The next part of this project was creating the physical placards that would be used in our live protest. For my placard I decided to make it A3, using corrugated cardboard to strengthen the outcome. If I was to do this again I would consider using wood as this would make the placard stronger and easier to hold up when completing the live protest. I think that the 3D element of the claw marks worked really well in representing that idea of trying to escape. Using the scalpel to cut into both the image and cardboard was hard but I think that without this the design would feel to flat. Also, using red paper in the background proved to be the best way as when I tested the red marker on the corrugated cardboard I found that it wasn’t vibrant enough as when it was on paper, therefore, after speaking to the team we thought that using paper would be best.
From feedback that the group receive the use of the word ‘me’ and ‘they’ didn’t give the audience a clear sense of what the protest was about and that we could have related this more to the oxymoron project. If I was to make any adjustments to my placard I would consider the scale, I think that this was an issue as it was difficult to see from a distance, possibly changing it to be A2. Furthermore, I could consider changing the wording the placard so it would say ‘Let exotic animals be wild’ as this would clearly show the audience what the protest was about.
After constructing the placards the final stage of the project was to participate in the live protest that would take place around campus. It gave us the opportunity to bring all our work together to help us see how effective our work would be if it was an actual protest campaign. I think that together our placards work well with a few adjustments that individuals made after relieving feedback. If this was an actual protest I would consider using the artefact, and scaling up to produce a installation piece that would draw the attention of people to the outcome.
As a team we spoke about each taking one piece of copywriting and developing placard ideas. I was allocated ‘Let me be wild’ so I was asked to start developing these further using digital means or hand render. Taking the sketch ideas that I started with I thought that I would take them into InDesign and experiment with layout. I kept with the black, white and red colour scheme that we had used previously in the manifesto within this placard design. I wanted to include some subtle illustration to the design so taking the claw mark that I used in my illustration for the oxymoron. The claw mark was something that I had thought about during the initial idea generation for the oxymoron task and I think that it could be used here to make the placard visually stronger. I thought about experimenting with different layout to see which one I found worked stronger with the use of hierarchy and colour.
As I felt that the 3D aspect that the oxymoron outcome had was stronger (the use of layers) I thought that it could be interesting to experiment with this idea in the placards, either cutting into the board itself or adding to create the 3D effect. In this idea I thought that the claw mark could be ripped into the placard to give the sense that the animal is trying to break free of being tamed and kept as a pet.
In order to see how this would work further I decided to print it out A3 and use a scalpel to cut the claw marks out of the image. I thought that the placement of the claw marks weren’t too drastic as they still allowed the type to be read. I experimented with adding red paper behind the claw marks as this was something that the group thought might work well in the overall design. I think that the red works well behind it however, I think a dark red could work better, through doing this small experimentation helped me to see if this idea could work when taken forward.
In my sketchbook I decided to further experiment with the idea of layers, I cut out the claw marks and then using a red marker I created the red to go behind. This highlighted that the darker red works better as a contrast against the white type and black background. I think that the placard would befitted from multiple layers to make the claw marks look as if they were deeper to further emphasis the idea that the animal could be dangerous as it belongs in the wild. As I am considering using corrugated cardboard to construct this placard I will be able to cut into this and using paint or marker to make the inside of the mark red.
The brief stated that we needed to have one placard inspired/ in the style of Stanley Green. We started as a group by looking at the placards that Green had produced this gave us an insight into his way of working. From his work it was clear that cardboard, paint and tape had been mainly used within his placards. We decided to keep with the black and white colour scheme that Green used as it also fitted in with our colour scheme of red, white and black.
We started by digitally playing around with the type to ensure that we had the correct kerning and leading. This was also a useful process as it enabled us to visualise what the placard would look like when handmade. We experienced some problems when resourcing materials for the placard as we wanted black tape however, this wasn’t something that was available to us. We used paint and cardboard that was available to us.
As a group we made a decision to use a stencil to help with the placement of the letters, we felt that because Green’s work used very consistent type in it this was something we could incorporate into our own work. The whole group decided to participate in the creation of this placard as we felt that it would be a good starting point before creating a placard each individually. This was useful to do as we were all able to come up with ideas towards this placard and this highlighted to me further the point of collaboration and how useful it can be.
Using a scalpel we were able to cut the letters out to create the stencil that we were able to masking tape to the bored. Originally we wanted to use black masking tape however this wasn’t available to use to we managed to find some black cardboard which we used to cover the plain cardboard. Then using the white acrylic paint we dabbed it onto the stencil to create this edgy effect as if the letters weren’t perfectly painted onto the board. I thought that this was an interesting take on the work of Stanley Green because one the layout of the type but also the modern style of who the paint was placed onto the bored.
We then reinforced the cardboard using corrugated cardboard to make the placard stronger. This then gave us the idea with all our placard to maybe use corrugated cardboard to reinforced them all. Through doing this gave me the chance to think about how I could develop my own placard.
The next stage of this project was to undertake the graphics brief which is based around placards, compared to the previous brief this one worked to my strengths however, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from the previous brief and apply to this brief. The brief is asking the group to produce a series of placards with one being made in the style of Stanley Green which is purely typographical, whereas the others in the series are able to include original imagery.
As a team we sat down and thought about the ideas that we could develop since everybody seemed to have a range of ideas. However, we thought it was best to start by coming up with the copywriting that would appear on the placards. through brainstorming and mind mapping we were able to start creating some interesting copywriting that we could potentially use. We then decided to highlight 4 key ones that we could experiment with and explore further. These included;
Let Me Be Wild
You like your freedom, so would they
we can’t speak up so why don’t you
if it was humans it would be abuse
We felt that the use of the pronouns ‘me’ ‘you’ and ‘we’ made the statement stronger and got the audience thinking about the topic. This is a technique we’ve seen used before in both campaigns and other forms of ‘political’ information. This was clear that they would grab the attention therefore this is where the hierarchy would need to be in majority of these statements.
As an initial starting point we each decided to go away and create ideas around what placards could look like, we started off by looking at the placards that would be using both imagery and type. In the initial ideas studio session we talked about using the 3D element that seem to have worked in the oxymoron outcome potentially within the placards. (maybe having things standing out or having cut away into the placard itself to create an image). We spoke about continuing to use imagery that we had used in the oxymoron, chains, bars and claw marks within the placard so this was something that I thought about when creating my initial ideas to feedback to the group.
Below are the initial sketches for different placard designs, using the claw mark I felt that this was very visual and linked to the idea of being wild. It related back to the idea of the animal trying to escape, like its trapped in the placard and is trying to get out. With this there are variations, however, they would all be cut into the material to create that sense of 3D.
With the idea of freedom I thought about using bars within this as I felt that it would be away of showing what freedom isn’t. I started by having a gap in the bars there the words were however, I don’t think this worked as well. However, as the designs developed having the word freedom almost escaping from the bar I think works well to try and highlight this point. For both the ‘we can’t speak up so why don’t you’ and ‘if it was humans it would be called abuse’ I found it difficult to think about these including imagery. I experimented with the idea of a cage and using tape to shut off certain words, as from research this is what they do to some animals when smuggling them. Through doing these sketches it had allowed me to be creative and experiment and think that some of these ideas with further development could work well to create some nice outcomes.
To start creating the artefact, it was my part to make the cardboard box structure. Using recycled cardboard boxes I made 30x30cm square frames, then using hot glue gun glued them together to create the box. As a team we also discussed having a top of the box shaped like a roof, so using cardboard triangles I created the pyramid type structure to go on the top. This would further resonate with the idea of people connecting the box with objects in domestic life. Creating the structure was a very important part of this outcome as it had to be perfect in order for all the elements to come together.
As there were going to be 4 different sections to the box we each thought we’d each take a section to create a background for. I was allocated the house section to create a background for, so I started by thinking about how a living room would look if a tiger was confined inside it. I then took my sketchbook and roughly sketched out some ideas for what could be included in the illustration. This was something that pushed me out of my comfort zone as I am used to working using words not only illustrations. However, I think that I have learnt that the softer illustration style could be used in my further projects.
To create the illustration I used Adobe Illustrator as I felt that this was going to be the best way forward. The illustrations were 38x30cm in order to fit onto the panels inside the box. Using the pen tool I started to draw the design. I was unsure at this point how best to achieve the best overall look when the background was in the box so I decided to do two illustrations one at a larger and one in a box on a smaller scale. To try and work out which would be best suited I experimented using hand draw sketches on A3 paper to see which would look better through the window. We had decided as a group to keep the backgrounds black, white and grey then adding hints of red using red marker. I kept everything in the illustrator black, white and grey the only elements that were red were the claw marks on the sofa. I thought that this would be subtle hit of the colour but still work effectively within the design. I also illustrated the bricks that were on the side and on window in the front, again I used illustrator to create these.
Once we all had all completed our separate elements for the artefact we decided to get together in the studio to put together the final artefact. We started by adding in the different backgrounds to the sections we printed them on A3 before trimming them down to size and sticking them to the cardboard section. Below are images of how the background that I illustrated fitted within the box. The use of window draws your attention and makes you want to look closer into the box and find out more which is what we were trying to achieve.
Next we added the animals into the box some of these were glued to the floor while others were hung from the top, this was based on the different scenes, for example the garden scene they were on the floor but the chain scene the monkey itself was hung with mini paper chains. Using hot glue we were able to secure the window panels and the pyramid roof to the top. This was a particularly intricate part of the process as the artefact was delicate and we didn’t want it to break.
Once the final artefact was complete, it was easier to see that the oxymoron had been visualise in a very different way to others but in a way that could be used in the protest further. To see this in context we each experimented around with placing the image in context, I used Adobe Photoshop to try and create the sense of the artefact being scaled up and being used within a physical protest. I changed the colour of the box to black as this allows the artefact to become more realistic as if this was made on a larger scale it would obviously be made using another material.
I feel that this brief pushed me out of my comfort zone and I learnt a new skill of trying to convey a message simply through images without using text to support the outcome. After seeing the artefact complete I can visualise this being used on a larger scale to actually protest against the exotic pet trade. The oxymoron of ‘tame beast’ really connects with our topic and I think that using this a basis for the future briefs within this module would give us the freedom to be more creative to grab peoples attention.
As the next stage in the project we were given the brief of visualising an oxymoron, this was something new to me as I hadn’t heard of an oxymoron before this project. We started by taking the oxymoron ‘tame beast’ as we felt this linked to our topic highly, as people are taking wild animals and taming them to become pets. We listed things that came to mind when thinking about the words separately, then used this to start creating images to express the oxymoron. This was a useful starting point for this brief as it enabled us to think about how creative and experimental we could be. I felt that this brief is pushing me out of my comfort zone as this is something that as a designer I haven’t done before.
As a team we decided to move forward with an illustration that Finn completed as we felt it worked with the oxymoron ‘tame beast’. The image of the monkey in chains inside a box inspired us to think about how we could portray this in the form of an image at scale, artefact or GIF. We felt that it would be interesting to create a artefact as this was something that not many of us had done before. We thought about creating a physical box to represent tame, the idea of being closed in or in captivity. It relates to the topic of exotic animals being kept as pets within a domesticated environment.The box shape resinates with majority of people as something or an object in domestic life for example a house.
We started off by discussing having just the monkey in chains inside the box from different angles. However, as the discussion developed we start to think more in depth about the outcome adding more animals and more different meanings. In the end we decided that inside the box there will be four different sections, each displaying a different scene around the oxymoron ‘tame beast’. Each section will hold a different background, either a house, cage, chains or a sub-urban garden this shows how wild animals are truing to be tamed to become domesticated animals. The backgrounds will be monochrome to show the dull and wrong natural about animals being kept in these environment’s. The illustrations of the animals will contrast and be bright in colour rather than in monochrome. There will also be layers within the sections to add depth, some of these will have to be looked through in order for the audience to see whats in that section, again encouraging them to engage with the outcome (engaging with the protest).
We thought that the box would be constructed using cardboard as we only had one week to produce it but we still wanted it to be sturdy and not break. Using the thicker cardboard we thought would be best to create the outcome. The backgrounds would be stuck onto the panels inside the box. The illustrated animals would either be hung using thin string or stuck to the bottom of the box.
Through creating an artefact we felt that this would intrigue the audience to look further into the artefact itself, ultimately engaging with the protest. We also had a brief discussion about how this could work if this was to be taken further. The idea behind the artefact is that I could be scaled up to create an installation piece that could be placed in random places to raise awareness and protest about the cause. For example places such as Parliament or even city centres where people would be drawn to new things they aren’t use too.
Following our independent research into the various areas of our chosen topic, we met to discuss the research we had all obtain. We then started to look at designing the manifesto for the project, this was something new to me as I hadn’t done anything like this before. Prior to the meeting with the group I looked at manifestos that were already out there to see how they had been designed.
From looking at these manifesto designs it was clear that there was a sense of hierarchy and a path for the eye. On a few of the manifestos above you can see the use of grid system through the body copy layout which I think works well in the sections as it’s spilts up all the text. I don’t feel that the large volume of text works well together at once, its easier to read when spilt up. Not many of the manifestos I found used images or illustrators within them however, I think that they help to express the topic of protest. The use of the larger image in the centre works however you do lose some detailing, while the small illustrations incorporated with the type works well as it’s subtle but effective, this is something I think we could take forward and use within our own design because it will allow us to show a variety of animals that are effected by the horrific pet trade.
I decided to also look at the book 100 Artists’ Manifestos From the Futurists to the Stuckists, selected by Alex Danchev. By looking at these allowed me the chance to think about how we could word our manifesto, I would be able to share this with the group to help with ideas.
We also chose a mantra for the protest we settled with ‘protect not possess’ because it gave a short but clear message about what we are protesting/raising awareness for. Finn started to illustrate logo ideas during our studio time, where he came up with a range of ideas before showing us. As a group it was decided on the logo/Mantra design, we also thought about developing the mantra further digitally.
Using the sketch I took it into illustrator, we had decided to use the typeface “Zeitung” as we thought that it was bold and striking. However, when digitalised we talked about the fact that it looked too manufactured and lost it’s personality. In order to enhance this I thought about adding a brush stoke to the design, in the hope that it would give some personality back (like the original sketch). I experimented with a variety of different brush strokes as a group we felt the second down on the right was best as it had grunge and personality while still getting the message across. Lizzie also experimented with making the mantra/logo digital so the group discussed which they felt was best. In the end it was decided that Lizzie’s design would be used further.
The next stage in the process was designing the mantra itself, as a group with 3 graphic communications students we decided that we would each come up with a design and them incorporate the best elements of each into a final outcome. We felt that this was going to be the best way to complete this outcome.
I started by sketching various layouts that I could create, as the illustration students had illustrated the word manifesto I was aware that this was going to be the main focus within the poster. Taking inspiration from the research I had conducted into manifesto designs I knew it was going to need to be bold and striking, to capture the attention of the audience. As a group from our research we realised the pain that animals went through when people smuggle them and sell them as pets, this influenced our choice of colour scheme. The red symbolises the danger that this trade is but also the anger it causes people when they hear about the topic, with the black and white complimenting the red making it standout.
Using the illustrations that Cameron and Finn had completed and scanned I developed them in photoshop before adding them as PNG files into an InDesign document. As the illustrations had been done in white pen or pencil, I kept the background black with white text to be consistent with their work. I used a 4 column grid system for the initial designs, I was able to take some inspiration from the designs I had seen before, I particularly liked the way the characters where spilt across the page, this was something I incorporated into my own design. The first one uses all the text we initially wrote down in two columns. Whereas the second one uses key sentences that best express the outcomes that we are hoping to achieve.
After communicating with the group on these initial ideas, there some aspects that they liked and others which they felt didn’t work as well. The constructive feedback I received was that the slogan in the bottom left hand corner felt like it wasn’t connected to the rest of the poster and that the word ‘manifesto’ was difficult to read. To try making the text more legible I changed the placement of the ‘s’ to follow the ‘F,E’ make the path of the eye clearer. I also added the white boarder to link all the components of the layout together, including the mantra which is now placed at the top right corner.
The next stage is to move forward and incorporate Lizzie, Matt and mine own designs together to create a strong visual manifesto. After looking at all the three design ideas from the group we felt we’d take the best elements from each of the designs forward to create a final outcome. We felt that the red type off of Lizzie’s poster was powerful and was able to draw people in alongside the mantra logo. We all really liked how Matt had spilt up the text making some phrase larger and bolder to raise attention,along with clear path of the eye. Using these elements from their work and the layout and white line boarder from my own, we created this final outcome for the manifesto.
I think that overall by taking the strongest elements from each individuals work we were able to create an outcome that held all the ideas we had collated. I feel that this worked well for the team because everybody’s ideas were considered before decisions were made. I found working collaboratively in this way, in terms of designing, very good as everybody was willing to accept feedback and everyone felt that their ideas had be considered and included.
We were introduced to our new project which we will be working on for the next 4 weeks, still part of our field module (collaborate) but this time collaborating with students from the Illustration course. The project is entitled protest looking at how designers and illustrators have the power to create change within the world and working in our collaborative groups to create a live protest.
During the keynote lecture we were given a series of examples of protests such as the pro-suffrage, anti war and smaller protest like Clare road Cardiff. This work highlight to me that protest come in different forms some can be an act, some can be very active others can be more peaceful. This keynote lecture gave me more of an insight into protests and how different they can be.
After a group building task getting to know our teams we were introduced to our first task of creating a manifesto for our protest. Before thinking about the content of our protest we spoke about our strengths as a group and thought about how we could utilises these in our project. We started by brainstorming different ideas that we could protest about, this was an interesting activity because it enables us as a team to see which ideas were strongest and see which ones we felt most passionately about while still creating something innovative. Our ideas ranged from deforestation to companies exploiting their customers, as these were things that various members seemed passionate about. In the end we felt that looking at the exotic pet trade was going to be an interesting topic as it’s something that people have heard about but might not necessarily known much about, with the aim to raise awareness around the issue.
We thought that it would be best to go away and start researching different areas that concerned the topic, in order to feedback to the group during our next day together. This would also better inform our ideas before we designed our manifesto, and other aspects of the project. We split the research up equally so each person had a different area, I had to look at general statistics and facts around the pet trade.
I started my research by using a conducting a google search, from this search I found that there was an overwhelming amount of facts surrounding this horrific trade. According to PETA these traders encourage the public to view animals as an impulse purchase rather than thinking about them as beings who deserve love and respects. The transportation for the animals is deadly as many die due to the conditions which they are forced into.
‘Parrots might have their beaks and feet taped and be stuffed into plastic tubes that can easily be hidden in luggage, and stolen bird and reptile eggs are concealed in special vests so that couriers can bypass X-ray machines at airports.3 Baby turtles have been taped so that they are trapped inside their shells and shoved by the dozen into tube socks, and infant pythons have been shipped in CD cases.’
Other research highlighted that the WWF estimates there there are 5,000 tigers being kept in backyards in the UK, and only 3,000 left in the wild. Animals kept in captivity are less likely to breed which could lead to a species extinction. According the one green planet, 28,300 freshwater turtles are traded each day and over 80% are in danger of extinction due to this trade.
A BBC article from 2016 stated that within the UK more than 100 councils have issued licences to people who keep undomesticated animals at home. Shockingly 15 wolves are registered at UK addresses, 145 ostriches, 13 tigers, 9 pumas and 8 leopards are being kept privately. However, these figures only include the animals that have legally been licensed and there could be hundreds more being kept without a licence.
From completing this initial research I have gained more knowledge surrounding the topic and I feel that I am now more equipped to protest and raise awareness. Personally I found that through this research I have become more educated around the subject and feel that this is something that more people need to be made aware off.
Good. K (2016) 10 shocking facts about how illegal wildlife trade drive species extinction Available at: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/shocking-facts-about-how-the-illegal-wildlife-trade-drives-species-extinction/ (Accessed: 15th January 2019)