Emmajaneallen's Blog

Big Final Evaluation.

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 25, 2010

What I hoped to achieve when beginning this course?

When beginning this course I hoped that I would learn more about the Visual Design industry. I wanted to learn the nessicary tools and tricks to become a competant designer and learn how to implement them when answering a brief. I came into this course with very minimal understanding of the software and a very basic knowledge of Visual Design as a subject, coming from a largely consumer view point.

What do I feel I have achieved?

I feel I have definitely become a lot more computer literate when using the software, such as InDesign and Photoshop. More than that though I have grown to understand the foundations of design, what makes good design? More than just what looks nice. What puts across the right message?


I have learnt a great deal about the fundamentals of design. I have studied and researched heavily the works of other designers and have been competant in critical analysis, looking at the work from a designers view point.


I have fully understand how massive the use of colour is to design. The choice of colour should not be a second thought, it is an integral part of the design process. I have also enjoyed looking at the different feelings and emotions that different colours can connote. It has opened my eyes to colour within design and made me look far more critically at other works and the colours that they have used. For my own work I also know now the appropriate colours to use when attempting to put across a certain theme with colour.


Using, breaking and making the grid was one of the hardest sections of this module to understand for me. However after looking at them thoroughly and researching real life examples of when the rule of thirds, the golden ratio and the use of grid have helped designs I now understand their importance. The importance of grids I found to be integral within design, it dictates the very structure of the piece of design and can very often be the difference between a very good and really bad piece of work. I also particularly enjoyed researching into the history books within this section of the module. The Vurtruvian man was totally fascinating to me and really gave an entirely new perspective on the use of design both now and within history.


Previous to this module I had never previously considered the use of type and typography within design. I have however now got a true understand of different texts and fonts (serif, sans serif etc.) when they are appropriate and what feeling they can give a piece of design. I have used type sucessfully within a lot of my designs, I would however like to explore the use of text and type further within future projects. I also learnt a lot about the use of type within signage. I did a lot of research around the use of type within the city of Birmingham and found that extremely beneficial to my final pieces of work.


One part of Visual Design that I really didn’t know anything about previously to this module was copyright. I have since discovered that the rules and laws surrounding the use of other people work is a lot less restricted that I first thought. I have looked in depth into Creative Commons and copyright when it comes to web based pieces. After the work and research that I did surrounding this particular topic I really feel I could enter into the world of design and understand the laws and guides sucessfully. I have looked into the use of Creative Commons and the many variations of cover that designers can use to protect their work from copiers.

Final Design

When evaluating my final pieces of work that I’ve produce after the several assignments and directed studies I am happy with my progression. As I have become more confident with the software I feel my designs have got better. I do however believe that with further knowledge of the software I would have been able to go further with the designs and make them up to a better standard. I look forward to making more established and interesting designs in the future when I have had further chance to use my skills and progress with design.

If I had have had more time…

I would have primarily furthered my skills using InDesign and Photoshop so I could have progressed with my work to the next level. However I also would have liked to look more at the history of design and why we use certain colours, types and grids and the impact that they have on the piece and the viewer.

In Conclusion I believe I have definitely progressed during my time building this portfolio and feel given the chance I could progress even further.



Brief 1 Designs

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 25, 2010

When looking at this brief I began with a rather strong image on what I thought was appropriate.

  • Luxurious
  • Spot UV and embossed – look expensive
  • Thick, good quality paper
  • Curly fancy font for luxuriousness

Design 1

With this particular design I would like to emboss just the edging.

I would also like to use Spot UV on the text

Although it doesn’t appear within the sample I would like to use a cream colour card as this will re enforce the luxurious image of the font.

I would also like to use 400 gsm card as it will be sturdy for tickets and look nice and substantial. I would also like to use a silk finish on the paper as it will give a shine without being too tacky and cheap.

I would also like to make the ticket A6 size as I think it will be big enough so the design makes an impact but also small enough to be practical. 

I have also chosen to put all the information on the back of the card as I would like to keep the front of the card as a focal point. Although there is a lot going on on the card the company name is central to the design.


Design 2

I have chosen to use a more simple design for this card. I have again used the curly font Edwardian Script as it seems to give the invite a luxurious and up class edge.

On the front of the invite I would like to use again an emboss around the edge, I would also like to use SPOT UV on the lettering and one of the many stars.

I think this will give the card the upmarket feel that the clients are looking for.

I would like to use 400gsm card in A6 size.

I have used these particular colours as I think they look sophisticated but still hint towards Christmas without being too obvious.

I have again chosen to put all the information on the back and have inverted the colours.

I would like to SPOT UV “charity ball 2010” and “dress to impress”

i think adding that note at the bottom adds a sense of occasion.

Keeping all the information to the back of the invite means I could create a focal point on the front and make the invite, not just an invite but a piece of design.


Final Design (Brief 4)

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 25, 2010



Breif 4 Designs

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 25, 2010

I managed to find a sample of the card that I would like to use within my business card design. Its recycled and thick so it would be easily embossed, a technique that I would like to incorporate into the design.

I have also devised what I believe to be my final business card I want to present to the company.


The design is simple and clean, something that I think incorporates the image of the company well. I would like to emboss the companies symbol, to make it stand out. Just the E2 section, the rest I would like to keep just simply ink. I would like to keep the finish of the card uncoated as it has the environmentally friendly. I have also kept the shape of the card to a standard 85″ x 50″ as any other shape would have proved wasteful.

Type and Typography

I have chosen to use the classic Times New Roman print as it connotes classical tradition something that I believe would appeal to the business.

Colour Scheme

I have chosen to keep the colour scheme to a minimum as it will look a lot cleaner and tidier. Black and white and using the accent of the beige card in the background.

Paper/card to use

Typically of a business card I would like to use 400gsm recycled card, as detailed on an earlier post. The size will be 85″x50″, typically of a business card.

Although I would prefer to make the card thicker I think this is the most environmentally friendly way to go, it will be thick enough without waste. 

Brief 4

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 24, 2010

After seeing several things with the tag line

“I was made from…” I thought this might be a good tagline to use within the business card. “I’M MADE FROM RECYCLED CARD!” I therefore began to look more closely at how much it would cost and how accessible it would be to print my final design onto eco-friendly paper. After looking briefly on the internet I managed to find a reasonable quote for the business. When looking for a quote I went for a high quantity of business cards as I understand that the company will want to hand them out to as many people as possible. I have also gone for a ‘normal’ size as anything else would have been wasteful and not inkeeping with the eco-friendly, green theme. I have also chosen to make the business cards double sided as they will have all the information on the front and then the ‘i am made from recycled newspapers’ on the back. Now in further posts I will be looking in more detail the design that I want on the business cards and the finish that I want them to have.

Eco Business Card Printing
5000 x 85mm x 55mm, Double Sided on Revive FSC 100% Recycled Uncoated
£266.00 VAT: 17.5%
Subtotal: £266.00 VAT: £46.55

Order Total: £312.55

Brief 4 (First Draft)

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 23, 2010


Green, Eco, Leaves, Nature.

I looked at the option of using photographs as a full background. I think this might be most effective and get across the theme of eco which is what needs to be the focus of this card.  I found this to be quite a nice image to use, the image isn’t too fussy and the text would not be lost. The vains of the leaves will also give some structure to the business card. Naturally I began with applying a grid.

I tried to keep it simple with regards to text on the card because I think simple, clean and unspoilt themes are very relevant to the eco friendly company.

This is by no means the final piece however I wanted to upload my attempts so that the growth of the brief and of me as a designer could be tracked effectively.

I like the text within this business card but I believe with further work I could make it slightly more professional.

More experimenting…

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 21, 2010

When I initially began researching visual design as a subject I came across the photographer Matt Stuart, I really enjoyed his real life observations with his camera. I really wanted to look at his work more thoroughly and therefore I decided to make a design (using grids) for a website for Matt Stuart. I went through exactly the same process as previous projects. I looked at font, positioning and colour amongst other things. Using a grid and the rule of halves and thirds. I think this design was particularly successful. The way that the eye is led to the photos really showcases the work well, which after all is what you want from a website front page.  Naturally credit for the photos goes to Matt Stuart at http://www.mattstuart.com  

After experimenting…

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 21, 2010

After experimenting with InDesign and Photoshop I found that the grid was although fairly easy to understand it was difficult to put in place. I have focused a lot on magazines and particularly articles and the grids that they commonly use.

When looking through photographs to find some inspiration, I found this image by Ian Gavan at Getty Images Europe and thought it was absolutely beautiful. I therefore began thinking up a grid and article to add it to. I began by looking at work by other designers. The image has a fashionable ora and wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of Vogue so that’s where I started when looking for inspiration.

I firstly examined the fonts that were commonly used in Vogue, amongst others I found

  • Orator
  • Modern no20
  • Eras Light ITC
  • Bodoni MT
  • Agency FB

After looking at several different options I chose the fonts that I felt would fit best. Modern no20 and Bodoni MT.

I then used a grid to place several parts of the piece.

I also used page sizes A3 as a double page spread would adhere to those page measurements.

Grids have definitely helped me to make this piece work perfectly and for once I feel that this piece would have looked

comfortable within the pages of any magazine. Photo credit to Ian Gavan at Getty Images Europe.

Design briefs and what I want to do with them.

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 18, 2010

Brief 1

A top solicitors firm require a ticket for their annual charity ball. Tickets to the ball cost £75 each, and are bought by high flying professionals and executives. The ticket must reflect the tone of the event and the clientele.

I decided to choose this particular brief for a few reasons

  • Luxurious feel
  • Heavy weight of paper
  • Art Paper
  • Embossing
  • Spot UV

Maintain the luxurious feel, remember that the tickets cost £75 and people have a certain expectations.

I also wanted to have a look at other tickets and see what was already out there and what I could take from them.

Very simple but extravagant looking.

Muted Colours. I particularly liked the example below as I think it shows the expensive and luxurious feel that I am going for. The paper looks of quite a high quality and although the main of the leaflet is of a mat format and then the writing stands out very well and might have been spot UV’d although it isn’t very visible on the photo I think that would have fit well.

Brief 4

A company that makes “green” products requires a set of business card for their sales team. The card must reflect their company ethos.

The first phrase I picked up on was the fact that the company want the card to reflect the company ethos.

I wanted to take this brief as the second brief because of its difference to the first brief, in total contrast the materials need to be very minimal and there needs to be an emphasis on the fact that the company is green.

The challenge to use a totally different technique was appealing for me.

  • Obviously recycled paper would be used.
  • A green colour scheme
  • Although it might be interesting to use an unusual shape the wastage wouldn’t be particularly environmentally friendly.
  • Simple design
  • Information filled but as little as possible
  • I’d like to make something that looks a little like this. Very simple and appealing but still harking back to an ethical and eco-friendly aspect of the business card and the company themselves.

Now that I have looked at some of the other offerings from the website I am going to begin my own designs and look at how I can best fulfil the clients brief and most importantly make the client happy.

The up and coming attempts at these briefs will feature in later blogs.

Failed grid attempt.

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 18, 2010

When in class we were asked to have a go at making a grid. Although rather embarrassing I wanted to add this to the blog to show how far my work has moved and how I know understand the use of grid work and how a grid can be used to help a design. I also realize now that a grid shouldn’t be viewed as a restriction but more a guide to build upon. More grid layouts to come, hopefully more successful ones.

We did attempt to use a grid effectively, however it has resulted in a dull looking boring piece, however I do think I better knowledge of the grid and better understanding of how to use it to create a more effective result could not only make this piece better but also my coming work when using grids.