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Iain Budgen Independent Practice Active Research

What do I represent?

When asked to think about my current practice, the core themes that was apparent was the confusion and hiding of messages. This series of images is in direct response to that, creating a isometric question mark and disgusing its shape and form. More importantly I wanted one image to directly sum up my work. Core themes Pastel Shades Geometrics Social conciousness Confusion The isometric viewpoint is somewhat inspired by Mirai Mizue’s isometric animation video.

Video work

This video was made in response to the 2nd brief. I didn’t feel like I wanted to do anything stop motion or with film and instead dabbled with flash again. I wanted something that conveyed a message about my work, hence the song choice (Shuffle on a dream - Little Dragon). The concept of this video is that the words reflect people, originally in wire frame form but then hide the identity with consumerism. They eventually try and revert back to their original form, but when they go back they are not the same as before, they are perminantly damaged by success. As to whether this video was successful, I think it is mixed, the visuals do not create a lasting impression and the message is lost with the quick flashing images. Had I had known the brief would be extended to two weeks I would have made it far more elaborate with full flowing animation and fleshing out the message a little more. I also think if I had skills to create this video in a different program other than flash the result would have been very different. A large inspiration was the Hype Williams directed ‘All of the Lights,’ video with its flashing text. and the colour scheme with geometric framworks owe credit to ‘Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay,’ also directed by Hype Williams. Right - The original cast of letters created before the video. Collectively they all work quite well apart from the R, which in hindsight looks too fleshed out by comparison. Also possible colour tweaks with the D possibly becoming pink.

Example screenshots of the video. Invidually the images stand out.

Colour exploration My last works had a strong focus on colour, with a colour scheme shunning black for pastel shades.. After looking at my old work I stripped back colour to the basic primary colours. They are all made with basic lettershapes, following a typeface I made a few years prior. This was the basis for the construction of these pieces. For intial simplicity it uses the RYB colour model as opposed to CMYK or RGB to make the thought behind them instantly recognisable. The work is certainly vibrant, and hides the messaege of the pictures behind it. By limiting the colour scheme however it feels like there is only so much scope for invention and creativity, it comes across very primiatave. Left - Love 2 Below - Primary Love Bottom Left - Hate Across- Revenge

Basis of colour for active research partly inspired by Pard Morrison

Colour exploration Thinking about how art and design can be considered timeless, I worked against this, looking at making something relevant and possibly even fashionable. Coming across this palette was a good basis to continue my work. I find it an interesting theory that essentially design can be retooled with the seasons to remain fashionable, no matter how iconic the image. The ‘revenge’ image (right), takes on a more mature tone when retooled in a different scheme. This idea of remixing and retooling an old piece has been inspired by not only the music world, but also by a forum memb er who remixed my old work. It showed me that work can be reintruptted in a different way. Unless stated, the rest of the portfolio uses this colour scheme in an attempt to create consistency.

With this piece, I think it completely changes the tone, making it softer, even romantic.

Colour exploration

All the images previous all contain a message, whilst this next series focuses on simple and repetitive pattern. I feel like this actually takes away from an interesting aspect of my work, and for that reason I revert back to becoming more cryptic. The colour again changes the perception of the images. Above - Mmmm & Reflection R Across - A pattern (Not using seasonal colours).

Design practice This is to show my old process, and how I wanted to do something with more purpose. Here in photoshop I would write what I intend to say.

Then I would pixelate it through the effects on photoshop, generally fiddling around with the settings until I found something I liked, but with no real thought behind it.

The import into illustrator and live trace it, again messing with the settings until I found something pleasing. Statement (Right) was created using this process. But there is only so far it can be taken.

Cryptic font creation An attempt to try and make something a little more substantial. This was not an inspired by anything but instead just to formulate an idea. Using a gridded system it is that simple. This was created working on the 8x8 gird on illustrator. It was the easiest way to create something tangible and believable in a short amount of time. As can be seen with the first draft, it was literally what was put down with little thought and consideration. The trouble is is that it does not seem interesting or particualry pleasing on the eye. Maybe it is the shape, there is a little variation and when looked at properly, it is difficult to read. The second version was a revised edition of the first, trying to mix up the shapes somewhat. The vowels are also a darker shade to try and differentiate between the two. As a font it makes it a tad more effective but only as an illustrative font. I don’t think it could work any other way. Bottom Left - I speak with tongue 4 Bottom Right - I speak with tongue 2 Just two attempts to see how it would function as a font. It looks kind of clumpy and unstructured.

Cryptic font creation


This was two botched attempts to try and refine and develop my previous statement. The reasons they were largely abandoned was because they were not very engaging image wise and looked almost arkward. The second typeface had a little more structure, built around illustrators grid system, no line could be more than three squares long. The trouble was with letters such as K or V, it would have meant breaking such a code. Strangely people have engaged with the first two version far more than the braille version. My braille typeface (Right) has been far more successful. Although a quick search online has shown it has been done before [2], I have yet to find an example that is not dot based. This is a digitalised version intending to confuse but with a basic knowledge of braille should be easily understandable. In some ways this goes back on my basic premise to make it cryptic. For that reason alone it is better for me to create a new typeface from scratch.

























Cryptic typeface exploration

An attempt to make a cryptic text, beginning with a gridded system and drawing simple lines. The squares were created to differentiate the vowels from the rest of the alphabet. The second and third fonts are a refinement, trying to create a more consistent typeface taking into account lettershapes and form. The variation in shape was to try and create something more appealling when put into sentences. In a way it is kind of an evolution of the brail typeface made previously. However, some of the letters are intentionally close so that only someone with a close knowledge of the type could understand it.

Word structure

Taking further inspiration from different cultures, this is a look at the structure of words and how we read them. Firstly instead of the text reading left to right, the text above reads right to left. Although the text is already illegable, it is a further attempt to encrypt the text. The image to the right takes cues from Chinese writing, with text scrolling down the page. As it is, the vertical text works much better than the right to left reading. Personally it is much more pleasing to the eye. Maybe it is the imagery of the text. Also I feel it is much more convincing as a font in the real world.

Futurism & beyond

Furthering a certain interest in oriental culture, I took the construcion and layout of their signs and made a graphic interprutation using my own font with the structure of the text going from right to left. I also drew on rememberance of childhood game ‘Wipeout 2097,’ and how the signs were represented there. Deep down there is an element of futurism there, the lines and angles. To a point even the colours. The general aim was to create something that noone has seen before in the graphic design world at least. Looking at signs has made me come to the conclusion that this font could be different each time, the context and legiblity could be down to the user. So although it is a digital typeface, it could be entirely organic.

‘Love is cursed by monogamy’ (Left) is further exploration of the theme although I feel it is less successful. Personally there is something about the angle that is off. That being said, the colour scheme as selected previously really pays off. Finding a fresh scheme has been a constant challenge and something that has a lot of time put into it.

Just another girl spring colour 3 (Right) was created using the Patone spring shade colour scheme 2012 (Left). Personally creating a font as it is it makes it easier to have a restrictive pallette to work from. In some respects, it spurs on more creativity, as I don’t believe some of these images would have been created as well as they have with no limitations.

Negative colour Deconstructionism The deconstructionist trend in art was to question and to violate every convention and structure of classic art, to decontextualize meaning, and to discard or distort all the recognizable elements of classic art, such as form and perspective in the visual arts, melody and harmony in the auditory arts, plot and character in novels and plays, and rhyme and meter in poetry. Instead, these were replaced with irony and self-awareness, as novels referred to themselves as works of fiction, and paintings labeled themselves as works of art.

This is based around my dislike of using black in my work and on the suggestion during my critique I went against my will and explored the use of simple black and white. One thing I do like is how the words seem to just be suspended in nothingness and the focus is on them. It draws away from the largely visual approach I employed before. My favourite here is ‘Fucked by greed2,’ (Far right) working on a spotlight look. I think it is really bold and makes good use of the darkness. I wanted to punish the viewer with more than just breaking the code, but with complete distortion of the text. A big inspiration during the exploration of the style was l’atlas.

Left to right: Put the lights on Through the light 1&2

Font creation Pt. 2 Going back to thinking about my typefaces, I thought about how they could all interlock if thought about correctly. This led me back to my childhood and fifteen puzzles. I thought this could be a great way for the viewer to break the code of the image. This is how the typeface (Left) was created. Using graph paper I sketched a simple geometric shape in pen and then transferred it into Illustrator. My only problem was the letter ‘P’ was going to be a blank square, so I had to shuffle the letters across one square. Although I could have solved it another way I also wanted the typeface to be consistant and visually stimualting.

When struggling for inspiration I reverted back to my older typeface to see just how memorable it was. My discovery was that it was remarkable simple in reality, and therefore is to learn. Which is not what I am trying to do.

It was suggested at the critique to make a typeface that totally defied rules layed out from conventional typefaces and this is the first result. Another geometric typeface, every letter looks unique so largely illegable without studying and learning the typeface.

Font creation Pt. 2

This typeface was created as a development of the previous. Working on a grid of 5x5 I snaked the lines down the page to create a typeface that was entirely uniform. I worked down the page, then slicing up the 26 segments to create the letters. In terms of consistant construction, it made the job easier. Like the previous font I have created something where every letter is unrecognisable, but it has the appearance of being a genuine language. It again draws inspiration from Chinese letterforms. My typeface reads from left to right laregly to make it easier for myself because without recognisable letterforms, my job is already difficult. I think this is certainly the typeface to take into my final FMP. Right - Love a bald pussy

General castoffs:

Font creation Pt. 2


Top left to right - OXO 1 & 2, Love isn’t loyalty Middle - Boreage, Love a good mindfuck 1 &2 Bottom - Love a good mindfuck final 2, Love is noise & Your friend

------------LOVE ISN’ T LOYALTY -------------

Although I prefered the look of the white image to these, I think these provide a different take. My personal favourite is the version top left, working off the ideas I have used before with an accent of black, I think it creates a striking image. The black image bottom left is quite interesting also, taking away as much bold blocks of colour as possible. It does however make the text really stand out.



When I finished my second year, I still did not feel like I had a sense of indentiy as to where my work was going, and where I would fit into the graphic design world. To a point, I still don’t know, but I feel like I am getting closer to that point. This year I have become much more disiplined in my approach, I am aware of what style of work I produce and understand how it can evolve and change into something new. It can be organic and develop as my influences and interests change. The heart of it is still the same, I want to make personal work that is visually stimulating to a wider audience whilst hiding litle messages for myself. Throughout this portfolio, I have given the names of each piece of work not because I have to, but because I want people to be aware that this was what I was thinking and feeling at the time of creation. Hopefully it would give you a greater insight into my journey to this point. On the subject of approach, my approach to research and acknowledgement of sources has greatly improved. It has taken a while, but I realise that even little things could influence my work, and I have to sometimes sit back and acknowledge that. There is no shame in being influenced by the wider world. I still can see there is gaps in my knowledge, screen printing for example, would be a natural course of development for my current work. Working with a different program other than flash would have greatly improved the quality of my film. I don’t care for flash anyway but a result from an alternative program could be something far more refined. Work with programs such as Illustrator have also improved, not just with new techniques, but with efficency too. The turnaround with any piece of work has sped up, surely an benefit in the working world. Overall I am happy with this development of my work, and I am happy with where my FMP is going to go. I’m glad that all this work has helped me get to that point, but also with a decent body of work to boot.

I think with the completion of this active research I have come to a conclusion about where to take my FMP. I intend to continue to place cryptic messages in my work, using the final font I created as the basis of my work as well as a strong focus on neon and skyline imagery. The final pieces will explore a variety of different mediums, primarily using Illustrator but also exploring other types of print, including screenprinting. I plan to do an sculpture with a focus on neon lighting. In all I would like to have completed ten or so images that work cohesively in both imagery and message. The message at present is unclear but I would like to go down a social/ political root, make a statement that has to be decrypted. As for allowing the viewer to decode the messages, I think I will provide a poster, leaflet or some kind of imformation in order for the code to be broken.

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active research final  
active research final  

my final research project