Basic Visual Research

19/12/2013 § Leave a comment

Whilst waiting for my proposal feedback I did a little research online at some visuals for baking data. As you might expect, there isn’t actually a lot of information out there regarding baking or it’s information. I did manage to find some basic visuals:







Visually, I think the first image above is the best for colour and graphics. However, it doesn’t present a lot of information or a wide range of data. If I was to use this as my main source of inspiration I would definitely have to adjust layout and data presentation as it is really lacking.

The second image is helpful tips to avoiding baking emergencies – we’ve all been there so this is super helpful! On the other hand, it’s really dull visually. The colours are too muted so they don’t look appealing or keep your attention for long. The ‘sketch’ images are also a little old-fashioned for my taste but if they were aiming this at an older audience, say 30+,  then this would be suitable.

The third image is completely different to the previous two in that it isn’t illustrative. An actual image has been used but personally, I don’t like the appearance – although I do like what its representing. The data isn’t the information I would be showing but it looks to be easily adjustable.


Chosen Data Proposal

19/12/2013 § Leave a comment

The body of knowledge I will be using in this project is the data I collected (and will continue to collect) for The Red Spotty Elephant, a professional baking company. I have a large amount of data for the amount of ingredients used, the number of enquiries received, the number of bookings taken, the amount of cupcakes produced, the miles and minutes taken for delivery and the money earned. I will collect this information by reading through my mother’s previous 3 years of diaries and booking and form an easy to read chart on Microsoft Excel.

I personally believe that there is a need for this information out there other than that of pure interest. Other bakers and small businesses alike will find it useful to know just how much time, effort, money and ingredients go into such a hard working environment. As I work for this baking business in my spare time and thoroughly enjoy doing so, I do believe that I am playing my strengths to my advantage. I have worked within this industry for just over 3 years and helped the owner build their business from the very first cake, meaning I have come to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ and understand which occasions and holidays are most popular. I plan on using my data from previous weeks and months and comparing it to one of the most cake-demanding holidays all year – Christmas!

My intention with this data collection is to promote the baking industry and its talent, but most importantly to inform. I will push forward statistical data so that customers (and potential customers) will understand the stresses behind the beautiful final pieces they receive and will also understand the prices. I don’t believe that collecting the data is intellectually challenging as my data is easily acquired through my job and love for it, however I do believe that presenting visual graphics in a way that will interest people from out of the industry could prove to be a little more challenging.

I envisaged my clients for this data to be the owners of such businesses – baking, patisseries, deli’s etc. as I do think that it would make great advertising for their companies if their customers can see the lengths in which they go to, to please them.

My aim for my final outcome is to produce a series of minimalistic posters with various pieces of muted palette data visualisation on each or perhaps a short animated video with up-beat tempo music. I know that posters will be lightweight in getting them produced and pushing my boundaries but are always enjoyed if layout and type is correct. I have being really enjoying After Effects recently and although my skills are fairly basic, I do think that by creating a short animated video it would push me further and it would allow me to explore a different media that I have never gone down before.

If I do want to create an animated video, I will have to take more time working with After Effects as my skills in this area will really need to be on form for a final piece. Intellectually, I think I just need to keep my data up to date so that it is all correct at time of hand in so time management will be key as always. Whilst continuing to collect my data, I plan on taking a look at other businesses to see if they’ve done anything similar and comparing their work methods, attitude, timing and earnings to that of the business I will be collecting data for and see how they informed and promoted their information.

I will sketch out my ideas before hand so that I have a rough idea of how much I want to produce and when I want it producing for. By doing this, I think it will help my time management immensely and hopefully avoid that panic stage of “I haven’t finished yet!” the week before hand in. I pride myself on my organisation skills so hopefully it should be smooth sailing throughout the project if my data is handled carefully and correctly.

I hope to gain skills in this project such as time management, understanding clients and appealing to customers (and perhaps excel further in After Effects). It is vital that you fully understand your client’s demands – in this case it’s me, therefore I need to have a clear idea in my head of what I want producing and how I want it to appear. I then need to take into consideration what the customer will like and enjoy and hopefully come up with something that satisfies both ends of the demand chain.

Map Deconstruction

17/12/2013 § Leave a comment

Using the questions below we were to analyse selected maps to help us read and understand the graphical choices that were made for their specific design needs. The first map we chose to deconstruct was Central Park and it’s surrounding streets in New York, America (unfortunately we no longer have images of our maps but we intend to find them again to upload as examples).

  1. What do you think you are looking at on this map? – Location wise we are looking at a hand drawn Central Park in New York. There is typed writing identifying the key places and tourist attractions in and surrounding the park.
  2. What is the audience or context for this information? – We believe that this map is targeted at children and their families. Possibly specifically designed for a school trip with children or local information centres (there is also a possibility that children could have designed it). 
  3. What cartographic language is used? – The language used within the map context is very age appropriate, simplistic and clear. Exclamation marks and the colourful key are all child friendly, including small sketches and easy vocabulary.
  4. How is the topographical information represented? – The map is clearly all shown as flat terrain.
  5. What cultural artefacts are present that represent how people live their lives? – To highlight the main areas in which people will congregate the typography is in different colours. For example, in our modern age people visit cafe’s and restaurants religiously and it’s shown well in the map. Hotels are also very important for travellers and tourists so these are bold on the map too.
  6. How could this be of historical importance? – There is no historical importance to these artefacts.
  7. How does this map abstract reality? – This definitely isn’t an accurate representation of Central Park, therefore the places shown are an abstract of reality.
  8. Can you describe the composition and construction (you may need to refer to the originals)? – The map is in a leaflet style making it easier to distribute. The fact that it folds up into quite a compact piece makes it easier on the traveller too.
  9. Legend – symbols – What communication systems are used? – There are multiple colour co-ordinated symbols provided with a simple, easy-to-read key.
  10. Emphasis – What is included and what isn’t – levels of detail? – The levels of detail in this map are quite low. Only places that a child would deem interesting are used e.g. cafe’s, restaurants, hotels and famous attractions.
  11. What scale is used? – The scale used isn’t clear but a key for the distance (1/8th mile = 5 minute walk) This isn’t 100% accurate for the reader.
  12. Can you comment on the direction of the map? 
  13. How is typography specifically used within the design? – Very child like typography is used to compliment the childish sketches. This style isn’t something you would use on a professional map for hikers etc.
  14. What linear qualities are evident throughout? 
  15. What is the colour palette and why may this have been used? – Bold bright colours have been used to attract children in basic shades and tones. Green is the main primary colour as the majority of the map is Central Park. The yellow indicates streets, peach represents buildings and blue is obviously water. It fits the stereotypes of colours well because children will know that green means grass and blue means water. It is definitely hand coloured in what we think is crayons. As a contrast, black and red type has been used for street names and locations so that it stands out well.
  16. Maps are socially constructed what does this map say? 


For the second map, we chose what we first thought was a map of the London Underground. On closer inspection we learnt it was sort of a joke-type copy, making it a little more fun to deconstruct.

  1. What do you think you are looking at on this map? – We think we’re looking at a comical/replica version of the map of the underground system in London. On first thoughts, we thought the names of the locations were stereotypes of the places (e.g. something it’s most famous for), but this isn’t the case.
  2. What is the audience or context for this information? – We expect this map to be aimed at 16 – 30 year olds and those with an interest in art supplies as it’s from a paper company.
  3. What cartographic language is used? – A lot of vocabulary on the map is quite inappropriate for public viewing and isn’t intended for children e.g STD’s and wife beater aren’t something I would want my children to read!
  4. How is the topographical information represented? – This map doesn’t show any topographical information as it’s just lines, there is no indication of land at all.
  5. What cultural artefacts are present that represent how people live their lives? – There isn’t really any artefacts to suggest how our culture live their lives.
  6. How could this be of historical importance? – Vocabulary wise, there is nothing to make note of for future historical use. However, it is a great and accurate representation of the current London underground system.
  7. How does this map abstract reality? – The actual map is real but the the places names are not.
  8. Can you describe the composition and construction (you may need to refer to the originals)? – This map is A3 and printed as an example of paper weight for customers.
  9. Legend – symbols – what communication systems are used? – The standard key symbols have been used that you would see on other maps, e.g. railway stations, airports and transport points.
  10. Emphasis – what is included and what isn’t – levels of detail? – Everything is pointed out well as it would be on an original copy of the underground. It’s also clear that quite a lot of attention has been paid to the place names for whatever reason the designer had.
  11. What scale is used? – There is no scale stated but obviously the underground is huge.
  12. Can you comment on the direction of the map? – The direction of the map is definitely humorous. They’re trying to draw your attention in so that you keep their product and remember their company in the future.
  13. How is typography specifically used within the design? – The type in this map is basic and easy to read in a Sans Serif font.
  14. What linear qualities are evident throughout? 
  15. What is the colour palette and why may this have been used? – The colour palette co-ordinates well with the current underground map so that people will be familiar and able to read it well.
  16. Maps are socially constructed what does this map say? – We think that this map appeals to a wide range of people but especially those with a comical personality.

After Effects: Lip Syncing

16/12/2013 § Leave a comment

In today’s seminar we had a choice of 3 video tutorials to choose from and I decided on the Lip Syncing video as I thought it would be really interesting to see how hard it is to do it. As it turns out, the process is simple enough but getting the sound and the animation to sync correctly is extremely difficult! I gained a lot of respect for those with this job today!!

Now my example is by no means perfect! It was basically a playing around and learning how to adjust sliders and make the process easy for me to understand and remember.

Peter Norris: Protecting Your Designs

11/12/2013 § Leave a comment

Turn-Key: This basically means that you ‘put the key’ in to start your work/project and everything works perfectly.

Full Service Agencies – They don’t just create adverts, they go beyond that. They do PR, TV commercials etc.

How do you protect yourself?

IP – intellectual property

IPR – intellectual property rights

PATENTS: you must first prove that nobody else has ever made it before and that YOU have produced it from scratch.

  • These must be NEW
  • HOW things works
  • HOW they are made
  • WHAT they are made from
  • TECHNICAL contribution


A sign that distinguishes your goods/services from your competitors. This is the same as a BRAND.


AUtomatic Protection covering anything written or performed. Issue is proof of originality.


It is the way an object looks – similar to Copyright, it is automatic and similarly the key issue is proof of originality.

  • Pre-patent Registration – £25
  • Design Right Registration – £50
  • Copyright Registration – £50

Details from:


InDesign: Recap Week with George

09/12/2013 § Leave a comment

Some of the points we recapped on this week with George:

  • Missing Links
  • Inserting large amounts of text and allowing it to automatically fit to more pages (Shift+Click)
  • Adjusting text size in various ways
  • Placing an image into text
  • Clipping an images path so the image fits within the text

Using a Master Page

– Double click A-Master on the pages option and it takes you to your master page.

– Whatever you place on this page will appear on ALL your pages

– You can only delete from a singular page by pressing SHIFT, CMD and DEL

Adding Page Numbers

– Again using your Master Page, type “page” then go to the type drop down bar and “insert special character”.

– Next select “page numbers” and this will place an ‘A’ next to your type. If you then look on your pages, they will be numbered accordingly.



05/12/2013 § Leave a comment

I found this really amazing website called CINEMETRICS that is run and created by Frederic Brodbeck. He came up with a way to identify films in a unique and beautiful way by creating individual fingerprints. To see the full workings you MUST go visit the website, it really is fascinating!

(All images used are taken directly from the website linked above and are not my own. All credit to Frederic Brodbeck.)

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