Part two, week two


Now into the final week of my project I was able to focus on the style, imagery and final poster design.

These images show a sequence of movements that put together with the slogan on top look extremely interesting. I thought that it could capture that feeling of having earworm. I’ve got that earworm, meaning that tune you can’t get out of your head, whether you like it or not.

Firstly I decided to respond with photography by capturing my model wearing earphones for my word earworm. Then to communicate the words meaning, I sketched using continuous line drawing using fine liners. The outcome was interesting and I decided to take it into illustrator and manipulate the colours.

By adding wording it made it more interesting. However I’m not too keen on the style I put on them, the sketching would have looked a lot better if they were less complex or i excluded the earphone wires that dangle from the head. Overall they are interesting but I decided to leave this style behind and go back to my initial ideas of which consisted of vinyl imagery.

Explored the head idea but found it to be too complex and not communicate my non word to its full advantage or compared to the other idea which consisted of a vinyl placed over the top half of the brain.

I began by basing the sketch on LP players and sketched out one by hand. I then scanned it into illustrator, used image trace and then expanded the illustration making it easier to manipulate parts of the design.

I began with using red as it was bold and vibrant to the eye. However I hadn’t explored or taken other colours into consideration. I also drew parts of the illustration separately in case the original sketch was hard to manipulate. Breaking the design down made it easier to visualise the overall style. Therefore enabling me to understand how best to fully communicate the meaning of ear worm. Due to earworm being both a positive and negative word, choosing the colour scheme was slightly difficult.

Therefore through media exploration I looked at colour combinations for the vinyl, choosing colours that contrasted and complimented each other. I used coloured card to explore the circular vinyl styled cut outs.

I also briefly explored a hand drawn font using a thick fine liner. Then took it into illustrator and experimented with the word producing three different designs. The variations consisted of thick block colouring, fine outlining and a red block colouring overlapping a cross hatch sketch I hand drew. Even though I did apply this the top font to one of my designs, I ended up leaving my hand drawn fonts as they clashed with the style of my illustration.

Below shows some Illustrator experimentation showing the progression from the simple block pink colour to the more developed designs with an abundance of colour. I also used the shape vector tool to create more inner rings to falsify the look of a vinyl record.


Overall I found choosing the final imagery that communicated my word a challenge, however I decided that the vinyl spinning over the head worked well and communicates that non stop tune of repeat in someone’s head.

Here is my final design

final-design-2 final-design-2

My final design I feel communicates the non-word earworm effectively and towards the end of this project, refining the colour scheme and overall look of my poster design was made through thorough refinement. Overall I’m very happy with the design and have gained more skills and feel a lot more confident in my outcomes.


week 3, project 2


Having now explored my chosen artist Lorde through design and various sketching techniques.  Now in week three developing stationary designs using my logo concepts I created after in week two of this project. I thoroughly enjoyed creating various logo designs and meant that I had a few to choose from.



In all, I did some extensive experimentation for Lorde as I felt i needed to explore all my ideas and could see many potential styles and looks for my artist. I prefer the monochrome look as it conveys Lorde’s grungy aura about her. Fine liners were the best way to sketch and try new styles and my preferred technique was the geometric trace which I ended up using for most of the final designs.

Having created the logo design for my artists brand identity. Next was to design the stationary which included a letter head, compliment slip and business card. To develop these designs I created a mood-board with various patterns that complimented my style and characteristic of my artist and logo designs.


This mood board was purely made to show the various styles, patterns and outlook of the type of styles that could potentially be explored and discretely put into my stationary designs. Repeated geometric shapes were explored as well as dotted patterns which linked well with my Lorde’s brand identity.

  To compliment the logo designs, I experimented with colour, pattern and watercolour. It was important for me not to over complicate the design and leave space for the information of my artist.

img_1881 img_1882

Strong colours such as red, yellow and orange I included in my thumbnail sketches as I felt they were bold, feisty and completely wrapped up Lorde’s main distinctive features of being edgy and played with the colours of a bee. To emphasis her queen bee identity, I played around with triangular shapes which could be seen a bee stings. This for me was a simple way of playing with her strong qualities in a colourful suggestive way.

Having experimented with a more geometric, angular approach I decided to explore orange dots in various patterns and layouts.


This design above worked really well in my sketchbook. However when it came to creating this design in both Illustrator and InDesign. I struggled to execute the excitement and layout of the thumbnail with quality. I’ve shown the process in my sketchbook to how the experimentation but I feel I work better with hand drawn designs due to lacking the skills of knowing how to use certain software. This is something I need to improve as my strong ideas are let down by my lack of IT skills.

img_1884 After having struggled with making my ideas into strong outcomes through InDesign, I moved back to creating my designs more predominately by hand.

img_1885 img_1886

By changing back to more hand drawn approach to designing my stationary in InDesign meant I could have better control of the outcomes for my stationary. I chose I chose a deep shade of purple to suggest my Lord’s grungy quality and let it drip down the page for a dramatic striking appearance. These designs are much stronger than the earlier patterned concepts purely created with my chosen software. The purple adds excitement, intrigue and allowed me to explore the various logos on photocopies of the study.

As I enjoyed using watercolour so much, it lead me to another idea. I decided to created a background wash to a logo design using geometric trace of Lord’s face to create a colourful study which I combined together in InDesign.


I throughly enjoyed creating this stationary design that I went ahead to created all three stationary designs. I started with lightly tracing the face on watercolour card, then I applied the watercolour to various parts of the face and blew on the ages to create the spilling effect. Then I scanned this into InDesign, applied the geometric logo design and finally the Lorde typography that I created to show where my lettering would be placed.

At this stage, I feel confident that I have produced some designs with a mixture of different media’s, styles, mistakes and some good quality design concepts.

Reflection of Week 2 of Specialist Project


‘Parting is such a sweet sorrow’


Printed typography taken from DAFONT.COM, Sans Serif, bold with many 100 and 1000s placed carefully on top.


Doing this task was time-consuming and took me a while to achieve my desired final result. This was due to how fiddly, and light the 100 & 1000’s were to arrange and keep still whilst moving through the letters. In the end I taped down the strip of typeface to white card and this made it more easier to achieve the final arrangement.


Stencilled first in pencil, then outlined in red, then filled in with coloured red pen.


This was a practice to refine this idea for a possible typeface for ‘Sweet’. This complies of different influences I wanted to use. The colour pinky red, emphasising sweetness and combined this with a swirly serif typeface and extended the serif.


sweet-1001000Developed idea above and hand drawn 100 & 1000’s.

The photos I took at the weekend I manipulated in Photoshop and left the surrounding shadows visible to leave a three-dimensional effect. Its was interesting to play around with but the font was very basic that I chose, mainly to make it easier to apply the 100 & 1000s onto and I thought the block lettering would compliment this style.

In the afternoon, we had a ‘Intro to Illustration’ session, this complied of learning key parts of the software such as stylising, create shapes and adding typography within or outside these shapes. More techniques were looking typography following a chosen path and manipulating a photo by using image trace. I particularly enjoyed this last technique as I love photography.


Now I’m at the refining stage and will choose direction for my final piece. I’ve decided to go refine the swirly ‘sweet’ font (day 1) and experiment with the 100 & 1000s on this typeface and then explore sorrow alongside this.


Here I expanded on all the techniques and processes I learned on day two to support my project and push it further.



This is the final typeface for this part of the project of typography only. The coloured ballpoint pens are bright, strong and sweet which communicate the word well. At the point of creating the sweet typeface by hand first, I was reluctant to change it again by adding more typography and found this a challenge. I initially experimented with rough, unrefined sketching of the word sorrow but found it too messy and sizing it up to the an appropriate size for ‘sweet’ was difficult.

To overcome this I scanned ‘sweet’ and manipulated the image into Photoshop, brightening it and correcting its composition for a portrait layout. Then in illustrator I chose to use the scribble effect on the word sorrow. I made several variations of this before choosing the effect that visually suited my design of ‘sweet’. In the end I chose a simple, minimalistic scribble typeface, brought it into Photoshop and sized it to fit compositionally in the layout.

All in all, I really struggled with this task, I found it hard to visually get ideas and be excited by lettering. I’ve learned that I am an extremely visual person and much prefer working with photos, drawings or sketches of objects or people and working on top of them with typography but I’m glad to have explored this area as I know now more about myself and which areas I’m stronger at.

Visual Communication

Reflection of Week 1 of Specialist Project

Prior to beginning my first week of Specialism in Visual Communication. I was instructed to find five    purely typographic and five visual/ illustrative typographic responses. This was interesting for me as I’ve hardly worked with typography or learnt much about it in previous years. After selecting all ten images I then needed to produce my own two designs, one based on a solely typographic response and one on an illustrative typographic response. Having done the research for this task, it made it easier to experiment and create my own.


Research work.


I actually produced to illustrative designs as I got carried away and enjoyed the process of exploring my outcomes.


Before starting specialism I was given the task of finding the alphabet in found random objects and letters. In conjunction with this I was also given the task to bring in five random objects which would work in conjunction with our workshop that week. My task was to choose three letters then design on top of them using words for inspiration. My letters J, K, and L were inspired by the words Nature, waves and patterns. Through experimentation I produced three different designs with colour and mark making.


L designs


Then after, the five found objects were needed to arrange and create the shapes of four random Letters. And then trace over them with fine liners to produce illustrations of those letters. I then chose to work into them with coloured pro markers and push them further in Photoshop with colour blocking.

img_0105 img_0104 img_0156

Once completing these tasks which were valuable for starting to work with typography and design. I had an induction to typography and the different classifications, serif, sans serif, gothic, block and more. I learnt that there are many variations within these classifications and learnt through thorough research on Pinterest and DAFONT.COM.  I found that certain fonts are better for different brands or functions, for example a coffee shop would need a font that communicates its product and aroma that goes with it.


For the next task I partnered up and worked on a slogan, “Sweet Sorrow” which comes from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, line 186.  This was a brief task therefore I made some fast sketches and ideas for possible outcomes for this oxymoron, which would undoubtedly play on the characteristics of the words themselves.


Literal ideas of candy, treats and sweet things quickly came to mine. The word sorrow however has more of a fading, grungy feel to it. Other ideas were flowers, children and general cuteness. This could also be flipped on its side for sorrow, dying beautiful flowers, a crying adorable child and much more. I would say this brief is easier visually as supposed to creating a purely typographic response. Having done a few workshop tasks I can see that find the solely typographic responses much more challenging than the illustrative tasks. It may be due to not having done much work in this area before or i find it hard to be excited and inspired by pure letter shapes and therefore find it hard to visualise possible outcomes for it.

When given the brief with all the possible choses of slogans to choose from I debated between ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘Sweet Sorrow’. I wanted to do the first slogan as I feel it would challenge me more creatively but knowing how much I’ve struggled to grasp the initial tasks so far, I chose ‘Sweet Sorrow’ in the end. This worked well as I had already made mind map work and possible thumbnail designs.


Having now worked into my chosen slogan for this project I am feeling more confident in the direction I’m taking and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.


I’m excited to see what responses I create and how different they are to anything I’ve previously done before. At the moment I’m taking the project further through mind map work, sketching, colouring and photocopying.

Overall my first week of specialism has been interesting and challenging, I don’t think I’m naturally good at typography but have enjoyed learning about it. Gaining this knowledge has helped me narrow down which parts of design I do like and look forward to leaning more about design and myself.






The Value of Communication


When given the brief ‘Choices’ for my first rotation in Visual communication, there were various potential directions that I could explore. Through helpful group mind map work, I swiftly decided that life defining choices was an area that excited me the most. From my chosen two potential directions of ‘Animal Cruelty’ and ‘Smoking’, I found that I had more visual ideas and concepts for smoking through my explorative mind maps. Personally I’m not a smoker and never wish to become one, however I do know of people who regret taking that life defining choice of smoking and of its fatal effects. In my sketchbook, the visuals I found really captured my imagination and led me to produce small sketches of initial concepts. Passive smoking was an issue I knew little about compared to someone actively smoking and was shocked by how its affects are consequently as damaging as an active smoker. Learning that children are the most vulnerable to second hand smoking was a slightly uncomfortable topic which I knew the visuals would need to express. Immediately I knew this was my initial direction for my project.


To visually communicate the dangers of passive smoking, I knew I would need to choose two designers that would excite me and challenge me to create some interesting visuals. I did struggle slightly to begin with when sketching out ideas and directions through illustration as I had never approached a brief like this before. However I found the illustrator Amy Dover truly exciting, giving the viewer a darker focus on nature and challenging the way we view our natural surroundings of animals, insects and much more. Dover’s refined intricate style is perhaps more in my comfort zone of drawing and I felt that inspired the more darker quality of my ideas to come. Then I discovered the graphic designer Bureau Mirko Borsche, who’s visuals interested me more due to the style being so different from my own. By making quick sketches I experimented with Borsche’s harsh, colourful and yet simple marking making which was out of my comfort zone but led me to some interesting ideas.


Initially I felt slightly lost as to how to illustrate, I began with practicing my chosen designers styles with my chosen topic and found that I spent too long being a perfectionist rather than exploring as many outcomes as possible. From then, I changed the graphite pencils that I overly love using and began using fine liners on tracing paper for a more quicker approach to nearing a refined idea. This rotation immediately was unusual for me with the loose mark making and short deadlines but I actually found that I produced some interesting small sketches that led me to refining my idea quicker. As the sketchbook started to take shape, my initial research pages were definitely too cluttered making them look messy and detracting from the main focus of my sketches which is the main form of development. I understood that white space made each piece of work a new idea, approach and space for a brief annotation.


Materials and Media

Through development and designer research I knew that exploring their techniques and combining my own known strengths would lead me to some interesting visuals. I began exploring, I found that fine liners worked well for creating suggestive lines, shadowing, cross hatching and by adding water gives a more dramatic darker look. towards the end of my sketchbook fine liners were the main starting point of each sketch, after that i began to explore colour with inks and watercolour palettes. Borsche’s use of colour was exciting for me, I’ve personally always been quite reluctant to use colour, I find it quite challenging and almost daunting. To begin with I overused the watercolours and inks, making it to appear more like a colour me in drawing which did not work well. I realised that the colour had to be used sparingly and to suggest highlight, shadowing and to emphasis the expression my illustrations. To save time,  Jill Greenberg’s photo series ‘ End Times’ of crying children would be the base of sketches for passive smoking. Greenberg’s photos enabled me to adapt them to my topic. I produced some initial ideas of a child’s mouth stuffed with cigarettes. This for me visually communicated everything I wanted to say about passive smoking, the discomfort, suffocation and the many health problems that follow.


The refinement of this project would ultimately be down to small changes of media and style. I explored lettering that could be incorporated into my illustrations, I made them short and childlike and even played with punctuation for suggesting a voiceless child. However I realised that the illustrations alone communicated the dangers of passive smoking visually and to add lettering over them could degrade the quality and meaning to them. For me it was about communicating how a child’s voice is not heard, they are vulnerable and don’t have a say in the matter.

After I had made this decision refining my outcomes came more easily. In the end, fine liners outlined and shadowed the important parts of the child’s face and cigarettes. Then watercolour was subtly used to emphasis the child’s discomfort with pink tones and blue for contrast. I made my outcomes medium sized across a double page spread off and off centre. By having more space underneath theres more of a focus on the lower part of the illustrations which is the most important part and creates depth.

The final outcomes.


In conclusion I feel that the predominantly the seriousness of passive smoking has been communicated well through my sketches. I struggled to get into this project effectively and therefore could have used that time to produce more ideas and concepts. From the beginning my sketchbook, my unsureness of the project can be seen in its untidy clutter of research and mind map work. However once I understood the meaning of visual communication and how it can be used as a tool to comment on anything, I then was able to enjoy the process of exploring new techniques, artists, media and challenging myself. I do feel that the cigarettes perhaps aren’t realistic enough, I worked into them a bit more but they should have been drawn better. This may have been due to the fact that I had drawn it from my imagination where as I traced the images of the children quite accurately and the contrast can be seen more easily because of this. I feel I did use my time moderately well, I feel the results could have been better and more variations of ideas and exploring them would have been useful for refining my outcomes. However in all I have thoroughly enjoyed this project, I like challenges and this made me realise that i should not doubt myself in medias I have already tried and until now had disliked.

Thank you for reading.