DAN HAWES - 0909186 FMP / EGRD 3015: INDEPENDENT PRACTICE 3B: SUMMATION & PRODUCTION
Introduction & Contents
For my Final Major Project, I decided to focus on Journey Visualisation and the expression of journeys as stories. I wanted to explain that almost anything can become a journey, be it a journey of progression, of distance or of time. Each journey can be visualised in an interesting and engaging way, and there’s so much detail within a journey that many people overlook. It’s the journey, not the destination, and between A and B is where my study lies. I’ve always had an appreciation for the overlooked, so journeys were a perfect subject for me, even if it took me some time to find my way at the start. The beginning of my project features my portfolio progression translated into a journey itself. At the beginning, I struggled trying to focus on what I wanted to say, and to whom. I experimented with many ideas before finally focusing on what I wanted to do. In this portfolio, my main study includes photography, film, mapping and design, interactive concepts and my final piece - the ‘Journey Collective’ book. I researched a variety of books and films to help inspire my progression and decisions throughout this project, tried new methods of work and expanded my skills in previously used methods. I have been selective with my input as I wanted quality within this project. I wanted to try and reach out to my audience in a variety of ways and really explore how to create a well focused body of work with a strong final piece. My main intended audience would be anyone with an interest in journeys and travelling, such as Hikers, Urban Explorers and people looking to explore different environments. Also, on the other end of the scale, I want to aim my work at people who overlook journeys and their vast detail and visualisation, such as daily commuters, as it provides a whole new perspective on their journeys which may help them to appreciate journeys more. I also explored app concept design, which would also allow me to further reach audiences such as social networkers and people looking to keep fit and get out more.
CONTENTS Progress Journey map
Initial Experiments Stage Film & Motion Photography
Initial Experiments Stage Journey Data Visualisation
Initial Experiments Stage Motion Map Photography
Focused Decisions, Plans & Research
Film - Between A and B
‘MapTags - The Daily’
‘MapTags - The Shop Run’
‘MapTags - The Work Boot’
‘MapTags - The Dog Walker’
‘MapTags - The Skater’
‘MapTags - The Lounger’
App Design - ‘MapTrack’
‘Journey Collective’ Book Concept & Style
‘Journey Collective’ Book Layout, Revision & Final
‘Journey Collective’ Book Page Preview One
‘Journey Collective’ Book Page Preview Two
‘Journey Collective’ Book Page Preview Three
‘Journey Collective’ Book Final Product
Evaluation & Bibliography
Progress Journey Map
My project went through many changes throughout it’s creation, mostly at the beginning where I struggled to grasp a focused subject. As the project progressed, so did my confidence and the strength of my chosen subject. This in itself became a journey that I translated into a map to show my progressions. I feel this ‘map’ helps to show how my portfolio took shape and how each area helped me to move upwards onto the next part. Usually, my message throughout this project is that it’s about the journey, not the destination, but in this map’s case, both do apply - however, there would have been no destination without the all important journey, as with all destinations. The journey was hard, and not only does the map show my progression in a chart format, but it also shows the ‘working curve’ I followed as I created and completed each section. Each point on the map has a brief description about the work; this is only a brief explanation as the work has an in depth write up on the pages that feature it further in my portfolio. The purpose of this map is to show my progression and journey throughout the project.
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT & FEEDBACK The formative feedback session was an extremely helpful stage for me. After some feedback from the tutors, we established I was trying to do too much and that I needed to focus my project and decide on some more realistic goals. We discussed options which helped me progress further and focus.
INITIAL EXPERIMENTS The start to my project was slow and intimidating, and during this time I experimented with a high volume of mediums and subjects. I tried many things that proved unsuitable to take further, but still created some fairly successful work. I felt as if I was lacking specific focus, and I was trying to create a larger volume of work to compensate for this.
START ‘FEELING LOST’ After my initial experiments stage, I realised I wasn’t focusing on a specific message or audience. I continued to note down ideas and experiment, but I kept hitting dead ends. I always struggle to get the ball rolling, but I continued to try. I gathered my ideas for my formative assessment to evaluate my work.
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â€˜MAPTAGSâ€™ The Map Tags really helped me to visualise my appreciation for journeys and the objects that accompany them. This also helped me to progress with my work and partly inspired the feel of my film and my book.
FILM The film also helped me to progress as it was a medium I had wanted to use from the beginning of my project. I really felt the film would help to convey my message of appreciating journeys and how all journeys have a story behind them. I felt this was a good strengthening point in my project.
FOCUSED PLANNING & RESEARCH After the feedback on my work from the formative assessment, I started to focus my ideas and what I wanted to convey and to what audiences. The feedback really helped kick me into gear and allowed me to drop certain ideas. This allowed me to focus on doing my new ideas to a higher standard and marks the beginning of when my work started to take shape. I also looked into various books and films that helped inspire my planning and project direction.
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FINISH BOOK The book was my final outcome of my project and, I feel, my strongest piece. I actually worked on the book through most of my project, but the completed article came at the end. I felt the book really brought a quality feel to the project and I found print on demand to be a useful medium. I felt much more confident with my project at this stage as well, seeing my completed book professionally produced really brought it to life. I felt that my project now had a clear focus and audience.
FOCUS / COMPLETION
I thought that an interactive feature would further improve my message of journey appreciation and mapping, and also present me with an oppertunity to widen my target audience by interacting with them via a popular plaform. I also felt it strengthened my project with some variety and real world useability. I felt at this stage I had an interesting collection of journey visualisation methods to strengthen my project.
Initial Experiment Stage - Film & Motion Photography
One of my initial experiment ideas was to create a high speed shot, slow motion video to express the forces and values that go into movements with added motion graphics. I was really quite eager to work with high speed camera equipment and professional video editing software, but the projected timescale, work involved and equipment availability meant I had to make a decision to not progress with this idea. This idea was focused on motion rather than journeys.
The above images are a selection of concept images I created to show how I wanted the video quality and motion graphics to look. I created various icons for data to be displayed, and linking bars with values that would have been moving with the video. I would have been using Adobe After Effects for the motion graphics. The idea still has some relation within my journey visualisation project as the car is an object that holds a strong link to journeys.
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Another of my experimental ideas was long exposure motion photography. This is a method of photography I have used in the past and been successful with. Again, this was another idea that I was focusing more on motion as I wasn’t focusing on one idea alone, but it still holds a link to journeys by showing the path of objects with lights that move, showing part of their journey. I shot these using a Canon Eos 5D MKII - a camera I’m very familiar with and use often.
The above images are a selection of the long exposure ‘motion photographs’. They have been ‘HDR’ layered to bring out more light levels; this is done by taking 3 picture of under, over and normally exposed images of the same thing and then layering them with HDR software. While I was very pleased with how they came out, I found the subject itself to be too limiting, and didn’t in itself hold a cohernt enough meaning as there’s only so much movement it can capture.
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Initial Experiment Stage - Journey Data Visualisation
After my previous experiments, I changed my direction slightly and moved onto journey data visualisation. I started creating info graphics last semester that related to journeys but only did one or two, so I wanted to create more for my next project. I created an info graphic in the style of a car instrument panel to display data collected from the journey. I found this to be challenging but enjoyable, and I was very pleased with the aesthetic outcome. This work did have a closer link
to my main project area I focused on after my experiment stage as it was based solely on the journey itself. Even though this work does hold a closer link to my main project study, I didn’t feel this area had enough depth to it that I could create a coherent, in depth project from it. I felt that this form of study was a bit ‘cold’ and didn’t convey much of a message on their own, but the graphics do share similarities with some of my later work with maps and journeys.
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These are some more journey data visualisation outcomes I created, this time putting the car data into a typographic image of the car itself. I found these surprisingly hard to create, and they involved a lot of careful data collection and precise type and vector work, but I felt the aesthetic outcome was strong. When I considered taking these further, I planned to create graphics of different cars to show their individual data and design. I also considered that this sort of
design could be applied within the car industry to promote cars with good fuel efficiency since economy and â€˜green carsâ€™ are now such huge factors in the car industry. After careful consideration, I noted several complications with the idea. The main complication was how to get hold of various economical cars. I also felt that again, like the instrument panel graphics, this area felt a bit cold and lacked depth, which would prove hard when trying to embed them into a project.
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Initial Experiment Stage - Motion Map Photography
The last of my experiments that I have selected to show are these long exposure â€˜Motion Mapâ€™ photos. For these particular ones, I set up the Canon 5D MKII camera with a 15mm Fisheye lens to capture my living room space, and then re-covered my daily path of the room with a light to create this line map. This is an idea I experimented with in my previous portfolio to show the journey around a skateboard bowl. This does have similarities to the earlier long exposure motion photos.
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I wanted the photos to show variations in journeys taken in the same location, to show that every journey is different, no matter how big or small, or whether it’s in the same place. While I felt the outcomes were very interesting, I didn’t feel they were aesthetically as pleasing as some of my other photography. I also had the same problem as with the long exposure motion photography; there’s only so big of a journey that I can capture with the photograph, so I dropped the idea.
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FOCUS / DECISION
Focused Decisions, Plans & Research
At this stage we had our formative assessment and feedback. Some of my other initial ideas included a website, publication, more photography and a film. We quickly decided that I was simply trying to do too much for the time we had, and that my lack of subject focus and message was the main reason for this. This really helped me get into gear and make a lot of decisions about my work. I decided upon a focused subject, and what mediums I wanted to work with. I chose to focus on something I felt had more potential for depth - Journeys. More specifically, the ways in which journeys can be visualised, and how almost anything can be a journey. I wanted to express the detail that’s overlooked in journeys. I started planning and below are the four areas of journey visualisation I chose. Overall, I wanted to reach an audience that was interested in travel, Urban Explorers, people looking to improve their commutes and travels and anyone with an appreciation for journeys, photography and social networking.
The first thing I wanted to do was create a short film to express the mood, freedom and appreciation of journeys. I wanted to focus on the finer details that make the journey so enjoyable, yet so overlooked. My target audience would be anyone who overlooks the beauty of a journey, commuters who are bored of travelling, but also, on the other end of the scale, people who love to travel and embrace the journey, including Urban Explorers. I also wanted it to be the sort of film that could be enjoyed by anyone - I really wanted to show that everything can be expressed as a journey with a story.
The second thing I wanted to do was to create a collection of images that feature objects that accompany travel to show that objects themselves divulge a lot about their journeys. I planned to photograph the objects and a unique map for each one to show it’s journey. I decided upon this idea as I felt photography was one of my strong points, and it gave me an oppertunity to show both that and map graphics. I wanted to target an audience such as urban explorers, people who don’t appreciate the objects that allow them such easy travel, and photographers that specialise in the everyday.
I also planned to create something interactive - or at least the full concept and design for it. Smartphones have become a huge part of modern society and social networking, as well as aiding travel with features like sat nav. I felt this was a strong idea not only due to the popularity of smart phones, but the fact that there are many other apps and services that an app could interact and work with. This, I feel is a strong way to target many audiences such as social networkers, all kinds of travellers such as urban explorers, hikers, or people that just like to walk or travel. As well as these audiences, it can also be aimed at people who want to keep fit or get out more who can then share their journey online.
Finally, I wanted to create a physical final piece in the form of a publication/book. Last semester I found journey mapping to be interesting and successful, so I wanted to take that further, as well as creating a professional finish book using print on demand - something that I haven’t done before. I wanted to focus on the details of all kinds of journeys on different scales and to show that each journey is unique and has a story behind it. I wanted to target audience similar to that of the above - All kinds of travellers including urban explorers, people interested in all methods of transport, people looking to make their commutes and travels more interested, or just anyone with an appreciation of journeys, graphics and photography.
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The message of my project is closely related to ‘psychogeography’ - the practice of exploration or travel in an environment led by curiosity. Psychogeography is about exploring your surroundings on your travels, but also finding your way to new places because of the curiosity to follow new routes. Psychogeography is also about appreciating the smaller, finer details in a journey - something else my project focuses on. Psychogeography was something I wasn’t properly aware of until I started researching last semester, and it ties in with my project very well, with the exploration and appreciation aspects echoing my subject. I found it difficult to find a lot of inspiring visual work on psychogeography and journeys, which gave me more incentive to create a collection of visuals, but I did find some engaging books and films on the subjects. To me, a well written book can be just as inspiring, if not more so, than visual work. One of the interesting authors to cover psychogeography is Iain Sinclair, who is widely known as a ‘Psychogeographer’. One of the books relating to my study was Sinclair’s ‘London Orbital’ - a book documenting his journey around the M25 on foot in several stages. Something that stands out to me about Sinclair is that until one reads his work, it sounds dull and unappealing to most, but his work really brings to light the strong imagery of his journeys. Sinclair manages to create an engaging account of his journeys, focusing on all the details overlooked by the majority and putting them into words that really change your view of the surroundings. Writing is something I have always been interested in, and the way he translates his journeys into an interesting story is inspiring. In a similar way to what I aim to say, Sinclair really puts across the message that any journey has a deep story behind it. Another book I found interesting and engaging to read was ‘Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain’ by Roger Deakin. Water Log is an account of Roger Deakin’s journey, swimming his way across Britain. This was actually a book I already owned as the idea of wild swimming and exploration was something that really appealed to me. This book also linked in well with my ideas for my project as the book was all about his journey around Britain and appreciating his surroundings, rather than focusing on getting to a specific location. Deakin’s writing creates an incredibly strong image in your mind of his surroundings, sensations and mood, bringing his journey to life. One thing I really enjoy about Deakin’s book is the unusual, but beautiful nature of his journey. I found Deakin’s enthusiasm and his attitude towards the appreciation and importance of his journey very refreshing and inspiring. I’ve also watched ‘Robinson in Space’ - a film in which an unseen researcher named Robinson and a travelling companion embark on a journey to ‘investigate the problem of England’. Interestingly, the ‘problem’ is never explained or even solved, but the film moves in an unusual and unpredictable way, in which they arrive at various locations and explain the areas story and their movements. The film was almost confusing to watch, but the appreciation and new take on locations really interested me and helped me to realise more potential within urban surroundings and unusual locations.
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Film - ‘Between A and B’
This is a short film I created called ‘Between A and B’ - a film that I wanted to express the appreciation and enjoyment associated with my journeys. It’s another way of telling a story of a number of journeys. I shot this film using a Canon 5D MKII again, as the HD shooting and high quality lens makes filming much better. This was shot over a fairly long period of time to capture the right things, however, the video has been edited to make it look like all the journeys happen in one day.
I originally intended to shoot with a lot of hand held shots, but after shooting in that way more so than using a tripod, I feel some shots would have worked better and looked more professional with use of a tripod. I do feel though, in some instances, that the hand held aspect helps promote the idea of it being a collection of personal journeys. I
The message is that the beauty of a trip lies between A and B - in other words, it’s the journey, not the destination (a phrase that I include at the end of the video). The video is 2 minutes and 18 seconds long, and can be accessed by clicking the video image above, which takes you to the HD video on Vimeo. A journey is full of overlooked detail and depth, which is something I’ve always paid attention to. I wanted to express this in the video, and also touch upon a psychogeography feel, where getting lost because of curiosity isn’t a bad thing. The video features many forms of travel, including driving, walking, and using the train. If I was to re shoot the video, I’d use a tripod more.
During filming I encountered a number of issues, including filming on a Petrol Station Forecourt. I asked around at various garages, and after a call to head office and a talk with the duty manager, Tesco kindly allowed me to film from a safe distance. These shots were very short, but I feel the effort was worth it. There were however some shots that I simply couldn’t do, regardless of how much I wanted to include them. The main one being filming in a Train Station; I wasn’t allowed at all due to security. The film follows a basic storyline, in which the each journey links together and shows the details of them. I enjoyed creating this film, and I felt this was a good medium to use as HD video is very effective, and it also helps set the tone and mood for my study on how every journey has a story behind it.
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‘MapTags - The Daily’
The next 6 spreads show my ‘MapTag’ designs. The idea behind these was to feature the objects that help us travel with such ease, and to focus on the journey that each object typically covers. Objects can divulge a lot about their journeys from just looking at them, and I’ve always imaged the story behind them, so I wanted to create these maps to tell their story, but not to give every single detail about the journey away completely to allow them to still tell a slightly different story to different people. The maps were designed using a drawing tool called ‘Harmony Sketch’. I chose this tool as the line styles created maps that had links in them when using the ‘web’ tool, which not only created a nice style, but acted similar to where your vision would link your route. This first example (actually the sixth of six maps) shows the steering wheel of my housemate’s car. Generally, we use this car as a ‘daily’ driver as it’s a bit more civilised to ride in than my own car. The steering wheel is the main area that has been tagged as it’s the main area of input that controls direction, making it the perfect object to tag. The journey shows my housemate’s daily drive to work from Croydon to Canary Wharf. I really liked how the photograph captured a sense of stillness and tranquility in an object that is usually in constant motion ona journey; I felt this was an interesting contrast. - 11 -
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‘MapTags - The Shop Run’
Each map was designed the same way, and made using heavyweight recycled paper and recycled string to give it an organic, personal feel rather than just using white card. One of my favourite aspects about these photos is how they almost detatch themselves from the objects normal use, showing them in stillness, giving the viewer an oppertunity to still imagine the story behind them, even though there’s some object and journey information already there. This spread features the steering wheel in my own car, and a different journey map. This car is more for fun, rather than just a daily use car, which I think is apparent from the steering wheel alone - an object telling it’s story. However, the map on this wheel isn’t normally one which most people would find fun; This map shows my journey route to the supermarket. The reason I feel this has depth to it is because it’s almost conflicting; a fun car with a boring journey, but this helps to promote the message of my project that anything can be an enjoyable journey. I’ve always highly enjoyed driving, so even just driving to the shops becomes an enjoyable journey for me. - 13 -
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‘MapTags - The Work Boot’
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The photographs of these objects and their maps were shot with a 5D MKII, as with most of my photography within this project. I took them all with a similar style - using zoom and a low aperture to give a clearly indicated focus zone; the map. I wanted the map to be the main area of information, but I also wanted the object to be clear, but without making the photograph too busy - this is what low aperture helps with, and also gives the photograph a quality feel of fine detail. This photograph shows my housemateâ€™s work boot. This is a strictly functional, business object, without much other use, which is apparent because of the colour, construction, and how theyâ€™re always kept clean and polished - a must for a security officer. The map shows his movement around Canary Wharf on his security patrols. The map itself shows a very strict route, and is usually repeated many times. I felt this boot had a nice link with an important job, giving it a strong background story and making it an interesting journey object. - 16 -
‘MapTags - The Dog Walker’
Each map also includes a number out of six, which shows which of the six MapTags it is. As is clear by now, they’re displayed in reverse order. I mixed both shoes and cars into this collection to get a variety of scale. The car journeys looked more like a regular map, while the maps which show a walking journey usually look a lot more like flowing abstract shapes. Each object was photographed in a suitable surrounding to compliment the object and to help tell it’s story visually. This photograph shows an old pair of my shoes that I use only for dog walking. These shoes in fact used to be used for skateboarding, but when they became too worn out, I used them for dog walking, which is what the MapTag shows, as they get muddy often. I think this ‘second stage’ of their life gives them another level of depth within the photograph. The photo was taken in one of the parks I generally walk my dog in, and I think it really helps to convey the story of the shoes, especially with the included dog lead. I also think the level of captured detail creates a nice thought that all that detail follows one around on each journey. This was one of my favourite photos of the set as the map had an interesting shape, but also the photograph came out well, with brilliant colour and depth. It also helps contrast the mood of the last photo. - 17 -
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‘MapTags - The Skater’
Each of the MapTags is the same size and weight, and even though the paper was fairly heavy, it was still light which made shooting outdoors a bit difficult as it would occasionally move in the wind. If I was to redo the tags I would try and use thin card of a similar colour/finish to make the tags more hardwearing and stable for shooting. I’d have also used a hole puncher that fitted a metal ring around the hole to create a more professional, hard wearing feel. However, I do feel that the tags have a nice, home made, personal feel, which helps with the personal story behind the journey. This photo shows the second of the six - ‘The Skater’. Skate shoes divulge a lot of information, especially to other skaters; stance, aggressiveness in style, era etc. To anyone else though, a skate shoe can easily tell them that the person wearing them is a skater. I like how skate shoes are functional and stressed in a fun way. The MapTag shows my route around my old local skatepark, which creates a nice flowing shape on the tag. It also shows how I link routes together in one single run. This journey is a small scale one, creating that ‘shaped’ map design. I feel that my shoes here tell a story of me as a skater, but also help to give away the kind of journeys I take in them. - 19 -
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‘MapTags - The Lounger’
Every map is unique, and involved me planning out the area in which each journey was undertaken. This involved either using Google Maps, or me re-drawing the area and mapping out each journey to then translate into a MapTag. I feel the tags were successful and really helped to tell the story of the journeys the objects had taken. If I had time I would have liked to have done more and possibly created a small publication out of them, but I had to be realistic with my time, and I decided that doing a smaller amount to a higher standard would benefit my portfolio more than lots of lower quality ones. This is the last of the six journeys, which is very small in scale: â€˜The Loungerâ€™, which is a pair of slippers that feature a map of my morning movement the inside of my flat. Unlike my other objects, the slippers are purely for comfort and wearing indoors, giving them a very different purpose. I felt this gave them a strong object to feature a map on, and it also gave me a chance to create a map of my movement inside a smaller scale area. This again created an abstract shape map that is so dominant in smaller scale maps. I enjoyed creating the TagMaps, and I feel they inform my study well, expressing a number of journeys in a simple, aesthetically pleasing way, and allowed me to use more photography.
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App Design - ‘MapTrack’
After considering how else I could help to reach my chosen audience, I decided to create an interative element in the form of a smartphone app. I came up with the idea of a app that tracks your movement using GPS signal, which the app then records data from, including distance and time. After some research I found there were some mapping apps, but none that created a visual afterwards that you could share online via social networking sites, so the idea behind ‘MapTrack’ was to create an app that recorded this data and then displayed it on social networking sites. The final image can also be adjusted using an output setting to alter colour, style and other settings.
The image on the left shows the ‘tracking’ interface, in which the journey is mapped, and the above image shows the final image outcome which is then shared on social networking sites. I also added a feature that means you can take a photograph along the way, and then tag it at any point on your map, which will then show up on your shared map. I felt this could be a very strong way to reach audiences such as social networkers, all kinds of travellers such as urban explorers, hikers, or people that just like to walk or travel. As well as these audiences, it can also be aimed at people who want to keep fit or get out more who can then share their journey online.
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The top image is a screenshot of how the uploaded image would look when shared via Facebook. It includes a clickable image which brings it up to full size and also offers a link to that persons profile on MapTrack to view more of their journey images and to view their tagged photos. The accompanying text also tells the distance and time that the journey involved.
The only issues I had with this concept were that creating an app is a very specialist design medium and that I could neither afford to have it fully designed by a professional or learn to create it into a working app in the time I had in this project as it’s a highly involved process. Another possible issue is that each phone has a different resolution screen and would have to be designed for each one accordingly.
The two images below the screenshot show the app design on an iPhone. I exported the designs for the iPhone to test the sizes of the buttons for usability and overall size. They’re static images, but give a much better idea of how it’d be on the phone. Ater reviewing the concept on screen, I was happy with the overall aesthetics and usability, with no buttons being too small or anything looking out of place.
Overall, I felt this was a strong idea that would help me reach my audience on an interactive level, which could then be linked to my other work in this project. I enjoyed the design of this app, and it’s something I may still look into developing. Smartphones and Social Networking is a huge part of modern society and I think it’s a strong addition to my project as a concept.
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‘Journey Collective’ Book - Concept & Styles
I started working on my ‘Journey Collective’ book by planning the concept. I wanted to create a collection of journeys maps, similar in style to that of the maps in my previous portfolio, and create a book out of them with accompanying photographs and write ups to express how anything can be considered a journey, and to show the details of my personal journeys of different scales. After a lot of notes and ideas, I started with the above - sketches of layout and design. The above is a selection of my stronger ideas that I then went on to develop into the book. I also considered size and format at this stage, setting on 8x10” ‘standard portrait’ from Blurb.
During the initial design stages I made sure to consider details such as the book’s gutter cut off point and the optimum sized text without it being too small. After creating the rough layouts, I started to collect the journey maps alone. During this time I also considered photograph styles. After testing and looking back through some photos, I decided upon using ‘Instagram’ filtered photos as they gave the photgraphs a personal feel and they matched the style I was aiming for more than standard photography. Each initial sketch idea had aspects that seemed fairly strong, and I ended up using various aspects from various designs in my final layout and style.
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Since I had considered photograph styles, I also wanted to consider map styles. I wanted them to be similar to that of the maps in my previous portfolio, but I also wanted to experiment to see what styles I could achieve. The top one shows a ‘Harmony’ sketch tool map, which turned out to be impossible to use due to limited resolution when exporting that wasn’s suitable for print. The middle map shows a similar style to my previous maps that’s simple, effective and work well with most design, created using Adobe Illustrator. The bottom map was also created using Illustrator, but with a dotted line. I felt the middle one was the strongest of them all, and I decided to use this one for my pages. - 28 -
‘Journey Collective’ Book - Layout, Revision & Final
This is an example of the layout and design that resulted from my planning. I felt it was effective and clean, and it used aspects of various rough sketches. However, after a tutorial and a review of the book, we decided that the photograph layout was too repetitive, and that a different style would be more suitable. Apart from that, generally, the book overall seemed well, minus a few slight issues I would address in revision. It was as this stage I chose my paper and quality with Blurb. I chose Proline paper and ImageWrap, hardback covers for a high quality, professional feel. I made the layout designs into these book style concepts to give a better idea of how they would look when completed within the book.
This is the final design I decided upon after trying 4 different layout designs. I wanted the photographs to still have a ‘uniform’ arranged feel to them, but they did need less repetition. To address this, I lost one photo from each set, which allowed me to be more selective with quality, but also make one big, feature photo, and then 4 smaller accompanying photos. I then arranged each collection so the large photo moved from the left, to the middle, and then to the right, which would then repeat with each 3 pages. I had already seen a prototype book at this stage, so I resent another file to Blurb with the new layout, and also changed the front cover and added an ‘outro’ message at the end to sum up the book and it’s message.
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Click below for an external link to the full book on Issuu:
This is the final product - the finished book in itâ€™s physical form. as it came from Blurb. There are more detail photos after the next three page detail spreads. - 30 -
â€˜Journey Collectiveâ€™ Book - Page Preview Set One
This is the first selection of pages from inside my final book design. I have created these to look as they would in the book. Each journey involved an intense study of the location in which the journey took place, and a lot of mapping. I found that recording the journeys and taking the photographs was a much longer process than I had originally planned for, and this meant that I spent a lot of time collecting the maps and photos. I felt these were some of the most aesthetically pleasing spreads in the book, and they show a variety journey scales. You can also see the Instagram style photographs. Description of the individual journeys and details can be found in the text in the full book on Issuu.
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Each main featured spread shows one of my favourite spreads. I liked the ‘Miss Banzai’ one because the night was all about the journey and nothing else, and it also resulted in a very interesting map, and some lovely photography to match, which really helps to sum up the feel of the night. I wanted the spreads to show how almost everything is a journey, regardless of what it is (the Engine one to the left is a good example of that), and also that there’s so much action and depth within them. I felt that each map and photo set helped to convey my message that it’s about he journey, not the destination, and created some interesting content throughout the book, especially with different scales.
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â€˜Journey Collectiveâ€™ Book - Page Preview Set Two
The photographs that go with each map were taken using a number of different cameras, including the Canon 5D MKII and even an iPhone 4S, but they were all filtered using Instagram to create a matching set that had a feel of personality. Initially I was worried that certain methods might not have a good enough resolution output for print, but in the end all photographic material came out absolutely fine in quality. As well as maps and photos, I gave each journey a number and used roughly a quarter page size to show the number in a light grey to try and make it large yet not too intrusive on the rest of the design and layout. I was pleased with the overall outcome, especially when printed.
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Another of my favourite spreads was the above journey, number 6, where I took a journey through the country in Bristol. This was always a journey I enjoyed as it had lots of interesting, decayed objects along the way that told a story of the era they came from and how they were used. I think the photo content works especially well with the Instagram filter style. I also had added headers/lines at the top of each page to help identify each journey by name rather than just number, which also helps the bookâ€™s overall professional look. Each map also contains a number of locations written to show the order of arrival at each location. I felt this helped to further explain the scale and method of travel used for each journey.
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â€˜Journey Collectiveâ€™ Book - Page Preview Set Three
I think the variety of journeys throughout the book cover a lot of interests and would be appealing to many different audiences, including those I explained earlier. Having said that, I feel that anyone could find interest within these pages as it lends a new perspective to journeys, their details and their stories. Each of my maps has a start and end point, helping the reader to understand the journey better. As mentioned with the MapTags, I noticed that the bigger the scale of the journeys got, the more the map looked more like a traditional map, and the smaller they became, the more they looked like abstract shapes, and how they seemed to follow more strict lines due to the magnification.
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Overall, I was very pleased with the look and style of my pages, and I feel the feedback and advice I received on the book to be not only helpful, but essential to itâ€™s finished, functional appearence. As previously mentioned, a lot of work went into the collecting of data on the journeys, and the creation of the maps and photography, so it really needs to be seen on Issuu to get the full idea. There were 3 maps within the book that were reworked for this book from my previous semester as they were important journeys that held a strong story. These however were not copied, but were altered - sometimes aesthetically, sometimes route, but they all had an important place in the book.
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‘Journey Collective’ Book - Final Product
These are the photos of the final ‘Journey Collective’ book, fully printed and complete from Blurb. I had seen a prototype before this final one as I had ordered one previously at my expense. I was extremely happy with the quality and overall finish of the book, and feel it’s the strongest part of my project. It was an expensive method, but I feel it was worth it. The book was constructed with hardback ImageWrap covers, Proline lustre paper, and Proline light grey endsheets.
While I could have cut back on price by choosing cheaper paper and construction alternatives, I felt the high quality construction and options was the best choice for my final piece. Having never used print on demand before, I was very pleased with the process, and Blurb’s option to allow me to design the book in InDesign was an excellent feature. The book consisted of 28 pages, excluding front and back hard back covers and Proline endsheets.
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I feel that almost every aspect of the book was how I wanted it, though there was one thing I would change. During making the book, I tested the 30% grey for the text on my own printer and it looked fine, however, when it came back from the printers, it was lighter than I expected, and when coupled with small text size, it did make the text slightly harder to read than I would have liked. If I were to reprint another version, I would up the text to 40-50% grey for more clarity.
I think I made some well informed decisions while creating this book, with the help of tutors, friends and a professional designer, and other than the text issue, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d change much else. My target audience would mainly be people interested in travel, including urban explorers, people interested in all methods of transport, people looking to make their commutes and travels more interesting, or just anyone with an appreciation of journeys, graphics and photography.
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Evaluation & Bibliography
As mentioned, If I were to redo them I’d have liked to have produced the tags on thicker paper or card of a similar style, and used a hole puncher that creates a metal rim for the string hole. I did have a couple of issues with shooting outside as the tags were light, but I managed to get around this using hidden tape to secure them. Ideally, I would have liked to have done more with them, but I didn’t have enough time. I think they could have been stronger as a set in a small publication.
My Final Major Project has been an interesting and challenging experience for me, but has definitely seen me improve on certain skills and explore new areas, as well as improve on decision making, critical analysis and general graphic design. At the beginning of my project, I felt quite lost due to having made a rather vague proposal last semester. I originally wanted to cover Journeys, movement and motion, but hadn’t pin pointed what exactly I wanted to do, what I wanted to say, or to whom. Because of this, at the beginning, I started slowly and ended up experimenting with mediums and messages that didn’t hold a close enough link together. I also planned to do a very high volume of work covering many different mediums, which was definitely far too optimistic.
Creating the App was a new thing for me. I realised before designing the concept that I wouldn’t be able to develop it as a working app as I didn’t have the time to learn how to develop it myself, and I certainly couldn’t afford a professional developer. Even though it couldn’t be made into a working App, I feel I was rather thorough with the overall design, features and use for the app, and think it could be a strong idea to possibly take further pending further research. This was a very new medium for me, but I really enjoyed designing the App, and feel it’s something I’d like to do more of. I exported the static designs to put on my phone to test it for button size usability, design size and overall look, and I feel seeing it on the phone really helped bring it to life.
I continued to work and try to experiment my way to a coherent subject until the Formative Assessment. It was at this point I recieved very valuable feedback about my work from my tutors who confirmed my beliefs that I was trying to do way too many things as a result of not having a clear message or audience. I discussed possibilites with them, and then went back to work. I had regained my confidence after the help which allowed me to make some informed decisions and cut down my work, drop unnecessary work that didn’t hold enough depth. From here, I made a plan to create a body of work that focused on journey visualisation and expressing the detail and depth within journeys. I made a lot of notes and gave myself a rough timeline to complete the work in, and started creating the foundations for my final piece, the ‘Journey Collective’ book. Whilst doing this, I also started planning and filming for my short film ‘Between A and B’. I continued to collect data and photography for the book whilst working on my other projects as I had to make up for lost time at the beginning of the semester in my experiment stage. I then worked on each part of my project in the order in which it appears (minus the book, as mentioned, as this was ongoing throughout).
My final piece was the ‘Journey Collective’ book. I worked on this book almost straight away after my formative assessment feedback as I knew it would involve a lot of work and take time, and I wanted to be prepared as I’d never used print on demand before. I also took into consideration the printing times so that I could have the book reading for production within plenty of time to have it printed - both prototype and final book. I spent a lot of time collecting data, creating maps and taking photographs for the book, as well as designing it in an aesthetically pleasing and functional way. As I was working on this book alongside the other parts of my portfolio, I was able to take certain photos and create certain maps when I had the time to travel back to certain places such as Bristol, rather than having to travel specifically there for them. Looking back on it now, I do feel that I missed out a fair bit of planning and idea development areas, but I tend to do this work very rough in a sketchbook as I work best that way, and I didn’t want to clutter the book project with scans of pages that looked messy. I do feel I should have included more as I don’t think the sheer amount of work I put into the creation of the book shows in the portfolio, though I was very pleased with the final book, and feel the quality is high.
The film was an enjoyable, but fairly exhausting part of this project for me. I was determined to film in HD and I had my mind set on certain shots that I had noted down before filming, which did make the filming process harder as permission was needed for certain shots, such as the Petrol Station in Tesco, and carrying around a large camera to shoot a lot of film, with a tripod did cause hassle at times, but it ended up being a successful film, which I felt conveyed my message and informed the rest of my study. I wanted to create the film and put it at the beginning to help set the tone for the rest of my project. Looking back on it now, like I mentioned on the pages in my portfolio, I’d have liked to have used the tripod more and captured some more steady shots as well as the ‘hand held’ ones, but the hand held ones do still look good and have a certain personal feel to them. Every shot was filmed with the Image Stabiliser on the Canon 5D MKII, so even the hand held shots were fairly smooth. The editing was simple, and I only used one transition effect throughout. I edited the film together to tell the story of the journeys all being in one day, despite them being shot over a reasonably long period of time. I also edited certain shots to link with the music too. I feel the film could have been longer, but the message still would have been the same.
I feel the book was very good, but I still had one issue which was that the grey text came out too light, as it looked different on my printer from when it was printed as Blurb. I wanted the text to be fairly small, but with the 30% grey it was too light and made reading a bit difficult, especially in low light. Apart from that, the book quality was fantastic, I was very happy with Blurb’s service and their turnaround time, though the process was very expensive, with each book costing £38, though I got a discount bringing it down to £33. I still feel this price was worth it for such a high quality final piece, and I think seeing the book physically really brings it to life and makes it seem more complete and helps one appreciate the quality. Overall, this semester was challenging for me, but the harsh start helped me to improve with critical judgement and decision making, and helped me focus my ideas. I feel I was able to create a body of work that had a clear message and audience, and that I was able to communicate this through a variety of mediums. The slow start at the beginning did cost me time and affected my overall portfolio output, but I feel I was still able to create good work. I faced various problems along the way, but with help and feedback of tutors I was able to overcome them. I feel this project has helped me progress and has helped me focus my skills further, as well as giving me more confidence within my work.
After the filming was complete and I was happy with it, I moved onto creating the ‘MapTags’. The idea behind them was to tell the story and show the typical journey of the objects featured in the photograph. I felt the zoom and low aperture really helped the overall aesthetic of the photos too. While using the ‘Harmony’ sketch tool created an amazing style which linked to lines of vision, they could only be exported in a fairly low resolution due to it’s online location, but since the tags only needed to be small, this worked out fine, but any bigger would have been an issue and I’d have been forced to change the style of the Maptags.
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- Deakin, R (2000). Waterlog. United Kingdom: Vintage. - Sinclair, I (2003). London Orbital. United Kingdom: Penguin. - Robinson In Space (1997) Directed by Patrick Kieller [video] London, United Kingdom: BBC. - www.Issuu.com - www.Vimeo.com - www.Facebook.com - www.Twitter.com - www.Maps.Google.com - www.Blurb.com - www.ScriptEvolution.com
Special Thanks: - Tesco (Allowing Filming) - Craig Mcneice (Camera Assistance when needed) - Patrick Doyle (Design help and feeback).
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