Since I am going to move on to a new course of study now, I have set up a new blog at illustration2blog.wordpress.com which is where I will be making all posts from now on.
I have always been ambivalent about studying graphic design though I could of course see its relevance to my interest in illustration. I have learned a lot from doing the course though, and have even enjoyed large chunks of it. My biggest learning is this: that my fixed idea of what it means to be a graphic designer is rubbish and that you can be, as I am, as messy and wild as you like! In fact the best graphic designs are full of personality. I especially loved finding the work of Javier Mariscal, it is truly inspirational.
I have also learned a few technical things, and now have plenty of ideas about how to make a design work. I found the idea of using a grid helpful, and enlarging images beyond the page very helpful. Altogether I now see this course as an essential component of my studies.
It has been very stop start because of my personal circumstances in the last year, but I am now really looking forward to progressing.
So next I switched the colour of the lettering. I think the gaudy pink works quite well for the main font. But still dithering about the colour of the subsidiary text.
Then I came up with these three as the final ideas. A poster, a news advert and a programme. I am conscious that I’ve used a different colour for the newspaper advert. It’s a bit more formal and clearer for newsprint I think. The pick lettering is ok for the poster and programme though. It’s funky and fun.
I was happy to look at Abigail’s party designs again. The suggestions my tutor made chimed with my feelings. Too much going on and reluctance to let go of any of the ideas. I agreed that by serendipity I had produced a glass image which seemed to fit the theme and conjure up the epoch. So I decided to explore that idea.
I loved the glass enlarged and at a tipsy angle.
I was very happy with the glass and its colour, but was undecided about the colour of the text and the positioning of it. I fiddled with the groovy text I created to tweak it and tidy it a bit. I switched from Verdana to Futura which is a favourite of mine. I had not realised that Verdana is not suitable for print.
My tutor had queried whether I had done research to come up with the lettering of Abigail’s party. I had. I explored sixties and seventies lettering online. In the end though, I just drew it. It came easily to me as I was a child of the seventies myself, and spent hours filling school exercise books with this kind of lettering and got a lot of practice at it!
Here are two versions of the window logo. I much prefer the bigger version. It wasn’t until someone else looked at the window images that I realised I needed to add white where it had been transparent, so here are the final versions (the ones that I did before I realised this are underneath the final ones).
Then I deliberated on the sign. I felt it might need boxing in, but I am not sure. I tried a couple of ways of doing this …. I don’t know why, but the one with the cross overs on the corners feels more French. A consideration here is that by putting a box around the design I have changed the character of it. Off brand?
Here is the napkin, the beer mat, and the T shirt.
I do much prefer the way this has gone from the original vector based design. It’s got more personality and is more ‘me’….. I improved t don’t, by making it thicker and narrower and then tucked it in more to integrate it with the image. Then I tried out the design in the various formats.
So now I can’t stop drawing chickens and have come up with an alternative design that works, I think. Here are the new sketches…. First I drew a French blue chicken in pen and ink. I thought the shape and scruffiness was friendly. Then I had to re-learn how to make it transparent which You Tube is great for.
Then I played around with the angle of the chicken and decided that an acute angle gave it more dynamism and enlarging it beyond the egg shape more interesting and also captured the white of the French flag. But I didn’t feel the font was integrated with the image, so I searched for examples of French handwriting on the internet because it is quite distinctive and I thought this might give me some ideas about how to proceed. Then I tried to write in the style of a French restaurant blackboard. Not there yet!
I am a bit reluctant to make changes to my French hen designs because I think they work, but I do get my tutor’s comments on playing to my strengths and going with the more messy chicken design. With this in mind I have played and played with chicken designs. No decision yet but here are the working outs…. French ultramarine is clearly the right colour to use, but I think the little red hen is the kind of design that works best.
I had been pleased with my outcome for this project so was a bit reluctant to look at making changes to it. However, the suggestions were helpful. The changes I made were to subtly space out the dice blobs more carefully and rather than use a web based font – Verdana – opt for one that prints well. I also shifted the position of items ‘in’ a bit to give the design a chance not to be cut off by a printer. We’ll see. I may have to adjust again when I’ve done trial prints.
Here are the adjusted designs…