02/03/17 Starting from scratch...
We handed in our Project Proposals today and eight week plans. I feel like I have a good sense of direction now and am ready to get into the project. We had a list of tasks to complete today, to fuel some further research for our project. We looked for practitioners who are relevant to our concept - I found a book written by artist Nick Stewart called "no one's from everywhere" which had some good quotations and inspiration in. We wrote questions based on our concept and interviewed our peers (SEE BELOW). I found this a really useful exercise to gather quotations and start a discussion on this theme. I also decided to make a survey on my concept and have shared this on Facebook/twitter to get some more varied responses from different age groups and genders. I want to be able to use quotations from these interviews in posters and maybe my publication in the weeks to come. This afternoon I had a big brainstorm about visual language for my concept and I want to create a logo for my title "FUSION LONDON". I will continue this tomorrow and hope to have a logo which I can screen print ready for next week's screen print workshops.
05/03/17 'Abstract' and Brick Lane Photography
Last night and this morning I was watching episodes from a series called Abstract on Netflix- they focus on a different practitioner each programme, so I watched the Graphic Design one about Paula Scher and the Photography one about Platon. I found them both really inspiring and motivating. I didn't know anything about either of them but really liked both of their works and did further research into them afterwards. Paula Scher has been hugely influential in graphics but also does paintings and personal works in her own time too. I like that she doesn't feel like she has to stick to just art or design. Her large scale maps are really interesting and relevant to my project too I thought. I might do a similar thing and create a map of the area which my project focusses on and write over the top, maybe using stats about the demographics of the area, or quotations from the interviews I carried out last week to make it more personal.
I also walked up to Colombia Road Flower Market today and did some more sound recordings. I think after today I will have walked 3 main routes which cover quite a broad section of the area and will focus my project on these three main sections. I also stood on Brick Lane for a couple of hours photographing people. Sundays are the best day to do this because it's pretty packed. You get a while spectrum of people and although, it's a tourist hotspot on a Sunday I think it's one of the few areas in London which locals use and go to just as much, rather than avoiding it because it's touristy! It was easy to capture a range of nationalities in my photos because people are genuinely from all over. I haven't decided what I'll do with the photos- whether I'll make them into a publication or use them in posters or prints... I think Brick Lane has to be one of the most multicultural spots in London, and the market and the shops and music here definitely exemplifies the positives of multicultural London and a lot of trends start in East London which are inspired by the big mix of cultures all in the one spot.
06/03/17 Project in a Day
For our project in a day today I took inspiration from Paula Scher's maps as I watched the Abstract documentary on her work this weekend. On illustrator I drew up a map of the Whitechapel area where I carried out research this weekend, using a colour scheme of beige, black, pink, peach etc- which came from thinking about skin tone and how this is so often a reflection of ethnicity and identity. I think I jumped to this colour scheme a but quickly perhaps, but this morning I was feeling the time pressure and felt I didn't have time to be too indecisive! Paula Scher uses a variety of data and stats on her maps but I didn't want to copy information she had used; I wanted to make the data relevant to my project. I looked up data from a recent census and, looking at the borough of Tower Hamlets, where my project is based looked at info on birth/death rate, ethnicity, religion etc. I actually ran out of time to add writing on top of my map, but I plan to develop this project into a poster outcome.
1. Feedback from my peers was that the numbers scrawled on top of the map aesthetically looked interesting, but they would rather know what the numbers represented to give another layer of meaning to the outcome and so it was less random/ ambiguous.
2. I tried writing with tipex pens and paint on top of my map to see which would work best- thinking that I could draw my data on to it by hand. However the white paint wasn't opaque enough and the tipex was too uncontrollable.
1. It was suggested that I do a key (like on a standard map) so that if I write this data on the map there is a way to interpret it. So, I made a colour coding system where there is different info in each blob on the map and the colour of the blob tells you what the numbers mean. This way if you are looking closer you can understand all the date on the map.
2. I think I will use photoshop and my graphics tablet to write onto the map because this will be neater/quicker but still maintain that handwritten feel which is important to me.
We did a mini crit this afternoon and it was helpful to look at other people's outcomes from the day. I think it has motivated me to be more experimental and go out of my comfort zone more, rather than staying as controlled/planned as I have been today. I should also try some new media and not just digital imaging.
08/07/17 Printing & Embossing Day2
We had a full day of printing and embossing today. Umberto gave quick demonstrations then we got started...
1. Remembering to lay the objects in a mirrored layout.
2. Fingerprints on the page
3. Too much/ too little ink
1. I had to redo a couple of my printed pages because I didn't mirror the entire image successfully.
2. We worked in groups, helping each other out in order to avoid fingerprints and ink smudges- one person (with clean hands) was there to place the paper and objects onto the press.
3. I wanted my shapes to be pretty opaque so the finished images were fairly bold- especially the black jigsaw piece. The best way to do this was to re-ink objects before each press, it took a bit longer but I wanted the opacity to be consistent across the book.
My design and visual language was simple but consistent across the book, which I personally prefer, rather than using very different textures/styles on each page. Having said this, some people were really adventurous and used more interesting objects, like pressed flowers, to make some really effective prints. We laid all our outcomes out at the end of the day and it was good to see how different everyone's outcomes were, despite the same restrictions- 2D objects, a 4 frame story, and just red and black ink. Some people had linked the pages together, for example with a continuous line or image. This was something I hadn't thought of which worked really well.
I think my narrative would be more coherent if there were more pages to the story, but I think in the context of my project and given the theme of discrimination the narrative is clear.
I definitely engaged more with the embossing project because the minimalistic outcome and use of typography are more my style. I played around a lot with lettering and I my emphasis on this will probably continue to my final exhibitions. My concept from yesterday- where I removed vowels to make the words more challenging to read developed today and I made four posters with different combinations of letters on to form the phrase "WHY DOES THE WHOLE WORLD SPEAK ENGLISH?" The overall effect is four posters which don't make sense on their own but if you study them side by side you can work out the phrase. This maintains the sense of ambiguity and challenge from yesterday but the complete phrase is more relevant to the concept I think, as opposed to the four separate words I had planned to emboss. I did one poster with the whole phrase on too and I plan to scan this in to further experiment with how this poster could be developed. I kept with my square font because I think its simplicity works well with the white on white embossing. It was a really good day and I enjoyed getting hands on again- it made a change to not even have my laptop with me today and reminded how you can make physical outcomes as quickly, without a computer and it's actually more rewarding. Because it was my first time using both techniques there is obviously room for improvement to make my outcomes neater, and if we had been less rushed then my letters, for example, would have been more precise and equally spaced etc.
Embossing Outcome- Commune Feedback
My Commune group have been meeting up each week, to discuss our projects, keep each other motivated and to get feedback on our progress .I thought my 4 embossed posters were possibly too ambiguous and hard to read but this is what the others thought...
"Isn't that the point?" -Cherry
"Our [Korean] letters look completely random to you, so I understand the ambiguity" -Minjung
"The letters are quite hard to see. The embossing isn't very deep" -Cherry
In response to this feedback, I'll keep the concept the same but perhaps the actual execution of the outcome could be improved- I could ink the posters, like in my "LISTEN" poster, to make the letters clearer and stand out? Or I could print the letters instead. Another idea I had was to print the four posters on acetate and layer them up so that you can see the entire phrase when you look through all four, but individually each slide has an apparently random collection of letters on.
Crit *Peer Assessment
What Can We Do To Encourage Integration Amongst Different Nationatlities?
Outcome 2 Self Evaluation
I finished this map, filling all segments with people's real responses to the question "What can we do to encourage integration amongst different nationalities?" on my survey. I like the handwritten approach is more suitable than choosing a font because it is more authentic and so I think it represents the fact these are people's real answers. I had to redo the top of the map slightly, and stray from the real layout of the map in order to make space for my title. I thought about a few ways to add a title, like mounting the map and have the question written above, but I decided I didn't want a border and instead wanted to incorporate the title into the image. I wrote it larger and in caps so that it's separate from the rest of the writing.
I'm not sure about the typed road names, as it is the only other text on the page and doesn't fit in with the handwritten element. I am torn because I want it to be clear that this is a map and the road names give context. At the same time, the question posed and the answers aren't specific to this area so maybe it isn't relevant that the map is of this area?..
I want to print the poster A2 so it is large and the words are really clear to read. I went to do this today but the print studio at uni was closed, but I think I will neaten it up before I print it large because any imperfections will be much more obvious on a big scale!
22/03/17 What Next...
In terms of my focus for the Easter break and the next outcomes to work towards I am going to plan my short film- which I'll need to shoot when I'm back from easter and perhaps record an interview which will form a voice over for the film. I want to plan an interaction which, again, I'll need to carry out when I'm back in London, but I need to really think it through in terms of what to do and where and how to make it meaningful etc. I will develop an app over the holidays which would be a tool to encourage integration between nationalities or to make people appreciate the fusion of cultures in London. The user journey for the app will be my next outcome. Finally, I will start thinking about my publication and choosing text to go alongside the photographs I have so far. Probably I will need to take more photos when I'm back in London but luckily, living so close to Brick Lane, this is quite easy to do and I just need to wait for a day with good weather/ lighting. I will try and get some more feedback from my photos and an idea of whose opinions or what text might go alongside them.? Hopefully I will reach a stage where I can start thinking about the format and layout of the publication too. I want to do some more experimentation with the photos too and how I could potentially combine them with drawings to add another dimension to the publication.
CHANGE OF PLAN & NEW AIMS 25/04/17
After my tutorial the other week, it became clear that I have been quite vague about the purpose of my project and whilst it's good to be doing wide research, I needed to decide on what angle to take in presenting Multiculturalism, which is far too broad as a topic to tackle as a whole. I think watching Taiye Selasi's TED talk was what made me realise that my passion for this topic comes from my own strong belief that we discriminate too much based on where people are from and that there are far more positives than negatives to a diverse society. I have found myself really sticking up for multiculturalism, for example when I have been conducting interviews about my project, and so I want to voice my own opinion through my work. I think I have been nervous about doing this (especially in light of the mixed responses to my survey!) but actually, this reaction shows that it is a controversial topic which needs addressing and motivated me to present a stronger voice in my outcomes, rather than trying to please everyone and be unbiassed. I think my more successful outcomes throughout foundation have been when I take inspiration from my own experience and opinions and I want to stick to this for the remainder of my final project. I will focus my outcomes to present the benefits of multicultural societies and draw people's attention to the unjust judgement we make of people based on where they come from. I want people to see the things they have in common with the people around them, no matter where they come from, aiming for a more accepting and open minded community. I feel much more focussed now I have decided on my angle and although taking a more explicit stance on the subject is nerve-wracking I think it will make for more coherent and meaningful outcomes.
Brick Lane Recording as a SoundWave
Using https://transloadit.com/demos/audio-encoding/generate-a-waveform-image-from-an-audio-file/ I turned the sound clip I made from my recordings on Brick Lane into this still sound wave. I find it useful to have a visual of the sound to see where there are pauses and louder moments etc. and often seeing the sound as a shape gives me inspiration for other ways I could use the sound or incorporate it into 2d outcomes too, using the sound wave. For example I'm going to experiment with making my photography into posters and the sound waves could be used on these posters to demonstrate the people's speech or just the sound and atmosphere in the photos.
Brick Lane Recording as a SoundWave
I wanted to seek feedback from the people who I had targeted my app at- people who use social media, both genders, aged 17-25 approx. I thought a good way to do this was on Facebook, since I would say users are of a similar demographic and have a sense of what they would be looking for in a social/messaging app. Especially for UX design feedback is essential since you are designing something that is only successful if people feel they would use it and if it is intuitive/ engaging. Here are people's reactions...
The general opinion was that it was a strong concept and people would use the app to learn new languages. There are issues though, as with every social network, in terms of the honesty of the users- are they real people? and are they teaching you the language accurately? As Izzie pointed out this app would suit people with a certain degree of knowledge of the language, in order to be able to converse at all. Adding an option to pick your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced etc) could be a good development, so that you had some sense of the other person's ability before you started chatting with them. Someone directed me to a site called Verbling- which I hadn't seen before but it is a similar idea. However, the fundamental difference is that you aren't learning from a teacher. This is key for me because, having learnt languages at school, I found a lot of what we were taught was very formal and wouldn't actually fit in amongst natives. Alternatively we had language assistants who were natives and I found my conversation lessons with them far more constructive. I found I trusted what they taught me and also felt it was more rewarding when I was able to converse with them. I would rather learn more colloquial expressions and slang perhaps, that would enable me to chat with people my own age for instance in other countries. I also think it would be good to be able to direct your own learning, rather than a teaching deciding what you learn, on my app you can control what you are learning to make sure it's relevant to you.
Posters- Initial Ideas
I am really pleased with the photos I took on Brick Lane the other week so I want these to be the basis of my next outcome. I had a play around with cutting out my photos and adding handwritten text and blocking out different parts of the photos with paint to draw attention to different aspects. I started translated some of these digitally, thinking about how I could cut out the figures in my photos, removing the background and adding text. I like the idea of removing the background from the photos because this draws attention solely to the people, rather than their surroundings- this mirrors my concept and my emphasis that where someone is from is not what we should focus on. Instead seeing a person for who they are. In terms of font, I wanted to maintain the handwritten feel, like in my sketchbook, but felt like this wasn't very effective in the digital version. Using my graphics tablet made the text far too neat and controlled for what I was aiming for.. I am going to experiment with how I can create humanist typefaces digitally and achieve the "real" handwritten feel I want. I just think given my concept is all about people and their experiences it will be so much more authentic to have a humanist typeface that has personality, rather than a font which looks too formal/plain. Content-wise for the writing on the posters I thought about writing someone's life out in terms of their movements from place to place/country to country to demonstrate how a person's identity spans so much more than a singular country or town. I think I will have different layers of text and imagery so there is a sense of overlapping and depth even though it is a 2D outcome.
Tutorial Feedback & To Do List 10/04/17
I'm not feeling great about the project at the moment, but I had a tutorial today which will hopefully motivate me again to push myself until I'm happy with my outcomes. I don't feel like my portfolio is anywhere near ready. I need to redo my 4type posters on the theme of making English look foreign, because the embossing wasn't powerful enough to show in portfolio. I also need to get my outcomes printed A2 over the next week or so. In terms of a plan for the next 2 weeks I need to experiment more with hand written typefaces- I think I'll try writing with different materials and scanning them in, like before, because that worked quite well. I need to record more interviews with people, of different ages and then I plan to use a selection of these clips to edit into the sound for my video and I will play this over fairly simple/observational footage which reflects the diversity of people in London and the interactions between people of different nationalities nowadays. I need to redo my posters and work on a publication with the photos. Hopefully the visual language for the publication will be coherent with the posters (even though they will be different sizes, so I need to consider this). I think I will resort back to black/white. As there were split opinions about my use of colour in my posters at the moment and feedback was that the quotations weren't that obviously linked with the imagery. I also want to think about an interaction for the final exhibition because I think this has the potential to be effective. It needs to be very simplified and succinct so that the meaning is clear as I wouldn't be able to be there at the exhibition to explain what to do.
This is one of the many typefaces I tried out my using paint and markers and then scanning them in. I think it was an effective process because I like that the text has some movement and texture. For this typeface I blobbed dots of black paint randomly onto the page, before writing my upper case letters out with paint and connecting the dots. Some letters were irregular sizes but once I scanned it in, I photoshopped this alphabet so they're fairly consistent and in the right order. I tried to get a blob of paint in every letter, so this the same across all the letters, even though they are fairly random. The splatters of paint between letters are also effective and rather than removing these on photoshop I wanted to keep them. I haven't decided what I will use this typeface for- I tried using it over my photographs as posters, but the black on a black and white photo was difficult to read. So, I made the letters red and tried this, but I didn't feel this messy font suited the photos. I think I just need to use a simple font on my posters, so that it doesn't distract from the photos and is just easy to read.
I've been trying to brainstorm different possibilities for an interactive outcome for my project. I found a large A1 map and thought about leaving it up in public, posing the question Where are you a local? and getting people to put pins in or stick stickers on the relevant countries. I decided against this because I thought people might think- what's the point? Apart from drawing attention to the diversity of people in London there's not much of a message... I thought about using a mirror in some way to embody the idea of people looking at themselves and reflecting on where they're from and how they're labelled by others, based on their ethnicity? In order to have more of a message through the interaction I thought about exploring whether people 'feel British'. Especially people of mixed race or immigrants to London- to see how welcomed they feel etc. It could be vote/poll style with different ways to answer yes or no to the question- the main issue with this is that the answer are only really interesting if you know the background of the person who answered. I thought about postcards that you could fill in with your family journey or individual journey from country to country- to draw attention to how 'No one's not from everywhere'. But again, apart from the process of filling out the postcard this is fairly useless.. My last idea was some some sort of badge/sticker that you could wear, because I wanted to emulate how we label people and this would be a physical representation of this- I'm not sure what the content of the badge would be but it would need to be clear that it was satirical and not encouraging the labelling of people!
ADAPTING THE LETTERING1
ADAPTING THE LETTERING2
ADAPTING THE LETTERING
I tried cutting out stencils from my first designs but on these two posters the letters were just too narrow and close together. It meant they were very difficult to cut out but also they were not very legible and I think the letter forms would have been even more lost when screen printed.
I moved these quotations onto anther line and spread the letters out. This way they're not as tall and thin and there is more room between letters, so they should be easier to cut out. Overall they should be easier to read and neater, since I am not using photo emulsion to make my screens, but cutting out stencils by hand.
Designing the Publication
Designing the publication has been quite a long process. The first decisions I made were that I wanted it to be square and that I wanted the photos to be cut outs mostly, so that the focus is on the people, not the settings. I thought about how to encorporate the text into the publication and what text it should be! Another text I considered was Sadiq Kahn's manifesto for London as I agree with quite a lot of his points to do with integrating different nationalities in London. However, the text was not very engaging even though the content was relevant. I found the transcript for the TED talk by Taiye Selasi which I would seriously encourage everyone to watch/read and have decided to use these words in my book. I actually edited the script myself a little, to cut it down, as I felt it was too long for the size of publication I'm making. I am planning to get it printed on Weds 19th so have set myself this timeline to finalise the design and proof read it all.
-I wanted to emphasise certain lines and quotations and decided to do this with larger text, coloured red. I like that this means you could flick through the book, just reading these lines and still get a sense of the main themes and ideas. It also ties in nicely with my posters and the red lettering on these.
-I am happy with the photographs that I've featured and there is a variety of portrait/landscape etc, although I think the landscape photos which can spread over the double pages are especially effective.
-Cutting out the photos neatly was quite tricky and possibly the most time consuming aspect of designing the publication. Especially the decision of which bits to remove/leave and where to incorporate the text
-Because of the different dimensions of the photos there were sometimes awkward, large white spaces left on the page which I didn't particularly like.
-The hardest part of arranging the text was when I wanted to put it into the shape of a cutout person. I wanted the shape to remain but the text also needed to stay legible.
-The easiest way to make the cut outs was to use a layer mask in photoshop, using the magnetic lassoo and paint tools was quickest. This technique also meant it was easy to change my mind and alter the cut outs pretty easily by changing the shape of the mask.
-I decided to repeat some of the key quotations from the lecture in red and fill some of the empty spaces in the book. This avoids the large, blank areas but also means you don't have to read the entire body of text to appreciate the message.
-The best solution for helping to exaggerate the outline of the text that filled people's silhouettes was to use the text wrap that fills the space and then turn OFF hyphens so that no words are split up, because I find these quite hard to read personally.
ACCIDENTAL PRINT OUTCOME
ACCIDENTAL PRINT OUTCOME
I was directed by my tutor to an exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery. The work is by Roger Mayne and I really liked his style of photography. I researched him further and my favourite of his shots are the natural and spontaneous portraits. Often the subjects are unaware that he is taking their photo and this is reminiscent of my own shooting on Brick Lane. I like that he describes it as capturing a moment in time and his work is something I would aspire to be like. I picked out some of my favourite shots of his and planned to print them on acetate so that the different tones of black and grey were more prominent. I accidentally used acetate which was not for an inkjet printer so the result was a page of wet ink which I thought I couldn't do much with. However, since you could still make out the images and the people I decided to print the ink into my sketchbook and I loved the results. They're really hazy and moody but I think they have a really unique feel to them and are even more reminiscent of the age of the photos- since they were taken between 1960s and 1980s. I have scanned in the page from my book and wanted to blow up the image so you see some of the detail better. But as a spontaneous experiment I was very excited by the outcome and might try to recreate the effect again, maybe using a rubber stamp which I could make myself and ink.
19/04/17 ABC Imaging
19/04/17 ABC Imaging
03/03/17 and 04/03/17 SOUND
Yesterday I started my research of the area and, focussing on sound like I stated in my project proposal, I walked from home along Brick Lane and up to Spitalfields, then back down commercial street and Hanbury Street. I recorded what I could on my phone, including people shouting in the street to music playing in different shops etc. When I started listening more carefully to people around me it's really noticeable how few English accents you hear in this area. I would go as far as saying (at least yesterday) English voices were a minority. The venders at Spitalfields Market are mostly foreign and along Brick Lane, especially at the Aldgate end, the asian restaurants and curry houses dominate. Today I walked up to Broadway Market and did the same exercise- recording what I heard. This included a few buskers as well as people on the streets and market stall owners. I noticed there were quite a lot of Australians at the market, which I hadn't realised from my research so far. The market itself is obviously really multicultural with different foods from all over the world. I think markets like this are definitely an example of a really positive impact of the fusion of cultures in London. They are also a way to promote the different cultures because people can go and try the foods from different countries and this is a form of education about other cultures and just general exposure to the influence that different cultures have on ours. I took photos on the walk up to Broadway Market because along Mile End Road and Cambridge Heath Road there's a really big mix of shops and restaurants. I think looking at the kind of services in an area is a pretty good indicator of what kind of people are settled there. I feel like this area of East London however is such a mixture of cultures and the restaurants especially tried to cater for this. There were some really funny examples of fused cultures such as "Chinese Fish & Chips", "Thai Pie & Steak", "Ukay International supermarket" etc. I think this reflects the conflict in what foreign people want when they move here- some wanting to keep their culture's foods and traditions and others wanting to try English/local foods, like pie and fish and chips. There's also the fact that people coming here, from China for example, and setting up Chinese restaurants, need to have local customers too in order to succeed, so fusing their culture with ours is also an attempt to do this. Even though frankly I don't think anyone would rush to a Chinese restaurant to pick up their fish & chips?..
07/03/17 Print Workshop Day1
Today is the first day of our print and embossing workshop with Umberto and we did all the preparation/design stages ready to print tomorrow. The first task was to brainstorm words on our concept which we will emboss onto white paper to make a poster tomorrow. I had a slow start this morning but ended up with two ideas I quite liked- 1. A poster with the word "Fusion" translated into several different languages 2. Words but with their vowels removed in order to make them more difficult to read and less recognisable. The point is to make English words look "foreign" even to native speakers because I think we take for granted the fact that English is almost universal, but actually we forget that it isn't everyone's first language. I wasn't sure about this idea at first because when I tried it out and asked a few people if they could read them, they were struggling. However, I decided an outcome of almost illegible letterforms is the most effective way to translate my concept and really this was the point ? I chose the following words: "COMMUNICATE" "LISTEN" "LEARN" "UNDERSTAND". Almost as instructions for promoting integration but also relevant to the theme of language. My font is based on squares and the letters are quite subtle- I'm worried this won't translate once it's embossed, but I'll try tomorrow and plan to make digital posters using this technique too as I like the concept (a back up if tomorrows outcomes aren't successful). This afternoon we had the task of creating a narrative in four stills, which we will print into a small book tomorrow. I was quite quick to identify a theme because I remembered, during my interview research last week a story that a Korean girl told me. She said "I asked if I could sit with them and no one said anything." Describing one of her first days at uni here in London. This rudeness and the deliberate exclusion from the English people in this situation really shocked me and I wanted to voice this through my print project. I started off by splitting the story into four frames, but feedback from Umberto and peers was that the visual language was very iconographic and literal. Umberto inspired me to be more experimental and metaphorical, to think how I could convey the same message more simplistically. For my 'flat objects' which we had to bring today I had brought jigsaw pieces and my developed from this. *see photos* using just two colours of ink and the arrangement of the puzzle pieces I think I've managed to convey the sense of exclusion and irrational prejudice which was present in the story I was told last week. I was glad that I asked for feedback as I much prefer this more metaphorical/symbolic imagery- I think it conveys the concept much more powerfully. It was a productive day today and I liked the combination of using type and imagery, but in quite a simplistic way.
Initial Story Board
Story Board Development
Embossing Outcome Development
14/03/17 Uni Update...
I'm on my way back from Edinburgh as I went to the applicant day today. This is my last uni visit, thankfully, so when I've heard back from them I need to decide where to go next year...... I was really impressed by the course at Edinburgh. The year is so small, about 20 people, and they act as an agency- joining with other year groups and going from jnr designer, to senior designer, to creative director. This is really unique to this course and the real work experience would be so valuable in terms of being employable after uni. I also like that the course is fairly academic as you have a context module and do an essay each semester- I enjoy writing so this actually appeals to me. It's hard to know how I would adapt from being in London and in a massive war group to going to a much smaller city and a tiny year group. There are definitely advantages to a big year group because you have more people to meet, more feedback on work, and possibly a more challenging and creative environment. The course at CSM and Manchester are over 100 and could be better in this way? Also I've got so much inspiration from being in London and being surrounded by so much creativity. I liked the feel of Northumbria when I went, but the facilities weren't that great and it's maybe a bit close to home for me? But that was a much smaller year group, like Edinburgh, which could be an advantage too? Manchester felt most like CSM, both in terms of the city being comparable to London and the size of the art school. I like that at Manchester and CSM the different disciplines have studios close to each other because I get really inspired by seeing other people's work and the atmosphere is really busy and exciting.
Shocking Survey Responses!
Shocking Survey Responses!
I made a survey on Survey Monkey in order to share it with people of all ages and in particular target my parents generation, since I'd say it's this age group which I'm least in touch with but I still wanted to include their opinions in my research. It was a really useful process to get lots of opinions and be able to compare them closely, looking at categories like age group/gender etc. There was one particular survey which expressed very strong opinions. The image above is an example of one answer and there were also several other more strongly worded responses from this person. It's this survey which actually got me thinking the most... Multiculturalism is a very controversial topic and a lot of people have got very strong opinions on it. Such a harsh response doesn't intimidate me and actually motivates me to voice my opinion and stick up for my own view that we need to embrace and encourage multiculturalism. Their comment to "get out and experience the real world" I think is very naive. I would argue it is narrow minded people like this who need to "experience the real world" and realise that communities today are becoming more and more diverse and that embracing this would significantly reduce conflict. I realise it's an ambitious proposal, but changing the mindsets of people like this is what I want to do and the fact they took the time to answer my survey in this way only makes me feel stronger about convincing people to accept diversity.
16/03/17 Progress Tutorial
16/03/17 Progress Tutorial
Feedback from today's tutorial has given me some new ideas for research and more motivation to push myself with experimentation. I'm going to explore the media's portrayal of multiculturalism and maybe look to find MPs opinions etc. I need to decide as well whether I'm going to portray just my opinion or that of my age group or an unbiassed balanced view etc... In terms of outcomes I need to add a title to my poster to give context and meaning to the text- which I took as direct quotations from answers to my survey. I have my three sound clips but needed some inspiration as what to do with them... In my tutorial we agreed that moving image was the best solution. I didn't want to do a direct, obvious piece where the sounds match the imagery so we talked about how I could contrast the sounds with the visuals. Whether that's a still, quiet scene, such as the environment on the tube, where all cultures and people are forced to mix but everyone sits in silence.. or a bus stop, or a park bench? I also thought about contrasting day and night scenes- the sounds were obviously recorded in the daytime, and I could film the same places but at night when there's no noise or people around. This would also highlight how really it is the people that make the atmosphere in London so unique and we should celebrate the mix of people and appreciate that it's the people that bring the culture etc. Other thoughts is to record a more in depth interview and include clips of this in the video and use a figure in the video to represent whoever I interview- perhaps only showing the feet of the person and following them through the area and through their day?. I need to story board and make a proper plan for the shooting of the film and clear up the concept. Overall my tutorial was helpful and I think I am on track with research etc. I just need to push my outcomes and maintain the pace of the start of the project. I need to keep up with doing reflection, as I have been, each day so that my opinions are in the moment and authentic.
20/03/17 Taiye Selasi TED Talk
This TED Talk was really inspiring and pretty much explains exactly how I feel about ethnicity. She explains her point of view extremely clearly and I think it is also very persuasive and would I think be very eye opening for many people. It really made me question since when did we start defining each other's identity based on nation? After all a country is just a land mass- a concept. Asking someone where they are from is one of the very first questions we ask when we meet someone new and Selasi questions this habit- we immediately make a judgement on someone based on there answer. Why is this?? The physical place where someone was born has no relevance at all to what type of person they are. Also, it's often much more complicated than simply birth place- people relocate all the time, people's families can be from different places etc. The conclusion to Selasi's lecture is that we should ask "Where are you a local?" And not ask "Where are you from?". I think this is a really interesting concept. It opens up the question and embraces the fact that people often feel 'at home' in more than one country. The idea of locality is very different to heritage and aknowledges the fact that while we have no choice where we 'come from' we determine where we make home and what environment we want to be in. Selasi says experience is what makes up our identity and says "you can take my passport from me but you can't take my experiences". I would definitely encourage everyone to watch this talk and I plan to use some quotations from it as I think she explains her message really eloquently and powerfully.
App idea1- not successful...
I started developing the visual lang for my app but have hit a wall really. I like the idea behind the logo but, as a homepage, I felt this was very uninspiring. I perhaps need to change the colours and definitely the font I've used. I want it to be an app used by a broad range of ages but I feel this design looks quite childish. I'm also not committed to the name 2Teach but haven't had any better ideas at this point. I've turned my attention, for now, to the posters I'm designing and I'm hoping that if I develop a design that I am happy with for these then it could be carried over to my app design too potentially.
27/03/17 App Development
Over the last couple of days I've come up with a concept for my app. I haven't fully decided on a name and I need to work on a logo/branding but the concept is as follows... I want to design an app where you can volunteer to teach others your native language, in exchange for learning their language. This would be done by linking up people of different nationalities with similar interests so that they can talk on the app (in the language they want to practise) but also correct and edit each other's messages in order to learn and improve from your mistakes. There will be a way to keep record of your 'mistakes' in messages so you can look through them and revise them/ learn the spellings and grammar errors etc. In this way the app is actually constructive and not just like any other messaging app. The opportunity to talk to people of different nationalities also offers the chance to learn about different cultures and you could obviously meet for coffee etc to have conversational practise, but this would be up to the individuals. When you make a profile you state your name/ age/ gender/ the language you're willing to teach and the language you want to learn and then you could also choose the age/gender/interests of the people you want to chat to. The app will then show you people's profiles that match your preferences, but based on location, and then you can invite them to messenger if you want to. Both people have to want to talk to each other, in order for the conversation to start. The app would aim to promote integration and the celebration of different cultures in London. A lot of people in my survey said that education about other cultures is the best way to encourage integration- so this app clearly encourages education about different nationalities as well as the chance to learn a new language. I did French and Spanish ALevels and really want to keep up my knowledge of these languages but I can't afford language classes etc so this is part of my inspiration for the app. I also know from experience how hard it can be to meet people in London so this app is a solution to this problem too and I know personally I would definitely use this app. I want to design a user journey and maybe a prototype in order to get some feedback, and these are the next steps I think. I aim to have the stills done by Friday 31st.
HUMANIST TYPEFACE SOLUTION
After trialling several humanist typefaces, I have found the best method is to actual handwrite the text myself- then scan it in and form an alphabet on photoshop. This orange typeface above is one of the alphabets I drew up.
-I really like the that the texture of the paint is maintained after I scan it in.
-I like that the letters have some form, even though they are just 2D because I left the paint fairly thick, you get a sense of this in the scan too.
-I like that every letter is different and I am able to change the size/shape of the letters slightly once they are on photoshop, so when I make words from the typeface I can change the letters to fit into the word nicely.
-I can't easily change the colour of the typeface after I scan it in without losing the texture of the writing. At the moment this orange is the colour of the paint I actually used to write the letters but this is quite restricting when it comes to using the text in context on posters etc.
-I don't think the typeface is very original, because I was focussed on the process of painting/scanning and cutting out the letters, I didn't think enough about the actual style of the letters and this means the font itself is not particularly exciting.
-I am going to develop more typefaces using this technique of handwriting them and scanning them in. But I want to use black paint next time so that it is less obtrusive on posters etc.
-I want to be more ambitious with the actual letter forms and create an original typeface.
-I could do try lower and upper case alphabets so that I have more freedom to use the typeface in different contexts for my outcomes.
I'm fairly happy with this outcome. If I'd had longer I would have experimented more with the visuals and been more ambitious perhaps but I think the imagery serves the purpose of being an observation of the spectrum of nationalities in the area and this is what I was aiming for. I like the variety of depths of field as people walk in both the foreground and background. Similarly, if I'd had more time I would have liked to interview more people. But I am happy with the content I got and I was able to cover a spectrum of genders/ nationalities and ages (from 6-20 yrs).
-The focus on the video was challenging because when people walked right up close to the camera it lost focus on the brick wall in the background
-Because the interviews were recorded at different times it was tricky to keep the sound levels consistent when editing the clips together.
-Cutting out some of the questions but still wanting the dialogue to flow/ make sense.
-Overlapping the dialogue with the sound effects but still being able to hear the words clearly
-trying to create some sort of narrative from the clips.
-I had to cut the video down to the longest section where the focus wasn't lost. This is fine, it just meant I didn't have much say over which bit of the footage I used.
-I set the max peak on the audio settings to the same (about -6db) and this mostly evened out the sound.
-Obviously the sound effects are set at a much lower volume so they don't obstruct the dialogue. I also used the fade transitions so that there's no abrupt cuts in the background audio.
-I cut up the interviews and arranged the clips into categories/topics and this helped when it came to arranging them into one score. I also tried to alternate between the different people and spread their answers out, so the voices are more varied and the opinions sometimes contrast each other.
10/04/17 OUTCOME DECISION- Screen Printing
I have decided to screen print a series of four posters as my outcome for exhibition. I am going to use the four photographs which I used on my first set of posters but I will change the quotations and font and visual language... I think it will be nice to have an element of hand crafting in my final outcome, as I really liked my printed and embossed outcomes before and would like to try another different technique. Alongside the posters I will do a publication in the same style. I have decided this fairly last minute, compared to other people so I have a day to design the posters (tomorrow), a day to make the templates and stencils and print out the photos for the backgrounds and then I will spend Thursday printing them. It's a bit of a tight schedule but often with a bit of time pressure I work more effectively. If I get the posters done this week then I have more time to focus on the publication and, I know from the Hear Make Heard project, layouts can take me a long time!
I have decided on the designs for my posters, after lots of playing round with cut outs/ and rearranging the text. I went with the font Silom because it doesn't draw too much attention to it, but it is still bold and clear. I researched the Russian Constructivist posters and fonts which they use- a lot of them were quite tall letters and I was inspired by their use of red and black too. It works in my project because it links back to the printing I did earlier on, where we were limited to these two colours too, and I found this restriction forced me to think more carefully about my design. I wanted there to be something to tie the posters together so I simply added the red shape to the corner of each poster (the angle was designed to match the angle of the text on the poster). I want this to be positioned in the centre of the posters so they are clearly a series of four. I decided to position the text so it becomes part of the photo. This was quite difficult and I used the perspective and scew tools on photoshop to try and get the angles as realistic as possible. I definitely prefer this format to the flat text which I initially just placed on top of the image.
ADAPTING THE FONT
ADAPTING THE FONT
I chose the font SILOM for my posters because I like that it is clear to read and it's bold but without being really thick/heavy. I prefer sans serif typefaces in general, but also I was aware that I was going to have to cut the letters out by hand in order to make the stencils for my screen printing- in this way the simplicity of SILOM was also ideal.
Once I started making the stencils I realised that letters like A B D R O P etc with holes in were going to be difficult to screen print neatly. I could have kept all the cut outs and placed them in the letters before screen printing but this seemed unnecessary and also may not have been very neat.
I decided to adapt the font slightly and make it more of a stencil style by filling in the holes in this letters like in the image above. I checked with a couple people that they felt it was still legible, and they agreed that it was. I think practically, it will speed up the process, but also I like that it makes the font unique.
13/04/17 Screen Printing Day
Today I was in the workshop at Archway making my posters. The day was a learning process and took much longer than I had planned because of little errors and I was trying to perfect the process so I was happy with my outcomes. It was really good to get back in touch with handcrafting, I really enjoy it and sometimes get too stuck behind my laptop doing digital work, when actually I found today much more rewarding.
-paint going under the edges of the stencils.
-My posters were on printer paper since this is what my photos were printed onto, but this thin paper curls when it's wet.
-too much/ too little ink.
-mixing the ink to the right consistency.
-cleaning the screen between attempts.
-every time it went wrong I had to make a new stencil..
-masking tape around the edge of the stencil to avoid a rim of red ink around the edge. (although this was quite hard to peel of without damaging the poster)
-I had to be pretty fast when printing and also when taking off the screen/stencil so that the ink wasn't left to soak into the paper.
-It took a while to get to grips with how much ink to put on the screen in order to get good coverage, but not soak the paper and not have tonnes of ink left on the screen. I found it was easier to add a bit more ink and get a thicker layer and also the letters were more precise when there wasn't too much ink.
-The mixer that you use to thin the ink was meant to be used in a 50/50 ratio with the ink. At first I thought it was a thickener, and made a much too runny mixture which went bubbly and translucent when I printed, so this was a lesson learnt!
-When my prints went wrong it was a really long process. I had to reprint the image and re cut out all the letters. This was slow and it the main reason the day took so long. If I were to do it again I would definitely make photo emulsion screens so it was faster and so that the letters were really neat.
Overall I am happy with my outcomes. They could be slightly neater, but I think I have to get over the likelihood of human error in this process! It has been suggested that I mount the posters on foam board so they are sturdier and have more of an impact. I think this would go well with the bold style.
18/04/17 Tutorial & NEW OUTCOME IDEA
I had a tutorial in a pair this morning with Umberto and whilst talking through my outcomes and my new aim to get people to think differently about how they talk about where they're from I came up with the idea of making postcards that people can take and fill in. I remembered that in Taiye Selasi's talk, which has been the major inspiration behind the words I have used in my final outcomes, she says that people should get a piece of paper and write "relationships" "rituals" and "restrictions" at the top- filling these columns in and in the process realising that we can be a local of several places and that often our experiences overlap several countries and nations. I thought I could make postcards with these headings already written at the top and these can go alongside the publication- if people read the words in the book they will understand what to do and alternatively I will put a QR code to Selasi's lecture on the card as well so people can take one, watch the video and then further understand the relevance of the headings. I want to make sure on one side the design is attractive, so people are eager to pick one up.
Scanned Materials- Painted border
Sanned Materials- White Tissue Paper
Scanned Materials-Bubble Wrap
18/04/17 Postcard Visual Language
I plan to go to ABC printing early tomorrow morning to print my publication and these postcards, which means the development of the visual language for the cards has been pretty intense! I was really keen to incorporate the black painted typeface which I created, and this is what drove the handmade/textural style of the cards. As with the paint typefaces I wanted to use real materials scanned in so that the designs had this 3D and layered feel. Photographing or finding digital versions of the materials just isn't the same in my view, so I found bubble wrap, tissue paper, acetate, brown paper and paint and began experimenting with scrunching/ripping/painting these materials before scanning them in and arranging them on photoshop. I realise that this rustic style is not really consistent with that of my poster and publication- but I was keen to continue the red/black/white theme and I used Silom again for the type to link all three outcomes together. I was keen to have some sort of interactive outcome, so although my idea has strayed pretty far from the original map/pins plan, I am happy with this outcome.
Postcard Trial/ Feedback
The development of this outcome was rather last minute but I still felt it was essential to seek feedback on the design/clarity and concept of the card. I gave it to my friend to fill in and offer advice back and I was fairly happy with his opinions. He felt "restrictions" was the vaguest column and, whilst I could have changed the column titles, I wanted to stick to the categories that Selasi referenced. I could have offered small explanations under each heading but I decided in the end I didn't have room for this as well as the instructions at the bottom of the card. I was glad he liked the design as it was a style and technique that is quite unusual for me as I tend to stick to minimal and clean designs.
19/04/17 ABC Imaging
I got all my printing done this morning at ABC In Faringdon. I've been there before and queued for hours to print so I got there for 9am this morning and it was really fast. Overall I am happy with my outcomes. I think the map poster which I reprinted on A2 is much better in this larger scale- the words are much clearer to read. I am happy with the postcards- I went for matte finish for these because this will make it easier for people to write on them. The book, in general I am happy with, although I expected the red to be slightly deeper but at least it is consistent across the book and postcards. The colour is also slightly cracked on the spine, but he tried reprinting it a couple of times and this couldn't be prevented unfortunately. If I had more time I would probably have made the entire publication bigger so that there were enough pages for perfect bind but for now the saddles stitch is neat and is the flattest finish so the photos which go over two pages are still clear.
-For full bleed images I needed to extend them out the the red margin on InDesign and I had to do this before expiring the file as PDF.
-I needed to set the bleed to 3mm before exporting too.
-I learnt how to explort the InDesign file and check it as a PDF before printing it.