Visual Communications Breif 1

Hola ūüôā
So today we have received our brief for the second module of the Graphic Design Degree.
For the first section named “Typographic Principles” we’ve been instructed to create a presentation on a selected subject, in this case my subject is “The Academy of Fine Arts, Munich”. Within this presentation we can include anything around the subject area, though I have decided to make a ‘checklist’ of sorts for my presentation content: About, History, Architecture, City, Graduates, Typography & Artwork, Styles, Courses, Questions. I think this list will give the listeners¬†a rounded explanation of the subject I am presenting.

For the second ‘half’ which is supervised by a different lecturer is called “Digital Design” (you can select¬†this option in the categories) we have to create a portfolio of sorts, containing our visual representation of 4 or more words. In total we have been given 15 words to choose from, these are:
Energy, Illusion, Metamorphosis, Isolation, Depression, Transition, Texture, Nostalgia, Seduction, Decay,
Tranquillity, Beauty, Contrast, Phobia, Euphoria. 

I am not sure how many words I will be selecting yet, I shall choose 4 to start with and then build out from there depending on how I manage my time. We can use any media that fits within the constraints of “typography, graphic illustration, traditional media and photography” – judging on this I think photography is my strength so I shall play to my strengths by sticking to photography more than the other media.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will stick around to see the development and outcomes for the¬†“Visual Communications” Brief.

Beauty and Plastic Surgery

As a little reminder of my second brief post, for the Visual Communications module we are currently completing we have to pick a number of words to portray visually. These words are the following:

Energy, Illusion, Metamorphosis, Isolation, Depression, Transition, 

Texture, Nostalgia, Seduction, Decay, Tranquillity, Beauty, Contrast, 

Phobia, Euphoria.

If you would like to revisit the brief post, click the link below ^.^

Visual Communications Brief

To kick this brief off, I have decided to choose one word to focus on for now. The word I have chosen is “beauty”.
So, what is beauty? By definition of the english dictionary beauty is:

noun: beauty; plural noun: beauties
  1. 1.
    a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
    “I was struck by her beauty”
    • a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect.
      “the artistry and beauty of football”
      denoting something intended to make someone more attractive.
    • modifier noun: beauty
      “beauty treatment”
  2. 2.
    a beautiful or pleasing thing or person, in particular:
    • a beautiful woman.
      “a blonde beauty”
    • an excellent example of something.
      “the fish was a beauty, around 14 pounds”
    • the pleasing or attractive features of (something).
      “the beauties of the English countryside”
    • the best aspect or advantage of something.
      the beauty of keeping cats is that they don’t tie you down”
It is pretty clear to me that beauty is a term used for something visually pleasing, particular people. I would like to focus on the human aspect of beauty, but there is a lot more depth to this than a pretty face. What lengths do people go to for the ‘perfect face’? What drives them to look a certain way? What is perfect?
Something that immediately comes to my mind when people talk about beauty is the media and how they portray beauty in women, there are all kinds of stories about people who go to extreme lengths to look like the waif thin, symmetrical faced models in vogue. These extreme lengths include things such as starvation, anorexia, bulimia, plastic surgery, botox, fillers and much more.
The media’s portrayal of beauty has a huge effect on how women see themselves and because it is something we¬†see everyday on magazines, tv and advertisements, it is hard to ignore this standard of ‘beauty’.
So what I’m trying to say is that women are going to ridiculous lengths to get their desired face or body, even when others see them as beautiful for who they are and who they were born as, it is never enough and there is always something they would like to fill or chisel away under the knife. Many ‘beautifying’ procedures cause permanent damage to people,¬†to mention the money this costs!Some examples of before and after facial plastic surgery are below:
20131202_underbitesurgeryjaw-and-dental-plastic-surgery-1 that really caught my eye when looking at plastic surgeries was the extremities people go to, particularly in countries such as South Korea where plastic surgery is so intense, people need new ID’s. Yes, the girls above are¬†the same person, they¬†were all on a popular South Korean TV show called “Let Me In”. This show takes a young man/woman (or in one case, twins) who has facial deformities¬†or simply deems themselves¬†‘ugly’, then gives them a full plastic surgery makeover, the show is in partnership with ID hospital Korea. The girl on the right (Huh, Ye-Eun) had a total of 4 surgeries on the show and now looks like an entirely different person, I think it’s not too hard to believe that South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgeries per capita.
It seems to me that girls are abandoning their own identities in the pursuit of beauty, not caring they they bare little or no resemblance to the person they were born as and certainly not paying attention to what is really beautiful on the inside.
I have researched into beauty and come to the conclusion that I shall be putting a twist on ‘beauty’ and looking at the¬†mentality behind it, focusing on the point that no matter how beautiful a person is, there is always someone who will point out their flaws and something that can be ‘corrected’.
In the next post I shall be showing my research and development for the word “Beauty”.

Word 1: Beauty

As you may know from my previous posts I have decided to choose “Beauty” as my first word to visually portray.

So to begin with I chose to sketch all of my ideas out, please feel free to read through my thought ideas by clicking to enlarge the images:

After considering different options for my final outcome I decided to go with a Photography & Digital Design approach to my response. Out of the two final ideas I came up with, the bottom diagram is my final choice.
I have decided to take a photograph of either 1 or 2 beautiful girls who have got nothing wrong with their¬†facial features. Though this by itself would be a good response for the topic of “beauty”, I shall be twisting it a bit by creating a surgical diagram (commonly known as markers) on one side of their face, marking out where the surgeries that would improve their appearance in the eyes of the media shall go. These shall be designed in Illustrator to incorporate digital design into this word. My strengths do not lie in illustrator yet, so I shall be playing to my strengths and keeping the drawing minimal until I have more experience with the program.
Below are the unedited (original) photographs I have taken. I decided to do their makeup and hair very delicate and feminine (I did the hair and makeup) to emphasise how beautiful they are and how they really don’t need surgery, just like many of the people who go under the knife for the sake of beauty. The roses in their hair also represent beauty and purity.

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I shall be continuing into my development in the next post. Keep updated! ^^

Word 1: Beauty

In the last post I showed you my unedited photo shoot. In this post I shall be showing you the process in which I achieve the final outcome starting with step 1: Editing the photograph:

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I mainly used the Levels tool, lasso, feather, heal brush, clone brush and Hue & Saturation. Nothing too fancy because I put a lot of effort into the initial look of the photos.

Now for the part that I found a little harder, the Digital Illustration. I used the pen tool in Illustrator for this, below you can see how I did it:

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Basically here you can see me using the pen tool and different brush settings in Illustrator to add arrows, dashes and other features to the original lines, this includes their weight and distance between the dashes ect, you can click to enlarge the images.
The next step was for me to import the illustration into photoshop as a Vector, this way I could merge the image and the illustration together and make amendments where needed:

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The steps above are me dragging the vector from Illustrator and into Photoshop via two open windows. After this is completed I simply rasterize the layer so it becomes a regular, editable layer. After this I altered and aligned it with the picture below before changing the opacity then flattening the images and saving it as a Jpeg.
Here is my¬†final outcome for “Beauty”.


I shall be continuing this module with my next choice of word.

Word 2: Depression

I have decided to choose my second word for the (visual communication brief) which is DEPRESSION.

When we say “depression” in modern day society most people’s reaction would be to picture a person huddled in a corner crying. This is the¬†stereotypical visual perception of depression, though sometimes it is very true.

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

They range from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and complaining of various aches and pains.

The severity of the symptoms can vary. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.

For a more detailed list, read more about the symptoms of depression.

Most people experience feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short time, rather than being a sign of depression. Read more information about low mood and depression.

Sometimes people may self harm, take pills, overdose, drink, hurt those around them, become anorexic/bulimic or even commit suicide due to depression. I feel like these ‘symptoms’ have been quite widely explored when it comes to photography and artwork in relation to depression. below are some examples of artwork in relation to depression (they aren’t my pictures):
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I have noticed the colours used in these images (and many more not included in this post) are very dark and dingy, just overall quite ‘depressing’ which fits the word very well.

Word 2 – Depression

Beginning thought on my depression piece were mainly influenced by the causes of common depression what causes it, it’s effects ect. However halfway through I remembered my sister coming across a dead bird during a photo shoot. She turned around to me as I talked and just looked at me, dead bird in hands, tears rolling down her cheeks. “Why did it die?” she said, I raised my camera and caught the sincerity in my eyes. For the rest of the day she was depressed because this little bird’s life had ended. Upon remembering this I realised the causes for depression (even if it is for a day) can be beautiful. Below are the pictures I took, alongside some notes and brainstorms. You can click to enlarge them, all pictures and notes are created by me.


My mind was pretty much set on this idea so I discarded the other ideas I came up with. What I did was create a realistic drawing of my sisters face and all the depression it held. Despite this being a ‘stereotypical’ version of depression that at a glance, seems just like a girl who’s crying (I have put more thought into it than that, also depressed people tend to smile even when they’re suicidal) I am hoping the amount of effort gone into this will outweigh that.

In the next post I shall be showing you my finished produce.

Words 3 & 4 – Illusion and Metamorphosis

For my third and fourth word I have decided to go with ‘Illusion’ and ‘Metamorphosis’.

Starting with Illusion, the first thing I did was look through some reference photos that allowed me to gain a broader perspective of the word, I started by beginning with my favourite illusion artist: Escher.

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These are all very visually pleasing black and white hand-drawn Images. The traditional method Escher has used is truly beautiful and I could probably recreate something similar, however based on the time I have and the fact that I have already used traditional methods for “Depression” I turned to look at makeup, photo manipulation, digital and photography based methods:

1-clouds-illusions-dale--ford 145675600 animals-birds-face-Illusions article-1303836-0AD2206C000005DC-665_634x433 face-illusion-02 face-illusions-1-1 Face-of-Paris optical-illusion9 Two-Face-Optical-Illusion-c
Something that really caught my eye whilst looking at these pictures is the “doppleganger” one where the man looking at his camera has many little versions of himself procrastinating in the shot. This made me remember a photograph I took 3 years ago for my As-Level photography course. I immediately decided to use this because it uses large amounts of photo manipulation and displays my photography skills at the same time. Unfortunately there is no planning for this but in another post I shall be showing you how I created the picture.

The next word is¬†‘Metamorphosis’. I did the same and looked through the meaning of Metamorphosis and explored some photos to get to grips with the word:

DSC_0649-600x400-560x373 ernestofoto.SR_.moth_.PROMO_-680x1020 metamorphosis the-metamorphosis.282120459_std a a a a a a

One of the most common references to metamorphosis is the caterpillar into a butterfly. I like the idea of transition, below I have some examples of a transition, but instead of a beautiful one, I have decided to ‘devolve’ myself and show the transition. The story behind this is how ordinary girls can get into drugs, alcohol and prostitution ect and how that ruins them as a person. Hopefully these images are self explanatory, but in the last one the white lily symbolises death. You can click these images for a larger view if needed. THESE ARE ALL MY PHOTOGRAPHS, HAIR MAKEUP ECT.
IMG_6747a  IMG_6761a    IMG_6781aIMG_6792aIMG_6820aIMG_6829aIMG_6852a

In the next post I shall be moving onto development for these two words.

Word 3 – Illusion

In my previous post I explained my words of choice – Illusion and Metamorphosis. Here I shall be showing you the development for the final outcomes I am about to produce ūüôā
So for Illusion I have decided to go with the clone idea I had last time. I don’t think this shows quite enough photo manipulation (seems though that is what I’ve decided to focus on) so I have chosen to add a second ‘illusion’ into the picture. It shall be a word formed out of the branches above the girl’s heads. ALL PHOTOS, SCREENSHOTS, STYLING ECT IS MY OWN.


These aren’t the exact images I used to stitch together, but they are some of them. As you can see I had my sister shuffle around and look like she was talking to someone (which was hilarious to watch) so I could edit another ‘her’ into the shot and simulate communication. Below you can see some of the ‘editing in process’ shots, including those where I stitched together the branches to make the word ‘Nirvana’.

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Here is the final outcome for ILLUSION:

In the next post shall be the development and final piece for the word “METAMORPHOSIS” Enjoy! ^^

Word 4 – Metamorphosis

Moving on to the word “METAMORPHOSIS”. For this word I have chosen to go with something dreamlike and slightly deep in meaning. Because I have quite a few photography based pieces I have chosen to show my traditional methods again. This time however I have used a wide range of materials from markers to ink to pencil to paint. The steps are below: (ALL MY IMAGES AND WORK)

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As you can see here I began at the top panel and worked my way down to the bottom. Below is some close – ups of the piece so you can see the detail more clearly.

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And finally, the final outcome followed by the explanation behind this piece. Feel free to click on the image for a larger version:


The explanation for this piece:
This piece is based upon dreams and the stages of REM (rapid eye movement) in a visual interpretation, each red item the girl is a piece of reality to her, and the more red clothing she loses, the further she is into the dream and the more this dream becomes her reality. Each panel is a stage of REM (stage 1 to 5), the end panel being the deepest of her sleep and dreaming phase.
The girl is asleep, the top panel sees her in the door of her bedroom with a (very small) photo frame of her sleeping in the red dress. Of course her room is in it’s own house and floating amongst burning girls attached to balloons (they symbolise her in reality, feeling pressure and no freedom), so she abandons ship on the ladder from her door, leaving the red frame behind alongside¬†her feeling of being trapped. In the second panel she slips¬†from the ladder leaving behind the familiarity of her bedroom and falls, leaving behind her red ribbon. The silhouettes of ships are imprinted on the balloons once holding girls with burning heads, symbolising her freedom being in sight, but not quite there yet. In the third frame the girl is fairly at peace as the ships sail free from the surface of their balloons that later sink into air bubbles, until she hits the water, submersing her and causing her to loose the red shoes. Left with nothing but her red dress that also leaves her body, the sleeping girl is drowning in the freedom she once had as it breaks apart before her eyes (referring to the ships sinking). Just as she is completely unaware of reality and sinking further into a nightmare she is impaled by the very freedom she wanted in the first frame (the mast of the ships sails) and is brought back to reality by the redness of her own blood, the very thing that ends the dream entirely.

Hope you enjoyed! Soon to be moving onto word 5.