Week #8–7521QCA Visual Communication

This previous week has been pretty much entirely dedicated to Visual Communication. To be honest it’s been pretty up and down.

This week had another public holiday on Monday so there was no class. Thankfully, Monday classes were moved to Tuesday. However, that also meant there was a late start to the week.

While in class, we once again talked about assessment #2 with the following submission being on the following Monday.

In the week seven post (I think), I mentioned that my understanding of the zine assessment changed from the initial explanation at the beginning of the trimester. This most recent class, my understanding changed again. In week seven, I learned that there was a great deal of creative freedom with the zines but this week I learned that there were a few restrictions.

In this most recent class, we were told that the zine required the use of Photoshop AND Illustrator, or rather, raster and vector images.

Unfortunately, this made my original idea difficult to follow through with considering it involved ONLY vector graphics.

Reconsidering Zine Topic

After class I spent some time reconsidering my idea. I thought about ways I could incorporate raster images into my original idea and I also thought about alternative ideas.

Rae suggested a couple of ways that I could incorporate raster images: Adding an “about the author” section at the back of the zine with a picture of myself, or use animal photographs edited in illustrator as opposed to my original sketches.

Making an “about the author” section seemed like a cheap way out. However, using animal photos would not only require me to start from scratch but it would also require me to take my own photos of a number of animals.

With this in mind I began to consider possible alternative ideas for my zine. Over the course of the next few days, I came up with and contemplated three different ideas.

A zine featuring vector images inspired by pairs of rhyming words. Each pair of facing pages would show the rhyming name of the illustration (left page) and the illustration itself (right page). The only problem with this idea is that it only makes use of vector graphics.

A zine featuring different phobias alphabetically. This zine will focus on phobias starting with “A” since there are so many. Every set of facing pages will include an illustration related to the phobia (e.g. illustration of spider for arachnophobia). It will also include the causes and symptoms of each phobia.

With this idea, the illustration would be the raster component and the text and styling would by the vector component.

A zine featuring a visit to the zoo and a wondering imagination. This zine idea was inspired by the notion of potentially going to a wildlife center in order to get my own animal photos. Each set of facing pages would feature a single animal. It would include a photo of the animal with vector editing on top of it along with a description of my experience with the animal and a fun fact about them.

With this idea, the photos are the raster component and the vector edits on the photo are the vector component.

I wasn’t entirely sure which idea I would go with but what I was sure of was that two of the three ideas would require animal photos. So on Thursday, I went to the Currumbin Wildlife Center.

Golden Pheasant (left) | Emu (middle) | Kangaroo (right)

I got a number of good photos and I actually enjoyed the experience. However, the photos were taken on my smartphone and not many of them were of good quality due to distance. The ones shown above were some of the better quality photos.

Chosen Zine Idea: Idea #2

I ended up settling on the phobia zine since I was running out of time. I spent Friday and Saturday working on the illustrations for the phobias. I only had time to draw four illustrations before I was forced to move on to the InDesign document. These four illustrations were for four phobias starting with the letter “A”: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Achluophobia (fear of the dark), Acrophobia (fear of heights), Aerophobia (fear of flying).

Arachnophobia (up-left), Achluophobia (up-right), Acrophobia (down-left), Aerophobia (down-right)

I spent Sunday putting together the InDesign document. This left me Monday to get it printed

Little did I know how difficult it would be and how many things would go wrong.

On Monday I intended to go to Officeworks to have the zine printed. However, once I got there I realised that my zine PDF wasn’t correctly formatted. I had originally intended to make an A5 LANDSCAPE zine. Unfortunately, this means that the facing pages in the PDF exceeded the size of an A4 page. So I returned home and rearranged the document to be an A5 PORTRAIT zine.

When I returned to Officeworks, I discovered that the immediate printing service was limited to self-serve printers. I asked if I would be able to print on black paper since my zine had a black background and unfortunately the answer was no.

From there I decided to buy some black paper and attempt to print it out on my printer at home. I then realised that I would need to go back into the inDesign document and get rid of the black background since the paper was already black. When I printed on the black paper, the ink was far too faded. It was barely legible.

I then changed the background back to black in inDesign and attempted to print black ink on white paper but then discovered that there were some banding lines where my printer wouldn’t print on the page.

By this time, it was getting late in the day so I once again went to Officeworks to print on plain white paper as a last ditch effort.

I obtained one of their pay cards used to operate the printers and then attempted to use them. I plugged in my hard drive to print the file only to discover that it wouldn’t load any of my files. I was assisted by one of the employees but it still didn’t work.

Unfortunately, by this time I would already be quite late to my class so I just decided to call it a night.

It was honestly a very stressful and anxiety riddled experience…

But I did learn a valuable lesson. Always reserve enough time for printing.

MUCH more time.

Like… three days… maybe.

Anyways, this is also the reason why these blog posts are coming so late. I usually do leave most of the blog work until the last minute so that I can cover the whole week but this time it seems to be lagging a bit.

However, it also gives me the chance to say that I did end up handing in my zine… the next day.

Zine Sample Pages

Keep in mind that this isn’t one page, its actually two pages split through the middle. The spider image is on one page and the text is on the other.

Rae was kind enough to let me deliver it to her on Tuesday and give me some very helpful and thought provoking feedback.

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