Thursday, 31 October 2013

Understanding colour

The trouble with colour is that I like or dislike it depending on how and where it's used so I don't think there are any colours I truly dislike but I have tried to be fairly general here

Colours I don't like

Colours I like
Rather worryingly the grids do not reproduce faithfully here. The colours I like were brighter in my computer generated original. What I feel about a colour depends so much on how the colours are laid out and what is next to them. To be fair I've tried to set both grids to be as flattering as possible. I still don't like the top grid as much because the colours are a bit garish so I think I've failed on this exercise.

I did some research and found this lovely colour emotion layout by Naomi Finn
Lots of the supposed mood characteristics of colours don't feel right to me but Abbie Stabby is closer to the way I feel

At first I thought I would use coloured pencils as they gave a restricted but broad range of colours
But I quickly decided that there were an enormous number of possibilities and I would need to select colours to represent the mood.
I did play with an alternative layout just for fun

Then I went back to the computer and made myself a chart

I found that my perception of the characteristics of the colours was changed by the contrast of two colours alongside each other and that the colours I see on my computer don't look quite as different when they are lifted from the colour chart. I have swapped and changed these and there are some moods I'm still not sure of but at the moment I think this is as close as I can get.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Seeing the light

The instructions don't say which font to use. Found this on Google which I really like but I think it may distract from the purpose of the exercise so I went for Arial in black and blocks of yellow which seemed appropriate for a light.

The problem with the yellow block of colour is that the lettering won't show up unless it's in black so I tried alternative colour schemes.

I'm not sure that they add to my designs but they do very much change the feel of them and I do prefer some of the lettering in white.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


This photo proves that representing movement is more than getting blur....   had fun today #saveourrink
But used creatively as in Giacomo Balla's Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash is can be stunning

These images caught my eye when I Googled movement
I like the one on the right which looks like the girl is running towards us. They are part of the graphic response to the Gezi Park protests in Turkey. This link is from the VandA and has loads of innovative graphic responses to the conflict.

Movement is often successfully represented with swirling shapes and sweeping lines which get wider or narrower. There are some nice abstract images at this site

Many people have been here before me and not all of them were OCA students. Here there are a collection of logos designed to express movement which for businesses is synonymous with growth and innovation.

Going back to the 1920's Gerd Arntz and Otto Neurath developed a series of pictograms to represent an enormous variety of activities and situations including movement
The feeling of movement in many of these symbols is created by leaning the figures forward and using a side view so that the legs can be in a walking position.  This has been developed over the years by successive countries hosting the Olympics. Surprisingly each country creates their own set of distinctive pictograms for each Olympics, to represent the various events
 The top set is from Bejing in 2008, the bottom 2 are from London 2012, Olympics and Paralympics I think the 2 colour symbols work particularly well.

Movement can be suggested by drawing or photographing the definitive moment of an action
This stencil by Banksie is at the point when the flowers are about to be thrown. There is tension in the image and no doubt that it is a snapshot in a sequence of movement.
Cartoonists use lines to suggest movement such as the wagging of this dogs tail
Taken from the website
Also there is the marvellous Tom and Jerry
For me arrows are generally directive rather than dynamic moving symbols, unless they employ other graphic conventions to suggest movement.
Some sketchbook ideas
I did a mind map and looked at different meanings for the word movement
then tried some random sketchbook ideas

Then I re-read the instructions and realised the brief was to design a symbol. I did some more research and found the work of JL Design and KORB for CCTV also animation using growing crystals which is more abstract
Brigit Reilly made black and white squares move  (movement in squares 1961) Her abstract geometric patterns in black and white seem to shimmer on the page.
I also found a blog from a student preparing for her honours degree (probably in animation?) who has collated a large number of images representing movement
For a symbol I like the dynamism of the squiggles at the bottom of the last sketchbook page which are lively and build on the letter M for movement
Generated by computer you get
of which I prefer this one as it's simpler but still dynamic. The others are too busy for my taste.
I tried some experiments to see if I could make this more dynamic
The idea was that the softer squiggle in the background would provide some tension with the bolder squiggle but I think the background squiggle is too soft therefore my preferred design is