Sunday, 23 October 2011

Year 2 Grammar and Punctuation

As a class we were to design a page each using the symbol given to us. Each page will explain and illustrate or demonstrate a grammatical or punctuation issue. I was given a Semicolon to experiment with and see what I could produce. This exercise is all about risk taking and pushing designs in places that do not feel comfortable. 

Before I decided to do any designs I drew a semicolon into my sketchbook and looked at the shape to see if I could create anything from what I could see and sure enough there was an circus elephant with a beach ball.

Using a technique I learnt in my first year. I decided to print off Times New Roman Semicolon and draw around it in pencil. I then took a biro and started to draw an elephant free hand around the comma. I tried to make the lines crisp as possible as well as being slightly sketchy. After the elephant was drawn I began to draw a cartoon beach ball. 
I was now left with a black outline of an elephant and a beach ball. Scanning this into PhotoShop, I used a work path to make the lines look like an engraving. I was now left with a nice thick black outline. 
Using the magic wand and different layers I was able to play around with colours until it looked correct. Each colour had a different layer thus making it easier to play around with colour. I also labeled each layer so it was quick to refer to whilst editing.

Coming to America Project

Final scrapbook and 3-D journal. End of Year.

I am very pleased of being able to do this project and putting all the photos and journal notes together into one book. It is something I will be able to keep it and look back on it in the future. 

The 3-D journal was a piece I made in The Shed in a massive cardboard box. This was an exercise I learnt in class, and thought it was a really good idea to use the main places visited whilst on the road trip into iconic pieces. Using a site light and a camera it produced really good photographs. The light and shadow formed in the flutes and cut out letters really made the experience great when photographing.
I made many mock-ups of this book to get the lay out correctly and what photographs worked with one another. I decided to go with hand binding it all together, the reason being is because all the cut outs I did were really time consuming and very fragile. Also the whole book has a sense of a hand made piece - whereas the scrapbook I wanted a spiral bound because I wrote all my notes down in a spiral bond sketchbook on the road, I thought it had a nice relation to one another. 

The scrapbook pages were mainly random and not thought of as much, however there were pages that I took time to layout because of places we visited either portrayed it that way e.g. Little BigHorn Battlefield.  The scrapbook is also either landscape or portrait the reason behind this was to resemble of the ups and downs we had the road.
The materials used throughout were either recycled that I found laying about or from the trip scan multiple times. Linking back to All Messed Up, I wanted to produce random graphics by scanning maps and brochures we picked up on our way. 

Final Playing Cards

Here are the final 6 playing cards. All include 3 different print processes either mono, dry point, wooden block and lino. Inspired by Paul Klee. 

All mono prints were created by using my left hand, the reason for using this was to gain the style of Klee's work. Not only did it work but it looks really effective in this style.

The Letters and Numbers were either cut out of wooden block or lino, I wanted the type to look crisp and have a contrast of imagery that looks sketchy. 

The circle double print: The small circle symbol was created using dry point, I found it very hard to line up the circles to print neatly together. However each colour the plate had to be cleaned then ink applied to then over print. This took along time to get right however as the playing card '3' looked good over printed I decided to go with that. It also made the playing card look more the way I wanted it to, similar style to the way I drew with my left hand to create the portraits. 

As the main symbols were mono printed, I decided to discard the middle circle '3' as it didn't suit the style of the other playing cards. Also it was on a different paper stock and looked out of place, so going with the cream paper - the playing cards looked more of a set. 

After the inks had dried I then worked back into the portraits using water colours, this again was to gain the style of Paul Klee. Before adding water colours to the final cards I practiced on trail portraits to see how much water to add to the colours to gain a bleeding colour look, after a few attempts this is what I produced for the final hand in. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

As the installation project went so well, I decided to create The Shed out of the spare cardboard left over. The type face is Helvetica Bold, the reason in choosing this type face is due to how it looks and how easy it is to cut. The curves are far easier to cut than a type face with serifs, which I learnt from making the 'New Roman' letter 'P'. Used exactly the same techniques as before, using print outs however this time I made tabs so all I had to do was cut through one later of the card and fold then glue. 
This overall piece will either be sprayed red or left as it and mounted upon the wall in the shed. 
More photos to come later on. 

Cardboard City

Installation Project - Cardboard City. This Installation was made for the end of year show, the idea was that students produce an object, anything that comes to mind. The idea of the building was to represent how designers work with girds, the grids being the windows cut out of the buildings and the shapes of the building. I also made a letter and number, as graphic designers we all work with numbers and letters  which fit in nicely with this installation. I made this amount in The Shed because I had a lot of cardboard left over and not to use it would of been a shame. 
Overall I am really pleased with what I had produced in The Shed and the buildings my class made too, looked really good.  

Hindsight 2011 End of Year Show Photographs

 Year 1 playing card project
 Year 1 Coming to America Project
 Cardboard City Installation 

Photographs of Colchester Institute Graphic Media year 0 - 2 End Of Year Exhibition.

Overall I thought the show looked brilliant and went very well indeed. I must admit talking about work really helps to break the ice when your talking to people you've never met. The impression gained from the public that came in to see the show was highly positive. It is nice to be involved with something like this, it gives you a goal at the end of the year.

Photographs from a disposable camera. 

Monday, 23 May 2011


 I crated this when creating the arches cutout.  I originally traced a blown up version of the Arches national park post card - that I uploaded earlier on, then used a black marker to trace on my light box. I had to add this tracing because it looked right, I don't know why but when I scanned it into photoshop then added the wood path it looked really good. Almost an artists response to Arches National Park, I know this was by chance this happened but I feel it looks really nice and wasn't something to go un noticed. 

The process is exactly the same way I crated the 3D letter, save as PDF file - open - print - tile print - change percentage depending on sizing - Print. Cut margins off - place together like a puzzle - lightly spray. spray mount onto paper - stick - cut - peal off. Done. Same process as type face. 


So I got around to using the wooden block type faces I made and the lino cuts. I am really please with the overall result, the scans are of me experiementing with the pressure and getting the wadding (newspaper) correct under the press. So these aren't the best prints I successfully did, however it does show how well it works. 

The 'K' and 'Q' king and queen are cut into lino and I feel do not work work with the wooden cut jack and three. The left over lino creating that sketchy look to the print I think looks really nice and as a print work really well however adding to a playing card I may have to cut the excess away to match with the wooden cut type. Time will tell if it works or if doesn't, it will include some  time within the print room, but this inevitable as what I have learnt over this first year. 

Presentation Of Scrapbook

This idea stemmed from the visit to The Minories, and viewing Laura Jackson-Willis exhibition. The work that she was showing was really helpful for the scrapbook theme I have been working on for some weeks now, yet it wasn't the idea within the journals that produced this idea for my work. It was more of the presentation of Laura's journal pages, I have scanned the pages in and produced a slicker journal however it has slightly lost the scarpbook/journal feel to it, however it still links back to the way I have been working. (scans of scrapbook will be uploaded at a later date). The way Laura has presented her work (image on the left) really gives a sense of what the pages look like together - whereas my scanned pages didn't look right in a single format and not in the company of the other page spread. 

This idea would include double page spreads and zoomed in parts of  the scrapbook taken from the sketchbook I had crated.   

What I have noticed that the first couple of pages crated were in a landscape format which will make it difficult to mount with other landscape page
layouts. However I am not cancelling these pages out as they are still part of the scrapbook. Its all well and good taking photographs of all the pages from the sketchbook and mount on the wall, But I do not think it will do the pages justice and how the audience would perceive it.

By taking small samples of the collages on the page would create unpredictable graphics as its not supposed to be seen in this view finder approach. By going in close to the work it creates different types of work, pretty developing upon the work that has already been created.

 Photographing pages like this gives a small glimpse of what the road trip was about, not only that it changes the perception of the scrapbook. If these were mounted on the wall and the sketchbook or made road trip journal, was in front of the photographs. The audience would get an idea of what was in the scrapbook before even looking in the book.

 The Mount Rushmore page. The visit there felt rather surgical, this meaning the sort of aura there, no rubbish laying about, flowers cut and well looked after, I know its a national monument however it didn't drop it standard where ever i went, the toilets were even nice and I must admit the car park was nicely laid out. So placing the photographs in this organised manner suggests how it felt and looked in the park, no so much how the opposite page looked like but I felt at the time, this is page should look how it felt being there. 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Just In Case

I wanted more of a personal touch to this playing card project by using wooden block type and lino cuts for type. I know wooden block type is ready to use in the print room however it doesn't teach you how to cut with accuracy and to create sharp edges in wood and lino. I guess I am slowly making my own collection of type that I can use through out the course. 
I have really enjoyed using the gouges and chisels to cut out the type. It only takes one slip to ruin it all, cut too much the letter doesn't look right, not enough doesn't look right. Takes time to cut but I do like working this method it gives great results when done correctly. 

To go through all this effort and time, I am not entirely sure if this will work with what I have in mind with the playing cards that I have designed and planning to print, never less  its all working process and good experience with lino and work cutting. 

Friday, 29 April 2011


Created these  a couple of weeks ago but haven't had time to upload them, pretty much a response to the 3D journal pages we created.
For an exhibition idea, I could make other cut outs for the best parts of the road trip and mount on the wall space, that is if there is wall space available to go along side the journal.

I decided to use times new roman as the type face, the reason being for this is i think it fits in nicely, another font I do not feel it would fit within. Using cardboard is a brilliant media, the ability of being able to remove the top layer to reveal the corrugate card works really well to create texture and shadow. Cardboard is somewhat boring with out exposing the flutes.  

The moose is an ionic part of road trip in Yellowstone. I created the moose the same way I made the outline of the 3D letters. This isn't finished yet, I am yet to finish cutting the type into the card and to expose the card to create rocks ect. 

Linking back to the unpredictable graphics book I was looking at by Anna Gerber, I didn't realise there was text on the back of the card. I just used the cardboard my Dad brought back from work and cut it out and didn't see what was on the back of it, I should of looked really however this doesn't as I am using the other side of the card. 

Linking back to the 3D journal we made I could see thees cardboard cut outs working in a camera view form, for exampling slowly sliding in with a camera which would create depth of field, also the use of light would create great shadow, form and texture. This could almost be a walk through of the most memorial parts of the road trip.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Three is a Magic Number

I decided to see how difficult it was to carve your own wood block for the letter press. The reason for this is because I couldn't find a reasonable sized no.3 in the collection we have in the print room. I wanted to create a number so I could incorporate it within my playing card designs and may use in the future. 

 I printed Times New Roman 3 out backwards - this way when it prints, it prints the number the right way. Used small amount of spray mount to tack it in place whilst I cut around outline.

After cutting around the number, I discarded the white paper leaving the black number. The tools used gouges, scalpels and chisels. 

 Slowly working away at the wood using the gouges was pretty easy, to gain a nice flat area I used the chisel to take a little off at a time. Small amounts each time as you cannot add what you have cut back if you go too deep. 

The deeper the cut around number the easier it was to remove the wood around the number. I kept taking small amounts down until all the wood was the same level around the raised 3. Using the smaller gouge to get in close to the number, this way I could control the amount of wood being removed. As the gouge leaves uneven lines, using a small scalpel blade to flatten the wood around the tricky parts of the number I found useful.

The overall result, turned out pretty good for a first try. The only problem is the type of wood I used (pine) Pine is a really soft wood and I do not know how well it will cope under the press. Another issue is the treatment to prevent the wood splitting or cracking over time - this is an area where I shall research within to find out how to treat it. 

Making this number for my playing card will work really well if it works under the press, I may hand press it, to see how it works. The last thing I want to do is put it under the press and crack and ruin it. It didn't take long carve but it would be a shame to ruin it. I may make another number out of a harder wood that way I have 2 numbers for my playing cards that I can then design the symbols for. At the moment i have a layout for the number 3 which will be added on here at a later date after I printed them.