Working with Images

NOTE: I am planning to do a lot more here using also work on Photobooks and Manuals I do for work. Linked to the discussion on grids and layout. Linking back also to the work on Fanzines in Part 1.

The type of book will in many respects determine the sort of images and also the approach used.

Images may be of many different types – line drawings in colour or monochrome, photographs, artwork produced in Digital Software like Illustrator or Photoshop.

Image resolution:  images need to be scanned at high resolution for printing purposes. 300dpi is a general rule of thumb. But the resolution required will depend on the particular printer, print process and also effect required.

Copyright: it is important to ensure that Copyright is available. Large publishing houses usually have a picture research department to deal with this and quality issues, but freelance designers may have to obtain copyrights themselves or use their own images.

Ways of integrating images: Images can be ‘full bleed’ (running over the page), cut-out, treated as a vignette, put in a box.

See Project: Working with Images

Text 1: artistic poem – Jabberwocky

Text 2 Travel article – Venice


Image Resolution

Pixels and vector graphics
There are two distinct ways in which your computer stores visual information digitally: you can
have either pixel images or vector graphics. If you take a magnifying glass to any computer
screen you will see that it is made up of tiny squares or dots. These are the smallest single
components of a digital image and are called pixels.
Pixels are arranged in a two-dimensional grid with each square containing a solid colour. Pixels
are good at describing colours, tones and complex visual information such as photographs.
If you scanned a conventional 35mm colour photograph into the computer it would convert
the continuous tones of the photograph into a staggered series of whole colours within the
pixel grid to give the impression of a continuous tone. Photo manipulation software generally
concerns itself with pixel-based information. Pixels are not as good at describing lines or
geometric shapes and can give typography a poor quality appearance.
Vector graphics works in a completely different way and is not generally suitable for dealing
with photographs; it tends to be used to deal with typography, logos and graphics that use
geometric shapes and lines. Vector graphics uses mathematical equations to plot a shape. This
means that these graphics can be scaled up to any size without losing quality, something that
pixel images cannot do. Vectors can be manipulated by using small points on the line that can
be moved or, in the case of a curved line, have their angles changed.
Software such as Illustrator or Freehand mainly uses vector graphics, though it is possible to
work with both pixel and vector formats in Illustrator and Photoshop.
Book Design 1 55
Resolution refers to the amount of visual information contained in a file. Resolution is important
because you need to have good quality images if your work is to be printed.
Resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi) or lines per inch (lpi). If you are scanning images
into your computer to use in paper-based design work then they need to be 300dpi.
If you’re downloading from a camera, keep your files as big as possible until you re-size for print.
Always keep the original version.
If you’re working on the internet then images are scanned at 72dpi. It is worth remembering
that once you get rid of resolution, for example downscaling an image from 300 to 72dpi, you
can’t then go back and replace it. This is why it’s important to save the original version.
If you’re having serious problems working with any of your software, contact your tutor. He or
she should be able to suggest a way forward. You might also find it helpful to talk to fellow
students via the OCA website. If you’re having problems, the likelihood is that someone else is

Concrete poetry

Source: edited from Wikipedia. References to be followed up and expanded as part of my exploration of experimental typography.

Google images

You Tube

Concrete, pattern, or shape poetry is an arrangement of linguistic elements in which the typographical effect is more important in conveying meaning than verbal significance. As such, concrete poetry relates more to the visual than to the verbal arts and there is a considerable overlap in the kind of product to which it refers.

It is difficult to define:”a printed concrete poem is ambiguously both typographic-poetry and poetic-typography” (Houédard). Works cross artistic boundaries into the areas of music and sculpture, or can alternatively be defined as sound poetry, visual poetry, found poetry and typewriter art.

Despite blurring of artistic boundaries, however, concrete poetry can be viewed as taking its place in a predominantly visual tradition stretching over more than two millennia that seeks to draw attention to the word in the space of the page, and to the spaces between words, as an aid to emphasising their significance.



Shaped poetry was popular in Greek Alexandria during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE.

15th and 16th Century church

Jewish and Islamic calligraphy

creation of images of natural objects without directly breaking the prohibition of creating “graven images” that might be interpreted as idolatry.

  • Micrography: Hebrew-speaking artists created pictures using tiny arrangements of Biblical texts organized usually on paper in images which illustrate the text used.
  • Islamic calligraphy.

France 19th and 20th century

  • ‘poems’  simplified to a simple arrangement of the letters of the alphabet.
  • Louis Aragon, for example, exhibited the sequence from a to z and titled it “Suicide” (1926)
  • Kurt Schwitters’ “ZA (elementary)” has the alphabet in reverse
  • Catalan writer Josep Maria Junoy (1885-1955) placed just the letters Z and A at the top and bottom of the page under the title “Ars Poetica”
  • Dutch typographer H.N. Werkman in 1920s progressed to using the typewriter to create abstract patterns (which he called tiksels), using not just letters but also purely linear elements.
  • ‘typestracts’ of the concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houédard during the 1960s.

Post-war concrete poetry


During the early 1950s two Brazilian artistic groups producing severely abstract and impersonal work were joined by poets linked to the São Paolo magazine Noigrandes who began to treat language in an equally abstract way. Their work was termed “concrete poetry” after they exhibited along with the artists in the National Exhibition of Concrete Art (1956/57). The poets included Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos and Décio Pignatari, who were joined in the exhibition by Ferreira Gullar, Ronaldo Azeredo and Wlademir Dias Pino from Rio de Janeiro. In 1958 a Brazilian concrete poetry manifesto was published and an anthology in 1962.


Houedard: inspired by 1962 publication in The Times Literary Supplement of a letter from the Brazilian E.M. de Melo e Castro. His work was  produced principally on the typewriter but approximates more to painterly and sculptural procedures.

Ian Hamilton Finlay :Ian Hamilton Finlay’s concrete poetry began on the page but then moved increasingly towards three dimensional figuration and afterwards to site-specific art in the creation of his sculpture garden at Little Sparta.

Ian Hamilton Finlay sculpture in Stuttgart, 1975; the word schiff (ship) is carved in reverse and can only be decoded when it floats reflected on water (Wikipedia)

Edwin Morgan Edwin Morgan’s experiments with concrete poetry include elements of found poetry ‘discovered’ by misreading and isolating elements from printed sources. “Most people have probably had the experience of scanning a newspaper page quickly and taking a message from it quite different from the intended one. I began looking deliberately for such hidden messages…preferably with the visual or typographical element part of the point.”

Eugen Gomringer considered that a poem should be “a reality in itself” rather than a statement about reality, and “as easily understood as signs in airports and traffic signs”.

Henri Chopin’s work was related to his musical treatment of the word.

Kenelm Cox (1927-68) was a kinetic artist “interested in the linear, serial aspects of visual experience but particularly in the process of change,” whose revolving machines transcended the static page in being able to express this.

Bob Cobbing, who was also a sound poet, had been experimenting with typewriter and duplicator since 1942. Of its possibilities in suggesting the physical dimension of the auditory process, he declared that “One can get the measure of a poem with the typewriter’s accurate left/right & up & down movements; but superimposition by means of stencil and duplicator enable one to dance to this measure.”

American Minimalist artist Carl André, beginning from about 1958 and in parallel with his changing artistic procedures.

Tom Phillips  visual artist, who uses painterly and decorative procedures to isolate them on the page. In A Humument he explores unintended concordances of meaning.



David Carson


David Carson (born September 8, 1954) is an American graphic designer, art director and surfer. He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of experimental typography.

He worked as a sociology teacher and professional surfer in the late 1970s. From 1982 to 1987, Carson worked as a teacher in Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, California. In 1983, Carson started to experiment with graphic design and found himself immersed in the artistic and bohemian culture of Southern California. He art directed various music, skateboarding, and surfing magazines through the 1980/90s, including twSkateboarding, twSnowboarding, Surfer, Beach Culture and the music magazine Ray Gun. By the late 1980s he had developed his signature style, using “dirty” type and non-mainstream photographic techniques.

As art director of Ray Gun (1992-5) he employed much of the typographic and layout style for which he is known. In particular, his widely imitated aesthetic defined the so-called “grunge typography” era.  In one issue he used Dingbat as the font for what he considered a rather dull interview with Bryan Ferry. In a feature story, NEWSWEEK magazine said he “changed the public face of graphic design”.

He takes photography and type and manipulates and twists them together and on some level confusing the message but in reality he was drawing the eyes of the viewer deeper within the composition itself. His layouts feature distortions or mixes of ‘vernacular’ typefaces and fractured imagery, rendering them almost illegible. Indeed, his maxim of the ‘end of print’ questioned the role of type in the emergent age of digital design, following on from California New Wave and coinciding with experiments at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In the later 1990s he added corporate clients to his list of clients, including Microsoft, Armani, Nike, Levi’s, British Airways, Quiksilver, Sony, Pepsi, Citibank, Yale University, Toyota and many others. When Graphic Design USA Magazine (NYC) listed the “most influential graphic designers of the era” David was listed as one of the all time 5 most influential designers, with Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Saul Bass and Massimo Vignelli.

He named and designed the first issue of the adventure lifestyle magazine Blue, in 1997. David designed the first issue and the first three covers, after which his assistant Christa Smith art directed and designed the magazine until its demise. Carson’s cover design for the first issue was selected as one of the “top 40 magazine covers of all time” by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

In 2000, Carson closed his New York City studio and followed his children, Luke and Luci, to Charleston, South Carolina where their mother had relocated them. In 2004, Carson became the Creative Director of Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, designed the special “Exploration” edition of Surfing Magazine, and directed a television commercial for UMPQUA Bank in Seattle, Washington.

Carson claims that his work is “subjective, personal and very self indulgent”.


Carson, David (1995). The End of Print: The Graphic Design of David Carson. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-1199-9.

Carson, David (1997). David Carson: 2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print. Universe Publishing. ISBN 0-7893-0128-8.

Meggs, Phillip B.; David Carson (1999). Fotografiks: An Equilibrium Between Photography and Design Through Graphic Expression That Evolves from Content. Laurence King. ISBN 1-85669-171-3.

Stecyk, Craig; David Carson (2002). Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing. Laguna Art Museum in association with Gingko Press. ISBN 1-58423-113-0.

Mcluhan, Marshall; David Carson, Eric McLuhan, Terrance Gordon (2003). The Book of Probes. Gingko Press. ISBN 1-58423-056-8.

Carson, David (2004). Trek: David Carson, Recent Werk. Gingko Press. ISBN 1-58423-046-0.

Mayne, Thom; David Carson (2005). Ortlos: Architecture of the Networks. Hatje Cantz Publishers. ISBN 3-7757-1652-1.



Wendy Ewald

Pedagogy of Hope

Wendy Ewald’s work is directed toward “helping children to see” and using the “camera as a tool for expression.” Starting as documentary investigations of places and communities, Ewald’s projects probe questions of identity and cultural differences.

Over thirty eight years she has collaborated in art projects with children, families, women, and teachers in Labrador, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, and the United States. Influenced by Paolo Freire and Kolb experiential learning.

She uses a number of methods for participation:

  •  In her work with children she encourages them to use cameras to record themselves, their families, and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams.
  •  Ewald herself often makes photographs within the communities she works with and has the children mark or write on her negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image, who is the photographer, who the subject, who is the observer and who the observed.
  •  In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s intentions, power, and identity, Ewald creates opportunities to look at the meaning and use of photographic images in our lives with fresh perceptions.

“Children have taught me that art is not a realm where only the trained and the accredited may dwell. The truly unsettling thing about children’s imagery is that, despite their experience with what adults might call rational thinking, their images tap into certain universal feelings with undeniable force and subtlety.”

“all children have an ability to tell their stories in a very direct or revealing way. Their language is their own, and hey don’t censor themselves, so their baser actions can shift from sweet to violent in a moment.”

 Whether I am teaching or photographing, the crucial pat of my artistic process is human interaction. What is it, finally, that I am doing? Is it some sort of visual anthropology?is it education? Photography? Can I combine these elements and be an artist too?

 Teaching as ‘political act that enables people to understand the powers that use them and the powers they use’

 Pedagogy of hope

In working with others to recognise what they are seeing, what kinds of questions their vision asks of the world and how to allow their perceptions to surface with her own.’.  Louise Neri portrait of a praxis in towards a Promised Land

Biography and key works

From Wikipedia

Wendy Ewald was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1951. She graduated from Phillips Academy in 1969 and attended Antioch College between 1969–74, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied photography with Minor White. She embarked on a career teaching photography to children and young people internationally. In 1969 & 1970, she taught photography to Innu and Mi’kmaq Native-American children in Canada. Between 1976–80 she taught photography and film-making to students in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in association with Appalshop, a media co-op. In 1982, she traveled to Ráquira, Colombia on a Fulbright fellowship working with children and community groups; spending a further two years in Gujarat, India. Ewald is married to Tom McDonough, a writer and cinematographer. They live in the Hudson Valley of New York with their son, Michael.

Photography career

In recent years Ewald has produced a number of conceptual installations—for example, in Margate, England and in Amherst, Massachusetts — making use of large scale photographic banners. Ewald was one of the founders of the Half Moon Photography Workshop in the East End of London; and in 1989 she created the “Literacy through Photography” programmes in Houston, Texas, and Durham, North Carolina. In 1992, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

She is currently senior research associate at the Center for International Studies at Duke University, visiting artist at Amherst College and director of the Literacy through Photography International program and artist in residence at the Duke University Center for International Studies.

In 2011, Ewald coordinated a project in Israel. She gave cameras to owners of stalls and stores at the Mahane Yehuda marketplace in Jerusalem, Arab women and gypsies in Jerusalem’s Old City, schoolchildren in Nazareth, residents of Hebron, Negev Bedouin and high-tech employees in Tel Aviv. This was Ewald’s first attempt to document an entire country, and the first use of digital cameras and color photography in her international projects.

In 2010, Ewald received a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design.


For  Google images click here

Appalachia: A Self-Portrait (Edited) Foreword by Robert Coles, Text by Loyal Jones, (Frankfort, KY: Gnomon Press for Appalshop, 1979)

Appalachian Women: Three Generations (Whitesburg, KY: Appalshop, 1981)

Retrato de un Pueblo (Bogotá, Colombia: Museo de Arte Moderno, 1983).

Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians, with an introduction by Robert Coles, afterword by Ben Lifson, (New York: Writers and Readers Publications, Inc., 1985)

Magic Eyes: Scenes from an Andean Girlhood from stories told by Alicia Ewald and María Vásquez, photographs by Wendy Ewald and children of Ráquira (Seattle, WA: Bay Press, 1992)

I Dreamed I Had a Girl in My Pocket: The Story of an Indian Village with stories and photographs by the children of Vichya, India (New York: Doubletake Books and W.W.Norton,1996)

Secret Games: Collaborative Works with Children 1969-1999 (Zurich; NewYork: Scalo, 2000)

I Wanna Take Me A Picture: Teaching Photography and Writing To Children (Boston; Beacon Press, 2001)

The Best Part of Me, Children talk about their bodies in pictures and words (Boston; New York; London: Little, Brown and Company, 2002) ISBN 0-316-70306-0

Towards A Promised Land (Göttingen: Steidl, 2006) ISBN 978-3-86521-287-0

Who Am I In This Picture: Amherst College Portraits. Amherst: Amherst College Press. 2009. ISBN 978-0-943184-13-5.

Her photographs have also appeared in DoubleTake, Psychology Today, Aperture, Art in America, Harper’s, Creative Camera, Camerawork, and Time-Life magazines.

 Learning Through Photography blog

View from the Tanzania project

” In most schools in Tanzania, students are not learning to be creative. But most children in Tanzania are incredibly creative—the way they play, dance, doodle and solve their own problems shows extraordinary imagination. But they see these two worlds—the worlds outside and inside the classroom—as irreconcilably divided. When we ask kids to use their imaginations to solve problems creatively in the classroom, we are hoping to bring these two worlds together, to show that you can be your creative, playful and innovative self as you go through your education.

In my own life and in the lives of the students here, we’re constantly given images of what we should be or what our education should look like. But what if those images were our images? The pictures in our heads, our dreams, the things we see each day, the things we recognize: what if those were in the textbooks or hanging up in the classroom for all to learn from? And what if we saw ourselves in the images of others, saw that we had the same fears and hopes? And after seeing what we have in common, maybe we would be able to understand the differences a little better.

For me, LTP is first and foremost about moments of recognition, of seeing yourself in the story of a great inventor or in the wary eyes of a child wrapped in a loving embrace.”

Wendy Ewald pdf

Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale (born 1968) is a photojournalist, born in the UK to an Irish family. He spent over eight years covering the brutal conflict within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and has worked in many other places. Much of his work is linked to fundraising for aid and human rights agencies and there is often a link to ways t donate. His videos are extremely powerful and also discuss what people can do to change the situations the are seeing.

His images are in both black and white and colour and he also does video. They get their power because he is well informed about what he is shooting and knows why he wants hat shot and also has access to people and situations most outsiders would not. But he also has an extraordinary sense of composition and tone. Some of his images at composited (no examples available for download) but I generally find these less powerful.

Rape of a Nation.