Introduction to Book Arts

img_20161204_0001

Bookarts Worksheet

28/10/2016

In the first half of the workshop we learned how to produce three different basic book formats, then in the second half of the workshop we used the skills we had learned to experiment and play with the various formats.

The first type of book we produced was called a cut and fold booklet aka a poster book. For these books we took a single sheet of A3 paper which we folded into six equal sections and then made a cut into the sheet. The cut we made could be in one of three places to produce three different designs, all of which can be seen on the worksheet above. Once the cuts had been made we folded the booklets into their final form. The advantage of this type of book is that it is all paper with no cover, so the book can be flipped through and read like a book but it can also be unfolded to make a full A3 sheet of paper which could have a poster design on, these books allow for a lot of creative play.

img_2891

img_2892

Hardback Book

The next book we produced was a hardcover book. For the pages inside we took a long thin piece of paper which we folded into six equal sections. The two hard covers were both made of thick piece board cut with a board cutter, then using PVA we attached covered each piece of board with fabric. To assemble the book we then used PVA to stick the folded paper sheet to both covers. The entire book was then left to dry in a tightened press for an hour. Above are two pictures of this book, one is of just the cover and the other shows what the book looks like when unfolded.img_2893

img_2894

Softcover Sewn Book

The third book we produced was a soft cover book and to bind it together we used a sewing technique called single section sewing. We begun this book by folding a long thin piece of paper into six equal sections, the same as we did for the hardback book. Then using a soft cover created from thin card, we sewed the pages into the cover. Finally using a guillotine we trimmed the edges of the book so that the pages and covers were neatly aligned, and then we used a smaller device to produce the rounded corners, as seen in the pictures above.

img_2887 img_2888 img_2889 img_2890

In the final half of the workshop we utilised all of the skills we had previously learnt and began to experiment with the book format. Above are two books I produced whilst experimenting. The blue book on the left was a sewn soft cover book with rounded corners, inside there were pages of various sizes, colours and materials. Sewn into the centre of the book was a sheet of A3 paper which I had folded into a several sections, creating a small folded book within a book. The red book on the right was once again a sewn book with pages of various sizes, colours and materials however this one did not have covers nor did it have a smaller fold out book in the centre.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970

exx-hot-rod-4

Exhibition Photograph by Danielle Wightman-Stone, 2016

27/10/2016

‘You Say you Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ is an exhibition currently being hosted at the V&A in London up until 26th February 2017. This exhibition explores the main revolutions that took place in sixties and how they affected society at the time and continue to do so today. The exhibition covers all aspects key to society at the time, including fashion, music, film, design and political movements.

The reason for visiting this exhibition was to seek inspiration and collect primary research for use in our cultural and critical studies essay on how the information presented in text supports the key ideas and concepts presented within a piece of exhibited work. Regardless of the nature of the trip I found this exhibition to be extremely interesting personally and very informative. It was unlike an art exhibition, which is what I was initially expecting and was more like a museum exhibit due to the fact it was laid out chronologically and covered a wide variety of mediums.

2015hj7721_jpg_l

CIA UFO by Haphash and the Coloured Coat, 1976

Before attending the exhibition I knew very little about the sixties other than hippies and psychedelic drugs and art. This exhibition however allowed me to see the origins of many social movements that are present today, such as issues to do with feminism and racism. As well as how what was happening at the time affected music, fashion, film and design. What I found particularly interesting about the exhibition was the psychedelic posters on display and how they embodied the free thinking attitude embraced by many members of society, also the influence of psychedelic drugs which were very popular at the time. I have chosen a series of these psychedelic posters produced by the design group ‘Haphash and the Coloured Coat’ for analysis within my essay.

Let There Be Light – Phone Glitch

26/10/2016

During our group exploration for Let There Be Light we noticed an issue some people were having with their low end cameras or mobile phones, and this was that when they tried to film or photograph any of the objects on the light box a series of orange bars would flash on their phone screen as seen above. This wasn’t just a optical glitch as when they actually photographed or filmed the objects the orange bars would be included in the saved file. Although this discovery was not included within my Let There Be Light work as it was not relevant to my development I did find it interesting and it may be a glitch I choose to embrace in future projects. Below are some still images of the orange bars.

img_2499img_2504img_2526

Let There Be Light – Disco Lights

26/10/2016

Above is a video from my photo shoot based on the disco lights, I played with photographing the lights in and out of focus as well as using long exposure to capture their movement, or moving the camera itself whilst taking a long exposure photograph. The video above is the lights in motion whilst the camera is out of focus, creating animated flashing geometric shapes. This video ties in with my interest in colour and motion, documents my research into altering the focus in photographs, and is a very visually appealing piece.

From the above video I saw the potential to turn a section of the video into a gif. I had no previous experience making gifs therefore I also saw this as an opportunity to develop new skills which I can utilise in future projects. I used the website GIPHY to produce my gif, which can be viewed online here. This website makes it quick and easy to make gifs, in the future if I do choose to make more polished gifs within my work I would choose to create them in a piece of video editing software however to offer more tools and freedom over my gif.

Type is Visual Speech

03/10/2016 – 24/10/2016

Brief: The objective of this brief was to express myself typographically through emotive type forms and lettering, this could be by conveying a mood, a feeling, an emotional state or produce a typography composition that is simply atmospheric and evocative. The aim was also to develop an appreciation of diversity through typography and hand craft lettering.

Chanel’s Feminist Protest

I began this project by brainstorming ideas about myself that I would want to express about myself. As a very opinionated person and someone with strong feminist views I decided to explore feminism within my work, specifically with the aim of conveying empowerment. I began my investigation with looking at feminist protest banners, a powerful format used for triggering reactions from the viewer and conveying ideas and concepts. From this research I noticed that most banners had their own unique style showing individuality (handwritten type, type and image, stenciled type), they all prioritised emphasis in their typography in order to catch the audiences attention (bold or underlined type), and they all tended to use black and white with red for emphasis.

img_1422img_1416img_1392

img_1420

Found Poster

Furthermore in my initial investigation I collected primary research by going around Brighton taking photographs of graffiti. I chose graffiti as it is an illegal act of rebellion and could be seen as a form of protest. Graffiti is often done in public spaces to attract attention and convey a message, similar to how protest banners are used in public protests. Furthermore there are a variety of graffiti styles as each graffiti artists is trying to personally express them self, once again like the individuality seen in protest banners.

The photograph above stood out to me the most from all of the photographs that I took as it is a very clear symbol of protest but also due to its visual qualities. The text on the poster is in the style of a typewriter and is in unaligned boxes which resembles the Punk aesthetic, a movement known for protesting against the government. The text itself reads “Another empty building and people sleep on the street. Why? Rents too high, systems fucked, too many Tory wankers,” this very clearly conveys the intended message to the audience. Furthermore the poster is covered in a texture, which could be used to represent deterioration, this texture has similar qualities to those produced through mono printing. It is unclear whether this poster was mono printed however the printing process allows for quick production so is therefore a useful tool for cheaply creating large amounts of work for a campaign.

Original Linocut Print by Paul Peter Piech

Inspired by the previous poster and its mono print like qualities I began to explore printing as a form of communication. An artist I looked at for inspiration was Peter Paul Piech whose work you can see above. His work uses print as a form of protest and often includes social issues within his work. He has used a black, white and red colour scheme which is popular in protest imagery as seen in the banners, and has utilised these colours to draw attention to the focal point of the print which is the heart. His print is also bold due to the raw hand cut type which makes the work more personal and conveys a sense of passion.

Feminism Logo

img_20161205_0002

My Own Handprint

Using the feminism logo I began exploring print as a process. Initially I was applying black water based ink directly to my hands and printing my hand onto paper. I then began to try and capture the movement of my hand transferring from an open palm to a closed first, this was inspired by the closed fist imagery in the feminism logo. These prints I believe were not clear in capturing this movement, I also tried to capture this movement through mono printing but the imagery was lost even more in the textural qualities.

img_20161205_0004

Print 1

img_20161205_0005

Print 2

img_20161205_0006

Print 3

Through this exploration of print however I did generate the above imagery accidentally which I found to be extremely visually interesting. Whilst printing I was using old notes as a scrap paper to blot my ink and whilst doing this discovered that the ink would be distributed around the text due to the indentations in the paper from pressing down with the pen. I also found that reverse text would appear where the ink would flood into the indentations from the writing on the reverse of the sheet. Intrigued by this imagery I continued to explore it further, I began to look at how much ink is applied affects how the ink interacts with the indentations, the varying qualities of print produced by printing onto different papers, and the visibility of text through the ink when wrote with different mediums.

Kleine Dada Soiree, 1922 by Theo Van Doesburg and Kurt Schwitter

For my final design I wanted to incorporate the feminism logo as it is a very clear indication of the concept driving my work. To do this I looked towards Dada art for inspiration as I was interested in the idea of overprinting my typography with the imagery. Dada further relates to my investigations as once again black, white and red is a popular colour scheme used in their work. Below you can see my final outcome, with the logo overprinted in red to emphasis the logo yet still reveal the text. The text I used handwritten and a step away from my earlier experimentation as I found that hard to recreate. I believe that was a poor choice on my behalf as I felt my earlier work was far more successful and less naive. The type itself is the quote “feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” this quote is from the text ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie. I chose this quote as not only does it clearly indicate the concept of the piece but it informs the viewer if they are not familiar with the idea of feminism. Furthermore this quote was popularised in the song ‘Flawless’ by Beyonce, a popular song but an influential feminist icon, therefore the quote is more accessible to the audience that many other quotes I could have chosen.

img_20161205_0007

Final Print

Feedback

The feedback that I received on this project was to think about over forms and formats that my work could be presented on. My final piece currently remains as a stand alone print however this print could be used within the context of a poster, leaflet, clothing etc. As the concept of my piece is typography finding a form that is also appropriate to that would aid it’s presentation, for example using my design on an apron or other products that are considered to be stereo typically feminine, or using my design on a poster or leaflet for a protest or activism movement. Furthermore to improve the print itself I should think about the scale and contrast of the type in order to increase legibility and also the composition. Comments from the critique made clear that the earlier experimental typography I had produced through mono printing was very successful, so the possibility of including elements of that may improve my work.

Post Critique Amendments 

I aim to work further on this project as I believe my outcome was not as strong as it could have been. To do this I am going to revisit my earlier experimental typography and experiment with that, my mono print of the feminist logo and my typography as separate objects. Instead of creating one print I will digitally scan these elements in so that I can experiment with the composition, scale and contrast as suggested earlier. I will also go on to then work with this design in the context of a poster. My initial investigation stemmed from protest imagery and I was particularly interested in the protest poster I found in Brighton, therefore a poster seems fitting as a final form for my work. Although the suggestions of having my design incorporated onto an apron or juxtaposed onto other products associated with being feminine, I feel that in the time I have available I would like to focus my efforts onto improving the initial design itself and a poster would be just as successful and much faster to produce.

When revisiting my earlier mono printing onto handwritten notes I realised that the notes themselves were rough copies of my Cultural and Critical Studies notes, therefore about design. Some of the writing on design is visible within my prints therefore for my format I decided to change my print into an exhibition poster for feminism in design, I choose the V&A museum as the location for this exhibition due to it’s focus on art and design. Below is my initial revision of my final design. I scanned in my black notes monoprint and my red feminist logo monoprint and then layered them in Photoshop using the darken layer mode.

Initial revision of my design with the V&A branding and exhibition details applied. A gradient was added at the bottom in order to create a darker background for the logo and text to stand out against.

Experimenting with composition however this creates a large amount of negative space on the left.

Further simplifying my design and using just the initial print as my imagery.

Using another one of my initial prints as part of my design. The connotations with feminism however aren’t clear.

Addition of the feminist logo in order to make the link between feminism and my print clear. My final design.

Alongside the poster I designed a ticket for the branding of the fictional exhibition. This ticket compromises of one of my initial prints which a gradient applied across it, this is so that the text can be read against a blacked out background.

In conclusion I believe my final amended outcome is definitely an improvement on my initial outcome. Revisiting this project since completing several other briefs and gaining new skills has allowed me to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and apply the knowledge I have gained through experience. Although I am not completely happy with the outcome, as I would have preferred to start the project from the beginning and implement my new skills throughout my investigation, it does accurately show my progression through semester 1 and how my creative practice has developed.

Introduction to Mono Printing

img_1450

Monoprint

21/10/2016

Before attending university I possessed experience with the mono printing technique however this workshop introduced me to new methods of working which has now broadened my skill set and opened up new opportunities for exploration within my work in the future. Previously I had experience with mono types and wiped mono types, the process we used in this workshop was similar to wiped mono types however I had never experimented with printing using acetate before or with overlaying the process colours.

In order to produce our prints we applied water based ink in the process colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) to A3 sheets of acetate with a roller. On each acetate we could a different colour and a different design produced using a variety of tools from cotton wool pads to paper stencils. With a press we printed these ink designs onto a single piece of paper, due to the inks being mixed with extended in order to make them more translucent you can see all of the layers through the ink and new colours are produced from the different combinations of overlaid inks.

The design I used was one from my the project I was currently working on at the time, ‘Type is Visual Speech’. My project was based on feminism and the idea of protest and empowerment. On the first layer of my print I used cyan ink with a feminist quote wrote into it with a cotton bud, on the next layer I used magenta ink to form the icon of the feminist movement with I created using cotton wool pads, and finally on the top layer I used yellow ink to create triangular shapes which I did using paper stencils. Triangles were not included in my initial design for the project however as I needed another layer I felt they would be an appropriate addition as dynamic diagonals are used often in propaganda and protest imagery due to the high energy they convey,

The print itself had no impact on my final outcome of my project due to the colours being inappropriate for the message I wanted to convey, however the workshop did allow me to develop my skills in mono printing and experiment within my project.

Seb Lester

Seb Lester is a graphic design student who is Brighton based, he currently work as a type design and calligrapher. His clients include Monotype (where he designed well known typefaces such as SOHO, Neo Sans + Neo-Tech and Scene) and British Airways (where he designed the typeface Mylius Modern).

His type work has explored a lot of methods such as animation and illustrative typography, and he is skilled in a variety of different practices from oil painting to drawing. His eagerness to explore a variety of materials and methods has allowed him to develop his work to where it is today. As part of the creative process he stressed the importance of sketchbooks as a a way to collate ideas and inspiration as well as for developing an idea.

His recent work explores calligraphy, a practice that takes .a lot of time to learn. He initially learnt through ‘play working’, this is where he would practice and experiment with various typefaces in order to further his knowledge.

“Hard work and focus is a major factor. Self belief is critical. I believe almost anyone can achieve almost anything in life if they put their mind to it. They key is to find your passion. Aim high. Set goals and pursue them with all of your heart.” – Seb Lester, 2016

In recent years his work has gained a lot of publicity due to his internet success. This is in relation to his calligraphy, where he would beautifully hand render words and phrases however they would often be of swear words or insulting messages, this contrast creates an amusing yet beautiful outcome. Before the lecture I was aware of Seb Lester’s work and this was due to his online fame, I personally throughly enjoy the simplicity of his work which creates an effective and amusing outcome.

Through out my formal art and design education I had always studied fine art, up until I did my foundation where I specialised in graphic design, this however wasn’t until very late in the course. Consequently this means I have had very little experience with typography up until recently, so it was interesting to hear how he learnt typography and calligraphy and his tips for developing your work.

Introduction to Motion

14/10/2016

Using some copyright free video and sound clips from the internet and Adobe Premier Pro we experimented with video editing during this workshop. Video editing had always been something that had interested me however finding time to make films had always been a problem, therefore experimenting with copyright free resources was a great way to expand my skill set without the pressure of creating resources and producing a polished final outcome. However we were given some tips to bear in mind in case we did want to produce a film in the future;

  • Save all components into one folder
  • Always back up, invest in an external hard drive
  • Be aware of how it will be be displayed e.g. projection, monitor, online
  • Components to control – tripod, light and sound

In Adobe Premier Pro we imported our assets (keeping in mind that the first asset we moved onto the timeline would determine what dimensions the whole project is set to). With these assets we played with unlinking the video and audio tracks, applying effects, adjusting audio, creating titles and exporting.

In the future I do not see myself producing films as they require a lot of time and effort and are not something I particularly want to specialise in but this workshop has allowed me to gain skills which may be useful in my future projects. As well as making videos Adobe Premier Pro could also be used to create animated graphic pieces, by putting still imagery and type into the software and then animating them I could create short dynamic pieces, this may be more applicable to my work as I can still produce motion work without the time and effort required to make film.

Introduction to Web Design

14/10/2016

Web Design doesn’t just cover designing websites to be used on PC screens, it also covers other formats like Apple Mac screens, laptops, tablets and phones. You can design a website using Tumblr (free), WordPress (costs a fee but is professional), Squarespace (subscription based), WIX (free), Weebly (free) and other online sources, however during this workshop we used the software Adobe Muse.

This software can be used to create simple websites very quickly and effectively. In the software we created a one scroll website, these are particularly useful for phones as there is not much content to work with. On this website we added images, text and hyperlinks which were linked to anchor points. We also experimented with editing the content and creating breaking points so that the website would work on various sized platforms.

Before this workshop I had created two websites in the past using Adobe Dreamweaver, these were sites with several pages and included complex technical devices. When producing the websites I also played with HTML and CSS code. Although far more technical than the website we produced in Adobe Muse I still found the workshop extremely useful. The workshop was more tailored towards creating well design websites quickly which would be more applicable to my coursework, instead of spending ages producing a technical full working website which would not be as focused on the actual design.

Cartographers of Intrigue

10/10/2016 – 11/10/2016

Brief: The objective of this brief was to investigate and obtain a large range of information from an area that our group was assigned. Then through the use of mixed media we were asked to create an outcome based on that location that was also creative and challenged our preconception of what defines a map.

Our group was assigned the location of Churchill Square,  a large shopping center located in the centre of Brighton. As a group we visited the location to init ally brain storm ideas as we felt it would be easier to draw inspiration from the location by actually being their ourselves. We originally found the location quite difficult to draw inspiration from as it had no historical background and was very new and commercial, however we began to use this idea of commercialism as a starting point. Ideas we considered was looking at the flow of money being exchanged throughout the space, the movement of people throughout the space and how signs direct you through the space. In the end however our idea was to try and convey the mass of products on sales, as within the shopping centre you are exposed to a vast amount of advertising and products and we felt this was one of the most prominent features of the location.

img_2286

My Design

To begin this task we located a map of the shopping centre showing every shop on each floor, as the project was only 2 days long we decided to only focus on the ground floor of the shopping centre in order to make the task more manageable. From there we assigned different shops to different members of the group, this was so that each member of the group could go and investigate their assigned shop and record the sheer amount of products and advertising that they find there. This meant that each member was involved in the group and had a manageable amount of work, however it also meant we could all express our individual styles. Another element of this I found interesting is everyone has their own taste therefore when going to a shop different products, adverts or elements within that shop with stand out to different people so it was interesting to see how people interpreted the space that they were given.

img_2289

Close Up

I was allocated the shop BHS, this was slightly more challenging than the other shops people were assigned as my shop was closed down and empty therefore I had to be creative in the way that I represented it. Although the store itself was closed down, BHS still has an online store so I began to research the products available there.  I also began to do some research into the shutting down of the store and found many articles online about this particular store closing down as it caused outrage among the Brighton community due to the BHS employees losing their jobs. Using these two elements I came up with the design for my space, I used a grey marker in the background to write out extracts from several articles documenting the outrage at the shutting down of the store, this was to represent the BHS store specific to Brighton. On top of this I used red marked to illustrate the products available from the online BHS store, this was to represent the brand Brighton as well as the commercial nature associated with it. The reason I chose to use was red as often in shops it is used to represent sales or clearance so I felt it was appropriate due to the shop being closed down, I then wrote the article in grey so that the text was pushed back, this was so anyone looking at the work would see the illustrations as then as they got closer they would then realise the story behind the store and the negative way it had impacted the community.

img_2288

Final Design

For the final piece we fit all of our designs into the template of the shopping centre’s map, each person illustrations was made into the same shape as their shop on the map and then laid out in the same arrangement. We then mounted all of the shops onto a A1 piece of newspaper print.

Feedback

For our critique our final presentation of piece could have been improved, the newspaper print background was very similar to the colours present in the illustrations meaning they blended into the background, the paper itself was also very flimsy. Therefore to improve the piece could be mounted onto a sturdier piece of card with a bolder colour that won’t blend in with the illustrations, such as a dark grey. Another point raised was that it was not apparent that the composition was based on shopping centre floor plan, so the addition of numbering the shops and adding a key would help to clarify that. Finally a way to progress and develop our work would be to possibly take the design into a digital environment, such as producing a digital map to be viewed on a computer or mobile application, this would also allow for us to experiment adding interactive elements.