Changing Faces – Imagery

After focusing predominantly on type detailing and layout for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to focus on what imagery ideas I had in mind and deciding on what concept would work best to interpret the article. To start I had collated several illustrations of significance which had influenced many peoples minds from what they had heard on certain topics/issues. Here are a few images I have collected:

The day before our tutorial on interpretation through imagery, I had sketched out a few images that I had annotated on the article and in my mind maps, many of which ideas were influenced by illustrations I had collated from Pinterest. I thought strongly about creating juxtapositions and illustrating symbols that represented certain morals, topics and elements mentioned in the article I had chosen. Because I wanted to focus on type as well for this project, I also looked at what images I could create with text and incorporate with them in a creative manner. This included calligraphy and block type. With the block type I will need to consider whether to use letterpress or screenprint. With the calligraphy I could use Illustrator with the calligraphic brush tool, or even the bristle tool to create rough text which resembles type usually seen in protest posters and banners, as I have discussed in my recent post when analysing the magazine layouts I chose as research. Here are my sketches below:

As you can see I decided to keep to a very predominant red and blue scheme. I chose this scheme because of the colours featured in the American flag, and how the Democratic Party chose a blue scheme for their campaign, whereas the Republican Party chose a red scheme for theirs.

At the tutorial the tutor discussed the difference between translation and interpretation to try and highlight how we should best take on the text to create concepts and imagery alongside the article. I was quite disappointed with how I didn’t quite get the depth of feedback I was expecting because it was a group tutorial where we looked at each others’ ideas. However, from the tutor discussing interpretation I felt maybe it was best that I focused not on creating caricatures and images of Donald Trump, but instead focusing on symbolism and subtle meaning. This would make the reader curious by speculating the images in depth to encourage them to read deeper into the text. For example, in the second idea I had with the large question mark, I used a blue ink pen to illustrate an image of a cherry tree which largely related to the George Washington fable and would make a nice feature with the heading. It would be nice to keep this theme throughout the layout design to show consistency in my efforts to interpret the article.

Next I will need to consider what materials and tools would be best to use to create the imagery alongside this article as a stepping stone to create elements of the type and design the layout of the double pages.

I had started to illustrate the concept I had with the fable of George Washington and the cherry tree. I know I wanted to illustrate the cherry tree in an unusual but minimalistic way to prove that it was a simple yet important, and highly influential moral featured in the fable. I looked at several images of cherry trees online and the most common photos that came up were of cherry blossoms. It made me wonder whether the author of the fable was referring to cherry blossoms. I looked at the nature of the way the branches were twisted and gnarled, and the contrast between the dark wood of the bark, trunk and branches and the bright pink cherry blossoms with hints of white. The shades of the blossom slightly changed from image to image.

To start the illustration I drew out a circle with a compass and pencil to set a frame for the tree to sit in. What I liked about using a circular crop was its peculiarity, and with it being unfamiliarly used in editorial designs and within rectangular spaces it would make for an interesting layout. As well as encouraging me to think more openly about my type setting and overall design of the double pages together, it would also set an open tone and it would welcome the reader because of its attractiveness. After sketching out the trunk, roots and branches of the tree I used diluted red watercolour paint to create the pink blossom colour. After drying I used a red fine liner pen to create impressions of the bark, and a dark pink felt tip marker to make the blossoms pinker. To darken certain places in the trunk and branches I used a blue finaliser which darkened the red which was less intense as an effect I would have with using a black fine liner pen.

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On Tuesday 2nd May, the same tutor as with the tutorial and conducted an editorial image workshop for the class. We had been put into groups of three to analyse an individual article for each group. By reading the article we picked out descriptive sentences which we could create images from. My group had received an article titled ‘Am I a fool to expect more than corporate greenwashing?’ Within the piece of writing H&M and Fashion Revolution were mentioned to evaluate a point of the excessive waste produced from the fashion industry. We quickly came up with ideas so we could focus on creating the image within the 40 mins we were given to produce at least one picture.

We decided that the strongest and easiest idea we could work with was where the two companies were fighting for the highest coverage on their recycling campaigns.

We initially created a flat line drawing of a bag using the rectangular tool and the arc tool to create the handle. On the front was a rough impression of the H&M logo for which we created a short rigid bristle brush. Then we added the muscular arms with the bulging biceps. The tutor came round to suggest that we could use digital photographs of bags to make the picture look more sophisticated instead of just keeping it as a flat image. As you can see, the picture on the right is the original flat image we created in illustrator, and the picture on the left is one we used from online.


For the second bag with Fashion Revolution, we first had a quick look at the design of their website and the logo. We put together a brief logo to put on the bag and created teardrop shapes to create the impression that the bag was sweating our of vulnerability and anxiousness for H&M stealing it’s ‘thunder’. We attempted to make the logo fit on the bag as if it were part of it. The smaller bag gave the impression that it had less power and strength than the larger H&M bag with handles.


After showing the pictures to the class, one girl suggested that we could have created personified human bodies out of the bags, however I explained we wanted to keep the concept bold and simple which meant no more than simple line drawings, shapes and marks made with a brush or felt-tip pen.

This was an extremely insightful workshop into how we could work under a very limited timeframe. If encouraged us to be bolder with our fast paced creative thinking, being more efficient. It also turned out that usually even the best pictures made for articles or pieces of writing are quickly made because of the bold and simple nature of the images which gives it it’s effectiveness in terms of enticing the the audience into reading further into the piece of writing, whether it be implicit or explicit. This workshop had in fact changed several of my ideas on the style I wanted to use to illustrate the concept. I didn’t particularly feel as if I wanted to change any of the concepts I came up with, however, by using Adobe Illustrator I could create simple pictures and drawings to create a more focused and a bolder insight into the concept I had in mind for my article.


Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

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