Digitals of an Undergraduate

Chloe, 19 from Hertfordshire, UK. First year Digital Media Design student at Bournemouth University


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Finished A2 Poster

My completed poster

My completed poster

I have finally completed my A2 Poster as you can see above. Overall I’m really happy with how I have designed it, however here are some positive and negative impacts that I have thought of in the making and after of this project.

Positive impacts of my poster:

  • The colours are bright and easy to see
  • The dial pad is easy to read
  • The key is understandable
  • The white outline of the map contrasts with the black background making it stand out a lot
  • The text on the tape measure is bold and legible
  • I have shown the question though images

Negative parts of my poster:

  • The dial on the scales is small so the percentages become close together
  • The black parts of some flags blend into the black background
  • The outline of the scale could look neater
  • I could have written something more on the tape measure
  • I could have added digits to the tape measure

As this was my first time using Inkscape, it took my a while to get used to the tools and the tracing method. I felt that if I had more time for this poster, the quality would look better. One of my negative points was it the outline of the scales could be neater, if I had more time and knowledge then I feel as if that could be achieved.

My poster is aimed at adults of all ages because obesity affects all ages across the country. I thought of having my poster in a hospital or somewhere with other NHS posters. I could also see my poster in a newspaper for example The Guardian because it is in info graphic, I think readers would be interested in the statistics and how I have shown this in my design. As my poster represents the whole world, it would have to be available on an global scale so the statistics get across. This could mean having my poster available on an online newspaper, advertised somewhere on a social networking site or put up around hospitals or doctors surgeries, so it is accessible to anyone.

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Design Analysis – A2 Poster

The last part I had to do of my poster was to add the percentage rankings around the dial of the scales. I added this using the ‘create and edit text objects’ tool. I then chose a font and re-sized each percentage. I thought about increasing the size of each percentage so as the percentage of obesity increased, the number got larger. However after starting to do this, I ran out of room and it looked very messy.

So after what I thought was my finished A2 poster, I noticed the bottom half of the scales looked a bit empty. As this is an infographic poster, I didn’t want to add anything that was uncessesary or would confuse an audience. But I didn’t want to leave it blank.

I thought about tracing the image of two feet so it was as if someone was standing on the scales. I then thought about tracing the outline of the world map. I chose my second idea because I thought it went well with the theme of my question.

Nearly completed poster

Nearly completed poster

Traced image of world map

Traced image of world map

The process of tracing this took quite a while. But as a counties outline is quite roughly drawn, I thought drawing it not to perfection wouldn’t be noticeable. I grouped all of the sketches together and added it to the bottom part of my scales. This has now completed my A2 Poster which looks like this:

final


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Design Analysis – A2 Poster

Now that I have the basic layout of my poster, I needed to trace ten flags that represent each country. I have explained the process before in my most recent post here. Luckily to my advantage, a lot of the flags contained only stripes and block colours. However there were a few which I found difficult to trace:

Mexico’s flag looks like this:

Mexico's Flag

Mexico’s Flag

It has the eagle in the middle, eating a snake with leaves at the bottom. My first reaction to this flag was that I wasn’t going to be able to trace this at all, I even thought about changing my poster idea all together(!). I just had no hope that I was ever going to be able to trace something recognisable.

I put my bezier tool to the test and after many adjustments using the nodes tool to selectively smooth nodes out, I ended up with something like this:

Traced flag

Traced flag

It’s very amateur and child-like to say the least but I didn’t feel like I could do much more without it looking worse. I was satisfied I had done the basic outline and shape of the eagle and snake but if I had more time I would have definitely attempted the leaves around the bottom.

The rest of the 9 flags I found somewhat okay to trace, with the help of the zoom in button I completed this task quite quickly.

After tracing all 10 flags, I placed them at each point of the dial pad, I then duplicated each image to create a key. The key will help audiences identify which flag is which country. You can see half of the key here:

Half of the key

Half of the key


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Design Analysis – A2 Poster

As mentioned previously, I have decided to use Inkcape because I found it was a lot more user friendly than Adobe Illustrator and it was also free which meant I could download it and use it at home.

So to start of my design process, I chose an image of some weighing scales and uploaded it to Inkscape. I then created a new layer and using the bezier tool, I traced around the image. I added a 0.5 blur on it so the outline wasn’t really sharp. I then took the dial pad from the scales and traced around this.

Dial of scales

Dial of scales

I then marked out 10 places for each country to go on. I wanted a tape measure to go around the scales with the illusion that the scales were being pinched in. To do this I made the scales to in towards the middle either side and traced a tape measure over the top of the scales layer. I filled the tape measure with a bright yellow colour as I wanted it to be recognisable. I added a thin line of an orange colour to make the edges stand out.

Tape measure

Tape measure

I thought this was going to be really difficult to trace but using the bezier tool and then the nodes tool to curve the edges, it easily become doable. I added some text to the tape measure instead of writing the digits because I wanted the poster question to sit there as it is in the middle of the poster. As you can see from the image below:

Poster question on tape measure

Poster question on tape measure


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Development and Realisation – Design Analysis 09/12/2014

Today is the last seminar to focus on our A2 posters. I drew some sketches and showed them to my lecturer who gave me some ideas on the graphic. I wanted to represent the top fattest countries by using a weighing scale as it’s easy to read and fits the theme. As the West side of the world read from left to right and top to bottom; I had to incorporate this in my work so that the whole world can read my infographic. I decided to use the image of scales because everyone knows how to read scales, knowing that the more the needle goes around; the larger something is.

I also wanted to add in a tape measure which gives the illusion of the scales being measured, here is an example:

I really like the dial on the above picture, it gave me the idea to have ten different points and to have the countries represented in that way. Like this image:

Thinking about how I can visually represent this more, I had an idea to make the font increasingly bigger as the dial went around. I have taken into consideration the audience of my final poster and I have aimed this more at adults both male and female as this affects everyone. I also thought where my infographic could be published. As this is about health I had an idea of using it for an NHS advert, although Great Britain aren’t in the top ten, it can still be used as a warning. I also thought my infographic could be used in newspapers as they have an older audience, 20+ which fits my target audience.

I haven’t thought about the colours I will use yet but I am thinking of using basic block colours, keeping the measuring tape yellow so it is recognisable. I thought of having each countries flag on the measuring tape at each marker point to show the range of the fattest countries.


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Development and Realisation – Design Analysis 02/12/2014

Although I said in my previous post, I would research the design of this assignment; I have decided to research more on the question and the information first. I have decided that I didn’t want to involve all of the countries, just the top ten. So here is my research on the top ten fattest countries in 2014:

  • 10. Trinidad and Tobago: 30% of the population are obese 
  •  9. Venezuela: 30.8% of the population are obese 
  • 8.  United States: 31.8% of the population are obese
  • 7.  Mexico: 32.8% of the population are obese
  • 6.  South Africa: 33.5% of the population are obese
  • 5.  United Arab Emirates: 33.7% of the population are obese
  • 4.  Jordan: 34.3% of the population are obese
  • 3.  Egypt: 34.6% of the population are obese
  • 2.  Saudi Arabia: 35.2% of the population are obese
  • 1.  Kuwait: 42.8% of the population are obese

These statistics are from http://www.therichest.com/ which was published in 2014.
I found it interesting that Kuwait had such an increase compared to its neighbouring fattest country; Saudi Arabia.

So now I have the information, I wanted to think about how I would show this in an infographic without using a lot of text. The image of weighing scales immediately came to mind, I could have Kuwait at one end and Trinidad and Tobago at the other.
My other idea was to have an image of old fashioned scales and to have the top 5 fattest countries at one end, so the scales drop down and have the last 5 countries on the other side so it’s visually ‘lighter’.
I also liked the idea of having the scales balanced so show a balanced lifestyle but seeing as this is all about the fattest countries; I wanted to stick to my original plans of showing a clear definition between the percentages.

Here are some examples of infographics using scales to visualise the information:

Out of Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, I have decided to use Inkscape to design my A2 poster because I found it was a lot more user friendly than AI and it was also free which meant I could download it and use it at home.
You can download Inkscape in my previous post here.


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Inkscape Workshop – Tracing 27/11/2014

In today’s workshop we used Inkscape and were taught how to trace images. We took a drawing of a tiger from Google Images and placed it into Inkscape. Focusing on the black parts, we used the Bezier tool to draw outlines of the stripes on the tigers head. This was easy to do as it didn’t have to be neat because you can change the anchor points later on using the Nodes tool to curve the lines and edges.

Below is the image I started with:

This is what it looked like after I had outlines a few of the stripes:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.19.29

After I had done the eye, I went on to the nose and mouth area:
(I changed the colour so it was different to the yellow)

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.33.15

This is what the image looked like when I took the background image off. It’s hard to see the yellow against the white background but this was just a tester:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.33.05

 

I then took the Freehand tool and roughly traced the fur parts of the image. This was fun to do because it made it your own work:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.45.31

 

I filled in the stripes black because I wanted to keep basic colours. I also filled in the eye a light grey colour:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.45.19

 

The final step was to duplicate the freehand parts and enhance the blur on them to it gave off a shadow effect. I then changed the gradient of the eye so it faded out towards the nose. Finally, I blurred the mouth because I didn’t look how sharp it looked:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 15.48.47

 

I will be finishing off this image and posting it on here soon.