Category Archives: Subcultures

Good Design Evaluation

In what ways have you considered the sustainability of your project process and outcomes?

When creating my collage I used magazines and newspapers from a collection I have of used items. I didn’t purchase any magazine that would have been used just for collaging, all items I have are left over magazines and newspapers that have been left on trains, finished with by family members or myself. All waste that I have created went into a recycling box  I have in my workspace as I often go through vast amounts of paper that gets wasted.

In what ways have you considered the ethical implications of your project process and outcomes?

Upon designing my cover and spread I kept I had a few ethical points in mind from my research. I decided to not include photos of the Teds in fights, signifying practices of them carrying flick knifes on the cover, the implications of them attacking black people in riots.

I chose to focus on the majority of Teds that were just simply teenagers following the subculture, this path would create less ethical implications and less chance of people being offended by the cover/article I created. I believe I have captured what I had in mind for the brief without causing any ethical implications.

In sustainability and ethical terms in what ways was your work in this project an improvement or a backward step for you as a socially conscious designer? 

I think this project has improved me as a socially conscious designer. I had to bear in mind the sustainability and ethical terms of my work and I believe I have an outcome that is purposeful and inline with the set brief. If anywhere in my research I was uncomfortable with the beliefs and views of my chosen subculture and I thought that people could be offended by my brief to create a revival of it I would of chosen to do something else.

This brief has also made me more aware of waste that happens in design, not only from my collage work but also cutting out test prints and finals as I had a lot of paper wasted from printing as the Creative Review was slightly to large to fit onto A4 so A3 paper had to be used which was wasteful.

What targets can you make at this point for your work in the future as a socially conscious designer?  

I think I done well to make conscious decisions whilst designing my work, however I think I should of made a plan at the very beginning of my work which covered and made notes in my idea generation, especially relating to the ethics side of my designs.



In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

My front cover visual communication meets the needs of the brief by representing the revival of the Teds. I have used a modern collage technique of found imagery and some of my own sketches of the when the Teds started out, to show the revival of them in our times. The found imagery used is in black and white which is indexical of the age, paying homage the to first subculture of the Teds, and the coloured rose showing the revival coming into the present. The main Teddy Boy I have used from on the cover is a famous photographed, well known Teddy Boy, I have also included signifying practices such as Teds jiving to rock’n’roll, a comb they all carried to fix their hair and a creeper shoe which they were known to wear. This was all included from beginning to explore theories of visual communication, such as the signifying practices, semiotics and icons, symbols and indexes.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I would like to see what more people’s messages they get from my final piece. I would hope that the wider audience would understand that I trying to show the Teddy Boys in a light that I believe the majority of the subculture are like. I have used the newspaper spiking out of the collage to represent the bad press the Teddy Boys were subject to. The rose collaged into the Ted’s hand is to represent the kindness of them, and also used to bring the Ted into present time from the use of colour.

I would hope people can understand what I’m trying to communicate through my collage.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I think I have created a striking and engaging piece of visual communication. I think the way I have researched about collaging and magazine publishing has allowed me to push my ideas to come up with my outcome. The mixed media style I have used I believe is a strength of my design as it is an appropriate and effective way to express my chosen subculture.

I also feel my double page spread is an effective solution to the brief. I think it looks and feels like an authentic Creative Review spread, and I have used professional publishing techniques to add to my spread so its not uniformed copy of a Creative Review grid layout.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

One of the weaknesses I feel of my spread is knowing what information to put into the double page spread as their hasn’t been a physical revival, so the type in the spread is more about my research of the Teds subculture, and trying to show them in a different light to what the media created. I chose to leave my spread black and white to pay homage to the imagery I had used dating back to the 1950’s, this was all in black and white and I was unsure whether or not to include colour to show revival which I had done in the front cover. The spread still looks professional and follows the CR style however I think experimenting with elements of colour may have improved the engagement of it overall.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

I am worried about my cover being mis-understood by the audience. I have asked my peers what they understand from the cover, most got the idea the Teds would be shown in a good light from the rose in hand, the positive signifying practices,

(instead of things like flick knifes Ted’s were known to carry around, more as fashion statement than weapon). When asked about the newspaper effect people with prior knowledge to the Ted’s understood the idea behind it and said it was effective, however people who didn’t know could see where my thought process was coming from but they also said at first they thought it was just the mixed media feel behind it.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

I thought about how my work could be improved at various stages throughout the brief and changed anything I didn’t think was working along the way. However I would of liked to experiment and improve the title of the front cover, I know Creative Review do not often feature titles on their covers but I wanted to incorporate one into my collage. I finished mine with found magazine type following the mixed media feel I was going for, however I think this could of been improved.

Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

I feel my time keeping in this Subcultures was generally quite good. I think I spent enough time researching the Teds to get a clear, detailed body of knowledge about them which helped me a lot coming into idea generation. I underestimated how much time it would take to create an effective front cover compared to the double page spread, as once the fundamentals were in the spread it didn’t take too long to come together.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I frequently referred to the brief to make sure I was following what was needed from me. On the first day of the brief I sat down and annotated what I felt was the most important factors, this included things such as paying homage to the Subculture, showing its revival, for Creative Review, understanding my subculture,

How was my research?

I feel like I have completed sufficient research of the Teds to give me a clear and detailed body of knowledge about who they were, what their signifying practices were, media coverage and their views. This helped me with idea generation and understanding what design techniques I could use to represent the Teds and show their revival. In my research I used different sources, mostly from online websites however I found a lot of useful, personal information from Teds themselves in documentaries that gave me a clearer insight into the subculture.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

I made a lot of notes whilst researching and a lot of what I found was bad press about the Teds which created moral panic about them, however through watching documentaries like ‘Here Come the Teds’ I found out that it was a small minority that made the bad publicity, and I don’t feel the rest of the Teds who were more about the music, dancing and fashion style of the time got the credit they deserved. This is why I have decided to use imagery that shows the Teds in scenes which are not causing violence but scenes such as dance halls and Teds posing for a photo on the streets.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas

Using fast intelligent failure I used notes from my research to come up with as many ideas as possible, these ideas ranged from anti-establishment, creeper shoe adverts, clothing (then and now), newspaper article as spread and more to follow. My research played a vital part in this project and I don’t believe my outcome would be as strong as it is without the research behind it.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

Through my idea generation and development I have evaluated my ideas and outcomes with the brief in mind, does the idea show the revival? will the reader understand what I am communicating?

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I done several pieces of experimental work both digital and mixed media. I experimented with quick fire sketches to come up with as many ideas as possible to help me break past the first few ideas I was coming up with. Sketching also became apart of my final cover outcome which I first had to experiment with to get right. I experimented on digital applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign with things like page layout techniques, illustration, cutting out image backgrounds and all of this experimentation aided me in my final idea development.

I could of made this more effective by doing more of each experimentation, more drawings, more mixed media work, more illustrations experimenting with different media such as charcoal, pen, water colours, ect. just to broadened my work.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time? 

I have thoroughly researched my subculture of the Teds referencing my sources when necessary and used this subculture research to explore theories of visual communication such as semiotics and signifying practices of the Subculture. I have developed a good understanding of these theories and applied them to the thinking behind my outcomes.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

The part of the project I enjoyed most was researching and learning about a Subculture that I had no prior knowledge of their existence, and how much the Teds played a vital role in the medias perception of teenagers in the 1950’s and how that can relate to teenage groups of todays times.

Learning about visual communication theories such as semiotics was also interesting as there is so much depths you can explore with this in mind. Looking deeper into found imagery using semiotics and icons, signs and indexes I could find more information then what was just on the surface, a transferable skill I have now learnt  and can apply to my future briefs.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

One part of the project I enjoyed the least was in my research, where I found lots of different sources of information however there was a lot of conflicting details about the Teds, what they stood for, why they chose to wear the clothing they did and events that happened with different information, such as the Notting hill riots (1958) where Ted’s were said to have purposefully attacked Black people, however some sources said this wasn’t the case and suggesting rival gang fighting.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

I found I worked the best when independently working at home when I had a quiet environment that helped me concentrate and focus on my my task at hand without distractions. Using headphones at college helped me avoid distractions when I needed to get work done, to make sure I work well at all times I need to concentrate on what I am working on and try to avoid distractions .

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

An area that heavily inspired my cover for this brief was looking into collage artist such as the well known Hannah Hoch, Richard Hamilton and Kurt Schwitters. This was where the real idea behind my collage came from for my subculture, from looking at these artists work I thought the art style could work well for the Teds and I’m glad I invested time into this research as I’m pleased with my outcome.

What areas were challenging or difficult?  Why was this the case?

Part of the project I found difficult was building my collage from a scan into photoshop then layering my sketches over. This was a learning curve for me as I had to experiment with brightness and contrast, blending modes, opacity and juggle many different layers at once to get everything consistent.

Experimenting with mixed media I also found slightly challenging as it is not something I often use as much as I’d like too. Thinking of materials to use that would work well with the subculture was hard at first but I feel I have used enough mediums for it to work well.

How can I go about developing and improving  the parts I found difficult?

Simply more practice would be needed for me in the areas stated above so I can learn more skills that I can apply to my work in future.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

I would like to develop these skills both in digital applications and the mixed media side of my work as soon as possible as it is something that I feel I will be needing to use again for future briefs, and digital applications are a vital part of Graphic Design however I understand there is vast amounts of information and techniques to learn that will take time for me to fully grasp.


Final Print

img_5288I printed my final versions of my cover and spread on an Epson Stylus Pro 3880. I purchased A3 Lustre paper to use for my final prints as I felt this would give a professional looking quality to my designs and especially for portfolio pieces.

I made sure all high quality print settings were selected before printing so I got the best out of the printer. I was also relieved that I designed all of my work with a 3mm bleed and with crop marks, as a lot of my peers were having trouble cutting out their work leaving behind small white lines of paper, whereas the bleed eliminates this.

Below is my finished high quality prints mocked up into a Creative Review magazine. After these photos were taken I them mounted each spread and cover to black card ready to be handed in inside my portfolio.

This lighting wasn’t great outside the print room, however you can see how it works as a front cover and spread effectively as pieces of visual communication for my subculture.

Final Spread Outcome


Here are my final double page spreads for the Creative Review on my subculture Teds. I decided to keep my opening spread with my main article spread as it works so well as a lead cover for my article, keeping in the same black and white, Creative Review style design and layout.

(The grey background is just for blog purposes so it’s not lost on the blank page, final spread background is paper white)

Final Cover Outcome

Here is my finished Creative Review front cover for my subculture Teds. It has the fundamental elements from the magazine (the new 2016/17 eddition) such as correct sizing, left hand binding strip, and the CR logo and title in a suitable placement.

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 22.38.19.png

Digital Mock Up

Before printing my final layouts I thought it would be a good idea to digitally mock up my work so I get an accurate representation. I found a template mock up file (

This template allowed me to simply drag and drop my designs into the document and then it would do the work for me adding perspective and shadows and giving me an accurate magazine mock up. It also allowed me to get a close up view of the text wrapping publishing technique that I decided to use with the photograph of the Ted. This includes the Ted into the article and reaffirms the revival part of the brief bringing in modern techniques with the imagery from the past subculture.

Below is what I achieved from this process, it gives it a very clean and professional look and had now made me happy to print this high quality for my final piece.

Mock Up

Here I have test printed the cover and spreads I have designed for the Subcultures brief. This was vital for me to do so I can develop an understanding of the scale and layout of my work before I print on high quality paper.

I’m really pleased with how my finished spreads and cover look when mocked up onto a Creative Review issue. I believe it looks professional and follows the same standard that you would expect to see in the CR. I also feel I have accomplished what the brief was asking, I have chosen a subculture and shown their revival through my work in several different ways.

The modern collage technique with the found imagery from the 1950’s era when Teddy Boys first started emerging is a way of showing their revival. I have also chosen to keep my overall design an old age looking sepia effect and collaged a coloured red rose into the main Ted’s hand, this is to show that the Teds were kind, polite and a mostly peaceful subculture and also adds to the revival aspect, the old looking sepia colours and the red of the rose makes a contrast which represents the Teds coming into the present, the revival.

Through my spread I have used modern publishing techniques such as text wrapping bringing the Ted into modern world. Using sans serif typefaces as titles and pull quotes also brings the modern feel into the spread and subculture.

Double Page Spread

This is my process on creating my double page spread on the Teds for the Creative Review. After my Indesign experimenting with sizing and layout I was confident on starting my spread. I wanted to creating an authentic looking layout that would look consistent in a real issue. I didn’t want to slavishly copy a layout and wanted to show some of the publishing techniques I have learnt in this project.

I have chosen to do my spread on Indesign as this is an industry standard application for page layout. The sizing of the document is 247 x 247mm with a 3mm bleed.

To help build my spread I used placeholder text, this helped me forget about the contents of the article and get the fundamentals in first.

A technique I learnt in class was text wrapping which is a publishing technique that is used in many magazines and sparingly used in Creative Review. I wanted to use it subtly in my spread as I feel it can be an engaging technique for the reader and include the subject (Ted) into the article.

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 22.54.16.png

The choice of imagery I have decided is to show the Teds in a peaceful light and not one that creates moral panic like the media did when they first emerged. I also had to bear in mind ethical implications of the imagery I have included, for example if I included photos of the Teds fighting rival groups or even racial fights I found in my research this could cause negative ethical implications for some readers.

I have chosen to keep my spread in black and white to pay homage to the imagery from the era of the Teds. I debated bringing the metaphor of the coloured rose from the front of my cover into the spread, however the black and white look created a modern,sleek and professional look which also fits into the revival aspect of the brief.

The text in my article is mostly my own research of the Teds explain to the reader on how they were presented by the media in the 1950’s. All imagery used has also been referenced in my spread.

Double Page Spread Sketches

Here are a few quick sketches I have done to help me get some ideas on how I want to deign my double page spread. I want to showcase some of the publishing techniques I have learnt through this subcultures brief but also keep in a similar style that would look in place in a Creative Review magazine.

From these few sketches I have made a few notes:

-Be aware of detail being lost in gutter, no type crossing over.

-Text wrapping in an article can be effective and engaging.

-Changing orientation of spread, having a vertical spread designed into a newspaper similar to what created moral panic in the 1950’s, ‘War on Teds’ style.


Indesign – Sizing and Layouts

Here I have created an indesign double page spread cover. I took this time to get the measurements for my spread. The measurements for the cover  that I got were as follows:

247mm x 247mm area

11mm binding/stitching (left hand side)

I then needed to make up the creative review logo for my own spread, I live traced the logo and measured all the sizes from a copy of the Creative Review. I used sized boxes to make sure all my proportions were correct to the real issue, this will help make my cover look like an authentic issue.

My indesign file size is 247 x 247mm with a bleed of 3mm. Bleed essentially allows you to extend your artwork and imagery across the edge of the page, so when it comes to printing the final version and trimming it down to size, none of the important information will be lost and it eliminates any chance of white lines to imprecise cutting.

Definition: Bleed is a printing term that refers to graphics or design elements which extend beyond the print edge of your design piece. Bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.

For this trial using Indesign I have followed an existing spread from the October 2016 issue. This was to help me understand the layouts creative review uses and will help me get to grips with Indesign’s tools as it has been a while since I’ve used it. Using the same size I made a double page spread again with a 3mm bleed. Around the page there is an 11mm gap around the perimeter which is bordered by a thin stroke of around 0.5. I have measured this accurately and below is my outcome. I think this works well as a cover spread and was worth my time doing as I now have an informed knowledge about layouts in Creative Review.

This was a test for me but I think what I have produced below could represent my double page spread (which will feature more type and imagery) as a cover spread that introduces the article. The bold typography used for the title is common in the CR, the authors name at the top of the first page and small body text as an introduction are also commonly used. I like the outcome looks like an authentic double page spread that you could come across in a real issue, I have also took note about the gutter in the centre of the spread, the image that stretches across the two pages falls into it the gutter but I have scaled it so that it falls between the two bystanders so no important information is lost which is important.