Thursday, March 18, 2010

Signage Brief Research

Here are just some visuals on how signage works simply and effectively. It needs to get to the point quickly and as little detail as possible is useful, though if there is detail it needs not to be distracting or a necessary part of the immediate interpretation of the image. Bold colour choices seem to work effectively, also colour coding is helpful too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bookworks research

Definition of a book: 1.a written work or composition that has been published
2.physical objects consisting of a number of pages bound together

However, this idea of a book revolves around the format of what a book is, however it doesn't really suggest what a book can be. Personally, I think that a book is simply a device in which information of any kind is held. A DVD or a CD is a form of book, or at least an extension of the idea, holding video and music files instead of written words and illustrations. Here are some examples of how other designers have pushed the idea of book.

Sue Blackwell

Sue Blackwell uses existing book and creates 3 dimensional imagery within the books that reflect the content, the image above uses Alice In Wonderland to create imagery from the tea party. This sort of uses the traditional form of a book to create an illustration. The difficulty with this from the perspective of image as part of design is that it isn't very functional and in fact removes the functionality of the book as a readable body of work making this a more fine art piece. Though it's good to bare in mind how experimental I can go with the manufacture of a book.

Georgia Russell

Georgia Russell similarly plays with the concept of book to create fine art pieces. I really like the vibrancy of colours and the playing with cutting away from the book and the patternt hat this can make.

Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer uses a similar approach to Sue Blackwell, however he creates elaborate 3D diaramas. Again this plays with the traditional form of a book, I don't think I'm going to do something like this, I'd rather look at what a book could be, rather than playing with it's traditional format.

Ollie Saward (heeheee)
I chose to look at Ollie's first year book project because it really challenges the convention of what a book can be. There are no pages, no binding etc. It's a book in it's simplest form, a vehicle for information, in this case a series of found faces. Whilst I don't have time to create something this sophisticated, I do want to bring the concept of book to it's most basic, I think this will be kind of freeing as well as allow me to skimp a little on budget (of which I have very little)

For the book it's self we can pick to base it around a shape, a colour, a typeface or a sound. I thought it would be nice to combine the two, so I'm going to design a typeface around the colour blue, using the connotations and social interpretations it carries to inform it's form and style. Here are some facts about blue:
" * In the English language, blue often represents the human emotion of sadness, e.g. "He was feeling blue". In German, on the other hand, to be "blue" (blau sein) is to be drunk. This derives from the ancient use of urine (which is produced copiously by the human body after drinking alcohol) in dyeing cloth blue with woad or indigo.[5] It may also be in relation to rain, which is usually regarded as a trigger of depressive emotions.[6]

* Conversely blue, a very popular color[7] can represent happiness and optimism[8] as days with clearer, blue skies tend to be considered times where these emotions are more easily expressed. Many artistic contributions have been made referencing clear days with blue skies as part of the happiness or as a symbolism of the happiness the artist felt, such as Tony Bennett's Put on a Happy Face.[9] If this were untrue there would obviously be more complaints about days with clear blue skies.

* Blue is commonly used in the Western hemisphere to symbolize the male gender in contrast to pink used for females.

* Blue is associated in Christianity generally and Catholicism in particular, with the Virgin Mary.
* Blue in Hinduism: Many of the gods are depicted as having blue-coloured skin, particularly those associated with Vishnu, who is said to be the Preserver of the world and thus intimately connected to water. Krishna and Ram, Vishnu's avatars, are usually blue. Shiva, the Destroyer, is also depicted in light blue tones and is called neela kantha, or blue-throated, for having swallowed poison in an attempt to turn the tide of a battle between the gods and demons in the gods' favour.
* Blue in Judaism: In the Torah,[13] the Israelites were commanded to put fringes, tzitzit, on the corners of their garments, and to weave within these fringes a "twisted thread of blue (tekhelet)".[14] In ancient days, this blue thread was made from a dye extracted from a Mediterranean snail called the hilazon. Maimonides claimed that this blue was the colour of "the clear noonday sky"; Rashi, the colour of the evening sky.[15] According to several rabbinic sages, blue is the colour of God's Glory.[16] Staring at this colour aids in mediation, bringing us a glimpse of the "pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity", which is a likeness of the Throne of God.[17] (The Hebrew word for glory.) Many items in the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the wilderness, such as the menorah, many of the vessels, and the Ark of the Covenant, were covered with blue cloth when transported from place to place.[18]
* Blue in Islam: In verse 20:102 of the Qur’an, the word زرق zurq (plural of azraq 'blue') is used metaphorically for evildoers whose eyes are glazed with fear, as if the sclera is filmed over with a bluish tint.


* In Thailand, blue is associated with Friday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear blue on Fridays and anyone born on a Friday may adopt blue as their colour. The Thai language, however, is one that has had trouble distinguishing blue from green. The default word for Blue was recently สีน้ำเงิน literally, the colour of silver, a poetical reference to the silvery sheen of the deep blue sea. It now means Navy Blue, and the default word is now สีฟ้า literally, the colour of the sky.


* Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.[citation needed] In Western civilisation, those in the upper classes in high places of political or economic power often wear dark blue suits. Ordinary members of the working class (especially those who work in the computer industry) often refer derisively to these management functionaries as the suits.[24] This terminology is also used in the television industry--the network executives are often referred to by the creative people (actors, directors, and screenwriters) as the suits.[25]
* Blue can also represent the working class. A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who typically performs manual labour and earns an hourly wage. Industrial and manual workers wear durable clothing that can be dirty, soiled, or even scrapped at work. A popular element of such clothes has been a light or navy blue work shirt. Blue is also a popular colour for work coveralls."

I'm interested in blue's nature as serious and depressive as well as the visual imagery that the idea of ocean connotes. Obviously I want to be quite illustrative about the typeface so I'm looking to hand drawn type for inspiration.

Below is a piiece of illustration by Anna Wray, I think that trying to create something quite detailed and ornate in the typeface I create would be an aesthetic I'd like, btu I need to make sure I keep the content appropriate to the colour blue rather than making an unclear typeface for the sake of detail.

Below is some hand drawn type by Paula Mills, I like the style that she has chosen, however the colour choice is garish and a little unpleasant. It's important to remember colour choice can make or break a piece.

Conversely to the prior piece, I think the colour choices in this piece by Ray Fenwick are really nice.

I chose this typeface by Onomatopee because, whilst I do like it, legibility is an issue. It's hard to make out what the letters say, I need to ensure that theres a clarity to my typeface that allows it to function fully.

I really enjoy the way this piece by Ben Javens works. I like the hand drawn type and the colour choices (it might be worth trying to put a few shades of blue into my design) as well as the grainy aesthetic it has going on. The simplicity gives the piece a clarity that to much detail might of crowded. In designing my own typeface I have to beware of becoming too elaborate.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hunting, Associated Visuals.

I just thought in terms of idea generation, it was perhaps a good idea if we go with the concept of hunting, to get some of the recogniseable imagery of a hunt so we know what we're working with. I've tried to avoid the grizzly reality because, frankly, neither me or Vickie are concerned with exploring that, I don't think it's appropriate as a shop window display, it's simply barbaric.

Traditional Hunt

Ok so, I have this image to show the traditional dress for a hunt, the red coats are particularly important, as are the riding hats, when these garments are seen on a person, they are instantly recogniseable, as part of public consciousness, as dressed for a traditional fox hunt.

Autumn Hunting

However, a quick bit of research uncovered this:

"Autumn Hunting refers to the period formerly known as "cubbing". Traditionally this was the time when the new entry of hounds learnt how to hunt their quarry. Meets were held early in the morning and the field were present to help "hold up" covert (i.e. prevent a fox from leaving the area).

The dress code is different from formal hunting dress and is often referred to as "ratcatcher", "ratcatcher" refers to the tweed jackets that are worn.

Please see photograph of Phil Westerby-Jones

The dress code for Autumn Hunting:

* Hard Hat: Brown, Blue or Black
* Tweed Hacking Jacket
* Coloured hunting tie (stock) or shirt and tie
* Gloves
* Buff or fawn breeches
* Brown or Black boots, or half chaps with brown or black jodhpur boots
* Hunting Whip: Brown with lash and thong (optional)"

Significantly, at this time of year, in British hunting, tweed jackets are used instead of the traditional and iconic red ones, is this significant enough for us to utilize this instead of the red coats, I guess thats not my call as an individual to make, I'm going to discuss it with Vickie.

Here's an image that came up when I searched 'Autumn Hunting' I like the way it interprets tweed in illustrative form, and it's something to bare in mind if we perhaps do go this way.

The next lot below are sort of elements of the hunt that are quite recogniseable that we could perhaps draw in to the almost diarama of the shop window.
Hunting Horn



Phrases/ Qoutes
The Ted Baker windows often have a typographic eleement in the form of window decals, I think if we go down this route, it's important we find a phrase we're comfortable with as a sort of thematic slogan. Here's some ideas:

'Tally Ho'- not the best haha
'Hunting For Fashion'
'The Thrill Of The Hunt'
I'll keep updating as some spring to mind.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hunting: Qoutes, forums etc. and their opinions.

I went on a forum to get some general opinions.

These quotes seem to summarise general for and against opinions, with anti-hunt people claiming that it's killing for sport and ending life unneccassarily, with the pro-hunt peope arguing the values of tradition and survival skills.

"this is just a random thought more than a question.
Hunting really upsets me, even when i was a meat eater i couldn't understand it.
at one time, years ago people "felt" they needed to hunt for meat for survival but in today's day and age you can buy meat anywhere. So why are people still doing it?
This is what saddens me, they only thing i can come up with is they do it for "sport". they do it for the "thrill" of the kill.
I simply can not understand how stalking and murdering a defenseless animal is "thrilling"
When humans do that to other humans you're considered a serial killer and locked up for life.
When will this world realize that we don't have the right to decide which lives are more important than others animals or humans?"-BeanieLou

"Speaking as an ex-hunter, I can say that it isn't just about "the thrill of the kill" or whatever (or at least not for all hunters). Lots of people like to hone their hunting skills in case of a situation in which society cannot provide food for them. It is a social activity for a lot of people as well, and a tradition passed on through families (particularly amongst men).

You have to keep in mind that most hunters are species-oriented and do not view lower animals as sentient equals, so killing them is not considered equivalent to killing humans." -Kellye

But where does my audience fit? It's perhaps easiest to try and find a poll, rather than ask people in the street, because it's not always easy to gauge where someone fits in the class system and how much money they have by asking.
This poll is quite comprehensive in the questions that it asks about hunting. The statistics suggest that 52% so an overall majority strongly supported a band, so were against fox-hunting, whilst a further 11% agreed less strongly that a ban was needed giving a total of 63% of the people asked opposed to hunting. Whilst the majority of the people asked do live in an urban to suburban area, where hunting is no longer a tradition, I also think it's likely that most of the Ted Baker audience are from the central and suburban areas where theres easy access to their stores, rather than an upper class, country audience, so in general, I think this would suggest that our audience are anti-hunting. Graham's advice from the crit would dictate that we should then make a window thats pro-hunting in a way to provoke controversy, however, me and Vickie strongly feel that we can't work on something so grim for so long. We might explore a few ideas as to how this might work, however we're likely to look into other areas, and perhaps even re-address our concept.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Concept boards and Crit 1.0

Ok, so from our brief bit of research we've done so far we have to have a concept proposal, here are some boards I made for it that summarise what we're looking at and hopefully clarifies why.

Unfortunately printing was an issue and we couldn't of brought these in, which is a shame because our presentation ended up being a little bit muddled. I think the significant part was the clarity of our audience, the price range it's self dictated that the audience would be high middle to uppe class, it's kind of £50 a polo etc. hunting kind of fits this audience well, in that even those who are what is described as 'new money' (working class that have managed to become wealthy etc.) have an awareness of the upper class and strive to be like that, so if we use something like hunting and turn it on it's head, it could be quite interesting.

Also of significance is an interview Vickie did with the shop manager of the Manchester branch, it has some telling quotes about what they're looking for. The significance they place on humour. Whats coming in to the shop windows next (punk rock easter bunnies?!) etc. It's on the third research board. I think its really important to bear this interview in mind at all times through concept and idea generation.

The second research board is other shop windows that arn't Ted Baker, that utilize visual aesthetics we're interested in, so the magic based one uses geometric shapes etc. that are quite interesting, whilst the other two have a very british, homely feel.

I think our proposal went down ok-ish, however Graham thought it important that we do some research on our audience and what they think about hunting, whether it's neccassarily a positive or negative thing. We could then use this research to parody or make a statement about their views, I guess his thinking is that the more controversial it is, the mor elikely it is to win because it'll stand out, so theres a few things we can look at there to really get some informed research.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Visuals that might inspire us.

I got some book vouchers for my birthday recently, and thought this book was a useful edition to my library as well as specifically for the project. The cover it's self shows sort of some of the paper craft techniques that myself and Vickie have been talking about employing for the project.


I just thought that these images used paper craft really cleverly and really humorously. I really enjoy the use of luminous colours that give it a really vibrant feel. I think if our own project perhaps utilizes the inventive and playful nature thats within this work, we're probably going to have a successful outcome.

David Ellis:

I think it's also important to consider the fact that we're designing for a 3D space, and whilst the paper stuff is suitably playful, I feel it's important to look at installation work, even if it doesn't use these techniques to look at the importance of composition etc. when tackling a 3-dimensional space. Ellis' work uses a very limited colour palette, as well as vintage objects that I'm sure Vickie would be an admirer of. I think in terms of coposition, he's managed to get a balanced spread across the walls that avoids looking top or bottom heavy. The placement of the objects in the foreground of the upper image is designed to be looked at from one view, but I imagine he has considered that it will be looked at from lots of different angles also. Something Me and Vickie should bare in mind when we begin composing the piece.

Oki Sato:

Again, I looked at design for a 3D space with this one, I like the use of colour (or lack there-of) which gives the piece a nice minimal tone that really brings the shapes and textures of the frames to the foreground of the piece. The use of someone climbing the wall emphasise the tactility of the piece and frankly, whilst I'd want to use a few colours, I think the minimalism and simplicity of the piece is what works. I think it's be easy for me and Vickie to throw everything aesthetic we have at this, but I think restraint will be important.

Jean Jullien:

This image by Jean Jullien has been highly crucial to us recently, it sort of clarified whhat we wer elooking at in a way, firstly the aesthetics are something we're interested in (bold/block colour and geometric shapes) and also in terms of a theme. Hunting is something traditionally British. It's also quite a serious mater, so if we could poke fun of hunting then it could be quite an interesting theme. More of this in the next post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ted Baker and others shop windows

Below are a fe different Ted Baker shop windows, they all have humerous elements, whetehr its the squirell heads, the cuckoo in the clock or the way the Hares look. I think it's important to remember this, as well as utilize what is quite clearly an animal/nature fetish that seems to run through the work. I think that the designs are all pretty inventive and in some ways avant-garde (bar the show girls one)and always quirky. I think we need to adopt an ultra-modern feel whilst maintaining this element of humor.

Visuals that I think would work well in this space:
I like the idea of using simple geometric shapes and bright colours in this sort of tactile way, it creates a really nice and quirky aesthetic that we could quite easily utilize.
Again, the really simple geometric characters with vivid colours and quirky characteristics would suit this brief quite nicely, it's an aesthetic that it's be nice to put both mine and Vickie's sort of stylistic choices into.

British Humour and Design

Here is just some imagery I've got together of what design for films of British humor and posters that perhaps represent a humor that I associate with Britishness. I think this is a good idea for some intial ideas, however, it's more likely that once me and Vickie have interviewed some store managers of Ted Baker, that we're likely to be able really pinpoint what it is that they're looking for in terms of a sense of humour, because the term irreverance, to my mind, is a convenient label that the management can sell, but it doesn't really mean alot.

This Morning Breath collaborations is actually American, for an American film, however, I feel like it has the feel of a British propoganda poster and has this sense of irreverence towards an evil that perhaps deserves reverence i.e. shouldn't be poked fun of. I thionk in terms of visual aesthetic it's similar to some of the traditional designs for British films below.

This is a nice illustrative reimagining of the poster for Shaun of The Dead, I like the illustrative style, it sort of harks back to film title sequences from the 50's, such as the Pink Panther's style, captured in teh dvd packaging below:

I think this one for a classic Ealing Studios poster has a very similar illustrative feel to it as the ones that I've been looking at in this post.

Conclusions form the few things I've looked at:
-They all have a classic feel to them with a very British illustration style, and whilst it may be good to employ a few of these aesthetics, I feel that generally, it's a little bit dated and could be modernised with more modern colours and layouts.

Things to do to get a greater impression of visual style:
-look at other Ted Baker windows
-review results of interviewing the Ted Baker manager
-create a set of mood boards that communicate different directions we could take this in.