Thursday, 29 December 2016

Study Task 6 - Sound

The Tale of a Rando - Marcus Maggnusson 

I think the sound used in this animation is really simple but super effective. The video uses one main sound/song throughout then layers up smaller more specific sounds in line with the animation. So far example, the cashiers hands as they are using the till make a certain sound which is layered over the ongoing song in the background. This happens multiple times throughout the video and helps to highlight important features throughout the animation.

One Year With Nerdo - Nerdo 

This compilation of short stings really uses sound to its advantage. Once again, the sound is relatively simple but perfectly lines up with each animation that is playing. I really like the combination of 'real life' sounds used alongside character and image (if that makes sense). I'm also learning that the timing of your sound and animation together is important in making sure everything flows together smoothly, if some of these sound effects weren't exactly in the right place, the animation wouldn't be as effective as it is.

Looking at sound has opened my eyes to a lot of different options and different ways of applying sound to my own moving images. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it yet but I'm hoping to start looking at some copyright free soundtracks/sound effects soon to get my head around everything a little bit more.

Study Task 5 - Storyboarding

I found the storyboarding task really difficult to start with, I found it a lot different to when you use storyboards to explain/explore a narrative as those are just staying as still images. When using storyboards to explore movement and animation you really have to think about how things are entering/exiting the frame and how everything different aspect moves individually and as a whole piece.

Personally I feel as though some of these storyboards could be taken forwards with the skill set I have but when I think about my lack of confidence and skill using digital software, I feel that some of these ideas would be near impossible for me to complete. I think the best thing for me to do is keep it simple and not overcomplicate things for myself. Some of the animations I looked at before work best when the movement is minimal and quite straight forward, when executed right I think this could be a really effective way of animating.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Illustration Friday - Rock

I'm still really using Illustration Friday as an excuse to practice and enhance my digital skills. I wouldn't say I'm improving too much but I'm starting to get a feel for the software a bit more and can use new tools with a bit more confidence than I could before. This week's Illustration Friday word was Rock so I took this as an excuse to draw some runes on a weird little hand. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Megacrit Feedback and Thoughts

I think the majority of the feedback I got from the megacrit at the end of term was largely positive in terms of my lino prints and how they're coming along. It was mentioned that some of them look a bit bare but this isn't too much of a concern to me at the minute as I'm still in the process of piecing things together and figuring out how to compose my final images. 

People also made reference to the pink and green tones I'd used for my screen prints and highlighted that these would work well incorporated into my existing prints. This has given me a clearer direction to go in in terms of colour. I was trying to choose between the two but I think the best way for me to make an informed decision is by mocking some things up on photoshop and experimenting with colour palette. 

One thing that I'm still really uncertain on is how I'm going to execute these prints. I feel like I've put a lot of time and effort into the lino prints and that they've printed quite well, but I also really like the textures and overall aesthetic created by monotype printing. I also think monotype printing lines up with my natural way of drawing where as lino printing is a lot more shape focused. Maybe there's a way that I can combine the two, I'd hate to see the lino prints go to waste completely so if I can bring some element of mono printing into these then I might be able to find a balance between the two. 

Large Scale Lino Prints

Two important things:
1 - These took a ridiculous amount of time to cut
2 - I didn't impale myself on a lino tool in the process (congrats to me)

All in  all I guess these turned out kind of okay! I'm really pleased with two in particular and think that after some tweaking all five designs could look pretty great as a set. I did mess up the bird on a mountain print a little, I think I'm going to have to try and sort that out on photoshop and if that doesn't go to plan it might be a case of receiving the lino and trying again with that one.

When I was printing I use the printing press for some of it and then hand burnished the rest of the prints. I really like the texture you get from hand burnishing lino prints, I think it just looks better than the flat black colour you get when using the printing press. If I develop these further I think I'd prefer to focus on the hand burnished prints and see how I can develop them rather than the others.

Still not sure whether I want to mono print or lino print for my finals, we'll see what get's said in the crit and then I'll have to make a decision.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Monotype Experiments

I've really enjoyed working with monotype, it's definitely a way of printmaking that I think runs parallel to my natural way of image making. I enjoy drawing, it's my go to way of creating an image, i'm not so into shape and stuff, I prefer line and marks and texture so for me monotype is a great way to try and replicate that. The only thing that's a bit annoying is that sometimes I'm not putting enough talc on the ink and once I've drawn everything out I'll pick the paper up and I'll have way too much ink on the image and the illustration just ends up getting lost.

At the minute I'm a bit stuck as to wether to continue down this route and see how I can make this work for me OR wether to play more with lino as aI also quite like the process of image making using that method of printing. There's also the option to try and combine both of these print methods together. I'm going to carve some larger pieces of lino and then try and make a decision afterwards.


I'm not really sure what i'm going to do with these textures yet, or if I'm going to use them at all but going down to the print room and experimenting with different ways of creating marks and textures was really interesting and taught me a lot about how you can start to bring depth into your image by using texture and marks. I'm going to keep these stored in a file and see if they come in handy for this project and if not then maybe they'd come in handy for something else, I think keeping a collection of marks, textures, shapes that have been printed/painted etc will be really useful because if i ever want to add something to an image that is looking a little flat then this might be the way to do it. 

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Existing Packaging Analysis

The Grown Up Chocolate Companies current uses playful colours, bold typography, and black and white photography to portray their brand message and identity. The main colour used is usually a vibrant pink colour, and this is maintained across a lot of their product packaging and throughout their website. They also expand the colours on some of the packaging to reflect the chocolate bar that the packaging is for, for example salted caramel has caramel coloured type and fruit and not has a red/brown colour type. This is something we could possible touch on when looking at developing our own ideas for the personalised packaging. 

Alongside the typography and colour, the other most prominent part of the current branding is the black and white photographs of children pretending to be adults. This enhances the idea that the chocolates are not for children and that kids will do anything to get their hands on the product, including dressing up as adults. 

All in all, the current branding is quite simple, I think it stands out from other available brands as it uses a white background and bold, bright coloured typography where as a lot of other brand use richer colours such as purpler, red and gold. Even though the branding is simple, it still sits together well and works across a variety of formats which is important when creating a brand identity. I think one of the main challenges for us is going to be keeping our design cohesive with their current branding whilst still standing out from other submissions. 

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Applied Illustration Packaging Research


The Teavana branding uses a strong cohesive colour palette and shaped based playful illustrations to create s strong brand identity, that perfectly suits their audience. The colours used here indicate a natural, clean tea, something that will be healthy for you and your body as well as being something that is a natural product. The illustrations applied to the packaging are shaped based, simple and playful with an effective use of the colour palette to pull together the different designs. 


Kallo's branding and packaging is another example of how effective illustration and colour can be in provoking a natural, handmade feeling. The colours used throughout are muted, earthy tones which when applied to the off-white bag creates a handmade, natural image which links to the whole food ethics of the brand. The illustrations are once again simple and shape based, but have more of a handmade quality too them and almost resemble lino cut imagery which I think could be a strong point when looking at creating a more personal, home made feel. 

Folksgaga Liquor

Swedish distillery Folsgaga used popular folk talks from Sweden illustrated with bold, shape based imagery to appeal to a broader market whilst also maintaining their rich, nordic roots. Once again I think that the colours used really add to the imagery and I think as I go through this research I'm learning that a cohesive colour palette is important when creating a range of products. I also like how the wrap around label of the bottle has been slightly modified to represent mountains, which links to Sweden's mountainous landscape, little tweaks like this can be really affective and tie a branding together perfectly. 

Aroma Mediterranea

The Aroma Mediterranea soap packaging combines a clear, graphic aesthetic with hand rendered illustrations to create a professional yet hand finished product. Another strong point to this packaging is the opportunity to expand the illustrations off of the product, this is something we could look into when thinking about how to construct the Grown Up Chocolate Company's landing page and how we can use the illustrative aspect of our designs in a web based format. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Competitor Research


Cadbury's is one of the largest confectionary distributors in the world, with a range of products including individual chocolate bars, gift sets, hot chocolate and personalised bars. Most recognisable from their rich purple wrapping and cursive typography, Cadbury's are a well established brand that stand out easily on shop shelves. 

Cadbury's option to personalise their chocolate bars is similar to the brief given by The Grown Up Chocolate Company so I think it's important to take note of how Cadbury's have made the personalisation option work for them. To start with their landing page for this feature is clear and legible, highlighting how the personalisation will make the product 'memorable' and displaying the different personalisation options to the left. The customer can then go on to a customisation page where they can choose the type, message, images and which product/product they want to personalise. They also have options to make your own hamper and choose what goes in it as well as personalised selection boxes where they can choose which chocolate bars are included in the box. 


Thorntons are another well known high-street brand that give off a more luxurious, high end feel in terms of their branding and packaging. Their branding uses rich red and gold tones which adds to the feel of luxury and again uses cursive text which also emphasises this luxurious image. They also offer a range of products and personalisation options. 

Thorntons personalisation option is different to Cadbury's in that rather than personalising the box and outer packaging, it's the actual chocolate that is personalised. You can choose to personalise your chocolate with text which is iced onto the product either online or in store. I feel like this is a really effective way of personalising a product but it doesn't line up with the brief that The Grown Up Chocolate Company have set, they are just personalising the wrappers for the bars. Ribbons are also included in the Thorntons packaging which suggests that you should buy their product as a gift. 


Lindt definitely come across as a very high end brand, the royal blue, red and gold colours that are used along with the cursive type give a very high end feel. Lindt also emphasis that their products are made by hand by 'master chocolatiers', something else that also adds to the idea of luxury.

Lindt's packaging reflects the high end luxurious feel perfectly. They use a lot of gold and simple yet delicate illustrations to accompany the brand name on their packaging. Unlike the other two brands, Lindt don't have a personalisation option, or not that I can see anyway. They offer a range of different gifts and stand-alone products but in terms of the packaging it is usually quite simple but still effective due to their emphasis of luxury that is consistent throughout their branding. Lindt are also well known for their chocolate bears and reindeers that are wrapped in gold foil and each have a red ribbon around their neck and a little bell. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Stressed and Confused (as usual)

I think I'm having a small crisis. I'm not really sure how i want to print my final images and I feel like I've fallen behind bit. I'm really struggling to juggle uni and having a part time job at the minute and i feel like it's affecting the amount and quality of work I'm able to produce. Added to that my time plan has kind of gone to shit, I was planning on getting my images printed and done by the week after we split up for christmas but the print rooms shut now so I'm going to have to wait till after christmas to get those done. And then there's the whole animation brief that I still haven't started.

I think until we break up for christmas I'm just going to try and get as much printing done as I possibly can this week, experiment with textures and lino, and possibly have a look into doing some more screen printing towards the end of the week. That way I'll be able to scan a load of stuff in and then I'll have something to be working with over christmas. Also I want to buy some big square sheets of lino this week and get them carved, hopefully buy the end of next week. The animation brief is just going to have to be put on hold until christmas break while I try and organise myself.

More Lino Experiments

I had a go at printing some lino at home the other day, they didn't really turn out too well though. I'm not sure why but whenever I try and print at home the print doesn't turn out too well, there's always bits and pieces that didn't print but sometimes it can create some funky textures like in the images above. I also printed a few over motifs and textures just to see how things would look. I'm not really sure if I'll take these any further though, I could really do with getting some big squares of lino and start working in a larger scale rather than just an a4/a5 sheets of lino. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Illustration Friday - Tape

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday was 'tape'. I didn't really want to do anything that involved a cassette tape as I thought it'd be the most obvious solution and something that a lot of people would do as an approach to this word. I decided to illustrate the micro cassette recorder that Agent Cooper uses to talk to Diane in Twin Peaks, it's not directly related to the word tape but I guess it'll do. I drew the piece out in pencil in my sketchbook and then adjusted the levels and added colour. I think Illustration Friday is helping me get to grips bit more with using digital media. It's still not something that I really choose to use in my work but I can see how it helps tidy pieces up or add finishing touches.
Original Drawing
Final Illustration 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Timeplan

Me and Ste met up this week to figure out a time plan for the brief, highlighting what we wanted to get done and when. The main point of this was to try and organise our time around the christmas holidays, around our own personal deadlines and so that we had plenty of time for production in case anything went wrong. We've decided we might revisit this after christmas once our brand and market research is done so that we can refine when we're working on certain aspects of the brief in order to balance this workload with our other projects. 

Week 1 - 30th November 
Research competitors and look at how the design is used, for example typography, layout and imagery. 

Week 2 - 7th December
Innovative packaging design - Inside of boxes, and other elements the box contains
Add research on The Grown Up Chocolates existing packaging and anaylse it

Week 3 - 14th December
Week off

Week 4 - 28th December
Research Printing stocks - Printing method - Finishes
Research other landing pages - Broad research related to style and Competitors

Week 5 - 4th January 
Week off

Week 6 - 11th January
Outline what features we want on the box, for example, clear windows, belly bands etc
Outline what stock we are going to use, if theres going to be any finishes, and what printing method we intend to use. 
Research applied illustration -  Aimed towards audience

Week 7 - 18th January
Rough sketches on layout and concepts 
Refined sketched developments 
Digitise refinded sketched developments 

Week 8 - 25th January 
Further refinded ideas 
Digitise refinded sketched developments 

Week 9 - 1st February 
Pick idea and elements that we are going to use
Start constructing the design together

Week 10 - 8th February 
Construction of the design 

Week 11 - 15th February
Construction of the design 

Week 12 - 22nd February 
Printing the final box
Construction of the box

Week 13 - 1st March
Refine anything that may have gone wrong. Finish construction of the box

Week 14 - 8th March
Putting Design Boards Together

Week 15 - 15th March
Tie up any existing work

Week 16 - 22nd March 

YCN Deadline 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

More Mono Experiment

I've had another go with mono printing in order to try and visualise what I could use as a background for my prints. I was thinking that i could possibly mono print block circles of colour and then either screen print/lino print/monotype over the top of said colours. I think the textures created when mono printing are really nice and add a handmade quality and texture to what would usually be just a flat block of colour. I also tried using a few other leaf shaped stencils to see what I could create with these and am quite happy with some of the results that I got.

These were the stencils that I used but I really like the patterns and textures that they've picked up from being used to print, I think scanned in and arranged in some way would make these look really interesting and could possibly be used for my leafy image. 

Both of these are variations on the kind of background that I was trying to achieve. I much prefer these to the idea of having flat blocks of colours and think they would add depth and texture to my images. 

I think there's some really interesting outcomes from this little mono print session, but i'm not sure if I'll actually use anything like this. I was pretty set on using lino print but now I'm starting to think a combination could work really well. I mocked up the image below to see how it would look together, it's quite rushed and messy but I'm liking the direction that things seem to be heading.

Moving Pictures Proposal Form

BA (Hons) Illustration - Level 05

OUIL504 Illustration: Process & Production

STUDIO BRIEF 3 PROJECT PROPOSAL: Production & Presentation of my Moving Pictures

I intend to produce ……
A 30 second sting based on imagery produced during the Printed Pictures Brief

The content will focus on (identify 3 specific themes, texts or concepts)
1.     Natural world – stems from Atwoods work and life, I have particularly been inspired by the poem ‘The Moment’

2.     Deconstructing existing imagery into different elements and exploring how they can work together in motion

3.     Giving an overview to Atwoods work

I will be aiming to communicate (identify 3 specific messages, ideas, moods etc.)

1.     Natural/Natural World – Key to Atwoods life and work

2.     Mystery/ambiguity

3.     Strong female characters – a theme that runs through Atwoods work

To an audience of ….. (name 3 characteristics)

1.     People who would buy the prints? The animation and prints could go together as a set?

2.     Fans of Atwood and her work

3.     Environmental Activists/people with an interest in nature and our relationship too it

Study Task 4 - Examples of Animated Shorts/Stings

David Foldvari - Something New

I really love this animation. It's kind of creepy in terms of the imagery, the jolty way that it moves and the sounds used on top. It's quite different to my style of working but I still really appreciate the craft that's been put into this animation. In reality it's quite a simple animation, there's not too much going on in terms of complex moving imagery as a lot of the time the main image stays still and it's just selected bits of the illustration that move, I feel like this would be a good approach to take with my animated stings.

Other Peter - Japan Now

I really like how this animation is a collection of shorter animations rather than one longer one on it's own. This kind of ties in with the option of having 3 shorter stings or 1 longer one, there's also the option of making 3 short stings that somehow tie together to create one 30 second sting (if that makes sense), kind of finding a way to link them all together. I also think that simplicity is going to be key with animating my images. The most effective that I'm finding haven't over worked their imagery and this makes it look a lot smoother and cleaner as a finished animation.

Aude Danset - Countrylife 3: Night

I really love the simplicity of this and how it builds up from one singular image to a whole collection of images that move and appear in their own way. I like how simple this animation is and yet it builds up to be something that appears quite complex. I especially like how the plants appear to grow and feel like this could be something I incorporate into my own stings. I think researching stings and shorts animations has helped me realise that there's more than one way of tackling this brief, it doesn't necessarily have to be a defined story, it could be a collection of images like this that come together to give an over all feel to a theme or even like the Japan Now animation that's a collection of shorts put together to make one larger animation.

Moving Pictures Briefing

'Extend Your Printed Pictures brief into Moving Images using After Effects'

Create either three 10 second animated stings OR one 30 second animated sting to advertise a documentary about your author.
Two colours, using copyright free soundtrack

Initial Thoughts:
I'm excited to start using After Effects and learn about storyboarding and animating but I'm also slightly anxious as to how well I'm going to be able to execute this. As soon as I take my illustrations onto the computer and start manipulating them digitally in any way, things seem to go downhill. Maybe this will be a good chance for me to develop my skills though.

Illustration Friday - Spider

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday was Spider so since I had a tiny bit of time free this afternoon I decided to give it a go. I decided to practice with lino bit more and figure out how to print with two colours, I did a quick drawing of a black widow spider and then carved it into the lino. I cut out the red section of the spiders back in order to print that separately and allow for a two colour lino print. I've scanned the image into photoshop and changed the background colour and cleaned it up a little bit. I'm not claiming this to be anything spectacular at all, in all honesty its pretty crappy, but at least it's a start and it's helped me understand a little more about two colour printing with lino.



Monday, 21 November 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Brand Research

James Ecclestone founded the brand in September 2011. He had already set up Casemir Chocolate in 1984, which still supplies handmade chocolates for the hospitality business and over 200 hotels. Wanting to diversify his product, he set up The Grown Up Chocolate Company.
The Grown Up Chocolate Company are a small, independent business and the bars are sold in around 300 independent retailers in the UK including Fortnum and Mason, farm shops, delicatessens, Booths and National Trust gift shops and are predominately available online.

"The idea behind our Grown Up chocolate bars is that they are reminiscent of the bars we ate as children, but reimagined for grown ups only."
 Their chocolate bars are more like high quality versions of high street brands with an adult twist in terms of the ingredients/flavours used.

The company offer a range of confectionary from individual bars to boxes and hampers including flavours such as mince pie, spiced ginger, festive fig and port, salted caramel and coconut to name a few. The bars are priced between £1.99 and £2.95, the boxes between £3.95 and £60.00, and £50.00 for a hamper.

The concept behind their current branding is that the pictures of children on the packaging are kids pretending to be grown ups, communicating that you have to be 'grown up' to have this product and also communicating that kids will pretend to be adults/dress up/ do anything to get their hands on chocolate. This is emphasised by the tagline 'nice try kid, but it's not for you!' further showing that the child is trying to get the chocolate by any means possible.