Tuesday, 31 March 2015

OUGD404 - Brief 02 - Inspiration from the 1980s

Andy Warhol's work on alter-egos and drag was done in the very late 70's through to the mid 1980s. His work captured the times perfectly. As my publication is paying tribute to these works by Warhol, I want the general aesthetic to reflect the 1980s in some way. So I did some quick research into magazine design and layout from the 80s.

It was at this period that post-modernism was beginning to take hold, and post-modernism is something that I am focusing a lot in for COP and also just my general enquiry. Post-modern graphic design really drives my practice and inspires me greatly. I want my book for this brief to feel post-modern and reflect Warhols' work well.

I like the collage feel to this I-D magazine cover, something that I want to attempt creating in my spread designs. 

Black and white imagery contrasted with subtle injections of colour, something I am definitely planning on achieving in my designs. 

OUGD404 - Brief 02 - Test Prints & Stock Decisions

Once I had pretty much finalized the page layouts for my book, I decided to do a series of test prints using the studio laser jet printer. I did this to get an idea of which stock would work best for the overall aesthetic of my book. I knew that I wanted to print on some type of fairly heavy coloured stock, it was just a case of actually deciding on which colour to use. BUTT magazine, where I have drawn a lot of influence from uses a pastel pink stock throughout its layouts, which is context and content aware and in some ways stereotypically gay. I wanted to use a colour that is genderless, a colour that is subtle and that is not necessarily related to a specific gender within society. So I tested the prints on yellow, greens and blues. I then did some tests on Pearl Grey and tracing paper. 

Out of all the colours that I tested my designs on, the Pearl Grey was by far my favourite as it was the most subtle and the colours looked amazing on it. Plenty of contrast and the clarity of the images wasn't lost on this stock. The other colours were not subtle enough and cheapened the overall feel. 

I played around with various stocks in the studio using the laser printer. I knew that I wanted to print my text content onto coloured stock, as I had been influenced by BUTT magazines use of baby pink stock, I was just unsure of which colour to use. In InDesign, I made the background a very light, pearl Grey. I found some really nice stock in a similar colour and did some test prints and the content looked amazing on this medium weighted paper. 

I also printed my spreads on quite bold colours such as greens, yellows and blues, but the content got lost on such dark colours. I also tested it to see what it would look like on white, but it looked a little cheap and didn’t really suit the content well. So I settled with Grey stock.

I had established that I was going to print the portraits on tracing paper at quite an early stage, so I did some test prints of them and they turned quite well. I was unsure if I would actually use tracing paper for the final book. I then thought it would be a nice idea to have a wrap around dust sleeve with the title of the book printed on it that acts as a second cover for the book. I tested this and it worked perfectly and reflected the idea of having an alter-ego for the book right from the start. 

I then printed the photographs that I had taken in the studio onto tracing paper, as this was my original vision and concept for the book. The prints looks okay on tracing paper and looked great once overlaid on top of the text, but there was something about it that I didn't really like. So I decided to not print the portraits on the tracing paper in the end. Perhaps, it would have looked interesting on acetate, but I am glad that I chose to print the photos on the same stock as the rest of the book. 

I did however decide to print the wrap around dust sleeve for the book on tracing paper. This added an extra level of sophistication and intrigue and links to the context of having multiple fa├žades and appearances, just like an alter ego. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

OUGD406 - Brief 03 - Final Pitch

The final pitch for this brief ran smoothly and I felt that as a group we communicated the amount of work and conceptual thought that we put into the collateral well. We got mostly constructive feedback from Simon and the second year students which was encouraging. They seemed to like the concept and the overall brand but they said that it lacked consistency as a collateral of design.  I thought that this feedback was fair, and if we were to win the pitch and have our designs go to print, we would need to edit and develop our branding to make everything coherent and glue together. They also said that the costings were quite far off what they would have expected with the amount of collateral produced. the costings could be dramatically reduced through using methods such as mass screen printing and double sided digital printing. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

OUGD406 - Brief 03 - Trip to Hepworth Wakefield Gallery - Research

We went on a class visit to Wakefield to see the newly updated Hepworth Gallery. The gallery was great, it was absolutely packed with contemporary art which I find brilliantly inspiring. We went on and  visited several art and design galleries in and around Leeds, to try and gain a wider knowledge of how to successfully brand and curate out own exhibition. After we had visited the Hepworth, we went back to Leeds to see the White Cloth Gallery and the Tetley to name a few. We all found this really interesting and useful, as seeing current exhibition in both modern, and some older buildings, gave us a better idea of how we could go about successfully curating our own exhibition, without any confusion as to what we need to produce.

We were also paying very close attention to the way finding within the gallery spaces and the branding for the exhibitions that were on.It gave us some good inspiration and it was great to actually go out and do some useful primary research to see how our designs could potentially function in context.