Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Graphic Design #1

As promised a post about the Graphic Design course I am doing. There is so much to say that I'm not really sure where to start but here are a few notes and a couple of snaps...

So I rock up at college, a college that I walk past twice a day on way to and from work and never give a second thought to. It felt very different to be standing, fag in hand, in the car park as a student. I felt somewhat of a social pariah being that I was some 8 years older than everyone else there and the conversation centred on 'those annoying 14 year old girls who turn up at house parties', the best job to get, a night photographer apparently (someone who takes photos of people in clubs), the latest fashion must have (velvet brothel creepers) and the various merits of an undercut. Needless to say I was a little at sea.

The people on my course are a different story. Most have jobs (that don't require a camera and an aptitude to stay awake into the small hours) . The annoying 14 year old girls they refer to are their daughters and most remember brothel creepers and undercuts from the last time they were in vogue.

Project #1

We were each given a written sentence that we had to transform into 6 images (traditionally produced i.e. hand drawn) and 1 image (produced using Adobe Illustrator. My sentence is:

'Lorenzo the opera singer, left his Medici apartment in Florence to visit his friend, Michelangelo the proof reader, who lived in a parallel street.'

To decide on my 6 images I chose specific words within the sentence and brain-stormed (thought-showered for the PC)  everything I associated with those words. The results were quite surprising. After you go through the obvious things more abstract stuff starts emerging. Take the word Medici for example: They were a political dynasty who originally hailed from the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside. Their wealth was initially derived from the textile trade, later they were a banking family. Already there are some things that would make good symbols, the banking link for example can be represented by £ or $. The textile trade is fertile symbol finding ground indeed. For example the Medici were members of Arte della Lana- the wool makers trade, one member of the family specialized in silk and planted mulberry trees (apparently silk worms are partial) along a silk route. Think 'Mulberry' and there you have it a ready made logo.
One of the most interesting things about all this research is when you find an unexpected link. Keeping with the Medici, here's the best one I have found so far. in Summer of this year a hair pin thought to belong to Catherine de Medici was found.the design on the head of the hair pin was rather familiar...
Intertwined C's similar to the Chanel logo.
Apparently the intertwined C's were used by Catherine's mother in law, Queen Claude of France, before her and Catherine liked them so she used them for herself. Did Coco pinch the design too? Who knows but if your interested in Coco Chanel and her interlocking C's take a gander at this.

Helpfully, for my purposes, Catherine de Medici's father was called Lorenzo. Thus a simple design embodies the Medici link, the name from the start of my sentence, and gave me further research ideas... Catherine, it transpires, was particularly fond of architecture and, amongst other projects, designed the Tuilerie gardens. Here again there are a multitude of shapes signs and symbols to be found. Formal gardens in general are great for shapes, especially when viewed from above. 

Right enough waffling. Here are a couple of pages from my sketch book (which also gets marked) and my final image.
Initial ideas.
Research and initial sketches.
More research.
Even more research.
Image development.
Final designs.
THE final design.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Good Fortune and Peaches.

Things have been so busy since I got back from France that I have rather neglected posting. I had my first graphic design lecture which I was going to post about, I will soon, but something rather lovely happened this week. Rather several lovely things happened...

For numerous reasons I find myself without a penny to my name, but on the receiving end of several acts of kindness and good fortune. On Friday night I helped a friend move house not only was I given a bevy of kitchen goods and a snowboard (a snowboard!) for my troubles but I had dinner (pizza and beer amongst the boxes) AND a whole bag of food, which was a life saver seeing as I had spent my entire food budget for the week on crumble ingredients the previous weekend and have been eating crumble for every meal ever since.

On Sunday I helped a woman who had dropped her shopping and she gave me a courgette THEN a bloke gave me 2 spuds- a free dinner (and lunch). THEN on my way home (happily anticipating a dinner that wasn't crumble) I found £1 outside the bookies at the end of our road. So all in all a pretty good end to the week.

Graphic Design post to follow...

P.S. my brother's girlfriend reckons this photo of Peache's Geldof looks a bit like me...