Overall evaluation

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Through the eight weeks of this assignment I think I have learnt a great deal about the design world, got my head around design jargon and programmes and also developed my perspective as a visual designer. I’ve really developed since week one – just talking about what I like and putting every detail down onto paper to finding my signature style, experimenting and being restraint with what I include in my final product.

Personally, I still think I could learn more about programs like InDesign and about how to make full advantage of things like grids and effects to improve my design skills even further.

Not only can these skills be valuable from a idea generation perspective I can now look at an advertisement, poster, sign or anything with visual designer and analyse comfortably how the designer has used colour, type, layout and imaging and then evaluate it from my point of view.

I’m also generally happy with how my blog has turned out; I’ve tried to make the blog as full of visual design as possible and tried to include a

  • Breadth of research
  • Analysis of research
  • Putting my understanding into practice.

Although I think I’ve developed and could learn more I’m really happy with my progress and think I could replicate what I’ve learnt to future projects and too my future career plan of working on a magazine with layouts, images and type and also promoting myself through visual design.

Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week 8

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Creativity with paper

4 standard paper types –

  • A series: Common
  • B series: Ratio of Factors of 2 – loose e.g. tabloid
  • C series – Envelopes etc
  • SR series – Allows for bleedlines and cuts.

Printing process

  • Plate
  • Print
  • Finishing: special finishes, trim etc

Press sheets:

E.g. 10,000 A4 leaflets – 5000 A3 sheets, 2 up or SR series SRA4

Bleed: clean edge on document – always assume 3mm (1.5 for each edge) so for example an A4 piece of paper goes from 210 mm by 297 to 213 mm by 300.

Issues with non standard sizes

Cost problems, waste, set up (need to be confident with design), practicality for example mailing.

Paper stock

Weights (GSM)

80 for copier paper, 150 for leaflets, 400 for business cards.

Finishes include –

  • gloss: impact
  • silk: urgency, home made, light copier stocks
  • matt: prestige and heavier papers
  • uncoated: eco-friendly, recycled.

Tints include – pure white, off white and so on


  • Binding
  • Lamination: long lasting and important
  • Folding
  • Creasing
  • Embossing: shape stamped into thick paper
  • Foil
  • Spot UV – selected parts laminated
  • Die Cut – beyond rectangles a.k.a other shapes.

Directed study

  • Design brief 2 – plan, design, evaluate
  • Design brief 4 – plan, design, evaluate
Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week 7

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Grid and composition

  • Know how to organise work in grids
  • Understand how to contrast composition with grids
  • Produce strong layouts in InDesign.

Compositional principles

  • Contrast: difference
  • Rhythm: repetition and consistency
  • Balance: symmetry
  • Proportion: ratio.

What are grids?

An invisible structure for order and are essential in mapping

Ratio and proportion: Halves, thirds, quarters.

Gutters: white space between edge and text that’s going to be bound together (in a magazine for example)

Common grid

  • 12 columns
  • Don’t have 12 columns of content
  • guide for proportion

Layout concepts

  • Used for tone to produce a response
  • White/empty space
  • Densely packed
  • Elegant
  • Busy

The Golden ratio

“In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio  of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887″ – Source of information Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_golden_ratio

Directed study

  1. Make the grid
  2. Break the grid
  3. Fine two examples of grid work – one making the grid one breaking it

Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week 5

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Colour and image:

Getting technical with colour:

  • RGB – for screen
  • CYMK – for printing, subtractive colour model (cyan, yellow,magenta and black)
  • Pantone – AKA ‘spot colour’ – extension of CYMK

The aims for this week were:

  • Know how colour and image can be used
  • Technical issues
  • Manipulate colour in InDesign

Communication with colour

Can convey emotions and meanings – changes around the world. Think about audience percpetions, e.g.



Getting technical with colour:

  • RGB – for screen
  • CYMK – for printing, subtractive colour model (cyan, yellow,magenta and black)
  • Pantone – AKA ‘spot colour’ – extension of CYMK

Communicating with images:

Images create another layer of depth to brands and companies – visual information for the message.

  • Visual rhetoric – How images speak to you – arrangement, organisation of the image
  • Encoding meaning – everything in the image means something
  • Semotics – how signs and symbols communicate. Broken down into semantics (relation of signs/symbols and references)


Measure of how much information is in an image e.g. print 300 dpi, screen 72 dpi.

Bitmapimage: mainly photographs – mapping of bits *pixels* to create an image

Vector image: set of lines, points and shapes that make up a design or shape.


  • TIFF (Raw images) both vector and BMP
  • BMP
  • JP(E)G – Optimised BMP
  • GIF
  • PNG – Vector or BMP
  • .ai
  • .psd

CAN’T GO WRONG WITH: CYMK, TIKK OR EPS, 300 dpi equivalent

Directed Study

  1. Brief report on sourcing images
  2. 2 colour case studies
  3. 2 photograph case studies
  4. design a CD cover: 120 mm wide, 119 mm high

Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week 3

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Shape and form.

This week we looked at

  • visual metaphors
  • compelling designs
  • how to use shape and form in InDesign

In groups we worked together to create a piece of visual design using these methods that reflected one of the following words;

backward, forward, motion, sketch, shrink, conversation, ideas, expand, tilt, mixed, perspective or repeat

Me and my partner decided to do repeat and this is what we came up with:

From doing this we learnt how to do effects in InDesign and also how simple manipulation of shape and form can change meaning.

I decided to look at interesting and simple uses of shape and form when I got home and these are some of the examples I found:

Directed study:

  • create a logo for Bright Ideas Design and put this into your business card
  • Find at least three interesting logo case studies with analysis
Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week two

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week we had to find visual design resources, and in class we fed back and I though it was important to note down all the resources that people said because I will learn from them myself and develop as a visual designer.

Type and Typography:

This week we learnt all about all about type and typography within design. To start the lesson we brain stormed what typography actually is:

And we then went on to learn key terms

  • Use of type: form of illustration and not just to give information
  • A complete set of characters – selected for legibility, impact and tone
  • Serif fonts – fonts with feet and tails (usually used in print)
  • Sans Serif fonts – “without serif” or without feet and tails. Used in printed headlines or display or screen text: contrast and screen legibility
  • Geometric Sans-serif – scientific feel, based of shapes
  • Script
  • Blackletter
  • Dingbat
  • Kerning – where two letters overlap each other and/or controlling the white space between two letters.
  • Tracking – letter spacing, affects a complete block of text
  • Leading – line spacing – vertical space between two lines.

Example of a sans serif font:

Other ways to control text

  • Colour: fill and line
  • Style: bold, italicunderline
  • Distortion: warping
  • Size: variety, drop caps
  • Rotate
  • Building up in layers

Workshop task: Create a business card in InDesign

How to get business card template only using typography:

  1. Create new document
  2. No facing pages, landscape
  3. 90mm by 55mm
  4. Margins: 5mm
  5. Toolbar: selection tool (highlight, move, delete) – general, direct selection tool – specific and type tool [T]

My template:

Directed study:

1) Find an interesting type case study

  • an advert, newspaper, magazine spread, poster etc
  • prepare a brief two minute presentation
  • include critical analysis12

2) Free practice: type and typography experiments.

Categories: Other, Visual Design

Week one

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

In my first week, the class defined visual design as

“A composition of images, text, colour etc to appeal to an audience and to get a message across”

We also then all brainstormed about what decisions visual designers make and what designers we like so we can start to develop our design perspectives. Below are the brainstorms we created.


  • Newtasty (Stevue Copter)
  • Peter Harrison
  • Meeno
  • Elizabeth Rowe (Artist)
  • Nick Walker
  • Brennan and Burch
  • Steena Person
  • Augustina Rodreigez
  • Rogerigo Lionzo
  • Retro Cosmic – James White
  • Don’t believe the type – Marta Cerda Alimbau
  • www.signalnoise.com – Amazing Gallery



  1. Find an example of visual design e.g. flyers, magazine cover etc
  2. Find a digital design resource – Book, website etc and where we can find it
  3. Concept generation – Your house requires a logo – identify various concepts and generate a logo.
Categories: Other, Visual Design