FMP: Colour Issues & Show Mock Up

Monday: So OF COURSE I’m having issues with colour. To be honest, this one felt like it was coming since I changed my colours to be neon, as I knew they were going to be a pain to print and expensive if even possible at all.

But turns out, it’s not going to be possible. I called four printers and enquired about the size of my work and about printing neon and all of them said the size of my document was fine to print, but the neon colours would not be possible. My work is almost 3m long and 28cm wide and so it is an odd size but I am glad I will be able to print it. I changed my colours to the closest pantone and while I am disappointed about not being able to use neons, I still think my colours will be vibrant and bright.

My new colours are below:

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I am now just working to get my project ready to send to print. I always like to send to print early because the closer it gets to the deadline, the more stressed I become. I know that when I have got projects printed in the past they have only taken a few days but obviously things can always go wrong and I would much rather be prepared for the worst to happen to avoid a Complete And Utter Meltdown!! I am aiming to have sent my banners to print by Wednesday so that they can be done before the bank holiday weekend.

Tuesday: Today I printed out and mocked up my show area for the tutors to see and give me the okay to send to print, or make any changes. I am SO glad I did this because it made it so easy to spot mistakes. An essential element of my project is my use of space and the legibility of the type. Because of the size of the document, I have been designing it on smaller spreads and then pasting them together onto the whole 3m document. This means I can work on how the type on the same page interacts with one another, but limits me in designing the whole piece. Because of it’s size, I can’t look at the whole thing in detail at the same time on screen.


Ian and David were busy in tutorials with first and second year all day, but David managed to have a look in between seeing people. He suggested I make it bigger, adding almost a metre to spread out the type more, which would aid the readability. I also had to consider the words that I made larger than the rest and how they would read together. As can be seen in the image, the large words “hole” and “raped” being next to each other wasn’t really going to work…

At this point I feel so nearly there and I am getting really excited about the show. There is always nervous anticipation when waiting to collect prints and I will feel much more relaxed when I have them and all that is left to do is to prepare my space!



DFR: Workshop with Derwen Residents

Yesterday, Amber, Abbie, Loren, Ellen and myself travelled to Newport for a workshop with Derwen residents. The aim of the workshop was to gather ideas and general thoughts that could inspire us for our bench creations that will be being painted in late June. I was apprehensive about the workshop, in all honesty. I have never had the closest relationship with my grandparents, only ever having known my grandmothers who were both stern and strong women. I worried about coming across as patronising  to the older residents, and I also felt weird about the fact that some of the people coming to the workshop could be much younger than the stereotypical Derwen resident – Derwen’s housing is for people 55 and over.

Denise (from Derwen) had bought loads of art supplies that we spread out on the table. We wanted to encourage the residents to experiment with sharing their ideas however they felt best and to get creative! The five of us split up and sat with different people. After a while, we rotated around to speak to different people. I found the whole thing a great experience. I spoke to people about their lives living in Newport and the things they love or miss about the area. There were lots of differing opinions, some even opposites, and so it will be a challenge to design something that appeals to everyones tastes.

We have collected all of the drawings, notes and artwork created in the workshop and will meet later this week to assemble our ideas and initial designs. Next, we need to get in contact with various people to find out if we can use recycled/second hand benches in the project, as this using recycled materials was a big focus in Derwen’s application for the money to fund the project.

Easter Update: What I Got Done

Final Major Project

I managed to get a lot done for FMP which I am happy about. I have enjoyed working on this project more than I was before the Easter holiday, and I think that is down to just working on it, researching trends and working out a style of work to apply throughout. In the review before the holiday, I told Ian I would have all four finished and printed by the time we started back. In hind sight, that was a bit of a stupid thing to say and very optimistic!!!! I do have, however, all four almost ready to send for a trial print and to experiment with the binding and restricting I want to create for each.


I created my Research & Development file for my Criticality project, as well as making the changes Theo and Martyn specified in my feedback. I decided I wanted to take my project further in terms of presentation, inspired by Theo’s work from his presentations. I re-experimented with means of presentation but most were unsuccessful. The best idea I found was to print my job advertisement designs and stick them to lampposts around my area at home. I photographed them for my outcomes and to go in my portfolio.

Design For Real

Over Easter, I have been in contact with Denise from Derwen and have designed a few small things for the development of my project which will be initiated after the holiday. On Wednesday 18th, Ellen, Abbi-Louise, Loren, Amber and myself will be conducting a workshop with residents of the Gaer community in order to design 5 benches. These will be painted by us and any residents who wish to contribute in late June for instillation over the Summer.

Professional Practice

For Professional Practice, I have begun further developing my portfolio, online portfolio and CV for the submission. I have also begun applying to jobs.

Dissertation Design

I must admit, my dissertation editorial design has taken a back seat, though I realise how important this design is as it will be going into the show. I have lots of ideas and inspiration for this design and have been getting back into this over the past week.

Competitions: ISTD Deadline

Today is the long anticipated ISTD deadline and I am so sad it is over and so proud of what I have submitted. This project has easily been one of my favourite projects at University and I feel that I have seen my skills progress throughout it’s course. It has definitely been a self indulgent project; getting to work on a topic I love and selfishly write about my own experiences has been so enjoyable to do. I have enjoyed every stage of the project – even the early mornings and late nights! I think we have all put our all into our projects and though I always tried to put my all in to projects, this has showed me what I can do if I really apply myself and my time and so the bar has been set for the summative submission. I have also somehow not had enough of editorial – in fact I reckon I could start another one now!!

The reflection in my process book is below:

I have loved working on this project and I am proud of the outcome. Looking through my process it is clear to me that my ideas and working method have progressed throughout the duration of this project. I believe I have learnt how to use typography in a playful and effective way and that my use of colour has improved as the project has gone on.

The aim of this project was to celebrate a much loved icon and to explore the way in which his work played a role in motivating change during a difficult time for the entire world. I wanted to convey the power of art and song in initiating change and in empowering people to voice their frustrations and fight for justice. Anniversaries are in interesting concept. The simulation of date and time allows us to celebrate the recurrence of particular events at it’s annual passing. This project aimed to convey the way in which anniversaries can be a celebration of an event but also an opportunity to remember other important, but perhaps less celebrated events in history.

It was obviously enjoyable for me to add elements of my relationship with my dad and our relationship with Bowie to this project. A real labour of love, this project not only felt like a celebration of Bowie and what he has done for people all over the world across decades, but also an ode to my dad which I am sure he will love.

Moving forward, I am ready to finally put all of my effort into final major project. I feel motivated to create a beautiful and powerful piece of work that can be show my skills for the show. I can definitely apply what I have learnt from ISTD and take inspiration from this for my final major.

Competitions: The Other Books

So, my main book has been sent to print…now to design THE OTHER BOOKS!!!

I knew the process book would take ages – I always think Research and Development files won’t take long to assemble and then they take forever. I quite enjoyed gathering together my research. Luckily, my book changed a lot throughout the whole process and I made sure to export my book as jpegs throughout the design development stage so I had a lot to include.

The strategy I didn’t find difficult to write. Perhaps this was because the topic was so personal to me that it came easily to write about. I also do just enjoy writing and I enjoyed attempting to encapsulate my project within the Strategy. My Strategy read:

Anniversaries are arguably an opportunity for two things: celebration and remembrance. There appears to be a human necessity to not forget, meaning anniversaries of all kinds are celebrated. This year so far has celebrated 100 years since the Women’s Suffrage, 50 years since the first heart transplant, 40 years since the death of Elvis Presley and 10 years since the first iPhone. The importance of these anniversaries is relative to the person. Just as music taste, fashion sense and political views differ, the anniversaries we celebrate are relative to our experiences.

During the search for the perfect anniversary, I discovered that it had been 40 years since “Heroes” by David Bowie was released in 1977. I had always been brought up in a household that loved him, and I remembered when the news broke that Bowie had died and the loss that my dad felt. As I began researching, I found depth in the meaning of the song and the context surrounding its creation, given the political climate of Berlin in the 1970s where Bowie was living at the time. Within this, I discovered overlapping anniversaries between Bowie’s life and the evolution and destruction of the Berlin Wall that layered the emerging narrative. 

These anniversaries celebrate the power of people and the motivation that music and art can manifest within those who absorb it, to initiate change. In a new form of political instability across the world, there is a feeling of history repeating itself; déjà vu of an anniversary passed. The remembrance of the anniversaries of the Wall remind us of the strength of the human spirit. Certain people should remember that as the anniversaries have shown, walls may go up but they always come down. 

I wanted my book to be an ode to my dad; from Bowie fan to Bowie fan. The narrative stems from a desire to learn more and an equal desire to share the way in which these anniversaries have influenced my life now, since their initiation decades ago. This emotive conceptualisation of a personally celebrated anniversary allowed me to explore the vibrance and expression of Bowie’s persona through typography and layout in order to illustrate the essence of the main anniversary itself. The design development has been driven by contextual research of colour and typeface, which lead me to choose my typefaces Gelo and Objektiv. Gelo was particularly inspired by 1970s album covers and typical 1970s trends, while Obektiv was influenced by Bowie’s design choices for his concert posters and album covers throughout his Berlin period. The four colours I have experimented with throughout were result of a visit to G.F Smiths, and observation of the colours added to their collection in the 1970s and 1980s. Colours added to their collection were often inspired by popular culture. Ultimately, the direction and experimentation of the design was influenced by Bowie’s eccentricity and desire to push the limits of expectation.

This work offers an insight into a world of fear and segregation in which Bowie was one of many beaming lights in the dark. ‘1977’ presents, side by side, the creation of anniversaries through the heroism of everyday bravery, and the ringing influence of this on my own family today.

I also enjoyed the putting the Specifications together. There were moments I doubted myself during the Specifications book though – there were times in my book I hadn’t necessarily done things the way that they probably ‘should’ have been done, and I was worried that this might hinder my chances when being marked. Some of the pages I included and labelled are below:

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Competitions: Finding My Final Design Style

There has been a lot of work done on my ISTD since the formative deadline, most of it a tiny bit here and there adding up to a whole transformation – the file is just open all of the time.

I have finally settled on my colours and have really developed my typographic elements to apply throughout. I am so happy with the way that my book is going and I think I am very close to finishing the designing. The spreads below showcase some of the elements that will be applied throughout:


I have been looking at binding techniques for my final book. David suggested I look at an exposed bind and I think that this will be perfect. The book has elements that are so personal to me and so I think a hand stitched exposed bind will embody the personal touch of the narrative. I have been looking at some different techniques for inspiration:

Saddle-stitching – Pages are folded, creased and stapled together. This is often used for lookbooks, booklets, and magazines that have a smaller page count.

Perfect Binding – a form of binding most often used in paperback or softcover books. Pages are folded into signatures and glued with a heavier printed wrap-around cover into the spine using a strong adhesive. It’s not the strongest form of binding and the book won’t open flat.

Section Sewn – Pages are folded together into signatures. Each section is then sewn into the following section along the spine. The spine is then glued together for extra support and the cover then attached. A Section Sewn book, regardless of pagecount will be able to lay flat.

Coptic Binding – A non-adhesive form of binding. Signatures are sewn through their folds, and attached to one another and again sewn through two loose covered boards with a chain like stitch across the spine.

Japanese Binding – This is useful for binding single sheets of paper. You can have either a soft back or hard back cover which attaches to the text block with decorative stitching along the spine. Another option  using this decorative sewing technique is to only expose the stitching on the inside of the book. This is achieved by turning in the edge of the cover boards to create a hinge; the book is then sewn from the inside. It is recommended to use Japanese style binding for large or landscape format books as the binding requires a large margin.

I am most drawn to coptic binding or japanese binding, though I think coptic binding will be the best for my book. I have paginated my book into four signatures for printing and so, while I wait for those to come back, will experiment with stitching.

Penguin: Tutorial with Ian

Ian held a tutorial today for students to get final feedback on their Penguin book cover designs before sending them off for the competition. I presented my new idea and got a positive response from the group. Ian suggested I look more closely at the design when the area of the design that will be trimmed is removed, so to check for things being too close to the edges. The bottom string of barbed wire was going to be too close to the bottom, and so I needed to reconsider this. I also needed to change the typeface and make sure the weight wasn’t too heavy, as I feel that it is to bold on the design below. I also think that the barbed wire would look better drawn in a thinner brush.

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Below is my final edited cover design. I think the barbed wire looks much better in a thinner stroke and I prefer the placement of the wire on this cover to the previous one.



(Finding a paper back mock up is THE most annoying and difficult thing in the world, *someone* said they would send me the one they found over and over and then wouldn’t so I apologise for the incorrect mock up!)

I think Penguin is a good project to do and I think that it was correctly placed this year during those final few weeks of dissertation. I don’t think the course should just stop while dissertation deadline is near; I don’t think that would be good practice at all and obviously, if you have managed your time correctly, you won’t need those final two weeks to panic-write. I openly admitted that I had designed my cover the day before at the original book cover review in January. It was AWFUL but the feedback was useful and I got to see other people’s work. As one of the few that attended both the original review and the final review, I think it is so valuable to engage with the tutorials that are provided and to both get feedback on your own work and see and critique other people’s work. There are a lot of people who have not attended a lot of the opportunities to gain feedback and progress their work, which I’m sure does not prepare them well for industry.