Sketched BLOG

"If you blog it, you'll regret it. If you don't blog it, you'll regret it. You'll regret it whether you blog it or not."

Manipulating images and building a different reality.

Hello, October already and I've got a back-log of posting to do. There's an Inktober post coming - supposed to post everyday but I'm more than a little behind. I have plans to post up some tuts and posts on design - I've neglected that aspect of my work here. Here's one which leans more towards my graphic design work - a small aspect of it but I thought it would be fun to share anyway, for a change.

First, lol, let me get this off of my chest: Nowadays, there's so much misunderstanding when it comes to art and design - it really drives me crazy when people think that photoshop = design or art skills. Using a program does not make someone a designer or an artist - in the same way as owning a pencil doesn't mean one can draw or compose effective images with it. Sure, serious skills in using the program usually indicate someone who is an artist or designer but the focus is all wrong. Art and design skills are far more complex and only honed over years and years of practice and continued application of the principles of art and design. These core skills and principles are what drives artists and designers, they're universal and help us manipulate the chaos around us into beautiful things, not random dabbling in photoshop. Photoshop is one of the digital tools that has pretty much replaced what we used to do on paper, with a camera or with film; but the core skills have always been and will always be those of art and design. If you're an aspiring designer or artist, please by all means learn how to use the program, but don't stop there - go to the root and put in the work to get the experience you need. Further, be willing to admit your level of expertise - everyone started off as a junior and everyone no matter what level has something to learn. But enough of that- arguing over what should be obvious leads to frustration and madness.

Most of the time, when a design brief comes up for a Graphic Designer, finding a solution for a particular problem starts with a conceptual phase. Technically the full cycle actually should start with orientation and analysis but unfortunately at times these two vital first steps are often eroded away or diluted into a brief without allowing the Graphic Designer to fully explore and digest all relevant information. These are the painful realities sometimes present in different working environments. Digesting all the relevant information about audience, etc allows for a better conception (or conceptual) stage. Concept is the driving force behind Design as orientation and analysis are the driving forces behind concept.

Creating these images for an email campaign was a fairly straight forward task but the same processes almost always apply. The purpose was to create an asset for an email campaign showing new web assets displayed on different platforms, the idea of using items related to the site were added during the process. Rapid thumb nailing and planning compositions during the design phase, building and collecting possible assets bringing the design to the point where I started work on the final. Personally as a Graphic Designer, the design and conceptual phase is one of the most enjoyable, but also its success is often dependant on the important planning stages before. 

Implementation is a final stage in the process, though I like to add in a review phase, which allows for contemplation of how successful the project was. Implementation is about putting the design into a polished and finished final stage. It's really about the craftsmanship behind carrying out the conceptual and design requirements and plans. Implementation at times creates a need for bringing in other specialised Graphic Design skills into the mix- depending on what is being produced. Illustration (or photography), for example, is a specialised area of graphic design (I need to make a future post about how illustration - whether conceptual art or editorial illustration relies heavily on Design). As always the 5 step process applies to this area as well but the difference has to do with creating an image or asset which communicates a required message or supports the message of the design or Graphic Designer/creative team planned campaign. At times a designer might outsource aspects to another craftsman if he/she thinks that this better serves the final product, doesn't have the required depth and skills or if he/she has the luxury of doing so. Some of the illustration jobs I get when acting as an Illustrator, for example, are from this source - a designer needs an asset and has the budget to outsource illustration to me. I'm lucky I guess because I'm a Graphic Designer and Illustrator. Having a diverse and multi-diciplnary skill set allows me to create all assets I need in a design without having to rely on anyone else. One of the only reasons for me to outsource aspects of a design would have to do with time constraints and projects that are more complex than usual. 

So the process brings us to the final images posted below. Both are marketing assets for their own email campaign. The second image was to follow the style of the first, for consistency. I've broken down these images somewhat to show how much of a fabrication they are of the process I spoke about above. The success of the creation of these images depend on many factors (within the implementation phase), one of these factors is the often neglected use of light and colour to create unity.

The first one of the final images for an email campaign. The image has been 'frankensteined' together as planned in the design phase, in this case from a thumbnail design.

These images show the starting point -  a white page with a photo of a desktop computer, a screenshot of the web asset, photo stock of company assets to be included within the image, 3d objects of different closures to add to the context of the image, and a work in progress shot of the image as I built it from 'scratch'.

The second final image for an email campaign. 

The images in the carousel above show the starting point - a white page with a photo of a desktop computer, a screenshot of the web asset, I went into the photo studio to take further photo assets of crimps and wires, carefully setting them up for the final shot. Photography is one of the tools a graphic designer uses to achieve creative goals, but often we take the photograph further with careful post editing.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my post, if its your first time on my blog please feel free to explore previous posts. If you're a returning visitor - thank you so much for coming back, that's awesome!