Category Archives: Core Concepts Assignment 1

Assignment 1


‘Design a series of at least three postcards (final size A6) that say something about who you
are, your interests in graphic design and your wider cultural influences or interests’

Postcard 1

POSTCARD 1 - FrontPOSTCARD 1 - BackFront                                                                                Back

Postcard 2

POSTCARD 2 - FrontPOSTCARD 2 - Back  Front                                                                               Back

Postcard 3

POSTCARD 3 - FrontPOSTCARD 3 - BackFront                                                                                 Back

I decided to justify the text to get crisp white space against the line of the pictures. The only snag is, I have what is called a ‘widow’ and an ‘orphan’… I don’t know exactly how bad this is?! 


My tutor has pointed out various areas for me to think about. Ironically, I felt taking photos actually was outside of my comfort zone, as its an entirely unfamiliar process for me to make my own images! I have used free stock photography for web design projects up until now. However I absolutely see the point that my approach could be broader and more experimental. In hindsight it would have been interesting to combine these images with a more varied layout and perhaps highly contrasting media – perhaps pen and ink, collage, fabric or paint effects. Or what about some handwritten typography?

Overall though, I am pleased with the look of these cards, both in terms of unity of the set, and that it does convey the mood of my home, interests and tastes.


Assignment 1 Postcards


I have been thinking about this assignment from various angles. ‘Who are you?’ feels like rather a tricky question…or maybe that’s just embarassment on my part. I began thinking about the people and things that are important to me on a personal level, and also how design impacts on my life.

My research led me to read up on designers that interest me, their work, and approach to the concept of design. I came up with a list of designers I particularly like, either for their work, or the story behind them, such as the unlikely beginnings of the Nike logo by Carolyn Davidson. The first reaction of  her client, Phil Knight –  “I don’t love it, but I think it will grow on me” – must have surely entertained a lot of people over the subsequent years?!! It did me.

With a list of designers in mind, I roughed out an idea of the names spiralling round the postcard like this…


They are

Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Dennis Hwang (google doodles), A M Cassandre (poster design), Jan Tschicold (penguin books), Erik Nitsche (posters etc), Chermayeff & Geismar – (all kinds of very modern looking logos), Herb Lubalin, Peter Saville (album covers), Barbara Kruger (political, feminist, punk style typography), Marian Bantjes (illustration and typography) , Ruth Kedar (logos)…then I added a broader theme, such as the lovely vintage copies of Vogue illustrations and a few names of companies such as Apple, and Rapha who pay a lot of attention to design within their products and corporate identity. My partner is a very keen cyclist and runner, so I’ve become familar with various sports companies that seem to love good design.

I began roughing the idea further on my laptop.


But I wanted to explore other ideas linking my life more directly to design influences, my own personality and day-to-day life. This led me to thinking that how design really impacts me, is through everyday objects in my home. Like it or not, brand names and products are all around us, so I decided to take photos of my immediate surroundings. Home is where I spend most of my time.

I got absolutely carried away with taking photos. About 150 of them! I have absolutely no experience with photography, so it was interesting to take pictures. When I finally finished, it was obvious some worked better than others, but all the little thumbnails looked lovely in a group. (Well I think so anyway)

My pics in bridge


My next step to organise these pictures into the set of postcards and decide what to edit and how.

It took me several hours to sort through all the photos, I think I went a bit overboard! I finally narrowed down how many pictures I wanted to use. I felt the colours needed to work well, and form some sort of set so the postcards actually looked like they belonged together. Also, I wanted the pictures to tell a bit of a story, and show that design sits quietly in a house because of the objects we own or are given.

I decided against any photos of myself, my partner or my dog, partly because all the objects I chose were more interesting in terms of colour, and secondly because I really don’t like having my photo taken!

The next job was to decide on the layout, which I kept very simple, using a grid in photoshop. I probably should have been using Indesign, but I’m not up to speed with it yet.  I’m pleased with how colourful everything is, hopefully the repetition of the layout helps to tie the postcards together, although maybe it could have been more adventurous.