Word: Hypography

Today we showed all our hypography work to the class. I received feedback praising my composition, however was told I was a bit too restrained with my hybrid type, and I could have done more to invoke the violent motions of “stabbing”. Because of this, I have spent a small amount of time revisiting it, with a bit more splicing of the type.
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Word: Type Week #1

This week I started a three week typography unit. During the week we learned an overview of a lot of typographic terms and font families, which I found very useful; before my understanding was very basic, something of a weakness overall in my practice. I feel after this week, studying the various type and photographing examples of them in central Cardiff has helped me learn how to identify different font types, and given me groundwork to build my knowledge over the next few weeks.

On Friday I completed a directed task on the subject of “hypography”, or hybrid type, where we took a serif and sans serif font and spliced them together. We experimented with the effect that hypography, along with positioning, could have on expressing certain action words; I used “decimate” and “exterminate” here.


I found it useful to play around with type in this way, as I am so used to using it in a very traditional way, “straight up” and unaffected. Here I was able to be more playful and see type as a graphic “form” rather than an untouchable necessity in graphic design, used only for titles and pasting in pre-assigned block text.

We were given a weekend task of creating a hybrid- type based poster of a six word story, from shakespeare. I chose Macbeth, and quickly came up with “Good King, Bad King, Stab Stab Stab” which I realised straight away was a seven word story, however I decided if I could compose the type to only use king once, it would be viable. This took a lot of attempts.checks Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 17.14.19

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With my hybrid “stab”s, I was trying to portray the escalating violence of macbeth with the increasing size, the falling apart of his plans with the increasing dispersal of the letter forms, as well as invoking the physical movement of a stab.

In the end, this was my final piece:

Storybook: End

Last week I completed my storybook project to produce this book:


The book is a 8- page folding book, made from a piece of thick A3 paper, telling the narrative of an interesting dream I had. I made the decision to change to this from my original alien plan after investigating Ladybird style illustration and stumbling upon a selection of “ladybird books for adults” like such:

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This, coupled with my discovery of the Scarfolk City Council art blog, of subverted 70’s style info posters and, indeed, ladybird books, I started to feel my idea wasn’t as new and different as I first expected. Coupled with my inability to produce good watercolours, I think the idea was rather killed.

Luckily I had plenty of time to draw up my dream narrative into 7 pages to fit in a folding book, which I did. I submitted it with my sketchbook of mock- ups for a peer review:


I followed this up with my own review:

How confident have I been in taking risks?

I think I could have taken this idea further, given more time.  This way I would feel more comfortable making decisions based on exploration rather than completing the book in the three or four days I had. I am planning to revisit my book to re-work it and possibly even produce a fully printed version, with a full bind and possibly even a marble inside cover.

Does this book convey the meaning  of the story effectively and imaginatively?

I think I managed to reduce key elements of my narrative down to a simple and easy to follow story, however I don’t think I was overly imaginative, in retrospect; it being a straight- up illustrated book with a written story. However, I do think this form suits its purpose.  I think with my re-work I could take a more imaginative approach, I considered ideas involving pop- up, which I feel would be beneficial to the “dream-like” feel I would like the book to have.  

 Is there evidence of sound working method of generating and documenting ideas?

I think, as I changed my mind about what narrative to convey within my book I have perhaps a little less dream narrative based research.  My research into ladybird and penguin books allowed me to discover the extensive work into “ladybird books for adults” which made me feel like my idea wasnt particularly original, causing me to move onto what I feel was a more inventive idea.

I think my working method did however do its job; I was able to set out a basic narrative in 7 frames, and thumbnail each frame, making changes and seeing what was and wasn’t going to work as I went along.

Storybook: Middle

I spent the last couple weeks working more on my Storybook project. My preparation involved a session with Sarah Edmonds, a bookmaker and illustrator. We learned how to make folding books, stab- bound books, as well as hard- back binding. I produced the following books:


The session was helpful to me because it gave me a foundation of knowledge that I was more able to experiment with, knowing exactly how the essential mechanics work.

I also found it helpful looking at the selection of books Sarah brought in, which were very playful in their design. They again, gave me an idea of exactly how far I could take my book designs.

As I had already mapped out the story to Alien in the previous week, I decided to attempt to tell the story of the film in a more boiled down manner. My idea ended up basically telling the story of the aliens lifecycle in relation to the film, in the medium of a penguin or ladybird style science book, in a way similar to how those books might explain the lifecycle of a wasp.

I ran into many problems whilst attempting to replicated the style of ladybird books signature watercolour illustrations. Watercolour

I would like to think part of the issue with my watercolour is my colourblindness, although I think the main issue was the fact I have no experience with it whatsoever, and I am trying to produce high quality paintings with them within a couple days. I think this has highlighted a gap in my skills; whilst watercolour isn’t totally necessary to graphic design, I think it would be good to add it to my arsenal .

In the end I drew out my illustrations with a pen, ready to be put into illustrator.


I was never very happy with the way these looked, but I had very limited time to complete my project I decided I would roll with it and attempt to make them look better using illustrator.

Storybook: Beginning

This week I have started my “storybook” unit, which involves us portraying a story of our choice in some kind of book format; be that as a physical book, or in other formats, which we will be exploring at some point this week.

We started by discussing Booker’s seven story types, and categorising films, books and plays we know as each. I found this helpful as it highlights in these stories the key “beats” that make up most of these (often at first rather complex) tales. With this knowledge I feel like I could boil down a lot of these movies, books etc into five or six frames whilst still portraying the story.

Next we were tasked with drawing out a story of our choice on large pieces of paper in marker pens. I chose Alien and some of my results were as follows:


I ended up basically storyboarding the entirety of the Alien film as I remember it, drawing somewhat from our introductory task last unit of drawing out our routine of getting up and going into university.  I thought a scene by scene play of the film was what would have been expected of me, something I know now not to be entirely true after seeing everyone else’s work at the end of the day.

If I were to do this task again, I feel there would be a lot I would do different. For one, I would not storyboard out the entire film, and perhaps try and stick to five or six different scenes. I would also probable set it out in a circular fashion, to invoke the lifecycle of the Alien, as is a motif of the films themselves. In my head it looks something like a diagram of the lifecycle of an insect, perhaps with an added section with the Alien being defeated. This would look a lot more visually pleasing than the messy frame by frame thing I went for on the day. I think if this project allows me to continue working from this task, and building on a book about Alien, I would very much like to revisit this task in my own time and make something I am more happy with. I suppose I’ll have to set some time out from my studies to watch Alien once more as well!

Image #2

My final composition for my image project:


I have looked at my feedback from my tutor about my Image project;

Some interesting ideas, but more development needed in visualising the ideas.

A greater variety of layout versions should be explored at rough stage to give a clearer idea of the possible ways of presenting content.

A difference in scale between main ‘balanced’ figure and the clumsy drawn figures would make a stronger composition and would make clearer a good concept.

Some information a little too subtle to read.

It would be very well revising this (hope you have all layers still) – it could be very good.

All required processes in place.

Particular process skills are not commented on. One objective of this project was that students explore new ways of making and encounter the challenge of combining a variety of processes in one composition. Working outside your comfort zone develops flexible thinking/making.

Im quite happy with my 3 “good” marks for this project, and I understand that I need to visualise my ideas more. I think from here on out I’m going to try and properly explore ideas, perhaps with proper noted down research, and extensive scamping and mindmapping in my sketchbook. I think this should not just have a positive effect on grades, but my practice and ideas overall.

Image #1

Yesterday we were briefed on our first subject module; a composition of photography and drawings with elements of photoshop and illustrator, based around a specific word of our choosing. My word is Balance.We have been given two weeks to complete this, and spent a day today on idea generation as a class. I admit last night I mind mapped all words I could think of as a starting point:


Because of this I already had put down a lot of ideas which had come straight to me and had to work harder to come up with more. Luckily, we were put in teams of people who had selected the same word. I was lucky to be put with just one student, which allowed me to bounce ideas off of her, giving us both a set of new and possibly more thought out ideas.


I also found the session beneficial because it gave me a chance to talk through ideas with Ray, my tutor for the day. We went on to starting to draw out quick imagery based on our mind maps:


Overall I found the session very useful for my idea generation, as I now have a more fully formed idea of exactly what I want my composition to be about in relation to balance. I have decided to focus on the improbability of the human body’s ability to stand and balance by itself, so I’ll be drawing figures in poses relating to gymnastics, ballet as well as contrasting figures of small children learning to walk, and drunk people. I will be also striving to gather photographic imagery of the same.

I shall be updating here again once I have a large collection of imagery and i am ready to start composing, or when I have any reflective updates to make.