Sunday, 22 November 2009

No News Is Good News - Message & Delivery (OUGD101)

The following has been copy and pasted from my PPD blog to explain the concept behind this project. It developed from the previous No News Is Good News - Message & Interpretation project.


The general notion I am working around is that the Labour Government contributed to the UK's economic crisis and have so far failed to get Britain out of recession so therefore people should vote Conservative in order for there to be a change of direction in getting Britain out of recession.

This whole 'vote Conservative' notion has come from the attack on Jacqui Smith in my last project coming across as putting a bad name on the Labour party. By suggesting the Labour party have committed some wrongdoing, it can suggest a Conservative bias to the poster I produced so this is how the whole 'vote Conservative' concept came about.


There will be a General Election by the 3rd of June 2010 at the latest so it is coming up to a time where it is relevant to raise awareness of such issues relating to voting and persuading people to vote.


I intend to target young, first time voters in the General Election aged 18 - 25 of both sexes.


By persuading and informing people about the Conservative party as well as promoting them. This could be done with reference to topics which are familiar to young people. Crossing over with pop culture is an easy way to get young peoples attention. By putting less of a serious edge on politics it comes across as more relaxed an appealing to young people. Whilst engaging in this less serious tone of voice it will still be important to maintain the art of persuasion in the design itself.

In order to develop ideas for my mail shot envelope and contents, I began with a few rough idea sketches in order to quickly gain a direction to work in. Here they are:

From these ideas I went into Illustrator to begin designing and developing my envelope. The following ideas were developed as they go in order:

'Envelope Template'

'Idea 1'

'Idea 2'

'Idea 3'

'Idea 4 (Final Idea)'

I stuck with idea 4 for my final idea after development through crits and discussions which are recorded on my PPD blog.

Next I had to figure out what to put in the envelope. So after a mini crit with Amber, I decided to go with the idea of only having a sticker in the envelope providing that the message on it was clear and relevant to my point of communication and target audience. The notion of having a sticker already matched the young audience of first time voters as was noted in my first crit so that was a good start. Here were my ideas:

'Sticker Idea 1'

This sticker is based around the shape of the conservative party's current logo. It is supposed to highlight the party's slogan whilst maintaining the fact that it is Conservative. I feel this idea was poor and does not work well. Especially as the current. slogan is on the front of the envelope anyway!

'Sticker Idea 2'

I tried to stay with the shape of the Conservative logo here but the shape of the text diminishes the logos clarity. Nobody in the crit I had really understood the idea as they couldn't tell it was the Conservative logo. Plus I needed another phrase to work with other than the Conservative slogan.

'Sticker Idea 3 (Final Idea)'

This is the idea I went with. Here the sticker itself is the top design and the bottom design is the back of the sticker although it could've worked either way in my opinion. I think the phrase, 'Whoops! Gordon did a Brown on our economy' works well as it is humorous yet it also raises an important and potentially controversial opinion. The 'turd' shape of the sticker worked well in my opinion in the fact that it helps to emphasise the point.

All that was left was to make up a mailing list. So I composed a questionnaire to hand out in the studio to my peers to determine who were the first time undecided voters. The people who my mail shot is aimed at. This was the questionnaire I used:


A Short Questionnaire

I would be very grateful if the following questions could be answered to help me with my current Graphic Design brief. Cheers.

Name: Age:

Address (For the purposes of the brief. You will definitely not be sent anything.):


Yes/No/Haven’t Decided Yet

If YES or HAVEN’T DECIDED YET please continue:



If you answered YES then;



The questionnaire is now finished. When finished it would be great if you could drop this back to me in the studio and if I’m not about if you could just drop it in my pigeon hole that would be fantastic.

Cheers for your help. It goes much appreciated.

Pawel Adamek


So from the way that people answered this questionnaire I was able to determine who went on my mailing list. The following is my mailing list:

So all that was left to do was to print 10 envelopes (although I ended up printing 12 just in case) with the relevant addresses on them and the stickers and to put everything together then post one to the Leeds College of Art to see if i makes it through the post. I took some photographs of my results:

And that's my project. All I need to do is hope the mail shot I sent through the post gets there.


Electronic Poet (Live Brief)

Here are the designs I submitted for the Electronic Poet brief where the brief was to submit at least 5 t-shirt designs that all had a tribal theme combined with a general dance music vibe which relates to Electronic Poets target audience. Of all the submissions, 20 were to be chosen to be developed, printed and sold in Selfridges across the country and select shops internationally.






I also submitted the same ideas in black and white.

Idea 5 happened to be chosen for me to develop along with the help of Paper Scissors & Stone (The design company running the brief). Once it has been developed, the t-shirts will be printed and will eventually hit the shops on the 1st of August 2010.

I really didn't expect to have a design chosen so this was a very big shock to me!


Sunday, 15 November 2009

No News Is Good News - Message & Interpretation (OUGD101)

As a reaction to the previous No News Is Good News brief where we were instructed to research a topic relating to a newspaper article, I produced the following work in the blog post. Here is my topic and my fact:

TOPIC - The MPs Expenses scandal.

FACT - Ex Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's list of expenses included adult videos.

So working with this information that I managed to dwindle down through my research into the MPs expenses scandal, we were instructed to produce three posters to communicate this message. One with solely text, one with text and image and one with just image.

These were my rough initial thumbnails:

Text Only Ideas

Text & Image Ideas (Left) And Image Ideas (Right)

For my process of working I decided to work at the sole text poster first. I produced 6 potential posters for this poster. Here they are:


Text Idea 1

Text Idea 2

Text Idea 3

Text Idea 4

Text Idea 5

Text Idea 6

The poster I chose in the end was Idea 6. The posters were intended to develop as I produced each one and after a mini crit with Matt, Dutch and Jack, they all seemed to agree with Idea 6 being the strongest. Luckily for me it too happened to be my favourite. Matt, Dutch and Jack pointed out how they liked the 'XXX' on the end of the word 'tax'. This appeared to be what they thought was the strongest element in terms of communication of the message.
  • I chose the red background to make the poster apt with the Labour Party of whom Jacqui Smith is an MP for. In this sense the poster becomes slightly Anit-Labour Party with a secondary intention of subconsciously making people have a negative view of the Labour party.
  • The black text highlights the important and most eye-catching aspects of the text in order to draw people in.
  • The text was intentionally chosen to have a slight Cyrillic aesthetic to it as it ties with the whole idea of Socialism what with Communism being an extreme form of left wing politics.
  • The actual fact is that Jacqui Smith's husband purchased and watched the adult videos, however they were purchased on Jacqui Smith's parliamentary expenses which she failed to cross check. This is important in the fact that I was careful with the lexis to make sure I don't insinuate that she watched the adult videos. It is still a fact that she was responsible for taxpayers money going on them.
  • The composition was a reaction to recent Visual Language sessions where we explored composition of text. I feel it works it making the message more vibrant and dynamic. However, the actual intention for me was to imply the notion of censoring something by cutting bits of the text off in the composition as censoring is something highly associated with adult videos.
It should be pointed out at this point that I do not dislike the Labour Party. My views do tend to be more Conservative but I am doing this for the purposes of the brief. If Jacqui Smith was a Conservative MP I would have done exactly the same regardless of my political opinions.

The bullet points I just made are relevant to the text in the text & image ideas I also produced. I went on to produce three ideas for the text and image poster. They all relate in some way to the thumbnails I produced for the text & image poster. Here they are:


Text & Image Idea 1

Text & Image Idea 2

Text & Image Idea 3

Out of the three posters I decided to go along with the third one purely on the basis of how well it related with the sole text and sole image posters. I felt each poster communicated the intended message successfully so it was just a case of how well it worked in the set. Idea 2 didn't work as I agreed with tutor Amber's opinion that the Labour rose seemed out of place. As with the logo on Idea 1. So I went with 2.
  • In order for this poster to work I had to keep the same theme with text but I wanted to rephrase the message which is what I have done.
  • I wanted to use Jacqui Smith's face as the poster was about her. Although I was aware of the risks of people not recognising her, my logic was the people would read the text and the realise.
  • The whole idea of the 'XXX' over Jacqui Smith's eye is simply playing around with the notion of censoring again with the XXX's intention of making it more obvious that it is Jacqui Smith in the image.
  • This is the weakest poster in my opinion.
I went along with the second sole image poster thumbnail for this poster. Unfortunately, I only managed to produce one poster for the sole image one and this was simply down to time management. This poster took me a long time to design as it was a little more intricate that the others and not being that great on Adobe Illustrator I was having to figure some things out as I went! Nevertheless, here is the image poster to accompany the others:


Image Poster
  • The poster depicts two hands representing the taxpayers dropping pound coins which represent tax money onto a television with Jacqui Smith's head inside censored with 'XXX' over her eyes which represents the notion that her expenses paid for adult videos.
  • I kept the same colour scheme for the same reasons that have already been explained.
  • I used Jacqui Smith's head from the text & image poster intentionally so that the posters could relate to each other and work as a set as the brief stated. The posters concept essentially build around the head image from the text & image posters.
  • I am very aware that this poster does not not necessarily do itself justice in terms of direct communication. But this it not what I was going for with it. I knew the brief stated that the posters had to work as a set so I worked more with the idea of suggestion than direct communication. This is something that has inspired me since last year when I was emailing Illustrator Nick Dewar in relation to a previous project and he told me that, (I paraphrase here) "sometimes it can be far more powerful to suggest something than to directly say it in terms of an image accompanying text". This is the approach I was going for seeing as this image poster is accompanied by two other posters with text in which directly communicate the message.
So here are the three posters working together:

Jacqui Smith's Expense

And that's it!


Alphabet Soup - Illustrator (OUGD101)

Prior to this course I had never used Adobe Illustrator for any design work ever. This was all new and strange to me so I have been having to figure it out as I go with the help of Simon's tutorials which have been very valuable to me. Here are the 26 letterform variations I produced:

As a first effort I an generally pleased with what I have produced. However, there is always room for improvement with everything in my opinion. Nothing is perfect.


Visual Language - Colour 2 (OUGD104)

In this session which took place on Tuesday the 10th of November, we progressed in learning about colour theory developing on what we were lectured in the last session. We were particularly focussing on the optical effects that certain colours have when placed together.

Task 1

To begin with we were asked to get out our coloured objects from the previous session and then asked to work as a group to produce a large colour wheel over a square table layout which gradated from one colour to the next in terms of the colour wheel. The exercise was good in terms of determining what hues of what colour went where. Just like the previous weeks exercise, it was difficult due to the varying saturation of colours as certain objects had very different chromatic values which made them difficult to place in the colour wheel. Nevertheless, the result was more or less successful in my opinion.

Unfortunately my camera had - unknowingly to me - ran out of battery and I have so far been unable to get hold of an image of this.

The purpose of this was to help us with the next task which we were instructed to do after a lecture on how colours work with each other when placed together which too was relevant to the next task.

Task 2

The second task involved pairing up or getting into threes with people who had to bring in the same coloured objects as you. I paired up with Brian who also had to bring in orange objects.

The task was to choose five objects between us (orange ones in our case) and then attempt to choose the best complementary coloured objects for them from the colour wheel of objects we made earlier as a group. Theoretically, the correct complementary should have been directly opposite the objects we were choosing but due to the margin of error created by the various chromatic values of the objects, this wasn't necessarily the case. We still managed to pick out five complementary objects (blue ones in our case).

We were simply presented with different coloured bits of A4 paper and we were instructed to experiment with how the different colours work with each other on different backgrounds. Brian and I tried out and photographed several compositions on his camera and these were the ones we thought met the intentions the most effectively:

Composition 1

These four photos were amongst the first few Brian and I took. It is the same object in each one over a different coloured background. It is a shame the light is different in each one which affects how they can be compared. However, it is easy to see that the soap containers orange colour comes across a lot more prominently when the colours contrast with the backgrounds colour is greater. For example in the bottom right photo, the contrast difference is very low between object and background. The object come across as having a slightly darker tone than the background. Although when we put the same object on a yellow background (top left), it comes across as a having much more of a reddish hue. This is because the yellow is optically pushing more red out of the orange object as it is closer to its complementary colour of violet.

Composition 2

Using the same object, Brian and I placed it half on black and half on orange. Again the orange on orange is of a low contrast and the colours have little effect on each other. The colour can only been seen as 'orange' as there is nothing contrasting with it. However, over the black it's a different story. The black contrasts highly with the orange. It tries to push the orange over to white which is the maximum contrast of black and as a result the orange is seen as rather a light tinted orange.

So as opposed to the top left photo in 'Composition 1', the orange is seen as a lighter tinted orange whereas the top left photo in in 'Composition 1', pushes the orange to a darker hue and tone yet the object is still the same.

Composition 3

The same idea as the last composition yet with - in comparison the the soap box - an orange with more of a reddish hue and red card instead of orange. The same thing happens. The colour of the screwdriver and the card are pushed towards white and interestingly, what is supposed to be 'red' card appears to have more of an orangey hue and lighter tint. The orangey hue comes from the orange screwdriver and the lighter tint is pushed out optically from the large degree of contrast with the black.

Composition 4

The handle of this razor can be interpreted so differently with all of these colours. With the blue and red card it seems very orange and the blue pushes it towards its complementary orange and it warms in with the red as the contrast is a lot less than with the blue. Whereas with just the razor and the red card the razor seems more yellow as the contrast appears greater. There are a whole host of comparisons to be made here. It just goes to show the subjective nature of colour. Here are some more:

Composition 5

One of my favourite ones Brian and I produced. Over the green card, the dog toy is pushed towards a reddish hue due to green wanting to be united with its complementary red. However, the green card also comes across as more blue as the orange wants to be united with its complementary blue! The colours are conflicting with each other.

Over the blue, the dog toy appears to be a clear orange as the contrast is greater than over green. Does the toy have a high chroma of orange or does it have more of a reddish hue?

Composition 6

Just like the last composition, the orange shifts to a reddish hue over the green with a hard look. However, the highly chromatic blue dustpan brush sucks the green towards blue and the orange orange juice carton conflicts with the green to push it to more of a blue hue.

Composition 7

There is too much going on to write about here so I think it's best to conclude with the underlying point. When two colours are put together, they conflict with each other. They each try to force the opposing colour towards their complementary colour and the greater the contrast between the two colours, the more effective this is.

Colour is a tricky business as I have discovered over the past two weeks. Although - for me - colour theory is not the most interesting of topics, I have become very aware of how necessary it is to know about it in Graphic Design. If we are not careful with how we control our use of colour, it ends up controlling us by forcing us to see colours that might not have been intended to be seen.


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Visual Language - Colour 1 (OUGD104)

This work is from the Visual Language session which took place on Tuesday the 3rd of November which was solely dedicated to colour theory.

Each of us had to bring 10 objects of a certain colour in. My colour was Orange. After a brief lecture about colour, everyone was asked to group together with people who had the same coloured objects and we were asked to lay them out in the way we felt was best ordered.

Along with me in my group were, Aaron, Chris, Brian and Polly. This is how we ordered our orange objects:

The most difficult thing about laying out our objects in a linear way was that a linear scale of a colour is a lot easier to express singularly the tint, shade or tone or a particular hue of a colour not when they are all combined but we still tried to position the red-orange objects with a low chromatic value and dark tones towards the right of the scale which faded left to yellow-orange objects with high chromatic values and lighter tints.

Noting our problem we tried to express a better saturation of our orange objects by grouping them together which looked like this:

Other groups who were working with the colours, red, blue, yellow, green and violet also had similar difficulties. This is what they produced:

Red Group
Blue Group
Yellow Group
Green Group
Violet Group

Once we had finished this task we had another lecture all about how colours work with different hues, tints, chromatic values, tones, shades and saturations. Then we were introduced to the wonderful world of Pantone, which was as much of a shock to everybody as the price of a set of Pantone colour booklets...

After having been introduced to this colour system which is recognised and accepted worldwide, we were told in our groups to select 10 objects which we thought were variations of our given colour which would be seen as the most different examples of orange that we had. We were then handed some Pantone booklets and instructed to find out the closest Pantone colour to the colour of our chosen objects. These are our objects and the Pantone codes that we all agreed were closest to their colour:

The 10 Chosen Objects

The following are the individual objects with their accompanying Pantone codes on Post-its:

Walkers Roast Chicken Flavour Crisp Packet - Pantone 718

Dog Toy - Pantone 158U

Orange - Pantone 123U

Smoke Alarm Instruction Manual - Pantone 021

Jagermeister Fake Hawaiian Lei - Pantone 7417U

Air Freshener - Pantone 1565U

Sainsbury's Orange Juice Carton - Pantone 1505

Razor Shaver - Pantone 143M

Dust Cloth - 1465U

Toffee Crisp Bar - Pantone 172M

So that's what we produced in this Visual Language task. Personally I found the session very valuable in beginning to understand colour theory and the usage of colour in Graphic Design. I never realised how deep colour can be until this session.