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Thomas Astley Year 3 Graphics EGRDFBAH 0804879











A V R I I G D E T S N EGRD3014 Independent Practice 3A: Articulation

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE The Introduction This Portfolio shows a mixture of Independent Work and External Positioning over the last few weeks. in the early stages the work is very experimental but all revolving around my own interests and then by the end of the portfolio the two subjects will link. I would like to give a brief in site into what kind of designer I am and how I operate. I would consider myself a classic designer operating on current briefs given to me, which may consist of informational graphics, advertising and editorial works as an example. I don’t class myself as a designer that you could put into one category, more one that is an all rounder who can do bits of everything, which from my own belief and experience is more useful to a company employing.

The Headliner Fanzine I wouldn’t class myself as a bookbinder but I’m always open to try and tackle my weakness. I focused this fanzine around my interest in headlines and the feelings they have on you. Headlines can often help people decide what tabloid they may buy each day, depending on what they supply etc: humour, shock, and seriousness. Sometimes I see headlines that shock me purely on how bad or near the mark they are for a daily tabloid. In this handmade book I’ve used a thick patterned card to give a professional look and inside I’ve made my own articles ranging in emotional context. I’ve used existing headlines cut each letter apart and created some of my own. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome of this book, working hands on and having the patient’s to create a book isn’t strength but now I’d be more confident in making more. I think when you tackle and work with your weaknesses, it can change your opinions and improve skills.

Something I’ve always wanted to do......... and won’t do again! When you’re told you can experiment and do something you’ve never done before you’re mid should be initially filled with ideas and plans but for me I had a blank, maybe that’s because there was so many things I hadn’t experimented with before. To help me come up with something, I decided to think about my past hobbies and interests, seeing as they say we experiment most when we are younger. I use to paint a lot before I studied Graphics, but I’d never used oil paints in the past, maybe because I heard it was difficult to use. So this was my chance to experiments and tries something new. I decided to paint an A2 scale and left handed, two things I’d never tried especially as I’m right handed. I really enjoyed this experiment, I remembered why I used to enjoy painting, it’s relaxing and like graphic Design it’s expressive and creative. Though I think it would of taken less time using my right hand.

Three Minute Video Here are some stills from my video, which was focused around some of the most iconic imagery and photography in history. The video shows a reel of images whilst in the background as a contrasting effect, the song “Wonderful World” plays. I feel that the piece if media is very strong and moving which is exactly what I wanted to achieve when making this. I’ve used children in this video to show the horror of our past and future, a child’s simple expression can be very powerful to watch and as it’s child it can be more effective than using an adults expression. Each image last five seconds, this is because I wanted to show as many images as possible and each image should be a flash into the past and future, thus making the viewer think at a faster and more aware pace. During some points in the video the imagery and lyrics fit perfectly together without being staged like that. Over all Think this video is very powerful and has achieved what I wanted and that was to gain awareness to the world we live in and what we are capable of.

Experimentation with iconic photography This was an experiment and investigation that I followed up when working with the power of imagery, possibly an influence from my video but also from my passion for using strong imagery like Abram Games does in his advertising. Like him I want to use strong powerful imagery that could border on shocking, then apply a simple but effective text to go with it. I wanted to have a series of awareness posters so started to experiment with mixing iconic images of the past with simplistic child hood nursery rhymes. In most cases the nursery rhymes did match and link with the images but the purpose behind the work had faded and lost point with my independent work, but I’ve shown an experiment here that failed but was in someway to me worthwhile and exciting to try.

Independent Practice Summer Work Experience During the summer I made time to make contacts in the industry and obtain some work experience alongside current designers. I spent three weeks with The Daily Mail working on photo shoots, editorial pieces that went into print and home grown briefs established for the benefits of the company. Below I have included emails sent between myself and the head editor at The Daily Mail.

Dear Bob My name is Tom Astley I am a Graphic Design Student currently looking for work experience from the 28th April - 12th May. I emailed Felicity Swan and she has kindly got me working with the A&N Creative Communications department from the 4th-7th May, she also said she had spoke to you and said you would be interested giving me a few days which would be much appreciated. I would be happy to fit in around your shedule and would really appreciate any days you could offer. Thank you for your time Kind regards Tom Astley

Dear Tom, Thank you for your email regarding work experience here at Associated Newspapers. The A&N Creative Communications department would be happy togive you 4 days from May 4-7th in their department, commencing at 9.30am on the Tuesday. Please would you ask for Andrew Rees at reception. Kind regards Gwenn Glynn (Head of Creative Communicationbs) Dear Felicity Thank you very much for finding me the work experience with the A&N Creative Communications department, that would be much appreciated. I have just emailed Bob Rosson to discuss some dates if possible. Once again thank you for your time and help Tom Astley Dear Tom Sorry I havn’t arranged anything yet but we have been mega busy. Spoke to Gwenn the other day, she said your Portfolio is great and you would fit into editorial team, i’d be more than happy to have you for two weeks. Because we are a Sunday newspaper we don’t work Monday due to the busy weekend, if you can come in the week beginning Tuesday 10th August we can start from there. Look foward to seeing you then Bob Dear Bob Hope you are ok and all is well, I am just emailing to see if you could help me out. Basically my university loved the work I did with you during the summer and appreciated you fitting me in to the busy work space, I asked them if it would be possible for me to do more work experience as i have found it very beneficial. I told them what an ideal and great working team you all are, and how you all helped me during your busy summer. I know its short notice but i was wandering if you could offer me some work experience in the next two weeks. I understand that you are all busy people and i understand if you don’t have the space, but i would really appreciate it. The idea is that if possible you could give some old editorials to play around with like i was doing before, its just to get me use to work with more professional briefs. As i say i understand if you don’t have the desk space but it will only be a few days or what you could offer, basically i’m after professional briefs rather than the fictional briefs they give me here. If you don’t have the space for a few days, would it be possible if you sent me some old editorial pieces to play around with at university. It would really help me out but i completely understand if you cant help me. Thank you and kind regards Tom Astley Tom, Certainly no problem in you coming in. We do have desk space. We are all exstremely busy as we have lost some staff who are not being replaced. You would have to work by yourself as time is very much at a premium but I can give you some lieve briefs to work and you could be doing us a favour. let me know Bob

Editorial Work Produced Whilst I was at The Daily Mail I produced some editorial pieces to experiment with. Here are some examples of the work produced, I have to create the lay out crop and improve images and choose font colour etc. I found it very helpful for me to work under these new conditions, around current professional and taking praise and constructive criticism from experienced designers that can help improve my design approach and ideas. I found it difficult to get use to their requirements of choosing correct imagery to be bigger than others and take centre stage on a double page spread, it’s proportional and dominant requirements that are needed in a paper’s publishing requirements. You have to choose colours and images that will attract a reader and make the piece look interesting. When creating headlines for editorials they would take an interesting line out of the interview

Here are some examples of some advertising spreads I worked on whilst at The Daily mail. In the examples shown previous I was thrown in the deep end and asked to help on some live work that was due for that upcoming paper and I think being put under that kind of pressure helped me to produce some good work that ended up being published in the Sunday paper. When working as an editorial designer you are given your articles / briefs at the start of the week due for the Saturday print deadline. I was given the edited text and images needed and I had to adapt the material to the companies expectations and requirements within a double page spread and a front cover. The images used in some cases I had to edit and touch up, re-layering for effects and playing with colour effects to give the models that attractive glow. The style of working is very trial and error, where you’re constantly editing the work. Half way through the week you are expected to have the work near to complete so the team can have a dummy paper ready to look at and improve. I found this experience very worthwhile and would consider it somewhere I would like to work in the future as it fits into my advertising interests and design abilities.

Language / Terms Used Slap-downs: Hardcopy of work that’s promotional, maybe and A3 poster or rough advert for paper that promotes something in the paper, like a free CD or DVD. Body text: In the early stages of work to get a rough idea of where text will be you can use body text to fill in the blank spaces Dead Space: Areas on a double page spread or single Article for promotional advertising, outside companies may want to buy some of the space, so you never work on dead space. Lives Space: This is your working area on a spread

Imagery is crucial to an article. Has to round up and sell the article. with each image used and information bar below must be inserted to give more details.

Introductions should incise and encourage the reader to read on

Within this imagery our model looks very relaxed which would have the same effect on the reader. Her eyes lead you around the page, holding the article together. I chose this image to take centre page because it evaluates the article and persuades the reader to visit Dubai. The photo has a beautiful background that gives you a good view of what Dubai has to offer.

Try and choose images with matching colours and use colours that give off a mood that fits the article

With a travel article include information on holiday and prices to inform the interested reader. Seeing as this spread is based on travel everything will come down to price and availability so that what I have to include in an informataion chapter.

In a headline it is optional on colour but font should really be a basic but effective serfif font thats clear and easy to read like a Gothic font.

This was a double page spread that I was assigned, as you can see I’ve experimented with imagery arrangement, headings, general page layout and additional add-ins. I was really keen on the main image compared to other two because of the back ground which evaluated the holiday and the model in the photo, the way she looked and stood held the editorial together and I believe it adds to the flow of the piece, it’s not to heavy like the other images, hence why I have used one as my main image and the other two as small icons.

I added quotations that had been used in the interview, enlarged them and make them an enticing focus on the page, just something big enough to grab the reader and encourage them to read on. The editor was interested with my theory and let me hold the idea in place. He said that if it was done properly using the best quotation and not overused he wouldn’t have minded publishing this.

It felt it was important to add some of my own ideas and styles into the piece, which I knew even before doing them, that I could come under some criticism from the editor purely because with was usually what The Daily Mail would publish or work around.

An interesting tip I found was that when an editor would create a heading, they would use something that had been said either in the interview or general text and play around with it. the base of the headline is true but in some case text my be taken out or added in to look more interesting or eye-catching. Over all im very pleased with this spread outcome I’ve tried to experiment with the piece and I’m encouraged by what I’ve learnt from professional editors and a current team.

Another work placement I found during my Independent practice, was with a company I’ve been going too for five years, Reed Business Information based in Sutton. I worked with their design team on many briefs and they know what I am capable of as a designer. They gave me a live brief to work on and the client has Hospitality Action a company that focus on helping hospitality people that have fallen on hard times. I was asked to produce two posters that can be shown in newspapers and on the Internet to raise awareness of the company and what they actually do. In the brief were the requirements the company wanted me as a designer to keep to. I made sure I was strict with keeping to the requirements when designing these two pieces and when I was able to show the client who was very pleased with the outcomes and I’m waiting to hear if they will use my designs.

Below shows me working on an experimental brief, which allowed me to work in 2D and 3D. I created a chocolate company from scratch working on a logo and font for them and then creating a layout for the company packaging. I created this font to use for the packing and was very pleased with the out come. The font had a comforting look that seduced the buyer. I chose a royal purple colour to add that touch of class that the product would need and added a signature kiss just to welcome buyers. This was designed in Illustrator and Photoshop and was good for me to design and think at the same time about trying to sell a product.

I wanted to extend my experimentation and independent work but link my own studies and design experiments with what I had learnt and designed with external companies like The Daily Mail. I was very happy with my hand made booklet in the early stages of the project and thought that as I had experimented in the booklet with layout and typography it would work well to try another version that could relate and incorporate with the work and what I had learnt with the likes of The Daily Mail. The book would focus around linking my ideas, with the professional layout and techniques of a tabloid company. The content has remained humorous, fun and interesting, but I wanted pages to contain imagery as well to make pieces more interesting to observe and for myself to experiment more with imagery and layout possibilities.

] What I have tried to do is incorporate a tabloid feel into this new edition of my hand made booklet called The Head Liner Revamped. I tried to get the original look and font off on the front cover and then added a retro messy looking font over the top for a dramatic effect. This kind of effect wouldn’t be used by The Daily Mail tabloid but more from a tabloid like The Sun where they play on a contrast and print against rules less Conservative as The Daily Mail. What I was pleased with and found effective was that I could create a montage of images that linked and then sum them up with one word; this is a simple but effective technique. In other cases I would play on finer details in the imagery, a favourite of mine was where I managed to collect a montage of images for Victoria Beckham based on her breast enlargement and reduction. Then I added a catchy headline “Now you see them, now you don’t”. This style and topic would be something The Daily Mail would work with in this style, keeping it interesting but adding that touch of humour that lightens the story.

Research & Blog Work for Independent Practice Since the start of term I have been researching Abram Games and his advertising work. I have been doing this because I am keen on advertising and the awareness that links with it. Games during the 1940’s were heavily involved in advertising for the government and in general about the war. His posters would contain warning, messages and advice to the public to help them or advise them during hard times. Looking through each piece of work that I have shown it is noticeable that I incorporated this awareness advertising style into my own work. I like the way Games uses clever ways of grabbing attention to his work, if that were using incorporated or hidden signs and shapes into his imagery or adding a surreal aspect to his work to bring attention and opinions to what his messages and thoughts are. Looking at his work you can see a strong reference to surrealist Dali and Van Gogh. I have tried to follow Games techniques and values into my own work, especially in my three minute video, using the power of shock value in my imagery to grab attention. This piece of Games work was produced during the WWII and was an iconic piece of advertising due to the controversy it caused. It was viewed in public for a matter of day before it was taken down due to the disturbing nature it had and the effect on the public it produced. People where outraged at the use of a dead child on the poster, Games has merely used this as a shock awareness and in some cases you can say it has done it’s job, because everyone was aware of the poster when it was published. Games have used a lot of Dali techniques. Dali’s work was known for sharp straight lines and shapes, playing on imagery, surreal essence and Dali’s favourite colour, red. All these traits can be seen in this poster and in many more of Games posters and campaigns.

These are some grabs from my own blog, where I have been researching and backing up my project with evidence of investigation into Abram Games work and his style that I would like to incorporate into my own work. I want to use Games style of awareness advertising in my own work, the way he experiments with imagery and texts, blending them together, encourages me to experiment in that way with my work.

My blog was used to show other colleagues my research, ideas and work to date. This shows my ideas in progress ranging from my research to small ideas; all this is posted where I can gain feedback and other ideas to help my work progress. I found this very beneficial and I gained positive and helpful ideas and feedback that allowed my work to progress. The research I posted onto the blog contained my ideas of investigation, where I looked at iconic photography, Abram Games and awareness techniques. This research allowed me to investigate the power and importance of imagery, how an image makes the observer feel and think and how those aspects sell and attract. In my editorial work I would have to use the correct imagery especially on a double page spread where the main images is not only the largest on the page, but has to sell the article.

Evaluation of Independent Practice I am pleased with my work produced in this unit of the project. It shows a range of skills and styles of creative design, from painting to handmade structures and Indesign work, to name a few. I am pleased that I have managed to stick to my aims from the start and that was to incorporate Games style of design into my own work and because of that I feel that my work has a more professional purpose. Designing and creating the hand made booklet for the first time was a challenge for me as I wouldn’t consider it a strength with hands on creating, so when I rounded the unit up with a second version that linked my External experiecnes with tabloid work into my new book it seeme to not only make sense, but round the project up and complete the circle very well. I enjoyed experiemtning with montages and headlines with the booklet and editorial work, it shows that good and catchy work can be created off the computer aswell as on it. i’ve not used a blog previous to this year so found that a challenge to work with and use as a way of showing development, but feel that I gave it a good attempt and also saw the possitives that came from it, as my collegues saw my ideas and work, then commented on my ideas with constructive feedback. I am also very proud of the contacts I have obtained over the years, ones of high importance and ones that have come in use during this project and for the future. Overall I am pleased with the outcome of this part of the project due to the experimentation and professionalism of the work put in and out of the criteria.

EGRD 3014 Independent practive  

This is my Independent Practice Unit where I have produce a range of work to support my ideas and values.