Category Archives: Part5 Layout

Assignment 5 – Promotional design

For this assignment I am asked to produce a poster, a flyer, a newspaper advert and a programme cover for a youth theatre club performing a production od Mike Leigh’s ‘Abigail’s Party’. It is a tale of suburban taste set in the 1970’s. The play will be touring local theatres for a month. The client is particularly keen for the designs to have a 70’s feel. I started off with familiarizing myself with the plot of the play. As the 1970’s feel is important to the client, I researched how every-day life looked back then.

7e6c64bbbf61770209c8fed9b5f5a46f 043ff360ca59c2d11ede4310e3ce1dd0 wallpaper-art-nouveau-70s retro-fabric patternbathroom d20677f10e27648f400efe24c0541d5c brown kitchen034 article-0-11A5602F000005DC-910_964x760 8114_1281034954_4 70s_furniture_1 b509a85b870fbf32acb785b0162d63cb

I recently watched a program called ‘Back in time for dinner’ on BBC, it is a historical cooking show,it gave me an insight into the way of life in the 1970’s. ‘Abigail’s Party’ was mentioned in it.

I wanted my designs for this assignment to present the gathering, people meeting, interacting, to keep with the play’s plot. I planned on making the 1970’s theme present in all of my designs. The research I made gave me a few visual ideas. I wanted for at least some of the work to be handmade, for example the background and then the text can be added on the computer. I made a collage in my previous work and thought it should be suitable for this assignment. I find making collages to be a great way of adding colours and patterns to a design and those seem crucial in the 1970’s style. The idea I had was a view of guests standing at the party. I decided to use a collage to make shoes, with floor and wallpaper in the background.

The first idea I had was a view of people standing together with just shoes visible from above, with text in the centre. It worked fine in the sketchbook, but a collage of a shoe and foot from this angle did not really work. The second idea was a profile of a shoe and foot. This way I could show the shoe in more detail, for example a platform of a shoe would not be visible in a shot from above. In order for my designs to be accurate I researched 1970’s footware styles. Platforms were very popular and I decided to use them in my designs.

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I made a collage of a woman’s and man’s shoe out of paper magazine cutouts. The sandal on a platform worked well, I thought it looked realistic and with the 1970’s feel. The man’s shoe took me longer to make, but in the end I was happy with a large toe box shoe on a short and wide heel. Then I started looking for patterns that would look like a wallpaper from that time. I also tried different ways of placing the collage elements I made, one idea is to have the woman’s and man’s shoes facing each other, the other idea is for Beverly’s legs to be placed together on the side of the poster, as if she was standing and waiting in anticipation for the guests to arrive. I also like her sitting with her legs crossed, that gives a more relaxed feel than the other versions. Wooden floor, white skirting board and a pattern wallpaper complete the background.

legscrossed   legs3  legs2   bg1  bg2   bg3 bg4   advert

Next was to find a suitable font for the text. I planned on using a retro-looking font for the play’s title and keeping the rest simple and easily read. I tried a few fonts and used the Alba font for the title.


The smaller text on the poster is written in Myriad Pro Regular font. I included all the essential information on it. The front page of the flyer shares the platform sandal collage and the title of the play, all the remaining information is on the back of the flyer with the male guest’s shoe. Fonts used are Alba and Myriad Pro. Similar collage that is used for the poster is also used for the newspaper advert. The following are my designs:







Newspaper advert

Newspaper advert

Programme cover

Programme cover

I think I created designs that would fulfill the client’s brief. The 70’s brief that was so important to be included in those designs is present by the use of colours, patterns and 70’s style footwear. The handmade look might add to the 1970’s vibe. Overall I am happy with my work. I think the collage elements work well representing party guests, that also gave me a chance to create something away from the computer screen.  Creating a poster, flyer, advert and the programme cover allowed me use all the collage variations I have created, making them slightly different, but they all share a similar theme.






The French Hen

In this exercise I will design a cover for food and cocktail menu, outside signage, a cutout for a window detail, t-shirt for the staff, paper napkins and beermats for Newton and Ridley brewers. They are opening a new cafe/wine bar nearer the city centre. The bar is designed to appeal to younger women and sophisticated young men. The venue will be relaxed and in direct competition with the cheap ‘binge drinking’ venues on the same street.

I used my sketchbook for developing an image of a hen that I want to include in the logo. Some of the illustrations look typical, some more humourous. The venue is designed to appeal to young and sophisticated people, so  humourous logos might not be what the client is looking for.

20150327_111053 finallogoexp hen1 logo1

I also worked in Illustrator with the fonts and images. I tried out several ways of placing the name of the venue and the image of a hen together. I also worked further on the image. The following are 3 logos that I would present to the client:


My favourite is the one at the bottom and this is what I am going to use in this exercise, it is a simple image of a hen and venue’s name written in the Candara Bold font:



The logo is simple and clear and should reproduce well in black and white. It also should work well in different scales. The outside signage consists of a banner placed above the door and window with the venue’s name and a cutout for a window with the logo. I placed the logo on the menus, napkins and staff’s t-shirts. I think it looks good on white and beige backgrounds. The beermat shares a similar design, at the back of it there is a ‘drink sensibly’ message, it is placed on a half-empty beer glass.

cocktailmenu   foodmenu front napkin shirtbeermats

I think my logo is appropriate for the venue. I like the way it is presented on the different items. I hope its simplicity and colour range will differ the venue in comparison with the cheap ‘binge drinking’ venues on the same street.

Chance Housing Association

In this exercise I will be designing a brand image for Chance Housing Association’s stationery. The association helps first time buyers get onto the housing ladder, it is modern, helpful and welcoming. They want their logo to be used on letterheads, business cards and sheets that will hold the property detail. I will also do a mockup of an advertisement in the local newspaper. I found a number of logos of different estate agents in Dublin. They are very simple, most of them use only typography. I guess that is the way to go if the logo needs to be printed in small-scale or on black and white copier and still be easily read. Blue and red seem to be a popular colour choice.

batholomew-mcelhatton-tl download download (1) download (2) images images (1) images (2) logo logo images (3)

I did a few sketches of some of the ideas that I had. The name of the association will be the main focus, but I will also try to incorporate a simple image into the logo. The ideas I had were quite obvious: doors, windows, houses, roofs, keys etc. I experimented with typefaces, different compositions and colours in Illustrator. Some of the logos are just typography, some of them have a little image.

20150322_175850 logo1 logo2

Some of the designs worked better than others. My favourite is the white, grey and orange logo with an open door image. I liked the ‘door’ idea from the beginning, it represents getting your own new place, the door is open, it looks inviting and you can just about to see what is on the other side if you just push it a little bit more.


‘Chance’ is written in a large Arial Bold font, with ‘Housing Association’ being placed underneath and smaller in size. It took me a while to get the colours right, the blue and white version looked a bit generic. After many tries I settled on grey, white and orange. I thought that the white and grey combination for text looked soft and the orange door added some colour, I added some shading to it to stop it from looking flat, like the white and blue version.

I also liked the hand drawn logo with a window:

windowlogo I liked the window image made out of curved lines. In the end I decided not to use it as I could not find a way of putting all the elements together in a way that would be pleasing to the eye. It also reminded me a little too much of a Windows logo.

I designed letterheads with the logo on them. I added some coloured blocks corresponding with the logo, similar design is used for business card. I also took a picture of my local newspaper and fitted the ad into it. The following are different designs of letterheads and business cards:

businesscard2   leeterhead1   leeterhead3   leeterhead4

Final designs:



Business card

Business card





Advertisement in the local paper

Advertisement in the local paper



I also printed my designs:

Logo (colour + black and white)

Logo (colour + black and white)

Business card

Business card





This exercise highlighted the wide scope of design activities that need to be considered in relation to a company’s branding. The logo is just a start. It was interesting to design the logo, letterhead, business card, advertisement and a folder and linking them together by the use of a similar design and logo. I also got a chance to print my designs, they looked quite different printed. The orange elements lost their vibrancy. I had to adjust orange text on the business card as it looked too pale after printing it out and the text was hard to read. It was also interesting to see a black and white version of my logo. I think it still looks well, I am happy with the contrast and I think that the overall design did not lose much or changed by the lack of colour.



Poster and flyer

I am asked to design an A4 poster and an accompanying double sided A6 flyer to promote a singing course run by an organisation called SingOut. The poster will be printed on black and white photocopier, colour paper can be used. First, I had a look at the information I need to include on the poster and flyer and I put it in the right order. First will be ‘Do you love to sing?, then  the short description of the event to give a good idea about the nature of the course. The following will be information on where and when the event is happening, price and ‘no experience needed’ information. The poster and flyer will end with the phone number and website address. I think all the essential info is there. I just noticed that there is no age group mentioned, so I guess anyone can attend. I also thought of mentioning the organiser’s name in the description, but the name is in the website address, so that might do. All the information will be included on the poster and I think of placing the ‘Do you love to sing?’ along with an illustration on the front of the flyer and the rest of the info on the back. I had a look at those type of posters online, they are very different from what I am supposed to design, as they contain colour graphics that would not photocopy well. I used my sketchbook for experimenting with the illustrations I will include in my design.

2011_SingComp_Poster_A2_v2  download download (1) singing-out-proud-poster 20150315_123109

I decided to include a simple illustration of a microphone with a stand, it should reproduce well on a photocopier, the image is black, without any shading etc. The paper used for the poster and flyer will be yellow to add some colour to the design. My first idea was for the ‘Do you love to sing?’ to be written by using the microphone’s cable. I tried this idea several times, but I could not get it right. It looked messy and the cable idea was not clear.

try2ai try3

Next, I decided to use BBAlpha Sans font instead of the handwritten question. I tried several ways of placing the text and the microphone together. I was not particulary happy with any of them, but I decided to go for the text placed to the right of the stand and very close to it for the front of the leaflet.

try4 try5 try6

The back of the leaflet contains all the remaining info. I used the same font as on the fron of the flyer, I just adjusted its weight and size.






The poster and the flyer will share a similar design to link them together. The microphone and ‘Do you like to sing’ are placed on the top of the poster. The middle section contains the description of the event and the bottom part includes all the remaining info about the course. I again used the BBAlpha font because it is easily read. I think that it is important espacially for the poster that will be seen from the distance.



This exercise was another case of having an idea I was happy with at the beginning of the exercise, but then when it is done and I see it on my computer screen-it looks completely different from what I was hoping for. I am somewhat happy with the final design, but it was a bit of a downer after the last 2 exercises that I really enjoyed.


Birthday list

I am asked to make up a birthday list for myself. It needs to look well executed as it will be pinned to a noticeboard or wall. I will collect birthdays of my friends and family. I will need their name and birth date. I will also include info whether or not I buy them presents, send a card, text message or email. I started this exercise by collecting birth dates of my closest friends and family. I will place names and dates on my list as well as whether my friends and family will get a present, a card or text on their birthday. I used my sketchbook for trying out a few ideas.

20150307_140343The first idea I tried out was to take a picture of 12 paper sheets and place each month on them. I used two different backgrounds and placed sheets in different orders.

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b'daylist1 b'daylist2

The first list has a black background, sheets are placed in 2 columns. Names of months are written in Segoe Script Bold and names and dates in BBAlpha Serif Regular. The list is black and white and has a simplistic look. The second version uses a similar idea concerning the background with the sheets of paper. the background colour changed and the sheets are placed in 3 columns. The names of months are written vertically in Arial Bold and names and dates in BBAlpha Serif Regular. I like this version, it looks like the paper notes were scattered on a desk, after being typed out in a type writer. I left some room on each note to add more dates and names if required.

The third list turned out to be my favourite. I experimented further with the second idea from the sketchbook. I planned on placing colour blocks containing months’ names  and placing dates and people’s names on the sides, with January being placed on the left, February on the right, March on left and so on. I decided to use only the 3 first letters of months’ names to give a more consistent look, I also placed red block going down the page to connect the red blocks, so the red element flows down the page. While experimenting with the fonts, I decided to make text in the boxes too large to contain within the red borders, I like the way in some cases it spills out of the boxes into the white background. The edges of letters ‘M’ and ‘N’ ‘get lost’ in the background. I chose vibrant red for the centre element as I wanted to keep the sides black and white and written in small font. I also thought that a bit of colour will differ the list from the previous two. Text in red blocks is written in Arial Bold capital letters and small text on the sides in BBAlpha Serif Regular.


The fourth list is made with kids in mind. I used doodles for this design. I drew all the things that are associated with birthdays.

b'daydoodles The names and dates are places in colourful clouds. This design is a little too busy and colorful for my liking, but I wanted to try a design that kids might find attractive.

b'daylist4This last version looks very loud and busy comparing to the previous lists. I used Hobo Std Medium and Euphemia Regular fonts. I thought the names of the months will look playful along with doodles around them, but I kept people’s names and dates simple.

My favourite design is the third one, I am really happy with the way the red element flows from the top to the bottom of the page, the colours look well together and the whole idea works and looks attractive and interesting. The last list, on the other hand, is not really my cup of tea. Too many colours, too much going on, but I am glad I tried it out as not everything I make has to be to my taste.

Giving information

In this exercise I am going to describe my immediate surroundings using information graphics. I considered describing the journey to my work, the layout in my my wardrobes or the layout of my apartment. I decided on the latter. I was really looking forward to this exercise, for some reason describing the layout of my home seemed really appealing and exciting. I had a look online at different plans before I started working on my one.

aprplan live-work-apartment-9-404x600 studio

I started with a few sketches in my sketching book. The first one was very quick, just a rough sketch of all the rooms and their names. The second one concentrates on scale. The third plan has more accurate dimensions, I decided to add some basic furniture to make the plan more detailed and personal.

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The fourth plan is the final one. I made the layout look neater here. I used a brown pencil for the walls and made lines quite thick to make clear divisions on the plan. I added a bit of colour to the furniture to make the plan more dynamic.

20150225_120721My first thought was to make this plan on paper. It was a natural progress from the rough sketches. I included rooms’ names on the outside of the plan, but even without the descriptions the furniture gives a good idea on what rooms there are.

While looking at different apartment plans on the internet I came across, it allowed me to create my plan on my computer very easily. I thought it was a good alternative to the paper version and I was just curious to see how it would work. It was very straight forward, allowing me to add furniture, plants etc to the plan.

aptEven though I have lived in my apartment for the last 10 years, I have never looked at its layout in such detail. I was surprised how hard I had to think while making the first sketches. It took me some time to get the proportions right. This exercise was very different and I throughly enjoyed it. It was great to make something on paper again.


Judging a book by its cover

I am asked to choose a book by  an author I am familiar with. I will have to design 2 covers for this book, one using illustrations or photography and the other using just type. I will design the cover, spine and back page. I am supposed to keep in mind that my design will need to help the reader know what the experience of reading the book will be. The author I decided to choose is Jacek Palkiewicz, he is a Polish journalist, traveler and explorer. He wrote over 30 books on his expeditions. Among his many achievements are discovering the sources of the Amazon River and crossing the Atlantic Ocean alone in a lifeboat in 44 days. I have a few books by this author. I like his style of writing, it is very ‘as a matter of fact’, there is no glorifying of his achievements, it is just a very interesting read about exploring inaccessible corners of the world.

The book I will choose for this exercise is called ‘Life’s passion’ by Jacek Palkiewicz. The book contains a set of the author’s most important trips that were presented in a number of different books. Here, those most memorable moments are gathered together and published in one book. The readership of this book is very broad, it could attract men and women, people of different ages, it can be read by a teenager as  much as by an elderly person. It is written for people who appreciate and enjoy travelling, learning about new places. It could attract people from different walks of life as it is written in a very approachable way. I want for the cover to give the reader an idea of what is inside the book. It has to present something that people associate with travelling, discovering and exploring. I started with sketching in my sketchbook.

20150126_101002 The first idea that came to my mind was hiking boots and prints that boots would leave on the ground. Then I sketched compasses, binoculars and wrote keywords for this project. In the end I decided to use photographs for the first cover. I included photos of foliage, water, sand and rocks to represent the variety of places that the author writes about in this book. It took me a while to get the layout right.

cover2 cover5 cover6 cover7 cover8

The colours in the original photos were quite harsh, so changed the transparency to calm them down. I used the Century Gothic font for the final cover. The book’s title is written in uppercase on the cover, the author’s name is slightly smaller and placed in the bottom part. The spine contains a similar arrangement. The back contains a photo of the author and his brief bio.


Book cover 1


I decided to design a second cover for the book using photographs as I thought that the author might think that the first cover is a bit too peaceful and calm and it does not show the excitement associated with travelling/exploring and instead it looks a bit like a set of postcards. So the second version will be a bit bolder.

I will keep the background white for the second cover to help create a contrast with photos of traveller’s gear that will be placed on the cover. I used photos of ski, a torch, climbing rope and an oar. I placed 2 items under the title and 2 around the author’s name to balance the elements on the cover. The font I used for the cover, spine and back is BBAlpha Serif.


Book cover 2


The last cover is supposed to be made using just type. I had a look at the sketch of ideas for this exercise and I thought that a print of a hiking boot would be appropriate for this. The little individual elements of the print could be made out of letters.

footprint cover1

After thinking it through I decided to use the hiking boot idea, but use the whole outline of the boot instead of a print. I used a photo of a hiking boot and based experimenting with type on its outline. I tried to incorporate the title of the book and the author’s name into it.

20150217_211951  try1to4  try5  try6

After a few tries I thought that the text fitted quite well, I think it is readable. The book title is written in a larger font comparing to the author’s name as the title should be the main focus of the cover and it also helps to prevent the two from merging together. The bottom line that is the author’s name has the bottom parts of the letters coloured black to make it look like a black rubber sole, I also added a few lace holes to make the design easier to identify. Some of the letters are wobbly, uneven, some have ragged edges, I hope that makes the boot look worn, as if it was used in many of the author’s expeditions.


Book cover 3


I am content with the overall design. The hiking boot idea represents the topics that the book is about, it is something that the author had with him on all his travels. I am hoping that this creation resembles clearly a hiking boot, otherwise the cover might be a bit confusing. I think this cover works best out of the three. I find the first cover a bit of a miss, it is too ‘pretty’ and mushy. The other 2 covers are bolder in their design, therefore they work better and give clearer message on what the book is about.