A youth theatre club is performing a production of Abigail’s Party. Mike Leigh’s tale of suburban taste is set in the 1970s and explores middle class aspirations and preoccupations.
You will need to acquaint yourself with the play if you don’t know it already, as they are particularly keen for it to have a 70s feel. The play will be touring local theatres for a month, performing every Friday night and Saturday matinee.
Produce a poster (A3 portrait), a flyer (A5 landscape, double-sided) and newspaper advert (A6) to promote this event. In addition they would like their A5 programme cover to continue the design theme.
For the purposes of this brief you need to invent dates, times, places, names and any other information you think will be required. Use Lorun ipsum text for areas of body text.
IMDb’s synopsis of the play:
A TV play based on the Hampstead Theatre production. Beverly has invited her new neighbours, Angela and Tony, over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue, because Sue’s fifteen year-old daughter, Abigail, was holding a party in their house. Beverly’s husband, Lawrence comes home late from work, just before the guests arrive. The gathering starts off in a stiff insensitive British middle class way with people who do not know each other, until Beverly and Lawrence start sniping at each other. – written by Will Gilbert
I watched the play on YouTube:
I felt like I was stepping into not only my mother’s time period but my grandmother’s period, with the beige leather suite and kitschy wooden furniture, not to mention the costumes. http://lumiere.net.nz/index.php/abigails-party/:
First step having renewed my acquaintance with the play I made a list of the characteristics of each of the roles.
I tried to get some feeling for the colours in the play. Beverly, the leading actress seemed to wear orange in most productions. So I looked for a model in an orange dress which I could stylise in Photoshop. I found one and worked on it having sketched it.
I was fascinated by Anglea’s shoes in the video above so I looked up some 1970’s shoes.
I then looked at the music from the play and looked for the record covers to get some idea of the design of the time.
I looked up posters for Abigail’s Party to see what had been done previously. Among these were some OCA students work. I divided the posters into those on orange backgrounds, yellowish backgrounds and the remainder. The greatest number used the colour orange. Those on white backgrounds looked particularly weak.
Then I looked at some general theatre posters for the 1970s
I then looked at typefaces from the 1970s. Most of what I found were not installed with my design programmes. Only one or two were available on DaFont.
I looked up retro typefaces on DaFont and downloaded a couple of these. I printed a couple on my first ‘mock-up’ of the poster.
With all this information i set about trying to perfect my A3 poster. I was a little puzzled by how little information was contained in the ’70 posters I found online. I do not know if these were created as keepsakes rather than information posters. I figured that our local travelling theatre group needs to put information on their poster in order to inform people where and when they will perform. So I followed this idea rather than trying to create something purely decorative.
Using the same elements I created a double sided flyer. I found it odd making a landscape A5 as most are portrait. Also I found it odd to have a double sided flyer. I am not sure if most people would expect to find information on the back so I put very little information on the front to encourage them to turn the flyer over.
Finally I created the newspaper ad:
I think the design could easily be used for the programme. I mocked this up as follows:
I believe that theatre goers just want information on the inside of the programme so I created a very simple text based inside.
I will have the A3 poster, the A5 double sided flyer and the A6 Neewspaper ad printed up for submission of my final assessment.
This has proved to be an extremely difficult assignment of me. Mostly because of my post operation immobility. However my family did what they could by looking at what I had created and giving their opinions on how this could be improved. I appreciate their input. i will continue to solicit opinions from friends before final assessment. Having worked and re-worked the above martial I am no longer sure if I like it..
In terms of improvement I’d recommend you consider a little more your hierachies of type and image. The title should be the stand out element on the page with everything else subservient to this. It’s all about finding the right balance where the separate elements fall into a sort of connected grouping with each other. Look for gaps and space and where your eye naturally wants to fall is where your most important bit of type should live. Sometimes viewing the work in thumbnails is the best way of seeing this as a whole.
With this feedback and some suggestions from my tutor i reworked my poster. Here is the result:
I think this looks a lot better.
I have decided to use this as one of my ten pieces for submission in my portfolio. I have been in discussion with my print about ‘bleeds’ and papers etc. let us hope I have got it all sorted.
Typographers and type foundries (the companies that commission and produce typefaces) have always had to promote their latest designs to printers and designers to show off a particular typeface, its different fonts in a variety of sizes and contexts, and the unique features of it. Once Specimen Sheets were the main way of doing this. Nowadays most of that marketing takes place online – research type foundries on the internet.
A type foundry is a company that designs and or distributes typefaces according to Wikipedia. Before desktop publishing they used to manufacture metal and wood typefaces. All my grand uncles, as well as my grandfather, were in the business…
Okay Type: This is a one man band run by a guy called Jackson Cavanaugh.It is hard to tell from his site what he stands for. He seems to follow briefs but does not have a special style. I guess he has to earn his living…
HVD: This is a really attractive site to display the work of Hannes von Döhren. The work is displayed simply on screen. The drop down menu idea is a little gimmicky but once you have found it you can see the amazing work being done here. He says of his print organisation,
“A principle of HVD is that we want to deliver fonts of the highest quality level: optically AND technically.”
Colophon: is an international, award-winning type foundry based in London (UK) and Los Angeles (US). The first impression when I clicked through to their site was “WOW”. The image on screen had the word ROAD and two arrows, the background was blue. Nothing extraordinary here but go take a look. Everytime you click there is a different image. Clicking “Typefaces” one can browse their wares. The work looks clean and practical to me. I’d go there if I needed something serious.
I was searching for a woman typographer and came across Typetogether. Roxane Gartaud Bely seems to be a hardworking typographer and a prize winner in addition. her site is workman (or workwoman) like. I found her winning typeface Bely a little weird. Not sure for what it could be used.
NeuBau: All I can say about NeuBau is that I hope their work is better than their web site. Trying to read anything on it is difficult. Since the purpose of most typefaces is readability I am not sure about this foundry….
Or Type is an Icelandic type foundry, founded in 2013 to publish typefaces designed by GUNMAD (Guðmundur Úlfarsson & Mads Freund Brunse). Their site is complicated so it is difficult to have an opinion about their work.
There are thousands of these small type foundries around the world. Then there are the giants like FontShop.
Design the font for use on the cover of a magazine called type and write a short article for the magazine using a range of typefaces, with typographic illustrations, drawing on all that you have learned in this section. The article should include sections on:
what makes a typeface interesting
how a typeface is constructed
With my limited knowledge of the design programmes I decided to start with trying to develop some ideas in my log book.
My first attempt was to use my own handwriting
Then I created the word ‘type’ with watercolours and a brush:
I then opened this in Illustrator and used image trace and sketched art
2. Working with charcoal and felt pens.
3. I then used felt to create an image of the word TYPE
I do not think this suits the word or the project
4. The next image was created with buttons.
I don’t think this fits the topic either.
5. I liked the idea of wood since paper is made from wood pulp and then we type on it. So I created the word in wood bark.
6. I then went to Illustrator having read several online “How to” blogs and articles. I found this one and this one the most helpful.
I created a very simple typeface using straight lines and circles. I had difficulty removing unwanted ‘bits’ of the letters despite being told to use pathfinder and minus font. I managed (if somewhat crudely with the scissors tool… I then moved the letters closer together and used free transform to ‘tuck’ them into each other
7. I then created a ‘fun’ example using the word and then converting it to a scribble. I then created a 3D effect. I like this one but am still unsure if it is suitable for the project as i did not create the original text I had begun with Myriad.
8. I took this into photoshop as a smart object and added a stamp filter and converted to B&W and used levels to increase the intensity of both Black and white.
I like this too but not sure if it fits the brief – self created typeface.
9. I had the idea that I would like to use an old Newspaper with the word cut out. I was not sure if I would use the letters as a cover or the newspaper itself.
I decided to research typography magazine covers. First, as usual I went to Dr Google.
Clicking on some of these I was brought to different blogs(1, 2). In these I found some amazing typography based covers
I love the first two black and white. I think all of these covers are keenly suited to the project e.g. the Maigret cover with the hat, the interesting design in the graphic design cover, the idea index forming a cross at the “E” etc.
With these amazing covers in my head I set about trying to create a typeface for my cover as I was not too satisfied with what I had created so far.
Do a mock up of the magazine cover to show where and how your title font will appear along with other cover elements.
Produce a magazine article that is attractive and interesting enough for someone to want to pick it up to read, and which shows off what that you have learnt so far about typography.
Add illustrations, photographs and colours as you want.
On researching this the first piece of advice in this blog was to have a brief. This is clear here: design the typeface for a magazine called Type using the word TYPE.
As I was lying in my bed I was watching my clock which projects the time on to the ceiling. I liked the shape of the numbers so I decided to try to make a typeface like this in Illustrator. I used “effect, round corners” and the thickness of the stroke to develop these rounded rectangles. I wanted to introduce my very old newspaper too. I put this on a separate layer and using the “knife tool” I cut a “V” shape to show the old newspaper through the black foreground. I then added the text of the “contents” picking up the colour of the old paper as a gradient fill for the circles.
Here is my cover:
I decided on a double spread in InDesign. I used different typefaces for each section. This meant three different ones – thus breaking one of the Golden Rule of magazines… One should use two typefaces maximum. But rules are made to be broken and I was never one to keep too many rules. As always this was a steep learning curve and I feel I am only scratching the surface. But here it is
I completed the assignment to the best of my present design skills. I like my cover but am not so sure about my double page spread. Because I was using an image of the Martin Silvertant typeface this had a white background. I felt it would improve things if I used a couple of other images with white backgrounds to balance this. I am not sure if this worked.
I was very grateful that my tutor took the time and effort to work with some of my designs to create two different covers for me.
I think my problem is that I overwork things and am afraid to strip away unnecessary additions. I am used to working with computer based solutions to things. I forget that original creations can be translated into computer based design. My tutors design using my ‘scribbles’ look infinitely better than my contrived work.
My tutor used my hand created work to great effect in her re-designs. I see this is recommended in one of the ‘pointers‘ she gave me:
I also have difficulty with layout. I leave things ‘floating’ in my designs. This is a critique I receive from almost every ‘professional’ design or art person I ask to review my work. But it is still difficult for me to get my head around this once I have assembled all the elements of a design. It is certainly something I will try to take from this course. I am continually amazed when someone suggests moving something in my design, that the end result looks so much more pleasing.
But despite all this I like my cover and my double page spread. This is probably because it felt like I had learned something in its making….
To produce a poster (297mm x 420mm) that celebrates a colour of your choice.
Choose a colour that has a meaning that you want to explore and celebrate. Think about what the colour you have chosen means both to you and to other people and create something that celebrates that meaning, for example you may choose a golden brown because you like real ale, a vivid green because of a particular landscape, green to celebrate Irish identity or the yellow sandstone of Bath’s architecture..
Work only with your chosen colour, its complementary colour and black and white. You can include text, collages, illustrations and photographs. Use black and white to help establish a range of tints and shades with your chosen colour. These limitations are to get you to work with colour thinking creatively about how to make a limited palette work for you.
This project is as much about visual dynamics and contrast as it is about creating something with meaning. Make full use of it to show off to your tutor all the skills and processes you have learnt so far.
You need to submit at least three variations of your poster as well as the finished artwork.
My chosen colour is blue for the reasons I specified in my diary. My problem is I love blue but do not like orange, its complimentary.
Blue is a primary colour, on the cold end of the spectrum but its compliment is on the hot end so they balance.
This is the ‘true blue’ (0,0,225). The tints and shades will be created by adding white or black.
This the complimentary of my blue – orange (225,165,0)
I am looking for inspiration on the colour blue. Thinking about the Donovan song:
Blue’s the colour of the sky In the mornin’ when we rise, In the mornin’ when we rise. In the mornin’ when we rise. That’s the time, that’s the time I love the best.
In ancient Rome, public servants wore blue. Today, police and other public servants wear blue. In Iran, blue is the color of mourning.
Blue was used as protection against witches, who supposedly dislike the color.
If you are “true blue,” you are loyal and faithful.
Blue stands for love, which is why a bride carries or wears something blue on her wedding day.
A room painted blue is said to be relaxing.
“Feeling blue” is feeling sad. “Blue devils” are feelings of depression.
Something “out of the blue” is from an unknown source at an unexpected time.
A bluebook is a list of socially prominent people.
The first prize gets a blue ribbon.
A blue blood is a person of noble descent. This is probably from the blue veins of the fair-complexioned aristocrats who first used this term.
“Into the blue” means into the unknown.
A “bluenose” is a strict, puritanical person.
A “bluestocking” used to be a scholarly or highly knowledgeable woman.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore blue for protection against evil.
The “blues” is a style of music derived from southern African-American secular songs. It influenced the development of rock, R&B, and country music.
“Blue laws” are used to enforce moral standards.
A blue ribbon panel is a group of especially qualified people.
Yves Klein was an Artist who worked mainly in blue he even had a pigment called after him (IKB). His work is extraordinary. He had models painted in blue and then they lay down on the canvas. He loved the colour. I can understand that.
I also looked for graphic designers, using blue, on Google and Pinterest and I found many designs which I liked. Among them are the following:
I have just discovered the work of Alan Fletcher with which I am obsessed….
I have looked for material in magazines and newspapers. My first poster will be a collage.
In google I did screen snaps of pages of patterns which I printed out to use in my collage:
I cut these up into small squares. I then made a rough sketch of my proposal.
I liked the way the light (or lack of it) caused this to appear blue even though the paper is white!
I placed my cut outs on the sketch to see how it looked.
I realised the small squares were still too big so I cut these up randomly into tiny pieces for the collage. I debated about a cloud in the top right but decided against.
I then had to decide on the text to indicate global warming and climate change. Time is ticking by, hence the clock, pollution is represented by the bottle and the fish being ejected from the sea by the tsunami. To capture this in a headline… My designer friend recommended that I should use the top right hand corner. She suggested a sans serif type aligned to the right. I decided to introduce the complimentary colour.
This is the final poster:
Secondly I made a photomontage using some of the following material.
This is a painting by a lovely friend. It concerns crossing from our island to the mainland. The port where we arrive supported 400 fishing boats at one time. Today there are two which lie tied up for most of the month. Their quota is so small they need only to fish for two days a month. This makes NO sense as far as I am concerned.
Fishermen scuppered their boats when the EU quotas were fixed as they realised there was no point in continuing to fish. The government offered to remove the rusting hulls for 2€ but the owner of this boat refused. He wanted the world to be reminded every time they pass that this boat used to fish out of Baltimore.
I used the fish from the publicity in a magazine.
This is the first poster I created from the above images in Photoshop:
I tried a second using my family story as background.
Finally I created posters in Illustrator, using the skills I learned in creating the abstract cities. I made a repetitive fish pattern based on the fish from the magazine illustration above.
This was the result:
The next one I produced was the following:
For my final illustrator poster I used an image of the following map which hangs in our bed room.
I added the surreal fire…. Not sure if it works in various orange shades:
I settled on the following three posters having received comments from a couple of friends (see below):
SANDI: Graphic artist/artist
The first, burning the world, I would make the type bolder and maybe a chunkier sans serif font. It’s not immediately clear what it says, it should hit you in the face! The fire might be better with a gradient. Or it doesn’t necessarily have to go all the way across.
The second I would axe if there is one to go, it’s too simple.
The third collage is really great, I love it! Careful any type is not too close to edge.
Of the two fishing industry posters, use the first. The page covered in type is too confusing. The first is good. To improve it I would change the font. Don’t make it a script, bold and strong. Split the type, the “Irish gov…”at the top and then “200m loss” at left under ship, still big and maybe different colour than top type, doesn’t have to that different, light blue or something.
I wouldn’t use last as I think you have to cut another.
Hope this helps!
Jo: oil painter:
Wow – you are hard at it! A great variety of image.
My favourites are the burning the world, the fish out of water and the one with the narrative written across the whole page.
I’m not so keen on the same actual fish and boat image used in each one, but that may have been a requirement too. Personally, I think a more context appropriate image/species may be better, but they may not be blue!!!
It’s hard to comment on those bits without you explaining the further details of the task and requirements, so I feel a tad uncomfortable making further comment, if you know what I mean.
I hope this helps….
DEIDRE: A graphic Designer
You have been busy 🙂
I will happily give my opinion, for what it’s not worth!! I love the collage, the textures and structure of the layout. My next favourite is the boat, for the same reasons as above. My third preference would be Burning our world, for exactly the same reasons as the other two. There is something interesting in the geometric patterns in number 6 as well.
As to why that order, I’m not sure, subjective choice, so I’m no help on your critiques!
Best of luck
I feel like I am only winding up to this exercise after so much reflection and trial and error. I found it interesting that both friends, I asked to comment, liked the collage. I liked doing it but was not sure about the result. I want to try more collage with my photography now.
I took into account what the graphic designer suggested and hope this improved the end result.
My first task is to research Peter Saville as recommended by my tutor and to add this to my Visual Literacy file on designers.
Following the recommendation of my tutor I need to push my design beyond the boundaries of the page. Not sure I have really done this in Assignment 4 – something to keep in mind for Assignment 5.
Research other artists creating collage for homelessness.
I found these very powerful: They are such simple ideas.
I could not find anything specifically for homelessness at Christmas. I will think about creating another poster.
4.For Abstract Cities my tutor felt Manchester was weakest. She suggested looking at Lowry’s paintings and using this idea as a base. I followed her advice and came up with a ‘new’ design. I think this is an improvement. I away the tutor’s comments. It is on the abstract cities page
5. My tutor suggested that I use the Lightbulb exercise to create thumbnails for my posters. I took the burning the world poster to rework. I set up some thumbnails in my log book and asked my husbands opinion of which worked best. He liked the egg timer one.
So using an image from the net I traced it and filled it with orange in Photoshop. Then I took it into Illustrator. I placed the world in the top part and tried to make it look like it was melting by using my newly learned ‘skill” of selecting anchor points and using the up and down arrows to manipulate the shape. It looked totally amateurish. I then made a shape using the ellipse tool. Then using anchor points and the up and down arrows on my keyboard I reshaped this. I made a copy and turned it through 180 degrees. I added a rectangle between the two shapes and selecting them all I used pathfinder to join them together. I then added the ‘melting’ world. I added drips and filled the bottom with the pen tool. I made a mesh gradient and added colours by selecting anchor points on the mesh to create a liquid type puddle. I think this is a good improvement.
Create a range of cards for sentiments or events that are worthy of a greetings card, but are currently not catered for by card manufactures.
The cards could be linked to other calendar events, obscure Saints days, sporting calendars or any other happening that is worth celebrating or commiserating. You may wish to explore some of life’s other landmarks that currently don’t feature in greetings cards, like getting your first grey hairs, being released from prison or any other personal landmark someone might want to share.
Your will need to design the cover of your card and the message inside. You may choose to include the envelope within your design work as well as explore the possibility of pop-ups or other forms of cards.
At least three finished cards will be produced, which can either be unrelated or work as a series linked to the same sentiment. Base the dimensions of your cards on a size of envelope that you have available to you.
Work through the design process, documenting it in your research file as you go:
• Analyse the brief
Read the brief, identifying keywords, communication issues and design problems
• Research and develop ideas
Identify the primary and secondary research you need to undertake. This brief requires some lateral thinking: develop ideas that are unexpected, obvious and fun.
• Visualise your ideas
Use mood boards to explore the feel of your sentiments, visualise your ideas through thumbnails and create mock-ups of your cards.
• Critique your work
Write a short rationale for each of your ideas explaining your decision-making process. Evaluate your design work, try and include other people in this process.
• Finish your artwork
Create at least three finished cards that are of the highest visual quality that you can achieve at this time. Use appropriate DTP, image manipulation and/or illustration software to complete them. Remember to check for spelling, typos and accuracy.
KEYWORDS OF BRIEF
design greeting cards
first grey hairs
released from prison
other personal landmarks
VISUALISING MY IDEAS
Having looked at a number of possibilities for cards, Welcome to some group, Celebrating an achievement or celebrating some calendar day, I decided on the latter. I decided on the following days
My first idea was to use a number of thumbnail sized images to create a grid with the “greeting” superimposed on these. I wanted to mix black & white images with coloured. I started with “Girls Day” and located about thirty images from which I chose sixteen. I mounted these on a 14.5 x 14.5 cm square template. I did the same for Boys Day. I used this format because I make cards for sale in a craft shop and use this format.
I was not happy with the first results and decided to keep the theme but change the content of the cards. I photograph a lot of graffiti and wanted to use some of these images if possible.
I have indicated the steps in my learning Diary.
I was happier with these cards than with the first group I tried.
So the first ‘celebration’ card is for International Girls Day
When working on the third card I decided to change the font on all three to Squeeky Chalk as I thought this fitted better with the graffiti style.
The second card is for International Boys Day:
And the third was celebrating International Cats Day:
The set of three
and with the envelope:
I printed the cards on Bristol paper but this would not be heavy enough for commercial cards. I would need 220gms for a final production.
The brief was to create at least three cards to celebrate or commiserate some happening. I think I have fulfilled this part of the brief. The cards are linked by the fact that they are celebrating three International Days. These days do not presently have cards to celebrate them.
I found trying to create the size 145 x 145 mm in both Illustrator and InDesign difficult. I have done this many times in Photoshop for card creation but I wanted to try to get more experience with these design software programmes. When I tried to print my cards they were not placed correctly. So I took them into photoshop and resized the cards and the canvas which created the correct size and shape of card. I need to do more work on sorting the dimensions of these cards.
Comments by friends and family (I haven’t received feedback from everyone yet):
My husband thinks they work – normally he is not too positive!
My daughter (my best critic!!)
I like the girls day one. Don’t like the boys/lads one just cos the pic is not right, doesn’t really grab me. Love the cats one but you need to say ‘happy cats day’ or Make the celebration clearer.
Also, cat is at an angle and it would be better to have the full cat across the bottom. Must be possible to find a sleeping cat in cucuron to photograph.
Your cards demonstrate some good learning in terms of production, printing and putting some key elements together to create a visual theme across three cards. Of the three, your “Girls’ Day” card seems the most cohesive – the use of graffiti imagery here describes a sense of activism relevant to a feminist concern. The boys’ day card apes this style a little but perhaps does not promote or celebrate / elevate the male through the image, your character crouches instead of standing proud and your dice message feels a little lost in the mix. Your cats’ day begins to speak of a cat relaxing and this is humorous in itself (cats really do need a day to kick back and chill out don’t they?) however the graffiti background here once again confuses the image a little because it doesn’t add a tension, context or further insight into the image. A simple structure to work into the cards may be something like:
1. The card must contain a graffiti background that demonstrates celebrates the plight (eg. The future is female, a focus on men’s health / good male role models, celebrating the hard working tasks of a cat)
2. A counter image where the protagonist is celebrated / gets to relax.
This simple structure will allow a clearer legibility across all cards.
I have re-worked the cats day card. using an image of my friends beloved cat who has now passed away.
I found one of my graffiti mages which I thought fitted my tutors recommendation for the female card:
This first assignment is about introducing yourself so that your tutor can get to know you, your interests and your work better. This assignment is not submitted for formal assessment. Design a series of at least three postcards (final size A6) that say something about who you are, your interests in graphic design and your wider cultural influences or interests. You can use any medium or materials you want to. You may want to work much larger and reduce your artwork to submit it. Don’t forget if you do this that details may get lost. Use the front of the card to present your designs while on the back of the card say something about what this image means to you or why you chose it. Keep notes to accompany the making of the cards in your learning log. These notes could cover why you decided to portray what you did, what you included and what you omitted.
I started this assignment by asking members of my family to make a postcard or postcards using a word or a picture, or both, to depict how they see me. I have included these in my physical learning log. My favourite was my three year old granddaughter who said “BaNana” – she loved her own joke. My daughter drew a banana for her as her contribution.
I made a list of words that I thought said something about me:
arts & crafts
I worked on these ideas trying to use what I was learning about design. I tried to keep the cards simple and self explanatory. I added a description on the back of what the card was about or why I chose it. In order to define the card size I have framed each one with a black line. This is not on the original cards.
Here is my final selection:
Reflection on this assignment:
I am on a very steep learning curve here. I know nothing about graphic design other than commenting on what I like and do not like around me. I am not sure if I will get much out of this part of the course as there seems to be so much to learn. Because of my lack of experience I decided to keep my first assignment simple. I also do not like cluttered design so this fitted in well.
I hope you will learn something about me from my simple postcards