Explain: Improvements Final Video

Above is my final video explaining the five stages of sleep. In the video I integrated type and image by layering the JPEGs of my typography scans on top of my videos, I then set the images to a low opacity. This allowed the text to be seamlessly integrated with the imagery but it also gave the typography an ethereal feel similar to that of dreams. In parts of the film I also used the same technique but to layer two videos which would play at the same time, giving an unnatural and eerie feel. Towards the end of the video during the REM stage I set the type to appear and disappear very quickly at points, this was to represent rapid eye movements. I also made sharp cuts between video clips to represent rapid eye movements.

For the background music I used delta waves sleep music by Meditation Relax. This music is specially designed to help people sleep at night, specifically to enter a deep sleep therefore it seemed appropriate in context to my video.

Explain: Improvements Typography

In my video I decided that using moving imagery of my mobile wouldn’t be enough to convey the information about the five stages of sleep, as the only information on the mobile is the brain wave activity scans for each stage of the sleep cycle. I felt it was essential to add textual information to my video however I did not want to simply add frames of digital text as this would not integrate well with the abstract nature of the imagery.

As I wanted my video to be mainly imagery based and easy to understand I began by reducing the information for each stage of the sleep cycle down to it’s basic keywords. I then printed these keywords off and distorted them with a scanner. Not only did this make the type more abstract but it also gave the type an eerie unusual nature similar to that of dreams.

Once I had experimented with distorting the keywords I choose the most successful distortion of each keyword, the distortion that best balance legibility with interesting forms, and refine the scan in Photoshop. I refined the scans by cropping them down and then increasing the contrast to improve clarity.


Explain: Improvements

Mobile made up of four discs, each representing a different stage in the sleep cycle 

Printed on acetate suspended with invisible thread

For the project Explain I made a mobile out of a wooden embroidery hoop and embroidery thread, from this mobile hung several threads with paper discs attached. Each discs would contain factual information on why we dream. Acting upon the feedback given to me at this crit I have remade the mobile out of transparent materials, the discs are now made of acetate with my vector illustrations printed onto them and they are hanging by invisible thread. These materials allowed the mobile to appear more dreamlike as the elements appear to be floating and can be seen through one another. Furthermore acetate is very reflective so interesting visual effects were created due to lighting.

To record my mobile it was decided that I should create a moving image piece, and that the way in which the mobile is filmed should optically convey the elements that it is informing, for example rapid eye movement. The advice given for creating a moving image piece was to add a soundscape to the video, also to make sure that the video is very short so that it is manageable.

I also decided to focus on one strand of the mobile to use in my moving image piece, the strand I choose was the strand documenting the 5 stages of sleep. I choose this strand as the various stages of sleep could be creatively illustrated in the piece, for example during the rem stage of sleep eye movements could be conveyed by moving the camera in certain directions.


06/01/2017 – 06/02/2017

Brief: To visually explain a concept through a series of sequential imagery. This concept should be chosen from a list of provided ideas and the final outcome should be in a format appropriate to the subject matter, experimentations /explorations and to my ideas and investigations. Through this project an awareness of content and aesthetic hierarchies should be developed, along with research and self-evaluation skills.

From the list of concepts, theories, processes, etc. provided I chose to explain why we dream. I wanted to chose something that wasn’t just fact but left room for creative interpretation. Dreaming has different interpretations across different cultures and throughout history, it also has scientific explanations. Furthermore the concept allows for a lot of visual play due to its imaginative nature.

I initially began my investigation by researching infographics; how they are designed and what formats they can be applied to. For my final outcome I did not simply want to produce a poster for both of the two infographic briefs therefore I focused my research on unique ways of displaying infographics. A piece I found particularly interesting and relevant to my work was 44 Days of Sleep by Ra Bear / Adam Griffiths. Instead of creating a poster he printed his poster design, which focused on his sleep schedule, onto a duvet cover. After some brief research I discovered that printing onto a duvet cover would be quite expensive. A blanket or series of pillows would still hold the connotations linking to sleep, how they also would be quite expensive and the clarity of text may be lost on a small scale and with a textured fabric surface.

44 Days of Sleep by Ra Bear / Adam Griffiths

Infographics XXXXL by Coming Soon, 2013 – Research into creating three dimensional infographics

Interest Number 4 by Peter Ørntoft – Research into combining photography and digital graphics

The format that I finally decided upon was a mobile, such as mobile that would hang over a young child’s crib. Not only does this connotate to sleeping and dreaming but it would allow me to create clear graphical information and display it in a creative and three dimensional setting without fear of cost or not communicating well. This was inspired after seeing a tutorial on making your own mobiles on Pinterest for young children. To construct my mobile I used the same materials suggested in the tutorial, which was the inside of an embroidery hoop with my infographic elements being attached to it with colourful thread.

DIY Embroidery Hoop Mobile

Mobile with Paper Elements

To design my elements I first generated a colour palette using Adobe Kuler. When researching why we dream I discovered that the most popular colour palette people dream in is pastel, so I wanted to create a pastel colour palette that also had a variety of colours to fit in with the playful nature of dreams and a mobile which is usually aimed at children.  Below is my chosen colour palette, I did not want to make the colours overly pastel as it would make the final product not stand out and hard to understand so I chose slightly pastel but bright vibrant colours.

Adobe Kuler Colour Palette

Once I had selected my colour palette I sketched out the design for my mobile. When researching the DIY mobiles many compromised of 4 strands hanging from the hoop with a central stand hanging from the knot tied at the top. Using this design I sketched out how the information I collected from my research could be applied. I chose to break the information into 4 categories (1 category per strand) and then a small introduction which would go on the central strand. The 4 categories were the stages of sleep, the benefits of dreaming, dream recall and REM movements. For each strand I broke the information down further into 4 subcategories, each subcategory would have its own disc and on each disc one side would contain the information and the other side would have an illustrated image for the information. To attach the information to the mobile I took the information and accompanying graphic on separate discs and stuck them together on either side of the string, this was to hide the string in the middle so it did not interfere with the text or graphics.

Graphic Discs

Text Discs

During the group crit however it was suggested that I develop the idea of a mobile further. It was suggested that the mobile needs to be more sculptural and optically convey the elements that it informing, for example rapid eye movement. The visual language needs to be more radical which could be achieved by using projection, glow in the dark stars or a moving image piece. From the ideas suggested I was eager to try creating a moving image piece based on my mobile. The advice given for creating a moving image piece was to add a soundscape to the video, also to make sure that the video is very short so that it is manageable.