May 1, 2014

The Outsiders.

Penguin Design Award '14 - Puffin Category.

I did it! Never been so relieved in my life before geez, this has been one of the most stressful months of my life and I’m surprised I still have hair, I was planning on asking Papa T to buy me a wig for Christmas. Although its pushed me to my limits of stress trying to balance 2 such demanding projects I have absolutely loved every minute I spent on my penguin project and have had my eyes opened to an entirely new branch of Graphic Design I never considered but book design has really made me think, this could be what I want to do, I’ve never enjoyed a project so much!

Today has been stressful with the printing being a pain and not doing as its told and the to-do list I had this morning would have turned a Jaguar white! But there it is! My finished sketchbooks and portfolio all nice and pretty with their labels which I’m certain Phillipa would burn me at the stake if I didn’t do them digitally. My critique on Tuesday after my formal presentation of my ideas could not have gone better, I was basically told the hardest thing I have to do is to choose which one I want to enter for the Penguin Design Award! It would be amazing to win such a thing not just for the £1000 cash prize but for the experience of being offered a 4 week placement working at penguin, to just get my foot in the door of this exciting new and very real world!

So the award, the briefs available are for both Penguin and Puffin, you are given a book to design a cover for this years Puffin book was ‘The Outsiders’ by S.E. Hinton and its safe to say its a truly fantastic book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The brief we were given from Uni based on this award was to create 3 responses to the book, one had to be a photographic response which had to include all the cover text in shot and any effects e.g. black and white had to be done in shot as well it was a strict guideline to stick to but I think I managed it well. I chose to do a scene from the book in a very minimalistic style by using paper cut outs, silhouettes of 2 of the characters against a starry background, I used noise and Gaussian blur to create a minimal retro style sky rather than this ‘realistic’ brush happy background which made the design look tacky!

The next response was digital, we basically could do whatever the hell we want to and that’s what made it hard, there was no restriction to help the cogs turn but after a bit of a nudge out the door from Phillipa and Wayne as well as some lovely third years who sat in on one of our critiques I decided to concentrate on a photo of a pompom, this relates to ‘Cherry’ a cheerleader in the book who is on the opposite side to the main characters but is the character who changes and defines the line between, making her a key component that a lot of people over looked, I wanted to show the pom pom which I made out of tissue paper in motion (inspired by Chris Steele Perkins, Photographer) so I photographed it in the studio but wasn’t satisfied with the results that’s where I hoped on Photoshop and played around with some settings and saturated the hell out of it to make the red stand out, the book is very violent so blood would be a typical design to go with but I wanted to show the blood and the ferocity in a subtle way.

The third and final response was a print not as restricting as the photography one as you could print what you wanted and put the text in digitally afterwards and if you’re skilled enough at printing techniques you can create some amazing stuff, that unfortunately I am not, I was stressed to tears in the screen printing workshop and after 6 hours and 50 wasted sheets due to attempting to get it perfect or even near perfect I gave up. I was so down trodden at that point as it was my favourite design that had fucked up and it just put me in an awful mood, the next day when I went to pick up the dry prints to see what I could salvage I found 2 practically perfect prints, the print technician was up to her eyeballs in students so I know it wasn’t her but whatever fairy design-mother I have. THANK YOU! Haha here’s the finished design. It’s fair to say that I put everything into this project. Not just with my designs but my sketchbook as well, a total of 40 pages and a lot of hard work and inspiration goes a long way, not to mention a lot of support from your friends during those 4am breakdowns when doing an all nighter to keep on top of things! And on that note the sleep deprivation is kicking in, Good Night!

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