Thursday, 31 March 2011

Inspire - Moving Image

This is the result of my first ever project using Adobe After Effects. The brief was to create a piece of kinetic typography, using a sound clip that we find inspiring. I used an excerpt from a TED Talk by Paula Scher, talking about her design practice. It was a massive challenge getting to grips with After Effects for the first time, but I'm quite pleased with what I managed to come up with in the end.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

New Languages

Our penultimate project for the term was titled 'New Languages'. All about taking a current process, and subverting it to create a new experimental 'practise'..
As the brief was left pretty open I was slightly perplexed by the whole idea of what the project was about, but decided to start my research by investigating processes in which I take interest. As I can play both piano and flute; I thought I could use my musical knowledge in the project, and achieve a 'New Language' by investigating the way in which music is notated, eventually creating my own way of visualising music.

I began to look in to the relationship between colour and sound, and was interested to find Newton's theory stating that the 7 colours of the spectrum can be seen to correspond with the 7 notes of the musical scale. Therefore, music could be visualised using colours to represent each note. However I gained a higher interest in the 'graphic notation' technique used by experimental musicians such as John Cage and Cornelius Cardew, where symbols as well as colour are used to create musical notation.

A page from Cornelius Cardew's 'Treatise'

I decided that I wanted to take a similar approach to this when creating my own form of musical notation. So I went about doing this by first picking a well known piece of music (Tchaikovsky's Dance of The Swans - Swan Lake) and creating my own musical score made up of shapes and colour. Here is 2 mins worth of the piece (click to enlarge):

Although it looks quite confusing first time around, I have picked every colour shape and movement for a reason. Each different colour shows each different instrument of the orchestra; I picked the specific colours by researching what colours are already associated with each instrument, and also by personal opinion of what suits. The symbols and shapes represent the kind of sounds being produced. I have produced a key to explain this below:

I found this project really interesting - but something I'd love to do is turn it all around, i.e. hear how my musical notation would be interpreted by an orchestra, with no knowledge of what it is based on. I wonder how it would sound..!

Sign Writing

Sooo having had a slightly daunting amount of work over the past couple of weeks, the blog has been somewhat neglected..but now that the deadlines have all passed I've got a bit more time to show what I've been up to lately. 

We recently took part in a Signwriting workshop with Chelsea GDC graduate Lizzie Gove. It was really interesting getting to grips with traditional sign writing techniques, producing hand-rendered letterforms. Very different to anything I've done before! 

Using mahl sticks and special ink/brushes

First attempts..

I had a lot of fun and would recommend signwriting to anyone, but will give this advice: When spending an entire day inside a room with a lot of white spirit (the ink used for signwriting needed thinning) and little ventilation, be more careful than I was..

Perhaps the least fun part of the experience for me!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

72.8% Water

A bit of fun at home that my housemates Gen and Eloise (also both Graphic Design students) and I did a little while back. Was very, very cold (and the postman thought we were mad) but a lot of fun. Click on the image for full size.

Best Birthday Cake EVER?

After hours of hard work, it had to be blogged. The cake-alternative, made by my housemates and I for Eloise's birthday. It tastes exactly like the real thing..and most importantly goes down very well with a cuppa!

The two layers..(two big baking trays full of biscuit dough!)

The final biscuit shown to scale against the real thing

Happy Birthday!

Surviving in a Heating-free Home

After a lot of trial and error - here is my final attempt at the Illustrator 'How to' brief. I'm pretty pleased with my final outcome, and I have learned an awful lot using Illustrator for the first time. Click on the image for a full-size version!