MeYouUsThem: Final (pre-critique), printing and Final reflections

So before printing our finals, we had to bring in 2 of our close to final works. I did that. But then it RAINED. So instead I got feedback on Google+.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.14.11 AM copy
^ The first problem that I found immediately was the weird printing of the blacks. We figured out the problem. The hexadecimal for RGB didn’t matter. The C M Y K mattered. At some places I only had the K as 100%. The solution was to change all the colours percentages to 100. This ensured a really rich black.
Other than that, I really felt like the the ‘tetris’/puzzle shaped black areas (2 on the left) were working really well. I thought that the colours were organised better and that the viewers eye was guided through the composition well. But both the professors agreed that the other composition was stronger somehow. I didn’t see it initially, but after discussing it with my friends, they showed how there was some sort of a cohesion happening. It was underlying, but it was there (in terms of the forms and the colours).

I got suggestions from them to consider changing the way my type was (the colours) and inverting some images. I tried that, but the colour (yellow) they suggested didn’t work very well. Greyish colours or colours that linked to the image next to it worked better.

After we came back from the ‘rain break’, we had a proper, class critique.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.08.38 AM
A lot of my class mates preferred the composition that had white in the centre. I thought I was close to bein done, because a lot of people felt like their eyes were being drawn around in a circular motion through the composition.

Then I got feedback. The professors both agreed (and a friend had said this earlier), the white chunk of white in the middle had become overpowering. Some images and areas worked really well individually, so the white area would have looked good if it had been on it’s own. Especially since I created a ‘moment’ there where the word ‘curious’ was interacting with the maze next to it.

Either way, A good solution I got suggested was to flip the composition. This changed the way my colours flowed to a much more cohesive way. I altered my composition to make it go from blacks, to blues to a slightly brighter row of colours at the bottom. The main difference between my images now was that there was a majority of black in blank spaces, not white. We also discussed how the lego and eye image may not work. I always felt unsure of the eye image, so I finally decided to take it out.

I still had problems though (of course).
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.44.29 AM copy
^ Getting my last row to be cohesive was the most difficult. In the poster, Bottom row, second from left was an image that stuck out like anything because of how white it was, in comparison to the rest of the poster. In the end I came up with the solution of using a mainly red tinged image, covering it half with a green layer (multiply) and half with a blue one. This way it linked the the green on it’s left to the blue on it’s right.

In the end it was minor changes like picking the colour for the word curious and shifting it slightly. I tried green, mainly because we’d been told it created a vibration when green type was on red.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.08.49 AM
^ Last minute problems. We thought we’d have to print by ourselves, but our professor must have given up on our abilities by this time of the semester/didn’t want us to mess up the printer. But seriously, he helped us out. DESPITE this, there were so many problems. Some students had the completely wrong colour printing out. For me, there was no colour issue. No. For me the printer had something special. It decided to print out a completely different image altogether. Somehow the professor worked around the problem. He didn’t tell us how…

I’m guessing it must be to do with rasterizing the layers that we put in InDesign, before exporting as a PDF. Although, I assumed that exporting as a PDFn would be rasterizing everything anyway. Weird.


Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.52.10 AM copy


The final critique was different from all the ones that we had so far. Everyone was tired. We simply discussed what we’d done so far, going over vocabulary (semantics/syntactics) and talking about how we’d felt throughout the experience from the beginning to the end (images to deconstructing).

To wrap up we went and looked at everyones to get an understanding of the firstness/secondness/thirdness.

What struck me was how everyone seemed to have a distinct style. I don’t know how but it was visible, more in some than others. Apparently I had one too, but I don’t know what it is. The only thing I see about my style is how it looks like an intense hallucination (so trippy). So is my style complexity and really vivid colours? That was the general meaning of what some people were saying.

Anyway, the struggles I faced. So many. I had a lot of technical issues (camera not focusing/capturing correct lighting, photoshop glitching up, printer printing the wrong image) and then there were the conceptual difficulties. I faced these mostly in the 3rd week, where we had to go REALLY abstract. But I’m proud because most of my best images are from this week.

Through the struggles I learnt quite a few things. Never trust the colour on screen, always do test prints. InDesign is magical. Honestly. I’d never touched InDesign before this project but dare I say it, I think it has surpassed Illustrator as my go-to for organising pictures and pages/documents. Save, always. Exporting pdfs (because printing directly from InDesign will take HOURS). Setting up strong compositions (especially in terms of lighting). Setting up the white light, ISO in a camera and printing from the big printer < such a professional name [plotter?].

Those were just the technical things I learnt. Conceptually, I learnt how to deconstruct and recreate an object in hundreds of different ways. I hate to say it, but now, I really don’t think I have an excuse if someone tells me to make a table [something else uninteresting] look cool. I really don’t. The hardest part was deconstructing for a narrative. Telling the narrative of the robot. I got to doing that successfully much later than I was supposed to (while composing) since it was only after composing everything together did some of the narrative come out.

MeYouUsThem: Composing – is difficult

Getting things to flow is difficult. Really difficult. Mostly because there are so many things to  consider. The forms, colours, concepts AND we had to include images, colours and type (keywords). We’d been given rules by the professors about the amount of each needed, but by the end of it those didn’t matter. Different systems worked for different people.

Initially I picked out colours from my robot (blue,red,pink) to make a composition of the bands of colours. It ended up looking like a rainbow. Another thing I considered was a monotone, black and white look. It seemed too dull for my images.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.26.45 AM
^A life saving thing my professor showed me was that I could easily edit my photos colours and add shapes to them in InDesign directly. I could change blending modes of coloured layers, making it easy to get cohesive and flowing images (at least in terms of colour). The different types of images in the bottom left are simply a difference in the blending mode.

At times it became necessary for me to make a completely new image. Which took TIME:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.46.53 AM copy
I looked at what colours I was missing i my composition. I didn’t have enough of pink and yellow, red. I tried red. red looks like the flag of japan, or dice. I moved on to pink and yellow, even blue. Blue seemed to work best, but a combination of pink and yellow was ‘pretty’/aesthetic. I even tried overlapping the shapes but overlapping colors was too complex. At the end, I got my friends to help me choose. Yellow stripes it was.

Something that really bothered me. The green color in rgb is beautiful. I can’t make it bright in cmyk.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.25.08 AM

Next came considering the keywords.

I used the keywords from my morphological chart and cut them down further, to pick words that helped guide the viewer to/around the concept.

I considered things like what typeface to use and what setting to keep it at.

buzz – oblique? to make it look like buzz. but chose san serif and medium to make it look ‘boring’, since in type they told us that layering meanings could look redundant

I thought that just one word could be effective: buzz in one corner, but realised it was not enough to get the concepts, technological and buzz? The word puzzles made more sense and it was onomatopoeic for a buzz. build and puzzles? just puzzles? I began to simplify my ‘bands’ into white, yellow, blue, green, red (with blacks going through all the way. This was mostly because my other colour scheme looked too much like a rainbow.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.28.49 AM

pink eye not working – blue looks better. But it also looks bruised?

Then it came to choosing the type for my word. It was between bembo and bodoni? I decided on bodoni. It had more contrast with the san serif font. Higher contrast between thicks and thins of the type. I thought it looked like the robot more.

But when it came to discussing with the professors it looked too old fashioned to match my context. Even the word puzzle sounded old school/archaic and had a strong image attached to it. I decided on changing my keywords to curious, build, suspense. With just one word, getting the concept for a random viewer wouldn’t be easy. 

I found that the type works better with type closer to all the ‘action’, formal complexities (near the edge that’s closer to the image instead of in the centre).

Another thing we discussed was that there was too much color and too many forms. There was so much variety in my choice of images that it became too much…wow. 

Suggestions I got to make a more organised grid was firstly to limit my colour palette. Also, I could group them into quadrants of colors. I could separate the colour groups using chunks of black or have rows of forms.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.29.41 AM

^Tried getting some kind of quadrants of colour. My friends agreed that it wasn’t the best.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.31.12 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.31.32 AM

^chunks of black looks best to me. I don’t know whether I want the square forms to be tangible or not (it could be suspenseful it the blacks kept bleeding into some of the images?). For the type, I chose a simple sanserif font. I had moments like this one while working where I realised that the word suspense is too close to the yellow, so I moved it to the left. I also saw that when it’s not in any visible square (when it’s in black) it makes it look odd, so I aligned it to the grid.

Discussing how to print using epson:

  • 11 different inks (2 blacks, photo black or matt black – different for the pages takes time to clean it and can waste ink?)
  • need to choose right settings
  • automatically cuts
  • fit to size – slightly smaller


  • -usb drive, copy to computer (large file)-thawspace/desktop
  • -acrobat
  • Print cycle:
  • -vertical (most of the time its horizontal)
  • -file – print
  • printer – epson stylus pro, 99100
  • advanced – color management – color profile – epson stylus pro 99100 premium semi gloss photo paper 250.

-print printer page setup (click printer)

  • layout – print settings – roll ppr – media type (photo paper – premium semi gloss 250)

-page setup

  • paper size, ignore – manage custom sizes – sophomore poster 24inchx35inch

-fit (click fit).

MeYouUsThem: Curating and discussing InDesign

Choosing–is–so–difficult. Curated 30 from the first week, 20 from the second and while curating the last week (ended up curating 47. Cut it down to 26) I had the struggles of choosing between things like this:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.21.22 AM

So similar. Subtle thoughts like “second one looks more like a blurred image compared to the first one (which looks more like motion)’ were what made the decisions. But wow it will be hard to cut down to 30. Especially when they’re my own creation. I love them all. Ugh.

But for some it was easier to curate out:

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.25.08 AM copy

I’m embarrassed to even tell people that I made this (right) one…

For some I felt like I already had a variation pulled from the original image, so out it went:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.32.30 AM copy


We discussed setting up our files on indesign (a grid of 5×7 squares on a 25x35inch page).

Indesign tips:
Double clicking, is really big in Indesign. If you double click on the square mask, you’ll end up editing the image, clicking once will edit the mask (resize).

Ctrl click – fitting and display performance – to fit the image into the mask (proportionally – alt+shift+cmd+E)

Indesign displays images in low quality to make the program run faster. To see the clearer image (and check for pixelation) > Preferences, display performance.

Another thing to consider is that the images and colours need to by CMYK since RGB colours are for the computer screen > Change swatch from RGB (screen) to CMYK (print).

And saving a pdf from Indesign is different from other adobe programs > cmd E – export. Not save as. Export as PDF (print). Keep bleeds to trim easily (without having to trim extra super carefully).


MeYouUsThem: Week Three essence, minimalism, narrative and the mystery that is gestalt.

This seems to be the most difficult week yet. Abstract categories like narrative, gestalt [minimalism] and essence. Silhouettes and textures wasn’t as abstract (neither is gestalt), but because my grasp of gestalt isn’t very good, it’s difficult.

For my signs project in Methods and Processes I had looked up the definition of and diagrams explaining the ‘principles’ of gestalt to help me get my head around it. The wording of those was too fancy and long-winded to actually explain anything. The meanings I’ve been explained by various professors are mixed and different, so to me it seems very ambiguous. It mildly irritates me when something is vague and I don’t understand it (like a never-ending flick to my brain). I could usually get over it, but this word keeps popping up. So I made another attempt to see what gestalt exactly is, what it means.

This website, I don’t know where it had been hiding all this time…

Gestalt < I’m assuming the principles laid out on this site aren’t hard and fast rules, and vary depending on the work, which would explain why it was so difficult to define gestalt.

But I can use these as a starting point to start working on creating minimalist interpretations of my object.

But before that, I need to dissect my object (doing it in this order, instead of the order of the categories made more sense):

  • Formally:
  • wires
  • screens/light
  • wheels, rubber
  • semimatte?
  • screws
  • plastic
  • metal
  • paper
  • circles (what’s interesting is that as the creator of the robot, I didn’t think of the holes/circles as a part of what formally made up the object, others pointed it out to me)
  • hexagons (nuts)
  • blocks/rectangles
  • blues, greens, goldens, transparent, black, pink, grey, brown, silver/metallic, red, yellow, white
  • hexagonal patterns, and rectangular patterns
  • smooth, buttons


  • Motion
  • Time, (1 week) of hard work. Physical and Mental labour
  • Playful, fun ^ (juxtaposition)
  • Purpose was also to be playful ^ now it’s a memorabilia
  • Technology
  • basic, yet complex
  • puzzle, mystery
  • interactive?
  • old, unused, broken
  • Quirky (happy, surprised, curious reactions)

Initially I thought a literal interpretation would just include physical attributes, but I could literally show technologicalness/quirky technology, mysteriousness.

It sounds simple…but executing it wasn’t. I had to get a friend’s help to help me make the rope like wires. I struggled. You can see my evolution from trying to make a braid (top left) and then getting closer to the proper rope pattern (top right):
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.00.40 AM copy
^Then my further development of this system. I wanted to get the look of a wire twisting so that it looked ‘foreshortened’. Figured it out after failing a bit (bottom left). Then came making the composition. Getting that ‘blue’ took some time. I tried picking colours from the robot. Then complementing colours. SImilar colours, colours that looked like technology. This blue looked the best in the end, It just spoke technology.

Ran out of ideas with the simplistic, circles gestalt style. Desaturating (contrast/crop) images for gestalt.
Box blur did literally what motion blur (twice, once at 90degrees, once at 0degrees) did.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.13.31 AM copy

^ I moved on to creating a ‘surrealist’ image. I was recreating the swirls of a screw really zoomed in, when an idea flashed in my mind. I imagine someone sliding on the screw lines, like a slide. I began working and realised that it was very difficult for me NOT to draw a creepy child. I had to google references to be able to draw a non-creepy child…

Class discussion:

The strongest was the blue wires one. I wasn’t feeling the surreal girl one, neither were the professors. For surreal, the ‘melted’ screw looked better (just the wave filter).
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.32.12 AM copy
We discussed the Design implementations of what I’d created for this week. Things like the blue wires one looked like something that could be on a book cover. And with a few tweaks (the professor layered 2 of my creations) a magazine cover could be made:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.36.40 AM

So, overall my essence group was the strongest.

Since everyone needed more time, we got an extension. I made more images for each category.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.56.26 AM
^The ones that I feel are the strongest are on the right column.

Creating the silhouettes was hard. There were many detailed  parts so picking what to include in the silhouette took a lot of time by itself (before I even got to the textures). I used tools like the background eraser tool. None was successful or efficient. I ended up using a combination of the select > color range + focus range tool.

Flame looks better on close up (vertical form of image matches flame?) compared to the other one.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.16.43 AM
Thought of ‘huing’ the flame to an Electric blue? Tried all shades. I ended up on a bluish colour to show the Narrative of an electric current. I showed a friend. Explained the concept of the electric current. She said: No, it’s fire…

You don’t realise when your idea isn’t working until someone points it out. I ended up trying out electric lightning effects (after watching tutorials). It involved creating a gradient and then creating difference clouds. Then it was just a matter of upping the contrast, colorizing for a hue.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.23.57 AM

Photoshop being a pain again. The target channel is NOT hidden!!!! Glitches galore!
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.29.27 AM

While creating textures I discovered a bonus about the Extrude tool! I could extrude pyramid shapes instead of blocks! I could also extrude evenly overall, or based on the depth visible in the image (probably calculated by the shadow levels). don’t mind the glitch.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.37.10 AM

After discussing it with my professors we figured that my narrative of the sparks looks more like essence instead of narrative. That’s when I’d decided to put a human aspect into it. (spark in the eye). Another reason I did that was because the next step was composing our images in a cohesive grid. I needed a variety of images. So I made a human touch photograph, because that was one of the main things that I seemed to be missing.

Silhouettes and textures:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.45.59 AM

^Cream seemed to make things look more cohesive. But even then, the more vivid colours looked more successful, especially the ones where I matched the colours to the robot (wires – red, green, blue).

MeYouUsThem: Second Week (remaking, drawing, combining)

Wabi sabi – breaking something and then putting it together again. This was a suggestion we got for this week to help with rebuilding my object to give an essence of what it was – not a direct copy. Apart from that we had to draw/paint our objects using a variety of media and then experiment with combining images (from everything we had done so far).

For recreating I thought of wood and wool to get the physical essence. Then origami to get the essence of the process and how I felt while building it (therapeutic). People suggested that I could use twigs or layer paper. I got the idea of gluing LOTS of screws and hardware like things together in a form that resembles the physical form of my robot. Except…I don’t have that many screws.

To start with Redrawing early, I quickly selected one of my photographs with the magic wand, made a work path and applied a stroke on it. Couldn’t get the stroked path to become a layer. Couldn’t find relevant links on Google [‘turn a path into a rasterized line’] either, so I talked to my professor about it. We figured out a way of selecting the path and stroking it on a new layer.
Which now that I think about sounds so logical, I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out myself.

  • I wasn’t crazy enough to actually build origami boxes. Want to give the look that it had been built, so made loads of ‘strategic’ creases, the kind you’d normally get when doing origami, and glued the stuff together.
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 9.59.42 PM copy
  • Next came trying to get the look of the wheels. Surprisingly it was very difficult to find an origami wheel or gear design online:
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 9.53.02 PM 2

So. I had a talk with my professor from the other class about what I was doing to remake my object. She said ‘duplicating is different from recreating‘. She helped me and a bunch of others understand that we couldn’t just remake what the object looked like. That’s like copy-pasting.

Instead we could exaggerate the meaning or significant (most interesting) parts of the object. And it shouldn’t look ugly. Which made sense, since we are in design school. But wow, I did not think about remaking in this way. I felt like I was getting somewhere. Totally feeling that way right now. She said that my object had a disconnected quality (which was an interesting part).

I wasn’t sure how I was going to take these suggestions but later I had the idea of printing out a sheet of programming code ((perhaps with my sister’s name? too cheesy now that I’m writing out the idea)) and make the ‘hardware’ of that.

I didn’t want to drop the origami shapes I built, since they gave an essence of the physical shape of the object. I just needed to get the concept into it. I thought that I could also shape the wire in quirky ways. Because if I think about it, the most significant part of the object was how it relates to my love of creating and enjoying technological things like this one. This was the reason I started with the origami in the first place. The other significance was the link that it made between me and my sister.

I’m seriously lost for ideas on how I will show these concepts. I might simplify to one.

Looking over my keywords helped:

robot, panicked, sister, learn, curious, cool, buzz, technological, puzzles, suspense

puzzles is what made my brain tick.

If I think about it now, the codes idea wasn’t cool. It wasn’t the codes that was the fun part, the codes only related to my sister. I didn’t need such a lame reference to show my connection to my sister, the entire robot itself was a connection. My love for ‘technological puzzles’ is a connection.

  • Silly me. It was a weird in the shower idea anyway.

So first I tried joining my origami things together in a ‘puzzle‘ formation. Didn’t work. But it does look curious…
Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 10.03.55 PM copy
^An extra thing that I succeed in doing [wasting my time?] was making the wheels move like actual was for some reason difficult to find a simple tutorial about moving paper gears as well.
I got the idea of doing this was after I discussed what I was doing with Law. Talking to him reminded me of how my robot was to do with play as well. And to me it was like play. So I could still work with the origami idea, but make something playful, instead of duplicating the robot visually. ‘Beyond the fold’ was a reference he gave me.

Making the origami wheels was like a puzzle too…

Talked to Denielle about the feedback I got from Muneera. Basically I should just try stuff. This was a point where different professors have different opinions. I just need to try stuff. I decided to try my origami idea after I did my more ‘conceptual’ idea of screws.

Decided to try making the building block shape out of screws. Blu tack didn’t  decided to use an overload of glue to set them together like ‘resin’.
Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 10.24.34 PM copy

“That looks really cool” – friends. YES!…but does it look ‘not ugly’?

So it looks cool. And apparently it doesn’t look ugly.

SD card went ‘corrupt’ While I was photographing the recreation. I hate it so much. Always does this last minute. I hate it with a passion. Thankfully a friend had a spare one.

I started the drawing/painting part. Simply vector image tracing initially. I found that Black and white logo trace are the same as sketched art? Line art and technical drawing are very similar, and not very nice to look at…

I moved on to using candle wax to do ‘resistance painting’ with water colours. When it started to not look very promising I moved on to gestural drawings.

drawings and recreation:

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 11.36.39 PM

I liked my screw recreationn and the coloured gestural drawing in particular. The minimal watercolour painting looks promising too. Images like these work because they can be layered and combined in a ‘natural’ way:

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 11.37.03 PM


When it comes to curating Simple things like choosing between two very similar images I find the most difficult:

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 11.33.05 PM copy


MeYouUsThem: Introduction to collaborative project and First images

  • We got our introduction to the collaborative new project, tandem project – tangential assignment for each week. We’d be going through rigorous , iterative process. “Explore image-making techniques and styles.” While we were discussing this I guessed that the styles would change depending on my interpretation of the audience.

We had to change the mood and communication through our skills as a designer. Some techniques are more appropriate for some content/messages than others. The goal was to explore many variations of our object – start with using different software and media, but not overthinking the stylistic approach.

  • W1 -week by week approach – takes the pressure of perfection off – more about process
  •  8x8inch square format – 6, 5, 5, 5, 5 = 26

We were given a list of different ways that we had to photograph and manipulate our object:

Context – place and relationship: hand – child, male, female/ with henna? Crazy nails holding prayer beads, old, young? Two hands, many different meanings


How lighting creates emotions – with basic background? 


Abstraction – using angle/scale/cropping.


Colour manipulation – photo editing, duotone/monotone/grayscale/gradient, solid background vs colored background


Image manipulation – transform using photoshop – bitmap/patterns/color separations/overlays/superimposed/mirrored/high contrast/filters – I wanted to try distortion/warping/liquifying – Got suggested that it could ruin the image quality – I could try it just to see.

  • I realised that in this class we were not focusing on me-you-us-them at all. Didn’t even mention it in class. But I plan to keep it in mind, it makes sense to think of it that way.
  • Started photographing. My camera doesn’t work nicely it seems. Tried getting Simone to give me a brief crash course, but I was still left in a blurry zone (and my images were yellowish-tinged). Nathan suggested cranking the settings on either ends of the spectrum (for aperture or exposure) just to see what the settings did and get a better understanding. The thing is I’d already been trying that, but it still didn’t help. Got my white space photos somehow anyway. (after trying many different angles) Decided to move on to experimenting with lighting


  • Not working at all. Don’t know how to get the camera to focus in this kind of lighting. Trying to use exposure and what not (aperture) to make the camera focus but it just didn’t. (many failed attempts – blurred photos). The shot was so perfect in my head, and the camera would even focus at times, but then it refused to shoot (or it would focus, then I would shoot, then it would capture out of focus). I hate cameras. Asked Law for some help day before this was due, he suggested photographing on manual (and he told me to use a tripod…). The only reason I hadn’t used a tripod yet was because I felt like I could hold the camera at odd angles, better than the tripod would. I ended up not using a tripod. I really did get better shots that way.
  • Went out later and shot in the playground to get an in context photograph. (shooting in a workspace is in context too, but it would be in context more for ‘us’ or ‘you’, for ‘me’ it’s more like play and fun than just the building and technical part).
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.21 PM
  • ^ what I like about this image is how the forms and colours in the playground matched the forms of the robot.
  • Later:
  • photographed lighting and final images again (out of context, interaction). For the interaction I gave my object to a person in the ‘them’ group and told them to just ‘interact’. Shot a lot of photos over the time that she fiddled with it. What was good was that she ended up doing things that were perfect (wiping the dust, twirling the wheel) and these things I would never have thought of directing her to do, especially since my mind doesn’t care about the dust, since this object is so much more important to me.
  • Decided to use manual like law had suggested but also decided to continue shooting without a tripod. Because of my workspace, it really was much easier to shoot with my hands (awkward angles would have taken a long time to get (and might not have even been possible) if i had used a tripod).
  • While setting up my files into square formats, I had found that my images weren’t as blurry as I had imagined, in fact, most of the ones that seemed focused, were actually focused. I also stopped worrying about the camera not shooting the lighting perfectly, because since I was shooting in raw, it was easy to adjust the lighting as a needed in photoshop/lightroom.
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.48.03 PM
  • For image manipulation I tried multiple techniques. Tinting, using strong visually or conceptually colours, like red for ‘you/them’. Chose not to experiment with a coloured background for now since I already know how to get that effect (will test to see how it looks later).
  • Wanted to work with effects/tools/filters/adjustments that I’d never touched before.
  • Increasing height of emboss filter makes it look like a double image…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.12.39 PM
  • kind of like the effect.
  • Amount makes the image more or less visible. Wave and ripple seem very similar…Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.14.56 PM
  • wave has more options to adjust it and make it look more natural/spontaneous, instead of like a constant filter. hah, mosaic looks like i’m censoring something out. pointillize has a similar visible from a distance affect that mosaic does, but it’s clearer, since the image is sectioned in dots. It looks more intentional and less like an overly pixelated/censored image. Not much difference between crystallize and pointillize, apart from the shape of the fragmentation. Halftone = comic books.
  • Editing options, e.g make the radius of the circles bigger. Extrude. Median noise looks like a weird blur. Solarize looks more to do with color manipulation (looks like thermal image).
  • Dust and scratches is very interesting. Created a ghostly kind of look…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.18.21 PM
  • still not sure how it works.

Discussion of Images:

discussed what we had produced so far. A lot of our ‘bad’ effects and filters were effective because of the way our objects were, e.g. an electronic robot was effective with an emboss or wave filter. Some of the others were effective because the object was transformed into something else (inverted and strong shadows made a notebook look like a pillar/monolith). One of my peers used a pebble that was slightly translucent at some parts, so simply using lighting created interesting compositions. I got a reaction from the lighting photograph that I took of the robot in sunlight (in sand). It gave an out of this world/martian look. One of the reasons for this reaction could be that all my friends had gone and watched The Martian recently…I also got a lot of people thinking it looked like Wall-E.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.20.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.23.35 PM

  • Thoughts: martian robot, when looking at the emboss on in comparison to the different viewpoint (from bottom). In context of white – screws = them. Dark, shadow, sinister = you. Different types of contexts exist. Context of material vs meaning. So the robot is out of context in a playground. but not conceptually (in that sense it is in context for me).
  • By the end of it (when I got to image manipulation) I was no longer working in strict sets (lighting, abstraction etc). I was combining abstraction with image manipulation, cropping in WHILE taking photographs for lighting.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 9.00.49 PM copy

^ My best images from this week. The interaction images are weak in my opinion. I really liked the way the colour/image manipulations and lighting ones looked. The strong lighting set up ended up being very successful (despite the very unhelpful camera). I think it was the lighting images that evoked the most reaction from my discussion group. The images turned out emotive (mysterious).

The Golden Key: Final critique, reflections and ‘elevator pitches’

IMG_5096 copy

Final Reflections and thoughts:

What moment from the story is being portrayed?


It is the moment in the story where the boy is scraping at the snow and discovers the golden key. It is relevant because the story is all about the discovery of this key


Not a specific moment. Overall storyline told by the fading of the twigs. He wants to start a fire so collects a lot of them, and then slowly gets more and more distracted by his discoveries.


I gathered inspiration for my minimalist poster from various artists and illustrators, for example, Nathan Reed. The inspiration for the maximalist poster came simply from my process. I worked and experimented and worked and the ideas evolved. I guess I inspired myself?

Which way is my preferred method of working?

I personally enjoyed making the minimalist one. Not making it in the sense, staying up late at night and rushing and panicking. But the part where I go inspired by an Illustrator whose illustrations I saw in a book I read when I was a child.

Which is stronger?

I feel that the minimalist one is stronger. Mainly because of how everything seems to work together, even the type. The maximalist’s type wasn’t successful in my opinion, it looks integrated, but for someone who knows the story, it’s positioning may not make sense.

1 thing that works very well, 1 that doesn’t?

Min – The creepy aspect of the illustration and the integration of the type works well

The fact that I’ve put the boy very obviously into a keyhole, when the story is about a key seems weak. It’s too direct and could be uninteresting.

Max – The gradient of the twigs and the way they end up forming the type is strong.

The placement of the twig type is weak. Key is too obvious, and it seems to be an accident that it’s been placed further down, and not intentional.


I had a kind of creative of creative block after getting the strict critique on my Minimalist poster. With assistance I was able to get through that. So finding my way from gradients to THE minimal poster was difficult. For the maximalist, I found striking a balance difficult. Balancing how much of the type to show and how much to hide it took time and a lot of thought, testing and revisions.


I would probably work more on the maximalist posters composition. The way the type is placed specifically, gives the wrong idea. I would work faster, not focusing too long on one idea. I would revisit old ideas that I thought weren’t successful.

Things learnt (Technical+Conceptual):

Apart from improving my Illustrator skills and getting more used to using the tools, I also improved my Photoshop skills. I learnt about double exposure and other such things from the sharing of tips session we did in class. I also did my own tutorial watching to find ways of selecting things quickly and effectively. I loved the discovery of the auto-select. 

Conceptually I learnt to make things subtle. My minimalist poster is confusing to those who don’t know the story. But to those who do, it becomes an interesting conversation. I went from having the boy in a key in the image and a key in the title (too obvious), to having him inside the keyhole. I feel like even the keyhole is too direct, but again, striking the balance forced me to include it, otherwise the image would  not be able to make the link to the story.

Elevator Pitch session:

We had a surprise session of presenting our posters to fresh eyes (VIP visitors). Not only did this force me to talk about my work effectively, but it also revealed A LOT of things I didn’t notice as the designer.

I look so lost:

IMG_5096 copy 2

A lot of people loved the character in the minimalist poster, and found the composition of the maximalist one beautiful. I wasn’t sure whether it sent the message to them, because most didn’t know the story. What did happen was that one of the ladies that came to my work, praised it, and went on to say how she gets the maximalist poster.

“It’s like a nest, right? Yes I get it, I get it, beautiful work.”

Shocked and unsure of what to do I kind of just nodded and was all “Yeah, nest! Thanks!”.

I’d already lost the ‘pitch’. If I wanted to explain to her how it wasn’t a nest, I’d have to tell her the story, but that would take time and by that time she had moved on to talking about the minimalist poster.

Now I could hope that the reason this happened was because my poster was right next to the Cinderella poster (which had a nest), but really I got where she was coming from. She TOTALLY got the wrong message, and the sad thing was that she was SURE of it.

This experience made me realise how IMPORTANT it was to test the posters on completely new people. And that my maximalist poster could do with a lot of improvements