Emmajaneallen's Blog

Grid Case Studies. pt.2

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 17, 2010

The second piece of grid design that I would like to look at is http://www.twitter.com. The website has recently relaunched their website with a new format, a format that perfectly fits into the golden ratio.

The idea of the golden ratio itself is that it is a formula calculated to be the ideally pleasing dimensions for the human eye to look at. It features heavily within many aspects of life, nature, design etc. It is reported that it was used as far back as the Egyptian’s when building the Pyramids.

However in this case it has been used within a website design to make it more pleasing for the eye and easier for the eye to navigate.

The use of the golden ratio has meant that the website maintains constistency and organisation without being boring to look at. The information displayed is well laid out and understandable and that, for the most part, is down to the golden ratio.  Credit to http://www.virtualprojectconsulting.com for the pictures.


Grid Case Studies. pt.1

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 17, 2010

My first case study is actually from the book Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop by Timothy Samara.  It is a fascinating and critcal analyse of the use of grids in design and how breaking them can bring an entirely new rhythm to your work. The piece I would like to focus on is below.


This page I felt was a prime example of how breaking the grid can really bring what would have been a boring, formatted page to life. The way that Samara has changed the size, direction and placement of the paragraphs is so entertaining for the eye that it is difficult to look after, even if you arn’t reading the main body of the text. By breaking the grid he has made simple writing into a piece of design all by itself. Along with different fonts, sizes and ppositioning the designer has also used different colour tones, drawing attention to specific phrases and paragraphs, highlighting them (a technique I would like to use within my own work).

Although the grid has been broken a lot within this piece it is still evident within some of the writing. 4 basic columns have been used to create some kind of formation so that the whole design doesnt fall into an absolute unorganised mess.

To conclude I believe that this is a perfect example of when designers have used a grid and broken it to create an exciting and different effect in their work.

Making and breaking the grid.

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 17, 2010

When attempting to research breaking the grid I was pleasantly suprised with the breadth of information that I was met with. One of my favourites was the one that I found above, not only does it detail how you might go about breaking the grid but also the article itself is cleverly organised into an exciting and interesting style in which it to breaks the design grid. Proving how eye catching and interesting something can become when you break the grid. I will be taking a lot of tips and inspiration from this particular design.



CD Cover Design. Final. Why?

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 17, 2010


After a lot of research to get my head around the use of grids within CD covers and in design itself I decided that the most effective technique might be to use the rule of thirds. Its pleasing to the eye and has been used in a lot of other work that I came across whilst researching.


I positioned the model on the far right third as I feel it creates interest for the eye and an unusual focal point for the CD cover. I then placed the writing to the right hand side on the bottom third, I felt this worked well as it mirrored the model and balanced the front of the cd which I feel is something very important to do when producing an interesting and visually pleasing piece.


I used a script, serif font for the artists name as I feel this denotes creativity and flare and I wanted to bring that to this simple cover. I think used a simple sans-serif Helvetica font for the album title as this is a lot more easy to read and contrasts with the artists name perfectly. Again creating interest for the eye.


Although I wanted the album to be simple I felt that this photograph was ideal as there is a lot going on however the photo is still under stated and simple. The shadow cast across the background of the picture again gives the viewer subconciously something to fill the blank space and therefore it doesn’t stand out as much as if it were just a white wall.

CD Cover design.

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 17, 2010

When trying to find a photographic image to put in the design for my CD cover design I wanted to look at other covers to gain some field research.

As with a lot of other visual design it is valuable to look at what is already out there and draw upon certain aspects of those to create a better design.

I had a picture that I wanted to use in mind and it would have required a solo male for the front of the album so I began my search by looking at solo artists albums that have recently been successful. As they would hopefully have one point of interest within the front cover and show a good template for my own work.

So far I have found that all of the albums have one focal point, the artist and then secondary to that is the name of the artist and the album. The background of the cover is generally very simple, if not totally blank.  I have also found that although some of the albums that I looked at we’re brighter than other a surprising amount of the artists have chosen to keep the colours within the background to an absolute minimum.  I then began to look at how I could use my particular picture within the dewsign for my own CD cover. First of all I used a 5 inch x 5 inch canvas and applied a grid to it. A simple one, to attempt to apply the rule of thirds, as I had noticed that a lot of the artists that I’d researched had seemed to do the same thing. I then brought the picture in and tried to find a suitable position to place it in. I chose this picture because I felt it was quite typical of the kind of thing that is usually seen on the front of a CD.  After using the grid and spending time critically thinking about where the image would look best I decided to place it towards the right hand side of the CD cover, much like the photograph itself I wanted to imploy the rule of thirds as from previous research we know that this is pleasing to the eye.  I tried several effects on the images itself as I felt it was missing something for the final CD cover. Here are just two of the many I tried when attempting to find the perfect CD cover art. I liked the aged look that the photos had and by adjusting the saturation and contrast within the images I liked the effect that I got on the final image. However after much deliberation I decided to use the last image as my final piece.

Photographic Case Study. pt.2

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 11, 2010

For my second photographic case study I have chosen to look at the famous billboard for Wonderbra as when released it caused such a stir. It was put up near many motorways and the makers even went as far as to warn motorists as it was claimed that several car crashes happened as a result of the advert and men being so gobsmacked they forgot about driving.

I think for its time (1990’s) the advert looks very recent, the contrast between the text and picture is perfect and doesn’t push the concept of the Wonderbra in the viewers face but instead introduces the idea gently. This type of advertisement of bras has proven sucessful with women as well as men as it isn’t displaying anything that isn’t obtainable by the viewer.

Not many images such as this had ever been advertised on such a large scale as this one and it was seen as a big step for women.

To look at the image itself in a bit more detail, the face that the text featured is almost talking to the audience automatically creates a connection and grabs the attention of the customer. That is if the consumer hasn’t already been grabbed by the picture of the naked woman on the other side of the page.

The designers have also used a minimal colour scheme within the photo itself so that the Wonderbra logo itself can be put in yellow, and therefore stand out against the black and white.

It was a very effective advert, and made the sales of Wonderbras increase MASSIVELY.

Photographic Case Study pt.1

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 11, 2010

When looking for an interesting photographic case study to investigate I immediately thought of the recent Conservative Campaign that featured in the Media before the 2010 election. It features a very heavily retouched photo of David Cameron (now prime minister) with the Conservative’s blue colour scheme so that the viewer knows what the advert is about and what it is trying to say. However, I think the photo was slightly miss judged and could have been made fun of due to the extent of the retouching, the last thing that a political party need in the run up to an election.

It is quite obvious that the Conservative campaign have attempted to make the advert seem honest and upfront by making Cameron look straight into the eyes of the viewer in a ‘I wouldn’t lie to you’ way. They have also maintained the colour scheme that the Conservative party usually use as they want that loyalty and rememberance to be there from the voters and as detailed in earlier posts the colour blue does have many positive connotations.

It is also suprisingly like their Labour counterparts previous campaign from years before, however this featured Tony Blair, almost lurking in the shadows. Seemingly stepping forward to help ‘because Britain deserves better.’ I think although years before this one was judged slightly better because the photo isn’t as retouched and it looks a lot more credible.

…And as predicted the photo and campaign was made fun of not only by the press but in this case the opposition actually took this oppurtunity to use it in their own favour and turned the Conservative’s own ad back on themselves.
‘They need more than an airbrush to make their policies sound appealing’

‘Airbrushed for change’

‘IS what you see what you’d get?’

I personally found this an interesting photographic case study because the Conservative press department quite clearly thought that this campaign would be a sucessful one, although the airbrushing and the cheesiness of the advert they thought it would be good for the campaign and would promote the Conservative brand at the time when they needed it the most, the election, however it only became obvious when the adverts had been roled out all over the country and pasted on banners EVERYWHERE that maybe such a heavily airbrushed picture wasn’t the best idea. However they did win so it can’t have done quite as much damage as they thought at the time of the scandal.

This campaign then prompted hundreds of other adverts poking fun at the original :

Red belongs to Coca Cola…

Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 10, 2010

After years and years of advertising it has saturated every part of 21st century life and quite naturally some of the bigger brands have laid claim to colours and brand awareness has stepped up to not only make customers

think of them when they see the logo itself but also when they see something as simple as the colour of the brand.

An example of this would be the COCA COLA brand, for years they have used the colour red to identify themselves within the market.


So what exactly is Coca Cola red?

The consistency of the use of red has established Coca Cola within the market. Most famously the Coca Cola red has gone so far as to change the colour of SANTA! It has been very heavily reported that Santa’s suit was often depicted in green untill the Coca Cola brand turned it red to fit with their advertisements. Although it is documented that Santa was sometimes did wear red before Coca Cola they made it famous and popularised the colour red not only in association with themselves but also with Santa and Christmas.

Coca Cola’s ownership and power with regards to the colour red can also be seen when looking at other brands, for example Pepsi, Tango, Irn Bru, Fanta, NO other fizzy drinks brands ever use the colour red. Simply because they know the power and the ownership that Coca Cola have over the colour red. Using the same colour would just be totally unsuccessful.

Colour and Ownership

Although Coca Cola is probably the most obvious example of colour ownership there are definitely hundreds more examples when looking at colour branding and adverts.

The sign of a good effective brand is one that can lay claim to something as universal as a colour and make it their own.



Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 10, 2010

The next interesting colour case study that I would like to look at is the ‘TOPSHOP’ logo.

In the entire history of the store the logo has barely changed, the simple black and white theme is timeless and classic, ideal for the fashion forward up to the minute store.

This technique can be seen a lot within the fashion industry as the stores want to keep the same memorable logo but stay up to the minute and cool.

Everything else about the shop can change and every bit of decor and clothes can be adjusted from season to season but the logo can stay the same.

Creating an effective brand identity.

The same technique is used by hundreds of other fashion brands and stores.

Quite simply, colour dates black and white doesn’t.


Posted in Uncategorized by emmajaneallen on November 10, 2010


I chose this particular advert to investigate because I think the colour are very interesting when looked at in conjunction with what the advert is trying to do.

As is often evident within sucessful adverts the colour scheme is very minimal, the maker has tended to stick with cremes, golds and with accents of red.

The creme and gold colours have been used to show opulence and wealth, luxuriant grandeur. Something that Chanel want to show their customers and make the customer think that is what they are getting when they buy the product.

They have then used the film, classic almost 1920’s looking  images to make the advert even more desirable.

The primary interest for any perfume advert is to make the consumer see a desirable and aspirational image and for the customer to want that for themselves.

The makers have then accented the gold, diamonds and cremes with the red dress. Just to make Keira Knightley look like the belle of the ball, it suggests that she is a film star and that she will get her man and those are all things that the customer wants for themselves.

Chanel’s designers have also used a lot of diamonds to again accentuation the rich, opulent theme of the advert.

All in all i think that they have used colour within this advert particularly effectively to set a certain theme within the piece.