1) Visual Communication:
In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?
I feel the visual communication of my project is quite successful and effective, I did this by insuring that the colours and imagery where linked very clearly to the conspiracy theory I am portraying. The brief specified to be creative and so I felt it would be interesting to create something that when elements where pulled together was very thought provoking to the audience and also interactive which I think is a strong visual tool to interest the audience, this is something I was pleased with and thought the idea worked well.
I insured I used images that where used in news articles and used signifiers that would link people to the subject matter in hand to insure that it was imagery people where familiar with for example, With my moon landing imagery I used images as reference from the original news articles that came out when the event took place so that my imagery was recognisable to the audience.
In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?
Something I would do differently if I was given the opportunity to create this again and will probably make these adjustments for my portfolio is that I would have somehow insured that the 3 pages went together slightly more, In my opinion I would either make the moon landing background lighter or the other pages lighter, I was looking for my e finals to be light hearted although still wanted that sinister and mysterious feel, I think sometimes its even more thought provoking to have something unexpected, Like an innocent child in a horror film is sometimes more spooky and eery than a scary monster.
I quite like the lighter colours and feel they communicate well but this is something I would play with to try and make them more even and cohesive to insure it flowed nicely for the reader.
I also wasn’t too happy with a couple of the final images on the acetate as some of the lighter parts did not show very well therefore leaving me with a slightly broken image, although I did test print these I did not have the time to resolve this issue as I would have had to re-illutrate this, I did try it on tracing paper and I think this might be more effective so may continue with this idea for my portfolio and look into developing it further.
What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?
I also made an effort to insure this when it came to communicating which hand was which, The doctor and the patient and make it clear who was giving and receiving, I did this by adding the cuff on the lab jacket to the doctors wrist and also the money I insured it was more in the patients hand than the doctors and insured that the note looked as if it was being pulled to communicate the force and control that I wanted to without it being to strong. I did the same when it came to the illuminati, I used the triangle to communicate the more typical illuminati symbol, I felt the eye communicated very strongly and almost gave a more sinister and spooky and eyes always draw in an audience.Colour wise I am glad I decided upon the green colour – I think semiotics wise this communicates the colour of the doctors coat and also gives me connotations of the NHS.I feel that the images themselves are strong.
What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?
As I stated in the previous answer I feel that the printing on the acetate may have been a bit ambitious, I did not realise that some of the lighter colours in my imagery would become very light and almost clear so it made it difficult to understand, I don’t think this helped the final visual communication of my product although I feel the images are easily understandable and the typographic pages compliment this clearly and concisely whilst keeping it simple and giving the audience “food for thought”.
In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.
I actually did a lot of research as to who my audience was as this was something that was confusing me at first and I felt this was a very important for an illustration module due to there being so so many styles of illustration, I felt that my audience would be adults, Mainly sort of late 30’s early 40’s and anyone that would be interested in conspiracy theories but I feel on reflection although this is ideally directed at my ideal audience due to the realistic style its something everyone could understand. I made this quite serious and realistic rather than cartoon like and also made the interactivity intelligent and intuitive rather than simple and heavily explained.
In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?
2) Reflection of own working practices:
How was my time keeping?
I felt my time keeping was good and I created myself individual deadlines for each individual page so that I did not get to the end and realise I had lots left to do.I would have liked to give myself more time to print so that I had time to explore different ways of doing the acetate pages but overall felt I got everything done in good time.
How was my analysis of the brief?
I analysed the brief carefully when first starting this project, This can be seen in my first blog post but I felt as if it was clear that the brief gave me a lot of scope for doing something very innovative and creative so wanted to push myself not only with the style of illustration but also with the outcome that I created to create something unique and interesting
How was my research?
I did a apt amount of research into different illustration styles that I felt could work and did some specific studies into different artists and designers, I also researched the way in which illustrations works to give myself some background knowledge which actually helped me to make different decisions such as I did a case study into the role of illustration which helped to realise that it would not only be better for me to do something recognisable but also this gave me the decision that I would not have a lot of text and that I would just be very concise and clear with my illustration rather that having paragraphs of text I wanted to just include a thought or a quote for the audience to take what they will from it as I felt this is what conspiracy theories are about – they give people a fact and let them come to a decision for themselves and I wanted to do this with my souvenir book.
How did I draw conclusions from my research?
My research definitely aided me in finding a different style of illustration which is probably the best thing I have taken from this project – I saw a few styles of illustration that almost looked photographic but I decided I still wanted something to look hand made so I decided the way I would do it was to have the strokes still intact rather than a smooth photographic style.I also learnt some effective visual communication techniques by looking into protest illustration – This taught me how to make a strong impact on an audience, I found the use of eyes and emotion in eyes very useful when it came to my illuminati page. I also found the techniques used very interesting, I deliberately demonstrated and analysed two very different styles of protest art to give me an idea of what might work for me, My illustrations were probably very middling compared to these two examples, The first example was very solid in shape and flat where as the second example was very sketches and hand drawn, Id like to think mine is in between both examples.
How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?
I researched a lot into the conspiracy theories and watched lots of videos where by I used divergent thinking by listening and watching videos related and sketching ideas for visuals whilst I gained small parts of information regarding the topics and developed the ideas I had. I then researched back into my own sketches to gain an understanding of what imagery would work nicely together and also which ones would create the most interesting imagery for the final product. I also researched into what my final souvenir would look like and found some really interesting creative ways to present my illustration as I felt this was also really important.
How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?
I evaluated through out as you will see in my progress blog posts, As it was the first time trying this particular technique I was learning every time I was illustrating. From my first moon illustration I realised that due to using small shapes and colours and working so close up and very zoomed in I missed some parts and ended up with a few gaps so upon completing the other works I developed this and worked on coloured backgrounds like red and blues so that I can see where I was missing colour and shape.
How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?
I looked into a lot of different styles and tried a few myself, With this project in particular I did manage to find a really nice style early on that I was happy with although there was consideration of other styles I was lucky enough to tap into a good style early on so my experimentation was mainly within one style, Within this the idea was developed a lot, I experimented a lot with colour and layout with the space and also did not realise how difficult it can be to create something that looks clean and neat when using a hand drawn, stroked style so this was something I had to experiment a lot, I experimented with techniques by placing a stroke around the outside of my circles but placing this in front of the illustration to give it a really crisp edge. The style of my finals for this project came solely from experimentation as I have managed to find a new was of digital painting/illustrating through trying different techniques with my wacom tablet after picking it up after a long long time.
In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?
In my opinion I feel I have fulfilled the learning outcomes, I feel this learning outcomes for this project where good as they followed my natural design process really nicely so it wasn’t to difficult to achieve. I feel I have done this by have a full body of research into different designers, artists and other works from sites such a Pinterest and Bechance to gain an idea of what other illustrators are doing, I looked into this to critically explore what does and doesn’t work.
What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?
I am really thrilled that I have challenged myself and tried something outside of my comfort zone, It is good to have then skills rather than sticking with simple and clean design how every beautiful this may be I take my course as an opportunity to explore new techniques and broaden my skills and knowledge, I feel like this technique could work really well with my own photography as I feel like this would be even more unique.
I really enjoyed being creative and creating new and exciting compositions.
I thought the subject matter was really interesting and gave me a lot to explore and work with.
What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?
At the beginning of my project I was slightly concerned as I was not sure on the best way to do this, I did not just want to create images that might loosely connect to conspiracy theories and writing to back this up, I was really keen after my research into the role of illustration to make sure this told the story and the small title just complimented.
At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?
I always work better right at the beginning and towards the end of a project as I am more motivated to see a finished product at the end and at the start I get excited with all the research so usually jump into this,I always feel as if I have dip in the middle where I get slightly bored especially with a project this long, I think I helped myself a lot this project as I discovered this in a previous project therefore set myself milestones and deadlines on day when the first illustration should be done and the second one should be etc.This will be something I will try to be consistent with and I may even start to make myself a little schedule every time we get a new brief so that I can tick of as I go, This may help me to not become complacent.
What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?
It really inspired me to try different techniques when it comes to illustration as I feel like I do get stuck in the “modern, simplistic and clean” rut and this will make me a less versatile designer, Not only as my career goes on I might get a project that this style will not work for but also this style can be simple to create and it will mean that everything I am creating will be easy to re-create and will not take as much skill so it will be good for me to learn some new and innovative techniques so that I can create something new and interesting.
What areas were challenging or difficult? Why was this the case?
As I say the taking illustration was very challenging to me to start with but this is the reason I chose to do this because I knew that this was something I really wanted to improve as a designer and I didn’t want o be in industry and realise that I can only use photography etc in finals, I also feel that illustration is a lot more mailable and can be fit to a lot more projects.I do not think I am a natural illustrator but I am really glad I have looked into this and it has introduced me to a new technique that I can develop and improve.
How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?
Practice, Practice, Practice is my only answer for this question.. I need to take the time and take the opportunity of being in education to keep refining the things I enjoy and also the things I need to learn more about within design.
Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?
Again, I will just be developing these skills as I go and look into how I can use this technique to develop new and ideas and also use the research I have gained into simple design as just because this is not what I ended up using for this I will want to try this in my upcoming projects.
I am really pleased with my final outcome and with some tweaking and development I think it could be a really interesting and effective portfolio piece. I feel as if it works really nicely for the brief set and also think I managed to hone in on my audience focus and how I would make my communication fit this audience effectively. I also feel as if I have used critical and concise research to fit the project and broaden my skill set within my field.