Saturday, 16 October 2010

alphabet soup task 2 evaluation.

Personal evaluation from my alphabet soup task 2 project:

Referring to the typeface you have designed answer the following:

Which personality traits did you choose to respond to and apply to the typeface?
I found myself initally quite confused as to which direction my typeface should be taking. Even from the brief conversation I had with Chloe on the first day of briefing, in those short ten minutes, I was mentally bombared with lots of different personality traits that Chloe had- each not very specific or dominant, therefore, I had my pick as to which I should focus on.

When it came to designing the typeface, I decided to settle on perhaps the most fun and creative choice- her free-spirited personality combined with a subtle elegance, also relating to her rural upbringing in Cambridgeshire- which was a really prominent, and obviously important factoe in her life.

What are the reasons behind the design decisions you have made from the typeface?
Really, in hinsight, I perhaps involved too many elements within my typeface, and as my tutors rightly put it "tried to please everybody".
I decided to try and encorporate several elements of Chloe's personality and personal tastes- using uppercase, serif letters as she requested, with a classic font (based upon Century Schoolbook) and a bold style to reflect her personality.
I went on to fill the typeface with a natural texture reflecting roots (inspired, initially, by mangrove roots), woodgrain, bark, etc- to represent her countryside up-bringing.
I then us

In what ways are the results effective?
I think, in context the design works, but perhaps not so much in aesthetic terms as I originally would have wanted to- I am going to work on experimentation and development of the series to see how I can progress with my visual communication.

alphabet soup, task 2: the final outcome.

The picture above shows a section from my A1 typographic final outcome sheet, designed and inspired based upon the personality of classmate Chloe Wilkinson, as I have stated in previous posts.

After many, many hours of hand-drawing and tracing my letters, I was very pleased and relieved to have finally completed the sheet ready for our presentation crit at 1.30pm on the 15th october.

It was great to work with five other pairs to see the variety and thought process behind each typeface, and I felt genuinely inspired by what people had created.

 Different scales of scanned (originally hand-rendered) and printed name badges- the top used for the 4.5x9cm badge scale.
I was very glad to see that the type mainted both it's readability and legibility, despite the increasingly reduced scale.

When it came to our presentation, I got some really useful feedback from Chloe, fellow classmates, and my two tutors, Amber, and Jo alike- all the comments completely justified, with many of the points I could understand, or had even anticipated being mentioned before the crit- issues that I could ammend with the typeface, or try to improve for the module hand-in date in November.

The main points and issues raised were:

-the type looked a little hair- like, perhaps not communicating the concept of nature's textures as effectively as i could.
-try to define the style- take a step back from my thought process and try to make the concept less complicated. simple is often more effective!

actions to be taken are:

-experiment in lower case, to see how versatile the font is
-work with other textures: wood, vines, grass, feathers- think natural!
-try both a more feminie style font, as well as a bolder, more masculine font- really EXPERIMENT!
-control the contrasts!

throughout the next week i am looking forward to playing around with lots of different styles and directions in which my typeface may take, and seeing how much further i can push myself out of the comfort zone and into a new mindset brimming over with creativity!

Friday, 15 October 2010

design principles for the 'how to' project.

Here's my project rationale for our first 'How To' project...goodbye blog continuity, hello mess!

Today, we launched off on our first level 04 project, entitled "How To" in which we were assigned groups to create graphic resolution to a particular problem that we as students face.

In a group with Yafet Bisrat, Simon Cherry, Will Cotterill, and Stephanie Lawson, we were chosen the "problem" of "missing home" to solve through the aforementioned fashion.

After brainstorming several resolutions and potential outcomes, we were asked to select three and record these on sheets of paper, as shown below:

(hmm, really should start taking more care of my sheets...)

Our fate was then placed in another group within our year base, and I was delighted when they chose the first option (tote bag design) as the graphic resolution we should create.

Within our group, we intend to create the previously mentioned solution to homesickness, and therefore, we have decided to each design a tote bag within a certain theme to either give a nostalgic, wistful and warming memory of home, or the optimistic and high-sprited oppurtunity for a fresh start, and new beginnings, such as a new found independence and experiences.

I am very pleased to be designed a tote bag in the theme of home-baking, (my speciality!) reflecting the home comfort that so many of us have been privaleged to experience.

I hope to encorporate text and hand-rendered illustration for my designs, which I shall go on to create both tonight and throughout tomorrow, and which I hope to present on my blog shortly.

alphabet soup, task 2: week 2.

With one week until our final critical analysis presentation, I had to really begin to think about the style and format my typeface was going to be represented by. 
From my previous posts, you can see that I quite liked the flow in which the design plan was taking, but not necessarily the finished outcome. 

Though I liked the ideas behind my last 'F O N T' design idea sketch-up, it didn't take a mid-project briefing analysis for me to know that it wasn't quite right- the lines too heavy, perhaps too bold, and lacking in any particular continuity through that design idea stage.
However, after a frantic sketching session in desperation to find a new source of inspiration, I found that I already had the basis of my typeface all along, it just needed a few little adjustments.

The letter 'P' above comes from my final design idea- very similar to the 'F O N T' letters, but this time, far more subtle- taking greater care over the weight of line, the elegance and flow of the line, and the balance of negative space with shading and colouring. 

I was really pleased with the outcome when I tested the technique on various letters and glyphs, as it proved really easy (though a little time-consuming!) to create a different aesthetic, direction of line, etc, for each one, whilst still maintaining the look of a series as was required.

I am really pleased with the subtle difference I made as opposed to having a complete overhaul in the direction in which my typography was taking. I still believe that it reflects many aspects of Chloe's personality traits and interests:

-the bold, classic serif font (based upon 'century schoolbook')
- the series style, consistency and continuity
-monochrome/neutral tones and colouring
-nature-like texture: relating to her rural upbringing, favourite book 'wild swan'

I will now go on to trace my twenty-six letter alphabet and six-glyph series onto a sheet of A1 trace paper and create a name badge measuring 4.5x9cm with Chloe's name.

Monday, 11 October 2010

alphabet soup task 2 week 1 critical analysis.

week 1 critical analysis and review

 After several days of uncertainty and confusion as to where my project was taking me, I decided emerse myself in ideas, and spent a long time scribbling and doodling quick designs- experimenting with weight of line, textures etc. Although there were lots of potential ideas and designs available for development, I really kept on coming back to this organic wood-grain-like texture (see above), that, with the more I looked at it, the more it reminded me of streaky bacon. Anyway...

Whilst re-evaluating my designs, I tried to steer away from the literal presentation of my adjectives, words like "elegant" and "feminine" seemingly mundane, with so many expressions of these words already within typography and graphics, I didn't feel as if the ideas were at all original.

I thought about some of the other points Chloe bought up- the fact that she was bought up in the countryside, and her favourite book, named 'Wild Swan', which inspired me to re-discover the wonderful graphics work of Si Scott, and in particular, a swan illustration...

I really like the variation in the weight of line and curvature of this hand-rendered piece, and felt really inspired by the natural, elegant flow.

Therefore, I skecthed up the quick 'F O N T' design (at the top of the page) in response to this. After a really productive and helpful progress crit on the afternoon of Friday 8th, I gained some really helpful and productive advice- the vast majority of which i agreed with, and intended to infact go on to do myself.

The most prominient points were:
  • ensure that the letters link together in one particular style for fluidity.
  • keep elegant and more subtle- less block colour perhaps?
  • consider the weight of line and thickness of stroke- needs to be more styalised.
  • Try out different scales of the typeface- ensure that it is both readable and legible in varying sizes.
  • Practice the "wrap-around" style in different ways (as in the 'O' letter).
I'm really looking forward to developing this further next week and be able to present a professional and creative alphabet and glyph collection inspired by Chloe on the final presentation assessment on Friday 15th October.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Alphabet Soup Evaluation.

Visual Thinking: Design Principles

This short run-through of questions and answers show my opinions and thought after our group crit from the past week's 'Alphabet Soup' project.

Name of designer: Sophie Wilson [sw95224]
How well does this answer the brief?: In hindsight, and reflection from fellow team members within my group, I can see that I certainly went off on a tangent throughout my work. I was, admittedly, having real trouble grasping any inspiration at the beginning of the week, and with only a few days left, I decided to follow along with the concept as oppossed to the font style, which I have discovered now was a valid route, but not neccessarily the emphasis on the font that was desired in the first place.
How well has the idea been visually explored?: If there is anything that I can come back from with positivity in this project it's the outcome of my final designs. I was rather determined to create cut-out designs to create a softer aesthetic that the clincal sounding word 'divide', and although it was undoubtedly very time consuming, i'm still very glad i did it. Again, although I was pleased with my designs, from my feedback I can see that it didn't neccessarily meet to the design criteria, therefore, I shall need to experiment more in the next few days to catch up on my work.
What are the strengths of the resolution?: As i have previously mentioned, and was bought up by many of the members within the group crit, they quite liked the concept and ideas behind the type series. I will be the first to admit that at first the concept is not entirely obvious, and explaination is vital- therefore, it isn't as visually informative as I would have liked.
How could it be improved?: Again, as I said, from the briefing, I really didn't understand the typeface direction that my work should have been following. Therefore, whenever I have some free time (preferably over this weekend) I will show more experimentations and try to develop my ideas further and more creatively (sort of like working backwards- though hopefully this will give me more background support for this project).
General comments...: I have come back from my feedback session, to be honest, feeling quite deflated with the response. I have worked very hard to create this set, and it's just unfotunate that i misunderstoof the brief from the very beginning. I will do my very best to ammend this project and catch up on any work, however, there is a very small time window to achieve this before my next project brief, so, really, it will be just a matter of time management.
I will, however, at very least, ammend three of the series of letters to a black background (as suggested to avoid distraction from the others) as suggested by my fellow crit members, and then attempt to analyse and ammend my work.