Sunday, 14 February 2010

Since Tuesday...

I normally try to get stuff uploaded as and when it happens so that each post is for a specific thing and not a random amalgamation of my recent history. Unfortunately that has gone out of the window and what your are about to read/skim over/ look at pictures of is a mish mash of the past weeks happenings, film reviews, work, new briefs, tutorials, websites, a night out and maybe even a few other bits and bobs that spring to mind during the writing process.

For a large part of the week I have been trying to redesign a cover for The Access Project. Taking design cues from the well known propaganda poster, 'Keep Calm And Carry On' I have tried to make something more professional looking and recognisable for the charity. Attempts at constructing a cover using elements from the classroom, i.e. whiteboards, greenboards and flipcharts haven't worked so well. The cover design is starting to get to me a bit. I really like the inside spreads layout and finding a cover design that is as simple yet effective, eye catching and readable isn't as easy. 

Other than toiling over Indesign and Illustrator shuffling pixels around in an effort to create a cover I have also been figuring out what to do with the rest of the year. We're mean to try and answer 3 briefs this term and so far I have made a reply to a Don't Panic brief, and am focussing on self promotion and magazine layout design for the other two. I think I'll add more and more short briefs throughout the term as well, so posters, book and album covers, that sort of thing. On the self promotional front i've bought some domain names, am investigating some servers and having a play with Indexhibit to build a website. Business cards, a better digital portfolio and some other items are also in the pipeline. For the magazine layouts I'll be looking at re-designing some existing magazines which have a staid, conventional layout solution and making them a bit more exciting whilst still keeping with the fundamentals of displaying information in a clear and legible fashion. So the next few weeks will be seeing a lot of teaching supplements and the like getting cut up and experimented with. 

My 1st term crit has been and gone, with some nice things being said. I just need to sort out my horrendous efforts at sticking my portfolio sheets to boards and get a bit more exciting with some of my work. I may even need to move from using Futura and Bell MT in all my work. Time to download some new fonts I think, FF Din being number one choice. The general consensus was that I had some good looking, well displayed work, it just needs a new angle to it.

What I have managed to do well over the last 5 days since I updated previously is watch a shed load of films, Up, The Gruffalo, Mary and Max, Planet 51, Old school and Star Trek. I loved Up and Mary and Max. Two of the finest animated films I've seen for a while.

Up is your classic Disney formula, fantastical story, lead characters that form a bond despite their early dislike for each other, plenty of tear jerking moments and plenty of jokes from the comedy sidekicks. As with all animated films it is allowed to be completely surreal in it's story line and makes good use of this fact. I whole heartedly recommend it to everyone. 

I hadn't heard of Mary and Max until it was put on and it was the best of the bunch of the films I just listed. Once again, surreal, yet a much more adult film than Up. The muted palette and odd topics of alcoholism, mental disabilities, bullying, self discovery make it quite a serious film to watch, but some wonderfully dark humour is present throughout the film and it ends up being quite uplifting in its own weird little way. Different to UP but brilliant in its own right, watch Mary and Max if you think Up might be a bit to make believe for you.

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