Brief Analysis – Notebook Stationary

In this project I am going to design a Notebook Stationary, using traditional media. Experimenting with different materials as well as trying out new techniques is going to be a massive part throughout this project. The design should appeal to people all ages.

From this project I’d like to learn more about traditional media and it’s techniques. I think it will be very useful to learn these techniques for this project and for future references.

To gain a pass I should carry out personal research from contextual sources, develop solutions for a negotiated brief, developing and extending visual language skills, select and experiment safely with specialist media, materials and techniques to develop visual communication skills. I should also review work and develop outcomes and realise and present final outcomes to meet the brief.

To achieve a merit I should research and respond to sources, showing clear consistent and direction and intention, show initiative in selecting and using materials, equipment and techniques, applying understanding of the factors that influence the specialism in evaluating work against the brief. I should also show an individual approach to structuring, reviewing and presenting work in a coherent and considered format and produce effective and skilful outcomes that show a consistent level of knowledge, skill and understanding.  

To earn a distinction I should research informed, independently selected references, showing innovative personal thinking and creative direction and show perceptive critical appreciation, meeting the brief through applying an understanding of the factors that influence the specialism.



Final Outcome & Evaluation

I am really happy about my final designs. I had never really spent time learning about skateboard designs or skateboarding, but due to this project, I spent a lot of time in diverse skateboard shops or skating with friends, to see their very own skateboard. I learned how different skateboard designs can be and that there aren’t many rules to follow. It just has to be special and need to connect with the buyer. That’s a reason why I think my outcome is really successful. I feel like it is timeless and still seems to be modern. It creates an optical illusion and a visual movement, which makes the board even more interesting to the customer. The ram itself on the board also connects with skateboarding itself, since it’s called like an skating-technique. I think I would actually buy it, if I was looking for a skateboard for these reasons. Comments made about the skateboard design were based around the optical illusion and how modern it looks.

In my opinion the biggest inspiration for this outcome was Tyler Spanglers work. His amazing work is often creatively confusing in a brilliant way. Some of them seem to move, through optical illusion, others are just built through an unusual idea. His work inspired me to try out something new, in this case include drawing within my work and creating a visual movement.

During this project I feel I have learned a lot about different styles and techniques, e.g. how to effectively use new illustrator tools within my work. I also feel that I have been much more confident about working on researches and initial ideas.



Design development

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To create this outcome I first started tracing a ram from a photograph. After scanning it in and uploading it on Adobe Illustrator, I used the image trace tool on illustrator and continued removing the bits on the scan I didn’t need. What I have now is the simple outline of the ram, which I filled in white. I continued by surrounding the ram with the pen tool, filled it in black and sent it behind the ram. To create the confusing vibrating outlines I used the path mode – contour line, which I have used from thin to tick, to create a visual movement. I kept copying the layer from before, to add another outline on. At the end I mocked it all up, which you can see on the skateboard above. As you can probably see, I have also done the other side of the skateboard, using the same steps but beginning with white, to make a change.

Initial ideas

Due to this project, I had to come up with some ideas. You can see at the top a variety of my strongest ideas.

Idea one is presenting doodles on a simple empty wooden background. If I was to use this one as a final idea, I would edit lavish colours within the doodles via graphic media. The idea was inspired by the boo hoo style, which I am personally a fan of.

Idea two was partly inspired by Jesse Draxler and his dirty unclean, but fascinating style. I wanted to recreate his style in my idea, so I used a turned peace sign and put “Strike while the iron is hot” above it, which would be done using running ink.

Idea three was inspired by different manipulated typography shared on Pinterest. The idea of it was to create a word with different patterns instead of outlines and bring them out in a bright and colourful way. Since the word was saying “Sweet” I thought of having little falling jelly beans in the background, just to make to board even sweeter. The background was planned to be white, to create a contrast between Type and background.

Idea four was a simple idea of having play button icons. I tried to keep this idea simple, but funny. People would connect with it. It would have a white background and the icons would be presented in high contrasted black. This idea would connect more with gamers.

Idea five was my strongest idea. It shows a ram surrounded with an optical illusion. The ram stands for the animal as well as the skateboarding trick. The colours are planned to be black and white, to keep the viewer’s eye even more moving. The outlines will be hardened and full of contrast. To create this, I am going to trace a ram and scan it to add further effects to this piece.

Idea six represents a perspective drawing of a bunny. I chose to create an illusion which makes it seem to be 3 dimensional, to let it stand out even more. The bunny itself I think has the jump in common with skateboarding, which is why I chose this for the design.

Idea eight was based on two clashing colours creating a colour vibration. On this colourful and outstanding piece I would put a sentence on, created by cutting out words out of newspapers and magazines. It could be something political or something motivating. The colour vibration created by the colour pink and blue would especially keep the viewer’s eye moving.

Idea nine is showing Miley Cyrus in her famous pose, with her tongue out. I would trace hew image and continue working on it on creative media. She would get filled in with faded, but cheeky colours and make her seem 3 dimensional. Above the image I would use bright colours to cover a few parts of it roughly to create a special piece of work.


Other ideas:

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Primary Research


Starting with my project I went to do some primary research in a skateboard shop in Wakefield. The boards on sale tend to have comical designs as well as illustrations. Some of them seemed to look like they were hand drawn while others just had stand-out typography. The visit to the shop showed me how diverse the styles are and there are no rules within the designs.

Street Art

Collecting some images of street art in Wakefield and Leeds, I realised that these images are similar to the typical retro skateboard designs. These street art outcomes really stand out as well as being unique due to their manipulated typefaces or even special paintings. They represent the style of skateboarders, as these sort of designs are often found on skateboard decks.

Tyler Spangler


Tyler Spangler’s inspiring designs seem to lean on a psychedelic style (which basically looks like an “on-drugs” effect), sometimes mixed with manipulated drawings. His work shows a variety of different techniques and processes, which are for example collages, photography and many more, as you can see in the images shown above. Using a lot of bright colours his outcomes appear to be very peaceful as well as sympathetic. Within his design elements like bright, lively and intense colours and a dramatic, transitioning and changing value makes his work stand out and draws attention to it. Also his creative but original style itself will be remembered of the viewer. To create a visual movement Tyler Spangler uses different kinds of techniques, which are for example intense optical colour vibrations. Also random contouring lines are creating a movement within his work. To create a visual unity he combines photography with a variety of processes and illustrations. The use of contrasting, heavy and dominating shapes bright coloured in combination with mostly black and white photography’s seems to be really clever, since it won’t hurt your eyes but get your attention. It appears that he successfully gives every piece of work a character, for example the image at the bottom left represents a photography of a woman pulling a face, which I would class as crazy. This image is surrounded by irregular colour vibrations holding the work together.

Looking at his work I feel really inspired because of his different and original ways of working. It just shows you more, how diverse and nearly rule-less graphic design can be. I especially enjoy the use of colours within his work. Black and white images seem to work better than expected in combination with bright coloured  illustrations, which stand out in a quite dramatic and dared style.

Sam Chirnside

Sam Chirnside’s distinctive designs are done by using  lively and vibrant colours edited on graphic media.  It seems to be well controlled as well as transitioning, but in a balanced way. Throughout his work he has been using a variety of techniques mixing colours, to get intentionally diverse effects. With these effects, he used a range of different processes to present his work. His outcome simulates a relieving, calming, spiritual, peaceful mood and atmosphere and just represents harmonious feeling. The use of unintentional and soft curving and elegant lines in addition to a smooth, irregular and shiny texture creates a visual movement and keeps the viewers eye moving. To create a visual unity he placed the images in the center and let them seem 3 dimensional through volume and precise effects via graphic media.

In my opinion his work is really successful and inspiring. In his work he has been manipulating colours, texture and typography which I think worked for him as a favour. Looking at his work, you can see that he has got a style he is following, which is the use of paint and creating different outcomes within these techniques.

Jesse Draxler

Jesse Draxler is one of my favourite artists who is known for his collage work as well as representing his work in black and white. His marvelous work has been created by manipulating his artwork with a variety of different materials and techniques. Using elements like sculpted shapes or textured forms he aims to keep the viewers eye moving. His work as a whole looks really simple but also unique due its messy but clean cut workstyle. Jesse Draxler seems to enjoy combining the use of different materials, like paint on print, to get dominant transitions shown in his artwork. To create a visual movement or rhythm he uses uneven, smooth sometimes irregular texture within his work to create a visual movement.

My personal review on his work is, that he’s giving me a lot of inspiration for my future work. His awed work is tempting me to try out these techniques. Especially his vinylcover design (below top-left corner) inspires me to experiment more with different materials to get an unique and even result.



Brief Analysis

For this project I’ve been asked to come up with an illustration or a custom design on the bottom of a longboard. The design should appeal to people who interact with this sport We are free to reference a drawing, a quote, or anything we think would look nice on a board. There is a lot of competition, which is why board companies have to think very carefully about their designs.

In terms of this project I think it would make sense to visit some skateboard shops  to experience what boards and clothes they offer their customers. Skateboards overall have got a variety of different designs which is a great offer for people who are into skateboarding. I would also do some research on artists and designers, via Designinspration, Behance, Pinterest and Tumblr, creating skateboards and different art pieces to get an inspiration of techniques and processes for my future outcome.


To earn a Pass I need to research the use of digital illustration, referring to the work of others, use digital illustration packages to produce illustrative graphics as well as discuss my own digital illustration work.

To earn a Merit I need to purposefully research the use of digital illustration with reference to the work of others reaching coherent conclusion, purposefully use digital illustration packages to produce effective illustrative graphics and coherently discuss my own digital illustration work.

To earn a Distinction I need to independently and perceptively research the use of digital illustration with reference to the work of others, independently use digital illustration packages to produce imaginative and original illustrative graphics and perceptively discuss my own digital illustration work.

What would I like to learn from this project ?

In this project I’d like to learn how to turn basic illustration ideas into high quality outcomes. I especially like to learn new processes and techniques of diverse artists and designers, to widen my horizon in art and design.

Final Design & Evaluation


This Design Development was successful, because while doing research and recreating others work, I’ve also been playing around with Photoshop to create a personal poster. While creating it, I realised that a few changes are needed. So I decided to use bright colours, inspired by the psychedelic style, so the it will keep the viewers eyes moving and make the whole outcome standout between all the other posters. I am really happy with my outcome, due to its clear and notable look.

In this project I’ve been asked to produce a poster for one of the most well-known festivals in Britain. This poster should appeal to different ages and interests. In my opinion my design is more directed to the younger generation because it connects more style-wise and colour-wise. The younger generation these days is happy to stand out in different ways, so seeing this colourful piece in between of dark and faded other posters might wake their interests. It also represents the psychedelic style, which keeps to come back as a trend in advertising. The psychedelic style in my opinion is an amazing way to make your art special and extravagant, but also draws people’s attention to it.

While producing the outcome I experienced, that there are more poster styles then expected. People often manipulate typography as well as images to make the work seem special and outstanding. Next to manipulating things, they often use different styles, like the minimalism style. In my chase I’ve been trying to use uncommon colours within the psychedelic style, to create a new illusion in advertising. During the work process, collecting a lot of information through primary research and secondary research, helped to get the project to know and to give some inspiration for my own work. Especially recreating the work of others helped me to experiment more with diverse sections on Photoshop I haven’t used before. Through the experimenting I got to my final poster (at the top).

I’ve been asked to conduct secondary research into the LIFF, which I have done via browsing online to get as much information about the festival as possible. I found most of it on the official website as well as on google. After researching the LIFF we went to Leeds, as a class, to collect some ephemera to use within our work. I took some pictures and collected a different range of leaflets I liked to use as inspiration. Using Pinterest and Instagram I started doing my secondary research on artists and designers, which would show me as well a diverse variety of work and their styles, as well as techniques. In addition to my researches of Saul Bass, Paula Scher, Alan Fletcher, Armin Hofman and Swissted, I was able to get more ideas to use techniques and processes including styles. I also recreated 3 designers/artists pieces to experience different techniques on Creative Media, which I thought was really successful since it was an important step leading to my final outcome. Producing ten initial ideas, I could see how my development went better, so I was able to have a choice at the end, which one I was going to produce. During our classes, we had a crit, were we presented our ideas to get other students feedback and opinion to get the chance to develop our ideas and make them rather outstanding. I developed my strongest idea through experimentation and mocked it up, to see how the outcome would look like. All of these steps were done independently and coherently and were creatively presented on my blog, using moodboards.

My strengths in this project I feel were collecting research of different artists and designers and producing inital ideas using inspiration of collected ephemera. I think I managed using most of the new techniques on Photoshop. The only problems I had within this work was finding the right colours to use. But all in all I think I made a great development in Photoshop during this project.

My only weakness in this project was in my opinion the loss of time due to work. I couldn’t plan enough time into my work, which ended up in a rush.

If I were asked to do the project again, I would probably go to Manchester to get some inspiration and photography of the posters hanging around there. I think that would have given me a total different path on my outcome. I would also try to manage the time with work better, which would give me more time to concentrate on my priorities, which is college.

If I had more time I would have experimented more on Creative Media and use the help of some tutorials, just to widen the possibilities for my creations.

While working on this project I learned new techniques on Photoshop furthermore developed my skills as a whole on this media. I learned how to successfully produce initial ideas, using inspiration from e.g. Pinterest. Creating the final outcome, I got the experience of the different layout for posters, which I think is important to know for future projects or jobs. During researching, I also researched independently of my tasks, the different styles of graphic design and their details, which was really helpful for me. This will be useful all the time to for example annotate the work.

In my opinion this project wasn’t unsuccessful but it could have been better for me. I am definitely not unhappy with my outcome, but thinking of the time I have lost due work, I believe I could have done better on this project with better time management. However for future purposes I think this project was successful because of the new skills I learned.

I really enjoyed this area of graphic design. It gave me a theme and I had to represent it in an outstanding way. It was based on branding an actual event, which passes the feeling to do a realistic job for them. I think that’s the reason I tried to do my best even more.