Sunday, 28 October 2012

Research Workshop


In this workshop we got into groups of four and tried to think of some of the biggest most memorable stories from the past year. The stories we chose were to not be about children dissapearing or anything like that. These are the things we came up with;
  • Jimmy Saville
  • Felix breaking the sound barrier
  • American elections
  • Snoop Dogg's not allowed in Denmark
  • The Olympics - Mo Farrah and Jessica Ennis
  • Diamond Joubilee
  • Osama Binladen found
  • Naked Royals
  • Steve Jobs died
  • London riots
  • Euro crisis
  • Tulisa's sex tape
  • Batman shootings
  • Bath Salts drug
The three we chose and thought stayed in our minds the most were, Jimmy Saville, Felix breaking the sound barrier and the Olympics. During this workshop we realized  that it is hard to think or remember the good news, as the bad news is more shocking and therefore stays in your mind more, also on the news it is mostly all bad news, and only shows the really bad things, therefore its hard to think about the good things that have happened.

Print Workshop

In the print workshop there were three different printing processes which we learned and attempted to do;
  • Mono print
  • Lino print
  • Letter press
I tried each of these processes, and some were easier to grasp than others, the thing which I needed to remember but often forgot, such as letters and words when printed will end up backwards, therefore when etching or doing lino or mono prints, you need to draw them backwards so that when they are printed it looks right and the letter are the right way round.

I started with mono printing using the letter 'l' which I cut out to use as a stencil.

First mono print

Using my stencil to block out the black after I had inked my plate, then put it through the printing press and it left an 'l' as negative space.

Second mono print
With My second print, I didn't ink my plate up again, I just took away the stencil and it left an outline, so I thought that it would be an interesting print.

Third mono print
With the third print I inked up my plate again but only just over half of it, so that i cold get two different shades in it. Then I decided to use the edge of the roller to create thinner lines, just to experiment with the different effects you can get using purely one colour. I also put the stencil back on, to block out the black.

Fourth mono print
I then used the same plate, and took off the stencil and put it back on backwards, which gave a nice effect of a black outline and a white outline, it just shows all the different things which you can do with mono printing.

I then did some letter press printing, and decided to use my letters to make my name, all different and random sizes and shapes.

Smaller letters

Larger old Letters
I decided to make my name out of the smaller letters and my initials out of larger letters and printed them individually. What is so interesting about this way of printing is that using older blocks shows the imperfections in each block which gives them character and makes it really effective. I will definitely be using this printing process again as I really like the result which it gave me.

Next I used lino printing, which is a print process which I don't really enjoy using, but tried it anyway.

Lino after I'd finished

First print
After my first print, I realized that had cut my letter 'L' the wrong way to print with. I decided to cut it in the style of my last brief 'Alphabet Adam' to see if it would work in print form, but as I cut it the wrong way to print, it hasn't worked very well.
Also First print, with a second print on top
I printed my first print twice, without re-inking my lino so that I had a grey scale. I then cut more out of my lino in random straight lines so that they would show through after printing over the top again. I think that this process is very effective although takes a lot of thinking and skill to get it right.

I would definitely use these process's again, and this workshop was really useful for me.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Illustrator Workshop 2

In the second illustrator workshop we were working on using less basic tools, and more specific and difficult. I learnt a lot in this workshop, it was very useful. Changing a letters shape on illustrator doesn't work, so you have to change it into a shape by creating outlines, then it can be distorted.

Making the decender longer

Origonal 'X' adapted twice
To adapt and transform the letter forms after creating their outlines, we used the white direct selection tool to drag the anchor points, to make the letters change to look like the above.

We also learnt how to use the width tool, which is very simple to use when you've had practice, even if at first it was difficult. Using pen strokes and letter forms which have been changed to create outlines, this is an interesting tool, it allows you to create complex shapes quite easily.

Sting ray

'S' adapted

A star adapted
We looked at changing the width of the paintbrush tool and pen tool, by drawing a line or something then selecting it and changing it after its been drawn using the stroke width. We also looking at changing the stroke itself, to make it look like it has different effects, and cap the ends of the strokes, or round the corners.

Adapting the brush stroke
Rounded corners

Another thing which I never knew I could do on illustrator is using the blend tool, to blend either colours or shapes or both into each other. By selecting different options you can change the tool to change the colour blend or shape blend, you can also change how many steps you want it to take to get there.

Square to circle

Circle to polygon

Polygon to star

You can change the path which the shapes change through by selecting different sides of the shape, which twists and turns depending on where you select.

Pink square to yellow circle

Yellow circle to blue star

Blue star twisting to purple polygon

Purple circle to green circle, selected from opposite side to give this effect

Multiple transformations

These workshops have given me a good starting point for my Alphabet Soup, Illustrator brief.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Illustrator Workshop 1

Today in the illustrator workshop Simon showed us how to use illustrator appropriately. Even though I have been using illustrator for the past year, he taught me a lot of things I didn't know which will help me this year, for example short cuts. We started by doing an pen tool exercise, where you follow the instructions to get you use to using the software.

Following the instructions brought me to these patterns and shapes, where I changed the colours to make them look nicer.

We then got given the letter g which had been drawn and scanned into the computer. We had to draw around it with the pen tool, with no instructions to follow, so it was all based on judgement, this is where I learnt things I didn't previously know, like to press alt on the anchor point to stop the line from curving when you try to draw the next line.

fully traced
using pathfinder to minus circles from the middle of g
Simon showed us how to use the white pen tool to change the shapes to make it look better and more accurate. He then showed us how to create the letter from just shapes, and then deleting the lines.

initial shapes
adding inner shapes

deleting lines with pen tool for the ear

finished g from just shapes

 The first illustrator workshop really helped me to learn things which I never knew you could do in illustrator, and will help with my Alphabet Soup - Illustrator brief.

Alphabet Adam

In this brief we had a partner chosen from the randomiser and I got Adam Garbutt. We then had to fill in questionnaires about our selves, then we found that we had to create a typeface and 6 glyphs showing characteristics of our partner. This is when we thought that the questions we had previously answered were not sufficient amount of information about the other person to produce a typeface on them. Therefore we collected our own information afterwards.
The questionnaire;

Our own information;
First we wrote out an alphabet in upper and lower case for each other, so that we could see each others hand writing, I also asked Adam to write out his name, as he joins up his writing.

Quiet person when not drinking
Easy to talk to
Mostly happy (when not hungry)
Deep sleeper
Printing type
Horder(polythene bags, train tickets, pen nibs)
Likes collecting things
Leather shoes
The rest of development(american show)
Back to the future
Quentin Tarentino
Custard-Lollipops-Chewing gum(to stop from biting nails)
Near Middelsborough-Skelton
2 brothers, 25, 27
Don't go on nights out a lot
Dog Person
Arial - Arial Rounded - Gill Sans
Sag and Walsh

After finding this information I started to research Adam's likes and dislikes, looking at his blog, even at his facebook, to find out more about him. I started looking at the different designers which he likes, and taking things from each and experimenting with different styles and ideas onto my typeface. Adam's favourite fonts are Gill Sans and Arial, so tried working with both of them, to see which looked best.

The first example is Arial, and as Adam joins his writing I thought I would show that through the typeface. The second is Gill Sans with structure, as he is very structured and organized so thought that this would work well. The third is Arial round, but I don't like this typeface, it looks quite childish, that's why I chose and illustration to go in it, and its footprints because he enjoys walking a lot. The forth one is geometric and made of lines, this was taken from a designer which he likes, therefore thought it would work quite well.

This was to experiment with a few different styles, and produced them on paper so that I could take them into my crit to get opinions and ideas on what I have been doing. The crit really helped me as although it didn't give me many ideas, it made me realize that I am focusing too much on making the typeface exactly like Adam, where I should be just using an element of his character and personality. It should also be from my first impressions of him, so this means that I can now go back to one of my initial ideas.

After my crit I started to do a bit more development, and then I had to decide on an idea to use. I started with doing an entire alphabet of different ideas in pen, then some in pencil.

Examples in pen

Examples in pencil
I then choose a few of my favourite letter designs and did a series of each to see which one would look better as a set. When doing this I also had to consider, which portrayed my first impressions of Adam.

1st Example
This was trying to portray structure by using some sort of stick to form the letter, but I think that this just looks like floating sticks, it looks very out of place, and think it would look a bit random as letters, I don't think that the structure concept comes through very well, although I like the idea of creating the letters using straight lines.

2nd Example
 This idea was trying to show his organization side, by showing that he has order to his life, and that everything has a place, big and small things, this is why I used boxes. But I think that this idea is too complicated its not very simple, which is what I wanted it to be. Also it may not come across very well as everything has its place, it could just look like random squares.

3rd Example
This idea shows the letter forms being created purely of sticks or lines, just some sort of structure, but this time they have a base, and all it makes sense. They all need to be straight as in this example they are not, this needs to be improved. But this would work a lot better than the first one.

4th Example
Letter forms made of straight lines, this idea doesn't work very well as it looks slightly like fireworks. It also doesn't show Adam's personality that much, unless he likes bonfire night. I don't think I can use this idea.

The 3rd Example I think works best as a letter form and also shows my first impressions of Adam really well. So using this I looked at putting block colour into, as I had the initial design but how would it work.

Development using ABCD
Doing a few subtle differences with each of them to see what looks better. I decided that their should be fewer lines on the inside of the letters, and it is a better effect, and the same on the outside of the letters. Try to make it as simple as possible. In this I preferred the 'a' to the rest, although I like the black boldness of the 'c' I only liked the 'a' because of the letter, so I thought I would try them out on the same letter, so there is no biased judgement.

Development using B's
I chose four which I most preferred and thought worked best and tried them out on another letter to see if it works on others as well as it does on the 'b'.

Out of these four I thought that the first one works the best, and is the most effective, it shows the letter form really clearly whilst also showing the structure and detail behind it, it doesn't hide and of the structure.

All drawn out, measured and placed
Placing them all out on a A1 tracing paper to get them inline, allowed me to move them round and experiment with different layouts to see which looked best. I could also see if something was wonky, so that I can just move them.

Each individual letter drawn out separately
Each letter was drawn out individually so that if I went wrong I wouldn't have to start again I could just do the letter again, also it makes it easier to do the final sheet and not go wrong, as all I had to do was trace it through. Also before actually drawing anything on the trace, I had to test different pens to see which would work best, and which wouldn't smudge, which is my main concern.

Testing pen lines
Finding the best pen means that I could start doing my main letter forms, and ensure that I don't have to wait for the pen to dry so that it doesn't smudge.

Final Piece
Designing my badge for Adam was easy as I could use illustrator, and its just simple lines. I also knew what I was going to do with it, I wanted it to be red because it's Adam's favourite colour and it was the first thing he told me.
Example 1
Example 2

I decided to go with the first one, to keep it consistent with my main type face, and the whole point was to see if it worked smaller and larger, so I kept it the same.

Name badge
I think my name badge came out very well, it works well its small.

Adam wearing my name badge
 After my final crit, I got a lot of feedback and decided to develop my letter form a bit more by seeing if it works the same even bigger, with numbers, with capital letters. I also wanted to redesign the 'g' as the feedback I got from the crit (which I agree with) was that its the only one which is complicated and the rest are simple, therefore I wanted to rework the letter.

Two more simple versions of 'g'

Final 'g'

If I were to do it again I would do my 'g' more like this as it is simpler, and fits in better with the rest of my letter forms, but still resembles the letter 'g'.

Large non filled 'a'

Large finished 'n'
This shows that my letter form would work even larger. This is the size of a full A4 sheet of paper. If anything it is even better than the smaller ones as it shows less detail, and more simplicity as the lines aren't as close together, and doesn't look as cluttered.

Capital letters

This shows that my typeface would be successful as it works in many different letter forms, upper and lower case, also punctuation and numbers.


In this brief I think that I portrayed some of Adam's characteristics, and some of the things he likes. If I were to do this again, in hindsight I should have seen how the 'g' didn't really fit into the typeface I made, only as it was slightly too detailed, whereas the rest of my letter forms were very minimalistic. This is why I decided that after my crit I would draw up an improved letter 'g' to see if it would work, I also did larger letter, numbers and upper case letters.
Final 'g'
I found that the 'g' would work, so this was very successful, therefore I wish I would have seen this before the crit so that it could be corrected.

Also if I were to do this brief again I would be more accurate with my drawing on the final sheet, as I made a few mistakes, and slightly went off on some of the letters. I also thought that I could have created a better 3D effect with the scafolding, this could have been taken further, although I would have needed slightly more time to do this.

Overall I think that this was a good brief and there are many things which I could have changed or slightly adapted in it, but as there is always a time limit on a brief, I had to reach an outcome, and I was happy with this.