Monday, 24 October 2011

Proverbally Yours Research.

Here is some research for my previous Proverbally Yours brief...

I have selected these images to look at as I feel the successfully do what I aim to with my own imagery. I like the use of block colour and shapes to represent an action or object that can be recognised across the world.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Critique Workshop.

Here is the selection of images that I took with me to the workshop...


I chose this piece because I really like the handwritten, feminine style. I like how the lines are uneven and the letters have a random appearance which contrasts nicely with the box that they form.
Sourced from: Doyle Partners

I like this piece because of how the letterform has been created with the use of negative space. The creation of light and shadow also adds depth which gives an interesting appearance.

Sourced from: David Downton

I am a big fan of David Downton's illustrations as I like the techniques he uses with watercolour paints and inks. I was drawn to this particular piece because of the variation of intensity of colour and the contrast of detail and simplicity.

Sourced from: Kate Wilson

I chose a piece of work by Kate Wilson because I love her recognisable style. I like the detail and texture she creates with the dots and how she gives character and personality to her images.

 Sourced from: The Made Shop
To me this is a really successful logo, I like the use of block colour and simple repeated shapes. I also think the added texture gives another level which makes it stand out further.

I love the quirky appearance of this logo and I think the colour scheme works really well. It's not the simplist of designs but I think it looks good as a whole.


Sourced from: Alix Malka
Alix Malka is one of my favourite photographers and I find the images from this set of underwater work really inspiring. I love the sense of movement and weightlessness that has been captured, which gives a serene and peaceful look. The contrast between light and dark is also very striking.

Sourced from: Erwin Blumenfeld

To me this is a very exciting image, because of how the sense of danger and carelessness has been combined. The fluidity of the dress is also a nice contrast the structure of the architecture.

Five reasons why a crit is a useful educational tool...
  1. You learn how to present yourself and your work.
  2. You can get new ideas.
  3. Advice on how to improve.
  4. To get reassurance that your work is sending the same message you intended.
  5. Get used to giving and recieving criticism.
Five ultimate questions...

  1. What is your target audience?
  2. What was the intended reaction from this audiece?
  3. How has it evolved from your original idea?
  4. What context would it be used in?
  5. What research helped develop the piece?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lecture Two - Post Modernism.

‘Post Modernism’ Definitions
·        After Modernism, the historical era following Modernity, contra Modernism, equivalent to ‘late capitalism’, artistic and stylistic eclectics and the ‘global village’ phenomenon.
·        Post Modernism is a response to modernism and has an attitude of questioning the Modernist.
The Post Modern Era
·        1960’s Post Modern era begins.
·        1970’s it is established as a term.
·        1980’s it is a recognisable style.
·        1990’s it is the dominant theoretical discourse.
·        2000’s the idea is tired and simmering.
Contrasts between Modernism and Post Modernism
·        Modernism is associated with experimental work, innovation, individualism, progress, purity, originality and seriousness, whereas Post Modernism is the exact opposite if these definitions. It has the outlook that everything has been done before so there is no need to be experimental or innovative. Also that it is good to work as a team, incorporate lots of different styles together and take a less serious approach.
·        The faith in new technology was also broke down with the theory of a ‘crisis in confidence,’ which says that the world cannot be saved by it or politics and religion.
·        The Modernist movement was focused on a simplified aesthetic, utopian ideas and truth to materials. In contrast to the Post Modern movement, which favours complexity, the mixing of styles and materials and that there are no rules when it comes to design.
·        Whereas Paris and New York were considered the best when it came to Modernist architecture the Post Modern attitude would favour Las Vegas and embrace its dystopia.
Similarities between Modernism and Post Modernism
·        The Post Modern condition is that of exhaustion, pluralism, pessimism and disillusionment with absolute knowledge. Although some overlap with Modernism, where that was an expression of new technology and communication and the current is a reaction to it.
Post Modernism in Art and Design
·        The Post Modern view on art is very different to that of the modern where artists would paint true to the materials in a formalist way. For example work by Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock demonstrate paint appearing as paint, in contrast to Post Modern artist Roy Lichtenstein who portrays paint in a comic book style.
·        Advertising has grown to be the greatest art form of the 20th Century. Artist Andy Warhol responds to this idea with his Marilyn Monroe diptych, a critique of celebrity, commenting on how society creates ‘stars’.
·        The high/low art divide beginning to crumble is a feature of Post Modernism. Post Modern artists tend to like to mix art considered highbrow and elite with that of the common and accessible.
·        Post Modern design brought new freedom and possibilities that questioned the old Modernist limitations and released a ‘new voice.’
·        Sans Serif fonts continued to be used but also included more playful patterns etc.

Lecture One - Modernity and Modernism.

‘Modern’ Definitions

·        Modern doesn’t mean up to date. It is something that has been improved and is better than before, a more radical and more progressive form of art. The consumer world relies on it, without the idea of ‘modern’ fashion wouldn’t exist. Modernism emerges out of the subjective responses of artists and designers to Modernity, a social and cultural experience.
The Modernity Era
·        Modernity began around 1760 due to urbanisation where people moved from a rural world to one of industry.
·        Changes that occurred were: people’s lives were more controlled due to shift patterns, increased population, life speeds up with the invention of trains, more interconnected with telephones, more leisure activities, and different relationship with society.
·        Process of rationality and reason takes place, where people turn to science rather than religion.
·        World time is instigated in modernity with the invention of rail travel.
·        Fashion becomes a way of identifying yourself in the increased population.
·        Growth of disciplines like psychology. People though the progress in technology could drive people mad.
·        Class division became more noticeable. People’s interaction changed as differences were more visible in the modern world. Life became more rational with work and free time, this also cemented the divide.
·        Modernity finished in the 1960’s giving way to a Post Modern era.
The Modernity Cultural Race
·        Around the 1800’s there was a strong rivalry between London and Paris over who was the most modern and culturally forward. Exhibitions would take place yearly where each city would display their newest innovations, where Paris would always come out on top.
Paris during Modernity
·        By 1900 Paris was the most progressive city on the planet and was purposely designed to be the most modern city.
·        There were many changes in the architecture around the city. Crumbling alleyways were replaced with big boulevards to help reduce crime and push the poor out into the suburbs. Electric street lighting was also introduced. The Eiffel Tower was built which rose above the traditional architecture, it was made of modern materials and the scale showed ambition.
·        The city became an area of study for artists and writers, they turned their attention away from myths and rich customers as subjects for their art. The new focus in art was to not paint the world but do paint the experiences of people in this new urban environment.
New Technology and their effect during Modernity
·        You can trace changes in art with changes in the world – society modernises art.
·        Technology became a fetish, a new phenomenon.
·        New development of optical science led to new developments in styles of painting. For example, dots of contrasting colour.
·        Classical painting and its idea of ‘the rule of thirds’ gave way to cropping due to the invention of photography. Artists also abandoned realism to compete, as surrealism was something that photo’s couldn’t create.
·        Kaiser Panorama 1883, a mass optical viewing device that showed slides of art and photography. This invention demonstrates people paying to see images of the world rather than looking for free and also viewing as an individual experience.
·        The creation of film and cinema was a very radical invention.
·        New bird’s eye view angles documented a big shift in visual culture.
·        The development of new materials such as concrete, steel, plastics, aluminium and reinforced glass led to mass production.
Modernism in Art and Design
·        Anti-historicism – always looking forward to invent new styles.
·        Staying true to materials – letting materials speak for themselves and not covering them with something else.
·        Form follows function – the look is secondary to how the design works. The beauty comes from functionality and simplicity.
·        Internationalism – a language of design that could be recognised and understood on an international basis.
·        ‘Ornament is crime’ Adolf Loos (1908). You shouldn’t make things trendy as it will go out of fashion. If you strip it down to the basics it will always look new.
·        Sans Serif fonts were designed in the modernist era. This was also the time where movable type was in use and it was argued that uppercases should be removed to make the process easier and more functional.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Alphabet Soup Typeface Font Research.

Today I have been looking at fonts that I could base my typeface on, it has been quite challenging because I need something so specific. My main criteria was that I wanted a circular 'O' and for all the other letters to follow this curved look. It also had to be sans serif as i wanted a simple look that wouldn't overpower the background pattern. Finally, it had to fit well onto the grid as best as possible. This is what I found...

Century Gothic



These were the first three fonts that I looked at. I feel they fit my requirements really well, apart from some of the letters could be slightly wider. Finally I found the typeface shown below, I am really surprised as it basically exactly the same to what I have been drawing free hand to fit into my grid. I think by using this I will be able to give the needed finishing touches to my designs... 

Taller Evolution

Alphabet Soup Typeface Imagery Research.

After deciding to follow the idea of using a compass for my main inspiration I started gathering imagery together to base my designs on...

Sourced from:

First of all I looked at old style illustrations like these. I think they are very attractive aesthetically and I love the use of repeat pattern and shape. I also think the level of information they convey is impressive. Although I really like them I think they could be difficult to re-create into a type face as the detail would not work on a small, condensed scale. Because of this I then moved on to look at simplified interpretations...

Sourced from:

Although these designs are less decorative than the others I think they will be easier to replicate into my typeface. I like the symmetrical look and the equality of the design.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Image Analysis.

I found this exercise really interesting to take part in, to begin with I found it hard to see any meanings within the images but after looking more closely a lot of examples became visible. Here are the images and what I found out...

'The Uncle Sam Range' (1876) Advertising Image by Schumacher and Ettlinger, New York

Poster by Savile Lumley (1915)

There are a few similarities within the two images for example they both have a feel of being quite patriotic, quite heavily so with 'The Uncle Sam Range.' It is probably the first thing you notice from this image as the colour scheme is very heavily influenced with red, white and blue, there are also more subtle factors including the countries national bird, the bald eagle and famous landmarks visible through the window. A sign from 'The Great War' poster is the use of the English rose as imagery.

Both images purpose is to persuade. 'The Uncle Sam Range' uses persuasive techniques to persuade to buy an appliance and 'The Great War' to join the army. This piece uses a more subtle approach than the other and uses guilt to play on the audiences mind.

Both pieces were released at very important times in both countries history. 'The Uncle Sam Range' was used during the one hundred year anniversary of American Independence and the advertisers bought into this strongly as talked about with the patriotic feel and also the symbolism of the progress that has been made over that period of time. For example it appears that all the American associated characters in the piece are looking down on the globe, including the eagle, emphasising their opinion of their self importance. The children in the piece are also labeled with up and coming areas in the country which symbolises the future and potential growth to come. In comparison 'The Great War' was released during the First World War, another monumental event. The use of the word 'Great' gives the event a very positive connotation and a good technique in getting men of the time involved in the action as it gives the impression of success and to be remembered as a hero in the future.

They both also have a very similar target audience of aspirational middle class males. This is demonstrated by the simple nature of the humour and approach in 'The Uncle Sam Range.' Some examples of this are the racist notions of putting down other countries in the stereotypical list the globe is holding, the hint at the American Dream with the perfect family of obedient children and doting wife. The man is also the central focal point in the composition. Similarly in 'The Great War,' the main character would be the man who is set in a comfortable home environment with two loving children. It is also set towards the slightly wealthy man as many of the working classes would willingly sign up for the army, whereas this publication is aimed towards a person where the money wouldn't be as much of a persuading factor.

There are quite big contrasts in both pieces type but they're both very accurate of what would have been used in that time. 'The Uncle Sam Range' is very stereotypical for America and uses a Western style with a strong appearance. On the other hand 'The Great War' has a hand written style with a formal, friendly look that was common of the time. This look also makes it more intimate and personal like it was handwritten to the audience increasing the feeling of guilt and responsibility to their family.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Five Examples.

Here are five examples of Graphic Design that I love...

Eduardo Recife



This is some work by my all time favourite designer Eduardo Recife, I love every aspect of his style and his pieces are a big inspiration to me. His images are like a feast for the eyes from the colour, pattern, imagery and composition. I love how he incorporates all of these aspects together to create such a successful end result. Whenever I look at a piece of his work I see something new and interesting because there are so many different levels and detail. I also love the surreal aspect of his style which usually means you have to do a double take to ensure you're seeing it right.

Tabitha Patterson

A new artist that I have recently discovered is Tabitha Patterson, again I like her use of type, texture and image. Her vintage style really appeals to me and her motion image work is also very interesting. I also like how she has adapted her style to work with commercial briefs as well as just artistic images.

Alan Kitching


Alan Kitching's work was the first I saw which really inspired me to look into Letterpress, it is something I have yet to experience but I am really looking forward to trying in the future. I really like how Kitching uses type to create imagery in a unique and clever way

Vladimir Dubko

Vladimir Dubko is another designer who I really like, I find his level of detail really inspirational. I love how he creates an idea of sparkle to his images and how he does this is really interesting to me. He has a feminine look to his work with the imagery and colours he uses which really appeals to me.


I have only very recently discovered this design company and this particular publication really caught my attention. I love how all the pages have a very different feel and present the information in a very innovative way.