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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Exercise - a subjective drawing.

My subjective list of words for the shoe goes as follows;
Robust, classic, stylish, hard-wearing, distressed, worn, reliable, luxurious, honest, informal, formal, soft, hard-edged, masculine, strong, comfortable, worn, aged, quality, stable, distinguished, vintage, modern, in-vogue, old-fashioned, current, simple, elegant, understated, tasteful, tactile, refined, faithful, adult, well-built, resolute, staunch, snug, sturdy, durable, rugged, constant, unfailing, antique, compact, fine-grained, supple, resistant, hardy, retro, decent, evocative, upright, uncontrived, natural, real, dependable, smart, worthy, presentable, comfortable, restrained, subtle, detailed, mod, oringinal, adaptable, consistent, iconic.
Many of these words contradict each other, but therein lies the quality of the Brogue in that it can be considered both old-fashioned and at the same time in-vogue.
Below is the moodboard I have put together to illustrate the qualities and reasons why I think the Brogue is such an iconic shoe, and how it has remained relatively unchanged over the passage of time.

Exercise - an objective drawing

For this exercise I chose a pair of glasses to draw in fine-liner pen an objective drawing, tried to stick to cross-hatching to show shading, had some difficulty with this as the specs are relatively smooth..
Next I did the same thing with a shoe which I will use as the object for my subjective drawing, kept it to just line so that I can scan in and try to adapt in Illustrator. See next post for Subjective work...

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Exercise - Exploring drawing and painting.

Task - to create a sketchbook using different materials and media.
As you can see I chose a walking boot as my subject matter and tried a mix of methods from pencil to marker and pen to watercolour and oil pastel. I also tried cutting out a template and splattering and then drawing directly onto a typed page from a book. Not sure why, but I really like to see drawings or paintings on top of type...
I seem to have more success or control when using pen and ink and really like the looseness of watercolour, with different colours reacting with others to give some nice effects. The oil pastel was quite effective but probably wasnt the right media to use on the black card which didnt have much of a tooth to hold the pastel.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Exercise - 1950s illustration

Produce an illustration of someone sitting down, surrounded by typical artefacts to give a teenager an idea of the 50s. I think the teenager would be fairly gutted that the TV was in black and white and the Nintendo Wii had yet to be invented...

1950's reference

A great book for reference and inspiration is 'The 1950s Scrapbook' by Robert Opie.
Over 1,000 products and images from the 50s providing a goldmine of information.
Other decades from the Victorian era upwards are available  and I got mine from Amazon.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Exercise - Using reference - The 50's

Dan DareImage via Wikipedia

Following the war and a decade of austerity, the early 50’s signalled a new beginning for many, but the spectre of WWII still existed – meat, butter, sugar and sweets plus petrol, paper and soap were still rationed, and the blitzed inner cities remained, although many of its former inhabitants had been shipped out to the suburbs and new towns. War films were the staple diet of the cinema then, with such titles as The Dambusters and Reach for the Sky showing, whilst the young played in the streets, fighting imaginary battles with sticks for guns and the Airfix Spitfire was the top selling toy at two shillings in the shops. Comics told stories of Braddock-Flying Ace and a new arrival named The Eagle brought science-fiction and Space adventures in the shape of Dan Dare.

Dress-code was crucial, with standard attire being a jacket and flannels or a single-breasted suit, but the times were a changing and the influence of American Culture had an increasing effect on British life through cinema in the shape of films such as Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean and On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando. The music scene brought Elvis Presley and the UK’s own Bill Haley and the Comets and from this emerged the Teddy Boys with their drape suits and sculptured (with Brilcream) hair. Along with the music came juke-boxes, and these were to be found in another new establishment, the coffee bar, where the first teenagers to have a culture of their own, would meet and listen to the newly introduced British Top 20.

Films through the 50’s included; Streetcar named Desire starring Marlon Brando (1951), Singing in the Rain (1952), On The Waterfront (1954), East of Eden starring James Dean (1955), Rock Around The Clock (1956), Ben Hur (1959) and GI Blues with Elvis and Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas in 1960.

Buses enjoyed a boom time as people used them to get around, to travel to the cinema during the evenings and weekends, and especially for holidays which were mostly in the Uk, but a bus trip to France would take 3 days! Coaches would run day-trips to coastal towns and places of interest during the summer and then in the winter, trips to the London theatres were very popular.

Motorbikes and scooters were a popular tool, especially with petrol increases following the Suez crisis in 1957 and such names as BSA, Triumph, Norton and Royal Enfield were the front-runners. Cars such as the Ford Anglia, Morris Oxford, Ford Poplar and Austin Devon were the norm, with the revolutionary Austin and Morris ‘Mini’ coming along in 1959, offering a completely new design from the usual ‘bulbous’ shapes and the benefit of great fuel consumption.
Ford Poplar

By 1959 British European Airways had carried over three million passengers, and the Spanish package holiday had begun, with fifteen days in Palma, Majorca, for 44 guineas, while on land the slow but inevitable asphalting of the country began, as the new roads were built for the masses, complete with newly-designed blue motorway signage. (Most road signs had been removed during the war, making any journeys very confusing). To own a car was the ambition of many of the working classes.

In 1953 the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth added impetus to the sale of television sets with some 100,000 sets being sold in that year and in 1955 the introduction of Independent Television (ITV) brought with it the very first tv commercials. TV shows of the decade included the first Andy Pandy (1950), Bill and Ben (1952), Panorama in 1953, Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile record in 1954, Dixon of Dock Green (1955), Winter Olympics in 1956, Blue Peter (1958) and The Flintstones and Coronation Street in 1960. By 1957 there were over seven million regular viewers.

During the war many new manufacturing techniques had been developed, along with innovative materials such as fibreglass, formica, and plastic. A rapid growth in the building industry heralded many new ideas and concepts. Living-room layouts became open-plan and fitted kitchens were a must-have, making use of the new materials available. Bungalows and flats were also appearing with more influence from the US and the new centrepiece of the open-plan living room was the TV, whilst free-standing units adorned the walls and chequerboard vinyls covered the kitchen floor. From the outside, aesthetically uninspiring, with flat roofs, plain brickwork or fascias with chimney-less roofs whilst on the inside chrome appliances were all the rage. Utility kitchens, painted cupboards, formica kitchen tops and units with low-slung armchairs, recliners and carpets in the lounge.

American diner inspired colours such as red, lime, black and pistachio green and bubblegum pink or pale baby blue were all popular and the new fascination with space and science fiction gave us patterns such as starbursts, atoms, pretty sprigged florals, zebra stripes and polka dots. Flying ducks travelled across the walls, while pinapple-shaped ice-buckets and nodding dogs looked on. Furniture and fabric designers of note included Charles and Ray Eames, a husband and wife team, with their sleek leather, plywood and plastic furniture, Robin and Lucienne Day with Heals furniture and fabric and Anne Jacobson with her Egg, Swan and Ant chairs. New fabrics were available such as Nylon, Terylene, synthetic leathers and Rayon, offering new options for both furnishings and fashion.

With the advent of the self-service store, packaging design had to step up its game, becoming brighter and bolder to attract attention. Large typefaces in block capitals incorporating vivid colours and illustrations filled the shelves on products that have changed little to this day, such as Corn Flakes, Scott’s Oats and Birds Custard Powder, proving the strength of both brand and design.

In 1957 a new typeface was designed by a little-known typo designer, Max Miedinger, who was commissioned by Edouard Hoffman, director of the Haas Type Foundry, called Neue Haas Grotesk which came to be known later, as Helvetica. In those days, typefaces were made by carving the shapes of the letters from metal and anyone wishing to use a font had to buy an entire set of letters. This made it expensive to use new typefaces and many of the most popular fonts were centuries-old, like Baskerville and Bodoni. Renamed Helvetica in 1961 and used for the signage in a new terminal at Heathrow Airport, the typeface became so popular, especially among US Advertising Agencies, that it became the default typeface for any 1960s company wishing to project a dynamic, modern image.

Popular artists of this era included Dali who inspired the red lip-shaped sofa of the time, Kurt Schwitters with his collage, assemblages and sculpture, Marcel Duchamp and his ready made objects which he had torn from their usual context and submitted as art. Action painting in the form of artists such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Willem De Kooning came to the fore and allowed the canvas to be seen as an arena with the energy and psyche of the painter, becoming the driving force, encouraging impulsive and instinctive art. 1952 also gave us the term Pop art when Eduardo Paolozzi produced a collage called ‘I was a Rich Man’s Plaything which included the first use of the word “pop”, appearing in a cloud of smoke, emerging from a gun. This method of art rose to fame in the early sixties, most notably with artists such as Andy Warhol and Peter Blake.

In summation the 1950’s heralded a new dawn, , influenced by America, with its glamorous film and music stars. Space-exploration, new technologies and communication plus transport made it an exciting and ground-breaking decade that would inspire future generations to come.

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Saturday, 7 August 2010

Exercise - Making a moodboard

I chose the word 'Fashion' for this task, and proceeded to raid my file cupboard at work for anything representing the field of Fashion. Brochures, posters and other paraphernalia were available so I took full advantage. As well as the obvious catwalk and model shots i tried to include work that had been produced on different materials such as uncoated papers and also some different finishes such as spot varnishes and laminates. I also included some graphic illustrations that seemed to fit such as the lipstick image and also some patterns that seemed to be relevant.
It was putting the images together and arranging them on the board that proved the most challenging,  and I ended up separating the men and women, based on colours and contrasts? At least that's what it seemed like.I can definitely see the benefit of using a moodboard as a way of  displaying a wide variety of ideas to a  client  as well as developing initial concepts and from there, developing them further.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Logo latest...

Fine-tuned the logo, and with more than a little help from my design-jedi - Deano, I thnk world domination is just around the corner. Need a name to go with it now....Speccy's favourite at minute...
p.s. no pyramids were damaged in the making of this pic...

Exercise - turning words into pictures

Choose a word and draw anything that comes to mind... use the drawings as a visual shorthand, without worrying about the accuracy or prettiness.
While this was a problem at first to keep the sketches loose and quick, just drawing anything that came to mind and had a connection with the word 'travel', things started to develop and ideas came to the fore, the main problem was not getting caught up in the drawing. Trying to describe adjectives such as 'surprise' or queuing was a challenge, which goes back to the comment in the previous excercise when working on the word 'anger'. I can see how this visual brainstorm works though, I think the secret is to not worry about how the drawings look.
Sometimes the mistakes can be surprising...