Layout Development

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

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Some layout and front cover ideas I sketched out for the brief. Thought I’d map out some ideas before I get cracking on InDesign laying out my book!

Advertising: A sign of the times

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2 Lecture 30/10/2013

This day in age we are a lot more aware of the kinds of adverts there are that derive from TV, print, billboards, the web, banner advertisements and so on. Whatever form of advertising is being used is all about contributing an emotional quality to something so that we as consumers will act upon it – by things like buying a product, voting for someone, quitting smoking, or eating healthily. The financial and sexual freedom in advertising was inspired by the American consumer boom in the early 20th century.

Optimism in advertisement flourished at the beginning of the 70s. It did however start to get a little heavy duty towards the end of the decade. At the time, because there were no restrictions for advertising, it was known as a massively sexist advertising era. They showed death, gore and other such things in their product promotion as well – there was no cencorship. Advertising dominated because brands realised big business was involved with advertisements. At that time, politically and economically the future was uncertain due to events such as the Oil Crisis, Unemployment, Famine, The IRA, Cold War and the threat of Russian Nuclear War. Because of this everyone voted out the Conservative government.

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The 80s was a distinctive era for the growing divide between the rich and poor. Social inequality was proven massively, and advertising and media channels were more prevalent. Huge amounts of money was spent on advertising – it was also known as the style over substance decade as the was a big drive on consumerism.

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Then there was new media, globalisation and the web explosion – apple macs and mobile phones drove the business era that was the 90s. Previously, branding was about greed and individualism – subsequently there was a rethink and in essence a backlash, as it became the anti-advertising decade. Optimism, music, fashion and design in the UK was very desirable by the rest of the world. The Blair Witch Project was a distinctive 90s project, and one of the first films to use viral web advertising as promotion.

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The Millennium made way for the weird and wonderful advertising industry. In the noughties there was no hard-selling – it was more about the intrigue, fun and getting people to think. Advertising was calmer, and the idea of less is more was more prominent. Pure, beautiful design.

Immersion and the cinema experience – dim lights, surround sound and no distractions means the audience is completely immersed and their experience is emphasised. Immersion is a state of conscienceless where an immersent’s awareness of physical self is diminished. Often artificial, this mental state is often accompanied with spacial excess, heightened emotions and deep concentration. DCM, a cinema advertising company, did an interesting experiment where people at home had to draw an advert they had seen on TV. The same experiment was done on people who had seen the same advert at the cinema. The drawings done by the people who had seen the advert on TV were rather vague compared to the drawings done by those in the cinema. This is because  TV works by repeating the same brand level messages, while cinema provides a deeper impact.

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Typography Sketches II

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Thinking & Practice 28/10/13

In this workshop we expanded on our task last week of creating type using different pen strokes. This time we worked on a larger scale. The first task was to sketch out letters on A3 paper using continuous, repetitive strokes. We did this by choosing a letter then sketching over it 50 times. We were encouraged to lock our wrists and get into a repetitive rhythm whilst drawing out the letters. Below are my results (I used a black biro).

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I liked the results I got! The over use of strokes gives the lettering a wispy, scratchy appearance. Some of the letters are bolder than others and others narrower. I experimented with a range of letters, both uppercase and lowercase.

The next task was to work on a bigger scale than that. We used A2 paper and attached it to a wall using masking tape, and using thick graphite we were told to sketch out shapes and forms using the same repetitive technique. The shapes could be totally random and we could be as free as we wanted with it.

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I like how the graphite is more intense and bold, it gives the shapes a more defined look.

Channel Masking in Photoshop

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Thinking & Practice Tutorial 28/10/13

In this session we were shown how channels in Photoshop can be used to layer images upon background images. We used an image of a model and the aim was to accurately cut it out using these tools. We initially found the channel with the most contrast between white background and black hair. We chose not to work directly on the channel because then it would be destructive to the image. Instead we duplicated the layer and renamed it as mask.

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We then went to Image > Adjustments > Levels (rather than going to Brightness/Contrast we did it manually to target specific areas of the image. We used the levels to change all shades of grey within the image into black.

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We then blacked out the silhouette with the  paintbrush leaving out gaps in the hair and shoulders. With these parts we switched the brush to overlay and brushed over these parts so it would pick up the finer parts of the image. Then by creating a mask and inverting the selection we were able to accurately place the image onto the background.

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Layer Types in After Effects

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Thinking & Practice Tutorial 28/10/13

This tutorial was building up our After Effects knowledge by looking at the different types of layers in compositions. Firstly I created a new composition – 960 x 540 and 10 seconds in duration. I cerated a new solid. This in a sense was the background for our composition – you can choose what colour to set.

Using the pen tool, much like in Photoshop and Illustrator, you are able to draw shapes and close the loop to create a solid object. Once the shape is drawn and the colour is set it cuts it out of the solid layer mask. You can then go on to animate the shape using mask options, and selecting random points to move them around. Once a different part of the timeline is selected and you move the points, the shape will animate when the timeline is being played.

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You can also use a mask feather to soften the edges of the shape and make it bigger than or smaller than the path. You are not just limited to this one shape however – you can create several masks on the same layer and make them interact using the timeline and by moving the shapes around at different points.

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I created a circle mask on a new composition and duplicated it twice so there were three overall. With each circle I went into the colour presets and set them to Red, Green and Blue. For each one the values had to be set at the highest number (255) so for example when making the green circle the Red and Blue values were at 0 and Green was at 255. I activated the Toggle Switches/Modes setting so that the circles could be made transparent. This gave the following effect:

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Then, when creating a new shape on a separate composition you could alter it further. The fill stroke and width could be adjusted and with this you could animate the shape in the same way, using the timeline. You could also activate various other effects such as bevel, rounded edges and dashed lines. As before, changing these aspects at different points in the timeline allowed the shape to be animated as you want it to be.  A fill gradient is also an option.

We then played around with the pivot point (also known as the anchor point) – this allowed us to alter the point at which the shape would rotate around. Under the layer tools there was also other effects to play with – such as the wiggle paths and trim paths, which I experimented with the different settings to see how they affected the animation.

Roma Publications

October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

Roma Publications is a book publisher that focusses on Art publications.  It is owned by two British Graphic Designers. A lot of their books are published to create collaboration with a various artists, writers, designers and companies. I chose to look at these books because the layout of some of the publications are the kind of style that I want to achieve with my book. I like the clean cut, finished look that these publications have.

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I particularly like how the books all have a consistent theme and colour scheme – something that will be a feature of my finalised book.

Book Layout Inspiration

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

I took some books out from the library that had a particular focus on the layout of photographs to give me some inspiration for my book layout.

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The books are:

Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive by Mark Durden & Ken Grant

Alfons Mucha by Josef Moucha & Jiri Rapek

Edward Steichen by William A Ewing

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Some of them used a lot of white, negative space, where as other pages had full bleed to the edges particularly with the Double Take book. The use of black borders was also quite repetitive. I noticed a lack of colour, perhaps because the photos were all black and white but the layout of the books contained no colour either. There were some captions but the majority of the focus was the photo which covered most of the page.

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