FOCUS FIVE: MORE GRAPHIC DESIGN

Contents

1.  BESPOKE MAGAZINE

2. PHOTOSHOP TRAINING, THE WATER COLOUR EFFECT

This was a quick project. I’ve always liked magazines and their graphic design layout. I was interested to create a two page spread for a fictional magazine. The theme of the magazine is fashion and I gave it the name BESPOKE.

I choose the fashion icon Leigh Bowery for the main article. His style was memorable and visually you can’t go wrong. The second smaller article is featuring a photographer friend of mine.

In order to create this magazine, I formed the template in InDesign. Here is an early draft of how it looked with rulers and guides.

I aslo wanted to create a seperate text heading for the photographer Mauro.This was achieved using Illistrator. I have little experience of using this design package so it was a learning curve in itself.

Using a pen feature I was able to create the Mauro heading and then editing it to stretch the letters to create a fairly interesting look. Here is a capture from illistrator.

And here is the final magazine spread.

bespoke mag layout

Management Report, Photoshop training

My management report involved creating a document which examines a site from a management point of view. I decided to opt for the Japanese Gateway at Kew Gardens.  I wanted to show here the process involved in developing some Photoshop skills in order to get a nice look for my report.

The first thing I wanted to decide on was how the report should look. I felt that it should have a traditional old parchment look. I was also keen to create a look which has a soft water colour effect.

In order to create the cover image and text I had to watch a few U tube tutorials. The first layer is a texture layer which gives the effect of paper.

Next I placed the parchment image found on google images and stretched it to fit the canvas.

You then allocate a multipy blend to the layer. The image you want to create a watercolour effect from, is then placed.

Resize the pic and place it below the parchment layer. The go to Layer/ layer mask/ hide all. The image will disappear and then it allows you to paint on ur image. In order to get a water colour effect I downloaded brushes from the internet. After doing this you simply choose varying sizes of brushes and dab in a painting. The more brush strokes the more photo real the images becomes. Here is the result of using quite soft water colour brushes.

I like the effect, it is just about looking like both a photo and painting. To get a  bit of roughness to the edges of the paint work I used the rubber tool but set it at to a paintbrush style and brought the opacity right down.

The last step was to add the text. This was done by creating the text but putting a mask (as above) on the layer. This allowed me again to paint in the text using brushes. This took a little care as I wanted the text to look worn but at the same time it had to be read easily.

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FOCUS FOUR: COLLAGE & MORE EXHIBITIONS

CONTENTS

1.  FASHION COLLAGE, PHOTOSHOP TRAINING

2.  DAY OUT AT LONDON BRIDGE; THE SHARD, DESIGN MUSEUM & GRACE  CODDINGTON

 

FASHION COLLAGE

The first part of my focus week I wanted to relate fashion to a graphic design sensibility. I wanted to create a collage which would become a sort of homage to great fashion designers. I’ve always liked the idea of architecture and fashion as a combined art form.

Often architects have envisioned their houses populated by individuals who dress according to the style of the house. Frank Lyod Wright often would design clothing to fit his style of interior. In a way it makes sense although hard to control, its an idealistic yet attractive idea.

In this collage I combined the classic roman column with a kind of spiritual feeling.  I wanted to create a collage that would put fashion on an alter. It is a kind of play on how seriously fashion people take themselves and their world. I have alot of respect for fashion design as it is as worthy as any other design profession. How we dress and show oursleves to the world is important.

In order to create the collage I used photoshop. There is a new tool in CS5 called Refine Edge which has proceed the previous less advanced version. This tool is excellent in extracting an item or person from a background. Where this tool differs is that the previous extract tool did not have the detailed accuracy.

Below shows how the window looks. With a bit of practice I was able to extract images very quickly and this proved useful when creating a collage with multiple images layered on top of each other.

This image from Sex and the City One, shows Carries in her Vivienne Westwood Wedding Dress. I was able to extract the image here. In the end I decided to use the lower half of the dress as a kind of fabric curtain. Below is the final collage.

The two angel women hold scales with a Jean Paul Gaultier bottle in one and an Alexander McQueen skull in another. I wanted to play with the idea of two designers competing. Of course the central piece is an alter to Vivienne Westwood with her orb floating above like some kind of crucifix. The nude figures are images by Mapplethorpe and the small figure bottom central is a fashion illistration by Mats Gustafson. I have placed the Hindu ‘Om’ symbol on the dress for that added detail and comment on a religious connotation.

DAY OUT AT LONDON BRIDGE

Following on with fashion theme I decided to go to London Bridege to see the Drawing Fashion exhibition at the Design Museum. On exiting London Bridge station I walked down a side street and was greeted by the most incredible view. The new Shard building standing monumentally above the London Bridge area. The building is going up at an extraordinary rate and is looking very impressive. I was stuck by how alien it looked. The pristine glass and overall shape of the building is powerful and very much a glimpse of the city of the future.

From here I walked along the Thames in an south east direction taking in the gleaming More London and past Tower Bridge. I finally found the Design Museum a rather nice building. It was originally a banana warehouse but was altered later in the 1930’s modernist style.

The museum, is small  and comprises of ground floor with bookshop, cafe and two gallery spaces above. The first exbibition I went to see was the DRAWING FASHION exhibition. This traced fashion illistrations from the 20-21st Century.

The first set of drawings were fantastic. They showed that glamour of the 30’s and 40’s. The artists showed fashion as sometimes stand alone garments but often in settings, such as a smokey Parisien cafe. Here are a couple of images by Lepape.

What I liked about the early drawings was how the artist would design a cover image for Vogue. The graphics were simple, yet created a great mood. This was a time when computers and adobe were not available. I liked the arts and crafts way of approaching the covers.

Here Rene Gruau shows an elegant dress but adds a story to his illistration. We get to see a portion of the dress but there is a sense of mystery. Her pose, flirtatious, is inviting you beyond that doorway.

As you move forward in time you hit the 60’s and enter the era of pop art. One of the main artists featured in this section was Antonio. Just Antonio! He seemed like a dynamic character. I thought I’d include a picture of him as he had an interesting look.

Here are some of Antonio’s signature syles. He was known for his ability to change style yet always have a strong bold statement in his drawings.

The art of fashion illistration really has been replaced by photography although every so often a gem can be found amongst the fashion magazines. If I was to consider photography in terms of fashion as an art form, the art director of Vogue New York comes to mind.

Grace Coddington, born in England found her career as a model for Vogue. Later she worked for Vogue and soon became a leading art director for the various fashion shoots. What I like about her style is how she harks back to an era of beauty and glamour. Her shoots, often combining many models are created very much in a style of a painting. There is a story behind the clothes and she is a very creative person.

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FOCUS THREE: EXHIBITIONS

CONTENTS

1     FUTURE BEAUTY: 30 YEARS OF JAPANESE FASHION, BARBICAN

2     LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION, NATIONAL THEATRE

3     STEET ART EXHIBITION, SOHO

4     LECTURES:  A MODELS & STUDIO WEAVE

 

 

 FUTURE BEAUTY: 30 YEARS OF JAPANESE FASHION

I don’t know what it is about the Japanese but they do design so well! I was lucky to get the chance to see this exhibition at the Barbican.

The exhibition entitled Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion showcases avant garde fashion from the early 80’s to now. Here clothing becomes something else,an art form perhaps.

The exhibition, nicely presented, leads you through up and coming Japanese designers including Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahashi and Tao Kurihara.

The garments are made from flawed or aged fabrics which relate to Japanese tradition of ‘Wabi-Sabi’. This concept find beauty in imperfection. Another notable theme of the exhibition was the reference to ‘Ma’ which sees garments where abundant material cocoons the figure creating spaces between body and cloth.

There is a sense of deconstruction which was most evident in the Issey Miyake room. Miyake born in Hiroshima studied graphic design and later worked in Paris and NYC. In the 80’s he began experimenting with pleating which has become his trademark style.

Miyake’s experimentation continues and here I got to see some of his ‘flat pack’ clothing. The mannequins wore the clothes and next to them sat the dress as a flat piece. It reminded me of those chinese lanterns which transform once you extent it.

The garments when in their flat state look architectural. The colours are muted. The style simplistic yet complex in construction.

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE

(photographs taken by Alice Hankin)

This small exhibition takes place every year at the National Theatre. Its a photography competition for landscape photographers. I went last year and noticed this year the interputation of what landscape is seemed to differ. There were alot more conceptual photographs and also many of the images were less cliched and more imagnative.

Most of the photographers choose to use effects from photoshop. The curves feature seemed popular. My favourite image from exhibition is below. This infact was the young persons entry. I loved the way it captures what is earthy London for me. The view from this Cafe sees an old steam train cross the urbanscape. The composition,  a fry up still life shows a tasty english breakfast ready to be eaten. I enjoy the documentary feel to this picture.

 

SOHO STREET ART EXHIBITION

This was a small thrown together type exhibition in the ground floor of a new apartment building in Soho. It featured a mix of street graffiti artists including the famous Banksy.

There was a real sense of been observed in this exhibition. As we live in  a CCTV, social networked and near automated society this is reflected in the art of rebel street artists. What I found interesting about this exhibition was how clever many of the slogans and captions were.

Often the artist was taking mundane objects ie.. a cardboard box and using it as a canvas.

A personal favourite, love the play on Marks & Spencers. Interesting to see how people can look at everyday objects in a new and exciting way. Its trendy now to have shopping centre bags as almost a fashion item. This is an interesting play on this idea.

The exhibition also had a basement which was creepy to say the least. There was a little hut which was kitted out like someone’s weird little study. As you turn the corner you can peep through a window or door and see a little boy with his back towards you, sat in a chair. He wore a red hoodie and is busy writing.

This image reminds me of horror film, The Omen. There is always something very creepy about a little kid who is someone distorted with adult problems.

Infact I have seen a similiar installation at the Surreal House exhibition last Summer. As you turn a corner you are faced with this hooded boy. In Surreal House the boy has a pencil impaled in his left hand. Creepy but intriging.

I recently took a walk through Hampstead Heath and managed to capture a similiar image.

VISITING LECTURES AT UNI

Recently we were lucky to have some creative professionals come visit our University.

The first gentleman was Christian Spencer Davies who is the Director of AModels. They specialise mainly in Architectural Model Making.

One of their biggest clients is Zaha Hadid. This was a model they made for the Ordrupgaard Museum extension.

Christian had a confident and clear outlook on what his work is. His philosophy is to create interesting, beautiful models. He is very interested in pushing the boundries of material and representation. He showed a series of slides which looked at how they expressed trees in model form. I found this quite inspiring as trees in particular are hard to get right.

Model making from a landscape point of view can be effective but yet challanging. It seemed that Christian is not interested solely in the traditional form of architectural model making but likes to be more creative. It also struck me how much artistic freedom he seemed to be able to demand.

Here is a model he made for the small cafe pavillion which is situated at More London next to Potters Field.

Christian also talked about a colour scheme he liked. It was the stylish look of black and gold.

At the time I was working on my own model of a futuristic building in London. As I had not completed the model I took inspiration from this lecture and decided to go for a similiar scheme. My approach was a little more arts and crafts but the effect once photographed was effective.

The second lecture I found interesting was STUDIO WEAVE. They are an architectural pair who create a wide range of projects. One of their notable commissions was for the Longest Bench which is located at Littlehampton.

The main project they dicussed was for a small cabin installation they designed at Kielder Water in Northumberland. They came up with this unusal but somehow engaging idea to inform their project.

They decided to create a philosophy in the from a story which would inform the entire ethos of the project. The story they created was based around two fictional characters who lived on either side of the lake. Freya on one side and Robin on the other. In order to entice him over Freya set about building a golden hut. It was the basis of this story which explained the creation of the structure.

Studio Weave talked in detail about a thought process they used for their projects. Not every project had a story like the one for this golden cabin but they certainly were not shy of engaging their inner child. As I listened to their stories I was fascinated yet not entirely convinced. Never the less a very interesting pair of designers.

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FOCUS TWO: MODEL MAKING

CONTENTS

1      SCI FI,PHILOSOPHY & AN ARCHITECTURAL CONTEXT

2      GOLDEN TOWERS MODEL, VISUALISATION & POSTER DESIGN

3     MINISTRY OF MORAL ORDER MODEL

Sci Fi has always been a great interest to me. I’ve always enjoyed the look and style of the movies. What I find interesting is how sci fi often reflects society and in a way predicts what society will look like. Current affairs, topical issues and technology of real life quickly find a home in the realm of the Sci Fi movie.

Blade Runner, an iconic film shows a planet and society which is left distorted and bleak. The imagery is amazing, and in many ways this film, released in 1982 is ahead of itself.

A major aspect of the Sci Fi genre is its take on philosophy. In my earlier blog post I talked about the 1960’s and how people behaved. Their un-pc ways seem unbelivable to us now in 2011. Society changes quickly. And so does a philosophical thinking. Infact it changes quicker then expected.

The Sci Fi film really encapulsates this notion. The morals and ethics of these societies of the future vary from one film to another. Often the themes are include, racial and minority discrimination.

In Blade Runner and more recently the excellent AI, robots and genetically modified beings are treated with contempt and excluded from society. In the 60’s Black people and gays were treated in the same way. Things may be different now but yet the Sci Fi film is preoccupied with the same themes.

The Sci Fi works on our fears but at the same time challanges the philosophy of what is your world view?

In The Island we see clones kept hidden in an underground world of white trainers and squeky clean interiors. In this future, should you have the resources then it is possible to grow a clone of yourself as a personal life insurance plan. This is a topical issue and raises many ethical and moral questions.

World Views change quickly yet the same fears seem to hang perpetually like shameful skeletons in people’s closets.

In this post I wanted to think about the Sci Fi notion and relate it to a Landscape Architecture context. I thought about our incredible city of London as a futuristic landscape or urban landscape.

London the melting pot of the world possess its own unique quality as a city. Culturally diverse it, there are more then 300 languages spoken within the metropolitan area. Somehow the city ticks away on a daily basis, people getting on with their business and living side by side with others who live completely different lives to their own.

This made me think about what London of the not so distant future would look like. Taking inspiration from the Architects Archigram I wanted to look at how architecture is represented in the future city.

Archigram led by Peter Cook, were an architectural group who formed in the 60’s who created the above fantastical images of what the hypothetical future city might look like. They in turn took much of their inspiration from Antonio Sant’Elia’s work.

He looked at the industrial cities of the US and reflected this in his drawing which show a brutal yet stylish look at the building as machine and monumental.

The look of the future can sometimes be depicted as something horrific and extremely dark. The film Aliens enlisted the help of Swiss artist H.R. Giger to create the look of the Alien. This future is scary. The creature, not only a physical threat but also an intellectual one. The look of the creature and its lair is architecturally powerful and commanding.

When we watch the film we don’t empathise with the Alien but I suppose the creature is doing what it need to survive. The creature seems to capture our worst fears. In one way it is an extreme reaction to minority groups. This theme taken to its worst conclusion.

When I think about London I am always aware of how little space there is. We are beginning to see London grow upwards and I’ve always felt that this is the future of the city. The medieval streets are crammed and in order to solve the accomodatation issues building need to get higher.

I have chosen as a Sci Fi theme, LONDON 2050. Not so far away, but this London is a city that rises above our current city. The buildings would stand monumental on pilotis and stand proud and gleaming.

Because London is such a cultural and religious mix, I envision a city of non religion. A city based on a philosophy. This made me think, what kind of philosophy?

As Londoner’s I feel it is our duty to remain open minded and tolerant. This makes life alot easier. Consequentialism as a philosophical theory interests me. If a society lives by this mantra life could go in any direction. The consequentialist belief in that a morally right act will produce a good outcome. The end justify the means.

I would take this further in that LONDON 2050 would work on this theory. Therfore peoples actions are entirely up to themselves and not based on a religious rule or view. Therefore should someone commit a negative act, whether that is deemed as such in this world view, then there is a consequence. Someone might steal someone elses property, this is up to themselves but then is it right? A consequence of this may be that the victim is having a bad day and might decide they will take revenge. What if the victim feels murder is a justification in their consequentialist world view… Perhaps not a good result for the thief.

Therefore there is cause and effect. This society would not be policed but instead let people sort things out for themselves. It is in the interests of people to act in moral way which would have the most positive result. The thief might re consider his action as he knows that he could be sorry,  so may in turn choose another option. Perhaps not.

Of course this new London could be chaotic, which makes it interesting. If people go around doing whatever they want could a society like that even work? Does society really work as things are at the moment?

When thinking visually about how LONDON 2050 would look, I first thought about how people would live. Sky scraper towers were the ideal solution. This sketch below shows how I felt the city should look.

The accomodation, flats, would be housed in structure which rise above london like cranes. I call them Golden Towers. The name suggests some property developers marketing campaign. They rise at approx 150m height and base structure at approx 15m by 15m.

Once I made the model out of white card I wanted to have it interactive. I liked the idea of being able to rotate it in its base.

This simple mechanism is created using the following process:

I sprayed the model with a gold metallic paint and took the following model pictures at the Photolab at Uni.

I then wanted to place this model in a London context. I choose a city view from google images and started to create a visualisation in photoshop. There are many layers in this visualisation but here is a summary of how the visualisation was created:

The result is interesting. I did not change too much with regards to the London scape, I wanted to suggest that these towers exist in parallel to London.

My next step was to incorporate graphic design. I was reminded of the film Starship Troopers. I love this film for its sheer wit. In particular I like the way they use news reel advertisements to build fears into the citizens minds. There is suggestion of war Nazi propaganda.

I decided I would create a poster that might look like a futuristic estate agents  advertise. The poster was created using InDesign and I downloaded a sci fi styled text to capture the mood.

I like the final result. I think the orange background gives the poster a slightly retro look. I choose the words carefully. “Rise above it, you’re better then them!” came from the idea that when say there is office politics, gossip someone might advise this. But in this London 2050 the developers are literally suggesting that by buying into Golden Towers you are physically rising above people but also status wise as well…

I also created a second model. I wanted to create a building which would be almost a governing body for London 2050. Even though the city would operate on its own terms I still felt it needed a fulcrum. The city is religious free but I would suggest it have a MINISTRY OF MORAL ORDER. I started thinking along the terms of a huge cathedral like structure. I wanted it to look powerful yet reflect the crazy society that it occupies.

By using stiff card of white and dark grey I formed a strange sculptural structure which stands on pilotis. The windows are formed using a yellow acetate. The result is interesting, a kind of anti architecture. I wanted it to look bizarre and jaunty. I’m not sure how successful I was with this model but I thought it would be interesting to include anyway.

And finally in the image below I attempted to light it using table lamps and whatever I had to hand at home. I took the image into photoshop and ajusted the curves to add a little drama.

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FOCUS ONE: GRAPHIC DESIGN

CONTENTS

1          MAD MEN POSTER

2         MEDICAL POSTER

 

Landscape Architecture, an applied design, incorporates quite a few design disciplines. Graphic Design is important as our projects need to be presented in an attractive and intelligent way.

I particularly enjoy Graphic Design as its about communication and delivering an idea. It can make or break a concept and if done well can make an often lacking idea very convincing.

My first project exploring Graphic Design was to look at the 1960’s for inspiration. I find this period exciting, stylish and sexy. It was also a time of great change and social unrest. On one hand it was conservative but with the advent of the pill, it led to a sexual liberation and enpowerment for women.

These social changes have direct effect on design, in particular fashion.

The American TV Series MAD MEN, which has won many awards, captures the early 60’s brilliantly. The term Mad Men was coined during this time to describe Advertising Men. Men were the leaders whilst women followed behind, secretaries, usually not addressed by name but by  ‘sweet heart’.

I was interested in taking inspiration not just from this tv show but 60’s sytle posters in general.

What I enjoy about 60’s posters is their simplicity and also their arts and craft feel. Graphic Design has advanced so far since then but yet 60’s posters capture the mood in an often clever and witty way.

Using an image of Joan Holloway, one of the characters from Mad Men, I took it into photoshop and used the image as a basis to create a graphic representation.

Here you see the typical style of the period. What is notable is the cigerette smoking. The characters in the show chain smoke their way through each event, pregnant ladies smoking, Doctors lighting up while delivering medical results, it really is interesting how life and rules of society change.

Here’s the image in a graphic representation. At his point its not complete but I wanted to hint at the main features. The smoke effect was achieved by down loading a ‘smoke’ brush from an online website. I think this has proved successful.

And voila the final poster. I wanted to be playful with a jokey caption. This I think suits the times as women were becoming empowered and realising that they could actually have careers and be treated with respect. I wanted to suggest this seed of a feeling.

I was careful in choosing a font. I found an online site which specialised in 60’s fonts, these ranged from the above to way out hippy styles. I choose this font which is RACONTEUR NF for its stylish quality and also it has a New York feel to it.

The background, very simple also gives that vintage feel. Not too fussy but communicates an idea.

This next project was commisionned by a friend of mine. He is finishing his degree in Radiography and part of his final year he has a brief to create a medical poster. As they are medical students they are not expected to have design ability, so the brief allowed them to enlist the help of a professional designer or someone with relevant abilities.

He provided me with the text and images and below is the resulting poster which is A1 Landscape. This brief was a different challange for me as firstly, there was alot of text to include. I choose a dark green for the text boxes which resulted in the text been clear and it stands out well. The layout reads well and opting to place the references at the bottom gave the poster a professional feel and works well. He received an A for this project.

KENS FINAL POSTER

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