Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Sketching ideas

This idea shows an arrow pointing from the London Bridge to St Paul’s. I added my own type. It was just an experimentation.

This idea features a photo of London Bridge and St Paul’s with a split between the two.

Idea on left: London Bridge at the top with a map showing the route to St Paul’s in the centre.

Idea on right: A map of the route in the back ground and examples of type jumping up from the area.

Close up picture of the top of St Paul’s with diagonal type.

Top left and bottom right: Ideas showing a map of the route as the main picture on the poster.

Top right and bottom left: I’m not sure where these ideas came from as they show ideas related to the theatre and to the stage. These ideas aren’t relevent and I won’t be using them.

Lecture notes and work sheet given in class on 4th October 2011 – Thinking about thinking

Below is the work sheet we were given.

Below are the ideas we came up with to try to solve the bottle activity. In my group were Sam, Scott and Lucy. We found it very difficult.

Eventually we found the solution. See below.

Then we placed the final bottle on top to see if it worked or not. I was surprised that the structure successfully supported the bottle. See below.

Lecture notes taken in class on 3rd October 2011

Aim: Start generating and developing ideas from research.

Critically  – why are you researching? Demonstrate.

Posters – annotate them. Engage with research. 25 breathtaking typographic posters

Self evaluation

  • what did I like and why?
  • what wasnt I good at?
  • how can I improve?
  • what is wrong with my research?
  • reflective conclusions

Inform a design solution. Look at other posters to see how its done. Look at smashing magazine. What are you researching? What are your ideas? Show overtly. Anything can be used as research. You must take screen shots of the computer process. Graphic work is mass-produced.

Who will look at the poster?

  • students
  • type enthusiasts
  • historians
  • teachers

The poster needs to appeal to that audience. Make a mood board. You must have more than one idea. Typically you would bring six ideas with you when you see a client. The client will then tell you what they like and what they don’t like. You have to be flexible. All big companies do research, dont minimise it.

Look at the module guide on moodle. That is where our grades come from.

Generating means coming up with an idea.

Learning how to start

Starting a project is the hardest part. I don’t know how to use a sketch book and I’ve never made a blog before. I’ve only ever uploaded single pictures on to anonymous video and image hosting sites. So to say this is a steep learning curve for me may be an understatement. But that’s no reason to give up, right? So. I figure the best way to teach myself about how to use a sketch book and how to make a blog is to blog about my researching how to use a sketch book. Get it? Works for me. I’m going to make a list of websites I’m reading, incase I need to go back and look at them in the future. I am going to use Google search to find some relevent sites. In no particular order here is what I found.

Site One

Great site with amazing pictures and videos of sketch book pages but I feel it’s too advanced for me to use at this point.

Site Two

The pictures on this page, done by students, are familiar to me as I used to spend a lot of time drawing abstract shapes. Again, I don’t find this particularly helpful for my project. This part is reassuring: “We share the philosophy that “Art Can Be Taught,”…Beginning art students are commonly fearful of blank pages, and students with little experience in visual concepts often have difficulty thinking of a way to start a picture. We also know that a student who is not doing, is probably also not learning.”

Site Three

This site is very helpful for me. It explains the reasons why people use sketch books. It appears to be a time-saving device. I am not particularly familiar with sketch books and currently have little ability or confidence to use one. This site says: ‘In fact, many new great ideas whether design or not are structured by brainstorming on paper first with their group before going forth and bringing some sort of prototype to life.’ I am familiar with brainstorming so I will start this project with a brain storm. I’m really glad I found this website as I don’t think I would have ever thought of putting a brainstorm inside a sketch book.

Site Four


Getting side tracked teaching myself how to write this blog with correct punctuation. This web page is useful to me.

Site Five


This web page has just taught me to use block quotes correctly which is great.


I have learnt quite a lot from making this blog today. I am undecided as to whether I should use a sketch book or try to do everything here in my blog. The idea of using both doesn’t seem very convenient. I can see now that a sketchbook can be used in a number of different ways, depending on your goal. You can use it to keep a journal of your life and places you’ve been. If you try to create your idea in, say Illustrator, without sketching first, you lose the opportunity to try ideas without being constrained.

It was disheartening to find out that it took more time to sort out the bibliography than I took actually learning and enjoying the websites. I could have looked at a lot more websites in the same amount of time if I hadn’t of written a bibliography.


Site One

Stankewitz, Martin . “The sketchbook – a creative diary.” Squidoo. November 2009: Scrapbooking. Web. 30 Sep. 2011. <http://www.squidoo.com/sketch-book>.

Site Two

For the web page containing the pictures I was looking at:

Smith, Donna Odle and Waterman, Gail . “Art Teachers’ Resource Student Examples Index.” Archive.edu: An Archive of Sharable Education Resources on the Web. December 1998: Art Teachers’ Resource Sketchbook Assignments. Web. 30 Sep. 2011. <http://atlantis.coe.uh.edu/archive/electives/elective_lessons/electiveles8/page1/s-index.htm>.

For the quote:

Unknown, . “Art Teachers’ Resource Sketchbook Assignments.” Archive.edu: An Archive of Sharable Education Resources on the Web. December 1998: Elective Lessons. Web. 30 Sep. 2011. <http://atlantis.coe.uh.edu/archive/electives/elective_lessons/electiveles.html>.

Site Three

Author name unknown. (Author’s Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/grindsmart) “Why Sketching And Wireframing Ideas Strengthens Designs.” SpyreStudios. September 2010: The Archives. Web. 30 Sep. 2011. <http://spyrestudios.com/why-sketching-and-wireframing-ideas-strengthens-designs/>.

New Documentary Forms and John Martin at Tate Modern

I went to London to see these exhibitions. I thought they were amazing and I really enjoyed it. New Documentary Forms produced a lot of discussion in the group, trying to work out what the pictures were of and what they meant. The John Martin exhibition was totally amazing and I walked around the gallery in a state of astonishment. I found his creations to be jaw dropping and I was stupefied. Other people in the group also seemed amazed. It made me wonder what other art I have been missing out on.

Here are some of the examples of type. I took these photographs.

Lecture notes taken in class on 28th September 2011

Aim  – Generating Ideas & Divergent Thinking

How can you show research to clients or to tutors?

Annotate pictures. Use arrows to point to the part of the picture the note is referring to. Ideas you reject are just as important as the ones you like. You need to make a conclusion at the end of your research. Research without conclusion is pointless. Give labels to explain to the tutor what each part is. Labels such as Rough Ideas, Good Ideas. You must cover all the learning outcomes in your work. Make it as obvious as possible. Then you must reflect.

Divergent thinking – there is no one right answer. There is appropriate or inappropriate.

We then did an activity where we made a list of all the things we could think of that can be done with a brick such as cooking it or decorating it. Then we made a list of all the mixed media we could think of that could be used to make an alien skin effect for a poster such as bubble wrap or cling film.

Lecture notes taken in class

Aim: Introduction to research

Typography – Flickr, typo.graphy, dafont.com, type events.com

Posters – Google 25 breathtaking typographic posters, smashing magazine

What is the point in research?

  • Learn from others mistakes
  • To have a foundation to start from
  • To gain inspiration
  • Find out who your audience is
  • Find out what current trends there are in fashion and theatre
  • Use other people’s work as a standard or benchmark with which to compare your own
  • Allows you to make analysis
  • Evidence to prove and justify your choices are appropriate
  • You can find out if your choices are inappropriate

How do you research effectively?

Gather information and comment on it. We are graded on our research. It must be effective. People who research well get better grades.

Primary – in a museum, gallery, a physical magazine, an artifact, questionnaires, talking to someone at the scene.

Secondary – internet opinion, people’s interpretation.

Wikipedia is banned. You can use their references. Visual sources are better than written. Makes notes on the same day as you are looking at a picture. Make thumb nail sketches. Use the index in books to find relevent chapters. Always make a bibliography.

How to do effective research

Learn how to think properly


PMI stands for Plus Minus Interesting. In what ways is this piece of research helpful to my current project? How and why is it helpful. How does this work and why?

Look at one of the research posters you have and apply the PMI. I used the Stella Artois Dry poster. The plus is that it had many different types of type on it which is relevant to this project. The minus is that the poster used a word I’ve never heard before and don’t understand which is the word ‘lummy’. There were lots of interesting things about the poster. Paw prints had been used and the model used was an older man with a huge tattoo on his back. This really grabbed my attention as I hadn’t expected to see this as typically younger models are used to sell products on television and in print.

Learn how to do effective research. Learn how to use different sources, learn how to analyze them. Learn how to display this. Keep referring back to the brief. What can I use from other designers in my design? I now need to set up a blog on either blogger.com or wordpress.com

My fellow students tell me that blogger.com is the more simple to use so I’m going to use wordpress as I am looking to become a web designer in the future so I want to learn how to use these sites even if they are more complicated.

Blogging about my graphics ideas and experiences