribbble.com/stories/2019/08/06/30-creative-examples-of-podcast-cover-art-and-branding

Looking at existing podcast covers helped me to grasp which stood out to me more, such as covers with an effective, bright but simple colour schemes. I was particularly inspired by looking at graphic design podcasts for inspiration as to which typography to use. I thought that the covers that used a script typeface for emphasis were effective, and appealing to my eye. Hence why I used this typography throughout my designs. Although most of the podcast covers that I looked at were vector or illustration based, I still wanted to focus my covers on the use of the image to improve my skills in photoshop,  as I knew that we would have time to develop other skills later on in the upcoming weeks in the module.

We were also provided with sources of inspiration which encouraged me to think about the audience of my podcast cover and the style that I wanted my designs to fit into. When thinking of my audience, I wanted the covers to appeal to people interested in design and typography therefore i feel like my image choices were appropriate. I think I could have made the style of my designs more consistent but I used the same typography in all of them to tie them all together, which got me thinking about the identity of the podcast which I have also been thinking about throughout the other tasks from this module.

 

Designing a podcast cover using illustration in photoshop

   

(left to right) Design 1, Design 2, Design 3.

Design ideas and Process

My design ideas stemmed from the idea of using illustration. I really enjoy simple illustration, and thought that it could be used  well to create a neat, clean podcast cover. I knew I wanted to use the idea of interviewing designers from looking at some design podcasts on Spotify, which provided commentary on design, or interviews with designers about their work. From there I developed the phrase ‘type talk’, as well as the idea of having a simple design to show that concept. I think illustrations work best when kept to a limited colour palette, so I decided to work with a mix of both cool and warm tones that complemented well. This way I could keep the design simple and aesthetically pleasing, while communicating the theme of the podcast. In the actual drawing process I used my Wacom drawing tablet, and the photoshop basic brush presets, the hard round brush, on full hardness and 10% softness. This gave me clear lines, while keeping a rounded edge. I drew some little character busts in my own illustration style, with simple features and colours. The idea was to have one speaking into a microphone, as if recording the podcast, and another listening. My three ideas for this project were playing with the layout, text colour and form. I wanted to keep the idea of the two figures being linked by a wire, so in my first one I placed the figures back to back, with their wires plugged into the text. In my second I did a similar effect, with the figures at both ends of the screen. In the third I used a circle, with the text in the middle, and the wires jutting out with the characters on the circumference. In the end I used the second one, as it was my favourite of the three visually, and I felt was the most eye catching and original.

the colour scheme i used for the work
plain digital sketches
characters with the microphone and headphones
first sketches
final character sketches!

Software tutorials

As I am relatively competent with photoshop as a design and illustration medium, I mostly knew how to go about creating me design, but the tutorials provided by Rachel were still very helpful, especially the video by Terry White on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NrP690oqKA) . Although my initial plan was to work with illustration on photoshop, I still found videos explaining the uses of photoshop useful and helpful, such as the tutorial on embedding files in photoshop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfC9pZMJKs . I watched a few videos with tips on illustrating on photoshop, for example, Sophie Melissa on youtube has a video on her illustration process that I found helpful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYoO_u8JNCQ.), that allowed me to reflect on making a simpler design. These provided me with more knowledge about how to navigate photoshop and how to make my design cleaner and neater. Software skills wise, id like to try a more complex design perhaps, or the use of actual photos and editing them in photoshop, as this is something i’d like to become more competent in. This project provided great insight on what i would like to work on in the future regarding photoshop and developing my current skills further, and also provided me with an idea of my current competency level with illustration in photoshop, and taught me how to simplify my designs, as I often have the desire to make them complex, so it has definitely helped me with the ‘less is more’ side of design in being able to create a clean, simple design.

Resources for research and inspiration

Most of my research was based around sketching ideas in different styles and then transferring them over to digital, however I did look at a few minimalistic illustrative images for inspiration, on pinterest and instagram. The first was Benji Nate https://www.instagram.com/benjinate/?hl=en, a favourite artist of mine who uses a style similar to my own, with pretty simplistic features that I thought might work nicely, but eventually decided didn’t quite fit the aesthetic i was attempting to achieve. Another source of inspiration was the art magazine ‘fan club’ chttps://issuu.com/fanclubnotts which uses a simple style that I really enjoy, and inspired me a little more to look at making a more simple style of my own. From this I took away some features that made the image much more clear and simple, while retaining the message of what it was supposed to represent and advertise. Looking at different artists and images really helped me develop the imagery I wanted from something i was used to and comfortable with, into a more user/audience oriented design that could be used for advertising. It also helped me develop skills I had previously struggled with through research and trial. Topics in design I might like to explore further within this project might be looking at a more photographic approach, taking my own photographs and editing them, whether they would be of typography I find, or images I take from pre made environments, or images constructed in a set to achieve a specific look. Id like to work on my photo editing and manipulation skills in the future, as that is something I am less comfortable with than illustration, and I think it would be useful to explore in my own time using some of the skills I learned in this project, and this module as a whole.

Mining in Photoshop

Design Ideas

For this task, the design was supposed to relate to typography and graphic communication. I first decided to name it ‘History of Typography’, because giving a name to the podcast can make my design direction more specific.  ‘History of Typography’, the word history means the past and the story of old-time. I wanted to design each of the covers for a particular period, for example, the first one as the 1970s edition and the next one be the 1960s edition. To make the design feels like its responding year period, I searched for their own represented era as the design theme.

Design Process

Design 1

My first design idea came from the word, ‘disco 70s’. Mirror balls are one of the iconic elements in this disco era, so I used a picture of a woman lying on the mirror ball to give out this similar sensation. The original picture was in a brownish warm colour tone, I increased the noise level to add more texture to the image. To create the dreamy fantasy look, I changed the gradient fills into blue and purple. I also wanted the audience’s attention to go to the mirror ball rather than the woman next to it. In this case, I needed to emphasise the existence of the ball, so I added a glitter image on top of that area and blended it in the colour dodge mode. A soft paintbrush was then used to add white dots to make those sparkles more noticeable. In this version, I did not do much to the typography, I just simply turned on the drop shadow and the inner glow effect to make it look much more three-dimensional.

Design 2

Pop art was first introduced during the 1950s, it went viral onwards. Comic style, dots were the key features, so I decided to apply these effects to my second design. I first cropped the woman out and change the background to full white. After that, I applied the halftone pattern with dot size 3. I increased the brightness and shadow level to create a much stronger contrast. I also changed the background to red and filled in the colour of the character in a comic style.

Design 3

The last one was designed for the 1960s. I tried to make the picture look like an actual oil-painting by editing its contrast level and setting different blending modes like dissolve or multiply. I also added a mask on top to create the light and shadow parts. For the colour adjustment, I increased the hue and saturation to the point that the image looks vibrant enough.

These designs came out great but the choice of imagery was not appropriate to the topic, which made the whole design not relevant to what I was supposed to achieve. As a result, I started to think about changing the image to another choice that would fit better with typography. I was searching for something vintage and representable to the theme at the same time. Finally, I decided to use a typewriter and applied the same effect on it as my last design.

 

Software Tutorials

For the whole task, I watched six different videos online. The most memorable one was what I watched for my last design. It was about creating a retro imagery style. One of the reasons that made this video especially unforgettable to me was because I reviewed it at least ten times. As a Photoshop beginner, it was really hard to follow his instructions when he only used short-cuts to control, so I had to pause after every step he made. In the video, he taught me to use the filter gallery from the effect panel, and the filter gallery can only be available in RGB mode, but my design task was in CMYK, so I needed to use an alternative way to achieve a similar result. Instead of applying a filter gallery to the picture, I edited the levels of the image and also extra blurred the picture to make it look more like an oil painting. Even though the outcome looked a bit different from the video, I think it still presented the retro atmosphere in the design.

Another video resource I used was about making pop art. This one was not that difficult as the previous one. Having my last time experience of struggling between the RGB and CMYK mode, this time I started editing directly on the original picture rather than placing and edit the image on the CMYK preset. For this tutorial, it was much easier to follow because those short-cuts were clearly shown on the subtitle. This effect also required me to use the filter gallery, but with a different filter pattern, called the halftone pattern.

These two videos helped me to learn using different editing functions in Photoshop and guided me to explore how powerful it can be. I had no idea about this software before, but now I can do a few interesting photo editing after watching those tutorial videos. In the future, I would like to learn more about how to edit pictures apart from using filters, such as combining pictures by cropping or blending them.

 

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Before having the whole idea of what to create, I had a look at a bunch of existing podcast covers from the internet. I found out that most of them are simply an image and the podcast title. Instead of using or combining many pictures, they only have one focused imagery. Therefore, I mainly used one individual image in each of my designs. At first, I wanted to refer my design to some old podcast covers, but it was hard to find them because people before did not use podcast covers at all, they usually advertised the podcast by posters or leaflets.

In this task, I aimed to create designs in a vintage or retro style to relate to my podcast title. I compared the difference between a modern design and a ‘traditional’ one. It is common to see that nowadays podcast covers tend to have a simple and basic layout, meanwhile, texture or extra decoration is generally used in vintage design. Typography wise, I used serif fonts instead of a san serif, as it gave out an old style. A serif at the end of each typeface can also have a decorative purpose which made the font look much more fancy and elegant.

I also got inspiration from a 20th-century artist, called Earl Moran. His artworks were mostly pin-up paintings and they really gave out a vintage style. Pin-up art was first introduced as attractive pictures to men back then, so nearly all pin-up art had women to be the painting subject. Unlike any other art, pin-up art tends not to focus on the background of the painting. They might just leave it blank or using a few colours to create shades as the background. Therefore, when I was designing my cover, I did not add any fancy stuff at the back, instead, I paid more attention to edit the imagery.

Lastly, Photoshop still has many functions that I have not yet explored but I am really willing to know more about it. In my opinion, learning Adobe software is just like mining, the deeper I dig in or investigate, the more and precious skills I can learn from it.

Undulating Type.

A sticker design project. Created using Adobe Illustrator. 

Image 1 – An overhead mockup with two designs

Personal Aim: experiment with movement and flow within Illustrator

Brief Introduction:

During the entirety of this term, we were asked to explore different Adobe softwares, to expand our understanding, whilst also experimenting with different document formats and the regulations that apply within. Almost instantly, I was excited to have an opportunity, to polish up my existing skill set with Illustrator.  Hence why these designs, turned out to have the strongest visual impact.

Image 2 – An overhead, mockup shot of the strongest design idea (refer to design 3 below)

Design Ideas and Design Process:

Idea 1: Exploring Curves and 3D Type

 Since Illustrator offers a wide range of tools for both, the development of illustrations/drawings and type, I was curious to experiment with the idea of 3D type, a design trend that was dominant in 2019, with the concept of 3D not only being limited to type (refer to image 3) but was also prominently seen in animations and GIFs as well (refer to images 4-5). One other popular trend that I have seen, probably emerging around late 2019 to 2020, is the increase use of neutrals and soft pastels, with both leaning towards embedding accents of pinks (can be very evident in ‘stationery design’, with abstract curves serving as a repetitive pattern in the background. From the start, I knew I wanted to try and fuse the two together and judge the outcome derived.

Image 3 – A 3D video by Antoni Tudisco, that got popular over Instagram in 2019, https://www.behance.net/antoni
Image 4 – Another 3D animation seen trending in 2019 by BastardFilms, https://www.instagram.com/_bastardfilms_/

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Image 5 – A collage showing the popular use of 3D type, softer colours and curves, derived from Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 6 – Final design 1, inspired from certain elements of the 2019 design trend

After coming up with a small phrase, I decided to choose Helvetica Bold as my typeface, primarily because square types tend to work better with 3D view. Once I was satisfied with the size, I headed over to the ‘effects’ menu before selecting the ‘3D, extrude and bevel’ option. After much consideration, ‘isometric top’ provided the desired effect that I was after. All that was left for me to do was to just ‘expand’ and ‘ungroup’ the object and soon enough, I was able to physically choose parts of the 3D shape to fill in my desired colour. Instead of following the general rules that comes to shadows, I decided to just use two soft orange colours, one being light and the other being dark.

The next characteristic to embody were the curves, which in this case, were freely hand drawn with the help of the ‘pen tool’ and then fixed with the ‘direct selection tool’ (to smoothen out any sharp or ragged edges). After drawing one, to add variation, I copied the same design, but instead flipped them either vertically or horizontally, alongside with making some of them bigger in size than the others.

Image 7 – A screenshot showing the process of creating a soft brush pattern
Image 8 – Representation of what the pattern looked like when layered onto the background
Image 9 – The ineffective dotted pattern layered in the background

Sticking with the design trends colours, I went with soft pastel pinks with accents of neutrals. I did also try to create an abstract pattern with a soft brush, but in the end, that experimentation did not look very cohesive. Just to give one last try, I created a dotted pattern, but in the end, it also took me to a dead end, making me realise that it would be best to leave this design the way it looks.

 

 

 

Idea 2: Exploring Layouts and Twirling

Image 10 – Final version of design 2
Image 11 – Stationery designs like this, inspired me to try out the marbling effect
Image 12 – A recreation of the texture that marble resembles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was researching into some stationery designs (refer image 11), I was reminded about a technique that I had seen and tried (physically with nail varnish) previously. Whilst exploring idea 1, I was reminded about this technique effect that piqued my curiosity. The effect in question is called marbling (refer to image 12), where beautiful and smooth curves mix with the background to form movement (similar to waves). As the name may suggest, it is inspired from the physical textures of natural marble, where this movement is prominent within the rock. It is a process that is usually associated to more elegant types of design, that are usually topped off with serif fonts and complimentary colours.

Image 13 – The end result of the twirl effect, which worked out effectively

For the colour schemes, I decided to use purple as my main focus, which has been quite common for web design trends within 2020. Varying degrees of purple hues and even neon versions of purple have been more commonly visible. I also thought that the colour purple could create an interesting juxtaposition between the marbling effect and the suggestion of elegance (as it is not considered, in the Western cultures, to portray elegance).

After drawing two rectangles, with different shades of purples, all I had to do was select the ‘twirl’ tool and adjust the size of the brush, before creating this effect (refer image 13). I kind of wanted the appearance to look very abstract as it would be completely pointless, to set restrictions to this effect. Finally, after much consideration within colour schemes, I created a wavy, lavender background too ensure that my marbling effect would stand out more prominently.

Image 14 – An alternative experiment with outlined text

Once I was satisfied with the way the colours looked, I decided to tackle typography next. ‘Ambroise Std, ExtraBold’ was the typeface that I made use of, as it seems to fit and compliment the background very well. I also wanted the composition of the text to match the playfulness of the background, so I went ahead and sectioned out the word before placing them asymmetrically. Initially, I wanted the type to be in an outline (refer image 14), but after trying it out, it looked incomplete, so instead I decided to fill in the word and then layer the outline behind it, which ended up with a much better result.

 

Idea 3 (favourite design idea): Exploring Type Manipulation

Image 15 – A final version of design 3
Image 16 – A still capture from a kinetic type video, taken from a Wix Blog
Image 17 – Repetitive text example, designed by Carlos de Jesus, that was popular in 2019
Image 18 – This type of variation within text was also popular in 2019 design trends. These types of designs tend to have outlines and bold colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my best design ideas was derived from a mixture of design trends, that took place between 2019-2020. In the year of 2019, kinetic type, type moving around in 3D space (refer to image 16) and repetition type, with repetition being a 2D version of kinetic (refer to image17), was extremely popular and almost all designers seem to be making the most of it. Whilst I was looking for some more examples, I also noticed another popular trend, which consisted of outlines and repetition but within ‘one unit’ (refer image 18). This was very interesting to me, especially since I felt that these ideas would fit in very well with my personal aim, that being to explore movement.

Upon finding a YouTube tutorial (and a few articles for assistance) on how to create the repetitive, wave type, I started to experiment with a single letter at first. Once again, I decided to use Helvetica for this experiment, as from my previous testing, round fonts did not actually work as effectively as it was suggested.

Image 19 – One of my first design ideas that was inspired by collaging of individual letters
Image 20 – This was the first variation that was produced using a curved path. Overall, I was not really fond of the optical flow that this design had, but it was still a good starting point to visualise my design.
Image 22 – This time around, I decided to change the spin of the effect (drawing a new curve path, in a different direction), before individually re-arranging the letters to experiment with layout within an individual word

Image 19 shows one of my initial design ideas, that was inspired from collaging and spacing, but in the end, I decided to discard that one, as it just did not feel right. Instead, I decided to simply spell out the word ‘type’, before following all the steps to create the repetitive, wave type. Soon after, I experimented with different placements of each letter and changing the spine of the design using ‘curve paths’ (refer images 20-21). Once I was happy with the flow of the text, then I decided to implement repetitive words (design trend), before layering it onto a solid black background and some freehand abstract shapes.

In terms of colours, I decided to stick with bright, warm colours, which are a feature of the design trends that I am focusing on. Adding a black background, enabled all the bright colours to stand out more, whilst accents of white helped to keep the balance between the both.

Software Tutorials:

Refer to the additional resources/links at the end under this subheading.

I used a fair range of software tutorials for this project, as I wanted to learn new skills and try out new features on Illustrator that I had not known/tested out before. One of the main one being the type variation that I did in my favourite design (refer design process 3). In reality, it actually took me quite a few hours to understand and learn. For the first few attempts, I could not even make past the first part of the tutorial (where the text has grids to manipulate, via the ‘envelope mesh’ option), mostly because of the typeface (even when I was using the suggested typeface or my own choice, hence I decided to skip that step just to move forewords). But once I tried it out with one letter and enlarged it, I was extremely excited to see the potential that the process had. To develop my skills further, I would really like to try out more variations within ‘envelop mesh’ and 3D type, especially with different typefaces.

 

Resources for Research and Inspiration:

Refer to the additional resources/links at the end under this subheading.

Mood boards:

One of the quickest ways for me to visualise a concept or a design trend is to create a mood board, since it is an easy way to dismantle each element that is essential, whether it may be colours, imagery, background/foreground, type setting or other variants. These have been the most effective in my learning journey as I can look at an interesting feature and then look up the way it is done on the software. In reality, all my designs and trend inspirations have emerged from looking at a range of peoples work and how they interpret/explore different attributes, since mood boards work really effectively for visual cues.

Image 22 – A generic mood mood board that I created, to help me visualise some of the design trends

Websites, blogs and articles:

Apart from creating visuals cues, I also did a fair amount of reading, whether they may be one person’s opinion or collective. This really enable me to understand what elements were popular during certain design trends and also judge how different interpretations. Aside from judgements, it also gave an opportunity to look at different ideas/concepts that I could have done or could do in the future (inclusive for any project, across all modules).

Image 23 – Example of my generic mood board

Additional Resources/links:

Software Tutorials:

3D type: YouTube and website article

Envelope Mesh: website articles

Resources for Research and Inspiration:

Website articles:

2019 Design Trends

2020 Design Trends

 Mood Board (generic):

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World of Type

For our TY1SK module we were asked to create a typography podcast cover  in photoshop.

Typography has a diverse audience, so I decided to create three very different designs to try and engage different age groups, who have different visual needs.

I started off by brainstorming short phrases including the words type and time. Designing for a podcast implies that the user needs to take time out to engage with the content of the podcast. For my first design I came up with a few phrases like ’Time for Type’, ‘Type talks’, ‘It’s Type ‘o Clock’ and ‘Whats the Type?’

Design ideas and design process

 

 Time for Type

 

                     

Original two images used to create design                                                                              

 

My final podcast design

 

For my first design I decided to use ‘Time for type‘ and chose two rather classical images from Pixabay, a clock and an hourglass. These images would appeal more to a more mature audience. Using the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush tool, I removed the numbers on the clock face and replaced them with letters instead, forming the words ‘Time for type‘. I also added the hourglass to the clock to fill the 11th hour space.

Experimenting further with the filters and adjustments, I landed on the word ‘posterize’. It opened up a variety of vibrant colours and gave me options to manipulate the mood of my design, adding an old world charm and warmth.

By posterizing the image I gave the old school clock a little contemporary edge. I also chose these rich colours because it is warm, welcoming and energetic. I placed the type clock wise on the clock face, which reads easily up to the 7th hour point where the type seems to be read in reverse. From that point the conventional way in which we read a clock, leads the eye to still make sense of the type. Although the overall appearance is unusual and challenging typographical conventions, I feel that it makes the reader think and engage a bit, suggesting that type is worth thinking about. I added visual texture through contrasting, but complimenting colours, which enhances the effect of distressed wood in the foreground. The orange colour suggests a border above the clock and helps define the space in which the clock stands. The type is in white to make it stand out and easier to read. The overall use of curvilinearity compliments the more classic atmosphere of my design.


 Stepping into Type 

 

                         

Original two images used to create design

 

                     

First attempt at my design                                         Second attempt at design 

 

My final podcast design

 

My second design is more focused on a younger audience, and came to life from visualising someone stepping out of their usual day and into a space of type. That is how I came to the potential titles for this podcast; ‘Stepping into type’, ‘Into type’, and ‘Type flies’.

I decided on ‘Stepping into type’ because it is a bit more playful. Expanding the idea of playfulness and fun, I imagined  stepping through a floating door to meet some flying type. That would give it a whimsical and mysterious feel with a door up in the sky and footprints in the air approaching an encounter with Type. I used scattered type in various sizes and boldness to create visual texture in the sky. The footprints achieve the same effect by breaking up the plane in the foreground, and suggest the way to reach the door. ‘Stepping’ stands out on the line that suggests the two different planes, which separates the ‘usual day’ from the ‘space of type’. The analogous colours I chose are light and cool, and suggest a sense of serenity and airiness. I also used colour to create interest with line and suggestion of shade to strengthen the idea of the door hovering above the ground. I stuck to geometric shapes. I decided not to frame my design to enhance the sense of free and floating text in space.

My approach to this cover is actually quite abstract in appearance. I found an image of an open door in a room, cut it out and placed it on a clean background. I then inserted images of footprints, positioning them in a way that leads your eye towards, and through the door to all the type. I tried to create a sense of depth by using larger footprints in the foreground which then gets smaller towards the background. I feel it creates distance and gives a dynamic feel to the image.

I then played around with the different effects, and I edited the footprints with the layer style palette, adding an outer glow to them. Posterizing my image gave it a more abstract 3-dimensional appearance, which is accentuated by the drop shadow. I actually accidentally created the blue and milky purple background whilst experimenting with the different adjustments. I decided to keep it like this because blue and purple are analogous colours, which support each other. The blue is dominant, supported by the milky purple and then white which accentuates the text. The colours work well next to each-other. The blue also gives an airy and light feeling which adds to the whimsical playfulness of my design. The faded purple suggests a more earthy tone which also grounds my design.

I played around with the wording, trying to find a good composition for them. The horizontal placement of the words ‘Stepping into type’ supports the linear structure of the composition, and appears solid amongst the flying letters. The more structured layout supports clear communication, especially because the conventional direction of reading is challenged by the layout. The footprints are key to direct the viewer’s eye from the bottom of the composition, guiding the reading and comprehension in the correct order.


 World of Type

                     

Original image used to create design            The inverted design             

 

My final podcast design 

 

My third design came from the thought of how typography is global and how it affects everything. So I came up with ‘Type the world’, ‘Typo space’, ‘World of type’ and ‘Orbit into type’.

I decided to go with a simple title ‘World of type’, and chose an image of the globe, a clear symbol which is always relevant when depicting things that concern the world. To me an image of the globe is old and new in the same way, which will equally attract a young and mature audience.  I like this design the most. I think it will speak to a wider audience because it is very universal. It symbolises the relevance of Typography in the world and clearly communicates how text and typography makes the world go round. The deep blue background is solid, calm and reassuring, and form part of a grounding frame to globe. Visual texture is added by the scattered white type ‘in orbit’. Although I didn’t use formal lines, I did achieve it by a suggested line- the type running around the earth. The circular shape of the earth is hugged at the top with the podcast title written in a curve. This compliments the curvilinear elements in my design and adds visual balance to the centred composition.

I used one strong image to create this cover and removed the background of the image, inserting my own. The inspiration to incorporate the letters into the image came from looking at the planetary ring system around the planet Saturn. This inspired me to create a typographical ring consisting of letters spinning around the earth, reinforcing the idea of communication making the world go round.  So I did this through adding lots of letters in ‘orbit’. I wanted the earth to appear 3–dimensional, so I experimented with the filters and the layer styles, applying the inner and outer glow effects to the earth. I further experimented by inverting my image, however the colours appeared very toxic and unhealthy which would not support my communication.

All my ideas were developed using images that conveyed the key concepts of my design, which I could then enhance by adding type and manipulating the images to reflect what I visualised. My aim was to make my designs interesting, user friendly and appropriate, and I feel that I did achieve that.


Software tutorials

 

I watched the tutorials on adjusting the image quality in an image, and I applied the ‘Adjust brightness and contrast’ as well as the ‘Adjust colour vibranceto my ‘Time for type‘ image after posterizing it. It helped me to make my image stand out more because it enhanced the strong contrast in the colours that I used.

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/photo-enhancement-basics.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:get-started/set-header:ccx-designer/playlist:ccl-get-started-1/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

I also watched the videos on ‘Creating your first design’ and I found the ‘Get to know layersvery helpful, as well as the ‘Adding text and effectsand ‘Exporting and saving the design‘. ‘Get to know layersshowed me how to bring an image into photoshop and then showed me that when bringing another image into the workspace, or other elements like type, it is best to keep all of the layers separate so that it is easier to edit the different elements, without affecting the rest of the image. The video also talked about the magenta smart guides, and they helped me with the alignments of my designs. (applying special layer properties). The ‘Adding text and effects’ video explained how I can edit the text and other elements and apply special layer properties with the layer style panel. It also showed me that I can add effects like drop shadows,

patterns overlays, textures, contouring, strokes, as well as an outer glow.

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/graphic-design-basics.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:key-techniques/playlist:topic/set-header:quick-starts/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

Two additional Resources

 

I initially wanted to add text shadow to my ‘Stepping into type‘ design and watching the ‘Photoshop CC– How to add a text shadow’, helped me to understand where I had to go (layer style options), and what I had to do in order to accomplish this. 

I decided to add text shadow to the letters spelling out ‘Time for type’ on my clock face, because it made my letters more visible and I think that the effect gave them a 3–dimensional touch which makes them stand out.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c45mkQEfW2s&feature=emb_title

 

I was not sure how to remove the numbering on my clock image in order to add the words ‘Time for type’, but after watching the YouTube video ‘How to use clone stamp tool in Photoshop CS6′, I found that I could remove the numbers easily using this tool.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jf6MCVvmk

 


Resources for research and inspiration

 

All of the images I used in my designs, were sourced from Pixabay.

https://pixabay.com/images/search/uk/ 

 

After watching Amr Elshamy’s video on how he created ‘Round things’, it inspired me to bring in circular shapes into my podcast because I think there is something very visually pleasing about circular shapes. It creates a feeling of continuity and seem softer and more welcoming than angular shapes.  That is why I chose to use the image of the earth in my ‘World of type’, because it is not only spherical and universal, but underlines wholesomeness and harmony.

Amr Elshamy’s video also inspired me to create something more abstract, which I did with my ‘Stepping into type’ podcast design. I included more angularity and line for structure, and less texture to achieve a light, smooth and airy background with the floating door.

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/use-polar-coordinates-filter.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:key-techniques/playlist:topic/set-header:get-inspired/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

I realised after reading through the article ‘How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide’, that before jumping into my design, I need to think about what I am actually designing, and who is my intended audience. I need to think about what age group I am targeting.

If I use an image, I need to think about what my podcast cover will depict and make sure that it is relevant to the topic: typography. I thought that if I can create a cover that is simplistic but clear and effective, with a catchy phrase relevant to the topic, I can create a design that appeals to the intended audience.

Lastly, the article helped me to think about the use of colour in my designs. Colour can have a big impact on the way that people see and understand things. It can even affect someone’s mood. So, using the correct colour palette is very important. As the article says, ‘warm colours are associated with energy, brightness, and action, while cool colours make you feel calm, serene and at peace.’

I decided to use very bright contrasting colours in my ‘Time for type’ design, to really make the image pop, and the variety in colour allowed me to manipulate the mood of the design, giving it a feeling of warmth and old-world charm.

My ‘Stepping into type’ design mostly uses the colours blue and purple, which are analogous colours that support each other rather than compete.

For ‘World of type’ I did not add a lot of extra colour because there are already so many different tones of green and blue on my image of the earth, so I stuck with a deep blue background which I think pushes the earth foreword slightly, adding to the 3-dimensionality of the image.

https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/

 

Additional Resource

 

I found another article called ‘8 things to keep in mind while designing your podcast cover art’. The ‘Keep it simple’ section made me think about how I can create a podcast cover that is simple and not overly complicated, but neat and effective. I realised that I do not need ‘complex elements to make something visually appealing.’

The article also stated not to use too many fonts, because writing on the podcast needs to be clearly visible. It also said that using fonts with thicker lines and clear characters help your writing to stand out more.

https://influencermarketinghub.com/podcast-cover-art/

 

 

 

Colour melt

DESIGN IDEAS AND PROCESS

  • In my research I noticed stickers often had one main focal image, with the text being an accompanying feature. One of the most distinguishable features of my previous work was the hand holding the earphone. Therefore this would be recognisable and relevant for the consumer, and easy to relate the sticker to the podcast.

  • I inserted the image into the document and cropped out the blank space around the hand. With the image selected, I used the ‘image trace’ tool and selected ’16 colours’ followed by ‘expand’ to change the image into a vector, where each shade is isolated to its own shape with adjustable colours.

  • With the now vector selected, I selected ‘recolour’ to adjust the colours to those inspired by my podcast cover. So that I could have whatever background shape and colour I wanted, I ungrouped the vector to delete the background. I could then group the remaining shapes and locked them into place to prevent them moving around.

  • To create the colour stretch at the bottom of the image I used the rectangle tool to create a rectangle the width of the corresponding patch of colour. Because I cropped the image, the bottom of it was flat which meant the rectangle fit flush against the image without gaps or overlap. To duplicate the rectangle, I selected the rectangle and holding down ‘option’ I could click and drag the next rectangle into place. To ensure they lined up neatly I also held down the shift key, this kept them level horizontally. Using the adjust tool I could change the width of the rectangle to match the image.

  • Once the rectangle was in place I changed the colour to match that of the image.  I made sure the rectangle was selected, then using the eyedropper tool, I clicked in the colour block from the image that I wanted to rectangle to match. I also found moving the rectangles to the back of the layer, through pressing ‘command-shift-[‘ made the overall appearance a little cleaner.

  • For the cut lines, I used a range of tools. For larger spaces I created rectangles and circles and using the direct selection tool I could adjust the shapes to fit the space needed. For these shapes I created them on the top of each layer at 50% transparency, so that I could see the image beneath.

  • I had made this for a different sticker design that used the whole hand, I was able to import it into this file and use the ‘direct selection’ tool to adjust this shape and use further tools and add any new lines or shapes needed.

  • Using the ‘shape builder’ tool I was then able to delete any overhang or unnecessary fill areas. Once I had the desired shape I combined the shapes into one using the ‘pathfinder’ tool. Having practiced with the pen tool as part of my research, I was able to make the cut lines quite clean.

  • As a single shape, I was able to remove the shape fill and apply the relevant colour preset to the outline. I also used the ‘pen tool’ to help me build my cut shapes where helpful. The last touch was to use the direct selection tool to make final adjustments to the position of individual lines and to curvet edges.

SOFTWARE TUTORIALS

Though I was most familiar with illustrator, I found many of these tutorials very helpful in identifying and explaining the use of some tools that I had not got to grips with before. I particularly appreciated the demonstration on the shape builder tool. Previously I have tried to use the pathfinder tool in shape creation; partnered with the shape builder tool some tasks are made much simpler and easier. This is a tool I experimented with a lot this week and feel very comfortable using now. To use the shape builder tool to delete unnecessary shapes, I selected the overlapping shapes > selected the shape builder tool > hovered over the line or shape that I wanted to remove > held down the option key and clicked on the path I wanted to remove. This made a very clean and easy removal of an unwanted shape.

Other tools which I found really helpful in these tutorials were the lasso tool, the ‘create outlines’ tool and, especially for this task, the image trace tool. I have used image trace before, but not in illustrator. I found this tutorial helpful and used it in all of my designs this week to manipulate my chosen image into a vector. Once in a vector I could use ‘recolour’ to adjust the colours to imitate the predominant colours in my previous designs on the podcast. I decided against using any gradients, however, the simple tutorial was also very helpful and it is something I would like to explore in further designs.

One of my additional resources this week was The Bezier Game:  https://bezier.method.ac/
This website is incredibly helpful to develop ones skills with the pen tool. Each level is different and has a number of ways the shape could be completed. It is great for understanding how shapes are made and for learning to control the pen tool. This was particularly useful on this project when it came to making the cut lines for the sticker. I found also that understanding the pen tool better also translated to understanding how to edit and adjust shapes and lines.

RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH AND INSPIRATION

I have previously worked with a company that designed stickers for their merchandise, though I did not design any myself, I appreciated how a sticker was much more interesting and appealing when it wasn’t a conventional shape. This is something I notices in many of the resources and something that I wanted to include in my design. It had the benefit of giving me the opportunity to develop my skills with the pen tool, but also produces a much more engaging product for the consumer.

I really enjoyed Javier Garcia’s videos on branding. It was interesting to learn how he valued geometrical shape design and enjoyed exploring the impact of colour on the design. Though I did not choose to make my design geometrical, I did also enjoy exploring the effect of colour and how this can change the tone of the design. Many stickers that I have researched are often very colourful as this grabs the viewers attention. If they are less colourful, it is always a specific design choice. Either to set a camper tone or to make a point.

For further inspiration, I looked on sites such as etsy, where it is common for people to purchase novelty stickers. Ads also often pop up on instagram and other various social media platforms. Going to a store website, rather than a design website, showed me what customers are actually consuming. I discovered many stickers are very simple. They have a focal image, often with very little text. When text it used many times it is the main element. This is due to the average size of a sticker; they are generally quite small and so there isn’t enough space to cram the design with image and text as one or the other, or both, may end up so small that they are unreadable. This is something I kept in mind when designing my stickers, though the image is nice and big on my screen, I must consider the final product.

etsy example