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Contextual/FMP Blog

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    I am currently studying Graphic Design for Print and New Media in my third year. Throughout my final year, I will be blogging about the progress and development of my contextual research and FMP, as well as other interesting topics I see. I have elected to use Behance, a site I have used before and am familiar with, making it easier for me to blog about my work. My work is presented in chronological order from top to bottom so you can see the process I have taken through these projects. Please feel free to comment, appreciate and share anything that interests you. Feedback is always welcome
  • Brochure.
    During D&AD New blood 2012 I picked up this brochure showcasing work from Nottingham Trent University. As well as having some fantastic work inside which can be used for future inspiration, the brochure is really well designed. The cover is of a matte texture and has a recycled feel to it.
    Because the imagery doesn't bleed off the edge of the page, the images are framed nicely with the white of the background. The type was really interesting being at an angle reading upwards. The illuminous orange for the names gives the plain white background some vibrancy, with that extra element stopping it from being too bland.
  • Guides.
    Good use of columns. You can see how guides have been used. The elegant stroke line dividing the columns really neatens the page making everything look like it has a purpose for being on the page.
  • Can't beat a good bit of type.
    This is an excellent typeface (for the word 'Matilda'). It is elegant and beautiful, especially with the use of colour for the dot of the 'i' against the black type.
  • Clerkenwell Design Week.
    I went to Clerkenwell Design Week which was a fantastic event that had a great mix of of different design fields such as furniture, interior, vehicle, graphics, interactive, art and more. What I loved most about the event was that it occupied a large area, allowing you to explore all of Clerkenwell in search of things to look at. Above are some bin bags that have been designed in the style of Bert from 'The Muppets'. These are a brilliantly imaginative design, making even something as mundane as bin bags look appealing. I did something like this for my YCN  Marks & Spencers brief last year, where I designed bin bags to look like beach balls.
  • Cork.
    I picked up this business card at the Clerkenwell Design Festival. What caught my eye was the interesting texture for the background; it is made from cork. I found it to be a clever and innovative consideration of unusual materials and paperstocks. I felt this was a small, yet significant way to show those who see it that you consider every element when designing, potentially resulting in them taking an even greater interest in your work and potentially employability.
  • Retro pastel.
    Using the pastel colours in stripe format gives this postcard a retro feel. The type really finishes off the classic, 'trippy' look with the way it flows and its bright orange colour. The info graphics have wonderful simplicity and excellent message portrayal.
  • BoConcept pocket book.
    I picked up this book originally thinking it was a business card. BoConcept are a furniture and interior design agency. I think this is a great concept having a brochure that you can carry in your pocket. One thing when going to these exhibiton/promotional events is carrying brochures, leaflets and other material. Also the pages are indivual but then they pull and fold out to create a bigger piece of media. As long as these miniature books are noticable (In a noticable stand POS for example) they would work really well. A lot of thought as been put into the design of this pocket book.
  • Letterspacing.
    This postcard enticed me for its purely typographical design. The body text has a large letter spacing and uses a very lightly weighted typeface. This makes the text a bit harder to read but I feel this is so as not to distract from the brand text at the top of the page. I really like how this type looks. The pastel colour is really effective too.
  • Never ending possibilities.
    This was a piece of promotional material that I picked up advertising a printing company. I really like the typeface used for the title and the body text as it portrays a modern twist on classic, heritage typography. This is through using clean contemporary square edges combined with serifs.
    The leaflet interacts really well with the viewer. As well as having interesting typography the layout and structure is really clever. The square leaflet folds out into a big A2 poster showing the capabilities of the print company. I like how this shows that as long as you have a long ream of paper you could have an endless medium to display graphics and information. Really like this fold out concept.
  • Infographics.
    One thing that I've really noticed boom lately is the design of symbols and information graphics. They are something that I personally think look amazing. I love the simplicity and fun that can be had with designing them to portray a message.
  • D&AD New Blood 2012.
    This was a great event but I didn't think it was as good as last year. There was still a huge amount of brilliant work though. I particularly liked this piece above which is an advertisment for Heinz Salad Cream. A really clever concept showing food tasting like cardboard. There was a lot of brochure and interactive material though. I picked up a few brochures and a lot of business cards which will be great for inspiration for the year. 
  • The slaughter house.
    This was a promotional piece of design for New Blood. I sketched this down in my sketchbook as I thought this type would work well in a sketched state. Going back to the original designs roots, 'the slaughter house'.
  • During the exhibition I picked a series of business cards that caught my eye. This is so I have some inspirational material for when I start designing my own business cards but also for other pieces of work. For example, I liked the tactility of this card, folding it out revealing different words to create a message. Even though this is used for a business card, it could be used for pages in a book. Not too sure about the colour of this though.
  • Texture, the underlying message.
    The simplicity of this card, with it being just in black and white, really makes you focus not only on the name of the person but also other elements you don't always take into consideration. The simplicity made me notice the texture and feel of the paperstock which makes the card much more attractive and natural. The text is also debossed from where it was printed giving an unusual depth to the flat card.
  • Folds... again.
    This is a piece of design work that someone did that folds out. This however starts at A6 size and as you fold out each stage there is another message, telling a story as you go along. It eventually folds out to a big page which shows a linear brain. The messy chaotic nature of the lines represents a person's mind and the madness that people go through. One red line goes through which I think represents a thought process.
  • And again...
    This was a leaflet promoting Nottingham Trent University. This a lovely piece of design. I like the idea of having a brochure/magazine design that doesn't flip through the pages like normal ones. This one folds out. Would like to use this idea for something during my third year. This has a really engaging graphic style. It combines hand drawn imagery and text with clean digital typography for the main information and body text.
  • A bit of reading for a change.
    Ambrose and Harris publish a great range of design books. In the past I have read the Typography book they published and really enjoyed it. Therefore, I decided to buy the 'Print and Finish' and 'Design Thinking' books. These were, like the typography book, really interesting and I believe they will stand me in good stead for the year. I would recommend these books to anyone learning design!
  • Got to love Bauhaus.
    I visited the Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition at the Barbican gallery. I find Bauhaus fascinating. Every single element used on any piece of graphic design has purpose for its placement and what it represents. I love the use of grids, typography and solid colours and how they marry these elements together to create a simple but beautiful piece of design. Above are some of the sketches I made at the exhibition of some of my favourite designs.
  • Underground symbol canvas.
    To promote the underground, posters have been put up which use the underground emblem as a canvas with different imagery. These two are some examples. They are really interesting and use many different graphics and graphic styles.
  • LEGO map.
    Outside the southbank centre they had a community event where they were building a world map out of pieces of Lego. People and families could come along and build pieces of it. It's a really cool event. I love the use of Lego as art design. Its a really creative toy or should I say tool.
  • V&A British Design Exhibition.
    This exhibition was awesome! Probably one of the best exhibitions I've ever been to. I'm quite patriotic which helps but it really was a showcase of the best of british design from things like Abram Games' Festival of Britain posters to the typeface design of the road signs we see every day. While I was there, there was a piece of design for the Guardian newspaper for which they were showing their immaculate new newspaper app. This got me thinking are they stopping their printed papers? This could very well be my FMP topic which I've been trying so hard to find!
  • Olympic ticket design.
    The design for this ticket is fantastic. I really like the use of jagged, streaky lines to create the image as it gives the image sense of movement and pace. It's all the little touches that make it for me though. The little man running along the barcode, the cute and simple information graphics for the date and time, stadium symbol and your name written on the bottom of the purple part.
  • On the start line!
  • London 2012 Olympic Games!
    I went to the Olympic Games earlier in the year over the summer. I got tickets to see both the Olympic 100m final and paralympic 100m final. Couldn't believe my luck when I got those tickets! This was a fantastic day out! But as well as enjoying the experience and atmosphere here, there was some brilliant pieces of design, architcture, signage, symbols, brochures, leaflets and more. There is probably only a handful of people in the world that have had the experience I have had here seeing two of the most anticipated events of the olympic and paralympic games. 
  • Games Brochures.
    While at the games I bought the London 2012 Games programme and the 'on the day programme'. The on the day one is very exclusinve and could only be bought by people who were there on that day. The design of them both was really good. I particularly liked the games programme. The cover was beautiful. It's pure white and then spot varnished on it was the jagged lines used for the olympic symbols and backgrounds of tickets and other olympic material emanating from the logo. Inside there is some really unusual page layouts too.
  • Really cool graphics on the hoardings around the screen.
  • BT London Live.
    As well as going to the Olympic park, I also went to BT London Live in Hyde Park. This was a free event where people could go and watch the Olympic Games on four big screens. They had bands such as Feeder and Temper Trap playing and loads of tents with different interactive things inside. It was an awesome way to extend my exerience of the games. The hoardings and some of the signage for the tents and food carts were really wacky and unusual.
  • Op-Art.
    For D&AD I am undertaking the Batiste Dry Shampoo brief where you are required to design for new limited edition graphic identities for the bottles. They are a fshion led brand who utilise trends. Therefore I looked into fashion trends for 2013 and they forcast that patterns and styles from the 50's 60's and 70's will return and neon colours will also be in. Therefore I looked into these patterns and designs to use on the bottles. Op art was big in the 1960's. Mary Quant was a big fan of op-art. It uses harsh shapes and lines in black and white to make funky patterns that are almost an illusion on the eye.
  • Funky town.
    These are some other patterns and designs that I hav e found through my research which I believe will look really good on the bottles. Will the bottles a contemporary twist on retro!
  • Are they killing themselves?
    These are some advertisments that I saw in the Guardian newspaper promoting the Guardian online app. I saw this thinking that they are sort of killing their own newspaper trade by doing this. It's not as expensive as buying a newspaper every day so they are losing themselves money. I know it's probably cheaper to make digitally but even so, it seems to me like they are killing themselves. I really liked the information graphics used for these advertisments though.
  • Cool hand drawn graphics.
    This was a supplement which came with the newspaper I bought today explaining how to write a book in 30 days. Considering my FMP is about print and digital publishing I thought this would be something good to look at. The thing I like most about this is the handrawn typography and illustrations. It makes you think back to when you're writing a book and you would have piles of written notes and scribbles. The chaotic nature of the illustrations and imagery throught the article makes it really fun and all the little illustrations really bring the books together. There is always something going on on the page.
  • Luminous.
    This is a postcard I found at uni which I thought was really cool. The chair is printed in luminous ink. I think this gives the print a real techno, futuristic feel. This inspired me for the design of one of my Christmas cards. It would use the same overlaying of electric colours. The traditional Chrismas message would be on top but the underlying feeling people have at Christmas underneath.
  • Great bit of packaging.
    This is candy coal which is one of the Christmas presents that I've got for my girlfriend. I love the way it is packaged in a coal bag. All the little symbols and lines make it look so intricate and delicate. They probably taste disgusting but its worth paying for it just for the packaging!
  • Christmas Card 1.
    I designed a holidays card to send out to clients to try and network with people in industry aiming to get a response and an offer of a placement was a real bonus! The concept is based on typography and the names of typefaces. Inside the card is a naughty and nice typography list. I really like the design. The gold envelopes and my branded sticker to seal it are really nice touches.
  • Christmas Card 2.
    This is the second one I made which would be sent out to friends of the college from our third year team. The card shows a traditional message but underneath is the underlying message of 'I'm cold, have no money, put on two stone'. Really like the electric blue and pink.
  • Shredded!
    I loved the concept behind this magazine advertisiment for Homeland. Shredding the page and piecing it back together really gives you a feel of what the programme is all about!
  • My first set of sketches and ideas for my FMP.
    These are some of my initial ideas for my Major Project. I have decided on creating a print book and e-book showcasing the advantages and capabilities of each medium. They are aimed at designers, creatives and people who really dislike one particular medium. They will showcase these advantages and try and change the view and open peoples eyes to the possibilities both mediums hold.
  • Suicide - Attempt two.
    Another advertisment promoting the digital Guardian newspaper. I wonder if they are eventually going to be completely digital over the next year or two. I don't think they will keep their customers with the current older generation out there today. I think at some point print newspapers will go but not for about 15 years when the young children of today who are growing up with ipads are older. Again really cool information graphics and I really like the background colour of the left one. I think I should do some sort of information graphics through my Major Project.
  • Cake typography.
    This is a cake that I made for my girlfriend's 21st birthday. To create the text I cut out a temeplate of a 1 and 2 using the typeface arial black because it is a very weighty font. I then lined the cakes with icing to help define the shape a bit more. It went stale quite quickly from where I cut it... but it's the thought that counts!
  • Who thought a viaduct could be a canvas.
    Underneath a bridge near the Tate was a little shop and to display the number they were in the street they lit up the underside of the viaduct with their number using individual lights. Looks really cool.
  • The walls in my house don't look this good.
    While in London I paid a visit to the Tate to see if they had any interesting exhibitions on there. Outside they are extending the museum and so around the building site they have these designed hoardings. I really like the geometric background on it and then frames are up with pieces of work in them. It's a great use of what's normally an eyesore space.
  • Bloody hell.
    These are a coupe of pages that I pulled out from a magazine I was reading while waiting to give blood. I noticed them both for the texture and pattern that is used on the typography. It makes the type really engaging. With these though they contrast brilliantly, for example, the 'sex' one has that patchy texture which can really only be achieved by letter press printing and stamping whereas the other one has very clean crisp lines and shapes that can only be achieved digitally. Shows inspiration of old in the present digital era.
  • A bit close cut.
    I've seen a few things in magazines and online where people have done some really cool stuff with cutting out of paper. I thought that showing the possibilities available with paper would be a clever and creative way to promote print. I cut the word 'creative' out of the paper amongst lots of different things like a shark fin or washing line. Really pleased with how it turned out.
  • The Times and Sunday Times -  Pay to use their site.
    These newspapers have announced that they will make people pay to read the news on their website. Since the news has been published on their websites, people have been viewing the news here for free instead of buying the paper. The Sun and other papers will also do this. View the link for the full article: 
  • Saatchi Gallery.
    This was one of the best exhibitions I've been to. This is purely down to the huge amount of graphic design content. I love these information graphics on the wall which represent people's feelings.
  • 007 Limited Edition Bollinger.
    In Harvey Nichols they were selling a limited edition version for Bollinger champagne. This is to celebrate 50 years of James Bond and the release of Skyfall. The bottle comes in a specially made case which uses a code so you can open it. Really clever concept. It's a shame that I couldn't afford one!
  • Barcodes as a design tool?
    Shopping online has really boomed like ebooks and digital publishing has. The concept behind this is having a buy button on your keyboard because that's how frequently people shop online. I have also seen other really interesting designs created around barcodes like someone being stuck behind it in prison. This is a new creative trend and I think people might start creating their own "Barcode Designs".
  • Front cover.
    These are some sketches that I have done for my front cover.The two that I really like the most are the one with the print registration marks around the edge, as I think the registration marks are so intriguing with the colour swatches spirograph patterns. The other is the one with the triangular/ hexagonal patterns. The shapes would only consist of 4 colours, CMYK. This would have a little tab label on it with the title print.
  • Layout.
    The layout of this page above is really clean and simple. I like how the only bit of colour on the page is the strip that comes from the left that heads the text. The 'LF' in the bottom left hand corner is really beautiful. The contrast in weights within the letters makes the text look really different. I would like to download something similiar to this.
  • Long live the Prints.
    One of the pages in my print book will have some really interesting and vibrant typography. This a play on 'Long live the prince' saying that print will never die out. I got in touch with Barry Irons who works for a printing company who print newspapers such as the Independent, i, Racing News and The Times. His answers to the questions I asked him inspired me to create this piece.
  • Got to love chocolate.
    This is the front cover of the review section in the Saturday paper. The concept is really cool putting the books in a chocolate box. It shows to me that wth some of the books out recently you are spoilt for choice and you may have to be a bit greedy. I'm pretty good at being greedy... it shows too! :P
  • Breaking News!
    These are some layouts I have done for the newspaper page which will be going into my print book. I tried a number of typefaces for 'The Printing Press' title and have decided to go with a very traditional type face for the main word. I wanted to have it in a pen drawn style. I was inspired by a postcard that I bought from the Saatchi gallery which used quite a simple pen drawn style.
  • Johannes Gutenberg.
    This is the image that will go in the space of the layout shown above for the newspaper page. I used an image from online as a basis. I changed the orientation and angle of the image and then drew it on layout. I wanted to get a scratched, grainy, printed effect which is why I drew it out. It took a long time but should be worth it!
  • Derek Birdsall.
    During a tutorial, one of my tutors recommended that I look at the work done by Derek Birdsall. These are some really fabulous prints for leaflets and print material. I wanted to do something overlaying so this is what she told me to look at. I would like to overlay a spread of a book within a book like the images above, keeping the page quite simple.
  • Cool magnets. Clever campaign.
    I thought these were a great promotional idea to try and revive the interest in the art of printing and the printing press. These are fridge magnets that you can buy. An adult substitution for the childs magnetic letters. I think having these would be a constant reminder of how good print publishing is to those who value the printed word.
  • Latest sketches and ideas.
    Some photo's of my latest ideas and sketches. I'm really enjoying this brief and really like some of the ideas that I am coming up with. I'm starting to get a bit pushed for time now - we are getting to Easter, but I feel I am on track. I've started creating some of the outcomes and feel it is going well. Some of the outcomes are quite risky and long winded but possible. The risk of sticking things into my print book and making a case that potentially might not work.
  • Pixel board.
    This was an advert from Adobe. It was quite a simple advert but with really cool typography on it. Some of the best and most interesting typography I have seen in a while. The way the pixels disperse from the lettering and the circuit board lines that run through them make you look beyond what the type actually says. The structure and designs portray a message in itself.
  • The real cut and paste.
    After going to the Saatchi gallery, seeing those collages and picking up the British design leaflet from the V&A, I think doing a collage is a cool way to show off more skills of working with physical objects. This is the real cut and paste compared to the digital 'copy and paste'. I used images from magazines, newspapers, leaflets and other printed material to create this.
  • Embossing and debossing.
    This was an invitation given to me by my tutor that she had been given to go to the One Club show. They are the american equivalent of D&AD. The invitation was printed on a lovely soft paperstock and the printed elements on it were all embossed and debossed in some sort of way. This was a really interactive invitation, feeling the embossed areas. It is beautifully simple and designed immaculately. The type is clean and quite sort of sci-fi.
  • Creative learning.
    I visited London and went to the Graphics Centre and this was a press advert in a booklet I picked up in there. The way the page is sort of split in two with imagery and text is quite cool, but then when they meet in the middle the imagery goes underneath the text. This gives the poster a lot of depth. The use of geometric shapes split with solid white lines squares the page, almost neatening it up. It contrasts the messy, chaotic imagery really well.
  • Embossing trial.
    In the print book I am designing I want to showcase a special print. I've chosen embossing because I really love the tactility and interactivity of it. This was my attempt at it.  It didnt come out too brilliantly but I can see that it will work. I have some thicker card that I can try and it will work then. I used an edging roller I found in my garage to press it. It's going to look cool!
  • Sunographic imagery.
    I wanted to try something a bit different that I haven't really seen or used before. My tutor suggested sunographic paper which you use by putting objects on top of the paper and leave it in the sun to reveal an image. I wanted to use smashed up bits of laptop to show in the printed book. I used letraset to rub down the text onto clear accetate which put the text onto the paper. I scratched and twisted the letters when putting them onto the accetate to create a broken effect.
  • Attempt 1.
    This was my first attempt. I tried having the text and some of the items raised to distort how they look a bit, but it didn't really work too well because too much light hit it. 
  • Attempt 2.
    This was my second attempt and it came out really well! The different pieces came out really clear and so did the text. The message perfection through imperfection is stating that this piece is more perfection as the end result is so random, which when using a computer the perfect shape or piece of text is achievable by anyone.
  • Book wrap/case attempt 1.
    This was my first attempt at creating the book case for my print book. I used the Matrix card that I got from GF Smith which has little circles embossed out of it. I thought this type of paper stock would contrast nicely against the harsh triangles that come through from the book's front cover. The triangles need to be measured exactly to place on the page so that the correct colours come through it (which will be CMYK). The attempt worked but I didn't make the spine edge wide enough so it was quite tight and hard to pull the book out of the case.
  • Some final layouts.
    These are a couple of the pages for my final layouts which I'm ready to go on computer and create. It's really interesting going back through my blog and seeing the process taken to get to the point that I am at now. 
  • Hello Alfred.
    This is the character I designed for the audio page in my e-book. E-books can be read to you which I thought is acting like a servant to you. So I thought the text on the page could be read by Alfred the butler! He has a syri voice like Stephen Hawking as the computer makes the syllables and sounds itself. I recorded it and it plays in the interactive PDF my e-book is on.
  • I think it's about time I got a job.
    This is my CV and business card which I have designed over the year. I love the simplicity of the design and layout for my CV. This allows focus to be purely on the information about me and my strong typographic and layout knowledge. The colour is K:90 which is just off black and this gives the page a softer feel. I got a leather paperstock from GF Smith which I ordered for another project and this gives the CV another element and shows thoughtful consideration for every element of the design. The pattern on the back of the business card is the op-art pattern I created for my D&AD Batiste Dry Shampoo competition entry. It was the graphic on one of the bottles. You can see the link between my CV, Business Card and portfolio as they all follow the same principles and theme.
  • My new portfolio!
    This is my new portfolio which I ordered from the London Graphics Centre. Its amazing how having a good portfolio case improves the way your work looks. The crystal clearness of the sleeves and the velvet lining inside really helps sell your work to potential employers and people looking at it. Really pleased with how my portfolio looks.
  • Siren sub-brand.
    Siren is a Greek god from Greek mythology. She lured sailors into sea shores with her beauty and amazing singing and tunes on the harp. This would then make sailors crash into the rocks and they would then kill them. Beautiful but dangerous. The harp is the symbols of the sirens which is why I used it for the icon of the brand.
  • POS.
  • Leather.
    The key selling point about the Osprey Brand is the quality of their leather. Therefore I wanted to use this as the tool to sell the product because it is the most interesting leather they have released in their range. For the invitation design I used a leather paperstock to add to highlight the key leather feature of the range.
  • WK360 - Oh yeah I got an interview!
    I've been applying for jobs over the last month and I've finally got an interview! This company is based in Luton. I went for the first stage interview which was basically introducing myself and showing my protfolio. I heard back from them after about a week or so saying that I have got through to the next stage which is a trial brief. So happy I got through. Above is the work I did for the trial brief. The brief was to create at least two of a list of five choices for the brand Osprey London. They wanted an invitation, web advertisment, POS, A2 Foyer poster and magazine advertisment. I chose to do the invitation, POS and Foyer Poster. I also did a finished visual for a potential magazine advert. I wanted to do that bit extra just to show my hardworking nature and wanting to push myself.
  • I like to think great minds think alike. Neville Brody - Creative spaces. 
    This was an interview with Neville Brody talking about creative spaces and the use of paper and digital paper. He believes that people need to learn to embrace both mediums and not think paper is dying off and digital is completely taking over. This is exactly what my FMP is about. A fantastic interview which is definitely worth a watch. The link is:
  • African Supplies Limited.
    My second interview! My tutor got a email asking to recommend some students for a part time graphic design position. They are a company that supply building materials to Africa. I applied with a number of other students and got an interview. They then gave me a trial brief to do over the weekend which was to create brochure front cover. This was my design.
  • Print book has arrived! 
    The printed book for my FMP has arrived! I am overwhelmed with the outcome of it! It has a gloss soft cover with uncoated matte eggshell paper inside. I created the case out of the matrix paper and it fits perfectly in place with the triangles lining up nicely. Now all that's left to do is to add the fold out page and embossed card. Extremely happy with the overall outcome.
  • Inside.
    This is the inside of the book showing the opening and the fold out pages. I'm really pleased with it. The paperstock feels really good and I'm extremely pleased with how the fold out page has turned out. It works really well with the book.
  • E-book swing tag.
    This is a swing tag which I designed to be attached to the lanyard holding my memory stick. This is just to make it much more obvious so that it doesn't get lost but also it has the instructions about opening the digital e-book and getting it ready to be viewed. A really nice piece of design.