Fundamentals of Web Design Reflective Blog

In the following post I will be sharing my opinions and processes for these first three projects we took in the subject Fundamentals Of Web Design.

Eyebombing was the starting point. By teams we should manage to find faces in daily common objects by looking at them on a different perspective. This project meant to teach us some photography techniques but also open our eyes and minds towards the design and visual elements that composed the pictures and that would apply to our own designs later on.

I teamed up with Mark in what resulted to be a really productive coalition, getting a good bunch of pictures to work with and enjoying the process of discovering more and more faces along the way.

At the very beginning I would say felt a bit weird looking at things and wanting to frame a face in them and at the same time thinking something like “This picture is way too simple” or “This one don’t really look like a face”. But the breakpoint was to discover that just by practicing, it was quite easy to find these faces almost everywhere, each one funnier or more obvious than the previous, until you find yourself discovering faces everywhere and you can not get rid of it.

Motorbike at TheO2

After we selected the pictures we liked the most we decided to do a bit of edition to make the face come out a little, and some more experimental edition with the subject itself in different scenarios.

I am happy with the feedback received, and remarking something we could have done better, maybe we could have made some more pictures outside the university’s surroundings so we would have wider range of these everyday objects.

OneTweet was the second and first individual project and also my favourite out of the three because of the process itself. It was about pure typographic design. Using a remarkable given tweet we had to design five or more posters which would explore the different visual principles we learned about earlier on that week. The brief stated a few principles I tried ,and think I managed to follow, these were:

  • Square Design
  • Only typographic (no images)
  • Same family font
  • Tweet to have a meaning
  • Vector file

Although I worked a bit with Illustrator before, I never had developed a full concept into this software, so after some tutorials on lynda.com and some sketching, I started working and experimenting with different font families, colours….

The reason I chose Ed Ball’s tweet “Ed Balls” was no other than wanting to play with the characters one by one and not composing a full image or mask for an image with that text.

I made some research on the background of this tweet to try and give it more meaning than the simple appealing design and after a first approach and feedback, I turned the colour palette into red, to match it with the labour party Ed Balls represents, making the whole concept meaningful. I feel proud of it and I am really happy with the final feedback received. On the other hand, maybe I should have tried to open my concept a bit more and explore some other different compositions than the serious design I came up with, is something I will try to improve in the future with some more experience.

For Union Hack I teamed up with Fran to try and achieve the goal for this project: to mash-up and create our own flag out of the information taken from Roman Mars’ TedEx talk “Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed”.

Mash-up example

After some experimentation again on Illustrator and some research I decided to mash-up my own hometown’s flag, mostly because after seeing too many that I liked, I found in my hometown’s some elements that with a bit of change, could meet all the requirements to turn a not so well designed flag in one that would meet all the criteria. As its a really unknown town in the middle of the mountains, I felt I needed to explain what the colours stand for, whats the meaning of the design it actually has and how all the background influenced in it. Later, I showed some sketches and the first approach before ending explaining the final result that I came up with after the first feedback.

Own Flag Variation 1
Own Flag Variation 2

For my own flag design, I chose a fiction illustrated landscape I found on the Internet, which was composed of some medieval touches and some water, ground and the sky that would take the colours chosen for the concept.

As an approach to simple symbolism, I decided to represent the ceiling of the castle which can be seen in the middle of this landscape by a meaningful three piece icon which would reflect the essence of what you can capture from the image in a first quick look.

We worked as a team trying to match both works into a same style to show some consistency in the concepts, and though we are really happy with the feedback received, I feel myself like I could have tried harder to simplify the symbolism and give it a more meaningful and appealing approach.

The three projects have marked a clear path and had opened my eyes a bit more on how to approach a design concept, from the very initial research to a final stage, and how to implement the feedback, advice and experiences I get from my colleagues and teachers along the way in order to create and explain a design which also contains a constant message.

I enjoyed a lot doing these three projects, and truly believe I got a lot of experience during the processes.