Tuesday, 11 December 2012

OUGD405 - Typogateaux: The Contest

Having done lots of research on cake design it was time to put some ideas down on paper. Many of the ideas were quite complicated and as a result would be too time consuming to make. Within the time we have been allocated it wouldn't make sense for us to try and overcomplicate the cake.
I also completed a few more drawings which are shown below as further development.

So, as a team of three, Ellen, Harrison and I bought our ingredients in preparation the day before so we were ready to get started. The ideas which we favoured the most were the 'Leaning tower of type' and 'Alphabetti spaghetti'. However, we realised that when trying to make a cake lean it would become almost impossible for it to stay upright and be transported to college. So we decided against this idea. Alphabet spaghetti would have been really good fun to make, however the winners of last year's typogateaux had a very similar idea to this so it may not be the most suitable idea.
We decided to use the Hairy Nikers' recipe for a victoria sponge cake...

We gave it a go however and experimented with making a bowl to start with. The plan was for us to make a bowl which would be placed on an edible tray with the spaghetti inside it made out of yellow icing dipped into a pool of red icing and then leaving it to set.
The cake turned out really badly though because the oven wasn't powerful enough to bake the cake all the way through which meant that the inside of it was still the same texture as when we had originally put it in the oven. After two attempts we decided to have a rethink. Another idea we had had was to make a 'Helveticake' which is self explanatory. Ellen and I were unsure about whether it was original enough to start with but we were really happy with it once we had started to make it.

We added black colouring to our cake to make it slightly different and unique, when we were mixing it it had a strange grey texture to it and looked didn't look very much like a cake mixture! It was impossible for us to get it to be completely black though and when we put it in the oven it changed colour anyway. We considered covering the whole of the cake in black fondant icing if we felt it was necessary.
Here are a few photographs of us experimenting with a piece of the cake and using fondant icing to cover it. Using a rolling pin we gradually added more and more of the food colouring until the whole piece of fondant was covered.

We had to cut the icing into a net almost so that it would fit around the piece of cake properly with equal folds on each end.

This was the end result, and although it looks really good we decided that if we wanted to stand the letters upright it wouldn't work because the icing softened the overall texture of the cake making it impossible to keep it standing up.

We all had a taste of the cake at this point and although the icing improved the quality of the flavour we still didn't think it was worth it. Instead we decided that we would bake another cake the same size and spread a layer of jam between the two.

We spoke about the possibility of having added extras as little features to put alongside the cake, such as a ruler and scalpel but in the end felt it was an unnecessary addition.

We made our other cake and added jam to it before placing the other one on top and allowing them both to cool before starting to cut into them.

This is what our cake looked like before we started to carve into it to form our Helveticake.

Having found the correct point size and printing and cutting out each individual letter we were then ready to start the final stages of our cake making process.

It was difficult to get straight edges a lot of the time because the cake started to crumble away as it was fresh. However we were able to neaten the edges up afterwards. The inside of the cake once the letters were carved away looked really interesting as the two cakes had slightly different colours and the jam in the centre gave it a unique aesthetic quality.

As each letter was cut out we placed in on a chopping board for the time being. There was a layer which had formed on top of the cake which we removed, which is visible in the bottom right hand corner. This gave the cake an almost sponge like quality.

Originally, we wanted to put the cake on a green cutting mat. But in the end we decided against this idea mainly because the letters looked too big on it, but also because the word stands out much more on a white background. Overall we were really happy with the outcome of our cake and it proved to be a successful day as everyone had made some really amazing cakes with a lot of thought gone into each one.

OUGD404 - Design Principles: Accent studio session

For the first half of today's session we looked at the accents we had all collected. We had to put them out in front of us in a pile and move round the room to arrange other piles into the specific accent groups. The point of this exercise was to see how easily recognisable and distinguishable the accents were when we had given each one a specific typeface.
We then had to choose the three which we felt we had successfully completed as a whole. After this we went round the class and spoke about it whilst giving feedback and it actually turned out that we hadn't done as well as we had thought. As a class we all struggled with the accents from the UK because it was harder to identify specific fonts for them. Whereas with foreign countries there are stereotypical typefaces which we could use to successfully portray their accent.

We then moved back to our original seats and put our own work into piles to see how well the other group had identified our fonts. I found this exercise interesting as well as challenging, and it was interesting to see what everyone perceived to be correct to illustrate specific accents. Sometimes there were completely different choices made, this shows that a lot of the time it is down to personal interpretation and often how the phrase is said outloud or in your head whilst completing the exercise. A calm tone compared to an angry tone would be very far apart from each other in terms of the way it is written down for example.

Monday, 10 December 2012

OUGD405 - Studio session: Research

10 interesting facts about my topic (labradors)...

  • There are a lot of labradors who have saved lifes
  • Branding - Barbour
  • Originate from Canada
  • Lots of artwork and adverts linked to labradors
  • Websites on labrador charities
  • Guide dogs
  • Gun dogs
  • Looked at clever dogs - driving cars
  • Andrew puppy
  • Famous labradors belonging to celebrities

 We had to identify which of our interesting points were facts and which were opinions within the class...
  • 70/90 facts and 20/90 opinions out of the whole class
As a group, we identified the methods which we used to collect our information :

  • Reading Books
  • Watching Videos
  • Talking to people
  • Looking at images
  • Searching the internet
  • Emailed the subject

What source material did we gather from this research?
  • Videos of labradors
  • Images from the Shining
  • Quotes
  • Statistics about apples

As an entire group...

  • Quotes
  • Dates
  • Printed images
  • Scanned images
  • Blogged images
  • Interviews
  • Articles
  • Photocopies
  • Practical Experiments
  • Practical Observations
  • Screen Shots
  • Observational Notes
  • Written quotes
  • Clips
  • Emails
  • Audio

Things that affect the way we research...

  • Reliability of sources
  • Geographical Restraints
  • Legal Restraints
  • Limited Time
  • Too much time
  • Insufficient funds/Costs
  • Dead People/Past Events
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of interest
  • Outside limitations
  • Co-operation
  • Lack of prior knowledge

How to address these limitations...

  • Budgeting
  • Find out people who have been there
  • Send emails to people who have been there
  • Appropriate travel
  • Google maps - visual source
  • Time management
  • Priorities
  • Schedule
  • Planning
  • Confidence

Saturday, 8 December 2012

OUGD405 - How to: Extended Personal Work

Having worked in a group for the 'How to' brief I felt as though it would be beneficial for me to complete some extra work. Since our presentation I thought it would be useful to create some stickers which could be used to distribute the message and help deceive people. Rather than simply relying on our flyers and posters. This is a more direct way of including people in the 'event' and would probably allow us to welcome more responses from around the college.
Below is the grid and the final layout of the stickers with the lomography camera on. I decided to make it simple and although it doesn't state what the competition is about it will prompt conversations and make people ask about it if people have them stuck on their laptops, on themselves, or perhaps their bags.
I made sure that they were designed at a reasonable size as it is something that needs to make a statement and not get lost easily. If it is too big however, people will feel less inclined to have it on show for people to see.
Below I have kept the four columns but used the face instead. Once again with no text, to prompt conversation. I also think it is quite an interesting design which will continue to make people question what the meaning behind it is.

Once again they are the same size as the previous ones and are suitable for visually capturing people's attention. I think both of the designs so far could be used, and a variety of stickers would perhaps ensure greater interest, as they will reach a wider audience.
Below I have made a very simple design with text alone. This to me would be very successful in instantly informing people, as hopefully they will have seen the posters and flyers distributed around the college and they will recognise the logo because of this.
I added a few more to this layout as there was space to do so. I experimented with size and made this one A5 to just have a variety of sizes to see which is more successful and suitable for the job.

Having aligned all of the stickers and prepared them, I was then able to print them on high quality sticker paper to have a hard copy of the result too. I was really pleased with the quality of the print and kept the first two designs A4 size, whilst the final design was A5. I think that both dimensions work well and if we were to distribute them as well prior to now, they could have been printed in both sizes to give a variety and a choice for people to make their own decision about which they would like.
Stickers are often visible on people's belongings so I personally feel that this would have been a positive addition to our work, in hindsight. They are cheap to produce and could even be separated by simply using the guilletine rather than using the lazer cutter to individually cut out each one. As the shape of the sticker isn't really that important in this instance. 

Friday, 7 December 2012

OUGD405 - How to: Presentation

I thought it would be useful to blog the slides from our powerpoint. We were able to apply the design that we used for the posters and flyers to make it visually interesting for the rest of the students.