Following on from my last blog post, here is where I shall detail my thoughts on improving the design and the feedback I received.
My thoughts on improving the design:
Placing something on the computer screen. Thoughts range widely from a ‘Earth landscape’, to the word and the definition being placed there to the experimental piece I created about the phonebox on the moon.
Change the floor colour – blends too well with what is outside the door. Also I want to change other vector shapes like the top of the desk to aid visibility of what is on the desk such as the pen and pencil.
Add something really random to the photograph (using photomontage), This would provide an interesting, surreal element.
Add texture – Not sure if this would be over complicating the design, but texture could be added in the form of wallpaper perhaps, either as vector or photograph based.
Feedback on my design:
- The design of the moon with the phone box has a good visual impact that is worth incorporating onto the computer screen.
- More could be added to the design of the room, for example, a vase of real flowers (photo or collage from a flower catalogue etc – doesn’t have to look ‘real’).
- Add a surreal element into the design, this could be done by having an object on the desk and/or the phone box scene.
- The image looks too flat, partly because all the items are face on to the viewer, nothing much at an angle. Also the vectors look rather bland, maybe watercolour would work better? (I ended up not using watercolour because of logistics, lack of experience with this medium and I was not sure if I could scan it in and edit digitally or not.)
- Your cosmonaut image has a really nice texture to it, try adding texture to this design to liven it up.
Reacting to this:
I then went away and made a series of developments to the design to react to my points and the feedback I had received. Again, the design process went by in a bit of a blur so as I did last time, I shall show what I ended up with below using a before and after method so you can see the visual changes I’ve made, then I will talk through the changes, as well as mention what I did and why.
Changes made from last time:
Texture: The biggest aesthetic change (other than the space hopper!) is the texture I have added to the design. I have found photos of textures for wood, carpet and wallpaper, carefully chosen in terms of colour and style so as not to clash with each other, and replaced many of the vector elements with them. This really adds some depth to the design and is a big improvement, now it does not matter that the objects are face-on to the viewer. I think it gives the impression of sitting slightly back from the desk, as though the audience are part of the design…
Phone box design: Adding the design of the phone box on the moon to the computer screen adds another juxtaposition and works very well to convey another random, surreal element of the design.
More objects on the desk: I have changed the head of the lamp on the desk to an eye for a surreal approach. It also works rather well where the reflections are placed and where you would expect the light bulb to be, there is the iris of the eye, which is dark. I also added a photo in of a ‘moon globe’ to the desk as I originally thought of adding a globe of Earth as it is an object I have and I’m sure many people have in their houses, then I realised as the scenario was based on the Moon I would change it to reflect that!
Space hopper: I added this photo on top of the main photo (in the doorway). It looks colourful and fun, so juxtaposes everything else, also it would not be expected in that scenario. It also provides a small nod to the space theme being a ‘space hopper’ and adds something light-hearted and quirky to the design. Its inclusion came about after a conversation with someone where we were trying to think of random things to put into the design. We both thought this would work really well.
I now asked for feedback to see if there were any more areas that could be developed and I especially wanted to check that the meaning had stayed true and could be understood by the audience. Here are the thoughts people raised:
- The space hopper especially has added life to the design and bought it some life, amusing people who have seen it in a positive manner.
- The definition is now very clear.
- Some of the objects on the desk could be re-arranged, being careful so as to avoid the turn-in of the book.
- It has a playful approach, the design reads as a collection of random objects that someone owns.
- A narrative is occurring in the image now: “Automatically the human mind wants to make links and stories about the objects…..especially the space hopper!!”
- Maybe the juxtapose text could be placed in a more obvious looking picture frame?
- A test print using a laser print (which has a higher saturation) to be better in some respects because the wood of the desk was darker in tone.
Both the tutors that I showed this design to said some of the elements I had included reminded them of work that has been done by others, both of who I had not heard of, so therefore I shall conduct some quick research in retrospect for Lauren Child and Richard Hamilton, which will provide the benefit of understanding of how the audience would interpret the meaning of my designs based on what they may have seen before and increasing my art and design knowledge.
Lauren Child: Her milkmonitor website really is a joy to see and use. It interacts with the audience using both animation and sound, which makes it a very fun website to use. What is interesting is it goes against the grain of the majority of websites by taking some time to get use to everything, as it is so unique. Normally I would say this is annoying, but because the interaction side of things is so polished, it is something you enjoy taking time to look at.
Similar to my design: Makes the audience smile, they enjoy seeing it and can string a narrative from it if they want to. Lots of things to look at.
Different to my design: milkmonitor uses many different media forms, the level of interaction is much more in-depth, and it lacks a sense of a strongly defined structure (that is not a negative thing though!)
Richard Hamilton: Upon looking at some of his work through the Tate website, I could see why some similarities can be seen between my design and his designs he created over the course of his career. Some of the painted elements in his designs do take on a strong vector appearance because of their flatness, although crucially the depth is provided in the brushstrokes, something I did not have earlier on, and why it was initially suggested watercolour may suit my design better. Specifically I will be looking at ‘Interior II’ when making the brief notes below.
Similar to my design: Mixing of different mediums, represents an interior space.
Different to my design: Use of people, more abstract, lighting from several areas, collage is more visible.
Conclusion: Very interesting to take a brief look into the works by these two. After looking at their works, I am pleased to say I am still happy with the appearance of my design and how it would be understood by the audience.
The space hopper and phonebox are two iconic features that cheer the design up and have made people smile, and I am glad people are looking at my design and enjoying it, this makes me happy, as it means the design is successful in reaching the audience and I do believe that good design evokes a positive emotion from the audience, meaning they are far more likely to interact with it and remember it.
The majority of this design is done now I feel, so I will turn my attention to constructing it properly to ensure it is of a high enough standard to print, and addressing the feedback points that were raised. I shall show where I got all the resources for this when I write up before the end of the project how I made it.