Exercise – Chance Housing Association Revisited

Again a sound range of ideas for ‘Chance Housing Association’. In many respects you over-complicated the solution by adding door illustration therefore your logo design has two illustrative features; the word ‘association’ doesn’t merit emphasis.’

Never has a truer word been spoken in jest. The more I looked at what I initially thought was a great idea the more I realised I’d strayed into illustration territory, perhaps goaded by some of the images I’d collected on Pinterest. Some of which may have looked nice, twee. Kitsch. I think its very easy to be taken in by snazzy logos, bright colours and wonderful motifs, yet they rarely add anything to the overall design.

The desire to overcomplicate or not let the text speak is strange and indeed when I searched for simple estate agent logo’s there were surprisingly few that relied on lettering and simple decorative devices. That puts the designer up against it as straight the way you’re having to be innovative. So to that end I revisited the work I’d done previously for this exercise and drop the door opening motif, ensuring the simplicity of the design returned (though I kept the roof motif as it didn’t interfere with the lettering), and any manipulation of the lettering was reflective of the theme.

I’ve done a couple of mock up’s with two different designs and hopefully these are closer to the intent of the original brief.  

Of the two designs the one on the left is my favoured as it’s simpler, cleaner and visually more balanced and the one I’d submit for assessment.

The French Hen Revisited 15012021

As they say a good designer has room for development and flexibility, and so here I am. My recent feedback from my tutor included a line which has made me chuckle a bit as well as think about how an idea I’d shelved could be developed. Here the comment:

‘…a sassy hen with sophisticated confidence.’

Now who am I to deny the world a sassy hen? So a return to the shelved idea and an attempt to create a hen with sophisticated confidence. Folk, before you laugh it is possible to do. I merely developed the idea, and thought about sassy, strutting your stuff, and a little bit of Pinterest research gave me the shot of inspiration I needed.

The logo wording was added above this time and I used Thirsty Script Extrabold and placed it on a curved text line above the chicken.

Now the final mock up of the new design, which I have to admit I rather like.

Research Point: Posters

The one thing this course does is open your mind to new ideas and concepts, and whilst the way in which visual information is relayed to us. Be it official announcement or marketing and promotion purposes, the poster remains that bridge between the informative elements of Graphic Design and illustration. The Victorians and Edwardians were great one for providing wonderfully illustrated posters that were almost artworks in themselves, often featuring fantastical motifs and themes. Alluding that the properties of products were somehow magical, patriotic in some cases, but always superior by virtue of the standard of artwork commissioned. By the start of the Great War these posters had morphed into celebrations of nationalistic pride, of women urging men to advance into the crucible of the Western Front.

The post-war world had changed beyond all recognition and by the 1920’s the artistic freedom that many designers were experiencing in the new world of post imperial Russia and Germany were influencing the work of artists in Great Britain and USA. Palette colours were simplified and styles from the Bauhaus and Art Deco Schools were making themselves felt in popular advertising. This was now torn between connecting the consumers personal preferences to a product and new ways of radical thinking and governance, such as communism and fascism, rather than chasing the nationalistic ideals of Exceptionalism and turning goods into a celebration of Empire.

As the period progressed there was a drive to place the consumer at the heart of the image; famers, families, men, and women. There was also a return to selling the ideal, but not as an extension of the body politic (outside of Central and Eastern Europe aside), but as a means to introduce the consumer to the world. The age of the holiday was upon the masses, given rise by cheaper transportation, and an ever increasing globalisation of information. The use of photography, which first appeared mainly in post war political posters, was becoming more popular with advertisers and manufacturers, especially the automotive industry. Though illustrations were still being used, it was more simplistic and suited to cheaper mass and rapid turn over printing rather than the more expensive and complex painterly styles.

The onset of war and mass propaganda introduced once again more complex and dynamic use of colour, composition and theme. Posters followed the same formulas of personal engagement with the viewer seen with contemporary advertising, promoting personal responsibility and collective aims.

Post war adverting and poster production was miles away from the still rigid forms of the inter war years. Many of the designers returned from fighting eager to experiment and use their post war education credits to gain the necessary qualifications in design and illustration. New theories from Switzerland, especially those penned by Müller – Brockmann and Tschichold, introduced a new form and visual direction to the poster, which was easier to fulfil with the development of print technolgy. There was also the chance to completely tear-up the rule book and introduce more informal form in their work. The seriousness of wartime messaging was now replaced with a looser, freer form of expression where comedy and whimsicality was welcomed, especially in film and travel posters.

For me this was the golden era of the poster, from holidays to military recruitment, clothing to cars this period not only helped to sell ideas, good and experiences, but also, for a fleeting moment, showed that all was still good with the world. Colours and artistic flare worked together to give the viewer an experience and insight in what was out there, a welcoming splash of colour and life for all to enjoy.

All the while Type and Font has developed with posters, becoming more sophisticated and less decorative whilst improving accessibility. Though it has to be noted that as the decades progressed the decorative fonts were used, but often sparingly, as part of logos for example, and often in Black or Bold styles.

My Pinterest collection of posters and similar can be found here: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/Benjskipper/inspired-graphic-design/

Resources Used

Inglis, T. (2019) Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design, Batsford, London

Clark, T. (1997) Art and Propaganda, Everyman Art Library, London

Exercise: Birthday List

This is an interesting little task involving the design of a simple Birthday Reminder Calendar for family and friends. As opposed to a spider chart style mind map I looked at the key themes of the exercise and used these as a starting point for what the exercise was attempting to do. I then considered the brief from my perspective as a disabled person who struggles with communication. What did I want/need? Clarity above all else.

The actual list is based on a simple sheet of A3 separated into 12 square grid, which was going to originally be orientated as landscape, but I decided to move it to a portrait orientation. Each square would represent a month, with no individual dates, instead there would two simple types of symbol, circles for family and squares for friends. I was inspired by Eastern European birthday calendars that are wall hung which use similar approached for different birthdays.

For the actual methods of communication I did think about symbols, however some are easily confused visually so opted for colour coding which makes the task that bit easier.

For the main List background I chose a pale yellow with a pale blue banner with the words Birthday List in a simple Black San Serif Type, Candal. This was then given a light shadow effect. For the Background I initially intended to use a coloured background to help contrast with the colour coded disks, so came up with this:

I’ll be honest, after literally sleeping on it these first drafts look hideous. So a review of White Space is in order with resign adding a faint background image being more in keeping. The arrangement of the grid is also off so I’ll address that too as well as sorting out the type, its size (30Pts) and colour (60% grey). I used a generic back image as I wanted the poster to have a family appeal too, especially for the younger members.

I made all my changes and realised I hadn’t left room for the key which used Arial for the lettering as this is easy to use and read at a distance. This was then added to the bottom of the calendar. The final task was to populate the calendar using family and friends details.

One the things I tried was to curve the name of a family member inside the circle, whilst easy enough to do in the Affinity package in terms of legibility and accessibility it’s a no-go. So back to my original idea of simple flat line text.

As I populated the details list and colours I realised that my colour choice wasn’t the best and most suitable. The shades were simply too similar, so a quick change was in order.

The next and final task to populate the calendar with the list, unfortunately I had an issue with the lasso selection tool so had to move a few of the markers, however a quick shift around gave me a great representation of the finished Birthday List.

Overall the hardest element of this task was not the design but drawing the practical elements together. That said I learned a lot including maintaining design flexibility.

Resources Used

Birthday Celebration PNG https://www.kissclipart.com/birthday-gifts-clipart-birthday-balloon-gift-p1k8za/download-clipart.html

Corner Balloons PNG https://www.clipartmax.com/middle/m2H7i8K9N4b1m2Z5_royalty-free-clipart-illustration-of-an-arch-of-streamers-birthday-balloons-border/

Tables and Forms

As this bit of research runs with the next exercise I won’t bamboozle you dear reader, but it was an opportunity for me to make some notes on what I thought constitutes a table or form and how these are presented and in what manner.

Ideas on Tables and Forms

I then set to doing an image search on Pinterest use keys words form my mind map.  I had a bit of a field day and the results can be found here:

More will be added as time goes on.

Exercise: Giving Information

The first part of this exercise is some research, which is always fun, the first task was to look at Bus Timetables. Here the first thing that struck me was that they were all arranged to a grid pattern. Not obvious when it’s an everyday item, but when the pattern is looked at with a designer’s eye it’s obvious. The samples below were sources from a simple Google search.

Not only doe the use of grid mean that there’s universality about the timetables, but that they can be understood by anyone anywhere.

City maps on the other hand can be quite different, with a range of styles used, from the standard grid based map system to the decorative style, with pictorial representation of key land marks and only key routes marked. Pictorial maps aren’t new and are perhaps some of the easiest to use. Whilst they are correct to a point, they lack the accuracy of the grid based map, which in turn lack the fun of the pictorial map.

Statistical data can be represented in many ways from the established and straight forward to read charts.

However with the advent of more sophisticated DTP software, a steady switch to paperless offices and a desires to use space and present information in ever more creative ways the information presented by Statistical Data graphics can seen alien at times, yet in some respect they still mimic the traditional methodologies.

Maps are combined with regional medical data to supply important health information, something that has been used extensively during the Corona virus outbreak of 2019/2020 and beyond. Known as Geovisualisations these charts used in a myriad to convey geographic data in a meaningful and instantly understandable way.

Other methodologies used to share data incorporate all manner of the above as a single piece of information. These items are arranges on a grid to help retain familiarity with chart layout and help with ease of reading.

The more adventurous statistical data representations involve not only complex Vector graphics, where the subject is pictorially represented thought the clever use of arrangement and design, but on occasions they have become the data.

The next stage was to mind map the concept and what it meant to me, followed by what I was going to create.

I decided to make a map of my wardrobe, though to spare embarrassment we shall pretend it’s perfectly arranged and in good order. I used an Ordnance Survey (OS) map to refresh my memory on how a map is laid and to give me inspiration in the overall construction of a map. A quick internet search helped me find the font style used in Maps, Arial, as well as providing a handy link to OS raster styles.

The next stage was to sketch out my idea before committing myself to the finally design. I tried to replicate a maps finish as best as possible.

The next stage was to sketch out my idea before committing myself to the finally design. I tried to replicate a maps finish as best as possible. Northing’s and Easting’s were added, this were double checked with the OS map to make sure they were in the correct place. Labels were added to the clothes using standard sized 10pts Arial, whilst key details were labelled with 20pts and in 30% gray to echo the Civil Parish markings. Labelling of the clothing was arranged to be as precise as possible and carry a sense of uniformity. I had to add a little accuracy to the map and include a Stuff that been chucked in pile.

I used the OS approach and make my map as self explanatory as possible. Hopefully I’ve succeeded. A great little exercise and fun, made me wish though I was a good illustrator, but that will come.

Resources Used

Bus Timetables https://www.google.com/search?q=bus+time+tables&safe=active&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB768GB768&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj00OSNwq3tAhVAQUEAHZ4aAuQQ_AUoAnoECAgQBA&biw=1366&bih=657#imgrc=ngmIvxD4uHq_NM  (Accessed 01122020)

Copenhagen Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/520165825716532034/  (Accessed 01122020)

Spain Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/802977808549630035/  (Accessed 01122020)

Amsterdam Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/444237950741166325/  (Accessed 01122020)

Old British Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/621215342347531830/  (Accessed 01122020)

Magical Britain https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/3025924738806739/  (Accessed 01122020)

New York Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/101753272818481500/  (Accessed 01122020)

Old London Map Detail https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/492649945272670/  (Accessed 01122020)

Map of Georgia State https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/422071796331770754/  (Accessed 01122020)

Circular Flow Chart https://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/difference-between-data-analysis-and-statistical-analysis  (Accessed 01122020)

Line and Bar Charts https://www.skillsyouneed.com/num/simple-statistical-analysis.html  (Accessed 01122020)

Pie Chart https://www.aps.org/careers/statistics/index.cfm (Accessed 01122020)

Flow Charts and Symbols https://creately.com/blog/diagrams/flowchart-guide-flowchart-tutorial/  (Accessed 01122020)

Geovisualisation https://boostlabs.com/blog/why-geovisualization-geographic-visualization-works/  (Accessed 01122020)

Fintech https://twitter.com/labordeolivier/status/1276398914300784641/photo/1

Danish Info https://www.behance.net/gallery/924345/Information-graphics-in-context  (Accessed 01122020)

Get into Space https://www.behance.net/gallery/86241381/Data-Visualisation-What-it-takes-to-go-to-space?tracking_source=for_you_feed_recommended  (Accessed 01122020)

Ordnance Survey Style https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/documents/ordnance-survey-style-guide-for-third-parties.pdf (Accessed 03122020)

OS Raster Legend https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/documents/resources/25k-raster-legend.pdf (Accessed 03122020)