Category Archives: Part 3 Visual language

Assignment 3 feedback notes

For the record… Tutors feedback notes, and my feedback notes on the feedback notes…

… Liked the postit vid… and comments on scale re the abstract cities exercise. Looking at it again, can see how I could get this to work. Also like the comment in the assignment feedback bit, about piling up the layers and paring them back – as being 2 distinct parts of a design process. This is useful, as havn’t got beyond the stage where it’s part of the technical process – ie pile them up until the package falls over, then you lose your work and have to start again… The image strip on the globe piece was in there because I’ld spent time on it and I was concentrating on the transparency – I quite like repetition of the images, but agree it could have been axed from the final version as it didn’t really add anything. The comment about finding it difficult working with blocks of colour was really about the malevolent greens in the poster exercise, and it was largely because you can’t really see what you’re dealing with as the colours shift and change as you move from machine to machine, and when the sun comes out. However, I’m having a similar issue with shades of gray in a website I’m working on at the moment. Lastly, ignore comment about laborious documentation – as it’s self-inflicted really. I’m deliberately trying to do this for this course, but am just aware I’m overdoing it sometimes.

Assignment 3 – final choices

After all the playing about, I’ve selected a set of 4 images to work with.
Final selection
First problem > I find that through the general process of messing about with all the elements of the final image, the final workable output gradually shrinks, so what started as a carefully setup A3 @ 300 dpi gradually shrinks to A5 by the time I’ve finished with it. This happened to all my samples, apart from the 2nd one.  My image files are full of layers and layers and layers  and I guess that’s the electronic equivalent of over-mixing paints and ending up with everything sludge brown.  Anyway.

Second problem >  printing test samples on a knackered inkjet printer produced some nasty results, particularly with the yellow in the greens, and too much heavy density in everything.  Areas of flat colour are not easy.

Third problem > I worked with the black and green version (bottom left hand pic) to try and make it more technically acceptable at A3 size.  Not wanting to replace the source files and rebuild the whole thing again I attempted a couple of inexpert quick fixes to smooth off the jumper and the heart, and crisp up the purple text, and of course the results (2nd of the 2 pics) were really incoherent and horrible.  The original version I quite like in it’s own quirky way, and actually as a screen print it would work at that size, also if it was printed onto a rough texture like cotton or old cardboard boxes.

For the final version I chose the top right ‘green is the colour’ pic, replaced the background image with a better quality version, and turned down the opacity on all the colours as far as I could go, so I could print something that was a) light, b) avoided flat areas of colour and c) that was interesting enough to stick up on the wall.  This is the final result:

green is the colour

Assignment 3 – photographic

Three versions using the photographs…
green is the colour v3
green is the colour v2
green is the colour v1

Assignment 3 – shape

Thinking about getting the dimensions to match up to the spec, decided to play with the shape… like the last one…

Assignment 3 – refocus

Now need to refocus on the green.  Here is a structure…
Structure
Add the filmstrip – and decide it’s the wrong green, and wonder is it really saying anything comprehensible?
Add content
Swap the filmstrip for one of the jumpers and add text…
Add different content
Make the jumpers green – otherwise why are they here? And does that text mean anything without the rhodedendrons?
Make the jumper green
Now try a different tack – looking for a style that is more coherant…
Sludge green

Assignment 3 – on the machine

More ideas playing around in Gimp and an online drawing tool called Harmony –  quite like the stitched leatherette effect on the jumper.  This time I was looking at soft colours.
First gecko
2nd gecko
the jumper
Soft colours 1
Soft colours 2
Soft colours 3
And this was a lurid draft of a poster…Lurid attempt
The filmstrip idea now contains variations on just 2 images – the rhodedendron to convey the theme of spring, gardens but with a slight twist, because a lot of people see rhodedendrons as an alien threat. Also the world upside down in the glass ball is comment on these sorts of differing perspectives. And finally, it’s a black and white filmstrip…
Filmstrip
And a coincidence to round this up, on the way to buy some fruit on friday afternoon, suddenly found myself surrounded by images of concentric circles and hearts…Coincidence

Assignment 3 – ideas

Rough draft 1
This one plays around with the idea of the jumper triumphant on top of the world (waterfall), photos at the bottom of the world to represent alternative associations of the colour, and geckos climbing up the wall (as they do).

Rough draft 2
This one, teenage I heart jumper, with associated images running across the bottom as a filmstrip.

Rough draft 1
This one is in layers, with possibly different photo-collage layers to represent images of trees, plants, geckos, frogs etc. Bottom layer is stripey to represent ribbed neck of jumper, and idea of adding text at the top.

These are the notebook thoughts around these choices…
Notebook - thoughts on Green Jumper posterPoster idea 1Poster idea 2Poster idea 3

Assignment 3 – colours

I wanted to explore the colours – chosen colour, it’s complementary, black and white – physically as well as electronically, so played around with System 3 acrylics and inks as well as Colourlovers and the Colour Scheme Designer tools.  And learnt this… opacity is a key. Working between physical and electronic – transparent mediums are easier.  Working with ink is easiest, because they are transparent, and both work in layers.  And using the colours out of the pots, without mixing them any more, is a useful way of not getting weighed down in complexity.  Working with acrylics (as paint rather than washes) is on a different planet altogether, especially the more opaque colours – chrome based green features heavily here.  Makes for an interesting contrast, and probably going off at a tangent, but would be interesting to do more here.  Also noticed, below, the green is way off what it’s supposed to be.

Acrylic palette

The Colour Scheme Designer tool produced a workable palette of greens and purples to play around with.

Palette

Playing around in Gimp.  Noted that I’m playing around with background colours – and the difficulty of avoiding creep towards brighter colours – emerald and magenta pink, like the soft and muted end of the palette.  Came up with a strategy of just using layers of the mid-range green and purple, black and white, and varying the opacity and the stacking of the layers to get the colours I wanted.  The most muted colours were the most interesting to explore, and noted harmony between using complementaries.  Was this going to make it difficult to get a dynamic looking poster, without being able to zap it up with a nice jarring pink??

Electronic palettes

ColourLovers palettes on the left and bottom left in the picture above.

Green jumpers

Assignment 3 – context

‘To produce a poster 297mm x 420mm that celebrates a colour of your choice.’ A colour… sludge green… ‘a meaning you want to explore and celebrate’
It means to me… a favourite colour for wearing – I’ve always had a chunky green jumper that I wear a lot in the winter – so for me it’s a background colour of warmth, security and constancy etc etc.  So the serial green jumper is a personal icon, and a bit of lazy googling returning frogs, lizards, geckos – reminds me of another personal icon which is the gecko earring.  And so, this is the idea to hang the project around.  What does it means to other people…  colour of gardens, rainforests, plants, spring in Europe, organised outdoors, woodland conservation organisations, algae, slimemoulds, greenwash, insincerity, many different things…  Sticking with the positives, here are the ideas…

Visual diary

Most mornings I do a check through my reading lists and weblinks etc, and bookmark anything that’s useful, significant or catches my eye.  I’ve set up this diary as the visual version of this process, and basically gathered interesting images as I do my breakfast tour around the web.  Anything that catches my eye goes in the folder,  I then sift through them and collate them into diary pages with the Picasa collage tool.  When I’ve done this I delete all the source images and files, and deliberately don’t keep any note of references or any words describing what they’re about etc.  Also don’t keep any details of the date. The ordering is sometimes on a theme, and sometimes isn’t. The choosing and arranging process is quite important, this is when I look at them and consider them.  This is good, because often with this daily bookmarking exercise I tend to collect without reading, and so most of them get deleted later, because there’s too much stuff to trawl through.  So I quite like this process!  This diary is for the months of April and May 2011, that’s as specific as it’s going to get.  I will use it as a source for ideas, and it’s interesting to see what I’m collecting, and I find myself adapting my trawling list accordingly.  Notice how since starting this course I’ve added a lot of art and design blogs etc to my reading list, and how I’m ignoring some of the other stuff, so it’s good to be aware of this, and get the balance back.

Anyway, it’s here > Diary, April-May 2011