Thursday, 30 September 2010

alphabet soup.

Final design and reasoning in my alphabet soup series.


After suffering a few numb brain cells earlier in the week, and many design ideas and drafts that didn't seem "quite right", I finally brainstormed and developed a series of typography cards to represent the word "division" (of which I have chosen to specialise in the field of science and mathematics).

From some of my initial ideas i wrote down, such as "nuclear fission" and "the conception of twins", I believed that I could create both a really innovative, yet subtle series of letters, which would be clevery crafted and styalised, without being too "obvious".

From my initial sketches and notes on my nuclear fission designs (see previous blog entry) I decided that for this series I would really like to work with the letter 'H', for two reasons:

1. I was very drawn to the uniformity and symmetry of the letter 'H', and believe that I had a lot of variations available- as the letter 'H' can be visually presented in several ways.
2. In relation to science, I was drawn to using the letter 'H', as it is the first symbol on Dmitri Mendleev's periodic table, standing for the colourless gas, 'hydrogen, and baring the atomic number '1'- I have always been fond of creating subtle significance within my work.

I used the bold serif 'H' above as a basis template for my letters, but then decided to create a more "industrious" and uniformed look, sqauring the edges and adding extra boldness to the design.

After realising the basis for my letters, I went onto research particular subject areas which I could communicate visually, both in connection to science, and the aformentioned chosen word/theme, 'divide'.

Although I have a keen interest in science, I am undoubtedly not an expert (as my GCSE results paper would tell you), so I went on to research elements of nature and chemistry in which division, or seperation, of some kind occurs- referencing books within the university library, as well as sponging my Dad for advice (he used to be a practicing science practioner, luckily for my research!).

After researching for several hours, I concluded to work on these ten particular areas:

1. Nuclear Fission- the nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
2. The Combining reaction of Chemicals- Linking on from the topic above- visually presenting the wonder of chemicals- how single elements combined make something lager, exciting, new.
3. Muscle structure- Each tendon working both singularly and in harmony with others to move the human body and add a structural wall between our skin and vital internal organs (along, of course, with the skeleton).
4. The Tongue- Each section of the tongue recieving different sensory messages- sweet, salty, sour, bitter. Even on such a small surface area, each taste bud has an individual job and receptor.

(map diagram found from online sources to showcase the sensory taste buds upon the tongue)

5. The rib cage- Protecting vital major organs- incasing both lungs and heart. Each with seperate functions, but one could not survive without the other.
6. Blood- Incredibly vital in our lives- offer blood transfusions to those in needs- chemotherapy patients, medically trying labours etc. We all have blood within our bodies- but we each have our own specific blood group- cannot be mixed through transfusions, and must be clarified in these circumstances.
7. Veins and artries- Heart pumps blood through the arteries. They branch out into microscopic capillaries, then rejoining to form veins, carrying blood back to the heart.
Only the arteries from the left side of the heart reach down to the fingers and toes, the right side arteries are dedicated to the flow of blood to the lungs.
Again, I was very interested in the seperate functions of the same product within the body- a fascinating network of bizarre and complex system mapping occuring within our bodies each and every day.
8. The Conception of twins- 1/90 pregancies result in the conception of twins, 2/3 of these are non-identical. identical twins develop from the same fertilized egg in the womb, and always share the same gender- along with sharing the same placenta, amniotic membrance, and, when born, genes.
This idea particularly interested me, as the idea seemed so clear- one egg, divided to make two lives- though incredibly similar, both unique and their own self.
9.The Skull- made up on several plates, perhaps like a jigsaw- but  must be formed in order to "perform" it's function efficiently.
10. The Nervous System- essentially, the system which allows receptors to be carried to our brain to perform movement in the 30, 000 miles of nerves within the human body.
The nervous system consists of two main controls: sensory nerves (messages to the brain from eyes, ears, skin, and other sense organs), and motor nerves (other parts of the body, e.g, limbs, which allow us to move).

(l-r from top: muscles, tongue, ribcage, blood, nuclear fission, veins and arteries, chemical elements, the conception of twins, the skull, and the nervous system).

In these images, I have carefully thought over and planned why each is aesthetically presented in such a way:

1. muscles- the red strips demonstrate the directional positioning of the muscles and tendons on the pectorials and chest area on a human.
2. tongue- quite a playful one! I liked the idea of the H "sticking it's tongue out". Each coloured section on the tongue represents the correct postioning of the taste buds:
- dark pink: bitter
-yellow: sour
-blue: salty
-purple: sweet
3. ribcage- an incredibly simplified version of the ribcage. I wanted to create a childlike look about this design, and the set in general. Unfortunately, science is becoming decreasingly popular throughout the education system, and therefore, I believe, needs to be resolves in perhaps a more managable and fun way.
4. blood- a simple, bright red blood splatter upon the hard contrast of the black background.
5. nuclear fission- black and white to represent the colourless element of Hydrogen, with two black dots- symbolising the atomic structure of hydrogen (a central proton, outter electron).
6. veins and arteries- an abstract presentation of blood flow.
7. chemical elements- the split 'H' showing the division of chemicals, with smaller 'H''s stemming from them, showing the development of chemical reactions.
8. the conception of twins- double shadow of the letter 'H'- colours representing the cross section of the womb with two small foetuses intertwinned.
9. the skull- simplified cream jigsaw- representative of the human skull.
10. the nervous system- blue directional lines cut on cream background- to show the direction and purpose of the nervous system in a styalised manner.

Of course, if I had the option, I would really have liked to have produced more design work to back up this project, but from particular circumstances, and the week deadline, I think that I have done reasonably well to have completed this project in a style which I can optimistically say that I am rather pleased with.

Although my outcomes may not seem entirely obvious, as aforementioned, they each represent a simplified response to each of these matters.
What I liked most about my particular subject is that they were all very much so seperate functions and controls, but without the aid of others, they would simply cease to be.

You can't divide without multiplication waiting right around the corner.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

printing our final outcome tote bag designs.

As part of our personal and professional development blog, we are required to present our final pieces and discuss ideas, processes etc.
This post shows the penultimate stage of my first (group) project, the tote bags before they were filled with our branded goods (see cake cases at the bottom of the post for an example...).
On Wednesday, I went to purchase five canvas tote bags from a local craft store (one for each of our designs) and iron-on transfer paper. For the time remaining in this project, this seemed like the most effective solution.
Our group agreed, that under different circumstances, screenprinting would probably have been the most aesthetically effective technique, however, this is very time consuming and costly, and therefore would not fit with our economic ethos.
Both Will and I had used the iron-on transfers with heat transferring methods before, and with enough practice shared between us both, we agreed that despite the often differing results, we would still be able to achieve tote bags that looked professional and fashionable.

Here are our designs post-print:

Stephanie Lawson's design- inspired by the idea that a routine of cleanliness will benefit both your time management and state of mind!

I really liked this design in monochrome, as the fine details have been picked up really well (and think that these details may have been lost among colouring). I am also really impressed by Steph's typography, and think that this variation works wonderfully not only together, but in harmony with the illustrative design to the left.

Simon Cherry's design- inspired by the warming goodness and company that "putting the kettle on" can bring- promoting heartfelt conversation and new friendships.

I love the splashes of colour that Simon added to this- and the overlapping of the yellowish-brown colour in the tea cup, giving it a really original and graphic edge.

Will Cotterill's design- Will's design reflected the high life of a night out on the tiles! Will's idea came from a slight different viewpoint- with a sense of real optimism, with a message which says "it's all good and well missing home, surrounding yourself in home comforts, but the world is your oyster, so eat it all up!"

Again, much like Steph's design, I think that Will's typography really makes this design and adds real character. I think that the solid green colour also works really well here- with a bold design linking back to the traditional bottle colouring aswell.

and, of course, this is my design. I am really pleased with how the design printed out onto the tote bag as the colours looked really vibrant and true to my orignial thoughts and designs.

I went for the white scroll design as oppossed to the brown, as this was not only the majority favourite among other group members, but I think that the brown design took away from the scripture writing, which, of course, is one of the main features of the design.

Unfortunately, I have not yet managed to photograph Yafet's bag design, as it was unavailable at the time, however, I plan to do this early next week, and will, of course, blog it then.

Our tote bag "In the Bag" collection (Yafet's design featured in top, left-hand corner).

Aside from contributing to the planning of our presentation, the image above was my last task towards the products.
From the design inspiration of tutor, Amber Smith, I decided to create "slogan cake cases" to contribute to the contents of our "In the Bag" student survival kits.
These examples show the prototype for cake cases: when the cake is eaten, a lovely little message awaits you at the bottom!
I decided to create a range of sayings from the heartfelt "with love" to the humourous "omnomnom" to suit every mood and personality.
I really liked the idea of these cake cases being used as bonds between new friends, housemates, etc. Not only would it give them a chance to bond by baking with one another, but also to leave charming messages behind to make you smile after your tasty treat!

I genuinely feel very proud of our group and what we have achieved with such little time, and facing some difficult cirumstances along the way. Although often finding ourselves stressed through the week, I can safely say that I know that we all share a real feeling of satisfaction in reviewing the work we have created, and feel that we have certainly made a step in the right direction.

For a self-evaluation to the outcome of our presentation to the rest of the group, click here:

Friday, 24 September 2010

How To...Self Evaluation

Today, after a week's hard graft, we were set the task of presenting our first week-long module to the rest of the Graphic Design year group. I believe that the group delivered some wonderfully innovative, creative, and memorable picthes which had the potential and professionalism to be a marketable and successful product(s).

I felt very pleased with our presentation, and final outcomes (to be posted soon!), of which i went into greater detail in our self-evaluation questionnaire:

What role(s) did you take on it the group?
We each took an even distribution of responsibility within the group, and designed an original cotton tote bag, each with unique designs to reflect the personalities of the new students of whom would be receiving the product.

How well do you think you performed in the role(s)?
I think at times the organisation of our group was a little stressful, and of course, that had an impact on the work (largely in terms of quantity), but I believe, despite this, we all managed our time resonably effectively, and, if anything, as aforementioned, I would have liked to produce more samples of design work, though I am very pleased with the outcome we resulted in.

How well do you think you worked as a group?
Again, it was admittedly a little stressful at times, as there were many strong characters within our group, and sometimes we found it difficult to communicate our ideas to one another- usually because there were so many!
However, I believe that we comprimised very well in particular circumstances and have, in conclusion, created a strong collection of work.

What were the positives of working in a group?
Everything is produced so much quicker! It was really fantastic to see how quickly work could be produced, and I really feel that I learnt from working with new people with new, fresh ideas.

What were the negatives of working in a group?
Often, I felt that people were reluctant to veer away from ideas, as I feel that most of us are quite "set in our ways", and are used to working in our own particular ways. Fortunately, however, this was often quickly resolved.

What will you do differently next time?
I think, mainly, we would need to develop a stronger line of communication between ourselves to avoid any possible confusion in regards to the processes and design ideas (that we occasionally did have to face!).

Where could you have improved your resolution?
I think that we had a particularly difficult problem to resolve- home sickness is often inevitable, and without the obvious solutions of visiting home etc, it can be quite challenging to think of a suitable resolution, as everyone deals with this issue in very different ways.
However, I believe that we could have perhaps made more contents for our bags if we had planned and managed our time more efficiently.

What were the strengths of your presentation?
I feel very proud of our group, and believe that we delivered a concise, personal and confident pitch.
I found everyone discussing their own particular bag design was a real highlight for me, as I felt that you could really see how passionate people were about their work, and the satisfaction that this review gave us all.

my "to-do" list...

Today, we were set the task of making a list of ten things we wish to achieve this year throughout our Graphic Design studies. After a lot of thought and consideration, these are my top-ten "must do" points:

  • To become more open with experimentation, try out new techniques- using both traditional and computer-based methods.

  • Gain a comfortable and confident knowledge of computer software, to the extent where I use it as a "second nature".

  • Learn how to use Adobe illustrator to a moderate-high level.

  • Experiment with different typographies- practice new methods and styles whenever possible.

  • Maintain my love for illustration, and always carry a sketchbook with me to capture any flashes of inspiration I may have.

  • Research the history of graphic design- and consider practice into traditional techniques and crafts.

  • Indulge and overload with as much information as possible in regards to contemporary graphic design- read magazines, watch art programmes- go OTT!

  • Consider the idea of playing around with animation again (from first executing a short animation in college) in illustrative format.

  • Develop my writing skills- both with the help of my 'creative writing' elective, and through personal development in my own time.

  • Improve on my photographic skills- work with new models, and explore new editing possibilities.

    ABC all about me...

    This is me.
    (I wouldn't necessarily look like this if you saw me in the street).

    This illustrative mount board collection shows my LCA summer project task 1, creating an alphabetic collection that reflects my personality, interests, etc.

    A: le fabuleux destin d' amelie poulain
    B: beekeeper
    C: crafts
    D: dreams
    E: embrace
    F: france
    G: genteel
    H: hands/cross-hatching
    I: icarus
    J: J.M Barie
    K: kiwi (an allergy most foul)
    L: lighthouse
    M: Morrissey
    N: Nureyev
    O: octopus
    P: penguin
    Q: quotations
    R: rose tint
    S: seaside
    T: (mixed) tapes
    U: the unbearable lightness of being
    W: Willy Wonka
    X: xenomania
    Y: yummy goods
    Z: zoology

    I had a lovely response from my blog group, and they had a lot of positive comments. They seemed to like how personal the piece was, and how it reflected myself entirely.