Monday, 22 October 2012

Illustrator Practice

Before starting my design I chose to practice using Illustrator to create the type of artwork I wanted to be creating in my final design. I new the style I wanted to try to create but I didn't know the extent of all the tools in Illustrator and so I didn't know which would be best for which task. I did manage however, to play around and create a drawing of a little character in the art style I wanted and to explore the program more and all of the appropriate tools that I thought most appropriate.

This is the picture I created. I used mainly the brush tool, the pen tool, the gradient tool, the shape tool and the ink dropper. I want to make my main poster in the style of American 1930's posters and they all have this kind of art style. I found that the brush tool had a really, really nice look to it and so I used that to create the body, mouth and hair for the drawing however, for the more precise parts of the drawing (the eyes, head and some of the shadowing) I found the circle tool and the pen tool more useful.

I am glad I took the time to experiment with this before hand as it highlighted a lot of flaws in some of the tools I wanted to use and expected to use. The main one was the inaccuracy of the brush tool. It made really nice shapes that were smooth and aesthetically very pleasing however, 1930's posters have a very subtle and sharp type of shading. This was the brush tool major drawback. It was very hard to create mathematically accurate shading and very precise shapes with it. To do all of the shading in the picture I had to fumble around with the pen tool over all of the brush work that i had previously done.

The brush strokes also weren't scaleable which meant that they had to be converted to symbols before editing them which was fairly awkward. I would say that the main thing that i learnt from this was that the pen tool and other shape tools were my best bet for recreating my intended style accurately.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Pitch

Yesterday I pitched my ideas for the designs I am going to carry forth into production. I found it to be really helpful. I showed everything from my research through to my design choices and development. After that I put in some of the mock ups I have created already. It really allowed my to expose my designs for what they were and obtain some feedback about what works and what doesn't.

Fortunately the feedback was positive. Everyone liked my ideas and mock ups and had only positive things to say. All the suggestions I got were valid and backed up with insightful comments and viewpoints. It has helped me to adjust my designs somewhat to improve them based on some comments. It also helped me further solidify the road I was traveling down and how my artwork is supposed to be received. It is an odd thing justifying your design choices. You cannot simply say "I did it 'cos I like it". You have to back that up with solid justification both aesthetically and psychologically. You need to ridicule every choice that you have made and really understand why that choice was the right one. If you can't find the answer, it probably isn't the right choice. This makes it an invaluable experience having to pitch all of your ideas and justify every choice. It really helps you to understand the brief and your designs more and really solidify the image of them in your head.

As I mentioned the pitch went down really well and people only had compliments for me which was really encouraging. The only suggestions I got were for the artwork I have only recently started which was good as it has really helped me focus in on where I want the design to go and which aspects i should include and avoid.

All in all the pitch was a really valuable and enjoyable experience and I feel as though my designs will be better because of it.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Aspects of Web 2.0 to Promote

I thought it might be useful to jot down all of the social networks I can think of and some of the aspects I could promote for this unit. I have already made a brainstorm of these points in my sketchbook however, typing them up may bring some more ideas to mind or help me invasion more.

  • Chat to your friends
  • Connect with the world
  • Share your views
  • Keep in touch

  • Post whatever you want
  • Best cat videos on the internet
  • Not just for cat videos
  • The easy way to become a director/actor

  • Millions of tweets a day
  • Keep it short
  • Tired of ramblers?
  • Celebrities thoughts
  • Say whatever's on your mind

  • It's not dead
  • For musicians
  • Rising again like the phoenix
  • Like music? Love Myspace!

Google Plus:
  • Not filled with spam
  • It's new!
  • Integrates with everything
  • Easy to use!

  • Tired of cat videos?
  • Better videos since 2004
  • More refined
  • A higher class
  • Smarter
  • For professionals

  • Easy to use
  • Make your iPhone a professional camera!
  • Integrates with FaceBook
  • Share your photos with friends


The category I feel I have the strongest platform for idea development at the moment is FaceBook. I can already visualise designs in my head whereas the others will need some work and refinement. I think it is pretty certain that I will create a design for an aspect of FaceBook however, I shall also try to focus in on at least one of the other websites and create another idea for one of them.

American 1930's Posters

This is a great art style that I have been influenced by a lot throughout my life as a lot of the cartoons I grew up watching have a very similar art style. The main aesthetic themes are that of minimalism for the most part. Particularly with colours. One colour will be used for one aspect of the image, there is very little focus on detailed shading or intricate representations of objects. There is just a block of colour to represent objects. There are some more intricate designs in the foreground that may be a tad more adventurous however, certainly in the background all of the shapes and objects are just solid, basic blocks of colour.

Example #1:

This poster is so simplistic and blocky. I really like the art style, the font face and the composition. It has such a nostalgic feeling and yet is quite contemporary in how colourful and geometric the shapes are. I think that this has for me, the most pleasing aesthetic qualities. The other styles I have seen are all a little too plain or a little too intense I think. However, this design balances the two perfectly. The colours work really well together as well. They are vibrant, bright and cartoony but it really fits in with the style of the shapes and overall message. This design works really, really well and I think has inspired me more than any of the other styles I have reviewed thus far.

Example #2:

This again has the same style as the previous poster however, there is a little more detail and definition in this design. However, as you can see in the cord and snow it is largely just a solid block of colour that is shaped to represent certain objects. I again really like this design a lot. It's simplicity is so well calculated. It works really well without becoming too abstract. The cartoony style really appeals to me also. The colours also all work really well. The way that they are not the colours that should accurately represent what they depict yet they still do, more so in some ways. Trees aren't blue and neither are people or snow however, it still works really well and really vividly depicts a cold atmosphere.

Example #3:

This poster is the most abstract of the three however, it doesn't stray too far into the abstract that it becomes too strange. The main thing that separates it is its complete lack of any setting. The thing that fills the page is the sky which is such an unusual colour it makes it quite detached from normality, yet it still works and is relatable. The other designs have odd coloured skies however, they are still colours that appear from time to time in certain places in the world. This colour is too strong to ever occur naturally and is quite intense. I do really like this design though. The typeface and layout are very unique and aesthetically strong. As is the imagery with the two planes, one landing in the sea and one flying conventionally over head.


Overall this is my favourite styles of all the ones I have seen. It is very strong and unique. It's cartoony style is used to perfection and the geometry of all the shapes and designs is used to quite an extent which gives the designs a really stylised, one of a kind feel however, it still is relatable and familiar. 

This is a graphical style also I feel I am least familiar with and so I think I would like to peruse this style further which means that this is the art style I shall be carrying forward with me into the final design process.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Examples of Russian Propaganda

This is a really intriguing and striking style of propaganda. It uses a lot of blocky shapes and bright, contrasting colours mainly focusing around the colour red (the colour that is predominant in the Russian flag). This makes it very visually strong and eye catching and in my view very appealing. 

Example #1:

This first example is really unique. It uses really sharp, geometric shapes and loads of bright, vibrant, contrasting colours. all of the text is also really blocky, impacting and perfected. This differs greatly from the handwritten and imperfect style of the British WWII typography. This is because the intended goal and message for the poster is different. British propaganda is more of a soft, moral boosting, reassuring tool which requires a hands on, personal feel to the designs. Russian propaganda posters are meant to convey a more powerful and strong message. This poster has a very striking and abstract theme to it unlike any other posters I've seen from other countries and era's. It is very unique.

Example #2:

This poster is very striking. Again it's use of strong geometric shapes and bright colours is very eye catching and striking. It has a very abstract art style that depicts soldiers bearing weapons marching forward with three very prominent, huge soldiers above them. there is also a factory in the bottom left and three aeroplanes along side the soldiers. Again this is very strong, powerful imagery that ties into the way that Russia was perceived by the rest of the world at the time. This is also helped out by the typography which is again big, blocky and thick. This poster has a very mechanical feel to it I think. Most of the propaganda from the Russian front did. This is again to possibly enforce the idea that Russia is a big, powerful machine. This would subconsciously (and successfully) effect the rest of the worlds view on Russia and Russian people.

Example #3:

This poster is again very abstract and vibrant. This is less abstract in terms of aesthetic choices however. The layout and construction of the poster is quite held back however, the imagery of a hand made of a plethora of other hands is quite an odd image. There are some faces in the wrist as well. The only thing odd about the the layout and construction is the fact that everything is on a slight angle and not quite level. this i think makes it grab your eye a little more effectively. The fact it is at an angle is odd and draws your eye. The fact that pretty much the entire page is a bright red also helps towards that. It really pops and makes you pay attention. The imagery in this one and symbolism are particularly strong I think in comparison to the others which i slightly more vague and general. The symbolism of the hand constructed of other hands is this posters main strength.

Example #4:

This is probably the most abstract and convoluted designs in the posters that I have selected. There are a load of abstract geometric shapes interacting on a white background. It is extremely out there and unique. There are no shapes to even reflect human or recognisable objects. It's just a collection of random shapes. This is quite impacting however, it is a little strange. I'm not sure it quite works fully. It doesn't really inspire or reflect strength or anything like that, it only looks intriguing. I think it is one of the weaker designs in the posters I chose.

Example #5:

This poster is very generic and very recognisable. It pretty much summarises all of the stereotypical themes of Russian propaganda all in one design. There is of course the red background with yellow highlights. There are three strong figures in the foreground, two of them holding up the two items which make up the two items in the Russian flag. It again has the strong, blocky typeface which inspires power and strength. It is the stereotypical Russian art style and this has a lot of design ideas within it that I could use in an idea of my own that would have a very recognisable and very unique style.


I really like the really alternative and unique styles these posters demonstrate. It is so drastically different to the British WWII posters I reviewed earlier. They focussed on simplicity, subdued colours and simple themes. These posters are complex with off kilter angles and ideas. They pack a punch and instantly grab the attention of the viewer. 

The really strong visual style and theme has made it one of the most popular and recognisable types of propaganda that has ever been produced. It really opens the flood gates to some of the more alternative and abstract ideas in my head and I can certainly experiment with these themes further. 

It has such an iconic style that actually spans quite a broad array of colour groups and layouts that to them that creating a design that pays homage to this would be quite a rewarding challenge. It would work well with a really powerful message as that is one of the major strengths with these pieces of art. Whereas the British artwork was more about moral boosting and suppression of voice so that spies didn't catch wind of plans. The Russian propaganda is quite the opposite with uplifting, powerful messages packed with adrenalin and enthusiasm. It is one of the most successful styles of propaganda I have come across due to its sheer power and the simplicity of it's message. I will look further into this style and specific artists takes on it in the near future.

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