In the individual tutorial with David I was able to talk about the progress I had made since talking to the Carol and my group on Monday. The feedback from the tutorial was really positive and has helped me develop a clear idea of where to go moving forward. I was also able to ask questions concerning imagery and music. Below are the notes that I made:
Exciting project really interesting.
Maybe try emailing to get permission to use music within piece of work – if you don’t ask you won’t get.
Strong contrast and balance within some of the symbols.
Maybe create more balance in some of the symbols using different weights of lines – look at typeface Didot.
The project feels the need for bold colours – think about colours that don’t necessarily be paired together normally.
Almost re-imagining what rhythmic gymnastics looks like.
Photographing parts of body to use as imagery could be super interesting as it not as expected as having the gymnast perform the movement. This is more manageable in the current climate as well.
Giving the contexts to the symbols without being too obvious about it though this use of imagery.
Animation – David sent a link to a previous students work Einstein on the Beach by Matthew Wallace this was due to the rhythm of the animation and something like this could work well for my project.
These are all points that I need to think about in more detail as I develop the project however, I feel that the project is moving in the right direction and that I’m heading for a really interesting project and a piece that could be really stopping in my portfolio.
After discussions in the tutorial I decided to go through and develop sketches of all the icons for the movements within the sport. Using the similar style that I had started to develop in the last tutorial. Using tracing paper and pencils I was able to start creating a consistency amongst the shapes that I had created. The fluid motions of the stroke represents the elegance of the sport and the pointed ends of them represent the details of pointed toes and detailed nature of the hands when competing in the sport.
I then took these into illustrator and started by using the image trace tool, however, they weren’t tracing in the crisp manner that I wanted them. I used the pen tool to draw the curved lines and shapes of the icons. I was able to reuse the same shapes throughout the process in order to create a consistent set of shapes. They still need developing further however, I think that they are starting to come together as a group. When I was creating the icons for the apparatus handling I found that I was using a mixture of thinner and thicker strokes in comparison to the other icons around body movement.
Then as mentioned last week I thought about how this could then be used an applied to create outcomes which gave an essence of the sport. We discussed last week about typesetting routines and the icons being used on photos of gymnast doing the movements. I thought I would experiment with this taking old photos of myself doing the sport and using the icons over the top just to start showcasing how it could look. Furthermore, as this project started by looking at kinetic typography I thought that animating these symbols to work with the routines could be interesting to explore so I started to play around with this further.
The session today focused on writing job applications online and how to conduct yourself in an interview and what to expect. Though I have written job applications before and attended interviews I wanted to recap and get some more tips and advice for when I am looking in the design sector for a job. I found the session was really useful in terms of giving me things to think about when applying and getting an interview – especially the idea of using the STARR method to construct answers to questions. Below are bullet point of key things I got from the session.
Create a plan before starting to write a personal supporting statement. Always address key aspects or words used in the job advert/description.
If there is a word limit on a question make sure to stick to it. This is something that I already knew but thought it was important to write about as a reminder here.
Always support a statement with evidence. Having a story or example to back up any claims made is very important within the application process.
Research, Research, Research. – Doing your research into the job and company even person reading application is important.
Give plenty of time to complete application.
Always keep a copy if get called to interview is important to familiarise beforehand with what you wrote.
If unsuccessful ask for feedback and don’t be dishearten by it. Learn and continue to grow from it.
Interviews can vary in the format with they are conducted, lately mainly via video call due to pandemic.
Always consider questions that you want to ask them about the job or working environment.
Demonstrate knowledge of the sector.
Reflect on roles and skills that you offer and can bring to the team.
Handling interview stress – prep what you can in advance, body language, eye contact are things to remember. Have a treat afterwards to reward yourself with – this can help.
I started developing an initial visual language by going back to this idea of having a letter form that changes shape in a seamless motion. I just started off by drawing characters with this in my mind. I also started to think about the fluid, graceful motion of the movements which in turn also influenced a typeface that I sketched out. Furthermore, I thought about the characteristics of the sport and how they could be shown through type. I paid attention to the details at the top and bottom of the letterforms – as the feet and hands are supposed to be beautifully detailed when performing the sport. As I started to develop the letterforms so that they could be animated to look like they transition seamlessly into one another.
I also started to think about the symbols within the sport already and existing language and how I could potentially use these within my work. This was after the chat me and David had on Friday about glyphs and the iconography for the olympics. At the moment the symbols within rhythmic gymnastics don’t reflect the nature of the sport they are intended for quick notation for coaches and judges yet there is something so unique about the way they used to be use. A rhythmic gymnastic sheet entered for competitions use to showcase a visual system in themselves. I thought that they could also influence the way they the projects works in a print context.
I began by sketching out the icons in order to see all the symbols together, and get a general idea about what it looks like as I hadn’t seen these symbols in the few years I’ve been out of the sport. I want to bring the nature of the sport to these icons as they could be used within a typeface to create something with a sense of purpose. I started to sketch out the shapes with this fluid line – relating to the seamless motion that rhythmic gymnasts have to do when performing a routine. I stylised these to become graphic icons that could be used to create a kinetic typeface and a typeface that could be developed in this style.
When I spoke to Carol and my group I received really positive feedback, which I was really pleased with. My peers feedback was really insightful and positive they thought that it was a really interesting project and they were excited to see how it might develop further. It was suggested maybe seeing these over footage and what a gymnast might be thinking when completing that movement – it will also allow the viewer to see a correlation between the symbol and sport movement. Also they could become interchangeable within the typeface as some of the symbols could be used as characters as well.
Carol was also happy with the way I progressing and talked to me about dance notation, a project that she had worked on in the past. I thought that this was interesting as I hadn’t considered this as an area of research but is one I am going to pursue now. Also we spoke about music choice and if there was any particular music that is used in the sport. Obviously the music is chosen depending on the gymnast and apparatus therefore isn’t specific to the sport. This is another area that I need to consider – as well as copyright. She also suggested if there was the possibility for me to get custom music made to create like a sensory typeface. This is something that I will have to think about in more detail.
Overall I feel as though I am on the right track with this project and just need to keep pushing it in this direction over the next few weeks.
I thought that the feedback that I had from the tutorial today was really positive and has given me a lot to think about moving forward with this project. I left the call feeling as though I had a lot of avenues and ideas that I could explore more and this will help me to develop my visual language for the project.
Overall, people thought that the project was interesting and exciting, it seemed most people thought motion could help bring the project to life. However, from the feedback there is definantly more scope for the 1st and 2nd concept from a final major project perspective as I’m proposing something where as the third concept has already been done before. The main question back was how if typography is the channel for conveying the idea how does it take on the character of the gymnast?
David seemed to think there was something already in the letterforms that I had started to look at where the character morphed into one shape into another. I’ve already started to create a typographic system in a sense. He thought there was something interesting looking at the variability of one letterform and how it can inter change. Thought that it worked nicely in the way that it’s already illustrated. This idea could work nicely with the kinetic type which is the idea that I seemed more drawn to personally.
We also discussed how it might sit in a printed context as well – what would a rhythmic gymnastics routine look like if it was typeset. Could it be applied to something like a flip book and or a lamp that spins to create the motion. Furthermore, David also gave me the name of a project that he thought that I should look at – Typographic Choreography by Joel Frear who created glyphs from these images of someone performing ballet. This is a project links in a mine as it’s all about the movement and could act as inspiration for my own project. I’m excited to take this forward and start developing a project and visual language. When talking about Joel’s project we got talking about the icons used in the code of points within rhythmic gymnastics. David thought that this would be another interesting avenue to explore, and something that I hadn’t thought about in enough details but something over the weekend I want to develop.
In the creative brief I focused a lot on type design and creating a typographic outcome that visual inteerpretation the movements of Rhythmic Gymnastics. As my ideas have developed I have tried to come up with ambitious ideas that encompass both the idea of type design and Rhythmic Gymnastics.
The first approach would be creating a typeface design that would then sit within the contexts of a campaign or similar. The typeface could be based off movements and characteristics of the sport. As seen from previous sketches that I have started to do this has been the basis of all my approaches for the project. I’ve been inspired by the work of NM type and the way they interpreted the movements of the dancer in order to create a custom typeface. The typefaces could also be affected by centre of gravity, balance (where the body weight is placed.)
The second approach that I’m proposing is a kinetic typeface that’s animated to move in a similar manner to a rhythmic gymnast. I was inspired by the branding for Courtney Tulloch and the way the type moves in a similar manner to how he performs as a gymnast. There is potential for this approach to consider the other aspects of the sport such as the apparatus and music, the type could be interacting with the apparatus and respond to the music in the animation just like the gymnast would do when performing a routine. There is also the potential for approaches 1 & 2 to be combined – creating my own typeface then animating it as mentioned in approach 2
The third approach I’m considering is an interactive Installation. I was inspired by the work of Typotheques Dance Writer exhibition where you could chose a letter to see being performed by the dancer. I thought that I could do something similar where the type would react to what the viewer wanted to see. There is opportunity to get the viewer involved in this through webs camera causing the type to interact with the movements of the body. – which could mean looking a the body movements in a general manner rather than just within rhythmic gymnastics.
I will present all three of these approaches in my tutorial and see what David and my peers say about developing the idea further within this project. I have a feeling which approach I think would be interesting to develop in this current climate and stage of the project but I think that talking the different approaches through will be helpful in moving forward the project.
Today we had a talk from Gavin Leisfeild who is a partner at the studio Friendly Giants. Back in first year I went to visit LittleHawk studio where Gavin previously worked so it was interesting to seee what he has achieved three years on and have a reminder of how interesting his story is to becoming a designer and in the position he is in today.
I found listening to Gavin’s personal experience in the industry inspiring because he’s had the experience from going freelance to studio work and seeing the benefits to both. Hearing about Gavin’s progression into Friendly Giants made me think about how important it is to also give back to the community as designers and do projects that I’m interested in. They worked on a project where they produced a book called Christmas is cancelled and I thought that this was different from what we have heard spoken about in the past at previous afterlife talks.
As part of the presentation I found when Gavin talked us through the stages of working on a rebrand interesting to see the amount of work that goes into it. There is a huge amount refinement and development that happens but also research. This showed me that the working process I have now is similar to that of those working in the industry so this was really encouraging to see.
At the talk we were also joined by Maria and Kieran who have both recently started working for friendly giants and graduated from our course last year. It was useful to hear about how they have adapted to working life and hearing about the differences in the studio to university. It was also useful to get some tips on managing FMP and ISTD from them and how they thought that talking to people is the most useful thing. I think this is something that I’m already doing as I have daily chat with Meg about our work and bounce back ideas between each other. Overall I found this was really useful as a talk and has inspired me to keep working hard at my projects.
As my ideas for this project have started to develop and after my creative brief I have done further research into other projects which have been inspired by movement of the human body. I was surprised by how the human body and movement has influence graphic designers and typographers over the years such as artists like Karel Teige.
I found that a lot of the projects were inspired by dance movements which links to my theme of rhythmic gymnastics as there is an element of dance to this. As I have been focusing my project around type and typography I came across a project by typotheque called Dance Writer. In 2009 they produced an interactive installation which allowed the viewer to pick a letter and then see it being performed on the screen. They later developed this project into an app format which allowed users to send messages in the same way seeing the dancer perform the characters on the screen. I found this project inspiring as it showed me the opportunities to be really creative and push this idea to the next level. The video of the exhibition space being used got me thinking about the how I could potential look at something similar in today’s current climate.
I also thought about kinetic typography as this is something that I have discussed with both David and Carol as an avenue to explore as part of this project. I came across the branding project of Courtney Tulloch who’s a male artistic gymnast. JKR global designed a brand for him based around his movements as a gymnast.
They created a custom typeface for him as well based on analysing his movements when on the rings. They way that the typography moves mirrors he movements on the ring. This is something that I could achieve with rhythmic gymnastics as the movements are very different depending on the type of element that is being performed. This piece in particular has allowed me the chance to think about expanding my motion graphics work within my portfolio as this is something that I’ve not done a huge amount and could highlight these skills that I have.
After writing my creative brief for the project I wanted to try doing some initial experiments for ideas and of my three different approaches. Although I have been thinking about designing a typeface that celebrates the essence of rhythmic gymnastics I have also thought that there could be other ways to visual interpret the sport through graphic design. However, at this current stage my experiments have been focused on body movement and type design.
In order to start looking at body shape and movement I thought it would be best to look at the code of points within the sport. This is the guide that tells gymnasts and coaches the worth of certain movements and what they can and cannot have in a routine. I went through each page looking for shapes which could inspire elements of type design. The code of points uses iconography to identify the movements and I thought that these could also inspire the shapes as well as the physical movement of the gymnast. This process prompted me to start looking at the physical movements and I did this through the use of found imagery for reference.
I completed an analysis of these images finding shapes that could become characters and was able to start finding smaller details of the sport that could also influence the project. When performing a routine the gymnast is told to keep toes pointed, straight legs and beautiful hands. All of these aspects are part of the sport and could be important if thinking of designing a serif typeface. I also started to take note of the apparatus and gymnasts movements together and how some of the reference imagery started to show letterforms using the two combined.
I then started to just to sketch letterforms that came into my mind and getting them out onto paper. This helped me to collect ideas that were stuck at the forefront of my mind and allow newer ideas to develop. I found this useful and is a part of my methodology for ideation which is key. While doing this it got me thinking about kinetic type and how could characters be given apparatus of move in a similar way that a rhythmic gymnast would. This is the start of an idea that could develop into an interesting project animating letterforms to give an essence of the sport. The movement I thought of at this initial stage was based on my own experience but also from watching videos that are available of the British Championships on YouTube.
Although I have based the title of the project on movement of the body, I had mentioned in my creative brief that I wanted to celebrate the unique sport. In terms of celebrating it I thought about the characteristics of the sport and how this could inspire visuals. Keywords like elegant, graceful and flexible were a few words which inspired my thoughts at this point. I started again to sketch the character ‘h’ using the words as inspiration.
These initial experiments about type design will help me to think about three strong approaches that I could take in this project but I wanted to get these initial sketches out onto paper in order to start seeming from these ideas and think about some different avenues to explore.
The workshop with Carol today was all about design methods and methodologies that we could use within our final major projects. We spoke about a variety of design methodologies including design fiction, critical design, speculative design, typographic systems, social design methods, service design, behaviour change/play and branding. I found this workshop insightful as I was able to learn about all these different approaches that could be applied to a project. We were asked to think about our own projects in relation to these design methodologies and methods and find a paper that relates to our theme of our projects.
I looked at kinesthetic empathy this is something that Carol suggested I look at. Kinesthetic Empathy is the ability to experience empathy merely by oberserving the movement of another human being. This links to my project about movement within rhythmic gymnastics as gymnasts are often having to tell a story with their performance and connect with the audience and judges. The paper talked about it in context to dance movement but it could be applied to my project.
I then started to think about the method and methodologies that I could consider. Firstly it’s quite experimental as a project and I want to link it to type design as I think there is similairotys been humans and type due to the physical elements required to make up type. I also thought about embodiment design and how it could link to this idea of embedding the characterises of rhythmic gymnastics within a visual interpretation. Ialso thought that as an alternative route I could consider maybe looking at changing behaviour through play. As I have research into the preconceptions that individuals have about the sport of rhythmic gymnastics that I could experiment with creating something that’s aims to change these perspectives.