Poster Ideas

poster tests

Beginning to think about my printed ephemera I started to experiment with poster designs. I have included the chalk textured effect which I have previously used within the marque as I think it creates a strong colour system and suggests a cave style. From my feedback at the presentation last week I got told that I wasn’t yet experimenting with type as much as I should be and I was focuses mainly on visuals. Because of this I have tried using the word excavate to create depth of field in the piece. It is not very explicit what it says because of the scale and positioning of the text which I like. Whilst I prefer the marque with the chalk texture within it, I do not think it that it is striking enough so I started to use the flattened black or white marque. I think that these visually work better with the rest of the pieces as they stand out well. I have started to use the typeface Myriad Pro as when I was previously used it along the marque I preferred the humanist style. Although through experimenting with the ephemera I think that Futura works better as the geometric style looks more modern which I like.

I have included the Natural History Museum logo as the exhibition will be held there so create more context for the poster on where the exhibition will be held. Looking at the Natural History Museum for inspiration the rectangle in the centre of the piece has been influenced from their ephemera. I think visually it draws the audiences eye to the centre of the piece. Because my idea is not very straight forward I think that having a small piece of text within the poster will help to create context to the piece. I think I need to work on the choice of language more but think this is an important element to the poster.

Through my experiments I felt that the first two lines of posters all provide strong historical influences although I think that they all look very similar. So I started to try and create a more modern approach by not having the chalk texture background as the whole poster. I think that I need to show these posters to people to receive some feedback whether they prefer a more historical or modernist approach. Personally I prefer the bottom line as I think the modernist style is more striking and visually aesthetic. I need to focus on the layout as I have been think more of what style I want to use. Once I have had some feedback I will develop some posters further.


Whitney Exhibition

Recapping on visual language, we looked at how we can use this within our exhibition to interact with our audiences. In a group Megan, Lily, Ellie and myself looked at The Whitney Museum of American Art. The 5 points which we focused on were;

  • Logo / Marque of the exhibition
  • Typographic System (print, digital, spacial)
  • Colour System (print, digital, spacial)
  • Wayfinding System (spacial)
  • Signage System (spacial)

The W from the word Whitney has been used as the marque which is a strong geometric shape. The marque is used throughout the printed/digital ephemera, the exhibition space etc by manipulating the W to create different shapes. This is interesting to see how the marque can be changed depending on the context. The type is used within the logo, signage system, website, ephemera etc keeping the typeface the same through creates consistency which works well when building upon a brand identity. The colour system throughout is monochrome which looks clean and contemporary, they add a splash of colour which makes the pieces striking and stand out well. On the website the lines from the marque have been used to inform the way finding system which helps create hierarchy and guide the user throughout the website. Another way that the marque lines have been used is on the signing around the exhibition. The lines form arrows which help to navigate the audience around the exhibition and space, the weight of the lines have also been used to create symbols such as the toilet signs. I think that this is a very contemporary exhibition space which has a strong brand identity throughout. I hope that within my brand identity I can reach this level of consistency.



Emoji Designs

From my research into emoji’s I decided to try and create my own emoji set influenced by the cave paintings with a modern style. I have used illustrator to create a range of different emoji’s ranging from homo sapiens hunting, animals, symbols etc. I have used the wacom pad to create these as I find it was easier than drawing with a mouse although it was very time consuming. I have tried using the emoji’s as outlines, filled in, using the charcoal brush effect and applying the chalk texture that I have used previously in the project. I think that by using the chalk texture effect it keeps continuity throughout the project to visually link the styles by the warm colour scheme.

cave painting emoji board.jpg

I have taken the emoji’s and placed them into an iMessage screen, this shows how they would look if they were to be used. I think the style of the emoji’s shows an influence from cave paintings which is an aspect I wanted to show clearly. The speech bubbles which are usually blue have been changed to orange and red, I think that this keeps a strong colour theme throughout. I haven’t experimented too much with the context within the speech bubbles although the conversation is highlighting the context of my exhibition. Another think that I have experimented with is changing the type key board. The first image I do not think works well at all because the charcoal brush type that I have created does not stand out well against the chalk textured buttons. Because of this I have tried using the chalk texture as the background and using black and white buttons. This works better because of the contrast so it is easier to read. Although I do not think that I will develop this any further as I think that I will keep the type in a modernist style font.

iphone example display.jpg

Design Futuring

Today we reflected upon last weeks session of rethinking material culture and how human behaviour influences sustainability. We watched a video of Cameron Tonkinwise: Sustainability & Design and how this can be applied to a washing machine as a functional object. Washing machines were placed in every house in Levittown, New York which was a specific reason as it was a political strategy so people can stay in their houses to do washing rather than bumping into people in a community. The community was very segregated as it was post war and raciest. No people of colour were aloud to buy, sell or rent a house in Levittown. He was trying to keep things how they previously were by reinforcing segregation rather than changing it. The washing machine could suggest creating freedom as you can wash your clothes when you want and not when the laundrette was open. Although this freedom created isolation from society and other human interaction. This shows the wider impact which we have on the world with things that we make.

Then we started to look at two objects which are the same but have different design features. A whistle kettle forces you to come and take it off the stove because of the piercing sound so you are forced to use that boiled water. Where as a electric kettle once it is boiled it switches off, so you can forget about the boiling water. Electric kettle forces an unsustainable behaviour by the use of electricity which impacts environmental issues. This shows how sometimes the advances we have in technology can make a growth in unsustainability. From this we then looked at objects which have changed the social relationships through being adopted or owned. For example how a coffee take away cup can have a social impact as you don’t sit down to have a coffee with people and interact. By taking it away you can carry on with you day to day activity and don’t allow yourself 20 minute downtime. This shows how socially unsustainable the take away coffee can be as you are loosing social values. An unsustainable factor which has environmental implications are the way that recyclable take away cups could be seen as sustainable because they can be recycled. Although this is not the case as the more that are produced and sold the more that are thrown away.

From looking at the take away coffee cup, in a group we began to think about how we can add social interactiveness back into the object. Some ideas we had were;

  • Putting your phone in a a locked safe to power the coffee machine, then when you finish the coffee the code to unlock the machine to get your phone out is at the bottom of the cup. This would allow you to have a break from social media and interact with the surroundings around you.
  • Magnetic coffee cup which it pulls you towards another person with a magnetic coffee, then when they come together it allows you to drink the coffee so you’ve interacted with a random person.
  • Coffee cup with a security tag on so you can’t leave a certain perimeter
  • Cup with an anchor attached to it so wherever you receive the coffee cup you can only travel a certain distance until you’ve finished the coffee.
  • Tables which need lots of people to sit on to power either the tap or fountain of coffee, the more people that sit on the chairs the more you can fill up your coffee
  • Table with bikes on which you need to pedal to heat the coffee
  • Crystal maze experience where your locked in a room and in a group you have to solve the puzzles to get the coffee and then your able to take it away.

The idea that we decided to do with was the crystal maze style puzzle. This forces you to interact and socialise so you are able to receive the coffee to take away. By still being able to take away the coffee and carry on with day to day life it doesn’t get in the way of the function of the coffee cup. But it is a more interactive way to receive the coffee. I liked this exercise as we didn’t have to think about whether it is doable for us to make but more pushes boundaries to create something exciting.

Fry, T., Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics, and New Peace, Bloomsbury, London, 2009, pp. 53-58

The extract by Stephen Fry is beginning to discuss redirective practice. Within the extract there were different subjects which he touched upon that inform redirective practice such as; Design as a redirective practice, Framing design as a redirective practice, The redirective base line and Designing-in-time. The language that Fry uses was difficult to understand at first but as I started to analyse the text and discussed it with the group I found it easier to digest the content. The words that are used such as rhetoric and ambiguous shows the concise meanings of words which helps to convey Fry’s points. Redirective practice is looking beyond what is presented to us. Fry talks about users this suggests how we are all consumers in some way and we are never going to stop consuming, it’s impossible to escape. As designers we need to understand what we are creating and how we make an impact on revealing the wider implications through our work. Not specifically manufacturing objects, but can be imbedded in my practice to communicate an idea. Another point which I got from the extract is how design is always political in one way or another. No matter what our design is, we are creating things that are going out in the world. Even following a brief, there is an element of politics in it. Reflecting upon what we are doing in the world is important. We are deigning for our own time but we need to have an eye on the future and consider how it can impact the future. If we want to redirect design we need to be ambiguous and experimental.

Evolution Of Visual Language

Homo sapiens would visually communicate through cave paintings before language was created. Then language began to evolve through the true meanings of words to todays language. Now technology and social media has developed back to the visual communicating method which has grown through the use of emoji’s, gifs, meme’s etc. This starts to ask the question whether we are progressing or regressing in time.


Emoji were originally designed by Willem Van Lacker for Japan in 1999, used by mobile phone users to communicate. They range from faces with different emotions, animals, weather, food etc. This could be an interesting idea of creating a homo sapien style emojis board. These could include animals which would have been drawn in cave paintings, hunting weapons, food they would have eaten etc.


As emoji’s have developed they have progressed to creating a wider racial spectrum as well as highlighting sexuality/gender equality. This is a positive progression and has been done because they are so globally used and have such a big target audience. Visual communicating is a very effective way to communicate through different languages and they are not aimed at a specific geographical location.

the story of emoji.jpg

Gavin Lucas a professional in communication and illustration created The Story Of Emoji. This is a book which celebrates the power of emoji’s and how they are an ever growing form of communication. He uses emoji’s to create humour, navigation, information etc. I think that this book shows the extent that visual communication can be used in. One of my favourite pieces within the book is the way that the content page has the emoji’s visually representing the titles of the page. The text next to the emoji’s help to translate the emoji’s. This could be an interesting technique to be explored by using this to help navigate people through the exhibition using the app.

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The way that the Katy Perry – Roar (Lyric Video) lyrics are all shown through the screen of an iPhone on the messaging app suggests this idea of interaction by the way that the audience can sing along with the song. It is not all words used but some words which have symbolic meanings have been replace with emoji’s. This shows how language and emoji’s can be used within the same context to create a more exciting and stronger method of communication.

Whilst researching into Katy Perry’s video the official video it could help to influence my project. Even though there are not emoji’s in the Katy Perry – Roar (official) video, 2:06 minutes into the video the cave paintings which begins to move creates more of a narrative. It is interesting to see whether I would be able to explore something like this within my animation.

“More and more graphical representations, such as emojis, gifs, stickers, and memes are being incorporated into language used online.” This shows the growth of visual communications and how they are not only static but also can also be seen in moving image. Within the article What communicating only in emoji taught me about language in digital age – they suggest that whilst communicating just with emoji’s can be done, it is very difficult with no language at all. I think that this shows that whilst they are still so powerful, without language it can be a challenge.

Through my research into visual language it is very clear that it can be used in a wide range of contexts to communicate different meanings. I think that visual communicating can make contexts more interesting and interactive but when adding language it helps to create greater understanding. Within my project I want to focus strongly on methods of visual communications whilst still including type to help interact with my audience.


Developing My Mark

on display mark.jpg

Today I was in a group with George and Tom, the feedback I got was very helpful to my project. We spent a while talking through our ideas, concepts and processes. I received very positive feedback and a few points to reflect upon and try to improve and develop. One point was that they liked the mark although because of the colour scheme and detail they were unsure how that would sit along a series of outcomes. They suggested that if it was a simple black or white that it may work better within my work. So maybe use this mark within the ephemera as a main focal point as they did like the texture and style.

black and white mark tests

I have tried using the mark as a flattened image, I do not think it is as interesting but I do think that this could work better within ephemera as I can edit it to go with the rest of the visuals. I also think that it looks more modern which is a visual style I want to include.

natural history museum ephemera

I have looked at the Natural History Museum ephemera and how the mark fits in within the pieces. The mark is quite simple so works in both black and white on the different designs. Even though the exhibitions within the museum are all different context they all have quite a modernist style. Whilst I have the ancient homo sapiens times as a big influence I want to research into contemporary design to influence my visuals. Having a historical link but contemporary visual will help to communicate whether the past is influencing today’s visual communications.

Rethink the wording of my question

The purpose of my exhibition is to question my audience so they can reflect on the question rather than being persuaded. My original question ‘is the evolution of language devaluing?’ is suggesting to them that it is devaluing which is a negative response. This is not what I want to communicate so I need to re think the wording of my question.

Devalue – to deprive of value; reduce the value of. 

  • decrease, devaluate, lower, revalue, undervalue

Changing – to transform or convert.

  • changeable, developing, dynamic, growing, uncertain, unstable, altering, alternating, modifying

Develop – to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of; bring to a moreadvanced or effective state

  • advance, establish, evolve, expand, flourish, grow, progress, promote, age

Adjusting – to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate.

  • accommodate, accustom, adapt, alter, conform, fine-tunestar, fix, modify, regulate, tailor

Alter – to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify.

  • adjust, amend, change, develop, modify, reshape, revamp, revise, shift, transform, vary, adapt

Is the evolution of language changing?

I think that the most effective word to use is ‘changing’ as it means to transform or revert. This neither suggests a progression or regression in the evolution of language. By using a word that isn’t positive or negative will help to not make the question biased so the audience can reflect on their on view.