Research: My particular poster interests

Posters have a long and rich history documenting everything from boxing matches to Bollywood films, the Soviet Revolution to punk, encouraging young men to join the army to persuading women to buy bras. There are many collections in books in museums and galleries and on the internet. Find out more about your own particular areas of interest.

Make notes in your learning log.

This is an enormous subject

The first collection I looked at was the V&A (1):

The V&A collects posters on an international scale, with over 10,000 objects in the Prints and Drawings Department, and significant holdings in other departments. The Museum has had an active collecting policy throughout the twentieth century and now holds the national collection.

According to information on the V&A site

The earliest posters or playbills measured about 17.5 x 7.5 cms (7″ x 3″). We know that some were printed by 1587

Larger posters began to appear in London influenced by the French theatre around 1672. In the 19th C posters started to appear for circuses. Thee were printed on the new letterpresses.





By the end of the century theatres started to use coloured posters. These were influenced by the french poster artists, Chèret and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.

I love this poster. I love the colours and the simplicity of it. I like the way the entire poster is filled with colour. I have collected theatre programmes all my life. I love the theatre and theatre posters. But I also like film posters. Our local cinema in France have a great collection of recent film posters. The cinema was taken over about three years ago by a group of young cinema enthusiasts.

There are some wonderful film posters on this site(3) of all the well known films. Some I remember and some I don’t. I don’t remember this one but I thought it really showed the film content in a poster. Very clever design  think.


World Wars at the beginning of the 20th century affected the production of letterpress posters. By the middle of this century typographical posters became the most common.

In the ’60s poster art came into its own influenced by the Pop Art movement. Then in the ’70s artists began to experiment with photographs and photo montage on posters. Today posters are considered part of the marketing process for productions. But I was sad to read this on the V&A site:

Posters may no longer be the major form of theatre advertising but they are still an essential part of any marketing strategy for a production. Their design is probably harder to get right now than it was over 400  years ago, when the earliest posters hit the posts.

There is an amazing Poster Study Guide on the V&A site (2)

The next poster collection I looked as was the Deutsches Historisches Museum(4).

The first historical museum poster collection I looked at was that held in he German Historical Museum. This was a little scary with so many political type posters. This is the ‘raison d’être’ for this museum. I realised very quickly that I do not like these type of posters. Inciting people to support various political actives, or indeed politicians, makes me uneasy. However there were a couple in the image displays which I found amusing.

This first one is so alien to my ideas as a feminist principles

My Pride and the secret of my housewifely success. Is the GASCOOKER!!!!


I loved the colours of this one.






But I realise I find the old posters very static. I found myself gravitating towards modern rock and pop posters. This site (5) has some great examples.









  1. Posters – Victoria and Albert Museum. 2017. Posters – Victoria and Albert Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 07 August 2017].
  2. Posters Study Guide – Victoria and Albert Museum. 2017. Posters Study Guide – Victoria and Albert Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 07 August 2017].
  3. Movie Poster Art Gallery: Catalogue Page 1.. 2017. Movie Poster Art Gallery: Catalogue Page 1.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  4. Deutsches Historisches Museum: Poster Collection. 2017. Deutsches Historisches Museum: Poster Collection. [ONLINE] Available at:
  5. Vintage original music and rock posters for sale, Catalogue Page 1.. 2017. Vintage original music and rock posters for sale, Catalogue Page 1.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  6. graphicdesign. 2017. The Danish Museum of design – graphicdesign. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].

Assignment 5 Diary: Layout

24 March 2017

Assignment 4 is sent off to my tutor and Assignment 3 recomendations have been noted and updated where necessary so now it is on to Assignment 5. i see it is entitled Layout….. Now I will have the pain of seeing what a mess I have made of layouts up to this point. In addition all those publications with which I was associated without the benefit of any knowledge will come back to haunt me….

But here I am and now I am about to read the intro to this assignment – Wish me luck…

27 March 2017

So I have read the intro to Layout and need to look at magazines. I will do this in CDG airport on Wednesday on my way through…. I like the magazine Graffiti Art so I might use this – it’s layout is very simple. I also l like the idea of a family birthday calendar. I NEED this. It is the first thing in this course that I actually personally need – yippie…

Have read up about inserting tables into InDesign. I have also looked a birthday calendars on Pinterest so I am getting some ideas. I have set up the family/friends birthday dates in Excel so it will make it easier to see how many rows etc I need in my tables. I also set up this ultra simple table in InDesign to see how the whole thing world – not a design masterpiece but a start with tables in InDsign….

28 March 2017

Am continuing with my investigation of tables in InDesign and how to make the Birthday List more interesting. However I have to pack up my computer for the journey back to Ireland tomorrow. I had to empty my work space here in France as it will be painted in my absence. It means I will have to put all back in place when I return. I like doing this as I look again at a lot of my books and things I have collected.

4 March 2017

Back on my island in Ireland. Got my work station set up and working – well almost. I have not got my external hard drives attached yet. I want to back these up before I do any more work.

I have spent a couple of days with my grandchildren enjoying their company in their ‘new’ house. Did all the granny things, football, hurling and concert. A total joy. Now it is back down to work of all types. The garden is looking a little the worse for Winter. My trusted neighbour has had a very rough Winter health wise and was unable to keep up with my garden so I now need to get going. Problem is that I will have to have a hip replacement this summer so my movement is very limited at the moment. I’ll do what I can and get on with my GD work when I can’t bend any more!!!

Have decided to leave further development on my calendar until I complete my magazine page design. Have chosen “GraffitiArt” magazine. It is a two column magazine, surprisingly sober for a magazine with this title. The images are ranged within the columns and all vertical. This will make my life easier initially. I have sorted how to get a double page spread show up side by side in InDesign.

I think I have identified the typeface being used in the article I have selected. With the help of Dr Google I got the following reply to my question”What are the differences between Arial and Helvetica typefaces”?

Arial versus Helvetica. Every typeface, like every one of us, has its distinguishing features. You might be forgiven for thinking that some fonts are clones, or identical twins. However, closer inspection reveals subtle differencesand nuances that simply escape casual perusal. 

I have decided to put some of my ga

I had already spotted the “G” so I was almost sure it was helvetica.

7 April 2017

Trying to retrieve the garden from its Winter slumbers. My trusty ‘help’ has been ‘hors de combat’ so much to be done despite my gammy hip and a raging infection under one of my teeth….. awaiting call from specialist to say when he can see me.. So in order to keep sane and keep my mind off things I am returning to my magazine exercise.I have decided to put some of my graffiti images into the article ‘for fun’.

Now I have to deal with justification and hyphenation as well as numbered lists in InDesign…

I am totally stuck on how I can get the numbered list to have the number separated from the block of text as it is in the article. I can move the first line indent but not the whole paragraph. What would we do without YouTube?? Have just found the solution – so simple when you know how!

Now to establish what typeface has been used for the page heading. It is something which has a tight form or else the tracking has been reduced.

11 April 2017

I started my work on re-designing the magazine page by looking up the work of layout designers. I found this site. Because my magazine is dedicated to graffiti I feel it should be different – unlike how it is designed. I am thinking about a black background and a three column layout with the images on the right. The article is about urban graffiti which carries messages or words. Hence I think the article should have some phrases or words separated from the main body of the text. I like something like this:

I also like the idea of using some sort of graffiti typography rather than plain old Helvetica…

I also like this as a background:

On this site I found some help with grid design layout, importance of typography choice and software for design creation. Since I have both recommended software programmes, InDesign for layout and Photoshop for image manipulation, I just need to get re-designing.

And here I found some inspiring designs.

This one I found on Google Images:

Not sure how I feel about it – I HATE mauve which might be what is influencing how I feel….

I quite like the following:

I like the way the image is ‘sort of’ behind the text. I also like the RHS page but I couldn’t use this as there is too much text and it is bilingual.

15 April 2017

Much of the last few days has been taken up with thinking about how I could really make this magazine page more interesting. Given that it is a graffiti/street art based magazine I feel it should appeal to young people and those that are a little alternative…. So I decided on black background. Then I was thinking of the early days of Wired Magazine which used to have all this psychedelic colour print. I remember how difficult it was to read so i decided on something less challenging. French would be the green print and English the white print. I used different images too a s I felt the brief allowed for this

16 April 2017

Easter Sunday but since I am awaiting dental work I decided to give the day a sort of chocolate free flavour… We will join our fellow islanders for a session in the hotel later.

I have completed three magazine designs. Am quite happy with the last one.

19 April 2017

So on now to the book cover. I have no doubt what cover I want to design and it is the book I am reading at the moment. It is called “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith. I read her book White Teeth and was underwhelmed. I figured it was for a very young readership. However I was struck by the fact that it seemed, to me, to mark a new genre in writing. The language was that of the very young American. I became infuriated by it. afterwards I realised this was because I was feeling left out of the story. I did not understand what the were talking about. it was not my generation. So I dismissed Zadie Smith until last Summer. I saw she was due to come to the Literary festival in Bantry, West Cork. On the mainland near the island where I live in the Summer. So curious to see what she was like and also wanting to hear her Irish poet husband Nick Laird, we booked tickets.

They are a delightful couple both working in New York now. They have small children and arrived on stage, out of breath, because they had to put the children to bed in the hotel where the talk was taking place – so far so normal.

Smith spoke first and  said she was going to read a chapter from her book soon to be published called Swing Time. We were spell bound when she started to speak. Not because what she was reading was so earth shattering but because it was “our” story. She described waiting on the bank, of a river in West Africa, having missed the last ferry. She was, of course, describing the Gambia river and she was wanting to cross from the north to the south bank on the regular ferry, But as happened frequently because the border police between Senegal and Gambia tried to delay you and then offer ‘a friend’ to drive you to the port when the last bush taxi had departed. This inevitably meant you missed the last ferry.

The situation develops like this: A group of people mostly Gambian and a couple of foreigners stand about on the beach looking across the river to try to catch a glimpse of the departed ferry. Of course there is no way the ferry is returning until morning. Then the local boys arrive offering to take you across in their huge wooden pirogues. They ask enough money, from the foreigners, to purchase a new boat. But seasoned african hands stand their ground encouraged by the locals. And we wait , and we wait and more negotiations take place. The price comes down until eventually an agreed price is struck. This is where Smith’s story finishes or at least continues with her arriving on the other side. Our story became much more complicated and interesting but that is for another day.

I was then gripped by this story and immediately wanted the book. My husband bought it for me for my birthday. I am about two thirds the way through it and it is indeed partly set in The Gambia. The other part of the story is set in east London where the two girls of mixed race grow up. The hard back edition uses only typography on the cover. I am thinking hard about how I could use an image as the cover. I will do some sketches.

23 May 2017

Just back after almost a month on the road. It is hard to get going again especially as my garden has become completely overgrown. I had a new boiler installed which has left the house covered in dust and dirt…. But the trip to Japan was worth it. It was such a unique experience. It was our first time to visit Japan and it was probably one of the most interesting we have ever done. I am sure the influence of the trip will creep into my work over time.

26-29 May 2017

Spent this weekend doing an art course entitled”‘Colour Theory into Painting Practice”

It was extremely interesting with some theory before we were asked to put this theory into practise.  I have written up a review of the course.

1 June 2017

Back from my visit to hip replacement specialist. Bad news is it needs to be replaced immediately – well almost. I am not yet sure how this will affect my work over the next few months so I will just have to plod on and see.

I am getting back to my book covers. Swing Time is published by Penguin Random Press. I find these print house mergers clumsy and I do not understand why the publishing houses just don’t make a composite of the names. For me Penguin is legendary.

But Random House, for me, never had a distinctive identity. It does not appear to me that they have a house style.

5 June 2017

Am devastated by the terrible news from London. Especially as we have friends living just there. Borough Market is where they do their daily shopping. We ate there with them a couple of weeks ago.

I found this info graphic about the location.Really sad but well done.

Meanwhile we were having a wonderful day on one of our other islands. We were on a butterfly and bird identification day. I got to see a Small Heath a butterfly I had not previously recognised. We also saw a number of Marsh Frittalary which is quite rare around here.

9 June 2017

Have spent the past couple of days playing with my garden info graphic. I made a tree and some daisies, hedge and stone wall symbols. Had great fun. I also added some information about the garden. Am trying to put it all together now.

11 June 2017

Finished my garden infographic. Am now moving on to my Birthday calendar. I have already given a good deal of thought to this, a couple of weeks ago. I think this is a great idea and will give my children copies for their kitchen scrap boards. Since we all live in different countries is can be difficult to keep all these dates in our heads. Of course the younger folk use their phone diaries!!!

I am documenting the design I chose having looked at a number online. I like many of the DIY calendars but these would be made with wood and pegs and things. I think the chalk board ones are ridiculous as they defeat the purpose of having the calendar. You would have to update if every month!!

I am thinking of making two versions of my calendar. One that can be viewed as an A4 sheet and the other as a strip for each month. I will laminate both and see which is the most popular with the family.

16 June 2017

Spent yesterday undergoing a million tests for my pre-op at the clinic. All seems to be systems “go” as they found I had a heart which seems to be beating more or less normally, I am normal height and weight and don’t seem to have MRSA!!!

Today I was trying to find some good well know Infographics designers. But all I could find were the page of “Best Infograpics”.I’ll look at these and see if I can find the designers behind them.

17 June 2017

I want to research posters about gardens and gardening. The first thing that comes to light is that many, many posters were created during WWII to encourage people to create a garden. Below are some of these. I like the middle one on the top line. The colours are bright and attractive. Although the message is a little complicated. Whereas “Can all you Can” or “Of course we Can” are very clear messages. I think the first one is, in fact, the best because the message is clear, all the space is covered and the colour contract, even for the time, is clear.

A number of other garden posters caught my eye.






I love some of these. The second one is really colourful and amusing. I included a B&W to get some inspiration for my   “singing poster”. I love the hen on the rusty background. The lady in the “gentleman’s magazine” is dry sophisticated.

Again thinking about B&W for a singing poster I like clean lines. I find the following design especially pleasing:

There is almost no information on it but it is eye-catching. I am thinking of musical notes in some sort of shape. I have collected a number of posters in B&W which I will print for inspiration and put in my log.

19th June 2017

Weekend was glorious. We had our annual Open Island Festival called “Gathering” this year. Artists studios were open all over the island and we had a general exhibition in our Community Hall. I opened my garden also. We had lots of visitors. We met many really interesting people. I used my info graphic which I created for the garden. One lady was a book editor so I asked her to look especially at it and give me feedback. I will put this in my comments on my info graphic. It was really interesting. She was accompanied my a lady studying Textiles here in the local area. I think I have her convinced to continue her studies with OCA!!

Now it is back to the Singing class poster. I have put some B&W posters into my log and have been thinking about ideas. I have piano keys and notes in my head.

21 June 2017

No work done yesterday…. We spent the day at a garden party in the President’s residence in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Islanders from all the islands around Ireland were invited to Aras an Uchtarain, the official Presidential residence, for a party. And it was some party. The sun shone, the food was delicious and the President’s wife Sabina, danced with us on the lawn!!! I did not waste my time however, on the train on the way to Dublin. I did a small sketch for my poster!!

23 June 2017

Terrible weather today so inside all day. Worked on poster mock ups and some illustrator work.

Tried, unsuccessfully to watch live stream of Gregory Crewsdon from The Photographers Gallery. But whether their streaming or my broadband was not good enough…. Hope they leave it up to see at a later stage. They didn’t.

27 June 2017

This is the penultimate day with my ‘old’ hip… Off to clinic for 6.30a.m. tomorrow morning.

I have been working, a little unsuccessfully, on my poster ideas. I am finding it difficult to find a suitable typeface to stand out on black. I am working on two different ideas one with a singing ‘bird’ and the other with a piano keyboard. I have learned how to use another tool, the scallop tool, on Illustrator which has to be good.

I am not sure how either of my posters will look on an A6 leaflet. I think I might have to invert them to have the bird or piano on the right – I’ll see.

I can do homework this morning and then it is in to hospital mode for a couple of days. I am hoping to have loads of sitting around time after the op.

7 July 2017

It is now 8 days post op and I am just emerging from a maze of drugs and anaesthetic. When I told my surgeon that i would utilise the time post op to work on my assignments he looked a little askance and said I might not be firing on all cylinders intellectually for a while… Physically I am finding that a lot of energy is used with just doing my exercises of walking and mounting the stairs etc. But I am getting back to ‘head’ work.

I created a A6 flyer yesterday using the basic elements of the A3 poster. My son gave me some feedback on the A3 which I will try to incorporate. All of this is made more difficult as I am not at home and do not have all my material with me. We will return to our island on Tuesday next when I can get back to work properly.

Made some alterations to the A3 poster. Think I am satisfied with it – sort of…

8 July 2017

I see next project is entitled ‘Branding’. Interesting that I picked up that Twitter from Michael Beirut about branding this morning and retweeted it on the VisComs Facebook.

9 July 2017

Have started research on logos.  I will do some sketches today if I can. Am sore and need to exercise….

13 July 2017

Progress has been slow. I need to ask for everything that I need to create anything. I can move on crutches but I cannot bend yet. I have to use a picker to lift anything, I need, up. It is all very frustrating. My surgeon warned me that my brain power might be a bit sluggish after all the medication etc. I am not the best judge of this but I hope this is not so. Because I am fairly house bound I have not been able to ask other opinions either!!

14 July 2017

Life gets a little more complicated…. Friends arrive from Denmark to spend a few days with us. Poor husband is struggling with caring duties and now he has entertainment added to the list. Luckily female visitor is a doctor so my needs are sorted….

Spent an hour or so with my graphic design neighbour yesterday going through my branding coursework. Got some really useful advice. having taken all this on board and redone my efforts. Now need to paste my efforts, and her comments written theron, in my log book. Problem how to carry my big log book, paste etc to a working table!!! HELP!!

18 July 2017

Our Danish friends have left. My poor husband is back to being my sole carer…. I spent yesterday trying to sketch my ideas for the French Hen which, of course in many things French, is a cock!!!! I really did not want to have poultry in a logo but my husband says it would need to go on to the logo. he maintains everyone would recognise the french hen and the logo would not even need a title….. Not so sure, not everyone is a rugby fan!!!!

Got some sketches down interspersed with instructing the lovely man who is mowing my lawns during my incapacity. In the way of this remote place the guy who is doing the job is an alcoholic who works when he is well enough to do so…. But he is a star and I love him, he works like crazy when he can and yesterday was one of his good days!!!!!

After I had some sketches down I went to Illustrator and got going with the pen tool – no joy I needed to re-learn how to sue it correctly…. will I ever master this software. With the help of the following YouTube video I managed to create a glass which looked more like a chalice but we will see how it works…

21 July 2017

The French Hen is done and dusted. It is so frustrating to work when I have to ask for everything I need to complete my work. But I now can manage with one crutch so I can fetch some things for myself.

Now it is on to the real assignment. I have decided on the play “Abigail’s Party” I do not know this play well but I am all set to watch a YouTube version of it today to refresh my memory. At least I can do this without asking for help… I have looked up a lot of 1970’s theatre brochures and orange dresses. i am trying to immerse myself in the period. I lived through it. It was the time when my beloved children were born. I was not living in Ireland or UK at the time but I considered myself a hippie child of the ’70’s’. I even recall having an orange dress!!!

I chose this theatre stuff for my assignment as my family were heavily involved with theatre. I grew up being taken to the theatre by my parents. Sometimes it was to see my uncle perform, sometimes it was because my father wanted us to witness a performance he considered brilliant. I loved and still love the magic of theatre.

I hope my limited design skills will permit me to create something which displays this love.

23 July 2017

Tryng to find a 1970’s typeface for my poster. I downloaded a couple from DaFont but not all letters work in Illustrator…

Hope this site will be useful

27th July 2017

A dozen versions of the poster down the line and I the I might have something useful. My family are now sick of the sight of publicity for Abigail’s Party…. I’ll have to ellict opinions from further afield.



Assignment 4: Typography Diary

10 january 2017

Finished my assignment 3 and posted it. I also reworked what was recommended in my last tutor report. Now it is on to Assignment 4.

12 january 2017

My husband returned having helped to wake and bury his oldest friend – not easy but he is very pragmatic. We are determined to live every moment of the lives we have left – one wastes so much time when young…

I printed the list of words and have started to arrange the ones I found easiest. Will continue today after some research.

FRIDAY 13 January 2017

It’s Friday 13th and am still unscathed… Tried to photograph my “Playing with Words” outside but it is freezing and blowing a hooley…. Did about half and now my Nikon transfer won’t cope… Did I say unscathed!!! Received my book ordered from Phaidon which were On Sale. “Beware of Wet Paint”, “Cindy Sherman” and “Surrealism”. Looking forward to a good read.

Had reply from Irish Print Museum – not very encouraging. The book Irish Type Design suggested coast 25€.. and is not available on any of the online sources that I can fine. Will just have to do my best to find material online.

14 January 2017

Finished making my images of my “playing with Words”. had to do them inside as the Mistral was blowing hard. Have now made thumbnails and added to my log. I also made my booklet to add to my written log.

16 january 2017

I have finished my wonderful new book “Beware of Wet Paint”. Now to write a review and get on with other work using the tremendous influence of this book…

17 january 2017

Am adding images to my blog. My Nikon NX2 has ceased to open and I have learned it is no longer supported so I am getting my images off it on to my external hard drives.




This has pushed me to  add images which were ‘waiting’ to my blog.





I have also started Cindy Sherman by  Paul Moorhouse   . So dull compared to the Alan Fletcher book. her work is very specific and if it is not ‘your thing’ it is hard to get enthused by it.




In the introduction to this chapter it is pointed out that print from letterpress is usually a little raised.




letterpress_printI searched out some very old books which we inherited from my husbands family. Here is one that his grandfather was given in 1870 for being a good student….


24 January 2017

In Paris this weekend with the grandchildren. This meant we had to select visits which suited a three year old and a five year old… We needed to be quite creative and flexible. I and my daughter wanted to see some ‘grown up” exhibitions but we decided it should be predominantly about the children. So we visited the Aquarium which was brilliant and the Natural History Museum which was equally good.

Then we allowed ourselves to visit the Grand Palais to see the Mexique exhibition. Frida Kahlo is one of my favourite female artists so this was a must. It was a bit of a challenge to keep the three year old amused. Grandpa did that for us. I wrote a review here.

The Grandpa and I went to the Biblioteque Nationale de France BnF to see the Richard Avedon Exhibition. I have written a review here.

27 january 2017

What a marathon this first exercise has been in Assignment 4. I have been reading Type & Typography at the same time as trying to create interesting  outcomes for each of the 30 words given. I am totally exhausted. However I think I have learned something about typography. I have also learned some of the possibilities of Illustrator.

I wrote up my review of Richard Avedon’s exhibition in Paris. I now need to write up my book Cindy Shermann which I finished on the trip to Paris. I want to write a review of the chapter in Type & Typography but am not sure if I really understand enough about all this. It is interesting as I am remembering things from when I first worked with computers which are discussed in this book. Having an information scientist for a husband meant we were one of the first families to have a computer. Since he was also one of the founding pioneers of the Internet I absorbed a lot of the original terminology. However I still find it a little baffling.

7 February 2017

It is days since I wrote in my diary. This is because I am busy creating my sample book of typefaces (or Type Families). This has involved a lot of researching on the Internet to get my head around the terminology. I really want to do this so I will be better informed in the use of Typefaces. I am loving it. But it is time consuming.

I am also creating my sample book at the same time. I have created Version 1. Now I am trying to rationalise it. I will put each stage on my log page. I have also printed out Version 1. I will add this to my physical log book.

In order to get a feeling for what typefaces I should use for the short story for the woman’s magazine I wrote a ridiculous story under the given title. I am also researching on the internet for advice.

8 February 2017

So I tried out different typefaces for my story and printed them out. My husband, who used to write a technical magazine, had a look and decided which typeface was the most legible. He offered some opinions too about the “mis en page” – how does one say that in English? All our professional work has been down in French!! “Put on page” does not sound correct…

Now I need to get the ‘corrected’ best version into InDesign..

13 February 2017

Brilliant weekend in Rome. Mostly for the guys to see Ireland trash Italy at rugby…. I passed on the match to visit some museums and to just walk around Rome and drink in its atmosphere. I visited two museums both of which gave me a lot to think about. I have written reviews in my review section. One under installation artists – although this is not strictly where it fits. The other under photography.

I always travel light so I just had a tiny notebook and a biro with me. I made a few sketches for my ads. I have pasted them into my log book. I need to get going on these and see what is best….

16 february 2017

I have been thinking about how to proceed with these typography exercises. I am enjoying researching designers who specialise in typography. But now I must get down to the job in hand…

I am loosing the will to live here trying to create some artwork for the invitation to the engagement party. I had this crazy idea of creating puzzle pieces. I got as far as step 12 but could not work out the next steps. the resulting puzzle piece was OK so I decided to go with it….. I am not that keen on the end result but it has taken so much time to get this far I will leave it for today and maybe try again tomorrow….

24 february 2017

I was completely unaware of the thousands of typefaces that exist. My head is spinning looking at these on the web. I am also flabbergasted at the price of some of these. I looked up Akzidenz for example and it costs several hundreds of euro to get the complete set. I am looking at fonts for technology magazines. These are not discussed as frequently as fonts for women’s magazines. I see Font Space has several hundred for free. I wonder what the catch is?

Futura seems to be a good standby and I like it’s clean lines. Avenir Next is also used quite frequently. I think it best to stick to the tried and tested rather than try to be to quirky. I want to try some Infographics in the exercise. I like the idea of getting some practise in this which I did not know existed until this morning….

27 february 2017.

I have set up some sketches in my log book for this exercise and have more or less settled on trying one. I want to create an interesting background as I think technical guys reading a software review would be the sort of audience who would like this. I researched technical backgrounds. I then researched how to create abstract backgrounds in Illustrator. I am trying out the Mesh gradient tool…. It is great fun. I have decided to call my software “Clear Cloud” – this will allow me to create another cloud….. I love making clouds now. I will use clip art for the mobile phones, camera etc.

19 March 2017

I cannot believe it has been so long since I wrote in my diary. I suppose this is because I have been working with my log book on sketches for Assignment 4. I had friends here to stay also and since one of them is an artist she was delighted with watching me work…… She is an oil painter. I have also spent the past ten days in UK to visit family and sort out family problems. Then on to London to stay with friends, the wife is also a photographer so we spent our time visiting Tate Britian, Tate Modern and the National Portrait gallery. It was amazing. I need to write all these up.

I found it hard to come up with sketches for the work “TYPE” with which I was happy. This was until I was lying in my bed one morning watching my projector clock. I loved the shape of the numbers so I decided to try this for my letters. I liked them so I went with them. I had so many ideas but time was my problem. I am reasonably happy with my cover page.

I then wrote, in Word, the bits for the inside page of the magazine.

I wanted to keep the idea of the gradient that I had used on the cover. I thought it fitted with the old newspaper. However I had created the cover in Illustrator and I wanted to use InDesign for the pages. I had never created a gradient in InDesign nor had I done a double page spread. I “sort of” managed the double page spread but I had a front page which I could not delete. I printed the double page on my A3 printer but it came out as two pages. This allowed me to correct the text and see how it looked but I would like to know how to print  a double page spread. Could not find this anywhere. When I exported the document to Photoshop it came in as two pages also. I just increased the canvas size of the first page to double and copied and pasted the other page into it. Although this worked it is not, I imagine, the most efficient way to do this. So much to learn.

20 March 2017

Today is my daughter’s first husband’s anniversary. He died so suddenly. I have just had a text from her to say she is at the hospital where he was brought with her three year old (with her second husband) while they check out the little one’s heart for a heart murmur… Life can be very cruel sometimes.

I will occupy myself with checking through my submission for assignment 4 while I await news of my beloved grand daughter.

Project: Understanding colour

Draw two grids of squares, filling one with colours that you like and the other with colours you dislike. Then put the two grids side by side and ask the question ‘which one looks better?’

On the left are the colours I like. I wear these colours and my house is decorated in them. On the right are the colours I don’t like.


A couple of images of my ‘wardrobe’ would indicate the colours I like and wear. People made a lot of money out of a service”Colour me Beautiful” which I found intriguing. I have always known the colours in which I feel comfortable.

cloths_1 cloths_2

The usual result is the grid full of colours you dislike. This is because we tend to pick bright colours as the colours we like, which when placed side-by-side look garish and jarring. By contrast the colours we think we don’t like as much are often the more subtle and muddier mixed colours, tertiary colours and occasional bright hues. When placed side by side the effect is more balanced.

I think the colours I like look best! I don’t know if this makes me a freak!!

Next try experimenting with placing colours together as Itten did. Try and find different combinations of two colours to illustrate each of these ideas:

Angry  Brave  Creative  Dangerous  Energetic  Familiar  Gregarious Hopeful  Independent  Jumpy  Kinetic  Luxurious  Masculine  New  Open Precious  Quiet Reasonable  Sociable  Tasteful  Unhappy  Vital  Wonderful Extra special  Youthful  Zany

I was not quite sure how to approach this exercise so I looked up Itten and the colour wheel. In so doing I came across an interesting online blog by David Briggs in which both modern and traditional colour theory are explained.(1).

The following figure explains the modern theory of colour:


The traditional RGB or primary colour triangle has been updated to the Yellow Blue red and Green model. These are the four psychological primaries. Our brain registers these due to the light falling on the retina which has three colour cone receptors. These receptors see the whole spectrum of colour between them and these are then registered on the brain.

However there has been a move back to the traditional theory of colour. Briggs does not approve of this and indicates it is a dumbing down of art teaching in the same way that anatomy is no longer taught in many art schools.

The blog also contains the following neat image of the Primary colours for mixing paints and the three additive colours for mixing lights:


Researching the emotions associated with colours I found this site.(2) where certain emotions and effects were discussed in relation to certain colours. For danger, for example, both red and yellow could be associated with danger. I looked at this combination to see how I felt about it.

I decided to go and make Itten type colour squares in my log for each of the above emotions. I just based these on how I ‘felt’ about the colour and it’s association with the particular emotion.

Then I decided to work on each emotion using a more ‘informed’ approach by reading what I could find about the association of the emotion with a colour or colours.

I will slot my log colour squares in here and there to see how my own personal emotions informed my colour choices.


anger2_Angry:Red is traditionally associated with anger. . Orange is close to red and might be interpreted as slightly less angry but nonetheless anger or aggressiveness is associated with the colour

In my emotional depiction I chose red/blue



ANGER                             DANGER                    BRAVE                     VITAL



Yellow is associated with liveliness and energy both characertistics required for bravery. green is associated with durability and endurance.

Interestingly I chose green as one of my ’emotional’ brave colours.




Both orange and purple are associated with creativity. Purple is also associated with sophistication. I dislike both of these colours – does this mean I am neither creative nor sophisticated?

I chose orange and mauve instead of purple for creative for my emotional choice.


CREATIVE                                                        ENERGETIC       GREGARIOUS



Red is traditionally associated with danger so my mind reacts to this colour indicating danger. Yellow is quite often associated with danger also. For example in the road signs survey the exclamation mark is usually displayed on a yellow background indicating some unknown danger. The colour obtained by mixing these two colours is orange so the whole is skewed towards the red end of the spectrum.



It is interesting that both danger and energy come up with the same colour pairing. Red is associated with energy normally but looking at the shell logo I assume they want to indicate that their product provides energy…




familiar_2I think from my reading that blue could be classified as familiar because it is the most communally used colour. It is the colour of the sky and Summer. Green is the colour of nature and is therefore extremely familiar.




talkative_2In the meaning of colors, orange is outgoing and uninhibited, often encouraging exhibitionism or at least it is a color that wants to show off. The color orange relates to social communication and it encourages two-way conversation. (3)

I added red to back up the above ‘observation’



hope_2Colours associated with hope vary from one culture to another but green seems to be almost universal. I decided on a light green as for me this gives the impression a lightness and hopeful ness. Yellow is also associated with hope in some cults so I put these two colour together to represent hope.



independence_2While researching colours which could symbolise independence I cam across this article (4). Many meanings were attributed to each colour discussed together with cultural differences for colours. I remember this in Nepal where white is associated with death and red with marriage.




Jumpy and Kinetic:

jumpy_2The colour yellow is a lively colour according to much of what I read. It is playful and enthusiastic and could therefore be associated with movement. When placed with orange the two colours together produce, for me, a jumpy effect.

I used deep lilac with yellow for jumpy and with red for kinetic.


luxury_2Silver and gold are often associated with luxury but the most consistent colour that I found to be associated with luxury was purple. So I combined purple with silver.

For my emotional reaction I used light grey on black for luxurious and mauve on black for tasteful.



JUMPY                             KINTIC                     LUXURIOUS   TASTEFUL


masculine_2Blue is the traditional colour associated with the male child in our culture but does this mean masculine.

Words associated with masculinity include strong, silent, handsome and rugged. Colors that are defined with these characters are also perceived as masculine. Athletic team colors, such as navy and crimson personify strength and unity, and are considered masculine. Many shades of gray and taupe have understated masculine appeal, and are often paired with blue and burgundy in male-influenced spaces. Warm tones of brown, tan, gold, green and beige are considered masculine colors and can work together to create a masculine outdoor color scheme. (5)

So many colour combinations seem to define masculinity but they are mostly muted.


new_2Generally I think white would be associated with pure, clean and therefore ‘new’. I combined this with yellow which is associated with sunshine and happiness and I stretched this to ‘newness”.

For my emotional reaction to masculine colour I used browns but the only material i had was a wool!!! My friend thought it looked like an old cat!!!! For New I used blue with white instead of yellow.


MASCULINE                                              NEW


open_2On the touchy-feely level, blue symbolizes openness, intelligence, and faith, and has been found to have calming effects.(6). I also found reference to the fact that white can symbolise open.





precious_2I think since silver and gold are precious metals they are automatically associated with  preciousness. It is hard to represent these colours without some highlighting which would be found in advertising.




quiet_2Calmness and quietness are associated with pale blues and greens in most of the literature.









Green represents quietness and relaxation the demeanour of a reasonable person. Orange represents flexibility and generosity. Again associated with reasonableness.





QUIET                                             REASONABLE


Interesting when I looked up ‘sociable’ the colours of the social media sites came up here. Blue seems to be widely used for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and Vimeo which must mean it is a ‘sociable’ colour. The other prominent colour was orange for Pintarest, GooglePlus, YouTube etc.



tastefulThe is really interesting as looking up ‘tasteful colour combinations’ one finds mostly fashion sites. Fashion is a matter of personal taste so I would decide what I like to wear as a combination. I like navy and white or red.  I don’t know about the psychology of this colour combination but I like it…



unhappyThis  research into mood association for colours is interesting (7). Although the conclusions are not rigid unhappiness was associated with shades of grey and dark blue.





vitalUsing vital in the sense of vitality or alive then the colour most associated with this attribute are red and yellow again






wonderfulWonderful is associated with youth and happiness which is often represented by orange. Red is the colour of passion and energy so red and orange are my choice.





VITAL                                                   WONDERFUL

Extra special:

I cannot find anything about colours for special except colours used for special causes. Pink, is associated with breast cancer cause and yellow is a sunny colour for someone special.




youthAgain youth is associated with pink and orange. It is a zany combination also!






zanyA hair colour site suggested their zaniest colours…

For Zany all I could see in my minds eye was a kaleidoscope of colours so I made the triangles below into a square…




YOUTHFUL                                                             ZANY


If I work with raw emotion I do not come up with the same colour representation. I do not understand yet if this is because I am not yet fully informed about the psychological effects of colour or if I have a skewed sense of colour…. Time may tell


Finally I found this interesting wheel of colour emotions,


I found an amusing graphic for emotions related to colour here 


  1. The Dimensions of Colour. 2016. The Dimensions of Colour. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 November 2016].
  2. Creative Bloq. 2016. 12 colours and the emotions they evoke | Creative Bloq. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 November 2016].
  3. 2016. Orange Color Meaning – The Color Orange. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 November 2016].
  4. Art Therapy. 2016. Color Meanings | Color Symbolism | Meaning of Colors. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 November 2016].
  5. Masculine and Feminine Colors | Home Guides | SF Gate. 2016. Masculine and Feminine Colors | Home Guides | SF Gate. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 November 2016].
  6. Site Point . 2016. The Psychology of Color. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 November 2016].
  7. Live Science. 2016. Different Colors Describe Happiness vs. Depression. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29 November 2016].

Assignment 3 Diary: Visual Language

31 October 2016

Just read a lovely interview/tribute to John Berger on his 90th Birthday.

1 november 2016

Had my feedback on assignment 2. Am happy that I seem to be making some progress even though it does not feel like it at times…

My knowledge of Graphic Designers is very poor so I looked up this web site

Mark Wallinger created the London Underground Labyrinth here.

6 November 2016

Am trying to educate myself on present day designers. Am loving the journey and beginning to get a feel for what appeals to me. I am writing up my research.

Took some more road signs today. Will make a collage of them.

7 November 2016

The ‘designer discovery’ continues.

Have just watched:

as advised by my tutor. I found it really inspiring.

8 November 2016

American election day… The less said about that the better.

I watched the YouTube video of Hannah Hoch advised by my tutor

This was especial interesting because of the time when Hoch was working. She was creating these collages in the 1920s which must have put her way outside the mainstream of the other artists, especially female artists.

I wish I had seen this exhibition.

May 1968: A Graphic Uprising

I was around in 1968 and remember the protests very well. I was in Paris one night and got caught up in one of the student protests. The riot police were especially violent. The students were chanting and throwing fruit and vegetables in the street. But they were not behaving violently. I had been to Paris with my parents and driving down the Champs Elysee in a taxi the whole street came to a halt and our taxi driver leapt out. We leapt out with him – Charles deGaulle was passing in a cavalcade. This was a couple of years before 1968. When the students protested I understood exactly why…

Pinterest have a big collection of these posters here.

9 november 2016

Oh my God Trump is President of the United States. How did that happen while I slept….

Back to work is the only cure…

11 november 2016

Today is a holiday in France to think about the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month.

I spent the day in Aix yesterday as we had business to do there. I used the time to collect some brochures. Unfortunately just as I grabbed my Fuji camera which I use for street photography. Alas it refused to open…. I had to leave it behind. I eventually sorted the problem around midnight last night. I collected a couple of ‘props’ for my coming assignments. One really interesting little thing I found was a tiny box (7.5 x6.4cm) containing cards showing sign language. I thought this was a really good place to start work on “Signs & Symbols”.

20 november 2016

Although I have not written in my diary here I have been working away on my assignment 3 exercises. I have also been suffering with a skin problem which has kept me busy….

This morning I completed a page of thumbnails in my log book for the bulb exercise. I decided to do this before I attacked the exercise on the computer to produce my 20 designs. I wanted to see how I felt about the designs before I got bogged down in software.

Yesterday I managed to do my Danger/here symbol somewhat to my satisfaction.

So now it is off to do  battle with the software for the bulb exercise.

23 november 2016

It took me a couple of days to complete the light bulb designs. I am a little sorry I did not use InDesign for some of them as the edges of rectangles in Photoshop are not so sharp. Now it is on to colour.

I like this simple display and definition of colour from this site


1 December 2016

It has taken me days on end to read up about colour and to create my own log colour profiles. It is done now and I move on to “Working with colour“. I have some photos of the cities mentioned I will look for these and see if I can create Modrian type representations…

2 Decmber 2016

I read up about swatches in my CC for Dummies. My friend had given me a very brief introduction before I left Ireland but I had totally forgotten how to do anything with swatches. I wanted to use the colours from my Madrid image to create ‘new’ swatches. Because these were colours contained in a reflection they were not ‘pure’. This gave a rather bizarre effect which I quite liked. I made the buildings look more like thy were made of blocks. With this image creation I had not paid enough attention to the final size of the required image. This meantI had to import it into Photoshop and crop it.

I also learned to play around with the opacity of my newly created swatches until I was reasonably satisfied with the end result. However I do feel that it is a little dull.

This encouraged me to look for a really bright image of Marseille on which to base my abstract. I was happy with the one I found. I tried the 3-D effect with the placemat. I am not sure if it looks like a placemat but in abstract that is less important. I also made two 3-D shaped boxes to put on the table to represent the oil and salt that were in the original image. I think the end result is eye catching. I am not sure about the typeface but my personal experience of Marseille is that many weird typefaces are used when representing the city’s name.

3 December 2016

I am going away for the weekend so only have an hour or two to work on my new lesson. I am creating the guide cover for Malmo. I started in my log and looked at the flag colours. I passed through Malmo many years ago but remember nothing abut it. I do not know if I left the train station as I was on my way elsewhere with three children.

I do remember that I travelled to Malmo on the train from Copenhagen. The train went on to the ferry. So I want to create something with a bridge from Copenhagen to Malmo.

Last night I wanted to work with water-colours to create an image of Malmo from an image I found online. I visited the Societe d’Aquaralistes de la France exhibition this week. The President of this society is a very good friend. There was a large number of European watercolorists exhibiting and for the first time an American group. My visit had inspired me. I have done a very small amount of watercolours.

I decided to research the possibility in Illustrator of creating a colour panel around the flag colours. Having read this up in CC for Dummies I set about trying it out. I found the colour numbers for the flag, online. I used these to create the flag and then followed the instructions for creating some colour panels to work within.



Monday 5 December 2016

Today was Managua research and execution, if possible. I am trying to find designers who favour abstract in their work but am not having any success. There is a lot of clip art on the web but no one seems willing to put their name to the abstract design..

Here is a site with a couple of tips about abstract design. Here is a Russian born abstract designer on Instagram. If I start following him I may come across some others.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

I’ve been battling all day with Illustrator tutorials and I am nearly gone crazy. I feel so limited. The site I was using is here. I did learn a couple of things, especially some useful shortcuts. But I failed miserably on how to duplicate a selected object…

After several attempts I managed to create some triangles and then to group them and move them…. I’ll add this Managua attempt to my finished lot.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Today is Manchester. I have spent almost no time in Manchester during my lifetime. I remember passing through several times and being underwhelmed. This has given me a desire to create something with a light and airy appeal. One thinks of English cities as being grey on account of the weather. To counteract this I want to use blue as the background and to add white shapes to represent the sky and the stars…

Thursday 8 December 2016

I reworked my Manchester poster as I was unsatisfied with it. I had however learned a great deal in its making. I learned about shapes and how to combine them with images. I learned how to make clouds and this opened up pathfinder and all the possibilities therein. I have not tried them all but I am no longer scared of doing so.

Straight on to Manhattan. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for Manhattan and I now know how to create a silhouette in its own closed path. I am quite pleased with the result. However sometimes when I look at the result the next day I am less satisfied. We will see how it goes.

It is now on to Marrakech. I have never been to north Africa but I have lived in West Africa and now live close to Marseille which is like a mini north Africa so I should be able to come up with something. I found this site which is full of ideas.

The Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo), often considered the national emblem of Morocco.

This is a quote from a site giving explanations of symbols. I might use something like this with the colours of the flag – red and green.

I also like the idea of a pattern in a type of Moroccan pattern.

11 December 2016

On top of all this Illustrator work I am reading Itten’s book which has been loaned to me by a wonderful artist friend. I don’t want to keep it too long so I am trying to read it as quickly as possible. It is a book which needs to be read and re-read. I will try to get my library in Ireland to get it for me over Christmas.

I will write a review when I feel I have grasped the contents well enough to be able to review it.

19 December 2016

Have travelled home to Ireland for Christmas with family. Not a lot of college work will be done. However I am thinking of my assignment 3.  I want to celebrate the colour blue. I love this colour. I wear a lot of blue. I love clear blue skies, the blue of the sea and I have a beautiful blue flower bed in my garden. I want to do some research on the colour and then decide how I am going to celebrate it.

20 December 2016

Am collecting some blue material in search for inspiration.

Blue fish clipart:

22 December 2016

Reminding myself to watch this video:

6 January 2017

It has been a hectic few weeks with family and grandchildren and returning to Ireland and back here to France. Then being faced with the death of a very old (in the sense of time not age) friend.

But now it is back to work. I did work on my Colour Me assignment while in Ireland and asked the opinion of my neighbour/designer/friend. She gave good advice which I will follow.

9 January 2017

Have finished assignment 3 and will review the whole presentation . I received comments from two of the three friends I asked and followed the advice I received. I think this improved things. Again I ask myself why I did not see these things.

Assignment 2 Diary:Problem Solving

4 September 2016

Just getting round to looking at the recommended reading list web sites. I don’t know why I started with Typographica– probably because I liked the name… Or maybe because this whole course looks like a big problem to be solved by me… The first typeface I looked at was Trianon which apparently is based on Didot. I had to look up what Didot was. I wonder if my printer ancestors were aware of all this? Most of my paternal ancestors were either actors or printers.

Don’t agree with the review of Goss Drop – I think it is a lumpy mess of a typeface. But who am I to say?

Aphrosine was interesting but I have no idea where it could be used. I was interested in the images of his ‘work in progress’

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 09.31.02

I am also wondering, because of my reading, what numerals would look like or how they would behave with these new typefaces.

9 September 2016

Got a box of chocolates last night from a friend – Butler’s chocolates, with a very interesting wrapper. I have cut this up and stuck into my log. The Typefaces used are really interesting. Am about 2/3 the way through Type & Typography. Am looking at all publicity around me. That is when I go to town as there is not much publicity on an island… What am I doing studying Graphic Design I ask myself.

Great post on VisCom Facebook this a.m. about “How to describe Graphic Design to four year olds”.

10 September 2016

Am going to Dublin next week. Will visit the Print Museum and the Alex Soth exhibitions. My grandfather was a printer in Dublin as were some of his brothers. The family story was that he was involved in printing the first bible in Dublin. I am going to try to establish the truth of this story. If it is like many of the other stories my father told me there is not a whole lot of fact in it… My uncle was also a printer before he abandoned it to become a full time actor.

11 September 2016

Just watched a great YouTube about Helvetica. The pointer was given on the VisCom forum. Thought I would try them out in Photoshop to see if I am a helvetica sort of person…


I still don’t know but I am really interested in this whole psychology of which typeface designers use to attract which audiences. Some are evident as it says on the video. If you are selling jeans to young, hip teenagers you could use a grunge typeface. But what interests me more is the typefaces used on pubic sites and buildings.

12 -16 September 2016

I have just spent this week in Dublin. I was born in this city but have not lived there for more than forty years. I usually return at least once a year to visit my family. I was born in an area close to the city centre but my family have all moved out to the suburbs. I hate suburbia in all cities. I wanted to return to the area where I was born and be independent. I found an AirB&B which was even closer to the city than my birthplace. It was in an area of the city which is being regenerated. My family were appalled and worried about my safety in this area. They were convinced I would be mugged and be exposed to drug addicts and all the dross of society. I am happy to record that the only drug dealing I spotted was in a posh area of the city centre. Most of the old people of ‘my’ area were as I remembered them – friendly and helpful. No one was shooting up or falling down.

I had arranged to collect a camera, Fuji X100s, which I had bought second hand on Because there is an ongoing bus strike in Dublin at the moment I had to walk everywhere. I would have done this anyway but it meant there were lots of people out walking. I am learning my way into my ‘new’ camera. I wanted it for travel and street photography. It is inconspicuous and has lots of features. I chose it after a lot of research. It is in ‘almost new’ condition.

The National Print Museum is close to my vendors office so I decided to visit it. It is situated in an old British Army Barracks, a beautiful building. The report of my visit is here.

I visited an Alex Soth exhibition in the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College. My report of the visit is here.

I also visited the Gallery of Photography in Meeting House Square, Temple bat, to see an exhibition by five Austrian photographers. My report is here.

We did more family research and met up with friends and family.

19 September 2016

Caught up with my garden over the weekend and did some write ups on the exhibitions I visited in Dublin. I also put some of the material I picked up into my learning log. I was especially interested in the carrier bags. I work in a craft shop and have been trying to persuade my boss to have bags printed. She steadfastly refuses. Maybe this is why she has been running the shop successfully for 39 years. Or maybe it is that we are the only craft shop in a very picturesque fishing village…

I especially like the Eason’s bag. This is a book store in Dublin and although I hate lime green I have to admit it is eye catching. I loved the idea of the words along the edge of the half moon.

I accompanied by niece, who is an artist, to the art shop, Evans, and we picked up another carrier bag. This was another of my hate colours, orange. What interested me was that I recognised (I think) the typeface was Helvetica (or maybe not??).

The most interesting packaging was a holder for chips. I loved it. it’s in my log book.

21 September 2016

So now it is crunch time I have had my feedback from assignment 1. I now need to get on with assignment 2. Brought it to work today to read – am now totally terrified about starting. Sent tutor a request for help about software but I can get on with it.

I need to do my write up about visit to the exhibition The Body Politic.

21 September 2016

Worked on Exercise 1 of Problem solving. I hope I am on the right track. I usually do not look at other’s work until I finish but I am really not sure if I understand what I am being asked to do so I may take a peek at what others did in response to this. Most others seem to be mystified also so I will follow my own judgement.

26 September 2016

Completed Exercise 1 yesterday and am now starting my research for three book covers for HG Wells non fiction books. Reading around Wells’ biography and looking at titles of non-fiction books.

27 September 2016

I feel like I am way in over my head here. This partly because I am closing up my little house on the island and headed back to France this weekend. This means I am putting the garden to bed and the house to bed. This is not a problem and all routine. However I have just purchased my Creative Cloud Suite and I have not a clue how to access it. Normally this would be no problem but time is an issue. I will try my lovely neighbour who is an expert in these fields. I am also thinking about book covers for HG Well no scientific novels. As a start I purused the lists of titles. I was never a fan of HG but I have purchased the Kindle version of This Misery of Boots, principally because I like the title and want to attempt a cover for it. before I attempt any of this i want to read it. hence the Kindle addition. Living on the edge of the world poses problems. I tried to purchase it with my Irish Amazon but no joy. I then went to my French Amazon and “voila” I was able to do so. But not before I downloaded the Kindle App. All of this technology is sent to ‘help’ us…

But don’t you love the original book cover? The Kindle version is all clean lines and academic but the original is full of mystery. Which effect would I like to create. I’ll read the book and see.



28 September 2016

I am  thinking about colours for my book cover. for This Misery of Boots. I have looked up a few YouTube tutorials on creating a book cover but none ae very helpful or enlightening. This is not a very scientific look at bestselling book cover colours.

I have never really thought much about Book Covers. I am not a impulsive book buyer. I tend to hear a review or buy everything by a particular author so the cover is incidental. I am now looking at my library with new eyes. Apparently we are influenced by book covers according to this article in the Huffington Post

Picking Fonts for Your Self-Published Book

I am using this YouTube to try to get started with Creative Cloud.

29 september 2016

I downloaded Bembo as I fancied an ‘old fashioned title for This Misery of Boots. Let’s see how it looks against a couple of others:


30 September 2016

Loaded Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Bridge last night. Now I need to get started. My neighbour is a Graphic design graduate so she is going to give me a very short lesson tonight before I leave my island in the morning… Will need to have a peruse so I can ask intelligent questions. Am excited as I have created a couple of book covers in CS5. Let us see if I can improve on the following with this new software.



I am going to photograph my husband’s bare legs with No boot today. I fancy using this image as a cover. I’ll try it in either InDesign or Illustrator tonight in my lesson and see how I get on.

3 October 2016

I am en route to France. Just spent a couple of very precious days with the grandchildren. It is a long day today before we reach ‘home’ in France so I should have time to play with InDesign. My progress is slow and I am totally frustrated. I can work so much easier in Photoshop. I have a simple idea for a third cover which I might be able to create in Indesign. I need to order Creative Cloud for Dummies.

5 October 2016

Back in France I am not quite set up in my ‘new’ workspace. During my absence my neighbour, a ‘ferronier’ built a work station for me. My house was built in the 17C so I wanted something very modern so there was no attempt at quaint. However what I designed is not what I had imagined. My lovely neighbour will return and try to tone down my industrial space. All this means I have no proper work space at the moment. However I am trying to get on with my book cover designs. I have decided on book title 2:

The Story of a Great Schoolmaster: Being a Plain Account of the Life and Ideas of Sanderson of Oundle (1924) – a biography of Frederick William Sanderson

The length of the title alone is daunting.

I have downloaded the book on Kindle.


My first idea is to use a school blackboard and a chalk font. I have downloaded a chalk font called Chalkboard. It is not ‘chalky’ enough but is the best I can do for the moment. I am using CS5 for my first attempt. and here it is:


The subtitle is less important than the principal title so I decided to reduce it I am not sure if my blackboard looks good enough. Should I add a stick of chalk or is that a bit kitsch? Just printed this cover and decided I needed a fill colour as it was a little anaemic. Here is the ‘new’ cover. I think it looks a little like a copy book which is the effect I wanted. I decided against the stick of chalk.


I will try again in InDesign before proceeding with my second idea. This is to use an image I have of a lovely man I met, in a railway station, many years ago. I think his face is that of a lovely schoolmaster. He had a twinkle in his eye. I realise I would have to have his permission to use his photo but for an exercise I think it will be OK.


I used a copperplate font for the main title and a serif for the subtitle. I am keeping to something I read that only two fonts should be used in one project.

The next book title which I have chosen is a Modern Utopia. I have no ideas yet so I will sleep on it. I have looked at a couple of existing covers:

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-16-53-28    screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-16-50-59 screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-16-51-59 screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-16-51-31




All very different covers.

6 October 2016

Just listened to Beth Davis and Christian Lloyd’s video on thumbnail sketching here. I need to get going on this. I tend to do all the thumbnails in my head or on the computer. My physical log book is on its way here to France in the post as I could not carry a lot of my paperwork. I will use pieces of paper and stick these in when it arrives.

I worked on some of my own ideas for A Modern Utopia (in my head). I will try some thumbnails. I tried my first idea in Illustrator. This is my first attempt with this programme.

Modern Utopia

I have a young friend to whom I teach English and he is an expert in this software. I have promised to do an ‘exchange’ English for Illustrator lessons! I will do my thumbnails and see if he can show me how to create some of them.

I am thinking totally abstract for this cover since Utopia does not exist. A simple definition for utopia is as follows:

an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect

7 October 2016

I have been folding A4 paper to see how many brochure prototypes I can get.

Creating a brochure to try to encourage people to come out and volunteer is something I have done. I live on an island and I worked, until last year, as organiser of the Tidy Towns group. In our case it was a Tidy Islands group. One becomes very disillusioned with this type of volunteering. Neighbours would stop on the road (in their cars: the island is 3 x 5 kms…) and ask me why I was bothering as we have a county council employee. Or worse still they would encourage me to eliminate the road side weeds with poison…

Maybe I did not create brochures that were attractive enough! So here goes.

8 October 2016

I want to become more familiar with InDesign so I am using it to create a mind map for this project.

Brochure mindmap
Brochure mindmap

I have created a very simple brochure using the A5 shape again to try to improve my InDesign skills. I picked up a free graphic online instead of using an image as I thought this would simplify the whole thing. I put some text on the back and also inside to try to concentrate my mind on what this brochure is about.

Volunteer brochure 1
Volunteer brochure 1

My husband thinks it is ‘wishy washy’…

So I tried something else which has taken me a long time and I still have not got the proportions correct….

Basic RGB










9 October 2016

I have created a DL leaflet by hand and added it to my final submission. The Boat leaflet above looks best i think but it would be expensive to produce, wouldn’t fit in leaflet stands and I would need to work out the proportions better than I did.

Now it is on to critiquing my work and creating two posters.

One of our local churches is hosting a jazz concert next saturday. This is their poster


Although I hate the colour I admit that it made me stop and read it… It is totally minimalist. It contains all the information necessary which is:

  • What is the concert about – jazz
  • Where is it – Vaugines
  • Which venue – St Barthelemy church
  • What date and time – Saturday at 6 pm
  • Entry fee – pass the hat

This venue is famous. it is where Marcel Pagnol’s book Jean de Florette was filmed starring Gerard Depardieu. It has undergone a complete renovation which was pioneered by local people and funded, mostly, by holding concerts and debates. The temptation would be to add all this information.

Then there is the group of Jazz musicians E.L.I.Z.A, about whom I know nothing but I could invent material! So here goes – off to InDesign and let’s get started…

I completed the ‘overcharged’ poster first. I am having problems with page size on INDesign which I need to regulate. It seems to default to Letter.

I used a lot of different typefaces despite the fact that one should only use two in any one project. I also used a lot of shapes and infills in different colours. I used the colours of the image I was using as a header so the final poster would look aesthetically passable. But the text would be unreadable if the poster was on a wall and one was passing in a car. I used some free clip art which looks messy as it is very confused.

I then stripped out almost all the information that was on poster 1. All that is left is the fact that it is a jazz concert, played by the group ELIZA in St. Bartholemy’s church in Vaugines on Saturday next at 6p.m. I like B&W for Jazz.

10 October 2016

I am reading the research point in the notes. Pixels, resolutions and all that concerns Photoshop is no problem I have worked with this software for years. However InDesign and Illustrator are totally different matters. It is vector images with which I have the most difficulty. I need to read up on this and to do loads of practise. I think practise is the best way of learning.

I got my nieces critique of my first Volunteer leaflet this morning and she was exactly right. I will try to apply this to future projects. I have added it to my reflections on the work.

For my grocery shop banner I need to mind map and to go and take some images first of my local shop which is a small village supermarket. I go to my vegetable shop tomorrow and I will take some more images there. Meanwhile I need to study the brief and look at some food banners online.

11 October 2016

I have decided to make a mock up of a banner of A1 size. I have A3 paper so it is not too difficult. I find the shape of A1 bizarre for a banner so where things are placed is important. If I do my Illustrator file at 1/4 of this size it will measure 210 x 148mm. It can then be sized up to create the full size banner.

I went to my local shop this morning and took an image to see where such a banner could be placed…. It is not evident. I will go to my vegetable and fruit shop this afternoon which is not in the village. It is situated in a strange barn like structure – challenging…

I will now create a mind map on the mock up and sketch (as best I can…) some fruit so get proportions. However I like the idea of making a face with an orange split in two for eyes, a pear of nose and a banana for mouth (smiley) I think this might appeal to kids.

I have also printed out something which I will use to see where to place the words. I downloaded a font called Madre Script which I thought would work well.

Now to work on my mock up….

13 October 2016

I spent yesterday on hands and knees with my ‘life sized’ banner. I want to add some  thumbnails to it and some more information.

I also went to my veggie shop and bought my weeks fruit and vegetables which I will photograph today. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it is a ‘bio’ shop so the fruit does not always look perfect but they taste good..

Here are the two shops in question where a banner could be erected.

Sar village supermarket
Sar village supermarket
My Bio veggie shop
My Bio veggie shop


One would really need to encourage people to come into this shop to buy vegetables.

In Provence most people buy their vegetables and fruit at the street market

This is my Bio vegetable shop which is typically Provencal – a beautiful space but situated miles from anywhere….

The owner has asked me to show here the banner I produce. She allowed me to photograph the fruit and vegetables inside – a challenge as it is dark inside because of the sun here in Summer….

She had a nice banner inside which I photographed to give me some ideas:


I have made thumbnails (in Lightroom so a little larger than normal thumbnails) and will see how these fit into my ideas on my mock-up.

This is my weekly fruit and veg shop:


14 October 2016

I have ‘completed’ my ideas on my mock-up. I now want to take images of the fruit and vegetables to see how I can use them.

I set up my lighting and took my first image of my mock-up.


this is the mock-up:



21 October 2016

I have been away in Copenhagen for almost a week. It was amazing. I had no computer with me so I gave the time to visiting exhibitions and museums. I have written these up in my review section of my blog. I also used the time to look at Danish design. The danes do design well. It is clean and simple. Here is an example:


I also reflected about the cards I will produce. For  number of years I have been selling my images as cards with blank inside. They measure 14.5 x 14.5 cms. I will keep to this format as I am used to it. I use a single image so it is simple to produce them. I Have been thinking about different ideas for these cards. Among my ideas are:

  • Welcome to some group:
    • Men’s shed
    • Women’s patchwork group ( I was part of such a group for one day….)(15 March??)
    • Trainspotters Group
  • International Days: Today for example is Back to the future day….
    • Girls day (11 October)
    • Mens day (19 November)
    • Black cat day
    • Pumpkin day
    • Chocolate cupcake day
    • Octopus day
  • Congratulations on an achievement
    • becoming a pilot
    • becoming a boat builder
    • becoming  chef
    • becoming a snake charmer
    • becoming a surfer

I tried some sketches for these ideas in a notebook I had with me. I have now transferred these to my log book

I am coming down to using the international days. I have selected some images and printed thumbnails.

International females (women/girls) day


International male(mens.boys) day 


I made a 14.5 x 14.5 mock-up and although I was thinking of 36 images I have now settled on 16 (4 rows x 4 columns)

22 October 2016

Now I need to make a template in InDesign to use for all three cards. I have no idea how to do this but I have read Chapter 4 of “Dummies” so here goes.

Spent much of the day trying to create the card for “Happy Girls Day”. I wanted to wrap text around an object in InDesign but could not manage it. I retreated to Photoshop and placed the text in an arc on the globe. Not too happy with it. Wanted to print the different possibilities but the printer had run out of ink… Have ordered that now.

23 October 2016

This morning I am covered in doubt about what I have done, so far, for my cards. I think they are grossly overworked. I am re-thinking the whole thing – well not the topic (International days) but my actual result. Before I show you I see that Kodak have a ‘new logo’ But because it was so good in the first place the new one is almost identical. Here is the history of the logo as seen here. I actually prefer the KODAK horizontal rather than the new vertical.


So now to my predicament. Here are the two options I have produced so far.





I don’t really like them. So now it is back to the drawing board.

Below are the images I want to use for the ‘new”card



Image no 2 was a complete wall of graffiti in Copenhagen. However I did not do “safe as” so lost the original – this has not happened me for a very long time….. Anyway I have lots of wall graffiti.

I put these two together by making the graffiti wall a little bigger than 14.5 as I wanted it to wrap around the card. I then tried different shapes into which I wanted to put the “The Furture is Female”. I have just learned how to do  this in InDesign!!! So I tried a star but this did not work. Then I tried a circle.


I wanted a graffiti type font so I went to and downloaded Amsterdam Graffiti


I then added text for the inside of the card I used Party LET Plain 1.0.

Basic RGB

24 October 2016

So now to a card for Boys day. On the same trip to Copenhagen I took the following image which I want to use. I have already used a part of the graffiti wall behind for the female card. I loved this guy carrying the box with “Second place” on it.

I removed the guy from the image and put him on a transparent background.


I then tried to place him on the brick wall below:


But he kept bringing a white background with him!! Then I discovered if I saved him as Png he kept the transparent background….

I then picked up the colour of the box ad added the text in Engravers MT font. I wanted the wall to wrap around the back of the card.I then added my name and web site to the back.


I then added the text to the inside in Handwriting Dakota.


25 October 2016

Now to make card number three – the International Cat day Celebration card. I want to keep the idea of a collage of a cat on a colourful background. So I have started with Doctor google… I have many images of cats which I would like to use. Pinterest have hundreds of examples. I have to decide whether to go amusing or serious? Very few cards on Pinterest seem to use actual cat images – why?? Most of the cards are for Birthday, “love you” or “sorry” you have lost your pet… But I want to go more of seeing cats as the same as us. I am married to a cat fanatic so I can think this way!! Here are 25 best cat card – I really like some of these. I am sending the following one to my husband for his next birthday….


I have spent the day trawling through my cat images and my graffiti to see if I can find something compatible which will look attractive. If I succeed my set of three cards will work better together.

26 October 2016

I set up a sort of mood/story board in my log:



I put together my card using the following images:

cat_graffiti_sm lacoste_pussie_sm



I thought the text should be graffiti like so I used squeaky chalk. I liked the result.


I used the same font for the inside:


I liked this font. So I replaced the text on both girls and boys day cards, with this font.

I think I am ready to print my three cards.


Assignments Diary

Thursday 28 July 2016

I have just set up this site today so have no idea where I am going with it. I need to check options and decide if I need more options by upgrading.

Friday 29 July 2016

Re-read the notes for Graphic Design Part 1. Spent some time thinking about films and TV shows for the first exercise: Charades. I am really looking forward to trying this out with family and friends.

Also spent time thinking about how to represent myself on three or more postcards. Ideas which seem relevant are:

  • Green Fingers
  • Travelling Photographer
  • Reader
  • Sewing bee

I looked at some designs for Green Fingers on Pintarest and Google Images and, of course, found almost the exact designs I had in mind. But I will go ahead with these anyway and see what I can make of them.

Asked my niece’s advice about how to go about designing. She is a graphic designer turned fine artist. She suggested looking at all the magazines, newspapers and online to see what styles appeal to me and create my own version of these. Sounds simpler than I am sure it will be…

My black paper arrived for my new log book. Excited about making this, I want to make a hand made logbook. I hope this is not too ambitious but I think if this part of level 1 is about design I should try this out.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Have started my research on graphic designers. I started with Paul Rand and read several articles and watched a video interview in three parts. Will write this up in my research page.

My Grapfic Design: A User’s Manual arrived in the post today so I now, at least, have some reference material with which to start my work. So happy.

Monday 6 August 2016

I have been reading with interest Adrian Shaugnessy’s book. I have so much to learn and never enough time. However I am travelling to Scotland end of this week so will have lots of travelling time. I had my Street Art Exhibition opening, at Organico Cafe, Bantry, on Saturday. I gave a short presentation on the Street Art of Valparaiso, which went very well. Then spent the weekend, with my family, on the mainland. Asked one of my granddaughters to make three postcards depicting me as she saw me. I will include these in my physical learning log. I have also asked my daughter to do the same.

Back on Sherkin and straight into the garden.

Tuesday 7 August 2016

I want to start to make my new physical log today. I have an idea that I will create a book using black card. The cover will be covered with material and the pages bound together with a material binding. A fall in the garden forced me inside and I tried out my idea of the log book. I was not happy with the result so abandoned the idea. I may return ot it later.

Wednesday 8 August 2016


I organised my Mime game cards and laminated them. I want to make a little pocket for them and put that into my log. I am off on my travels this afternoon so little time to do more for this week.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Have been in Edinburgh for the past four days at the Fringe. Well not specifically at the Fringe but celebrating a friend’s birthday and the Fringe was on at the same time. It was my first visit to Edinburgh and therefore my first to the Fringe. It certainly will not be my last.

While there I used the opportunity to collect several brochures for the different shows. I’ll make a small booklet of these as I want to see how I feel about how these flyers are designed. I became acutely aware of all the publicity around the city. I was looking at typefaces and whether a grid system had been used. All these concepts are new to me but I am really enjoying the process.

I also used the time to reflect on how I want to develop my postcards describing myself. I realise I like minimalist design. I found most of the flyers at Edinburgh too fussy. I know they were trying to impart information about shows that were taking place but I was put off by most of them.

I have also asked some members of my family to make a word or image postcard using one or two words which they think describes me. My grandchildren’s ideas were hilarious.

19 August 2016

Continuing to read O’Shaugnessy’s Graphic design manual. I am able to do this when I am not too busy in my craft shop employment. However today was my busiest day of the Summer. The season is winding down now.

I have now got two designs for my cards with which I am happy. One is to describe me as a photographer and the other as a reader. My problem is I have too many hobbies…. Going to work is my problem but I am lucky to work in two places I love, a craft shop and a gallery. I worked on depicting my hobby theatre, yesterday. I also know how I want to depict sewing which I do less of these days but still love.

Must contact tutor re whether she wants to get the actual cards or if images online will suffice.

21 August 2016

face_collage_smMade a collage of the small publicity squares from The Fringe magazine and stuck these on to an outline of myself with my glasses on my head – their usual spot. I converted the collage to B&W and reduced it to card size. This is now printed and added to my assignment blog. I added the explanation to the rear. Am not so happy with this one. I think it is a little amateurish in the final card.


sewingCompleted my sewing one and added it to my assignment notes.Not unhappy with it but could be happier.



Now I need to retrieve the notes I made at the Impressionists exhibition in Edinburgh and write them up. I also need to write up the Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition.

22 August 2016

Today is my daughters birthday and we are lucky enough to have her visiting Ireland at the moment.

Retrieved the notes I wrote on the impressionists exhibition in Edinburgh and wrote up here. Now need to do the Taylor Wessing exhibition which I saw also in Edinburgh.

29 August 2019

Am reading through my blog before submission to tutor for first assessment.

1 September 2016

Decided to try to re-draw curtain on theatre image. Had looked through millions of free stock images to see if I could use one but very few had only a single curtain and most were way to elaborate. So returned to my hand drawn one.

Have looked up other students “Introducing myself” cards and am now filled with fear as they all look so professional. However I tell myself that they are probably GD students and not photography students and anyway I am here to learn.

Will send this off and see….

2 September 2016

Even though I had sent this off I still wanted to try out my Green Fingers idea. After having a group of 20 people to visit the garden I could not face going out again so I had great fun messing with paint. I had learned from another fellow student about ‘dafont’ for free fonts. So I downloaded “scorched ground’ and used this for the work green. I then painted my fingers and palm and pressed them to the paper. A bit messy but fun to do.

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