It’s How You Say It

Just some thoughts today, was messing around in Gimp earlier trying to sort something out, but I just can’t draw in that program, so until I get Inkscape back up and running I guess I’m a little stuffed.

I’ve had one of those days where I really want to do something, but just can’t seem to. I swear I’m most creative somewhere around 10pm, which isn’t always the most ideal.

Trying to work on a font and got some very rough ideas sketched out. The idea is based on modern pop music. Whilst I was in South Africa one of the artists (for want of a better word at the moment) that my friends there really liked was Nicki Minaj. I couldn’t stand her and I hate the way that part of the music industry is heading.

Stupid Ho is my first idea. I want it to be a font that would be used by pop stars that cover up the lack of any talent with music.

The font would be based on Comic Sans because there is a font that is popular and overused without any thought as to why or appropriateness but also because it’s clownish and the fact that it’s mass produced makes it slightly worthless. The hand inked comic lettering is something I’m a huge fan of, but taking that and sticking it into something as rigid as a mechanical font just rips the heart out of it.
One of the features would be large bowls for the letters, because bigger is better. *wink*
I want to shade some of the v and the w because it’s an easy way to draw attention to itself. Think about it.
The idea is to turn the comic sans into a script font though, cover up the ugliness of the comic sans font with something that’s supposed to be beautiful and if it’s not bastardised actually has a real beauty about it.

Hopefully once I’m done it will come across as something that is gaudy, forced, monotonous but might look well produced in a beautifully ugly way. Terrifying? Sexy? In the worst possible way.
Something I’ve been contemplating a lot recently is beginnings and ends, with moving back from South Africa last year and arriving in the UK without any real prospects or leads it’s given me time to think.

I truly believe that an end is just another way of saying beginning.

END
BEGINNING
MIDDLE

I just wanted to show a little of how I refine my writing. My original phrase for it was going to be.

Don’t spend too much time staring at a door that has closed or you will miss the one that is opening.

1st revision: If you spend too much time looking at the door that has shut you will miss the one opening.

2nd revision: Spend too much time staring at the shut door and you’ll never see the new ones opening.

3rd revision: Spend too much time staring at the door that just shut and you’ll miss the one that’s opening.
Just want to apologise quickly for the style of the blog changing all the time. I’m trying to hit on a style of setting it out that I’m happy with. Trying not to make big changes at a time though. Heck you probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t said anything.

So what do you think? Let me know if you want, always happy to hear from whoever is reading.

Am I the only one who’s brain doesn’t seem to kick in till late night by the way? Do you have your own creative time?

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It’s Finished

This was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be when I started. I’ve been looking over Jonathan Barnbrook’s work and wanted to take a shot at making something typographic only. Also it’s about the only thing this laptop is capable of doing.

So I was sat in church yesterday and started scribbling, I can’t show you the scribble cause my laptop doesn’t like talking to my scanner, but trust me they are there.

Image

The base font is Bookman Oldstyle Semi-Bold. It was chunky enough to fill up the space and fairly regular in size. Honestly it’s a font I’ve always liked. Reasons I maybe shouldn’t have used it would be that this is a fairly bookish font, and it doesn’t really do anything to bring the words themselves alive. It looks like it would when read.

I had to resize the N, thethe final D. I’ve obviously linked some letters here and there and the I is actually two tops of a T and then I removed the bottom …bits. Can’t think of what you would call that part of a letter.

I’m not totally happy with the spacing and I might take another look at it tomorrow when I have a bit more time again. Especially the SH at the bottom, but thinking of changing the wording slightly anyway, will try different things out.

Produced in GIMP (The only program my laptop doesn’t seem to hate)

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Computer on Life Support

Woke up this morning and came down to find my computer with blue lines all down it’s screen and weird letters all over it. Time to let a nice computer person take a look at it I think. Obviously this means that all my graphics software is temporarily unavailable, will be doing as much as I can in the meantime, but I’m kinda worried at this point.

In better news I got the Barnbrook Bible in the post this morning. Very interesting book, loving look at all the work and the thinking behind it. I’ve heard a lot of people dismss him as a an angry guy ranting. But I think that he might instead be someone that uses anger and other tools to highlight what he’s doing and possibly bring attention to it. A lot of what he does seems optomistic in a way, I get the feeling that if he didn’t think that things could change he wouldn’t bother.

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It’s as Easy as ABC – Part Two

Okay then,

Here’s the “final” list.

Yes, I cheated for X

I’ve learnt a few things about how I see graphic design by going through the whole process. It’s really clarified in my mind what I think it is.

I guess if I had to sum it up in one statement it would be something like. “Taking an idea and bringing it into a visible form that will talk to an audience and create a dialogue between them and the idea.”

Started a New Job

Just a quick one, but I started a new job yesterday and have been slightly distracted by that, still sketching, a lot of typographic style stuff actaully, but not been able to find time to post, but off tomorrow so should be an update then.

It’s as Easy as ABC – Part One

I want to create an ABC of graphic design.

First stage was just to brainstorm some words and that’s below, I put it after this bit cause it’s just a HUGE list. The idea came to me whilst I was writing said list that I should make the words fit a sentence form without actually using that sentence anywhere.

(Good) Graphic Design is …

But I will actually write it as

A is for …

There is a deliberate reason for this. I’m a newbie, a novice, I’m taking my baby steps so I want that to be reflected in what I’m saying. I think the alphabet idea will really work for this and maybe I can reflect it in the style of the pieces, but maybe it shouldn’t be. I want to do each letter on an individual postcard.

Obviously it will be my personal idea of what good graphic design is, I’m not the definitive article when it comes to graphic design, far from it but these are currently my views which might not reflect everyone’s and probably won’t, but I can live with that.

Also I want it to be non-cynical, so nothing like T is for Torture or D is for Drudgery. Maybe in the years to come I will one day look back at this on a bad day or a bad year and re-learn what graphic design meant to me as a younger man, the joy and energy it gives me at the moment.

So as promised here is my brain dump for the ABC of Design Project.

Asymmetry
Animation
Action
Active
Angle
Art
Artistic
Abstract
Architectural
Audience
Angular
Adjustment
Adjusted
Ambiguity
Attention
Attentiveness

Brand
Borrowing
Brief
Beauty
Breaking
Background
Balance
Balanced

Clarity
Creative
Creativity
Craft
Cultural
Coherent
Conceptual
Communication
Communicative
Circumstance
Circumstantial
Commercial
Creation
Colour
Colourful
Client
Chroma
Contemporary
Clean
Clear
Circular
Circle
Complex
Complexity
Convergence
Contrast
Curated
Counterpointed
Counterparted
Connected
Contour
Contoured
Composition
Composed
Close
Closer

Distressed
Dynamic
Decisive
Disciplined
Decorative
Discordant
Dirty
Dark
Design
Drawing
Dot
Digital
Dimensional
Dimensionality
Dimensions
Dynamic
Directional
Distant
Degree

Emotional
Ethics
Experiential
Effective
Ego
Evocative
Evolving
Embodiment
Engaging
Editorial

Functional
Fashion
Form
Format
Foreground
Forefront
Further
Flat
Format
Finished
(For Everyone)
Fashion
Fashionable

Graphic
Grid
Geometric
Golden-ratio

Horizontal
Histroical
Hue
Heavier

Inform
Inventive
Innovative
Intergration
Intuative
Intuition
Idea
Ideas
Ideological
Illustrative
Illustration
Icon
Iconic
Image
Imagination
Imagined
Interest
Interesting
Interval

Justified
Jocular

Knowledge

Literal
Light
Large
Line
Logo
Layout
Light
Linear
Logarithmic

Manifest
Measure
Mass
Message
Manipulation
Material
Modern
Mass
Musical
Mathematical
Minimal
Minimalist
Minimalistic
Mindmapped

Negative
Neutral
Noticed
Noticeable

Obvious
Opposites
Oppositional
Organic
Opposition

Pattern
Precis
Political
Politicised
Photography
Photographic
Project
Positive
Print
Printed
Physical
Point
Pointed
Personal
Poster
Page
Perception
Perceived
Perseverance
Perceptive
Playful

Quality
Qualative
Questioning

Relationship
Rough
Reputation
Reflection
Real
Rules
Response
Responsive
Realistic
Regular
Regulated
Regularised
Rhythmic
Refined
Refinement
Research
Researched
Referred
Referential
Referenced

Sensibility
Symmetry
Static
Simple
Speak
Skill
Style
Signs
Sketch
Steal
Stolen
Service
Small
Symbol
Symbolic
Style
Scavenged
Subtle
Space
Squish
Sub-concious
Subject
Source
Sourced
Simple
Simplicity
Surface
Size
Sized
Spread
Stolen
Shaped
Shape
Service
Square
Spiral

Transmission
Technological
Typeface
Typographic
Typography
Texture
Textural
Tight
Triangle
Tonal
Three-Dimensional
Timeless
Tension

Universal

Vertical
Visual
Voice
Visual
Vision
Value
Venerated
Verified
Valued

Words
Weight

Zeitgeist

The plan now is to refine this list and try to find words that I’m missing especially for letters I’m missing them for and to remove words that aren’t general enough to work with the Design is … statement.

My next step will be to break the list down, go through each letter one at a time and start adding and subtracting, probably adding first. Remove anything that isn’t general enough and try to find the words that are really needed but I’ve missed. Also, and Y.

Do you have any thoughts on this whole thing or do you think I’ve missed some obvious or awesome word? If so please feel free to comment. I love comments.

Fear and Typography

This is going to be a little bit long, so just bear with me.

Today I spent the day in Starbucks. I had a 2:15 meeting where I was told that my CV was excellent and then band practice at 7pm where I suggested a song and now they want me to lead it. But anyway, I had to find somewhere to wait out of the rain between the two and I used the wait as an opportunity to draw and think. So whilst I was sitting there, sipping on my Venti Caramel Machiatto I came to a realisation about typography and, I guess, myself.

Typography first, then. I  was sat there and started on something and then that sort of drifted into another though and then I had idea jumping to idea flowing to inspiration (although inspiration might be putting it a little strongly.) That is why today’s is so long as I’m going to cover as much of it as possible.

It started out with me trying to draw the Quality,Speed and Cost triangle. The basic idea is that You can pick two from the following:

  • A product that is of good Quality
  • A product that is delivered Quickly, or
  • A product that is cheap.

Distilled it’s something like this.

  • Quality
  • Fast
  • Cheap

Pick two

There are pictures, but this is going to be a long enough post as it is already and they probably aren’t that important. I wanted to write the word Quality in a nice font and decided to draw my own. My idea was to draw a nice font with a double line and so I started sketching. I thought a capital A would be a good place to start. Good old A. (Why I didn’t just write ‘Quality’ I don’t know)

It was about this point that I started wondering if two lines was too complicated for me.

Does the cross bar overlap the primary triangle (I’m sure there are official names for these). Does only half? If only half does the one touching the outside lines (the longer one) go above or below the shorter one? Do they only overlap on one side? Does only one of the cross bars on one side cross? Does the inner line stay inside or cross?

Does each one tell me something different, a new story? Which shouts quality more and which showgirls? Does one make it look more African and one more refined?  If each line were a different colour does it look like a drop shadow, or a copy? Or a psychadelic drug trip? Hell I’ve not even looked at the ANGLE of the damn thing, let alone the angle of the two outside (primary?) lines.

And is any of it original? Should I care? Can there be an absolute of originality or just a scale? Does a scale imply an absolute?

And I’m not even using Serifs.

B was filling me with terror by this point.

I swear that I just about gave up, then and there but I realised something, fear is the only thing that is stopping (good?) design. I’m afraid of doing something unknown and not knowing the result that I will finish with so in a way I’d rather never start.

So I stopped, took a deep breath and decided on a rule or three and came up with the below as something to work from and I was going to finish it no matter what.

I’m not happy with what I got, but it’s a point to start from. I tried to make the “Primary” lines vertical  open at either end and no overlaps. I’m not completely happy with the result as you can see with the t,i and l that I tried to redraw. But it’s something and it’s a starting point. I don’t think it looks that classy so from that point of view it’s a failure, but from another it’s a starting point.

I got a little creative at this point and tried to come up with a font that uses as little of the letter form as possible whilst still having the letter recognisable. Needs work. But as you can see I got past my block and started thinking creatively (I hope).

Moving on I then started thinking about the form of the letters and out of nowhere a thought came to me about using letters only, to draw a scene and I’ve got two here I want to work on further. (The second one is the little one up in the top left.

Last but not least I started on the A-Z of Graphic Design idea by just writing down every word I could associate with it. I’ll post up the list tomorrow, it got quite long but I’m pretty sure I didn’t cover every letter.

What I learnt today is to get past my fear of the thing not being as good as you are hoping it will be and to just do and it will lead somewhere good. The other thing I learnt is that WordPress thinks that ‘learnt’ isn’t a word.

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Sketches, Centres, Squiggles and Children

The Sketches

Today I’m just going to load some thoughts and sketches I’ve had.

 

This was just a quick idea (which I don’t think I’ll follow up) of the main hall for the church which I was thinking of using as the centre for the welcome leaflet. Reasons for not using

  • They will be sitting in that hall.
  • The church wants to be people focused rather than building focused. Question raised is do you design for what the company wants to be or what the company is

This was a whole mess of stuff, I want to pursue the T tessellations, it’s a really interesting shape and I think I could use different fonts to make something interesting.

Education…Your Way. This comes from a conversation earlier about how there are just so many options when it comes to education these days and step outs along the way, I drew the maze and then came up with the tie in.

Came home on the bus today, in the rain and there was a child on it just crying the entire time, except occasionally when something interesting caught his eye and he would just watch it till it was out of sight, all he could see most of the time though was grey clouds. From where I was sitting though there were all sorts of interesting plants and animals in the fields, a whole field of rapeseed plants in their full bright yellow, but cause the little guy was sat so far down he couldn’t see a thing. Would be a theme I’d love to expand on at a later date.

 

The Notes

I thought about, a company in town is advertising Gold for Cash. It’s a jewelers so I was wondering if it was an unusual marketing tactic. Do you have unwanted, boring cash? Trade it for shiny, lovely gold!

Was also up the top of the multi-story car park and started pondering if they could make the suicide prevention notices more effective.

  • Don’t Jump. You’ll DIE!
  • Dying for someone to listen?

An idea for a business card. Simple in a typewriter style font just saying

You’re beautiful.

On the back it would say “For more information please call (xxxxx)xxxxxxx

Also started thinking about an A-Z of Graphic Design (A is for Art, B is for …)

 

 

Roses

Been sat here this weekend worrying that I just suck completely and that there wasn’t any point in doing this further cause I would never get better and …all this, probably due to the meeting tommorow. Anyway I wanted to do something new and draw something in inkscape without following any tutorials. Something completely original.

And after posting it and looking at it a few times I just made a couple of changes.

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Xtrct Logo – Grunge Style

Just me following another tutorial, although it was a Photoshop tutorial and I’ve only got Elements so I had to get.. creative in places.

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