Friday, 21 December 2018

5 or 7 Christmas Card

I was tasked with creating an image for the band 5 or 7's Christmas message.  The message was online only for sharing on Social Media.

I was given a selection of photos, but chose one that had strong lines and was a good photo of the guys.  The logo was a white on black image - so I isolated the black and deleted it, and then changed the white outline using a 'stroke' effect so that it fit more in line with the colour themes of the image.

Russel, Jake, Jadyn and Gordon standing in front of a church with 'Merry Christmas from 5 or 7' above them
Interestingly my bevelling and embossing and other layer effects didn't save out when I tried saving as a JPEG or PNG.  I'm not sure why that was - it needs a bit of further investigation.

With a short time frame and knowing that it's going to be a short-lived online-only image I just went the easy route and screenshot my photoshop image!!

Now I'm looking at it I'm wondering if I should've sepia'ed the image and moved the guys down further so you saw more of the church.

I guess there's always more tweaks I could do - so hard to say 'enough' and move on!!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Bauhaus - my assignment journey

So the latest assignment for my course was to create an ad for Myer's 5 day sale at their City Store.  I had already based my research for this section of my course around the Bauhaus movement (1919 - 1933 in Germany).  Partly because I've been to the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, and partly because I like their central theme that form follows function.


I find that this central theme is really applicable to today's web design and development.  In essence, I equate it to Usability.  So while I'm not a fan of the period's architecture, or other outputs, I am a fan of the idea behind it.

So, back to my assignment.  I researched posters of the time, and with those in mind I created my first iteration:

A chunky bold 5 in the top corner over a muted red circle. The words day sale and city store at angles. The Myer logo at the bottom in a yellow triangle. All over a cream background.
I was lucky enough to have a designer-friend who is interested in Bauhaus to review my design.  He reviewed my design and came up with a couple of really interesting comments.


First of all, I'd used a cream background and muted colours.  He questioned why and then realised I'd been looking at the posters from the time for my inspiration.  He pointed out that the posters are old and the colours have faded, the paper aged.  I felt a bit silly at that point - it was a 'doh!' moment.  He suggested 'punchier primaries'.


So I knew that Bauhaus introduced the grid, and I also knew they were into their angles, but somehow I didn't marry those two things together.  He pointed out that the lines should be at right angles to eachother - that although it was angled, the grid is still important.  Another 'doh!' moment.  Of course, the grid should be rotated by 45degs to cope.  Of course.

So after those comments I had another pass and came up with:

A large 5 at 45 degree angle to the page, with the words day sale and city store at angles. The Myer logo is at the bottom in a yellow triangle.
I'm still using the P22 Bayer Universal font.  But the grid is a strong 45degrees, the background is white, the colours are strong.

I like that I've got a bit of Mondrian going on (I love his work) and I feel that this design is a lot clearer than my first iteration.

To be honest, I really could've spent so much more time on it.  But I guess another thing I'm learning is that I have to say 'enough' to myself and submit.  Otherwise I'd probably still be tinkering with it!

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Bauhaus Movement - collated research

I'm currently writing an essay for my course on the Bauhaus movement.  I did a ton of research and thought I'd share my collection of links:

Background information

Wikipedia’s article on Bauhaus was a great starting point:

The Art Story was a great source of background information, plus links to other articles:

The Bauhaus Museum website provided information about what was taught at the Bauhaus school:

The Tate has some general information about Bauhaus:


Zillion Designs produced a great video on the essentials of Bauhaus:

The ABCs of the Bauhaus was a good introduction using the shapes and images of the movement:

Bauhaus: the Face of the 20th Century is a longer video about Bauhaus:

Graphic Design

The GreenGinger article ‘Why is Bauhaus still so influential today’ provided background information on the movement and how it influenced Graphic Design today:

DesignLab outlined lessons for today’s designers about Bauhaus and why the web is still Bauhaus:


Digital Arts was an introduction to Adobe’s free Bauhaus fonts:

Looking further into Bayer and his fonts led me to the New York Times article:

Influential artists

99Designs was good for information about the influential artists in the Bauhaus movement:

AIGA was good for examples of Bauhaus design:

Art work

My Modern Met showed how the avant-garde movement transformed modern art along with the history of the Bauhaus movement:

Smashing Magazine is a great collection of Bauhaus artwork:

I really like Piet Mondrian’s work, and looked into his influence on the Bauhaus movement.  The Art Story was a good resource for information that ultimately led me to conclude he wasn’t a key figure in the Bauhaus:

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Is skeuomorphism back?

I've just been looking at the various incarnations of the QANTAS logo.  From 1944 to 2016 it's had rather a few changes.  A great site to see the journey is:

In 2007 the logo changed to be the flat version that a lot of companies changed to around that time.  The explanation (as I understood it) was that companies were conscious of download speeds, responsive environments, making sure their logos scaled well.

 Qantas logo 2007

In 2016 however, the logo changed again.  Back in is shading, gorgeous curves - the text has been sharpened and made easier to read - the tail fin now looks like an aircraft tail fin.  It looks .. modern! 

Qantas Logo 2016

So when did logos start getting shading again?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Photomedia - Gordon's Dad - FINAL

So, I've pulled together all of the elements in Photoshop and produced the final image.  I used Gordon's model village as the background and arranged the buildings into a bit of a courtyard.  This image was then enhanced in Photoshop with a photograph I took of the sky as the backdrop.  Finally I put in the cleaned and sharpened photo of Gordon's Dad.

A gentleman in 18th Century Costume with a model village in the background

I gave him a shadow to make it a bit more realistic and resized the image to fit the output - which was a 30cm x 30cm canvas print I ordered from VistaPrint.

Any feedback on the final image is welcome!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Photomedia - Gordon's Dad - Part 3

So, I've picked out the model buildings for the background - now it's time to try and get the original fuzzy image into something a bit more usable.  I used the Filter -> Other -> High Pass filter with the 'Hard Light' layer type.  That seemed to produce the sharpest image.  I also played with the levels and managed to go from:

A fuzzy image of Gordon's dad
A sharper version of Gordon's dad
Which I'm not too unhappy about.  It's not perfect, but I think it's okay for this purpose.  So the last thing to do is sort out the composition and pull all the elements together.

Photomedia - Gordon's Dad - Part 2

So I've been trying to figure out what background the main character (Gordon's Dad - Alan) should go onto.  First of all I thought a photo from Morpeth where he lives would be cool.

An alleyway
A courtyard
But it didn't really work.  Because the main figure is holding a drink, he really needed to be in front of an appropriate background, like a pub.  Gordon makes models, so I thought it would be cute to use one of his current diorama which is Victorian London.

A model pub with little model figures
Again, this didn't work either, he's wearing the wrong period to fit neatly into this environment.  So we dragged out an old set of models that fit the time period of the costume much better:

A model village with a pub, a house and a church
This was much better - and definitely the backdrop I'll progress with.