Lecture notes – Tuesday 25th October – Harvey B Brown

This has been the most interesting lecture by far because his work I can actually relate because it is current and well known. I found his lecture to be inspiring in that even though he did not get good grades at university and his tutors didn’t understand his work, he still managed to do well in making fashion pieces and music videos. He had a charming personality which made the lecture more lively and captivating compared to other lectures. He works included the small commercials before the ITV weather which I slightly remember when I was a child and he directed music videos for the Sugababes.

I liked how he worked with different elements e.g. fashion, music, film etc and this shows how we can divert into other art disciplines and this is what I like because personally I like other disciplines too. I like photography, fashion and craft therefore he has shown me that this is a achievable goal.


Improving in working on Macs

At first I found it really difficult to work on Mac computers because my previous school didn’t have Mac computers. I remember the first working day at uni and I couldn’t even locate the log out button. I thought to myself, that situation is like can’t finding the shut down button on Windows. But now after constant use at uni for my work, my knowledge and shortcuts on Macs have developed. In fact, when I’m working on Windows and on my laptop (which is Windows), I keep thinking I’m on a Mac and I used Mac shortcuts to then realise I’m on a Windows. The one fundaments I’ve learnt on Mac is that the “cmd” button on a Mac is the “ctrl” button on a Windows.

Lecture notes – Tuesday 15th November 2011 – Simon Loxley

William Morris

– “books are priced high yet he is a socialist”

– pre rafalites

– female models of red wavy flowly hair

– during William Morris there was medieval interest

– Edward Johnson

– Thomas Cobden – Sanderson > when Morris dies, thought set up private press > “The Dove” pub

– “tonality” > greyness

– Thomas Cobden – Sanderson with Emery Walker > both create “Dove” font

– Sanderson and Walker broke up> Sanderson threw matrixes into river on Hammersmith bridge > think that font is religous

– tried to recreate later but eyesight was poor from old age

Motivating checklist

I have found that making a checklist the night before is really motivating the next day because I then know what I am going to do and it is motivating when it is ticked off. I try to make my checklist realistic so then it would be achievable and motivating rather than depressing and being stressed. This was the list I made yesterday night and have ticked off today:

Are you a design nerd?


I think I need to own these sets of graphic design triva questions just for personal interest and to test my knowledge.

DESIGNerd is a new trivia game venture, devised by Brisbane-based graphic designer Kevin Finn of Finn Creative. The first three limited edition packs of ‘100+ Graphic Design Questions by’ have recently launched with each pack’s questions devised by a different designer…

Kevin Finn set the questions (each printed on its own card with bonus points available for extra knowledge) for Volume 1, Steven Heller and Lita Talarico devised the questions for Volume 2, and Stefan Sagmeister has concocted the quiz questions for Volume 3, soon to be released.

We’ve dipped in to the Heller + Talarico pack to test our knowledge. Here are a couple of questions to give you a flavour of the geekery required to be a contender in a game of DESIGNerd:

Who designed the title sequence for the movie ‘Seven’ which introduced scratchy, layered, post-modern typography to film title design?

In 1989, Zuzana Licko designed two digital typefaces. One of them is called Lunatix. What is the other typeface called?

When did German type designer Hermann Zapf design the typefaces Melior and Optima for the Stempel Foundry?

You get the idea. Try answering without using the internet!

Each pack is limited to just 1000 issues and comes housed in a rather nice round-edged tin which is personalised by the contributing designer’s own hand drawn rendering of ‘100+’ on the front and then their hand drawn question mark on the back. Good job the packaging is sturdy, re-usable and beautifully made: each pack is priced at AUS$75 which works out at a rather pricey £48 (US$77) by today’s exchange rates. On the plus side, if you live with or spend a lot of time with design nerds, this game will test and increase your knowledge like no other trivia game.

Finn is also developing series of similar ‘100+’ packs that compile trivia questions by luminaries in teh fields of Architecture, Product Design, and also Fashion Design.

Lecture notes – Wednesday 12th October 2011 – Nic Maffei

– NUCA library online resource

> Keynote

> library computer system

> Athens


–  Social media as research tool

> Twitter

> Academia.edu (searching articles)

> LinkedIn > D&AD

> Flickr (library of congress, American newspapers from history)

– Blog aggregators (feeds all blogs to one site)

> Google reader

> Behance network

– Visual databases

> VADS (www.vads.ac.uk, especially looking at Tom Eckersley)

– Museum collections

> Museum of modern art, – V&A

– Newspapers online

> Google news

> British library

> Library of congress

– Design blogs

> designobserver

> eyemagazine

> underconsideration

> individual > “the death of print”

> container list (Milton Glaser)

– Digitalised magazines


– professional associates

> AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists)

Lecture notes – Thursday 10th November 2011 – Gareth Bayliss


– Francessca Woodman (died at 22)

– Arthur Fellig (morbid process of radio scanning police cars to get pictures of the crime scene before the police)

– Margaret Calvert > roadsigns

– Ott Aicher > how much you can take away


– James Joyce

Putting image together:

– Robert Rauschenberg (collage style, liquid light)

– “putting them together to get narrative”

Recyled old goods:

– Jean Tingwely

– Daniel Eatock > felt tip pens (slodges of ink)

What’s it like to be visually impaired?

I researched into different forms of visual impairment and this appears to be glaucoma, where the person can only see the central part of the image and the outside is black. The vision range is restrictive and viewing the video makes me think it must be really difficult with everyday life because the person has to scan using their eyes everywhere because they cannot view the whole picture.

How we read shown through eyetracking


  • How we read shown through eyetracking
  • How you read left aligned text…
  • How you read left aligned text…
  • Left aligned text lets you read fluently…
  • How you read centre aligned text…
  • You have to skip to different line starting positions – this makes it slower to read.
  • How you read right aligned text…
  • Again you have to skip to different line starting positions making it slower to read.
  • How you read justified text…
  • Justified text leads to uneven gaps between words which disrupts fluent reading
  • An all caps sentence destroys the word shape making word recognition slower and rereading a word more frequent
  • Use left aligned text for reading

Technical induction – Adobe Illustrator – Monday 7th November 2011

I used the shape tool and was taught how to make copy of the shape and repeated it using the “tild” buttons (as seen in the spiral). I tried using the pathfinder window to build and then break apart shapes using other shapes. In addition, I learnt how to join and then average end points which is useful for a smooth finish as seen in the eye shape on the right.

I was taught how a table can also be used as a shape and to create patterns or background, the distort tool works well with the table so then I can create different gradient background effects.  I learnt how to fill a shape with text as well and how to fill shapes with different colours by scrolling through.

I practiced using the pen tool to perfect using handles and anchors.

I created shapes and then used blend tool which then filled in the missing space between the shapes with a gradual gradient. I could then manipulate the shapes to be aligned differently.

I used to trace my images in Photoshop using the pen tool, each anchor at a time so with this feature in Illustrator, this would save a lot of time. I learnt how to “Live Trace” and “Live Paint”, I think that this would be very helpful for my projects later especially if I have an illustrative aspect.

Novum 11/11 – Making Of Cover

I love this cover design idea, it has be tactile which allows the user to participate in playing with the design. I find this unique and how 2D print can become 3D which can communicate to audiences better. It also brings an element of fun and interest even though the design uses a series of geometric shapes being a triangle. In addition, it applies one idea from digital design (triangle mesh) where three dimensional objects can be made using the computer to become tactile. The process involved to manufacture this cover would be die – cutting where an incision is made on the card using a die (a shaped blade). The triangles are of different colours and when viewed as a whole image, there is a pale big triangle in the middle. The cover has a gloss finish and it seems to be through varnish or laminating.

Yahoo News article – “Cleaner Scrubs Away £690,000 Work Of Art”


“A German museum is counting the cost after a cleaning woman mistook a valuable sculpture for an unsightly mess – and damaged it beyond repair.

The Martin Kippenberger installation entitled When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling was on display at the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund.

The late modern master had created a tower of wooden slats under which a rubber trough was placed with a thin beige layer of paint representing dried rain water.

Taking it for a stain, the cleaner scrubbed the surface until it gleamed.

“It is now impossible to return it to its original state,” a city spokesman said.

She said the work, valued by insurers at 800,000 euros (£690,000), had been loaned to the museum by a private collector.

Cleaning crews had orders to keep 20cm (8ins) away from artworks but it was unclear if the woman had been informed of this by the contractor that employed her.

It is not the first time works of art have suffered at the hands of over-zealous cleaners.

In 1986, a ‘grease stain’ by Joseph Beuys valued at around £346,000 was mopped away at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf, western Germany.”

Oh the amount of times these types of instances has happened before

Thank you time saving tutorial! – How to print multiple images on a single page

I’m trying to print all my photos for my ‘Uknowing the City’ project on the least amount of pages so that it only shows small images of the photos. Searched around Google and found this, I’ve seen people do it in University using Adobe InDesign/ Microsoft Publisher manually scaling photos down one by one. Therefore I am very grateful to have found this!: Linkhttp://www.macworld.com/article/160198/2011/06/multipleimages.html

Going around Norwich to take photos

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I started to collect my photos yesterday (Wednesday 2nd November) and walked around town exploring. I started walking towards Tesco Express in town> Iceland> Sainsburys> Ber Street> Riverside> Dragons Hall> Norwich Castle. Personally I found the castle to be terrifying, it was quiet and slightly empty, the taxidermy exhibition was particularly scary because the animals were positioned in a scary pose and the lighting created a terrifying atmosphere.

Today I ventured through St Stephen Street> outside Norwich Cathedral> by the river> Cow tower> Norwich Cathedral. I found the Cow tower to be mesmerising with the height and width of it but particular the crevices on the inside of the tower. The doorway was padlocked and beside the inner doorway was a spiral staircase that was locked. I found it quite eerie taking photos of the inside of the tower because I had to get inside the doorway to take of the inner detail of the tower, pigeons made noises too which creeped me out.

On the way to the Cow Tower, I found a lot of old buildings, it looked Victorian with the arches and the materials used identifiying it to be in that time period. A site that astonished me was this elderly carehome which stood like I would have imagined it would have been in the Victorian period – I was seriously taken aback, the grass was trimmed, the building was in good condition, it looked like it was from TV shows.

I then arrived at the Norwich Cathedral, it reminded me of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. I walked in the passageways and only realised that tombstones were on the floor halfway through my journey round the cathedral. I like how decorative the building is and the way the lighting is inside the cathedral. The stain glass windows constrasts the cathedrals bricks really well, especiall the wine red stain glass.

I noticed that Design.org have changed their layout

Instead of constant annoying scrolling it now has boxed thumbnails, but I would recommend they have a rollover feature where a small summary/ small title would pop out to sum up the image so I know what I am about to click on. Plus maybe they should have the time and date it was published in the corner of the thumbnail images

Technical induction – Adobe InDesign – Darren Leader

Today I was taught grid layouts and text tools such as kerning and leading. Even though I am not experienced with Adobe InDesign, I already knew how to use the tools from using Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher. In addition I played around in the program to construct samples of my booklet.

We had a task to reconstruct posters by overlaying text on an existing poster, basically tracing it to understand spacing and size.

I mainly used neutral colours for the two posters to be different to the original poster being bold and dark themed.

Personal research for design DVD’s to watch

I used the internet to see what DVD’s were the best design films to watch so I could see if the NUCA library had it so I could loan it. This is my to watch list:

1. Beautiful losers

2. Objectified

3. Mystery of Picasso

4. How to draw a bunny

5. The cool school

6. Crumb

7. Henry Cartier – Bresson: The impassioned eye

8. Art 21 – Art in the 21st century

9. Frank Lloyd Wright

10. Rivers and tides

11. Style wars

12. Art and copy

13. Milton Glaser: To inform and delight

14. Between the folds: Exploring origami

15. Linotype: The film

16. Typeface

I search the titles using the NUCA library searching system but the ones that they had were not available and the ones that were apparently shelved was not there. I am going to search for the titles another week

Lecture notes – Thursday 20th October – FOAM Agency

It was good to see a lecture that was contemporary, I like the ideas that FOAM developed and how they have ideas and then get someone else to generate them. The works which I particularly liked was the coding music video. They had the concept but didn’t have the skills to develop the final outcome so they got a coder to develop it. Another piece of work I liked was: http://www.foamagency.com/1140616/Kasabian-Umbro-Football-Hero, the concept of a larger version of Guitar Hero combined with football.

I thought I was more of a final outcome producer person where I am good at visual presentation but after a series of projects I am currently working on I now think I am more of an ideas person where I have a good idea in my head but I can’t put it into reality e.g. my lack of digital skills and photography skills.

Is it really bad to really like a font?

Been trying to locate this font for ages but it looks like the company has commissioned someone to produce an original font – which is good because it builds a strong corporate image.

The BlackBerry font appears not to be identified and be able to download or bought online, therefore it seems to be especially created for the company BlackBerry. The font resembles slightly like:


I first saw the use of the font in Summer 2011 whilst moving from a train station platform to board the train. I had seen the font used in the logo before but I had not seen it be used anywhere else such as body text. Usually with big corporations, they use two separate fonts, one for the logo and another one for the subtext.

I find this typeface to be strong and retains the corporate symbol of the black berry. I think the typographer designer has designed the type with the symbol in mind placing the small blackberry specks as the counter shape in the ‘B’. There is a slight slant in the typeface which can be considered italic, I think the designer chose the font to be italic because originally the BlackBerry symbol dots are slightly slanted and they wanted the same effect to compliment the symbolic logo. The ‘X’ height is relatively high and it is nearly as high as the ascender line (the ‘x’ height is about 75% from the baseline to the ascender line). The descender height and ascender height appear relatively balanced and equal. The kerning between ‘k’ and ‘B’, plus the last ‘r’ and ‘y’ seem to be relatively more closer that the other characters.
The font is strong because of the thickness of the font yet the curvilinear shape softens the typeface making it less brash/ harsh/ hard. The bottom of the letter ‘B’ has a rounded corner which makes the stroke thinner in the corner. Overall I think it is a unisex font because it is strong in the boldness of the type yet is still has curves which softens the type as well. I find this font successful with the particular business being BlackBerry because the font is exclusive to the business therefore it can establish a strong corporate identity making it stand out from competitors, the typeface is new and fresh which can give the impression that the business is innovative.

Lecture – Monday 17th October 2011 – Rob Hillier

Type classification:

1407 – illuminated manuscript, monks handwrote it. “Black letter” reders to the first Guttenberg printing use

Humanist/ (Venetian):

– used by Italian Venetian writers, loads of Italian writers at that time. E.g. Nicholas Jensen designed type. Lighter, open form

– if the ‘e’ bar is at an angle then it is humanist

– Centaur is a modern version of Nicholas Jensen

Old face/ (old style)/ (geralde):

– Garamond (produced around 1615)

– serif more of a wedge shape

– “I love typography” website

– more upright stress

– horizontal cross bar

– monoling figures

– Bembo typeface

Traditional/ (neoclassic):

– Baskerville

– “O” is tilted upright

– ascender (head) serifs less wedge shape

– modern example of Baskerville in use, Habitat logo

Modern/ (didone):

– Bodoni

– magazine fronts always seem to be in modern e.g. Vogue, Elle

Slab serif/ (egyptian)/ (square serif):

– Rockwell font

– Clarendon is not a slab serif because there are curves

– modern version of slab serif is Archer

San serif/ (lineale)/ (grotesque):

– Arial font early 1990’s which was a Windows copy

– ilovetypography.com, google type anatomy

– 8 page document, text provided



Books I’ve borrowed and read

Book: The fundamentals of creative design

Author: Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris

This book highlighted the key terms and aspects of design to me. I found this to be userful because as I studied A levels. I don’t have as much knowledge of terms compared to college students. The “golden section” was particularly interesting because I had seen a maths based television programme called “The code” on BBC and it felt good that my knowledge from elsewhere can help in another.

Book: Logo

Author: Michael Evamy

The logo book had many logos I didn’t recognise because there were logos from across the world. I like the caption for the logos which described the nature of the business and the concept. In addition, I liked to figure out the logo before reading the caption to see whether the logos was self explantory, Most of the logos were just text but with different fonts but I prefer logos that are images and are self explanatory.

Book: Encylopedia of type

Author: Jaspert, Berry & Johnson

The book was litterally a huge gallery of fonts. It was interesting browsing the book because even if it is the same letter (26 characters) they can be represented in so many different ways to inflict different types of reactions and feelings. I knew that there were thousands of fonts but it felt more powerful to hold the thick book to realise the amount. Personally I would find it handy if I owned this book because it could inspire me and make a change to staring at a computer screen looking for fonts. Plus I prefer printed materials because it gives more of an impression to the final product than on a computer screen.


I watched this a while ago but hadn’t blogged about it. I wanted to watch this documentary for so long but didn’t, but now I have. To other discipline students and some graphic designers found it boring. But as geeky as it sounds, I found this engaging and that it opens my eyes to how Helvetica is so widely used and the origin of the font.

I used to think that Helvetica was beautiful but with it’s thorough use, it has personally made me think to be boring although there is always going to be the universal use for the font for all sorts of situation e.g. signs and logos.

During the past year, I have contemplated what makes a good font, I have grown neutrality to the font Helvetica and more fascination for the font Comic Sans has grown. Comic Sans is such a controversial font, I do admit to using it when I was in primary school as I was influenced by teacher made posters surrounding me but once I hit secondary school I used to hate the font. I thought that I was an odd child in hating a font, but no there is something called typography and I have found a course/ career path/ career area where font matters.

I prefer how Comic Sans causes a reaction either it be love or hate however Helvetica is just overused and I see it as an emotionless font.

Photography skills

One word poster

I asked a friend that studies photography at NUCA for her expertise in capturing motion blur so that it will help me capture the effect of me tracing the word of “Trace” in the air. We set the shot outside the SU bar as it had a nice scenic background with grass and old brickwork. I stood in the shot and traced letters in the air whilst my friend was trying to capture the motion. However the shots were not sucessful because it did not capture the whole motion of the letter and it would take Photoshop skills beyond me to make the image fluid as one giant trace motion.

This is one of the many attempts of motion blur:

There I moved on even though personally I thought it was a strong idea itself, I couldn’t construct it in real life so I moved onto my other ideas. For the “Vanity” and “Communication” idea, I thought that I would hand draw and hand render the pieces because it would be difficult to achieve the overall appearance I want and I have poor Adobe Illustrator skills therefore by hand sketching/ rendering would take less time and personally I think it’ll look better.

Coming from sixth form

Coming from sixth form, I feel like I’ve missed out on technical learning such as programs such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator. Plus I had real struggle to use Macs on the first week of enrolling, in fact I purposely moved to computers that had the option to have Windows. But I feel like I’m starting to understand how to use a Mac. Also I feel like I don’t know much graphic design history and design theories/ terms – I will need to look into these by visiting the library for technical books, I did try to look for an instruction DVD for Illustrator today but it was a CD- ROM but I prefer to watch and learn.