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Graphic design skills in Illustration

Graphic design skills in illustration with a focus on typography.

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Graphic design skills in Illustration

  2. 2. WHO AM I 1. Artist in Residence in the subject of Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art 2. Ex-Graphic Design & Interactive Media Lecturer (in Malta) 3. Published children’s author and illustrator 4. Freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer •  Clients: Creative Edinburgh, Dewar’s, Campbell Gray Hotels, Commonwealth Writers, Arts Council Malta, Malta National Book Council, Malta Gaming Authority -
  3. 3. TODAY I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT… 1. Fine Art / Illustration / Graphic Design – their differences and similarities 2. Advantages of having Graphic Design skills in Illustration 3. Skills that are common to the two disciplines 4. Basics of Typography + Workshop 5. Spot Colour vs CMYK 5. Deconstruction of Graphic / Illustration Work + Workshop 6. Conclusion & Questions
  4. 4. FINE ART / ILLUSTRATION / GRAPHIC DESIGN Three creative disciplines that can be very similar, but also very different. •  A drawing can be a fine art piece or an illustration (a discussion for another time…) Add text, and we’re in the world of Graphic Design, or are we? •  Illustration can be a bridge between Fine Art and Graphic Design. •  Fine Art can be more personal, independent and emotive. A Fine Art piece usually cannot be reproduced, and therefore is perceived to have value. •  Graphic Design usually has a function and thrives on structure. Graphic Design pieces can be reproduced, although through traditional print making methods, they have gained an added value. Fine Art can have structure and type and Graphic Design can be experimental, but the main difference between these two is the client. Illustrators typically work with clients, publishers and agencies unless they are creating personal work.
  5. 5. FINE ART / ILLUSTRATION / GRAPHIC DESIGN Comparisons, Requirements & skills: Contemporary Fine Art: usually doesn’t have a particular function, doesn’t need a client but can be commissioned, difficult to come up with conventional requirements aside from creative thought and mastery of visual skills. Illustration: usually has a function and a client, requires drawing skills, design skills highly important, use of typography, layout and digital imaging desirable. Graphic Design: Has a specific function and a client, drawing skills optional, top notch design skills, typographic, layout and imaging skills needed. All three are sub categories of visual communication.
  6. 6. ILLUSTRATION AND GRAPHIC DESIGN Just as there are many sub categories of Illustration, there are also sub categories of Graphic Design, but the main ones are: •  Digital •  Brand-focused / Advertising As an illustrator, Branding might be more intriguing to you because it can be seen to more creative, but know that Digital is just as interesting (can be quite psychological and technical) but most importantly it provides more opportunities.
  7. 7. Digital Design: •  User Interface Design and User Experience •  Web Design •  Information Design Digital Design is always changing, it requires a certain degree of precision, and a general interest in digital media Most importantly: Digital Design includes illustration work. Are enough illustrators working in Digital Design? DIGITAL DESIGN
  8. 8. INFOGRAPHICS Infographics can be an illustrator’s introduction to digital design
  9. 9. Classic Graphic Design as we know it Brand Guidelines, logo design, design of posters, flyers, book covers… Editorial design: Magazine and book layouts *You might know this already but just in case…When you see these kind of Brand Identities – Graphic Designers use what are called ‘Mock-ups’. You can find these for free online. You’d have empty ‘Brand Collateral’ files where you can replace the content with your own. No need to set up a photography studio at home! BRAND FOCUSED / ADVERTISING *
  11. 11. STYLE FLEXIBILITY •  Illustrators are typically encouraged to have an identity, one particular style that is recognised instantly. •  Although Graphic Designers are also encouraged to have a design identity, versatility is important. •  For example: Not using Adobe Illustrator because your style is sketchy and arty, can be fine if you’re an Illustrator, but just not acceptable in Graphic Design. You must know your software so you can experiment vastly.
  12. 12. WHEN DOES AN ILLUSTRATION BECOME A GRAPHIC DESIGN WORK? When you’re creating an Illustration, you’re already using Design thinking. You’re deciding the topic, the theme, the feel, and then the composition, colours, texture… but this is still usually considered to be an illustration. As soon as you optimise your artwork and add text – it becomes a graphic design work.
  13. 13. IT’S NOT ALWAYS CLEAR… JOY DIVISION’S UNKNOWN PLEASURES ARTWORK BY PETER SAVILLE Certain illustrations and Graphic artworks can be said to be works of art. It’s really about context, and how memorable a piece is.
  14. 14. BAD USE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN CAN RUIN A GOOD ILLUSTRATION This we can say for sure. Just as a bad illustration can ruin a good graphic design poster, bad use of graphic design can ruin a good illustration. Let me show you an example from my own experience working with different graphic design agencies.
  16. 16. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN… The brief was to include: •  As many gaming areas as possible into 1 illustration •  Must have a Maltese knight •  Must have horses •  Must have cars •  Must show Virtual Reality •  Must have a Poker table •  Must show card games •  Must show tennis players •  Must show a soldier to represent War games •  Must have a race course There was no communication between me and the graphic designer. I cried a little when I saw the finished cover.
  18. 18. J - ILLUSTRATION GIVES DESIGN CONTEXT AND VICE VERSA FIG 1: MY ILLUSTRATION FIG 2: PROMOTIONAL FLYER The illustration & graphic design work make up a completely new composition.
  19. 19. This is a poster I’m presently designing, where I had to combine illustration and graphic design. It’s a campaign for the ‘Book Festival on Campus’ by the Malta National Book Council. The requirements are: •  Needs an illustration •  Concept of my own •  Titles, Dates, Location •  2 Logos •  Needs to be printed as a poster, posted as a Facebook Timeline picture •  Programme of Events AN EXAMPLE OF ILLUSTRATION AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
  20. 20. •  Composition needs to work in both portrait and landscape format •  Needs a consistent colour palette to use throughout the campaign •  Typeface needs to work with illustration •  Needs to be done within 1 week •  These were the first ideas à CHALLENGES
  21. 21. THE TIMELINE PICTURE It was essential to use separate layers for each item in the illustration so I could move them easily for the Timeline picture. I tried to find a typeface that’s a little playful to complement the illustration, but that isn’t too distracting. The illustration is busy enough as it is. This one is called ‘Earth’s Mightiest’ and it’s a custom typeface.
  22. 22. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS Still working on this one but you can see how I’m incorporating illustration elements from the poster within the layout.
  23. 23. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS The biggest challenge here is that the last page has relatively more content than the previous 2. By including icons and elements from the poster, I tried to make the programme of events a little less boring
  24. 24. WHY GRAPHIC DESIGN? •  More opportunities. Graphic Design is always in demand. Being both an Illustrator and graphic designer gives you an edge over graphic designers who cannot draw. •  Graphic design rewards you with skills that can help push your illustration skills further. It helps you further understand the grids behind compositions, contrasts, uses of colour in print. It can therefore help you commercialise your illustration work and market it for the design world. •  With Graphic Design, you cannot hide behind your amazing drawing skills, and that’s why you get better design skills.
  25. 25. WHY GRAPHIC DESIGN? •  UI, UX and digital. A massive industry with foundations in Graphic Design and technology. Don’t stop at book covers and posters, try your hand at iconography, information visualisation, even animated gifs. Illustration has its place in technology, you just have to make it work. • • than-what-meets-the-eye-867036df0b73 • improves-ux/ •  Graphic Design will greatly improve your independent projects. Illustration + Graphic Design = complete books, magazines, card games, comics etc…
  26. 26. GRAPHIC DESIGN SKILLS YOU MIGHT ALREADY HAVE AS AN ILLUSTRATOR: •  Being able to visualise, create quick sketches and mock-ups, thumbnails, storyboarding •  Making patterns, being technical and precise in your work •  Planning a visual composition •  Using masks, selections, digital brushes and tools in Creative visual software •  Mastery of Vector Art – *The Pen Tool* •  Attention to detail in form / colour / texture
  27. 27. TYPOGRAPHY •  You can’t be a good graphic designer if you don’t know your type. •  Today I will introduce you to the basics of typography. •  As with everything else. If you want to truly learn about typography, you need to practice, but this will hopefully get you interested.
  28. 28. GOALS OF TYPE The 3 goals of typography: •  1st goal of typography is readability •  2nd goal of typography is to transfer information to the reader in an efficient manner. •  3rd goal is to use “type” to provide a sense of order and structure that makes logical and visual sense. •
  29. 29. Type is essentially shapes or lines, which have a common meaning to us. When you want to make type work, you need to treat it as such, but of course, it needs to be in context, and it needs to still be legible. This is a poster I just finished for the Artist in Residence exhibition that is happening at Evolution House. I wanted to show everyone’s work within one single artwork. Typography was the answer. TYPE IS SHAPES AND LINES Gotham: Geometric / Sans-Serif
  30. 30. TYPE IS SHAPES AND LINES A word typed in a BIG BOLD typeface is an assortment of big bold shapes A word typed in an elegant small font can be interpreted as a fine line A text box is a lined, rectangle/square and its alignment can also define its shape. "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum." "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum." "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."
  31. 31. TYPEFACE OR FONT? •  A typeface is a family of fonts, meaning a specific design of an alphabet. You probably know Arial, Lucida or Gill Sans. •  On the other hand, font is one particular style within a family. Meaning Arial Black, Lucida Sans and Gill Sans Bold.
  32. 32. SERIF •  Serif typefaces are called “serifs” in reference to the small lines that are attached to the main strokes of characters within the face. •  Serif typefaces are most often used for body copy in print documents, as well as for both body text and headlines online. •  The readability of serifs online has been debated, and some designers prefer not to use serifs for large blocks of copy. This is a Serif Typeface (Times) This is Sans-Serif (Arial)
  33. 33. SUB-TYPES OF SERIF Within the serif classification, there are many sub-types. Old Style serifs (also called humanist) are the oldest typefaces in this classification, dating back to the mid 1400s. The main characteristic of old style characters is their diagonal stress (the thinnest parts of the letters appear on the angled strokes, rather than the vertical or horizontal ones). Typefaces in this category include Adobe Jenson, Centaur, and Goudy Old Style.
  34. 34. TRANSITIONAL SERIF •  Transitional serifs date back to the mid 1700s, and are generally the most common serif typefaces. •  Times New Roman and Baskerville are both transitional serifs, as are Caslon, Georgia, and Bookman. •  The differences between thick and thin strokes in transitional typefaces are more pronounced than they are in old style serifs, but less so than in modern serifs. Georgia
  35. 35. MODERN SERIF •  Modern serifs, which include typefaces like Didot and Bodoni, have a much more pronounced contrast between thin and thick lines, and have have a vertical stress and minimal brackets. •  They date back to the late 1700s. Bodoni
  36. 36. The final main type of serif typeface is the slab serif. Slab serifs have little to no contrast between thick and thin lines, and have thick, rectangular serifs, and sometimes have fixed widths. The underlying characters hapes often more closely resemble sans serif fonts. SLAB SERIF
  37. 37. SANS-SERIF •  Sans-serif typefaces are called such because they lack serif details on characters. •  Sans-serif typefaces are often more modern in appearance than serifs. The first sans-serifs were created in the late 18th century. •  This typeface (Arial) is Sans-Serif
  38. 38. FOUR CLASSIFICATIONS •  There are four basic classifications of sans-serif typefaces: Grotesque, Neo-grotesque, Humanist, and Geometric. •  Grotesques are the earliest, and include fonts like Franklin Gothic and Akzidenze Grotesk. •  These typefaces often have letterforms that are very similar to serif typefaces, minus the serifs. Franklin Gothic
  39. 39. NEO-GROTESQUE •  Neo-grotesque typefaces include some of the most common typefaces: MS Sans Serif, Arial, Helvetica and Univers are all neo- grotesques. •  They have a relatively plain appearance when compared to the grotesques. Helvetica Why is Helvetica so popular? It can easily adapt.
  40. 40. HUMANIST •  Humanist typefaces include Gill Sans, Frutiger, Tahoma, Verdana, Optima, and Lucida Grande. •  These are more calligraphic than other sans-serif typefaces, and are also the most legible (hence the popularity of some of them for website body copy). •  They’re more calligraphic than other sans-serifs, meaning they have a greater variation in line widths. Gill Sans
  41. 41. Geometric sans-serifs are more closely based on geometric shapes. Generally, the “O”s in geometrics will appear circular, and the letter “a” is almost always simple, just a circle with a tail. They’re the least commonly-used for body copy, and are also the most modern sans-serifs, as a general rule. GEOMETRIC
  42. 42. COMPARISON
  43. 43. MOOD •  The mood of a typeface is an important part of how it should be used. •  Different typefaces have strikingly different moods. •  Commonly used moods include: •  formal vs. informal, •  modern vs classic/traditional, and •  light vs dramatic. •  Some typefaces have very distinct moods. For example, Times New Roman is pretty much always going to be a traditional font, which is why it’s so commonly used for business correspondence. Verdana, on the other hand, has a more modern mood. •  Some typefaces are more transcendent, and can convey almost any mood based on the content and the other typefaces they’re combined with. Helvetica is often considered one such font.
  44. 44. A playful typeface doesn’t need to be Comic Sans It can be elegant and playful at the same time Serious doesn’t mean boring. DON’T GO FOR THE OBVIOUS
  45. 45. TYPE ANATOMY
  47. 47. More on this: typography-the-basics-of-type.html
  48. 48. LIMIT FONT FAMILIES “Consistency and readability are important to good design, and too many font changes can distract and confuse the reader. Make your font choices carefully and consider how many typefaces will be seen together. Long multipage publications, such as magazines, can often support a greater variety of typefaces. For brochures, ads and other short documents, limit font families to one, two or three.”
  49. 49. LEADING / TRACKING / KEARNING The negative space between letters is just as important as the letters themselves. As illustrators you should already be quite familiar with the importance of negative space.
  50. 50. Typically Leading needs to be 2pts more than the size of the typeface. So if you’re typing in size 10pt, you need 12pt leading for readability. This is just a guide of course, you might change the leading according to the project and according to the amount of text you’re dealing with. LEADING
  51. 51. TRACKING Tracking is the general spacing between letters. V e r y l o o s e t r a c k i n g Verytighttracking Normal tracking
  52. 52. KERNING Kerning is the modification of individual spaces between letters. When you’re dealing with large amounts of text, you needn’t worry about kerning, but let’s say you’re designing a poster, and you have one big word as your title. That word better be kerned properly!
  53. 53. KERNING •  Sometimes a font’s default kerning isn’t ideal for certain letter combinations, so you’ll want to manually adjust it so the spacing between all the letters looks consistent. •  It’s important to note here that kerning is a visual exercise; it’s about the perceived amount of space between letters rather than the actual distance between them. Kerning involves adjusting your typography to look right rather than creating mathematically equal spacing. (
  55. 55. WORKSHOP 1 In this excercise we will train ourselves to kern properly. Hopefully you will be able to see the difference between good and bad kerning.
  56. 56. “Fonts can greatly affect the aesthetics of your site and can convey a lot of meaning in their visual appearance, but remember, when it comes to a choice between looking good and being easy to read, always go for easy to read.” (Kelly Shaver, Web Developer)
  57. 57. Want to know more about type? Start from here:
  58. 58. LETTERING http:// artists/BoomArtwork/view Consider typographic posters, calligraphy and hand-lettering if you need some inspiration! A good knowledge of typography is essential before attempting this style.
  59. 59. COLOUR There is a lot to read about colour in graphic design but today I will walk you through the difference between Spot Colour Printing and CMYK. Spot colour printing creates brighter, more vibrant results, but with a smaller colour range. •  When printing in single (spot) colours, a single colour ink (normally with a Pantone reference number) is applied to the printing press roller. If there is just one color to be printed, there will be a single plate, and a single run of the press. If there are two colours, there will be two plates and two runs, and so on. •  The colours are layered onto the paper one by one. •  Spot colour printing would be typically used for jobs which require no full colour imagery, such as for business cards and other stationery, or in monotone (or duotone etc) literature such as black and white newspaper print.
  60. 60. SPOT COLOUR This is a recent work I did for Caffe Cordina in Malta who wanted to print mugs using Spot Colour. Spot colours with individual Pantone references.
  61. 61. CMYK 4 colour process printing involves the use of four plates: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Keyline (Black). The CMYK artwork (which you will have supplied) is separated into these four colors – one plate per colour. The four CMYK inks are applied one by one to four different rollers and the paper or card (‘stock’) is then fed through the printing press. The colours are applied to the stock one by one, and out comes the full color (4 color process) result.
  62. 62. SPOT COLOUR / CMYK
  63. 63. More:
  64. 64. DECONSTRUCTING GRAPHIC DESIGN PAUL RAND JAN TSCHICHOLD As a personal exercise, try to look at works of great graphic designers and deconstruct them as mock-ups / layouts.
  65. 65. Try to simplify the two posters by Paul Rand and Jan Tschichold into basic sketches to identify a composition structure. Use the example on the right to get an idea. LAYOUT SKETCHES
  66. 66. WORKSHOP 2 Using the method we’ve used in the previous slide, Create an alternative layout / mockup (1 or more) for this year’s Artist in Residence collective exhibition poster. It needs to include: •  Exhibition Title: Compendium •  Sub Title: A collective exhibition by ECA Artists in Residence 17/18 •  Dates: Private View, Opening + additional dates •  Location: Tent Gallery, Evolution House, Edinburgh •  Names of participating artists (10) •  Everything else is up to you! The poster will be printed and shared online.
  67. 67. SOME TIPS: •  Images attract attention. ... Colour is a powerful tool that pulls the eye toward various parts of a page. •  Eyes follow a common pattern of navigation. The majority of readers enter all pages through the dominant photo or illustration, then travel to the dominant headline, then to teasers and cutlines, and finally to text. •  Images are viewed more than text. Photos and artwork are looked at the most, followed by headlines and advertising, then briefs and cutlines. Text is read the least. (
  68. 68. MORE TIPS: •  In general, people expect information to flow left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Viewers are best able to absorb information from a poster with several columns that progress from left to right. •  Even within these columns, however, there are certain places where viewers' eyes naturally fall first and where they expect to find information. (
  69. 69. DISCUSS POSTER LAYOUTS •  How did you approach your layout? •  Did you think about what kind of type you will use? •  How will your image and type harmonise? •  Did you think about flow? •  Would you be able to create this Poster digitally? •  If so you’ve got a Graphic Design project in your portfolio! •  Is it better than my poster? ;)
  70. 70. MORE: Basics of Typography: iii-basics-of-typography/ Grids in Graphic Design: Colour Theory (Series of 3): designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/ Gestalt Principles: gestaltprinciples/gestaltprinc.htm
  71. 71. QUESTIONS