Type and Image – Feedback Reflection

After receiving feedback on my type and image project I decided that I needed to act upon certain elements in order to make a stronger outcome. In my feedback I learnt that I need to look at all element that could relate to the project, like modern poster design rather than just looking at posters from the particular movement.

From the feedback I have realised that I need to analyse the brief in a more detail making sure that I have a clear understanding of what I need to do. I had effectively replicated a poster from the Art Deco period rather than ‘reimagined it’ which meant that I wasn’t meeting the brief entirely. The decorative image and the typeface that I had used were very Art Deco which meant that it was difficult to look past. From this feedback I decided to look at more modern geometric typefaces. To do this I decided to go through the fonts that I had available to find a typeface that would suit the poster. In the end I decided to chose Averier as it was similar to the previous typeface but had a modern twist to it. I kept the title as the same quotation as I felt that this worked well in giving a reimagined approach  to the design.

In order to make a change to the decorative image, I went back through my development posts and found the image of the train that I had previously done. I know for future projects that I should develop all of these ideas to at least a mock up stage in order to make sure that I have explored all avenues. The poster need a more abstract image but still giving the essence of Art Deco. I took forward this ‘train’ illustration but abstracted it further to create an image that I think heavily resembles the Art Deco appeal. I think that these images better resemble the essence of Art Deco in a modern sense which is what the brief wanted me to do.

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Original Image
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Abstract 1
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Abstract 2

As this new image development I used a different colour palette, blue, black and white. I felt that this worked better with the design rather than the red, which could be considered too harsh in this design. Also, blue was a common colour used in the Art Deco period which is why I felt that it was appropriate to use in the poster. My feedback overall I was pleased with as I felt I am now able to push myself further to reach my potential. In terms of type setting I had a few rivers within my justified text paragraphs. This I felt needed addressing also as I wanted to make sure my typesetting was the best it could be, I adjusted it using the justification panel within Indesign.

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Development 1
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Development 2

Overall, after making the adjustments suggested and responding to the feedback I feel that I have created a stronger outcome which reimagines Art Deco rather than replicating it. The abstract image used gave a sense of the essence of the period while still having the modern appeal. I like both variations of the poster above as I feel that they are more contemporary and convey the essence of Art Deco. However, I feel that the  second development is the best because the poster is more vibrant and has a more contemporary style and feeling about it. However, the line created a divide within the poster which makes the image look split, but the line does work with the visual language of the poster. I experimented with moving the line in different directions in order to remove the impression of a divide.

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Development 3
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Development 4

I feel that the second movement of the line is better as it allows the type to sit comfortably in it while still give the sense of abstractness. I think that the diagonal placement of the rectangle doesn’t work as well because it feels out of place with the rest of the poster. For this reason I feel that the final outcome that will best give the essence of the Art Deco while still give a contemporary feeling through the abstract nature of the image.

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Grid System – Final Development

 

Reimagining Design History – Development of Ideas

Taking this initial design idea, I needed to develop it further using the feedback I had received from my peers and also the feedback I had received from my tutors. After deciding that this was the best poster from the initial ideas (the poster below) I knew that it was going to need to be worked on to create a strong outcome. Currently the design is very basic and simple, resembling the work of period however, the brief asks me to reimagine the movement which means that I need to think about how I can create something more visual exciting. 

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Initial Design Idea

Firstly I used my sketchbook to come up with ideas of developments that I could make regarding the posters aesthetics. From feedback I needed to ensure that the paragraphs on the poster were legible as on the first design the colour clashed making them difficult to read. Also from the critique session and further feedback I was aware that the title could be more exciting and engaging as currently it’s quite boring and doesn’t draw the attention of the audience to the poster. 

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I thought that by using a quote or a few words that expression the concept behind the poster would bring the poster a more playful element about it. As people thought that the rays in the imagery resembled the glamor of the decades which Art Deco dominated. The concept behind the image was to resemble the buildings and how glamorous and grand they were, but by using the rays gave a link to the decade because they appear to be a common feature within art work at that time. The phrase ‘glamour is of the essence’ I think works well in conveying the concept that I am aiming to covet to the target audience is that everything was made with glamour in mind. 

Art Deco was full of geometric patterns and designs which is part of the inspiration for the title. Some letters are joined together through vertical stresses within the letters as my research highlights that these were often decorative features within typography of the period. I think that this development works well compared to the initial design because it’s more eye catching and still has a hierarchy without detracting away from the image. The title is also more playful in terms of the phrasing and layout compare to the first which is something that people thought that the original poster was lacking. Also though this playful layout and easy of using the vertical stresses in the words I felt that this was quite a modern interpretation of the style that I found was being used within the movement.

A critique that I was given was that in the initial idea of the poster I had two different shades of the colour black. As the poster will be printed it will use CMYK, to ensure that the shades of black were all that same I used ‘true black’ which is C = 50, M =50, Y = 50 and K = 100. I think this allows the white text and the red to be more punctual and stand off the page drawing the target audience into the poster.

Reimagining development 1
Development 1
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Development 2
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Development 3

In order to work on the legibility of the paragraphs on the poster I decided to experiment with using different ways of making the paragraphs easier to read. Firstly using a rectangle with a mid opacity to allow the image behind to still be seen as the image was the main thing that I wanted to be seen. The second thin I experimented with was using a block of colour at the bottom of the page, to allow the white writing to stand out better. I think that this works well because the text is clearly legible on the red background. I moved the rays up so that they draw the eye to the text which is where the main information is written about the movement. This helps the path of the eye which is something that I have constantly been thinking about throughout the course of the design process along with contrast and balance. The third development is where I have experimented with title placement within the design. Previously I had used mainly symmetrical style layouts because research at the time showed mainly this type of layouts. I have created this short of layout within this third development however in comparison to the other two developments that I have done I think that the asymmetrical layout of the title looks more visual exciting and also has a clear path of the eye.

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Development 4 / Final Outcome

 

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Grid System

I decided to further develop the development 2 as I felt that this was the strong development and could still be developed further. Firstly the title had incorrect spacing between the words which visually didn’t look correct. However, using the grid in illustrator I was able to ensure that the spacing was equal between the words. I think that this allows the title to fill that space more as well as being able to be more playful and expressive.

I also wanted to show a higher level of skill within the poster because they style is very modernist/ simplistic. To do this I wanted to add a further element of hierarchy within the poster by adding small sub headings to show a clear hierarchy throughout the poster, the eye is drawn to each section of text. Also, I worked on the rag in the paragraphs because they were distracting the eye when reading the body copy. I think that this final development enabled me to have no double spaces within my body copy but also allow for a clean finish to the paragraphs.

Before printing out the final poster in colour I printed out a final proof which allowed me the check for spelling errors and type setting errors. This also gave me the opportunity to see if they design worked well when printed and on the wall. I found that this did work well and caught the eye of the target audience when printed therefore I decided to print the design in colour for the final outcome.

Screenprinting Workshop

For the screen printing workshop we were asked to create a piece of artwork inspired by our movement we have been asked to research for our over arching project. As my movement is Art Deco, I used my research and work created in image metaphor worksop to create an image that I could screen print. 

I had never done any type of screen printing before so the entire process was completely new to me. Firstly using a scalpel and rule I had to create a stencil for the first colour that I would be printing. This was a simple part of the process for me as my image is made up of geometric shapes so all the lines were straight meaning that they could be cut using a rule. I did have some aspects of the stencil where the scalpel had ripped the edges of the paper which meant that the ink leaked slightly when transferred. 

Next I had attach the stencil to the screen which has a mesh made from nylon to allow the ink the sink through onto the paper. The important aspect of this was to ensure that the paper was placed correctly onto the centre of the screen where the snap is the best. Once this was attached to the screen I could attach it to the printing station. 

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Next I had to mix up the ink which was a 50/ 50 combination of acrylic paint and a print medium. The print medium stops the acrylic paint drying out so quickly to allow for more prints to come out of a mix up of ink. Before printing onto paper I printed onto acetate to ensure that the consistency of the ink was high quality and the stencil was placed correctly. Once this was done I was able to print onto the paper as I had an idea of where on the page the image would print. 

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Once having completed 4 prints of the first stencil I left them to dry while I cleaned the station and the screen. As the materials are water based allows us to use water to clean off the squeegee, acetate and mixing knife. To clean the screen I used a pressure washer as this is the best way to remove the ink quickly but also allows the ink to be completely removed. 

I then repeated the entire process for the second colour. With the second colour I was able to be more experimental with my layouts and approach to create some abstract outcomes. I found the screen printing process extremely useful and fun, I think that this I a process that I might use in the future to create piece of work them scan them into the computer.

Reimagining Design History – Design Generation Process

After all the initial research that I conducted I begun to generate ideas. I knew that the context of the project was a poster and that it needed to look at Art Deco as the movement I had been given. The target audience of the poster would be designers to give them and understanding of how that particular movement had an influence over graphic design today. I started by looking at potential layouts that I could use in my own poster. From the poster analysis that I completed I found the following:

  • Image often central focus
  • Large headings
  • Images made from geometric shapes
  • Image consuming lots of the space
  • Not a huge amount of body copy

I sketched various layouts that could be used in my poster this helped me to start generating ideas before taking the project into InDesign.

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As the image is the central focus I wanted this to be eye catching while still conveying the tone of the movement. Following the image workshop I decided to use the images I created within that to inspire some initial sketches of ideas for the image. This again allowed me the chance to generate ideas around what would work well. I then created these in the illustrator I used the skills that I had previously learnt from the workshop to create these. Personally I thought that the ray like image was highly Art Deco due to the geometric shapes and simplistic style. Also from my earlier research I had learnt that they were commonly used within Art during this period so I thought that they worked well for the image.

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I decided that the image of the rays would most likely work best within the poster context. I decided to take this into InDesign and begin to experiment with different layouts which could work. I used a range of grid systems including 6, 7 & 8 as I wanted to experiment with various grid systems to see which worked best. In the end I started working with a 3 column grid. I started with simple layouts using the three different elements image, title and body copy. These were initial ideas that came to mind as majority of poster I looked at by Cassandre didn’t include much body copy or none at all within his work. Thinking about hierarchy in the majority of layouts the image has a clear hierarchy which is what I also wanted to create within my poster. However, after looking at these initial ideas I decided that I needed to make the image more prominent within the design itself. I developed this idea further to produce more ideas for the poster. I also experimented with landscape and portrait poster as through research I had found that majority were portrait but there were a few that were landscape.

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I took these initial ideas and proofs to a critique session where I was able to gain feedback and thoughts around the designs. I found that the session was extremely useful as I was able to think of improvements for moving forward within design.

Some of the feedback I received included the following;

  • landscape doesn’t work as well as portrait
  • image reminds people of buildings which were tall and grand.
  • The preferred the black, white and red colour scheme.
  • The main heading font works well
  • gave the perception of glamour which Art Deco is known for
  • There seems to be two different shades of black within the outcome.

I took this feedback on board and wrote notes on the proof about aspects that worked well and aspects that could be improved on each individual poster. I found that feedback was very useful to me because I was able to progress further and reflect on the work I had already done. Majority of individuals seem to be drawn to the posters where the image was larger and in the background of the poster they felt that it used the space better. The were mainly drawn to the portrait and landscape version of the poster as they thought that it was most suitable to the decade and style of poster at the time. I learnt that the final outcome should be symmetrical in its layout as the asymmetrical layouts didn’t have the outcome that they required. My next stage is to develop the idea further working upon this feedback.

 

Reimagining Design Histories – Research

The major project brief that I have been set is to design a poster to celebrate a specific period of modern graphic design history. I was given the movement/period of Art Deco which I had a brief understanding about having come from Art and Design A level courses.

I started my research in the library using Met search to find books that could potentially  give me an insight into what Art Deco what influenced by, where it began, forms, shapes and just more in general about the movement. From this research I learnt that the movement began in Paris, France but is often mistaken for only existing in the 1920s and 1930s. However, the movement was actually an evolving style which doesn’t really have  certain decades which it is related to. Typically the 1920s through to the 1940s is when the movement occurred with it ending just before the second world war. I also used online e-books to support my research where I found that some of the influences of the Art Deco where cubism, constructivism and futurism. It was an art movement that didn’t just affect graphic design but all areas of the creativity from architecture to film to fashion. It was a era of art that majority of disciplines followed and agree with.

I then came across A. M. Cassandre who was a painter, typographer and theatre designer but was the leading protagonist during the period. His work was rigorous filled with geometric shapes which was a major contrast from earlier movements. Cassandre appears to be the ultimate communicator within this era of design. He believed that by eliminating floral detail would sharpen the message that you were trying to communicate, this is evidently practiced throughout his work.  The style of Cassandre’s posters varied from simplistic and minimalist through to using visual puns. This often depended on what Cassandre had been commissioned to do. The images that Cassandre used often had a cubism element to them which highlights how cubism had a influence over the movement.

As the movement was one of the first to be mass produced and is considered to be based around the idea of commercialisation, the typography of posters was key to many designs. Often the type was set in all capitals to make it bold and draw attention to the viewer. In the typefaces there is a clear distinction between thick and thin strokes to create a fun and playful effect while still be based on geometric shapes. Cassandre created the typeface Bifur which was one typeface that used vertical lines as decorative feature, this was another distinctive aspect that set Art Deco typefaces apart. Other typefaces created and used during the movement included; Acier Noir, Peigont and Broadway.

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As part of my research I decided to look at poster designs during the period using the various source online I began to sketch layouts that designers used. I also used the book ‘ The Art Deco Poster’  by Williams W. Crouse which contains an array of posters from the movement. I chose a select few to photograph then deconstruct in my sketchbook. I found that the images used were often illustrative and more often than not they used geometric shapes to create them. Angles were often very prominent within designs including the way that text was set. Colour also played a significant part in the design however, most commonly blues, reds, black and white appear to be favourite during the period the time. Occasionally there were brighter colours, yellows and oranges, but mainly the colour are quite flat. Other than A.M Cassandre another designer I found was Jean Carlu who like others new how to make a masterpiece out of everyday objects which appears to be important to some advertisements. From deconstructing my poster research I learnt that the layouts often had the hierarchy set to either the bold heading or the illustrative image.

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As another stem for my research I worked with others who were also doing Art Deco to brainstorm ideas about the typography, images and concepts of the movement. This allowed us to share ideas about the movement but also the opportunity to consolidate my knowledge of the movement. I learnt that the idea that it was based around the purpose of commercialisation was a concept we all had thought about and that it was highly likely to be the basis for our poster designs.

From this research I have managed to gain a greater insight into the period of time, as the brief states to ‘reimagine’ I will have to regenerate ideas that place a modern twist to the movement while still highlighting the essence of the art era. I will use my research as basis for my idea and will start to develop my own images.

References
Wolf, P. (n.d.). Graphic Design, Translated : A Visual Directory of Terms for Global Design. [ebook] Quayside Publishing Group, p.20. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/cardiffmet/reader.action?docID=3399711&query= [Accessed 5 Oct. 2018].
Duncan, A. (1988) Art Deco. Thames and Hudson INC. pp. 7 -10
Heller, S. Fili, L. (1997). French Modern Art Deco graphic design. Chronicle Books.
Heller, S. Fili, L. (2005) Euro Deco. Thames and Hudson
Chantry, A. (2015), Art Chantry Speaks : A Heretic’s History of 20th Century Graphic Design, Feral House, Los Angeles. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [6 October 2018].
Penney, M. (2018). Type History: Cassandre’s Art Deco Type – Notes on Design. [online] Sessions College. Available at: https://www.sessions.edu/notes-on-design/type-in-history-cassandres-art-deco-type/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
99designs. (2018). Art Deco: A strong, striking style for graphic design – Designer Blog. [online] Available at: https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-history-movements/art-deco-a-strong-striking-style-for-graphic-design/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
Designshack.net. (2018). Art Deco Graphic Design: A Classic Trend | Design Shack. [online] Available at: https://designshack.net/articles/trends/art-deco-graphic-design/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
Crouse, W. Duncan, A. (2013) The Art Deco Poster. Thames and Hudson.
Heller, S. Vienne, V. (2012) 100 ideas that changed Graphic Design. Laurence King Publishing. pg 15.

 

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