Tonbridge Type Walk

Type is all around us. More often than not, we look at type and subconsciously process the messages implied by the typeface. Tim and Sancha wanted to make us to think about why certain typefaces are used to serve a purpose. Walking down the high street in Tunbridge, we came across many different and unusual uses or type

Instantly recognisable.. Mcdonalds
Instantly recognisable.. Mcdonalds
Good Concept
Good Concept
Raised logo and lettering
Raised logo and lettering
Type coming out of stone
Type coming out of stone
Bubbles- chunky bloated font
Bubbles- chunky bloated font
Old
Old “ghost” Hovis advert
Interesting folding bike poster
Interesting folding bike poster

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Sign writer
Sign writer

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Board of different styles
Board of different styles
Intersting engraving
Intersting engraving
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Creative Object

We were told to bring an object that we thought identified graphic design. I looked around my room and the first thing that caught my eye was the packaging of a male grooming brand, Fcuk. In groups we spoke about our indiviual objects and answered the question, why do we think this was graphic design.

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I went on to talk about the colour scheme, blue showing masculinity. The logo typeface was clean, light weighted and tidy, connotations of the modern heterosexual male. The other type used looks like a varsity font, showing they are targeting a younger demographic. The box also incorperated a pattern of F’s also in blue type, on a white background. This refers back to the brand and without even seeing the whole logo, the reader can get a pretty good idea what the product actually is.

Divergent and Convergent Thinking – 100 Ideas

Following our first lesson in creative thinking, we started to cover one of my biggest fears about the course, generating ideas. Sancha began the lesson with two quotes which i’d like to reference:

There is nothing so dangerous as an idea when it is the only one you have

– Émile Chartier –

the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas

– Linus Pauling

I thought this summed my feelings up exactly. We were given random objects and had to think of alternative ways they could be used. Even though it was daunting, Sancha reassured us that you can’t fail, there is no wrong answer, just get every single thought and idea down on paper, no matter how stupid or controversial it may be. These are the initial ideas that can either be discarded, or developed into something amazing.

Alternative uses for a paperclip and tea stirer
Alternative uses for a paperclip and tea stirer
Different uses for a brick
Different uses for a brick and alien children’s book materials 
Improvements to an iceskate
Improvements to an ice skate

After getting all the ideas out and down on paper, we went on to talk about convergent thinking. What might work? What is effective? Logistics? Using these as filters, we sorted what was achievable, and not so achievable. It was important not to filter out any creativity, other ideas might stem from the initial ideas.

Finally, we talked about how things around us can trigger ideas. Its a good idea to look around the wider world in search of ideas and with this in mind, Sancha gave us some homework, to write down 100 ideas for how someone could remember your name. Heres what i came up with:

100 Ideas
100 Ideas

Preparation – get ready, research, plan

Incubation – subconscious mulling over

Illumination – the ‘Aha’ moment

Realisation – testing ideas, prototypes etc.

Walking crosses preparation with incubation and helps you notice things

The Shoe Tower

First of all, welcome to my graphic design blog! I’ll be documenting my journey through the Graphic Design HND course I’m studying at West Kent College. I hope to not only display finished work, but also to show my thought processes, sketches, and research, and also to gain feedback from the wider design community to aid my learning. So if there are views/opinions on any of my posts, I welcome comments with open arms!

During enrolment, we were given a letter with instructions to prepare all of our shoes to bring into college in the first week. With no further information everyone brought there shoes in with puzzled faces. In order to be creative and innovative, we learnt that its important to “play” with physical objects. We got into small groups and were told to make “an elegant but tall tower of shoes”. With this in mind, Tim and Sancha explained its okay to fail; failure is how we learn, so to get the best result and develop ideas, every possability should be considered. Working within a group helped considerably. Being able to communicate with others and hearing there thoughts and ideas is also key when developing creativity.

To begin with, we made what only can be described as a structured pile of shoes. We all agreed it was important to have a flat solid base, and maybe starting from out to in, to make a pyramid shape. This should in theory distribute the weight of the shoes evenly and hopefully balance.

Our First Attempt
Our First Attempt

Finishing with 10 minutes to spare, we all thought we could improve in this attempt by going narrower therefore giving more height, also trying to use heavier shoes at the bottom, and lighter ones on top. Everyone took turns in sharing there views on how the tower should be constructed.

The Final Tower
The Final Tower

After completing our tower, we looked at other groups designs, some more imaginative and creative than others. One group had inter-linked there shoes in a twisting pyramid fashion. Interestingly, they had used the shoes flat to the floor and built up from there. I thought that was a really simple and clever idea and logical idea that distributed the weight, and positioned the shoes in the way they were designed to be worn.

Other Groups Towers
Other Groups Towers

Tim mentioned a company called “IDEO”. There approach is called design thinking, using three main processes to think creatively;

  1. Inspiration – the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions.
  2. Ideation – the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas.
  3. Implementation – the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.

I drew inspiration and confidence in my own ability from the following talks from the CEO of IDEO Tim Brown, and one of the founders, David Kelley.