My name is Kristina Sinclair and I’m the course leader for Graphics A Level. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the Art & Design Department in person at the beginning of the academic year, but in the meantime I’d like you to complete a series of tasks and activities in preparation for the course.
These tasks have all been designed for you to complete independently from home over the coming weeks and months. When we start the course in September, there’ll be the chance to share your work with other Graphics students and discuss what you’ve learnt.
All the tasks should be completed by Choices Day on 25 August. Please take your time over them and enjoy working through them.
The tasks will be released here in three phases:
Explore your Subject – 4 May
The Graphic Design Department is a warm
and welcoming place to be. We’ve created a department that will introduce you
to new and exciting design skills as well as allowing room to develop your
existing creative attributes. We encourage creatively, individualism and room
to develop innovative design concepts. We hope you get a flavour of this
through this first set of activities.
Introducing Graphic Design
Graphic Designer Paul Rand said:
“Design is the method of putting form
and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is
no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so
simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
Graphic Design is a creative process
most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in
conjunction with producers of form (i.e. printers, sign-makers, etc.)
undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted
audience. The term ‘graphic design’ can also refer to a number of artistic and
professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation.
Typography is the art and technique of
arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type
involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line
spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and
adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning).
Typography is all around us, but each
version tells a different important message. We can see type used in everything
from street signs, magazines, posters and clothes to packaging and tickets.
Task 2: Collect a diverse range of examples of creative typography used in media such magazines and posters or online digital media. Focus on use of colour and composition.
Task 3: Now evaluate how they use design, colour and style to communicate a message. How effective are they in doing this?
Here are some examples we found:
Please present your findings, giving
examples of what you think are successful uses of typography.
We’re looking forward to sharing
everyone’s ideas at the start of the course – and in the meantime, remember to
be alert to the many examples of typography around you.
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 June.
Get Going – 1 June
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 July.
Design inspiration is all around us
and can be found in the most unexpected places. Searching your environment can
make you look at everyday objects in a new and creative way.
TASK 1: Look
around your home and search for objects that could represent each letter of the
alphabet. Be creative and look for the unusual!
See if you can photograph each
‘letter’ to create an alphabet gallery as in the examples below:
TASK 2: Now select
one object and try to achieve each letter of the alphabet by manipulating the
object to different shapes and angles. (You may need to experiment with
different objects to find one that works – see the examples below for some
How successful were you? Which
letters proved most challenging?
If you can, please photograph what
you created – you’ll have the chance to share your ideas and find out what
other students did when we start the course.
We hope you enjoy creating letters
out of everyday objects!
Aim High – 1 July
You should complete
all tasks by Choices Day on 25 August.
Communicating meaning with colour and shape
TASK: How easy do we find it to communicate? We’d
like you to find a way of writing each of the six words below so you communicate
their meaning using only colour and shape:
You’ll need to:
suitable colours to communicate your ideas for each word
shapes and patterns for designs
a different design for each word in order to communicate its meaning
The aim of the task is to choose the right
shapes and colours to convey the essential meaning of the chosen words.
Think about the quality of shapes, for
example, a circle may suggest softness because of its continual round edges, whereas
a triangle could suggest something heavy or sharp. A small square and a large
square could communicate distance or size. Colour can give impressions of
meaning or emotion, such as red implying heat and warmth due to its association
with fire, blue being cold or sad, and green natural and earthy.
You can choose how you would like to approach
this task, either drawing your designs by hand or completing them digitally.
For example, you could download and print out the words below, and draw over
them with your designs; copy and sketch out the words and overlay them with
your designs; or use a digital programme such as Photoshop. You can also choose
whichever medium you think works best for your design, e.g. paint, colouring
pencils, fine liners, etc.