Science & Magic: Evaluation

Visual Communication

I believe my final product meets the needs of the brief as I have successfully illustrated a double page spread for a magazine using the New Scientist & Nautilus Magazine as inspiration into my final design. I have created one large portfolio illustration that fills up an entire page of the magazine article, and the magazine article I chose was ‘Of Illusion & Delusion’. I have used 100% my own design work and as this has project has been illustration based there has been no opportunity for copyright in imagery and also in the article as I have written the article myself.

I undertook secondary researching in this project in order to have a strong understanding of the two magazine companies that I am using as inspiration for. The reason for this is because I needed to know which techniques they use, what styles they have and any small things that I need to put in my final design to correlate with the magazine companies. I used the web for the majority of my research however a few of my peers had copies of the New Scientist magazine and so I was able to get a hands on feel of the magazine, of which I did take some photographs of and take inspiration from it.

The visual communication within my products is very clear and strong, the reason for this is because I used something we see in everyday life, wether it be us driving, walking, cycling or running was always see signs to direct us. My visual message of the large image was to say that there are two directions ‘religion’ or ‘science’ and both of which take their own complete different pathways. I illustrated this through use of semiotics, but bringing in the scientific elements (space, the earth, the galaxies etc.) but also with use of some religious symbols such as the yin and yang. The reason I used both scientific and religious references throughout the design was because I wanted the article to be seen as unbiased as possible, the reason for this is because the target audience would be larger instead of it being very narrow to certain people. As well as opening the target audience I wanted to reduce all possibilities to cause upset ethically, therefore needed to ensure that it was “fair”.

I do not believe that my products fail to meet the needs of the brief at all as I have successfully followed each step from the brief and completed every aspect that has been expect of me.

I feel as though the main strength of my final product would be the portfolio piece (large image) of the double page spread, the reason for this is because it attracts the eye of the audience into the magazine article. It has very vibrant colours and so brings in the readers eye. The illustration is also fairly basic and isn’t too extravagant, therefore allows the reader to have a clear understanding of the image and so the visual communication is almost impossible to be misunderstood. Another aspect of the final product I really like is the contrast between the left page and the right page of the double page spread. They are both extremely different, the illustration is very informal and almost child-like, whereas the article is very formal and professional. The reason I chose to portray this in this way was because I wanted the readers eye to be attracted to the magazine by the imagery, and then when they are reading the article they actually digest, approve and take the article seriously as the topic science and religion is extremely sensitive and I wanted to ensure it was factual.

The only weaknesses within this brief I feel would be the article itself, the reason for this is because I struggle to write professionally and formally, and so the article itself may not read as well as it potentially could if I were to have used a source from the internet. However this could cause copyright conflict which is not what I would want to happen.

Reflection of own working practises

When we were originally given this brief the deadline was fairly lengthy of which I was extremely happy with, the reason for this was because I had 3 different briefs/ project son-going at the same time. I had the charity rebranding project, a project for my charity and also this project, as well as small personal projects I work on in my spare time. As I had a lot of projects on the go at one time I was constantly working and I felt as though this helped me time keep as I had a strong structure of what I was doing and when, and when I needed to have things done by. Although in the middle of this brief we had an interim crit and I hadn’t done a lot of work up until this point therefore it may have come across as though my time keeping was poor and I hadn’t done any work, however this was not the case. The reason my crit wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been was purely down to the fact that I had multiple other projects on the case which had a much closer deadline and so I needed to prioritise my workload of importance. My charity had a tight deadline as they had to go live with the designs for the Christmas season, therefore the main focus was on that.

My understanding of the brief was crystal clear, I read the brief in-depth and had a strong understanding of what was expected of me. I had to design a double page spread using inspiration from the New Scientist and Nautilus Magazine, we had to choose wether we were going to do illustration or photography and also the article we were going to design for on the double page spread.

My research in this brief wasn’t as strong as I felt it could’ve been, however I undertook just enough research in order to have an understanding of the magazines that I needed to use as inspiration for this project. I would’ve preferred to have done a lot more research however I feel that because of the amount of projects that were going on with the charity and personal projects, I feel that this has let my research lack a little more in this brief.

I enjoyed this project as I am not as strong in illustration as I am photography therefore it was a different side of graphics design and I enjoyed advancing and improving my skills in this section of graphics design. I would really like to use illustration more in my work and will endeavour to improve over time, and I feel that Project X will be a great way for my to really test myself.

Recently I have been working very well at home which is a little out of the ordinary as I am generally distracted with my computer or TV in my room. However I have refurbished my room and moved furniture around and so as the room has a different layout and colour theme to it my mind thinks it is in a different environment and I have been working and focusing much better. The environment is very important for studying and that has been proven by psychologists and scientists.

‘Good Design’ Evaluation

Throughout this project I have been very sustainable, I have reduced the amount of possible prints are possible which is great. The way in which I reduced my prints was by doing a test print on poor quality paper originally in order to get the correct measurements, find any spelling/ grammatical errors and colour issues. After this I found a small error with measurements I went to the main print and everything printed out perfectly, therefore I minimised all potential upsets and saved myself some money with high quality printing costs.

I considered the ethical implications for this project and the main ethical implications was the conflict between science and religion. Religion causes a lot of conflict throughout the world we live in today, it causes war and science causes upset towards religions as they re being ‘proved’ wrong. The way in which I wanted to remove all possible ethical issues associated with this project was to ensure that my design was as neutral as possible, by having the same amount of points for religion and there were for science – therefore it couldn’t be unfair. Secondly I made sure that the illustration had elements of both sides within it to again make a healthy balance. Thirdly I ensured that every point in the article was factual, and also valid. The reason I thought about this was because I am a socially conscious designer and am always thinking about my future and how to progress and not just thinking about the design job (money) at the time.

For me I personally feel as though I have been more socially conscious in this project compared to previous projects as I have always been consciously thinking about ethical implications, how to prevent waste etc. I still believe that these projects are helping me more and more to become a socially conscious designer as each project I am improving.

My personal target in the future would be to always ensure that I am consciously thinking about how the audience could interpret my work, and to remove all potential upsets in my designs if need-be.


Science & Magic: Final Prints and Final Digital Product

Here are my final prints, although my test prints were not as planned, the test prints definitely helped me to remove all possible upsets when it came to the final expensive print.

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I am pleased with the final prints as they have came out much better than I had anticipated, especially after the issues I had with test prints! Below are the digital final copies of each page separately.

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Science & Magic: Design Process

When starting off the design process for my final design, I had a lot of variations running through my head as to how I could portray my message through graphics, so I started sketching out thumbnails and I used this to help me come to my final design.

I started in Adobe Illustrator and used a circle which I shaped as I felt was necessary with a black outline as shown below. I used the ellipse tool to create the shape and moved the edges using the pen tool to make it an obscure circle shape and increased the line thickness to 4pt to give it some depth.

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I then needed to make the circle look like the earth and of course the best way to do this would be to draw countries and the sea. So I used an image from google in order to give me an understanding of what it would look like and used the pen tool to outline the countries and sea. I used the image to trace over at some times but also as a guide of what countries look like, adding my own twist to it in places.

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In after I had outlined the world I then filled in the world with colours separating the land and the sea otherwise it looked slightly confusing, just lots of black lines floating about randomly. From here I then made a large dark blue rectangle to fit the canvas and then made a clipping mask over the earth, this then cut the earth off at the bottom making it fit into canvas. I made sure that the rectangle bled over the page by 5mm as this was a requirement in the brief.

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This then gave the effect off that the image is in space as you can see part of the earth and the surrounding galaxies. However the galaxies, stars and other aspects will need to be added in to complete the design. Next, I made the sign which was coming out of the earth displaying two directions, which were named ‘Religion’ and ‘Science’, this shows that there are two pathways in life, and you must choose which to take, you can’t be stuck between the two.

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I made sure that it was central framed, made a long rectangle into the centre and then two rectangles off the side of it in white. I had to play around with the pen tool for the white signs to give the ‘pointing’ effect as they were originally rectangular, but this wasn’t a large issue. Straight away this had a strong message behind it and the visual communication was clear in my opinion and also from peers. I then had to add in the stars and other things to do with space into the design, so I went on to add in the sun (with a twist) and the ISS (International Space Station).

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The reason I made the sun with a “twist” is because the sun is circular I tried to think of as many different symbols to do with religion and the first thing that came to my head was the yin and yang. Therefore I had the sun as the main focus however there is a faded yin and yang symbol inside of it if you look closely, the reason for this was to include religious aspects and scientific aspects within the design to make it as neutral as possible. Both the sun and the ISS were just made up of shapes and one main effect which I used known as an “glowing edges”. The reason I used this effect was because it brought the illustrations out, gave them a pop which I thought was necessary as their is a strong meaning behind both of them. This effect is found under ‘Stylize’ in the ‘Effects’ tab.

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I then went on to add in the stars which was fairly straight forward as thankfully there is a ‘star tool’ and so I made multiple different stars with this tool, all different sizes adding to the depth effect and made them all the same colour as the sun with the ‘Glowing Edges’ effect. I thought the stars completed the ‘space’ effect that I was going for, along with the sun, ISS and the earth.

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After I had designed the main portfolio piece, I then went on to do the editorial part of the brief which was much more straight forward. I marked out a grey box with a white background which bled off the page 5mm. There is an extra black box around the page and that is the edge of the canvas, therefore illustrating that I have used a bleed. This black line will not be printed in the final product.Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 14.15.06

I then put in the title, sub-heading and my name as I was the author of the article. I chose the font ‘Helvetica Neue Thin’ and the reason for this is because I felt as though the article needed to be neutral with a professional font. Needed to be clear cut and easy to read without any bias, therefore this fit perfectly.

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I then wrote my article after doing plenty of research and used 2 columns, the reason for 2 columns was because I felt 3 was too squished together and it read much better in 2 columns, particularly because I reduced the space by using a rectangular box. But the rectangular box is used frequently throughout new scientist and nautilus magazines so I thought it would be ideal to follow conventions.

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I used a drop cap of 3 lines which I thinks gives it that little extra and the letter ‘R’ really catches the readers eye. Below is the final spread in png form.

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Science & Magic: Test Prints

When doing my test prints for my double page spread I noticed there was a major issue of which would cause the final print to be costly, so it is a good job that I noticed the issue early. When test printing the dimensions of the print were incorrect and the reason for this was because when I selected my spread to be printed on A3 Landscape it printed them at a scale of 60%. This meant it was printing at 40% less size than expected, causing a smaller print than it should’ve. Here are some images of my test prints below.


Prints measurements turned out to be 14.5cm x 18.5cm instead of 20.5cm x 26.5cm. Therefore I knew for my final print that I needed to ensure the print was going to be of the correct size and with the extra bleed of 5mm to meet the needs of the brief.

Science & Magic: Interim Crit

We had a random interim crit halfway through the brief of which I was fairly unorganised for, however here is the presentation slides that I used in my crit. The reason I was unorganised for this interim crit was largely down to the fact that I was so busy focusing on getting my designs done for my client (charity) as this had a much higher priority than the interim crit at the time.

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The feedback from the interim crit wasn’t positive nor negative, however my tutors told me what I already knew which was that I needed to make a start on sketching and making the design!

Science & Magic: Digital Mockups

I found it very hard to do a digital mockup for this brief down to the fact that the measurements of the magazine are abnormal and so there are very few mockup templates out on the internet for me to use to display my work digitally. Therefore the only choice I had was to use an A4 magazine mockup design and fit my product into the magazine, this made the design and aesthetics stretched and didn’t fit as I wanted it to, however it still gives off the effect of what the design would look like. Here is my digital mockup.

digital mockup

Science & Magic: Options

Illustration or Photography?

I found picking between illustration or photography very difficult as throughout our lessons we were told that illustration was the best option to go for as the photography isn’t as everyone thinks it is. We were actively told that the illustration was the best option however I didn’t let this get to me I chose which option I wanted to do after being given the brief and reading through it.

I had recently undertook a rebranding project of a celebrity and used illustration in this project and thoroughly enjoyed it. This then made me more comfortable to do illustration in this project as I wanted to improve and advance in this sector of graphics design. Although I know my photography skills are much better and I would produce something much better in photography I feel as though in order to be a good graphics designer it is essential to have a variety of skills as that is what workplaces want now. Design agencies do not want someone who is only good at photography, they want someone who has a wide range of skills, and so I thought there was no better opportunity than to explore and advance in illustration as this will enabled me to have a large experience in illustration and to become a better well-rounded graphics designer.

This is the reason for my choosing the illustration option.