I had a go at reworking my Uganda anti gay policy poster which represent the President Museveni sweeping the gay population into a dustbin. In fact Uganda has thankfully, since the creation of this poster, repealed the policy on the grounds of a lack of quorum in government.
Still, I thought I would try to respond to the ideas from my tutor. My favourite idea was to play with the idea of adding different kinds of moustache to Museveni. I found this great website about dictators’ moustaches (most Western dictators in history seem to have had them) and had the idea of having cut-out able moustaches at the base of the poster to be pinned onto the President, like ‘pin a tail onto the donkey’. On reflection, though, I felt I wanted to crack on with the course rather than remaking preoccupied with this section. An idea to use in the future perhaps? (I like the idea of interactive artwork, like the photoboard of a seaside I created for my illustration course).
Meanwhile I tried adjusting the size of the text on the poster as suggested by my tutor. I do think this improves the poster, as the image is so dominant.
I tried several alternatives, but this is the best one I think. I think the red text works better than black, and the position at the bottom is discrete enough, while still being readable. Other attempts further below.
By adding black to the gradient, I might have improved my pile of Autumn lettering. The big question remains, will people read Autumn? Does it matter? Will viewers engage with the image more readily because it isn’t 100% clear or does it need to be utterly transparent?
So now, I have three versions of the final poster, one navy and orange, one with blue gradients, and one here with a blue black gradient. I definitely like this blue black version best. The gradient gives the flat image a little depth. The black makes the orange stand out and the gradient to blue makes the orange glow. I think it looks a bit like an Autumn bonfire as well as a pile of leaves.
I thought it would be fun to look at fonts people tend not to like and why. It’s quite an amusing thing to investigate. The two biggest reasons for fonts to become unpopular are 1) over use 2) commonly used inappropriately. Here are a few links to sites that highlight the culprits, which include Comic Sans, Arial, Papyrus and Helvetica (which conversely is one of the most popular fonts ever).
There is also a funny Tumblr site called The Font Police, where people contribute misused fonts. It seems to be all about context. This example says it all…..,
Type emergency St John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma wishes to tell us that being in the triage unit is funny, with its use of Monotype Plantin in a variety of jolly, different sizes and an alternative baseline for the g. We’re also not sure if the last two lines are meant to be centred, and someone seems to have had terrible trouble applying those characters upright, spaced and on the baselines. Submitted by Calen Coffman.
My work on this section of the course has been severely impacted by the news that my husband has cancer. It took two months to get over the shock and be able to pick up my work again. I couldn’t draw at all for all this time, even though I tried. The connection between emotion and creativity and the need for whole focus to think creatively has never been more obvious to me than now. Still now that I have pushed myself back into action, i realise how important having a structure is to help me through this time, and how the act of drawing supports the soul.
I did some reworking early on in this section, of what I submitted for assignment two. I was much more pleased with the results of the reworked assignment and this has confirmed to me that it is well worth submitting work for feedback rather than on dwelling in angst on something you know is not quite right. This means making a space for tweaking or even reworking entirely once the feedback is received.
I did some research for assignment three, seeking examples of things ‘orange’ and realised that the strongest positive association of orange for me is Autumn colours. What I didn’t do early on, and should have done since it might have helped me with ideas, was to go back to my growing list of graphic designers I like, and explore what they have done that might inspire me. Instead I was ambling around with some rather naff ideas with no structure. I had an itch that I really should do some work on paper rather than all digitally so experimented with that. I also wanted to find out how to do that clever thing that a lot of graphic designers do with typography when they have images peeking through the letters. I worked that out and was quite pleased with the results. Then, after fiddling about with some falling leaves ideas I had a two month break, and then, now back in action, I take inspiration from other graphic designers and immediately start work on a concept that I think will work. The only thing about the final design I have done that I feel could be changed would be to make a three dimensional version of all the letters in a pile and then light it appropriately (dramatically) and then photograph it. I think that might work quite well….. oh well, let’s see what my tutor says.
So, I thought the pile of letters for Autumn worked quite well. I just experimented with adding black and white to it. I didn’t think that worked. I wanted to add more weight to the base of the pile so added more letters and got to where I wanted it to be.
Then, having decided the image was better without any black or white, I decided to try a darker blue background as I anticipated that it would make the whole thing more dramatic and perhaps more Autumnal. I think it works. I did wonder in all this whether the letter would still say Autumn to others, but tested it on a few people who said it did.
So what happened was that I felt frustrated and up satisfied with where I had got to with assignment three. I just didn’t want to submit it as it was so I decided I would have another go. I didn’t know where to start though I was considering both hand drawn and painted graphics as well as digital. I wanted to stick with the idea of Autumn and orange and blue. That’s all. So, I typed in ‘messy typography’ in Google, hoping it would bring up the work of some of the lovely messy work by graphic designers I’ve been looking at like Edward Fella, Dave Carson, Paula Scher and Andrew Foster. In fact I chanced upon this unreferenced image on some unreferenced blog. I didn’t think it was a great image but it sparked an idea that had been lurking….. That of a pile of Autumn leaves. It immediately made me think of a pile of the letters that make up the word Autumn, so I decided to start work on that.
So I started having a go in Skribl and quickly came up with this:
What I have found is that when I am not feeling creative I jump around trying semi resolved ideas around, rather than going through a rigorous process of research and investigation. On the other hand, it is for sure that sometimes I jump straight to a solution which I think works, with no background study whatsoever. Well, that is to say, no obvious background research, though it may have been something I had stored in my head from the past and mulled over. However, in some ways diving in at the ‘wrong’ point in the design process is better than doing nothing at all, and serves to get me going, even though often in baby steps, when I’ve been ‘stuck’. I don’t know if most creatives are like this, but I go from being quite active in bursts to having a significant gaps in creative work. Sometimes I even forget that by looking at the work of successful illustrators and graphic designers I can gain the stimulus to kick start my thinking. Then I remember, and bang, something happens.
Anyway, here is one of my less than resolved ideas for Autumn, which was a sideways attempt to try something non digital. It didn’t inspire me to progress the idea in any way….
I’ve been looking to see what other OCA students are up to. I do like what this student has done for assignment three. Aligo Shah what’s interesting is that as often seems to be the case, some of the preparatory studies are, I think, better than the final submission, which is too clean and tight. I really liked the idea of a roughly painted backdrop then photographed and this was well used in the preparatory studies. The study has more energy and excitement than the final choice, but excellent work anyway.
Here’s an early study and then the final design.
Another OCA student, Edward Evans, wrote himself a detailed brief before he attempted assignment three. What a good idea! He also gave himself a timescale (10 days) to finish the assignment. This kind of structured approach is good for open learning but also a professional approach to completing an assignment, I’m impressed by that. Unfortunately because of the break I’ve had in the middle of this assignment, it feels a bit unfocussed. But I would rather submit my efforts and get feedback and have another go I think.