Sunday, 12 December 2010

Tuesday 7th December 2010 – ITAP – Production for Visual Communicators

The Design Workflow

This is my personal design workflow, but as I imagine this isn’t what was wanted of me, I’ll move swiftly onwards.

From Novice to Expert

Knowledge: I would say I’m competent in my knowledge of illustration. I’m hindered by my devotion to certain aspects of it, and my reluctance to embrace areas which do not fit with my esoteric opinions. I can confidently say I know of a high variety of media which can be implemented, and my working understanding of them is good enough to allow a general notion of positive feedback from my peers.

Knowing what media for what audience has positive consequences!
Standard of Work: In terms of academia based work, I try to vary my working process and experiment, to increase my knowledge of how certain media can accentuate the finesse of one type of drawing, but then constrict it in another. Because of this I would say a lot of my sketchbook work is competent, with the process of rendering and refining taking place over the course of developing a finished piece. I like to think that my finished pieces are generally proficient, and my triple distinction at Foundation, with triple A’s at A-Level supporting this theory, as I see that as a perfectly acceptable standard.

Try different media along the route to a finished piece...
Autonomy: I develop a sense of independence after being at an institution for some time, when I can interpret their language, and understand the brief, I can easily delve into a crusading curve of independence, as this is how i’ve worked in the past, and it serves me well. Often I do like to have a follow up meeting, or a period of reflection, where I consolidate what I’ve done, and use it as a base to go further. I’d rate my working standard here as Proficient, possibly competent at the start of a project whilst I’m still getting a feel for the work.

Coping with Complexity: To stop the entropic side of starting a brief holding me back from working, I do like to set up an analytical basis, where I interrogate the ideas I have, to stop any needless interferences. Although I feel more secure with deliberate planning, I’d say I tend towards a more holistic viewpoint as a project progresses, and my ideas become more refined. It’s like life drawing, there’s no need solely focussing on the head, and trying to make it perfect before the rest of the figure is at least gesturally suggested. But, as I see it this can only follow on from the initial decisions of what angle, approach, medium to undertake the sketch in. So really, I see the chart as unfair when it comes to being competent or proficient, as I ricochet between the two.

Informed Idea -> Refine with a secondary Idea -> Final Finished Piece.
Perception of Context: For this, I would say I’m definitely proficient, if not almost an expert. As soon as one has a brief, project, idea that is wished to be undertaken, everything (the way I perceive it) is done with a sense of how it will benefit the final outcome, and how it could, will, or will not fit in with everything else in the system. Part of this is deciding, at some point, not even necessarily early on, how much freedom you will give yourself, and if at all you can bend the brief into something alternative, something which wasn’t asked for by the client, but which still comes under the umbrella of the brief.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tuesday 30th November 2010 – ITAP – Photography and Typography.

How does text affect an image?

Without text, some images; photos, advertisements, even pieces of art like Barbara Kruger’s would simply be nonsensical. Text offers a way to push people’s perceptions of an image in a certain direction, make then see certain things in the image, make the image seem more than what it actually is. 

Above is a rather cunning advertisement, the image itself, whilst amusing, is nothing more than a small child. Then, when the text is read, the viewer is suddenly enlightened to the fact that it’s advertising chocolate liqueurs. This advert I like anyway, as it’s smart, amusing and unusual, but looking at it in terms of text, it would be entirely confusing without the slogan at the bottom. A viewer would be left hazarding a guess at what the image was implying, and, more importantly for “Lunivers De Chocolat”, nobody would be any more informed about their product, and the advertisement would be pointless.

Another smart advertisement of the same calibre. 
How does no text affect emotion?

Understanding the relationship between typography and imagery is integral for creating a unified, effective design. This is evident throughout the entire spectrum of advertising, as well as journalistic representations. But, slightly more contemporary; how does seeing a photo out of context, without prior knowledge, change ones opinion of its content?
The above image was taken by me, some years ago. It appears to be little more than a small, sparse piece of woodland. Quite pristine, and, if taken with an SLR, with correct exposure and bounce lighting, it could make a rather nice image. 

However, if then it was explained that in between the 19th of October and 22nd of November 1914, in these wood, just outside of Ypres, in Belgium, 146,000 allied troops were killed, wounded or missing in action, the viewer’s thoughts change completely. 

What was a nice irregular landscape can suddenly be discerned as potholes, trenches and craters. The sublime way the trees are spread out enough to allow the lazy autumn sunlight seep through is suddenly explained through the realization that German artillery bombardments pounded the woods for days on end. This sort of deception by omission is used endlessly in tabloids to encourage shock and outrage among the readers; the act of showing a seemingly normal photo and then dissecting it over 2 or 3 pages obviously proving popular, as it is a standard template for most newspapers.