So here is the final design alongside the slides for the end of project crit. Although it’s been difficult to manage time alongside the dissertation, I feel this has allowed me to put into practice what I’ve learnt about advertising during the past couple of months. I was skeptical at the beggining about how a written essay would enhance my work, however this is proof that it genuinely has, and has made me think about advertising in a different light.
My design will feature two parts of text. A statement, “Don’t let smoking define you” and a call to action. I’d like the statement to be bold, yet neutral, following research conducted on previous national health designs analysed in my research phase.
I looked at a series of different typefaces, thinking about the impact it would have on the intended audience, whilst also looking at the aesthetics of the typeface in conjunction with the tone of voice of my design.
Gill Sans – Although I think this typeface works, I feel the effectiveness could be enhanced by a different choice.
Black Letter – An attempt to give a sinister feel to the design. However, the readability of the typeface is lost, and doesn’t fit with the modernity of the design.
Final Choice – Gotham – I love how this fits in to the design. It’s neutrality was exactly what I was looking for, and looks very similar to other NHS posters already in existence.
I chose the tagline “Don’t let smoking define you” as my theme for my APP design. It allows the audience to understand that the habitual nature of smoking takes over your life, and defines you as a person through its negative attributes such as smell and taste.
I recently watched a youtube video for pleasure, where they used the find edge tool in photoshop to create a smoke-like effect. I was really keen to try this myself, so using an image taken of a skull, I did so.
I wanted to give the impression that the skull character had been defined, and my idea was to use a brush stroke effect, as if someone had consciously made this character from smoking.
Using another effect in photoshop, I created the brush stroke effect as seen below.
Following feedback from my interim crit, I started to think about the negative implications of smoking, and how this may be visually illustrated to my audience in the medium of shock advertising. Some of the things I thought about were as follows:
- Dog breath
- Yellow/ stained teeth & fingers
- Stale smell
- Fag butts
- Dullness/ drabness
I thought dog breath would be an interesting and unique way to shock my audience in to thinking about factors they may not realise whilst smoking.
My plan was to improve the my original design by giving the skull further negative characteristics, encouraging my audience to understand how smoking is perceived by non-smokers.
I took these images of my dog, Harvey, and want to attempt to mould a portion of his face to the skull.
In the next stage, I wish to demonstrate skills in photoshop, merging the face of my dog to the skull I had already made. I envisage a few problems potentially getting the proportions to match up, however, I may be able to correct this using the warp tool in photoshop. It may also be difficult to blend the to together, but again I will try and rectify this using blending modes and layer masks.
I looked back at some of the previous projects to draw inspiration from for the APP module. One that struck a cord was a digital paint-over technique I learnt when working at Lightmaker on work experience during the summer. Adam, the creative director, spent time showing me how to quickly transform images to sell an idea. It’s always important to bare in mind time constraints of a project, and none more so than this APP module. Since we’ve had the brief, I’ve been worried that working on my dissertation will take up the majority of my time, whilst also balancing my freelance work and starting a new job soon! This method allows me to quickly alter an image to produce a counter argument to smoking.
Below are before and after images of a 3D character. The brief was open to my interpretation, allowing me to take the character in any direction I fancied.
I’ve found this retrospectively incredibly useful for the basis of my APP project. It’s allowed me to recap on some really vital fundamentals of photoshop. It’s also made me to be conscious of time constraints, and also thinking about texture to lift my design from a flat 2D image. I wish to implement this in my own design, using symbols of death to evoke negative feelings to my intended audience.
Following my ideas and sketches, I started to implement ideas in a digital design, testing ideas visually. At this stage, I’m not worried about producing the finished product first time, but simply having fun and creative, implementing intelligent fast failure. This will give me the chance to discard redundant ideas quickly, and move forward with ideas that may work.
My intended theme is to create a link between smoking and mortality. My research has lead me to use signifiers such as skulls, bullet holes, guns and other symbols of death. Composition is something that I struggle with on projects like this, so trial and error is always a massive part of the development stage in my design process.
Using what I had learnt during my work experience, I started to look at blending techniques to merge smoke to signifiers, such as images of skulls and a guns. Also, I’ve been fearful of working on multiple layers on previous projects, however, I’ve understood the importance of layering to create a complex image. Using images of textures and paint-over techniques, I aim to create an exaggerated illusion of the negative impact of smoking in the form of shock advertising.
Today we had our interim crit for our chosen APP project, an opportunity to showcase our process so far, and our outcomes. Unlike previous crit’s we’ve had on the HND course, students were given a louder voice, and encouraged to give honest feedback provoking areas for improvement.
I found it interesting how everyone had adapted the brief to their strengths, or areas of interest with in design. The diversity of areas was really interesting to explore, and see where people have excelled, and where they may need improvement. This identification process, I feel, has further strengthened my ability to analyse artwork through the designers process. Ultimately, everyone has great ideas that they are very passionate about, however, as a designer I feel it’s really important to stay open to criticism and fresh ideas, as generally, they feature people you are attempting to target. For example, in my APP project, I’m using a skull as a symbol of mortality, whilst using a brush stroke effect with the tagline, “Don’t let smoking define you”. Tim prompted me to think about the characteristics of smoking, i.e, yellow fingers, dog breath, cancerous. A fellow classmate, Natasha, pointed out maybe some ash collecting under the tagline could be effective. Sancha and Tim also argued the cigarette needed to be more prominent. Although I may have created quite an eye catching piece of artwork, someone else argued it spoke a message of “coolness”, appealing to maybe a younger, rebellious audience.
All this feedback has been really useful, and has already sparked fresh ideas and prompted a slight change in direction on the car journey home. Over the weekend, whilst still fresh, I want to sketch out my ideas, hopefully strengthening my design as I move through the developmental part of my design process.
Here is a link to my APP interim Crit: APP_Crit