Monthly Archives: October 2016

Reading Week

Top Tips for Socially Responsible Designers:


A lot of designers do not know where they stand on their ethics, as a designer you should have clear ethics set out that you believe in and follow these through your work and practice.


When you jump into the design industry you will be expected to put your believes and ethics behind you and you will need to decide if this is acceptable or not for you, or become a a socially responsible designer.


You need to understand what happens in the industry that you will be involved in. For example graphic design is creating ‘mountains of waste, reinforcing negative stereotypes, polluting the air and water and encouraging wasteful spending’. It can have a destructive effect on the environment that you need to understand before choosing your cause.


Socially responsible designers understand that meaningful design projects happen when there is authentic engagement with the clients and target audience, they can both offer expert insights into the problem at hand, making you create a successful solution.


Ask your clients to review your work that is in progress so they can liaise with you to help build the perfect solution for the given brief


A good tip to help build on your solution is to get enough insight from the client and put yourself in the audiences mindset, this will help you achieve your outcome close to the given brief.


You need to evaluate your work and think what effect or consequences it will have on the environment and the world. Is your work aligned with your ethics as a socially responsible designer?


Designers also consider a teams group size and demographic, these team members can be from many different fields such as graphic designers, architects, illustrators, photographers, videographers, ect.) Everyone will all have different methods and offer there own perspectives on the given subject which will help divergent thinking to achieve successful outcomes for the task at hand.


Keeping track of your work is important to sustain yourself as a successful designer. It is easy to lose track when you get lost in the design aspect, so always stop and evaluate your work and the message that it is portraying, always keeping your ethics in mind.


Use social media as an advantage to promote your work and yourself as a socially responsible designer. However responsible designers understand the importance of of compiling the work into case studies that can convey a story through their projects, which allows others to learn and expand their knowledge and offer insights in other ways.


It is often thought that you cannot make a living as a designer by sticking to your ethics and having a voice in what work you choose to undertake, however refusing to do work that compromises your beliefs can often bring you more work and not less as more potential clients can see that you actually have a voice in what you do, which is often lost in current design practices.


Noah Scallin: ‘The Life of a Socially Conscious Designer’ and ‘Making a Difference and Making a Living’

‘Anatomy of the Socially Responsible Designer’ by Andrew Shea


Final Poster

This is my completed poster design for the Type Tour poster for Bexhill:

(Evaluation below)

type tour print rhys watts.jpg

Poster Evaluation

I think my final outcome for my poster design meets the needs of the brief by advertising the typographic walk for Bexhill in an engaging and interesting way. The photograph I took features bold colours are there is hand painted pieces of type inside the image of ‘love’. I have used text behind a part of the image to make an interesting part of the poster that my target audience, designers from all ages and professions and people interested in typography. The photo is quirky and eye catching which I hope would be enough to stand out from others. I have also done a lot of investigation to type pairings, something that I believe is really important in design, especially as a poster. The typography is used is clean set, and the contrast between the slab serif and sans serif should be something designers pick up on.

If I done this project again I would spend more time looking at more historical aspects of Bexhill, I would of like to done some more research on it before the trip so I could have an idea of what things could be photographed to grasp the historic aspect of Bexhill.

The strengths of my design definitely lay within the imagery used. Everyone I have showed the photograph to have all commented positively about it, which was one of the reasons I decided to use it as my main image for the poster. Strengths I believe also come from the typography used and the composition I have investigated.

Using the ‘Z’ layout’ through this design which is a well known compositional technique to improve the layout of design that I have researched previously. It also fits into the Fibonacci Spiral; the spiral runs from the top left of the poster, going through the top date, through the flamingo then to the bottom information.

One of the weakness from the visual communication of my design if not showing enough of the historically rich area of Bexhill. I would of like to feature images of this in the poster, or maybe experimented with multiple photos as one poster. However i’m still happy with the final outcome as it shows found type can be found anywhere in the environment.

I believe my time keeping in this project was very good. I believe blogging about the trip to Tonbridge, researching and divergent thinking tasks helped my to get my ideas for the poster fairly quickly, I also feel I done enough research for this project to achieve what I have produced. The design process at first was a struggle, as finding images that would work with digital typography and work well as a poster.

Zine Final Touches

In this page of the zine I have done a little write up on the zine andhow people can no img_4416longer advertise themselves using social media sites. I created a Hannah Hoch inspired character to attract readers to the information, this was to keep in line with my main target to sell myself as a designer during the solar flare.

My final page is where I really wanted to make a statement, as  this is the final page of the zine that would decide what the reader thinks. The back page of the zine would also be seen a lot either left on a table or whilst someone is reading it. The back page is information where the reader could hire me as a designer. I stuck to the collage route I have been following to complete the zine.

Here is the final page:

The collage effect works well here as it is very bold. I really like this page as it works really well with the different texture background, it gives me a propaganda like feel when looking at it. The West Kent information came from old flyers that I had.

img_4418Overall I think this has been a successful project and my zine follows the brief and I believe I have achieved the learning outcomes necessary for this task. I’m happy with my final outcome and looking forward to our group feedback


Zine Collaging

One piece in my zine that took the longest to create but is one of my favourite pieces in the ‘ORGANIC’ page. As the brief states we are aloud to use a photocopier in the solar flare, I decided to make my own background design of plants, flowers and leaves that I found around my garden. I put all of these items onto the photocopier and made this collage:

This is the scanned version purely scan-5for blogging my progress on the Zine.

I loved the outcome of this experiment with the different plants from outside as they all worked nicely together, and the burst of pink is also really captivating.

After I photocopied this I wanted to cut into it and make the word organic, so I mounted it to card and roughly sketched the letters on the back in reverse so when I cut each letter out it would read perfectly on the opposite side with the collage.

Here is the process I undertook to create the collage and the final outcome. It did take a long time to create however it was definitely worth it after seeing it finished. I like how it can still be read even without the counters inside the letters which gives it a bold stencil feel, contrasting against the organic shapes and forms collaged behind it.


Another piece of collaging I have done is using a series of letters from different typefaces and crossing them over each other using different textures for each.
IMG_4417.JPGI have also created a small piece of artwork on one page inspired by the work of Richard Hamilton who created a scene from a room with different cut out objects. This is a simplified version for my zine that I thought was different and engaging to look at, and showed the audience that I can create creative collage work.


Poster Design

This is another poster design using one of my favourite photos from the Bexhill Trip. The colours are really vibrant and I believe would stand out really well as a the cover image for the poster. The photo all some typography inside, the word love is repeatedly painted on some of the objects in the garden, which I think fits in well with its surroundings.

Here is my process on creating the poster, this was created on Photoshop as I had an idea of putting some of the text behind pieces of the image which is easier to do using Photoshops tool set. Firstly I set up my A3 document, then imported my picture into it and scaled it to the size I wanted, bearing in mind composition and the photo quality when enlarging. The heading for the poster ‘Bexhill’ was getting lost in the background when using a black/white colour, so I used black fill and lowered the opacity to help the text stand out against the image.

I wanted to use a serif typeface for ‘Bexhill’, it is called an ‘ancient town’ and I wanted to keep this history behind it by using a traditional typeface such as Minion Pro/Times. However keeping the target audience in mind I wanted a contrast using sans serif for the smaller bits of information, such as the date and website information.

Something that I wanted to do to make the poster more interesting and engaging is using the flamingo sculpture in the photo to come in front of the date at the top of the poster. I done this by selecting the flamingo with the pen tool, making a layer via copy, and putting my text between the two layers creating this effect. I wasn’t sure on the typeface in contrast with my sans serif typeface so I experimented with a few others and I came to like this thin slab serif typeface, which was in keeping with my serif idea to keep the historic feel, but also now communicates a more modern look which my target audience will be looking out for.

Creating the Zine

To start of my zine I gathered lots of different resources that I could use, from magazines, newspapers, textures and coloured card, glue, scalpel and a cutting mat. From my research I want to go with a collage style as I think this will give it the personal feel that I want my audience to get from it.

I chose to do my zine about advertising myself as a designer, linking back to the solar flare situation the brief presented us. I wanted to show some of my creativeness and skill inside this so people can hire me to design for them and promote them during the solar flare.

For the front cover I decided to go with a ransom note style effect, cutting out each letter from different typefaces printed in magazines to spell out each word. This creates an interesting style so the reader has to read what it is about. After I created my cover I done a black and white photocopy to see what it would look like, as sometimes in cheap production runs this is how it would be reproduced . The black and white version didn’t have the same bold effect as it is lacking the vibrancy which the original creates.

IMG_4414.JPGThe next thing I have done on my first double page spread of the zine is create a block print of a slab serif A that I cut out of card and then printed across the page using black acrylic paint. I really like the grunge/textured look that the print gives out and works well as a bold opening spread. I also wrote about what the zine was about in the first spread so the reader knew what was going to follow/expect to see.

Prevent – Surprise Brief (Day 2)

fullsizerender-2On the second day of the Prevent project, we were to think about the previous day and now design something that conveys a message, of our choice, in a format that we would be able to create. We came up with an idea as a group based on this message:

‘Radicalisation can happen to anyone, no matter what their age, ethnicity or background’

The idea we had involved ice cubes. The ice cubes would show that through isolation somebody can start to ‘melt’ away from society. But then through support the team of ice cubes that have remained the same throughout the scene, help the melted one rebuild from liquid to solid, showing through support we can prevent radicalisation.

We wanted to do this as a time lapse video as this could have been a really effective video. We could also reversed the time-lapse for the part where the ice cubes returns to a solid through support.


After returning to year groups we discussed our ideas, we decided to work on a project as whole group, including poster, app and website that provided information about the Prevent campaign. I designed the ’emoji’ style faces for the poster.

We decided not to go with our ice cube idea as the deadline was closing in and we didn’t feel we had enough time after storyboarding to complete the idea. However the group did give really positive feedback on our idea, but they too was worried about the timeframe we had.

Collage Artists

I wanted to have a look at a few collage artists as it may inform me of what styles and techniques I can experiment with in my zine. Hannah Hoch was a German Dada artist best known for her photomontages, in which she was one of the originators. Her work often involves people and faces being manipulated to create these interesting, sometimes strong characters.

Richard Hamilton is another well known collage artist who was born in London. ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so apphamilton_pic_1996547b.jpgealing?’ is a piece of work done by Hamilton that I have seen many times and always find interesting. It has been said to be the first piece of pop art work to achieve ‘iconic’ status.

I like how the artwork looks like it has been cut out from different furniture catalogues and pieced together to create this scene. The collage technique used here is what I want to achieve in my zine by using the same cut out magazine effect.

Prevent – Surprise Brief (Day 1)

We had a short surprise brief presented to us about Prevent. This was about radicalisation and terrorism, knowing about the different signs, cause and effects. However before we got into this, we had an ‘improvements to a’ activity using divergent thinking, for improvements to printed material (poster, magazine)

screen, speakers, holograms, print out tickets, gives directions/help, waterproof, duplicates/reprints itself so people can take one, touch screen, interactive, foldable to any size

After we had finished this we were shown a poster for preventing terrorism. Using P.M.I (plus, minus and improvement) we had to evaluate the poster and discuss are opinions on it.

(-) The colours don’t stand out or go with the topic

(-) Photo of a pill or tablet isn’t really relevant

(-) Not interesting or eye catching

(-) Looks medical related rather than terrorism

(+) The illustration of the pill looks roughened and goes with the theme and slogan

 A prevent research website we looked at was, this was full of all information needed about Prevent with interactive documents that featured case studies of people experiencing radicalisation but from different perspectives.

A few notes that I took from the videos:

  •  The attack is like the tip of the iceberg
  • It starts at radicalisation, which glorifies violence
  • People who become radicalised do it for different reasons; for money, to address peers/family/grievances, to belong.
  • The people that radicalise others manipulate their passions and potential that they can see in someone.

Some fall into this trap because of family upheavals, unhappiness at home or school, ostracised, not empowered or feel isolated.

The interactive document on prevent followed a case study on a young boy named Callum. He was suffering from loss, a family upheaval, adolescence, drugs and alcohol, exam pressure and bullying. He found acceptance elsewhere from attending football matches with his friends and their parents, who had a far right wing mind set.

‘Them and us Thinking’

He was brought into this new group who had extreme views of what were happening in their area, they made Callum feel needed and like a leader which he relished. Callum’s teacher noticed changes in his behaviour: new phrases, closed in discussions, fixed on one subject.

Callum was also introduced to counselling sessions, where he met others from different backgrounds which through discussions and mentoring changed his mindset.