Unit 3: The Creative Process
Learning Aims A, B, C & D
Before looking into the graphic designers themselves, I first need to find out the popular graphic trends that will be present in 2018 in order to pick the most suitable graphic designer who would inspire me for the final designing process. The reference I used is a post on the website graphicmama.com.
As expected, it is predicted that 2018 will be a year of very modernised styles and trends. Colours would be brighter and some elements in popular graphic designs that now exist will apparently be forgotten.
A lot of the designing elements mentioned on the page seem to concern styles that are very futuristic, as well as some of them having mixtures of both graphic art and photographs. Personally, I think that 2018 trends will most definitely be very modern and have a futuristic feel about it, therefore it would be most appropriate for me to choose a graphic designer that is either young, so I know that they are more familiar with the latest trends, or any aged graphic designer who works on designs that reflect some of the trending elements for the current year and the upcoming year.
Fortunately, typography is anticipated to still be a huge part of trending designs in 2018. It seems that designs often contains typography in creative formats. Knowing this, this gives me a wider range of graphic designers to choose from than what I was expecting.
Alex is a graphic designer who accommodates his work with different branches of designs concerning the types of clients he gets. His clients are people who travel through music, fashion and more. This, to me, implies that Trochut is very experienced in terms of designing for a variety of clients, which means his ability to understand what he is given and to produce an outcome for it is great. Alex believes that ‘it is important to know your roots and connect with the things you have seen growing up’. I personally think this means that he most likely incorporates his knowledge of anything he has seen in the world growing up into his work. He also says that he likes to create small designs so that it is recognisable the amount of time that was put in ‘using typography or illustration, but to always solve a problem’. As well as that, he gives away the fact that his work should ‘be classic, but also contemporary’ which easily shows that his aim is to give a modern look, but also to have a classic kind of element within also. Alex says his work is geometric and fluid, which further proves his statement that his work is contemporary.
I have chosen Alex Trochut because his inspirational works are very compatible with modern (and soon to be 2018) trends. This is very helpful as the work I will be producing will preferably be in a style that would best suit the latest trends in 2018.
This particular design had caught my eye on his website, due to the modernised design of it. The use of the almost ‘rippling’ effect gives it some form of distortion, which is actually a design element that is predicted to be a ‘2018 trend’. It looks as though he has cut parts of the number out, rotated it and repeated to create this effect. He may have even flipped the cut out areas, which is evident in the lower curve of the number ‘5’. I like how the effect isn’t used upon the whole image but instead on either side, leaving the ‘5’ partially neat and sharp. He used the colour blue (in different shades) which gives me the impression that he is trying to imitate a calm mood as blue is usually seen as calm in graphical terms. This entire design looks to have been made digitally since it is very sharp and has areas which look quite obviously cut off.
What I have found in terms of Alex’s generation of ideas and process, is that it turns out he creates his own ideas by finding anything he likes and ‘translates’ them in his own way. The use of this method leads him to say that it doesn’t always work out but can lead to accidents that are actually useful. This shows me that he may not always generate ideas from scratch and immediate planning, but some parts of his idealising can come from just accidents that he ended up finding handy to use for his work.
When it comes to the design process, Alex starts out his drafting in different ways according to what exactly it is he is designing. If he is doing lettering, he starts by using pencil and tracing paper and if it is something ‘that is more geometric and modular based’ he would ‘just start on the computer.’ I have also found that though these are his usual methods, he doesn’t always stick to just that, he sometimes uses more methods in hopes of possibly ‘stepping into unexpected results’, which again refers to what was found earlier, using accidental ideas in his designs.
These are some of his designs:
Image(s) Source: http://abduzeedo.com/node/20614
I’ve chosen Bierut because his designs look fitting for a magazine type of layout, or could easily be interpreted to fit that way.
From what I have found, Micheal tries to listen carefully to the problem that’s being explained to him and will try to relate it to either something he has experienced first hand or anything that he knows is similar to the situation. I think this is a good idea because it allows him to create a design that has aspects of his personal experiences as well as the main reason for it being designed. I could probably use this same idea when creating my design as it would make it much more simpler to generate ideas. He says that, eventually, he ends up getting an idea out of nowhere along the way ‘like magic’. In order to relate this out-of-the-blue idea, he tries to strategically justify this idea to have it fit in with the brief and so that he can explain it to the client regardless of whether they have ‘good taste’ or not. Personally, I wouldn’t do this just because it is quite risky to go against what the client themselves would prefer but it could also be a good leap of faith to end up producing the best outcome that may end up changing the client’s mind after they hear the explanation. Eventually, Bierut may end up developing this initial idea or generating more ideas that are slightly different to it. This may be the case if he doesn’t like the original idea too much or if the client requests more ideas to be produced in order to have a variety of choices to recommend/choose. This is why I would personally start by generating multiple ideas instead of only choosing one that I end up creating in my mind early on. This could even lead to me deciding that i prefer the new ideas over the initial.
Bierut says that ‘Focusing on the clients that work well with your perspective and process is key.’ To an extent, I very much agree with this but it shouldn’t always be the case. Priority of one client over another can sometimes be based on the difficulty of generating ideas and researching for their particular briefs, so to prioritise a more relatable client over a less relatable client would probably be better off the other way round.
From using his creative techniques, here are some of the designs he has created;
Image(s) source: Google images
A lot of his work seems to be in monochrome which gives me the impression that he prefers his designs to be minimal when it comes to colour. Many of his designs are a large amount of images or lettering put really close together to fill a certain space. It’s obvious to say that his final outcomes are fully digitally made since they are very solid and are extremely proportionate. In order to make these, he most likely would have found a shape of some sort and used collaging methods to fill these spaces using typography or other solid shapes.
Paula, like many other designers, gathers ideas out of anything in her surroundings when she’s placed in a boring situation. She believes the reason she manages to gather ideas in boring situations is because there’s nothing interfering with it, which makes clear sense to me because this allows ideas to be focused on due to there being no distractions getting in the way. This also follows on to where she says that she has to ‘stop reading emails or being anywhere near the internet to be able to create’. Unlike other designers, Scher doesn’t keep all her ideas in a sketchbook as they are usually very rough or made on scraps of paper that she finds. Personally, I think it would be good to keep her ideas in order to look back on them and even generate more ideas from those she has previously made. Even though she doesn’t keep her ideas, she still manages to produce lots of them out of focusing on anything when she’s in a boring situation which is great to do because she can produce more and have many designs to develop on or choose from.
Scher’s thought process is much like Bierut’s. She believes that implementing personal life experiences into work is important. She explains the mind as a ‘slot machine’ and how everything should suit up to match the brief given. This implies that she tries to use personal life experiences into work for client’s briefs in order to give some sort of ownership to it and have it be iconic as possible.
From my perspective, her work looks like it is a mixture of hand-drawn and digital rendering. Her work is along the lines of pop art and fine art in some sort of mixture. Some of her designs are mixtures of typography and images and others are typography laid out in a specific way to create a distinct image out of it. From what it seems, her designs are produced digitally, seeing as the typefaces she uses are sharp and proportionate and the images she uses look like they are cut around. It is obvious she edits the images digitally by adjusting the colours via saturation, hue or threshold, then adds a solid colour fill for the background.
In this design, it seems that Scher has cut out the face of a person and placed it in the centre of the page and placed a threshold on it, changing the colour of the dark areas to blue. She has used a solid yellow colour in the background which is a complimentary colour to blue. It’s obvious she purposely used these complimentary colours to catch attention of the viewers as well as for aesthetic purposes. The text she has used is all in one font layed out diagonally as if it’s all coming out from the mouth. She has changed some of the words to vary in size and length but still fits nicely. I like the use of this format because it stays on the line of having a pop art-like design.
Vivienne Westwood is a British fashion designer. Her designs had apparently brought modern punk into the mainstream trends. She started designing back in 1971, which definitely tells me she has a lot of experience, which could also mean her designs must have developed over the years and she would have changed certain elements of her fashion designs too during that period. Accordingly, her designs are ‘rooted with her beliefs and interests’ which are things like human rights. From what ‘The Guardian’ have found, she seems to be a very inquisitive person and someone who looks deep into things that many other people don’t. I think this shows in her designs, possibly explaining the reason they are iconic designs.
From what I’ve seen, it’s obvious that her designs are not clothes that you would wear casually. Her fashion designs are very artistic in a way since she incorporates particular colours and certain patterns in her designs. Her designs don’t always match in one single outfit which shows the perky sort of style she has. When creating a magazine article to show her designs, I could use the ‘quirky’ style of Westwood whilst tyring to keep the uniform layout that Wonderland Magazine uses in order to make it look like it really belongs there.
Wonderland magazine features different layouts on each of the pages. Accordingly, the aim of the magazines are to ‘represent the positive and the playful elements of the fashion industry, which shows that they try to make their magazines visually appealing in a way that would render a particular type of mood on the audience, that being anything positive.
Sometimes the double page would have one page as an image and the other filled with information whereas other times, there is the main image as a background, the title overlaid and the information also overlaid near the bottom. Even though the layout for double page spreads vary, they all hold the same sort of design, where the title is significantly larger than any of the information and the information doesn’t always line up to make 2-4 columns of the same length, rather that they vary in size or placement. From what I’ve found, it shows that wonderland magazine is very compatible with Vivienne Westwood’s fashion designs because the style is very artistic and has a lot of expression in the designs, just like the pages of the magazine itself.
This double page spread is dedicated to Rita Ora. A photograph of her has been used to fill the entire background, her name bold overlaid and boxes of text, in different heights, on the foreground towards the bottom of the page. There’s a clear theme of red and white on this page- the white coming from the wall and the background of the text boxes and the red from the large title and the highlighted parts in the information boxes.
This magazine layout is one solid picture on an entire page and the other filled with information. The position of the large ‘S’ is effective because it is cut off by the text yet it is still easily distinguishable as to what it is. The information page is simply just a white background with black text. As far as I can see, each paragraph of information is variant in size, where the text looks like its been enlarged on the first and the remaining two are of a smaller size.
This final double page spread is similar to the layout as the one above, where there is an image on one whole page whilst the other page is filled with the relating information. The title matches the colour of the paragraphs of information whereas one part, which is a quote, is in a solid white and is larger in size, most likely to highlight the importance of the quote overall.
Image(s) source: Google Images
I managed to get a hold of a few of Wonderland’s magazine. This allowed me to get first hand research and delve deeper into the layouts of the magazines.
From what I’ve seen in the pages themselves, Wonderland Magazine has an iconic style. This style is the use of typography, applying similar attributes of the text all of the magazine itself. I noticed that a lot of the larger lettering is a little cropped, giving some of the words a slight sharp edge. The text also is altered in the way it is set out, where the words can sometimes be cut off by aligning them to different lines or some of the letters can be really spaced out, like the picture above. Also, the larger sized texts are often quite bold, most likely to make it stand out to inform the reader that it is a main subject or that it is important. In most cases, the typography is placed in a colour that is very different to the colours in the background, to make them even bolder.
As I had mentioned in my secondary research on Wonderland Magazine, most of the time there is one page for a whole image and the other for information. From my primary research, it’s clear that this is common but it isn’t the only format. From the image above, the titled text overlaps the image (the full title has been cut off, which is on the adjacent page).
In order to make my double page spread look like it fits into the magazine, I could use the idea of cropped, bold text either slightly overlapping the image(s) or have it one page.
In conclusion to all of my research, I have found the different design approaches by various graphic designers, the style of Vivienne Westwood’s fashion designs and Wonderland magazine’s layout designs. Using the techniques that the graphic designers used, it would allow me to effectively create a double page spread for Wonderland magazine featuring Vivienne’s designs which would appeal to the upcoming 2018 trends. I have found that all three of these graphic designers mutually share the same opinion that implementing personal experiences into their design work is efficient and can allow you to generate ideas more than just using research via secondary sources. Although they all have their similarities, there is a difference between the way Bierut works as oppose to Scher. As mentioned, Scher doesn’t keep her ideas that she makes as she makes her marks on any scrap that she finds. It turns out Bierut on the other hand keeps all his ideas and drafting together. Personally that way is much more effective than discarding them because it allows you to refer back to already existing ideas that you’ve used where you could possibly change and develop from what you’ve got in order for it to fit the brief given. It would be safe to assume that Alex Trochut would also start by jotting down ideas on paper as, from what I’ve found, he also uses personal experiences/thoughts in his designs.
Although not all of my chosen graphic designers have styles that match 2018 trends, it’s still very easy to identify that parts of their designs still have elements of the 2018 trends. Their layouts are not too similar but link with each other since a lot of their designs contain typography of some sort.
2018 Trends – Experimentation
Chaos is the ‘chaotic’ placement of items on a page that don’t need to align with anything. In this case, typography. I created three different pages showing chaos in a way using cropped images and text.
On this first page, I gathered multiple images to crop into the page. Rather than cropping and aligning, I layered them in a way that they would be in their own positions without sitting flat against another image. For the typography, I typed out each letter individually using the ‘Century Gothic’ font to really capture the ‘in-you-face’ attitude that magazines, especially wonderland magazine, uses. The reason I used white for the text is because it is simply a colour that stands out well from everything on the page.
This next page was a matter of arranging full words in a formation that isn’t exact. I typed each word individually then rotated them at different angles on the page. The background images are not symmetrical or identical in the positions and crop.
This one is similar to the first test except the far background and edges are coloured blue, I used the brush tool to make squiggles underneath the picture, then added the separate letters in a none-organised formation. Again, all the typography is white to make it stand out more and make it more distinguishable.
Typography as Real Life Elements
Rather than just having text as a flat object on the page, I edited the typography into the image to make it look like the people in the images were interacting with the lettering in some way. I did this by using the polygon lasso tool to select the area I want over the lettering on the main image layer, copying and pasting it onto a layer above the lettering. This gives the impression that the typography is really a part of the photo.
The ‘ruined’ Effect
The ruined effect is simply what it says – ruin. The aim was to ruin the image in a way but to keep the aesthetics of it so it doesn’t look like an awful mess. This was another part of the 2018 trends that was predicted to be popular. My different techniques of ‘ruining’ the images were to use paint, fabric material and P.V.A glue. The first image (far left) I cut out random bits of fabric that I thought would go well with the image and stuck it on particular parts to make it look good. The second image is ruined by random strokes of acrylic paint. I also used paint on the third image but rather than painting it on, i used blotches of it on the page and used another piece of paper to spread it flat and give it that sort of texture. Lastly, the image on the far right was ‘ruined’ by spreading P.V.A glue all over the page then using tissue paper to create a wavy sort of texture when it dried.
This design is a matter of cutting out shapes in a few images and layering them on top of each other to create some sort of stencil and overlapping effect. I did this three times to experiment and see how different the outcomes would be each time, considering there are a few different ways to use this technique. I like how this looks and it is most likely that I will be using this kind of technique in my own work, maybe even mixed in with one of the typography techniques.
Illustrations Over Photographs
Illustrations over photographs is rather self-explanatory, it is exactly that. I experimented with different ways I could use illustrations over photographs, such as using tracing paper and tracing over features in a coloured fine liner. Another technique I used was drawing two hands facing each other on plain white paper, cutting them out and then sticking them onto a page in a magazine. The final experiment was by simply cutting out a model from a magazine, sticking the image on a piece of paper and then drawing next to her similar patterns on her clothes. This technique in itself isn’t of my preference but it is possible that i may tweak it and possibly use some form of this in my design.
Negative space typography
Negative space typography is the use of typography as negative space. The way that the lettering is cut out determines that it is part of negative space. I used two different ways of doing this technique; tearing and cutting. For he tearing, I found parts of a page that I wanted to rip and teared them into roughly the shape of letters. Cutting was much more effective as it was easy to get small details, like the face for example. I used more than one letter to show the same image as the first. I think this idea has potential to be used in my final design as it goes with the other cut out method.
Using all my research, I put together a mind map of any words that relate to whatever I’ve researched in order to help me create and develop ideas for my magazine design. I wrote main subjects down and branched off anything relating to it to keep it in a layout that would be easier to understand and would be organised. It is a good way of allowing ideas to come together itself by blending multiple words and creating a drawing.
From what I’ve researched and noted down, I created a page for layout designs that could possibly work in the end. These are my ideas that I created by keeping in mind each aspect of the research, from the ‘2018 trends’, down to ‘Wonderland Magazine’. A few of the images were quite simply just one page for information and the other for the image(s), that may have a ‘ruined’ effect on to appeal to the 2018 trends, as well as keeping it as simple as wonderland does on some pages. Personally, I preferred the shared pages, where the image would be across both pages and the text be either in the foreground, background or around it. I feel this way due to the layout being much more appealing as there is more visual activity going on rather than just text for information. The few ideas with the huge ‘V’ shape is also the style that I quite liked. I thought that you could fit more onto the page by splitting it where it cuts off to another of Vivienne’s designs. I showed the alignment of text using the shapes used in a general document. From what the graphic designers do, they tend to use any idea they possibly get and jot it down in case they feel they could develop it and make it a proper final design. I drew out all the ideas I had so I had plenty of choice to choose the ones that stand out.
After idealising some layouts, and before I moved on to developing them, I tested out fonts. Some fonts drawn were my own that I made up and the others were strongly inspired by fonts I had found on the internet (specifically google images). In my eyes, the fonts I drew are very modern and i think would be great typography in the magazine page, exempting the curlier ones. Personally, I find the best two fonts are; the slightly squared off text (located top left) and the sharp cut off text (located top right). The reason for this is because they seem the most modern looking and, if developed, could end up fitting well into the magazine pages. Like I did with my previous page, I used any idea that I had and put it down on paper to expand my range of choice to use in my final outcomes.
This page shows my final three ideas that I preferred the most out of all the ones I did. I used spirit marker in order to easily show colour, as well as use showing my use of materials rather than just using pencil and pens. I used the fonts that I liked from my font sheet in each one. The first design is the ‘V’ shape with the different images in place. I used the colours blue and orange because they are complimentary colours, so they would be much more appealing and would also suit the modern, 2018 trends. The information would be aligned to the sides, towards the centre of the double-page spread so that the images could be well on show but the information can’t be missed.
The next design is where each single page gets its own content. On the right is where all the information would go and the cut-off, sharp lettering of Vivienne’s name. As visible, I used the ‘ruin’ effect that is supposed to be popular in 2018. I used random colours to make it look truly ruined over the perky fashion design in the background.
The final design shows a little more of Vivienne’s fashion designs than the previous idea. The spaced lettering of her name is laid over the top of everything. I spaced it out so it still had the iconic setting of Wonderland’s typeface. Again, I used complimentary colours, green and pink for the lettering and background.
I decided to make my entire final page digitally to get that clean, modern look. I still incorporated the hand-made techniques into it but by cutting and placing digitally. I went with the first design idea on my last ideas page, which is the ‘V’ shape containing different outfits that Westwood has designed.
To start, I made a new page being the size of A3 placed landscape, which gave me the exact measurements of the actual double-page spread. This allowed me to use rulers to drag out a line, marking out the centre where the page should be split in half. After splitting the page, I used the ‘Polygon Lasso’ tool to create a diagonal rectangle going from the centre of the page out to edge. I then filled the selection with a colour to make it stand out and just give it a mark. Next, I copied this shape to a new layer and flipped it horizontally to mirror it on the other side of the page.
I gathered some large images of models wearing Westwood’s designs. I placed two images on each page separately, with the layers underneath the blue diagonals as they will be the images underneath and resizing them using ‘Transform’ (Ctrl + T), holding shift to keep the resolution and not warping it.
After implementing the main images, I started to place the other images. I wanted them to show only part of the picture within the diagonal so to this, I placed the images above each diagonal, right clicked on the layer and selected ‘Create clipping mask’. This cut the layer into the shape that was in the layer below. I aligned the image to my preference on each side, mixing the clothing types to really show off the quirky style of Westwood as well as using the ‘Paper-cut compositions’ technique, but digitally.
Using the ‘Text’ tool, I wrote out ‘Vivienne’ in all capitols in the ‘Gill Sans MT’ font. I used the eyedropper to select the particular hue of red I used, which was from one of the model of the left’s clothing. I chose this colour because it was very neat and slightly dulled down but at the same time, it stands out from the page and gets the attention of the reader, just as Wonderland Magazine does.
I wanted to use the ‘Typography as real life elements’ technique in my page so I did by first lowering the opacity of the text so I could see behind it. I positioned it exactly where I wanted the text, went to the image layer and selected the ‘Polygon Lasso’ tool. I carefully cut out every edge of the hair I wanted over the text and copied the selection into a new layer above the text. This made it look like the hair was overlapping the text and the text was actually part of the picture. I used the same technique on the right side of the page on the shoulder area.
After altering the positioning, I implemented ‘Westwood’ using the Text tool. I also changed a few of the letters within each part of the name from ‘Bold’ to ‘Regular’ to give it an iconic design. Then, I placed the word ‘Fashion’ into the page and, again, chose a colour from the page to have for it. I found a mid-tone grey that I liked and used that as well as using the font ‘Century Gothic’. I had to type out each letter individually to get the sort of ‘Chaos’ effect of the typography from the 2018 trends.
I referenced the wonderland magazines that I had researched and decided to use their idea of cropping away parts of the typography. I slightly cut off the ‘N’ in the word ‘Fashion’ so that it wasn’t in a definite position. Finally, I moved on to the information text. I drew out rectangles using the ‘Shape tool’ and changed the colour of the rectangles to a red colour. Then, I experimented with the different layer blending modes to find the one I thought was best fit. In the end, I decided the ‘Overlay’ layer blending mode gave the best effect and looked appealing. After doing this, I placed in all the text by drawing out a text box with the ‘Text tool’ and made the alignments for the end text boxes to centre. The centre text I aligned to the middle of the page. The font I used for the information was ‘Candara’ as I thought it was suitable for small text and still looked modern.
In conclusion I managed to experiment with many different materials and techniques and ended up implementing a few of them into my final design, but all digitally. Throughout, I changed the colours and ended up not sticking with my initial ideas for the colour scheme I had come up with as I didn’t like it. I started with a basic plan of researching and using my researched designer’s creative process, which I did. This was coming up with ideas from both personal interest and including the main concept itself. I started off testing materials and techniques both digitally and traditionally to grasp how much I had to work with and the range I had. From this, I started generating small ideas from layouts and designs to colour. I made sure to refer to my research and the materials and techniques available to use it to their full potential. Finally, I used everything I gathered and knew to start creating my final design. In my final design I used the quirkiness of Vivienne Westwood, the trends considered for 2018 and a few methods from my experimentation. This entire project has allowed me to learn new things from both traditional work and graphical, as well as the similarities and differences between successful designers.