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Contents Distinctive Characters 5 Postcard 37 Veracular Letterforms 47 Workshops 73 Lectures 79


Visual Thinking Focuses on extending your visual awareness, individual creative language and understanding of contemporary practice while examining the fertile and complex semioic and aesthetic nature of word, image and object.


Distinctive Characters: Typography as a Semiotic Resource A collaborative project with Charlotte Causer Working in groups of two, choose an initial letter from the following set based in the terminology and glossaries contained within the brief. Create a word that is related to the unit - you can produce it in caps or lowercase. After careful planning and research you are required to design and make a three dimensional initial character that communicates the meaning of the word. The model can be made of found objects but must finally be wall mounted.



Word Bank Turbulance Trigonometry Tonic Tea Technology Tabacco Trench Twirl Tree Tent Twine Tart Time

Tassels Terrain Textile Transparent Triangle Toast Tattered Tesselation Thatched Turbine Turtle Type Tomato

Typography Turf Taxis Toxic Twist Tenticle Turn Tie Tummy Tongue Teeth T-shirt Test


Traffic Transport Tube Tractor Tack Tarmac Treasure Twig Tic Tacs Tape Train Television Thyme

I D E A 1

Experimental in Photoshop


Tessellation For this idea we picked the word Tessellation from the word bank. A Tessellation is a pattern which is made up of identical shapes that fit together without any gaps to create an intricate piece of design. I experimented with Photoshop to visualise it but we both agreed that it wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as some of our other ideas and would be a challenge to create it in 3D.


I D E A 2

Paper Folding - Triangle Charlotte and I really liked this idea. The word was ‘triangle’ and we would use paper folding to make up the letter T as in the examples below. We researched different folding techniques in a book called “Folding Techniques for Designers” which gave us a great insight into the subject.


However, after making a few prototypes we discovered it was extremely fiddly and the end result was not to the standard we were hoping for. We both prefer it to the first idea though and managed to incorporate the 3D element which I think works well.


I D E A 3

Quilling - Twirl This idea developed while we were looking at other forms of paper art for Idea 2. The technique is called quilling and involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. They are very intricate designs full of colour and complexity giving them a very ornate appearance. From conducting research and looking at many examples we came to the conclusion that it would be very difficult to achieve a high standard but if done well, it can look very striking. It is also an area that neither of us has any experience in so we are keen to experiment and see how it develops.



I D E A 4

Textiles For this idea we looked at making our letter into a textile piece. Texiles is a very broad subject with thousands of different decorative stitches, either hand sewn or done on a sewing machine. You also have the ability to easily turn a two-dimensional piece of textile into a three-dimensional piece.


Textiles would be a very practicle piece because it is cheap to buy and there are thousands of different patterns and textures.



Garamond - a book face dating back from around the 1540s, designed by Claude Garamond. Delicate and looks very good in print. Unfortunately the stem is a little to thin for what I require.

Caslon - a beautiful font dating back 1722, designed by William Caslon. It is a beautiful, classic and works well both on and off screen. Unfortunately again the stem and beak are to thin.

Baskerville - an elegant, clean cut font originally designed in 1757 by John Baskerville. This is a much more suitable type for what I need as it is thick enough to contain my designs.

Clarendon - a slab-serif typeface designed in 1845 by Robert Besley – a really characteristic font with lots of uses. This would also be a very suitable typeface to use.




Textile Experiments A couple of experimentals we did on the sewing machine. The one on the right is a three-dimentional piece but neither of us think it worked particularly well. The other experiment involved the use of different stitches which was quite fun and the end result worked well.


Illustrator Experimental This is a pattern Charlotte and I created in Adobe Illustrator. In spite of being familiar with Illustrator, the twirl design was a long and intricate process and quite a challenge. However, I have learnt from the experience and feel the end result is worth it. We designed this as a template for the laser cutter which we will use to create our three-dimensional letter. This was the first time I have used the laser cutter but we attended the induction so we managed without mishaps. The photos on the next page show the process of the laser cutting as well as the construction of the letter.



Laser Cutting Process Throughout the process we observed the depth of engraving to determine how much to cut away. With each cycle the cut away section gets darker. We felt the right colour was achieved by the third run. After the piece was engraved and cut out by the laser cutter it was glued and clamped for 12 hours. We both agreed this was more aesthetically pleasing and a higher quality finish than the texile design. We then did another laser cut but this time didn’t cut out the letter from the MDF as an alternative.







Quilling Experimental We tried out the quilling technique and found we both really enjoyed it. It was very time consuming and extremely fiddly but we are both pleased with how it turned out and got very positive feedback sbout it at the tutorial. Things we would have to consider though is the outline needs t be made of of a stiffer paper or it doesnt old its form. Also maybe try and incorporate more twirls into the design to make it more obvious



Colour Experimental Before designing our final piece we had to decide on our colour palette. For the experimental work, the aim was to trial a couple of different combinations. The first one was made up of bright greens and blues while the second one consisted of more natural colours such as browns and yellows. 30

After extensive research into existing quilling designs it became apparent that the brighter colours were more popular and gave the final design a much more fun and refreshing feel. After considering all the options about we desided to go with the combination on the right which consist of greens, blues, purples and reds.



the outline.One issue we came across in the experimentals was that the edges weren’t always straight so we lost the defined outline for the letter. To get round this we found we stuck pins into a bit of cardboard allowing us to manipulate the paper around them. It was extremely fiddly but it resulted in a much more symmetrical shape.The next task was filling it in. Another problem we came across

Before we started constructing the final design, I did a sketch layout. We selected aspects that we liked from the experiments and tried to incorporate more of the twirls into the design to make the word more obvious. We then did more reseach into how to create


in the experimentals was the guide outline beneath the work. This showed us where to put each piece of paper but the pencil remained visible, so for this design we tried doing it just by eye.

We then added contrasting colours like reds and pinks to incorporate more warmth as the only colours we had used were all quite cool. Finally we added twirls to the outside of the letter but I think it actually looks better without them. I don’t feel they are necessary and are distracting.

We wanted the colours to stream into each other, so worked our way through the tones to create a visual flow hrough the design.



This is our final letterform photographed, my partner and I are both really pleased with the outcome. I feel it represents the word ‘twirl’ well both in the way it looks and the process in which it as created.



POSTCARD Typography as a Semiotic Resource A collaborative project with Charlotte Causer Produce an A6 postcard with the image on one side and a bried description of the word on the other.


Postcard Compositions The next task was to design an A6 postcard with an image of our 3D letterform on the front. We also had to include a small amount of text, either a description or relevent quote. Below are a few layouts I can up with.










Vernacular Letterforms: Letters in the Landscape A collaborative project with Andy Browne and Charlotte Causer This brief starts with a visit to Poole where you will identify, collect and photograph, examples of vernacular letterforms in the town. Your images could be literal interpretations of details of road signs, gravestones or shopfront signs, etc or slighty more challenging abstract collections of ‘hidden signs’ drawn from architectural forms, found objects and unintentional typographic structures.




‘Letters in the landscape’ is an alphabet project which involves collecting letters from the local town, Poole. The brief asks for a complete alphabet made up of a combination of abstract and literal letter forms. For this project we were asked to work in small groups and together, create an alphabet made out of details in the environment many people would tend to over look. As a group we decided we wanted to try and make the majority of our letter forms abstract to capture the most innovative shots we could. We felt this was more of a challenge than finding literal letter types because it made you become more open minded and creative.

We developed our photos in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom which all three of us are familiar with. Later we made a book which we constructed in Adobe InDesign. All three of us have been introduced to it and have basic skills so it was good to build on these and I feel I have learnt from the experience.

The brief specified that the book should be created using a French fold method which means I believe the brief has also made me changing the layout in InDesign more aware of surrounding graphics slightly. The whole process was quite particularly typography which long and made me realise the before I may have just over looked. difficulties of making your own but I feel I have learnt a lot from it as well as some Wimportant skills.









Perfect Bookbinding


Documentation of the Perfect Bookbinding. Firstly lining your book up in the vice to accomplish a straight line, then gluing with the assistance of mull for strength. Afterwards, trim the edges with the guillotine before applying more glue down the spine to attach the cover. The book then goes in the press overnight to set. The last set is to trim the book to the right size.




FINAL BOOK I had mixed feelings about our final book in the end. There were some elements to it that I did like but I feel the layout of it in the end let it down. The double spreads worked well but with many of the other pages it felt like it didnt really flow. After a tutorial we decided we wanted to make a second book and revisit the layout.






As none of us were very happy with the final outcome of our book we decided to go back and revisit the layout. After more research we found a book called ‘Cutting Edges’ which helped inspire our new design. We also made a mini prototype which we hadn’t done for the first book and found it made it much easier to judge how the finished piece would look rather than just looking at the InDesign screen.





Workshops As well as set tasks, you will be expected to sign up to at least three workshops of your choice, organised by Graphic Design, Fine Art, Illustration and Visual Communication.


Risograph The aim of this workshop was to teach basic skills needed to design artwork for Risograph printing. We were asked to design a print based on a word picked at random and limited to using only 2 colours in our artwork, which were also randomly assigned. My word was Elephant and the colours were purple and green.

The artwork had to be seperated into individual colour layers as the risograph printer only prints one colour at a time. I used opposing gradients on the elephants body to make it look like it was fading from green to purple. The purple layer was printed first followed by the green layer which created this amazing blend of two colours.

Colour is one of the most prominent indictors in visual language and each colour comes with its own set of connotations. The exercise was to build ours skills in working effectively with a restrictive palette.



Japanese Bookbinding This technique of book binding is ideal for creating quick and easy journals that are aesthetically pleasing. The workshop allowed me to understand the history of the Japanese bookbinding and the techniques used. It is created by stacking pages and then drilling hole at the edge where you would like the book to be bound. Traditionally the pages would be punched with a bookbinding needle. However in this workshop

we used a automatic drill to punch the holes. We then covered a piece of thread with wax to prevent it fraying which also enabled us to thread it through the holes we had just made. You then follow the method to ensure it is done correctly, making sure to go over the ends. Overall I found the process of creating my own book quite rewarding and feel I can use this skill in the future to make future sketchbooks or journals.


Screen Printing Screen printing is the method of passing ink through a mesh which is attached to a frame. The design is exposed onto the mesh and acts as a barrier that is not permeable. A squeegee is then used to squeeze the paint through

the mesh and onto the paper below. You can get quite creative with screen printing and can build up different layers of colour creating a very intricate piece of disign. I enjoyed experimenting on the gardient you can see below.



L e c t u re s As well as signing up to workshops, you will be expected to attend at least three lectures of your choice, organised by Graphic Design, Fine Art, Illustration and Visual Communication.


Propaganda: The Power of Persuasion 27/01/14 The lecture discussed key issues such as the power of persuasion, and manipulation and how these are accomplished. The examples including the power and boldness of visuals, the session mentioned key figures such as Noam Chomsky who has proved to be one of the most influencing people of the centry. The session also questions the role of modern social media in everyday situations.


Notion of Taste, Aesthetic Judgement and Consumer Culture 20/01/14 This session explores our relationship with objects and how we give value and respond to ‘things’, how out consumption and judgement varies year on year, how do these relate to consumer culture? Are we living in a demanding society? The session considered the notion of style, luxury in relation to mass produced products that we instantly demote in out ‘standards’.


Digital Materiality 27/01/14 In this lecture we explored the history, development and pervasiveness of the digital today. The focus is on the materiality of the digital as we attempt to dispel the myth of virtuality and disembodiment. How might much notions be unhelpful in discussions of digital practice?





Visual thinking workbook Level 4 Unit 2  
Visual thinking workbook Level 4 Unit 2