Monday, 21 December 2009

Ones to watch

Ah, how nice it is to do a short, simple project, where the client says things like 'Ace' and 'Super' lots.
This is for The 405 and their 'Ones to Watch 2010' compilation CD. I'd been waiting for a chance to use this typeface for a while...
(The logo on the back is their existing logo, not designed by me.)
Click for a better view...



Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Alkenes

A favour for my boyfriend. I have no idea what this is all about, but it was my job to make it pretty. He's on a teacher training course, and they each have to produce an A1 poster about an area of science they're less confident in, up to A-level standard. Judging by most of the work I've seen from his class (and indeed the teaching community in general), Comic Sans, Clip art and lurid Gradients are sure to abound. The youth of today deserve better!

I used the typeface Vag Rounded, which has a similar 'friendly' 'rounded' feel to comic sans, but without all the... y'know, bad. Colours wise, I initally had ambitious ideas of using 3D style effects in places, but I ran out of time. So it's just red and blue. Ah well.

Oh yeah, and horrible JPEG quality! Why does everything I save from Indesign always do this? The colours were so much more vivid :(

Friday, 27 November 2009

Songs in the Key of Z... Finished. (Well, almost)

In my previous post I was talking about our current project to design album artwork and promotional campaign for the 'Songs in the Key of Z' compilation. At that point we were thinking of producing a hardback book, but we've changed our minds, and produced something arguably even more awesome. Still using the same imagery and ideas, but into a different final outcome.
For a while I've wanted to work on producing some really elaborate packaging, and this was the perfect opportunity. So we decided to turn our attentions in that direction instead, and I think the results are pretty pleasing (if I do say so myself...)








Thursday, 19 November 2009

Songs in the key of Z

So what am I up to?
Our current project is a joint project, and we're working in pairs, 1 illustrator, 1 graphic designer. My illustrator is the wonderful Lucy McGrath.
In our pairs we were given a list of 5 albums and 5 TV channels. We were to choose one, and produce either album/single artwork and surrounding promotional material, or for the TV channels, an ident.
We chose the album 'Songs in the key of Z', which is an album of 'outsider music'. The album is very unusual, and unlike the other albums, is a compliation, so had quite an eclectic and varied feel to it.
The artists themselves are incredible characters, and you can really feel this in the music, which swings between funny, scary, and incredibly odd. Sometimes all three in one song.
We really want to reflect both the eclecticism of the album and the mixture of characters involved.

We came up with the idea of photographing a selection of objects, both old and new, classy and kitschy, toys, instruments, artefacts, ornaments, anything we could lay our hands on, really. In some ways it's like a gathering of the artists possesions, but also the objects can be a metaphor for the artists themselves, and the varied styles and sounds of the music.

Overall we want the mood of the artwork to be bright, cheerful, slightly naive, eyecatching and unusual.
We're going to create a hardback book to contain the CDs. The book will be filled with a combination of lyrics, hand collaged 'scrap book' style pages, and images from the photoshoot. Lucy is working on the collaged pages, and I've been doing some photographic pages.
Here's a selection.







My one concern is that the tutors will say the project is in two different styles. The photographic elements and the scrapbook elements could either gel really well together, or just look completely like two different people's work. We're working on ways of better tying them together.

But I'm actually really pleased with how it's going. I always feel slightly egotistical saying really nice things about my own work... but I LOVE these pictures.

Here are some double page spreads.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

This is what happens when I go to bed then get a brainwave...

And realise I need to share it with a friend online.
A horrifically crude photoshop diagram! waaay!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

101

Back on Anglesey for the weekend.






Saturday, 31 October 2009

Fight the (library) power!

My tutor didn't like my embroidered Metro. I have a lot of pent up rage about that, but we shall not discuss it now. Suffice to say I'm annoyed and disappointed because I was enjoying it.

But on the bright side, it did mean I got to do this.


Basically, it's long been a dream of mine (and some other friends who work at the library) to put the books in spectrum order. Forget the dewey decimal system with all it's complicated numbers and letters... lets go for something simple, visual. Even some of the librarians who saw it said it was an interesting idea, because people do often say things like 'Oh, I don't remember the title, but it was a big yellow book'...


I did feel very wrong whilst doing it though. Basically my whole job at the library consists of bringing order to things, and this act of complete chaos was quite painful, although had beautiful results I think. Here's an actual librarian inspecting our work. I'm pleased to say she liked it :)


It took two of us two hours of speedy working to get it to this stage, and then fully restore order. It was completely worth the effort, I only wish we could do a whole floor!


One slight flaw to the plan is the fact that lots of books (particularly boring history books, which was the section we were in) are very dull colours, either through sun damage or simply dull design, so to do the whole library would be somewhat impractical. And would probably take forever.

I'm so grateful to the library who let me do this, and even more to Hannah, who gave up two hours of her time to help me achieve this! Here she is, restoring order.


I don't know where this is going really, as these pictures alone don't constitute a final piece of any sort, but I'm wondering whether maybe it could lead on to something else. We shall see.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Four hours later...

In our new project, we have to 'subvert the familar'. I've struggled to get going on this one, but I've decided I'm interested in the idea of making the transient and disposable into something permanent. When I was commuting to London every day over the summer, I was always struck by the ridiculous quantity of the free Metro newspapers (and London Lite et. all) that were left on the trains, platforms, and littered across London and the south generally. And throughout the day, cleaners would come through sweeping them away. Often people would pick one up, glance at the cover, then toss it to one side. Maybe someone else would pick it up and read it, or maybe it would get put in the bin by a cleaner five minutes later.

And it's kind of a metaphor for the news in general really, we often hear the saying 'yesterday's news', and it's true that what was news one day is litter the next.

So with this in mind, I'm creating a permenant, hand crafted version of the Metro newspaper, stitched with my own fair hands. People always used to (and still do) create samplers, tapestries and embroideries, which would go on display on the wall for years to come, and be family heirlooms. I'm going to do this with the Metro.


Voilaaaaa!



Not sure what my headlines will be yet, whether to take a real issue of the metro and copy it exactly, or make up my own headlines, 'The opening of an envelope', 'More war', 'Bad news', 'Yesterday's news'... I need to think more about it.
Anyway, this afternoon I did the first bit.

Side by side comparison...


And some behind the scenes action. Check my mad sewing skillz yo'.


I've got a knack for taking on ridiculously labour intensive projects this year...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I can't believe I forgot to mention, but...

I HAVE A WEBSITE!
Go see, go see. www.emmacharleston.co.uk

Nothing you won't have seen here, but a bit more professional like. I have no idea what a website is SUPPOSED to be like, so I've done it how I like it. My only regret is that all the thumbnails aren't circular, maybe I'll get round to that at some point...

Oh dear, jumping on the horribly early christmas stuff bandwagon...

Well, the first christmas lights have gone up along Brighton North Street, I almost bought a Galaxy 'Mistletoe kisses' bar today (But then realised it was a rip off), and there are horrible Christmas cards popping up left right and centre.

In the past I've always bought my Christmas cards from Paperchase. They usually do fairly nice designs at fairly acceptable prices. But given that my business is design, I figure all my visual communications say something about me... including the mundane Christmas card.
Last year, I designed my own for the first time. They were... ok. They did the job, although I really wasn't that pleased with them. I was pleased with myself for taking the initiative, but that was it. Take a look at them here.
This year, better! Hopefully, anyway. I'm snowed under with uni work (haha, snowed, christmas jokes, oh dear.) so no time to do a whole big new concept... so I decided to re-hash last year's Christmas holiday project, which you can view here. I was (and am) really pleased with this, so I decided to take those images and make them slightly more christmas card friendly. I'm going to be sending these cards to both my family and people I want to impress, so they need to be both accessible and impressive. I like to think they strike a balance between the two (i.e. neither accessible or impressive? Oh dear...)

Another point which I've had to consider is the environmental cost. I strongly believe that there's no substitute for a real, physical christmas card that you recieve in the post. Those 'e-cards' are a load of rubbish. You click a link and get a tacky flash animation with some nasty typeface over it. Maybe you can get classy e-cards, I don't know, but even if you can, it's still not the same as a real card. But, we do have to question paper useage here. I hate the wasteage which comes with christmas, all that wrapping paper, all that packaging, all those envelopes that just get chucked away with barely a glance. So, in a small step to try and reduce this, these are going to be postcards, which will be posted sans envelope. Saving the world! Kinda.

Here they are.


Some days...

... I really do doubt my ability at this whole graphic design malarkey.
Trying to cheer myself up by thinking more about the GDI logo design.

Basically I'm not going to win, but if there's one thing I really want to get across... it's that I want them to be gloomy purple coloured.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Humph.

The tutors liked my tubes idea more than the text one. Which is annoying because I liked the text and had got quite into it.
Oh well.

I made some new tubes. You'd think you could buy some kind of ready made tube that's approx 1cm in diameter, affordable and easy to cut. Right? No.
So I've spent... I'd say well over 3 hours constructing some more sturdy tubes out of paper. And they don't even look that good! Gah.
Then I've been lighting them up. I've decided I like the idea of the final wall piece being circular - a. because circles are cool, and b. because I can't be bothered making it into a square.

I've been messing around with lights and stuff, and yeah, it does look pretty cool, but I still don't feel like this is degree standard work...








I tried to see if you can read text through it. You can't. Hmm...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

More ideas...

About that wall sculpture thing.
We had an update on the brief which said it should include text.
I was sick of that tubes idea anyway, it was nice, but frustrating to try and construct, and would have been highly impractical.

This new idea... well, think of it as the most super classy elegant neon sign ever.
The text would say 'University of Brighton', 'Faculty of art and design', and 'Grand Parade', and these three would alternate, sometimes layer over each other, 'write' in and out, fade in and out and generally create gorgeous patterns...

Here were initial drawings on the lightbox...


And layered up on the lightbox.


I imagine in the final sign the lines would be white neon/strip light, shone through frosted glass to create a slightly misty effect. I tried to simulate this by creating a cut out, and holding it up to a lit computer screen...


And then holding a piece of tracing paper just in front...


I tried some different colour backlights too, mmm! The final thing will almost certainly be white though.




This all looks quite crude, and I'm concerned the text is a bit too 'coca cola'esque, but I've had fun doing it. The final thing would be a lot more slick. I really like the idea of the text swirling in like it's being handwritten, if you know what I mean.
Anyway anyway anyway...
I still have flu, OK!