Final Major Project: Evaluation

Right so I handed in my final major project just over a week ago. Relieved I am but I feel I may have left a few stones unturned which is why I’ve given myself time in the last week to reflect on what I have done:

In a previous post entitled “Coming Along Nicely” I outlined that my final major project had to be a fashion campaign. Initially I had pitched an idea to the head of my fashion course to design and produce a collection of t-shirts utilising my transition logo. The designs would have integrated a collaborative effort with fellow bloggers on Style Transitions blog roll know as the “Creative Collective”. I also intended to put on an event to showcase and exhibit the finished collection.

Although this original pitch was approved by the head it met mixed reviews from my actual course tutors as it did not scream out as a fashion campaign to them. Also they may have felt i was not pushing myself enough? It may be bad to assume but that something I do.

With the comment I had I returned to the drawing board. I continued to look for influences through blogs and other sources. I eventually found a video that had influenced me in a big way being Kanye Wests “All Of The Lights” music video which was mostly centred around typographic animation. I’d had a video class and had learnt some of the basics of using video editing software Final Cut.

With video influences and also some editing tutorials with film creative Danny Sangra. I put together a new pitch that was approved by tutors which was to create a set of videos and a set of stickers to promote the Style Transition blog.

Research

Research started with looking at T-shirt brands especially ones that promote use of graphics in fashion. I also looked at the packaging surrounding them.

I also looked at :

  • Videos/Animation – analysing what intrigued me about them.
  • Blogs – My own and others looking at my interests and how they could be implemented into the project.
  • Graphic Designers
  • My travels – I have done a lot of travelling in the past year. It may not be shown in my research files but I do display my ventures on my blogs.
Development/Progression
Whilst working on this project I brushed up on my computer aided designs skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and also In design.
Aswell as brushing up on skills i also picked some new ones, Not only through use of CAD but also the manual skill of screen printing. A method I have wanted to learn for years! I also used programmes that I had never used before such as Adobe After effects and Final Cut Pro. My skills may not be great but they’re something to build on.
Outputs
For my final outcomes I produced:
  • A set of four posters
  • A sticker collection
  • A viral video
All directed at promoting the blog.
In Conclusion
My performance on this project was good and bad. I still have areas to improve on especially time management. I never really planned my time out therefore mistakes were made.
This year in University has been rather erratic which I personally think is reflected in work. I won’t go into detail on that subject. On the promotion of my blog side things at least I have created some underpinnings that I can push further and hopefully I can source manufacturers to transform my client visuals into usable tools!
That being said, fingers crossed that I do well at assessment in the meantime.


Coming along nicely…

So I’m coming to the end of my final major project of this year and I think my campaign is coming along great. I have a few things show my readers as I’ve been very busy working on it the last couple of weeks. First off we’ll have a look at my statement of intent and what I had hoped to produce:

Let me condense that:

My fashion campaign is to promote my style blog (Style Transition) to a wider network and I’ve chosen to do it Virally (through the use of Graphic design and also Video.

Why am I doing this? Well my blog gets hits through my social networks such as Twitter and Facebook but I’d like to expand on that as much as I possibly can in a creative way and attract it to wider audiences.

In my previous posts I have taken you through my initial ideas of t-shirt production and also projection ideas but now I shall show you some of my final outputs.

Above is the poster and sticker set I have created for the expansion and viral campaign.

The posters have used considered yet simple design. It is all about the layout:

poster 1 - Footwear

Poster 2 - Shoe boxes

poster 3 - Food!

Poster 4 - Liverpool Skyline

The Logo in the posters contain imagery of my interests as far as the blog goes. That being said the blog is a personal reflection of myself but then again there maybe content that interests others. I think they work very well as set – eye-catching yet simple.

The Stickers:

Sticker Set

Rest assured I have done my research into sticker sets and have once again decided to keep things simple and considered with the typography being keyaswell as the logo and also simple colour selection. “I don’t do hype… I just do me”. is a term I’ve used for at least a year now and it has become as much a part of the blog as it has myself. I believe it is a very strong statement.

I havent finished the videos as yet but I am preparing for a long editing session this weekend so keep a lookout!

Just wanted to keep people updated!

Experimentation: Arduino

So I’ve experimented with an initial idea of t-shirt production and printing but I’ve also decided to look at other avenues such as animation and projection.

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from one of the technicians about some interactive software called Arduino:

Just incase you cannot read the screenshot:

“Hello

Arduino is an easy to use, cheap technology that was made with Artists and Designers in mind to allow them to add an interactive element to their projects.

There will be Arduino skill sets available in two weeks time. The sign up list is not currently up but this email is to see what interest there may be from students.

Please mail me if you are interested in exploring what Arduino can do for you and if you have any questions.

Thanks

Andy”

Just enough information for me to develop an interest in the possibilities of Arduino. So I went along to the first skill set.

It was not what I initially expected…

What did I expect?

Well my initial thoughts were that the hardware would act as a portable handy projector but it was totally not the case! The skill set took me back to my school days of electronics and building circuits on breadboards! It was quite refreshing and mind opening yet a bit of a headache at the same time. Fortunately the Arduino kits do come with test circuits for you to build. That being said it did take me a whole session to build the basic flashing L.E.D. board which at the time and now I am still highly proud of.

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Arduino kit

 

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Arduino circuit board

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Getting to grips with it!

The end result:

This is just a basic representation of what you can do with Arduino but the possibilities can be vastly extended Through writing code and buying extra kit for Arduino such a motors and controllers.

You can find out more about Arduino at http://www.arduino.cc/

Also check out this documentary which I’ve just found on Arduino.

I won’t be using Arduino in my Final Major Project but it is something I will consider exploring further in the future.

Transition: Logo Legacy Continued.

May 2010

Last year I decided the Transition name style needed an update. A lot had changed over two years:

  • I had moved away from using a blog format on myspace to using a dedicated blogsite -Wordpress.
  • Social circles had changed which in turn broadened my creative horizons.

So I recall very last year on one of my many weekend vacations to the city of London I decided to put the Transition name style through a transition of its own.

I was looking for something bold yet smart and came across the Harabara typeface on www.dafont.com – heavyweight plus the curve and straight edge mix blend well. Ok I so I’d got the font but it didn’t end there:

From the picture above you can see that the spacing between the letters (characters) is very tight (close) which I didn’t like very much. I aimed to get it spaced out a lot more evenly.

I use Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the type I work with. Yes it works with pixels and maybe it isn’t the best but it’s a programme I understand. So using the character spacing or kerning tool in Photoshop (highlighted below) I spaced out the type to my liking.

Character spacing AKA "Kerning".

Sorted!

 

With the type now spaced out I cut parts to play with the legibility of the word. Taking suitable amounts away from each letter so that you’re still able to read it. I used to marquee tool in Photoshop to select, edit and cut parts of the type out.

Marquee Tool

End result of tinkering!

Above is my the final outcome that I was happy with as I liked that it strong and consistent balance.

I used this name style up until october 2010 when the blog went through its biggest of changes. I got it its very own domain.

http://www.styletransition.co.uk

This is when I decided Transition needed something more than a name style to give it it’s own identity. There came the idea of a logo.

I looked to the name style of the time that I using to see if there was anything interesting within to pick out as a starting point of which there was:

Manipulated 'T'

Okay so why the ‘T’? Well I felt and still feel that the part cut out stem of the letter T represents the Style Transition movement very well. It is not perfect but then again will it ever be? We live in ever changing fast paced environment and the stem that has been removed from ‘T’ is like a void that probably in my time will never be filled.

The ‘T’ is all well and good but I personally felt that it needed to be enclosed. I tried using a circle:


Which worked very well for me. Other changes were made to the name style. With the addition of the word style and also the earlier removed parts of type from the word Transition we re-introduced apart from the (what I feel can be iconic) stem of the letter T.

Transition: Logo Legacy…

So right now this is what my logo and name look like for my Style Transition blog.

How did I get to this? Where is my developement? My assessment modules ask. Well in this post I shall take you through the inspirations, development and legacy of the Transition ‘T’ Logo.

2008

The name or shall we say word “Transition” came from a college project (which got me here!) on magazine design. For the project I had to come up with a name, design a name style, logo or both and also for visuals mock up a front cover and double page spread with markers.

For the project I remember Liverpool at that period of time was going through a big change retail wise. A couple of years previous the Metquarter Shopping Mall opened and a new shopping centre was under construction known as Liverpool ONE. With this information I did some word association to make the name choice of transition.

During my time in the Graphic Design course I developed an interest in typography and layout with Neville Brody being one of my main influences.

 

The iconic Face magazine

The typeface used for “The Face” Name style was designed by Brody himself which I have not to this day been able to find the name of. I liked (and do still like) the fact that it is boldly simple and red background exemplifies this and draws your eye in.

The 1st ever Transition cover featuring the newly built Met Quarter.

 

The Original Transition name style.

For my “Transition” name style I took Brody’s typeface and tried to make it my own by bringing the characters closer together also known as kerning and also I shortened the I’s on the “ITI” to push the legibility (readability) boundaries. It also made a unique shape which i carried over to the double page spread for the article end stop.

Transition - Under construction double page spread

 

The 'ITI' insignia acting as an article end stop.

It all started with a name style…

Experimentation: Screen Printing

The first three weeks into my major project I took part in some printing workshops at University (yup there is a lot more to printing than just obvious click print on your computer screen and something comes out!)

LJMU ADA Print Room

Large format print facilities

I’ve always been interested in the age old technique of Screen Printing but have never had the opportunity until now to learn about the processes or the tools and materials needed for production. I always said to myself (even before my creative path days) that I would school myself in the art. Easier said than done!

I’ll take you through the process I learnt anyways:

Exposure

First off I had design an image to go on a T-shirt (When designing I use photoshop mainly as I’m comfortable with the tools and interface). The design is used initially to be exposed onto a screen for screen printing. I wish I had taken images of my exposed screen to show you but I never… Sorry! Important note though anything designed to be exposed on to a screen has to be in BLACK&WHITE and is best being printed onto acetate or tracing paper for the best results.

Design on acetate.

A lot of printers won’t print onto acetate any bigger than A4 these days just due to the fact that it messes up mechanics on their larger format printers which I imagine is costly! So for bigger stuff, trace paper is probably your best bet.

Just an example of an exposed screen.

Equpiment (Tooling).

So you know that you’ll need an exposed screen of your design (example above).

You’ll also need:

  • Screen printing ink (emulsion or acrylic are two that I know of).
  • Sensitiser gel to mix with the ink
  • A squeegee
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Hose (to clean the screen)

Process

I found a decent little video on you tube that explains the process pretty well:

Finished Article!

I used the same screen to print two colours. Usually it is not advised and in industry two screens would be used, which leads me to another point:

The more colours there are Increases printing costs.

Just bear that in mind.

Major Project: Research…

Although I thought may have to take a step away from my t-shirt creating dream I felt it was the best place to start my research as it is good place to obtain history and also imagery to inform any ideas that I have. So as you can see from my mind map above I had few good areas to look at:

  • Brands
  • Design/Layout
  • Collaborations

Brands

There are hand full of major brands out there today that built there success off of the T-Shirt and even though they may have branched out into other apparel lines such as cut & sew, they never forget about they’re heritage and the basics so the T-Shirt manages to stay at forefront of their collections.

Design/Layout

A Bathing Ape - Spring/Summer 2011

Supreme - Spring/Summer 2011

 

I have  looked at this seasons (Spring/Summer 2011) collections from the likes of Supreme, A Bathing ape and Carhartt  just to name a few.  From what I’ve seen the tees focus a lot on layout. There is also some typographic experimentation along with photographic image based workings. What I have noticed from my research and also from when I buy my T-shirts for my myself Layout plays a big role.

Collaborations

Like the t-shirt itself collaborations in this sector have become a commodity of sorts. With limited run offs being made with renowned and cult artists alike there has been a constant demand in the last five to ten years for what are now called “exclusives” and “limited editions”. That being said it is always good to see something new when creatives come together. Collaborations are always in keeping with a brands ethos but updated with new and fresh dimension.

Mat Fowler for Carhartt

Carhartt x A.P.C. Collaboration

Maybe at a later date I should look at the T-shirts in my wardrobe and ask myself why I bought them. A little bit of retrospective.