METHODOLOGY OF THE EDITION: 50X50=75 Exhibition

Methodology of the Edition: 50×50=75 is an international printmaking project consisting of a box set of 75 editioned original prints by 75 staff and students from three universities and three countries; University of Brighton, Nagoya University of Art (NUA), and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, (KMITL) Thailand.

The project offered students and staff the same task; to produce a printed image on paper dimensions of 50x50cm using any print media from traditional, digital and hybrid processes. This opportunity to share creative learning, through creative approaches to printmaking and to engage with cross-cultural exchange has enabled student-staff interaction through professional educational opportunities and real world challenges. In keeping with ‘Practical Wisdom’ of Strategic Plan 2016-21 this is an example in which ‘our research and learning are informed by real world challenges and opportunities’.

In Edward Street today I visit the Methodology of the Edition. I particularly enjoyed this exhibition due to my interest in print as well as in Asian design. Furthermore as my current materials, processes and art of the accident project focuses on the use of print to produce imagery this exhibition has helped to inspire me about possible techniques to utilise now or in the future.

Below are a selection of my favourite prints from the exhibit.


 

Cass Pad Competition

Brief: We’re giving one lucky winner the opportunity to be featured on the front cover of one of our award-winning pad ranges. An exclusive print run of your custom design will be available to buy online and in-store at Cass Art. Shortlisted works will be selected by CEO & Founder of Cass Art, Mark Cass, Head of Design at Cass Art Naj Ellwood and award-winning designer Angus Hyland, Creative Director at Cass Art and Partner at design consultancy, Pentagram.

The competition requirements were very open as the design did not need to have a concept and could be created using any medium, the only requirements were that the image was 203 x 206mm. As I am currently working on the materials, processes and art of the accident project I decided to utilise one of my experiments with print for my competition submission. Many of the current CASS Pad designs are abstract prints, therefore I thought the medium would fit well into their range, however I did want to make my work stand out and therefore contain a slightly figurative aspect.

I choose to use my favourite etching taken from my etching workshop, this can be seen below. I believe that the overlapping of imagery and linear qualities are figurative but also maintain an abstract quality when zoomed into and cropped.

Soft and Hard Ground Etching Inspired by Rust

Below are some thumbnails I produced where I played with different crops into the image. For my final design I selected the last crop.

After some editing using levels and colour balance in Photoshop I finally produced my CASS Pad design. I really enjoyed creating this competition entry, the openness of the brief allowed me to choose whatever imagery I saw fit and therefore utilise my etching prints which I really enjoyed producing for my current project. This also meant I had the opportunity to enter the competition and possibility gain publicity through it, without having to sacrifice spending time on my university work to produce an entirely new outcome for the competition brief.

Etching Induction

In the print workshop I was inducted into the process of etching. We began by creating a hard ground etching onto a zinc plate. The process for doing this is as follows: file the edges of the plate at a 45 degree angle, polish the plate, rub the plate with degreaser, rinse the plate, dry the plate with a hairdryer set to cool, heat the plate and apply the hard ground with a roller, leave the plate too cool, scratch in your design, place in the acid bath for 1o minutes, rinse the plate and finally print. After experimenting with a hard ground we created another plate using soft ground, this uses the same process however the soft ground never sets, so instead of scratching the design into the surface a design can be traced on or an object can be pressed on.

Brighton Beach Rust Photography

For my hard ground design I scratched the photograph above freehand onto the plate. I chose this image as I believed the linear qualities of the texture would work well as an etching. Furthermore the imagery I chose was from my art of the accident project therefore my prints could be used as part of my materials and processes experimentation. I then played with printing the plate in black and orange inks, orange to represent the rust colour. I also experimented with printing onto newsprint, for my project I have been experimenting with the idea of creating a book printed onto transparent materials, as I couldn’t print a plate onto tracing paper or acetate I choose newsprint instead. This was a challenge as the paper was to fragile to be soaked in the water bath so had to be sprayed with a water bottle instead, however the print did turn out successful.

Below are my hard ground etching prints:

Hard Ground Black Ink Etching

Hard Ground Black Ink Second Print Etching

Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching

Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching onto Newsprint

Hard Ground Black Ink Line Work with Orange Overprint Etching

For my soft ground design I traced the photograph above onto the plate. I then used my fingers to create tonal areas.

Below are my soft ground etching prints:

Soft Ground Black Ink Etching

Soft Ground Black Ink Etching with a Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching

Soft Ground Black Ink Second Print Etching with a Hard Ground Orange Ink Second Print Etching

In my opinion my these prints were highly successful, especially the prints where I have overprinted black and orange ink, and hard and soft ground plates. Therefore I hope to find a way to incorporate them into my final book.

George Hardie

This exhibition spans five decades of work and explores Hardie’s practice in graphic design, illustration and education. It encompasses student work (St Martins, RCA); time with NTA Studios; work with Hypgnosis on record covers and solving problems and making illustrations internationally (17 countries to date) – Exhibition Text Panel

George Hardie is a Royal Designer for Industry, a member of Alliance Graphique International and was a Master of the Artworkers Guild in 2012. Today I visited George Hardie’s Fifty Odd Years exhibition at the University of Brighton, which is open from the 11th March to the 7th April 2017. I had been aware of his work for many years as I grew up listening to many of the bands who he designed album covers for, such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, therefore I was very excited to see his work in person.

Below are a selection of photographs of some of my favourite pieces from the exhibit.

I really enjoyed the fact that his work spans a variety of illustrative styles yet they all maintain an air of simplicity and can be easily understood by the viewer. Furthermore his work often includes a humorous element which I can appreciate.

Despite being aware of his work for years I never properly looked and analysed his work however after this exhibition I will definitely be looking at his work more in depth in the future for inspiration.

Represent

Represent are a free recruitment agency and carers service for professionals in the design industry. Two representatives from the company came in to speak to us about our careers after graduation as part of our professional practice lecturers. This was a particularly interesting lecture as it was the first professional practice lecture where a practitioner was not simply talking about their work, instead we were being given information that is tailored specifically for our own careers. The information they provided advised us on career paths as well as the best way to get noticed by employers through CVs, portfolios, online presence and getting into contact with studios.

Audience

Before sending a CV and portfolio to a studio it is best to tailor them both towards who you are applying for. Within a CV the tone of voice used in the wording can be tailored to the personality of the studios and their influences, this can also be applied to portfolios as you can tailor the work you present to work similar to their own so that they know you would fit in well at that studio.

Also make sure to keep your application simple, don’t over design the CV. Make sure that the CV is short and simple, this can easily be done by removing any words which you would not use normally or don’t understand, as well as removing irrelevant information like interests which are not relevant to the job you are applying for. A good way to make sure your CV represents you is to read it out loud, if at any point you cringe at the wording change or remove the wording. It is also important to avoid using cliches such as “I am a good team player”, these phrases are often over used and therefore lack genuine meaning.

At the top of the CV the first thing is should communicate is “who are you now?”. A CV should constantly be updated and a small personal statement at the top of the CV should always convey who you are at that point in time, e.g. “I am a graduate from …”.

Getting in Contact

When contacting a studio highlight work by them that you enjoy or find other interesting ways to start a conversation with them such as by sending an interesting article you think they would enjoy and you could discuss with them. Also ask for a meeting to further discuss this conversation and so that you can some them some of your work, this is a much more relaxed than asking for an interview and they will be more open to sparing a few minutes to have an informal chat with you than they would be to offering an informal interview. In the e-mail you send they will normally open the e-mail, then open the attachments (CV and digital portfolio) and then rea the email body, so keep it simple as all the information they will need to know about you will be contained in the attachments.

Spreadsheets

It can be handy to keep a spreadsheet of all of the studios you have got into contact with. Keep a record of when you first got in touch with that studio and make sure to mark off any follow up correspondence as well.

Be Proud

When organising your portfolio make sure to put your 2nd best piece of work at the front and your best piece of work at the end. It is also important to tailor your portfolio to the studio you are applying for, so make sure to include work that would like to see relevant to them and the role you wish to get. Furthermore your portfolio shouldn’t be distilled, for example 3 pages with loads of small images on them, when you first graduate it will be more effective to send out your full portfolio as you won’t have a few key pieces of professional work to show. The images included should be large images, sometimes even full bleed, accompanied by information on the project. Text should be included as a divided page before a project, and should state the project title, brief, who you worked with, technical information, and a brief explanation of how you came to that solution. Including text is more relevant when sending out digital portfolios as you won’t be present to discuss the work, however small text prompts can be included in a physical portfolio to act as an aid when discussing your work in person. Digital portfolios should not be information heavy however, and they should aim to be under 10mb (although ideally not that big).

PDFs vs Websites

For a portfolio it is often better to submit a PDF to the studio instead of a link to your website, this is because you can curate a PDF specifically towards the audience and you can tailor how they navigate through out the work. Where as a website is unpredictable and they could easily miss key pieces of work, or see weaker pieces before the stronger pieces and lose interest. A website should be used as a brief introduction to who you are and as a way of contacting you, not as your digital portfolio.

Interviews

During the interview lead the presentation, which should normally be around 15 to 20 minutes. Open confidently, such as by saying “can I show you some projects?”. In the interview you should aim to show how you think and how well you can articulate your ideas.

The 5 second rule applies to interviews, when you meet someone you make a snap decision about them within the first 5 seconds. Therefore it is important to make sure you present yourself well, e.g. body language, smell, sweating, and how well your clothes are put together. Furthermore having a firm handshake and being an active listen during the interview helps to positively add to your impression.

The day after an interview it is best to send them an email thanking them for their time, this will help to keep your fresh in their minds and may give them a more positive impression of you.

Graduation

After graduating from university the best way to get a head start in your career is through internships. You should ideally intern for 6 months to 1 year in order to build up a strong portfolio, learn new skills and try out different areas of design to find which is best suited to you.

 

 

 

Grids: Karl Gernstner’s 58 Unit Grid a.k.a the Capital Grid

Karl Gernstner’s 58 unit grid

“The basic unit is 10 points; the size of the basic typeface including the lead. The text and picture area are divided at the same time into one, two, three, four, five and six columns. There are 58 units along the whole width. This number is a logical one when there are always two units between the columns. That is: it divides in every case without a remainder: with two columns the 58 units are composed of 2 x 28 + 2 (space between columns); with 3 columns 3 x 18 + 2 x 2; with 4 columns 4 x 13 + 3 x 2; with 5 columns 5 x 10 + 4 x 2; with 6 columns 6 x 8 + 5 x 2 10—point units.” – https://www.rototype.org/

Examples of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 column layout using the capital grid

Grids: Technical Research

Grid Systems

Grid systems establish a set of guidelines for how elements should be positioned within a layout, this creates rhythm and defines the meter. Rhythm and meter are important as they allow the viewer to understand where the next piece of information lies within the layout, making the design accessible. It sets expectations and defines the rules. Breaking the grid is also important as it can be used to highlight specific areas of content. The viewer can identify where the grid has been broken and will naturally be drawn to those areas, this gives the design the opportunity to play with hierarchy of layout or change the meaning of the piece. A key aspect of the grid is to help define and determine proportion. In print proportions normally reflect the reflect the size, shape and orientation of the media. Reflection is not as important on the web and can be more fluid but grids can still be used to anchor content to the screen.

Terminology

Margins and Columns

  • Margins and columns define the type area. The area within which most of the text and images will be contained. I have the department head, the folios and this image, all of which go outside of the type area. In the example below the department head, the folios and the bottom left image all go outside of the type area.

Layout Grid

  • The layout grid below was created using the Create Guides feature. The layout grid divides the type area into eight rows and 12 columns. By subdividing the page in this way, there is far more flexibility over how the image and text frames are sized which can create far more dynamic layouts.

Gutters

  • Separating the rows and columns are gutters. The size of the gutters correlates with the size of the body text leading.

Grid Fields

  • The intersection of the rows and columns creates grid fields. The more grid fields there are the more flexibility however they can also create more visual clutter. 

Active Corner

  • When you place an element according to the grid field, generally speaking, it will be placed in the top left hand corner of the grid field. A notable exception is when a caption is put above an image, in which case it would be placed to the bottom of the grid field, as opposed to the top.

Baseline Grid

  • The baseline grid can be turned on with the keyboard shortcut. Cmd+Opt+’, it can also be turned on in your view options, or using the view menu and the baseline grid increment will correlate with the body text leading which in turn correlates with the gutter spacing.

Document Grid

  • To turn on the document grid, Cmd or Ctrl+’. The document grid will divide the page and your paste board into graph paper. The size of each of the grid squares and how many subdivisions they have can be determined in the preferences.

Grid types

Golden section –  Grid based on the golden ratio that has been used in Western art and architecture for more than 2000 years.

Single column grid – You can set your page dimensions and margin widths before creating your document (designing outside in) or you can create a document with no margins and place guidelines and guidelines onto the document (designing inside out). This allows you to experiment with margins and columns before committing.

Multicolumn grid – Flexible formats can be created for publications with complex hierarchies or that contain both text and images. The more columns the more flexible your grid becomes. The grid can be used to determine hierarchy in the publication and text or images can fill one column or span several. Hang lines can also be added, this is where vertical zones are added within the columns. For example, an area at the top can be reserved for images and captions and the body text can “hang” from a common line.

Modular grid – There are consistent horizontal divisions from top to bottom as well as vertical divisions from left to right. This dictates the placement and cropping of pictures as well as text.

Baseline grid – Horizontal guidelines are created in relation to a baseline grid which anchors all layout elements to a common rhythm. Choose the type size and leading of your text then create a baseline grid, use the line space increment to set the baseline grid in your document preferences.

Adjust the top or bottom page margin to absorb any space left over by the baseline grid. Determine the number of horizontal divisions, count how many lines fit into a full column of text and then choose a number that divides into the line count to create horizontal page divisions. If your line count is not neatly divisible, adjust the top and/or bottom page margins to absorb the leftover lines.

To style headlines, captions and other page elements, choose line spacing that works with the baseline grid. Where possible position all page elements in relation to the baseline grid, although some page layouts look better when you break the grid.

Vertical Project: Animation to Book

For my final collaged designs I created a rough storyboard of the visual imagery I wanted to include for each scene, I also added accompanying notes to give direction on how the scene would be animated. What I found however was that as my animation was going to be collaged drawing the scenes seemed to not suit the content, instead I decided to replicate the scenes using digital collage, this allowed me to find suitable resources for the animation as well as create far more accurate storyboards. Once I produced my collages I felt that simply putting them into a storyboard format did not do them justice, instead to show off the collages I decided I would put them into the form of a book. Having just undertaken the book art 2 induction I had recently learnt how to do Japanese stab sewing, a simple and quick binding technique which allows you to bind single sheets together. This technique seemed appropriate for the project as it is relatively quick to do and the project length is only 2 weeks long.

Below you can see the rough digital collages I produced intended for print.

Collage 1

Collage 2

Collage 3

Collage 4

Collage 5

Collage 6

Collage 7

Collage 8

Collage 9

Grids: Page Layout Research

The Brief: To develop an understanding of the use of grid systems in graphic design and to develop and awareness of spacial arrangement, structure, harmony and graphic coherence.

Part 1: Produce mood sheets of visual research relating to grid systems and master grids. Include technical advice and sensitive and refined graphic design page layouts.

Part 2: Produce thumbnail double spread sketches based on Joseph Muller-Brockman’s master grid and Karl Gerstner’s 58 unit grid. 

Part 3: Create 3 different double page spread designs using the same material and the master grids provided. The first spread should consist of text with 1-2 large images including captions, the second spread should consists of text with 3-5 medium images including captions, and finally the third spread should consists of text with 3-5 small images including captions. 

To begin this project I visited a number of sites to collect research on publication and layout design, some of the sites visited included Behance, It’s Nice That and Creative Review. Below are a series of mood sheets I produced documenting my finds.

Designs I found myself particularly drawn to were ones where images or text would go right up to the edge of the page, text and images would be printed going across the two pages, text had being overlaid on top of an image, layouts playing with the orientation of top, and layouts where not all the elements were perfectly aligned. I would like to incorporate some of these features when it comes to producing my thumbnail double page spread sketches.

Grids Workshop

Exercise 1 – Proportion

 Josef Muller-Brockman and Dieter Rams are both designers who had systems and rules for approaching their work which would allow them to quickly produce good designs. Grids are a form of system that allow designers to effectively organise content for their work. The Fibonacci sequence is a system of numbers commonly seen in nature, with a ratio of 1.6 between the numbers. The numbers are as follows 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, etc. This ratio can be utilised to create visually appealing designs. The golden spiral uses fibonacci numbers to create a grid that is meant to be visually appealing, the impressionists were particularly fond of using this grid in their designs.

For our workshop we were giving a template with a 233 x 144mm spread marked out, then using cut up paper we had to create compositions within the template. The elements we could create using the paper however had to have Fibonacci numbers as the measurements for their height and width. This meant that all of the elements were using the golden ratio. Below are contact sheets of the spreads that I produced. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this and believe layout and spread design will continue to be an area of interest for me.

Exercise 2 – The Golden Section

Exercise 3 – Van De Graaf Canon 

Exercise 4 – Layout

To explore composition we were tasked with drawing a 9×9 rectangular grid, onto this grid we then experimented with the composition of text and shapes of varying sizes. Above are my experiments, initially we used only text of the same font size, then we went on to introduce a variety of font sizes as well as some shapes.

Overall I found this workshop particularly useful in helping to understand layout and composition, especially through the application of grids which I had previously not worked with before. This workshop will greatly aid me in my current project exploring the use of grids for layout design.