Below is my reflection of the Graphic Design Practice Module 4 (GDPM4) followed by my reflection for the Professional Practice and Presentation Module which includes photographs from the Free Range exhibition.
Reflection of Graphic Design Practice Module 4 (GDPM4)
For this module my chosen topic was mental health problems. When I wrote my proposal I was mainly focusing on the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and wanted to aim to change these views and opinions. However in my Design Rationale I left it fairly open as to what direction I could go in with this subject. “One possible target audience could be those who have not experienced or do not understand mental health problems, in order to change their negative and incorrect beliefs. Alternatively, the project could be aimed towards people suffering with mental health problems.” Rather than choosing a direct route to go down, I continued researching and planning several different outcomes before deciding upon my chosen idea. Eventually I decided to aim to produce something that would be suitable for both target audiences. I chose to design a book as I thought this would be the most appropriate way of educating people about mental health problems. By thoroughly researching the topic I discovered that there are several different existing leaflets and guides already, however they usually only relate to a specific illness or mental health related topic. I felt that there ought to be something that combines as much information together in a coherent way where people do not need to purchase several different leaflets in order to find the information they are looking for. I split the book into six sections: What are mental health problems? – This contains a brief introduction to mental health issues; Common Types of Mental Illnesses – from research I was able to find out and narrow down the most common illnesses to depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, schizophrenia and eating disorders; What treatment is available? – details about therapies and medications; Coping Strategies – targeted at those with mental illnesses ; How can others help? – this sections is targeted at those living or knowing someone with a mental illness; and Contacts – a short list of national helplines and organisations relevant to the illnesses discussed within the book. There is something for everyone whether they have a mental illness or not. The book could be used to help or guide those with an illness or their friends and family or, on the other hand, be useful for those who want to learn more about mental health problems. I tried to indicate this through the title of the book “Getting Better Mental Health Information” which when read like that could mean that it is a book providing better information about mental health, however the layout of the front cover allows it to be read “Getting Better – mental health information” implying that the book is something which helps people with their recovery process.
Since I was proactive with my research and book design, I had time to design a series of posters. Some relate directly to the book whereas others are only relevant through topic area. The book in itself does not do much to challenge stigma, but rather to educate people. Through the poster designs I took the opportunity to focus on the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illnesses by using quotes from well known people as well as providing facts and statistics that reveal misconceptions and factual information.
Feedback: I was able to show my work as it progressed to three people who have regular contact with people with mental health problems (including a NHS mental health worker and nurse/therapist). They were all impressed with the outcome particularly the fact that I had managed to combine all the information together into one book. The mental health worker also commented on the design saying that the colours and layout made it easy to read. All three revealed that they wish to have their own copy to use and they believe it would benefit those with mental health problems and their families. I was unable to show my poster outcomes however I mentioned that I was planning on designing posters and they suggested that I use information from the book on this posters in order to educate people and even encourage them to read the book. I already intended on doing this but it was positive to hear this as it meant that my ideas were a logical progression after the designing of the book.
Concepts: I believe that my final outcomes have been successful in relation to my original proposal as well as my ideas and aims that developed throughout the module. The feedback that I have received also confirms this. Whilst I have not had formal feedback from people with mental health problems I have had positive comments from friends and students with mental health problems. Some of the sections in the book, particularly the Coping Strategies part, contain the type of information that I have personally wanted to find in relation to my own mental health problems, and been unable to find. Therefore I know that there is an available space for this type of outcome.
There were so many different outcome potentials for this topic area and I ended up rejecting many ideas, not because they were impractical, but because it was impossible to do all of them. I had to choose a route to take and I think my outcomes are suitable for the information I am portraying. The route I took had to be appropriate for the clear, factual information that I needed to present in the book.
Media: The reason that I felt a book was appropriate was because I wanted to be able to provide a vast quantity of information. It would have been impossible to convey the same amount of information through other approaches such as posters, information design etc. Although I have produced posters as well, these came after the design of the book and are intended to work alongside the book rather than a separate outcome. The book format also gave me the chance to use many of the skills that I have developed over the course as a whole. I particularly like illustration and think that this is one of my stronger areas of design. The book treatment meant that I was able to make use of my illustration skills. It also provided the opportunity to use typography, both in a page layout sense and an expressive way. Finally, the book revealed my editorial skills and ability to lay out pages in a coherent manner.
Design: I spent a few weeks at the beginning of the module experimenting with illustration approaches in order to find one that I felt was most appropriate. From a design point of view I think the method I finally chose looked the best and was also practical as it was easy to produce a large amount of drawings in the same style and it was also not too time consuming. As for the colour scheme, I may have decided on the colours fairly early in the project before I began putting the book together. For a while I did experiment with other colours however I kept on returning to the same colours (green, yellow and brown) as I thought they looked the best in relation to the illustrations. Thus when I begun to put the other pages of the book together I stuck to the same green colour throughout. In the back of my mind was the thought that I could change the colours if I felt it appropriate but my main aim was to get the pages set up at the moment. However I begun to think that the colour scheme was appropriate for the topic especially as many people said the colours were calming. This was also picked up upon in the feedback I received and I was also told that the green made the book easy to read as the colour was not distracting. As I wanted the posters to relate to the book I continued with the same colour scheme. I also used the same illustration and typography styles on these posters. The reason I chose to use hand rendered elements in my work is that I wanted it to feel personal and caring which I thought digital alternatives would have prevented.
Technical: I think that the presentation of my final outcomes is sufficiently professional in regards to my target audiences. As I did not have a specific audience I had to produce something that was acceptable for people of all ages (although it is not suitable for pre-teens purely because of the nature of the topic). I was sensible when choosing a typeface for the body text. I researched first into recommended typefaces for publications of this kind. I chose to use Helvetica as it is neat, easy to read and friendly (not too formal). I set the type at 10pt which I checked with other people to make sure they could read it comfortably. I have set the posters up at A3 size. I could have made them bigger but A3 seems adequate for the amount of information that they contain.
Generic: My general management of this project has been fairly good throughout. I did an extensive amount of research during the Christmas break so I knew from the start the various options I had in regards to the direction the project could take. I did worry at first when I could not picture what the outcome would be. I was doing lots of experimentation with illustration and typography and found it difficult to work out how everything would come together. However I was always being reassured that I was either on or ahead of schedule. My book was more or less near completion approximately four weeks before the deadline. Over the remaining weeks I took the opportunity to design as many posters as I could which gave me the chance to use all the illustrations I had drawn in the style of the ones I chose for the book as well as revisit some of the typographic experimentation that I had undertaken during the first few weeks of the module. If I had known that I would work so quickly I may have designed other outcome as well. I had quite a few other ideas towards the beginning of the module such as a pack of cards or a narrative of some kind, however I would have needed to have begun this around the same time that I begun designing the book. Despite this I think that I produced a sufficient amount of work within the time given and am glad that I was proactive as it gave me the time to check over all my work and make adjustments where necessary without needing to worry about the deadline.
Presentation for exhibition: In the exhibition at the end of the semester I intend to have my book on display in a way that gives the viewers the opportunity to read it or have a quick look through. I will have a copy printed by Blurb so that it will look professional. One problem with this is that it is not a large book (13×20 cm) and so only one, possibly two, people would be able to look at it at one time. I could have more than one copy of the book but it will depend upon how the books have been secured so that no one can walk off with a copy. I would also have some of my posters on display. I am more likely to choose the versions that have a direct link with the book, so those with the illustrations on them, as it is these that would be relied upon to attract attention to the book. I may take the opportunity to produce some other outcomes that relate to the work I have produced for this module. I have already thought about getting some of the designs that I have used within the book and on posters printed onto t-shirts. These could be worn by people at the exhibition to promote my project. I may be able to revisit some of my earlier ideas to produce new outcomes but using the same styles so that everything is still recognised as one body of work. However I would need to make sure that this does not result in a completely new project and outcome. As I do not have a specific target audience, I hope that the posters and book will be viewed by all ages and genders. I have used male and female figures as the illustrations and it is not obvious what age they are, so this should not put anyone off viewing my work.
Reflection of Professional Practice and Presentation Module
The main outcome of this module was the Free Range exhibition in June so for most of the time the focus was upon planning and developing strategies for this. There were also other requirements such as research in post graduate options and development of personal promotion items.
At the beginning of the module we were placed into groups that focused on one aspect of the exhibition planning process. I volunteered for the Branding team. This involved thinking about themes and logos. Originally I came up with a carnival theme which began to be developed, however other team members were not so forthcoming with logo ideas meaning that a more generic logo had to be thought up at the last minute. Myself and 3 others designed a few of these logos which were then given to other people to look at and choose one.
Other team work that I participated in was painting the shelves and plinths that would be displaying the work at the exhibition. I did this with 4 other people and we were told that we had done a great job. Due to personal reasons I was unable to go to London to help set up the exhibition. I still wanted to be involved with setting up the exhibition so I volunteered to help pack up the lorry which would deliver all the work, plinths etc to the gallery. I also volunteered to do an individual role of writing up all the name tags that would be displayed alongside each persons art work.
My actual design work displayed at the exhibition was my outcome from the major project (mental health book) and several of the posters. As I was not there in order to set it out a drew out a detailed plan so that others could easily place my work in the correct set up. After completing the major project I began thinking about other things that I could display at the exhibition based on the work I had already done. I designed ideas of stickers, badges and post cards however to get these all printed would have worked out rather expensive. I did, however, get a t-shirt printed with the logo I had designed. This is a way of promoting my work and drawing people’s attention to the fact that mental health stigma needs to be tackled. This t-shirt couldn’t easily be displayed at Free Range due to the amount of work I was already exhibiting and the amount of space I was allocated however it can be displayed at the college exhibition.
My self promotion outcome was also for the exhibition. I designed business cards to promote myself and my work with the intention of them being handed out at the exhibition. I thought about many designs but decided to stick to a similar style of illustration that I had used in the major project work. This was so that people could associate my card with the work they saw at the exhibition if they were to look at the car at a later date. I experimented with different colours which moved away from the major project work. In the end I had 5 different cards printed, but due to the style of design they all work together as a set.
In between planning the exhibition and developing promotional material, I was looking at possible post graduate options. One option would be to continue studying. I personally do not want to do this at the moment however I looked into the different types of Master Degrees available and the colleges and universities that provide these opportunities so that if in the future I decide to go down this route I will have an understanding on where and how to apply and what would be expected of me on the course.
I researched into several different employment options. I tried to place the options into 3 categories: 1. possibilities for the next 6 months, 2. possibilities for in a years time, 3. possibilities for in 5 years. From research I know that I would be unable to enter the design world as a top designer. If I were to join a design agency I would only be able to work in junior designer positions however after a year or so I would be able to progress to a higher position and then after 5 years may even be able to work at a senior designer level. Other options for the next 6 months could be to try and get some freelance work. I could do this by creating online profiles and hoping to get noticed or by sending out my cv/business cars etc to companies that are looking for freelancers. Alternatively I could hire an agent to look for work for me. I have already been offered a voluntary design job with the charity Shaw Trust. This would last for approximately 3 months and involve working with local voluntary groups to assist them in creating promotional material to advertise their services. If I take up this offer it would give me a chance to develop my portfolio and give me some work experience to place on my cv which would hopefully impress future employers.
Other options that I looked at were things such as setting up my own business. From the amount of work and experience needed it would be unlikely to be able to set up a business on leaving college however after a year or so it may be a possibility. I could collaborate with other designers or set up as a solo designer. In order to best do this I think I would need some experience of the design world first so that I know how best to run the business and what type of work I want to be doing (illustration, branding, advertising etc).
Overall I think I have done well with this module. There were times when I found things really difficult. I am not very good at working in teams however I managed to do what was required of me and, from what I could tell, people were happy with my contribution. In a way I wish I would have been able to contribute more to the exhibition but due to my circumstances I was unable to do this but made sure that I contributed in other ways, such as producing the name tags. It was also hard doing the research for post graduate options especially as there is so much information that needs to be taken in, however I tried to document it all in a coherent manner. I did enjoy designing my promotional material and am very pleased with the outcome. It shows how far my design skills have improved over the 3 years. It also shows that I have developed and improved my style of work from last year when I was working on promotional strategies then.
My work was set out slightly different to the plans I had drawn out prior to setting up due to the different sizes of boards used. However it was still displayed in a which meant every piece of work as easily seen. The main aim of my project was to encourage people to learn about mental health problems for which they could find out a large amount of information by reading the book I had designed and written. However as the book was rather small I needed something to draw attention to it. The larger posters are based upon pages within the book. As they are larger and contain a full illustration they are more likely to attract attention than the smaller art works so I felt it appropriate that these relate to the book. Some of the smaller posters relate to the book but a couple contain extra quotes about mental health which people could stop to read if they were interested in the topic area suggested by the larger posters. As they were smaller people would have to come nearer to them to read which may also attract their attention to the book which may have not been as noticeable on the shelf from further away, thus people may stop to read or look through the book.
Week 18 3rd-7th May.
Professional Practice and Presentation: I was able to hand in my sketchbooks I day early on the Monday as I had completed all my work. On Wednesday I was in the group involved in packing the lorry that would take some of the work and plinths to the Free Range Gallery in Brick Lane. This involved arriving at the college at 8am so that everything could be packed up early in order to get to London mid-late morning meaning that the entire afternoon was available for the people installing the exhibition.
Week 17 29th-31st May.
Professional Practice and Presentation: This week mostly focused on practical aspects in preparation for the exhibition. On Wednesday I was in a small team involved in painting shelves and a plinth. I volunteered to paint the plinth with another person which was quite a challenging job as the plinth was quite dirty and needed several layers of paint to cover up the marks. Also on the Wednesday, with help from a tutor, I mounted all my work on foam board. Over the weekend I wrote all the name tag labels. I provided the tutor with a copy of this file so that they could be printed and mounted. I would have offered to cut them out but I am not very good at using a scalpel (I can’t cut in a straight line even with the use of a ruler!) and I did not want to ruin the labels.
On Friday I brought in 2 copies of my books (1 for the shelf + 1 spare) which I bubble wrapped and handed in ready to be packed in the van next week. I also handed in 100 of my business cards (20 of each design). I also provided a detailed plan of possible layout ideas of my work at the exhibition so that if someone else is involved in setting it up they will know what goes where.
Throughout the rest of the week I have been working on my post-graduate research. This includes diagrams indicating potential career plans for the next 6 months, one year and five years. I have also read articles providing advice for freelance designers and how to write a CV. I have also sourced examples of CV layouts that help to promote an individuals design skills. Finally, I printed and included voluntary poster design work that I have done outside of college for the charity Shaw Trust. This shows evidence of work experience and professional practice.
Week 16 22nd-24th May.
More Feedback on Major Project: This week I was able to show a student mental health nurse my final finished piece. She was really impressed and said that this is the type of thing that is needed for mental ill health sufferers and their families and friends. She was amazed with the design and the written content.
Professional Practice and Presentation: This week there were individual meetings regarding our plans for the exhibition. I have decided on displaying up to 4 A3 posters and up to 5 A4 posters alongside my book. One option was to get these posters framed however I felt that they would not look right so I have opted for mounting them onto foam board. I am not entirely sure how to do this but hopefully there will be someone who can help me. I have printed out my posters on A1 sheets so that they can be stuck onto the foam board and cut out. I will also need a shelf for my book to be displayed on. I originally thought about having a chair as well but this would probably not be practical at the Free Range Exhibition, although may be possible at the College exhibition. My tutor brought back up the idea of having a vinyl of my logo on the exhibition boards either above or below my posters. Although I had previously rejected this idea and began to think about it again and emailed a company to see whether it would be possible. I was told that the colour of my logo is not available in vinyl however several people in the third year are having their vinyls printed in the same shade of grey so this would be a possibility for me. I have once again decided against having a vinyl partly because the company, although they said they could print it in grey, warned that I would lose some of the small details in the process.
I volunteered to write all the labels for the exhibition including those of other disciplines (fine art, fashion and 3D design craft). I was provided with an InDesign template and a list of all the participating students. I have written out all the details as given on the list and have made sure that the names fit in the required space, however this meant making some of the type smaller for the longer names.
I have continued to research into post-graduate options including looking into masters degrees. Although I do not intend to do a masters on completing my BA degree (besides it is probably to late to apply for September) it is good to have researched into participating universities as it could be an option in the future.
Week 15 15th-17th May.
Professional Practice and Presentation: I have thought about other things I could do for the exhibition. This includes different shaped stickers and postcards however to do all this will be quite expensive. I have completed my business cards and sent them off to be printed, so at the exhibition I will have these, my book and up to 16 posters; therefore it is not completely necessary to have anything else. I could possibly produce badges instead of stickers as this may be cheaper and I would not have to purchase a large number of them. I am also still thinking about t-shirts but again it could be expensive.
I have also looked at different ways of promoting myself. This isn’t for the exhibition but something I could possibly consider doing in the future – e.g. stickers, compliment slips, mini cards etc. I have adapted the typographic side of my business card into a logo for myself. Potentially I could purchase merchandise with the logo on it, e.g. mugs and notebooks. Other ideas that I have seen online but not yet experimented with are calendars, christmas/greeting cards and postcards which would give me the opportunity to promote a large amount of my work.
This week I conducted a risk assessment for the exhibition which will be set up in college (I was unable to go to the Free Range Gallery which meant I could not do the risk assessment there with the rest of the group). I noted down things such as potential hazards: wires/electricity points, exits, tables and chairs, and hanging space. I then worked out the likelihood of these being problems and ways of preventing certain incidents.
Throughout the week I have researched into post-graduate options. I need to continue to do this so that I can get a sense of a plan of action for when the course ends. So far I have looked at how to set up a business, junior design jobs and freelance options.
Week 14 8th-10th May.
Professional Practice and Presentation: This week I spent a lot of time focusing on my personal business card designs. I thought out quite a few ideas last week so over the weekend I begun to do a few typographic experiments that could be included on these cards. However when I began to put them together digitally they did not appear that strong. I think it will be best if my cards reflect my mayor project work so that the people who come to the exhibition may remember my work by looking at my card. So this week I have done a lot of drawings in the same style as the illustrations in the major project. I have also experimented with colour. I narrowed down my business card designs/illustrations to 5 favourites. Each one uses a different set of colours (one is the same as major project work). I intend to get all 5 printed. This gives people a choice of colour and design and also works as a mini portfolio. The reverse side is the same design on each card although the colour changes depending on the illustration.
With regards to the major project work that will be on display I have designed some sticker ideas which can also be printed by moo.com. I have thought about round stickers containing my logo. I could have these in different colours rather than only the green version. I also downloaded a template for rectangle shaped stickers which are roughly the same size as the business cards. I plan to design some ideas for this possible outcome however I am not sure whether I will get them printed or just stick to the round ones. This week we also had to make a detailed visual plan of how we want our work to be displayed (on one board and on two) so that the installation team can start planning how to set up the exhibition.
Week 13 1st-3rd May.
On Wednesday I handed in my major project work. I did not need to print out my work for the moment but I uploaded everything up to this blog so that examiners can view the work on here. I will eventually need to print out all my posters and place them in a portfolio to be submitted alongside my sketchbooks. I have sent my book to be printed by Blurb which should hopefully arrive by 14th May. I will hand in a copy of this with my posters.
Professional Practice and Presentation: Now that the major project is finished the main focus will be on this module and preparing for the exhibition at the beginning of June. I am still part of the branding group so this week I continued experimenting with logo ideas. The group met together on Friday to show the logos we have thought about so far. These have been collected together and placed in a booklet to show the other departments involved with the exhibition in order to get their feedback so that we can decide on a final logo. Once this as been decided on we can go on to designing other print material for the exhibition.
For this module we also have to think about personal promotion. I have begun to think about business card design ideas. I know that I can get these printed with moo.com but I need to be proactive with the designs so that I can get them sent of fairly soon so that they are there for the exhibition. I have not settled on a particular design idea yet however it may be beneficial to link the design with the style I used for my major project. So over the weekend I intend to develop some illustrations and typography ideas.
In regards to the exhibition, I need to plan how my work will be presented. I already have my posters as well as my book to exhibit. I could have a few posters up on walls or boards next to a table or shelf containing my book. I have also thought about designing t-shirts based on the work I have produced. These could either be worn by people at the exhibition or I could do a photo shoot and have the photos on display. I have also seen that Moo print stickers so I have begun thinking of possible ideas for these. Again people could be wearing the stickers at the exhibition or they could be on display somewhere.
Week 12 24th-26th Apr.
This week I mostly focused on poster outcomes. I did a few more experiments with brush and ink, spelling out quotes from well known people about mental health: Stephen Fry and J.K. Rowling. I think that people are more likely to pay attention and take into consideration what someone they know of, someone famous, is saying. I have done several versions of posters using these quotes. Some I used the new typography experiments and others I made use of previous hand rendered alphabets. I think that the hand rendered look makes the statements more personal that a digital type. I also begun designing some different styles of posters. As I said, hand rendered elements make things appear more personal, so I used the original scans of typographic experiment on posters rather than editing them into vector styles. I now have three different styles of posters (illustrations and two types of typographic) but they can still all work as a body of work and they all related to the book as well.
I have also decided on a cover for the book. I’ve chosen the version that uses yellow circles (the same background as the illustrations) as the one without looked a bit empty, however I have edited it as I felt the back cover was a little overcrowded and a little harsh. I now feel that the front and back cover compliment each other well as well as the pages within the book. I have reached a decision about the title of the book also. I felt that “Mental Health: A Guide”, whilst essentially describing the nature of the book, was too simple and that it had been used before on already existing leaflets. So I have chosen “Getting Better Mental Health Information”. “Getting Better” is in a larger circle and “Mental Health Information” appears in a much smaller circle. Therefore depending on the purpose of person reading it, it could mean that it is information about recovering from a mental illness, or it is about getting better information about mental illnesses.
Throughout the week I have also been making small changes to both the book and the posters by looking for spelling errors and making sure that logos are the same sizes and in the same positions on posters. I have also checked the position on typography in relation to other layers etc. I will keep continuing to check these things up until hand in next Wednesday.
Week 11 17th-19th Apr.
As my book is more or less finished, I decided this week to focus on designing posters. I had already begun this using quotes I had found from well known people such as Stephen Fry and J K Rowling. I combined these quotes with illustrations that I hadn’t used in my book but were still the same style, colour etc so that they still relate to the book. I revisited these to add in the logo which I will also be including on the back cover of the book. This week a produced more posters but this time decided to use the 6 illustrations that appear in the book. I included the heading of the relevant book chapter on the poster and then a short paragraph also from the chapter. The purpose of this is to introduce the idea or the book to the audience who then may choose to find out more, thus picking up the book to read and learning about mental health problems. After these 6 posters I decided to produce 6 more using each illness that I wrote about in the book. For this I used some of the other illustrations that I had not yet used but also changed the information on some of my previous posters (especially if I had used the information on more than one poster due to lack of quotes etc). On these 6 I decided to place the misconception and fact that I had on these pages in the book. I then included the logo at the bottom which reads “END STIGMA: Learn about mental health” which is to encourage people to find out the truth. Finally, I started to use my typography compositions that I have created throughout this project (some used in the book) to make a few more posters. So far for this I have used a green background with white type as I had done in the book but if I have time I may try other colours and layouts. Some of these posters just have the typography with the logo at the bottom, whereas others have a bit more information on: some from the book and some from mental health.org.uk
Easter Break 1st-12th Apr.
Feed back from a mental health professional: I printed out the pages of my book (minus the two typographic spreads still needed to be designed) and took it to show one of the mental health professionals who has been providing me with feedback as the project evolved. She was very impressed with the outcome so far. What she likes best is that I have managed to take all kinds of information that is usually provided through several different leaflets and combined them into one book, meaning that people would be able to look at the book for a number of different reasons. I am happy that she pointed this out as it was my aim to have one book that contained all this information. Although she only skim read the book, she said she could tell that I had done an enormous amount of research into all sections of the book in order to provide accurate and useful information. She also commented on the colour choice saying that it is very calming which makes the content easy to read. Overall she was very happy with what I have done and even said it was the kind of thing that is needed and that she knows a few other mental health workers who would probably like a copy!
Over the Easter break I thought out and designed the final pages for the book. In the How Can Others Help? section I used my ink typography composition that reads “You are not alone” to fill the empty page. I thought this was appropriate for this chapter. In the dividing pages within the Common Types of Mental Illness chapter have a used the phrases “Never judge what you don’t understand” and “my illness doesn’t define me”. I felt that these phrases focus on the stigma surrounding mental health. One I have done in the hand drawn ink and brush method that I have used in one of the illustrations and the other I have used the method with circles that I used to create the “1 in 4 people” quote that is on the contents page of the book. I only used the colours green and white so that these pages do not look out of place within the book. Accompanying these phrases I have included 4 statistics (2 on each spread) One about depression, OCD, schizophrenia and eating disorders. The purpose of this is to reveal how common mental illness actually is.
I also begun thinking about using a logo. The logo that I have decided upon for now is a circle with small sections missing to give it a hand rendered look, with END STIGMA written within it. (either green or white depending on the background) I have also placed in a strap line “Learn about mental health problems” which is to tell people that if they understood mental health they would realise that most of the discriminations associated with it are untrue.
One of my main focuses over the Easter Break was to design a front cover for the book. I tried a range of ideas. Firstly I created a version that was very similar to the illustration pages – minus the line drawing element – but I thought that this would be too much as a cover. I also thought of doing something minimalist such as a green background with white writing. My final idea was to base it on the illustration pages but remove certain layers (the yellow circles for one) therefore still having a visually interesting cover design which doesn’t give away what the pages look like inside. As for a title however, I am not sure what to use. I have brainstormed many ideas. At the moment I am just using Mental Health: A Guide so that I can work on the layout etc. Another idea I have had is “Getting Better – mental health information” which could mean getting better in a recovery sense but also getting better information.
Week 10 27th-29th Mar.
I have now written the final two chapters of the book: Coping Strategies and How Can Others Help? I had less official information to help me with this so I hope what I have written is acceptable. I intend to show my work so far to a mental health professional next week so I can get her to check through what I have written and get her feedback on it.
I began experimenting with drawing and ink typography compositions that could be used in the dividing pages of the types of mental health problems section. I mostly used the phrase “never judge what you don’t understand”. Digitally I have edited these to make them the same green as the remainder of the book. I could add in quotes, statistics or facts to make these pages worthwhile rather than just being there for the sake of dividing up the mass information in the chapter. I also did a couple of drawings that I could use on posters however I am not as happy with these as I was with my previous ones. For now I am going to work on the posters with the illustrations I do have and the over the Easter break I may be able to do some more drawings to be included on other posters. I also have a couple of blank single pages in my book. One I have now filled with hand rendered typography which reveals a quote from the interview I did back in December with the producer of Nervous Comics. Her statement “Illustration and painting has been vital in coping, also in the past year I’ve taken up a team sport. The mental and physical challenge has been really beneficial… amazing for my confidence and sense of self-worth.” I felt was relevant to the coping strategies chapter in which one of the blank pages was.
Before breaking up for Easter I got a tutor to look through the entire book to check the layout and my mass text. There were not any major changes needed, only removing one or two one word lines that I has missed when I had looked through it myself.
Professional Practice and Presentation: There was a branding team meeting this week to discuss our logo ideas that we had come up with over the past week. However many people were missing or had not done anything yet to show. I showed my ideas to the group and got very positive feedback. Many of my ideas were liked including ideas that I has dismissed during my development process. The next stage of the logo design is to get a theme or idea that all exhibition participants are happy with.
Week 9 20th-22nd Mar.
This week I finally decided on which organisations to include in the contacts section of the book. I decided to have general organisations such as Mind, Samaritans, Young Minds and Rethink Mental Illness but also so more specific ones such as Beat, No Panic, Bipolar UK and OCD UK. However, as I am ahead of schedule with my book and am also waiting to see if someone can provide me with any more information to include in it, I decided to focus on designing a range of poster ideas.
I am keeping all the posters in the same style that I used for the illustrations in the book. So I spent time drawing out lots of illustrations to use. Most of these were of a body, cropped so that it was most the persons shirt. This is to emphasise anonymity but it also gives me the opportunity to put a message or design on the t-shirt they are wearing. I also did other drawings (hands, arms) so that the posters aren’t too repetitive. I need to think about what kind of message to put on the posters. There are a range of different types of message I could include. For example I could use statistics to make people aware of different mental health problems. I also have researched quotes and also have the two interviews I conducted which could be used on the posters. Another idea is to look at challenging the stigma, as was on of my plans indicated in the proposal. I have thought of using phrases such as “never judge what you don’t understand” to grab people’s attention, then elsewhere on the poster could be more detailed information.
In regards to the book I still need to write two chapters: Coping Strategies and How Can Others Help? I have asked a mental health professional for advice with these sections as I have not found as much information to write about. She said she will try and find some resources for me. However if I have not heard from her by the end of the week I will write the sections with the information I have already gathered so that I can progress with designing the layout on these pages, which is more important in relation to the course.
Professional Practice and Presentation: This week there was a sub-group meeting for the branding team of the Free Range Exhibition which I am part of. Previously as a class my idea of a carnival theme had been decided upon but during the group meeting it was suggested that we also think about an alternative generic logo and theme in case the other departments involved with the exhibition do not like the carnival idea. The group split into two sides – those to come up with logo ideas for the carnival theme, and those to think up ideas for a generic logo. As I had come up with the carnival idea I agreed to continue developing my ideas. Next wednesday there will be another meeting where we will look at everyones ideas that have been experimented with and developed since this meeting.
Week 8 13th – 15th Mar.
Last week I wrote the common mental health chapter section of the book and at the beginning of this week I wrote the treatment pages. I still need to write the remainder of the pages but I may need to conduct a little more research in order to make it accurate. I have contacted a mental health professional who may be able to help me with this. I have also asked her which helplines and useful contacts she thinks ought to be included in my book as part of the final chapter. I am currently waiting for a response. As I had the common mental health problems chapter ready I made a start with these spreads.
I have decided to use a simple hand-rendered typeface (Helvetica traced over and shaded in) for the headings on each page. This way it is easy to read but still has a sense of something personal which a digital typeface may eliminate. I research online what typefaces are best to use for main body text in books. There were a vast range of suggestions. Out of the ones I have access to the suggestions were: Minion Pro, Adobe Garamond Pro, Helvetica Neue, Futura, Palatino, Letter Gothic Std and OCR A Std. I have decided to use Helvetica Neue as it is an easy to read, sans serif typeface, which makes the book feel less formal but easy to read.
When I began trying different layouts I struggled for a while as I was fixed on continuing the circle theme which is evident in the illustrations. This made positioning body text difficult . After many attempts I rejected the circle idea. Currently, my layout involves one white page with a green stripe down the edge of the page (which includes the heading, page number and sometimes additional information) and one green page (the page number and additional information being in similar positions to the opposite page, however lacking the stripe). I have chosen the colour green for several reasons. To start with it is in keeping with the colour scheme I used for my illustrations and it also a fairly calm colour which I think is important regarding the subject matter. Most importantly, green is a gender neutral colour therefore does not alienate males or females in any way. I only have one column of copy on each page as I feel that there would not be enough room for two columns on my chosen size. The additional information at the sides of the pages are either definitions of phrases within the copy, a fact, or information which did not fit on the page within the main body text (e.g. lists of symptoms). Each spread alternates between the green page being on the left and on the right, this is so the spreads are not identical on every page. When I had my review with my tutor this week he said to be careful that the layout is not too repetitive. Although they alternate, the spreads in this chapter are a little repetitive however due to the amount of body text I do not think there is much I can do about this at the moment.
My tutor also suggested that as I am fairly well on with my book I could design other things such as t-shirts, a pack of cards (an idea that I explored within my development process), posters etc. I quite like the idea of t-shirt designs and I already have potential design which could go on them. I am also thinking that photographs of these could be included in my book which would help to prevent the book from being too repetitive. I also like the pack of card idea but for now my book is my main priority. I have already thought about doing some posters based upon my illustrations for the book so I may begin to develop these ideas further.
Professional Practice and Presentation: A requirement of this module is to look at existing exhibition and note how they have been promoted and curated. This week I was able to visit 3 exhibitions: Tate Modern, The Photographer’s Gallery, Tate Britain.
- Tate Modern: LICHENSTEIN A Retrospective – Posters for this were put up in London particularly at train stations. Also there were advertisements in newspapers. For these they used a famous work of Lichenstein to promote the exhibition. The yellow background colour also relates to his work, particularly the pieces in the style of comic books.
The exhibition consisted of 13 rooms, each containing a different category. Most of the work was attached to the walls. Many of these were framed, however those that were not had been “roped off” by a metal bar so that observers could not get close enough to touch. In some rooms there were glass cases or platforms with work in/on them, Despite the amount of art work the rooms were spacious.
Each room had a description which had been printed directly onto the wall. Then on the wall by each art work was written specific details:
E.g. Brush Strokes
Oil and Magna on Canvas
Some rooms were brightly lit (lights pointing at the exhibits in ALL rooms) with white walls. However some rooms were dimmer with grey walls, usually if the art works contained a lot of white, e.g. the Black and White room. One room had dark grey walls to further emphasise the whites. At the end the walls were painted yellow just like the colour on the advertisements.
- The Photographers’ Gallery: Geraldo de Barros/Laura Letinsky/Perspectives on Collage – The gallery displayed work over 4 floors with each containing a different show. Details for each room and artwork were directly on the walls. One room had pink coloured walls. Some of the work in the room were black and white – although not all. Apart from a glass cabinet the works were framed on the wall at eye level.
One room was completely dark and contained a television with sound.
The remaining two floors were brightly lit with white walls. One was similar in set up to the “prink room” with plenty of floor space to be able to stand back and look at the work. However the final floor was more crowded as it contained work by several artists. Each artists’ work were kept together next to a description of the artist and the exhibits. One wall was filled top to bottom which made it difficult to look at it all. Some work was also spread out on the floor.
- Tate Britain: Schwitters in Britain – This exhibition was very similar in set up to the one at the Tate Modern, however there were only 8 rooms. Each room contained a different category or categories which were in chronological order.
Some rooms were grey with subdues lighting whereas others were brighter. In the first room there was also a red wall which some of the information was on. The next room had blue, grey and white walls which helped to separate the different categories within.
Some other rooms also used the wall colours in this way. A couple of the rooms also had a photograph blown up to cover an entire wall, and another had a timeline. One room had sound relevant to the exhibit.
Week 7 6th – 8th Mar.
I continued developing hand drawn typography in the same technique that I had begun last week. However after completing a numerous amount of words in the style I decided that I did not think it would work in my book as they were too decorative. I began looking at different typographic techniques although still sticking with hand rendered type as opposed to digital. I have traced digital type by hand and also experimented once again with rubber stamps. In Adobe illustrator I have turned these letters into digital versions so that they can be used at any scale.
I have tried a few more different illustrations ideas such as a road with building in (road to recovery), however I prefer the illustrations that I produced last week. However these were set up as A4 pages and the book I am producing will be about 13cmx20cm therefore I edited them to fit across a double page of this size. I also experimented with different colours however I prefer, and have had positive feedback about, the original colours I chose (yellows, greens and browns).
I have also written the common types of illnesses section of the book as this is the biggest chapter. Next week I am going to continue writing other sections. Now that I have some written content I should be able to begin putting the layout together on the pages of the book.
Week 6 27th Feb- 1st Mar.
At the beginning of the week I was able to speak again with a mental health professional. I showed her my work and ideas so far which she responded with very positive feedback. She also suggested several things that could be included in a book such as what causes mental health problems. However we both felt that the book could end up being too long. I mentioned that I could do an additional book for people with mental health problems to use, draw or write in. This could then include a task involving someone to think about what could have triggered their illness. She thought this was an excellent idea.
This week I looked at editorial layouts. For a book there should be a consistent theme whether it be colour, use of shapes, use of typography, illustrations etc. I decided to focus on the pages that will contain an illustration to begin with. These pages could also potentially exist as posters as well. I used my most recent drawings for these illustrations but edited them digitally by adding colour which is something I have not done before. I also collaged different kinds of paper such as graph paper and appointment cards into the illustrations. I am pleased with these outcomes. I know now that I have a style to use throughout the book. I will try other styles as well so that I have not jumped to a final design idea. I may end up liking further design attempts anyway.
I have also begun experimenting with hand drawn type which I hope to include on other pages within the book. I still need to continue with these ideas until I find a style that I am happy with. I also started looking at different illustration ideas by making quick sketched from images found on Google. I intend to experiment with these digitally.
I still need to write the content of the book. I have printed off some information in order to get started on this. Hopefully next week I will have written a few of the pages so that I can start laying out the spreads.
Week 5 20th – 22nd Feb.
This week I spent a lot of time developing the illustrations I did last week digitally using Photoshop. Many of the drawings I had done involved a blank t-shirt, so I experimented by adding previous typography and illustrations ideas as logos or t-shirt designs. This I think would be a good way of representing a particular illness especially Bipolar, OCD and Schizophrenia. Anxiety and Depression are easier to portray as the illnesses can be represented by someone with their head in their hands (despair) or biting their nails, clenching their fists (worry); and things such as tape measures could be a way of depicting Eating Disorders; whereas the other illnesses are harder to symbolise. So a t-shirt with Bipolar written on in an interesting design could be far more affective than attempting to illustrate manic and depressed moods. It may be because I have looked at them for too long but I have begun to dislike these illustrations so I have redone them in a style that I am more confident in using (cross-hatching tonal drawings) which next week I intend to develop digitally as I have this week with the first set of illustrations. Below you can see the first style of illustration I used and more more recent versions.
I have rethought the pages of the books so that everything works within chapters. The illustrations could then appear on the first page of each chapter. This could either be a single illustration or several relevant images. On the other spreads, in particular ones about the 6 specific illnesses I could use some form of typography. This I also intend to look at next week.
Professional Practice and Presentation: This week in groups we began thinking about branding ideas for the Free Range Exhibition. I was rather apprehensive about this as I find it rather anxiety provoking to work in groups and I did struggle with it quite a lot. Despite this I was able to contribute to the group. The groups initial idea involved a western theme with the title “spur of the moment”. I personally was not so sure about the idea as I could not see a valid reason for a western theme, but I suggested that we each come up with visual ideas for this concept but also come up with our own individual idea which we could then discuss together as a group. I spent time research and drawing out potential ideas for the western theme but then, after brainstorming words related to “exhibition” I came up with a carnival theme. I thought as carnivals often have different side shows this was a relevant concept for the exhibition which will be combining graphic design, fashion, 3D and fine art. There is also a wide range of styles and objects that could be used to create an identity for example bright colours, flags, bunting etc. I drew out several ideas and showed them to my group who seemed to like the idea. A power point presentation was put together in order to present our ideas to the rest of the class. We explained about the western idea, my carnival idea and another group member’s idea: The New Contenders. We were told that our group did really well and the way we went about our ideas was excellent as we though about a range of directions rather than focusing on specific things. Overall the carnival idea was liked by tutors and other students.
Week 4 13th – 15th Feb.
I spoke to a mental health professional about my project and she gave me an idea that could be included at the end of a booklet about mental health problems. This was a how to help someone with a mental illness sections but written in the point of view of someone who has experienced an illness rather than generalised, often unhelpful, suggestions that are sometimes given. I also asked her whether she would be happy to provide feedback on my work as it develops, which she has agreed to. During the week there was another interim crit. A suggestion that came out of this was to think about designing a book that other people can use as part of understanding their personal mental health issues. So it would be similar to a work book in which they can write or draw depending on the task. I may think about producing something like this alongside the mental health booklet that I have already begun planning. I have begun thinking about possible illustrations that could be included in the booklet. I have selected 6 mental health problems, often referred to as the most common illness, to feature in the book. These are Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, OCD, Schizophrenia and Eating Disorders. I am thinking about having a page or possibly a double page for each illness. I brainstormed ideas for illustrations that could represent each of these illnesses. Some are quite difficult and I don’t want to portray incorrect ideas or generalisations either. After doing the brainstorm I have drawn several images which I can now experiment with digitally. For now I have tried a different illustration technique to what I usually use. This is drawing with a black ink pen then adding water to make the ink run. I think they look quite good although some I am unhappy with. Once I have experimented digitally, for example adding colour or typography, I should be able to judge if they will work in the book. If they don’t work I know I can always fall back on my usual method of illustration however then I would risk it looking like my visual proposal that I did back in October. As well as these illustration experiments, it would be good for me to begin writing certain sections of the book. This I should then be able to get checked or advice given by the mental health professional at the end of the month.
Week 3 7th – 9th Feb.
Over the weekend I looked at a couple of books related to depression and anxiety in order to look at coping techniques and ways to help other people. I did this in order to gain a wider knowledge which could be included in my project outcomes. Also I research into misconceptions about mental health illnesses as I need to know what the general public believe about mental health in order to challenge the inaccuracies. At the beginning of the week I began thumb nailing several different poster ideas based upon the misconceptions that I had researched as well as a few other ideas. This led on to looking at potential book/zine ideas. It is possible that designs produced for a book could also be printed as posters as well. I have tried to think about what I would include in a book. My first idea is create a book that informs people about mental health problems. From noting down ideas I discovered that to fit it in one book would mean having a rather large amount of pages. So alternatively I could produce a series of books, each one focusing on a specific illness. These however would probably mainly be targeting people who are suffering or know someone suffering from the illness which means it is not challenging stigma. This isn’t a big problems as in my proposal I indicated that instead of focusing on stigma I could go down a different route in which I focus on mental health illnesses in general. I would have to be careful that I would not just be copying already existing booklets such as the ones produced by Mind. My second idea is more focused on challenging stigma. It would include information about mental illnesses as well as the stigma attached to it. it would challenge misconceptions and possibly include a narrative story about someone with a mental illness who encounters stigma and discrimination. I have already begun to think about what areas would be typographic, illustrative, photographic etc. Now that I have thought about these ideas I feel a little calmer about the project. Although my ideas are still a bit vague, I have a potential plan to begin looking at and working towards. I continued experimenting with different styles this week, mostly related to typography. I tried drawing type by hand and making decorative compositions. Some of these could potentially work as posters or book pages.
So far I have considered a diverse range of strategies in terms of stylistic approaches and media. Now that I have begun planning potential outcomes I can continue developing stylistic approached but with a more specific purpose in mind. I have not thought too much about how these approaches relate to the target audience however I think that what I have done so far is appropriate for most ages (excluding children who I have decided not to target due to the theme being too complicated to “dumb down”). One thing I will need to think about as the project evolves is testing my ideas with a focus group. At the moment I am unsure about how to go about this. I could try to get a group of people who have experienced mental health problems and stigma to see what they think about my designs and content. I cannot guarantee that I can do this however. Another option would be to talk to health professionals about their opinions however again this may be more difficult. I my project takes the route of focusing on stigma then it may be relevant to get a group of people together whether they have had any mental health experience or not as this project would then be targeting anyone from teenage upwards.
Week 2 30th Jan – 1st Feb.
Over the weekend I took some photographs of my sister with writing on her face and arms. The writing on her arms was to suggest self harm or self harm prevention. I wrote phrases such as ‘Help’, ‘No more pain’, ‘Break the Silence’ and ‘Mental Disorders Affect 1 in 4 People’. The first two a more connected with self harm: Help = and cry for help, No more pain = self harm prevention; whereas the other two are messages related to the mental health theme about speaking out and making people more aware of the problems. The writing on her face included “Break the Silence’, ‘Don’t Judge Me’ and ‘I’m not just a statistic’. Most people who have a mental illness do not look significantly different to everyone else so having “Don’t judge me’ on her face implies she has a mental illness but you cannot see it. From research I have come across a lot of statistics especially on websites that are trying to prevent stigma however this makes me wonder whether people will fail to see each person as an individual with problems who needs help and support, and instead just see them as 1 out of 4 people who half a mental health problem. My sister also helped me to build a house of cards which I photographed as it was built in order to show it developing step by step. We were successful on our second attempt: The photographs could either be used as part of a composition or I could use them to draw from. A house of cards could be used to represent a range of things: fragile life, building up confidence, instability etc. I have also continued experimenting with illustration and typography. I tried another illustration in a style I have already used in order to determine whether this style would work for different types of objects (human, house of cards etc). I think it will work therefore it is a potential illustration style for the project. For typography experiments I painted each letter of the alphabet in red ink using a stencil that I had found and used previously. By scanning in these letters I can use them in Photoshop to produce a wide range of typographic compositions which I have already begun to experiment with. I also tried hand drawn typography, using the phrase “Carry the Confidence” as an example.
These were inspired by playing cards. The backs of the cards are often decorative so I thought about producing a decorative typography composition which could be used on posters, books or even on the back of a pack of cards which could be produced with the intention of providing written support for mental health sufferers. For example 52 ways of coping in anxiety provoking situations. I also begun some collage ideas using cut out images and different types of paper. I’m not sure what exact use these ideas would be used for but it may become clearer once I work out where my project is going. I also went back to my “usual” illustration method – monotone watercolour paint – which I have then combined with collage. Things are difficult for me at the moment as I have some anxiety problems. In order to focus on my work I am going to have to begin to plan potential outcomes so that I have something things to aim towards, although I will still want to be fairly open about the ideas so that there is room to adapt them if and when necessary.
Week 1 23rd – 25th Jan.
Over the Christmas break I made a good start with my project by doing lots of research and began experimenting with illustration and typography. I have also collected together any relevant articles from newspapers and magazines including the weekly Crusade for Mental Health story. To begin with I looked at current and previous front covers of a wide range of booklets produced by the charity Mind. There were photographic, and digital illustrated versions. Some of them used interesting imagery which could inspire me later in the project. I also looked at a variety of illustrators that came under the categories: Realistic, Children’s and Abstract. I did this so that I could look at a range of styles that may be relevant for my project. I also looked at expressive typography particularly from a Mental Health point of view (ways to express how you are feeling etc). These are all ideas that I could try later myself and potentially use in my outcomes. Also over the holiday I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with a woman who had experienced many mental health issues. I conducted the interview online through emails in order to keep her completely anonymous and so that she had time to think about the answers to the question especially as some may be difficult to answer. I also begun another interview however this is still ongoing. The responses to these interviews may help create a greater understanding of different mental health problems and could potentially contribute to the content of future work, such as a narrative. I began to experiment with different illustration techniques. Although I have a style that I usually stick to I think it would be good to have tried out other methods which I may decide works better for whatever it is I am trying to portray. This is not to say that I have to completely reject the style of illustration that I used in the proposal book. Because I like the connection to art therapy that this topic has, I have mostly experimented with hand produced illustration rather than digital. This includes drawing with pen, coloured pencil, water colours, ink, felt tip pens, acrylic paint and collage. I also experimented with typography in the same way. The first thing required of us this week was to undergo an interim crit within small groups. I was able to show my group that I had at three ideas that I am currently exploring. The first idea is to create a series of posters. These could either be for a charity, organisation, event etc or could just be an awareness based idea, using quotes or images to convey certain messages. The second idea is a narrative. This could be through a series of posters or in a book. I still need to think about the story line however I should incorporate aspects of actual mental health illness with notions of stigma, as it is the stigma that I indicated in the proposal that needs to be tackled. My third idea is a self help booklet. This however would mostly be targeted at individuals rather than the general public, therefore would not tackle stigma on a large scale. I have also thought about combining the last two ideas, or possibly all three ideas, together in order to produce something that someone could find helpful in relation to their illness yet at the same time may create a greater understanding for someone who is more ignorant of the topic. The feedback from the crit was positive and one person suggested that I research coping strategies which I could include in a self help guide or narrative. From discussing this idea with the group I felt that in terms of self help, the suggestions/instructions should be more subtle. Instead of saying “you should do this/that” which could put someone under pressure, a suggested coping strategy could be portrayed in a way that shows it working for someone else (i.e in a narrative) to which the reader/audience may think “I could try that”. For the remainder of the week I continued to experiment with illustration. I also looked at a wide range of coping strategies. I also began to look at metaphors for life as this may provide inspiration for illustrations. For example: life is like a house of cards. Over the weekend I am going to attempt to build and photograph a house of cards which I may be able to use in my work, either directly from the photo or to draw from. I also intend to take other photographs such as someone with relevant writing on their face or hands which could represent not being able to speak aloud about their problems.
Reflection of the Semester This semester consisted of two modules. The first one, submitted at the end of October, was the Development of Ideas and Concepts module; and the second, the Thesis. Both modules I completed ahead of schedule and handed in on time. My full review for the Development of Ideas and Concepts module can be found below (see Week 7 31st Oct-2nd Nov). I am pleased with the proposal I wrote for this module. Although I had to write a proposal for the final section of a module last year I did not know then how to write one properly. For this module I followed the guidelines carefully. It helped that I had filled a whole sketchbook with research as this meant I had a lot of evidence to back up my knowledge and ideas with. I chose the topic of Mental Health Problems and the stigma and discrimination surrounding the issues because it is something that I have experienced a lot of myself both personally and through family members. From my experience and research I have found that a high amount of people do not fully understand mental health illnesses and a lot of false beliefs have been mixed up with facts as a result. I think a project of this nature has a lot of potential because, although there are recent organisations campaigning against mental health stigma (e.g. Time to Change), there are still people experiencing discrimination that can actually be harmful in relation to their illness. I am pleased with my written and visual proposal for this module. I feel that I have done my best and actually did better than I thought I was going to be able to due to various personal problems that I am currently experiencing. It helped that both myself and another family member were already in contact with mental health services as this made it easier to locate groups of people willing to participate in one of my questionnaires aimed at people who have or are experiencing a mental health problem. The main project this year is based on this proposal. Over the next month I am going to continue to undertake relevant research subject-wise and from a design point of view. I may need to interview or survey more people as the project progresses; I had indicated that it might be worth doing this within my proposal. I am a little apprehensive about this as it is the type of thing that I find difficult to do, and although I succeeded in getting a large response for the two questionnaires for the Development of Ideas and Concept module, I found this quite stressful at the time. The other module completed this semester was the Thesis. It took me a long while to work out what I was going to write about and I explored a range of ideas over the summer before the semester began. I eventually decided to focus on Children’s Picture Books although I was warned that there might not be a wide range of resources for this topic. Knowing this I decided to come at it from different angles such as how picture books show British culture. To begin with I was really worried that I would not have enough to write about, as it had to be between 5000 and 6000 words. In the previous two years the essays I have completed were less than half this amount and even then I struggled with finding enough to write about at times. However due to careful planning I had plenty to write about: history of children’s books, British culture, meaning of childhood, children’s books as commodities, and studies into the works of Anthony Browne and Lauren Child. My actual title was “Children’s Picture Books: an evolution of British culture or childish commodities?” therefore I developed an argument about how much British culture can be seen through picture books and how much they have become commodities in the contemporary consumer world. For this module I also had to write a proposal. To begin with I was not sure how to write it so I used the headings indicated by a tutor and received positive feedback meaning that I must have written it correctly. Although I have always been told throughout the course that I write well, I have not always found this easy, however this semester I think my writing skills have improved greatly and I was able to write both the thesis and proposal naturally without having to think too much about how I was wording sections. One thing I was concerned about with this module was the time scale, however I did not need to worry as a completed the thesis well ahead of the deadline! Although at the beginning of the semester the focus was on the Developments of Ideas and Concepts module, I had already completed half the thesis before the hand in date at the end of October. From this point I worked on the thesis each week, receiving positive feedback on the drafts I submitted, and eventually completing it two weeks before the deadline. Despite being worried about this module back in September, I feel I have done well and have used my time effectively. I enjoyed researching and writing about certain areas of the thesis. Overall I am pleased with my outcomes for both modules. I am particularly pleased at completing the Thesis, as this was not something I was originally looking forward to. With the main project, although I am aware I have a lot of work to do, due to the amount of research I conducted for the Ideas and Concepts module and the proposal I wrote as a result, I feel that I am already in a good position and have already begun more research and to think about possible ideas to experiment with. Proposal for Development of Ideas and Concepts can be found here. Week 13 12th-14th Dec. On Wednesday 12th I went in to college in order to print my thesis. I had already put it through Safe Assign at home and knew there were no problems as it only scored 1%. As I was in college early I was able to print my thesis quickly without any problems. I was allowed to hand in early at lunch time. I am pleased that I have completed this module. I was expecting to find it really difficult however I finished it well before the deadline. Week 12 5th-7th Dec. This week there was a briefing for the major project module that will be the focus of the following months. The proposal written for the development of ideas and concepts module is the brief for this project. To begin with I need to engage in some more research and not just about the topic (mental health stigma). I am going to look at a range of design techniques and outcomes and the ways in which they could connect to mental health; for example styles of illustration, typography and outcome ideas (posters, books, leaflets etc). I need to do this so that I can work out exactly what I want to achieve by doing this project and why. I also received instructions related to the Thesis hand in. I need to submit two copies and have them bound together. I intend to come into college next Wednesday to do this. I also need to put my essay through Safe Assign prior to printing just to make sure there are not any sections that could appear to be plagiarised. There should not be a problem here because I have carefully made sure that I have put the Harvard Referencing in the correct places and all the essay is written in my own words (excluding quotes). The final deadline for the Thesis is 12pm on 14th December. Week 11 28th-30th Nov. Thesis: Handed in final draft of Thesis. I was told that it is well written and there were not many word changes that needed to be made. I was told that I ought to create a contents page stating what topics are covered in the essay and on what page they begin. This is only to help the examiner find specific areas. Week 10 21st-23rd Nov. Thesis: Handed in my essay for another proof read. Word count was around 5700. There were a few suggestions of things I could possibly add in. I also still need to write my introduction. Week 9 14th-16th Nov Thesis: I completed just over 5000 words and handed it in for proof reading before the required date. I receieved it back on Thursday and was told that the tutor who had looked at it liked the essay and gave me a suggestions that I could possibly look at, other than that there was not much to change. Week 8 7th – 9th Nov Thesis: I completed over 3000 words this week and handed my draft in early. I got possitive responses from two tutors who also pointed out areas that could be re worded or where something ought to be added. The suggestions of where to go next with the essay was what I intended to do anyway which means I must be heading in the right direction. For next week I want to have written at least another 1000 words in which I look at in detail a couple of examples of picture books. Week 7 31st Oct-2nd Nov Review of Development of Ideas and Concepts Module For this module I put together a large body of research about my chosen topic: mental health issues. Beginning with secondary sources I learnt about and documented information about specific mental health illnesses and issues. I did this so that later in the main project I could concentrate on a particular illness if I feel that it will be beneficial to the project overall. Using online resources, including downloading leaflets and posters; journals and books I recorded any information related to mental health in my sketch books. This meant that I would have variety of possible directions that my project could take rather than sticking to one idea. For example I looked at cultural perceptions of mental health illnesses, general statistics, children and mental ill health, the effects of the media, current campaigns and existing charities and organisations. From some of these secondary sources I discovered many people’s personal stories about their battles with mental health problems and their experiences of stigma and discrimination as a result of this. Some of the things these people wrote about I have experienced myself, either directly or from observing others such as family members and inpatients at a psychiatric hospital. This inspired me to find out more information about people’s experiences, so I produced a questionnaire targeted at people who have had mental health problems. I had 60 responses which gave some examples of the discrimination people have faced and also highlighted the point that mental health problems are difficult to talk about either because of the reactions of other people or simply because it is hard to put into words and describe their experiences. I also conducted another questionnaire without a specific target audience in order to discover what people really knew about mental health illnesses. It was quite shocking to read some of the answers especially the words and phrases people have used to describe someone who is mentally ill. When doing the initial research for this module I also read about coping strategies and various types of therapies. One of these was art therapy. After receiving some of the results from questionnaires indicating that mental health problems were difficult to talk about, I thought this made a good connection with the idea of art therapy, using visual methods of expressing the way people feel. I tried to convey this idea in my visual proposal by using illustrations to portray different emotions and feelings. I chose to produce a book for my visual proposal rather than a presentation; one of the reasons for this was because I wanted to make the point that it is not easy to talk about this topic, not only from the perspective of people suffering with these problems, but by people in general as well. Feedback for this module so far has been positive and has helped me think about possible ideas for the project as well as other research methods to think about. I quite like the idea of communicating visually and have already thought about the possibility of working with a narrative that could be shown through illustrations. By doing the questionnaires I have already had a couple of offers for possible interviews. This could help to build up a narrative if I decide to go down this route. The things I have found out about stigma and discrimination appears quite an important area to focus on. A possibility for the project is to create awareness of mental health illnesses in order to lower or eliminate the amount of discrimination people face. The project could target the general population or have a more specific audience such as 11 – 25 years olds. If awareness is developed in younger people then they may become more accepting of these issues as they grow older. Overall I think the research methods I have used so far have helped me to work out directions for the project to take. Because of the amounts of different areas that I have looked at I now have lots of different ideas that could focus on or combine together in the main project. Below is a week by week reflection of this module as it progressed. It shows my thought processes and ideas over the past few weeks. Ideas and Concepts: On Wednesday I handed in my Developments of Ideas and Concepts Module. I am pleased with the amount of work I produced and with my visual proposal outcome. When it came to presenting the ideas in groups I did not feel able to talk about my ideas however everything was in visual proposal which people read through. From this the idea of looking at a narrative as part of the main project seems a possible way forward. Thesis: This week I wrote my proposal for my thesis. I found it quite hard to write this. Although I know what I am writing my essay about it is still quite difficult for me to explain exactly what I am doing and where I am going to go with this essay. This is why I had begun writing the essay first as I thought it would help make things clearer for myself. I am happy that I have now written the proposal although I am not sure that it is all that good or even if I have done it correctly. I need to email my proposal and a 1500 words draft of the thesis (I’ve already done about 2300) to my tutor by next Friday. Week 6 24th-26th Oct Ideas and Concepts: I discovered this week that the reason my attempt at printing and binding my book at home was unsuccessful was because, although my printer is capable of printing double sided, it does not quite align the pages up correctly. This would mean that I would have to print the book in college. I was shown how to print doubled sided by manually feeding the paper, so this should not be a problem. As mentioned last week, I had not thought all that much about a front cover, so at the beginning of the week that is what decided to focus on. I used the same typeface that I used for headings in the book and acetone to create the same affect. I tried a variety to titles and layouts until I got down to my final choice. I decided to use the label idea with “You’re Mad” on it written in the edited typeface ‘Impact’. Underneath, written with the stamp set I have been using throughout, it reads “Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination”. I thought that the size and boldness of the words “You’re Mad” would attract people’s attention and then the small type tells the reader what the proposal is about. As I had only used colour on every other page of the book, a tutor suggested that I try spot colours on the other pages. These pages are the ones with the hand rendered typography. I experimented as suggested but did not like the outcome. Some pages worked well but others I thought did not look right. Therefore I decided to stick to the original tones. Another tutor suggested that I make the typography fill the entire page which I have done. Some of the letters bleed off the edge of the page but it is still readable. I was a bit apprehensive about this though because if I get it printed by Blurb it may get cropped even more as some parts are not in the “safe zone”, however, hopefully this will not matter too much. Other suggestions were to add page numbers, reduce the mass text size to 10pt and to try and avoid having sentences that go over two pages. All of these suggestions I have taken into account when editing my book for the final time. Before printing final copies I tried different paper but have decided to leave the actual pages of the book on normal paper. The cover, on the other hand, I have chosen to print on card as I believe that the thickness of it would separate it from the rest of the book, which is what most published books are like. I experimented with light yellow card also. I like the effect of this colour, however it does make the sticky label yellow as well. I have produced two copies of the book, one with a yellow cover and the other using white card. I like both versions however I must remember that if I use Blurb the cover will then be white. Next Wednesday is the hand in date for this module. I am happy that I have finished almost I week in advanced. I need to go through my 3 sketchbooks to make sure everything is stuck in and annotated. On Wednesday everyone has to present their ideas. For mine I am expected to say a little about my ideas for the project whilst others look at the book I have made. I am extremely worried about this as I have absolutely no confidence in talking to a group of people. At the moment I am unsure that I will be able to cope with this. Thesis: I have continued writing my essay. This week I concentrated on writing about the history of childhood. I have now written over 2000 words. I want to continue to write the essay so that I finish well before hand in so that I have time to edit and improve what I have written. I still need to write my proposal. I had not done this earlier because I was not entirely sure what direction the essay would take, however now my plan is becoming clearer I feel I will be able to start putting together a coherent proposal. Week 5 17th-19th Oct Ideas and Concepts:Following on from the illustrations and typography I produced last week I have been experimenting in photoshop with different layouts. I have also experimented with acetone, producing a new effect for the headings of each spread. Before putting all of this onto pages in InDesign, I downloaded a template form Blurb. This shows me where the pages will be trimmed and also indicates where the vital text and artwork must go without risk of being cut off in binding. I set up my pages with margins using these details from the template. This means that when I upload my final book to the Blurb website there shouldn’t be any problems when it comes to printing (hopefully). I have tried to stick to a layout that is consistent throughout the book. Due to varying sizes of illustrations the layout slightly differs from page to page however the general layout remains the same. I have made sure that the typeface for the main copy remains the same on each page. Although I have gone through removing hyphenated words, I still need to check whether there is any need for kerning, if rivers appear in the text. As my illustrations were black and white, I introduced a spot colour to each one. I decided on a different colour for each illustration and then used the same colour in places on the opposite page. The spreads in between these pages which do not have an illustration, but have typography instead, I have left as black and white. I do not want too much colour in the book as I am trying to imply that mental health illnesses can be an unhappy and lonely experience. Over the next week I need to keep editing the pages until I am completely happy. Up until now I had not thought all that much about the cover design for the book. My main problem at the moment with this is that my proposal does not have a specific title. I have brainstormed a few ideas. So far I have thought of “Mental Health Issues”, “Mental Health Issues – THE TRUTH” “You’re Mad. Mental Health Issues. THE TRUTH”. Alternatively, I could have the quote that begins my proposal on the front cover. From a design point of view I want to keep the cover in keeping with the inside of the book. I could use an illustration similar to those inside or I could experiment with typography in similar ways. One idea I have had is to have the words “You’re Mad” on a sticky label and then “Mental Health Issues – The Truth” in the background, thus implying that the name calling and discrimination are actually the issues with mental health problems. I have had a go at making a mock up of my book using the saddle-stitch (staple) method. When folded up the pages are not of equal width however I think if I were to do it again I would be able to make the pages meet. This will be the method of binding I will use for hand in on 31st October as it is not possible for the Blurb book to be completed by this time. Thesis: I concentrated on writing the section of the thesis that is about British culture. It was difficult to define what being British meant but I mentioned that within the essay. I have written almost 1,500 words in total so far. This means I am on (or ahead) of schedule as a first draft of 1000-2000 words is due in the first week of November. Week 4 10th-12th Oct Ideas and Concepts: I handed in another draft of my proposal and added in a review of my research methods so far. Now it is finished and the only changes that need to be made are the updated statistics from the questionnaires. I am still waiting to see if I can get a few more responses. Now that the written proposal is finished I can make my visual proposal. I’m unsure as to whether I will use Blurb to print the book I intend to produce, or whether I will do it by hand. To (hopefully) save complications later, I have decided to stick to the page size indicated on the Blurb website (13×20 cm). Of course, so that I have the option of using blurb I now need to create 20 pages. I have used the headings from my proposal to work out how I will do this. The first page will contain the synopsis and the back page will have the Bibliography on it. All the double pages inbetween will have one of the headings (hypothesis, subsidary research questions, empirical research, qualitative research, quantative research, secondary research, literature review, evaluation of research methodology, and design rationale) on the right hand page, and a design or illustration on the left had side. On some of the double pages the mass text will be too long to be contained on one page, so on these pages (this happens 4 times) the beginning paragraph will be on the left hand page. Originally I had the idea of make this book look like an art journal. So I began to look at various ways of creating illustrations and typography by hand. I cut words and letters out of newspapers to create messages, used a letter printing set to create other messages, made a collage by photocopying and ripping up answers to questionaires, cutting out clothes for magazines and creating “people” with them; I also experiemented with showing emotions through colour and paint. I scanned these onto the Macs at college and then printed some of them out and used acetone to print them into my sketchbook, producing a new effect. I started creating pages in InDesign using these illustrations but then I felt that it wasn’t really going anywhere. So I decided to rethink my idea. I still want to do things by hand, which connects with the original art journal idea, but I thought about producing illustrations/typography that tell the story of someone with a mental health illness. I started drafting ideas for the story but started worrying that it would be too complicated to complete in such a short amount of time. So I have simplified it slightly. Illustrations and typography will alternate between each double page. I have used similar techniques that I have already used to produce the typography which include statements for the questionnaires which describe how hard and horrible having a mental health illness can be in regards to the actual illness and the stigm attatched to it, but also possitive statements to show that it is possible for people to live a good life. For the illustrations I decided to stick with a method that I am comfortable with: monotone watercolour paint. So far I have produced 4 illustrations using this technique. Two are of eyes; the first to show that you can’t see mental illnesses, the second to represnt anger. The other 2 are of someones body to show vulnerability, anger but also determination. I want to so one more illustration but I am not sure of what yet. Possibly to represent that mental health problems are hard to talk about. I still have loads of things to experiment with. Next week I will begin to put the pages together with what I have produced so far. This way I will be able to tell what I still need to do. Thesis: This week I have been looking over all the research that I have collected so far. Because I have got so much information on different subjects (British culture, children and picture books) I tried to seperate things into different sections. For most of the stuff I was able to do this however I’ve discovered that a lot of research overlaps between sections. Despite this I have tried to make an essay plan but have found it very difficult. So I decided to start writing sections of the essay that can then be pieced together in the correct order later. I have started with the history of picture books but after getting to the early 1900s I started writing about consumerism which is a topic that links in with British Culture and with children. So now I intend to start writing about British culture and then children to see if I can connect these sections together in a way that flows. Week 3 3rd-5th Oct Ideas and Concepts: This week I looked at the answers to the questionnaires I had collected so far. In the first questionnaire, the one the general public could answer, I many people had written negative descriptions when asked to describe someone with a mental illness. These included: dangerous, weird, spastic, retard, mad, mental, insane, disabled, crazy and scary. This is the kind of thing that my project could focus on and try to change people’s views. Despite this there were a few possitive comments, although not many. These included: Misunderstood; discriminated against; can’t help it; and a normal individual. I put other results from the first questionnaire into pie charts or bar charts. Most of my answers were from people between the ages of 19 and 25 (34 people). The second highest was 11 to 18 (8 people), so some of the negative answers could be because most of the responses were form fairly young people who may not have experienced many mental health issues. Only 33% of the total responders said that they had experienced a mental health issue however 79% claim to know someone who has experienced a mental health issue. In the question about where people have come across information about mental health the highest answer was in newspapers. This answer was expected as I had already found out through secondary research that newspapers were one of the most common places to come across mental health information. Newspapers are more likely to be believed as they are supposedly reporting facts, however the second highest area of the media was films. The problem about films is that they tend to exaggerate or use false information or stereotypes so this could lead people to have an inaccurate opinion about mental health problems. After looking at these results I began to put a draft version of my proposal together. I included the above information in it and also included the results that I had gathered so far for the second questionnaire. Since writing the proposal I have collect 12 more results for and hope to get some more by next week. Once I have more I can edit the results that I recorded in the proposal. I had possitive feedback on my first draft. There isn’t much that needs changing. I am going to make the few wording changes that have been suggested and possibly add in a few other details and then hand it back in for a second proof read. This week there was a brief talk about triangualtion. This is about getting information from three different areas so that your research is more accurate. I made sure in my proposal that I connected primary and secondary research together, showing how they proved each other correct etc which makes a stronger argument. I also began to start thinking in a more visual way. Firstly I created a collage from images found on Google related to emotions that people with mental health problems may feel, particularly if they feel stigmatised. From these I mad a few drawings of eyes, on to represent anger and another to represent sadness etc. I also looked back at the idea of confusing and conflicting thoughts aswell as the idea that people feel they need to hide their true feelings so that they do not get judged by other people who don’t understand. From doing this I had the idea to photograph someone showing different emotions. I asked my sister how she feels in relation to her mental health problem and the way people treat her. I then photographed her looking angry, sad, depressed, scared, fed up etc. From these photographs I did a couple of illustrations. Using plue water colour paint I painted her eye using one of the photographs representing sadness. I used this medium because it gave a softer effect which made it easier to show sadness. I chose blue as from my research I noticed that blue is often used to represent feelings such as sadness. The second illustration was also on my sisters eye but from when she was showing anger. I used a black fineliner for this as the scratchy look helps to show the anger within the illustration. I then connected some of the responses about how people feel talking about their mental health problem and negative comments they received (from the questionnaire) with these drawings. As well as these more realistic visual experiments, I also tried a more abstract way of showing emotions by using black ink and “scribbling” over a page. I then filled in the gaps with coloured paint. The lines and particular colours represent different emotions. Reds, for example, would represent anger and blues, sadness/depression. The next step for this module is to produce a visual version of my proposal. I don’t want to do a presentation or anything where I would have to talk because I do not feel comfortable doing this. My idea at the moment is to create it as a book. I could either do this by hand or digitally and get it printed by www.blurb.co.uk/. It would be easier to get it printed online but I have looked into hand produced versions anyway. I have drawn some diagrams in my sketchbook showing different ways of binding such as saddle stitch, coptic stitch and Japanese stab binding. I have also looked at some tutorials on youtube: Sewing, an art journal and coptic stitch. The idea of an art journal related to my topic. When researching art therapy I discovered that one technique is to keep an art journal to drawing in and express how you are feeling. I could produce my proposal so that it looks similar to an art journal. So by doing lots of things by hand. I need to start visualising so ideas for the designs of the pages that will be in my book. If I want to create a book online the minimum amount of pages is 20 so I need to aim for about this amount. Thesis: This week there was a talk about writing a proposal for the essay. I think I understand the kind of thing that is expected to be written in this proposal as it is similar to the one for the ideas and concepts module, however I need to have worked out what I’m writing about in my essay first. There was also a talk about hypereality and semiotics which may benefit my essay as I am thinking of writing about semiotics in realtion to children’s picture books. I am still sticking with the idea of looking at the changes in British culture and the changes in picture books. This week I focused on researching what British Culture is. Although I have found some resources it is still difficult to pin point what British culture is. However I may be able to argue that in my essay. There are lots of things affecting Britain, both now and in the past such as globalisation and Americanisation. I’ve noticed through my research that these also affect children’s books. In my essay I will also want to look at the changes in childhood. I’ve discovered that before the 17th century the idea of children didn’t really exist, they were treated like small adults. Whereas in more recent years adults what to hide children from the adult world. However there is also the argument that childhood is now ending. Children are being targetted by advertisers and being turned into consumers, or mini adults. All of this I will need to link to children’s picturebooks. I could do this by looking at the themes portayed in the books. I also want to look at the style of illustration. I’ve chosen Beatrix Potter as one illustrator/author to look at because of the technology used to produce her books as well as the time period it was written in. I have also choses Anthony Browne as this is a postmodern book but also introduces the idea of semiotics into picture books. My third chosen author/illustrator is Lauren Child as her books show western culture as it is today. Her style of illustration also reflects this idea. Also, her characters have become commodities now that some of her books have been televised and it is possible to buy products with her characters on them. I need to work out a plan for my essay. At the moment everything seems quite confusing because there is so many different things I want to include. I need to plan out how they will all link together so that I can begin writing. Week 2 26th-28th Sept Ideas and Concepts: After speaking to a tutor last week I began to research into developmental psychology. I looked at Jean Piaget’s observations of childrens development of understanding. I also looked at teenage developmental psychology which led onto looking at teenage depression and other statistcs in children and mental health, particularly in Britain. I also researched into self harm as many people facing mental and emotional difficulties turn to this as a coping strategy. I have written an informal account of things I have personally witnessed/experienced which I will need to write in an objective way if I want to include it in my proposal. This week we were given a handout about writing proposals which we should refer to when writing our own. I need to to begin putting my proposal together so that it can be proof read and edited. Thinking about my empirical research, I thought it would be worth reading other people’s mental health stories. I looked at a few on the Time To Change website as well as Beat. I possible direction for this project would be to work on a narrative, maybe through book illustration or a series of posters or artworks. Inspiration for a narrative could come from my own experiences and those of other people. This week a produced 2 questionnaires in order to get some statistics and peoples opinions. The first one can be answered by anyone although I do ask them to identifiy their age and gender. Other than this they remain anonymous. I ask people to write the first 3 mental health illnesss or problems that they can think of. This will hopefully inform me of what the most well known/heard of illnesses are. I also ask if they have or know anyone that has experienced a mental health problem. This may possibly affect their answers. I also ask what words or phrases they would use to describe someone with a mental health illness. This may highlight false beliefs that people may have on the subject. Finally, I try to find out how accurate they believe the media portrays mental illnesses. I have already given this questionnaire out to people within my group at college so have roughly 20 responses already. I have also produced an online version which I will post on social networks in the hope of getting more answers. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWK2FGW My second questionnaire is targetted at those who have experienced a mental health problem. I have made it clear that all answers will be kept anonymous so people don’t need to worry about being judged by others (if that is one of their fears). For quantative purposes I ask age and gender related questions and then ask them to identify what mental health issues they have experienced and roughly when this started. The main purpose of the questionnaire is to get people’s answers to the following questions: ‘How do you feel when talking about your mental health issues?’, ‘Do you feel that people listen to you and try to take your views into account?’ and ‘Have you ever had any negative comments or felt discriminated against by other people in relation to your mental health problem? If yes, please give some examples.’ From these questions I am trying to find out how many people have be treated differently or been stigmatized because of their illness. Both answers from this questionnaire and the previous one may give me quotes that I could use in my proposal or in the main project. I am going to try and give this questionnaire to a key coordinator at Early Interventions to give out to clients. I am also going to see if Student Services at college would be willing to hand out copies to my target group. I have also made an online version. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SZMQKNN Relooking at the Divergent/Convergent activity last week I noticed the following words: Thoughts, Opinions, Views and Arguments. I thought it would be worth exploring these words in relation to my project. From my own experience I know that it is possible to hold two confliction thoughts in your head which can be very confusing. With this in mind I researched Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance theory. I also looked at more visual ways of expressing your feelings which can be useful when things are hard to express in words. On Friday there was another activity that we had to do in groups. This was a Six Hat Thinking exercise. In a group of 4 we had to come up with a new burger brand, however we had to think in different ways: Facts, Instinct, Caution, Optomism and Lateral Thinking. The ideas we came up with were rather unusual (lateral thinking) however I was the black hat (aka caution) so I had to point out the bad points of these ideas. Finally we came up with animal shaped burgers that come with fact cards about endangered species and what people can do to help save them. At the moment I have not really though about how this thinking process can help with my own project. Thesis: This week I have spent some time researching into various areas that can help build up my esssay. I have looks at a variety of texts concerning picture books. Some information from this could be really useful in my essay. I have also looked at semiotics in picture books and the way the illustrations can be interpreted. I have done a lot of research into what it means to be a child. How does childhood now differ from childhood a century ago? Or even farther back – medieval, perhaps? It was interesting to find out what during medieval times there was no conecpt of childhood; children were expected to work and were not that well looked after. Whereas now those same things would be seen as child abuse. I have briefly looked at culture in picture books but what I am struggling most with is researching into British culture in general. Week 1 19th- 21st Sept Ideas and Concepts: The topic that I am focusing on for this project is mental health. As I do not need to know what the final outcome of this project will be yet, I have been looking at many different ideas connected with the topic. To start with I researched into what mental health problems are including specific illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders and schizophrenia. I also researched into treatments such as taking treatments, medication,art therapy and music therapy. I couple of years ago I was able to observe an art class for people who had had mental health problems or difficulties so I have seen the kind of things that are produced in these sessions and what the atmosphere is like. Next I researched into mental health organisations and charities. Some were general mental health organisations whereas others are more specific focusing on depression or eating disorders for example. Over the summer I was able to read a couple of memoirs which I have recorded relevant quotes from. These were “Today I’m Alice: Nine personalities, one tortured mind” by Alice Jamieson, and “The Devil within” by Stephanie Merritt which was about the authors battle with depression. I also read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath which was also useful for getting quotes from. Over the summer I briefly looked at statistics related to mental health and discovered that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, this includes 300 out of 1000 people in Britain. The most common mental health problem is mixed anxiety and depression. Something that came up a lot throughout my research was the idea of stigma. There is lots of discrimination towards people with mental health problems and illnesses and there are lots of false beliefs about mental health. This could be a major idea to base my project on. Looking at people’s perseptions of mental health led me on to research the beliefs of different cultures. Research in the past has concluded that Britain has one of the highest amounts of depression but I wonder how accurate the statistics are seeing as in Japan having a mental illness is seen as unacceptable, thus very few people admit to having one. Looing at culture progressed onto looking at media and its affect on mental health. Some people believe that social networks play a large part in mental illnesses particularly eating disorders. There is also an increase in cyber-bullying which is a risk factor for developing a mental problem. The media also portrays mental health patients in an incorrect, negative light. Some of the stereotypical depictions are violent people; mad scientists; sly manipulators; helpless, depressed females etc. Just before starting back last week I looked at visual inspiration related to mental health. This included various illustration anf imagery from image sharing websites, children’s picture books about mental health, posters from various organisations and a couple of booklets: one for 11-19 years old with learning difficulties and another for students. This week I continued looking at visual ideas such as the ways of expressing yourself through art therapy, the meaning of colour in relation to mood, and graphic novels produced with a mental health theme. This week a couple of tutors have talked to the group about how to conduct questionnaires and about divergent and convergent thinking systems. I will need to conduct some surveys to gather more research for my project. I need to decide whether I am seeking quantitative or qulitative data. I will probably need both as opinions will be important in this project but I will also need correct statistics for whatever I choose as my target audience. I have also empirical research as for a large part of my life I have been witness to mental health problems including mental break downs, psychiatric inpatient hospitals, therapy etc as well as suffering with mental health issues myself. However in my proposal I will need to refer to this in an objective way. The divergent/convergent talk resulted in the group participating in a mindmapping activity. Each person had to write 6 words related to their chosen topic and then write words connecting and then another word related to the new one etc (e.g Mental > Mind > Thoughts > Feelings > Opinions). Once we had 6 new words, we gave these to a partner and they did the same process to get 6 more words. So I started with Mental, health, Treatment, Stigma, Campaign and Illness which led to Opinions, Help, Friends, Crime, Harm and Death. I gave these new words to a friend who ended up with Dispute, Pain, Courage, Result, Love and Air. At the moment I am not sure how this will help my project but it may do later on. I spoke to a tutor about my ideas so far. I am feeling really stressed about everything at the moment but I have been told that everything I have done so far is good. I was given a few suggestions for what to look into which I have already made a start on. this includes child developmental psychology and more statistics. Why is it that children in britian are so depressed? Thesis: My idea for my thesis is still a bit vague. I have a theme but I need to pin point what direction I will be going with it. I want to look at changes in British culture and it’s affects on children’s illustrations/picture books. I have looked into the history of children’s picture books which includes the development of technology (such as the printing press). My tutors have suggested that I look into the history of childhood, for example at one point in British history children were going out to work whereas now people would be horrified if that was to occur now (although it still does in other countries). Also, children are exposed to more commodities and commercial ideas nowadays which may have changed the way children view the world. Another suggestion to look at is what it means to be British. Was being British in the 1800s or 1900s different from what being British is about today? It would also be useful to look at products or other things that are either 100% or originally British. I need to look into globalisation as well to see how that has affected culture in Britain. YEAR 2 SEMESTER2 Review of the Semester Comparing this semester with the previous one, I feel that my design ideas have improved and become more experimental. I have not changed my “style” completely as I still prefer to produce elements by hand – and have done so in all of my work – but I have tried new ideas. The first part of the semester was focused on the YCN competition in which I had to choose one of the briefs. I chose to create an advertising campaign for the clothing store Peacocks. My initial response to this brief was to draw or paint as I had done in previous modules however due to complications with initial photographs I felt that this was going to be too difficult. Because of this I could not think of an idea to take forward. So I began to do many different experiments. I created collages with different papers and paint not worrying about the outcome. I also developed another way of producing illustrations. Each experiment led to another resulting in a possible outcome which I just needed to edit until I was satisfied with the final look. If I had been in this situation last year where I did not have a definite plan of action, I think I would have really panicked and struggled to produce an outcome. However becoming more experimental with my design ideas also helped me with my self authored brief. I had decided to produce a series of book covers as this is an area of design that really interests me and could be a potential employment route when I have completed the course. I experimented with collage and different media as I did in the previous project but at the same time I included illustration techniques that I had used before as I think I am quite good in this area and so wanted to use my skills to my advantage. I also tried different illustration techniques as before but decided against them for my final outcomes. As mentioned, one of the career paths that I have looked into is book design. For the Professional Practice module I needed to show that I had looked at a range of career possibilities related to graphic design. I looked mostly at the design industries that interest me such as illustration and book publishing but I also researched into other areas for example advertising, branding, web design, editorial design etc. I have the design skills for a lot of these roles such as being able to use digital software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) and I can work with a range of styles so I am not limited in the type of design I can produce. However, although I have some of the generic skills needed: reliability, punctuality, professionalism; I feel that I am still severely lacking in confidence. I was unable to participate in the presentation for the BrandOpus project even though this was within a group of people I knew; and I was also unable to do the end of year reflective overview presentation for the Professional Practice module (although I did produce a booklet instead, so I still completed all the work for the module). This was because of many anxieties that I have. This makes me worried about how I will cope with employment after the course, however through my research I have learnt that a possible route is freelance work which can be completed from home. It is also possible to have an agent who would find jobs and liaise with potential employers. For my self promotion strategy I decided on a pack of cards. This gave me the opportunity to create illustrations (Jack, Queen, King) and experiment with typography. I included contact details (my email address and blog) on the backs of the cards along with a design that may at first look typical of traditional packs of playing cards however it is made up of the letters of my name repeated over and over again. Once the designs were completed I got them printed using moo.com so that the final outcome would look professional with rounded corners and printed on thick paper suitable for this type of product. Although this self promotion strategy does not lead down a specific design route it shows that I am capable working with a combination or illustration, typography and layout. During this semester I also had to write a 2500 word essay. The topics that were presented in lectures at the beginning of the module I did not always find that interesting and sometimes it took me a while to understand things. When it came to choosing an essay title there was not a particular topic that interested me. I was leaning more towards sustainable design as a topic because I felt that I understood this more but so that I had more to base an essay on I finally went for the question “Can consumerism be environmentally sustainable?” With previous essays I have always taken my time with writing by focusing of different sections each week. However this time I got all of my research together first and then put together an essay plan. I was then able to write the entire essay in only a couple of days. This meant that I had over a month to edit the essay and get the grammar correct to make it the best I could. I also had to write a proposal for the essay. I did do this before starting the main essay but I had not written this in the correct format so my proper proposal was written later. I have found writing a lot easier this semester than I have in the past. Even though the topic was not something that interests me much I still enjoyed writing the essay. In the third year I will need to write a thesis of 6000 words. Although this feels a bit daunting at the moment, I feel that I am capable of achieving this. I will need to make sure that I choose a topic that has a big enough scope to write about. It would also be good to choose something that interests me so that I can enjoy the writing and research process more than I have in the past. As well as the thesis there will be practical modules next year. I want to focus more on the area of design that interests me such as illustration but at the same time I do not want to limit myself to one area of design. I want to use my strongest design skills in my future work but also because I enjoyed the experimenting process with the Graphic Design Practice 3 module this semester, I still want to be able to try a variety of processes. Although I have my strengths I still want to improve certain areas. Even though I am able to use digital software I want to improve my skills in order to produce even better outcomes than I am currently capable of. One thing that was new to me this year was animation. I am not that interested in this mostly because I am not sure how to properly make animated sequences etc, however given a chance I may try to improve my ability in this area as it may be a useful skill for the third year and the future. Overall I think I have done really well this semester. Although I encountered design issues and lack of ideas at times I have still managed to complete all my work long before deadlines and despite my anxieties I have been able to produce something for each section of all the modules. I am still concerned about starting the third year, and worry about my ability to finish the course but I have proved so far that I can work in a professional manner and can complete modules on time and produce a large body of work. Week 15 9th – 11th May All Modules – Handed in all my work on Friday 11th May (a week early!). I need to write a reflective overview of the semester. Week 14 2nd – 4th May Critical Theory – I handed in my essay for a final read-through. There is nothing that I need to change but there is a little bit I could add onto the end of my proposal. By this time next week I need to have sent my essay through Safe Assign to check for plagiarism. I know I have not plagiarised anything on purpose so I should be OK with this. GDPM3 – Over the weekend I decided to try a slightly different idea with my book covers. I kept to the same idea of using ribbon with a tag for the title and author but I was really unhappy with the backgrounds on the ones I did last week. I felt they were too feminine and they were also the kind of book design that is unappealing to me (although I know the target audience is children who would have different preferences). I have tried out different backgrounds for each book that relates to the story in some way. Treasure Island: an extremely old map of the United Kingdom. The Secret Garden: a wooden fence. The Railway Children: Red flannel material. Pinocchio: Wood. Ballet shoes: silk material which I photoshopped from green to pink. Alice in Wonderland: checked table cloth. Peter Pan: Pajamas (because the Darling children were wearing their pajamas when flying to Neverland. Wizard of Oz: Green glass. I have then over-layered my illustrations in a similar way to how I was doing this last week. I have done the same on the back cover for the blurb (no illustrations though). I have stuck to the same typeface throughout. After some experimenting I decided on Orator Std as the typeface on all the covers as it is elegant and works well with the designs in general. On the spines I have added a slip of paper in the same way as I have done on the front and back but very very small. On this I have put the words ‘Puffin Collectables’. By putting this in the same place on the spine of each book makes the books become a series. I have made up the series ‘Puffin Collectables’ to be different from ‘Puffin Classics’ and ‘Modern Puffin Classics’ which already have a simple cover design. ‘Collectables’ suggests that the books are special in some way and worth collecting which is why I have spent the time doing creating these unique designs. I have spent time checking over each cover for spelling errors and using approximately 20 different grid guidelines I have made sure that all the elements that are the same on each cover are all in the exact same place. This is important because the ribbon on the spine needs to match up on each book cover so that when they are all stood together the ribbon runs from one book to the next as if they were all tied together. Using a template from psdgraphics.com I have placed all 8 cover onto a book cover to give an impression of what it would look like if they were made into books. I think they work really well as a set. This time last week I was really unhappy with my designs but by editing the different backgrounds and slightly changing the layout I think they look really good. Professional Practice – I handed in a draft version of my booklet to a tutor so that he could proof read to check for spelling mistake etc. I have made the corrections and worked on the layout so that everything is neat and works well as a booklet as a whole with a specific layout design for each double page. I have set up the pages ready to print out and bind together which I will try to do – or at least a draft version – over the weekend. Week 13 25th – 27th April Critical Theory – My essay is more or less finished. In the last draft that I received back this week there was only a couple of changes which were only wording changes to make the essay sound more formal. I need to get my proposal checked over to make sure this is also ok. GDPM3 – Over the weekend I did quite a lot of experiments with coloured acrylic paint. I am quite pleased with these outcomes. It was the type of thing that you can’t predict the outcome until you do it. I may be able to use these on the book jackets. I have put together an example of the layout of a book cover using these typographic experiments. They look eye catching but I worry that they also look a bit of a mess. Although I want the final outcomes to appeal to everybody, children are my primary focus and I am not sure how appealing these covers would be to this demographic. However I feel this about all my cover attempts so far. I have also experimented using quotes from the books as the main focal point but I know that children will not necessarily understand the significance of these phrases, therefore it will not encourage them to read the books. Taking all this into account, my original illustration ideas appear to be the most successful so far where the demographic is concerned. But I am not happy with this idea either at the moment. Using my illustrations I have come up with a new idea. Usually with Puffin’s series of books there is something the same on every cover such as if the series is a branded product. On all 8 covers I have used the same patterned background but changed the colour depending on the book. By scanning in paper and ribbon I have created a “tag” on each cover containing the title and author of the novel. If these books were to be placed face up next to each other the ribbon would continue from one book to the next. I have done a similar thing on the spines of the books which leaves a possibility of the collection growing in the future. On each cover there is also another piece of paper layered on top of the background containing one of my illustrations. The illustration changes for each book as it did on my previous cover ideas. I am worried that the covers are too feminine therefore putting off male readers. It is understandable that Ballet Shoes would have a pink cover and male readers are less like to want to read this book. But I don’t want boys to be put off reading some of the other books. Over the weekend I want to try and think of ways of making the covers more neutral even if I end up going back to the way they are designed now. This will show that I have recognized the problem and have tried to solve it. Ideas I have had so far are to change the background patterns or to layer on other objects that connect to the story. I may photograph objects or produce bits by hand. Professional Practice – I have not done much for this module this week as I did quite a lot last week. I did write a little more for some of the pages of my booklet and added an image to one of the pages. There is still one page that does not have an image. I need to take some photographs for this over the weekend. Also I need to write what I will put on the final page which is about where I see myself in 5 years time. I am finding this very hard to think and write about. A tutor has looked over what I have done so far and I am writing about the correct things so once I have added in the information for the final page, all I need to do is make sure the layout of each page works well and that the layout is the same throughout the booklet so that it works as a whole rather than just double pages. Week 12 18th – 20th April Critical Theory – Over Easter I re wrote my essay proposal in a format given to the group before the break. Before starting back I emailed my essay and proposal to my tutors and have recieved these back with possible wording changes to make the essay flow and sound better. I am pleased with my essay this semester as I wrote it very quickly and have not had many negative comments. Whereas with previous essay I have taken longer and found it hard to find things to write about. There was a review with my tutor this week and there were no concerns about this module. GDPM3 – Over Easter I have experimented with loads of different drawings. I have drawn at least one illustration for each book with my usual pen tonal drawing style. I have also experimented with other methods of illustration which I am pleased with. In college I have drawn another illustration for the Pinocchio cover. In the past 2 weeks I took photographs of many things including some wooden figures. I used one of these photos to help me draw from,changing the large round nose to a long, Pinicchio-style one. I have begun experimenting with front cover layouts have one illustration on it in the foreground and the same in the background in a different colour, larger and with a lower opacity. This looks quite effective and works well with all the illustrations so far. I have begun to put typography onto the covers (titles and authors) using letters which I painted in my sketchbook during the Easter break. This works well for a few of the covers whereas I think some need more work to them to make them look right. My favourite at the moment is for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as I feel the layout works really well because of the illustration and the position I have placed it in. I want to produce a new illustration for the Peter Pan cover because I am not happy with the one I have done (of a hook – Captain Hook’s arm), however I am not sure what to draw at the moment. I need to quickly think of some ideas and get them drawn out – although at the moment drawing is quite difficult for me as I have damaged my wrist. I also want to experiment with typography, either with the illustrations or as alternative cover ideas. Over the weekend I intend to try out a few different typographic experiments. When I started this project it was with the aim to make books more appealing to the 8-12 age group (and older readers). I had the idea to create something on the spine of the books that when placed together creates some kind of image when placed together. At the moment I am not sure what to have on the spine so I need to think about this over the weekend and get started on it so that I can begin putting the entire covers together. I was told in the review with my tutor that I am doing well with the self-authored project and my sketchbooks up to this point are all really good. I am still having problems binding my historical event book which I discussed with my tutor. I want to use a specific type of paper and print it at home because the printers in college print things out too dark. He agrees with this but has suggested to make a dummy in college so that I have something to submit but to print out on the correct paper at home and if I can’t bound it properly because of lining up, not to worry but just put this in my sketchbook to show what I would like to have achieved. Professional Practice – During the Easter break I decided to send off my playing cards to be printed by moo.com. I could only print 50 cards in one go so I had to print all the cards minus the 2 of diamonds and the 2 of clubs. I then decided to make a business card for myself using the same style of the cards. Two of these can be used with the pack of cards as jokers. I used the queen illustration but instead of having “Queen of….” written underneath I have changed it to “Graphic Design. Illustration. Typography.” So I sent off for a second pack of cards of these business cards and the 2 remaining cards from the pack. These cards arrived on Tuesday and I am pleased with them. The only problem is that the backs were printed upside down however this is not much of an issue. During this week I began putting together the spreads for my Professional Practice Booklet (this is instead of the presentation which feel unable to do at the moment as I get too anxious in that kind of situation). I am aware that because of this I have a lot more work to do as I need all the information that would have been spoken during a presentation on the pages. I have begun writing out what to put on each page however I still need to write a bit more for a few of the pages. I have come up with a layout to work with which looks neat and professional. On each double page spread I am going to have an image on the right hand page that is relevant to topic being discussed on the page. For example: on the page about self-promotion I have photographed my playing cards; for areas of research I have photographed my sketchbook open on significant pages; on the page about the live briefs I have created a design combining both the Arup outcome and the BrandOpus outcome together; when discussing my strengths I have included the illustration of a punching fist that I used during the historical event project; and the industry and potential employment roles page has also an illustration from the historical event project. I need to re-photograph some of the pages of my sketchbook as some of the photos were difficult to use. I also need to include work I have done outside of college for companies (Baby2Briefcase). In the review with my tutor I got positive comments about my sketchbook as a whole. The only suggestion was to do more company research – even though I have already done a lot – because this will not only help for the module but may help me become clearer about potential future employment roles. Week 11 28th – 30th March Critical Theory – I emailed my essay to a tutor in which I had made the suggested word and phrases changes. GDPM3 – I have continued experimenting with drawings and adding colour using the fabric paper. I have also looked more at book cover designers and the kind of work they have done. I need to try some different techniques with drawings. I have been told that I am ahead of schedule with this project and that my illustrative work is nice but I can take this opportunity to try various other methods over the Easter break. I also need to think about how each book cover will look. I need to think about layout and typography. As well as this I need to start looking at the spines of the books because I wanted to make a design that made a bigger design when the spines of the books are put together. Professional Practice – This week there were a few presentations about web design careers, freelance work and copyright. I am not that interested in web design as I prefer to work with printed things. Freelance illustration was interesting to learn more about as this is a possible career path for me when I finish the course. However I may find communicating with potential clients and agencies a difficult thing to do. I need to start putting together the final part of this module. We are meant to make a presentation about what we have done/learnt over the module but because I find presentations extremely difficult I am going to make a booklet instead. I will still be able to cover everything that is meant to go into the presentation within a printed format. This may mean that I have extra work to do but the end result will be another piece of design that I can submit for this module. I also need to print my self promotion playing cards however I have been having a bit of trouble finding websites that can print it the way I want it. The best site I have found so far (and cheapest) only prints 50 or 100 whereas I need 52 cards! Week 10 21st – 23rd March Critical Theory – I edited my essay making the corrections suggested by a tutor last week. I then had two different tutors read through the essay. I need to make changes that they have suggested. GDPM3 – I spent a while brainstorming for each story that I am going to focus on. I did this by listing words, characters and phrases related to the stories and then a visual version using google images. I have then been drawing certain things that relate to a few of the stories such as a garden gate (The Secret Garden), a train (The Railway Children), a treasure chest (Treasure Island) and a pirate ship (Treasure Island/Peter Pan). I have also done a collage using flowered patterned/coloured paper which I have combined with a couple of illustrations in photoshop. This is an idea that I can explore further over the next week. I have submitted my competition work to YCN. It took a while to get the file size right in order to submit it online. I am pleased with my outcomes as I experimented with things I had not tried before and the ideas were completely my own as the brief was so open. Week 9 14th – 16th March Critical Theory – I was given back my essay draft with one or two suggestions of things I could include. I added these to the essay and another other corrections that needed to be made. This made the essay about 2,449 words – almost the word limit. I handed in this new draft to another tutor who read through it and made a few notes but for most of the essay there was nothing wrong with it. I need to make my introduction better and my conclusion needs editing. GDPM3 -I have started researching for the self authored project. So far I am thinking about design book jackets for children’s books. I read an article in The Daily Telegraph a week ago about how e-readers are becoming more popular. In this article, comments from Joanna Trollepe (an author) has said that she prefers traditional books and suggests that more beautiful books need to be designed to encourage people to buy them. I have decided to look at children’s books because it is children that are going to be growing up with e-readers being the norm but also, children prefer bright colours and illustrations which e-readers are not yet capable of. I have looked into how to design for children and discovered that younger children are more attracted to bright colours and new looking things. They also like patterns. If I do a series of books I could create a pattern which could be seen when the spines of the books are lined up – this could encourage children to collect more books. So far I am leaning towards children’s classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Railway Children or I could focus on a particular author such as Enid Blyton. To design a series of books I probably need to look at designing covers for around 10 different books. Professional Practice – This week we were told about the Professional Practice Presentation that needs to be done for part of the module. This is to show that we have thought about our self-promotion strategies and looked at different areas of the industry. We need to mention the live projects we have taken part in (Arup and BrandOpus) and any liaising with outside companies (such as I designed a poster for Prospects). We also need to say where we hope to be in 5 years time. Week 8 7th – 9th March Critical Theory – This week I had a meeting with a tutor to discuss my ideas for my essay. I was able to show that I had gathered a large variety of information, mostly from books but a few web resources as well. I have a possible plan for the essay. I would start by writing about what consumerism is and the affects it has had on the world such as the way it has affected peoples identities and the way it is helped to increase the amount of waste produced every year. I would then go on to write about what sustainability is and what ways it attempts to make things better. I will need to connect this to consumerism and so will write about green washing but also identify companies that are truly environmentally friendly. During the week I began writing the essay using only the resources that had I already gathered. I ended up writing almost 2000 words (although I lot more if you include quotes!). Because I had written so much already I decided to stop and have given a tutor a copy to read as I am worried that I have not been writing about enough theory and don’t want to complete the essay and then have to go back and remove sections in order to write more. I have also written a proposal for the essay however I feel it is very weak but then I am not completely sure what a proposal should be like. GDPM3 – I have put together the presentation boards that will be sent off to YCN. I have made 6 boards to show the development and final outcomes of my work. The first 2 boards show the development of individual aspects of the posters, the 3rd shows the development of the strap line. The next 2 boards show clearly what my final 4 posters are. The last board shows my price tag ideas and has a brief description of what I have done. I took this as an opportunity to be creative by making collages for the first 3 slides. I did this as a way to make my work look interesting but at the same time show lots of aspects of my development process but without overcrowding/complicating. I was unable to find out more information about binding my book so I still need to do this. I now need to start thinking about the next part of the module which is a Self Authored Project. I have to write a proposal for this and so need to begin working out what I want to do the project on. I need to think of particular themes I could base the project on and then I need to research in depth so that I am 100% sure of my topic area. I also need to work out what kind of design I will focus on. At the moment I am leaning towards book design. Book covers have always interested me and if I designed these as part of the project it gives me the opportunity to work with illustrations, typography and possibly photographs. However first I need to work out the themes and then decide what I will do for the practical side of the project. Reflection on BrandOpus work When the brief was first mentioned I was worried about working in a group as I am not a very confident person when it comes to getting people to listen to my ideas. I was, however, in a group of 4 with people I was friends with which made this work a little easier. I came up with loads of name ideas for a maple syrup brand which with the help of the other members of the group were narrowed down and changed slightly until the final name – Pure Amber – was decided upon. We then spent half a day drawing out our own individual logo and packaging ideas and developing them on the computer. We each gave feedback on our own and each others designs until we had 4 final ideas that we were happy with. We more or less completed all the work within a day even though we were given two days to do this in. So for the remainder of the time we made our presentations slides. I made the brainstorm slide which showed our thoughts about names, colours, themes etc. Other slides included scans of our hand drawn ideas, 4 slides of different logo ideas (one for each person) and then the final slide which should 4 final logos placed on a bottle of Maple syrup. When it came to actually presenting to Paul from BandOpus I was unable to do this because I found the situation too panicky. My tutor said that I had contributed enough work to the group that it did not matter that I did not take part in the presentation. My group when they presented the work were given good feedback which we are all pleased about. Week 7 29th Feb – 2nd Mar Critical Theory – This week there was a presentation on how to write a proposal. I have to write a proposal of 300 words about what I intend to write my essay on. To be able to do this I need to have a large amount of resources to research from. I have already identified a lot of useful things but I need to work out what I intend to write about in my essay so that I can put an essay plan together and start writing my proposal. GDPM3 – I have more or less completed my work for the competition briefs. I spent time going over the 4 posters, changing colours and neatening things up until I was happy with them. I did the same with the price tags. I also went back to looking at my historical event work. Back in January it was suggested that I re draw the fist on one of my book pages. So I spent a whole day re-drawing this fist. I made sure I did it neatly unlike the rushed 20 minute job I did on the original one. I think it is so much better than the first one but also shows how my drawing skills have developed since last November/December. I need to work out how to bind the book now. With the YCN work I still have until 30th March to complete however I am more or less done so over the next week I can start putting together presentation boards that I can submit. Professional Practice – I went through all my cards (picture and number) to make sure that the layouts were correct and the colours ready for when I put them onto the website and send them off to print. Week 6 22nd – 24th Feb Critical Theory – This week I had to decide on a possible essay topic. I found it really hard to choose a topic because I have not found the topics that interesting and did not want to choose something that will bore me. I have chosen the possible title: Can consumerism be environmentally sustainable. I have identified a couple of resources to look at but need to look at more and work out a plan for my essay. Professional Practice – As a group we began the BrandOpus brief. We have decided on the name Pure Amber for our maple syrup. We went through a series of names until we eventually settled on this one. We chose Pure Amber because Pure tells us that it is organic and Amber relates to the colour of the liquid. We were originally thinking of Gold but we did not want there to be any confusion between maple and golden syrup. We each spent part of the day coming up with our own ideas and then commenting on and choosing favourites of each others ideas to take on further. On Friday we narrowed down our ideas to 4 ideas (one of each of ours) and chose a different colour for each one although we have decided that it is possible to change any of the designs to any of the four colours. Together we made presentation slides in order to show the development of our ideas. It starts with our brainstorm about how we came up with our name idea etc then goes on to show our initial hand drawn ideas followed by several slides showing logo development from each person. Final is a slide with the four final ideas shown on the maple syrup bottles. Week 5 15th – 17th Feb Critical Theory – This weeks lecture was on bricolage. I think I understand this topic and was able to do the taskset to find examples of bricolage in fashion, graphic design, advertising and 3D design. I now need to start thinking of an essay question however I am not sure what topic I want to focus on. I have not found the topics all that interesting or I have found them quite hard. GDPM3 – This week I spent time experimenting with colour on my posters, for example on posters where there was a male figure I changed the colours to blue so that it did not look too feminine. I also experimented with different colours on the origami t-shirts and price tags. I feel I am nearing my final outcomes for this project. Professional Practice – I spent some time looking online to see if there was any way that I could print my playing cards. Although I have not finished my cards completely I thought it would be better to check that it would be possible to print them. I found a website called card creator where I can print a pack of cards with my designs on the back and on the front. The price for this would be £24.99. I need to finish off making small changes to my cards so that the self promotion work is finished. Next week as part of the professional practice module I will be working in a group to work on a BrandOpus project: branding a maple syrup brand. I am not looking forward to this as I find it difficult to work in groups and I find it impossible to do presentations which as a group we would have to do in a couple of weeks. The group work would only last 2 days, so there is not long to get all the work done. So at home I am going to have to research into maple syrup branding and brainstorm brand name ideas ready to discuss with my group next week. Week 4 8th – 10th Feb Critical Theory – This weeks lectures were on Sustainable design and commodities. I found it hard to do the task on commodities. I think I understand what a commodity is but I found it really hard to write and find relevant information/ GDPM3 – I have made two more posters in the same style as the ones I did last week. I have also looked more into the price tags as well. However I am finding it easier to come up with feminine ideas and harder to come up with male ideas. Over the weekend I intend to experiment with collage and colours that could look good on a price tag for male clothing. I have finally come up with a strap line for the posters which is “strut your stuff”. I have chosen this because it has reference to peacocks (strut) as well as products sold in Peacock’s stores (stuff). I have experimented with typography by hand but now I need to add colour to this. I will do this at home over the weekend. I am pleased with what I have achieved so far in this project. Professional Practice – I have not done so much work on my self promotion work as I have mainly been concentrating on my competition brief. I have however experimented with colour on the picture cards “signatures” rather than on the actual illustrations. There was a small presentation on what it is like to work in a Newspaper company. I think it sounds like a very busy, complicated job, one that I don’t think I will go into in the future. Week 3 1st – 3rd Feb Critical Theory – This weeks lecture was on Hegemony. I had to write an essay of 450 words on what I think hegemony is and linking it to other things we have covered in lectures so far. I connected it with globalisation. This took up the main body of my mini essay. GDPM3 – Over the weekend I have done loads of multimedia experiments such as collage and painting. With these I have made mini butterflies to go on my advertisements. I have also looked into making origami dresses and t-shirts which I have photographed my hands holding and have placed over my previously drawn figures. I really like this idea. I have done it because I am not very good at using photographs of people but I still felt clothes needed to be shown in some way. I used photographs of patterns on clothes from Peacocks to make the origami from. I have also drawn out instructions on how to make an origami t-shirt which I am going to attempt to place on some price tag designs to make them more interesting. Professional Practice – I have experimented with a bit more colour in my work. I have decided that the crowns on the King and Queen could be different colours however this causes problems with the Jack as he doesn’t have anything like a crown to change the colour of. There was a task we had to do in groups about advertising. Our group was given Bubbles Soap and had to think of ways we could make the product different and necessary in the modern markets as well as thinking about target audiences. A website has been recommended to the group as there is a section on advice for design students. http://www.davidairey.com/advice-for-design-students/ This website has interesting and helpful advice for what to do about future employment. Week 2 25th – 27th Jan Critical Theory – This weeks lecture was on globalism. I did not find it that interesting but when the task was given I was able to write over double the amount requested. The task was to write 200 words identifying positive and negatives related to globalism. GDPM3 – This week have have experimented with different media and patterns in my designs. I have used ink and 3D gel pens to draw with and have scanned these in and played around with them in Photoshop. I have developed design ideas from last week however I am still unsure where I am going with it. Professional Practice – I have changed the typography (signatures) on my picture cards which I am pleased with, however I have not added any more colour to the cards. I am really unsure how to go about adding the colour. In most of my illustrations in the past I have only used black and white so I do not really know what looks good with colour and what does not. There was a talk about what a magazine company is like behind the scenes, and what jobs we could go into in this area after we finish the course, if we want to go into that line of work. Week 1 18th – 20th Jan Critical Theory – This weeks lecture was colonialism, post-colonialism and neocolonialism. I had never really understood these ideas before but am beginning to get to grips with the meanings of the words. After a lecture on the topic I had to find examples of colonialism in today’s society. I found this hard at first but soon began to find examples easily after starting to look for more specific results such as racism in advertisements. GDPM3 – Over the Christmas break I chose a YCN competition brief and began to do a lot of research into it. I have chosen to work on an advertising campaign for the clothes shop Peacocks. I have researched into the company and taken photos as well as doing further research into the actual word Peacocks to give me inspiration. This week I began looking at the idea of a peacocks tail from a design point of view by experimenting digitally and then moving on to doing this by hand. I also started experimenting with ways of drawing figures. Professional Practice – In my feedback for this module it was suggested that I could now begin to add color into my illustrations on my playing cards. I have been a bit hesitant to do this because I am unsure what to try I have done a few experiments which I like but need to be developed further. There was a presentation on how certain branding and packaging companies work. Over the holiday I looked into lots of different companies which I need to put into my sketchbook. SEMESTER1 Reflection of the Semester So far this year I feel as though my design skills have improved in comparison to last year. I also feel that the way I approach my work and ideas has changed. When planning out ideas for various tasks during the semester, my initial reaction was to do things by hand. This is completely different to the way I approached things last year. I think that all my final outcomes so far have something in them that has been done by hand. So far I have not had to hand in any of this work. The only thing I had to hand in was my essay. I found the Critical Theory module very hard to begin with as the ideas talked about in lectures were quite complicated and difficult for me to understand. When it came to choosing an essay title, I went for something that I felt more confident with. “The pros and cons of digital technology in relation to illustration.” I still found it very difficult to begin the essay however I spent a lot of time researching. I looked at approximately 40 different sources (books and online) which I then took different information from to help me put my essay together. After reading my draft essays, my tutors have given me positive feedback and said that it is a good, well-researched essay. With the practical modules, I have enjoyed some of it but at times I felt that I really struggled. One of the things I really struggled with was the information design poster. Initially I struggled to come up with an idea and then over complicated the information I wanted to show. Eventually I come up with a simpler idea and managed to produce the poster. I think one of the reasons I struggled with this was because most of it needed to be done digitally whereas I have begun to approach things by doing lots of things by hand. This semester I also learnt about animation. Part of the professional practice module included a competition to design an animated ecard for Arup (I reflected on this earlier in the semester). I really struggled with ideas and methods of animation and so over all I do not think that my outcome was of a high standard. I have found the whole of the professional practice module fairly hard. It took me a while to get my idea for self promotion started, and I have spent more time worrying about it rather than enjoying it. Again I immediately decided to do things by hand as I feel more confident doing this. However my self promotion work is now going quite well and I am pleased with what I have done so far. When thinking about the future I am unsure what I want to do. I have been looking into illustration quite a lot, and book design also interests me (book covers, book illustration). However I do not want to start to go down a specific path yet; I want to continue to research into professional practices so that I have more options available. Overall I feel I have done well this semester. My confidence is still low, but I have still completed all my work on time. Week 13 14th – 16th Dec Critical Theory – Handed in essay on time. Had issues with safe assign as it is not working properly, however I put my essay through another website that checks for plagiarism and my essay was fine. Week 12 7th Dec – 9th Dec Critical Theory – Essay is complete. All I need to do now is put it through safe assign. GDPM3 – I am more or less up to date with my Historical Event work. I have experimented with changing the colour on some of the pages. I have also made a mini version of the book just to see what it would look like. Firstly I split the double pages and pasted them next to the correct pages so that when I bound it the pages would be in the right order. I then printed these out in small versions and put the book together. However I found this really hard and opted to glueing pages together and then stapling rather than attempting to print double sided. Professional Practice – In the Telegraph this week there was an article about book design which mentioned the designer Suzanne Dean, who works for Random House. I decided to research into design jobs at Random House and put this in my sketchbook. I also looked at Suzanne Dean’s work and include this in there, too. This week I have been editing my cards. Firstly at home I attempted some back of card ideas. My idea is developing slowly but at least I have an idea now whereas last week I was really struggling with it. I have spent a lot of time trying to get the Queen and Jack to look the same quality and tone as the King. I think I have more or less successful done this now. I have also added borders to the picture cards which I think improves the look of the cards immensly. I may try adding a similar border to the number cards as well. Week 11 30th Nov- 2nd Dec Critical Theory – I sent in my updated essay and got positive feedback. I just need to make one or two changes. GDPM3 – This week I spent time experimenting with colours on the book pages. I changed the original reddish/pink colour to purples and greens as this is the the colours of the suffragettes however this made the pages look softer and less militant which is not what I wanted. Because of this I changed it back to the original colour but also added this colour to a couple of the pages which didn’t have any colour on them. Now the colour is a theme throughout the book. I started coming up with ideas for a back cover. I thought about just having ink splats but then I found a couple of quotes which in a way sum up the book. They are: “Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us.” and “We are not ashamed of what we have done, because, when you have a great cause to fight for, the moment of greatest humiliation is the moment when the spirit is proudest.” I am leaning towards the first quote purely because my ideas so far have worked better with this quote. I like the layout I have produced with the second quote however the writing goes blurry. I have begun to look into competition briefs but so far have not chosen one because I do not understand them. Professional Practice – Over the weekend I had produced my king figure. I used the painted face I did for the king and removed the hair but had my tracing of the image over the top (so he still has hair). I then drew crowns (one for each suit) which I have positioned on the kings head so that he looks like he is wearing it. I attempted the same with the Queen however I don’t like the image I have chosen to draw/paint. I painted a Jack but because his teeth were showing he looked scary. So I need to redo both the queen and the jack. I have also begun to think about the back of the cards and have done a few typographic experiments however I am still unsure where I am going with this. I have also completed all the number cards and aces however I may need to tweak the layout on some of them. Week 10 23rd-25th Nov Critical Theory – Got my essay up to about 2500 words. GDPM3 – I have made most of my pages. They are not finalised but all the ideas are now digitally made up to a certain point. I need to experiment with different colours and possible a few different layouts until my ideas are fully finished. Professional Practice – I have been getting very worried about this module because my ideas for self promotion have been very limited compared to other modules and I was panicking that I would not get it done in time for christmas. I now know that it does not have to be 100% finished but almost finished would be good. So over the weekend I am going to do as many experiments as I can with ideas for my playing cards. Last weekend I did several paintings but I did not like any of them which made me more stressed and worried about the project. I’m am going to try and have fun with it over the weekend by doing lots of experiments, whether I use them in the final outcomes or not. There was also a visit from Miles Donovan. He works for Peepshow and has a BA in illustration from which he graduated in 1998. To begin with, he told us that, he produced everything by hand but then started using digital technology to put his illustrations together. His biggest ever work was a portrait of Elton John which was put on the side of a plane. Week 9 16th-18th Nov. Critical Theory – After getting fairly possitive feedback on my essay I continued with it until I had around 2400 words however I am finding it really hard and am not sure how to write the remaining 100 words. GDPM3 – I had produced loads of illustrations and typography experiments over the weekend. I did some more experiments and then began putting pages together in Photoshop. I found it hard to start doing this as I was not sure on the layout of my book or how to possition the pages so that they can be printed out and bounded together. However I was told not to worry too much about this and to work out the layout of each individual (or double) page. I need to continue doing this. Professional Practice – I finally have an idea of what to do for my self promotion. I am going to produce at least one suit of picture cards to show my idea. This will involve me painting the king, queen and jack then experimenting with colour and typography. For next week I need to research Mile Donovan and the Peepshow. Week 8 9th-11th Nov. Critical Theory – This week a got my essay up to 1000 words. I had positive feedback from one tutor however I then struggled with what else to write as I had already mentioned everything I had planned to. Another tutor has given me some suggestions to research and put into my essay. I have begun to do this and currently have approximately 1350 words. I need to have written 2000 words by next Wednesday. GDPM3 – I made a few changes to me Information Design by adding in a few captions to go along with the symbols. I then started coming up with ideas for a book based on the suffragettes. I have found this really hard however I am beginning to form an idea of what I want to do. I have been looking at designers whose works look quite “militant” because I would like to create illustrations or typography in this style to show the militant side of the suffragette movement. I need to think carefully about what is going to be on each page and then begin to create the designs. Professional Practice – I began to think more about my self promotion ideas. So far my idea was a back of cards however I think that it is unnecessary to produce an entire pack. So today I was thinking more about the 4 Aces. I am really stuck, at the moment, in thinking about a design for the cards expecially as I am not sure what information to put on them. From now on I need to try coming up with ideas and developing them. I also want to look into a few more companies to add to my research into professional practice. Week 7 2nd – 4th Nov. Critical Theory – Firstly there was a short lecture about Harvard Referencing. Last year I used this kind of referencing but I was unsure on a couple of things but now I am fairly sure that I know what to do. Also we were given a website to look at if we forget, or do not know how to reference something. Using the research I had gathered over the past week I managed to write over 700 words (over 1000 if you include quotes). I need to research more. To begin with I want to research the history of illustration. GDPM3 – I finished making all the digital elements for my Information Design then put it together in the way that I had sketched out in my sketch book. However I could tell straight away that it wasn’t going to work and was too complicated and crowded. So I tried to simplify things further by using coloured circles to house the different symbols relating to the words who, where, when, what and why. I also tried using acetone to get a less digital feel. I also experimented with watercolour paint as well as acetone until I got an effect that I was pleased with. Also I decided not to have a colour scheme within the symbols themselves but to have them all white within the coloured circles. This caused a problem with two of the symbols representing the two different societies of women. I had based the symbols on their badges using the colours so to change them to white stopped them from being like the badges, however as a tutor pointed out they are only two small symbols in a much bigger picture and sometimes we have to make changes to things to make them fit in. Professional Practice- I didn’t do anything related to this project this week as I was concentrating on getting my Info Design completed. However I did have a case conference meeting and was told that I had done a good amount of research. Now I need to keep experimenting with ideas for my self promotion. I am finding tis really hard at the moment but I need to keep drawing out ideas. Week 6 26th-28th Oct. Critical Theory – Had meeting with tutor . I have decided to write my essay on the pros and cons of digital technology in relation to illustration. I have got two books out from the library: The Education of an Illustrator by Steven Heller and Marshall Arisman; and Illustration J. Hillis Miller. The latter is difficult to understand but when I spoke to my tutor he suggested that I look at Walter Benjamin, and in this book there is a section on him. The other book was on the book list I was given last week. Over the next week I need to begin finding more resources. I have made a list of things I want to look at: how digital technology as developed; the history of illustration; history of printing press; how digital technology has affected humans; Walter Benjamin – The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction; Andrew Benjamin’s counter argument; examples of illustration and artists; possitives for digital technology; and negatives for technology. GDPM3- I found it very hard this week to make progress with my information design. I had a new idea using the idea of the 5-ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why) instead of having a timeline. I have sewn these words onto fabric. This meant I had to have symbols to answer each question. I am going to keep to my railings idea so each question would be on a different railing point. However to begin with, although I had thought of what could symbolise things, I was unsure who to go about doing this. A couple of tutors showed me possible ways of doing this with shapes. By the end of the week I had all my symbols finished. I am pleased with these symbols. I understand now that one of the reasons I was finding this difficult (other than having never done something like this before) was because I was thinking about the symbols in an illustrative way whereas they needed to be simpler than that. Next week I need to work on layout and think about colours. For my final piece a possible option is, using acetone, to put it all onto fabric. The words that I have sewn could then be pinned on. I do not need to do this though. The most important thing is working on a layout so that the overall design works. Professional Practice- This week everyone’s Arup work was sent to the company. Reflection on Arup work When I first received the brief I was put off by the mention of animation. I had never done any animation before I was worried about it as I had no idea how to do it. For a while I was just drawing ideas in my sketchbook , however it was difficult to come up with these ideas because I was worried about coming up with an idea that was impossible to do. I spent a lot of time thinking about Arup as a company and about how to get the message across that Arup is environmentally friendly. After talking to tutors I came up with a simple idea which involved me drawing a few buildings and trees and putting together a scene in Adobe Photoshop. With help I was able to take these images from Photoshop into Adobe Flash to make it animated. I had almost completed this when things went wrong and Flash was unable to play what I had done properly. This may have been because there were lots of layers and the files were quite big. But I managed to re-do everything and put it together in a different way so that it would work. I had finished everything a week before it was due in so I was quite pleased with myself. However I feel that I could have done something better if I knew what sort of things are possible. I have seen a few other peoples ideas in the class and they seem so much more complicated but more interesting than my own. Week 5 19th-21st Oct. Critical Theory- This weeks lecture was on culture jamming. Before the lecture I did not know what this was but now I am beginning to understand it. I had to find three examples of culture jamming and write 250 words about why I have chosen these examples. Finding the examples was fairly easy but I found it hard to write about them. I have stuck this task and the notes from the lecture into my sketchbook. We were given possible essay titles to be thinking about. At the moment I do not know which one(s) to look into however I may find the digital illustration questions interesting but we have not had the lecture on this topic yet. I want to wait until after the lecture to decide which question I will do. GDPM3- This week I have been trying to think of symbols that I could use on my Information Design poster however I have found this very hard. Because I was not making much progress I began to think of various other things to go on the poster, for example I have thought about using railings as a timeline because the Suffragettes chained themselves to railings. I also had a go at sewing dates into fabric which I thought I could tie to the railings/timeline. However I still need to think about exactly what info I want on the poster and symbols to represent certain things. Professional Practice – I thought that I was almost finished with making my Arup ecard. However when I loaded it up and played what I had created so far things started disappearing and then moving extremely slowly so with the help of a tutor I had to redo the whole animation. I still had the Photoshop document with all my drawings on different layers so I opened this up and saved everything again but in a way so that it wouldn’t be possible for anything to disappear if Flash went wrong again. While I was doing this, Terry who works at Arup looked at my ideas and gave a few suggestions such as including some messages to let people know more about Arup. I have done this and now finished the animation (I hope!). I need to draw my storyboards out properly ready to submit to Arup next week. Week 4 12th-14th Oct. Critical Theory- This weeks presentation was on the Deconstruction Theory. I found this very difficult to understand to begin with however after relooking at the presentation it has become easier to understand. There was a task to do in which I had to find 2 examples of deconstruction in practice. I chose examples by David Carson and Ed Fella as they use type in a that could be said to be deconstruction. There was also another presentation on Information Design. I need to write up my notes for next week. GDPM3- This week I began thinking about Information Design. I have a choice between doing one A1 Information Design poster or 4 editorial spreads. Although the editorials seems like a safer option because I have done things like that before, I have decided to attempt the information design. At the moment I am not sure what I am going to do in the design but I know that I need to be thinking about a target audience and key information. I have already thought about making it for GCSE aged students who may be studying the Suffragettes. I also need to think about codes and symbols to use in my work. Professional Practice- This week I began to animate my ecard. I was really worried about this because I didn’t really understand how to use any of the software. Using the drawings I had scanned in I created my layout for the ecard in Photoshop with each image on a different layer. A tutor then showed me how to save each individual layer as a web format image so that I could put it into Abobe Flash. The same tutor helped me throughtout the day by giving me small tasks to do so that my animation would started to take shape slowly without confusing me. I am quite pleased with what I have managed to do so far and I feel less worried about the whole ecard project. Next week I want to continue developing the ecard and hopefully get to a finishing stage. Week 3 5th-7th Oct. Critical Theory – This week there was a trip to the Post Modernism Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Whilst at the museum we were given a task to do. There were eleven questions that we had to answer. This first two were to find examples of things such as appropriation. This was fairly easy. I went around the whole exhibition writing down the names of many of the exhibits, some which answered the questions and others which I found interesting/relevant in some way. The other questions were harder and I did not answer them all whilst at the museum. For next Wednesday I need to write up the answers to all the questions in my sketchbook. GDPM3 – Over the week at home I created two flags. One using paint and the other sewn. I photographed one with the help of my brother in the garden on a bright sunny day. One of the photographs is going to be my final poster for one of the three typographic posters. I experimented with different layouts for another poster until I found one which I was happy with. Most of the elements were done by hand but I am going to do the rest of it by hand over the weekend. The final poster I had more or less already completed however I experimented with different coloured backgrounds before deciding I prefered the original white background. I want to do a couple more experiments at home but next week we will be starting something new. Professional Practice – On Friday I focused on developing my ecard idea. I found it extremely hard to begin with as I found it frustrating that I couldn’t picture what it would look like in my head. This is because I am unfamiliar with motion graphics software so I am unsure of what exactly I can do. However I spoke to my tutors about this and decided that for now I needed to decide on a style of drawing to produce the images of trees and building that I want to have on the ecard. I need to finish these drawings by next week so that I can hopefully start to animate them, although how I can do this I am not 100% sure. Week 2 28th-30th Sept. Critical Theory – This weeks presentation was on Post-Modernism. I found it very confusing to begin with. I could sort of understand the idea of modernism but when post modernism was introduced I began to get confused. We were given a task to do. We had to find 3 examples of design/popular culture that contained both high and low cultural references and also examples of visual sampling. We also had to answer a question about using aspects of the past. I found it difficult to do this but in the afternoon I checked that the examples I had found were correct which they were. Also in the afternoon there was a presentation on Vernacular Design. GDPM3 – At home I had done a lot of experimentation with media. After showing these to my tutors I decided to re-do some of my experiments. Using sewing as a method I had sewn the quote “It is our duty to make this world a better place for women” onto an old pillow case. I have decided to re-do this bigger (even though it took me 6 hours to do!). With the other experiments I had done I have come up with two possible poster ideas. One I am not so happy with and want to continue developing the idea. The other was not as I had planned it to look but I quite like it so for now I am going to leave it as it is and focus on my two other ideas. Professional Practice- This week began the christmas ecard project for Arup. I had already researched into Arup at home so had a fairly good idea who they were and what they believed. I got a bit worried about the work at first because it is meant to be animated and I am not that confident in that area. Despite this I managed to come up with 5 possible ideas. I also looked into types of animation people have done so that I could get an idea of what is possible. I now need to develop one of my ideas further and work out what I need to do in order to make it. I discussed my ideas with 3 other members of the group and they decided on they idea they liked best of mine which is the idea I am going to develop. Week 1 21st-23rd Sept. Critical Theory – This week there was a lecture on Design ethics and plagiarism/appropration. I found this quite interesting. I had to find some examples of unethical adverts and examples of plagiarism which I did at home. GDPM3 -At home I had already begun to come up with ideas for posters and experimented with media. In college I developed these ideas and now have some ideas of what I could do to produce three typographic posters. Over the weekend I need to do a lot of experiments by hand. Professional Practice – I was struggling to come up with ways to promote myself but after talking to a tutor I have thought of one or two ideas to pursue. I have been thinking about the idea of a pack of playing cards which could have designs by myself on them or details about myself. We were also told about a live project we have to do which started next week. The project is to design and ecard for Arup. I need to research what Arup is and begin to come up with designs. Induction 15th Sept This week was the induction to the second year of the course. I was nervous about coming in but I had done lots of work over the summer ready to start the new projects. I was briefed on the first three tasks for the historical event project (GDPM3). The first of these three tasks is to produce three typographic posters relating to the chosen historical event. I have two weeks to do this. I chose over the summer to research the Emancipation of Women (Suffragettes). I found this topic interesting and am looking forward to beginning the related work. I was also introduced more to the professional practise brief. I was told about this before the summer and began researching and thinking of ideas however I have found this difficult. The third module is Critical Theory. I was given a sheet with Ken Garland’s Manifesto on it. I have to read this at home and make comments on it. YEAR 1 SEMESTER 2 Reflection of the Semester This semester I have been able to develop my digital skills further in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. As well as digital techniques I have also developed my drawing skills. Before this semester I was not very confident at drawing but now I quite like doing things by hand. This semester I have done a lot more things by hand than I did last semester. In my sketchbooks I have found it much more easier than before to sketch my ideas out before attempting to create anything, which is a helpful way of coming up with a variety of ideas to take further. I have tried to structure my sketchbooks in a way that shows the development of my ideas. Over the Christmas period and the beginning of the year I did as much research as I could into the Shakespeare play that I had chosen for the Graphic Design Practice 2 module which included taking photographs. I did not use all of these photographs in my work but they helped to show my developing ideas. At the beginning of the year I also researched a lot into illustrators because there was an illustrative element to the module. I think the drawing module has been very helpful. I was not very confident about drawing at the beginning of the semester but the first few weeks of this module showed me that it is possible to create interesting illustrations even though the drawings may not be brilliant. Over the weeks I have been introduced to lots of different techniques which I had never tried before such as monoprinting and dry point. From doing various different methods I have developed my drawing style. The drawing session on tone has influenced me the most and shown me that I can draw really well which up until that point I believed that I couldn’t. This session also influenced my work in the Shakespeare module as I did a couple of drawings for one of my program covers and also used this idea but with watercolour paint for my illustrations which I was really pleased with. At the beginning of the semester when the brief for the Shakespeare module was given out I was not very confident especially because it said we would have to create two editorial spreads. My spreads from the last semester were not my strongest work however this semester my spreads are so much better. I feel so much more confident using Adobe Indesign than I did before. I found the Discourse module the hardest to begin with. When we were doing sessions on semiotics and demographics I found it really hard but once I began the essay on graphic novels I found it easier and more interesting. I felt that my essay was quite good but I did find it difficult not to write too much over the word limit! One thing I did really struggle with was the presentation and in the end I was not able to present it because I did not feel able to. In the future I may need to be able to do presentations but at the moment this feels too much for me to cope with. I did, however, produce the Powerpoint presentation and wrote out what I could have said if I had presented it. Overall I think I have done really well and that my work has improved since last semester. There were times when I felt like I wasn’t good enough but with encouragement from various tutors I kept going and have produced lots of good work. I want to develop my skills, both digitally and by hand, further. The drawing module has inspired me to draw in my own time for fun which is also helping me to develop my skills. Hopefully I will be able to use the skills I have already developed in the future to produce really good outcomes. Below is my week by week personal reflection for this semester: Week 16 18th-20th May Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I have now completed the Shakespeare module. On Wednesday I finally printed my double paged spreads. I got a tutor to check through the spreads first and he said that everything was OK so I have printed them A3 size. I am very pleased with these spreads. Compared with the spreads I produced last semester these are really good. I handed this module in on Friday 20th May. Discourse- I have printed off 3 copies of my final essay. Firstly I checked through my essay and noticed a mistake in my bibliography which I have now corrected. I have printed a copy of my presentation and stuck this in my sketchbook however I did not actually present my presentation because I did not feel able to do this. In the future I will probably need to be able to do presentations but at the moment I find this too hard. I handed this module in on Friday 20th May. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- At home I did another tone painting however I used pink/red paint rather than black. I’m not sure if the colour was the reason but I found it much harder than I had before so I am not so pleased with the outcome however people have said that they like it. Over the past months at home I have occasionally drawn with my left hand. I have now stuck a couple of the drawings in my drawing book and edited them in Photoshop just as we did earlier in the module. I have also done a couple of drawings from photographs that I took for the Shakespeare module. I used the idea of tone to draw these. One I did in fine liner and the other I did in ballpoint pen. I am fairly pleased with these. I am not going to do any more in my drawing book because I feel I have done quite a lot. I handed this module in on Friday 20th May. Week 15 11th-13th May Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I did not do much this week with this project because I am more or less finished. I have printed out my program covers and illustrations ready for hand-in. Next week I need to get a tutor to look through my double paged spreads to check that my body text is ok, then I will need to print these. Discourse- I have now made sure that my essay is correctly Harvard Referenced and have put it through Safe Assign which revealed no problems. I continued making small changes to my presentation but I still need to add a couple of images because the first few slides are only text at the moment. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- All week I have mainly been focusing on the schematic drawing task. Firstly I drew out everything in black fine liner. Some of these I had to scan in and print out so that I could draw into them rather than drawing similar things from scratch. Next I scanned in all my drawings then printed them out and coloured them in with coloured pencil. I then scanned these all back in and began to arrange the images in Illustrator. I had to use Photoshop first to cut each drawing out of the background paper. My first schematic idea was to have the page landscaped and place the drawings so that it gave instructions of how to construct my model step by step from left to right. I added in numbers and arrows. However I thought this looked too boring so I changed the paper to landscape. I changed the sizes of some of the images so that everything wasn’t the same size. This I thought looked much better. I then added type saying ‘Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 1 Model’ using the typeface Helvetica but I decided to trace these words with fine liner and scan in to use instead. This meant that the typography as well as the illustrations had all been done by hand. At home I had done another drawing of my model. This time I used black water-colour paint and used the idea of showing tone like I had done previously. I then took this into Photoshop and added spots of colour and experimented with using threshold. This week I also looked at two artists who I had not previously looked at. These were Nuno DaCosta and Silke Bachmann. I did a drawing in the style of each artist. These were not some of the best drawings I have done but I did experiment with different mediums: ink, fine liner and felt tip. I may develop these further digitally. Finally, I decided to put in my sketch book examples of the illustration work I have done in the Shakespeare module. I put this in because it was the tone task that I did in this module that inspired me to try using watercolour paint using the same method. I had never painted like this before and had not expected it to turn out as well as it did. Because I have more or less finished this module I thought that I could do some paintings in this style. So far I have done one using an image that I drew before as an extension of the tonal drawing task. I may do some more throughout the week. Week 14 4th – 6th May Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I am more or less finished with everything now. This week I was just experimenting with various other options such as using different images in my spreads however I always preferred the original version. Next week, although I have done this several time, I need to make sure my body text is perfect so that there are no hyphenated words and no big gaps causing “rivers”. I will need to begin to print out my final pieces of work. My 4 program covers are going to be printed at A4 size and trimmed down so that they have no white borders. My five illustrations are going to be printed on the same sheet so that it tells a short story of the play. This will be printed at A3. My two double page spreads need to be printed on A3 paper because I have chosen to have each page A4. I need to get this done as soon as I can so that there is not a rush near the deadline. Discourse- This week I went through all the slides of my Powerpoint and wrote out what could be said during a presentation. I have tried to make sure that I am not just repeating my essay so I have gone into more detail in some areas which I only briefly touched on in my essay. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week I did two different things. Firstly I drew from the photographs I took of my model. I did two drawings in total. The first I did in fine liner in the same way that I had previously drawn some weeks ago. I was careful to show the various tones and shadows that appeared in the photograph. I am pleased with this drawing as it turned out better than I was anticipating. My second drawing was not so successful. I cropped that image I was drawing from very slightly and then drew it in felt tip pen. I find this medium harder to use because it is not easy to use it to show tones, so my outcome looks rushed and messy. If I have time I would like to try using ink or paint to create another study of the model. The second task I did today was to begin schematic drawing. This is where you use drawings to explain a process clearly. I am going to draw the process of making my model. I began by writing down what steps there were in creating the model then started making quick sketches of all the items used. I have completed doing this. At home I want to draw everything out properly and neatly and then scan in to the computer. I have to create an A3 panel of the final design. After scanning in all my drawings I will put them together in Photoshop in order to produce this. Week 13 27th April – 29th April Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- At home over the Easter break I drew out a few ideas for my editorial spreads involving colour. I also brainstormed several possible headings and quotes as well as sorting out my 100 words (my synopsis) and finding reviews online to fill up my body text space. I decided on having the heading “Two Modern Households Both Alike In Dignity” which is an edited version of a quote from the play. I have put other quotes on the spreads two of which I edited: “Teen Star-Cross’d Lovers Take Their Life”, “Tempt Not A Desperate School Boy” and “For Never Was A Story Of More Woe”. When the college re-opened I began editing my spreads in InDesign. Firstly I changed one of the images and the position of some areas. Then I began experimenting with colours however I do not like them, they are either too harsh or too soft and don’t work well with my black and white illustrations. I have been editing my mass body text by searching for hyphenated words and rivers to remove. I have used the kerning tool to remove these from the text. At the moment I am not sure where to go from here. I could keep experimenting with colour or I could try creating new spreads from scratch. However one positive thing I have noticed this week is that my skills in InDesign have improved a lot from last semester. Discourse- Over Easter I made bullet points about what to include in my presentation. This week I began putting my presentation together in Powerpoint. I have included lots of images but tried not to put too much information on each slide. On a lot of the I limited the info to a quote from someone I quoted in my essay. I have begun writing notes that could be said during the presentation rather than having everything read off the screen. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week college was closed so we did not have a drawing module lesson. However at home over Easter I have done a lot of reportage drawing. I drew 4 drawings in total however in some of them I think I have tried to put too much detail in as they took a long time to draw. I then scanned these and printed them out and added colour by hand which is something we did previously in the module. Also over Easter I created my model. It was very difficult because I think I over complicated my design. I was trying to create an alley way which I managed to do successfully however I did have to change my original plans very slightly. When college re-opened I brought in the model and photographed it in the photography studio. I was nervous about photographing my model as I had never worked with different lighting before, however I managed to successfully create a shadow in the way that I had intended to. Week 12 6th April – 8th April Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I began the week by researching into artists who use the grid or have created magazine spreads to help inspire me with my own work. I then started to draw out several thumbnail plans for my own editorial spreads. To do this I had to think about using a grid to work out where to place things. I have created two double paged spreads using Adobe InDesign, however at the moment I have just used placeholder text so I can tell what it would look like. At home over the Easter break I need to think about what the copy and headings in the spread are going to say. I need to have written the first 100 words of the copy myself. I also looked at different fonts to use as the headings on the spreads. I downloaded 3 typefaces from http://www.dafont.com which I thought reflected the play, Romeo and Juliet, in some way. So far my spreads are completely monotone because the illustrations I am using in them are the black and white illustrations I created for this project. Over the break I need to draw out some more ideas which involve colour so that when we go back in two weeks time I can begin to put colour into the digital versions. Discourse- As was suggested to me last week, I researched into why fine art was so expensive compared with graphic novels so that I could include a paragraph about this in my essay. My tutor then looked through my essay and suggested that I could also mention underground comics in my essay which I have now done. So far I have been Harvard referencing as I write as well as making a bibliography however I need to check to make sure I have done all this correctly. Over the Easter break I need to begin to draw out a plan for a Powerpoint presentation based upon my essay. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week was based upon model making. To begin with I had to draw out plans for a set design which I will have to make using a cardboard box as the stage. St first I had no idea how to start so I researched a couple of artists (David Hockney and Stuart Marshall) who have produced models like this. My first two ideas I was not that pleased with. I was trying to show the balcony scene in an updated version of Romeo and Juliet. My third plan was better. I changed the scene to Act 3 Scene I of the play which is when Tybalt kills Mercutio and then Romeo kills Tybalt. As this is a modern adaption I have drawn out plans to make an alley way which has one dead person in it and two people about to have a fight. I drew out this idea again but bigger so oI could show my ideas fully. I would use wire to make a washing line hanging between two buildings to help show that the distance between that buildings was not that big which would then help people realise that it was an alley way. I also want to have a sign hanging down saying ‘Act 3 Scene I’. This I could print on acetate. The model will be photographed using a light to create shadows so the acetate could create an interesting shadow on the back of the box. I also thought about where I would position the light so that there would be shadow over the two people fighting which would then create more focus onto the dead person in the alleyway. At home I need to create this model ready to be photographed after the break. I also want to have a go at some more reportage drawing if I get the chance. Week 11 29th March – 1st April Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- At home I had done the painting and drawing of figures for one of my illustrations. I scanned these into Photoshop and edited them as I had done with all my previous illustrations. I now had my 5 illustrations finished so I began to think about different ways of displaying them. I tried to create a border with felt-tip but I would have to draw them to the exact size of each illustration otherwise it would pixelate. Also I thought it looked to harsh compared with the illustrations. Because I had some Bockingford paper left over from a few weeks ago I decided I could scan it in and make it look as though the illustrations were drawn and painted directly on to it. I did this but for the distance/separation illustration I ripped the paper in half to show that they were being separated. I think this works really well. I have layed out all the illustrations in an A3 document and added text. “For never was a story of more woe than Juliet and her Romeo”. I hand traced the type to do this. At home I want to experiment with different backgrounds so that it is clear that the illustrations are on individual bits of paper. Discourse- After the feedback on my essay last week I have researched definitions of art from a book rather than from the internet which I have now put into my essay. I have also written my conclusion. One tutor gave me lots of ideas to put into my essay however I am already over the word limit. I may try to add in one of the ideas he gave me. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week we focused on scale. Firstly I drew 6 quick drawings on A6 paper using different media such as fine-liner, felt tip and ink. Three of those drawings I got blown up to A3 size. On the A3 copies I added shades of colour using felt-tip pens. These I then got photographed and put onto the computer where I reduced them back to A6 size. I also did lots of digital experiments with these images. Week 10 23rd – 25th March Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- At home I tried to draw Romeo again but using a different photograph to help. I did two versions of this but I was not that pleased with them. I prefered my original Romeo despite the it looking as though he has a beard. My tutor tried to lighten the ‘beard’ using Tipex however I don’t think it has worked all that well. I scanned in this image of Romeo again and in Photoshop removed the ‘beard’. I printed out three of these and drew the shading back in but so that it did not look like a beard. I am fairly happy with my third attempt. This week I also drew and painted the pills to go with the death scene and in Photoshop placed them with the bottles. I am quite pleased with this outcome. One problem I noticed with my illustrations so far is that none of the painted version were the same quality as the painting of Juliet’s face, however this problem was solved when my tutor helped me to darken the illustrations in Photoshop. At home I want to draw out Romeo and Juliet standing at a distance for another of my illustrations. I also need to do the same figures with paint. Discourse- I handed in my first essay draft which my tutor gave positive feedback about. I continued writing the essay in class until I had at least 1250 words. I handed this new version back to my tutor. Again I got positive feedback. I still need to conclude my essay and more citations into the beginning part of my essay. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week I made images using collage. At first I found it difficult so my first two attempts are not very good. For my third collage I made a person using someones head, dress, legs and arms. I the traced around this image onto layout paper and combined the two in Photoshop. I also did some other digital experiments in Photoshop. Week 9 16th – 18th March Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I was really unhappy with my illustration work so far. Although they are the best paintings I have ever done in my life, I just wasn’t sure where I was going with them. I spoke to a couple of my tutors and thought about restarting the illustration work from scratch, however there are only two weeks to do this in and I’m not confident enough to be able to complete all the work in this time. What I have decided to do now is to try re-doing some of the paintings and drawings that I think need improving. I have also thought about telling the story through hands as I have already painted a few hands. I am beginning to come up with a new idea. This new idea is to paint anything related to Juliet and draw anything related to Romeo. One or possibly two of my illustrations involves the two mediums combining. I have already tried this with a couple of my ideas so I know this will work. However in order for people to understand my ideas I will have to do more than three illustrations. I have drawn out Romeo using fine liner. I have also drawn Juliet in the same way and it was whilst I was drawing her that this idea came to me. I have also taken photos of two people (Romeo and Juliet) being pulled away from each other by other people (parents). I have drawn out Romeo being pulled away but I still need to paint Juliet being pulled away. I need to take a couple more photos to help me with some of the other illustrations. Discourse- I carried on researching for my essay this week. Firstly I printed out a few relevant pages from the book The Power of Comics and highlighted key lines. I also looked into sequential art to get more of an understanding of what it is. This led me on to looking at Rodolphe Topffer who is believed to have been the creator of the first comic book, and also William Hogarth how produced sequential paintings. I also looked at example pages from Art Spiegelman’s Maus so that I know what it looks like and can analyse it in my essay to say whether it counts as a work of art or not. I have come up with a plan for my essay. By next week I need to have started writing a draft of my essay of at least 500 words. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week we concentrated on grid drawing. This involves putting a grid, which is printed on acetate, over an image and then drawing the image onto another grid using the lines and squares in the grid to help. We had to do one normal one of these and then two different ones where the grid we drew onto was stretched or squeezed which gave the image an abstract look. What I found hardest with this task was working out what square on one grid was the same square on another grid because I find it difficult counting things that are so close together. Apart from that the normal grid drawing went really well. The other two drawings were more difficult but I am still pleased with them. I then edited the first grid drawing in Photoshop by overlaying the grid onto the image then selecting certain squares to make bigger or invert the colours. This made the image very abstract. Week 8 9th–11th March Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- At the beginning of the week I immediately changed my mind about painting Juliet sitting on a wall as I thought it would be too hard. Instead I thought of three new ideas. The first one uses the painting I have already done. It would be an image of Romeo and Juliet together, so I still need to paint Romeo. The second idea is to paint two hands which are holding each other to show that Romeo and Juliet wanted to be together. The third idea was to have two hands separated and a bottle of pills to represent the death of the two characters. I photographed two people’s hands in my class and began to paint two of them for the third illustration. I had to trace the hands first to get the basic shape. I had never painted hands before and I am quite pleased with how they have turned out. I have also photographed pill bottles which I have traced and drawn with ballpoint pen, fine liner and watercolour black paint. I prefer the fine liner versions but using Photoshop I have combined this with the painted versions so that it is still in the same styles the painted face. I have begun to think about how to position my illustrations in my editorial spreads hand have decided that I might not have hands in the third illustration, just the pill bottles. I also thought about experimenting with coloured paint which could be spilling out of the bottles. I have started to experiment with this using Bockingford watercolour paper. I had never used this type of paper before so was not sure what the outcome would be. I had a few attempts at letting the paint run down the paper. I have scanned these in and begun to combine them with my bottle drawings. For next week I want to have begun painting my brother’s face to be used as Romeo and paint the photograph of the two people holding hands. Discourse- I continued with my research for my essay this week. I have been finding it hard to get definitions of art so I began to look for definitions of fine art which then led me to look briefly at applied art. However it is still confusing because there are lots of definitions that cross over the two types of art. I have also found more research about what a graphic novel is and what the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book is. I need to keep researching throughout the week so that I have enough resources to begin my essay. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- During the week at home I scratched into the perspex plate using a compass. I used the photograph of my sister which I have been using in both this project and in the Shakespeare project. This week we couldn’t print our drypoints so instead we scanned them in and edited them in Photoshop. As the perspex is see through I put a piece of black card over the back of it. This meant that in the original scan it was very hard to see the image but once I had inverted the colours and used the threshold tool the image was visible. I began to look at changing the colour and using colour range and expand to get different effects. I also added colour, firstly but laying colour circles of the top and secondly by colouring in the different sections of the image in relevant colours such as blue for the clothes and yellow and brown for the hair. I also looked at cropping the image. I cropped it down to the eye which I then changed the line colour and overlayed red and black to get a different effect. I also cropped the image so just the face was showing and experimented with colour range and levels. I am quite pleased with these outcomes and am quite interested to see what happens when the image is printed. I have also looked at and put research in my book of artists that do etching such as Lucian Freud. My tutors have given good feedback about my work so far but if I get the chance I would like to do some more reportage drawings and try to be more detailed and possibly use different kinds of pens to get different line thicknesses. Week 7 2nd-4th March Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- Firstly this week I began experimenting with different mediums and ways of drawing. I began with pencil and pen and tried different types of lines such as aggressive which is the kind of thing I did a few weeks ago in the drawing module. I also tried watercolour paint. I tried painting an eye with just black paint looking at different tones and then with colour paint I tried painting basic figures experimenting with different brush strokes and amounts of water. One of my tutors suggested painting a whole face in the same way I had done the eye. I was a bit nervous at doing this as in the past I hadn’t been that good at using paints but the outcome I thought was really good, one of the best things I have ever done! I also got good feedback from a few tutors. I scanned in the painting and printed off a couple of copies which i experimented with drawing over in the way I drew Romeo and Juliet back when I was doing the play program covers. This adds more detail to the image but I think the more lines I used makes the face look slightly zombie-ish. I have an idea about how I am going to do my illustrations. I want to paint the main part of the illustration and then use fineliner to draw in extra detail. For example instead of a balcony scene, Juliet could be sitting on a wall. I would paint Juliet and part of the wall but then I would draw the wall with a fineliner. I may add coloured paint in the background so that the overall illustration is made up of more layers. The only problem is that I am worried the painting may go really wrong as I have only done it once. I will give it a go and so what happens and if it is really bad I may have to think of another idea. I also need to think of 2 more scenes to illustrate. Discourse- This week there was a presentation on Graphic Design as a Form of Subversion. Before the presentation I did not know what subversion meant, now I sort of understand but if I had to explain it to someone I would find it difficult to put into words. I had to find examples of graphic design being used as a form of subversion and then answer the question ‘Can or does subversive graphic design have a real/meaningful impact of culture and politics?’ I put all of this in my discourse sketch book. As well as this presentation I was researching for my essay. I researched into what are is and what a graphic novel is as this should help me when beginning to write me essay. I have also been looking through a book about comic books and noting down sections which could also help me. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week I did something I had never done before: Monoprinting. This is where ink is laid down and paper is placed on top and then drawn on which transfers the ink onto the paper. I did this with two photos that I have used in the Shakespeare project. I drew over the photos which meant I got a print of an outline of the photo in reverse on the paper. In my first attempt there was quite a lot of ink which meant a lot of excess ink was on the paper as well as the print. Also the outline of someone else’s print who had been before me was also on my paper. My second print wasn’t as dark as there was less ink. I also tried writing the words Romeo and Juliet. To do this I had to write backwards so that the outcome was readable because the print would be the reverse of what I drew/wrote. I have done a lot of digital experiments with these prints in Photoshop and illustrator creating workpaths and adding colour. Next week I am going to create a drypoint print so at home I have to etch an image into perspex. I have begun this but I am not sure how deep I need to etch. Week 6 23rd-25th Feb Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- This week I made sure that I had finished my 4 play program covers. There are one or two things I could do to improve these covers which I can come back to later. I have also begun looking at artists to help me with the next stage of this project: illustrations. I have also brainstormed areas within the play Romeo and Juliet which I could illustrate. Discourse- I have begun to get information together for my essay from books and the internet. I thought of different question titles that I could use for this essay. I need to continue researching so that I have enough information to be able to start my essay. This week we also had a presentation about illustration and the impact of digital technology. Some of the things in the presentation I could be thinking about when I make my own illustration in the GDPM2 module. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- As college was closed on Friday we were told to do the next section (reportage drawing) in our own time. I went to Upminster Park and sat and drew 8 different images which I have now edited in Adobe Photoshop to create one scene. I only used 5 of the drawings in this montage as I could not fit the others one in it. I could do more using the other drawings. Week 5 16th-18th Feb Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I have now come up with my typography idea. I had already ripped up letters from newspapers to spell out ‘Two households both alike in dignity’. Now I am going to cut out the letters instead of ripping them to make it look as though it had taken a long time which would represent another phrase from the play ‘From ancient grudge’. I have also thought of another possible play program cover where I drew two pictures which can represent Romeo and Juliet. I used the tonal drawing skills that I learnt last week in the drawing module to do this. I think they have worked really well. I now have 3 ideas that I want to use for my final ideas. I need to think and create a fourth idea at home. Discourse- This weeks presentation was on the Graphic Novel. I found this interesting and I have decided to do my essay on the graphic novel, discussing whether it counts as art or not. I need to begin to get research together for this. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week we focused on Pastiche. Although I had already researched artists at home I had to research more artists and choose 3 to try to use the style of in my own work. I chose Lucinda Rogers, Miminne and David Hockney. I found it quite hard to choose which artists to use. One of my outcomes I have edited in Photoshop still sticking with the style or Lucinda Rogers. Next week college is closed on Friday so I need to look at Reportage drawing at home by myself. Week 4 9th-11th Feb Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I have now come up with a possible idea for a typographic play cover. I am not sure how well it will come out so I need to keep trying alternatives until I am happy with it. I have also been thinking about what ideas to develop further at home and at college over the next week. Discourse- This week there was a presentation about Type is to Read. I found this presentation quite interesting. For next week I need to have decided what essay question I am thinking of doing. At the moment I am not quite sure about which one to choose. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week was focused on Tonal Drawing. To begin with I had to create to studies using acrylic paint. I am not very good at using paints and so my studies were not very good. I think I applied the paint too thickly which made it harder to add different tones to. After this we had to do some more tonal drawings but we could use a different media. I chose to use a fine liner. I think my drawing went a lot better than my paintings although the proportions were not completely right. At home I decided to have a go at drawing another one but in biro. I think I have done really well compared with drawings over the past weeks. I need to begin to research other artists to put in my sketchbook. Week 3 2nd-4th Feb Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- This week I experimented with a few of my ideas such as scratching letters into a photograph and drawing masks over photos of people. I need to try to work quicker as I need to begin to put together the play program covers. Discourse- This week there was a presentation about demographics. At first I did not understand the presentation but quickly began to understand. I also had to work in groups a couple of times firstly to discuss stereotypes in sexuality and secondly to answer questions about a magazine including writing a paragraph in 3rd person. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week I had a go at speed drawing using words to help influence the way I drew (aggressive, calm, fear, fast and abstract). To begin with I had to try continuous line drawing where the pen does not leave the page. My first few drawing I didn’t think were very good however I feel that they began to improve later on. At home I need to draw five more drawings using these same methods. Week 2 26th-28th Jan Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I have been drawing out lots of thumbnail sketches for ideas for a Romeo and Juliet play program cover. I have come up with lots of different ideas that I can experiment. At home I have tried out one of my ideas. I need to experiment more so that I can come up with ideas to actually use on the program covers. Discourse- There was a Powerpoint presentation on semiology and decoding visual adverts. At first I found this difficult but it got easier as I began to understand what sort of things to look for in the ads. There was also a session on writing in the third person which could be helpful when writing essays in the future. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- This week we were put into groups where we had to draw each other but only in three different ways: blind, changing grip and wrong hand. I think that drawing in my left/wrong hand went quite well. None of the drawings are perfect but some you could tell who they were meant to be. I think some of my left hand drawings were better than my right hand ones. The hardest was blind drawing where we drew with our hand under a box so we couldn’t see what we were drawing. At home I am going to use some of these techniques to draw five more people who I will try to connect to my Shakespeare project. Week 1 19th-21st Jan Graphic Design Practice 2 (GDPM2)- I did not do much work this week in college as I had already done a lot of research at home. I had researched the Royal Shakespeare Company and the play Romeo and Juliet in lots of detail. I have written up a synopsis for a modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet involving teenagers, gangs, violence, education and drugs. I am going to go some research about gangs to help inspire me for future ideas. Drawing and the Design Process (GDRM2)- We were given two sheets of photos of people’s faces and told to try to draw lots of images using those photos as a guide. I started off on A2 paper trying out different media such as pencil, coloured pencil, felt tip and ink. I do not think that my drawings are very good. After filling the A2 paper I drew some of the same images on A4 paper to create more of a design. I think that I did better this time. Our work was photographed and put on the computer so that we could digitally edit them in Photoshop. Some of my outcomes I am pleased with. At home I need to draw five more images into my sketchbook using different media. SEMESTER 1 Reflection of the Semester: Although for the past two years I had been studying Graphic Design at sixth form college, this semester has taught me so much more about what Graphic Design is. When I first began the course the only computer programme I knew how to use was Adobe Photoshop but now I understand how to use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. I still need to learn how to use some of the tools in these programmes but I can get a lot of work done on my own without asking for help whereas at the beginning of the semester I had no idea how to use any of the tools. When doing A level Graphic Design all my work was computer based. During this semester I have been able to do a few things by hand such as painting backgrounds and painting letters which I then scanned into the computer and used on various pieces of work. I think that I should do more things by hand in the future. I also need to start drawing ideas directly into my sketchbook. I did start doing this towards the end of the semester but up until that point I was drawing on plain paper and then sticking it in. Despite not drawing directly into my sketchbooks I think I have structured them quite well. During the summer I did a large amount of research especially for the Graphic Design Practice 1 module which helped me to come up with ideas for all the different parts of the module. I tried to indicate in my sketchbooks what I liked about my work and what I think needed improving and then I showed how I had improved it. I also tried to create as many different ideas as I could so that I had more than one idea to work with. In the past I never sketched out ideas resulting in me getting stuck on the same idea and then getting bored with it. This semester I have tried to plan carefully what I am going to do before starting it. It has been helpful to have a research module as well as a practical module as its has taught me things I would never have thought about such as to look for rivers and widows and orphans in mass text. With all this new knowledge I have been able to improve my work and I think I have done a lot better than I originally thought I would. Overall I think I have done well this semester. I had times when I struggled with work and thought that I was not good enough to be on the course but after looking back over the semester and at my final outcomes I can see how well I have coped and I am pleased with my progress. I now need to continue developing my skills over the next semester so that I can make my standard of work even better. Below is my week by week personal reflection for this semester: Week 12 8th – 10th Dec Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – I was worried that I would not be able to complete my magazine spreads today because I missed last weeks lesson as college was closed, but with some help from my tutor I have managed to finish both my spreads. I should them the spreads I had started on which I did not think were that good but I got some positive feed back on them and some suggestions for how to develop them further. I have now completed the spreads after going through all the text and checking for rivers, hyphens and widows and orphans. I am pleased that I have completed these pieces. I have printed my 2 magazine spreads and 2 posters in A3. I need to check through my sketchbook to make sure that everything is in order before handing in next Wednesday. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- I have been through my Harvard Referencing and now know how to do this correctly. I have made the few changes I needed to make and have printed off 3 copies ready to be handed in along with my Academic Skills folder next Wednesday. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I have completed my advertisements. Although in the brief it said we needed two positive and two negative I have been told that if I have done more than this I can submit them all. So I have printed 2 negative and 2 positive ad in A3 and 2 positive a 1 negative as A4. I chose to do some in A4 as I was worried that if I made them any larger they would pixelate. I have also printed off my logo and alphabet spec sheet in A3. I have now completed all my work I just need to make sure that all my annotation in my sketchbooks are complete. Week 11 1st – 3rd Dec Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – College was closed on Wednesday 1st Dec due to snowy weather so I could not do what I intended to do it college. I could not do the work at home as I needed to use Adobe InDesign which I do not have. However at home I tried some different media approaches by using paint to create one of Alexey Brodovitch’s typefaces which I have scanned in. This I could use on my magazine spread instead of my digitally created version. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- College was closed again on Thursday 2nd Dec. At home I made some changes to my essay to try to make it better. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- College was open on Friday so I was able to do some work on the adverts though I had to leave early because I was ill. However in this time I started putting together a couple of positive advert ideas and one negative idea. Over the past few days at home I had experimented with different media and texture which I was able to use in a few of my ideas. I need to keep on developing my ideas so that I have more than just two ideas to choose for the positive and negative outcomes. Week 10 24th-26th Nov Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – Over the weekend I came up with a couple more ideas I could try for the magazine spreads. One was to position the text so what between two columns there would be the shape of a wine bottle. However I did not know how to do this. I asked one of the tutors for help and eventually found out how to do it. It ha not worked out completely how I imagined it so I need to keep on working with it. Also over the weekend I found a typeface that Alexey Brodovitch had created so I tried to use this font and the way it was laid out on the spread I found to come up with another idea. I need to keep coming up with ideas to experiment with especially for Ed Fella. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- After having my draft handed back to me I found that my first attempt had been really good. All I needed to do was rephrase words to make the essay more formal. I handed in my new version and was told that it was really good. I am now waiting for another tutor to have a look through it. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I began to brainstorm ideas into my sketchbooks for both the positive adverts and negative adverts about Angel Islington. To start with I experimented with the word angel by using angels to represent positive ideas and devils to represent negative ideas. I had an idea of using something good and making it evil and vice versa, for example I drew angel wings onto Cruella De Vil. I have begun to sketch ou thumbnail ideas for individual adverts. Over the weekend I am going to continue developing ideas and experiment with different medias. Next week I will have to explain my ideas to a few people to see if they think they will work as adverts. Week 9 17th-19th Nov Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – I do not think I am doing as well with the magazine spread that with the posters. Although I have an idea in my head I cannot seem to create this on the computer. Also I don’t think my idea fits with one of the designers so well. I need to either think up some more ideas or keep trying to make my original idea work. I think I am struggling more with this project because I have to do a lot by hand to scan in and my skills in this kind of thing are not that strong. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- This week we needed to hand in a draft version of our essay. At first I thought it would be impossible for me to do this as I was finding the essay very difficult. At home I began to write a little bit of the essay everyday leaving me only the conclusion to write in class. I managed to write 1497 words (not including quotes). Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I did not do so much work this week as I had more or less finished my logos. I have got 4 final ideas and think I know which one I will choose out of the four. I spent a lot of time looking at interesting ways of advertising. These I have printed off and put in my book. For the last part of Friday’s lesson I did a brain storm for my own adverts. Week 8 10th – 12th Nov Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – I found it harder this week to come up with ideas. In college I developed some thumbnail sketches. For one of the designers I have an idea of using newspaper and photos of wine bottles and/or pills (this connects to the life of the designer) and although I have the idea in my head I am finding it difficult to draw my idea out and to make it. I attempted to make my idea on Photoshop at home but it didn’t work how I wanted it to. For the other designer I am beginning to get an idea but I would have to do a lot of it by hand which I am not that confident about. Over the weekend I need to try to work out what I am going to write about the designers and begin to make up some of my ideas, such as my newspaper idea. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- This week I began to put together my research for the essay. I have decided to do it on Bauhaus as I was finding it too hard to understand semiotics. So far I have found it quite difficult to find information as I find it hard to understand the way information is written in books and on some internet pages. I began writing a section of my essay which I did have enough resources for. Over the weekend I need to continue writing parts of the essay so that I have a draft version for Thursday. Week 7 3rd – 5th Nov Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – At home I had used paint and Acetone to make the letter P and upper and lower case Gs which I scanned in to use in my poster ideas. I am really pleased with some of these outcomes. I began to look at different magazine spreads and how the designer has made them work. I need to draw thumbnail sketches for my own double page spread which I have to make for two different typographers. I have chosen the two I am going to use: Alexey Brodovitch and Ed Fella. Now I need to plan how I am going to lay out my spreads. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- We had a lecture about semiotics. We have been given some essay questions which we can choose one of to do. I have chosen a question about semiotics (although I have Bauhaus as a second idea incase I find semiotics too hard). I need to find resources to get information from in order to write the 1500 word essay. I think I may find this very difficult as I feel my essay skills are not that great. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I have completed two spec sheets (A4 portrait and A3 landscape). I am fairly pleased with these. I have begun to look at logo ideas and have started to sketch some ideas for a logo for Angel Islington. I need to have 30 rough versions in total. So far I have drawn out 13 ideas. At first I thought coming up with ideas was going to be easy but I have begun to run out of ideas. Week 6 27th – 29th Oct Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – Carried on developing my posters further and began to choose two ideas to use as my final outcomes. I still need to develop these more and possibly experiment with different media. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- Had a lecture about branding. I made a lot of notes which I need to put in my Academic Skills folder. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- After scanning in my sketches at home I used these to help me create my digital alphabet. I am not completely happy with the outcome. I experimented by changing all the letters to outlines so that they had no fill colour. I prefer it like this. I also drew on leaves as a development of another ideas I had previously sketched out. Week 5 20th – 22nd Oct Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – I continued creating poster ideas on the computer however this time I was able to use InDesign. I am beginning to learn how to use some of the tools in InDesign to help me produce my poster ideas. At the moment I have several ideas which I am developing, I need to narrow down these ideas to just two: one for Piet Zwart and one for Garamond. I need to find out when Claude Garamond was born because on the internet some sites say 1490 whereas others day 1480. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- Paired with Coral Fletcher I produced a mind map to show a debate about Swiss style. Together we looked at what Swiss International Style was and artists related to this movement. Then we looked at artists who did not use the rules that the movement used as examples of people against swiss style. All this information and pictures of artists work we stuck onto an A2 sheet. I have uploaded a photo of our outcome. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- This week I drew out one of my ideas again but on graph paper to try to get all the letters the correct size so that they work as a typeface. I found this very difficult as I am basing my ideas on a circle shape so lots of the letters are very different. I found the letter K the hardest to draw and I am still not happy with what I have done. I need to scan in my work and use illustrator to draw around the letters I have drawn so that I have a digital version of my typeface which I can then edit. Week 4 13th – 15th Oct Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – I have drawn 16 thumbnails sketches for possible poster ideas. 8 of these are based on the designer Piet Zwart and the other 8 are about Claude Garamond. I found it quite hard to think of ideas for Garamond as he did not produce things such as posters, he designed his own typefaces such as ‘Garamond’. I began to start putting these ideas together on the computer. I tried to use Adobe InDesign but I found it so difficult that I did most of it on Illustrator instead. I also used small letter stamps to print my own name. This was very difficult because I had to work out where to put each letter so that my name did not print backwards. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I began making lots of design ideas for a typeface using references from Angel Islington. I then chose a few of these ideas to develop further and I now have 2 or 3 ideas that I could use as my final alphabet. It was quite difficult to come up with lots of ideas as there are so many typefaces about and I did not want to accidentally copy an existing font. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- I have begun a 500 word essay about the Bauhaus movement. At first I did not expect this to be hard as 500 words is not as much as it sounds but I actually found that it is quite difficult. I began by find out lots of information which I could include. I need to finish this essay at home for next Thursday. Week 3 6th – 8th Oct Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – This week we went on a trip into London to the St Bride Library to listen to a lecture about printing and typography. I took many notes during this lecture and found out some interesting facts about how things, such as books, were produced in the past. Originally I did not want to go on the trip as I don’t like the travelling but I am glad that I went for the lecture as I think it would have been hard to get the information from anywhere else. I need to put the notes I made in my sketchbook. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I have completed my 4 A3 typographic posters. Two I printed out onto plain white paper and two I printed on the news print paper. I am pleased with my outcomes although at first I was not sure about a couple of them but through my developement work I have received positive comments. I did get quite stressed about this work over the past week but I managed to get it all done even though there were problems with the printers. I now need to start thinking about the next part of the module by making a mood board. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- We were shown the remaining slides of the Powerpoint presentation. We were asked to look at 2 artworks from different movements and analyse them by following a list of questions we were given. I found this quite difficult as I have never been very good at analysing things in the past. I need to complete this at home as I did not finish it in the time I was at college. Week 2 29th Sept – 1st Oct Introduction to Typography (GDRM1) – We were shown a Powerpoint presentation about different typeface categories. After this I had to go on the computer and find examples of these categories. I was also introduced to Adobe InDesign which I have never used before. I practiced using the tools that I had been shown. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I created 5 poster ideas digitally, 4 of which I have decided to make into my final pieces. Even though I have produced these digitally I did make a couple of bits by hand and scanned them in. I found the whole task a bit difficult as I was not sure which of my thumbnail ideas to choose to develop and I was uncertain about how I was going to create my pieces. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- In the same group as the previous week we were given some questions to answer to see how much we could remember from our timeline. We then began to go through this as a class by being shown a Powerpoint presentation. Doing this I felt as if there were many things I should know or have remembered but didn’t. Week 1 22nd-24th Sept Introduction to Typography (GDRM1)- Before receiving my brief I was given a word (Beach Ball) and was told to create the image of this word only using the letters from this word. I used Adobe Illustrator to do this but found it quite difficult as I am not fully confident in using this program yet. I also received the brief and at home I chose my 4 typographers I am going to concentrate on and began to research more information about Piet Zwart’s work. However I may reconsider one of the typographers because I think she would be too difficult for me to focus on. Graphic Design Practice 1 (GDPM1)- I completed my 25 thumbnail ideas for typographic compositions on an area of London (Angel Islington) which I then produced 8 more thumbnail sketches based on the previous ones. These I did in colour. I began to think about which 4 of these 8 I would develop into the final A3 posters. I began to produce one of these ideas in Adobe Illustrator. I also had a go at producing photograms in the dark room so that I know how to make them. I can now use this method in the future if I want to. At home I experimented with creating words with different methods such as using watercolour paint to make a smudged, watery effect and also by using a fine liner and water to produce a different, yet similar effect. Graphic Design Academic Skills (GDTM1)- Working in a group of 5 we produced a timeline showing progression and links between 10 key movements: Futurism, Vorticism, Expressionism, Dada, Bauhaus, Constructivism, De Stijl, Jan Tschihold and the New Typography, American Corporate Identity of the Late Modern Period (Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Raymond Lowey etc) and Swiss International Style. A couple of the members of the group took photos of the final outcome one of which I have uploaded to me gallery. At first I was nervous about working in a group but we allocated two movements per person so all I had to do was research 2 things rather than all of them. We then got back together as a group and went through everyone’s findings together and decided which facts we would put onto the final timeline.