NVL V i s u a l
L a n g u a g e
N e w
F O R M
F O L L O W S
F U N C T I O N
Con tents. Street Graphic
The Cabinet of Curiosity
I explore how my work on this project developed through various visuals linked with the street and how we all have a personal link to it in our own way through the way we interact with it on a daily basis. This brought me onto the subject of Found Objects and how. when they are all brought together, they can become an extension of oneself, projecting a small summary of a particular part of someone, such as their interests or personality. I explore how I used objects and ephemera linked to the people close to me to show a glimpse of my families lifestyle.
I work through the developments of my project and how I moved between two and three dimensional work in order to get the best final outcome possible. I look at how street art and photo journalism lead me to creating a cabinet that had many interactive qualities as well a personal link to myself, becoming almost a time capsule of curiosity. I take what I learned about objects and how they show parts of a person from my first project “Street Graphic” and apply it to my project to show a section of my life and the various aspects of it across 2013.
I take a look a my final project and how I used a combination of photography and iconography to create an artifact from earth that would potentially be sent into space as a cry for help as the artifact contains six ways in which the Earth could be destroyed through both natural and man made incidents. I explore how photographers such as Irving Penn and Martin Vlach edit and distort their images in order to create photographs with a sinister feel before combining them with the collaging style of Kurt Schwitters in order to create a research journal.
2 11 18 My Typeface
Design is Everywhere
I look at the creative processes I went through in order to produce a complete typeface and how I developed my work over time in order to produce a fot that was easy to read as well as appealing to the eye. I explore how I produced three rough font ideas before taking the most interesting of the them forward to create a full font that I could potentially use in the future. However, I also look into the areas that I found most difficult in the design process as well as the areas that I enjoyed the most as typography work is an area I find incredibly interesting.
My manifesto “Design is Everywhere” shows my own interpretation of how I should look at the world in terms of design as everything that has ever existed has some form of design behind it whether it be natural or man made. I find this subject fascinating and it also allows me to link my work in with the rest of the world and really make it part of something other than just a piece of design. I also explore the three manifestos I looked at in order to create my own and how they inspired me to do something a bit different due to their unique styles.
I began the brief by looking at the street and seeing how I used it, this lead me to record sounds and videos of my journey to and from the University. I then listened to the sounds and created visual responses to them in a small sketchbook to help me build on ideas. However, once Iâ€™d created the images, I struggled to apply them physically to my sketchbook until I began collaging them in the style of Kurt Schwitters and Robert Rauschenberg with my original visuals. As you can see from the image about, I
combined collage with various other techniques such as continuous line drawing and crosshatch shading which really helped me create a rough collage that was inspired by the street and the graphic components it contains. After experimenting with another collage, I began to look into creating similar collages digitally by combining photography and scanned objects of my own with different distortions and layers that created the level of depth I had tried to produce in my manual collages.
EXPERIMEN TATION As I progressed onto more digital art forms, I became influenced by multi-media artist Danny Allison who combines photography and digital artwork with manual collage to create distorted, graffiti - style images. However, it was the way he distorted the main subject of an image by shifting various strips of it slightly left or right that really caught my eye and encouraged me to attempt it within my photography. As you can see from my images, I decided to photograph very metallic objects with a very low level of contrast that, I feel, gives a slight 1940’s/50’s feel to it due to the natural vignette created by the shadows in the background. I then distorted the image by taking small strips of the objects and shifting them slightly before adding in the transparent red lines and beams of light that I had photographed at a concert I had visited earlier in the year. I really liked this way of working, however, my project lacked meaning and didn’t have the personal touch that I wanted it to have. This caused me to begin looking for my own found objects which allowed me to begin producing something that was an extension of myself and still appealed to the Street Graphic brief.
Whilst looking into ways that I could include my own personal visuals, I stumbled across an old necklace chain that belonged to a close relative of mine. I decided that just scanning it in by itself would make it a very uninteresting feature within my work as it didnâ€™t have the photographic values my headlight bulb and pocket watch had. Therefore, I created my own typeface using the just the chain so that I had an original font that I could include within my later work that was both personal to me and related to my theme of Found Objects. I then furthered my research into how I could manipulate my photographs and scans which led me to the work of Reynald Drouhin, a French multimedia artist based in Paris. Drouhin uses a variety of different techniques, yet it was his Monolith work which really caught my eye and inspired me to create my own monolith which could feature in my work alongside my new typographic work. I began by drawing out a few ideas on isometric paper before taking them into Adobe Illustrator and creating digital versions that could be used to manipulate and improve my images.
It was at this point that I came across one of the most interesting items I have ever encountered, a wallet filled with foreign bank notes from across the globe. I scanned each individual note and used the ones with the most interesting colours and textures so I could create pieces inspired by Reynal Drouhinâ€™s monoliths and image manipulation as well as the levels of depth created by Kurt Schwitters. Above is one of the pieces that I created in this particular style, I used multiple layers on top of one another so that I could fashion the circles and monolith without losing the flush detailing of the original bank notes. I then used a combination of Hard and Vivid Light blending modes as well as drop shadows and strokes to lift my spearated shapes off the background. I
particularly like how the circles act almost as magnifying glasses that heighten the clarity of the note yet still seem completely part of it. The minimalist drop shadow surrounding the monolith makes it almost lift up of the page but still feels part of the piece even though I used Reynald Drouhinâ€™s technique of flipping the image within the monolith. I found that this was a particularly effective way of working yet I needed more substance to my work to make it more personal to me which brought me onto my final idea. I decided to create mixed media collages on myself and the people close to me by collecting objects found in their houses, scanning them in and then layering them over a collage that I had produced out of scraps of ephemera based on that particular person.
Here are the three inital factors I had to create in order to produce my final piece. First, I collected various images and scraps from around my house in order to create a collage that originated from my home. Each image within the collage has a link to my family in some way shape or form. For example, the wax seal I made was made with one of my sisters wax crayons due to her passion for art, the half a penny coin is from an old collection of my mum’s and the astronomical images are from a book that was given to my dad from an old family friend. This makes such a simple collage incredibly special to me as it has a small part of everyone close to me in it, projecting a part of my family life in an unconventional manner. I then sketched an abstract image inspired by the work of cubist George Braque and how he creates heavily detailed images that can be seen from many different angles and perspectives. Finally, I gathered objects that had something to do with each of my family members such as: My great grandfather’s pocket watch and war medals, a spanner from my dad’s toolbox and one of my extracted teeth. I then scanned in these images and used the Threshold adjustment to give each object a grainy texture as well as add a feel of ambiguity so people really have to look at some of the images to find out what they are.
After creating my three inital stages, I began to merge them together into one complete image. I started by laying my sketch ontop of my collage and using the Overlay blending mode to make the tones within my sketch become transparent so my collage can be seen underneath , yet the tonal and textured qualities still remain. I particularly like how the red from the wax seal has shown through in my editided image as a burgundy smudge that blends off the right hand edge , staying to the sharp horizontal line. Once I was happy with how my background had turned out, I began to apply the technique of adding circles and linear lines to the background to create the varied tones that I achieved earlier on in my experimentation. I then moved onto adding my scanned objects, using the Multiply blending mode to clear any white areas created by the Threshold adjustment I had used when putting the digital collage together. I feel that the golden hues in the background really complement the
black, grainy objects and creates quite an old fashioned feel. Finally. I added one of the monoliths I had created previously, making sure to flip the image contained within the shape over so that I still kept in my influences from Reynald Drouhin. I then tidied the image up by adjusting the drop shadows within the image to give it a realistic feel as well as removing and retouching any areas that didntâ€™t contribute to the textured, tonal and overall graphic qualities of the image. This ensured that my first image wasnâ€™t overcrowded with unnecessary features that would cause my image to flatten, losing one of the most important features within my work on this project. Once I had created an image on my own home, I moved onto two other people close to me, my grandma and my girlfriend. I repeated the processes I had gone through to create this piece and then applied them to my other two images to create my final outcome, a small glimpse at me and my family.
Here is my final outcome for the Street Graphic brief. As you can see, I created two more images using the same techniques as I had done previously. However, on my center image, I inverted the colours within the image to give off more of a coastal vibe as I found many objects to do with the seaside in my grandmaâ€™s house and I felt that it would bring more of a varied feel to my final outcome. I also made the objects white to make them stand out more from the blue background but still keeping with the blue, ocean theme. The very pink image was made up of objects that are linked to my girlfriend and I
created this one in almost exactly the same way as I did the orignal. Yet, I made some minor tweaks when it came to adding a drop shadow as the high levels of black from the objects stopped the monolith from standing out like the other two images due to the large amount of objects within the digital collage. I feel that I managed to stick to the brief by showing how the street is linked to everyone and that we all have a personal perspective of what the street is about. Whether it is positive or negative, we all have our own subcultures that can be expressed through the objects that we possess
and everyone can gain an individual opinion on who each image is about and what they stand for. This is very similar to how we, as humans, try and understand each other on a daily basis through purely what we see. However, this time, instead of seeing a person, we see the objects behind them. We see things only that person or the people closest to them would understand which, I feel, is a simple, yet enigmatic piece of work that one person could appreciate as just a piece of artwork and another could see an entire family. I am particularly fond of how this image is my own personal representaion
of the people I hold dearest, an image that only I can fully understand but everyone can still take some sort of meaning from it. It is a piece of artwork that is both an extension of my family and a glimpse of how the street contains similarities and differences on an extremely wide scale, even within families. This shows how these three pieces have only scratched the surface of what could be achieved if this technique was used on a much larger scale. I would be interested to see what these images would look like if three completely separate families had their own individual piece.
The Cabinet of The Cabinet of Curiosity Curiosity
I began this project by looking into artists that use journals in order to record ideas or specific moments in their lives. This brought me to photo journalist Dan Eldon, who inspired me to take my own photographs in a similar style to his but base the images on myself as I wanted my cabinet to be based around who I am. My photographs combine: my interests, my family and my education yet some are more
ambiguous than others, which I feel makes them more interesting as their purpose isnâ€™t clear and therefore will cause people who view the images to think about how the image itself links to me. However, I felt that I should make a physical cabinet instead of a digital one. Therefore I began to look at other kinds of techniques that had more of a manual quality to them, allowing me to build up a more three dimensional piece.
I began looking into artists who use three dimensional objects as canvases for their artwork. Nick Gentry paints highly detailed portraits onto hundreds of floppy disks which inspired me to create my own stencils and paint my image onto stamps as floppy disks wouldâ€™ve been too large for me to paint on and i wanted to use something with the repetitive qualities the disks have. So that my lines remained crisp, I made a two part stencil: a postive piece that contained the silhouette of the manâ€™s face. This allowed me to paint the background white without affecting the stamps on the inside of the main subject of the image. I then cut out a negative stencil that allowed me to paint the black features of the man effectively. I painted this image with an airbrush and diluted acrylic paints as I feel that this allows me to
gain a much more even paint coverage that has similar qualities to aerosol spray cans without having to use them in a ventilated area. My second image was inspired by street artist Banksy, who uses paint and stickers to create controvertial images on various buildings and walls in urban landscapes. I used a piece of corrugated cardboard as a relatively uneven, lightweight backgorund to stencil an image that Banksy himself stencilled. This allowed me to gain a better understanding of how to use stencils in order to create images with a high level of contrast as well as a level of depth. This led me onto artists that use only three dimensional items in their work in order to create aesthetically pleasing objects that have a mysterious feel to them, much like what I wanted to achieve with my own cabinet.
In order to gain a higher understanding of three dimensional work I looked into the abstract work of Louise Nevelson, an American sculptor who builds up levels of wooden objects in order to create highly elaborate structures that stand freely. This particualr way of working creates an effect thatâ€™s similar to looking down on a city scape due to the high levels of depth and detail. I decided to create a similar, simpler image by collaging corrugated card and coins
on top of each other before painting the whole piece black. This gave me a more thorough understanding of the way in which Louise Nevelson works as well as allowing me to develop my three dimensional skills. However, I wanted to create a series of objects that had amore of an interactive quality to them. Therefore I began to research items that could be interacted with by people as well as having an aesthetically pleasing quality to them.
After researching three dimensional art, I started to hollow out lightbulbs so I could fill them with objects that relate to me. I decided to use a lightbulb because It is an object that can give a three dimensional view of whatever is inside. This allowed me to create simple yet interseting pieces that had the ambiguity of my photographs inspired by Dan Eldon and a three dimensional element that allows you to pick them up and gain a three hundred and
sixty degree view of each individual piece. I particularly like how lightbulbs are also used to symbolise thoughts and ideas as people will be able to look at my lightbulbs and gain an insight into my interests and thoughts. After I created my lightbulbs, I photographed them and began experimenting with various drawing and image transfer techniques to give me more ideas on how to present my work as well as broaden my visual research.
Once I had created my lightbulbs, I moved on to the actual cabinet that would display the bulbs together so that they form one individual piece. I then stumbled across an old chest that I had accuired as a child which I thought worked really well with the lightbulbs, adding more
of a vintage feel to my work without taking the rustic aspects away. Once I had used some fine sandpaper to scratch up the metal finishes on the box, I looked at ways in which I could display the bulbs effectively within the box and not just placing them in the chest.
Here is my final outcome for my Cabinet of Curiosity brief. After attempting to create multiple lightbulbs without the correct equipment, I decided that it was too dangerous to fill the base of my original cabinet with hollowed bulbs. Therefore I looked back at my influential artists Banksy and Nick Gentry, which resulted in me creating a digital, street
art style cabinet with a combination of hand drawn and physical lightbulbs. I feel that this technique was a better development from my original research as my old cabinet didnâ€™t have any links to street art. I also feel that this has the potential to be combined with the physical cabinet so I can regain the interactive qualities that I had originally set out to achieve.
I began this project by researching various photographic techniques as the Voyager Mission record contained various images that represented our planet. I stumbled across American photographer Irving Penn who prodominantly creates black and white images with a high contrast which emphasises the light within the photographs as well as the details within the photographic subjects. I decided to experiment with this technique by using various camera angles and distances to explore the variety of images I could create
with this particular style of photography. Once I had gathered some high quality images, I began to edit them in Adobe Photoshop so that I could add a more sinister feel to them as I wanted to create an Earth Artifact that highlighted the issues that could result in the end of the world. I also experimented with some manual forms of image distortion by using a craft knife to scratch into the photographic paper which revealed very crisp, white lines on my photographs that enhanced the eerie feel that I wanted to achieve within my images.
After looking at the high contrast work of Irving Penn I moved towards the other end of the spectrum and began to look at the work of Martin Vlach, a Czech Photographer who uses fog and unclear images to create images smothered with ambiguity due to the combination of wide-angled landscapes and surreal placements of animals and objects that really cause viewers to look deeper into his simple, yet fascinating images. Above are some of my interpretations of his work. I began by collecting images
that contained a strong horizon line as well as showing a level of contrast between the ground and the sky. I then edited the image in Adobe Photoshop to emphasize the levels of fog as well as add a small character to give the entire photograph an almost supernatural feel. These images then began to spark the six issues threatening the life of Earth that I focused on for the rest of my project: Global War, Depletion of Earthâ€™s Resources, Devine Intervention, Natural Disasters From Space, Uprising of a Supernatural Power and Alien Invasion.
I began to turn my sketchbook into a research journal, collecting items and emphemera based on my six issues and collaging them together to create visual mood boards for each individual factor. I included a short piece of writing explaining the context of each subject which I presented in the style of Kevin Spaceyâ€™s character John Doe In the psychological thriller Seven (1995). I then began researching how we, as humans, communicate with symbols instead of spoken language so that we can understand one another on a global scale.
Factors such as the male and female signs on toilet doors and brand logos are recognisable across the planet which brought me onto developing my own symbols from my original collages , representing each of the six issues. I resulted in creating a sketched symbol for each subject that I developed within Adobe Illustrator. This allowed me to produce six, high quality images that I could easily manipulate in order to suit the aesthetic qualities of my project and impute the levels of context that I had achieved in my collages.
Here are my final symbol designs for my six individual issues. Starting from the top left my symbols represent: The Depletion Of Earthâ€™s Resources (Inspired by atomic models and the inverted biohazard symbol), Natural Disasters From Space (Inspired by planetarial rings and astrological mapping), Uprising Of A Supernatural Power (Inspired by pentagrams and continuous linework), Global War (Inspired by the global effects of blood diamonds and the geometry behind thier shaping), Devine
Intervention (Inspired by the christian symbol of the cross as well as the style of a compass rose) and finally Alien Invasion (Inspired by crop circles and planetary movements). I feel that these symbols are successful in projecting a meaning as they are both strong pieces individually and when they are combined together. I then began to think about how I could use these symbols to make my own Earth Artifact and successfully project the six issues in an effective and aesthetically pleasing manner.
Once I had completed my six symbols, I began to generate ideas on how I could present them effectively as well as create a physical artifact from them. I decided to draw out a simplified version of my Supernatural symbol in my sketchbook before cutting areas out to make a two piece stencil that I used to create the spray painting that is depicted above. I felt that displaying all of my symbols in this way would be much more interesting to both create and view as the final outcome and the stencils have a really nice quality to them that I wouldnâ€™t be
able to recreate in Adobe Illustrator. However, as much as I liked this process, it didnâ€™t seem to fit my project because I would have had to drastically simplify some of my images in order to make them into stencils. This would have resulted in my images becoming more bulky as I couldnâ€™t create a stencil with lines as thin as those in my illustrations which would have caused me to simplify my shapes even further, losing the smaller details that worked really well within my project. Therefore, I began to look into other methods that could take my project further.
I began to look into making my own typeface for my project’s title “Earth Artifact”. I started to look back in my sketchbook to pick up on any letter forms I had created previously and I came across my initial mind map that I did at the very beginning of the project in which I used the initials “E.A” as an abbreviaton for the title of the brief. This lead me to creating my first title depicted at the top of the page. However, I wasn’t particularly happy with it as it didn’t really suit the linework of my symbols. This resulted in me experimenting with different
ways of presenting my title and creating a second typeface consiting of simple lines. This particular style worked well with my symbols but I still liked the overall style of my original piece, so I combined the two together. I found a more sophisticated font called Oranienbaum and combined it with some construction lines in order to make it my own, fusing the two styles together and creating some initials that worked seamlessly witht the rest of my project. Now that I had my typeface, I set out to find a way to combine it with my symbols to create my artifact.
A 12 Inches in Diameter
12 Inches in Diameter
Lines to etch Lines to cut
My first design proposal was to create my own record similar to the Golden Record featured in the 1977 Voyager Mission. However, I wanted my record to be made out of a metal that was scruffy and decayed in order to give an apocalyptic feel as well as link in with the style of my sketchbook. I began by sketching my ideas out in rough before developing them in Adobe Illustrator and creating a document that could potentially be run through a laser
cutter. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the design process as I like to work with precise measurements and geometry in order to create a piece of work both manually and digitally. Therefore, I felt that this was an idea that was effective as it fit the brief and worked with my developments. However, I thought it would be wise to come up with at least one more idea in order to fully explore my developments and create the best final outcome I possibly could.
My second design proposal originated from my previous stencil work and how I could improve them in order to make them a functioning part of my final outcome. My first idea was to spray paint and photograph my symbols in areas where people could see them easily but not necessarily notice them (much like graphic artist Shepard Fairey). However, I didnâ€™t want to cause any damage or distruption to public areas so I decided to look into another method.
I decided to draw out and cut a new stencil before using it as a secondary viewfinder in my photography so the image could only really be seen through the negative spaces of the stencil. I was really drawn to this idea as it combined my symbols with the sinister styles of photography that I had looked at in the early stages of my project. However, I still had to radically simplify my symbols which took away their link to the rest of my project, rendering them pointless.
E T C A
A Here is my final outcome for my Earth Artifact brief. I decided to produce a virtual artifact that could potentially be made into a physical object that still has similar qualities to the original golden record. I resulted in combining my six symbols with the E and A initials I manipulated earlier on in my project. Using this particular style of typography works really well with my icons as it helps to balance out
the circle of symbols without leaving any unsightly negative space. On the reverse side of my record, I decided to stick with the traditional style of a vinyl record by creating multiple circles decreasing in size to represent the area which the music is played from. I also included the name of the brief in the center of the record in the same typeface as my inital letters so that the entire disk matches and has
T C A
a uniform feel. I feel that my final outcome is successful as it concludes my research into communicating with symbols and ways in which our planetâ€™s future is threatened. The piece itself is heavily influenced by the original Voyager Recordand therefore fits in well with the context behind the Earth Artifact brief. I feel my symbols might have been uneffective in some circumstances because meanings behind
them arenâ€™t particularly clear. This is due to the fact that they have been inspired by the contents of my research journal. However, the logos featured on the original record had a level of ambiguity behind them and may not have been clear to any extra terrestrial life forms. This makes them similar to my own symbols as they both contain a level of ambiguity and some people/beings may struggle to understand them.
In order to create my typeface, I began by looking through various images for inspiration before sketching rough copies of potential typefaces. I then took three of the strongest sketches and developed them further on graph paper so that each character was even and neatly presented. I was left with three strong sets of type that I could develop further in Adobe Illustrator but first I had to select the typeface that I thought was the most interesting as well as being easy to read. Once I had settled on my types style, I moved into Adobe Illustrator to finetune my typeface so that I created the best product possible, this brought me onto my four step system to ensure each character was even and kept to the same style throughout. I began my creating an initial
frame for each individual letter that I placed evenly across my page, this would ensure that all of my characters were evenly spaced apart in parallel lines. I then drew out the blocks using the Pen tool , making sure that I kept to my frame. So that my blocks stood out from my frame, I decided to use a thicker stroke so that the linework didnâ€™t become too heavy, disrupting the clarity of my final outcome. Once I was happy with the blocks, I created a new layer and placed it below the block outlines before shading in each section with a different shade of grey depending on the way the shape was facing. Finally, I added two panels of pale blue to the front and back of each character which gave it a glass box effect and allowed each letter to pop from the negative spaces.
DESIGN IS EV It may not always be the most eye catching Or the most noticeable thing in the world T h r o u g h n a t u r a l selection or industrial process, carefully shaped its function and feel to make it the best it can be
whether it's t
Or just so DESIGN IS
and it k So show wha Don’t let what’s upst
It’s your life, your your industry, your w
Create new from
Keep pushin And you’ll always be
Because... DESIGN 31
But something, somewhere oS itEVERYWHERE can survive
to make your life easier
keeps us alive at youâ€™re made of tairs hold you back
style So world
stick to it inspired old Be
ng forward where you want to be
IS EVERYWHERE 32