Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Week 2 - Cannons

Cannons and Grids;

Van De Graaf;
  • A gridded page is much like scaffolding for a building.
  • It is structure that elements can be organised.
  • A grid will help continuity to be maintained and information digested with flow.
  • the Van de Graaf canon is a historical reconstruction of a method that may have been used in book design to divide a page in pleasing proportions.
  • This canon is also known as "secret canon" used in many medieval manuscripts and incunabula.
  • The construction of Van de Graaf's canon, works for any page width:height ratio.
  • Use this to get symmetrical layouts for books e.t.c.
  • Also use this to do Asymmetrical layouts.
The text area and margin proportions are determined by starting page proportions

My attempt at Van de Graaf's canon;

  • Column width is more that just design or format.
  • It is also based on legibility.
  • Printed Collateral (text) is read by the eye of a distance of 30-35cm.
  • According to empirical rule there should be 7 words per line for a text of any length.
  • To keep the type area light and open (in appearance) we must consider the leading.
  • i.e. The vertical distance from the line to line which suits the size of the type.
Width of a column;
  • Overlong text lines tire the eye, as do overshort ones.
  • Readers find overlong lines strenuous to read.
  • This is because too much energy is spent on keeping the horizontal line in sight over a long distance.
  • A column is easier to read if it is wide enough to fit in average 10 words per line.
  • The key is ease of reading.
  • Text must not impair the rythm of reading.
  • This can not apply to titles and subtitles.
  • Advertising functions require headings to standout and be absorbed by the eye. Its function is to sell.
  • Are columns just aesthetic creatures?
What works;
15pt sans serif
17pt leading

20pt sans serif
24pt leading

24pt sans serif
28pt leading

28pt sans serif
32pt leading

Margin Proportions;
  • Margins can have a influence on the overall feel of a page of print.
  • Too small - looks over full.
  • Too large - exaggeration.
  • Well balanced margins on the sides, head and tail can create an agreeable impression.
  • Same sized margins can never generate an interesting page design.
  • They generate the impression of indecision and dullness. (1by1by1by3)
  • Is it all just about aesthetics?
The type area;
  • 1 and 2 column grids
My columns and grids;

My digital columns and grids;


Week 3 - Construction

Construction of grids;
  • Before you can apply a grid you must understand the requirement of te grid of the work to be produced.
  • Typeface, text and illustrations, print method and paper quality must be confirmed beforehand (ideally).
  • Thumbnail sketches will make your job of final layouts easier and productive.
  • Always start will small sketches.
  • Thumbnail sizes should be appropriate to the final format.
  • Before drawing your sketches, consider the number of columns needed. 
  • 2 columns, logically gives you more space:
  • 1 column for text
  • 1 column for illustration
  • They can be mixed together.
  • 2 column division can be subdivided into more columns.
Three columns;
  • Opportunities for arranging and accommodating text and illustrations in numerous sizes.

Disadvantages of 6 column;
  • Lines of text will be narrow.
  • Small typeface will have to be used
 Stats, figures, graphs and trend line publications;
  • 4 columns
  • Can also be subdivided.
Column width - point size;
  • The width of a column dictates the size of the typeface.
  • The rule; The narrower a column is, the smaller the typeface.
  • Make a variety of thumbnails of layouts/designs.
  • Do not rely on just one set of thumbnails.
  • Enlarge a small selection of appropriate thumbnails by 1:1.
  • Compare them and select and repeat process until you are confident with the design.
Applying type to columns;
  • The first line must fit flush to the top limit of the column grid.
  • The last line must stand on the bottom line.
  • Keep calm, it is difficult to find the final solution the first time around.
  • It could mean that you grid field is too high or too low.
Font Heights;
  • 4 point type
  • 6 point leading
  • 7 point type
  • 10 point leading
  • 10 point type
  • 13 point leading
  • 20 point type
  • 40 point leading
Type and picture, 8 field grids;
  • 8 and 20 grid fields in A4 format.
  • 8 grid fields are used frequently for advertising material and brochures.
  • If using 8 grid fields you can subdivide into 16. 
  • The grid is only an instrument in which you, a designer, can make interesting and balanced designs.
20 field grid;
  • Has quite a large scope for idea solutions.
  • There is around 42 possible layout options. 
 Experimenting on InDesign;

 Going to layout, unchaining the boxes, then changes the number so that they are different.

 Going to create guides, then you can change the values in that to give you guides.

When making boxes and things, if you hold onto the mouse and press up and right it will give you more boxes.

Going to window then utilities then script, you find different things which you can add, as long as the box is selected, for example adding guides.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Simon's Words of Wisdom

Stuck for Ideas?
If you are stuck and struggling to think of new ideas for your designs, look out of the window, and make what you see the solution to your problem. Such as Peter Saville's album cover with the leaf, he looked out of his car window and saw a leaf falling down, this is how he thought of the idea for his cover. Do not use this all the time, but if you are stuck, anything can resolve the problem.

Advisory quotes;
'do not seek praise, seek criticism.'
'can you find fault with this?'
       - When presenting work don't just talk, and speak at people. Present your work and who you
         are, you can do this by making your presentation interactive.
'Astonish me.'
'If you can't solve a problem, it's because your playing by the rules.'

Tips for OUGD406;
Need to do more development work, and show the other concepts and ideas I consider. Try to show the stages of how I got to a certain idea, and try different ideas, rather than finding the first good idea and running with it. Build up some links and connections with people from other courses will different skills, they will be able to help and do favours for you.

When competing with other designers to get the client;
  • It is always worth taking a physical and digital copy your designs with you, as people like to have things they can physically see and hold. 
  • There is also no need to put your company name on the designs, as the clients will know who you are and why you are there.
  • When showing the client designs, you could show them how they could be used, show rough sketches of how the designs would look in situe. Can just be a rough sketch.
  • To keep costs down, you could do designs digitally, if your illustrator skills are high. Although people would prefer to have a physical copy of the design.
  • You can also show how something could be used in a different media or different way, go the extra mile for them, make them tell you apart from the others.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Secret 7

Live brief;
For this brief we had to design a vinyl cover for on of secrets 7's choices of songs. The first thing I did was, go on the website and listened to each of the songs to choose which single I should design. I found the songs on these websites below, which also gave some information about the competition.


I liked a few of the songs, and found that a lot of people were doing the same songs, therefore I decided to pull the one I was going to do out of a hat. It came out as Public Enemy's Harder than you think, therefore started looking into the lyrics of the song, past covers for their albums and singles and other people's vinyl covers that I like.

[verse 1]
What goes on?
Rollin stones of the rap game not braggin
Lips bigger than jagger , not saggin
Spell it backwards
Im a leave it at that..

That aint got nothin to do with rap
Check the facts expose those cats
Who pose as heros and take advantage of blacks
Your governments gangster so cut the crap
A war goin on so where you at?

Fight the power comes great responsiblity
F the police but whos stoppin you from killin me?
Disasters , fiascos over a loop by pe
If its an i instead of we
Believin tv
Spittin riches , bitches, and this new thing about snitches
Watch them asses move the masses switches
System dissed them but barely missed her
My soul intention to save my brothers and sisters

Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that

[verse 2]
Screamin gangsta 20 years later
Of course endorsed while consciousness faded
New generations believing them fables
Gangster boogie on two turntables

Show no love so its easy to hate it
Desecrated while the coroner waited
Any given sunday so where yall rate it?
Wit slavery, lynching , and them drugs infiltrated

Im like that doll chuckie , baby
Keep comin back to live love life like i'm crazy
Keep it movin risin to the top
Doug fresh clean livin you dont stop

Revolution means change
Dont look at me strange
So i cant repeat what other rappers be sayin
You dont stand for something
You fall for anything
Harder than you think
Its a beautiful thing

Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that

[verse 3]
So its time to leave you a preview
So you too can review what we do
20 years in this business
How you sell sell soul, g wiz
People bear witness
Thank you for lettin us be ourself
So dont mind me if i repeat myself
These simple lines be good for your health
To keep them crime rhymes on the shelf
Live life love like you just dont care
5000 leaders never scared
Bring the noise its the moment they fear
Get up still a beautiful idea

Get up
Throw yo hands in the air
Get up show no fear
Get up if yall really care
Pe 20 years
Now get up

Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that
Get up
Hard...just like that

I found some opinions of the Public Enemy song, and found that everyone who commented on this, agreed with the statement. (http://livinginstereo.com/?p=364)
“Harder Than You Think” is the kind of epic statement that few have ever done better than Public Enemy, a blast of sound and lyric that links the chains of tradition into an unstoppably powerful force.  The track also consciously asserts P.E.’s continuing, though changing, importance in the larger conversation: That “Harder Than You Think” opens with Flav’s reprise of his signature introduction to the group’s early single “Public Enemy #1” is only the most obvious moment of recall.  The guitars which guide this spare beginning gives way to the deep swell of a full R&B horn section, whose triumphant herald provides perfect support for one of Chuck D’s most intense recent performances. Unlike many of his “conscious” contemporaries and followers, Chuck’s always understood that the most intellectually or politically aware lyrics will mean nothing if they’re not accompanied by an accordingly memorable backing track, and—while he hasn’t always succeeded in this regard—“Harder Than You Think”, sounds like it can move mountains.
"it can move mountains" this is a very strong statement to make, but as it is the song for the Paralympics, it is very emotional for some people. Songs have an amazing way of bringing back memories which link to it, therefore this song brings back a lot of good memories from the Olympics 2012.

Past album covers;
Looking at all the past album covers, I found that in terms of design and taste, it is not to my taste and I don't like the designs that they have had in the past, they look really cluttered and busy. Although there was one design on this website which shows the plain black cover with different coloured logos on it, this worked a lot better then the others, therefore I want to keep it more simple.

I found that a lot of their covers used black, white and red for their colours, this is something that I want to continue, and colours that would remind you of camouflage, so I decided not to use bright in your face colours. On this there are lyrics of the song, which looks really effective, although this is something I can't do, as we can't use lyrics.

I found that Public Enemy have a certain image to them, they seem to have clocks with them, and hanging around there neck, therefore I found some examples of the clocks that they carry. I have found that they are quite plain and simple, not too much detail or colour to them.

2012 Olympics and Paralympics;
Public Enemy's song, Harder than you think, was initially the song from the Paralympics but then soon became the anthem for the entire 2012 Olympics. Therefore I started to look into the Olympics, the colours they used and what people think when they see the Olympics.When looking at the Olympics I thought that I could use some similar colours to the Olympics, but when seeing the colours I found that it wouldn't suit the artist, and wouldn't work very well, so decide to go with the idea of showing the artist and meaning behind the song on the cover.

Other Vinyl Covers;
What I like about this vinyl cover is that it is black and white, I like the fact that it looks shattered, like shattered pieces of triangles. Although I don't like the leg and part of body, I don't see where the relevance is to it. 

This has been paper cut and has a black background to it, and is also quite geometric which I think makes it more effective, this is the kind of vinyl cover which attracts my attention, it is simple yet creative.

Having a vinyl cover that has an optical illusion works well. As it is in black and white it looks more like it is suppose to be an illusion, if it were coloured photos I think it would lose some of the effect it has got.

So simple, showing in just black an white what looks to be something connecting and disconnecting, which could be the record on a turn table.

This has also been cut out, but has assotaite behind it. This could work really well, and it could be a really good use of material, with a different design on the cover, also maybe play with the colours, or swap the black and white, this could change the effect and make it look better.


This is a seasonal cover, obviously as it is about Christmas. What I like about this is this is they shapes used, as the records are a circle, the cover can resemble this shape.

I found this on pinterest, and although I couldn't find the original source that it came from, or who designed it, I found that I like this as the colours work really well together also, even though there is a lot of detail, the limited colours makes it simple and works better.

This looks as if it is in space, but also has type in it, the limited colours makes it so effective. This is one of my favourite vinyl covers that I have found, it is as if the words are shattering, and there is an opacity to them, this is why the use of type is so creative.

The simple repeated shapes allows there to be a lot of detail with not much effort. What I like most about this is the negative space that the shapes are making, as there are some squares, stars and many different shapes.

Through my research I have found that I am mostly attracted to limited colour or black and white vinyl covers, this will give me some guide lines when creating my cover. As Public Enemy also have a lot of black white and red, these are the colours I am going to stick with.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Week 1 - Grids

Grids and divine proportions;
Understanding how grids work and how layouts and divides appear to the eye on a page.
Key words;
  • Grids 
  • Columns
  • Drop caps
  • Headlines
  • Gutter captions
  • Margins
Fibonacci sequence;
  • Its all about proportions and ratios, its not about measurements.
  • Fibonacci sequence ratio 8:13 links to golden section.
  • This sequence is not only evident within design but also nature.
  • Used by famous painters too.
  • A series of numbers in which each number is the sum of two preceding numbers.
  • In design it is used to see proportion of page sizes.
  • 55 point title should be complemented with 34 point body copy by applying Fibonacci sequence. As 34 is the next size down in proportion from 55.
My attempt at Fibonacci sequence;

Dividing the page;

Golden section;
  • Forms the basis of paper sizes and its principles can be used as a means of achieving balanced designs.
  • Many ancient cultures from Egyptians to the Greeks used this thinking to gain beautiful designed proportions.
  • 1.62 is the golden number.
  • It is also know as the golden triangle.
  • Definition-"Golden Rectangle is a rectangle in which the ratio of the length to the width is the golden ratio."
  • Divide the height or the length by 1.62 and it gives you the biggest section that in proportion. You can do this infinitely to build up a grid. The numbers may be different but the proportions will be the same.
My attempt at the Golden section;

The rule of thirds;
  • The concept of the golden ratio can be simplified.
  • The rule of third governs the placement of points of interest in a scene.
  • Divide any given image into thirds both horizontally and vertically.
  • According to the rule of thirds, the verticals of those line (where the lines cross) are the ideal placement for points of interest.
My attempt at finding the rule of thirds with grids;
Focal points;
  • People scanning pages are more likely to notice things placed near the focal points, and the division is comfortable to view.
  • More complex design is possible by breaking down those thirds into further thirds.
  • People's eyes go to the middle top and center column.
Information points;
  • Major images, news, boxes, search bars and any other points of interest can be nestled on or near the horizontals.
  • This little shortcut will give you a design that is both easy on the eyes anf makes people drawn to key pieces of information.
Golden spirals;
  • Another method of using both the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers are the golden spirals and Fibonacci spirals
  • Using pictures, it shows how your eye reads the golden spiral and reads the layout.
My experiments with grids;

We had to recreate a custom page size using the Fibonacci sequence, I did this by changing the dimensions of the first box to 1cm by 2cm.

Beauty, Style, Taste

My Rules;
I have three rules which I try to follow when I am looking at Graphic design and design in general.
  1. All design must have a limited colour pallet, stick to a minimal colour pallet.
  2. All design must be simple and show a clear message, with a crisp and clean finish.
  3. Design must consist of no more than 3 fonts.
Examples of Graphic Design showing my rules;
All design must be simple and show a clear message, with a crisp and clean finish.
This design is very minimal, it is straight to the point, using negative space in the design to make this piece very interesting. This has been designed so that people understand that valkswagen are a very straight forward company, they don't beat around the bush.

The simplicity of this logo design works really well for it, also the use of colour makes it very effective. The design works well as it has been screen printed which shows the effort and time that has gone into the design, also the fact that it is one thing, a logo, simple and to the point.
Sound by Sound is a record company who have cleverly took advantage of the shape of the records to create the letter 'S' the idea is simple yet effective.

All design must have a limited colour pallet, stick to a minimal colour pallet.
This design looks a if it is a screen print. Using limited colours in screen printing is easier for the piece, it also makes it more effective. Also the colours that have been chosen, orange, brown, blue and stock work really well together, taking advantage of the colour of the stock is a good way to include another colour whilst it not being too much.

This wedding invitation looks like it has been embossed, which works really well with the colours and is appropriate for the context. As the pink is very bright I think that only using pink, black and stock for this design works better than if they would have used another colour, keeping the design minimal.

This has also been screen printed, and although it looks like there are four different colour being used in this design, it is just the colour of the stock being used as part of the design, this is a clever thing to get away with using more colours.

Design must consist of no more than 3 fonts.
The use of colour in this design works really well, but also the limited fonts used in the design. Having a maximum of three fonts means that you are safe with the typography looking good, although anymore than that it may look a bit misplaced a non professional if it is done in the wrong way.

This design uses three different fonts in it, this is the limit and as you can see it works really well in this design.

There are three different fonts used in this design, which looks very professional. Also using the stock colour as the type is a good use of colour and printing, it adds to the effect of the design.

Examples of non Graphic Design showing my rules;
All design must be simple and show a clear message, with a crisp and clean finish.
This digital art has something about it which is really simple and clear, it is getting straight to the point, no nonsense and you can see this in the design. Having no background allows the images to stand out more and look really clear.


This example of architecture is clean and clear and geometric, it works really well as although the shape of it is quite adventurous, it is a simple design.


Although this example of architecture has a lot of shape to it too, I believe that it is a simple and professional design. It looks crisp, as if it has had a clean finish to it, this is a good example of simplicity in architecture, not in the way it was built but in its aesthetics.


The photographer who took this picture wanted to features on the womens face to be the main focus of the piece, and I think that it has been done really well, as simply adding red lipstick to the model, matches the colour of her hair and brings her lips and eyes out.


All of the focus in this photograph is on the water on a leaf, it is bringing all of the attention to this point, this is by using a micro lense on the camera so that the water it the sole purpose of the image, the simplicity in this is how the photography has used something which is so natural and common and they have made it beautiful.

All design must have a limited colour pallet, stick to a minimal colour pallet. 
In this digital art the designer has clearly had a colour theme that they wanted to focus on, and in this it is gold and black, using these colours together shows a powerful and strong message, which is what I think the photographer was trying to go for in the image.

In this digital art the designer was able to make this object (head) look 3D whilst only using black and some gold. This has been designed and produced really well as it is aesthetically pleasing, and is good design.

Using two different materials when designing this house meant that the colours would have a dramatic change, having a maximum of three materials used on the outside of a house or building is aesthetically pleasing and woks well as design.

Using only black and white in this image allows all the focus of the piece be drawn to the models face, it has been done really well. The face is the only clear part of the image, and that is the way it has been designed, by not using more colours it improves the piece and makes it more effective.

The three colours used in this piece of photography are red for the car and black and cream for the ground. Adding the cream to the top left corner adds to the piece greatly, it brings out the car so that the whole page isn't just black and red, it makes it more interesting.
Design must consist of no more than 3 fonts.

Digital art is a good way to produce typography, in this design there is only one typeface, which makes it work very well especially as it is so simple and clear.

Using only three different materials to make this house is parallel to having only three fonts allowed in each design, they both add to the aesthetic of the final piece, therefor I think that this works well as a piece of design and architecture.


Although this doesn't have three different materials in its aesthetics, it only have two, it still works well as a good piece of architecture. Also it does have three levels to it, and more in this style it might look a bit too over the top.

These buildings have been made in the shape of numbers, having only three different numbers as the buildings works well although any more and it may look silly.

In this photography I found that concentrating on the background rather than both the foreground and the background looks good, it draws your attention to the subject matter, this is what I think is a similar aspect to fonts in photography.