Reflections on the sorts of projects, exercises and assignments I have enjoyed
I have enjoy a wide range of topics in the course, particularly:
- creating my own images and text and experimenting with different design and layout options. I enjoyed making the sketchbook for On the Road drawing while listening to the text. I also enjoy drawing, painting and photography as both illustration and fine art. I do a lot of academic writing for my professional work and improving my visual presentation on manuals, reports and other professional outputs was one of my initial motivations for taking this course. I do not so much enjoy working with the images and text of others as a purely layout exercise. Though I did enjoy interpreting Jabberwocky in Project 2: Illustrating Text and my initial experiments on layout in grid types.
- exploration of different letterforms and calligraphy as in: Islamic Typography and my initial work on Western Typography in Project 3.1a Type Samples Sketchbook
- exploration of expressive type Project 3.1b Experimental Typography and some of the work of other typographers in Experimental Typography and Concrete Poetry
- physical manipulation and exploration of different types of paper and materials in Assignment 4 (forthcoming), including collage
- exploration of different types of drawing and painting tools and printmaking processes and how these interact with different types of paper as I have done in other courses: Illustration 2: Draw, draw and draw again and Hybrids: Mixing and Matching Tools, and experiments with Pencil drawing, Glue drawing, Mesh drawing and Charcoal drawing – some of which I use also in Assignment 4. I also enjoy different types of printmaking: see my blog for OCA Printmaking 1 where I looked at many different techniques for monoprint, linocut, experimental relief prints, collagraph, chine colle and combination prints.
- working digitally to either combine analogue images, or produce purely digital output as in my work for Illustration 2: Hybrids: mixing and matching tools. I have enjoyed going in depth and pushing the creative boundaries of InDesign and Illustrator in Project 3.1b Experimental Typography, Assignment 3 on Good and Bad Typography, Project 4.1 Identity and Assignment 4 (forthcoming).
As a support to my own exploration I have enjoyed:
- looking at the work of Modernist and experimental designers and typographers in the Western tradition, including designers like: Dan Eldon, Muller Brockman, Marinetti and the different uses of visual dynamics of line, shape and colour.
- looking at design in different cultures and the different uses of line, shape and colour as for example Islamic Design in Assignment 4: Saudi Art, Iranian Art: Geometric, Iranian Art: Miniatures, Iranian Art: Modern, Islamic Geometric Design. In other OCA courses I have also looked in detail at Japanese and African traditions, and this is something that is very much part of my scope of interest as I move forward to Visual Communications Level 2 courses.
But my interest is more in relation to how I can learn from these for my own practice, rather than interest in those designers per se as a topic for in-depth research.
Things I would like to explore further in the final assignment
- visual dynamics of design
- calligraphy and expressive type and visual dynamics of letterforms – following on from my work in Assignments 3 and 4
- using different papers and materials for printing and then seeing how to enhance the effects through further digital manipulation in Photoshop – drawing also on work for OCA Printmaking 1 and Illustration 2.
- commercial self-publishing options and process, including further work on Layout and Narrative.
Book Plans after Assignment 3
The book will be very playful and exploratory and would aim to excite children (and help them remember letterforms) and also adults (as a creative thinking puzzle) to do their own further experiments. It will explore different associations of letterforms (style and typographic variants) and the words they may begin (colour, media, objects and moods) as a design challenge to see how apparently random elements can be combined to create harmonies and/or tensions.
My work will start with analogue explorations in different media and papers and colour combinations, digitally manipulated with additions in Illustrator and/or Photoshop and laid out in InDesign. It will include some photographic letterforms.
I am planning 2 pages in 1 spread for each letter ie 26 x 52 pages Making a total of around 60 pages.
- Lefthand Page 1 using media suggested by the letterform, has a playful narrative page illustrating doggerel and using colours, media and visual dynamics suggested by the letter.
- Facing righthand page 2 has a lot of negative space with short text on the history of the letter and arrangement of some contrasting type variants, probably as decorative as header and footer. Including reference to evolution from the letter in other alphabets. This will use the same colour scheme as page 1, but aim to provide interesting contrast.
- With very short introduction on aims and playing with text. And list of references and resources. The reader will be referred to annexes with key on some of the letters/colours/media as a sort of puzzle eg to guess what mood a particular letter on a particular page is trying to represent, why particular effects are created etc with answers possibly on website link. And some games/creative play for further exploration by the reader.
It will initially be published for Assessment through Blurb, but if successful might then be put to a commercial editor to see whether it might be interesting as a possibility for further development, maybe as a series aimed at different age groups.
See Project workflow for details of planning and progress
See Assignment 5: A is for… for final details of the book