Critical Design – Research

Starting to think about an idea that would link to my dissertation to make it relevant to what I’ve looked and researched the most. I had two ideas one was looking at how technology has changed our social norm so that idea from my dissertation about how it has a change design. This time pointing out how it has changed social norms. This would be the idea of a statement on the back of a phone that said something like ‘ I on my phone because I don’t want to speak to you’. I felt this idea was very broad and needed something more. Then I thought about the idea of a poster that dated back and the idea of how those poster being changed to show issue today. Thing back then like racism and feminism weren’t seen as a major issue and were used in advert and poster a lot of the time. For example a poster from the 60 or world wartime being changed to an issue that is present today.

The one thing mentioned in my tutorial was to think about an issue that links to you or make you want to talk about it. I thought about the idea of women feeling the pressure of having to wear makeup and the fact most women feel like they are fat because of the media and models being photoshopped to look a certain way.


An artist used a Barbie doll as an example of beauty and stripped that to show that not everyone looks like how media and Barbie dolls are portrayed. Photoshop is often used to exaggerate and warp women’s bodies into looking unnatural and adhering to impossibly high standards of beauty. Artist Nickolay Lamm and collaborating artist Nikolett Mérész decided to use photoshop to do good instead. After seeing the viral photo of Barbie without makeup by Eddi Aguirre, Lamm wanted to create more realistic versions of the more popular dolls. He deemed the Aguirre version too excessive, stating that it “completely exaggerates.”

He removed the makeup of the doll to still reveal an attractive face. Rather than emphasizing the fact that, yes, women do wake up with frizzy hair and bags under their eyes, the illustrator focuses on the natural beauty women possess. He wants to show young girls that makeup is not a necessity for looking beautiful.

This was the body positivity movement continues to spread body love that idea that the body we have we shouldn’t be ashamed of. The idea was to paint rainbows over stretched marks to promote body positivity and self-acceptance. It highlighted the thing women hate the most about there body but doing it in a positive way.

These idea I wanted to display in a way of a poster that came from a time period where women and the feminist movement weren’t really making a statement. The poster that may portray women in a negative light when it comes to sexualising them to sell an item or make a point.




I have picked wonder for the penguin book cover. I have seen the film and read the book and loved them both so I felt this was the best one to focus on. I wanted to see what I could do with it and take it away from the face that is used everywhere. When thinking about themes I thought about how he feels isolated because he’s so different. Then that sense of acceptance when he goes to school and has friendships. I wanted to look at his world and how he sees everything and use that within my ideas and designs. The things that a came up with was the idea that he loves space and stars. His friendships in school mean a lot to him. His family and his dog Charlie. I wanted to see what I could do with this information and how it could work on a book cover.

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The sketches below are a rough idea that I will work with digitally to get a feel for what works best. The ideas are mainly based around his love for space and that idea that he would draw it. Another idea was that idea of his friendships and family and what he considers his safe place. I also came up with a typography style idea that would be all words that described his world.


Today I had a one to one tutorial I showed all my work I had so far. The feedback was overall good. The mark/logo was working within the brand idea it just need touching up so that the line were matching where they meet. The major problem was the colour I was told before the coloured didn’t work but this time I was told it looked to much like the Welsh flag which wasn’t my intention. I showed all my other colour option and it was suggested that I use Adobe Colour to find a better colour system something more bright and playful.

The animation was overall working but felt like it need a strap line to make the animation have a purpose and meaning. I also need to think about way-finding and signage.

My feedback help me to come together and think about what I had to do. It also made me rethink about the colour and typeface and be more brave with my colour choice and not go for the obvious.


Constellation- Reflection

What this study group has illustrated about visual/materials culture and contexts of meanings?

This part of my course has made me think about how other visual materials and culture can link to my practice and have context of meaning. The first study group I didn’t get along with and felt i didn’t understand how constellation linked in with graphics and was confused how it would help at all. I feel the talk we had about understanding constellation made me think about it in a different way. I also feel my new study group smells like teen spirt is a lot more enjoyable and I feel i have more links to my practice with the link in fashion and typography.

This study group has been more clear to me as I am a very visual learner and don’t learn well with to much information. This study group has allowed me to use images to make a sense of what is being shown to us. I feel I have understood everyone of the subculture we have learnt about with images making it easier to link.

This part of my course made me scared as I haven’t wrote many essay in my previous experience and if I have I didn’t really know how to approach it. I feel my first study group was overwhelming being a practice run I felt the approach of it didn’t really work and the essay wasn’t probably explain to me. I also feel that the referencing wasn’t explain to me which wasn’t helpful because I didn’t know how to approach this.

I think Uni experience has changed the way I think and learn. I have changed a lot from A-level. I now realise that a lot more things link to Graphic in a way that I never seen before, I just thought graphics was graphic but there a lot more that goes into it. There is a lot of things in the world that can link to our practice that you would normally think about I feel constellation makes you aware of this a lot more.

I think this new study group and the Kath’s column has given me a new approach to essay writing and it has worked well for me because I’m a  visual learner. It has helped me break things down and get fact in different ways. Before I used to just try and find information from anywhere to get the essay together. I now know that a picture can be broken up and used to find the theory part of my essay. I didn’t think you could use images in that way before.

This study group I have really enjoy looking into subcultures and fashion has really interested me. Looking into Goths,Punks,Zoot suits,Teddy boys and a lot more. It has shown me that images can link to theory and shown me there a lot of things that go into sub-cultures and that all sub-culture come from one another. It has also made me aware that our style today has come from those subcultures.

The subcultures that interested me most was goths and punks. The band t-shirt show the link to typography and how font was used back then to make a statement. The use of font in those subcultures were bold to get the point across make it look more aggressive.

Punks and goths gave object that already had a purpose a new meaning and a new function: safety pins using them as jewellery and to wear on the outfit but not the cover up the rips so it was almost flipping it originally meanings. Punk broke rule in music and in graphic in posters and used there hair become a weapon. I’ve learnt that they used typography to change the look of something.

This all linked to my practice, mixing two things together to create a new meaning and having the history and heritage can influence style of others. Anything can be appropriated into any style and styles can constantly change.

Overall I think constellation has helped me improve my learning to think outside the box, it has also taught me how to write a essay and that just because previously I had no experience of essay writing doesn’t mean I’m not capable of writing to a good standard. I also feel I know what part of academic text I need where as before I would read something and take none of it in and search for ages to find no new information. This has helped me in my essay writing finding the right text by knowing how to search for it on Met search and where in the liberty to look.

Constellation has allowed me to think about things differently and link my course to things around me, also to think about a task in a different manner. I feel my essay on gothic style t made me think about my own practice and how it all links. Graphic communication is the way we encourage and express ourselves to convey a message that will be forever lasting and something everyone will remember using symbolism as a mark. This links to the gothic style because it makes a statement by exploring  theme such as the undead and the supernatural, this is expressed visually through there clothing.  The gothic style also represent symbolism through the use of the crucifix and element such as spiders.  Graphic design is about design and using design that are already out there to influence our own design this is very similar to the goth style the one style can be varied to create something new to create a modern twist. This has helped me within my practice that ideas can come from else where and rules can be broken and are there to be broken. This essay has showed me a lot about the style of goth and how it can be link subtle and obviously to my own practice. I think I know understand that anything can link to our own practice.




Magazine Layout

Friday 28th April 

In group of three we had to develop a 8 page a5 spread with a topic that was given to us. This was to show us that it is possible to create a good layout in a short amount of time and showed me how much can be done in the time given.

We were given the topic gnomes and out imagery and text was found from the internet we decided to spilt it into three articles and all work on a spread each keeps the theme and text detailing the same. We payed attention to the type, image, hierarchy. titles, typeface, grid system, quotes ,margins, style of image and pace.

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We chose three article one about a lady who stole gnomes, the worlds largest gnome and a collection of gnomes. We chose to come up with three puns and we felt that would match our topic well.  We went for Should’ve gnome better, Gnome one bigger and gnome by many. We felt this gave humour to our articles. We stuck with a 6 column grid using Helvetica Neue for our body copy and Futura for heading and sub headings.

The feedback we were given was that overall was a good layout as it felt tacky which is what we wanted because of the articles and the nature of gnomes. We also were told that we could have placed the title else where as it felt like there separate pages instead of working together which I completely agree with we did say this after we printed. The puns worked well and gave the article a sense of humour.

My Article choice and My Ideas

My article I chose was Decade in the dark I chose this as i felt it had a very different feel to the article that all of the other and I felt I could be playful with imagery. My first thoughts are I’m going to do three double page spread because I can play around with space and typography working with the images.

I have thought about the imagery a lot because i feel once I have the images the whole article will come together and I will have more of an idea of layout. I had thought of using shadows to create images. I thought about using shadows of living room objects to show thats the place she has to stay. I also thought about shadows on the face to show light and dark on the face.

These images have inspired me and I am thinking about how I can do this in my own creative way using one of my friends as a model. I am thinking of using shadow of plant and tree over the face to show parts of the outdoors.

I haven’t thought about layout yet i have put all the text into a indesign file as I felt that would give me a better sense of space so I know how much I have to play with. I think there a lot of places to play with imagery and typography.

Magazine Layouts

I have looked into magazine double page spread to get a feel of what magazine are like and to get inspiration for our next project changing faces. I have looked at loads of spread and picked the 5 that stood out to me the most.

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Elbow grease magazine 

This double page spread I liked because it has used the space well and kept the colours simple. The image is simple and the image is a collage which makes it look messy and more arty which I like. The font use is bold for the title and easy to read and the body text is big enough to read. I also like the use of pink font for the first paragraph. Also the use of underline and boldness on the question shows the importance.

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I chose this spread because it hasn’t used all the space which I like because its not overpowered with images. Also the use of red writing for all the text make it look more important. I don’t normally like overlay text on images but I feel in this case it does work well. I also like the bold quote on the right hand side. The way that they have used bold text for the question and started with an indent to separate the text and the question. I feel the images work well but could have filled the space more but the use of blank space works well.

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This double page spread for the introduction  has used space well. I like the way that they have used a whole page for the work induction in a creative way. The alignment on the second page is well laid out. The use of boldness for the title and left aligning it in a margin on its own works really well. The use of bold letters for the question in the bottom right hand corner works well. They layout is simple but easy to follow. The picture also works well with the text in terms of alignment.


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This magazine spread I chose because I love how creative and colourful it is. I also like how the layout and columns work well with the image. In the first page of the left hand side the use of right align text works well with the image and the text of food issue in the triangle works well and the font works well. The use of font works well with these images and when it bold really stands out. The use of numbers and separate underline section works really well. The yellow text box over the image works well making it look more creative.

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This magazine spread is simplistic with a border around the spread and the quote in bold above works well showing the importance of the quote. The use of a drop cap in the text make it look more important I also like the way the text is split into two column but the top quote is going over the two in pink writing works well. I also like the use of an image on one whole page. The space around the border works really well because it doesn’t look overpowering.