Level 6: Reflection

Specialist Practice Module (Design for Real Life & Competitions)

Design for Real Life

One of the most important thing I learnt on this project was learning to work when there are multiple different inputs about a design concept. I learnt how as a designer we have to take this on board and movement forward making decision based on our knowledge as well as taking the clients thoughts on board. I think that I have been able to learn for this process as well on how to remember to be considerate working with sensitive issues like Aphasia. I have developed this project based on feedback and have recently submitted the design to creative conscience awards.

Competitions

Since starting the course three years ago I always wanted to complete an ISTD brief when I got to my third year. I chose the Biophilia brief as I have a personal connection to the topic as someone who enjoys spending time outdoors in the fresh air. I learnt so much from this project not only technically about typography/hierarchy/scale but also about myself as a designer. I have spent a lot of my time over uni experimenting with digital and animation but this project was purely about print and I enjoyed being able to work with paper stock and scale.

One other aspect that this project has taught me is research is so important. I started this project purple thinking about open water swimming and the small link to friluftsliv. However, after more research I found that friluftsliv was the answer to the brief and I was able to experimental with the outcome. Not only has this research helped me in design but also made me think about how I can add this into my own life as someone who works a lot.

Exposure Module (Penguin, Criticality, Dissertation Design & Final Major Project)

Penguin Book Cover Competition

One of the main things I have taken away from this project this year is never been afraid to move away from the obvious answer. Being more conceptual when designing is a positive thing and will work to create imaginative book covers. I found this project although it was only a weeks project helped me to think in a different mindset and design for a different audience as a lot of my work is often aimed at an older audience. I submitted this cover into penguin however, I was unfortunately not shortlisted for the final award, but it was good to get the experience.

Criticality

Looking back on this project I can see how it got me thinking in a different angle how this was a good thing to learn. I found this three week project challenging as I struggled with designing with no brief. However, in this project I learnt key skills that have helped me throughout my FMP while also learning that creating disruption in certain spaces can sometimes be the best way to communicate an idea or message. I will be taking this away with me from this project.

Dissertation Design

With my dissertation design I have tired to put into practice what I have learnt from my ISTD project in terms of type detailing. I wanted to capture the essence of my project throughout the 5 spread and cover. I found this project was helpful in teaching me how to put my type skills into a document (editorial) not just experimental large scale productions. The thing that I’ve learnt the most from this project is how the content can really lead the design and help create a concept for the outcome, this was simple for this project as I have written the content myself however it’s a skill I am taking forward with me into practice.

Final Major Project

At the start of this year I was anxious about starting my final major project, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what the topic would be. I always wanted to include rhythmic gymnastics into a project in my time as a student as it was a big part of life for so long, final major project gave me the platform to be playful and experimental with the subject. I have loved working on my final major project and is a project I am thinking of continuing on with as a personal passion project. One thing it has taught me is to be bold and extreme and not be to afraid to change up my style to suit the context of the design.

I was able to use all my skills that I had learnt over the three years to produce animated content, editorial content and content for posters – while also using my creative skills to reimagine the symbols creating new one. I found this whole process really inspiring and it has helped me to work endless to try and produce the best outcome for this project that I can.

Overview

Professional practice and afterlife session have really helped inspire me this year to look forward to the next few years finding my feet in industry whatever that may be. It has taught me to take opportunity and if you don’t ask you really don’t know what the outcome will be. They have encouraged me to be more confident as a designer and person and they have been really helpful to listen to over the past three years.

Over the past year work remotely away from tutors, peers and studio has been hard but I feel that I have managed to keep myself on track and keep creative at the same time. It has been a difficult past year and half with everything that has happen but I think that this has spaced me as a designer as well encouraging me to try new things like interviews via teams or meeting people over Skype to discuss work. It has made me more flexible as a designer and more ambitious to get back into a creative environment with creative people again when we are able too.

To see all my final outcome please visit my website: https://abbiewilliamsdesigns.com

FMP: Final Developments

After speaking with Carol, she suggested some changes that will help improve the project before the deadline.

  • Change the thickness of the lines on some of the symbols as they are still too thin for the screen and become illegible.
  • Look at using the write on effect to animate the roll of the hoop during the sequence. This will stop it from feel too clunky.
  • Consider redrawing the symbol for roll of the hoop making the circles smoother when looping.
  • Reshoot mockup imagery. At the moment the shadows are two harsh needs softer lighting – to reflect the beautiful nature of the project.

These along with the posters changes were easy enough to change and would help improve the overall finish of the project. I started by going back into illustrator and changing the line thickness. As it was only the smaller thin part of the circle using the line tool I could up the width of the stroke. After doing this on the files in illustrator it automatically updated the lines in the after effects for the animation. I also explored creating softer curves in the roll symbol and was able to start achieving this through the use of the smooth tool in illustrator. Through doing this I think that the symbols are stronger in the animation and rest of the project. The thin line of the rotation circle was often lost of the posters as well and with the change helps them to be cleaner and more sophisticated.

In terms of the animation the main change was using the write on effect to animate the roll onto the screen. I found using a YouTube tutorial was helpful in allowing me the opportunity to learn how to create a smoother write on effect using the stroke present rather than the after effects write on present. I think that this has give the roll a more organic look to the final outcome.

Click the Link to view the animation: https://abbiewilliamsdesigns.com/rhythmic-notation

I have also spent time reshooting the mockup photos for the book. I printed off a range of the spreads to photograph in context. Personally, I have preferred taking photos of printed outcomes rather than mockups but this isn’t always possible especially in the current climate. I am fortunate enough to have access to resources which allow me to shoot my own photos for the project. Using my DLSR camera and some lights I was able to replicate the photography studio settings to take some of the photos. I shot some of the photos on a white background and then some using different colour to try and make the white of the spreads pop. I personally think that these are strong mockup images and show the context of the project well. In an ideal world I would have like to have shown this being used in a gym context but unfortunately I don’t have access to this at the moment.

In order to show the context of the posters in more detail I was able to have them print out in A3 which allowed me to photograph them to work in a similar style to the rest of the project. I was happy with these posters and the detail that I was able to capture in the images. These detailed shots of the symbols really capture the essence of the project and help to showcase the beauty of the symbols. The hardest part of this was photographing all the posters together as I wasn’t fortune enough to have the biggest space in the world to do this

FMP: Poster Developments

After a further one to one tutorial with David where we spoke about the posters. Although I’d decided to not showcase to much text on the posters David made a point about them needing to be a stand alone feature as well. Therefore having a very small amount of text on the posters would be extremely helpful to the viewer in order for them to understand the narrative of my work. David suggested looking and information design posters and the Munich Olympic Games posters for inspiration. In doing this i found that they used small heading beneath each of the icons to express what they were about. This helped has prompted me to develop the posters looking at the alignment of the icons as well as adjusting the layout of the piece.

After more discussions with David I felt that these posters could be placed within the book and become pages that detach and then act as posters. In order for this to become reality I felt that they needed to be A3 size rather than A1 in order to work with the size format of the book. I think that this style of design works better creates more dimensions to the piece and allows the viewer to know the meaning of symbols in this format as well. It would be interesting to develop posters in a similar style to show the routine and the movement of the notation.

After further discussions with Carol on Monday, we spoke about making some more experimental posters using the photography and symbols. She suggested I look at dance posters by Wayne McGregor for inspiration. By using the imagery that I had created I was able to again create a series of posters that worked with the aesthetic that I had already created. I wanted to keep these posters simple with the new project ‘mark’ being used on the bottom without any explaining text. I like the abstract nature of these poster and feel that they continue to work with the existing posters as well as the rest of the project.

Dissertation Design: Final Developments

Although I have stated throughout this process that the spreads would be printed onto old packaging after discussions with Meg I palsied that printed an entire dissertation on old packaging like cereal box cardboard wouldn’t be easy. We discussed how this might be printed onto recycled paper instead as this would still link back to the them of the dissertation. I thought that this would be a better choice for the final outcome rather than just saying that it will be printed onto old boxes. In order to show this I thought that I would change the texture of the cardboard to recycled paper texture instead as I’m unable to get it printed at the moment.

I have also had Shannon and Meg look at my spreads to help me notice anything that might need changing that I have missed from looking at the work alone for so long. By getting my work annotated by people has been really helpful throughout this year as I have felt as though I am in that studio when I haven’t been able to get into the studio. From this I was able to look at the hierarchy and type detailing of the spreads. I have tried to focus on the rag making sure I didn’t have any weird shapes or spacing. Also, I have spent time ensuring that in-text quotations have hanging quotation marks as this was something that I learnt in my time when completing ISTD.

With these final small type detailing changes I feel as though the project has come together massively and represents the content of my dissertation in the way which I wanted it to. If this was to be printed I also liked to have included some pages which are made from recycled materials such as plastics and cardboard to act as accent pages. In order to show this in contents I have printed some of the spreads out which I have photographed to show the scale of theme rather than using a mockup which wouldn’t show the desired context of the project.

FMP: Feedback and Developments

In the sign up tutorial I was able to get feedback from David on my final major project. I was able to justify all my decisions about colour, typography and placement of images which was helpful when moving forward. I got some feedback to help me develop the project further, these were small minor changes to make such as making sure all the symbols were in the middle of the animation rather than some following the path and others not. Also type detailing within the book needs some work making sure that I don’t have widows or double spaces etc.

When we were discussing the idea of posters being made for the individual symbols, might be really interesting to consider taking inspiration from the olympics. This is something that I was considering at the start of the project and something that I was still considering. I am thinking about exploring this further as this project develops over the next few days. This relates back to earlier feedback that I had about creating fold out pages to act like maps or posters in the book.

Research

I have used these as part of visual research and inspiration for these posters. These are the some of the official icons for the Olympics in 1988 & 2012. Some of these images are interpretations of the iconography but I found linked to my visual aesthetic for the project. I’m considering how these posters could be used and there is the possibility they could be used for displaying the gym itself but also as promotional material for events. In this case they are supporting details for the project allow the viewer and opportunity to see these symbols and understand them.

For my posters I have experimented with having all the same group of symbols being on one poster. I decided that A1 format would work best for the photos because it would allow the symbols to have space to breathe and not look cluttered on the page. There is potential for the symbols to have their own posters developed as well however, these could be a same format such as A3. I have used the same colour coding system as the rest of the project in order for the system that has been developed. I have kept the layout of the posters simple in terms of the typography as I wanted the symbols to speak for themselves.

I have also finalise all the sections in the book. The book has a total of 190 pages to showcase the symbols, although it might seem like a large publication I made the decision to keep the symbols to a page each mainly in order for them to be clearly seen and understood. There are still some elements of the book that I’m working on mainly adding the video content for the project but I feel that this combined with the animation and posters helps create that understanding that the project needed.

Dissertation Design Feedback & Developments

After receiving feedback from David I quickly became aware of the developments that I needed to make to my editorial spreads. My thoughts about type detailing and hierarchy were clear that they needed to addressed as at the moment the piece seems to be shapeless. From the feedback I was able to go away and research typefaces designed by Under Ware a typefoundery. I explored two of the typefaces Sausa Pro and Bello Script, in the tutorial me and David discussed that this gave branding and packaging essence more than the current typeface that I was using. We also discussed looking at the work of lettering artist – Leandro Assis – who has worked with companies like Netflix to create lettering. His work reminded me of pop art and the essence of packaging labels. I thought that this would be an interesting contrast to the existing typeface which I chose due to the similarity to the typeface being used in the labels that I was analysing.

In the typeface Bello I discovered beautiful glyphs that I could use to help create Digital style hand lettered labels. I decided to keep to the current colour scheme as I didn’t want to change it too much however, I could experiment more with this later in the process if I decided. Using illustrator and procreate I explored layouts of the labels taking inspiration from Leandro’s work. I found in the end that the best layouts used a simple wrap effect to help create the effect that they were physically on the packaging. With more time I would have liked to have printed these of and physically photographed them however, this wasn’t possible at this point.

I have also taken on feedback by changing the typesetting details. Mainly changing the point size of the bodycopy for 9pt to 10pt on 13pt leading. This made a lot of difference to the piece by giving the type more space to breathe while still not being overwhelmed. My next point of call in experiment with the pullout in text quotations to try and create more dimension in the piece. I would like to also see if there is more visual research I can undertake to enhance my editorial spreads making them stronger.

Criticality: Further Developments

After receiving my formative feedback I decided to develop the project further by taking on board some of the improvements that were suggested to me during the feedback.

  • Design detailing – the warnings pop up too slowly need to be quicker. Think of it as though it’s something that you might not want to see here quick.
  • Currently demonstrating the same thing five times if there was something different about each one there more subtle details that can be explored.
  • Maybe consider adding a page in before this where you as the user can set the settings.
  • Consider making it as a browser extension.
  • By doing this and bring it together in one big final project.

Research

Taking on board the feedback that’s above I thought that it would be best to start by researching into Browser Extensions as I agree with the feedback that this would give the project more context and show how something like this could be used. A browser extension is a small piece of software that can be added by the user into a web browser. These often make the browser customisable for example – Honey is a browser extension which searches for discount coupons when you are looking to buy something. I am proposing that my project concept of creating trigger warnings on sensitive content be like one of these browser extension giving the user the ability to make it their own.

Honey is just one example of a free extension – another popular one is Grammarly which helps when writing emails or blog post of anything through a web browser. One aspect that I have noticed through this research is that these type of browser extensions are mostly free. As my other research has noted in this project that there is a high level of anxiety about reading the news an extension like this one could help people feel more relaxed as less afraid when when they know that there are warning is place so that they can choose to see the content only if they wish.

https://support.grammarly.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000091552-Install-the-Grammarly-browser-extension

https://www.joinhoney.com

Developement

The first development I’ve made is developing a brand identity for the project. I had been using this icon for the warnings before therefore I thought that it would be best to use the same symbols for the browser extension. As the project is now developing in the direction of the browser extension the name also needed to change. I brainstormed names that I could use before settling on Filter Out. The name highlights the fact that the app physically filters out the articles online you might not want to see due to people feeling anxious when reading news articles or headlines. I have also changed the colour to a turquoise blue as from reading though orange shows the warning that something there blue is more calming for those people who feel anxious and this project is trying to show that a warning might help prevent this anxiety around reading news online.

Using illustrator, adobe XD and after effects I started to create what the app would look like when setting up the key words and phrases relating to topics the individual might find difficult. By typing these in allows the user to completely customise the app to look for these key phrases and related words when scanning the webpage for articles.

Once this was developed I went into After Effects to animate the video to try and give it a realistic effect. One of the main things to do in this was look at the warning. Previously I had developed the warnings to pop out which weren’t hugely impactful. However, I have developed the warning to now cover the article with a blur and state why the article has been granted a warning – based on one of the key words. I also added an option where the viewer is able to view the article or keep it hidden. I thought that adding this would allow the opportunity for the user to decide if they want to see the article or not- not just completely hiding the articles allow the user choice.

These developments have started to bring the project together and create a better sense of purpose for the project. By adding the page at the beginning of the animation give context to the epic and shows how it can be changed depending on the person and is no longer set by external people depending on research. These small developments have started to impact the project and although I think that if the project was expanded on I could produced a variety of different types of warnings this small video highlights what I have found in my research and created an impact.

Dissertation Design Developments

Since the feedback I had from David and some of my peers I have focused on creating 5 spreads using packing labels as the visual language and packing itself as the substrate for the piece. Since I wanted the cover of the piece to be a piece of packaging using the cereal box I have printed, photographed and edited images to make the box seem like the cover of the piece. By doing this it has helped others to see what I was aiming to achieve through my dissertation design.

I have tried to create spread which are experimental by using photography of labels for house my pull out quotations. This was one of the suggestions that I was given in the first tutorial on dissertation design. I have used photoshop to clear the original typography from the labels and created my own. At the current stage I found that these weren’t working but I have been struggling to get them to work. I’m hoping to get some tutor feedback on these to help me develop them further moving forward. These labels do help make the difference giving the piece more context moving forward. I think I need to focus on the type detailing moving forward as well as the hierarchy as this is something that I’ve learnt about in depth this year through my ISTD.

I have also explored using information design on one of the spreads to help visuals some of the text that I am talking about. I’ve used the visual language of the recycling symbol to help me do this by using a gradient which covers 60% of the symbol in green highlighting 60% of packaging was recycled in 2017. I think that this has brought the spread to life and given it some depth but something is still missing for me at this point and I’m hoping moving forward that I can improve this.

Also as mentioned before I would ideally have liked to have this printed on recycled piece of packaging such as cereal boxes. I wanted to show this through the use of texture to try and create a sense of substrate. Using a scan of the texture and editing in photoshop I have been able to overlay the texture to the spreads to show that this would be printed on cardboard that recycled, it’s subtle but I feel that it would work in showing the context of my idea.

FMP: Developments

After the feedback I received from the group tutorial I have made some amendments to the animation for the project. I have started by looking at the background layer of the animation, this was described as being strapped in by the group last time I showed the animation to them therefore I have changed the soundwave bars to simple lines in order for the focus to be on the symbols about movement. I think that this allows the symbols to be at the forefront when viewing the animation however I feel that there is a sense of music that is now missing from the piece. I would like to see if there is a way to incorporate the soundwaves back into the piece without being distracting however I am not sure at this point how I can achieve this.

I have also made the changes to how the symbols are animated into the peace. I was told they need to be more elegant and softer and I have animated some of the elements to do this. However when I was considering which elements needed to be animated in this way I found that ice and animated the symbols to look like the physical movements that happen by the gymnast and I didn’t want to lose this by animating them in a slightly different way. Although I understand that rhythmic gymnastics can come across as a elegance and softer sport, The movements are more dynamic than they appear and I wanted to animate the symbols to represent the movements as that is what the project is all about. I have also added more symbols into the animation to show the complexity of routine although there are some key elements that are missing I felt it was appropriate to focus on the handling in moving gymnast gymnast.

In terms of how the supporting book has developed I have decided to take on board the feedback by using the video content that I curated within the pages of the book. This will be done by our technology having a symbol within the pages that shows that they can be scanned by an Device and have the videos overlay certain pages. I thought that this piece of feedback really helped me to contextualise the use of these videos in the project. I experimented with Adobe Airsoft work to try and get this however at the point in time Aero does not support video files. In order to show this I took video into Adobe after affects and created a mockup of how the phone was coming and scanned the page and then the video would appear. I feel with the videos being used for our content within the book allows the project to come together it also gives me the opportunity to allow the user to scan the first page to view the animation therefore tying the book and the animation together.

The small developments have started to make bigger changes to the project and I feel as though it is coming together finally. I know that there are certain parts of the project which still need developing the animation I feel there are elements that need to be added in a while the book there are things that also need to be changed including adding the AR triggers in themselves. Happy with the progress I have made over the past week on this project and feels that in the next two weeks before the final deadline I have time to develop and improve upon these changes. I would also like to make it clear to the viewer what I am communicating and I feel the best way to do this is a small explanation at the start of the book about what rhythmic gymnastics is and what these symbols mean.

FMP: Final Group Tutorial

In the final group tutorial that I had today I showed my progress from the past three weeks. The major changes have been developed to the supporting book but the feedback was focused around the animation part of the project. I was happy with the feedback and thought that it was fair and constructive to help me move forward in the next three week. In terms of developing the animation I agree with some of the transitions of the movements could be more elegant but I have attempted to animate them to represent the movements that they represent. For example some of the jumps/leap are harsher in animation because they quick fast movements where as the balances are timed to have 3 seconds to hold like they would in the routine. Other points to improve are as followed:

  • softer animations for the text and elements.
  • keep the colour works well with the context of the project.
  • maybe consider more movements of the body how can this translate into the animation
  • thicker lines for some of the symbols at the moment they are too thin at points which makes them hard to see on the screen.
  • think about if keeping type to animate on softer and in more places which are legible.
  • think about where using the video content could they be overlaid on pages in the book which move when they are scanned with the phone.

All this feedback I am going to take on board and develop in the next few week. I think that if I can create the AR triggers within the book this will help the viewer gain more context of the project.

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