Digital Me

This project is about branding ourselves as graphic designers, ready for the real world when that time comes. During this project we have to create a CV, PDF portfolio and an online portfolio to give us a presence in different medias.

So to simply kick start this project I have been looking at different forms of inspiration which I think are good pieces of work to get my creative ideas going.

 

All of these are nice looking and are simple to follow, including all of the needed and necessary information. The one I ma most interested in is the one with illustrations. I wish to experiment with designs like this as well as I feel it will catch an employers eye for being very different compared to the other designs. I would probably pair this with a ‘serious’ design as well when being sent out to different places.

 

Constellation Second Year Review

Constellation has been a lot more interesting this year, as well as easier to navigate seeing as this is my second year here at the university I had a better idea of what to expect. For my topic choices at the beginning of the year I feel I had a limited range of  options that  I could pick in terms of my interests and things that relate to my course, graphic design. This at first made me a bit down beat about constellation this year. In the end I decided to go with Puzzling out Contemporary Art. My reasoning behind this was after speaking to some people I thought, “What the heck, if there is nothing really relating to what I do as a designer, I may as well choose something in a creative subject that I know very little about”. That is how I ended up choosing, Puzzling out Contemporary Art.

During the first session with Jon Clarkson we had a discussion about what we think make art contemporary. During this we debated about the date, particular style and if the art had to symbolise or mean anything. None of these points really got decided upon as contemporary art I found out can be considered as many things, something that later on interested and annoyed me. The first piece we had a look at Leonardo’s Cat by Isa Genzken. I found this a very intriguing bit of work or installation to start off with. It was a pile made up of mundane objects and at first it just looked a big random mess to me. To this day I still can’t really say what it is about, but I would like to think that it is  piece about challenging composition and structure. This was one of the good things I found while on this module. Contemporary art, unlike other creative areas like graphic design, product design and architecture, for example, can be interpreted in more than one way. Later on in the course I found this sort of work frustrating. Examples such as Damian Hurst, who would simply put things into tanks, his most famous the shark. For me to call something like this art might be a bit too easy, with little skill involved it may seem to someone like myself who does graphic design, which is all about a process and construction that exhibition pieces like this are infuriating. It almost feels like contemporary and modern art is just there for the sake of it. To this day I still find things like this annoying that they can pass as ‘art’, but I still do find them interesting to examine and try and find some sort of meaning behind what is happening and in addition to this I have felt his choice has opened up my perception of contemporary art.

The second part of the constellation topic was the summative assessment. Due to my slight dissatisfaction towards modern and contemporary art, I wanted to compare and contrast it to my course, graphic communication. This way I could research contemporary art more and broaden my horizons further by comparing the two subjects. At first I found it challenging to research the contemporary art side of the essay because the only experience I have had with the subject is the constellation course. As the essay took shape, I was able to gather a greater understanding for the subject and began to accept it more for what it is. Overall, I feel that is the biggest benefit I have gained from this, not an improvement in my written skills but being able to look at exhibitions and modern art and not judge it so negatively.

The final part of the constellation module was to write our dissertation proposal. After partly writing my summative assessment on graphic design, I wished to do a whole essay on it which is why I have eventually come up with the question/statement, “Graphic Design is the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines or books, which will be nonexistent in the future”, discuss. I have also chosen to create a visual representation of graphic design from my findings.

One of the key issues with graphic design and communication is that it is hard to pin down what it really is. Some people think it is one thing, while others believe it is something completely different. I feel that this is down to peoples’ perception and how educated they are on the matter. For example, the online Oxford Dictionary definition is  “The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books” (Oxford Dictionary, 2017). This definition is not wrong as these components are an important part of the industry, but people will argue that this is a very dated view of the subject, and in the modern day  a lot more different practices and thought is involved. From this introduction to graphic design there is already a few conflicting ideas about what it really is. This is why I wish explore this area.

Before this, I found it difficult coming up with a question. Because we could literally write about anything, I struggled with narrowing down what I wanted to do. All I knew at this stage was that I would like the question to relate back to graphic design somehow. At first I was desperate to do something on Star Wars, but was finding it rather difficult to link it back to graphic design in some way. After some more research I found that graphic design had no clear definition and everyone they asked would say that it was something different. Most people said things like, Photoshop, computers  and posters, but graphic design is much more than that which is why I wish to explore this topic.

Overall, constellation has been more interesting than last year and I think more enjoyable. It may have raised more questions in terms of contemporary art and my potential dissertation, but this has left me intrigued to find out and research them more.

 

 

Client presentations

Starting off with the designs, I feel there was a lot of great things about them. They were eye catching and looked different in terms of layout and style to what other people had produced.

The top three things about my design for me would be, the icons, dynamic layout and scenario themes and then making one of them into an animated video.

Starting with the icons, I feel these added something really interesting and eye catching to the poster. By creating them, they helped reinforce all of the statistics on both designs and making the design more visually appealing with more colour and dynamics.

Linking closely to the dynamics of each design, I felt they were very intriguing, making more interesting to look at. Because of this and the two scenario style I designed them as it made them look less flat than just a regular 2d design. I was able to achieve this with the use of drop shadows especially, making items look as if they were raised off the page, making the designs look as if they had different layers, much like a rain forest should do, linking nicely to the project and theme.

The third thing that I thought was good about my design was that I was able to bring one of them to life by turning it into a short animation. I did this because it would add a different aspect of my work and hopefully give it an even more engaging and realistic edge. I thought the sounds in particular were really good, making in more immersive for the client watching. But in general the video made my project a lot strong and interesting as a whole as I believe people are drawn more to them, rather than flat designs.

about us infographic 2 final printinfographic

Things that could possibly change with my design are some of the icons, different layout experiments and point size.

The icons in question are the ones on the Aims an Achievements poster. Although they are all nice looking and help back up and reinforce the statistics, I feel they could be produced in a similar house style, more like the other infographic. This would make it a bit clearer to understand and increase its professional finish.

Moving on, I am not sure what I would do differently when it comes to the layout of the Aims and Achievements poster because I believe it flows quite nicely. For the General stats on the other hand I Would try and change the positioning of the icons and statistic to see if they could flow and sit a bit better on the page. At the moment I feel that it just doesn’t have that consistent flow.

The point size. The only reason I would change this is for digital use. During the presentation it was difficult to see the text on the big screen. This is not a great concern to me because these designs are meant for hard copy use which the text can be read clearly.

Thing that went well in our presentation is that everyone spoke clearly and knew what they wanted to say about our work. The presentation on the screen was also clear, well put together and followed a simple structure which kept it all looking professional, making our life easier when presenting but also the clients.

One thing to improve on a personal level is that I should have spent a bit more time rehearsing and finalizing what I wished to say. I had a general idea of what I wanted to say, bu should have been more clear with myself as I missed out a few things that I shoud have mentioned, like I had created a video for them.

On group level all I can say is that we should have rehearsed together so we knew our cues when it was our turn to speak.

Overall, this project has been great fun to work on and has opened my eyes up even more when it comes to working with and understanding clients. I am also glad o have used imovie as I feel a lot more confident using video, and feel it would be a good idea to use it other aspects of my work.

Animated infographic

This blog post is just a short write up about my animated infographic.

It was a long process but in the end I managed to complete my animated video. As I previously explained in my last post, I wanted to create a video to help keep the audience engaged as I feel people are more interested in moving image, rather than just a flat one.

The most difficult bit of the process for me was the cutting up of my infographic into individual scenes on Photoshop. I had to add layers in one by one, making sure they came in a sequential order, meaning I had to pay close attention to each layer and where it was.

After this was complete I imported all of these to imovie, where I put the clips together and edited each time frame so the video could run smoothly. This part of the project was alright seeing as I have had previous experience using this tool, meaning I could be a bit more adventurous with trials and ideas. This is when I came up with the idea to zoom in and out of the text to make it clearer to read. I felt this made my video more dynamic and therefore more engaging.

Finally, I added sound. By using royalty free sounds and the ones provided by imovie, I was able to create a good atmosphere and more enjoyable and believable scenario. Hopefully the sound will draw the immerse the audience in even more.

Overall I am proud with how the video went and believe it will add another dimension to the whole project, making it that little bit stronger and stand out more.

 

Animation Storyboard

Our brief for this project was to create some infographics about the Size of Wales and the work they have done. I decided to go a step further, and to make my idea more interactive and interesting by aiming  to make one into a short animation.

For this I have had to draw up a storyboard, just to give me some form of direction when I sit down and make it on the computer.

The basic idea is that the tree stumps from will pop up from the ground, creating a scene of deforestation. The stats will each individually rise up from these tree stumps, where the shot will then zoom in on the information, making it easier to read. The image will then zoom out to reveal an animated icon to reinforce and so the audience can also visualize the statistic. In addition to this there will be sounds in the background to add to the atmosphere.

Some of the sounds I aim to use are:

  • Rain forest noises
  • A chainsaw
  • An axe
  • Crackling fire
  • Man made noises and machinery
  • Transport (planes and cars etc)

These will help add meaning to the moving image, and will hopefully make the whole piece more engaging.