Archives for the month of: November, 2012

As an overview, any design project – such as out current group project creating the magazine, can be summarized as a five stage process, and this links in to my first principle, Essential Milestones;

  • The Problem | The Client, User, Participant etc

For us, this was the brief we were given; to create a magazine based an any aspect of Birmingham. It didn’t make it any easier working in a group of people we didn’t know and had only just met – and to find common ground like this is very hard.

  • Ideas | Definition of the Problem, Our Thoughts, Research, Facts, Ideology, The Process etc

As soon as I got this brief, Ideas were being created in my head. As I hadn’t been in Education for near 3 months, my creative brain was bursting to go, so ideas and thoughts were being created just from the mention of one word, such as ‘architecture’ or ‘fashion’ (in Birmingham).

  • Visualization | Sketches, Drawings, Observations etc

In design, I am very good at visualizing what my outcomes may look like before I have even started. This doesn’t make me narrow minded in my development and experimentation, but gives me focus and something to aim for. After being at Uni for only two days, I was already designing for our group. It started with primarily sketches/hand-drawn logo and then I developed them on Adobe Illustrator.

  • Layouts | Organisation and Presentation of Solution

This is the point where I (we) are at now. I have recently started to finalize the style of our magazine, doing some drawn page layouts, and over the weekend have created (what may lead to be final) magazine page spreads.

  • Production | How to make you solution work in practice

Throughout the project I have always been thinking of how our magazine will ‘look’ on its final platform; Issuu, and I have done two trials to find out how it works, looks and feels. Incorporating the ‘template’ Issuu gives you into my design work will (I’m sure) give us a massive boost in how legit the magazine should eventually look.

All of these points/areas are evident when looking through my RVJ.

My second principle is ‘The Experts’. No-one can define that one designer, illustrator or photographer was an expect, as there are no rules or guidelines set in stone. People can have an opinion on who they ‘think’ is an expect from what they have done, said or created throughout their creative life.

My favourite ‘expert’ is Josef Muller-Brockmann.

“The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee. It permits a number of possible uses and each       designer can look for a solution appropriate to his personal style. But one must learn how to use the grid; it is an art that requires practice.”

“I still reserve the right, at any time, to doubt the solutions furnished by the Modular, keeping intact my freedom, which must depend on my feelings rather than my reason.”

“The use of the grid implies;
the will to systematize, to clarify,
the will to penetrate to the essentials, to concentrate,
the will to cultivate objectivity instead of subjectivity,
the will to rationalize the creative and technical production processes,
the will to integrate elements of colour, form and material,
the will to achieve architectural dominion over surface and space,
the will to adopt a positive, forward-thinking attitude,
the recognition of the importance of education and the effect of work devised in a constructive and creative spirit.”

After using pieces of Muller-Brockmann’s work at A-Level, I found the grid system within his work, that wasn’t fully apparent to me when I first looked at the piece (pictured below, left). The grid creates a rectangle which is blank – that ‘could’ be used for text, and the black rectangles used as it’s border, but no, Brockmann finds other areas to use type. The same goes with his other pieces, I love his use of Photography and how he then mixes type and design into it. Hands down, Josef Muller-Brockmann is my favourite designer, and I’d go far enough to call him an Expert.




The first principle I focused on was Delivery. There are many different platforms that Illustrators, Designers, photographers, Typographers etc. can use to deliver their communication, and this has a massive effect on the piece of work. There are so many different platforms that a designer can aim to produce for, such as Editorial; Magazines, Journals, Newspapers, Blogs, Publishing; Books, Posters, Leaflets, Digital based, such as Animations and Interactive Media, Fashion – patterns, designs for wallpapers and fabrics for fashion, Installations and Interventions such as environments for retail and architectural projects, and many more. In current times, a lot of these platforms are linked and intertwined – such as magazines, which could digital based – like us as students are doing for our group projects, or an actual printed magazine, where things like paper type/thickness/gsm and actual size are more of a reality. Illustrator Luke Brookes creates Illustrations that can (and have) been broadly used on many different media and platforms. Some of his recent work, photographed below, has been used on furniture for IKEA for the Rarekind 25th Anniversary Live Draw. Luke has also illustrated for children’s books, such as Mammoth & Co; Littlest Mammoth – The Journey Begins, pictured below. This shows how a creatives style can be easily be manipulated and they can easily select the appropriate format.

My second principle is Medium – looking at the forms that Illustrators, Designers, Photographers and Animators use to promote and represent themselves. In this very digital based age, most creatives will be using a digital means to promote themselves – whether it be a website, blog, online store or any (or all) of the wide range of social media platforms. There are also professional organisations, such as the AOI, that Illustrators use to represent themselves, along the many other bodies and organisations that represent all creative people. Creatives can also help each other out, by featuring other illustrators on their own blog/site. A lot of Designers/Illustrators still use the original methods to publicize themselves, such as postcards, flyers, leaflets; which would all include similar things to a website, but in an un-interactive form.  I think as a designer, I would use all of the above media, as each has its own benefits. A website or blog is more used when people are looking for you; if someone has seen a piece of your work in a magazine, they could find your name, search for your site and they would find you within seconds, whereas postcards and flyers can be seen to be you advertising yourself to the receiver, as they may of previously never heard of you or seen your work.


Photos were from Luke’s personal Facebook and his website and I have got permission off Luke himself to write about him and use the photos.

The structure of Narrative is a very long and complex process. Once you finalize your thought of making something Narrative based, there are many different areas you need to invent.

The first principle I am going to describe is Developing Character. When developing a character – whether it be based in a film, an animation or even a set of Illustrations, you need to define and develop this being into being an individual. There are many different types of character that will need to be considered, whether your filming with a hero and the villain or a cast consisting of a whole set of main characters. Factors such as emotions really need to be considered too. An emotion is an automatic value response – the audience will empathize with emotion. If Character 1 tells Character 2 that Character 3 is upset, there will be less empathy than if we see Character 3 crying, or any other form of sadness. As the audience, we engage with the character like they are ‘real’, so we can really relate to the feeling behind the emotion. As the plot develops, the audience will empathize more with the character depending on what they portray. If, for example, the character was on the edge of death, the empathy will increase as the character shows their survival instinct. This will help the viewer engage more with the film – and if that Character dies, it will ‘feel’ like their person has ‘really’ died, and that have not just gone off set. Acting has almost nothing to do with what the character says, its more about the action and emotion.

The second and final principle I wish to discuss is the Three Act Structure. Most films/animations will have a Beginning, middle and an End. This could also be seen as the setup, the confrontation leading to the Resolution. This acts like a long bike journey, with a slow, steady ‘straight’ section, leading up to the big up-hill climb, the decent down the hill; going fast, losing control, and then finally the road home, calm, resolute, back on the straight and narrow. Every film, tale, story (etc) could possibly be told through those guild lines. Stories such as Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Beanstalk, can all be told as a Three Act Structure – and the general story will still remain fluent without missing out too much detail and information.