Font conference?

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

This video absolutely tickles me pink! Not only is it hilarious but, after studying typography, I realise that it personifies types just as we select types in visual design for a specific purpose.

I always used to choice comic sans for a humorous and comic effect, just as this video depicted ‘him’

Sorry if anybody is offended by the occasional swear word or anybody who uses Microsoft works!


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Week 3

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Shape and form.

This week we looked at

  • visual metaphors
  • compelling designs
  • how to use shape and form in InDesign

In groups we worked together to create a piece of visual design using these methods that reflected one of the following words;

backward, forward, motion, sketch, shrink, conversation, ideas, expand, tilt, mixed, perspective or repeat

Me and my partner decided to do repeat and this is what we came up with:

From doing this we learnt how to do effects in InDesign and also how simple manipulation of shape and form can change meaning.

I decided to look at interesting and simple uses of shape and form when I got home and these are some of the examples I found:

Directed study:

  • create a logo for Bright Ideas Design and put this into your business card
  • Find at least three interesting logo case studies with analysis


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Business card

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment



The bright pink colour palette gives off a young and funky vibe and is also bright which links back to their company name. Additionally the black heavily contrasts against the pink to add an edge of sophistication without compromising the funky quality. Furthermore by adding a ‘glow’ quality around ‘design’ in a lighter shade of pink, shades have been developed and also relates back to the concept of ‘bright’.

Shape and Form

I decided to have the piece mirroring my name in a similar style, so I rotated it so it was on its side and was of a similar height. Also because this consisted of three words and not 2 i decided to put ‘ideas’ within the I of bright to make it a little bit funkier and also allow me to add in a simplistic light bulb logo. I drew the logo in InDesign using simple shapes and lines and blocks of black, overall I’m quite happy with the outcome, considering I cannot draw at all. To mirror my name once again I put ‘Design’ at the bottom of the text. Also, I thought that this might make your eye draw ‘Buckley’ and ‘Design’ together to associate me with the brand and the brand with me.


For the bright design element I used a combination of two fonts – Thornburi and Poplar std. These two are both sans serif fonts but contrast heavily in style. I decided not to use a serif font at all in this element because the company wanted to be presented as funky and young not older and traditional. I really like these two fonts because they contrast a lot and yet compliment each other just enough to create a cohesive design that matches the brief.Overall? I’m quite happy with how my original business card has married together well with the company logo I created to make a legible and good card that matches the company’s design brief as well as how I want my card too look and represent me. I think it would be useful to get some feedback for my card and maybe even come up with a completely contrasting design to offer variety and comparison for the client.

Additional work:

I decided to play around with the logo I began to generate in this card using InDesign to make a brand identity and maybe event a logo that could be replicated onto a poster or advert.


My logo:

I decided to stick to the same colour pallete i used in my business card but this could easily be adjusted to suit the clients wants. I used the light bulb again to represent visually ‘ideas’. I quite like the logo I’ve created even though it is quite basic, but sometimes simple is better!


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Logo analysis

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

As soon as I found we had to do logo analysis in this weeks directed study I knew straight away I wanted to do less popular logos. Using a few fantastic websites I discovered these 3 logos!


1) DODO Grill Restaurant

Personally, I love this logo as it combines clever typography with simple imaging and shape/form to create a clever and eye catching logo. By adjusting the kerching and using a sans serif font all the letters are combined together to look like kebab – something you commonly associate with barbecue/grill – but at the same time it is legible and you can clearly read ‘dodo’. Additionally, the simple sans serif font below contrasts and compliments the almost bubbled font to make a slick logo.  Furthermore the simple colour scheme makes the font stand out but also make the logo look professional and give a relaxed tone.


2) Reel Farm

This is another logo I quite like because the imaging and the shape/form is highly clever. When your asked to visualise “reel” and “farm”, I personally at least think of film reels and tractors, so the clever imaging really works. Also the black and white colour palette alongside the grainy texture is representative of old films which ties in with the reel imagery and the business. I do like the sans serif font, but for some reason I think it could be better but it is still quite effective as a logo.


3) The crispy squid.

This is possible one of the cutest logos I think I’ve ever seen. The playful and cartoony squid with the brilliant moustache gives of a playful, friendly, informal and relaxed vibe which compliments the restaurant. This is intensified through the typography used. The cute and cartoon like sans serif font in both green and white contrast against their black background, tie in with the theme and also stand out.


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Week 4

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week in our lecture we had a mini field trip to central Birmingham to explore visual design in the city and how it contrasts in different areas and also how it has changed over time. Below I have included 6 examples of visual design I found in Birmingham, and below that an example of  what someone else found, and my thoughts on that.

To see all the photos check out my flickr here

1) Shaws passage


This arrangement of signs was found merely a 5 minute walk away from the busy city centre and the bullring. Already within a 5 minute radius you can see a contrast between the modern, sheik architecture and signs to the some what industrial and basic scene you see here. To me, I think the wall acts as a practical basis rather than a creative one where businesses can advertise there locality and trade. The advertisements put here aren’t very visually appealing as they use very basic sans serif fonts and simplistic colour palettes. Personally I wouldn’t be drawn in by any of these advertisements but I think that this perhaps is just an advertising space.

Here you can also see a very basic directional sign towards Digbeth and the Bull Ring. The sign, quite like the advertisements is used for a practical reason rather than a creative one. The sign is simply a way of guiding someone so the sans serif font makes the sign very easy to read and the white and black colour scheme is clear and readable. However, I think it is important to contrast this sign to some of the other signs around Birmingham (which will be in another post)

Finally I think it is important to comment on the brick wall itself. The dark colour of the brick reads as very industrial and practical but also provides a substantial back drop to all the signs which use pale and bright backgrounds. Additionally, the graffiti highlights how ‘the everyday man’ as it were is becoming creative or even artistic within the street art and graffiti medium. However, because this location is just outside of main tourist Birmingham walls like this not be readily viewed, taken in or noticed so the signs and graffiti reflect that fact.

2) The Bullring


“The ambition of this scheme was great. Our brief was not only to design a state of the art department store but also to create an architectural landmark for Birmingham so that the building itself would become a genuine catalyst for urban regeneration”

After analysing the Selfridges logo, I think it is important to analyize the building itself. The designers of the building in my opinion have certainly accomplished what they set out to do, by creating a iconic landmark that is widely associated with Birmingham. The shape of the building is unique and dramatic, the repetitive detail work adds to the drama and also the building itself reads as highly modern, urban and almost futuristic.

“The fluidity of shape recalls the fall of fabric or the soft lines of a body, rises from the ground and gently billows outwards before being drawn in at a kind of waistline. It then curves out again and over to form the roof, in one continuous movement. The skin is made up of thousands of aluminium discs, creating a fine, lustrous grain like the scales of a snake or the sequins of a Paco Rabanne dress. In sunlight it shimmers, reflecting minute changes in weather conditions and taking on the colours, light and shapes of people and things passing by – an animate and breathing form.”

This building truely reflects the moderisation of 21st centuary Birmingham and highlights the creative future of Birmingham. The building breaks the conventions of the typical straight edge architecture around Birmingham and provides a heavy contrast to the churches, markets and shops that surround it.

3) Public transport – van

Public transport design

This photo is of a van I found when walking around the creative hub of Birmingham – Digbeth. The image shown on the van is reminiscent rather than modern and stands out due to it’s strong black and white contrast. However, although I love the way the designer is using visual design on public transport and in new ways I don’t know why it’s there. Is it for a photography business? or is it just to make a statement? Although the meaning behind the design isn’t very clear the van is striking, dramatic and amazing!

4) UB40 recording studio

UB40 recording studio

“DEP International Studios was a recording studio situated in Digbeth, Birmingham, UK. Designed by Recording Architecture, the studio is owned by dub music band UB40 Situated in Birmingham’s Eastside area, the DEP buildings were demolished in March 2008 to allow for the improvement of the area.”

I think that this building is very important in representing visual design in Birmingham. I see Birmingham as being extremely diverse, creative and ever changing. To me, this building signifies a definite creative movement within Birmingham both in music and art/visual design. The choice of the black walls makes the graffiti extremely striking and stand out and also acts as a way to combine all the bright colours cohesively.

The building portrays a place that is highly creative and diverse however, If I had not researched this building i wouldn’t of known that this is actually a recording studio, but I love it all the same!

5) Selfridges


Contrasting to some of my images captured outside the city centre, this piece of visual design is very central to Birmingham and one of the infamous logos associated with the Birmingham shopping scene. The bright yellow colour scheme contrasts brightly against the grey pavements and roads and also the silver Selfridges building. Additionally, by using continual capital letters and a strong sans serif font, the logo contrasts strongly against the Selfridges building. The building is constructed with a dark blue background and repeated silver circles, and the bright yellow, very straight text contrasts both stylistically but also with the colour scheme.

“The Birmingham store, designed by architects Future Systems, is covered in 15,000 spun aluminium  discs on a background of Yves Klein Blue. Since it opened in 2003, the Birmingham store has been named every year by industry magazine Retail Week as one of the 100 stores to visit in the world”

To accompany the bright yellow font and to make the writing stand out even more, each individual letter is bordered by yellow neon lights that flash to make it extremely modern and eye catching, and also practically make it stand out at night and draw even more attention to the building, the logo and the brand.

6) Graffiti

Graffiti in Birmingham

This piece of visual design contrasts heavily to any of the other pieces so far. This designer has a true creative license to say or do whatever they want. This is represented through the chosen text of ‘art fag’ which is mirrored through the cigarette graffiti in the background. The designer here has chosen to use contrasting pinks, whites and blue to make the overall aesthetic playful and stand out. The effect of it standing out is further intensified by the strong black backdrop which acts as a strong basis for the piece. By using contrasting shades of pink and blues the piece has developed some depth and texture. Ironically, other people have expressed their creativity upon this designers creative stamp by graffiti-ing on top of this piece. I found this example of graffiti away from the central and modernised city  which highlights the contrasting perspectives and areas with Birmingham. I think the shading is good on the simple sans serif typography but personally I think the cigarette is a lot better than the type. I think this is a good piece of visual design because it is not limited by the creative boundaries that a brand might employ but just shows free creative reign to highlight the designers own personal perspective rather than a perspective that is set to promote or sell something.


1) Canal studios
see the image here:
I commented:
“I really like this photo! It’s a really unusual but clever way to promote canal studios – perhaps It’s a little bit to obscure to really be noticed or to create an impact. Also the white
background and light really contrasts to the bold, black serif font used.”

Reflecting upon this lecture, I’m intending to post another blog about some of the leaflets I found around Birmingham with analysis and also draw more comparisons through the photos I took on the day.

Categories: Visual design Tags: ,

Birmingham 2

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

After my last blog about Visual Design in Birmingham I expressed that I thought it would be useful to blog again about the use of design in Birmingham. I though that this would be an appropriate time to do so because I have learnt more about design since then and I think this would help my overall evaluation of what I saw in Birmingham (to see my first post on this subject, click here)

Comparison 1: Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham New Street.

As part of our trip we looked at two contrasting trains stations within Birmingham to see how design is developing overtime and the connotations of each station. One important thing I noticed within this comparison was how the street signs were used to epitomize the train stations.

It is clear straight away that there is a big difference between the two signs. New street represents a more modern side to Birmingham which is clear through the simple logos employed, manipulation of the Sans Serif font through italics and bold and also the decision to etch the images and text onto a glass square highlights an innovative idea that encapsulates the creative and modern progression of central Birmingham. The Moor Street sign on the other hand represents the more traditional Birmingham,  with the plain white and blue metallic sign that you can see littered all around Birmingham. The sole purpose of this sign is to direct not show creative development in Birmingham or to promote the station, highlighting perhaps the industrial or business mind set of Birmingham. Through these signs a shift in signs, promotion and image in Birmingham is visible which is very interesting when mapping the creative transitions and movements over time.

Visual design analysis 2: Billboard promotions

Billboards have become an increasingly more popular way of advertising products, businesses and concepts by manipulated techniques of visual design. With this increase in popularity, the need to make your designs more modern and stand out is becoming more a necessity. Becks have come up with this unique design that uses typography, colour and materials to make a stand out billboard with excellent visual design properties. The use of the white sans serif font on the black canvas offers a point of contrast to the whole background, additionally the font used is reminiscent of something digital which ties in with their offer and what the promotion is about. The colours used on the rest of the image are bold and almost cartoony which offers a fantastic contrast to the photographic image of the product in the center (which is another great use of composition), the bold cartoon colours make the beer stand out and visa versa. However, my favourite part of this design is the use of CD’s in constructing the image and the pattern. The CD’s visually represents the offer they have (a free music download with every art label) but also adds depth to the billboard and makes it stand out – Love it! The placement of this sign is between the central Birmingham (Selfridges etc) and Digbeth – the creative industry. The piece combines the creative essence of Birmingham with the modern and artistic development which is visable through buildings such as the Bullring and Selfridges.



Comparison 3: Business promotion comparisons

In recent years boards like these have become increasingly popular. They’ve developed from the plastic or blackboard signs to a statement for businesses and a blank canvas for businesses to promote themselves with a unique and particular image. In these two examples, it is clear each company has manipulated the basic board to turn into pieces of visual arts and a method of promotion. In the top example, a recognisable parking board has been changed by the addition of a simple black silhouette of a Violin and the company name. I thought that the image of the violin was a very clever way to visually understand what the company is for, however the dark black against the relatively dark blue doesn’t contrast or work particularly well especially with the white standing out so much. However, contrastingly I really think the Urban Village board stands out and is extremely effective. The black typography (consisting of two different Sans Serif fonts varying on weight and style) stands out strongly against the metallic silver board. The overall composition and aesthetic gives of a masculine perspective that perhaps is reflective of the past (represented through the iconic target logo commonly associated with Britain). These two contrasting how key visual design choices such as colour can really effect the overall appearance and success of a piece.

However, while going around Birmingham I also found other examples of innovative ways businesses are promoting themselves through incorporating visual design elements. A popular example is by printing stickers and promotions  onto vehicles, in which people are employed to drive around. Since Birmingham in ways is famous for it’s traffic i.e. Spaghetti  Junction, having something that is portable, widely seen and that stands out is a fantastic way of promotion. This is one of the  vehicles I saw when on our trip and I thought this was visually eye catching and effective as a form of promotion.

The striking shade of bright purple against the contrasting black makes the car automatically stand out and catch your eye.  Aditionally, through composition the logo is placed somewhere near eye level so it’s the first thing you see when you look at the  car so it’s more memorable.


In this post it is clear to see that visual design in Birmingham isn’t only represented in graffiti, architecture and clear billboards  but also in street signs, advertisements and even transportations. The concepts I have talked about within the post are elements  of visual design that can be replicated to any city any where to generate advertising and fantastic visual design.

Categories: Visual design Tags: ,

Week 5 and 6

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Colour and image:

Getting technical with colour:

  • RGB – for screen
  • CYMK – for printing, subtractive colour model (cyan, yellow,magenta and black)
  • Pantone – AKA ‘spot colour’ – extension of CYMK

The aims for this week were:

  • Know how colour and image can be used
  • Technical issues
  • Manipulate colour in InDesign

Communication with colour

Can convey emotions and meanings – changes around the world. Think about audience percpetions, e.g.




Getting technical with colour:

  • RGB – for screen
  • CYMK – for printing, subtractive colour model (cyan, yellow,magenta and black)
  • Pantone – AKA ‘spot colour’ – extension of CYMK

Communicating with images:

Images create another layer of depth to brands and companies – visual information for the message.

  • Visual rhetoric – How images speak to you – arrangement, organisation of the image
  • Encoding meaning – everything in the image means something
  • Semotics – how signs and symbols communicate. Broken down into semantics (relation of signs/symbols and references)


Measure of how much information is in an image e.g. print 300 dpi, screen 72 dpi.

Bitmapimage: mainly photographs – mapping of bits *pixels* to create an image

Vector image: set of lines, points and shapes that make up a design or shape.


  • TIFF (Raw images) both vector and BMP
  • BMP
  • JP(E)G – Optimised BMP
  • GIF
  • PNG – Vector or BMP
  • .ai
  • .psd

CAN’T GO WRONG WITH: CYMK, TIKK OR EPS, 300 dpi equivalent

Directed Study

  1. Brief report on sourcing images
  2. 2 colour case studies
  3. 2 photograph case studies
  4. design a CD cover: 120 mm wide, 119 mm high


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