Saturday, 1 November 2014

Visual Communications Evaluation

I feel as though my week in Visual Communications was very useful to me as I learnt a lot. I now know the differences between different areas within Visual Communications like Illustration, Animation and Graphic Design. There is a lot more to each of the disciplines than I would have previously thought as I believed that much of the work done in visual communications would be done digitally so finding out that much of the work is hand rendered was a nice surprise as this is what I am used to doing. 
The illustrators that I researched really interested me as their work wasn't something I had looked at before. I found the work of Noma Bar and Olivier Kugler  to be a good source of inspiration as they are both so different in style yet work under the same title of visual communications so are great examples of the wide range of work that can be done. I admired the quality of line in Kugler's work as the are so simple yet show all the information they need to and the combination of hand drawn images and digitally added colour adds interest to the pieces. The way that the Noma Bar pieces looked like two images in one made me appreciate them even more as I think that they are extremely clever in so many ways as they not only have to be thought of as concepts but the lines and colours also have to be chosen with care in order to work in the optical illusion style.
After looking at these two artists I felt inspired to do some further research into another illustrator, Saul Bass. I had come across his work previously without realising on the film posters, specifically on the posters for Alfred Hitchcock's films. One of my all time favourite films is Hitchcock's Rear Window which I have watched repeatedly, mainly for Grace Kelly's beautiful costumes, created by the legendary Edith Head so it was nice to look at a part of the film that wasn't based in fashion where my interest usually lies. Bass's posters are bold and eye catching and I love the minimal use of colour which helps to make them stand out even more. Despite first working in this way decades ago many more modern illustrators still work in his style, with one of the most obvious examples being the title scenes of  Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. The fact that the style in which Saul Bass worked was used so many years after he first did it shows how versatile visual communications can be and how it still appeals to people.

Typography is another side to visual communications that is a huge part of our everyday lives. Before spending the week studying typefaces, different fonts were never something that stood out to me. Since then however, I have been spotting type everywhere and have only just started to realise the impact it has on people. Certain fonts have been adopted by some publications and can send a message to readers, as newspapers and magazine all tend to use their own specific typeface on the title head with The Guardian displaying a much more serious look than Vogue or Marie Claire for example. Shops also seem to have their own style, the most noticeable being tattoo parlours which often have a similar calligraphy style type face. The way that our brains register certain environments and products with certain typefaces is something that I have only just started to appreciate after doing my final piece based on typography as I never would have thought that type can have such an effect on us.
Overall I enjoyed my week in visual communications and I felt I learnt a lot through it, from the importance of colour and quality of line to how sometimes less is more when it comes to not overworking a piece. I also enjoyed working on grounds as this made starting the drawings a lot less intimidating and in the end they were a lot more interesting with the various papers underneath than they would have been plain white.


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