Media Blog, VCD101

Final reflection on Design and VCD101

Task 2, about making the booklet, was a long one physically and mentally, and as a result, I learned a lot about design.

In the first portion of the assessment, we learnt about monograms and their uses. I started realizing that monograms still play an integral in consumer society today, we rely heavily on brand recognition and monogram designs have a huge factor in that. A monogram has to be distinct yet simple enough that if someone squinted their eyes, they would recognise the brand from the outline or colour alone. As such, the monograms I made had to simple enough to draw attention but also make a statement to people who saw it. I was conflicted with two different designs, a curvy design that linked the A and K together, and a straight line that linked the A and K together, reminiscent of a Norse symbol of sorts. I eventually chose the Norse symbol one, as it was more striking to the eye, and its simple shapes would catch the viewers eye. The colour version of it added more, as it was a bright red with a pattern behind it.

My two finished ideas for the typography shown

After that, we had to make a ransom type quote. The purpose of this part of the assessment was to create legible works with all different kinds of fonts, and make them work together as a coherent whole along with other components. I brought in comics that I hadn’t used and cut them up into pieces.

My front cover and ransom note quote

The comic aesthetic worked very well, and ended up informing the direction for the rest of my booklet, as I used the colours black and red to create the ransom note. I then put in more elements of red colour into my booklet as a whole. I was also inspired by the screen tone effect that comics have, and incorporated that idea into my back cover.

The ‘screen tone’ like back page

The typography was easily the hardest part of the entire assignment. I tend to ‘make up the rules as I go’ and the teacher noticed when she commented that I “hadn’t stayed within the grid lines”. Forcing the words into tiny restrained boxes is the opposite of my philosophy in life, but the design brief must come first! I had a similar problem when creating the poster for Assessment 1, and I was still learning to follow the rules in Assessment 2. Typography is hard for me to organise, so I mostly played it safe and followed the teachers instructions- with minor tweaks and experimentations to see if other designs fit. When I don’t feel confident in an area of Design or Art, it’s hard for me to ‘experiment’ or push my limits, since what is the point when I don’t understand most of it yet? You have to follow and understand the rules first before you can break them, is my understanding of most creative disciplines.

Alternate versions of a pattern with a different monogram design

One of the things that I took away the most from was when the teacher came over to my desk one afternoon, saw my frilly and wildly colourful designs, shook her head and said “This is unnecessary”. And it was. Design, as a focal point, is usually meant to emphasize text or an important word, since that is what conveys a message to other people in ads and marketing. I had filled the page with great big borders, a glaring hue of yellow, all a product of stumbling around in the dark trying to make it work. So I decided from that point on, that I would focus on the text, and only add in colour or shapes if I felt it contributed to the design. The result is that my booklet is barer that I am comfortable with, but am still happy with the end product. Regardless if I get a low or high mark, I have learnt a lot about design this semester, mostly on typography, stripping away needless details and successfully using Adobe products to shabbily put my designs together. Also can’t forget patterns, they have been very helpful for my monogram and has been the best pleasant surprise for my booklet.

Inside front cover
Two typography pages
Colour splash with alternate front cover colours
A more bold page with darker font and zigzags
Final page and inside back cover. The final page was a bit more experimental in terms of what I wanted to push, and it worked out well!