Term 1 Developments

Going back to the formative feedback that we were given in term 1 subject area I have decided to go through and develop some previous projects. I have first of all worked on one of the image projects that we were given inspired by David Hockney. Ray advised that I change the outer shape from a rectangle to an ellipses shape as this is a more accurate shape of vision.

I have chosen three different style images that I previously designed and changed them to rectangles forming an ellipes shape. The top three images are my previous designs and the bottom three are my developments. I have done this to see which version looks the best. My favourite is the bottom middle design, this is because I think that the negative space works well, I also think that the ellipse shape works much better than rectangular shape. This is because the rectangles are closer together which creates a closer relationship between the shapes to form an interesting image.

The other two designs that I have developed I do not think are as strong. I like the first one as Think that the ellipse shape works well with it, although I prefer the same design with the use of white space as I think it creates movement within the piece. The third design is my least favourite as this is the most difficult to see because of the change in opacity with the negative space.

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The second project that I have began to develop was the type specimen piece. The middle black on white design was my previous piece. David suggested to improve this design I could try exploring with grey scale. In the first term I did explore using different shades of grey instead of the black on white, although I did not think that this was visually as strong.

I thought that having the piece inverted would look visually stronger and would work well with the typeface as it is a strong bold font. I think that this is a more powerful piece but wanted to take this further by experimenting with greyscale within the inverted piece. The design on the right hand is my favourite. The different shades of grey works well with the hierarchy of the piece and has become a more striking piece of design. I am glad that I have had the chance to develop on some previous pieces of design work as I think that these have improved them.

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Type Specimen Poster Feedback

Today we put out type specimens on the wall to present them to the group. We got into pairs and gave each other feed back about what we thought was good about their poster and what could be improved. When everyone had completed this task with their partner we presented our posters to the group getting feedback from everyone and the tutors.

On my poster they liked the strong layout of the design showing the heavy slab serif font and how it clearly fits in the grid system. They also liked how the heading ‘Rockwell’ was split in two as it is interesting. Although the whole poster is black on white, they thought that I could improve this by using various tones of black and white to show hierarchy. By changing all the elements to different shades of grey and the having the heading and context in black I think that this shows how the heading and information is the most important part of the poster, it also creates depth of field in my poster. Another element that they thought I could improve was the last line in my second paragraph was a widower and they thought that if I changed this is would look better. Therefore I have extended the first and second paragraph so it looks more visually appealing.

I liked this exercise as you were able to see everyone else posters and how varied they all are. I also liked how I was given feedback from my peers and tutors and given the opportunity to improve the poster using this constructive criticism.

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Letter Press Workshop

We had a workshop where we were shown how to use the letterpress machine, I was in group Underware and had to chose a sentence or phrase that represents Underware, my sentence was ‘they publish about type’. Underware is a type foundry that focuses on humanist and script style fonts.  In the workshop we learnt how letter pressing was an old way of being able to print on big scale and used for mass production i.e. newspapers. I found it surprising how heavy a full letter press can be and interesting how when they had finished printing with the template they would melt it down and recycle it to print something else.

Tom the instructor went through the machines and materials that we would be using to create our letterpresses. We began by choosing a typeface and fitting it in a cage making sure the sentence was upside down so it would print correctly and assuring that it was tight so it would be able to print well. I then fixed my cage into the letter press and printed onto various types of papers using a dark grey ink and a red ink, I really like the contrast of these two colours against each other. By printing onto different papers you were able to see how your printing would vary depending on the material printed onto but I was also able to overlay the sheets of papers to create different outcomes.

I really enjoyed using the letterpress machine as I think it is such an interesting way of printing as you can see the type coming together and can see the aesthetics qualities of this technique. I will definitely use letterpress again, the preparation is a bit fiddly and time consuming, although when you have prepared your cage it is so quick and simple.


Rockwell Type Specimen Poster

I sketched a range of different ideas and chose two of my favourite designs and decided to try and incorporate them to improve the design. By researching into the font Rockwell I was able to see what the typeface is used for, it is good for headings as it is a heavy font. Therefore I have created this in my poster by using a large point size for the heading ‘Rockwell’ and for other aspects of the poster i.e. the date it was created and certain letters. I have made the Q and the A big and only put in the bottom of the Q to show how the tail is underneath the bowl of the Q and the top of the A to show the bar at the top of the apex. I decided to cut the bottom of the ‘rock’ and the top of the ‘well’ as it is such a strong font even with half of the letters missing you can still read what it says. I also like how I have put my three paragraph research in between the heading ‘rockwell’ as I think it suggests the contexts inside the poster. I have chosen to put the quote in italic to show how it’s speech, and chosen that quote “a strong typeface for headlines and posters” as I think that it sums up the typeface well. 1934 is the date that Rockwell was created but I have also included it so you are able to see the style of the typeface in number form. The image I decided to use is Malibu as this is a product that uses Rockwell in their logo. This is the first time I have used indesign and I think it is a good project to use for this as I was able to use grids to design the layout of my poster. I think that using grids makes the poster look more professional and aesthetically pleasing. By using the grid system it can create continuity and a flush over all outcome.



Specimen Poster Sketches

By researching into the font Rockwell and existing Rockwell specimen poster I was able to see what I thought worked with the specimen posters and what didn’t work as well. I like how some parts of a typeface are visible, for example the bar at the apex of the A and the tail at the bottom of the Q, I think this highlights important features of the typeface. I would like my three paragraphs to be separate as I think that Rockwell works better in smaller pieces of text rather than a load of text together as it is a heavy typeface. Although my layout design may vary depending on the amount of text that I have to put on the specimen poster. There fore I think I may have to take my design to the computer and start planning using creative cloud and may have to then go back to my sketchbook once I know how much text I will be including. The image I will use is the Malibu Rum logo as I think that this is used well as Rockwell is a strong bold font that is good for titles/headlines and I will make sure I use a black and white image so it follows the brief. I like how ‘1934’ is larger than the rest of the writing as this is the year that Rockwell was designed, but it also shows Rockwell numbers.blog-specimen-poster-sketches

Type Specimen Comparison

Researching into specimen posters I decided to look at five of the same Rockwell posters as this is my typeface that I am going to create my specimen poster on. I chose to look at all of the same typeface rather than different ones so I am able to see how a poster with similar context in can have such a contrasting and varied aesthetic look, this can be achieved by the grid system, type setting and focusing on layout and hierarchy. I have sketched these posters out so I can start to see which compositions and style I like to influence my own specimen poster.

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Layout, Hierarchy & The Grid


We started to look at how different contrasts of layouts worked. Depending on the purpose of the pieces, we experimented with all kinds of materials and compositions.  When doing this I needed to consider contrast, balance and a clear path for the eye to read. We looked at layouts of text and how type setting can be aligned, the hierarchy of headings/sub headings, the layout of using a grid and briefly touching on the golden section.

Pages can be split into grids, so there is consistency throughout a book, magazine, newspaper etc. A piece of text can either be in a single grid or across a few grids. Images can also follow the grid system, whether it is a single one or across multiple grids though they have more leeway and able to go off the page. We began to research magazines and how they have been fitted in to the grid system. One of the magazines I was looking at, has been split into 12 grids. This included some pages having four columns of writing, which split up into one column being over three grids. The headings and sub headings follow the grid system although these are usually a lot bigger and bolder than the rest of the text and cover more than just one grid.

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Looking at some type specimen posters I started to label some type settings within the layout. For example whether it is centre type, flush right, whether the text is full of holes or has a bad rag etc. By doing this I am able to see how the type setting has been aligned to fit different layout posters. This will help me when designing my type specimen poster for the type face Rockwell.