David encouraged us to visit the CSAD Degree Show (Graphic Communications show was called Now What!) in order to help with inspiration for our portfolios. The whole show included work from different subjects, which was very insightful and interesting to see what other subjects created for their final major projects.
I was obviously particularly interested in the Graphic Communication show, and took some photographs of different projects for inspiration:
Not another noodle pot by Ellie Manson
This project is aimed at University students who struggle with cooking ideas. The idea sprung from Ellie’s own experience at University, and how she got easily bored of meals like noodle pots, takeaways and instant or microwave meals.
I love the aesthetic of this project, a lot of work has gone into the illustration and patterned backgrounds. The repetitive trait of the backgrounds works really well within the context. The colour palette is very aesthetically pleasing, and suits the context of food. The pace of the book seems very interesting, different, yet consistent. The photography is also very cleverly designed, with some whole pages being taken up by a photograph, and others with altered background colours.
2. Fresh by Angharad Wallace
This project features a natural, pal oil and plastic free soap company (Fresh). The aim of the project is to help both the environment by reducing plastic and palm oil use, and individuals to stay fresh with good quality soap.
This brand identity is very strong in terms of typography, colour palette and aesthetic. I love the typeface used for the logo and the beautiful piece of typography photographed on the far left. In this same piece, the pink photograph of a rainforest is very effective as I feel it resembles soap with its colour and opacity. Although the brand has a varied colour palette, it’s simple to recognise it’s the same brand simply by the typeface used for its name. In addition, I love the way this work is displayed on a wire grid – I think it adds a lot to the style and aesthetic of the whole project.
3. Negative Connotations by Joe Topham-Taylor
This editorial project combined graphic communication and photography skills. This projects goal was to convey negative connotations about different locations in Wales.
This project caught my eye, mainly because of the quote “Wales is just a worse version of England” which was displayed within the project space. This made me feel a little annoyed and intrigued by his reasons for this (being Welsh, we hate England!). This made me read on in the editorial, it grabbed my attention really well. The editorial felt funny and almost sarcastic in places, which gave me a positive outlook into the piece, and made me want to continue reading it. The photography in the piece is amazing, and must have been very time consuming! The pace is good, and the double page spreads (not pictured here) which are full with a piece of typography saying ‘SHIT’ or ‘BORING’ really add to the humour of the piece of editorial. I love this project!
I started by checking for spelling and / or grammatical errors in the text within my portfolio. I altered a few “typos” and made sure there were no double spaces or punctuation errors. I also then altered the alignment, leading, tracking, and point size of my text:
Here, the body copy looks messy, the rag is terrible, the leading is too low, and tracking is too high.
Here, I justified the text in order to follow the shape of the square / box that the body copy sits within. I also changed the point size from 12 to 16 as there isn’t much text and it makes it a lot clearer and more readable. I then altered the leading from 14 pt to 22 pt, again, to gain a clearer view for the reader. Finally, I altered the tracking of the text from 70 to 90.
I then went on to alter all other text boxes with similar / the same type settings.
Overall I think this transformed the aesthetic of the portfolio from messy, unorganised and wrong to clean, sophisticated and readable. The justified text follows the geometric nature of the portfolio consistently, and also gives it a very clean feel.
In terms of aesthetic, layout and pace, I haven’t made any more major alterations.
I altered the size of my piece of “hello” typography slightly, as I felt that there was a a bit too much negative space going on in that particular spread. See below:
I don’t want to add any colour to this spread, as I really like the simpleness of the monotone style without any other distractions. It also links well to my personal ID logo style of monotone with decorative calligraphy. In addition, adding colour would have a negative effect on the overall pace of the portfolio, as it would become less varied in terms of aesthetic.
I also made some very subtle changes to the shape and size of the watercolour patches on each separator spread:
Although this isn’t a very substantial change, I think it alters the overall pace of the portfolio a great deal in a positive way. It adds character and colour to the piece, without detracting from any important work.
After having received feedback from my peers about my portfolio, I decided to make a few alterations.
Firstly, I added in some colour to the piece:
I used the same watercolour texture shown in experimentation phase in a previous blog post, because I felt that it added colour in a subtle way without overpowering the work itself.
I kept the texture consistent throughout the portfolio, but using it in different forms such as colour, size, shape, etc.
Next, I decided to alter the pace of the portfolio by adding in some full spread images:
I felt this really broke up the repetitiveness of the portfolio, while also maintaining consistency. I used two mockups (Poster and Editorial) and one closeup photograph (Protest), which also added variety to the pace of the outcome.
After having received verbal formative feedback from Theo about my app (see here), his main issue with my app was the face that the user could not choose a difficulty level when first using the app. I agreed that this feature needed to be added to my app, as it would increase the quantity of users because option of a more varied skillset for users with different levels of knowledge of mechanics. Theo also suggested that I include a different background colour for each difficulty level within the app. I think this is a great idea, as it would also mean that mechanics using the app on others’ phones can easily tell the difficulty of the other person without asking or embarrassing them. I carried out this change by adding a new page where the user can select a level of difficulty (no knowledge of cars, some knowledge of cars, professional knowledge of cars):
I used a dark grey/blue as the background colour for the page, as it needed to be neutral so as not to distract the user from the three different colours of difficulty. Once the user has chosen the difficulty, the background then stays the colour of the button throughout the app, for example, if the user chooses ‘some knowledge of cars’, the app will be bright blue:
After having received written formative feedback from David, I made some alterations and developed my editorial design in order to improve my mark.
The first thing I did was alter the page size to fit the brief. Having the wrong sized pages was a very silly mistake, which really frustrated me, because I obviously hadn’t read the brief thoroughly enough. This was a quick fix, with just a few alterations to images, sizes and backgrounds.
Next, I altered the size of my margins to suit my editorial better, because previously, I had only stuck with the default sized margins. I made the margins slimmer in order to create more room for my images and typography. I think this worked well overall.
I altered all of the point size from 11 to 10, so that I could fill up more of the negative space within my poster. I decided to do this after having printed my editorial, and found that the body copy looked a little too large.
David commented that the second spread needed some work in terms of hierarchy and layout. This is how it looked previously:
I agree and when submitting this page I wasn’t entirely happy but had run out of time to edit it further. After formative feedback, I decided that I needed to alter a few things on this page; the titles’ position and colour, the body copy’s position and placement, and the images’ opacity and position. This is how it looked:
After having lowered the opacity of the images to 70%, I removed the white stroke on the titles because I felt that they were no longer needed. I also changed the angle of the body copy to be steeper, so that I could fit in more words. In addition, there are now two columns per page, which add to the ‘equality’ message that’s put across in the article.
I changed the leading of the body copy from default (120% of the text size), so in my case, with a size of 10 pt for my text, the default leading would be 12 pt. I increased the leading to 14 pt for increased visibility and clarity for the reader.
I added in folios because I had just forgotten about them the first time!
This time, I checked for widows and orphans, and altered the text box sizes and hyphenations to make sure there were no orphans or widows.
David commented that the pace of the overall editorial felt a little repetitive. He suggested showing the pins in a different context. I did this on the final spread by pinning them to a denim rucksack, in the shape of a heart to resemble my original idea, but in a different context.
When packaging my In Design file for printing, I made sure to tick the crop and bleed mark options to ensure the printing would be correct.
Today I completed my portfolio first draft. I used Adobe InDesign to create the document, using the grid system to help me with the layout. See below:
I used the two typefaces Avenir and Champagne & Limousines which I researched in a previous post, because I felt they suited the piece well. Overall, I’m happy with the layout and content of my portfolio, but I don’t think the aesthetic is quite there yet. I asked my peers what they thought of my portfolio in order to get some feedback:
The layout is lovely, and I really like the typefaces and especially the ‘hello’ calligraphy on the first spread, this introduces your personal style really nicely. I also like how the project titles overlap the project numbers. I feel that perhaps there isn’t enough colour within the piece?
I like the layout, although it does feel bit repetitive in my opinion. I like the mixture of photographs and mockups, it improves the pace of the editorial. The typeface choice is good, and the use of different weights, leading and tracking shows a variety of skills.
After having received this feedback, I looked through my portfolio again and agreed with my peers that the pace was definitely too repetitive, and there needed to be a bit more going on in the background of some of the spreads. I plan to make some alterations to my portfolio before handing in.
Mockups are a to scale or full size model of a design, used for demonstration, promotion, and display purposes. In graphic design, mockups can be used to display pieces of work such ad editorial design in a high quality, perfect environment that photography might not be able to achieve. Designers create mockups using Adobe Photoshop and sell or give them away to others who wish to use them. They originally either digitally create or photograph a scenario, such as a magazine or poster, on different layers to create the main object, shadows, reflections, backgrounds, etc. They then create a specific layer whereby the user can easily apply their design, ‘save’ the layer, and then the design will appear within the mockup. This is a very simple task to carry out, and the result looks very professional.
I have used mockups before in some of my personal projects, such as displaying my wedding stationery and prints on social media in order to advertise my services. These particular mockups are free to use for personal and promotional reasons. Please see below:
Because I was familiar with using and working with mockups, I found it quite straightforward in terms of putting my outcomes together with the mockup in order to produce a professional looking result for my portfolio. Although I want to include my own photography in my portfolio in order to show another skillset, I would also like to use some mockups in order to add to the aesthetics of my portfolio, and to obtain a more clean, organised feel.
Below are some of the results of my work in mockup form:
Poster – Reimagining Design Histories: De Stijl
As I mentioned in a previous post, I really like the idea of photographing or mocking up my work using bulldog clips. In this mockup I downloaded which is free for personal and commercial use, I displayed my Reimagining Design Histories poster final outcome. I think that because this poster is so vibrantly colourful, the white background and black clips give the poster even more focus. The very slight shadow also has a very dramatic effect on the appearance of the poster, even though you probably wouldn’t even notice it at first sighting.
I chose to use this (also free for personal and commercial use without attributing) framed mockup as it shows the poster on a different angle. I think that this is so clever, and gives the viewer an insight into the context of the poster. Although the background of this mockup is quite busy, I think that the rough wall and wooden floor complement the colours used in the poster nicely. The shadow along the wall and floor give the frame a 3D, realistic effect.
2. Editorial – Changing Faces: How #MeToo revealed the central rift within feminism today
These three mockups were created using the same mockup package downloaded from http://www.mockup-design.com. The advantage of using a package of similar designs is that when using them in your portfolio, they are consistent and flow nicely, creating a positively paced portfolio. The off white background gives the viewer’s full attention to the work, making sure there are no distractions.
From here, I will continue to develop mockups for my animation design, app design, placard design, and campaign design.
As stated in this blog post, I asked my peers for their opinion on my new personal identity logo.
The calligraphic style of your initials show your personal taste and style really well, and also reflect your working methods and what you enjoy using in terms of media. The black and white also works well because your portfolio is quite colourful. Maybe you should add in Graphic Designer or something to show context?
I love the decorative ‘e w’, it’s really simple but looks effective. Maybe you could add some colour into the design for your portfolio, but overall I think that black and white works well as you can use it with any colour combination for other work. I would also say that you should show what subject you study on the logo, because it may be confusing.
This feedback was really helpful, and I agreed with both of their comments to add in Graphics into the logo itself. Here is the final outcome:
In my formative feedback, David commented that my learning journal showed positive documentation of my process and development, but needed a lot more in depth and more reflective research, that needed to be more suited to my outcome.
In projects after Changing Faces, I made an effort to include more reflective and relevant research, of a larger quantity, in hope of improving my grades in terms of research. Overall, I think that carrying out in depth and relevant research is one of my weaker skills, so am working hard to try and improve this skillset.
Changing Faces – Further Research
Why Fonts Matter
I started by reading the book Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman. The book reveals the science behind how fonts and typefaces can influence people in different ways. It also explains why some fonts and styles cause particular experiences, emotions and associations. I learnt that fonts can have varied personalities that can create emotions of trust, mistrust, confidence, make things look or feel easier to achieve, or make an item of food taste better. These fonts’ powers are hidden in plain sight, and they can even trigger memories, associations and multisensory experiences in one’s imagination. I was particularly interested in the section about pace, hierarchy and path for the eye. I gained a lot of confidence and knowledge from reading this section, as it explained the science behind these aspects of graphic design really well, and I felt a lot more informed and confident when altering my editorial piece post feedback.
The book also had a really informative section on the importance of font and typeface choices (hence the name!). It included quizzes in which the reader would have to guess which logo was correct in terms of typeface choice. One example was a lawyer’s logo. There were three options, each using a completely different style of typeface. One was a sci-fi, robotic themed typeface, one was a serif, old style, professional looking typeface, and the third was a fat faced, curved edge typeface. It was clear that the second typeface was correct, but as the book progressed, the quizzes got more difficult, and I felt that I really gained a lot of knowledge from these simple little quizzes. I learnt a lot about context and placement of typefaces for different job roles, along with the reasoning for the choices.
I also did a lot more layout based research, as I felt that my spreads needed some altering, especially in terms of position of body copy. I wasn’t completely happy with how the body copy looked in my editorial, it just wasn’t quite clear enough and seemed a lot of effort to read, even for me as the designer.
I chose to research into Vogue Magazine, as this is typically a very feminine, simplistic magazine. This relates to the topic of my article, and also the aesthetics of my design. Vogue magazine showed an example of diagonal edged text boxes, that follow a piece of typography or an image. I took inspiration from this because of my second spread (see below for pre-feedback spread). The diagonal text boxes follow the line of the large piece of typography (the letter V) very precisely and this creates a very professional, clean looking piece of editorial.
As you can see, the diagonal lines look a little out of place and there is too much negative space around them. The idea was to create a divide between the two sides of the spread, and for the diagonal text boxes to follow the path of the pin images. The idea was there, but it wasn’t quite executed properly.
From this, I altered the angle and size of the diagonal text boxes, taking inspiration from Vogue Magazine’s text boxes:
2. Design Matters
This piece of editorial design features a detailed piece of typography, with people inside the outline of the word. I took this as inspiration for my ‘#MeToo’ typography on my first spread. As I stated in a previous blog post, I noted that the pins used in my editorial were used to represent people. This gave me the confidence and inspiration to continue using this piece of typography in my final piece of editorial.
Physical Magazine Research:
This spread is quite photography dominated, a little bit similar to my final spread (see below). Although this is a little more image heavy than mine, I don’t think my piece would suit having this many images, after all, this is a gardening magazine. I like the way the body copy is laid out in relation to the images on the second page. I think it looks very geometric, clean and tidy.
2. Mountain Biking UK
This spread is massively image heavy. This suits the context (mountain bikes) really well, as it features large, high quality images of the bikes in context. Although there is little body text, where it is present, it is very well displayed using black or faded black text boxes and white text for increased clarity for the reader. The hierarchy and path for the eye are also very strong within this piece of editorial design. Although I think this piece is very aesthetically pleasing and fitting to the context, it gave me confidence that my subject matter wouldn’t suit this style of editorial.
3. Waitrose Food
This spread is divided equally between text and illustration. This is a classic editorial design spread layout, which works nicely with the context. The body copy is aligned left with indents for each new paragraph. I don’t like this and think it makes the design look quite messy and unclear. The rag is also quite untidy n this particular piece. This gave me confidence to use justified text with the larger leading for increased readability of the body copy content.
References (top to bottom):
Hyndman, S. (2016). Why fonts matter. London: Virgin.