Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Ideas Development.

I have a sufficient amount of visuals/sketches so now I am digitizing some of the ideas that I think work well to experiment further with. I will do the designs as I have drawn and then develop them further if necessary with elements/sections that I think may be appropriate, a bit like a trial and error sort of thing.

Colour Scheme.
For this brief I have decided to stick to a simple black and white colour scheme. This is because I think it will keep the whole thing simple and allow the viewer to focus more on the design that I do in relation to my random word rather than having the possibility of them getting distracted by a random colour scheme I put together.

Idea: 'the 'bowl' shaking inside a letter'.

I decided to digitise this idea because I think it works really well at representing the meaning of the word shake.

Basically I used the letter O that I used when sketching out my visuals for the idea, and put the actual letter in one layer on photoshop, and then the bowl in another layer. This made it easier for me to edit it for each of the designs within the set by allowing me to just move the bowl into the different positions. The idea is really simple, so obviously my outcomes are really simple too, and look as though they didn't take much effort (but to be fair, they didn't). So after considering what I could do I thought about doing this:

I made the bowl in each of the designs to look a little blurry to give the sense that they are/have been moved. I did this by layering up a variety of copies from the layer containing the 'bowl' shape and changed the opacity for each and positioned them randomly around the original one, not straying too far from it.

I think this improves the idea and makes it look that bit more interesting.

Idea: 'a bit shakey progressing to being a lot shakey'.

I found this idea interesting, so decided to digitise it.

To do this, I simply took a simple letter O and used the 'wind' filter on Photoshop. I started by not having any and progressed using more and more on each of the examples. The counter in the O didn't have the filer used on it as much of the outer section of the letter because I think this way it just keeps it that little bit more interesting and keeps it legible.

I then put each of the designs into the A6 format layout to see how they would look and position within the design area. I kept them all central because I think just the designs themselves do enough to respond to the brief well.

Idea: 'having the same elements happen on each design with different typeface on each'.

I tried this idea because I didn't want to just develop the sequence ideas.

To produce each of these I basically used the same technique as I did with the letter O and the moving counter in it. I made a variety of layers of the letter and changed the opacity on each of them (except the top one) and rotated them slightly and positioned them close around the top letter to give the effect that it is shaking/blurry from it. I think this idea is really good and I may consider using it as my final idea.

Idea: 'reorganise' and 'shake the letter and have it fall apart'.

I first tried this experiment using the 2 letters (Z and F) I had sketched out my idea using.

I think the idea is a good idea to represent my chosen word, and is quite interesting to put together. I want to try it with different letters before I make a final opinion on this.

I tried the idea then using a T and L. This time I did it using letters with just 2 elements in them rather than 3, to see if it looks any better/worse.

I don't think the 2 elements works as strongly as the ones with 3 in them, just because the idea is really simple anyway, so with just the 2 being 'shaken' around, the design area I have to work with is still looking quite bare.

After thinking (quite a bit) about this idea, I thought it may look more effective and work better is I used a bolder font, so I used the 2 letters from the first experiment I used that have 3 elements in them. Before I did the actual re arranging over the 10 designs I broke the Z down into it's 3 elements and attempted at then fitting these together as the F. (I did this for the other 2 experiments also, but didn't feel the need to show this on my blog.) With the bolder font I have found that to rearrange the Z into the F just doesn't work without the F looking proper deformed (as shown). The way that I could get around this would be to re shape the elements as they are shaking in each of the designs, but then if I was to do this it would take away the whole point of 'rearranging' them.

I think even though this idea is a good one for representing the word, the brief is to create 10 designs of manipulated letter forms. So if you were to take just one of the 10 designs from the sequence it wouldn't work in response to the brief because it is basically just 3 random shapes in random places. So because of this I am going to just scrap the idea.

Idea: 'shaking back and forward/side by side'.

Before I placed the letters for this idea onto the layout for each of the 10 designs, I first measures out and rotated all 10 of the letter E to make sure that it is a perfect curve so that I don't end up with 2 of the designs with the letters in the same place.

When I'd done this, I put them into the layout I was using to see the designs how they would work as a set.

Using the letters as I did them to use before putting them on to the 10 individual layouts, if I follow the way that I did it on the sketch I made it doesn't work because the last E (which should be at the top and upright) ends up on the 9th on the sequence and not the 10th, so I need to rearrange these. Also, I think to look at them as a set to see how they would work, this layout for the 10 designs doesn't help at all so I will try a different layout for them.

I used a single file layout for the designs to see them more how they would work in order. This makes the idea look that bit more successful. I also changed them round so that they now work in order, and the letter that ended up in the 9th on the previous layout now ends up on the 10th where it is supposed to.

Again, same as the previous idea I experimented with. I like the idea as a whole and I think the sequence does work well at showing the letter shaking from side to side, but if you were to just select out one of the 10 designs, as shown:

It doesn't look that effective, and basically just looks as though I have randomly put an E anywhere in the area. I think if I was to concentrate more on the idea and use one of the blurred shakey effects like in one of the previous experiments where I made the counter 'shakey' as it moved it would probably work better. But again to look at just one of the 10 on it's own would still look a bit crap and rushed as though I haven't bothered putting much effort or thought into it. So because of this, and the fact that I don't think it responds to the brief as well as some of the other ideas I have do, I am going to just scrap this idea before I waste anymore time.

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Visuals/Sketches Part 2.

Here is some more visuals/sketches that I put together for my ideas I came up with to respond to the brief.

Idea: 're organise' and 'shake letter and have it fall apart'.

This idea is basically similar to one of the previous ones I sketched where I visualised where the letter would end up if it was to be shook within something. Well for this one i did the same but did it so that when it is shook the letter falls apart (because when you shake somethings that are fragile they do tend to fall apart), and then i combined this idea with the rearranging idea and had the elements of the beginning letter being shaken into a new letter. I chose to use the letter F and turn it into the letter Z because both of these letterforms are essentially made up of 3 sections, so it was easier to make the first letter fall apart and form into the other.

Idea: 'shaking back and forward/side by side'.

For this idea I did it as though the letter is on a spring and is being shook side by side. The first in the sequence starts as far pulled to the left side of the design area and then the sequence follows on by it being over to the right then shook back over to the left, until in the 10th design the letter has stopped shaking and has gone back upright.

Idea: ''current' shake going through a letter'.

These visuals that i have done for this idea didn't really turn out how I originally wanted them to. What I wanted it to do is have the letter M move in sequence so that it turns into a wave and then goes back into the letter M by the last design in the sequence but when i came to sketch them out it basically just went quite horribly wrong. I used a sans serif quite rounded font to help with the freeness within the wave I was going to make. I may possibly try to sketch out this idea again to see if I can get it right the second time round.

Idea: ''current' shake going through a letter'.

So basically, I was thinking about the previous idea and how it just proper didn't turn out how I wanted it to, so I tried a different approach. In these visuals I decided to have a more formal/ blocked M, and in each of the designs through the process there is like a shake/wave progressing through it. For this I just drew 4 of the 10 designs because I figured it would be obvious what would happen throughout. I think it works better because it could possibly represent the word Shake better, and the idea is just a lot clearer.


For these sketches I just did an example for each because if I was to develop them further these would be the kind of thing that I would use the idea to have the same effect on different typefaces. The letter B that I did in the top left was in response to one of the images I have in my research where it is blurry from being moved. The letter E in the bottom left I just basically did the edged wobbly as though the letter is shaking: I think this would work quite well across of variety of letterforms. The letter E in the top right is basically the same as one of the previous ones I did with the letter O, but did this shaking up and down instead. Finally the B in the bottom right I just drew that holding the other end of the pen so that it was shaking.

Idea: 'hand shaking'.

This idea I simply took a letterform and started it off by drawing with my hand shaking a little bit, and progressed through each of the drawings making my hand shake more for each. I think this is a simple and easy solution to what the brief is asking, but I think if it was digitised it could possibly look quite interesting.

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Visuals/Sketches.

Feeling like I have a sufficient amount of ideas to start with I got my head down and started putting together sets of visuals for them. The majority of my ideas are ones that go in sequences, so I sketched out each of the sets of sequences for the ideas to the A6 size to give me a better understanding as to whether the idea is good or not and if it would work/respond to the brief well.

Idea: 'the 'bowl' shaking inside a letter'.

Here I have taken the letter O and used a bold, wide typeface and simply just drew them out in sequence so that when they are looked at in order it will look as thigh the bowl is been shaken around the inside of the letter. On these sketches I have just done 9 because the 10th one would be the same as the first to show that even though it is being shook it still ends up in the same place.

Idea: 'hand shaking'.

I got this idea from the Seasame Street 'secret drawing' video I have included in my research. I have used the definition of shake to be shaking hands, so i used the middle connection of the M to be the 2 arms that shake hands. I have just used simple circles for the hands because I think the detaik of them isn't necessarily as important as the shape of the letter. I figure that a thin capital letter M would work best for this idea so that there is the flexibility within the movement of the arm to make it look like what i am intending.

Idea: 'a bit shakey progressing to being a lot shakey'.

The basis of this idea was thought of from the image i have in my research of someone shaking their phone. It got me thinking about how when ever you shake something you usually start of slow and progressively get faster at doing it resulting in a more blurred version of what is being shook when looking at it. So using a simple bold version of the letter O I have drawn it as though it is being shaken from side to side and in each of the sequence it gets more and more blurred making the final design ini the sequence a lot wider than the original.

Idea: 'shaking positions'.

For this idea I basically imagined shaking a letter within something and visualised where the letter could possibly land in each of the sequence. I think this is quite a simple idea but i do think that it would respond to my random word well.

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Ideas

Considering the fact that in response to the brief we have to produce a set of 10 images using a chosen letterform to demonstrate our chosen word, there is a number of ways in which to make them a set, i.e:
  • Make each of the 10 designs individual, using similar elements within each.
  • Make the whole set of 10 designs into a sequence so that when looked at in order they all work together.
  • Have the same elements happen on each design with different typeface on each.

Considering these approaches and the research I have made, I brainstormed together a few ideas of what I could do in response:

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Shake

The word that I selected at random was 'shake'.

Define: Shake.
  • move or cause to move back and forth.
  • judder: shake or vibrate rapidly and intensively.
  • rock: move back and forth or sideways.
  • undermine or cause to waver.
  • milkshake: frothy drink of milk and flavoring and sometimes fruit or ice cream.
  • handshake: grasping and shaking a person's hand.
  • bring to a specified condition by or as if by shaking.
  • tremble: a reflex motion caused by cold or fear or excitement.
  • shake (a body part) to communicate a greeting, feeling, or cognitive state.


Related words.

  • bump.
  • chatter.
  • disturb.
  • jerk.
  • shimmer.
  • shiver.
  • sway.
  • waggle.
  • wave.
  • whip.
  • wobble.
  • jolt.
  • dodder.
  • creeps.
  • quaver.

Alphabet Soup Pt 1 - Seminar handouts/type categories.

Here are images of the handouts from a seminar with Fred on 27/09/2010.

This seminar was briefing us into what we will be looking into for our Visual Thinking module (brief). We learnt that there is basically more to typography than meets the eye, and that it is the visual way to voice what we think.

Over the summer we were set an additional task along side the Alphabet task we received to collet together 20 examples of each letter in the alphabet. After the seminar we got together in our blog groups and put all the examples of letters that we collected together. We then observed our collection and chose the letter that we found we had more examples of: ours was the letter B, and used them to make a list of categories (serif, sans serif, bold, uppercase, etc...).

From the list of categories we found, the more important/common ones that the letters can be put into are:

  • Uppercase.
  • Lowercase.
  • Light.
  • Regular.
  • Bold.
  • Italic.
  • Serif.
  • Sans Serif.
  • Font.
  • Scale.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

What Is Graphic Design? - Lecture Notes.

Here is some notes I took from the lecture we had with Fred about What Is Graphic Design on 20/09/2010.

What Is Graphic Design? - Statements.

From this list of statements that are on the back of the What Is Graphic Design brief, we are to choose 3 of them to then go on and find at least 10 examples to represent each.

The 3 statements I choose are:
  • Graphic Design ..... simple and effective.
  • Appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, structured ... design lives in the detail
  • Graphic Design ..... is a solution to a problem of communication through design.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

How To... Final Idea.

We decided to go with a map and posters.

How To... Ideas.

We then each went off to put together our own ideas as to what we could do for the brief.

The idea that was decided was the one that Sam came up with, and then Sarah and Sadie developed it further. Ryan got the task of designing the map for it, and I got the task of finding relevant information to use.

How To... Getting Lost.

Once these tasks were completed, the tutors then took a selection from everyones choices and mixed them all together, and then one person from each of the groups had to choose one of the topics at random. The one we got was Getting Lost.

To get our heads around our topic and what different aspects it could entail, we drew out another mind map of all of the different ideas about what it could mean. We came up with several ranging from being physically lots to mentally lost (lack of friends/loss of identity/etc):

After this, we jotted down a list of ideas as to what we could do to solve the brief, and then from this we chose 3 of them and explained each on to separate sheets of paper. Our 3 key ideas were:
  • Survival Kit
  • Lost In Translation
  • Personalized Maps

We all decided that the idea we would prefer to tackle was the Lost In Translation one, but the decision was down to a different group of 5, and the idea that they chose for us to do was Personalized Maps.

How To... Things We Hate.

For this brief we were put into groups of 5 to work on it together. In my group there is myself, Ryan, Sam, Sadie and Sarah.

For our first task, we were asked to discuss all of the different things that we hate right now about moving away to university. We formatted ours into 2 mind maps, as shown below:

Once we did this, we then had to narrow down our topics and choose the 5 we felt most passionately about. The ones our group decided on were:
  • Yorkshire Tramps
  • The harsh Reality
  • The Weather
  • Not Being Prepared
  • Bathrooms

Monday, 20 September 2010


This is the Alphabet that I designed in response to the summer brief we received. The aim was to develop it so that it reflects myself as an individual to then be communicated to our year group.

  • Each letter that spells out my name represents the physical aspect of me that people usually see. I showed this by using illustrations incorporated in each of the letters.
  • The rest of the letters are used to represent different things about me; such as where I am from, etc. I kept these designs more simple and just used words/symbols within the letters to show a clear distinction between this set and the other.
  • I hand drew each of the letter designs to represent the fact that I am hand made by myself and I am who I want to be, not what someone else has made.
  • I used a series of colours then with the designs to show the fact that I am bright and creative. 
  • For the background, I used a selection of photos of people I'm close to and places I've been. Then, using a bokeh style I made them look worn to represent the fact that they are timeless memories, and presented each of the designs to look like a series of polaroid pictures.