Design Volunteers – Sketches

IMG_6331.JPGWe had two hours to come up with a logo idea for ‘Design Volunteers’. Firstly I wanted to create some sketches for the logo before going onto the computer, this was really helpful to do as it let me quickly explore all the ideas I had roughly without spending too much time on them and not worrying about accuracy like I would have on the computer.

Keeping the idea of design and volunteer I thought of all the imagery that surrounds them:

Design: pens, pencils, computers, adobe applications, pen tool ect.

Volunteer: hand raised, hands together, hearts, check box, IMG_6300.JPG

So I decided to combine the two together. I wanted to create a raised hand holding a pen/pencil to show the aspect of volunteering and also offering design work.

I decided to use my own reference imagery and take photos of my own hand using holding a pencil. Not only did it give me control of how I wanted it to look but also avoid using online reference imagery.


Alien Type – Sketches

After completing some quick rough sketches for the alien type brief I found two that I liked and thought could work well. The first being with rectangles that represent a part of each letter, however upon looking at it now could seem quite obvious when there needs to be a translation for the audience at the end of the film.

I liked the idea of the circles which I thought could be linked to crop circles, hugely linked to aliens. Each circle would represent the corner of each letter

I like this idea and would like to experiment digitally with it on Illustrator with more detail added.

Arabic Characters

Arabic typefaces is something I want to research as the brief asks to look at non-latin letterforms. This lettering is very ‘alien’ looking to me as I have no sense at all what they could possibly be saying. Basing my lettering on some of the techniques used in this lettering, such as the dots above and below letters, the straight lines and sharp curves and looking at the joining of characters.

The brief states for 5 characters to be design, however this could also be a phrase if I decide thats how its translates as Chinese letterforms often represent a whole word.

Zapf Dingbats

TC Zapf Dingbats is one of the more common dingbat typefaces. It was designed by the typographer Hermann Zapf in 1978

This is an interested typeface to look into for the Alien type brief as it is a typeface that isn’t legible to the reader however each symbol does have a corresponding letters, something that I could design myself in a similar fashion.

David Carson, radical editor of experimental music magazine Ray Gun, lent the font a degree of notoriety in 1994 when he printed an interview with Bryan Ferry in the magazine entirely in the symbols-only font – the double-page spread was of course, quite illegible and would have to be interpreted like a cryptogram for those unfamiliar with the font. He said he did it because the interview was “incredibly boring” and that upon searching his typeface collection for a suitable font and ending at Zapf Dingbats, decided to use it with hopes of making the article interesting again.’


Chinese Letterforms

You decide what they are trying to say – but your designs must work in terms of a human film audience understanding the translation reveal at the end of the film. You must base your designs on having explored a variety of non-Latin letterforms, goldsmiths and printers marks and other sign and symbol systems.

I have decided to have a quick look into Chinese letterforms as they use symbols to represent full words, so the 5 letterforms I create for this brief could create a phrase or series of words that they are trying to communicate.

The image below shows some examples of this. There is a traditional and implied version of each letter, and also versions that have been hand written and versions that are digital created using straight lines and geometric curves.

Alison Carmichael

Alison Carmichael is a London based designer who studied at Ravensbourne college of design. She mainly works with advertising agencies, design groups and branding consultants but has also been called on to do exhibition signage, window displays, pop promos, embroidered lettering, body painting, writing with ketchup, sugar sprinkles, whipped cream, treacle, loose tea leaves and even full scale crop circles.
She is known for her huge range of diversity and versatility in lettering styles.



Brushed Lettering

Here are a few examples taken from Pinterest on an idea of brushed lettering. This is something I have done before and enjoyed and achieved good results with, so i’d like to try it again.


End of Year Briefs

2. Compulsory

There will be a logo speed working workshop. You will create several ideas for one logo (possibly two – you will be advised on the day) and work this up towards a final as much as you can in the time allocated. Logo “brands” will be allocated to you.



Undertake any small typographic project that you think will show off your skills. You may use imagery but typography must be the significant part.

This could be anything you choose, such as: a simple layout, set a poem or lyric, a typographic poster, a logo. Please discuss your choice with a tutor before you start.

You will need to write out a very short brief to say what you intend to do. You will need series of posts in your blog to show your development.


Imagine a film company is producing a blockbuster about aliens. You are asked to design the symbols the aliens use to attempt to communicate with Earthlings. You decide what they are trying to say – but your designs must work in terms of a human film audience understanding the translation reveal at the end of the film. You must base your designs on having explored a variety of non-Latin letterforms, goldsmiths and printers marks and other sign and symbol systems. You must be able to show how the tools used help create the style and aesthetics of the aliens symbols. You must present about consistent five symbols with justifications.


Barnbrook’s brief about designing your own memorial. Available at this link:


You must submit your entire Graphic Design and Type portfolio of type in a hard case portfolio (because we will need to store it for the examiner and because you must present professionally). This should include:

  • Zine
  • Penguin book covers
  • The two briefs from above
  • PLUS you must show HOW any work that has been developed or improved
  • Blog that is carefully categorised to enable quick reference to all of the above projects
  • All three evaluations for each project component


Evaluation and Reflection

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

I have considered and explored editorial design a great deal throughout this project which the brief asks for. My use of typography and photography have well thought about and planned with reasoning between each pairing.

I have took a lot of time before designing to look at the good and the bad of page layout, looking at underlying grids and how they make a design work.

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

I have tried my best to meet all aspects of the brief, the thing I feel I could of done more of is researching and exploring more photographers.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

My strengths definitely lay within my photography. I spent a lot of time experimenting with different settings on my camera such as the aperture and exposure to get interesting and dynamic shots of my environment. I have also tried different editorial practices such as ornaments at the end of the article and text wrap to add character to the spread.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

The only points I can think of as weakness was not getting enough of an idea at the crystal of what to base my photography round. I would of liked to get some more interesting shots like on my other spreads, I don’t feel this spread has the same power to draw peoples attention.

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

I don’t feel like any of my spreads could be mis-understood, especially not in a bad way. I have been considering my photograph and page layout throughout this project to avoid and mis-understandings.

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

2) Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

My time keeping was relatively good this project, I planned out what I needed to do in line with the brief and set myself targets for what I wanted to accomplish each lesson and what blog posts needed to be done.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I analysed the brief well. We went over it a few times in class so my understanding of it was good. The brief was also clear what needed to be done, and the things I needed to cover such as typography and photo pairings.

How was my research? 

My research consisted of learning about existing page layouts, the good and the bad. I also looked into photographers that I could get inspiration from, such as Ansel Adams for landscapes and black and white photography and Frederic Schlosser for automotive photography.

My own photography is also my research which was overall very good. I thought about each photo and how it could work to convey the environment I was looking at.

How did I draw conclusions from my research? 

I learnt what was good editorial design was, and also things to avoid such as letting things cross over the gutter and getting lost, too much use of text wrap can ruin a spread and make small channels of text.

I also learnt about photography styles, what these styles can portray such as black and white photography giving aspects of time and age.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas? 

Creating contact sheets of my photography helped me choose which photograph was the best and what I could use in my spread. With my research into spreads I also created thumbnail sketches that helped me generate new ideas that I could experiment with.

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

Thought this project I have evaluated my own work to see what works and what doesn’t, there has been a number of changes throughout. I was critical with my page layouts and photography used as I wanted to create an authentic, professional looking outcome.

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

By doing a lot more divergent thinking would of made my experimentation more effective, I done a fair amount of experimentation in my layouts and photography editing however more could of been done to help improve this.

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

Demonstrated an awareness of visually communicating to a specific audience.

(2) Developed and experimented with appropriate media, aesthetics and visual language.

(3) Explored the relationship between research and practice. 

I have shown that I have achieved the learning outcomes by looking into my target audience from the brief and magazine called ‘photography now’. My work is aimed at photographers who want to learn about photography, cameras, and composition.

I have experimented with a lot of media from sketches, photography editing and page layout designing.

I have made blog posts about what I have learnt from my research and how this has translated into my final pieces.

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

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to explore photography more as it is something I enjoy doing. Editorial design is also something that I like creating so combing the two made for an enjoyable project overall.

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

I didn’t enjoy writing the articles for the spread as I struggled with what to write about.

Final Print – Epson Paper Lustre

Today I have printed my final spreads after having them proof read by Tim and Sancha. Using the Epson printers in our room and A3 lustre paper brought from the college shop I started to get my files ready to print. Saving the Indesign document as a print .pdf to retain all my text and images as they are in the document.

Before printing there are a few different setting I have been taught to change when high quality printing.

Print Settings

Change paper to premium lustre

High Speed and Finest Detail selected


A3 – Scale 100%

For some reason preview likes to change the scale of pdf documents when opening so this always needs to be checked.