Week #9 — 7521QCA Visual Communication

Okay, I’ve finally managed to actually do something in Visual Communication this week. So far I’ve been primarily working on making adjustments to my zine in accordance with the feedback provided by Rae.

Zine Edits

I’ve made a number of changes to the zine that aren’t all apparent in the following images.

Assessment #2 Draft Sample (left) | Edited Sample (right)

Raster to Vector Conversion

One of the big bits of feedback I received from Rae when I delivered my zine draft to her was the suggestion that I convert the raster illustrations I drew on my iPad to vector illustrations.

When I initially received this feedback, I was concerned about how much work it would take to act on it. Thankfully, it was relatively painless.

Traced Outline (up-left) | Traced Colour 1 (up-right) | Traced Colour 2 (down-left) | Combined Vector Graphic (down-right)

To convert the illustration to vector, I brought it into Adobe Illustrator and used Object > Image Trace. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the image trace only traced the white outline of each illustration. Sometimes it traced the shapes that used lighter colours but it didn’t do so for the rest. Too resolve this, I brought each illustration into Adobe Photoshop, selected each of the separate coloured shapes, and painted them onto a separate layer. I then exported them as PNG files and imported them into their irrespective illustrator files. After that it was simply a matter of using Object > Image Trace on them and recolouring them to match the original raster image.

Instead of exporting them as PNG files from illustrator, I decided to simply import the Illustrator files themselves in InDesign so that they could be edited and automatically updated just like the text pages.

Unfortunately, this leaves me with a new conundrum. The whole reason I drew the illustrations as raster illustrations was so that they could serve as the raster component of the assessment. With them now converted to vector graphics, my zine no longer has a significant raster graphic component. I’ll be bringing this up with Rae next time we have class.

Image Size

Draft Size (left) | New Size (right)

Image size was also an issue. Originally I placed each of the illustration images within the confines of the page margin. Unfortunately, this means that they cut off before reaching the edges of the page. Rae suggested extending them to the edges of the pages.

After converting each of the illustrations to vector graphics, I enlarged them to the edges of their respective pages.

Thankfully, there were no issues with this. However, there could be a potential issue in the printing of the zine. Since the illustrations extend to the edges of the page, there will need to be some room for bleed in the document.

Removing Black Outline Text

With Black Outline
Without Black Outline

My original submission included black outlines around the edges of the header and sub-header text. This was to ensure proper contrast with the coloured shapes placed behind them. However, Rae recommended that I remove them because they were unnecessary. After removing them, I found that most of them still contrasted fairly well against their respective coloured shapes. However, a couple of them don’t and are now difficult to read. I’m going to need to ask Rae about this as well. It seems like I will need to either bring back the black outline or make the lighter colours darker.

Phobia Treatment Section

Additional Treatment Section

In addition to removing the black outlines on the text pages, Rae suggested that I add a third section in addition to the “causes” and “behavioural symptoms” sections. The section would list potential “treatments” for each phobia. It makes sense to add this sections since it naturally follows the other two. However, I had a couple of concerns with adding it.

Firstly, I initially thought it wasn’t going to fit on the pages. Rae said that making the text smaller than it was at the time would not hurt the zine so that concern was quickly dealt with.

Secondly, I was concerned about repetitive content. The main reason I made the second section of content “behavioural symptoms” instead of “symptoms” was because almost all the physical symptoms of phobias were identical. Similarly, treatments for each phobia are also the same for the most part. Therapy/counselling, medication, relaxing exercises, systematic desensitisation are all shown as treatments for each phobia.

Thankfully, there are a couple extra treatments for each phobia that create some variance such as: virtual reality, positive thinking, etc. However, i’m not sure it’s enough. It’s possible that i’ll need to research treatments more specific to each phobia if there are any.

Table Formatting

New Info Format

During our meeting, Rae put forth an interesting idea to place the information on the text pages into a table to better organise them. After writing each of the “treatment” sections for the various phobias, I organised them into a couple of different versions of tables before settling on one.

This was probably one of the simpler changes to make.

Extra Details

There were also a couple of errors that Rae pointed out that I needed to rectify. These mostly consisted of stray hyphens and widows (solitary words).

Zine Additions

In addition to making edits based on feedback, I also continued working on extending the zine further.

Extra pages

Agliophobia (left) | Alektorophobia (right)

Since handing in the zine draft, I have added/completed two more phobias: Agliophobia (fear of pain) and Alektorophobia (fear of chickens).

II say “completed” because the draft I submitted included the text page of the Agliophobia section but not the illustration.

I’m really happy with how the illustration for Agliophobia turned out. It’s meant to be an X-Ray of a broken forearm. It was a little difficult to decide on how to visualise pain but I ended up settling on this.

The illustration for Alektorophobia was the reverse. It was easy to choose what to draw but it was difficult to actually draw it. The head of the chicken was both slightly complicated as well as large in terms of surface area. The problem lay mainly with the use of colours. I knew I wanted to use shades of yellow but I wasn’t sure where to put the colours. After a number of attempts, I finally settled on a final illustration.

Remaining Zine Edits

There were a few bits of feedback I wasn’t able to get to before the week ended.

Cover page

Among the recommended changes was the addition of a proper cover page. The one I originally submitted was more of a placeholder. I’m not entirely sure what the cover page is going to be but I was initially considering making it the raster component of my image. I was thinking of using a combination of the colours shown in the zine for each of the letters. Or maybe I could make the letters of the title into masks and have each letter show a small piece of each illustration in the zine like a kind of preview.

Back page

I have even less of an idea about what to put on the back of the zine. Perhaps a logo or a quote of some kind.

Final thoughts

Anyways, I will continue to improve the zine as much as I can and I will also act on any feedback Rae gives me one I ask her the question I’ve mentioned so far.

I’m happier about where I am with this assessment but that is no reason to let up now. I’d really rather not be as stressed as I was at the end of week 9.

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