Grids: Development

After creating my 10 thumbnails sketches on both the Muller Brockman grid and the Karl Gerstner’s 58 unit grid I decided that the grid I preferred using was the one created by Karl Gernster as the grid allows for alot of creativity and freedom. From my 10 drawn thumbnails for this grid, I began to develop these designs digitally within the grid template.

For my layout designs I used content based around an article I found on It’s Nice That, the article is about a new series of work being produced by the photographer Catherine Hyland. From this article I took the main body text as well as the information on the author of the article and when the article was wrote.

‘Photographer Catherine Hyland has been travelling the mountainous landscapes of China and Mongolia to capture its vast, yet eerily empty tourist destinations. In her ongoing series Universal Experience, which she will continue to add to, she explores scenes of epic beauty that have been developed to become tourist destinations. Tackling themes of nostalgia and abandonment, she hopes to capture the intertwining of natural beauty and the artificially engineered viewpoints from which people choose to remember it by.

“The aim is to shine a light on both the strange and sublime nature of these spaces,” Catherine says. “Giant Buddhas that exist in small desolate villages in rural China, and expansive mountainscapes with barely any visitors. Whether it’s sites of historical importance or natural splendour each is approached with a heightened awareness of its significance as a place of beauty and grandeur. Landscape is seen primarily as a cultural construct and only secondarily as a natural phenomenon.”

Catherine’s large-format photographs, shot on film, show the awesome landscapes together with their barren tourist-targeting additions, contrasting the natural and man-made elements. The dusty mountainous shots are particularly striking, with their gradated colours and uniformly dusty tones.

Words by Jenny Brewer,

I then went on to the photographers own website and saved all of the photographs from the series mentioned in the article, this gave me a wide range of imagery to work with in my layout designs. When deciding upon what content to use for my layout designs I specifically choose to focus on photography, this is because the final spreads will be printed at A3, therefore I wanted access to high resolution imagery that would still maintain their quality when increased in size.

For our layout designs we had to produce 3 final outcomes each with different specifications:

  • Text (body copy) with: 1 – 2 large images including captions
  • Text (body copy) with: 3 – 5 medium sized images including captions
  • Text (body copy) with: 3 – 5 small sized images including captions

The text must also include a major title to the spread plus main headings and subheadings, as well as page numbers. Graphic devices such as typographic rules, shapes and symbols could also be included.

Below are my 12 digital developed designs (4 per specification)

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 1

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 2

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 3

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 4

Text with: 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 1

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 2

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 3

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 4

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 1

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 2

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 3

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 4

Despite me basing my layout designs on the article wrote by It’s Nice That, in some of my designs I did choose to use dummy text. In some of my layouts I wanted to include larger amounts of body text however the original article is quite short, therefore I replaced the article text with placeholder text generated by Adobe InDesign.

From my 4 developed designs for each specification I believe that the most successful was design 1 for the large sized images, design 1 for the medium sized images and design 3 for the small sized images, however I do believe further refinements could be made. Design 1 for the large sized images the right side of the spread is too empty, therefore the addition of another image, graphic devices or altering the layout on the right could aid the design.

Kerning Exercise

Brief: Use Adobe InDesign to format 4 landscape A4 sheets, each sheet will have a single word in 4 different styles and all will be kerned. On each sheet the chosen word will be in a serif typeface and a sans serif typeface, and will have an uppercase and lowercase version of each. The words notoriously difficult to kern are: railway, predictability, woodland and masquerade. 

For my kerning exercise I chose the font Baskerville for my serif font, and Helvetica for my sans serif font. Below are my final kerned outcomes.

I found this exercise quite challenging, however this was not due to not understanding the brief or how to kern but because I found it hard to know when to stop kerning the words. I became too precious with the exercise and spent a lot of time readjusting my kerning, however after a discussion with the tutors I finally settled on the above outcomes which I believe are resolved.

 

Introduction to Book Layout and Preparing for Print

Introduction to book layout and introduction to preparing for print are two separate inductions that are both based in Adobe InDesign and both work hand in hand. Introduction to book layout covers how to set up and create a document for a book in InDesign, then introduction to preparing for print covers how to save and export the document correctly for printing as well as imposition.

When creating a document for print it is important to keep in mind the following:

  1. Audience
  2. Format (book size)
  3. Construction (binding)
  4. Extent (number of pages)
  5. Elements to include (special features, pop ups, flaps, gate folds)
  6. Deadline
  7. Printing needs (colour or black white?)
  8. How is it being printed (digital, litho, screen printing, letterpress)
  9. Book cover (soft or hard?)
  10. Do I have everything I need? (Photos, illustrations, 300dpi scans?)

Before creating the document it is important to create a flat plan detailing what will be included in the front matter, content and the end matter. Once this is done you can go onto creating your document. In this induction we looked at how to create a new document with facing pages, then how to create a grid and determine the font size and baseline grid. We then went on to learn how to create master pages, one for our grid to go onto and one for our numbering system. Finally we looked at type and how to create paragraph styles, frames and adding columns to a frame.

After setting up our documents we moved onto introduction to preparing for print. We began by learning how to find information on the images within the document in order to check their actual and effective PPI, as well as the colour settings for the document. Once all of those settings had been checked we started to look at how to export the document as a PDF for print, this included making sure the correct version of PDF was chosen, making sure the document was exported as spreads instead of pages, including marks and bleeds, and checking the correct colour conversion setting is selected.

Once the document has been exported as a PDF it can be opened in Acrobat Pro where you can use the colour output preview settings to make sure the document is exported correctly, as this is how the printing company will view your document when you send it to them.

Finally we looked at doing our own imposition for our documents, despite the fact most printing companies will do this for you it is handy to know in case they request you do your own or for printing your own mock ups before going to print. This stage included a lot of technical information as Adobe InDesign is not designed well for doing imposition, in order to correctly impose our documents we had to add a postscript file to our software. Once this had been done we went through the process of creating imposition preset using this postscript file as the printer. Using this preset we selected print booklet, chose the booklet type we wanted and the signature sizes and printed the file. This file when printed had to be saved with a .ps extension instead of an .indd extension, the .ps file could be opened once saved and then exported as a PDF which is the file type most printing companies will request.

This induction was incredibly helpful, especially preparing for print. Previously I had been afraid to produce books as final outcomes for my projects as I was unsure on how to correctly set up a document and how to do the imposition for my pages, although I could easily find information online on how to set up a document I was unable to on how to impose my pages therefore this information was invaluable to me. Since doing this induction I plan on creating many more as part of my coursework as I can now confidently and efficiently create the documents and print them, therefore allowing me to focus more time on creating high quality content.

Art of the Accident: Duotones and Tritones

Original photograph

Blue and black duotone

Blue, black and red tritone

Red and black tritone

Red, black and blue tritone

As suggested in my tutorial I began to experiment with colour. Using colours from the colour schemes I have previously created I experimented with creating duotones and tritones in Adobe Photoshop, which is a process I had never tried before. I liked the outcomes however I felt that the duotones and tritones took away from the initial imagery as the original photographs had a larger range of vibrant colours. Therefore from this I concluded that I did not want to edit the photographs from Brighton Beach in order to preserve their initial colour palettes.

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Instead of making duotone images from the Brighton Beach photography I made duotone images from my Portslade photography. I choose to edit these pictures as the original photographs were bright and vibrant with a yellow and blue colour scheme, this did not reflect industrial erosion which is orange and brown, these colours also clashed with the less saturated colours from my Brighton Beach photography. I find these edits to be far more successful as they remove the bright colours and make the images feel more industrial, as well as helping them to integrate well with the other imagery.

Introduction to Better Typography

In this induction we learnt how to use many of the features and functions in Adobe InDesign for typography. We began by learning how to reveal hidden characters within a block of text, which is especially useful if the text is provided to you by a client as you are able to see where paragraphs have been inserted. Then we moved onto how to apply paragraph styles and special character styles, as well as how to insert footnotes, hanging punctuation, ligatures, tabs, indents, bullets and rules. Other important skills we learned was how to balanced ragged text and remove runts/stubs, which is something that is always necessary when working with large bodies of type.

Out of all of the software inductions I have been to so far I felt that this one has definitely been the most beneficial to me. With many software packages a lot of the information can be learnt online however this induction covered a wide range of skills and tips that I otherwise would not have thought to look up or would have struggled to find information on, for example how to reveal hidden characters which is not a function I would have ever thought to use.

Art of the Accident: Typography Experiments

Inspired by one of the photographs included in my mood board I decided to start experimenting with typography and how I can use process to weather and erode it. I began by printing out several copies of the word ‘erosion’ onto paper and tearing the words up. Using the torn up pieces I created several compositions, some were designed to make sure the word was still legible whilst others were more experimental. I also experimented with scrunching the paper up and twisting and distorting the paper to warp the letterforms. For each of my compositions I would photograph them and then take them into Adobe Illustrator where I would use the trace tool to transform my photographs into crisp vector illustrations.

I also explored typography through experimental wiped monoprints. On a large piece of acetate I rolled out black water based ink which I allowed to dry for several hours. Once the ink was fairly dry I used pencils and other sharp objects to scratch the word ‘erosion’ into the surface of the ink. Once again after creating each of these compositions I would photograph them and take them into Adobe Illustrator to turn them into vector illustrations.

Out of the two techniques I used I prefer the effect created tearing and warping the paper. I find the unpredictable distortion of clean and crisp letterforms to be more visually interesting than the effect created from scrapping letters into partially dried ink, as the outcomes created using this process could be recreated with pen, paper and messy handwriting. Further on into the project I hope to create a final outcome in the form of a book therefore my torn and warped paper typography experiments could be revisited and refined for use on the front cover or for titles within the book.

Vertical Project: Surrealist Animation

At the beginning of this project I brainstormed all of the possible topics I could research that relate to my memory of the gnome sanctuary. From gnomes I identified dolls and puppetry, and from that I went on to identify the art movement surrealism. Surrealism fits my concept well as my memory is focusing on the whimsical humorous nature of the gnome sanctuary whilst also trying to convey the weirdness and strangeness of the situation.

Inspired by the introduction to Adobe After Effects that I attended this week I decided that my final format for this project will be an animation, this was also previously suggested during early discussions with the tutors. An animation seems fitting as well for a memory, when we remember past events we don’t tend to see the memory as a still and detailed image but instead we remember key highlights from that event which progress through time. There an animation drawing attention to key visual and auditory highlights, and progressing with time seems appropriate.

To combine the format of animation with the idea of surrealism I began to research surrealist animations, as seen above. Many of the animations use collage which has been photographed to form a stop motion film, this approach is quick and easy to do however I find the outcomes to appear rough and the rough nature takes away from the imagery. The bottom two animations however I think is the most successful, where the collaged elements have been digitally animated. The smooth nature of the animation and the elements placed on a flat background gives an eerie unnatural feelings that relates to my concept.

The imagery I choose to use in my animation will be inspired by my previous research into the garden centre aesthetic, looking at garden centre displays where the objects are juxtaposed into their setting. I will also seek inspired from my own memory of the gnome sanctuary. Whilst at the gnome sanctuary many of the gnomes were sculpted to appear to be taking part in a variety of activities, ranging from everyday activities to bizarre fantastical activities, therefore I will generate imagery based upon this.

Introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects

Early in the year I attended an introduction to motion workshop where we editing footage using Adobe Premiere Pro. Today I attended a short introduction to Adobe Premier Pro workshop which focused more on how to use that specific software package, where as the introduction to motion workshop focused more on video editing. The workshop also introduced how to use the software Adobe After Effects.

Premiere Pro is for video editing and you can use it to compose original work, After Effects on the other hand is for creating animations and can be used to create original artwork. Both software programmes are project based, therefore all assets must be saved in the same folder to maintain the links.

We began the introduction with looking at Adobe Premiere Pro. We looked at how to get our photographs safely off the camera, how to correctly format our projects and how to import our photographs into the software. The we began to look at the uses of some of the keys terms, something we had not previously covered in the introduction to motion workshop. The tools we looked at was the ripple edit, rolling edit, slip and slide tools, all designed to manipulate how footage, images and audio are positioned on the timeline. Finally we looked at how to render our final outcome in Premiere Pro. We looked at how to test render a small selection of footage from the film, which is useful to when working on large projects, as well as how to fully render your film with the correct formatting.

Once we had covered Adobe Premiere Pro we moved onto Adobe After Effects, a software that was completely knew to me and one that i was eager to learn. Throughout the course so far I have worked on many projects that I would have liked to have created animations for, however I lacked the skills and found learning the software by myself to be a very steep learning curve, therefore this workshop was perfect for my interests.

We started by looking at how to import assets into the software, still single images and a sequence of images, and how to place them within the workspace. Then we began to look at how to manipulate those assets by applying position, scale and opacity effects. Finally we looked at applying effects that changed the visual qualities of the imported assets, such as linear colour key and compound arithmetic. Finally, like with Premiere Pro, we covered how to render our final animations and make sure that they are correctly formatted.

Overall I found the induction extremely useful as it was handy to recap on how to use Premiere Pro and learn more about the tools, but what I really found useful was learning about After Effects. After Effects is a particularly difficult piece of software to self teach due to the fact that it is so fast and is used for a variety of purpose and formats, therefore a concise induction into the software aimed at beginners has helped me to understand roughly how it works, and hopefully I can now continue to self teach myself the software a lot easier.

Introduction to Advanced Adobe Photoshop

10/02/2017

This induction was a sequel to the beginners Photoshop induction which I attended last year in October. During this session we developed our existing skills and also learnt new skills in the software.

Before photo editing

After photo editing

We began by looking at ways of editing photographs, we started by exploring colour correction using adjustment layers.The adjustment layers we played with were levels, to adjust the shadows and highlight, and vibrance, to adjust the vibrancy of colours as well as saturation. With colour correction it is important to make sure you create a duplicate layer of the original image before any changes are made so that you can compare the before and after, also it is important to make sure that the screen is properly calibrated to ensure that the colours are accurate.

Then we began to explore editing the content within the image through the use of the sponge tool, clone stamp tool and the spot healing brush tool. Each have their advantages and disadvantages and should be used where appropriate. The sponge tool can be used in two modes, saturate and desaturate, you can also adjust the flow of the brush for more control, the clone stamp tool requires you to select a target area to sample to clone which is time consuming but allows for more control than the spot healing brush tool which will automatically select a target area to sample however this can lead to poor results if it selects and undesirable target area.

Finally for editing photographs we looked at sharpening and high pass filter. To sharpen an image it was recommended that we use the unsharp mask or smart sharpen, which can be used to add more clarity to the image and reduce any blur in the image created through camera shake. We also used a high pass filter which allows you to apply a blend mode to only select areas of the image, therefore improving only the areas that require improvements.

Before extraction

After extraction

After looking at editing photographs we briefly revisited layer masks which we covered in the induction to Photoshop for beginners as well as how to create our own Photoshop brushes, and then quickly moved on to extraction. Extraction can be used to remove a selected area from an image. We used select > colour range to select the background colour which we the removed. Then we created a layer mask, refined mask edge and put on a smart radius which we adjusted, we switched on decontaminate colours which we adjusted, as well as adjusting the feathering in order to remove any of the remaining green contaminating the image of the monkey. Finally I replaced the green background with red.

Applying my knowledge of advanced blending and selections

Channels are not something I had previously learnt before in Photoshop therefore covering their uses was very helpful for me. We looked at creating crisp line work with channels by duplicating the channels, inverting the channels and using the dodge tool to further define the line work. Finally loading the channel as a selection to create a clean and crisp selection of the line work. It was highlighted that this way of working is particularly useful for screen printing and you can split channels to create multiple documents, each for a layer of the image, we can then be used to individually print each layer of a screen print.

Finally we ended the induction by looking at grayscale and duotone. Grayscale is particularly useful as printing in grayscale can save money, however in order to do this the image must be set to grayscale and not simply appear black and white. To do this you can use image > mode > grayscale, or you can choose image > adjustments > black and white, then manually adjust how the image appears in black and white, and once happy with the appearance select image > mode > grayscale, to discard the RGB or CMYK channels.

Examples of duotone

To produce duotone images you need your document to be set to grayscale first. The using image > mode > duotone you can select monotone or duotone. You can also use the duotone curve to change how each colour relates to each other.

Overall I found this induction extremely useful. I initially attended the induction to Photoshop for beginners which was handy for learning the correct way of doing things in Photoshop however most of the content covered I already knew, however this induction taught me a wide range of skills which I was either not confident in using or had never used before. A skill that I had never even encountered before was duotone, although I have seen many duotone images over the years I never knew its name or how to recreate it, therefore I think in the future that will be something I develop from this induction in my own time or in my studio work.

Hierarchy

29/11/2016 – 9/01/2017

Brief: To use given content to produce a successful design solution for the KULI-KALA production. This design solution has to then also be formatted to four different specification sizes. The aim of this project is to improve my understanding of design hierarchies through the use of font size, weight and spatial arrangement. As well as to develop a sensitivity towards composition, balance and harmony, and finally to apply the knowledge I have gained through the production of my typographic archive.

I began by researching posters that display a confident understanding of hierarchy through the use of typography and limited graphic rules. Below are some examples that I found to be successful, especially due to their of rules and the alignment and spacing of the text fields, and all of which I have gone on to include within my typographic archive.

prelude-music-festival-poster-by-mercedes-bazan

Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan

prelude-music-festival-poster-by-mercedes-bazan-2

Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan

montreal-international-black-film-festival-by-sarah-dufour

Montreal International Black Film Festival by Sarah Dufour

japanase-architecture-a-history-by-sabrina-scott

Japanese Architecture A History by Sabrina Scott

After concluding my research I took the content that we were given to include in the design and split it into text fields, then I assigned these fields a hierarchy; primary, secondary or tertiary. These fields and hierarchies were not permanent but acted as a rough guide to follow when producing my hand drawn thumbnails of various design solutions. Once I had some ideas sketched out I digitally rendered four which I thought were the most successful in order to see how they worked within a digital space. I judged my most successful thumbnails on how well the use text size, weight, spatial arrangement.

untitled-1

Above I am using graphic rules to frame the text, however the brief states we may incorporate minimal use of graphic rules and my use in this image may be too decorative.

untitled-2

A reduction in the amount of graphic rules present and the introduction of inverted rules with type.

untitled-3

Experimenting wth the orientation of type and the use of dynamic rules. Although this is a technical project and not conceptual, the use of dynamic rules could be seen to represent swords or slashing, which relates to the samurai storyline of the production.

untitled-3-v2

A variation on the previous design however with the addition of another rule to represent clashing swords. The additional rule however creates an awkward interception with the inverted rule on the left, despite the reduced opacity of that rule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the above images I decided to further develop the 2nd design. In comparison to the other designs it is less cluttered and there is a clearer hierarchy. Before going onto develop my design I did have to resolve an issue that I encountered once digitally rendering some of my designs. In the brief states it states that we are restricted to two typefaces, these are the serif font Garamond and the sans serif font Meta, both of which I did not have available on my device. I was able to find Garamond available online and install it onto my device, however I was unable to find Meta for free therefore I substituted it for the san serif font Arial which is readily available.

untitled-2-v2-kerned

Developed Design

In the above image I have gone on to develop my design by changing the tertiary text fields from Garamond to Arial. The serifs on Garamond reduces readability of the text when the text is set to a small font size, especially on screen, therefore a sans serif font would help to increase readability. Furthermore the use of a serif and sans serif font in one design creates a contrast between the two.

I have further developed the design by kerning the characters in the main heading. I reduced the space between the K and U in the first inverted rule, and the K, A and L in the second inverted rule. I did this to reduce the negative space between the letters cause by the diagonals present in the letter K and A.

Final 210 x 210mm Design

Above is my final design for the 210 x 210mm format. It has been developed from my initial design by making the tertiary text at the top of the image fit onto one line, this is because by having the text on two lines like it was before it created an unbalanced composition at the top of the image. Furthermore I’ve adjusted the length of the inverted rule for the date to be aligned on the left with the text and the inverted rules of the main headline. I also adjusted the length of the tertiary text below the inverted date rule to be shorter, this is so that the text frame height would matches the tertiary text on the right, and so that there is space between the left and right text fields. Finally a graphic rule was added above the text field in the bottom at 40% opacity in line with the bottom of the date inverted graphic rule. This was to fill in the negative space and balance the composition.

90 x 125mm

100 x 210mm

297 x 105mm

Above is my design transferred to the three other formats; 90 x 125mm, 100 x 210mm and 297 x 105mm. Throughout the various formats I have made sure to maintain the inverted rules and graphic rules, as well as making sure the layout remains consistent where possible. Furthermore I ensured that the elements in each image remained consistent in their ratios.

Digital Presentation Board

In InDesign I assembled created an A2 document and assembled all of my formats on that document to scale. This digital document acted as a mock up for my physical presentation board for my final outcome. It also allowed me to view all of my formats against one another to check to make sure all of my formats had a consistent design.

I believe that my final outcome was successful as they all contain a consistent design as can easily be recognised as being part of the same series. All of the same main elements of the design are present in each format, for example the inverted rules, graphic rules, layout etc. Similar layout and font sizes are also maintained where possible. As well as aiming to maintain consistency I also aimed for the designs to successfully work on their own, therefore each design has a clear hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary information, all the text is legible, and I have employed techniques such as scale to put emphasis on the important design elements. Initially I did struggle with this project as my existing knowledge of typography was limited, however as I developed my typographic archive and worked on my typographic emphasis exercise I furthered my knowledge of typography and was able to cement this knowledge by putting it into practice through this project.

Critique

During my critique I was informed of many areas I had to improve within my design. My design was praised as being super clear and easy to read, but it was too formal without enough drama and dynamism. To combat this I was advised to give it a stylistic twist. Other feedback specific to the elements of the design was that there was not enough empty space, the serif font is hard to read in inverted rules and a sans serif font would be more legible, and that the use of the large rule at the top was distracting.

Post Critique Amendments

To rework my design I went back to one of my earlier thumbnail sketches and began to digitally render some compositions based upon that, keeping in mind the feedback I received as well as the feedback given to others during the group critique. Below are some of the designs I produced and sought out additional feedback on.

Text fields in the bottom left abruptly disrupt the flow of the piece

Very flat, dynamism is lost without the cuts in the title

Text extending down disrupts the balance of the piece

Larger title helps to balance the composition more despite the text still extending downwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My personal favourite design, and the design my tutor agreed upon as the best, was the design below. We agreed that it was more dynamic, however small adjustments could be made. The large black diagonals on on top left and bottom right corner could be removed from the design, the bottom left text field about the composer and writer / director could be wider or altered slightly to remove the thin section caused by the “action by” line, finally the alignment of the text fields in the top right should be more precise.

Initial design

Design after feedback

Below is my final reworked design applied to all of the formats. Overall I am very pleased with the final outcome. At the beginning of this project I researched many good examples of visual hierarchy with type in graphic design and began implementing those stylistic approaches within my thumbnails however during the designing process I believe I sacrificed too many of these features in favour of making an easy to read and understand design. Therefore for my final design I revisited some of my earlier thumbnails and brought some of those stylistic approaches back (e.g. dynamic cut through the lettering and stepped text fields), which ended up producing an easy to read and understand design that is also dynamic and visually appealing.

210 x 210mm

297 x 105mm

100 x 210mm

90 x 125mm