London Typographic Exhibition Trip

The Wolpe Collection

The Wolpe Collection was a typographic exhibition of Berthold Wolpe’s work who was an extremely popular typographic artist back in the 20th century, particularly in the world war period. The reason he was so popular was due to his uniqueness as he could draw letters! Sounds stupid however this is a niche skill as everything is calculated perfectly. He created 5 different typefaces named, Albertus (the most known typeface), Fanfare, Pegasus, Sachsenwald and Tempest. Albertus has been used on some road signs around London as shown in the photograph below.

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The exhibition showed Wolpe’s original artwork, his sketches/ mockups and also the digitalised/ refurbished versions which were done by a guy known as Toshi Omagari who took the whole class around the exhibition for a very interesting tour guide.

The one thing that really caught my eye in the exhibition was the fact that everything Wolpe had drawn was all by hand and measurements, nothing could’ve been rescaled with help of a computer as back in the 20th century technology wasn’t as advanced. Looking at this alphabet that Wolpe drew in extremely small scaled sized amazed me how he could’ve made the measurements exactly perfect when the letters are downsized. Wolpe was asked to make his typeface of a small ‘point’ size, we all find that extremely easy nowadays as we just change the point size in a word document or however, whereas back then Wolpe would’ve had to re-draw the letters with the correct measurements. This shows his eye to detail as everything was perfect, nothing was out of place.

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In conclusion of the exhibition, I found it was fascinating that the typography had been drawn in different scales as people couldn’t just easily increase or decrease the size of type. This really was an eye opener for me, there were different variations throughout his typefaces and people would have to buy his typefaces at different ‘point’ sizes, e.g. 10pt, 11pt, 12pt. It made me realise how fortunate we are nowadays to have the technology which can do this automatically for us. Below are some extra photographs I took whilst in the exhibition.

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St Bride’s Library

As I have visited St Bride’s Library last year I knew what I was expecting, an extremely small box room full of calligraphy (a form of typography) with different themes of calligraphy throughout. This exhibition is always fairly interesting as the artwork is always updated, however always shows the history of typography.

The most iconic piece artwork in St Bride’s Library was the Kelmscott Chaucer, which is a book designed all through typography by William Morris in the late 1800s. This book was extremely inspirational as someone had hand drawn everything with such precise detail, very impressive. I have shown a few images of this exhibition below.

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The House of Mina Lima

The House of Mina Lima was very unique as it was solely based on Harry Potter which made the exhibition much more interesting for me as it is a topic I am familiar with, some exhibitions I can find dull when I don’t understand the story behind them. There were loads of newspaper headlines that were on the walls throughout the house with very similar yet different typographic styles. Some of the paragraphs of type I found difficult to read which was annoying for me as a reader, not sure if this was intentional as I guess it is supposed to be ‘magical’, however this in my opinion a poor design as it wasn’t clear.

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Despite saying that the typography was un-readable, the parts that were very well executed and I liked the style of which they used as it had great synergy to the films and books of Harry Potter. I felt that using typography (which can be a dull topic) and linking it Harry Potter (a topic whereby the majority of the UK population is familiar with) was an extremely clever idea and will be very successful as it makes the studying/ deconstruction of the design more fun.

In conclusion I feel as though The House of Mina Lima was very intriguing in terms of Harry Potter, the layout of the house and synergy with the films and books, however in terms of typography I believe it could’ve been designed better as the majority of it was very difficult to read and for me, Wolpe’s exhibition was much more impressive in terms of artwork. Below are some images I took from Mina Lima.

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The keyword from this trip is MONOLINEAR, which means “Having vertical and horizontal strokes of the same visual weight.” This was present throughout all of the exhibition as typography is all about precision and accuracy. This is also a new word I can now add to my vocabulary.

Final Prints & Product

When printing I was faced with a big issue, when undertaking my test prints everything was going well and my products were looking in good condition with one or two minor errors which I managed to correct. However when it was time to do my final prints I saw that the final product was poorly printed with the ‘blacks’ on the photographs were inverted which made the images look extremely unattractive as shown below.

You can see that the trees and the island look like the blacks in the printer had ran out and I checked all of the ink levels of which they all appeared to be at a working level so this couldn’t have been the issue? I then went on to check my printing settings on the computer incase I had selected to print on the wrong paper type (matte) when I chose lustre, but this also wasn’t the issue. Therefore I was out of my comfort zone dealing with this issue and went to speak to the technician who came and investigated the issue for me and he found out that the black ink cartridge had been blocked up and was being prevented from working.  Due to this I was told to go to another room and use a different printer and this worked out much better, the final products were great quality and no upsets. Below are the images of my final prints.

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Summer Project Evaluation

Visual Communication

I feel as though my final product meets the needs of the brief as I have successfully design two double page spreads both with unique measurements (not A size) on two different topics of Natural Disasters and Monaco. I used 100% my own imagery and typography therefore there is no opportunity for copyright.

I have personally been to the two locations for my double page spreads and have undertaken primary research, the reason I feel as though primary research is better is because you can write about personal hands on experiences which is more precise than research others have said online or in books. I have written up about my experiences in my blog earlier of this project.

The visual communication within my products are strong in my opinion, when looking at the imagery, one is able to identify and put the image and titles together to understand what the double page spread is talking about. For example on my Monaco design the large image on the right hand side is Red/ White. These are the same colours/ design as the Monaco flag, but it is also referencing the race track kerbs that are located all throughout Monaco due to the Grand Prix race track.

I don’t believe my product fails to meet the needs of the brief at all as I have successfully followed each step and covered every single aspects that has been expected of me.

I feel as though the main strengths of my double page spread would be the imagery, the reason for this is because I recently got a new camera and was able to experiment with new camera techniques throughout this project. It enabled me to play around with the focal lens, shutter speed and many more techniques and this increased the aesthetics of the final product, which in turn enables the audience to read the double page spreads visually. The main weakness of my final design i’d say is on my Monaco double page spread the larger image is on the right hand side instead of the left. The reason this could be a weakness is because we as humans (in England) read from left to right and so may not flow easily to the general human eye. I put the larger image on the right hand side of the Monaco double page spread to create synergy and symmetry between the two designs, I feel as though I was successful in doing this.

I feel as though my final product could be improved as there is always room for improvement – nobody is perfect! I wish I could’ve taken some photographs of supercars whilst I was out in Monaco as I could’ve been very creative with the pen tool in photoshop to make some awesome unique double page spread effects. However this was very difficult in Monaco as the majority of those with supercars were preventing people form taking photo’s of their cars are it is their possession, which is understandable.

Reflection of own working practises

Honestly when I was first given this brief I saw the lengthy deadline and though I had so much time to do this project, so I put it off slightly for a while. It was until the beginning of August until I thought I best start to prepare for this as I didn’t want to have a mad crazy rush all at the deadline date. Therefore I started in the beginning of August and did a little bit everyday which I felt helped me a lot as I was consistently doing the small 1 percenters tasks to add all the way up to the 100% finished product. In conclusion I’d say my time keeping was generally good, however if I were to have started at the very beginning it would’ve made things much easier, but I still managed to have everything printed within a few days before the deadline.

My understanding of the brief was crystal clear, this was because the brief was very straight forward and open to my own interpretation of it. I was free to design two double page spreads with my own choice of topic(s) but the measurements couldn’t be the same as an ‘A’ paper. I really enjoyed this brief as it allowed me to be creative and openminded and gave me lots of opportunities to experiment with different themes and ideas.

My research was very good as I was able to reflect upon my previous projects such as the editorial design from HND 1 and to use techniques that I did well in this project, and also to improve on aspects that I didn’t do so well in/ found tricky therefore I have improved as a designer between the time frame of these two projects. I also managed to undertake primary research of the two locations/ topics that I wrote about in my final products. The reason I feel as though this was so beneficial to me was because I was able to write a hands on experience of the topics and also precise information about the forest fires that took place of L’Éscalet beach. I was also able to match up my primary research with the secondary research by looking at online news articles and matching up my figures with that.

I used my research from the editorial design project in HND1 in order to give me some ideas and inspiration for my double page spread design. I wanted to use one large image on one of the pages and then the other for smaller imagery and text. The reason for this was because it looks aesthetic and also makes the reader become attracted to the main image and can use visual communication to talk with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project for the majority of the time as I was able to experiment with different ideas, themes and topics. I also had the time to be able to try new things out and if they worked well or not – I feel as though this has made me as a designer become more mature as I know what works better and what works not so well.

The only aspect of the project that I found annoying was the printing stage, the reason for this was because as mentioned in my blog the printing wasn’t as straight forward as it should’ve been. It took me an hour and a half to print my final products when it should’ve only taken 30 minutes maximum. The reason it took so long was because when printing the black ink cartridge was blocked and wouldn’t print out the black of my images and so they were inverted making them look horrendous! This resulted in myself having to talk to the technician who was very helpful and allowed me to use a different printer which was much better.

Recently I have been working very well in my room at home which is peculiar as I am generally distracted with my computer or TV in my room. However I have redecorated 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 tried my best to be as sustainable as possible, firstly by reducing the amount of wastage as possible as this project was print based. The way in which I tried to be as sustainable as possible was to do a test print on regular A3 paper as this will allow me to pick up aspects of my work that I dislike when printed, as everything looks different when printed compared to on the computer. After my first test print I noticed that the outer glow effect that I used on my images were not smooth and had very jagged edges unlike on my indesign layout, I tried to fix this problem however it was almost impossible therefore I decided to remove this effect before going to final print.

When I was doing my final prints I wasted around 3 pieces of premium lustre paper due to the printers black ink messing around. It was printing half of the product with black ink and the other half the black ink wasn’t comping through making the photographs inverted. This was extremely annoying therefore we had to contact the technician who had to try and unblock the black ink cartridge. For the meantime he allowed us to use a different printer which worked much better. This was a big inconvenience for myself as I had to waste a lot of money and paper on the failed prints on a problem which was out of my control. Next time I will ensure that if the problem happens the once, don’t assume it was the settings I selected when printing and immediately ask for assistance from the technician.

I considered the ethical implications for this project and the main ethical implication would be the copyright infringement or the people used in the images that I selected. How I avoided potential upset was to ensure that there is no copyrighted content within my product and used only my imagery and typography. For the images of people I made sure I took photos with as limited people as possible and if there were people in the photograph, then I made sure that their faces were either blurred or unrecognisable due to them being a long distance from the camera.

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.

 

Creative Design Process

Natural Disasters

When starting the design for this double page spread I used my sketches as my construction to build up to the final design. I started off with one large image on the left hand side of the page. After choosing the correct image I wanted to use I then went into photoshop and used some textures to mask into the text giving them a ‘naturalistic’ feeling. I exported the files as a png in order to put them in my InDesign project as the titles of the double page spread. Below are some screenshots of my process, please click on the images to enlarge them.

Once I had the main title page I then wanted to create synergy with the other side of the double page spread and so used the same technique with the titles for ‘Forest Fires’, again I went into photoshop and use the same masking effect. I made sure that each word had the correct texture representing it, so in this case the word ‘fires’ was “firey”. Once I had the text I wanted to have a photo in the background of the titles something to show the destruction of the forest fires as this helps with the visual communication to the audiences.

I used a gradient feather in order to make the image in the top to fade out making the page smooth flowing allowing it to transition into the typography and other photographs used.

I added in 3 images as my sketches had shown to display the destruction of forest fires and worked my typography around the imagery in a paragraph format. I made sure to use a drop cap of 4 lines as otherwise in my opinion the typography looked really boring and plain, so something needed to attracted the audiences eye. I’ve put some images below to show examples of this.

After that I just ensured that everything was aligned correctly and double checked for any spelling or grammatical errors and I was good to go, below is the image of the final product in good quality.

 

Monaco

With my Monaco double page spread I wanted to ensure that I was using similar techniques to that of the natural disasters double page spread in order to create synergy between the two as the audience would recognise that they were designed by the same person (me). Therefore I implemented a similar effect of the textured typography in the titles with the ‘Monaco’ flag/ kerb for the grand prix. I used the same effect in Photoshop and exported it as a png.

I made quite a few different alternatives of the ‘Monaco’ typography as I wanted to ensure I got the correct style I wanted and so I decided to go with this final design which has ridges and textures in it from a photograph I took of the kerbs in Monaco representing the grand prix which is an important feature of Monaco.

After this I then added some text and 3 images which I took whilst on my holiday to Monaco, the text and images were of a similar style to the previous double page spread, again to build up the synergy between the two.

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From this I then went in and added in my original image of a kerb I took in Monaco which is very boring and plain, I increased the size and rotation of the photograph to make something very clever as it works with the state of Monaco’s flag.

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As you can see I just enlarged the image and played around with the rotation to get something like this which I feel is very effective as it is fitting to Monaco, and also has a slightly grungy texture to it therefore it isn’t just plain and flat. I went on to make the typography with the same effect as before in photoshop and put them into my InDesign project. I used contrasting colours to make them stand out in the red/ white areas as shown below.

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I made the line slightly off horizontal as I wanted to attract the readers eye and to make them realise that the photograph isn’t just red and white, it is in fact a kerb from the Grand prix. In order to enhance the thought of ‘Grand Prix’ I went and drew up the Monaco race circuit, I used an image of the track from the F1 website and went into illustrator to trace around it with a pen tool. Below are images of the image i used to trace and also the final image as a png file.

I then made each sector a slightly different shade by colour correcting it with the ‘hue/ saturation’ effect which worked very well. I put it into my InDesign project file with a drop shadow to make it more pronounced to the eye and I think it was a good addition.

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That is my complete design process for my Monaco double page spread and below are high quality images of the final product.

Digital Mockups

I made some digital mockups in order to see what my final product would look like in a magazine format. This is also very useful for me to use for my online portfolio and also sending to clients in the future as it is a clean and professional layout to show what my design intentions would look like once completed. Below are the two digital mockups.

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Test Prints

Today was the day whereby I undertook my test prints with a basic colour printer in the Library at West Kent College. I used basic A3 paper, the reason for this was to reduce the amount of money spent on the printing stage of this project as ink and paper are expensive if there are corrections to be made!

The main struggle I had when test printing was ensuring that all the settings on the PDF file was correct, making sure that the printer wasn’t going to stretch my design to fit the A3 paper. The reason I didn’t want this to happen was because I had made the document the measurements I wanted to make a hard copy mock up on the magazine that I purchased. If the printer had stretched my design to fit A3 then the double page spread would’ve been out of proportion – thankfully I selected the correct settings first time round.

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These initial test prints were just to get an understanding of the colours, textures, overall view and also measurements for the mockup on my magazine. The two double page spreads are shown above on their own after being trimmed around the crop & bleed marks. After looking at this I was happy with the outcome and decided to put them inside the magazine to see if the measurements were correct and they were – fitting perfectly! Please flick through the slideshow to see my test print mockups.

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I am pleased with the final outcome of my test prints and will be sending my final product to print on Friday!

 

Reviewing photos from Monaco

After visiting Monaco on my travels over the summer period I ensured I reviewed my photographs and matched the best suited photographs with my sketches. I wanted to make sure that I included the famous aspects of the Grand Prix race circuit in my double page spread as Monaco is extremely famous for this. I took photos of the red and white kerbs, the famous race tunnel, historic monuments etc. and the reason for this was because I wanted to ensure I would get something grand prix related that would fit well within my final design. I also took photos of the surrounding attractions (casino, castle and views etc.) as you can see in a small selection of the photographs below.

I took so many photographs in Monaco which was very beneficial to me as it allowed me to have a large variety when designing my final product. As you can see I tried to test out a unique shot with extending the shutter speed in the racing tunnel however this didn’t really turn out as I wanted it to, therefore decided against using the idea. I feel as though learning my own camera is something I will be improving on over the coming months as there are so many different effects and techniques that can look so effective when performed correctly, and that is an area of graphics design I am extremely looking forward to advancing in.

Here is a screenshot of all the Monaco photographs selected to show how many I took in total! Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 20.04.56.png

168 photos later….