Category: TY1SK

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

The Design Pod

  1. Design Ideas and Design Process:

1st Design:

For my 1st design, I wanted to incorporate different styles of letterforms to build up a word, much like a ransom note. I experimented with the different letterforms by making them up equal in size as well as creating huge variations between them. I later came to the conclusion that having different variations between them was more in keeping to the style of a ransom note. To further develop my skills, I wanted to create a paper-like texture as the background in order to keep in theme with the ransom note. This has consequently enabled my software skills to develop to include the use filters from the filter gallery. Here I discovered how to use the texturiser to create a paper-like effect.

Experimenting with different letter sizing and which I found most effective

Experimenting the scaling and relief options on the texturiser, creating minimal and intense textural backgrounds

2nd Design:

For my 2nd design idea, I took inspiration from the tutorial Rachel offered on Blackboard, experimenting with the hue and saturation of an image. I started by generating a combination of different images, which I then played with under the hue and saturation tool bar. I chose a purple/pink/green colour combination as I thought they were more eye-catching and powerful. I decided not to write anything onto the cover as I wanted to take it into the other design software’s to experiment with an image of my own.

Below is an illustration I made for my collage:

Examples below of the different stages and experiments using the hue and saturation tool:

3rd Design:

For my final design I followed an online tutorial on creating pop art. After experimenting with a range of different colours I decided to go with blue and pink as this is a very well-known colour combination. To develop my skills further, I followed a tutorial on how to warp text as well as make a customise warp. For my design, I needed to customise it in order to make it more legible.

Examples below of different colour combinations i experimented with:

Examples below of different warped text features I experimented with, along with looking at different placements for the text:

Below shows a before and after I my customised warp to make it more legible:

  1. Software Tutorials:

I got the majority of my software skills from watching YouTube videos. Many of the ideas or tools I looked at were inspired by quick viral videos I had seen through social media platforms such as TikTok. For my first design I followed a YouTube tutorial on how to create a paper texture effect. This tutorial helped to give me better understanding of the different effect available of the software, and how using a different scaler can create a drastic change whilst still using the same effect.   On my second design, I experimented with the hue and saturation tool after following the tutorial available on blackboard. As well as finding my own online tutorials, I wanted to follow one suggested by Rachel from Blackboard. The tutorial offered by Rachel helped to broaden my understanding towards the smaller, unnamed icons available not found in the menu bar. Finally, the tools I used on my last design included learning more about different effects available for images, but also different text effects. I enjoyed creating this design the most as I felt I learnt a lot more about Photoshop from it. For this I first followed a tutorial on how to convert an image into a Pop art effect with a combination of different colours. Later I learnt how to distort text by warping it into different shapes and sizes. This is a software skill I would like to develop further, especially as the warp is customisable. Although I customised my text to make it more legible, I think this tool is a really creative way to create your own distorted font.

 

Tutorial link for warped text:

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

 

  1. Design Resources and Articles:

After deciding that I wanted to do a Pop Art design for one of my podcasts covers, I found a website that included a range of different styles of Pop Art. This was really helpful in terms of being able to see the different styles side-by-side and really helped to influence my design choice. Although the website offered a range of different styles, I decided to go for the vectorised version of Pop Art, often used by Andy Warhol. Further to this design I wanted to come up with my own podcast name instead of constantly using ‘Typography and Graphic Communication’. This led me to start reading different articles about how to create the perfect podcast name as well as create a mind map. After reading an article I realised it need to be something short and sweet but also a play on words. As the podcast was for designers, I knew it need to include either the word ‘design’ or something similar. So why ‘The Design Pod’ you may ask? Well, a pod refers to an enclosed space much like a capsule. Therefore, would have no background noise and very much be in the moment, helping to give off the look as an easy listen but also educational which is something a podcast should be.

 

Web link for additional resources:

https://popartstudio.nl/

https://castos.com/podcast-name/

 

My Podcast Cover

Design Ideas and Process

moodboard
sketch ideas

When planning,  I first researched different podcast covers for inspiration and used them to create a mood board for myself when sketching out my initial ideas. I came up with six different ideas and used three of these to create some covers.

step by step process
final design 1

For the first cover, I was inspired by the pink podcast cover in my mood board of a boy shouting through a mic, and words flowing out through it, imitating the noise level. I first took a picture of a mic I had back at home and used the eraser tool to remove the background. Then I added text and warped it to create a horizontal distortion as if the words are coming out through the mic. To add to this sound imagery, I put in some triangle shapes behind the words to emphasise this distortion and to create a direction of where the sound is coming from. I thought the background was a bit plain so I added some swirls around the centre representing the wires coming out from the mic, however, I thought it was too distracting so I removed it later. In terms of colour scheme and typeface, I went with a retro theme of pastels and a display typeface to make it more eye-catching.

step by step process
final design 2

For my second podcast cover, I thought that both music and podcasts came under a similar category as they both require listening to which is why I was inspired by vinyl and record designs. I first created the basic shape of a vinyl and added details using the shape tool. I then wrote the text for the podcast and used the warp arc effect to make the words fit around in a circle. However, I had a few issues with this as the text distorted a bit too much to the point where it was hard to read, and each of the lines became different sizes, creating a hierarchy I did not intend to make. Therefore, I changed the warp effect to the ‘buldge’ one, creating a fish-eye kind of perspective. This worked out a lot better and now looks more balanced. In terms of colour, I used quite a classic scheme for records: yellow, red and black. Then, I used a hint of green to mention the “podcast” bit, which comes to think about it now, may be hard to see over the dark red, but overall I am quite happy with this design. This piece allowed me to further develop my software skills by exploring and using the tools in Photoshop and arranging shapes and colours to create a visual of a vinyl. This is probably my favourite design out of the three as I like the visual look in terms of shape and colour, and how even and symmetrical everything is.

step by step process
final design 3

For my third podcast cover, I wanted to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere through the use of headphones and a dark background. It was hard to draw headphones free-handedly, so I made use of the shapes tool again to create an overlay of circles and rectangles to make that shape. Overall, I think that this cover could be improved in terms of relating it more to Typography and Graphic Communication, focussing less on atmosphere and more on communicating the actual message.

Software tutorials

Even though I have used photoshop in the past, I am still quite new to all the tools and techniques, therefore, these two beginner links really helped me come to grips with them.

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/ps-basics-fundamentals.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 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/ps-layers-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

For my third podcast cover, I used this link to help me with my illustration of headphones. I learnt how to use the different shape tools to accurately compose each part, and grasped the process of duplicating, reflecting and rotating in order to make everything symmetrical and even. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROlYuWRGP0w&ab_channel=WebDesign

Software skills I want to develop further in Photoshop are creating more complex illustrations and possibly freehanded ones. Also, as Photoshop is mainly used to edit photos, I could have incorporated more images which would have developed my photo editing and manipulation skills.

Design resources and articles

How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide – 99designs

How to Design Stunning Podcast Cover Art That Stands Out in iTunes

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

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/3729612218626477/

These four links were the main sources of inspiration for my podcast cover designs.  They helped me in terms of colour scheme, layout and imagery that I could include. I particularly liked the ones with bold colours and display font which really stood out to me. I hoped to do the same with my covers, such as using a bright yellow background to grab the viewer’s attention. I also learnt the importance of ‘simplicity is key’ when looking at these existing podcast covers as they all have a common feature of simplifying shapes and text in order to communicate a more clear and effective message to the viewer.

Sticker ideas

Design and idea and Design process

For my first design idea I wanted to focus on developing my stills with the illustrator pen tool as I have had very little experience working with this before. I wanted to create something that stood out son kept the original colouring of the text and used the pen tool to create both the outlines.

This is a demonstration image of me exposing the two ways I could using this tool and figuring out the most effective method.

My next design idea I took a different approach and incorporate the feature image and the main background for my sticker. I did this by using the clipping master tool and snipped the two images together.

I tried to create different depths using different tones within layers that built up in the middle.

I really like how this design turned out as I believe the design fits well with my photoshop and indesign work.

This sticker design idea in my opinion was most effective as I explore I wide range of different different design process that allowed for an interesting sticker to be made.

For this design idea I wanted to focus on the boldness and making things stand out. I used the pen tool to create the icon and made a really thick line to make it stand out from the circles. One main design process that I used in this sticker was the merge tool as a made the two circles separate and combined them for both the main frame and outlines.

Software tutorial 

To create most elements within my stickers I used software tutorials to help guide me throughout. The first video that I found really helpful was a beginners video on how to use the pen tool (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j69a3-shkGE) this allowed me to understand the basic features and allow me create lots of experiments with this tool to come to my final sticker ideas. This video did really help but I would like to continue to develop my skills in this area. I started to watch a new video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PilxMhWgW2I)and will continue to experiment and expand my knowledge in this area.

Another video that I watch and found very helpful was one on removing white background (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpswbHB4N0M). Although it was only a simple video it allowed me to master this skill and came in very handy throughout making all my stickers.

One software skill that I would like to improve upon is working with layers as I found it quite difficult to get my head around this. A lot of my layers are just one on top of each other and I would like to develop the skill of intergrading different layers together created more three dimensional effects that are more aesthetically appealing to the eye.

Through this project I believe I have developed my skills a lot from having very little idea I know feel confident using a wide range of tools and methods in illustrate. I look forward to developing these skills more and gaining a better understanding.

Design resources and articles 

The main sources that I used as a form of inspiration Pinterest as well as google images. This allowed me to see previous work and gain knowledge of what is effective with a design for a sticker using these allowed me to come up with unique ideas that would catch someones eye when wearing.

Another source that I found particularly useful was an articular on how to make stickers (https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/how-to/design-a-sticker.htm) This web articular went through the process of making in illustrator and gave a step my step guide on the process. This allowed me to follow along using some of the process he used in my own work.

One other helpful tool that I used was looking at templates that for example adobe has published. This was useful throughout my hole project but especially the stickers as it allowed me to see what was already out there and understand how colours and layers work well together. (https://stock.adobe.com/uk/templates?)

TY1SK – Submission A Blog post

TY1SK – Submission A Blog post

This is my photoshop work where I completed the task as per the brief in making 3 Podcast Covers.

Design Ideas and Design Process

Idea 3

This was my first design where I wanted to highlight the use of books because of their importance to typography and graphic communication, and what better way to represent this is using an image of bookshelves. From viewing covers a black and white background with text over the top is an extremely common trend. However, this looked rather busy so I decided to blur the background to put more emphasis on the text but still can tell what the image is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idea 2

This is my second design where I wanted to link the topic of the podcast to something that people always look at and relate to. So just like the book idea above, I created this idea using road signs. However, with this design I feel like the sign I created does not look weathered enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idea 3 – Final Idea

This is my last and final idea and by far my favourite one. Just like the covers above I wanted to make a cover that could relate to a lot of people but because this podcast is of a specific topic, I wanted to really filter down on Designers themselves. So, I decided to take a picture of my desk space because this is where a lot of designers will be sitting to complete their work, even including a MacBook as this is pretty much industry standard. I think by doing this makes listeners more comfortable because it is something they are used to seeing.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Working in layers to create suitable Hierarchy
  2. Cropping & Dragging image across using lasso tool
  3. Choosing a font to match the same thickness illustration
  4. Cropping and colour correcting image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Tutorials

Because I have some experience in using photoshop, when completing the task, I used existing knowledge of the software and where my knowledge lacked, I would look into alternative means in filling those gaps. I did this mainly by looking at tutorials provided on Blackboard but also venturing through YouTube videos.

The one tutorial I heavily used in one of my podcast covers was because I wanted a desired effect of a weathered or distressed road sign. This was because the text and the boxes used to create the overall cover looked very unnatural to me, so I looked at means to make this more realistic. A lot of the road signs I have seen look weathered, rusty and warn down. This tutorial helped me develop my skills further as it is something used a lot in projects, and it also opened me up to seeing and playing around with filters to change images.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rGFkOvpPrE

I’d like to improve on cropping and using the likes of the lasso tool to make sections look sharper and crisper. This is because I kept finding additional tags when cropping out images which made the image look blurry and messy. It took multiple attempts for me to be happy with some of my cropping.

 

 

 

Design Resources and Articles

When it came to looking at additional resources around the podcast covers, I mainly looked at various different websites and podcast services/ apps to find what common conventions each cover had. As an avid podcast listener and knowing how to navigate these I found this extremely beneficial as I created a list on what covers had in common. This is the list I created and used throughout my covers:

  • Minimal/ simple
  • Use of white (either for background or text)
  • More illustration than photography or combination of the two
  • If photography is used it is very specific
  • Mainly use 3 colours
  • Square

These really helped me and inspired my designs for my covers.

 

 

 

 

Typo Stickers for PODCAST!


Design ideas and design process

Coming up with the idea of combining typography within the ‘talking mouth’ was developed during the design process. My initial thought was to create simple and identical stickers using symbolic and geometric shapes. After considering adding several shapes and images, e.g., microphone, dialogue sign, headphone, etc., I finally create the idea by turning the literal meaning of ‘taking about typefaces’ into graphics, by shaping the typography into the shape of a ‘talking mouth’, which shows the designs in below.

 

DESIGN 1:

Design 1 (final design) (mainly with hand drawn illustration)

 

As I would like to practice drawing illustration in Adobe illustrator more flexible, I have spent more time on the first design than others to practice drawing smooth lines using the pen tool. My first design (Design 1) then ended up being my final design. By watching Youtube tutorials that teach how to use the drawing tool, I have further learned to use the width tool to adjust the stroke width, as well as the appearance panel to make changes separately and recover things easily. Besides, I have learnt to create wrap text by envelope distort effect and puppet warp tool (Screenshot 1), which these tools is efficient to create stylish typography. As I was aiming to create stylish and more recognizable stickers, I have chosen an analogue colour scheme with bluish-purple and pink, contrasting with a yellow margin. Hopefully, it was more attractive.

 

Screenshot 1: Wrap effect to the text (envelope distort effect & puppet warp tool)

 

Screenshot 2: Making the text with lips shape (knife tool to cut the curved shapes from circle > replace the shape with text by Ctrl+Alt+C > puppet warp tool to shape the lips) 

 

Screenshot 3: Drawing illustrations for decorations (pen tool)

 


DESIGN 2:

Design 2 (Experiment with 3D text)

 

Further developing the idea of making the typography into a mouth shape, I then created a 3D version using the blend option (Screenshot 4), as well as shaping the 3D text by using the puppet warp tool that learnt while creating the previous sticker (Screenshot 5).  I remain to choose an analogue colour scheme of Cyan and purple while using gradient colour for the tongue to make it look more realistic. It ended up quite successfully.

 

Screenshot 4: Creating 3D text (Blend option & puppet warp tool)

 

Screenshot 5: Apply the 3D text into a curved stroke (blend> replace-spine) ; Shape the 3D text into a mouth pupplet wrap tool

 


DESIGN 3:

Design 3 (Playing with shapes, letter forms and gradient colour)

 

In Design 3, I have developed skills in constructing text and adapting gradient colours within designs. I came up with another approach playing around with the composition and different letterforms using the pathfinder tools. The background was filled with gradient shapes and colours using the gradient tool, also drawing of  simplified graphics are added, such as the book in rectangle shape, and the typography pen, both were drawn and constructed with the pathfinder tools.

 

Screenshot 6: Constructing the text with different letter forms (pathfinder tools)

Screenshot 7: Creating background with gradient-shapes (gradient tool)


Software Tutorials

By learning the fundamental techniques in Adobe illustrator, I began with watching a few resources from Adobe creative cloud for a tutorial like creating monograms and adding texture to illustration, to learn how to write text within a circle using text on a path tool and scissors tool.

For specific techniques, I watch a tutorial from Linkedin learning: illustrator 2021 Essential training by Tony Harmer,  which I found useful and more organisable. It includes a tutorial on almost all tools and even a specific aspect. In Design 1, I have learnt to use shapes and line drawing tools to create a variable-width stroke. It also allows me to develop skills in constructing shapes and forms using pathfinder and shape builder tools. (Screenshot 6)

The most useful technique I have learnt from these design tasks will be using blend options, which I have learnt from several Youtube videos. In How to design a wave shapes gradient background, I learnt to adapt the gradient shape effect using the blending option (Screenshot 7). In Warp Text Into Shapes Illustrator Tutorial , it allows me to further adapt the technique in my design by creating the 3D typography with shapes of talking mouth.


Resources for research and inspiration

I mainly found inspiration from Pinterest (My Stickers inspiration) (Reference picture 1), which provide loads of sticker designs with any styles that allow me to make references with their composition of text and graphics. Furthermore,  99 designs also provide professional stickers desigsn for me to observe how they manage to create an attractive sticker.

By exploring how others shaped the text to a mouth, I found quite a lot of designers have been using the idea (Reference picture 2), so I only make references with the shape of the lips while shaping it with my text and typography style. Lastly, reading the article ‘Top 13 Tips To Create And Print Sticker Designs That Stand Out‘, teaches us how can creating efficient sticker designs. It is said that stickers should look simple while funny, and make things super large to create readable text, so I enlarged my text in my Design 2 as much as it can.

Reference picture 1: My pinterest board (stickers inpiration)

 

Reference picture 2: By googling ‘Typography mouth’


Reflection

By reflecting on my design, I think it was not quite successful in my design 3, as the text looks a bit messy with too many small objects, I can improve by unifying the text by using the same gradient colour similar to the background, so it may look more harmonious. Another solution is to enlarge the object and remove the non-necessary part.

At the time, my sticker designs are lack of funny elements to attract the audience. In future design, I need to improve on the skills of developing creative ideas and reflect on how I can create more eye-catching stickers with simple graphics. For example, I can use contrasting visual elements, line strokes or simple characters in order to make my designs more interesting. Besides, I may get more inspiration from other artists. To develop my skill further, I still want to practice using the pen tools and other tools that I haven’t used in Adobe illustrator.

Exploring Tools in Illustrator

Design Ideas & Design Process

As I approached this task, I knew my main priority was to become more familiar with the software and more specifically tools in the software, whilst keeping the brief in mind. This explains my widely varied designs. After searching for inspiration I had lots of ideas that I wanted to develop, and skills I wanted to master.

Design 1

Figure 1 – Final sticker design 1

BMW, BBC, NBA, KFC. All these brands are known by a 3 letter acronym. My first idea stemmed from this concept. I chose to shorten the title of the podcast to the 3 letters as it creates a brand which is more memorable than an independent podcast. In my design I have highlighted the abbreviated title to draw attention to it, which was my aim when going through the design process.

Design 2

Figure 2 – Final Sticker design 2

Here I wanted to concentrate on developing solely text-based skills. To achieve the handwritten look I was after, I selected a calligraphic font as I feel like this portrayed my goal successfully. When researching I had seen multiple stickers with a vague silhouette of the design acting as a border/outline which inspired me to experiment with this idea, hence why there are multiple shadow layers to this design.

Design 3

figure 3 – Final sticker design 3

Typography is all about words. When said, the word itself has “type” in it, and this design reflects exactly that. A book has tens of thousands of words in it and is usually the first thing people think of when the topic of conversation is words. After watching a tutorial, I learnt how to create this book-like effect which I think conveys the theme of typography perfectly.

Software Tutorials

Design 1

Figure 4 – Using type on path tool 

For continuity, I designed a sticker based on one of my previous podcast covers where I used smart filters, the liquify tool and a clipping masking in Photoshop to create the effect of the distorted TGC. Once I had moved this to Illustrator, I drew a circle around it and used the type on path tool (Figure 4) to add the smaller text around the edge of the sticker, creating a border highlighting the abbreviation. I edited the size of the outer text so it joined as a complete circle.

Wrap Text Around A Circle with Adobe Illustrator | Beginner Tutorial

Design 2

figure 5 – using offset path and merge tool 

Figure 6 – without typographic brush strokes

figure 7 – with typographic brush strokes

To emphasize the text, I added a black shadow by duplicating the text, then I expanded, blended and merged the letters together. Additionally, I increased the stroke weight so it was a thick, bold shadow. The use of copy and paste came in handy for this design as I created multiple shadows. The blue shadow behind the white text came from duplicating it, changing the colour and using the selection tool to position it slightly down and to the right of the foremost layer. To enhance the hand-drawn effect, I added some brush stroke-looking shapes using the pen tool, incorporating bezier curves to intensify the sections of the letters that cross over another (Figure 7).

How To Create Custom Type Designs in Adobe Illustrator

Design 3

figure 8 – using free transform tool

figure 9 – using blend & anchor tools 

figure 10 – moving text position 

The free transform tool helped me achieve the opening book-like effect. Taking two copies of the word, I morphed them so they were the very outer and inner “pages” (Figure 8). Using the blend tool, I was able to fill the gaps with a desirable number of copies and then adjust the positioning using the anchor tool. I then used the gradient fill tool to give the look of them disappearing into the background, enhancing the book effect (Figure 9). After using the rotation and reflection tools to create the rest of the book, I experimented with the positioning of the remaining text (Figure 3 & Figure 10). In the end I decided upon the first option (Figure 3) because the writing isn’t completely legible in the second one.

Flip Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator | Blending, Reflect & Gradient | Graphic design

Design Resources & Articles

Design 1

figure 11 – BMw logo comparison (2020s v 1970s)

My inspiration for this design was the branding of BMW. Above is the logo from the 1970s along with the current one (Figure 11). My sticker shape reflects the main shape of both logos, a circle. The slight involvement of colour means you are drawn to it so I used this idea for my design for the extended title, as that is an important piece of information. This helped develop my work in terms of hierarchy and the order in which the viewer will see the information.

https://www.creativebloq.com/news/bmw-old-logo

Design 2

figure 12 – sticker sold on redbubble.com

The solid theme throughout this website’s stickers is the bubble-like border around the designs. It gives the illusion that the design is much more prominent than the background colour and this is a way of manipulating the viewer to look at certain information. I applied this to my own work and the results are successful in that you are really drawn to the word ‘typography’, like it is almost jumping out of the page.

https://www.redbubble.com/shop/?iaCode=all-stickers&ref=search_box

Design 3

Book designer David Pearson returns to Penguin's bestselling series, Great Ideas

figure 13 – Book cover designed by david pearson 

Earlier this term, David Pearson, a successful book designer, led one of our Baseline Shift sessions and this particular design of his stood out to me. The concept of making shapes and letters out of words really intrigued me so I wanted to build on this idea in my own way. The result of this was the idea of creating the shape of a book as part of my sticker design, as books have a strong link with typography and graphic communication.

 

blog post jess scrivener

 

 

My blog post                                                                  InDesign project blog by Jess scrivener

Design ideas and design process

My first design for the postcard project was experimental I used rectangles in different shades to make dimension and illusions. I then added the typography to the corners so it would add a frame to the design. This also made it look more even whereas before it looked wider due to the layout of the rectangles. I chose green as it is a calming colour with connotations of nature and peace. Also, it works well with white, making it stick out and complimenting the connotations of green.

 

 

In my second idea, I changed the colour scheme and layout. I changed the colour to pink/red the connotations of those are passion, anger, love, romance and danger. Obviously very different to the calming green. This will attach the attention of the audience very quickly as people pay attention to shades of red quite quickly due to warning signs being branded this colour. It is also a similar shape to a cross (x) symbolising no and stop. Not only this it makes the design appear more square and bigger than it is as the layering effect reaches out of the frame. This is balanced out by the typography levelling out the edges.

On my 3rd and final post card, I played around with the typography more. Initially, I kept my geometric theme but changed the shape to circles to create a bubble effect however I was fonder of the squares and thought the text wrapping would flatter rectangles better and appear more post card like. So, I thought about post card conventions and thought this style typography suited abstract postcards better. I used 4 different shades of pink to create the hierarchy between the colours, for example, darkest is at the front lightest

as at the back. Finally, I also chang

ed the font on this one to be more fun and abstract. The curvy, thickness creates a contrast between the sharp edges but the flat edges mean it still fits the rest of the design.

 

Software tutorials

For this project, I didn’t use many tutorials as I am quite confident with InDesign due to my previous experience with the software. However, I did use a few to help me spiral rows of text around my 3rd post card but I already knew how to use the type on path tool so it wasn’t too helpful. I did learn how to make the stroke colour clear this helped me remove and change borders till I was happy with them. Finally, the tutorial that helped me most showed me how to use the pen tool. I really struggled with the pen tool but I’m now getting used to using it, I found out that you can draw a shape with the pen tool and then put an image inside the shape you just made. Although this wasn’t the most helpful for this specific design, it will definitely help me in the future.

https://youtu.be/P7MIKi663ok

 

Design resources and articles

During this project, I used a lot of Behance. I personally love Behance it has incredible work from so many brilliant artists, designers and more. I used this website for my inspiration along with experimenting with my own ideas. For example, I saw an illustration of slime dripping down a wall and that inspired me to create my own slime inspired cover. Or for the post card project, I saw kite shapes drifting over a postcard and geometric stairs next to it this inspired me. I saw how the stairs used the shades of black to create dimensions and the way the kites overlapped using the same method and I knew I wanted to try it. All of that thrown together became my final post card.

 

https://www.behance.net/gallery/67718271/Livraria-Cultura-Fragmentos?tracking_source=search_projects_recommended%7Cstairs

https://www.behance.net/gallery/121674457/Apocalypse?tracking_source=search_projects_recommended%7Cstairs

Blog Post on Illustrator Sticker Task

Design Ideas and Process

Figure 1 – Design 1
Figure 2 – Design 2
Figure 3 – Design 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting off my illustrator project, my main focus was to tie together my indesign and photoshop tasks, seeing as the idea for the project as a whole was to create material for a podcast it made sense to tie them together as a set, however, my indesign and photoshop work was very different in design so to have the 3 pieces as a full set I wanted to tie them together with this project and use elements from both in this design.

Figure 4 – Indesign task
Figure 5 – Photoshop Task

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My initial idea for the illustrator task (figure 1) stemmed from the form of the microphone image I used in the photoshop task (figure 5), I took the same image into illustrator and drew the outline of it using the pen tool, my initial idea was just to use the silhouette of this image and have a very basic background using the shape created, however after creating it I decided I would add slightly more detail to the silhouette to allow it to be more easily understood to be a microphone, especially if the user had seen the actual podcast cover (figure 5), having the microphone sticker with slightly more detail as a base flat simple image allowed me to branch out into colour very easily because of the simple style and shape, it was from here that I added in the colours that I’d used in my indesign project (figure 4) using the iconic pink and blue to create a vibrant sticker (figure 2), with the task itself being to create a sticker I found that having bright colours made sense because the function of the sticker is to stand out against any background and be noticeable no matter where it is stuck. From this point I decided that text wouldn’t need to be a huge part of the sticker itself because the bright colours allowed it to be noticeable, this meant I could embed the text into the shape which I did, creating an emphasis on the word podcast by making it larger, I also decided that I’d cut the text into the shape to simplify it down more, I wanted the sticker to consist of 2 colours and only if necessary three, also cutting the text into the microphone silhouette shape meant that it flowed better within the shape as a whole and the text didn’t just look like an afterthought addon. Finally, I decided to bring in some more elements, the lines dots and squiggles, from my indesign task (figure 4) and add them onto the sticker (figure 3), this meant that the sticker tied the 3 designs together much better, however I eventually decided that this made the sticker itself too crowded which defeated the design I’d originally gone for, so I decided that figure 2 would be my final design.

Initial shape creation and tracing
Continue tracing
Collapse all traces into a single shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added background layer and start on details
Added text and more details
Added ‘shadow’ to right side
Put in full background and perf/cut lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Tutorials

When it came to software tutorials, my main focuses for illustrator were learning how to use the pen tool better and I also wanted to improve my use of layers within illustrator, as this is something that I’ve not done before, and it’s led to issues in past projects.

The main illustrator tutorial I used was an in-depth video on the pen tool inside illustrator by ‘tutvid’ on YouTube, focusing on using it for creating very custom paths and shapes. This video helped me learn to create the simplified microphone shape for my sticker, this wouldn’t have been anywhere near as easy without the pen tool, the amount of iteration and detail needed if I’d done this using basic shapes prebuilt inside illustrator and editing the anchor points that way would’ve taken way too long in comparison. Furthermore, using the pen tool as opposed to another option or method, meant that I had the paths built in aw way that I understood and could utilise properly later on when I wanted to add more detail or customise the shape, the paths became easy to use and simple, because I could limit the amount of anchor points, I’d used it meant I could manipulate the shape perfectly. The tutorial specifically explains how to use the pen tool for tracing a shape and how to get the angles and curves you want properly and how to refine them down to be exactly correct to the image you want to create.

The video also touched on certain shortcuts and key binds you can use when using the pen tool to allow you to quickly create certain types of joins in the shape or certain Bezier curves, these shortcuts and commands are something that I’d like to develop further now so I can more efficiently use the tool in future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXpnKlUMZQA&ab_channel=tutvid – This is the tutorial I used.

 

Design Resources and Articles

When I was looking into shortcuts and quick commands I could use inside of illustrator I came across a default keyboard shortcuts article by adobe, this article highlights all of the keyboard shortcuts inside illustrator and is particularly useful as they’re well grouped into sections and easy to sift through to find what you need quickly, I spent time going through this article to learn some new shortcuts that would hopefully allow me to more effectively utilise the given tools inside illustrator. As well as a list of every shortcut for illustrator the article also has downloads for ‘one page reference’ sheets, one for both mac and windows users, this download is a very useful and precise list of the most helpful shortcuts for illustrator, I saw this as a list of shortcuts that it would probably be necessary to learn off by heart, and then from there I can go and learn the more specific niche shortcuts as and when I need them from the full list on the original article.

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html – this is the article I used

Exploring Design Layout (Layer) in Photoshop

Design Ideas and Design Process

Previoiusly, I had limited knowledge of using Photoshop. However, through this task, I explored the use of layers to see how stacking the layers in different orders helped with the layout of the whole design. This encouraged me to explore tools in Photoshop that I have not used previously. As a result, my software skills have developed to include the use of layers, drawing using the pen tools, etc. I discovered that the curvature pen tool allows you to draw curved lines without having to use anchor points to curve out lines. This led to me using this tool in one of my designs.

Before starting off with any of my designs, I went onto Behance for inspiration and to help develop ideas for my own covers, and also kind of visualise how I wanted the layout of my covers.

Moodboard for Inspiration

 

Colour Palettes

Then, I went to Colourhunt to look for colour palettes  and one helpful tip was that every colour had the code included making it easy to use them in the colour swatch tool in Photoshop.

 

 

Sketching Ideas

 

 

 

I sketched out my designs on paper, since I believed that it would be better to sketch out my ideas first before diving straight into Photoshop; and also, to have a clear vision of what I want to produce.

 

 

 

Design 1

I decided to do a background with random shapes drawn around the edges with text left-aligned. I experimented with the different pen tools and decided using the curvature pen tool, which helped me to draw the shapes with smooth curves. I used colour palette 1 for the cover design. For the text, I used the typeface ‘Lust Script’ for the title and ‘American Typewriter’ for the subheading. At the end, I did a colour fill over the top, set at soft light with 70% opacity.

Choosing Fonts
Colour Fill
Trying Out the Curvature Tool
Trying Out the Freeform Pen Tool

 

Design 1

Design 2

I did a radial gradient using the ellipse tool and drawing a circle in the middle. Then I used the Gaussian blur tool to blur out the circle and blend it out with the background colour. I repeated the same process to create another gradient on top. For text, I did separate layers and converted them into smart objects to fill them in with black. For the background text, I extended the canvas size and created a text box and continuously typed out ‘typography and graphic communication’ in the typeface ‘Montserrat’ covering the whole page. I finished it by cropping the design. I had used colour palette 2 for this design.

Trying to Put Continuous Text in the Background
Trying Out the Gaussian Blur
Making the Text a Smart Object
Filling in Letters in Black
Choosing Fonts
Design 2

Design 3

I decided to challenge myself and wanted to create a pattern as the background with the text having long shadows. I had also warped the text using the ‘warp option’ and drew some doodles using the curvature pen tool. For the background, I used the line tool to draw diagonal lines across one way. After saving the file and opening it, I deleted all the layers except for the pattern layer and rotated it 90° clockwise and defined it as a pattern and applied it to my original design, resulting in a checker pattern for my background.

Creating Long Shadows
Creating Pattern
Drawing Using Curvature Pen Tool
Warping Text
Design 3

Software Tutorials

Previoiusly, I had limited knowledge of using Photoshop. However, through this task and reading the article of working with layers, I explored the use of layers to see how stacking the layers in different orders helped with the layout of the whole design. This encouraged me to explore tools in Photoshop that I have not used previously. As a result, my software skills have developed to include the use of layers, drawing using the pen tools, etc. I discovered that the curvature pen tool allows you to draw curved lines without having to use anchor points to curve out lines. This led to me using this tool in one of my designs.

In my first design, I had created a radial gradient and I had looked up an Youtube video to help me with this. Watching this tutorial allowed me to learn creating radial gradients in two different ways, however I only applied the first way of doing so, as I believed it was pretty quick and straightforward to understand. However, I believe that the second way of creating these gradients was much more in depth but nonetheless, I was able to achieve what I wanted.

I had used long shadows for my text in the third design. I followed the YouTube tutorial in creating the long shadows. This tutorial was a bit hard to follow, despite it being titled ‘easy’, but that might have been due to my lack of experience and therefore, this was a challenge for me. At the end, I was able to create the desired length of the long shadows and I was satisfied with the results.

Overall, these tutorials helped me learn new skills which I believe I will continue to use in my future upcoming projects.

Photoshop Tutorial | EASY Long Shadow Effect: https://youtu.be/f_2ab8j7CEg

How To use Radial Gradient | Photoshop tutorial: https://youtu.be/ZZ2AwSsM7ak

Design Resources and Articles

Reading the article of How to design a podcast cover by Matthew Price, helped me in designing my own podcast covers as it highlighted the important elements of creating covers and how to grab the attention of the audience. This article was also the push I needed to create my own cover without being too anxious about it and explore the different tools that Photoshop had to offer.

In my third design, I had warped the text and I was able to do so with the help of reading and following this additional article titled ‘Three Ways to Curve Text in Photoshop‘. I had followed method 1 to wrap my text and it went pretty smoothly. Reading this article made me realise just how many possibilities there are in Photoshop to create one effect, making it user friendly for any level of professionalism.

Three Ways to Curve Text in Photoshop: https://medialoot.com/blog/three-ways-to-curve-text-in-photoshop/

Reflecting On My Podcast Cover Designs

Design Ideas and Process 

With a semi-comprehensive knowledge of Photoshop, I wanted to challenge myself with these podcast covers. I began by using sites like Behance, Pinterest, and Instagram to find sources of inspiration to pursue. Strangely, the posts didn’t prove useful to my designs. Instead, I was inspired by the compositions – the use of grids in the Instagram interface, the blurred buffering images, and the controlled white space influenced my three respective designs. While admittedly strange, I now had three engaging design ideas, using a variety of text and image techniques.

The ‘Mosaic’ Filter I applied, under ‘Pixelate’, altered my image into a more stylized, visually interesting focal point.
The ‘Grain’ menu in the ‘Filter Gallery’, allowing me to add texture to the final image, creating a more visually engaging and aesthetic outcome.

For the first design, using the retro PC image, I wanted to explore different filters, adding texture to the image. As a mostly unexplored tool, I began by using the magic wand, adjusting the tolerance to select the focal image, and adding a layer mask to edit just the PC.

Having added text, I experimented with filters before finding the ‘Mosaic’ Filter in the Pixelate drop-down menu. I adjusted the ‘Cell size’ slider to an appropriate amount. I added more texture using the ‘Filter Gallery’ and applying ‘Grain’, altering the contrast and intensity to suit. Although I have used this before, I hadn’t experimented with the ‘Grain Type’, another variable that changes the final output.

 

 

The ‘Layer Style’ panel allowed me to adjust the text settings, making it appear three-dimensional by adding these filters, and eventually a faint drop shadow.
I made an S curve with the ‘Curves Adjustment’ layer, allowing the darker and lighter parts to stand out, making it more visually appealing through this boosted contrast.

With the second design being relatively simple, the focus is on composition, I will discuss the more complex third design. For this, I experimented with shadows and perspective, simulating height within the text by using the ‘Bevel & Emboss’ and ‘Inner Shadow’ layer styles. I added a ‘Drop Shadow’ helping to contextualise the text with the background and amplifying the effect. Despite being initially challenging, I was able to adjust these values to make the design work harmoniously together.

Finally, I used the ‘Curves Adjustment Layer’, allowing me to refine the design’s colours. I have previously used the simpler ‘Brightness/Contrast adjustment. However, ‘Curves’ gave me more control over the exact balancing, allowing a better final outcome to be produced from this slightly more complex adjustment layer.

Software Tutorials

As previously mentioned, I had no idea how to achieve these results. Many of the features and amendments made were generated through experimentation. However, I used software tutorials to educate me on how to use specific tools which I could adapt to fit my design purpose.

This comparison image shows the change this process had on my central image, thanks to the information and guided learning of the tutorial, giving it a technological and modern design aesthetic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8HUx3kZWSk

I wanted to push myself for these designs, so I decided to start with a reputable tutorial. I began with a video by Adobe Creative Cloud, going through the filters and effects in Photoshop. While many of these weren’t really useful for my concepts or project, it was still good to expand my knowledge of the software. However, some aspects, such as the meticulous look at the various filtering options, were incredibly useful, with Paul

This shows the comparison between before and after watching the tutorial. I think the difference is pretty clear, the bottom looking almost real as if it’s been embossed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zY0l4Irt8U

Trani talks through what each option does and how it can be amended to suit a project. For my work, this was essential to the final outcome; the use of pixelation on the image made it more visually interesting and the additional grain made the design seem more complete and brought the design together.

Being originally lost on how to make the text for this third design pop and stand out, I began searching for tutorials that could give my work direction (and maybe teach me more about using text). Looking on YouTube for specific tips and tricks, I found a video by the channel Facilito, which showed how to use text settings to create a 3D look to the text. This tutorial was incredibly helpful, talking through the different tools used to create this effect. Knowing this, I was then able to go back through and edit these to be appropriate for my design. I enjoyed this element of experimentation, with the tutorial not providing all the answers so I could still work creatively to find the best fit for my piece.

 

Design Resources and Articles

The Retro PC image was taken by Thomas Millot; this was something I could not source myself (as I didn’t have a Macintosh PC from the ’80s) so I used his image from Unsplash.

A retro informational poster that strongly shaped my first design, giving me a source of inspiration to add my own style to. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thingstocomerecords/with/4076611450/

On top of this, I got design inspiration from other places. This included the distortion on buffering Instagram images, but the poster on the left more significantly influenced my first design. I wanted to achieve a nostalgic-but-modern, technological appearance which this image does perfectly.

An editable premade text effect for Photoshop, that I replicated by using the earlier cited tutorial and through experimentation. https://www.freepik.com/premium-vector/shadow-silver-editable-text-effect_8419918.htm#page=1&query=embossed%20text&position=41&from_view=keyword

The final design was inspired by existing work; an effect sold by designer, @putrasepta on Freepik. Although I obviously made the text from scratch, being able to use this similar image was helpful throughout the process, informing me on how to add colour to make the text appear 3 dimensional.

For additional assistance in this project, I read articles about podcast cover art, allowing me to have a more informed opinion on the design’s context of use. I found a recent article on Riverside called about good practices in podcast cover design (https://riverside.fm/blog/podcast-cover-art), which help educate me on the formatting and conventions of this genre.

This had some useful information, such as keeping Topic, Tone, Personality, Style, Genre in mind while designing. For me, this gave the design process more focus and direction. The technical focus on typography ties in directly with my subject matter, and other tips such as “5. Less is More” really influenced my final outcome, causing me to use large amounts of white space in my piece.

Though not every piece of advice was used within my work, such as using colour temperature (which goes against my modern, monochromatic colours), the article helped my design work greatly, giving me focus while working and an idea of the conventions of modern podcast covers. While my design was intended to be contemporary, this information helped me stay within the genre of podcast cover art.