Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Paul - Book Jackets Research

Penguin Books/Cover Design Research

Penguin books were founded in 1935 by Allen Lane. In the 1930's they used high-quality, inexpensive paperbacks that were sold by Woolworths and other such high street stores for only six pence. 
Penguin had a serious impact on public debate back then, through the books in politics, arts and science. 

This is an example of the Penguin publishing books, Animal Farm.
In a brief explanation, the book is about what happens when the animals on this farm drive out Mr Jones and attempt to run the farm themselves.

The whole outlook of the book is quite ornate in design, showing different taste and dramatic illustrations to better show off the power behind the story. It gives off quite a eery vibe, obviously showing the darkness within the story having illustrations of barbwire and a rich red as the prime colour.
It is a slightly surreal look for a book cover, although it looks busy with the fancy designs and what not, it is actually quite simple as it uses very basic illustrative skills, making it look like a vector piece or something off a propaganda poster.
The colours used are minimal as it only consists of black, white and the majority of it a rich red, with some lighter shades of it in some parts. Also, the text used for the title is quite bold, standing out from the already bold design of the book cover illustrations.

Another book cover design of the Penguin Classics Eugene Onegin.
This book is based upon old worldly Russia and about one russian guy who is apparently bored with life and inherited an estate in the country. He befriends his neighbour and asked to dine with them shortly after. There he meets his neighbour's wife's sister Tatiana who falls madly inlove with him, sending him a letter declaring her love to him. Instead of replying by letter, he meets her and rejects her love in person. Other such events happen and his neighbour invites him to a ball where as a joke he thought it would be alright to flirt and dance with his wife, later does he know the consequences of this little joke as the husband challenges him to a duel where he ends up killing him. Eugene then leaves the country and goes traveling to hopefully dilute some of his sorrow. Later on he ends up once again meeting Tatiana, all grown up and magnificent looking he declares his new found love to her and she, as he had done to her, rejected him in person.

This book cover design is detailed yet simple at the same time as all it is, is a sketch that is either oil or water coloured in to give it that vintage and old feel to it. Though there isn't much to the design except a very well dressed upper half of a gentlemen, it shows something more. The main part that draws you in is the flower on the jacket that is pinned over the heart and has blood dripping off from it. Indicating the heart ache, break and sorrow of his actions.
The colours are quite simple in this as it only consists of reds, black and whites, the text is also plain as to keep the illustration the main focus of it all. I like this book cover design as although it doesn't show much, it tells pretty much the whole story and the way that it is illustrated is different.

 This Penguin published book takes on quite a different look to the previous two as it mainly uses the typeography as the main focus to the design.

This book, 'The House of Mirth' is based around a woman Lily who is expected to marry a wealthy man and stay on top of the social status around them ages. Undoubtably she ends up sabotaging all chances of marrying wealthy men and slowly decreases in the social circle. It gets worse and worse for her to the point she gets hooked on sleeping pills and accidently over-doses.

The over-all design for this book cover is very simple as it just uses text, as it does with the other book cover next to it. That one however, uses the text to it's advantage, creating a typographic design around a little image in the centre.
 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Book Cover Research

The book, 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is quite famous and well known.
It is based upon a scientist who wanted to seperate the good and the bad of himself, or rather create a stronger version of himself which ended badly and resulted into creating a monster, a killer, the evil part to himself.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Jo - Explicit Billboard Research

Banned Billboard Research

To the left shows a highly gruesome advertisement which had been banned for the fact that it was just that bit more gruesome than was allowed to be shown.

It shows a man and a woman in two different situations however, the only thing in common is that they both indicate that they have been brutally murdered.
One in the bath and the other stabbed to death in the bedroom.

This is a banned advert/billboard due to the fact that it has too much of a scare factor for every viewer. The creators obviously didn't take into consideration that when this is posted up everywhere, that young people can see this and get terrified.
On the other hand, the photography and editing is done quite brilliantly, capturing that haunting atmosphere.

To the right is another example of a banned advertisement, however this one is a lot less violent and gruesome as the previous one.

This billboard got banned due to the fact that it indicates sexism with the quote 'girls dressed by boys' meaning in some ways they control women and how they look and feel and so on. The fact that the image shows a woman in a very skimpy outfit showing off to the world also adds to the many reasons this advertisement got banned.

Although it may not have intentionally meant to cause any harm or distruption, it deffinately did cause an uproar if this type of advert had been banned as it isn't near as horrid as most can be.

The overall design is quite simple, with just a few lighting adjustments and a grunge type graphic effect added over the top of the picture, it adds a lot more edge and darkness to the deisgn as apposed to if it was just left as it was, and having text slapped on.
You can tell that the image is the main focus to this advert being as the only text thats shown on it is quite small in comparrison, and slightly difficult to make out.

This advertisement is quite an explicit example of what banned adverts may look like, the main reason for it being banned is the fact that the babies are used (whether it's been photoshopped or not) for the main part of the advert, showing that they are choking on society/poverty, of which the chemicals and insects represent them.
The babies look realistic in the way they are illustrated or edited and the facial expressions are done so well that it's almost believable that it could be real.
Although it is mis-leading, it doesn't differ from the fact that it is cruel and just plain wrong to have designed it using new borns.

It has taken on an unusual design for an advert as explicit as this, as the illustration looks watercoloured as such, and yet looks so realistic at the same time.

Again this is another explicit example of cruelty in an advertisement using new borns. However, this one is slightly more gruesome and disturbing, with a hidden message behind it all.

This advertisement is all about animal cruelty and how you wouldn't treat others the way you wouldn't want to be treated. It has a sort of double meaning this image does as the tables have turned and the animals are beating and doing, you could say "human cruelty".

The image here is deffinately the main attraction to the whole design as just this simple picture of role reversals would grab anybodys attention. Especially with the fact that it is so bland and plain, with that luscious red just seeping through all of the white.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Paul - Infographics Research

Information Graphics

This information graphic on the left is about what consumers think about concrete. Although it's a bizzarre and a quite un-interesting topic to base an infograph on, the way they have designed it and layed everything out takes it to a whole new level which results into making it much more interesting.

Many elements have been included into this design such as using boxes and shadows to make the seperation more prominant, using shapes; mainly circles to variate the design and using graphs to show the more imformative outlook to the design.
They have varied the sizes of shapes and added little details to them work in my opinion, works quite well and looks professional and keeps it on trend. Adding photos inside the shapes gives it a different and edgey look compared to if it were just plain coloured in circles with text.

The colours used vary from greens, to reds, to blues and mostly every other colour you can think of. There's a vast range of elements but mainly ones based around graphs and diagrams to explain 'What Consumers Think About Concrete."
Design wise; they have made an exceptional job being as it looks interesting which would be hard to pull off with a boring topic, and there is just enough information to inform you about the subject however, not over doing it so that it's flooded with text and looking over-crowded.

To the far right is an infograph based on cellphones and what they are most used for.
It has many sections included in this information graphic, having elements such as graphs, diagrams, charts, mathematic evidence to prove their information.
This is mainly to show the shocking facts and how much people are addicted to cell phone use nowadays, through illustrations and diagrams this is portrayed.

The first part to the infograph is a diagram of the whole of Earth, and using a colour key to show the different parts of Earth and their amount of cell phones totalled in that country. This is a pretty simple and effective way to put across small pieces of information while making it look on trend and not too spacious or over-crowded.

Below the first diagram shows a mini pictogram of what cellphones are mainly used for and the amount of people who use it. In this section, there are quite a few things going on, however it has stuck to the same colour scheme as the section above; blues, purples, and reds.
The last part to the infograph explains about multi-texting and what the main areas to it are such as texting in the bathroom or while eating and so on.
It ia more of a straight forward graph which explains the information a lot clearer with it's simple design making it straight forward and plain.

On the left is another info graph that has a different look to the previous two, as it has taken on a more futuristic outlook to the design, basing it around the actual subject it is based on. It is also set as a timeline which hasn't been included in the previous ones before.

With only 3 colours in different shades, this infograph works quite well and catches the attention instantly with it's plain yet neon bright designs. The text is very retro and scifi like, which is quite on trend at the moment.
Although there isn't much text included, the pictures speak for themselves which is what i think the designers were going for purposely. The way the yellow sets off the design with it's vibrance is quite clever with the fact that it sections of the top and bottom half of the infograph making it less spacious however, it doesn't over-crowd and look cluttered.

Timelines in an infograph a quick and simple way to get information across easily and clearly. They just state the important facts on a line in order of time, possibly even adding images such as this one above, and that basically all there is to it.

Here shows a misleading infograph as the design immediately brings you to think that it's something to do with music or something along those lines as the design itself is quite grundgey.
The truth is this infograph is about Hanukkah and what the hype about it all is.

This design doesn't particularly section itself off well like the previous ones have done, it generally just puts text, diagrams and illustrations around the page however, it is set out neatly none the less, it is also clearly legible.

Each section is on a different area of Hanukkah, and explains a bit about each subject. There is a fair balance between text and graphics in this infograph which is what most infographs are like, they mix both equally. It explains about the different stages included and how they work.
The colour scheme is pretty basic yet works really well, using transparency to give the infograph more edge, making it more interesting is a great idea that sets this design different from most.

First Aid and Survival Guides

To the left is a first aid guide; infact a pocket guide showing you the essentials needed for any injuries or problems that may accur in everyday life.

This little guide is in a way the same as an inforgraph, however there is hardly enough information for it to be, on the other hand, the images could easily fill in for the text and explain for itself.
It's quite a simple design using simple vector skills to create the illustrations and make the pocket guide much more interesting to look at.

The colour scheme is kept quite simple, keeping to the primary colours scheme with blues, reds and yellow.
Although its kept quite simple, it works well as it doesn't go over the top with detail and vibrance, keeping the attention to the graphics and text.

Each icon shows the different first aid tips to each injury, which i think is a clever and clear way to portray the message across easily, without too much hassle with difficult designs and illustrations.

On the right shows an example of another first aid guide that is more detailed and formal designed than the previous one above.

This first aid guide is presented more stationary then the pocket guide as it has many sections to it, with little headlines, illustrations and a heap of text explaining in detail the directions/instructions of how to go about that certain problem.
There is a lot of information packed into the little boxes however, they have designed it in a way to make it easily read; they've made the text into bullet points so that they are in note form resulting in easier reading and understanding too.
Each section has an image indicating what the 'text box' is about possibly giving a better understanding of the subject it is explaining, again making it much easier to understand.

The colours used for this design are again, quite ordinary and minimal. Only using blue as it's prime colour and adding a dash of red and white in places to break it up, makes it more clear to see everything. The colour scheme also indicates cleanlyness and hygene, reminding you of a hospital and the bland, bold colours there.

Here on the left is an example of another first aid guide however, this one has a twist, it is more of a comedy guide than an actual serious one, due to the fact that it's based on a zombie attack.

This example takes a more humorous side to first aid, basing it on zombie attacks and how to deal with a bite off one of them. It's a pretty straight forward and simple infograph but it shows you a different side to them, that they don't all have to be serious and proper, but can all have a funny side to them.

The illustrations are quite simple in design, and have hardly any detailed added too them except the basic cell shading just to enhance the shadows and highlights of the illustration. Although it is simple in design, it doesn't undermine the value that it is a first aid guide whether it is humorous or not, it still teaches you something.

Oranges, reds, skint tones and whites are the prime colours in this infograph, following the plain and simple route for the design throughout shows consistancy.
This example to the right is another humorous guide however, it isn't so much a health and safety guide but more of a survival guide.
It's based around surviveing in a game store, getting the game you want and coming out 'alive'.
The little illustrations are quite simple and look quickly drawn out, without much thought process however, this doesn't minimise this design in any way, it actually brings more character to it, showing individuality.
It gives the infograph a cartoonistic vibe, showing more humour then it being more serious like most of the examples above.

Each part is sectioned off into little white boxes as to not get confused by which step to read after, in some ways this example is read like a little story, much more then a step to step guide.

The text is legible and an excellent size to make it easy to read while most pack so much information into one space, that the text is that tiny it makes it that much more difficult to read.
To the left shows a very detailed survival guide for the wilderness, it shows you everything you need to know about surviving in the wild.
It talks about different tools to use on making a fire and other such things while camping out.

This is a great example of a well detail survival guide that has both demonstrations illustrated and thoroughly explained so that it is fully and easily understood.

The illustrations showing the tools and how to carve and so on are quite detailed to make it look asif they are just photographs of somebody demonstrating these skills and tactics on the guide.
Each section is parted off by a thin grey line, although that is possibly the most simplistic way to section off different topics it fits quite perfectly with the simple yet stationary design.
The first section explains about the different tools used while camping and their uses which is explained in much detail, covering every aspect of it all.
The section below shows a step by step guide of how to carve into wood properly and safely which is highly valued as health and safety is a must on a survival guide, else the guide would just be pointless.
While the last 3 sections go on about other techniques and important facts about surviving camping.

Bein as this guide is about wilderness, they have kept the colour scheme to an earthy level, using browns, suttle yellows and oranges, greens, blacks and whites etc. It has been consistant throughout the whole design which is always useful in making quality information graphics.

 This is an example of a bizzare illustration which includes many shapes and faces all compact into one gigantic artwork. Although at first you can't quite grasp what is actually included into this piece, after time and overlooking it every now and again you start to pick out faces and animals which you didn't notice before.

In my opinion, this is a clever form of illustration that makes the mind think much more then when you look at other artwork that you can clearly see what it is of.
This type often makes you wonder what new things you'd notice everytime you look at it and what made the artist think up such a masterpiece.
Even the colours used are unique and the way they are used in such a minimalist manner show off it's 'beauty' just that little bit more, making little things more prominant to the eye than others.
To the left is a brilliant example of vector graphic illustration in it's simple glory.

This basically is done with a couple of layers on one another, the pen tool and different shades of the same colour to highlight and make the shadows more prominant in the right areas, and that is basically all there is to it.
Of course getting the right shades and highlights in the correct areas is hard, but once thats sorted, everything else is a breeze.

This example here is perfect as it is simple and shows  exactly what vector graphics looks like, it is one of the most easiest forms of graphics illustreation, however, it can be quite hard at times. It's perfect for info graphics as it doesn't take up as much time as trying to get a detailed illustration of the subject into the design, and creating many similar ones, wasting time while you could just make a vector and create many simple and character like illustrations easily.
I prefer this type of illustration to most as i find it easiest, and would probably use something similar to this in my own information graphic.
These types of illustrations on the right, are more artistic and detailed then most. Being as they consist of firstly sketching them out on paper, then using water colours to add more colour and detail into it, and then scanned in for a more artist flare, or sketched straight into adobe illustrator and using light strokes to give a water colour effect on the colours.

Although these illustrations are impressive and show a lot of skill to pull off such a hard technique, they're not particularly common in infographic designs as they take up too much time and hassle. They can be used but are very rarely due to the effort put into it, and making the designs consistant in each one is not as easy as it may seem.
On the right, is an example of again, a simple vector type graphic illustration however, it isn't as detailed as the previous one being as there is no cell shading involved in this design apart from just the plain filling in to make it more of a character design.

Although the designs aren't as detailed as most vectors, for a character design this would be perfect for an information graph that had a hint of humour added to it, as this could be their little icon that told them about whatever subject it would be based on.

Keeping things simple isn't always bad, because it makes things so much easier to design and work around without having to deal with every tiny detail.
Also, with this, you can easily multiply the character many times and just change slight bits to it just to make it more interesting, it makes things so much easier to do and saves much more time.
Keeping the colours quite simple like the design is also clever and a must, as it then doesn't over power the actual design and make the whole of it look tacky. Unless of course the information graphics is based around vibrance, therefore making the colours go over the top is acceptable.