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briEF Collect 30 artefacts or images of the same type. Produce a body of design/animation work that communicates the taxonomies and cultural insights within this collection to a specific audience –young, designaware students in Hong Kong. Communication with this audience will be via internet methods (your blogs, twitter). The University of Huddersfield has a significant Chinese community and you may choose to approach individuals in this community to inform your work. From your collection you will develop the most appropriate concept and produce a cohesive body of work. The presentation of this work may be a number of static images or designs, moving image, virtual display, animation or physical installation.


This is my collection that I did over Summer for the Taxonomy project. I was lucky enough to visit Greece over the holidays so I took the opportunity to do some documentary style photography. I went and looked for interesting looking doors dotted around the town of Parga where I was staying. Some of them were old, abandoned, where as many were newly installed or painted and a lot of them were religious or sacred doors leading into shrines or churches. I also collected some photos of doors from around Manchester, near where I live at home. These doors were a lot more derelict than the ones found in Greece. Based on the brief I will consider how to extend my collection and make it fit to the project in an interesting and unique way.

Initial thoughtS Could I think about what was behind the doors and create some sort of design concerning this? I could use the photographs to make a photo collage, the collage representing one door The photos could be displayed on a physical door to enhance the meaning of the images I should do an even split and have 15 photos in Greece and 15 in Manchester (this may involve the need to take more Manchester based photographs) I should think about creating a photobook consisting of the photos, contrasting the difference between the doors in Greece and the ones in Manchester – this would give the Hong Kong students an insight of what the culture is like here compared to another European country) Could the photos be organised in a particular fashion – ie by age (of door), location, type, purpose etc? The photos worked best in portrait style rather than landscape (I should consider taking new shots or cropping existing ones to make them landscape) I could try and pair the photos together with doors from each place based on similar features (arches, windows, steps etc) Placing the photos together shows a strong juxtaposition between the two different places I could cut out the shape of the door from the background and see if this creates new connotations within the images Potential Artists/Movements to think about: Kevin Bauman, Daniel Eatock, Stephen Gill, Fluxus


I have began to research the different ways in which taxonomy can be presented. The definiton of taxonomy is as follows: “A collection; a classification into ordered categories. A proposed taxonomy of educational objectives.� Taxonomy could be a physical collection. It can be a collection of data. Another way of presenting taxonomy is the way in which I approached the Summer brief (to collect 30 objects) which is through photographs.

DANIEL EATOCK On this collection, Richard Torchia (director of Arcadia University Art Gallery) said: “The collection plays on the appeal of getting something for nothing – in this case, the possibility of obtaining an entire collection of matching glassware”. I particularly like Eatock’s work because he has a lot of collections that are not only different from each other but unique in general. Some of his collections include ‘Considered Accidents’ – a series o photographs of cars that contain indentation as part of their design, and ‘Car Batteries’ documentary photographs of various discarded car batteries. Each collection is presented in a slightly different way, for example the ‘Empty Drinking Glasses’ one uses studio photography, whereas the others use documentary or snapshot style photos. Daniel Eatock is a London based Graphic Designer and Photographer. The material found on his website is particularly interesting and relevant to this project because he has a lot of collections in his work, and he documents these collections through photographs, which is the way I have chosen to look at my collection. Here is part of just one of his many taxonomies, simply entitled ‘Empty Drinking Glasses’.

KEVIN BAUMAN - 100 ABANDONED HOUSES Kevin Bauman is a Denver based photographer. I came across this wonderful project of his – ’100 Abandoned Houses’. Bauman has collected these photographs of abandoned properties in Detroit. I absolutely love these photographs. The composition is perfectly central and the photos are presented in squares rather than standard sized portrait or landscape shots. What I really like is how I can relate my project to this one: the photos are both documentary style and consider some of the same aspects (some of which I covered in my mind map) – such as the wealth of a community, abandonment, dereliction and the obvious focus on buildings (although my focus is more particular).


Having looked at my 30 photos of doors I have started to edit and refine some of them. Using one of the many ideas I had from the Taxonomy seminar, I started to experiment and make simple composites of the photos I took in Greece and juxtaposed them with the Manchester based ones. I intentionally made the Manchester ones monochrome.

THOUGHT DEVELOPMENT A book seems to be a good way to present my outcome Using the images I have, experiment with different ways of presenting them – size, colour, layout, collage, paired up The purpose of the brief is to present the 30 things in an interesting way – have I achieved this? I should consider looking at some Art Books and Photography Books for inspiration – in particular Roma Publications who have a very conceptual approach Will the book be made by hand or digitally? What will the design of the front cover be? What will the layout be – concertina, cut out, photo album style, any type involved? What I am trying to show in my collection: The difference between two cultures Contrast of environments Documenting a journey Aesthetically pleasing images The following quote that we were given is actually very useful for my particular choice of collection: This is the surface, but what lays beyond it?


Stephen Gill is a photographer from Bristol. He is another example of someone who has generated a taxonomy through photographs. Here are a few photos taken from his book called ‘Off Ground’. What’s interesting about these photos is that they appear to be simply a collection of different shaped rocks, when in actual fact the series provides a commentary; the objects are actually pieces of debris from the Hackney Riots of 2011. I thought this was an extremely interesting way of approaching not only the issue (by representing it through collection of artefacts) but also a good way of providing a concept to the photographs (which initially may seem to be lacking in concept). Admittedly when I came across the photos I thought they were admirable in the sense that they have been taken using beautiful studio lighting and the different pieces of rubble have rugged textures, however I thought the collection itself was rather bland. But upon learning the story behind these images it gives them a whole other twist which I find fascinating!

ADDITIONAL DOOR SHOTS I decided to balance out the number of photos I had so that there were 15 of each (15 in Greece, and 15 in Manchester). I also had too many Greek photos so I cut them down by removing some of the weaker photos from my collection to make room for these. Now that these are added to my collection I have an equal amount of photos from the Manchester and from Greece. I will show my refined collection and the alterations I have made to them.


This is my refined collection of Manchester based door photos. I made them all monochrome and high in contrast so as to enhance the difference between these and my other half set of photos.


This is the other half to my collection. These photos I made sure were high in saturation and vibrant in comparison to my others. A lot of these were in my original collection but I have narrowed it down slightly and enhanced a few so I thought I would clarify which ones I have selected to take forward.


Here are my compositions of photos put together and shown in contrast. I paired the photos together and did one composition per pair, so 15 compositions in total using my 30 photos.


Here I have designed 3 front cover ideas using the photographs from my collection. I used different layout techniques by splitting the photos in half of in quarters and then layering them with other sections of different photos to create almost an illusory effect. Once the photos were correctly in proportion and lined up how I wanted them I adjusted the curves in the tone to make the photos seem more of the same nature. I also increased the saturation so the colours would stand out, for example the really strong red and blue in the first image I think works really well in contrast with the black and white grungy photographs. I intentionally combined photographs that were taken from a similar perspective so it allowed for more of a continuous appearance in the cover designs.

THOUGHT DEVELOPMENT & TITLE The composites I have done are a good way of responding to the brief and presenting my taxonomy in an interesting way. I should consider to contextualise the photos by including some information at the front of the book, for example, where the photos were taken and the concept I plan to get across with my photographs. I should take inspiration from Photographic books, looking at their layout to determine what key features to include in my book. I need to sketch out some layout ideas and determine which way is the best to present my book. Is the book going to be made digitally or manually? If digitally – consider publishing on Issuu for assessment before printing. If manually – look at different ways of hand making books and determine whether it is doable for the presentation ideas I have in mind What materials will the book be made out of and what size will it be? I started thinking of the concept behind my title when someone suggested I look into the translation of the word door into Greek. The Greek translation is as follows: πόρτα pórta (noun) – door, gate The translation sounds a lot like the word portal – which originates from Latin (porta – meaning ‘door, gate’). Think I just found the title for my book!


I took some books out from the library that had a particular focus on the layout of photographs to give me some inspiration for my book layout. The books are: Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive by Mark Durden & Ken Grant, Alfons Mucha by Josef Moucha & Jiri Rapek and Edward Steichen by William A Ewing. Some of them used a lot of white, negative space, where as other pages had full bleed to the edges particularly with the Double Take book. The use of black borders was also quite repetitive. I noticed a lack of colour, perhaps because the photos were all black and white but the layout of the books contained no colour either. There were some captions but the majority of the focus was the photo which covered most of the page.


Roma Publications is a book publisher that focusses on Art publications. It is owned by two British Graphic Designers. A lot of their books are published to create collaboration with a various artists, writers, designers and companies. I chose to look at these books because the layout of some of the publications are the kind of style that I want to achieve with my book. I like the clean cut, finished look that these publications have. I particularly like how the books all have a consistent theme and colour scheme – something that will be a feature of my finalised book.


Some layout and front cover ideas I sketched out for the brief. Thought I’d map out some ideas before I get cracking on InDesign laying out my book!

30 Years of Swiss Typographic Discourse in the Typographische Monastblatter This book is another outstanding example of beautiful, clean cut book layout and one that has contributed to the ideas behind my designs. The book is about the history of a Swiss Typography magazine and shows the past and present layout techniques that the designers of the magazine chose to bestow upon the publication. Some of the designs are edgy and colourful where others are more formalised and simplistic. The way some of the designs are laid out are also similar to the portraiture book I looked at – Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive which is another book I’m using as an influential aspect of my designs.


Mousse Publishing is an Italian book publishing company based in Milano, Italy. What strikes me most about the books having looked through them, is how different each and every one of them is. Some of them are information based books but they are mostly focus on visual aspects of whatever the subject is of the book. The array of front covers they have are beautiful and the layout is yet again minimal but effective in that they use ‘less is more’ to present the work. Another selection of book design to help influence my own.


I was directed to a tutorial to help with the layout and design of my book. It states how simplicity and structure is more important than an outrageous design style – something I think I can apply to my project, as the main focus of the book is the photographs. However the layout of the book will help to maintain a professional and more finished output.Choosing a font and font size was the first step. Once this was decided the number of columns was chosen – as my book will consist of mainly photographs I set this only for the pages that included text (I did however use a grid system so that all my photos were in the same position and aligned properly). I set the margin to 10mm – margins give a page more structure and make it easier to read when it is full of information. I then added headings to my pages, of which I assigned a leading to so that the text and headings would be in line with eachother. Aligning it to the baseline grid that was set up allows the text to not overlap the grid so everything will look smoother when viewed as a pdf.


So as the final name for my book was settled, I went ahead with designing a title to go on the front cover and certain pages in the book. I used the typeface ‘Pegasus’ – which, as you can tell by it’s title, is very Greek inspired. The typeface is sans serif and is quirky in that the letters are different sizes, and missing certain strokes. The fluency of the font reminds me of some of the shops and restaurants I saw whilst in Parga. The font however did not include accents, and one was needed over the ‘o’ to make the grammar correct for the word – pórta. Subsequently, I used an apostrophe and rotated it to make it into accent form. The shape of the accent then inspired me to create a little quirky aspect to my book – I used the apostrophe on multiple pages, and on my door imagery created for the quote page, I used it to represent a door handle. I wanted a clean, legible typeface for the rest of the information in the book. I used ‘Univers 45 Light’ which I felt gave the book a nice contemporary and professional look to it. Once aligned with my baseline grid and page headers, the book as a whole looked a lot more finished. For headings I used a larger point size, but other than that the type is consistent throughout the book.



Taxonomy Research & Development for Project Porta.

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