Archive for the ‘James Stevenson’ Category

19 Sept – Session 7

September 20, 2008

In this the final session I am feeling confident about my poster design and have allocated the afternoon session to writing up my evaluation and finishing my Blogs.

This morning I have refined my logo with an outer glow which has lightened the images outline and helped to distinguish it further from the background image texture. the colour of the blood has brightened also by using a satin effect to make it realistic in its shine and curvature.I have then resized the details to the left and right of the logo to emphasise and enhance the symetry.

The overall look of my poster has been globaly effected by the resolution setting which I have neglected to check when creating a new document by simply selecting A4 size and not setting the resolution to between 150 and 300 but rather left it as 72 which must have remained in bios. This will mean that the final printed poster will suffer in image quality with reduced sharpness of line and colour. In reality this will not reflect on my ability to be creative although in future I should be more thorough in my application of design work.

Given the short time from we have had to create 4 posters with the tutorials delivered I feel competent in achieving more than satisfactory results with vector and bitmap graphics in photoshop and blogging.


16 – 19 Sept

September 20, 2008

At home I have spent time adding the final touches to my project. Which have been to refine the caricatures with some effects such as drop shadows and inner glows to add a 3D aspect to the flat drawn style of anime imagery. I found these effects to be most effective, in small amounts as to create an impression of light and shadow striking them from an angle. I then decided that the images themselves needed a little light refinement and by duplicating them and adding a blend mode could alter the opacity as desired to reveal the original image with a small amount of blend effect. This has worked better than expected to soften or harden the image in accordance with the posters overall finish. There are also more adjustments to be made to the text layers in the side column but I felt that some input from the tutors and time for my personal reflection would benefit these as I have begun to evaluate the project.

Sept 12 – 16

September 17, 2008

During my time at home I have refined my caricature images in photoshop by removing the background information and placing them within each poster using a general alignment, creating different effects, subject to the different materials i wish to reference. This has taken me quite a while using the eraser and magic wand tools and in the future it would perhaps be easier to draw them straight into photoshop using a tablet and pen, rather than pen to paper and digital scanning. Once satisfied with the placements I viewed them over the backdrop swatches which simalarily have been organished in such a fashion as to resemble and subliminaly evoke a sence of the materials they aim to advertise, such as the glass poster – lake landscape, plastic – space, wood – beams, metal – fierce.

Whilst inserting the Sodoka logo into my poster i decided that the sword swipe logo needed work and by inverting it horizontally it looks more like a blood drip from a slash than an open wound as first intended. Also I need to change the typeface to ‘Charming Font‘ which has a calligraphic edge to it furthermore enhancing the appearance of a sword swipe which is a play on words of sordoka.
The images I have inserted into these scenes are ornate Japanese objects, i have washed these out with the opaque tool and assembled them in a sympathetic and harmonious way, again reflecting their subjects.

Over the weekend I have removed the outline of my images for insertion into the poster, this was no light task and was quite a pain staking process experimenting with mask, eraser and wand tools. I re sized the leave images into A4 and using the leave eraser tool in various sizes and feather settings created an interesting texture influenced by William Morris but resembling 70’s fabric patterns, this had a satisfying retro styling. I then adjusted the opacity to reveal the swatches layer beneath and arranged the other details and caricatures in the window symetricaly and also washed them out with the opacity.

These techniques will make up the body of my treatments to the contents of the posters which I hope will leave an overall impression of minimalism and a joining of East and West traditions.

I then consolidated my files together again for transfer by USB pen to college.

I have purposefully left myself as much session time free as possible to enable me with the support of the tutors to develop a sense of depth and refinement using techniques I am as yet not too familiar with. So as to maximize my learning and effectiveness at hitting the brief, I have done all preparatory work and Blogs before.

Sept 12 – Session 5

September 17, 2008

This morning I brought in my mood boards for scanning by the tutor which I can then add to my folder for submission. Today is the first session I have to begin work on my final posters. I begun by opening up all my images in Adobe Bridge and organized them into separate material windows in Photo shop.



I then re sized them as background swatches in equidisant strips across the window. To these I added a gradient mask which has the effect of fading out the images from bottom to top, which is where I intend locating the Sodoka logo and other details. 

I then spent the afternoon session organizing my folders together to take home and so I can develop my posters over the weekend, saving my session time in the final week for putting it all together and refining the layout with blend and filter techniques along with layer effects.

Sept 16 – Session 6

September 17, 2008

In this mornings session we were given handouts outlining what was expected of us within the final poster design and evaluation.

I took my poster design arrangement from before and spoke to the tutors about how I many enhance the layout and details with drop shadows, masking and a new border section to add interest to the background. I treate these images with the same attention to detail as before with extra emphasis put upon alignment, symetry and subliminal suggestion with a view to creating harmony through placement.

In the afternoon we were shown some previous pieces of work by students and these helped in letting me put my own poster design into context in terms of technique and a level of design which I might strive to achieve in this coming week.

I was then introduced to some fresh ideas of how to treat the layers with different blends, effects and filters that would serve to add visual interest, depth and texture to my some what bland images and scattered ideas.

I then added some text to the sidebar column indicating some much needed furniture information, which appears in the form of a simple list which I plan to experiment with in terms of presentation. I have utilized the fonts which I sourced from in previous session 2, aligning them within the design.

I thought that today was relatively productive as I have managed to merge my ideas together with some useful tool and treatment techniques as planned, these I wish to experiment with before Fridays session and ensuring that my folders are in order, see my way to writing a clear and focused evaluation of the outcome.

20 Sept – Analysis ‘Poster Design’

September 15, 2008

During the conceptualization and design of my four posters there has been much refinement in techniques and therefore the overall outlook, I have found this more so than I had anticipated and the effect of learning and discipline within the practice of designing in photoshop to be a steep curve of intuitive thinking, informed decision making and happy accident. An active imagination and willingness to educate myself with the tools at hand have brought greater results than I had first expected and I shall be using them to both design and manipulate images of past and present as I now have the ability to achieve and realize projects I have wished to succeed in specifically centered around my music and multimedia career.

I have made plans to purchase my own digital camera and scanner/printer for image capture, collection and processing. It has also been an invaluable experience to return to using craft techniques such as drawing, painting, cropping images, creating collages and obtaining the materials for the purpose of generating an overall idea and feel for the project and its various steps of development within the brief.

I have enjoyed my time at Beaumont Street studios and the media centre immensely and it is only within the relaxed yet focus session environment that they have maintained in lessons, I and many other individuals feel they have enabled us to create uninhibitedly and by reflecting on the process with word press resource, that has stretched our intellect and web authoring prowess and met many new friends.

I have found spending time at home working on these posters to be of much enjoyment and wish to progress with my photoshop skills further, I would also like to put time aside to learn the adobe illustrator program from the university tutorials, as I have seen some good vector based graphics rendered in it from pencil and pen drawings and by using a pen and tablet can have tighter control and a more realistic artistic experience with computer based design work.

Sept 9 – 12

September 11, 2008

During my time away from the main sessions I have completed my preparation work in time for Friday which I have allocated to talking through my poster design’s conceptual and aesthetic ideas with the tutor and I now feel I am ready to move forward with this the final part of the project, I have purposefully left myself a narrow time frame to create the finished product in as a test of my will and ability to come up with the best idea.

Having read Maeda and Media, a complete conceptual collection of works from the aesthetically challenging artist John Maeda I have taken images and quotes of relevance and incorporated them into my notes, and have scanned some images of interest, due to their Japanese themed content or computer designed textural impact. My mood boards I have completed and scanned to my folder along with my sketch work.



I have compiled my choice images together from photo’s taken on Wednesday and edited them in photshop for use in the posters. I have drawn up some caricatures which will represent both the design concept of elements, seasons, materials and Japanese symbolism, with the embodiment of a brand in an easily identifiable face.

Session 4 – Sept 9

September 11, 2008

Today we have been given the opportunity to work on our projects and developmental ideas. Dave the tutor also came round the class to speak to us individually about our poster designs and content. I took this one to one session to learn some Photoshop techniques I have missed being delivered on Friday afternoon and in the level 2 tutorials in Masking, Blending and Brush tool manipulation. I spent a large part of the morning session working with these tools to develop my technique that will serve to enhance my poster designs and concepts.

This afternoon progressed much like the morning session and I took to organizing my folders and photos, when doing so it became apparent that I was lacking in influential art and design images so I scoured the internet for resources both in Japanese iconography and graphic design. I then used these images to further enhance my Mock-ups and poster ideas.

Glass mock up 2

Glass mock up 2


Today was helpful in enabling me to establish my progress and which key areas I need to focus on, mainly to start constructing the posters at home, finish my mood boards with a little more detailed text, and spend time sourcing and preparing images for implementation in photoshop with the new skills I have learnt.

Sept 5 – 9

September 11, 2008

In my time between sessions I have investigated different types of graphic design tools used by computer artistes such as a wackom tablet, painter software and imagine FX magazine, I have also taken the books from the Huddersfield University library as sources of inspiration, scanning the images and reading the notes I found there to be parralels between the ways of thinking I have previously been drawn to such as minimalism, nature, modern thinking and a meeting of East and West in terms of perspective and form.

Kicking Demon

Kicking Demon

Ying and Yang appears to be the concept behind this Nike poster. A young woman floors her dark demons.

(Avella, 34,2004)

Session 3 – Sept 5

September 8, 2008

During this mornings session we had a one to one talk with the tutor Dave about our developmental work and we were asked to demonstrate our progess with the use of sketch books, mock up’s and mood boards. This was nice as it gave me an idea of which areas of design work to concentrate on, to deliver an effective idea.

Chair design

We were then given time to bring our blogs up to speed and shown some useful techniques to improve the presentability, such as formating text for wordpress and alignment. This has been beneficial to my various level three course subjects which I wish to undertake in the future and I can now revise my session blogs on wordpress both at home and at beaumont street studio’s.

This afternoon we were presented with a tutorial on how to export images in photoshop for publishing to web or other media, this incorporated some theory on JPEG/Gif rendering to achieve the the best results in terms of picture quality/size. Paul then showed us how to import and align images in wordpress. This was relatively simple and produced professional looking results, with a little refinement.

As a group we were then taken across to the Huddersfield University campus for registration cards to gain access to the Library and other support and services. I brought away several books on Japanese design for my project and practiced logging onto the system to gain access to the educational discount offered by apple. As I intend to update my hardware at some point in the near future this may be useful and I can work through the online tutorials offered by the university meta website.

This has been a great resource for my project already and I will definatley be returning to use their facilities on a regular basis for the duration of the year.

University pics

University pics