First Things First – Final Poster

For this project, we were asked to use our research from the First Things First Manifestos and content that we have covered across the last few weeks working in field. The brief was to create an A2 two-colour poster that must include three elements: image, expressive typography and a block of text. The poster’s narrative had to tell what role graphic communication has in shaping our futures. As well as the poster itself, we were also asked to take the graphic language used on our poster and make it work in one other context/platform. For example, the second platform could be: a gif, a short animation, a web banner, a piece of printed ephemera, etc.

I started off by researching what will happen to graphic design in the future, but was struggling to find a quote. I started by trying to get “Design can’t die”, which I had used in the typography workshop, too work, but felt that it wasn’t right. After my tutorial with David, he suggested that I look into what is known as ‘the self-taught designer’. These are people who don’t study the discipline and have just learnt everything that they know themselves along the way – they are self taught. After previously already coming across this in my earlier research, I began to focus in on that area more. I read about how many people often feel that they know better or could do better than a professional designer – this then leads to bad design. From researching this, I came up with the quote, “Publisher is for posters; use Comic Sans.” My idea was to use the quote ironically, because as designers, you should know that you should never use Publisher to create a poster – InDesign is much more professional, and also that, Comic Sans is one of the ugliest fonts going. I was thinking of possible designing the poster in a ‘bad design’ kind of way, but still having it look attractive – for example, I might have used ugly colours. Although I had a few ideas, I was struggling to choose an image to go with it. After speaking to David again, he said he liked the idea but that it would be very difficult to pull off in the right way. He suggested changing the idea, so together we came up with a new idea for a quote. I much preferred this new one and found ideas were flowing immediately. I decided on the quote, “We are more than… posters, CD covers, computers, websites, magazines, Photoshop… We shape the future.”

These were the initial designs I created for the poster:

2016-03-16 14.27.44.jpg

After deciding that number 2 was my favourite idea, and testing out the colour schemes – I chose yellow and blue as they are complimentary colours, bright and eye-catching – I moved onto the computer and began making the poster. I used an image of a notebad and used Photoshop to transform it to blue monotone. I then transferred the image into InDesign and began adding the text. On Tuesday, we printed out our posters in black and white A2 and in full colour A4, then put them up on the wall to get feedback on them from the class, David and Ray.

My first poster:

Click here to view (in PDF form) the poster I presented on Tuesday.


During the presentation, Ray and David had some great suggestions and changes for my poster. The feedback and developments that they gave, and also improvements that I spotted myself once putting my poster on display, included:

  • instead of the image of a notepad, use a sketchbook (since it is more relevant to ‘design’)
  • use an image that I have photographed myself
  • rather than using an existing typeface for the list of “Posters, CD Covers, Computers…”, hand write the text myself into the sketchbook
  • the colours I have used (yellow and blue) are too cheery for the message I am trying to give, that designers are not seen to there true potential and importance
  • be more playful with the type – more expressive typography
  • there is too much type in the block of text
  • maybe justify the block of text?
  • there shouldn’t be an indent at the beginning of the first paragraph

After presenting our posters on Tuesday and seeing mine up against everyone elses’, I was inspired to do a lot more with my poster and really didn’t like it anymore – it was much too simple and basic. I went home and immediately started working on my new poster – I completely scrapped the old one and started over again, with the feedback that I had received earlier, in mind.

My final poster:

Click here to view (in PDF form) my new poster.


This is the poster that I submitted today, along with our ‘other platform’ piece, before our 4pm deadline.

I started by taking my own photographs, using my brother as a ‘hand model’, of a sketch book with my own handwriting in it. Straight away, the photo was much better – it also meant that the image did not become pixelated when put onto the poster in InDesign and printed, as the resolution and quality of the image was much higher. I played around with the effects on Photoshop and decided that I really liked it when it was put into ‘difference’, which transformed it to negative. I shrunk down my block of text to just the most important information – it talks about how graphic designers are not just that; they have to be problem solvers too – and also made the point size smaller as well. I kept the colour scheme to blue, although I adjusted it to a more grey-blue, and also got rid of the ‘cheery’ yellow completely. For the larger text, I kept it simple, but made the word ‘more’ expressive, by repeating the word, thus getting the meaning of it across in a literal fashion. At this point during the design stages, I felt that the background was too plain, so I added an image of a jigsaw and adjusted the opacity so that it was just visible behind all of the other elements. The use of the jigsaw fits in with the meaning of the poster overall, particularly with ‘designers are problem solvers’, in the way that we piece things together to then make a final outcome for the client, just like one does with a puzzle.

For my second piece which used the same information from the poster, but in a different context/platform, I created a short animation.

My animation – second platform:

The animation is a stop motion video made up of over 100 photos. I started by taking a video of myself flipping through the pages of the sketch book. I then took snapshots throughout the video and saved them all as separate images. Next, I edited each and every image in Photoshop by adding handwritten text to each page, to make it look like it appeared and disappeared as each page was turned, with a new word appearing to be added on each page. This was a very time-consuming process, but I am beginning to enjoy making stop motion animation as it is brilliant seeing how they turn out at the end once they have all been put together. After editing all the images, I finally put them into MovieMaker and adjusted the duration of each to 0.1 seconds, so that when played it looked like a running film. I also added captions to the video while in MovieMaker. Although the images and text that I edited on jump around a little, it adds to the handmade effect and I think it actually works well as the whole concept of the project and platforms were to promote ‘design’ and tell the role of graphic communication in our future. In the real world, I thought that my animation would work well on a animated billboard, for example at a bus stop – that way it would be able to be seen by the public and sound is not needed for this location.

I enjoyed working on this project and liked how we were not given too much time to complete it, as we had been previously I felt during the interdisciplinary areas of field – we were given just the right amount of time to finish this individual project. I also enjoyed the fact that we were working individually during this project, after doing a lot of group work this term.


First Things First Type Workshop

After being given the First Things First manifestos to read over the weekend, today we had a type workshop with David. We were given the task over the weekend to collect quotes about what the future of Graphic Design held, either from the manifestos or from our own research. I collected a range of quotes, including:

  • New heights of sophistication
  • We’re no longer graphic designers, we’re problem solvers
  • Out with the print, in with the digital
  • The walls of design will crumble
  • Design can’t die / Design can never be taken from us
  • Collapsing boundaries, widening horizons
  • Permission to play outside the sandbox
  • Brains meld for a cross-platform of design
  • Digital and industrial merge
  • The rise of the self-educated designer

We started by taking a quote from Steven Fry, and listening to how he spoke it, over and over again, until we picked up on the actual way he said it. The quote was, “So famous just for the way he dressed.” For example, when listening to him say it, you can hear how “for the way” is spoken very fast, almost as if one word, and the way he says “so”, is louder than the other words. By listening to how each word was said, I created typographic posters accordingly.

We then moved on to using our own quotes that we had brought in. To get mine right, I repeated mine out loud, in order to get the emphasis on certain words, etc, correct. I don’t like how the, “new heights of sophistication” poster turned out – I didn’t use the space correctly – if I were to have another attempt at this one, I would perhaps stretch out the word ‘heights’ even more and position the word ‘of’, under ‘new’. However, I do like the “the walls of design will crumble” poster, although I could have been a it more experimental with the lettering – I feel that it is all too, just block. I might use this quote for my overall picture-text poster due in at the end of this term.

During the workshop, I really enjoyed being able to pick up a paintbrush and use ink – I love the hands on and messy approach, especially as a lot of our work as Graphic Designers is digital based.


First Things First Image Workshop

We were given the task to collect 3 images of objects and 3 images of hands, today we had an image workshop with Ray. We were working on Adobe Photoshop and practiced a range of techniques, some of which were new to me. For example, the save/load selection tool is new to me and I used it a lot during the workshop and think I’ll find it really useful for other projects too.

In the workshop, I ended up using only the photographs of hands that I had brought with me, as I felt they worked really well in the pieces I made, and my other photos weren’t as usable. These are the photos I used:

Some of the techniques that we tried and used, include:

  • isolating the background
  • saving selections, then loading at another time when needed
  • using the magic wand tool (adjusting tolerance box)
  • inverting the image/ inverting particular parts of the image
  • creating new layers with various sections – overlapping layers, then changing effect on each (by changing the drop-down box from ‘normal’ at the top of the layers palette)
  • changing the opacity of layers
  • using strong, contrasting colours/ using harmonious colours
  • making a duotone (by changing to greyscale, then changing to duotone)
  • introducing a formal element, e.g. geometric forms

I created three variations from my images and the different techniques we were taught:

Mixed CSAD Group Projects – Week 2

Yesterday we finished our group project which we started last week, with the showing of our presentation that we made over the weekend.

Unfortunately, of what started out as a group of 8, a lot of the group members didn’t show up to our meetings and presentation too and also didn’t contribute any work to the project.

Personally, I found this rather annoying as I had suffered similarly with people dropping out and falling out in the previous group project that we did in graphics. Obviously, the lesson one has to take from this is that you can’t rely on people sometimes.

Due to our sudden lack of group members, it was left across the weekend and Monday to only three of us to do most, if not all, of the work, as well as complete the project. Even with this being the case, we still managed to complete the campaign to a reasonable standard. Emily and I worked hard on creating a poster which could be used as both a hand-out pamphlet and a large billboard poster, another member of the group created a mini game and another poster too. Then finally, I created the final presentation with everything on it, which we showed yesterday in front of the class.

The billboard / pamphlet:

bus stop billboard

We decided that we would take a game that was usually played on a screen and electronic device, and then take it outdoors – we chose to begin with the popular app, Angry Birds, and create a 3D version. The billboard poster / handout pamphlet explains a simple do-it-yourself version of the game which anyone can play. The poster explains the rules including, an introduction, how to play, equipment needed and how to win. We hope that the game will be seen as an easy-to-set-up and fun way of getting your children into the outside world.

The mini game and poster:

This poster was a simple but hopefully effective way of encouraging parents to get their children outdoors. We decided to make a fun game to go alongside it, perhaps on the back of the poster, so it was interactive and prevented the product to be simply thrown away as if it were just junk.

The presentation:

Click here to view the presentation that we showed.

Overall I think the final presentation that we gave at the end of the project was very successful. Our presentation summed up what our group was about and what our aims were. We each took it in turns to speak, ensuring that everyone there took part and had a role to do – I feel that we gave across our idea in a strong and informative way, as well as taking questions from the lecturers and class, and answering them well and with confidence. We got a lot of positive feedback on our ideas, and they loved how we’d done the simple thing of editing the poster onto a bus shelter billboard, just as a way of showing how it could be used and would look like in the real environment. They also liked how the campaign had a lot of potential to be extended, as we included the point that we could stretch to any number of games, such as lawn twister or outdoor ten-pin bowling.

Although the final outcome was good, too much of the work was left to only myself and a couple of our group’s members. Due to this, I didn’t really enjoy field that much because I felt that although it was meant to be a group project, it felt quite individual. I’m looking forward to starting to work individually again, because obviously you can count on yourself to get what you want and what is needed to be done, done.

Mixed CSAD Group Project – Week 1

This week, we moved onto a new area of field – we moved out of just Graphics, and were put into mixed groups with students from all different areas of study across the art school, including Fine Art, Illustration, Textiles, Ceramics, Product Design and Architecture. The theme of the project was ‘future generations’.

To begin the week, we were told to pick somebody that you had never met or spoken to before and then go and exchange the manifestos that we had each been working on over the last few weeks, in our own subject areas. I was introduced to Darcie from Illustration who had been working on the idea that children these days spend too much time cooped up in their rooms or sat in front of television screens and other electronic devices. We then returned to the group and each individually stood up in front of the class and summed up again what we had been doing. The lecturers collected our manifestos on the whiteboard, giving short titles to each one – after explaining that in graphics I had been creating a campaign to push people to do their part in saving the planet and make the difference, they titles it as ‘Power of the Individual’. After going through everyone, we ended up with around thirty titles, so as a class, we narrowed them down by merging the similar ones until we had about seven.

These seven titles were to be the names of the groups that we would be put into for the next part of the project. I decided to go with something different to what I had been doing in Graphics, so I created a group which was named ‘The Great Outdoors’. The aim of our group was to encourage people to spend more time outside, enjoying the fresh air and nature, rather than being cooped up inside – the idea was inspired by what Darcie had said she had been working on in Illustration.

After choosing which groups we wanted to be in, there had to be a spokesperson for each group who would be sent up in front of everyone and have to be in a debate and argue for why your group was the best group, and why people should join you in your campaign. Although I was hesitant at first and didn’t really want to be, other members of my group pushed me forward to be the spokesperson. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy the experience of been put on the spot and have people questioning the campaign, but I’m still glad I did it, because I’ll never get good at it if I don’t give it a go – public speaking and presenting is obviously a big part of Graphic Communication too. I think that I hid my nerves quite well and tried to come off across as confident with my speaking. I explained well what our group stood for and what we wanted to achieve and feel that I recruited several more group members from doing so.

By Tuesday, we had a group of eight people and had started planning what we wanted to do and achieve. We agreed that we wanted the campaign to be pushed at children, because they are the future generations, so we decided to aim our campaign at the parents. We wanted to create a fun way for them to encourage their children to spend time outside in the great outdoors, and grow up not as ‘zombies’ in front of digital screens. Also, by teaching the younger generation now, the hope is that they will grow up and one day go on to then teach their own children, and then their children, then their children, and so on, and so on.

Unfortunately, at this point, because we had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off as self study days, a lot of our group members began making excuses as to why they couldn’t come in and not turning up to our meetings that we had arranged to show and discuss ideas and designs during this time.

Damaged Earth Campaign – The Final Week and Submission

At the beginning of this week, we presented our ideas so far to the class, David and Ray. We presented all of our ideas that we had finished developing at the end of last week, as well as some new ideas.

The logo:

In the presentation, although we had decided against the removing of the image in the logo, it was mentioned again, this time by both Ray and David, that it would look best as just a text-only logo. At this point, we decided that it was best we changed the logo. In the final outcome, it is clear to see that it is indeed much better as just text alone.

As Ray had suggested, I created new poster and billboard designs over the weekend, so we presented these during the presentation too.

The new posters and billboard:

We each took photos of ourselves to represent members of the general public, showing that literally anyone can do their part and make a difference. I chose to put the photos in black and white and then use the colour green to make certain words stand out over everything else – in each poster, it is the ‘promise’ and then the keyword for each individual promise that are the two most important. By adding ‘what’s your promise?’, it aims it directly at the viewer, making them think about creating their own promise and thus hopefully doing their part to save the planet too. Also, I simplified the logo by turning into an outline rather than a bold image, as it looks much more effective.

Unfortunately, in the presentation, David and Ray felt that these posters seemed almost forced and unnatural – a bit too ‘cheesey’ – so we decided to change them up again.

By the end of the week, I had created the final poster designs and the whole group was much happier with them.

The final posters and billboards:

The concept behind these new posters was that, members of the public would simply take a Snapchat selfie with a caption, of them doing their part, and would then be able to send it to us or upload it onto the website to be included on our online community gallery, which would then show everybody doing their little bit. This would create a sense of community and belonging, as well as encourage others to join in with the interactivity too. As you can see, we also used our new slogan, “It starts with you!”

The video:

This was the final outcome of the video. The video opens with a great speech by hugely known actor, Leonardo Dicaprio, on our current ‘climate crisis,’ informing the public that they must make a change. It then displays real and recent newspaper clipping showing our damaged Earth, with voiceovers describing the terrible situations. The video then makes a positive u-turn and starts showing ways in which we can help save the planet, showing that it doesn’t have to be that negative way – we can make a difference! The video then ends on the quote by Gandhi, re-enforcing the message we’re trying to push.

The website:

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We developed the website design which we chose as our favourite, and we were all really pleased with the outcomes. I feel it has a very professional feel without being over crowded. I feel that a main error of many websites is too much text, as it puts the viewer off seeing so much reading to do. We have considered this when making our website and I feel have a sensible balance between imagery and text.

The pamphlet:


We completely remade the pamphlet from scratch, as the feedback we got int he presentation suggested that it wasn’t quite right, which is what we had agreed beforehand anyway. Unfortunately, the research that we had previously researched, collected and decided on have been changed due to miscommunication with one of the group’s members, so some of the information currently on the pamphlet I feel isn’t quite relevant to what we were trying to voice through our campaign. However, the aesthetics are vastly improved and we are overall much more pleased with the look of the new pamphlet. As you can see, the text-only logo looks much better – it definitely improves it.

Yesterday was the submission date for our group campaign, and we managed to finish it and send it off to Ray and David just in time before the 4pm deadline!

Click here to view our final PDF submission.


My feelings on the project:

I really enjoyed my individual area of the group campaign of the making of the billboard and posters – I feel that my ideas developed and improved with every new piece I made, so I enjoyed seeing the progress from each one to the next. The final outcome was very different to where I began, but the idea behind it is much more thought out and I love the interactivity of the piece, allowing members of the public to get involved, thus pushing and promoting our campaign.

However, I do feel as if we could have worked more as a group from the beginning rather than setting everyone completely separate and individual tasks, because this is what lead to some of the pieces not being consistent with each other and some things looking mismatched. I believe that if we were to have all sat down and worked on each task together as a group, we would have been much more successful. For example, I feel that the playing cards did not fit in with everything else we have created as we did not create them as a group, hence the colours ended up not being right with the scheme would had used throughout the rest of the campaign and the cards stood out as a little bit of a sore thumb.

Unfortunately, halfway through the project, we lost two of our group members, due to one leaving university, and another falling out with the group. It made for quite an unpleasant experience and everyone was feeling awkward and uneasy for quite some time. I feel a little bit as if I carried the group through, which other members of the group recognised and mentioned to me – I was finding myself playing ‘peacekeeper’ and trying to prevent any further arguments from escalating. Particularly towards the end of the project, I felt I was putting in more work than others – for example, I put together the entire PDF myself, including typing up the majority of the text that went it. It reached the point where I was becoming a little bit annoyed with my group members, who at this point, the only task they had was to send me their finished work so that I could put it on the PDF, and they were struggling to do that alone – due to this, I only managed to submit the final campaign at about quarter to 4 – which is cutting the deadline a little too short for my liking. I personally feel as if I was held back slightly during the task during the period of the arguments. Because of this we found it difficult to properly come together until the last week, during which, the majority of our group members remaining, came in to uni every day in order to get everything 100% completed and consistent to the best of our abilities, even with the previous unfortunate events.


Damaged Earth Campaign – Week 3

This week, we made changes to our designs and developed digital designs for a better visual of what things would look like.

The logo:

logo1 - damaged earth

We completely changed the logo and redesigned a new, simpler one and started using it throughout the campaign on all our platforms, such as on the billboard, the pamphlet and the video. In the logo, it shows the difference between the natural green environment beneath, the the urban, industrial environment on top, separated by what is supposed to be seen as a mass of pollution. To this image, we added some expressive typography of the words, ‘Damaged Earth’. In our tutorial this week, which was this time with Ray instead of Ian, Ray suggested that the logo may work better as just the text alone, as he felt the image wasn’t adding anything to it that just the text itself wasn’t saying already.

The billboard:

Following Ian’s advice in the tutorial last week, I also completely redesigned the billboard, and was really happy with the outcome – I feel that it is much more advanced than my initial design ideas.


The image on the left is meant to represent what our world is like today – dull and full of industrialisation and pollution, whereas the image on the right shows the purity of what lies beneath. Overall, the piece suggests that we need to tear away to get back to what is underneath. Again, after the advice received from Ian last week, we changed our slogan to something slightly different, however we were still unsatisfied with it, so this will not be the slogan we  use in our final piece; instead, we plan it change it to, “It starts with you!” which was discussed in our tutorial this week, with Ray.

Ray suggested that we create a different poster design, almost like a certificate-like piece, on which someone would fill out their name and make their promise to do their little part to save our planet – I plan on working on these over the weekend.

Note to self: The tear down the middle of the page is really interesting – it was the first time I’ve tried it and it worked really well. Perhaps you could use it in another project, particularly if this billboard idea is not used in the final presentation of the complete campaign.

The pamphlet:

pamphlet original

We felt that the pamphlet that was created was not quite right for what we needed – it didn’t fit in with the rest of the campaign and the colours weren’t quite right. Although the research and information that had been collected and used was all great, we just knew it wasn’t quite what we wanted aesthetics-wise. For this reason, we as a group decided that we would redesign the pamphlet.

The website:

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By the end of the week, we had three potential designs for the website.

The playing cards:

The designs for the playing cards were starting to come along nicely, although they were showing to be quite a time consuming process for the member of our group who was working on them. Hopefully he will have some digital designs by next week, as he is currently working on coloured pencil/pen sketches.

The video:

Both the storyboard and the video are made, however there are still a few changes to the video that we want to make. For example, the video is currently all quite negative, with only ways in which we are destroying our planet – we needed to end the video on a positive message so people felt encouraged that they could make a difference if they just did their part. I also suggested that rather than still images at the end of the video, we used short clips of people doing their to help out – over the weekend, I plan to collect snippets of videos that we could use in the video.