Week #4 — 7521QCA Visual Communication

Week four was a little bit different than the previous weeks. Thanks to yet another COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, the vast majority of on-campus classes were cancelled. This included Visual Communication.

Thankfully however, Rae quickly arranged for an online session at the same time.

Admittedly, I was a bit late to the party due to a lapse in memory on my part.

Not all of the class joined the online session but most of us were present.

The class was divided into two parts. First, we went through the “Pixelated to Death” content. I briefly looked at it before this class but there were some examples in the commentary provided as Rae walked us through each section that made the concepts easier to understand.

The second part of the class was the an activity to test our newly gained knowledge. We were to use InDesign to rearrange/restructure the content on a lost pet flyer.

Funny side note: The lost pet in question was a fly.

Of course, there was no actual lost pet fly. But we were told that there was some misunderstanding in the other online class…

The activity itself was also a kind of mini competition. Whoever did the worst job of redesigning the poster would have to bring chocolates to the next class.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, of all the software we use in Visual Communication, InDesign is the one I have the least experience with. I am also yet to delve into the InDesign tutorials. Meaning that this was my first experience with InDesign in this class. Thankfully, a bit of know-how from other Adobe software and a few Google searches were enough to assist me in making a passable lost pet poster.

My Redesign of a Missing Pet Poster

Mine differed from my classmates in a number of ways. Left alignment, highlighted Subheading, black-bordered image, and additional text were the main differences. The highlighted sub-heading emphasised the reward offering, the black border counteracted the slight contrast between the image and page backgrounds, and the additional text added more content so that the paragraphs wouldn’t end with single-worded lines.

However, the left-align made the poster look more like a magazine article.

The poster I liked the most out of the bunch was Miri’s. Specifically, the “CALL US” bar at the bottom of the page.

Miri’s Redesign of the Missing Pet Poster

As noted by Rae, the yellow text gave the poster a sense of greater urgency. It had an excellent hierarchy. Looking at the poster as a tiny post on teams, I could see all the important information:

  • “Missing pet fly”
  • “$20 Reward”
  • “Call us 0455 877 741”

Over the rest of the week I managed to complete the Photoshop tutorial videos, the analogue to digital tutorial videos, the last photoshop task and the last illustrator task.

My favourite video of the ones I’ve watched would have to be the “Colouring and shading an image in Photoshop” video. The video showed me some effective means of precise colouring and shading in Photoshop…

Also, the featured drawing was pretty neat.

Of course, the Analogue to Digital videos were the ones that helped me the most when working on the last of the Photoshop and Illustrator tasks.

My original Plan was to do a single sketch of… something… and use it for both tasks. However, after I finally managed to make pencil meet paper, I became somewhat enthralled in it and ended up making multiple sketches.

I find it kind of funny that I became so stressed trying to find something to draw and then completely enthralled once the sketching had started.

I ended up settling on the first two completely random sketches. I digitised both in photoshop then redrew them in illustrator.

“HIGH FRY “ — Pencil Sketch (left), Digital Sketch (middle), Vector (right)
“ORC DORK” — Pencil Sketch (left), Digital Sketch (middle), Vector (right)

I kind of went on a spree of drawing random things that rhymed. These two are “High Fry” and “Orc Dork”. I found it fun in a silly way to try and find odd combinations of words that rhyme and then sketch them.

I wasn’t entirely sure if the digitisation of the sketches involved just making the background white and the pencil details visible or if it also involved tidying up the stray pencil marks and smudges. This is something I’m going to have to ask Rae when I get the chance.

Also, I discovered the use of a new tool that I didn’t know existed before.

The width tool.

I used it quite a lot in the illustrator versions of the sketches in order to give them a more marker drawn appearance. If I had known about this tool earlier, I would have used it in my flower image that I intend to submit for the stroke width/colour Illustrator task.

It’s worth noting that for the digitisation of the sketches in Photoshop, I didn’t follow the tutorial video exactly. Instead of making the background white in a separate application, I brought the raw image into Photoshop and used the “Threshold” image adjustment. But before that, I selected the sketch using the “Colour Range” selection, as shown in the tutorial video. However, I masked it instead of deleting it.

Unfortunately, the Threshold image adjustment dimmed the sketch lines of one of the sketches. I got around this creating three duplicates of the sketch layer and set their blend modes to multiply. This intensified the pencil lines. The cleaned versions of the sketches involved the use of an additional layer mask.

I am happy with the results of the final two photoshop and Illustrator tasks. I really enjoyed working on them. Perhaps more so than any of the assessment one tasks to date. All that is left to do are the photography tasks and then the compilation of all the tasks in InDesign. I intend to contact Rae and ask her about my current progress with each of the tasks in assessment one.

But before that I want to get some test photographs in week five to show her as well.

That will be the first thing I do for this class next week.

Aspiring graphic designer and 3D modeller. Graduate of Bond University. Avid Disney fan.